chapter  12
41 Pages

Shadow: the archetypal enemy

The impact of Christ’s Anima on the Western world was so impressive that to this day, nearly two thousand years after his death, not one of us is untouched by it. The great gift that it brought to our civilization was a living witness to the power of love. But, based as it was on an Old Testament morality, the Christian injunction to ‘love one another’ in the spirit (Anima) of Christ came to be linked with an imperative to repress those propensities in our nature which were thought inimical to spiritual love, namely, sex and aggression. Moreover, the division of the Godhead into two morally opposed principles-the divine and the satanic-was a direct incitement to all Christians to extol the one and eschew the other, so that, with time, the divided Godhead became incarnated in the divided Self. This historic split between Good and Evil still profoundly conditions our lives, despite the contemporary decline in Christian conviction, for it represents a cultural actualization of the archetypal need to dichotomize.