As part of my graduate work (and before that out of intellectual curiosity), I have read much Jungian psychology. Carl Jung was fascinated by pairings of opposites. He explored the psychological meanings of polarities in alchemy and the hieros gamos, the sacred marriage, a union of opposites.
Earlier today, when reading a book by a man trained in Jungian analysis, Robert Johnson, I had a notion about the psychological projections of a large number of our fellow Americans. Now the stuff I was reading did not have a perfect correspondence to the idea it engendered. It merely reminded me of how when we suppress one aspect of our psyche, that aspect later comes to dominate. Here’s a sample from Johnson’s Living Your Unlived Life: Coping with Unrealized Dreams and Fulfilling Your Purposein the Second Half of Life:
The other personality trait is suppressed, but it still exists as a potential, where it is added to the ever-growing inventory of unlived life. Under stress this person often flips to the opposite, and the suppressed quality comes out in a clumsy, unadapted way.
Note how so many who reviled then-President Bush were moved almost to adoration of a man vying to succeed him.Â You can see this phenomenon on cars in Los Angeles, with bumper stickers (still today) advocating the impeachment (or other punishment) of Bush next to iconic images of his successor.
Many who demonized Bush, all but deified Obama.
After expending so much energy on hate, they needed to find someone to revere with the same emotional intensity. Hence, they their love Obama served to balance out the hatred they felt for Bush.
And we’re not even getting to whatever it was in their psyches that caused them to project their own inner demons onto George W. Bush.
A subsequent reference to Robert Johnson: The Mother Complexes of Republican-Haters?