Commercial Ad Analysis

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An analysis of a commercial ad is discussed, along with five separate experts’ comments.
Interview with John Sanford
John Sanford. Conducted by D. Patrick Miller. Meeting: “What the Shadow Knows: An Interview with John A. Sanford.”

the Shadow: The Hidden Power of Human Nature’s Dark Side. Ed. John Abrams and Connie Zweig.

Tarcher, Los Angeles, 1990. 19-26. Print.
What the Shadow Knows: An Interview with John A. Sanford, D. Patrick Miller.

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JOHN A. SANFORD Interview for What the Shadow Knows
Patrick D. Miller

Jung once made the phrase, “I would rather be whole than good,” which certainly mystifies or disturbs many people. Why do most people not understand how excessive “goodness” and evil are related?
This is actually an ego and shadow issue, and the Christian tradition is where it is most clearly seen. The lines between good and evil are clearly defined in the Bible: there is God, who is good, and the Devil, who is bad. God wants people to be good, and he punishes evil. According to the New Testament, when someone succumbs to wickedness and does acts of evil, their soul is corrupted and destroyed, which results in a bad psychological process. As a result, “being a good person” has long been held up as the ideal or standard for Christians, and there is some merit to that.
However, the Christian tradition initially acknowledged that everyone carries the opposite within them. As a deep psychologist, St. Paul recognized he had the shadow and believed only God could deliver him from such a situation. He said, “For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” But being aware of his condition helped to keep things from falling apart.
Later, that comprehensive viewpoint was lost, and people felt merely driven to identify with goodness—or at least the appearance of goodness. You will quickly lose contact with the shadow if you do that. Additionally, the church made a terrible error somewhere along the way, which was made clear during the Middle Ages. Now, evil exists not only in some deeds but also in some fantasies. Adultery was a sin, and thinking about adultery was also a sin; you were a bad person just for fantasizing about doing evil. Both needed to be admitted and pardoned.

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As a result, people started to suppress and reject their fantasies, which further drove the darkness underground. The division widened.

Did this process coincide with the erasure of the feminine?
Indeed, I would agree. Contrasts are not as clearly visible and delineated in the world of women. This is this, and that is that, as seen by the masculine element, in the strong sunlight. In the feminine, everything kind of blends together and loses its distinctness, as when you’re viewing in the moonlight. The entire shadow issue is quite nuanced and convoluted; it is not at all as straightforward as the good-and-evil dichotomy might suggest.
Therefore, this total separation of the shadow and the ego would have been lessened by the feminine element. Early on, the church led a feminism-inspired movement, but it eventually turned rather patriarchal. Setting the groundwork for the Jekyll-and-Hyde phenomenon, the ego and the shadow gradually drifted apart. Christian history can be studied to understand the progression pretty clearly. For example, those who claimed to be conducting the Inquisition were actually doing very bad things.
Of course, the shadow is not exclusively the property of Christians. Everyone commits heinous crimes. But in the Christian tradition, the division is depicted fairly clearly. The return of depth psychology was a positive outcome of all this. The church made an effort to forbid fancies, but it was well aware of the inner life and valued contemplation.
Growing up around religious fanatics, I always noticed a certain uptightness in them, as if they were actively attempting to suppress certain thoughts from even entering their consciousness, much less expressing them out loud. An enormous amount of energy seems to be needed to keep the internal division in place.
Yes, that is true, and it doesn’t produce a truly excellent person. Pursuing absolute goodness leads to an act of goodness or self-deception. It creates persona, a good face put on top of the ego. Dr. Jekyll had a very large character that he fully believed in, but he was never actually particularly successful at anything.
man. Jekyll secretly longed to be Hyde, but he never wanted to give up the persona he had presented to others and to himself. When he came up with the medicine that turned him into his shadow, he believed he found the perfect solution. But eventually, his own desire to become Jekyll overcame him.
Understanding the critical distinction between the shadow and what is actually evil is key in this situation. The devil, not the shadow, is the ego, as Fritz Kunkel famously said. He held the view that there is evil beyond the ego, an archetypal evil, but for the majority of individuals, the ego is the fundamental issue.
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If you were raised a Christian with the ego ideal of being loving, morally upright, kind, and generous, then you’d have to repress any qualities you found in yourself that were antithetical to the ideal: anger, selfishness, crazy sex, etc. Edward C. Whitmont, a New York analyst, put it well when he said that the shadow is “everything that has been rejected during the development of the personality because it did not fit into the ego ideal.” The secondary personality known as the shadow would be made up of all these traits that you separated. You would develop many personalities if that other personality was sufficiently secluded.
You can always tell which multiple personality instance is the shadow in every situation. It’s just not always the same as the ego; it’s not always nasty. The truth, according to Jung, is that the shadow is 90% pure gold. Whatever has been suppressed has a ton of energy and a lot of potential for good. So the shadow is not necessarily bad, despite how unsettling it may be. The ego contributes to evil considerably more than the shadow does since it rejects understanding and the entirety of the personality.
Because the ego casts its own evil upon the shadow, it receives a negative reputation.
Exactly. The devil is referred described as “the father of lies” in that psychological text we refer to as the New Testament, but the shadow never tells lies; it is the ego that conceals its true intentions. That is why complete honesty about oneself is necessary for both successful psychotherapy and any sincere religious conversion.
“The shadow plunges man into the immediacy of situations here and now, and thus creates the real biography of the human being, who is always inclined to assume he is only what he thinks he is,” wrote the Jungian analyst Marie-Louise von Franz. This line got me thinking about how our society tends to lose faith in our leaders because the biography they give us when they’re running for office is never the biography that matters.
The politician’s biography, which is frequently created by public relations specialists, is the character or mask that they want us to know. It’s what conceals the politicians’ actual situation. But if given the chance, I believe we could manage that reality fairly well. In the long run, facing your shadow is not nearly as harmful as rejecting it. For instance, Gary Hart’s reputation was shattered not because he had affairs but because he persisted in lying about them even after the truth became clear. That gave me the impression that he was just not very smart.
Elections are undoubtedly decided on the power of the persona in the period we live in. Reagan is the best example because we are aware that he never moved or spoke in an unstaged manner. Regardless of my opinion of what he says, I feel lot more at ease around President Bush because it seems like the genuine man is speaking.
In the era of nonstop campaigning, I believe we were a little more in touch with politicians as actual people. Electronic media’s ability to improve ego reveals a monstrous side of our technology that is quite harmful.
From the overt satanism of some heavy-metal rock bands to the books of Stephen King and Clive Barker, horror movies, and other entertainment products of today, the shadow certainly seems to be quite prevalent. I wonder if all of this indicates that we are progressing toward acknowledging the shadow and integrating it, or if we are simply sinking, as some social critics and censors appear to believe.
When do we enter the truly demonic realm from the shadow, which is a challenging but still human element? This raises the question of archetypal evil: Is there a devil who transcends the boundaries of the human ego? By the way, early Persians believed in a divine agent that spawned evil, so it wasn’t just the Christians who worried about the devil.
Stalin’s pogroms and Nazi Germany’s Holocaust were not caused by each person’s personal shadow. There, in my opinion, was a truly sinister agency of evil in the human brain that we should be afraid of. Many would argue that there is no such thing as evil and that all killers are the result of bad parenting and unhappy childhoods. However, I believe that the archetypal agent of evil exists.
It’s possible that some of the people who want to ban rock songs and other material are somewhat correct. I’ll be honest and state that whenever I come across such things, I feel a strong aversion. I find some of it to be sinister. We should not, under any circumstances, presume that those who preach against archetypal evil are devoid of it. Moralizing about evil is actually a smart way to give in to it. It’s a delicate issue. Making Dr. Jekyll’s error is combating evil as a means of preventing self-awareness.
But how can we discern what appears sinister from what actually is sinister?
The query is well-stated but not necessarily easily addressed. The psychology of the individual viewing has a big impact. Things will appear more sinister to you as your psychological framework becomes more rigid. All I can say is
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so everyone is ultimately surprised by it when the typical amount of wickedness is eventually expressed. Of course, this is not always the case. The wickedness of Nazi Germany took a very long time for the world to comprehend.
Our inner mechanism for judging something’s value, or what Jung dubbed the emotion function, aids us in distinguishing between the two. The feeling function informs us of what is and is not desirable, but it is not egotistical.
judgment. From the perspective of its own interests, the ego judges what is good and bad: what tends to support our egocentric defensive system is what we believe to be good, and what is in opposition to it, we deem to be evil. The Puritans considered it as a good thing to infect the Native Americans with diseases that killed them, and they gave sermons about how God was preparing the way for them to inhabit the continent. Of course, smallpox victims among the Indians would have viewed good and evil in the scenario very differently.
There is no egocentric contamination of the sensation function. It’s a pure feel-based assessment, but it’s not often taken seriously. The increase of the feeling function is what caused the American public to eventually turn against the Vietnam War; more and more people began to feel that the war was dreadful and wrong, even though it was supposed to further our political objectives. Naturally, they were correct. If given the proper information, the value judgment of the emotion function is a trustworthy judge of what is good and bad in a circumstance. The emotion function is perfectly capable of drawing the wrong conclusions if it lacks all the facts or only perceives a portion of the whole picture.
What steps in the integration of the shadow have you seen in your practice?
One is more or less shocked when they first clearly notice the shadow. Some of our egocentric defense mechanisms inevitably disintegrate or disappear as a result. Temporary depression or a hazing over of consciousness may follow. Jung related the individuation process, which he named the process of integration, to the process of alchemy. The melanosis, where everything inside the jar containing all the alchemical materials turns black, is one stage of alchemy. The black stage, however, is very necessary. According to Jung, it stands for the initial encounter with my unconscious, which is always the first encounter with the shadow. The ego interprets that as a form of failure. .BY THE SUN
Is it feasible to become trapped there? Are we destined to have one shadow encounter after another with no integration in between?
I don’t believe that is the case because a true understanding of the shadow also highlights what
The Self is the creative core, according to Jung. Then, things start to change, preventing the depression from lasting forever. After that, a million and one alterations may happen; each person would experience something different. The “real center” of the personality, as described by Kunkel, starts to emerge, and over time, the ego is reoriented to be in closer proximity to that real center. A person is then much less likely to associate with actual evil since the integration of the shadow always occurs at the same time as the demise of the false self. One has a far more realistic view of oneself; realizing one’s own nature always has very positive benefits. The best defense against actual evil is sincerity. The best defense we can have against evil is to cease lying to ourselves about who we are.
What is the center of if not the ego, if that is not the “real center” of who we are?
The notion that the psyche has two centers sets Jungian psychology apart from virtually all other psychologies. The Self, which encompasses consciousness, the unconscious, and the ego, is at the center of whole personality, whereas the ego is at the center of consciousness. The Self is the core and the entirety. The ego exists as a little, self-contained circle that is off-center but is still a part of the whole. The Self is the biggest center of the personality, while the ego can best be regarded as its weaker center.
Our dreams are the ideal places to see this connection. The ego serves as the sun in our waking lives, illuminating everything while also obscuring the constellations. We are unaware that the components of our ego-consciousness are not original to us; they were provided to us and arise naturally. had unconscious influence all the time, but were generally unaware of it. The ego would rather think that all of its thoughts are original. Everything in our dreams changes when the dream ego appears. We naturally identify with the dream ego when we remember the dream; we use the pronoun “I” and claim things like, “I met a bear, and we had a wrestling match, and then the dancing girl appeared,” etc. The difference is that the dream ego is aware of things that the waking ego is not throughout the dream. For example, you might remember sprinting really quickly during the dream but not why. But you were aware in the dream.
Most importantly, no other character in the dream is ever more essential than the dream ego. It might even become overlooked or overpowering. When the sun sets, the stars appear, and you realize that you are only one of the many stars in the night sky. The soulscape is that, and it is invisible to us when we are awake.
While I am more or less at ease with the concept of the shadow in waking life, I’ve found that the shadow in dreams is much more than just an idea.
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very true and quite potent. Sometimes, it seems to be absorbing me, and I turn into the shadow.
Yes, the shadow in the dream has an energy system that is at least as strong as yours. The aspects of the psyche are less distinguishable from one another in the psychic realm of the dream, where the dream ego can either be them or something else entirely.
The shadow is always a component of the ego; the shadow’s characteristics may have influenced the ego’s design. You could say that the shadow is more like the ego’s sibling or brother and isn’t always a bad guy. Furthermore, it’s critical to keep in mind that the shadow always acts with a purpose, one connected to the traits that the ego rejects. It’s fairly uncommon to become the shadow in a dream; it’s more likely that the dream ego will see the shadow changing forms while the dream is happening.
In a dream, I think, becoming the shadow is safer than in the real world.
We’re once more up against the shadow’s complexities. In this area, I lean more toward Kunkel than Jung in my thinking. According to the theory, the ego is initially located very near to the Self’s core. It adopts an egocentric posture as it gets further away, which is frequently made worse by negative early influences. The nature of one’s egocentric defenses and, consequently, the form of the shadow will depend on the nature of those forces.
Let’s say that despite feeling powerless and ineffective in the face of his circumstances, a person finds a way to survive by relying on the strength of others, becoming something akin to a “clinging vine,” rather than building up his own strength. So he presents himself as needy and extremely deserved at the same time. That is his default egocentric stance; he is the type of person who constantly requires your assistance and can provide a long list of justifications for why you ought to do so. You are a nasty person if you don’t assist him.
Such a guy is quite uninteresting, to start with. When he totally bores them, they will quit being his supporters, which makes him feel threatened and uneasy. He has suppressed courage and forthrightness, which are admirable virtues, in order to maintain his egocentric posture of clinging. But this clinging vine personality views these traits as belonging to the devil, and it is deathly afraid of them. These suppressed qualities can even turn dangerous.
Consider a high school student who simply wants to be left alone and has the egotistical defense of a turtle. Due to his tendency to be a loner, he attracts the attention of a group of toughs who torture him. They relentlessly pester him, and eventually his narcissistic shell of
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Withdrawal bursts, and the shadow emerges. He might now easily get into a fistfight and, despite getting hurt, come out okay—and possibly more integrated. Alternatively, he might go retrieve his father’s gun and shoot his tormentors, in which case something dreadful has happened. Something regrettable may happen if the energy has been suppressed for a long enough time and in a sufficient amount of depth.
Do you believe the boy has called his harassers to him?
Absolutely, I say. He’s communicating what he needs for integration at the unconscious level. In such a case, according to Kunkel, “archangels” are dispatched to carry out the divine purpose.
However, the archangels might not always look after you.
That’s correct. The situation was merely set up. The only thing we are certain of is that when the archangels are engaged, nothing will remain the same. Nobody has any idea of what will happen next. It is important not to take the shadow’s release lightly. Therefore, it would be much better if the youngster learned of his animosity while in therapy or another caring environment where his shadow might gradually emerge.
For all its challenges, the shadow is closer to the creative source, according to the enigmatic assertion made by Kunkel that “God is always on the side of the shadow, not the ego” in a showdown.
The ego that is not egotistical has a healthy creative relationship with both the shadow and the Self. This ego is a very different matter. The ego simply loses some of its tight limits throughout the integration process, not really diminishing it. A robust ego and an egocentric ego are very different from one another; the latter is always weak. Without a strong ego, individuation, the realization of one’s true potential, cannot occur.
Does that imply that being your “Self” is impossible?
That’s correct. The ego is an essential tool for the Self’s expression, but you have to be prepared to risk losing the ego. It’s comparable to Moses confronting God at the burning bush before leading the Israelites out of Egypt. That is the behavior of the powerful ego.
John Sanford. conducted by D. Patrick Miller. Meeting: “What the Shadow Knows: An Interview with John A. Sanford.”

the Shadow: The Hidden Power of Human Nature’s Dark Side. Ed. John Abrams and Connie Zweig.

Tarcher, Los Angeles, 1990. 19-26. Print.



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