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The modern world has witnessed a dramatic breakthrough of the dark, negative forces of human nature. The "old ethic," which pursued an illusory perfection by repressing the dark side, has lost its power to deal with contemporary problems. Erich Neumann was convinced that the deadliest peril now confronting humanity lay in the "scapegoat" psychology associated with the old ethic. We are in the grip of this psychology when we project our own dark shadow onto an individual or group identified as our "enemy," failing to see it in ourselves. The only effective alternative to this dangerous shadow projection is shadow recognition, acknowledgement, and integration into the totality of the self. Wholeness, not perfection, is the goal of the new ethic.
Posted March 20, 2001
This is an important book by a much respected Jungian thinker. Best known for his Origins and History of Consciousness, Neumann was viewed by Jung himself as his most ardent and articulate disciple (see Jung's foreward to Neumann's Origins and History of Consciousness). In this short but brilliant book, Neumann calls into question the Judeao-Christian emphasis on perfection, saying that 'it is time we sacrifice the ideal of perfection on the altar of wholeness.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.