Not his actual psyche; I mean that the last time Charlie and I watched a DVD of Joseph Campbell talking about the Psyche, I took notes. And here they are. Illustrated.
Notes on Joseph Campbell’s Psyche
The only way the ego can conceptualize what is in the subconscious is through projection. (arrows from Self, Shadow, and Anima/Animus) We project our Selves, Shadows, and sense of Anima/us onto other people and the world, generally and specifically. We call it perception, but it’s really projection. Coming to terms with the FACT rather than our PROJECTION is maturity.
Enforcers of persona:
the “neighbors” – public opinion
social custom and institutions
the idea of Nature – “natural law”
the transcendent (God)
When the persona is enforced, the anima-us is a locally conditioned image. (like the song, “I want a girl just like the girl who married dear old Dad.”)
When you accept the enforced persona, you follow the right-hand path: the myths of the village compound, local myths, fixed and tied to locality.
When you DO NOT accept your assigned persona, you follow the left-hand path: the myths of the hero quest, dangerous, uncharted territory, singular. “Following your bliss.”
When the ego becomes uncertain of its moral position, everything in the psyche starts to move. The shadow moves up out of the subconscious, the sense of self shifts, the ego attempts to preserve order. Pressure on persona or the lure of the exotic causes persona and anima to quake and possibly disintegrate when shadow and ego collide.
At the heart of myths is the elementary archetype or story. This is coated with the local version of the archetype or story. (My example: The corporate raider, the wily buccaneer, the hero who steals fire from the gods can all be seen as the same archetype, but local and current sensibilities color how they are received as well as how they appear.)
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If none of that makes sense, blame me, not Mr. Campbell. I was writing this down as fast as I could! I totally love Campbell’s work. I highly recommend it for character study, plot bunnies, and thematic enrichment. Also: it’s cool.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write up a character study using what isn’t indecipherable about those notes of mine. Do one for an established, famous character (Sherlock Holmes, for example, or Leroy Jethro Gibbs) and then one for one of your own characters.