The Persona and the Shadow in Analytic Phychology and Existentialist Philosophy
Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Letters
Keywords: Jungian archetypes, persona, shadow, existentialism, identification with the shadow, the “they”, nihilism.
Abstract. The Jungian conflict between the persona (“the mask of the soul”) and the shadow (a sort of “counter-persona”) is, from a philosophical perspective, akin to the dialectic between appearance and essence or, in a more existential fashion, similar to the difference between falseness and authenticity. Starting from a suggestion made by V. Dem. Zamfirescu, we will compare C. G. Jung's persona with J. P. Sartre's bad faith and Martin Heidegger's das Man. If the persona were a mask mediating between the Ego and the external world, the shadow would be an interface between the Self and the Ego. Remembering that Nietzsche (not only S. Freud and A. Schopenhauer) deeply influenced Jung in the constitution of the shadow, we will evaluate it in comparison with one of the key terms of Nietzschean nihilism, the last human being.