The Let's Play Archive

Persona 4: Golden

by Really Pants

Part 146: Lesson 1: What are Shadows and Personas?


This lecture is for those distinguished enough to tune in. I'm your lector, Mr. Edogawa of Gekkoukan High. Eeeheehee...You might be surprised to know that my day job is as a school nurse. Usually, the students ask me about their health...But sometimes I get questions like this: "Mr. Edogawa, what are Personas and Shadows? Apparently I have them inside me." It was quite a shock to learn that there are students that diligent out there! After all, not many children would come to me asking about Personas and Shadows from Jungian psychology. It was due to those such requests that I decided to start this show, "Mr. Edogawa's TV Classroom." This lecture will cover Jungian psychology, so you, too, can learn about Personas and Shadows, and much more besides. I call it, "Everyone Loves Jungian Psychology!" Let us study the science of the human mind that Dr. Jung built. Today's lesson is the first installment: "What are Shadows and Personas?" All right, let's get started. Palas aron azinomas...

These terms are used to describe the workings of the human mind. But what exactly are Personas and Shadows? According to Jung, they are other "yous" inside yourself. Let's start with the Persona. It is the "other you" that comes out when you interact with others. Think about it: When you talk to someone, is that the real you? Or was it the "you" that the person you were talking to was expecting? Or the "you" that you want people to see? Either of those "yous" are a Persona. Personas are like masks. They connect you to the outside world by acting as the medium through which you present yourself. That sounds like a helpful "other you," doesn't it? Personas are there when you need them. But Shadows, though...they are the "other you" that you reject. A good way to think about them is the "you" that you don't want to be and don't think of yourself as. Shadows are just that: shadows. They are the side of you that you keep locked away in your mind as "evil." Sounds like a scary "other you," eh? It appears that you need to handle Shadows with care. Eeeheehee...Now, Personas and Shadows are both "other yous" that you usually aren't aware of. So then, why aren't you aware of them? It's because they lurk deep inside your your "unconscious." The unconscious is the source of Personas and Shadows, and the foundation of Jungian psychology. It's important to understand, so let's take a closer look at this "unconscious." The term was originally derived from psychology. It may be hard for you to imagine, since the word is now used in everyday conversation...

And the unconscious is the source of the mind's activity. So you, you, and yes, even you, all have an unconscious deep within your mind, separate from the conscious mind you're aware of. The unconscious is said to be much bigger than the conscious mind, too. Like the part of an iceberg that's under water. You could say that Jungian psychology began by elucidating this vast unconscious. Are you all listening? Are you still conscious? Eeeheehee...

It is in this realm that you cannot explore that the power to change yourself lies. This power are the same "other yous" inside your mind, the Personas and Shadows, that I was just talking about. The "other yous" live in the unconscious, lying in wait for the chance to make it out to the conscious mind. Who are they really, and how should you go about handling them? These are the concepts I'll be introducing you to. Make sure to tune in.

As well as the other yous, known as Personas and Shadows, which live there. Now, let me add one thing to that: an important secret about the unconscious. This get to the heart of the truth about your mind, and the truth about the world. The unconscious within your mind is actually not just yours! Human minds are all connected, transcending space and time. In other words...Man's unconscious is shared! Ah...did I forget to mention that this show will involve viewer participation every so often? When you see a selection on the screen, use the buttons in front of you to make your choice. Now that I've explained...Man's unconscious is shared!
That's stupid.

But answer me this. Have you ever noticed that no matter what the era or location, man tends to have certain sensitivities? That's not something I just came up with. Jung's thorough, painstaking research suggested that man's unconscious is shared.

And that network is known as the "collective unconscious." The original German phrase is "Kollektives Unbewusstes," in case you were curious.

To tell you the truth, they are deeply tied to this collective unconscious. I'll explain this term more later, but they are "archetypes"; images born from the collective unconscious. It's starting to become quite a handful, isn't it? Collective unconsci-what? Arche-majig? Speak English, you egghead! I can hear the screams from your heart...Eeeheehee. But by the time my lectures come to a close, you'll no doubt be saying, "That was soooo cool-lectively unconscious!" Let's review a little, shall we? Use the buttons in front of you to answer. Are you ready? All right, I ask thee. The hidden "you" within your mind...What is the part of the mind where it dwells called?
The unconscious.
Very good. You passed that with ease. Though it's the most basic level of these lessons. Let's keep going and deepen our understanding of the mind...Now then, it looks like our time is up. Next time, we'll dig a little deeper into the "unconscious" we talked about today. That's it for today.