Like many things, it involves layers doesn’t it? Our perfectionist culture often wants us to leapfrog to the ideal solution without first wrestling with where we are and why we can’t accept where we are. So often in our challenges we must wallow in hollow, aspirational ideals before we can get to the nitty gritty of the task.
There’s value in sensing both the light and shadow but first we have to – at a basic kindergarten level – start with the obvious, say the shadow in Putin/the Russian people and the light in Zelenskyy/the Ukrainian people, before we can even begin to investigate the light in Putin/the Russian people and the shadow in Zelenskyy/the Ukrainian people. Let alone approach the topic of wholeness and metabolising the darkness within. As Jung said, “I would rather be whole than good.”
This is such a complex topic – demythologising the hero, deconstructing that the only dynamic is good vs. evil, distinguishing between stereotypes vs. archetypes etc. etc. – when audiences often only want simple, bullet point, ‘upper world’ answers. How do we get out of a cycle of commenting/analysing without also transforming something inside ourselves?
I feel that last quote by Campbell you mentioned is leading us there – Kristina.