Understanding and thereby mastering one’s own negative emotions is an incredibly difficult task. Emotional Shadows describes psychological complexes in the form of fifty-six Jungian archetypes in order to bring us consciously closer to the sources of our own anger, fear, and insecurity.
It’s easy to think of our negative emotions – rage, fear, jealousy, et cetera – as specific reactions to specific situations. Yet, as anyone who’s talked about “an inferiority complex,” or “Daddy issues” knows, some kinds of past experiences can create patterns of repetitive behavior that guide our hearts invisibly. In Emotional Shadows, author Hsu Hao-Yi gives those dark complexes visible form by connecting them to fifty-six “emotional archetypes.”
Inspired by the research of C.G. Jung, these emotional archetypes, like “the avenger,” “the princess,” “the bully,” and many others describe modes of self-identification created by past experience which guide our emotional lives in both positive and negative ways. An “avenger” archetype that drives a person to react aggressively against all perceived injustice – even bad driving – may allow someone to save lives, or get in destructive fights over nothing. Either way, it probably stems from a deep, childlike complaint of never having been treated fairly.
Long-time counseling expert Hsu Hao-Yi recalibrates American psychiatrist Carolyn Myss’s original seventy-four “archetype cards” according to her understanding of East Asian culture into fifty-six easily recognizable emotional archetypes that give clear form to psychic entities that can be hard to grasp, thereby allowing us to understand and thereby master them.