Jung, Mama Grizzlies, Sarah Palin


Arianna Huffington
August 1, 2010 06:11 PM
Sarah Palin, “Mama Grizzlies,” Carl Jung, and the Power of Archetypes

(excerpt)

It is not Palin’s positions people respond to — it’s her use of symbols. Mama grizzlies rearing up to protect their young? That’s straight out of Jung’s “collective unconscious” — the term Jung used to describe the part of the unconscious mind that, unlike the personal unconscious, is shared by all human beings, made up of archetypes, or, in Jung’s words, “universal images that have existed since the remotest times.”

Unlike personal experiences, these archetypes are inherited, not acquired. They are “inborn forms… of perception and apprehension,” the “deposits of the constantly repeated experiences of humanity.” This is the realm Palin is working in — I’m sure unintentionally — and it’s why she has connected so deeply with a large segment of the public. In fact, her evocation of mama grizzlies has a particularly resonant history in the collective unconscious.

According to the Jungian Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism, “The bear has long fascinated mankind, partly because of its habit of hibernation, which may have served as a model of death and rebirth in human societies.”  (Source)

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