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Shadow Carried by All

October 22, 1937

‘Shadow’ Carried by All, Says Jung’

Special to The New York Times

New Haven, Oct. 22–Dr. Carl G. Jung, Professor of Analytic Psychology at Zurich, said today in the third and last of the annual Terry lectures at Yale University that not only is there an authentic religious function in the unconscious mind, but the manifestations of it have followed the same pattern for more than 2,000 years.

Man’s struggles with anti-social tendencies were vividly illustrated by Dr. Jung as suppression, a conscious moral choice, or repression, a sort of half-hearted letting go of things.

“To live with a saint,” he said, “might cause an inferiority complex or even wild outburst of immorality in individuals less morally gifted. You cannot pump morality into a system where it is not indigenous, though you may spoil it.

“Unfortunately there is no doubt about the fact that man is, as a whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Every one carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one has always a chance to correct it.

Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is steadily subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected. It is, moreover, liable to burst forth in a moment of unawareness. At all events, it forms an unconscious snag, blocking the most recent attempts.

“We carry our past with us, viz: the primitive and inferior man with his desires and emotions, and it is only by a considerable effort that we can detach ourselves from this burden. If it comes to a neurosis, we have invariably to deal with a considerably intensified shadow. And if such a case wants to be cured it is necessary to find a way in which man’s conscious personality and his shadow can live together.

“This is a very serious problem for all those who are either themselves in such a predicament, or who have to help other people to live. A mere suppression of the shadow is just as little of a remedy as beheading against headache. To destroy a man’s morality does not help either because it would kill his better self, without which even the shadow makes no sense.

“The reconciliation of these opposites is a major problem. It is natural that the more robust mentality of the fathers could not appreciate the delicacy and the merit of this subtle and, from a modern point of view, immensely practical argument. It was also dangerous, and it is still the most vital and yet the most ticklish problem of a civilization that has forgotten why man’s life should be sacrificial, that means, offered up to an idea greater than man.”

Applying the struggle to European upheavals, Dr. Jung stated that the mental effort has gone on until now there is no civilized country where the lower strata are not in a state of unrest, and that in some European nations such a condition is overtaking the upper strata, too.

“This state of affairs,” he declared, “is the demonstration of our psychological program in a gigantic state. Such problems can only be solved by a general change of attitude. It begins with a change in individuals. The accumulation of such individual changes only will produce a collective solution.”