“At the end of the journey to find myself, the place I reached is, in fact, where I had already been. In the end, what I have to find is the beginning of all things, the milestone: the map of the soul. Which is with anyone, but cannot be found by simply anyone, I seek to begin searching for it.”

 Carl Jung was as a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology.  Jung used the concept of archetype (meaning original pattern in ancient Greek) in his theory of the human psyche.

Jungian archetypes are defined as images and themes that derive from the collective unconscious, the reservoir of our experience as a species. Archetypes have universal meanings across cultures and may show up in dreams, literature, art or religion.

One of them is persona. Persona is a reference to the theatre. It’s the Latin word for the masks that actors used to wear on the stage – and we all put on masks, in a sense, when we go out into public.

It’s a part of being a social animal- Our need to get along with others, our need to be polite, our need to be part of a group. Who we are; as brothers, friends, grandparents or spouses. This is more important in some Asian cultures than Western ones.

In other words, in public we present an exaggerated version of ourselves, hoping it will make an impression. Every profession has a silent consensus about the ways that are acceptable, and those which are not; and it is expected that the individual will adapt to these attitudes without anyone having to openly explain them. A doctor, for example, is expected to behave with a patience and sympathy that may be hard for regular people to achieve. A mother is meant to be caring and nurturing.

Thus, it seems that the distinct purpose of the persona is to tame all archaic urges, impulses or emotions that are not considered socially acceptable.

Now, the trouble with persona arises when one becomes too closely identified with their role, such that they lose all sense of self. Such a person, Jung warned, is a ‘shallow, brittle, conformist kind which is ‘all persona’, with its excessive concern for ‘what people think’.

Another Jungian archetype is that of the Self. The self is the sum of everything we are now, everything we once were, as well as everything we could potentially become; the total.

The self is our motivation towards self-realisation; it is the medium from which our character and our personality matures as we grow older — just as a seed holds the potential future of becoming a flower. Jung called this ‘the process of individuation’, which begins from the childhood to a long journey of self-discovery, whereby one consciously and gradually integrates all the unconscious aspects of his psyche.

Jung believed that it is the end purpose of human life to experience this coming together of the whole, to fully integrate and make conscious everything about ourselves that was once hidden in the shadow.

 Sana Khursheed 

12th D2





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