The Unconscious Man
The unconscious man? Is man uncounscious? A bus driver killed a passenger because of a change of 30 cents. Do you think that man is a rational animal ? Haa, haa, haa! The human being is partly rational, very partially. Our unconscious is a key factor in our actions.
We too can become dissociated and lose our identity. We can be possessed and altered by moods or become unreasonable.
Beyond doubt, even in what we call a high level of civilization, human consciousness has not yet achieved a reasonable degree of continuity. It is still vulnerable and liable to fragmentation.
Rationality is a gift that man has achieved over thousands of generations. Our ancestors lacked the faculty of thinking and lived instinctively. Modern man has developed a high degree of rational thought but did not get rid of the emotions. Emotion are not harmful, but rather is the salt of life, the spice that sets us apart from robots. But when we are controlled by our emotions, they can cause us problems. Our Ego, which many believe to be the sole director of our lives, can lose control momentarily.
Does the driver truly wanted to kill the passenger, or he was led to this thoughtless act – unconscious – overcome by emotion?
Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist, said:
My definition of a devil is an angel that was not recognized. Rather, it is a power to which you denied and repressed. So, like all repressed energy, it begins to grow and become extremely dangerous.
Your emotion can be an angel or a demon. If you repress it, it becomes a demon capable of killing a human being for a few cents.
Many centuries before Christ, the Greeks were advocating more consciousness. “Know thyself” Be aware. Avoid the takeover of the Shadow that we all have in our unconscious. It, among other personalities, also harbors a killer. Be aware, become aware of your unconscious.
Could you kill a person? Probably, not. But, gripped by a strong emotion, your Ego may lose control, and you may commit acts of which you regret later.
I’m Roberto Lima Netto, a Jungian writer. Some of my books are: “The Little Prince for Grow-ups“, a mythological and psychological analysis of Little Prince, “The Jungian Bible” using some Old Testament stories to explain Jungian concepts to laymen, and “Amazon Shaman“, an adventure in the Amazon jungle.