|2001 - Taken on black and white film with my first Reflex.|
What happens, instead, when the dark side is substituted by or coincides with a not-so-subtle evil tint? Dark and evil are not necessarily the same thing; Edward Scissorhands is dark, but not evil; the same goes for Bruce Wayne, Wolverine, Huck Finn, or Jane Eyre.
Just as we all have a dark side, so we all have a more or less developed evil character, a side of our soul that, in contrast with its padded and flannelly half, is prickly and spiny.
This is exaggerated in fictional characters. Here, the personal and psychological traits are usually magnified for the conflict of opposites to be more shocking.
Yet, observe people's behaviors around you: your friends, your family members... yourself! Yes, dear, yourself! You're no Mother Theresa either!
You will find out that as good as the person standing before you might be, that person will not only present profound behavioral contradictions (which is just fine; after all, as Henry David Thoreau used to say, consistency is the hobglobin of small minds) but, at certain stages, will perpetrate a wicked plot in such vile and cunning ways as to be utterly unrecognizable even to themselves.
At least, I hope I'm not the only one who at times, upon waking in the morning, looking at my hands with the typical fixity characterizing disbelief, wonders, "What have I done"?
Psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung used to consider such manifestations as compensatory functions of the unconscious. These lie dormant as primitive forces, ready to rise and break all moral barriers in unpredictable ways. Only conscious integration of these functions can result in more or less balanced reactions to certain situations of momentary psychic weakness.
It amounts to a constant struggle with our Shadow, and we all go through it daily: whenever we're being yelled at, whenever we line up at the post office or we're stuck in traffic, whenever we find we're being cheated on, or our bank charged extra fees on our credit card.
At times, instead, we more or less consciously decide to give some allowances to our Shadow, so we plan and get our elusive and little revenges.
We are all that and, potentially, even more than that!
How could the fictional characters we create sound believable without such important inner contrasts?
How could we sympathize with them if they lacked that nasty and tricky evil side we all share?
Have you ever had a glimpse, or have you ever been aware of this special you before?