Core Complex Psychology: Preamble

Wrestling with My Jungianism, a Preamble

What follows is an introduction to and overview of a revised Jungian theory of psychodynamics.  I consider it "under development", and although I feel positive enough about it to use its language to talk about the psyche, my relationship to it is complex, to say the least.  Much of this complexity has to do with my personal relationship with and attitude toward Jungianism.  For instance, it was never my intention to create a theory of psyche.  In fact, it was not initially my intention to be a revisionary or even a "post-" Jungian.  I simply was drawn to Jungianism for the useful tools it provided me in the understanding and "treatment" of my own psyche.  Since these tools were objects of practical application for me, issues of dogma, legacy, and even theory were of minimal concern.  I made small edits as I toured and used Jung's ideas, but thought nothing of them.  Most of these had to do with what I now call the animi work, and I attributed the flaws in Jung's anima and animus constructs to a dated sexism that he had also long fallen under the scrutiny of Jungians for (since the rise of feminism in the 60s and 70s).

Even as I had a fairly well developed (and recorded) conception of my anima work experience that was not altogether on the Jungian map, I assumed for years that what I had undergone was "entirely Jungian" and would be understood and embraced without anxiety by other Jungians if they had the opportunity to hear it out.  It was, in other words, not really a revision of Jungian theory, but another piece of data to add to the massive pile of similar data the anima theory was already reacting to.  It was a nicely elegant, very Jungian case study.

I would be lying if I said that I never had any interest in or attraction to innovation.  I am a poet (or was . . . it's complicated), and creation seems to drive me more than any other force.  But, like many Jungians, I came to Jungianism to find my tribe and to find healing through it.  Only in the last few years and since returning to Jungianism after nearly a decade where it played only a back burner role in my life did I start to recognize that my stance as a Jungian was unusual . . . and even in some ways radical.  With the creation of Useless Science and my ragged, spiraling brainstorms, investigations, and sermons, I pursued the innovator's path reluctantly.  It may not seem so due to my "verbal enthusiasm" (or vitriol, if you prefer), but I have pursued this path with great reluctance and much consternation, and I have proceeded thus for a fairly logical reason.  Namely, like so many others drawn to Jungianism, my dream was to find my true tribe, to find others like me, to find home and familiarity and a way to participate, an group-acceptable identity to participate through.  But I have found myself trapped between the practical drive to innovate and to pursue psychology with honesty and integrity on one hand and on the other hand to fit in and find fellows, companions, and collaborators who are enthused by the same mission I am.

It is an impossible place to be, especially for a compulsive innovator, a poet.  To give up innovation would be to assume a false self . . . and lose my soul.  That is not an option.  So I grudgingly follow my own path and agonize conventional Jungianisms.  There are two main reasons that I have taken such an agonistic tack in my attempts to contribute and survive.  Firstly and mostly, it is a matter of my complex or emergent personal myth, a kind of hero/scapegoat compulsion charged with instigation, innovation, and confrontation of unexamined norms .  Where my attempts to forge identity run into this archetypal dynamic, my gears grind and my anxiety increases "irrationally", but I also receive a turbo boost of drive (i.e., the survival instincts kick in).  This complex is my repeated undoing . . . and also my center of gravity, my engine.

The second main reason I persist agonistically is no doubt that I am scarred from my rather innocent fantasy of finding my true tribe in Jungianism.  Still, it would not be fully accurate to say that my agonistic writing is a product of bitterness due to my exclusion from the group Eros.  I know myself well enough to know that I would never be happy with the simple things I wished for.  To belong . . . it is an impossible dream for an innovator (see above re: losing my soul).  My relationship with Jungianism is more complex than this pop-psych diagnosis of bitterness.

My own diagnosis would be that I have projected into Jungianism a woundedness that is parallel to my own personal woundedness.  And this projection makes Jungianism a kind of clay or workable material through which I project the work on myself.  But this is no blind or utterly misguided transference.  It is the same kind of functional transference that successful analyses are based on . . . and it allows me to have empathy for the Jungian disease.  I have come to see Jungianism as if it was a living thing, a kind of ecosystem that suffers and struggles (with the modern and with its own shadow issues) and needs to find a way to adapt and evolve.  In this evolutionary survival process, I feel like a part of the tribe, a piece of the system . . . and a piece aligned on the side of survivability, adaptation, transformation.  An ally to the Self system's principle of organization.

In that role, I bring my numerous flaws and hold back the system with my egoic frailties, my selfishness and detrimental desires.  But I see the value in trying to work through these and find a way to contribute to the Self's ordering principle.  My fight with Jungianism, therefore, is primarily a fight with myself, a fight between my heroism and my Demon-beaten shadow.  And this kind of fight (as I have often noted on the forum) is one in which the heroic only manages to prevail if it can find empathy for the very shadow that is constantly tripping up heroic intentions.

Therefore, in my at times ferocious critiques of Jungian attitudes and ideas, I find myself caught between the heroic drive to contribute innovatively (and perhaps therapeutically) to the survivability of Jungianism . . . and the Demonic drive to chastise and punish the Jungian shadow (and my own Jungian-like shadow) for its weakness.  To the degree that I fail in my critiques by being too Demonic, I come to feel a deep regret for stepping on my own toes and on the toes of the heroic or adaptive drive of the tribe I feel linked into.  I have failed often.  But to be fair, it is a very fine line one must walk in this matter, because I remain utterly and rationally convinced that Jungianism needs to change some of its ways in order to make it in the modern world, in the future.  To make these changes, Jungianism will have to do its shadow work, look into its darkest mirrors, and stop pursuing and worshiping some of the things it currently holds sacred and unquestionable.  Healthy innovation in this case is critical by its nature, reformative . . . and some degree of passion, lamentation, and sermonizing is essential.  Such things cannot be expressed with cold dispassion, because the intent of the criticism is to spark adaptation and survival.  These are Eros issues, not intellectualisms.

As one of very few individuals who seems to be backing such a Jungian horse at this time, I must admit that I feel I have not done as well in my advocacy as I would have liked to.  My actions have not often matched my intentions.  Granted, heroic quests are not for real human beings . . . but I have no expectation to carry the tribe on my back.  I am more like a "concerned citizen" hoping to contribute a voice or a pair of hands to a just cause.  But I also have a citizen's outrage to bear, an outrage that belongs also to the tribe, to the Demonized Jungian shadow.  Balancing this archetypal/personal outrage with a desire to contribute to and help facilitate a tribal psyche is not an easy task . . . perhaps not even a human task.  Even in my repeated failures to find an ideal equilibrium, I suspect I manage to do this as well as anyone could.

Well, that's my preamble . . . and I have expressed, if nothing else, my consternation with my own theory-making.  But with that out of the way, I will proceed to the conception of a theory I have been calling Core Complex psychology . . . a moniker I am significantly dissatisfied with but have not been able to improve upon.  As a creative writer, I have always believed in the value of titles.  In my poetry, I have depended on the creation of titles to bring some degree of order to the formations that followed them.  But a title like Core Complex psychology feels like little more than a fog that obscures a conglomeration of some very complex archetypal psychodynamic weavings.


(IAJS) I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member . . .

Last week I faxed in my application to the IAJS.  The International Association for Jungian Studies.  Their website is  I don't know very much about the IAJS, but their About Us page and Constitution intrigued me.  The gist of what intrigued me:

About the IAJS

The IAJS exists to promote and develop Jungian and post-Jungian studies and scholarship on an international basis. The IAJS is a multidisciplinary association dedicated to the exploration and exchange of views about all aspects of the broader cultural legacy of Jung's work and the history of analytical psychology. Through the development of Jungian and post-Jungian studies, the IAJS aims to aid the understanding of contemporary cultural trends and the history of psychological and cultural tendencies. For example, the association promotes:

  • Scholarship relating analytical psychology to the arts and humanities, social sciences and philosophy as well as clinical, methodological and theoretical research
  • The application of the concepts of Jungian and post-Jungian analytical psychology to literature, theatre, film and media studies, religious studies
  • Applications in medicine, physics, and the philosophy and history of science
  • Practice-based research in education, culture, therapy and the arts

and . . .

Membership is open to those from any discipline, artistic or cultural practice, including analysts and psychotherapists, with an interest in Jungian and post-Jungian studies at a scholarly level.

All members shall have equal voting rights.

I should also mention that the application is merely a monetary payment to join and requires no other qualifications.  The membership includes (I think) access to the IAJS Journal and a members-only web forum that sounded interesting.

I had read about the IAJS in some book or article discussing the history of Jungian groups and factions (I don't remember precisely where anymore) . . . but I get all my acronyms muddled.  My interest in the history and development of Jungian sub-tribes is tangential.  I am definitely fascinated by what might be called an analysis of the Jungian psyche or the psyche of Jungianism.  Jungian history is one of the best sources for relevant "case studies" . . . but it seems to me less fecund than a thorough study of the literature.  In other words, I don't feel capable of "diagnosing" or adequately understanding the Jungian psyche based solely on its tribal splintering and migrations.  Reading, for instance, the works of Marie Louise von Franz next to the works of Michael Fordham will give a much deeper impression of the difference between their two ideological schools . . . or reading the articles published in Spring next to those in the JAP.

What most fascinates me about the macro perspective of the Jungian psyche and tribe is that it is like a large "dysfunctional" family.  The in-fighting and splintering is mostly irrational on the surface, but the core ideological differences among Jungian schools speak, I feel, to the complexes constellated in many members that belong to those schools.  I even suspect that the draw of a particular Jungian to a particular school (or ideology) is due to an innate magnetism between the complex of the individual and the complex of the school.  Yes, this doesn't seem to give Jungians much credit.  But it is a very Jungian (classically Jungian, at least) notion to see behavior as significantly governed by complexes or unconscious, somewhat unintentioned forces.  All the Jungian splinter tribes have one thing in common, though . . . a very complex and somewhat problematic relationship to the lingering specter of the Father, Jung the man (and Jung the ideological founder).

This issue of the personal Jung (as each of us variously defines that figure) is still enormous and potent in the Jungian psyche.  I know I have grappled a great deal with what my personal Jung has meant to me.  It has been the object of significant reflection for me ever since I first started reading Jung's writing.  I don't think most Jungians would deny that this personal Jung is extremely significant to Jungianism . . . but I still feel the personal Jung (as it exists for each of us and in each of the Jungian splinter tribes) has been inadequately dealt with from an analytical (as well as a patient's) persepctive.  That is, a lack of adequate understanding and coming to terms with the relationship we and our schools have to the personal Jung of our fantasy continues to plague Jungianism and reinforce its splintering (and perhaps its stumble toward extinction).  Part of this issue is the implication it has for the Jungian individual's definition of his or her individualism vs. his or her tribal identity.  I would even argue that a failure to come to terms with the personal Jung is one if not the greatest obstacle of individuation in a Jungian.

And when I use that vague expression "come to terms with", I would, for instance, see the near-worship and deification of the personal Jung of some classical Jungians as an inadequate solution . . . and also the too proud disregard and "post-Jungian" separatism of developmental/psychoanalytic Jungians for their personal Jung.  In the latter case, that separatism looks to me like an unresolved and repressed shame at the flaws and eccentricities of the Father.  This is especially telling as it is typically coupled with a return to the First Father, Freud (or to post-Freudian ideologies and analysts).  In that I see the same old Freud(ian) vs. Jung(ian) psychological battle that drove the initial split between these two thinkers.  There is, in my opinion, nothing progressive about the psychoanalytic turning of many Jungians.  Not because psychoanalysis is "regressive" (which it may or may not be, depending on your perspective) . . . but because the particular fascination that developmental Jungians have with psychoanalytic ideologies, preoccupations, and theories seems to me more driven by a kind of unresolved "father complex" than by scientific rationality and integrity.  In other words, I don't feel that developmental Jungians are evaluating psychoanalytic ideas with anything like a neutral lens.  Their complex is tainting the data . . . and there is too much desire to escape from Jung's imperfections and challenges into the seemingly welcoming arms of Freud (the arch-excommunicator and chastener of Jung).  If that complex could be resolved first, then (and only then) could psychoanalytic idea be truly and scientifically evaluated by Jungian analysts and scholars.

Perhaps most odd and disturbing in all of the tribal splintering of Jungianism is that some essential (and in my opinion extremely valuable) quality of Jung's thinking (and perhaps also of his person) is lost to all the splinter tribes.  I can't say exactly what this is.  I won't pretend to have the answer . . . and in fact, I think the answer is not a matter of fundamentalist mining of the Word of Jung, but somehow in a new and creative reinvention and reanimation of the spirit of investigation and valuation that drove Jung.  I am in favor of exploring this and trying to contribute to this creative act.  But it is very arbitrary.  I merely sense, intuitively, that something of the "soul" of Jung and his ideas has been lost to contemporary Jungianism.  I doubt Jungians ever really "got it".  We Jungians, in my interpretation at least, have come of age with a deep-seated failure complex we do not understand and can barely even recognize (it pains us so much to look in its direction).  There is a sense in which we have "failed the father" . . . and from this sense of failure, two major trends or constructions of personality have arisen: on one side, a devotional worship of a whitewashed Father Jung to whom we can be Good Sons and Daughters through starry-eyed obedience . . . and on the other side, a tendency to blame the father for failing us, for not providing enough sustenance or by setting an improper, even an immoral, example.

The spirit of Jung that seems to have little to no influence on how the Jungian splinter tribes construct their identities is that of Jung the struggling individual/individuant, half rationalist, half mystic, mired in self conflict.  This is the Jungian spirit that clawed its way through innovation and defiance of tradition and totem.  Along that road, Jung himself made many friends and many enemies.  Along such roads, many things are broken . . . and other broken things are found and repaired.  One thing we can know for certain about such an individuating road is that it is never ending.  It is always moving on, turning, getting turned around, finding its way out of the woods and back into the woods, evolving in a spiraling fashion, gradually, toward an unknown destination that will probably never be found.  Circumambulating, as Jung himself might have said (albeit with the Latin spelling, no doubt).

This is a path, an alchemical path, of toil and uncertainty, error and perseverance.  But we shouldn't mistake this for some kind of "mystical journey" . . . not only that.  It is also the steady path of the scientist who continues to study, observe, collect data, propose theories based on those data, and revise those theories as more data are collected and analyzed.  To never assert absolute truths, to never stop searching, to never be satisfied with concretizing as-ifs, falling into "metaphysics" (as Jung always asserted he did not . . . with inconsistent honesty, perhaps).  As this mystical/scientific spirit of Jung is the most noticeably absent in the Jungian tribes (yet appeared so evidently in the founder's work and attitude), it seems to me that this absence should be a major focus of our investigation and treatment of the Jungian collective psyche.

I don't know (nor does anyone) what the contents of this path would entail if Jungians could find it today.  I do feel, though, that it is not these contents, not a specific ideology or truth that defines such a path.  It is something much more like a spirit or attitude, a way of being or orienting.

I'm not sure if the IAJS is capable of moving toward such an attitude . . . and I hold out no hope or expectation on that account.  But their constitution denotes a step in the right direction.  Specifically, marrying academics to analysts in the development of Jungianism . . . or interbreeding analysts with non-analysts.  I don't think there is any particular school of academic thought that is ripe for rejuvenating Jungian progressivism and innovation . . . but I have been concerned that a relatively holed-up analytic community has driven Jungian thinking toward an inbred and cloistered orientation to both the larger world and the psyche.  Part of that world and psyche is the individual who lives in it.  The modern individual . . . with whom Jungianism is not adequately acquainted (occupying itself, as it does, primarily with those individuals drawn to the quasi-cultic, neo-tribal retreats of Jungian thinking).

There has been a lot of talk (bluster perhaps) among Jungians in the last couple decades especially regarding the need for Jungians to address the larger modern world, the social world.  Maybe this is as necessary as it is made out to be.  But I see a serious flaw in this mountaintop yodeling.  Namely, the Jungian personality is not and has never been a true part of modernity.  When I read Jungians championing "social" concerns or griping about the overemphasis on the individual in classical Jungianism, I can't help but see this as evidence of a kind of adolescent naivete.  That is, it seems to me like the right wing pundit or vegan environmentalist or born-again Christian that rears up to "collectivize" the personalities of so many adolescents.  Ideology eclipses wisdom.  It is all about tribal identity . . . not philosophical comprehension of the complexity of living.  Jungians are not really fit yet to be good social critics or philosophers.  We do not have a sufficiently developed or modern philosophy or language with which to understand sociality in the modern, global world.  We cannot speak of this world without having lived enough in it . . . and Jungianism has always been significantly devoted to not living in the world modernity has given to us.  We have sought the world of meaning and soul.  The "symbolic life".  We know the ins and outs of the psyche pretty well, but the intricacies and vastness of sociality are things we moved away from in our development as Jungians.

And I am not criticizing this movement inward or "other-ward".  We have tried to move (with varying success) toward an essential wellspring . . . and it is a wellspring I have also sought and which I also value greatly.  My criticism of Jungian "sociology" is that it is premature and poorly devised.  We have not finished our quests inward yet . . . and to turn outward now is merely an escape from the dire challenges within we have not yet devised any solution for.  We are not "expanding" our Jungianism, but turning tail from the Self and from our deeper shadow.  It is, specifically, the shadow of our tribalism, of our own family, our cult, our religion that we have turned away from.  It is no coincidence that the turning toward "worldly concerns" has coincided with a turning away from the psychology of our own tribal shadow.  Of course, we haven't completely or irrevocably turned away from our tribal shadow.  There have been a number of books and articles addressing the superficial history of our tribe and its splintering.  What we have not yet found the courage to face is the psychology of our tribalism, our complex.  We have not analyzed this aspect of ourselves enough, nor have we made any peace with our appetites and demons and fears within the Jungian shadow.

Our turning "outward" is, therefore, a puer maneuver of avoidance and false transcendence.  We are still susceptible to such puerisms because we have never come to terms with our puer-ness, never accepted it.  Jungians are still puers running away from their haunting reflections . . . and most recently, we have run into "the world", were there are innumerable hiding places and distractions.  I am not recommending that those of us who identify to some degree as Jungians forsake the world and ignore social issues.  I am suggesting that in our concern with and addressing of social issues, we cannot move forward as JungiansAs Jungians, we are not yet ready.  We are not "mature" enough, not yet "initiated".  There are other much wiser and more experience social perspectives than ours.  As human individuals, we might be able to utilize these as tools.  As Jungians, the best we can hope for now is to learn something about ourselves by the contact we have with these other social perspectives.

New interest in "the world" does, though, offer us Jungians a wonderful possibility.  It allows us to recognize ourselves as children, lost, confused, curious, overwhelmed.  There is a magnificent possibility here to learn something about ourselves.  But we can't bring our faux-senex fantasy of "elder wisdom" and "individuatedness" to this enterprise.  Rather, we are left with an opportunity to unlearn . . . and to reexamine and reconstruct what "individuatedness" even is in the modern world.  We Jungians are not Alexander the Great's army, conquering, colonizing, and acculturating the modern world.  We are somewhat dazed monks who have just crawled out of the monastery where time has had no meaning.  Our eyes haven't even adjusted to the sunlight.  We are starting over, trying to adapt and survive.  We are not bringing the Holy Gospel.

I don't fully share the notion of the IAJS and many other Jungians that this is an "exciting time for Jungians".  This is a time of great trial and transformation . . . and the odds that Jungianism will be snuffed out at this threshold are far greater than those of our triumphant return to the world or to intellectual prominence.  I appreciate the enthusiasm . . . but I am very leery of the lack of humility and self-comprehension.  It is not so much that we are stepping out of the dark catacombs into the light.  This period would be better seen as stepping out of the catacombs into the Colosseum and all its terrifying gladiatorial chaos, psychopathic Caesars, and bloodthirsty fans.  One thing that worries me, something we have never really learned to do or succeeded at . . . is knowing how to survive.  I sympathize with my fellow Jungians on this account.  It has never been one of my strong points, either.  But I recognize its tremendous importance, and I do not underestimate the challenge it presents.

My hope is that the IAJS has enabled itself to come to see the mirror the modern world holds up to Jungianism by opening the door to cross-pollination of analysts and non-analysts.  Getting to better know others can help us better know ourselves as we learn to see through the others' eyes.  The diversity that an open door policy like the IAJS has toward its membership could be "democratically troubling" . . . but I also see such a move as an essential first step for Jungian adaptation and survivability.  And I hope this will be a fertile path.  Should I have the same concern as Groucho Marx, that any club that would have me as a member is not worth belonging to?  Certainly I have crawled out of even more "democratic" dens.  But in those old haunts as well as in the IAJS, I am bringing the attitude that every club, group, family, or tribe is what its individual members make of it.  Every part goes into the sum, and every individual should have a consciousness about their role as a participant.  I have been kicked out of other clubs in the past, mostly for having this attitude that a member of any tribe should not only be individually self-concerned but also concerned for the whole . . . or, in more Jungian terms, for the soul of the tribe.

I could equally echo President Kennedy in saying we should "ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country."  I am fairly suspicious of nationalisms . . . but when it comes to belonging to a tribe, I believe we should not see that tribe as a Mother-Protector that can enable our egoic desires and successes in the world.  The tribe to me is more of a child or ailing elder who must be nurtured and cherished by the able individuals who compose the tribe.  Consciousness is not collective.  It can only come from individuals.  In my opinion, it is the greatest contribution to a group than anyone can make . . . problematic as it may also be.

-----> Discuss or Comment at the Useless Science Forum


Differentiating the Shadow (in Jungian Theory): Demon and Self

Inflation, the Demon, and the Hero

It was very clear that the forces in the personality these irredeemable  figures represented were not beneficial to or interested in the co-existence of the other parts of the personality.  It seemed natural to call this figure the Demon . . . and adding this categorization to my study of dreams helped significantly to clarify some of the muddiness that clustered around "shadow figures" that conventional Jungian interpretation would flag but then bog down around.  But as I analyzed these Demonic images, more complexities and mysteries arose.  For instance, the general categories listed above were not the only things defining the Demon.  Also essential to defining and understanding this figure was its relationship to other archetypal figures in the psyche (the "archetypes" or agents of the Core Complex).  Al;though the Demon hated and sought to oppose the hero at every turn, often the Demon was able to impersonate the hero, putting on the heroic costume as a kind of doppelganger while still enforcing Demonic control and terror-driven stasis in the psyche.  This Demonic hero-impersonation always leads to that perennial bogeyman of Jungianism: inflation.

Inflation has always been fascinating and motivating to me as a psychological phenomenon.  I had suffered from it, and yet I also felt something Demonic discouraging the inflated sense of selfhood and purpose I had felt (especially in late adolescence).  At some point in my mid to late twenties, I realized that the shame I felt discouraging me from an inflated identification was itself the cause of my temptation to identify inflatedly.  The more I felt terrible about being inflated, the more I was in danger of falling headlong into the inflation.  Depotentiation of inflation for me came with the gradual acceptance of my more unique and at times "heroic" qualities and achievements.  When I desperately wanted to believe in the presence and value of these qualities and achievements but couldn't (out of shame) commit entirely to their acceptance and valuation, I was significantly more inflated.  Of course, I didn't have the concept of the heroic I now work with, and the absence of this construct made any inner work significantly more difficult and painful.  It all seemed to work exactly the opposite of what I had imagined . . . and what I had imagined was much the same as what Jung and other Jungians had also imagined.  The Jungian prescribed "remedy" for inflation is the building up of a strong ego that can resist the temptation of archetypal identification that inflation prompts.

But this doesn't work in practice . . . and the fact that it doesn't have practical applicability is (I suspect) not admitted and realized among Jungians because a great sense of shame and anxiety about the issue clamps down on the Jungian imagination.  Jungian inflation is an untouchable wound.  But not being a trained Jungian while partaking (with significant diligence, I might add) of my own experimental "self-analysis", I had no tribal conformity to adhere to.  I noted the connection between resistance to inflation and its increase long before I understood what was happening.  Differentiating the concept of the Demon helped me realize much more deeply how inflation worked.  By contrast, since this topic is taboo among conventional Jungians (as applied to their own tribal identity), Jungians have grown pathologically suspicious of the hero (who, in much Jungian conception is rather Demonic and inflated).  The hero has become a casualty (collateral damage) of the Jungian disease because it is so mixed up with the Demon.  But as the Demon is not differentiated in Jungianism, Jungianism must adhere to the muddy Jungian concepts of the hero, the Self (and animi), and the shadow.

From doing my own inner Work, I came to see that the differentiation of the Demon is no minute and esoteric matter.  It is one of the cornerstones and fundamental definitions of individuation (and one that is portrayed widely enough in fairytales that Jungians should have spotted it).  It doesn't take a wild speculative theory to see the Demon . . . we have to therefore question the failure of Jungians to identify it adequately.  The logical and likely conclusion is that Jungians do not see/differentiate the Demon adequately because of a complex that colors the whole Jungian tribal mindset.  Consciousness of the Demon has been exorcised in Jungian thinking.  It can sometimes be touched on as "archetypal shadow" or "archetypal evil", but in these characterizations, the Demon is made overly abstract and is disowned.  It is not the (personal) "shadow" that is the primary ethical problem of the individual (as Jung sometimes seemed to suggest); it's the problem of the Demon that is at the core of our internal ethical struggles.

The Demon and the Personal Shadow

Along that line of thought, not only does the hero/Demon relationship play a major role in the understanding of individuation, healing, and identity, the relationship between the Demon and the personal shadow must also be adequately understood.  Not only are the Demon and the shadow not the same psychic phenomenon, any conflation between them is likely to result in increased dysfunction in the personality.  The Demon, I've found, plays a very distinct role in relation to the shadow.  The Demon's terrorizing, abuse, and totalitarian control is largely directed at the personal shadow (and at the ego through the personal shadow).  The personal shadow, therefore, is partially defined by its susceptibility to the Demon's tyranny.  The part of our personality that caves to the will of the Demon is the personal shadow, our weakest link, our deepest, most delicate vulnerability.  Understanding this also helps us understand the Demon/hero relationship and the inflation Jungians associated with the hero.  For, as the shadow is the weakest link in our identity or sense of self, the hero is the strongest.  This heroic strength should not be confused with fortification or thick-skinned sturdiness.  Rather, the hero is that attitude of the ego that is aligned with the Self system's dynamic, adaptive principle.  It is an integrative, flexible, resilient strength that characterizes the hero.

But when the heroic attitude slips from Self-facilitation into personal shadow condemnation and censoring, we could say that the Demon has impersonated the hero and inflation has set in . . . or that we have given over heroic rights and costuming to a Demonic urge.  During any individuation process, heroism (especially as it emerges "fresh" and hasn't been seasoned much) will be lost time and again to Demonic impersonation.  The more we devote ourselves consciously to the heroic attitude of Self-facilitation, the more we are identifying with a particular stance that has a clear negation or opposite position.  It is one of the great pitfalls of heroic inner work and healing.  We find the personal shadow gets in the way of our progress.  The personal shadow just can't become heroic, can't be whitewashed and redeemed or converted into more stellar and brilliant stuff.  The temptation is to hate it or deny it in the name of "progress" and "healing" and "unraveling the True Self".  But those things can only come (to the degree they are possible and at all valid) with the kind of shadow work that valuates, accepts, and manages to grudgingly love the personal shadow.

I should note here that I am biasing my description of the Demon/personal shadow relationship with a decidedly heroic perspective or hero-aligned ego position.  That is, this perspective is one that develops only when individuation is actively engaged in.  It should be said that it is at least as likely that an individual will have no conscious sense of differentiation regrading either the Demon or the personal shadow.  In this case, the Demon (to the degree that it is empowered in the personality) will likely be perceived as an ego ally, a sense of discipline, a code to live by.  The individual will not realize that this code helps repress and torture what is weak in them (the personal shadow).  Such an individual has no functional sense of the personal shadow . . . and if we do not know our weakness, we will not know what the Demon is really up to in the psyche.  Instead of coming into conscious conflict with the Demon (and realizing that the personal shadow is a part of the ego, a part or potential part of identity), the personal shadow will be unconsciously projected onto others and the ego will compulsively take up the Demonic attitude toward these shadowed others.  This is essentially what passes for "normal" psychology in our modern society.  In other words, "normal" modern society is distinctly Demonic . . . more on this below.

Of course, loving or even just tolerating the personal shadow can be very hard, especially when the personal shadow protects itself against the Demon's wrath by toadying for it (seemingly "betraying" the heroic ego).  We so desperately want to be shadowless, but there is no growth in this fantasy.  To be shadowless is to be "perfect", and "perfection" is static . . . and that which is static in the psyche is Demonic.  What is Demonic is in conflict with the dynamic ordering principle of the Self.  Which brings us to the next important, defining relationship of the Demon.

The Demon and the Self

The Self as Tribe

The Demon and the Self are the two opposing powerhouses in the personality.  Lest I make it seem like I am just as guilty of the dualism I criticize Jung for, I wish to clarify this claim.  Although, archetypally or based on common representations of Demon and Self, we can clearly see that a great conflict in the psyche exists . . . when we delve more scientifically or rationally into the figures of Self and Demon, we must ask what these figures are actually representing.  It makes no sense that God and the Devil are battling for control over everyone's individual soul.  That's a poetic metaphor.

There are two great powers in the psyche, though, that we can say with rational and logical justification are often in conflict: socialization and individuation.  Socialization is the force exerted on the individual (and the individual's personality) from without, from others, from the tribe, the society, the civilization, the family, the peer group the individual lives within and is related to.  It doesn't seek to make one an individual, but to (at best) make one socially useful and acceptable.  In a tribal society that we might assume reflects the environment of evolutionary adaptedness for our species, socialization of individuals would be done in a way that makes the tribe most survivable . . . and we might expect that the various ceremonies and rituals and taboos that arise around the tribal identity have clearly survivable significances.  Without trying to construct a neo-primitive fantasy of Utopia, we could say that the instinct for individuation (or for individualism or self-interest) is brought into close accord with the instinct for tribal survivability and group Eros.  The cultural expressions of the tribe will help orient the individuals toward the valuation of the group Eros.  In other words, the cultural artifacts that govern the passage into adulthood would be "designed" to associate the Self with the tribe for every member.  If we all have a shared vision of the Self (God), we all facilitate the Self in the same goal (generally, survival and all it entails).

Without digressing too much into theories of "cultural evolution", I will just state that it is my opinion that we moderns no longer live in a society or culture in which the individuating instincts can functionally accord with social organization.  There is too much complexity and diversity in modern culture for it to function as one integrated survival system . . . certainly not one in which the minds of every individual are largely aligned in purpose with the mind of the tribe as a whole.  I.e., survival and success for each individual is not only NOT guaranteed in the successful programme of modern civilization, it is often seen as contrary to modern civilization's viability (by those best served by the form of modern civilization).  That's where the still lingering idea of "social Darwinism" comes in.  Survival of the fittest . . . and extinction for the "unfit".  This is the mantra of the powerful and has been for ages.  It is only in some "primitive" tribal societies that truly egalitarian social structure (in which the group interests and the individuals' interests are aligned) can be achieved (if still imperfectly).

As we live in a society in which collective organization does not guarantee survival for individuals, it seems to fall to contests of status to fill this role.  But status is a limited natural resource.  Only so much valuable status is available . . . and status would be meaningless if everyone could have their desired share of it.  I'm not saying that tribal societies are status-free . . . but in such societies, both the lamed and incapable hunter and the chieftain can eat and have shelter (if anyone can eat and have shelter) . . . and probably reproduce.  There is in many tribal societies a sense of valuation for tribal Eros or egalitarianism . . . a sense that every member is valuable and worth protecting.  It is not low status that can sever the individual from the protection of tribal Eros.  Only excommunication can do that . . . which probably comes about due to the failure to respect tribal taboos.

The Demon as Modern Cultural Introject

If we imagine that the relationship of the individual to the tribe in a tribal society is patterned on the ego/Self relationship . . . and remains adaptive and survivable in the same form that a modern individual's ego/Self relationship would remain adaptive and survivable . . . then we must also ask what replaces the symbol of the Self in modern society where the "tribe" protects only the self-interest of those with high enough status and not the all its members.  It is, I would argue, very much the same thing that happens when a child has a terrible and abusive parent: some distorted parental imprint eclipses the healthy and functional instinctual ordering principle of the Self and stimulates traumatized, dysfunctional behavior.  In the case of the abusive parent and in the case of the modern status-driven society, the disfigured imprinting that eclipses and distorts the ego/Self relationship is the Demon.  Psychoanalysts might therefore call the Demon an "introject", something taken into the personality from the environment that becomes constructed as a representation of psychic structure within the personality.  I don't really disagree with the idea of introjection applied to the Demon, but I feel that it does not do justice to the complexity and all-pervasiveness of the phenomenon.

A specific abuser or traumatizing parent might serve as a haunting introject that the Demon will manifest as for a specific individual, but the presence of the Demon in the individual's personality goes well beyond the re-traumatizing perpetrator figure.  What is also happening is that all socialization and environmental influence is being channeled through a figure that is traumatizing.  This, of course, eventually leads to a disturbance of the individual's sense of reality . . . or equally, we could say that the individual's connection to tribal Eros is damaged, and some part of them is severed from others, identified as an untouchable.  This low-status personal shadow type figure becomes the main seat of identity in many trauma sufferers . . . or else identity is stitched onto the terrorizing Demon, and the ego champions Demonic self-destruction.  Usually a bit of both occurs.

Trauma, especially early and severe trauma while the personality is forming, and most especially trauma involving an abusive parent, does not create the Demon, but it makes the Demon incredibly powerful, terrible, and characteristically "Demonic".  But the Demon is present in all of our psyches to the degree that our socialization does not facilitate our instinctual will to survive, adapt, commune, and flourish.  Commonly, the Demon in non-traumatized people (as well as in trauma victims) can be discerned as a kind of super-ego, a voice for the collective standards to which we are supposed to all individually aspire.  The Demon controls the personality by pointing out and punishing the personal shadow . . . for it is "common sense" that all resistance to the personal shadow will make one socially successful and help one obtain status in our society.  By refusing and hating the "bad", we become the "good".  That's the logic of it, at least.

But the Self resists this pruning and movement toward "ideal" stasis and conformity in the psyche.  Such Demonic pruning is not conducive to instinctually driven equilibrium with environment.  It cannot adapt, because (as well-pruned as it is), alternatives are cut off.  Eventually, this creates a build up of pressure in the psychic system, and the whole system of personality begins to fracture or grind to a halt (depression or some other psychological disease).  It is as if the Demonic ordering principle takes advantage of our powerful drive to seek and hold tribal Eros in order to quash "excessive" dynamism in the personality.  The Demon's idea of a perfect personality is one entirely composed of static, abstract laws where no conscious deliberation or assessment of options and potentials is necessary.  For every X, the answer is Y.  The system is automated by static routines that operate the same way regardless of circumstance or environment.  There is no regard, therefore, in such static routines for anything Other.  The Demonic system seeks to operate as if Otherness did not exist . . . and where Otherness interferes with this plan, it is attacked by the Demon.

The Demon as Meme

If this (very brief and incomplete) portrayal of the Demon is valid, we must ask why it is that so mechanistic and destructive an "introject" would have so much power over us.  It seems like a characterization out of a fairytale (and for good reason) of some villain beyond humanness.  In my struggle to understand why the Demon functions the way it appears to, I came to see that this sense of inhuman, perhaps "evil" orientation in the Demon is due precisely to the fact that the Demon is not specifically human or organic.  It is not a true "intelligence" or sentient life form.  It is NOT an instinctual archetype in the sense that the Self is.  It is not a complex, dynamic, adaptive, living system.  It IS a principle of organization, but this Demonic principle is based on information, not material.  The Demon is the informational, non-physical stuff of culture fed back into the individual's living, psychic system.  Perhaps even more descriptive than the term introject is the term "meme".  The Demon can be seen as a kind of super-meme.

This will sound strange to anyone who has read my railings against mimetic theory.  Have I changed my mind about memes?  Not really.  The Demon is a special case.  Also, my main gripe against memes is the characterization by some mimeticists that suggests (even if figuratively) that they are self-motivated and "seek" to perpetuate themselves.  This strikes me as an egoic projection and as un-biological.  Memes are not self-motivated, insidious, invading, viruses seeking to propagate.  All of those "agentic" characteristics are supplied by our theory of mind . . . and they belong to our biological psychic systems.  Moreover, memes often serve the function of human agents and the will (both conscious and unconscious) of these agents.

In the case of the Demon, the wills of various human agents (or "powers") have become so diverse and complex that they are introjected into individuals as a kind of emergent form.  It seems very likely that we have evolved to be cultural conduits and sponges.  We are inherently tuned into culture-, peer-, and tribe-driven information.  Regardless of consciousness, we are empathic, conforming, and tribal by nature.  We are not only these things, not only herd animals, but these sociality instincts are enormously powerful in us.  It is logical to assume that we have evolved such a susceptibility to cultural influences and transmissions because such influences and transmissions were adaptive and survivable in our environment of evolutionary adaptedness.  Culture once served and facilitated instinctual drives . . . so our susceptibility to cultural "memes" was part of our functionality and adaptivity.  It was a function of our sociality that made us, as a species, especially survivable.  Strength in numbers . . . but no mere "ordinary" survival strength.  Our species' unique set of assets has allowed our sociality to go beyond basic survivability and perpetuation to extreme inventiveness and re-creation of environment.  But invention and innovation in the name of tribal survival and success has led to emergent social phenomena like agriculture, wealth, increased population density, extreme status distribution, and a discord between resources and the need and desire to possess them.  We evolved, I think, for the Self to imprint on the tribe, on the collective . . . but unpredictable (to the evolutionary process) emergence has led to the construction of societies that are inadequate vessels for our projection of the Self . . . even as they also function to perpetuate genes even more effectively than tribal societies can.

As a result we are torn.  We instinctively introject or imprint with socializations and organizational structures that are incompatible with functional psychic, dynamic organization.  The instinctual Self system submerges and is clogged with foreign imprinting symbols.  Anxiety increases as the Self system malfunctions.  The Demon develops intertwined with the Self, originally indistinguishable.  Only gradually, through the process of individuation, can the flawed imprint of psychic organization that is the Demon be disentangled from the functional Self system.  That individuation process must extract (differentiate) all of the stultifying tribal associations to dysfunctional social institutions.  This is extremely painful, because it requires the relinquishment of umbilical connections to tribal Eros . . . which we need in order to feel human and function properly.  But the Demonic aspects must be differentiated from the Self aspects in the personality in order to heal and enable/facilitate the Self system and its instinctual, complex ordering principle.  The commitment to such differentiating Self-facilitation is what I consider heroic and is the attitude around which archetypal symbols of heroism collect.


Differentiating the Shadow (in Jungian Theory): Introduction

This series of posts is a preliminary run through an article on shadow differentiation I proposed (and hope to write if I can ever bring an elegance to this system of ideas).  As I tend to learn from and develop my thinking primarily through the act of writing (i.e., creating and failing), I figured I would just meander my way through the topics involved in this article to see what would be unearthed (in the hope that this practice would help me better understand what I should write in the article).  I made no attempt to organize and order or to resist any temptation for digression.  Digression in creative writing can be a threshold through which the Other or Self can enter into the work.  I know whatever it is I know today because I have wandered into many cordoned off areas to have a look see.  It doesn't make for elegant finished products, though.

The impetus behind the proposed article generates (like all of my ideas, I guess) from the necessities of personal experience.  I had used the Jungian concept of shadow extensively in my thinking and writing for many years, accepting its muddiness as part of the quasi-mystical intuitive comprehension required of all things Jungian.  Eventually, after striving to valuate the shadow in my own Work for years, I came to feel that the Jungian concept of shadow was flawed.  It was difficult for me to see this at first because I have always felt that Jung's construct of the shadow was probably the most important and fertile aspect of his psychological theory.  Both individuation (spirituality) and relationship (Eros) are extremely dependent on the "shadow work" we do (i.e., on our attempts to know, understand, and valuate our shadowy personality traits and the spontaneous psychic shadow phenomena of our dreams and imaginings).  Shadow binds and prefigures all things psychic.  Out of the shadow emerge the animi, the hero, and the Self . . . not to mention many functional parts of the ego.  In Jungian thinking, affect resounds in and is "lost" into the shadow . . . but as the psychic process, the Self system, is largely affective, this shadowing of affect is dysfunctional.  What shadow "means" to psyche is still inadequately understood, and I think, undervalued.

All psychotherapy and dream work involve extensive shadow work.  Our ability to understand, tolerate, and intimately relate to others requires a great deal of shadow work (or valuation of what is hidden in or discarded into the shadow as well as acceptance that those elements of personality that will stay shadowy will still have some kind of value and integration in the whole psychic system).  Our ability to peer into the "souls" of our tribes and grasp their dysfunctions requires significant shadow work (thus the Group Shadow Forum on the Useless Science Forum).  Our ability to treat either our own or our tribes' dysfunctions and ethical impairments demands devoted shadow work.  At first, the experience of the Self is largely shrouded in shadow, then we differentiate it somewhat . . . only to later realize that the Self is distinctly Other to the ego and will never be rendered fully egoic.  In Jung's concept of the shadow all Jungian ethics lie.  Jungian ethics are not often discussed . . . but due to the shadow construct, ethicality and Jungianism should be devoted intimates.  They aren't, of course . . . and this suggests that Jungians, as a tribe, have not done enough of their due shadow work.

As I have always focused on (and often identified more or less pathologically and compulsively with) the shadow so extensively, I have wandered into numerous avenues where the Jungian shadow concept, though rich, is too vague to be useful in application.  It became clear to me that a differentiation in the shadow concept was necessary in order for the concept to be truly useful as a metaphorical tool for understanding the psyche.  I'm not sure precisely how and when the differentiations presented themselves to me, but I suspect my first differentiation of shadow came in my critical reaction to the Jungian tendency to demonize anima and animus.  As my own experience of anima had never been as anxiety-laden as Jung's writings suggest Jungian attitudes should be, it long ago became clear to me that Jung (and many Jungians) had fused some kind of blackening shadow element to the anima that was not actually inherent to the anima.  Both extrapolation and experience with others' psychology and dreams (women, that is) showed me that the same tainted fusion was true of the animus . . . although the animus was significantly more blackened by the fusion with shadow, even to the degree that no positive value whatsoever was typically associated with the animus figure.

I saw this tainted fusion of shadow and animi as largely a twofold matter.  Primarily, the darkness attributed to the animi had to do merely with their inherent, numinous Otherness . . . and did not really deserve to be called "shadow" (where various negative connotations are implied).  Also, the shadowy aspects of many animi figures were often clearly projections of prejudice and fear from the ego that misinterpreted the "motivation" of the animi as hostile, seductive, destructive, humiliating, shameful, etc.  We could not, I felt, call these figure s genuine shadow figures when the only shadow in the equation actually belonged to the ego and was merely projected onto the strange animi figures.  Realizing this led me to chip away at the conventional Jungian notion of an "archetypal shadow".  There is no doubt an "archetypal" Otherness to the animi, but it needn't take on a shadowy form unless the ego disposes of its own shadow onto the animi.  In other words, much of the archetypal shadow is more accurately personal . . . and belongs, therefore, to the ego.  Not to instinct.  There is no archetypal-instinctual survival/adaptation purpose attributed to "shadow" as it is conceived in conventional Jungianism.  It doesn't provide a clear survival function (except perhaps to help the tribal individual feel greater anxiety toward and differentiation from an individual from another foreign tribe . . . but that still doesn't explain much of the behavior of the phenomenon).  The "purpose" most commonly attributed to shadow by Jungians is that of an innate capacity for "evil" in the human animal . . . but this is a religious or metaphysical idea (like original Sin) that is not viable in a scientifically reasoned theory.

Yet there is no doubt that conventional Jungianism, when talking about the personal shadow or the shadow that is "cast" by the ego, has characterized this phenomenon accurately.  But take this personal shadow (as a kind of collection of personality traits the ego specifically does not identify with and which are seen by the ego as inferior or undesirable) and try to make it accord with the idea of "archetypal shadow" (as a primal figure of pure darkness? evil?), and we are suddenly waist deep in the mud.  Although Jung and subsequent Jungians certainly have made a distinction between personal and archetypal shadow on an intellectual and rationalistic level (i.e., in linguistic categories), I don't believe any detailed study of purposive and non-dogmatic differentiation has been done by a Jungian . . . nor has the problem of conflating the personal and archetypal shadows been much discussed.  But it doesn't take a genius to see that a confusion of "archetypal evil/darkness" with personal, egoic undesirability/inferiority would lead to not only misunderstanding of Otherness, but probably severe dysfunction.  I.e., we cannot assume that our neighbor who has a different skin color, religious background, or lifestyle than us is Satan Incarnate, is something truly "evil" (of course, this does in fact happen unconsciously in many people's prejudices, but it cannot be seen as a functional or ideal psychological state).  Therefore, therapeutically, it would be important to differentiate the personal from the archetypal very clearly.  On the other end of the stick, we also have individuals who identify with their personal shadows and by extension, with "archetypal darkness" (a somewhat perverse ego-fortification strategy).

Although I feel Jung should be commended for his realization that each and every human individual is capable of unthinkable "evil" . . . his desire to dualistically see a dark or evil pole to every archetype was not, in my opinion, scientifically of logically valid.  It is a bit of theology.  Jung himself will admit at times that evil is, of course, relative.  What Jung dwelt less on was the fact that the relativity of evil (or morality in general) is a matter of tribal identity or membership.  What is "evil" to do to another member of one's tribe is legitimate to do to a member of another "competing" tribe.  What defines this kind of "right and wrong" is tribal dogma and indoctrination.  But archetypes (I would argue) are representations of instinctual processes that drive survivability and adaptation to environment.  There is a reason that only human beings can be "evil" while no other species is extended this dubious honor.  Tribal civilization defines evil and good.  Instinctually speaking, we have aggression, conformity (tribal self/other differentiation), self-interest, self-defense . . . but none of this deserves to be called an archetype of evil.  Yes, it can be bent to "evil" purposes (as we collectively define them) . . . but such archetypal evil is not innate.  And to say that it is is theological and belief-based, not truly psychological.

And yet, it also occurred to me that there was something that could be said to be archetypally Other.  There is plenty of instinctual Will in us that is not egoic . . . and is even frequently anti-egoic.  Jung saw this in his theory of dreams as compensations of the ego position.  We are beings of contradicting impulses and desires.  We are not of one mind.  In dream, fantasy, and artistic representations, we will commonly see figures that are non-evil others who seemed to be aligned against us.  Sometimes we will note a transformation within a given narrative of opposed Otherness into cooperative Otherness.  This is also a common fairytale theme: a dangerous, opposed Other is transformed by the hero into a cooperative Other perhaps because the hero doesn't fear the Other or because s/he helps the Other with some task.  Frequently these fairytale Others are animals, but they might also be Baba Yagas, witches, wizards, or wild men.

In one of my favorite types of Russian folktales, the Ivan and the Firebird stories, Ivan is aided by the super-powered, shapeshifting Gray Wolf after Ivan allows it to devour his horse.  The Gray Wolf helps Ivan obtain the treasures he is looking for in far away tsardoms, but each time Ivan does not listen to the Wolf's advice and is apprehended as a thief.  Still, he is pardoned by the tsars in exchange for going on a treasure quest for them.  In every encounter his Foolishness (and tricksterism) allow him to avoid the potential destructive conflict with an Other.  He is eventually murdered by his older brothers who are envious of his success (and coveted the beautiful princess Ivan had also acquired).  These brothers are not true archetypal Others, though.

This (often "animal" or instinctual) quality of Otherness in these tales and in many other dreams and artistic renderings that coordinates with and often facilitates the hero or heroic attitude is clearly a symbol of the Self.  That is, it is an instinctual organizing principle that drives the transformation of personality from a more static and decayed (dysfunctional) state to a more dynamic and reinvigorated state in which what we might call "libido" can flow throughout the system "animating" adaptivity and satisfying homeostasis.  This vision of the Self (so common in dreams and fairytales) is potentially antagonistic to the ego position, and seems to have the power to thwart if not destroy the ego.  But, to the degree that the ego adopts the heroic attitude, the relationship between the ego and the Self becomes cooperative and mutually facilitating.

Some time ago, I began calling this oppositional but cooperative portrayal of the Self, the Shadow-Self or Self-as-Other.  In psychic phenomena (dreams, fairytales, art, religious texts, etc.), there are innumerable representations of the personal shadow and the Shadow-Self.  That these figures deserve archetypal classifications among depth psychologists is unquestionable . . . and these classifications should be distinct from one another.

There are, of course, in dreams and fairytales also many representations of villains who are utterly unredeemable and cause no shortage of harm and conflict for the hero.  These figures are noted by Jungians as "shadow figures" just as those figures I would call personal shadow figures and Shadow-Self figures are also called "shadow figures" by Jungians.  It eventually became clear to me as I did more dream work with other people that it was incorrect to see these villain figures as in any way Self-like.  And it was not legitimate to call them personal shadows, because they were far too atrocious to fit such a categorization.  Moreover, in many dreams and fairytales, these villains are differentiated from both personal shadow figures and Shadow-Self figures.  As I began to try to map psychic phenomena to these characterized representations of villains, I started to see a very consistent theme to their portrayal.  1.) They are always imprisoning or controlling something or someone "sacred" (usually a beautiful princess or spiritual being, object, or resource).  2.) They seek ever more power, are terribly tempted by power, and this power lust is driven by a feeling of incredible impotence which they conceal at all costs.  3.) They hate, fear, and envy (potent) heroes and will do anything to eliminate heroic meddling (thereby attracting heroes to them and their precious guarded secrets unintentionally).  4.) In their "cause" (self-empowerment or fortification of their impotence), they will commit any atrocity, no matter how evil; they see any behavior as justified in the name of their "cause" . . . and they specialize in acts of terror.  5.) They are more frequently male.