Cliona Dickie

As you may recall, just over a year ago, Cliona Dickie was to join us to discuss the Jungian concept of persona. However, due to COVID, we had to cancel. Fortunately, she will now be joining us via Zoom this Friday, March 19th! To help get you excited about Friday night’s lecture, here is a reminder of the questions she had kindly answered for us.

  • Could you briefly describe the relationship between Shadow and Persona? 

Persona is the image we turn toward the world. It is a tool of consciousness, an ego adaptation.   Shadow, as in personal shadow, is understood to be in the personal unconscious. It holds aspects we turn away from the world. These are repressed aspects, and/or aspects that have never come to consciousness. In adopting a  Persona, the one may repress certain aspects, or Persona may function to mask the inferior function.

  • Why do many of us identify with and only live in “Persona” 

The majority of our time is lived in relation to collective values. Time in self- reflective or inner life is relatively small by comparison.   In the first half of life adaptation to society takes precedence. However, the life cycle is a dynamic and changing process. If we only think of our lifecycle as a one-directional vector then we might identify with the extraverted collective and forget the aspects of ourselves that exist and existed behind and beyond Persona.

  • How does the Collective influence Persona?

Persona is a factor of the Collective. Just as an actor requires an audience so Persona requires the Collective. The one only exists in relation to the other.

  • What is the connection between Persona and Depression, Anxiety, and other mental health issues?

This is a complex question.  Mental Health issues like Depression and Anxiety are categorised by a set of symptoms, such as low mood or heightened excitability. However, the triggers for those affective states of psychic imbalance differs from individual to individual which then interferes with the ability to function.
If there is a connection I would suggest that the presence of an effective Persona can work in mediating primitive emotional experiences such as are present in the above states, which might otherwise be overwhelming.

Thank you Cliona!

We hope to see you this Friday, March 19th at 7:00pm! For details and to register, please, see here.

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