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Additional info for Secret Raven: Conflict and Transformation in the Life of Franz Kafka (Studies in Jungian Psychology, 1)

Sample text

At bottom they were the result of a disparity between his ego ideals and his personal limitations. In psychological terms, they were symptomatic of a split between ego and shadow, and such a split is irreparable so long as the conflict remains in the head, that is, between consciously conflicting opposites. As usual, Kafka knew this too. "59 The tension involved in the conflict between ego and shadow is commonly experienced as a kind of crucifixion. This symbolizes the suffering involved in differentiating the opposites and learning to live with them.

It is a trick of the mother-complex to put a philosophical question at just the moment when action is needed. 52 What this looked like in reality, in Kafka's case, was the endless lists he compiled "for and against" his marriage instead of getting on with it. ") It is interesting to see that help in solving his dilemma, his conflict, is, in the dream, right at hand the "shadow companion" who walks at his side. What might he want? Does he know the way? Psychologically, the shadow personifies all those qualities, both positive and negative, that are not part of consciousness.

These questions invariably prove disconcerting to the analysand, for if he knew what he wanted he would have no conflict. Indeed, consciously he wants both, the penny and the cake. From a psychological point of view they are useful questions, for the first, with the accent on "you," constellates the individual ego position (as opposed to what others might want); and the second, stressing "want," constellates the feeling function (judgement, evaluation39). Some conflicts may be resolved in this way without further ado, that is, when the ego position coincides with, or accepts, the feeling attitude.

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