The more I think about the Shadows...(spoilers)

#1gadgaurdPosted 8/11/2013 7:28:02 PM
...the more it hits me that you never know what's pressuring someone, and how much. Granted, I know first hand the effects of denying your Shadows existence(going by the Jungian meaning here, not the game), but it's a constant reminder how even small things can build up and become overwhelming, to the point of madness. The Shadows were born from denials of things that range from general irritation with the world to the very possibility that you may be gay. And denying things long enough instead of facing them spawned monsters that took whatever the problem was and blew it the hell up.

Personally, I tried denying my negative traits, such as my overall violent nature, and boy, did that s*** almost backfire horribly. Thoughts of commuting extremely violent acts on anyone I saw popped in at random times. I was seriously losing my damn mind. Got it together before anything happened, fortunately.>_>

Basically, ignoring the pure fantasy, this game does Jungian psychology justice, imo. That is, if my own experience is anything to go by.
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Vesna esta holicia.
#2StevenKornerPosted 8/11/2013 9:08:15 PM
No, not just your experience. The game does Jung justice very well. My only gripe is how it treats Personas and Shadows as two sides of the same coin, when the persona is meant to mask the shadow... though Naoto sort of lampshades this and justifies the difference.

I did the same thing you're doing not too long ago. Really, the fantasy elements are entirely symbolic of how everything really happens: you neglect your Shadow, it attacks and hurts you and others, and once you accept it, it stops lashing out, and you become a more complete person. This is exactly what happens in the game, and also exactly what happens to real people. I find it to be really cool.
#3natchu96Posted 8/11/2013 11:11:24 PM
StevenKorner posted...
No, not just your experience. The game does Jung justice very well. My only gripe is how it treats Personas and Shadows as two sides of the same coin, when the persona is meant to mask the shadow... though Naoto sort of lampshades this and justifies the difference.

I did the same thing you're doing not too long ago. Really, the fantasy elements are entirely symbolic of how everything really happens: you neglect your Shadow, it attacks and hurts you and others, and once you accept it, it stops lashing out, and you become a more complete person. This is exactly what happens in the game, and also exactly what happens to real people. I find it to be really cool.


You can always say you're trying to mask the fact that the coin has a tails side by placing it on the table heads-up, I guess . . .


Or all the personas a person has (be it 1 or the Wild Card level over 200) and the shadow were all one entity and you were trying to mask the shadowy bit by only showing the good parts . . . or something . . .


Video game semantics confuses me.
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"Luna, I'm afraid he's right. You can't go around calling people that, even if in this case it appears to be the truth." - Sena
#4Shaded_PhoenixPosted 8/12/2013 5:52:26 AM
StevenKorner posted...
My only gripe is how it treats Personas and Shadows as two sides of the same coin, when the persona is meant to mask the shadow...

Perhaps more in the sense that it's two aspects of the same ability. A Shadow and a Persona cannot exist at the same time in the same way that no Persona character can summon two Personas at once. (...Unless you're the P3MC, or Nyarlohotep is using Evil God Powers.) Or even that a Persona is proof of one's understanding and acceptance of one's inner nature, and having a Shadow is the opposite of this, and so cannot exist simultaneously.

Though just glancing at Jungian concepts makes me think that the summoning of a Persona (in Persona 4, at least) is based less around persona as a concept, and more towards individuation, which gives importance to the "Encounter", "Merger" and "Assimilation" of the Shadow. (As in regards to therapy.) The "Encounter with the Shadow" also makes use of the term "dissolution of the persona" as essential to the process. In regards to this, it's in line with Jungian psychology theories to say that one cannot (easily?) experience one's shadow without letting go of their persona and exposing themselves to their true darkness.
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Operation Latex Turtle is a go.
#5gadgaurd(Topic Creator)Posted 8/12/2013 3:23:50 PM
Shaded_Phoenix posted...
StevenKorner posted...
My only gripe is how it treats Personas and Shadows as two sides of the same coin, when the persona is meant to mask the shadow...

Perhaps more in the sense that it's two aspects of the same ability. A Shadow and a Persona cannot exist at the same time in the same way that no Persona character can summon two Personas at once. (...Unless you're the P3MC, or Nyarlohotep is using Evil God Powers.) Or even that a Persona is proof of one's understanding and acceptance of one's inner nature, and having a Shadow is the opposite of this, and so cannot exist simultaneously.

Though just glancing at Jungian concepts makes me think that the summoning of a Persona (in Persona 4, at least) is based less around persona as a concept, and more towards individuation, which gives importance to the "Encounter", "Merger" and "Assimilation" of the Shadow. (As in regards to therapy.) The "Encounter with the Shadow" also makes use of the term "dissolution of the persona" as essential to the process. In regards to this, it's in line with Jungian psychology theories to say that one cannot (easily?) experience one's shadow without letting go of their persona and exposing themselves to their true darkness.


I think it has to do with what Edogawa mentioned. IIRC, he says that ideally, the Ego would control the Persona. So I think that in this game, the characters, after facing their Shadows, obtained the persona they use to...face life's hardships(!), and have them completely under the control of their ego. Instead of becoming the Persona, they don the mask at will.

Damn, Atlus thought this out better than I gave them credit for. I thought the "face life's hardships" line was there for the hell of it.
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Vesna esta holicia.
#6Rigo_YaotlPosted 8/12/2013 4:33:44 PM
IIRC; etymologically the word Persona does derive from the Greek for Mask. So it really is the mask that we use to cover our shadow and overcome life's hardships. It is the construction we make of ourself and acts like our presentation card to the world, in some sense the persona controls the shadow and keeps it in check, preventing us from possibly hurting others if we express our shadow, this can be interpreted in P4 as the shadows going berserk and attacking people.

Since the shadow is all those things that we hide behind the persona, the way to reach it is, effectively, by removing the mask and facing the shadow head on. However it can be dangerous to exclude the persona completely because it is an integral part of our self, if we discard it then our whole being falls apart and enter a nihilistic state where there is nothing left.

I loved this game even more because at the time I was playing it I had to make an essay about a movie called precisely Persona, by Ingmar Bergman (you can watch it in Youtube, it's pretty interesting and a bit short, but take into account that it was made in the 60's and it can get a bit dense) it also shows the conflict between the persona and the shadow and the dangers of discarding the persona for good.
#7terran3999999Posted 8/12/2013 7:34:26 PM(edited)
Of course it does Carl Jung justice, Atlus usually researches their topic when making SMT games.

Wait, I thought Persona means mask in Latin? Oh well.

Personae and Shadows are really two sides of the same coin, both are from the human subconsciousness(I think) and can help or hinder the self/human. We put on Persona all the time, sometimes for minor situations or very important events. Example: We have a teacher who is actually pretty care free and laid back but to assert his authority during his job, he puts on the Persona of a strict person to keep order in class. An unchecked Persona is also a very bad thing and I have a feeling that's where split personality or mental disorders and emotional problems come from. Using the example above, if not kept in check, the teacher's strict Persona might start leaking into his personal life and have negative results.

When it comes to Shadows, a lot of people seems to jump to the conclusion that Shadows are evil despite how Carl Jung went out of his way to say they aren't which is true. Yes, a Shadow kept unchecked is both destructive to one's self and that person's environment since it only follows instinct but at the same time the Shadow is what makes up our desires. What desires doesn't inherently has some bad result? To quote something I don't remember, 'Life is one big competition.' So the solution is to keep your Shadow in check and let it be part of your motivation.(the motivation to make yourself better)

The answer to this is balance, to be able to keep both your Persona and Shadow in check. And one thing to must remember is that, keeping your Persona and Shadow in check will always be a constant struggle and not just a one time event.
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Katawa Shoujo: The visual novel that defies and kicks logic to the curb.
Official contender to fight for Lilly as waifu.
#8Shaded_PhoenixPosted 8/12/2013 10:59:59 PM
terran3999999 posted...
Wait, I thought Persona means mask in Latin? Oh well.

Greek and Latin are not entirely different languages. There's a lot of inheritance from Latin to newer languages.

Of course it does Carl Jung justice, Atlus usually researches their topic when making SMT games.

Oh, good, so it's only a handful of people convinced otherwise. That's a relief.
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Operation Latex Turtle is a go.
#9gb094Posted 8/13/2013 9:09:08 AM
About time there was a thread with humans conversing and worth reading.
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Official ME of this universe... Why would I be someone else? That's just stupid.
#10FaustXIIPosted 8/13/2013 2:24:36 PM
Yesterday I played through Lizzy's arcade, and when you go against the final match, Shabrys, her title is "I am a Shadow, Ruin Incarnate."

Do you guys think this applies only to her character? Or is it in general about ALL Shadows?