The Cunning of Geist

049 - Conscious & Unconscious Mind: the Shadow, Jung, and Hegel

March 13, 2022 Gregory Novak
The Cunning of Geist
049 - Conscious & Unconscious Mind: the Shadow, Jung, and Hegel
Show Notes

"Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men? . . . The Shadow knows" began a famous U.S. radio show from the 1930s and 40s.  The Shadow is also a psychological term used by Carl Jung to describe those parts of us  that we do not want to recognize in ourselves and in effect, bury.  While it is most associated with our baser instincts and unattractive parts of our personality, we can repress worthy aspects as well.  This can lead to projection of these traits on to others.  

The notion of the Shadow involves an unconscious part of our mind.  Jung held that a process of "individuation" would benefit individuals by bringing some of these unconscious elements to light and intergrating them in one's personality.  He felt this would allow personal growth of the individual psychologically.  

In a way this is similar to Hegel's account of sublation, where notions are negated, and then transformed by bringing the notion and its negation together on a higher level.  From a broader perspective, this is occurring in history, as conscious humans strive, within unconscious Nature, for greater freedom, consciousness, and rationality.  

This episode explores the Shadow from personality theory, the collective unconscious, projection, and Hegel's Lordship/Bondage dialectic.