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Creating the Enemy (Why We Need Opposition)

devil-200People need to believe in evil to explain why things don’t always work. No one wants to believe that if they’re good, they don’t succeed all the time. Of course, that means there must be evil in the world working against the good. And poof! We have ourselves the beginning of good versus evil.

Shadow of the Subconscious

Jung talked about the shadow self as the place where things go into our subconscious. Mostly it’s a place for the things we reject on a conscious level. It can also be a place to put ideas that we can’t develop consciously. However, it is often a place where we stuff experiences or ideas that threaten us in some way. The shadow covers up the light of our ideas, in that way.

This turns into a need to identify what evil is, which is usually what is opposite of us. When we deny or reject something, it shapes it into a threat or evil of some kind. If we see something that looks a little (or a lot) like that idea, we suddenly see evil in some way. Through suppression, these ideas become demons in our dreams. Another way to think of it is that we create “idols of evil” to revile (as opposed to worship). We push our psychic trash into a vessel to dispose of it.

The Struggle Against Evil

The evil becomes a threat in our waking life, and this prevents our growth into a holistic being. As we notice what we see as evil in our lives, we push it away, deny it further and even try to destroy it in some way. In this sense, we reject whatever it is that such things truly represent, because we’re too afraid of them. This means that we can never integrate that energy into who we are as whole people. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face. No good.

Facing the Evil Within

It is only when we release the need for evil that we begin to come back together again. When we question whether we really need to hurt someone else or something else out of threat, we begin to open up to the possibility that we’re missing something. Over time, we may even warm up to the threatening energy in a way that makes it less frightening. We may even begin to at least tolerate it and eventually see a purpose in it. It can be very difficult to make it through this process quickly, but the more you practice facing your fears, the more likely you will grow into a whole person.

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