Coinneach Shanks: A Psychotherapist in Dublin, Ireland
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Spooky Silhouettes, Jokes & the Shadow
Sometimes shadows seize the imagination and then we want to play. The raised hand is kind of spooky and of course, we were well aware of the effect. I was using the small camera and so there was no camera bag to spoil the silhouette. Is this in the realm of the shadow? In Jungian terms the shadow represents aspects of the self that are unrecognised and unintegrated. I think these aspects are recognised. Spooky sense of humour! Freud has the inside line on jokes. He felt the joke was mobilised by the ego to reassure the superego. We're trying to confront parental morality and tell our internal parents we're OK. There's always a hysterical edge about the joke, but for the most part, hysteria is a lovable trait we see in others. As long as we share the joke and recognise its meaning we can confront all manner of bizarre and unpleasant aspects of collective and individual behaviour. Here we're saying, don't we look funny! Maybe we do. Robert Burns said, "O, wad some Power the giftie gie us, To see oursels as others see us. It wad frae monie a blunder free us, An' foolish notion." (If only we could see ourselves as others see us, it would free us from foolish actions.) We wondered for an instant if this was the way others saw us on a quiet night in Rome close to Christmas. Then we smiled and continued on our way.