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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 8/26/17

A Jungian Profile of Trump

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) August 26, 2017: The Jungian psychotherapist and theorist Robert Louis Moore (August 13, 1942 -- June 18, 2016; Ph.D. in psychology and religion, University of Chicago, 1975) worked out an elaborate Jungian account of what he refers to as the four archetypes of masculine maturity. In at least four of his books, he also claims that there are also four archetypes of feminine maturity. In addition, he further claims that all human persons are born fully equipped with both the masculine and the feminine archetypes of maturity in their psyches.

With Douglas Gillette, Moore wrote a series of five books about the four archetypes of masculine maturity (1990, 1992a, 1992b, 1993a, and 1993b).

In Moore and Gillette's book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine (HarperSanFrancisco, 1990), they set up and work with the contrast between what they refer to as Boy Psychology and what they refer to as Man Psychology. (As I intimated above, Moore would also say that there is a contrast between Girl Psychology and Woman Psychology.)

In Boy Psychology, the authors see the trickster as one "shadow" form of the immature archetype of masculine maturity of the Magician (also known as the Shaman; see esp. pp. 17 and 28-33). (Moore would also say that the trickster is one "shadow" form of the immature archetype of feminine maturity of the Magician.)

Now, I would say that the trickster is the dominant immature masculine archetypal "shadow" form in President Donald J. Trump's psyche. Moreover, I would say that the trickster is also the dominant immature masculine archetypal "shadow" form in the psyches of Trump's most fervent supporters -- men and women.

With Trump in mind, I now want to turn to certain characterizations that Moore and Gillette offer us in their 1990 book.

Moore and Gillette say that the immature trickster in men Trump's age tends to manifest as "inappropriate infantilism in their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors" (p. 28).

They write of the immature trickster that "[h]e [e.g., Trump] is expert in creating appearances, and then 'selling' us on those appearances. He seduces people into believing him . . . He's always looking for a sucker. . . . He is a manipulator" (p. 28).

In addition, "He [e.g., Trump] is verbally abusive of others, whom he regards as his inferiors" (p. 29). Moore and Gillette say that "the negative side of this immature masculine energy is really hostile and deprecating of all real effort, all the rights, all the beauty of others" (p. 32). "His energy comes from envy. The less a man [e.g., Trump] is in touch with his true talents and abilities, the more he will envy others. If we envy a lot, we are denying our own realistic greatness" (p. 32).

As odd as it may sound at first blush, Moore and Gillette say that the immature trickster (e.g., Trump) does not feel his or her own specialness. This deficiency is why the person comes under the influence of the immature trickster in his or her psyche (p. 33). For all practical purposes, the immature trickster "has no heroes, because to have heroes is to admire others. We can only admire others if we have a sense of our own worthiness, and a developing sense of security about our own creative energies" (p. 33).

Now, Trump is 71 years old. In my estimate, he is not likely to change significantly.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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