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be incorporated into life and not combated. Then the ego might perhaps have to give up a bit of its moral high ground and live through something that might seem dark and sinister to it, but is not so in fact. This can be just as heroic a sacrifice as the overcoming of the instincts. The moral problems that can arise in the encounter with the shadow are very well described in the eighteenth chapter of the Koran.15 In this story, in the desert Moses meets Khidr, “the green one,” “the first angel of God,” and they travel on together. But Khidr warns Moses he will not be able to witness Khidr’s deeds without indignation; and if he proves unable to do so, he must quit Khidr’s company. And in-deed Khidr sinks the boat of some poor fishermen, kills a handsome youth without reason before Moses’ eyes, and senselessly causes a city wall to fall down. Each time Moses becomes morally outraged, and Khidr has to leave him behind. However, in departing, Khidr explains to him the real state of affairs in each case: the fishermen’s boat was saved by his deed from approaching pirates, because the fishermen would be able to salvage it after the pirates had passed; the youth was on his way to murder his parents, and in this way his soul was saved; and through the collapse of the city wall, the buried treasure of two pious young people was revealed. Now Moses understood too late that his moral judgment had been hasty. Looking at him naively, Khidr seemed to the law-abiding, pious Moses like a lawless, evil, moody shadow. But he was not. He embodied the mysteriously creative ways of God. A similar problem is found in the famous Indian tale “The King and the Corpse,” which has been interpreted by Heinrich Zimmer.16 A mendicant monk, through his gifts, makes a noble king feel obligated to fetch him a corpse by night from an execution ground. In the corpse dwells a demon (Vetāla), who tells the king confusing stories and asks him questions and repeatedly spirits the corpse back to the tree where it had been hanging. Tirelessly, the king struggles against the demon, until in the end the demon reveals to him that the mendicant monk is an arrogant, powerhungry evildoer who intends to murder him and that he, the demon, has rescued him. The monk is a typical shadow of a pious person, that is, the hidden arrogance that develops in a person from doing good deeds; and the demon is only seemingly an antagonist and really is on the side of life. Later he even guides the king to an experience of God. It is no accident that I have not chosen a dream to illustrate this subtle problem. We are dealing with problems here that often synthesize the

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

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