A fascinating interpretation!
“Facing and integrating the Shadow is a necessary part of what Jung called individuation: the lifelong process of psychological integration, as the individual strives to become whole.
As for the person, so for the culture. Identify the contemporary Trickster(s), and you’ll discover the nature of the contemporary cultural Shadow. It’s anger, hate, alienation, xenophobia, a retreat into insularity, a buttressing of the barricades. We all see it, and we all fear it. The state of affairs faced now by the people of the UK (and also in the USA, with the emergence of Trickster Trump) is a consequence of generations of politicians refusing to listen to and respond to the concerns of the people they’re supposed to represent. What isn’t acknowledged goes underground, becomes Shadow. But here’s the thing about the Shadow, and it’s critical to understand this if you want what follows to be better than what came before: it’s no good berating the Shadow, shouting it down, calling it names, telling it it’s bad. The cultural Shadow is part of who we are, and we all have to take responsibility for it. You can’t do moral high ground with the Shadow. The Shadow is ourselves. Refuse the Shadow, and you’ll never be whole. The beginning of the long, hard work of integrating the Shadow is listening to it, not abusing it. Lash out at the Shadow, as waves of so-called ‘progressives’ are now doing throughout the UK; refuse its right to have a voice – and it will turn round and bite you in the throat. You can’t kill the Shadow. The Shadow is you.
We might not have chosen these particular Tricksters, but now we have them. What follows from their particular brand of disruption might not be better than what came before – but it might be. It’s all down to us. It’s all down to the way we respond to and integrate that cultural Shadow.”
What I love about working with myth is that it always offers insights, not just into the patterns of our individual lives, but into the larger patterns which underlie the times we’re living in. We are mythic animals, and so in some sense we’re always living in mythic times – but sometimes those underlying patterns really start to stand out and become impossible to ignore. Right now, we’re living in Trickster Times. Because when civilisations start to become moribund; when social, economic and political systems stagnate, and empires become degenerate and unresponsive to the needs of the people, in walks Trickster to shake it all up. Trickster is the catalyst, the disruptor who sparks off the tearing down of the old order. In the story we’re living through today, Trickster is the one who undermines the élitist establishment which refuses to be held accountable to the people it’s supposed to serve. Lewis Hyde…
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