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Reply To: The Shadow


How we read a symbol and a sign come from 2 different points of emotional interpretation as Joseph points out; one usually has to do with information of what one might call an ambivalent nature; whereas the other is much more emotionally connected. Jung states emotion is the pathway to making the unconscious conscious; so that what had previously been interpreted one way is now seen or interpreted in a completely different one. (Joseph points to the difficulty involved when he says “concretizing” a symbol as a “fact” instead of seeing it as a “metaphor” pointing past itself gets in the way of how we emotionally interpret something. In other words: “God thinks he is a fact; instead of realizing he is a metaphor.” Or in Jungian or Campbell speak: “these are categories of thought”.)

The Shadow resides in what Joseph called the landfill of the psyche so that this neglected unrealized aspect has been interpreted from a unrealized or uninformed point of view. The dark side of emotion as Jung and Joseph points out contains terrifying potential as well as tremendous potential for realization if properly understood within the right context. For instance if one says you and the other are one; this is the Jesus in you coming into realization instead of seeing the other person as someone you dislike, fear, or hate; much less disagree with.

In the above clip is a set of symbols in a cigar box that conjure up a certain context theme that the movie represents of Scout’s childhood from which the story evolves concerning Boo Radley and his relationship to her as it evolves thoughout the film toward realization to which I will refer to in a closing clip that it returns to at the end! This juxtaposition between fear of Boo to tenderness and compassion against the back drop of tremendous social upheaval concerning Tom Robinson’s trial and racial animosity provides a life lesson concerning these above Archetypal influences and the way her point of view is forever changed. So therefore this Shadow archetype can now be re-interpreted in a completely new way as a vehicle of consciousness.

For me personally the scene resonates deeply from personal experience so that every time I see this clip it pulls up certain memories that hold powerful childhood experiences that can now be re-interpreted in a completely different context that unlocks what had previously been extremely painful can now be seen as transformative within the context of my own story.

Now more than ever I think Joseph’s understanding of Jung’s thoughts concerning the threat of man’s Shadow side to his very existence hang on understanding how integrating this neglected and unrealized side of man’s animal nature hold the key to his survival! And by understanding man’s vulnerability to Shadow stimulation within emotional manipulation; and this relationship to society as witnessed now through social media; this toxicity concerning conflict is now becoming apparent in full view through the duality that you mentioned above. In other words: “one side wins and the other side loses without seeing the other in you”; so that the humanity is lost within the context of the struggle and the outcome can become an all or nothing; or even worse a complete disaster where both sides lose taking out the support structure as well; as in the environment that holds everything together.


(An Addendum change): I hope my explanation makes the necessary connection between these various dots or attempts at description. I have substituted a different closing clip which I referred to that should better illustrate my point which goes into further depth concerning the symbolism used in the cigar box and it’s relationship to the understanding of who Boo Radley is and the difference between shadow projection of the collective unconscious and Stephen’s point concerning projection of the personal unconscious.

Scout experiences the collective projection that Boo is considered crazy and a madman and to be feared. In the climax she then discovers that Boo has saved both her and her brother and is actually a shy, gentle, kind, and sensitive person; much like the Mocking Bird described by her father earlier in the film; that has been misunderstood and her understanding is transformed by this realization involving her personal unconscious which is brought to fruition in the closing scenes of the film: