Commerical Ad Analysis

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Read from five different experts in the field regarding an analysis of a commerical ad and comment.
John Sanford Interview
Sanford, John. Interview by D. Patrick Miller. ”What the Shadow Knows: An Interview with John A. Sanford.” Meeting

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

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

Page 19

Jung once said, “I would rather be whole than good,” a statement that would probably mystify or disturb many people. Why do most people fail to recogni¬ze the relationship between evil and excessive “goodness”?
This is really the problem of the ego and the shadow; a problem thats most sharply discernible in the Christian tradition. In the Bible the differences between good and evil are sharply drawn: theres God, who is good, and the Devil, who is evil. God desires human beings to be good, and evil is pun-ished. The New Testament point of view is that if an individual gives in to evil and does evil things, then the soul is corrupted and destroyed; that is, a negative psychological process sets in. So theres always held up to the Christian the goal or model of “being a good person,” and theres something to be said for that.
But originally the Christian tradition recognized that one carries the op¬posite within oneself. St. Paul said, “For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Thats the statement of a depth psychologist; he knew he had the shadow, and he thought only God could save him from such a condition. But knowing what his condition was sort of held things together.
Later, that in-depth perspective was lost and people simply felt compelled to identify with good, or at least the pretense of being good. Doing that, you will quickly lose contact with the shadow. Also, somewhere along the line — it became obvious by the Middle Ages — the church made a very bad mistake. Now not only were some actions evil, but fantasies were evil, too. You were a bad person simply by having fantasies about evil; adultery was a sin, and think¬ing about adultery was a sin, too. Both had to be confessed and forgiven.

Page 20
As a result, people began to deny and repress their fantasy life, and the shadow was driven even further underground. The split became greater.

Did this process parallel the loss of the feminine element?
Yes, I would say so. In feminine reality, contrasts are not so sharply seen and drawn. The masculine element sees things in bright sunlight; this is this and that is that. The feminine is like seeing in the moonlight; things kind of bIend together, and theyre not so distinct from one another. The whole matter of the shadow is very subtle and complex; its not nearly as simple as the subject of good-and-evil may appear to be.
So the feminine element would have mitigated this complete split of the shadow and the ego. Early on, the church was the leader in a sort of feminist movement, but it later became quite patriarchal. The ego and the shadow became progressively farther apart, setting the stage for the Jekyll-and-Hyde phenomenon. If you study Christian history, you see the development quite clearly. Those people who professed to be doing very good things were leading the Inquisition, for instance.
Christians have no exclusive ownership of the shadow, of course. Everybody does horrible things. But the split is drawn quite starkly in the Christian tradition. The good thing that came out of all this was the return of depth psychology. Even though the church attempted to ban fantasies, it was obviously aware of the interior life and has always valued introspection.
I grew up around religious fundamentalists, and I always noticed a kind uptightness about them — as if they were literally trying not to have certain things enter their minds, much less be expressed openly. The internal split seems to require a great amount of energy to maintain.
Thats right, and it doesnt result in a really good person. Striving for a pure goodness results in a pose or a self-deception about goodness. It develops persona — a face of goodness put on over the ego. Dr. Jekyll had a very big persona, and he believed in it completely, but he was never really a very good
man. The connection between Jekyll and Hyde was Jekylls secret yearning to be Hyde — but he never wanted to give up the face he had put on to society, and to himself When he came up with the drug that changed him into his shadow, he thought he had the ideal answer. But then his own yearning to be Hyde took him over.
Here its important to understand the crucial difference between the shadow and whats genuinely evil. As Fritz Kunkel once said, the secret is the ego is the devil — not the shadow. He believed there is evil beyond the ego an archetypal evil — but for most people, its the ego thats really the problem.
Page 21
The Jungian definition of the shadow was put well by Edward C. Whit¬mont, a New York analyst, who 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.” If you were raised a Christian with the ego ideal of being loving, morally upright, kind, and generous, then youd have to repress any qualities you found in yourself that were antithetical to the ideal: anger, selfishness, crazy sexual fantasies, and so on. All these qualities that you split off would become the secondary personality called the shadow. And if that secondary personality became sufficiently isolated, you would become whats known as a multiple personality.
In every multiple personality case, you can always clearly identify the shadow. Its not always evil — its just different than the ego. Jung said the truth of the matter is that the shadow is ninety percent pure gold. Whatever has been repressed holds a tremendous amount of energy, with a great positive potential. So the shadow, no matter how troublesome it may be, is not intrin¬sically evil. The ego, in its refusal of insight and its refusal to accept the entire personality, contributes much more to evil that the shadow.
So the shadow gets a bad rap because the ego projects its own evil onto it.
Exactly. If you go back to that psychological document we call the New Tes¬tament, youll find that it says the devil is “the father of lies.” Now the shadow never lies; its the ego that lies about its real motives. Thats why successful psychotherapy, and any genuine religious conversion, requires absolute hon¬esty about oneself
The Jungian analyst Marie-Louise von Franz wrote: “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. It is the biography created by the shadow that counts.” This passage made me think about our societys tendency to become disillu¬sioned with our politicians — because the biography they hand us while theyre campaigning is never the biography that counts.
The biography that the politician wants us to have — which has often been cre¬ated by public relations people — is the persona, the mask. Its what hides the politicians true reality. But I think we can live with that reality pretty well, if were allowed to. Owning up to the shadow is not nearly as damaging in the long run as denying it. What-ruined Gary Hart, for instance, was not that he had affairs, but that he continued to lie about it when the truth was evident. Personally, that made me feel he simply wasnt too bright.
We certainly live in an era when elections are won and lost on the strength of the persona. Reagan is the example par excellence,because we know he never took a step or said a word that wasnt staged. Im much more comfortable with President Bush, whether or not I approve of what he says, because I get the feeling that at least hes there — the real man is talking.
I think we were probably a little better in touch with politicians as real people in the days of whistlestop campaigning. The way that electronic media enhances the persona shows a monstrous side of our technology — its very dangerous.
The shadow certainly seems very present in our entertainment media these days — from Stephen King and Clive Barker stories, to horror films, to the overt satanism of some heavy-metal rock bands. I wonder if all this means were moving toward recognition of the shadow — and integration — or are we just going down the tubes, as some social critics and censors seem to think?
The question is when we cross the line from the shadow, which is a difficult but still human element, into the truly demonic. This brings up the matter of archetypal evil — is there a devil whos beyond the human ego? The Christians were not the only ones who worried about the devil, by the way — the early Persians thought about a divine agency that produced evil.
The holocaust of Nazi Germany and the pogroms of Stalin were not re¬sults of the individual human shadow. There, I think, were looking at an agency of evil in the collective psyche that is truly sinister, and that we do need to fear. A lot of people would deny that such evil exists, saying that all murderers are made by unfortunate childhoods and parental abuse. But my own feeling is that there is an archetypal agency of evil.
Some of those who would censor rock lyrics and so on may be partially right about the evil therein. Ill be frank in saying that when I occasionally come across such material I have a feeling of acute distaste. Some of it looks sinister to me. By no means should we assume that those who moralize about archetypal evil are free of it. In fact, moralizing about evil is a good way to succumb to it. Its a subtle matter. If youre attacking evil as a defense against insight into the self, youre making Dr. Jekylls mistake.
But how do we tell the difference between what looks sinister, and what is sinister?
The question is well put, and not always readily answered. It depends a lot on the psychology of the person looking. The more rigid your psychological framework, the more things are going to look sinister to you. I can only say
Page 23
that when the archetypal level of evil is finally expressed, everyone is eventu¬ally shocked by it. But not always in time, of course. The world was very slow to recognize the evil of Nazi Germany.
What helps us tell the difference is what Jung called the feeling function — our inner means of ascertaining the value of something. The feel¬ing function tells us what is desirable and not desirable, but its not an ego
judgment. The ego determines whats good and bad from the point of view of its own concerns: that which tends to support our egocentric defense sys¬tem is what we deem to be good; that which is antithetical to it, we deem to be evil. When the Puritans infected the Native Americans with diseases that killed them, the Puritans saw it as a good thing, and preached sermons about how God was paving the way for them to settle the land. Of course, the In¬dians who were dying of smallpox would have had a very different judgment of the good and evil in the situation.
The feeling function is free of egocentric contamination. It is a pure feel¬ing evaluation, but its not always heard. The fact that the American public eventually turned against the Vietnam War was due to the rise of the feeling function — an increasing number of people came to a feeling judgment that the war was wrong and terrible, even if it supposedly served our political aims. And of course they were right. The value judgment of the feeling function is a reliable determiner of the good and evil in a situation — provided that it has the right information. If it doesnt have all the information, or sees only a part of the whole situation, the feeling function is perfectly capable of arriving at an erroneous conclusion.
In your practice, what have you observed to be the process of integrating the shadow?
When one first sees the shadow clearly, one is more or less aghast. Some of our egocentric defense systems then necessarily fall apart or melt away. The result can be a temporary depression, or clouding of consciousness. Jung compared the process of integration — which he called individuation — to the process of alchemy. One stage of alchemy is the melanosis, where everything turns black inside the vessel containing all the alchemical elements. But that black stage is absolutely essential. Jung said it represents the first contact with me unconscious, which is always the contact with the shadow. The ego takes that as a kind of defeat. .
Is it possible to get stuck there? Can we be doomed to one encounter with the shadow after another, with no integration following?
I dont think so, because a genuine insight into the shadow also calls out what
Jung called the Self, the creative center. And then things begin to move, so the depression doesnt become permanent. A million and one changes can occur after that; its different for every individual. What Kunkel called the “real cen¬ter” of the personality begins to emerge, and gradually the ego is reoriented to a closer relationship with that real center. Then a person is much less likely to become affiliated with genuine evil, because the integration of the shadow is always concurrent with the dissolution of the false persona. One becomes much more realistic about oneself; seeing the truth about ones own nature always has very salutary effects. Honesty is the great defense against genuine evil. When we stop lying to ourselves about ourselves, thats the greatest pro¬tection we can have against evil.
If the ego is not the “real center” of ourselves, then of what is it the center?
What distinguishes Jungian psychology from practically all other psychol¬ogies is the idea that there are two centers of the personality. The ego is the center of consciousness; the Self is the center of the total personality, which includes consciousness, the unconscious, and the ego. The Self is both the whole and the center. The ego is a self-contained little circle off the center, but contained within the whole. So the ego might best be described as the lesser center of the personality; the Self is the greatest center.
We can see this relationship best in our dreams. In our waking life, the ego is like the sun — it illuminates everything but it also blocks out the stars. What we dont realize is that the contents of ego-consciousness are not our creation; theyre given to us, they come up from somewhere. Were constantly influenced by the unconscious, but were largely unaware of that. The ego prefers to believe it creates all its own thoughts. In our dreams, everything changes with the appearance of the dream ego. When we recall the dream, we automatically identify with the dream ego; we refer to it as “I,” and say, “I met a bear, and we had a wrestling match, and then the dancing girl appeared,” and so on. But the difference is that the dream ego knows things during the dream that the waking ego doesnt know. You may remember running very fast during the dream, for instance, and not remember why. But in the dream, you knew.
Most important, the dream ego is never more significant than any other figure in the dream. It may even find itself overpowered or overshadowed. When the sun goes down, the stars come out — and then you discover youre just one of the stars in a sky full of stars. Thats the soulscape, which is invis¬ible in our waking life.
Ive noticed that while Im more or less comfortable with the idea of the shadow in waking life, the shadow in dreams is a lot more than an idea –its
Page 25
completely real and very powerful. I sometimes become the shadow, as if its integrating me.
Yes, the shadow is an energy system in the dream thats at least as powerful as you are. In the psychic arena of the dream, all the elements of the psyche are less distinct from one another, and the dream ego may either observe them or become them, or something in between.
The shadow is always an aspect of the ego itself, the qualities of the shadow could have become part of the structure of the ego. You might say the shadow is like the egos brother or sister, and not necessarily a sinister figure. And its important to remember that the shadow always has a reason for any¬thing it does, a reason related to those qualities excluded from the ego. To be¬come the shadow in a dream is fairly unusual; its more likely that the dream ego will observe the shadow changing forms during the dream.
I suppose its safer to become the shadow in a dream than in waking life.
Well, were up against the subtleties of the shadow again. My thinking in this arena follows Kunkel more than Jung. The idea is that the ego is originally quite close to the center of the Self. As it moves farther away, it develops an egocentric posture, which is often exacerbated by unfavorable childhood influ¬ences. The nature of those influences will determine the nature of ones ego¬centric defenses, and hence the nature of the shadow.
Lets say that a person experiences himself as weak and ineffectual against his environment, but he finds another way of getting through life, which is to become sort of a “clinging vine.” He doesnt develop his own strength; he relies on other people who are strong, but he has to qualify for their support. So he strikes a pose of being both needy and very deserving. Thats his egocentric posture for life; hes the kind of person who always needs your help, and who can cite all the reasons you should give it. If you dont help him, youre a bad person.
One thing about such a person is that hes very boring. People will stop supporting him when hes bored them thoroughly, and then he feels threat¬ened and anxious. Now what he has repressed in order to maintain his ego¬centric posture of clinging are qualities of courage and forthrightness — very desirable qualities. But this clinging vine personality looks on these qualities as the devil, and is frightened to death of them. And in fact, those repressed qualities can become dangerous.
Take the example of a high school boy who has the egocentric defense of a turtle — he just wants to be left alone. He becomes the target of a gang of toughs whose egocentric propensity is to torment him, precisely because hes a loner. They harass the hell out of him, until one day his egocentric shell of
Page 26
withdrawal explodes and bang — out comes the shadow. Now he may just get into a fistfight, and even though he gets beat up, he comes out okay –and probably more integrated. On the other hand, he may go get his fathers gun and shoot his tormenters, and a terrible thing has happened. If the energy has been too long and too deeply repressed, something of regrettable conse¬quence can occur.
Do you think that the boy calls his tormenters to him?
Oh, absolutely. At the unconscious level, hes sending a message about what he needs for integration. Kunkel used to say about such a situation that the “archangels” are sent to complete the divine plan.
But the archangels arent necessarily going to take care of you.
Thats right. They just set up the scenario. All we know is that when the arch¬angels become involved, things wont stay the same. What happens next, no¬body can predict. The release of the shadow is not to be taken lightly. Hence, it would be much better if the boy discovered his hostility in therapy, or some other caretaking situation where his shadow can come out gradually.
Kunkel made the mysterious statement that “in a showdown, God is al¬ways on the side of the shadow, not the ego.” For all its difficulties, the shadow is closer to the creative source.
Now the ego that is not in an egocentric state is an entirely different mat¬ter; it has a healthy creative relationship to both the shadow and the Self. The ego is not really diminished in the process of integration; it simply becomes less rigid in its boundaries. Theres a tremendous difference between a strong ego and an egocentric ego; the latter is always weak. Individuation, the attain¬ment of ones real potential, cant take place without the strong ego.
Does that mean that its impossible just to be your “Self”?
Thats right. The ego is the necessary vehicle for the expression of the Self, but you have to be willing to put the ego on the line. Its like Moses confront¬ing the voice of God in the burning bush, and then going down to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. Thats the action of the strong ego.
Sanford, John. Interview by D. Patrick Miller. ”What the Shadow Knows: An Interview with John A. Sanford.” Meeting

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

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

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