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An alternative understanding of the persona

Persona roles are often thought of as "masks" and given a negative meaning in contrast to the "true" personality experienced by the ego ("I just want to be myself"); however, this is a misunderstanding of the function of the persona. The persona is simply a structure for relating to the collective conscious situation.

Source - James Albert Hall, Jungian Dream Interpretation: A Handbook of Theory and Practice (Inner City Books 1983), Ego-­Images and Complexes in Dreams, pp. 71-72.

If anyone chances to possess an attractive persona, he is sure to identify with it and believe he is it, and then he becomes the victim of it. Dreams often personify the persona as a most unattractive object. If I imagine I am what I appear to be, I would have a dream of a miserable scarecrow that symbolizes my persona. For we are living not only in this figure and in our relations, but also in all sorts of ordinary ways, while we eat, sleep, dress, bathe, etc.

Source - C.G. Jung, Dream Analysis: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1928-1930 by C.G. Jung (Princeton University Press 1984), Lecture VI: 12 December 1928, p. 74.

The persona can have no relation to the unconscious since it is collectively identical with it, being itself collective. Hence the persona must be extinguished or, in other words, restored to the unconscious.

Source - C.G. Jung, Adaptation, Individuation, Collectivity, CW 18: The Symbolic Life: Miscellaneous Writings, par. 1102.

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