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Carl Jung – If it has been believed hitherto that the human shadow was the source of all evil,

Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group


If it has been believed hitherto that the human shadow was the source of all evil, it can now be ascertained on closer investigation that the unconscious man, that is, his shadow, does not consist only of morally reprehensible tendencies, but also displays a number of good qualities, such as normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses, etc.

On this level of understanding, evil appears more as a distortion, a deformation, a misinterpretation and misapplication of factsthat in themselves are natural.

These falsifications and caricatures now appear as the specific effects of anima and animus, and the latter as the real authors of evil.

But we cannot stop even at this realization, for it turns out that all archetypes spontaneously develop favourable and unfavourable, light and dark, good and bad effects. In the end we have to acknowledge that the self is a complexio oppositorum precisely because there can be no reality without polarity.

We must not overlook the fact that opposites acquire their moral accentuation only within the sphere of human endeavour and action, and that we are unable to give a definition of good and evil that could be considered universally valid. In other words, we do not know what good and evil are in themselves.

It must therefore be supposed that they spring from a need of human consciousness and that for this reason they lose their validity outside the human sphere.

That is to say a hypostasis of good and evil as metaphysical entities is inadmissible because it would deprive these terms of

If we call everything that God does or allows “good,” then evil is good too, and “good” becomes meaningless.

But suffering, whether it be Christ’s passion or the suffering of the world, remains the same as before.

Stupidity, sin, sickness, old age, and death continue to form the dark foil that sets off the .joyful splendour of life. ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Par 423.