An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and
conscious of nothing but its own presence. It is
incapable of learning from the past, incapable
of understanding contemporary events, and incapable
of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is
hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued
with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must
strike it dead.
-- C.G. Jung* --
Trump´s effort to keep James Comey from talking by hinting at the possibility that his White House conversations had been taped, was clumsy, naïve. Trump quickly had among others Congress on his back, demanding the tapes.
The truth was bound to come out, and it did. There are no tapes.
So why did Trump do it? Why did he trap himselfl?
Everybody makes mistakes. But Trump´s tape mistake was more than a mistake: it is only one in a series of calamities, errors, missing the mark.
Case in point: his latest Twitter spat with ."Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough -- "crazy" -- and Mika Brzezinski -- "dumb as a rock."
Trump´s problem: he is possessed by his psychological shadow.
I started to suspect that possession back in August 2015, when he famously said on CNN of reporter Megyn Kelly, “She had blood coming out of her wherever.”
Here is an introductory summary of C.G. Jung´s analysis of the psyche´s unconscious shadow:
"´The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself´ and represents ´a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well´. If and when 'an individual makes an attempt to see his shadow, he becomes aware of (and often ashamed of) those qualities and impulses he denies in himself but can plainly see in others — such things as egotism, mental laziness, and sloppiness; unreal fantasies, schemes, and plots; carelessness and cowardice; inordinate love of money and possessions — ...[a] painful and lengthy work of self-education´".
Trump is not about to take a painful and lengthy look at himself. Consequently, …
Jung´s discussion of the shadow mentions
'the danger of falling victim to the shadow ... the black shadow which everybody carries with him, the ... hidden aspect of the personality' — of a merger with the shadow ´... According to Jung, the shadow sometimes overwhelms a person's actions; for example, when the conscious mind is shocked, confused, or paralyzed by indecision. 'A man who is possessed by his shadow is always standing in his own light and falling into his own traps ... living below his own level': hence, in terms of the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, 'it must be Jekyll, the conscious personality, who integrates the shadow ... and not vice versa. Otherwise the conscious becomes the slave of the autonomous shadow'."
Twitter is the perfect vehicle for the shadow to well up, seize control, commandeer, drive. Brief, fast, easy. Above all, easy; no laborious reasoning required. No fuss, no muss. In three words borrowed from poker: down and dirty.
Best of all for the shadow to take over, there is no censor. You can be sure Trump´s aides aren´t allowed into his bedroom.
Trump gets a "hot idea," cannot resist it. He sits down at the computer at 5 a.m. BANG! – it flies off to the world.
As to why he cannot resist, the shadow knows. It is dictating not only Trump´s words but his actions, feelings, thoughts, intuitions. Jung´s word slave describes the situation perfectly. A slave thinks with the brain of his master, and in Trump´s case his shadow is his brain.
The upshot: he will keep falling into his own traps.
The only thing Trump has going for him is that his enemies are as unaware as he is of the shadow process and hence do not know how to strengthen and hasten his self-sabotage. I make that statement because had they understood what was involved, Trump never would have made it out of the Republican primaries, much less been elected president.
Shock, confusion, indecision reinforce shadow domination, hence heighten self-sabotage. Of course, some forms of those three elements are more effective than others. For that matter, some traps can backfire, ensnare the handler. When activating unconscious elements in a rival, you had better know what you are doing.
To repeat, Trump´s enemies clearly do not know what they are doing: They seem to be pursuing an alternative course …
Here is the full quote of Jung on the inner dynamic engulfing a man enslaved by his shadow:
“A man who is possessed by his shadow is always standing in his own light and falling into his own traps. Whenever possible, he prefers to make an unfavourable impression on others. In the long run luck is always against him, because he is living below his own level and at best only attains what does not suit him. And if there is no doorstep for him to stumble over, he manufactures one for himself and then fondly believes he has done something useful."**
Trump´s shadow may very well dispose of him without any outside help. The ensuing strategy – the alternative course referred to above -- entails stepping aside and doing nothing. Let Trump continue to trump Trump.
Will the strategy work? Trump´s enemies can always get lucky.
All I can say is, winners don´t trust luck.
*Religious Ideas in Alchemy, in Collected Works, Volume 12 ¶ 563, pp. 6005-6.
**C. G. Jung, The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious, in Collected Works, ¶ 222, p. 3,631.