Evil Persona Shadow and the Transformation of Community (Short Version)

In this essay I examine what Sri Aurobindo referred to as the humankind’s double nature consisting of its animal nature of instincts impulses desires and automatisms and its higher, self-reflective, mental, aesthetic, ethical and spiritual nature. I particularly study humankind in terms of modern western individuals, with their damned-up repressed instincts. I then study the Evil Persona as defined by Sri Aurobindo, suggesting that it be understood in light of the persona as presented by C. G. Jung. Sri Aurobindo defined it as a being that is attached to the sadhaks who creates wrong conditions. The persona is the ideal image and mask that one wears to present oneself to the world, either professionally or otherwise. Although the persona serves the purpose of greasing the wheels of life, one is enjoined not to identify with its false wrappings. The Evil Persona, in fact, seems to be a product of both the workings of the persona, and also the shadow. The brighter and more virtuous the persona, then the darker is the shadow, the repressed other side of the coin. If the falseness of the Evil Persona can be relegated to the field of the Asura of Falsehood, then the darkness of the shadow is the realm of the Asura of Ignorance.

I then examine the nature of first the personal shadow and then the archetypal shadow, or the shadow side of the God-image. The personal shadow is not evil per se, but awkward and ill-adapted aspects of the psyche that need to be integrated into consciousness, often to the advantage of gaining a greater range of life and instinctual connectedness. At the archetypal level, the goal is for to suffer the opposites of good and evil, to allow them to come together in the Self as a vessel filled with divine conflict. I end the essay by studying the shadow as positive value and source of vitality, and then indicate how the spiritualization and assimilation of the animal shadow at an individual level enhances the transformation of community.

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