The realization of the self, which would logically follow from recognition of its supremacy, leads to a fundamental conflict, to a real suspension between opposites (reminiscent of the crucified Christ hanging between two thieves), and to an approximate state of wholeness that lacks perfection. . . . The individual may strive after perfection . . . but must suffer from the opposite of his intentions for the sake of his completeness. [“Christ, A Symbol of the Self, ibid” par. 123.]

The God-image in man was not destroyed by the Fall but was only damaged and corrupted (“deformed”), and can be restored through God’s grace. The scope of the integration is suggested by the decensus ad inferos, the descent of Christ’s soul to hell, its work of redemption embracing even the dead. The psychological equivalent of this is the integration of the collective unconscious which forms an essential part of the individuation process. St. Augustine says: “Therefore our end must be our perfection, but our perfection is Christ,” since his is the perfect God-image. AION 39

Recognition of the Shadow, on the other hand, leads to the modesty we need in order to acknowledge imperfection. And it is just this conscious recognition and consideration that are needed whenever a human relationship is to be established. A human relationship is not based on differentiation and perfection, for these only emphasize the differences or call forth the exact opposite; it is based, rather on imperfection, on what is weak, helpless and in need of support — the very ground and motive for dependence. The perfect have no need of others, but weakness has, for it seeks support and does not confront its partner with anything that might force him into an inferior position and even humiliate him. This humiliation may happen only too easily when high idealism plays too prominent a role. CW l0: Civilization in Transition: par 579, pg 301

To strive for perfection is a high ideal. But I say: “Fulfill something you are able to fulfill rather than run after what you will never achieve.” Nobody is perfect. Remember the saying: “None is good but God alone.” [Luke 18:19], and nobody can be. It is an illusion. We can modestly strive to fulfill ourselves and to be as complete human beings as possible, and that will give us trouble enough. Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice: The Tavistock Lectures: 149

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