Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

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Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by FrolickingFizzgig on Wed 13 Jul - 15:39

I figured some here would be interested in reading what Rian cited as psychological/philosophical inspirations for VIII. He read these two texts in preparation, but interestingly enough he said he did not read Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces. That raises a host of questions for me, starting with: did he read anything to do with the heroine's journey instead?

I could only find the Jung book sadly, but if anybody else is able to find the other I would appreciate it. Smile

Jung - Modern Man in Search of a Soul (Parts 1-6)

"Jung divides the psyche into the ego, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. He uses the concept of the symbolism of dream which Freud advanced but he combines it with mythology, religion and philosophy which allows him to posit a universal unconscious that reveals itself in symbolic form via dreams, mysticism and religion. He discovered this universalism even in civilizations and communities which had had no contact with each other."













https://www.amazon.ca/Modern-Search-Soul-C-G-Jung/dp/0156612062 <-- Amazon Link

Bly - A Little Book on the Human Shadow

https://www.amazon.ca/Little-Book-Human-Shadow/dp/0062548476 <-- Amazon Link

Robert Bly, renowned poet and author of the ground-breaking bestseller Iron John, mingles essay and verse to explore the Shadow -- the dark side of the human personality -- and the importance of confronting it.

https://archive.org/details/The_Human_Shadow <-- Link to audiobook


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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by BastilaBey on Wed 13 Jul - 15:56

I plan on buying the Bly book because I'm totally unfamiliar with him at the moment. The whole exchange with Rian was very encouraging to see, I love that he revisited Jung in preparation and feel safe assuming he did so for both Rey's journey and Kylo's, and how they fit together.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by vaderito on Wed 13 Jul - 16:09

https://archive.org/details/The_Human_Shadow

He's reading his stories. It's a free audio. I'm listening now.

Edit: this is good, people. Very good.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by Slade on Wed 13 Jul - 16:47

Good finds!
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by MeadowofAshes on Fri 15 Jul - 4:37

Thanks for the link! I'll be giving it a listen this weekend. Knew this was great news anyway, but it'll be good to discuss exactly the sources RJ is using.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by MeadowofAshes on Sun 17 Jul - 8:32

Robert Bly Human Shadow 1:

"It's interesting how the dark part of you is able to communicate with the lit part." Compensation theory of dreams. Truth is somewhere in between. "If you're overly optimistic and new age-y the shadow has a lot of work to do at night"

Robert Bly is delightful. "New age types have a lot of dreaming to do at night." If you've been saying a lot of positive things during the day, the shadow says "Oh s***". Ha! "Zen masters don't defend themselves anymore, they just laugh. They don't dream."

Shadow has a sense of humor. 

He talks about the white shadow... So Kylo's white shadow would be his compassion and all the "weak and foolish" aspects like his father that he claims to have destroyed. "The one who forgives sweet when I hate".

"As we get more civilized we tend to cut off the animal side". Hence, why the shadow arises. "Light side goes forward and animal side starts to fall bad." "Happens in all cultures - separation of the civilized part from the animal part". Me here: basically, we overly emphasize our moralistic front brain and suppress more and more of our hind brain. Like the PT Jedi *cough cough*. "Primitive side".

Interesting brief discussion on racism. "Joseph Campbell would say when you associate black with evil and white with good, that's a faulty mythology." 

360 degree personality as toddlers. Male and female energy. Etc. Then you go to school and everything is split. Discussion of parents' influence on shadow. We depend on our parents so we try to repress the things about ourselves they indicate they don't like. Makes me think of Ben and Han - Han's surety that there's "too much Vader in him". "Feeling of being wounded goes into [the shadow] as a man." "And then my anger I had to put back there". 

Sad but darkly humorous talk about alcoholism in families as an elephant or rhinoceros in the room. Makes me think of coded mental illness in Kylo. The references to padded walls where Kylo is in the shooting schedule and Life Debt.

"The bags are made exactly the same length at any time, you just put different things in there." Talking about whiteness and middle class status being put in "the bag" during the sixties. Using it as an example that the shadow can be anything at all. In our culture feminine principle goes in the bag. "Sexual life, sexual joy..." 

"You're a woman and you have 1/4th your energy, you meet a man, he has 1/4th his energy, and then you try to balance these two on top of each other and this is called marriage." LOL. "The day of the marriage is a celebration but together you don't even make one person". So much depth to this. When thinking about it in reference to Rey and Kylo, they are "married" through the Force in TFA, and we suspect Episode VIII is going to be about the two of them becoming whole people, because while they compliment each other, they're presented as a "matched set", they are going to have the most character growth because of each other, they still can't "fix" each other. Each has to grow into an individual person of their own volition.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by MeadowofAshes on Sun 17 Jul - 11:37

Robert Bly Human Shadow 2:
"If you ask it to put stuff in the bag it will do that. If you want stuff brought out, it needs careful instruction. Being vague about it won't do." 

"You put your power into the bag when you were 15 years old and now any woman you see who has that power, you hate her." Nice.

"It has a sense of humor and personality, otherwise it wouldn't be so active in choosing people for you to hate." 

"The woman in the small town is called a witch and she ends up burned because the priest couldn't face that he had witch material in him." Reminds me of The Scarlett Letter.

"Every act of cruelty, conscious or unconscious, that our parents take we interpret to be an act of love." "And every bit of love you feel, you'll long for some cruelty in it." Yikes. 

"Did you have permission to have anger when you were small?"

"Every part of you that you do not love will regress and become hostile to you." "It'll become cruder than when I put it into the bag. It'll have that general rage that repressed things have... And that habit is to marry what's inside." Discussion about how we get into relationships with people who represent what we've repressed. Then when you start making peace with your shadow and being kind to it, and it becomes less hostile, you start meeting people who are also healthier and more suitable to be in relationship with. Really good stuff.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by CienaRee on Sun 17 Jul - 17:41

More interesting quotes from the book which I think apply to Kylo very weel both towards his abandonemtn issues and his relationship with Snoke: 

...why  would  we give away, or put into the bag, so much of  ourselves? 
Why   would we do it so young? And if we have put away so many of our angers, spontaneities, hungers, enthusiasms, our rowdy and unattractive parts, then  how     can we live? What  holds us together? Alice Miller spoke  to this point in her book: Prisoners of Childhood, which in paperback form is called The Drama of the Gifted Child.
The  drama is this. We came as infants “trailing clouds of glory,” arriving         from the  farthest  reaches of   the   universe, bringing  with  us mappetites  well   preserved   from our mammal inheritance, spontaneities wonderfully preserved from our 150,000 years  of  tree life, angers   well    preserved     from   our   5,000   years of  tribal  life—in   short, with our 360-degree radiance—and  we offered  this gift    to our parents. They  didn’t want it. They wanted  a nice girl or  a  nice boy. That’s the first act of the drama. It doesn’t  mean  our   parents    were   wicked; they      needed   us   for   something. My  mother, as a second generation immigrant, needed  my brother and    me to help the family look     more  classy. We   do the   same thing to our children; it’s   a   part of    life on this planet. Our  parents  rejected  who we  were  before  we could talk, so the pain of the  rejection is probably stored in some pre-verbal place. When I read her book I fell into depression for three weeks. With so much  gone, what  can  we  do? We can construct   a  personality  more   acceptable  to  our  parents. Alice Miller agrees that we have betrayed ourselves, but she says, “Don’t blame yourself for that. There’s nothing else you could have done.” Children in  ancient  times who opposed their  parents  probably  were set  out to die. We did, as children, the only sensible  thing under  the   circumstances. The proper  attitude toward that, she says, is mourning. 
 

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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by guardienne on Wed 20 Jul - 23:39

vaderito wrote:https://archive.org/details/The_Human_Shadow

He's reading his stories. It's a free audio. I'm listening now.

Edit: this is good, people. Very good.
@vaderito

this is so so cool.

i'm so goign to have to spend the next months disappearing into a star wars shaped hole...
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by guardienne on Thu 21 Jul - 0:17

i found this on one of bly's books

The Maiden King (with Marion Woodman)

The Maiden King This book is the result of years of collaboration with the Canadian Jungian analyst Marion Woodman on material around the Russian Fairy Tale "The Maiden Czar." Bly follows closely the method of explication he used in "Iron John," resulting in some of his best prose of the 90s. Since "The Maiden Czar" is the story of a man's initiation into the mysteries of the feminine, it's fascinating to counterpoint a man's point of view with a woman's. Bly is more mythological in his approach, and Woodman more psychological. Together they open contemporary doors into an ancient Russian story containing timeless wisdom.



From Publishers Weekly
The authors base their book on a hugely intriguing Russian tale of similar name, "The Maiden Tsar," which they read from a mythological perspective that seeks to "reunite the masculine and feminine" principles. Principles because, as Bly points out, as concepts they do not belong to, or necessarily express attributes of, the female/male genders as conventionally based on sexedness. Those familiar with Bly's previous book on a similar theme, Iron John, or Woodman's Leaving My Father's House, will recognize the Jungian approachAarchetypical, metaphoricalAemployed to demonstrate how we can achieve self-actualization only through an integration of these complementary principles. This book early on declares that no "battle of the sexes" exists in the metaphorical world, because when two people come together, whether of the same or other gender, four people are presentAfor the masculine and feminine are alive in each individual. The book itself is divided into two parts: first, Bly interprets the story, then Woodman does the same. Bly's is a virtual line-by-line reading, informed by his vast knowledge of art and literatureAcomparisons are made, other stories and characters invoked. Woodman's thematic approach discusses such topics as "positive mother vs. Stepmother," "power without presence" and a "journey into the unconscious." In sum, Bly's analysis is largely literary, Woodman's psychological. The transcript of a conversation between Bly and Woodman closes the book in a fascinating kind of antiphonal last word. Those who think criticism has little application to real life may think twice after putting this work down.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by BastilaBey on Thu 21 Jul - 0:20

@guardienne That's so reylo...



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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by guardienne on Thu 21 Jul - 0:25

@bastilabey uhuh WTH


there are some obscure download links. my machine is pretty crappy and slow so if anyone could investigate and see whether any of the links work? that'd be fab.

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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by Slade on Thu 21 Jul - 2:34

Hmmm...Kylo says "[Ben] was weak and foolish...so I destroyed him."  What if Kylo felt he had been "weak and foolish" because he had been *trusting* and had been betrayed?  How many of us have been painfully betrayed and then decided we would never be so foolish as to let someone close to us again?  And we built up more defenses to keep us from being "weak" (i.e. a target for betrayal and assorted abuses)?  So that capacity for trust became part of Kylo's Shadow.
That line of dialogue also speaks to me of some kind of personality fracture, not just a decision that oh, hey, Imma wear black all the time now and change my name because Emo.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by vaderito on Thu 21 Jul - 2:38

Slade wrote:
Hmmm...Kylo says "[Ben] was weak and foolish...so I destroyed him."  What if Kylo felt he had been "weak and foolish" because he had been *trusting* and had been betrayed?  How many of us have been painfully betrayed and then decided we would never be so foolish as to let someone close to us again?  And we built up more defenses to keep us from being "weak" (i.e. a target for betrayal and assorted abuses)?  So that capacity for trust became part of Kylo's Shadow...
@Slade

Actually "like his father" is more important here than "weak and foolish" because "weak and foolish" is just Kylo's interpretation of what "like his father" means. But the essence of the line is 100% that "he was...like his father, so I destroyed him". Some Solo goodness coming this way.



That's Solo peacocking right there. Which Kylo does a lot around Rey.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by Slade on Thu 21 Jul - 2:46

But *what part* of Han did Kylo think he was like?  I agree with your interpretation, but I also stand by mine.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by vaderito on Thu 21 Jul - 2:49

Slade wrote:But *what part* of Han did Kylo think he was like?  I agree with your interpretation, but I also stand by mine.
@Slade

Likely nobody really thought of details. They just needed a line as a throwaway to some Vader lines that deny Anakin's existence.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by SoloSideCousin on Thu 21 Jul - 2:58

Slade wrote:
Hmmm...Kylo says "[Ben] was weak and foolish...so I destroyed him."  What if Kylo felt he had been "weak and foolish" because he had been *trusting* and had been betrayed?  How many of us have been painfully betrayed and then decided we would never be so foolish as to let someone close to us again?  And we built up more defenses to keep us from being "weak" (i.e. a target for betrayal and assorted abuses)?  So that capacity for trust became part of Kylo's Shadow.
That line of dialogue also speaks to me of some kind of personality fracture, not just a decision that oh, hey, Imma wear black all the time now and change my name because Emo.
@Slade

Yeah, I agree. I think something happened with the family, and I think it might go beyond the Vader reveal in Bloodline. Both of the recent books and the movie portray ambivalence about fatherhood with Han. There is some stuff that happens in Aftermath: Life Debt that doesn't look that great IMO. Han is trying to achieve a higher goal and get his personal ducks in a row prior to Ben's arrival, but even when he does, he still is very tempted by adventure ... and Leia is just as single-minded. I think Han and Leia loved him, but that they would be better mentors than parents. So far, it's doesn't seem in them to lay their goals aside at all for their kid. And in the case of Han, some kind of distancing happened. I could be proven wrong, but I think part of the backstory is going to reveal that Han becomes pretty disillusioned with having this FS prodigy kid and said kid becomes well aware of it.

I mean think about it. Why would Han want his Darth Vader grandson trained at all? Shouldn't that have been on the table? Does Han fight this decision? Maybe he does, that's why Leia says "that's when I lost you both". But I have the feeling Han didn't fight hard enough because a big part of him couldn't really deal with a kid like Ben. That's why I think he looks guilty and why the kids novelization says that he hopes Ben can forgive him.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by Slade on Thu 21 Jul - 3:03

@SoloSideCousin

And the fact that Kylo calls Han "Han Solo", not "dad," and not even "Han" speaks of an extreme distancing from and rejection of Han on Kylo's part.  One thing interesting to consider is "attachment theory":  http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/en/news/series/attachment/pages/attachment-part-two-patterns-of-attachment.aspx

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3534157/


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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by SoloSideCousin on Thu 21 Jul - 3:05

Slade wrote:But *what part* of Han did Kylo think he was like?  I agree with your interpretation, but I also stand by mine.
@Slade

I just addressed your post above where I think some of the betrayal may have come from Han, but at the same time, Han can be kind of a softie. @snufkin has talked about this a lot. For all his bluster he can be a caretaker.type for the Skywalkers. And apparently this caretaking thing is being emphasized in the new comics at the same time Leia's Vaderish ways are being emphasized.  There are lines in both Bloodline.and Life.Debt where Leia is crazy single-minded, like she literally says, "I'd burn the galaxy if I thought it was right." What if old Ben was like Han and Kylo became more Leia and Vader?
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by SoloSideCousin on Thu 21 Jul - 3:06

Slade wrote:@SoloSideCousin

And the fact that Kylo calls Han "Han Solo", not "dad," and not even "Han" speaks of an extreme distancing from and rejection of Han on Kylo's part.
@Slade

And that might not just be Snoke's doing. That might be a defense mechanism after feeling rejected or not defended by his father.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by vaderito on Thu 21 Jul - 3:08

Slade wrote:@SoloSideCousin

And the fact that Kylo calls Han "Han Solo", not "dad," and not even "Han" speaks of an extreme distancing from and rejection of Han on Kylo's part.
@Slade

Yes, the only time he uses word father he talks about himself in a third person mode "HE was weak and foolish like HIS FATHER" not I and My. Very typical of Kylo's coping mechanism projection that he uses ever so often. Of course, when he does call Han his father or dad and speaks of him in first person, it's going to be emotionally devastating. Assuming we get such a scene which we should because some catharsis is needed.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by Slade on Thu 21 Jul - 3:09

SoloSideCousin wrote:
Slade wrote:@SoloSideCousin

And the fact that Kylo calls Han "Han Solo", not "dad," and not even "Han" speaks of an extreme distancing from and rejection of Han on Kylo's part.
@Slade

And that might not just be Snoke's doing. That might be a defense mechanism after feeling rejected or not defended by his father.
@SoloSideCousin

Oh, I don't think it was Snoke's doing at all.  I totally think it was a defense mechanism.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by SoloSideCousin on Thu 21 Jul - 3:18

@slade and @vaderito

I really want that surprise flashback scene with at least Harrison Ford's voice. Rian did say something about leaving the nostalgia behind on the OT 3. They could totally pull something like that off like they did the cliffside scenes. I have always liked Han, still do, but if they have the killing of Han come out of left field they will have done a bad writing job ... because unless someone is really, really messed up, like no conscience messed up, which is absolutely not Kylo, these things don't come out of nowhere, even with a brainwashing force predator around. Something needed to have happened with Han .. there is some big hurt there.
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by Slade on Thu 21 Jul - 3:24

SoloSideCousin wrote:@slade and @vaderito

I really want that surprise flashback scene with at least Harrison Ford's voice. Rian did say something about leaving the nostalgia behind on the OT 3. They could totally pull something like that off like they did the cliffside scenes. I have always liked Han, still do, but if they have the killing of Han come out of left field they will have done a bad writing job ... because unless someone is really, really messed up, like no conscience messed up, which is absolutely not Kylo, these things don't come out of nowhere, even with a brainwashing force predator around. Something needed to have happened with Han ..  there is some big hurt there.
@SoloSideCousin

Completely agreed.  And I don't think it was just one thing Han did, but I don't know if TPTB will portray that.  (I don't think it was overt physical abuse)
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Re: Rian Johnson's Psychological Inspirations for VIII: Jung, Bly and the Human Shadow

Post by BastilaBey on Thu 21 Jul - 3:25

That part in the summary above about there being 'no battle of the sexes' because two people would both have equal masculine and feminine within themselves is very interesting, especially when we look at the characterization of Rey and Kylo. Both subvert the gender stereotypes in notable ways, and both exhibiting qualities of the beauty and the beast. They really are two sides of the same coin.
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