Dark side of a person

Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality' -- ScienceDaily

Egoism, Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, spitefulness, and others are among the traits that stand for the malevolent dark sides of human personality. As results from a recently published German-Danish research project show, these traits share a common 'dark core'. So, if you have one of these tendencies, you are also likely to have one or more of the others.

Both world history and everyday life are full of examples of people acting ruthlessly, maliciously, or selfishly. In psychology as well as in everyday language, we have diverse names for the various dark tendencies human may have, most prominently psychopathy (lack of empathy), narcissism (excessive self-absorption), and Machiavellianism (the belief that the ends justify the means), the so-called 'dark triad', along with many others such as egoism, sadism, or spitefulness.

Although at first glance there appear to be noteworthy differences between these traits -- and it may seem more 'acceptable' to be an egoist than a psychopath -- new research shows that all dark aspects of human personality are very closely linked and are based on the same tendency. That is, most dark traits can be understood as flavoured manifestations of a single common underlying disposition: The dark core of personality. In practice, this implies that if you have a tendency to show one of these dark personality traits, you are also more likely to have a strong tendency to display one or more of the others.

As the new research reveals, the common denominator of all dark traits, the D-factor, can be defined as the general tendency to maximize one's individual utility -- disregarding, accepting, or malevolently provoking disutility for others -- , accompanied by beliefs that serve as justifications.

In other words, all dark traits can be traced back to the general tendency of placing one's own goals and interests over those of others even to the extent of taking pleasure in hurting other's -- along with a host of beliefs that serve as justifications and thus prevent feelings of guilt, shame, or the like. The research shows that dark traits in general can be understood as instances of this common core -- although they may differ in which aspects are predominant (e. g., the justifications-aspect is very strong in narcissism whereas the aspect of malevolently provoking disutility is the main feature of sadism) .

Ingo Zettler, Professor of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen, and two German colleagues, Morten Moshagen from Ulm University and Benjamin E. Hilbig from the University of Koblenz-Landau, have demonstrated how this common denominator is present in nine of the most commonly studied dark personality traits:

  • Egoism: an excessive preoccupation with one's own advantage at the expense of others and the community
  • Machiavellianism: a manipulative, callous attitude and a belief that the ends justify the means
  • Moral disengagement: cognitive processing style that allow behaving unethically without feeling distress
  • Narcissism: excessive self-absorption, a sense of superiority, and an extreme need for attention from others
  • Psychological entitlement: a recurring belief that one is better than others and deserves better treatment
  • Psychopathy: lack of empathy and self-control, combined with impulsive behaviour
  • Sadism: a desire to inflict mental or physical harm on others for one's own pleasure or to benefit oneself
  • Self-interest: a desire to further and highlight one's own social and financial status
  • Spitefulness: destructiveness and willingness to cause harm to others, even if one harms oneself in the process

In a series of studies with more than 2,500 people, the researchers asked to what extent people agreed or disagreed with statements such as "It is hard to get ahead without cutting corners here and there. ," "It is sometimes worth a little suffering on my part to see others receive the punishment they deserve.," or "I know that I am special because everyone keeps telling me so." In addition, they studied other self-reported tendencies and behaviors such as aggression or impulsivity and objective measures of selfish and unethical behaviour.


The researchers' mapping of the common D-factor, which has just been published in the academic journal Psychological Review, can be compared to how Charles Spearman showed about 100 years ago that people who score highly in one type of intelligence test typically also score highly in other types of intelligence tests, because there is something like a general factor of intelligence.

"In the same way, the dark aspects of human personality also have a common denominator, which means that -- similar to intelligence -- one can say that they are all an expression of the same dispositional tendency," Ingo Zettler explains.

'For example, in a given person, the D-factor can mostly manifest itself as narcissism, psychopathy or one of the other dark traits, or a combination of these. But with our mapping of the common denominator of the various dark personality traits, one can simply ascertain that the person has a high D-factor. This is because the D-factor indicates how likely a person is to engage in behaviour associated with one or more of these dark traits', he says. In practice, this means that an individual who exhibits a particular malevolent behaviour (such as likes to humiliate others) will have a higher likelihood to engage in other malevolent activities, too (such as cheating, lying, or stealing).

The nine dark traits are by no means the same, and each can result in specific kinds of behaviour. However, at their core, the dark traits typically have far more in common that actually sets them apart. And knowledge about this 'dark core' can play a crucial role for researchers or therapists who work with people with specific dark personality traits, as it is this D-factor that affects different types of reckless and malicious human behaviour and actions, often reported in the media.

'We see it, for example, in cases of extreme violence, or rule-breaking, lying, and deception in the corporate or public sectors. Here, knowledge about a person's D-factor may be a useful tool, for example to assess the likelihood that the person will reoffend or engage in more harmful behaviour', he says.

Fact box:

Dark personality traits studied in the research project:

  • Egoism
  • Machiavellianism
  • Moral disengagement
  • Narcissism
  • Psychological entitlement
  • Psychopathy
  • Sadism
  • Self-interest
  • Spitefulness

Embracing Your Dark Side I Psych Central

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In 2010, Debbie Ford wrote a book about embracing all parts of ourselves — even our dark sides, aka the “shadow self.”

Like many people, you may not showcase your entire personality to the world. The traits deemed as unpleasant or inappropriate tend to get hidden away.

This dark side of the personality is known in psychoanalytical theory as the “shadow.” Whether you know it’s there or not, it can influence your life in a number of ways.

By identifying and coming to terms with your shadow self, you may be able to better understand all parts of yourself.

The term “shadow self” was first conceptualized by psychoanalyst Carl Jung in the mid-1900s.

Jung theorized that a complete personality consists of both the positive and negative qualities in an individual, but only the qualities that seem desirable were expressed in what was known as the “persona.”

Those thoughts and feelings you may subconsciously label as dangerous or unappealing are psychologically repressed, according to Jung.

This doesn‘t mean that they aren‘t there. It just means that most people don’t retain the ability to acknowledge that they exist.

You might become distanced from them. You might even refuse to believe that they’re a part of you, or you may project them if someone brings them to your attention.

We all have a “dark side” — qualities that we often don’t like to reveal to others.

It’s the traits we might be ashamed of or embarrassed about. The ones others may have rejected or that we believe deem us undeserving or unworthy of love.

You may sometimes act judgmental, angry, selfish, or controlling. You may not like these so-called negative traits about yourself. Or, you may have buried them so deep that you don’t even realize they exist.

But embracing these qualities actually opens the door to happiness, fulfillment, and “true enlightenment,” according to Debbie Ford in her book “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.”

Our dark sides are a part of our experience. By uncovering and embracing our shadow side, we can accept all parts of ourselves.

“Every aspect of ourselves has a gift,” writes Ford, who was a speaker, teacher, and coach. “Every emotion and every trait we possess helps show us the way to enlightenment, to oneness.”

In her book, Ford shares the story of Steven, a man who was worried about being a wimp.

When he was 5 years old, Steven told his father that he was terrified of going on a pony ride. His father replied, “What kind of man are you going to make? You’re nothing but a little wimp, you’re an embarrassment in our family.”

These words stayed with Steven. In fact, he did everything he could to prove he wasn‘t weak — from becoming a black belt in karate to lifting weights. He also hated seeing weakness in others.

After talking with Ford, however, Steven realized that he was still a “wimp” in some areas of his life, and being a wimp actually helped him.

For example, being a wimp made him more cautious.

This not only “kept him out of fights,” Ford writes, but in college, it also made him pass on going out with friends when he knew there would be heavy alcohol use. This saved him from a tragic accident that killed his closest friend and severely injured others.

When we don’t own all parts of ourselves, it can make certain aspects of our daily life challenging.

We may try so hard not to show weakness or imperfection that we start chasing dreams that we don’t even want, filling our days with empty duties. When we’re trying to prove our worth, we may become someone we don’t even recognize.

According to Ford, “We exhaust our internal resources when we try not to be something.”

From a psychological standpoint, embracing your dark side doesn‘t mean abandoning the other so-called positive traits of yourself.

You’re not suddenly leaving life as you know it behind in favor of more negative thoughts, behaviors, and social circles.

When you embrace your dark side, you’re acknowledging that the unpleasant parts of yourself exist. You’re taking ownership of them and recognizing the role they play in your daily life.

Personality is difficult to quantify in research. It’s something intangible — something that can’t be touched or measured.

Because of this, there isn’t a large amount of peer-reviewed data regarding the benefits of shadow work and mental health.

However, to determine the possible benefits of embracing your dark side, some information can be gained from studies on a process known as individuation.

Another concept introduced by Jung, individuation is the process by which you develop your sense of individual self. It involves bringing all your personality components together into a cohesive unit.

While primary individuation occurs during the developmental years, Jung and other followers of his work believed that it is an ongoing process that shapes one’s personality throughout life.

According to Jung, individuation included shadow work.

Shadow work occurs when you consciously delve into the dark parts of your personality.

By exploring these hidden facets of yourself, you can become aware of them, possibly opening yourself up to a higher level of perception, consciousness, and self-control.

In the book “Religion in Personality Theory,” individuation is seen as the gateway to a sense of higher spirituality.

In theory, poor individuation can result in a distorted sense of self. A 2018 article suggests that it may even contribute to feelings of:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • low self-esteem

Embracing your dark side is also known as shadow work.

In her book, Ford includes exercises to help readers uncover and embrace their dark sides. In one exercise, she suggests trying these strategies:

  • Imagine that a newspaper article is written about you.
  • Write down five things you wouldn’t want to be said about yourself.
  • Imagine five things the newspaper could write about you, but it wouldn’t matter to you.

Then, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • “Are the first five things true and the second five untrue?”
  • “Have you decided with the help of your family and friends that the first five things are the wrong things to be, therefore you don’t want them said about you?”

Lastly, consider writing down a judgment you hold for each sentence you wrote. You can try to pinpoint the time you first made this judgment and where it came from.

Another way to uncover your dark side is by paying attention to the traits that bother you in others. What initially prompted Steven to have his realization about being a wimp was his dislike for another man at Ford’s seminar.

“He’s a wimp, and I hate wimps,” he told Ford.

Ford suggests making a list of the traits you dislike in others. Try to think of a time in your life when you’ve displayed each trait, or when someone else thought you did. Then, consider exploring your judgments about each trait, along with your judgments about the people who display this trait.

After uncovering your dark side, consider how these supposedly negative traits may have been helpful to you:

  • Has your imperfection made you a more compassionate parent?
  • Like Steven, has your cautiousness helped you avoid potentially dangerous situations?
  • Has your “weakness” made you more vulnerable and helped you build a closer bond with your loved ones?

Acknowledging our seemingly negative traits, such as laziness and procrastination, can be tough. And you might even be tempted to berate yourself for these traits.

Instead, try to be more compassionate. It’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as perfection.

As Ford writes:

We live under the impression that in order for something to be divine it has to be perfect. We are mistaken. In fact, the exact opposite is true. To be divine is to be whole and to be whole is to be everything: the positive and the negative, the good and the bad, the holy man and the devil. When we take the time to discover our shadow and its gifts we will understand what Jung meant by, “The gold is in the dark.” Each of us needs to find that gold in order to reunite with our sacred self.

Try to embrace your shadow, letting the so-called negative parts coexist with the more desirable ones because that’s what makes us whole. This is what makes us authentic, makes us human.

It’s natural to have parts of your personality that you keep hidden — even from yourself.

By exploring these personality traits and acknowledging their existence, you may be able to develop a more complete sense of self-awareness.

Embracing your dark side isn’t an abandonment of everything else. It’s an internal investigation into who you are as a complete unit — the traits you like, and the ones you don’t.

By practicing shadow work, you may open yourself up to new levels of understanding and personal growth. It can help clarify your thoughts, feelings, and unmet needs, which can in turn help in your decision making.

If you want to explore more about your personality, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. If you’re not sure where to start, you can check out Psych Central’s hub for finding mental health support.

The dark side of a person - Shadow according to Carl Jung

In analytical psychology The shadow is a set of those negative qualities of a person that he possesses, but does not recognize as his own. These are those qualities of character that a person does not accept in other people, without noticing at the same time that he himself is endowed with them to no lesser extent. They form the shadow image of man , the "dark side" of his personality.

The shadow appears in a person already in childhood , when parents tell him about what is good and what is bad, what is possible and what is not. For example, they tell him: "You can't run in puddles", "you can't eat a lot of sweets" , etc. At the same time, the desire to eat more sweets or run through the puddles does not disappear from the child, but it does not correspond to the image of the “good boy” that he would like to be. Therefore, it becomes his Shadow - it does not disappear, but the child no longer recognizes it as his own. Quite often, a child even has a kind of “shadow” hero, on whom he “blames” his actions that do not correspond to the image of a “good boy”. For example: "It wasn't me who ate the sweets, it was the dwarf who stole them."

For an adult, this division becomes familiar and, thanks to a strong will, he maintains his “positive” image, and he considers “negative” thoughts and desires alien to himself. Moreover, this division into “positive” and “negative” images of oneself is by no means always directly related to generally accepted ideas. In different companies, people of different views and professions, it is different. For example, showdown through fights and bad language is condemned in some companies, but is a source of pride in others.

Gradually a person pays less and less attention to those desires that do not fit into his "positive" image and his Shadow becomes more and more dense . Therefore, at a certain moment, she makes herself known. It happens that a person begins to do unusual things for himself, which he himself cannot explain. For example, unexpectedly for himself, he arranges a scandal because of a trifling misunderstanding, quarrels with his loved ones, cannot do his job. At the same time, he himself is surprised: "How could I do that?!" This means that his "shadow" desires have become so strong that they begin to influence his life. One way or another, the Shadow demands attention, unrecognized desires are more and more clearly reminiscent of themselves. At this moment, a person feels that he is splitting in two, he is “torn apart” by conflicting feelings and desires. Quite often this leads to the fact that he begins to lead a "double life", alternating between his "positive" and "negative" images. For example, he can become addicted to alcohol and “drunk” give vent to his “shadow” desires. At the same time, alcohol plays the role of a kind of "door" between the two worlds, between shadow and light.

In analytical psychology the Shadow is called a conductor between the worlds of consciousness and the unconscious. And this is no coincidence - after all, when a person comes to a session with a psychoanalyst and begins to get acquainted with his inner world, he is forced to make a number of not too flattering discoveries about himself. The uppermost layer of the human unconscious is made up of his hidden, unacceptable desires - his Shadow. C.G. Jung wrote:

“Everyone carries a Shadow with him, and the less it is connected to individual conscious life, the darker and denser it is. If a bad quality is recognized, then there is always a chance to correct it.”

There are different ways to deal with your Shadow. One of them - lead a double life - we have already mentioned. Another, no less common way - is the projection of one's own Shadow outside, onto the surrounding people, or onto the world as a whole. For example, if a person is endowed with great aggressiveness, then he sees in everyone around him either offenders or competitors, life seems to him full of injustice, and he constantly, as it seems to him, absolutely against his will, is forced to “put things in order” with the help of his fists. In reality, he is at war with his own Shadow.

C.G. Jung showed that the Shadow has not only negative but also positive qualities. Therefore, the task of the psychotherapist is not only to introduce the client to his Shadow, but also to help him conclude a “peace agreement” with it. The fact is that any desire of a person has both positive and negative sides. For example, the same aggression can be caused by the monotony of a person's daily life, the need to expand the circle of acquaintances, or pay more attention to their interests. In addition, the manifestation of aggression can also be very different - from a fight and mutual insults to a completely correct dispute or sports competition. It is important to learn not to suppress your feelings and desires, but to be able to express them in such a way as not to spoil life for yourself and others.

A person can get to know his Shadow not only at a session with a psychoanalyst. In our dreams we often see "shadow" images. These are characters of the same gender as the dreamer (they are not always endowed with some obviously negative traits, but always personify those qualities that the dreamer lacks in his daily life). Freud was the first to scientifically describe the abyss between consciousness and the unconscious, between the light and dark parts of the human personality. A dream allows a person to see the world of his unconscious and get acquainted with the "dark" side of himself in it. After all, any terrible, nightmarish images of sleep are the creations of his own unconscious, his Shadow.

The duality of human nature is spoken of in many fairy tales and legends; not only psychologists, but also philosophers, writers and poets wrote about it. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato writes that the human soul is like a winged chariot drawn by two horses. One of them is black, he is the personification of evil, aspires to the earth, to lower passions and instincts, the other is white, he symbolizes a good beginning, aspires to heaven, to the world of purity and harmony. The task of a person is to learn how to manage these two principles of his soul, to subordinate them to his will. The Greek myth of the twin brothers Castor and Pollux is dedicated to the same topic. One of them was the son of Zeus and therefore immortal, the other was the son of the Roman king, mortal, like all ordinary people. They were inseparable during their lifetime, and after one of them died in battle, Zeus allowed them to be together again, but one day in the realm of the dead, the other in the realm of the gods.

Many fairy tales and works of art are devoted to the theme of man and his double, his Shadow. In general terms, the moral of these tales comes down to the same thing that psychotherapists call for:

you don't need to close your eyes to your Shadow, to idealize yourself. It is much more useful to get to know your Shadow, learn how to manage it, and then it will no longer be an enemy, but an ally.


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Everyone has a dark side.

Jung's latest BBC interview on Freud and World War III

Image copyright, Getty Images

"Everyone has a dark side, and it hides things we don't know anything about," he told the BBC at 1955, the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Gustav Jung.

In an interview, Jung answered questions about human nature, religion, collaboration with Sigmund Freud, and also explained why he is convinced that the Third World War can be prevented. We publish the interview on the day of the 145th anniversary of the birth of the scientist.

BBC: Dr. Jung, first of all, tell me what prompted you to start studying psychology? Have you wanted this since childhood?

Jung: As a child, I realized that I don't always understand people. Somehow they were incomprehensible to me. They said or did something, but I could not catch the cause and effect relationships.

I also drew attention to the inadequacy of human emotions: why do people get excited about some things that have nothing special? Why do they get upset over little things that aren't worth it?

BBC: I know this!

Jung: One day my aunt and I went to the zoological museum. I was completely delighted with animal stuffed animals. When the time was up, we went to the exit, and for this we had to go through other halls of the museum, including through the gallery of ancient statues.

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I've never seen anything like it before! How wonderful they were! It was a revelation, but my aunt pulled me back: "Bad boy! Close your eyes immediately!" I did not understand: "why? After all, they are so beautiful. " As we walked, I kept turning around, unable to tear my eyes away from such beauty. "Why did she tell me to close my eyes?" I couldn't understand.

I guessed later that she said it because the statues were naked and the aunt couldn't bear it. And I was a bad boy for her, because I paid attention to it.

BBC: The nasty boy who stared at nude figures! Could you tell us about your collaboration with Sigmund Freud? It would be very helpful and interesting.

Jung: Sometime in 1907 or 1906 I wrote a book on the psychology of what was then called dementia and is now called schizophrenia. So I went to Vienna to discuss it with him. Our first conversation dragged on for 30 hours! To be honest, I did not agree with all of his thoughts, but then I said that you, they say, understand more than me.

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I worked with him for seven years, and I'm afraid I ended up disappointing him terribly. Because he hoped that I would continue his work.

Photo copyright, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Famous psychologists of the early 20th century: A. Brill, Ernst Jones, Sandor Ferenczi, Sigmund Freud (bottom left), Stanley Hall, Carl Jung (bottom right)

BBC: Let's talk about religion and its place in human life. It always seemed to me that you consider religion as an important healing force, which is useful only for mentally exhausted and crippled people.

If I'm not mistaken, you once called the church "the therapeutic hospital of humanity." Don't you think that the trouble of our time is that religion can no longer play this role? And if so, why?

Jung: Nobody argues that we are not all right with religion. It is also not surprising that, especially among educated people, religion no longer has a healing function. Christianity speaks of consolation, salvation and healing, of everything that restores integrity to the human soul.

And now back to the educated patients, who are practically unaware of the basic tenets of Christianity. These people have never even read the Bible, they may not know what the Bible is and what it is about, they do not understand the symbolism of the church, they have no idea about Christ the Redeemer, they are not familiar with the very idea of ​​redemption, that we are cleansed from our sins.

Churches no longer work because they no longer keep their promises. I have many confused patients who simply do not have any spiritual guidance. From the very beginning of time, different tribes and societies had religions that did not allow them to fall apart. And now it's lost.

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BBC: Could you tell us what your work has revealed to you about the nature of the divine?

Jung: I can't say anything, mainly because human thought is unable to understand the nature of the divine, nor to prove whether God exists or not. All I can say is that the idea of ​​God is a pattern, a pattern that runs through all time, a primitive pattern that, however, has always been and always will be in all its brightness, significance and importance.

The idea of ​​the divine has not gone anywhere, it continues to play the same role as it has for thousands of years, regardless of whether anyone knows what God looks like or not. The human mind is too narrow and limited. He is simply unable to understand or describe such a transcendental entity as God.

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However, we can comprehend the existence of such a pattern, which I mentioned earlier. And this is quite enough for the practical application of religion. Because when we consciously accept the idea of ​​the divine, a new view of the nature of things opens up to us.

It is extremely short-sighted to ask questions about how one can prove the existence of God. We cannot prove the existence of God, just as we cannot prove the existence of immortality, or eternity, or other similar concepts. These are intuitively accepted concepts.

There is no doubt that we can accept the existence of this pattern. It is as intuitive as a bird intuitively knows how to build a nest. One day the Bilbo Indians told me: "A man who finds himself alone in the mountains cannot even light a fire without the help of the One who guards him." It made a huge impression on me.

BBC: Let's try to put this in a modern context. How do you understand human nature? Do we have a chance to avoid another world war? And, most importantly, what, from your point of view, can result in the creation of the atomic bomb and the latest discoveries in the field of nuclear physics?

Jung: I'm far from convinced that we're heading for World War III. Yes, it can happen, but perhaps it can be prevented.

On the other hand, the problems that have split the world are very real. And everything that led us to this split can lead us to war. Even if there is no war, the split remains.

BBC: What do you call a split? Internal split in people?

Jung: The split between East and West. And this means a split in each of us, because we are all human. There is some hope that people will recognize this split within themselves and realize that there is no need to reproduce it in politics. But this means a complete change in our spiritual and inner ideas.

BBC: Maybe it has already started?

Jung: It's hard to tell if it started or not. I am at least doing everything in my power to make it happen. (laughs)

Image copyright, Getty Images

Photo caption,

A Carl Jung quote adorns the wall of a shop in Ireland

BBC: Dr. Jung, I'd like to ask you some specific questions to highlight your work about a fundamentally new approach to what it means to be human. We are talking, and the window overlooks the mountains. One snow-covered side simply sparkles in the sun, while the other is always in the shade. So I think, is it possible to say that you are considering human nature in the same way? What is it: the dark side of humanity?

Jung: You have chosen a very apt comparison. Yes, our consciousness sparkles. Everything is full of light and, it seems, in perfect order. But there is another side where things are not so good. And, of course, something must be done about it.

At the same time, no one really likes to dig into it. However, sometimes it cannot be avoided, especially if you fall into it.

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This phenomenon can be traced on the gigantic scale that history operates on. Look, just what happened to the Germans. The German nation was completely reborn, succumbing to the dark side of human nature. We all know what horrors this resulted in! Yes, this is the dark side ... every person has it, and there are things hidden in it that we know nothing about.

BBC: Is it fair to say that all your work is precisely to achieve the integrity of a person's personality, to achieve inner unity? So that each person can recognize his dark side, which he may not be aware of?

Jung: You can't get away from her. As soon as I start working with some person, his dark side always crawls out into the light: first one thing, then another becomes apparent. And all these things must somehow be linked with the human consciousness. This is necessary so that a particular person stops considering himself as some kind of ideal that he would like to be, but realizes who he really is. This is where the work with each person begins.

BBC: It seems to me that you consider the individual man the only bearer of life and existence. Therefore, individuality must play a dominant role in human society. Why are science, sociology, and philosophy now inclined to replace the qualities of the individual with social values?

Jung: What can I say: this is one of the consequences of modern science, which is based on statistical averaging. And for statistical averaging, a person, as such, is completely unimportant. It is an abstraction, not a concrete person.

Our worldview, also based on statistical averages, is an abstraction that has nothing to do with what happens in the real world. In such a world view, the individual is nothing but a random phenomenon. But in reality the individual is the only reality.

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If you look at life in terms of the arithmetic mean, then you only have some idea of ​​what a "normal person" is. But in fact, such a "normal person" simply does not exist, and in life we ​​have to deal with specific people. And the individual, not countless masses, has to deal with the consequences of the decisions made.

Each person must develop and improve. There is no medicine in the world that could cure tens of thousands in one fell swoop.

BBC: At the end of our conversation, could you tell us what you are currently working on?

Jung: This is the most indiscreet question

BBC: I know. (laughs)

Jung: I have to admit that I'm not working on anything right now. I'm just enjoying old age. And I'm glad I don't have any new ideas right now. My latest ideas have been so complex that I may have hit the ceiling.

I can't say I'm working on anything in particular, but I have some ideas that I just can't explain to you.

BBC: I suspect your ideas are in an incubation period? Should they mature?

Jung: There is almost no time left for maturation. I've gone through incubation periods more than once (laughs). And I don't know how much more time I have to continue in the same spirit.

BBC: Then - the last question. Looking back over all these long years that you have devoted to the study of the human soul and nature, what should be our main lesson?

Jung: The most important lesson is to learn as much as possible about the subject of research - about the person. We live in fear of the terrible creations of human thought: the fission of uranium and the hydrogen bomb. But they do not exist by themselves, they are manipulated by people. And we should know as much as possible about a person and how to influence his psyche.

Because the main question is: what exactly will man do with these inventions? It all depends on the decisions people make. The main danger lies in man, therefore, I believe that we should seriously study what a person is and what it means to be a person.

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