Author Topic: Intoduction to discussions of the Shadow and Hero  (Read 4373 times)

Matt Koeske

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Intoduction to discussions of the Shadow and Hero
« on: April 17, 2009, 02:41:20 PM »
As a stepping stone to my proposed book on the Core Complex, I am going to take a crack at two articles that will hopefully lead to chapters in the book.  I'm not sure if these articles will be of interest to any of the Jungian journals, but I am going to try to write them with that audience in mind.  The first piece will be about the shadow and will deal with a proposal to differentiate the shadow concept of Jung into three archetypes or categorical personages: the personal shadow, the Shadow-Self (or Self-as-Other), and the Demon.  The second piece will deal with the hero and argue for a revision of the Jungian hero concept, which has become dysfunctional and inadequate.  The hero article will attempt to differentiate brands of archetypal "heroism" into two categories: the conquering hero and the true archetypal hero.  It will also involve some speculation about why it is that these categories have been muddled in Jungian thought, and I'll propose that the conquering hero is a fantasy of patriarchal egoism that has usurped some of the superficial trappings of the true archetypal hero as part of its inflation.

Both of these articles, although perhaps touching on "radical and contrary" revisions at times are conceivably communicable to the conventional Jungian audience.  Much if not all of the data and reasoning behind these articles have been proposed by other Jungians as well as by me, but to my knowledge, no one has pulled them all together and honed them as I hope to.

In the shadow article, I will be especially indebted to Donald Kalsched's Inner Life of Trauma in which he constructs a very nice portrait of the Demon.  Despite this, he doesn't, I think, draw all the best conclusions from the data he's working with.  Ultimately, his understanding of the Demon (as "daimonic archetypal defenses of the personal spirit") is only transitional.  He sees it through a lens narrowed both by Jungian convention (regarding archetype as well as developmentalist notions of Child-centered psychology) and a specialization in trauma (which encourages him to under apply the theory and not see the ubiquity or the cultural mechanism of the Demon).  The construct that I call the Demon is much more widespread (e.g., everyone has such a Demon, not just trauma-sufferers), and it is not an archetype or part of the Self, per se . . . but rather, something akin to a meme.  Kalsched also (perhaps in his "archetypalizing" of the Demon) doesn't see the way the Demon construct can be comprehended and largely defined by its relationships with the Self, personal shadow, hero, and ego . . . or how the interrelational patterns of these figures create a complex, woven narrative that defines our psychic process (which is the theme of my book on the Core Complex).

I'm choosing to post notes and drafts of these articles here in this section of Depth Psychology rather than in the Member's Work forum, because I hope that the discussions will be seen as open to the participation of others.  My ideas on this are still developing.  Also, I see them (and these forum threads) as developing in a digressive, helter-skelter way which I hope to pull together into something more coherent (the articles) by the time I've worked through and charted these various paths.
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way.

   [Bob Dylan,"Mississippi]


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Re: Intoduction to discussions of the Shadow and Hero
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 05:10:43 PM »
We have a lot of demons inside, there is a traditional way to meet them,
but its a painful way, only few people dare to try it.

You have to make a trip in the Qlipphot.

Jung was a man of pratice, thats my way to find out things. so I became
a pathwalker on the inside planes.

Nice Greets ... Joy :)