Enemy, Cripple & Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path
By Erel Shalit
In Enemy, Cripple, & Beggar, Erel Shalit provides new thoughts and views on the concepts of Hero and Shadow. This Fisher King Press publication elaborates on mythological and psychological images. Myths and fairy tales explored include Perseus and Andersen’s ‘The Cripple.’ You’ll also enjoy the psychological deciphering of Biblical stories such as Amalek—The Wicked Warrior, Samson—The Impoverished Sun, and Jacob & the Divine Adversary. With the recent discovery of The Gospel of Judas, Erel. Shalit also delves into the symbolic relationship between Jesus and Judas Iscariot to illustrate the hero-function’s inevitable need of a shadow.
The Hero dares to venture into the unknown, into the shadow of the unconscious, bringing us in touch with the darker aspects in our soul and in the world. In fact, it is the hero whom we send each night into the land of dreams to bring home the treasures of the unconscious. He, or no less she, will have to struggle with the Enemy that so often is mis-projected onto the detested Other, learn to care and attend to the Cripple who carries our crippling complexes and weaknesses, and develop respect for the shabby Beggar to whom we so often turn our backs—for it is the ‘beggar in need’ who holds the key to our inner Self.
Enemy, Cripple & Beggar can be comfortably read by an informed lay public interested in Analytical Psychology and by those interested in the interface between psychology and mythology, folklore, and religion.
Enemy, Cripple, & Beggar was a 2009 Gradiva Award Nominee for best theoretical book.
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The Hero 17
Who is He, or She, the Hero? 19
The Hero Ideal 23
Hero and Shadow 26
The Sun and the Sword, the Moon and the Mirror 32
The Nixie of the Mill-Pond 37
The Hero Myth 47
The Myth of Perseus 48
The Hero Unfolds 57
The Departure 57
The King 59
Parents and Birth 62
The Hardships of the Hero 64
The King and the Fisherman 66
Layers of the Unconscious 67
The Treasure 73
The Old Principle 74
The Beehive and the Ram 74
The Shadow 81
The Shadow and the Hero 87
A Shadow of Many Faces 90
The Undifferentiated Void 90
Ego Formation and the Face of the Shadow 92
Shadow, Persona and Projection 94
Passive Projection 97
Active Projection 99
The Enemy 103
Ego and Shadow 104
Amalek – The Wicked Warrior 106
Evil Deception 110
Archetypal Identifcation and Denial 111
Archetypal Identifcation and Denial 111
Samson – The Impoverished Sun 113
Jacob and the Divine Adversary 118
The Hill of Evil Counsel 125
The Setting Sun 127
Caiaphas, the Fathers and Collective Consciousness 129
The Fathers 131
Law of the Fathers, Grace of the Son 136
The Hero Betrayed: Personal Greed or Archetypal Scheme? 141
Compassion at the Court of Collective Consciousness 149
The Cripple 153
Wounds and Eros 154
From Mars to Eros 157
Following the Wound 160
The Wounded Healer 165
The Case of Dr. D. and Mrs. M. 166
The Cripple and the Wound 177
H. C. Andersen: The Cripple 178
Death – The Archetypal Cripple 190
Death’s Messengers 192
The Beggar 197
Faceless Interiority 198
The Beggar Healer 203
At the Gateway to the Self 207
The Way Home 213
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"Enemy, Cripple and Beggar is an intensely moving book that speaks deeply to the psyche."
The following review by Ann Walker, Ph.D., appeared in Psychological Perspectives, volume 53, issue 2, 2010. Ann Walker, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and psychologist in Santa Monica and book review editor of Psychological Perspectives.
Enemy, Cripple and Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path. (2008). By Erel Shalit. Carmel, CA: Fisher King Press.
Reviewed by Ann Walker
Enemy, Cripple and Beggar is an intensely moving book that speaks deeply to the psyche. Every time I read Enemy, Cripple and Beggar my psyche responds with wonderful dreams. There are so many important concepts in this book. I would like to discuss a few that I found particularly salient.
Enemy, Cripple and Beggar is devoted to exploring that critical period during individuation in which the individual must heroically confront his or her inner darkness, the shadow. The shadow is the dark part of the psyche that we disown in childhood as the ego develops. Integrating the shadow leads to renewal and rebirth. It is a daunting task undertaken by the heroic ego. As Erel Shalit states: "The hero is an archetypal image of that aspect of the ego that searches for renewal . …The task of the hero is to wrestle himself out of collective consciousness, the ingrained norms and prevailing worldview, our neurotic defenses, those rites of the soul and rituals of the spirit that have fallen into ruins of obsessive litany and compulsive decree. The hero revolts against an ego that has stiffened in the grip of habits and conventions, an ego that has become empty behind the emperor's new clothes, whether within the personal psyche or that of society. The hero must go forth into the dark and venture into the unknown to redeem a barren soul, a forgotten myth or a lost feeling, and then return and bring it back into consciousness. And in his struggle with a corrupt collective consciousness, the hero must be equipped with integrity" (pp. 137-138).
Erel Shalit has written Enemy, Cripple and Beggar in an inspiring prose-like style. Surprisingly, he examines the shadow from both the perspective of the inner process and from the perspective of the outer political process. As an Israeli Jungian psychiatrist, Erel Shalit examines the shadow of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the result is an amazing view of shadow integration both as an inner psychological and as an outer societal process.
Shalit writes: "Destruction of morality and humanity does not turn the rebel of the mind or the militant in the world into a hero. Psychologically, there is no rejuvenating heroism in projecting the shadow onto the Other, as does the fanatic, the fundamentalist and the terrorist" (p. 25). Projecting the shadow onto others is the natural response early in life. But later in life, projecting the shadow is the opposite of heroic. Re-owning projected shadow and integrating its contents is a lifelong task of individuation and a moral necessity.
Shalit points out that the hero needs the shadow: "The shadow is the blood of the hero's soul" (p. 89). To be able to go forth into the dangerous battle with the inner darkness, the hero must develop important attributes. For starters, the hero needs a healthy dose of narcissism to be able to trust the ego's capabilities. The hero needs a connection to the Self, or a developing ego-Self axis; this means that the hero must have an ability to communicate with the inner divine, the inner God-image. Or, as Shalit states, "The hero has one foot in divinity, one in the world of mortals" (p. 33). The hero also needs both solar and lunar attributes-the solar ability to cut through and break free from the devouring mother archetype, and the lunar ability to reflect and consciously turn toward the unconscious.
Throughout Enemy, Cripple and Beggar Shalit illustrates the personal and archetypal dimensions of the shadow with case examples, myths, and biblical stories. He illustrates the archetypal shadow with the biblical story of the Amaleks, who were descendents of Esau, the rejected brother of Jacob. Esau was denied his birthright by Jacob, and the rejection and denial reverberated across family generations to yield the Amaleks. As the Israelites wandered in the desert with Moses, the Amaleks killed and tormented them with deceit, brutal cruelty, and cowardice. Shalit states, "The more severely something is repressed or denied, the harsher it will strike back from behind" (p. 111). The story of the Amaleks illustrates that the denied and repressed reappears with exponentially increased hostility; that which is denied grows and becomes unbearable to suffer. Denial of evil is worse than the experience of evil. Suffering must be witnessed to be transformed, as Shalit points out.
Thus to help our clients heal, Jungian analysts must guide them to an experience of the inner darkness, which can feel wounding-Shalit talks about the need to be a wounding healer. Integrating the shadow yields the treasure that is hard to find: a new connection to the anima/animus, a new connection to the inner soul and spirit.
Shalit discusses the shadow as cripple; complexes that are not integrated often live in the shadow and cripple us. Shalit uses the myth of Hephaestus to illustrate this point. Hephaestus is the son of Hera, and possibly Zeus. When Hera saw that her newborn son, Hephaestus, was lame, she threw him into the sea. Hephaestus was saved and raised by Thetis, who was the nymph of creation. Hephaestus worked as a metal smith and in deep underground fires, he made Pandora's box and Achilles' armor. Shalit points out that Hephaestus is the only Greek god that worked. It is the lame and wounded parts of the soul, symbolized by Hephaestus, that make us work. The process of working deep in the underground fires with the wounded parts of the soul is transformative and creative.
I want to conclude with a lovely quote at the end of Enemy, Cripple and Beggar, a wonderful book to read and reread: "On the way home, toward the essence of our being and the meaning of our path, we need to be equipped with the sword and with bravery, with a mirror and reflection, embrace and compassion, with strength and with weakness and with the light of appearance and a guiding lamp" (p. 224).
Psychological Perspectives is a quarterly journal of Jungian thought published since 1970 by the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hero's Journey, November 19, 2010
By Grady Harp, Los Angeles
Review of Enemy, Cripple, & Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path (Paperback)
Erel Shalit is a Jungian psychologist from Israel and it is no surprise that his works are being published by Fisher King Press, a publisher devoted to, among other things, Jungian psychology. This book is dense in the finest sense of the word. The ideas Shalit develops are some of the most sound markers in understanding not only the great heroes of literature and the past but also the progress of each our soul's journeys. One strong example Shalit uses is the character of Jesus and how he had to face his Shadows to grow into the hero he became. It is Shalit's premise that heroes cannot be heroes with the presence of the Shadow in their paths. It is a candid exploration of the dark aspects of the soul that guide us to the path that allows us to overcome those aspects of our being and emerge the hero - or not - and that is a complete possibility.
To quote Shalit 'To find meaning we need to be equipped with the sword and with bravery and with a mirror and with reflection, embrace and compassion, with strength and with weakness, with the light of appearance and a guiding lamp.' He explains the Shadow in our quest as having three forms - the Enemy, the Cripple and the Beggar: the Enemy being our projection of our failings on others; the empathy we show to those others (the Cripple) plays the mendicant to our own bruises; the coping and care of the Beggar within us is a lesson in compassion. These aspects of the Shadow must be faced and embraced as part of us before the Hero can emerge.
As with all Jungians psychoanalysis is imperative as through analysis we learn about both the potential of dreams and the dark blocks to those dreams we must overcome. That is far too simplified a manner of describing what happens as this book becomes part of the reader's psyche, but it is enough to hopefully encourage other readers to pick up this book and stay with it long enough until our own hero emerges.
November 6, 2008
Highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library collections,
"Enemy Cripple & Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path" takes a look at the basic concept of story telling and why it is so appealing to readers. Going to the psychology of the tale and how ancient stories led the way, and how they evolved through the years with mankind, "Enemy Cripple & Beggar" provides an informed and thoughtful perspective concerning literary good and evil alongside society's norms and mores. An original work by Erel Shalit, "Enemy Cripple & Beggar" is a unique blend as a literary and psychology manual, making it highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library collections.
A fascinating journey into the Hero and the Shadow, December 15, 2008
Written by Erel Shalit, a noted and extensively published Jungian psychoanalyst practicing in Ra'anana, Israel, Enemy, Cripple & Beggar is a treasure for our times. Vital and applicable to both lay people and experts, the book flows seamlessly and spirally from scholarship, to textual interpretation, to case studies, and the analysis of dreams. Shalit draws on an impressive breadth of scholarship and myths/fairy tales, looking at both history (e.g., the Crusades or Masada) and story.
The book first discusses the key aspects of the Hero, considering Byron, the work of Robert Graves and Robert Bosnak, the Bible, and Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, among many other sources.
I take as my starting point the condition of mythlessness in the modern world, as expressed by Jung and reinforced by Campbell and how it is limiting our vision and ability to cure an ailing world rife with war and economic/environmental woes.
If ever we needed to consider the role of the Hero, it is now.
Consider the mistaken mythologizing of the death and wounding, respectively, of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch. While both are certainly heroes, the government's and media's manipulation of their circumstances (used to try and justify an unjustifiable war) bring to mind David Mamet's Wag the Dog, the 1997 film adaptation of Larry Beinhart's novel, American Hero.
The people love their heroes and their construction for societal consumption by the government and the media has become no less than a High Art.
Shalit says, on p. 24: "In society, the hero may be the messenger of hope who lights the torch of democracy. Sometimes it is amazing how, at the right moment in history, the heroism of a nation, spurting forth through layers of oppression, creates dramatic changes and overthrows worn-out regimes."
Might this apply to U.S. president-elect Barak Obama? Many people think so, and many more find themselves hoping so. Then again, there are many who see him as the shadow, using the term antichrist, and finding similarities between he and Nicolae Carpathia in the Left Behind series.
If ever we needed to consider the role of the Hero, it is now.
Consider the current fascination with Superheroes in the age of CGI and comic book cinema. Just last night I watched Christopher Nolan's record-shattering The Dark Knight, which takes as its thesis the complicated interrelationship of the hero and the shadow. Given the death of Heath Ledger, who played the Joker, the notions of the Hero are expanded to the realm of the Artist and his or her relationship with Pain.
When Shalit writes, on p. 95, "...life thrives in the shadow; in our detested weaknesses, complex inferiorities and repressed instincts there is more life and inspiration than in the well-adjusted compliance of the persona," I think that his words bring Ledger's death into sharp relief. As an acting teacher who works almost exclusively with teens, many of which see Ledger's "dying for his art" as a form of heroism (an interpretation with which I disagree; it discounts the necessity of craft in preventing such tragedies), I think it is more important than ever to examine carefully the Hero's role and relationship to the shadow.
The shadow is Jung's term for the unconscious, the "thing a person has no wish to be" (p. ix). His early experience of his own shadow is, to me, some of the most compelling and useful text in his Memories, Dreams, and Reflections.
The hero must go into the shadow (the forest, the depth of the sea, the desert, the cave¬--Plato's or the Celtic Bard's) to retrieve his soul. The shadow is a place of misery, calling to mind Schopenhauer's ideas about life being mostly pain and sorrow and Campbell's advice to "follow your bliss" [sat chit ananda].
Much of what Shalit centers on as aspects of the Hero are present in the shaman, who also has "one foot in divinity, one in the world of mortals" (p. 33). The journey into the netherworld (often to retrieve or heal the soul), the returning with precious gifts of knowledge, the responsibility of re-integration into the community (see Mircea Eliade's comprehensive works on shamanism), all parallel the hero's journey. The modes of the vision quest and the alchemical transformation are, further, symbolically manifested in the landscape of the fairy tale.
Pursuing this idea, Shalit, in the tradition of Robert Bly's Iron John or Bruno Bettelheim's Uses of Enchantment, ably presents and dissects a number of fairy tales, myths, and Biblical stories in the course of the book.
"Nixie of the Millpond" is presented without commentary. The myth of Perseus, however, is told with commentary from a wide variety of sources mixed in. It would be valuable to watch Clash of the Titans (1981) after reading this section, as it brings Shalit's analysis visually to life. Page 47 lists eight traits of the hero myth to guide the interpretation. I would add a ninth--the use of magical items (such as Athena's shield, Hermes' sword, and the three gifts of the Stygian nymphs, all of which are given to Perseus to defeat the Medusa).
I have used these same basic elements of the hero myth for the past decade in my theatre workshops with youth and in my books on using drama in the classroom.
If our youth are to break the limiting conventions of societal and governmental structures that have put the planet and its inhabitants in a place of crisis, they--and those who guide and educate them--must understand the Hero and Shadow both.
demand on compliance with rules, roles and regulations." The mythological fighting of dragons and monsters by the Hero is most clearly articulated to me by Joseph Campbell, when, in various books and interviews, he talked about Nietzsche describing the cycle of life as beginning as a camel loaded down with the requirements of parents and society. The camel then goes into the desert (one of the hero landscapes I mentioned earlier) to become the lion, who must slay the dragon whose scales all say "Thou Shalt." This dragonslaying, certainly a noble and necessary undertaking, situates the Hero as the classic warrior, akin to Michael the Archangel and St. George, but when the fighting is done, the warrior must put down the sword. Whether we speak of the Vulcans comprising the Bush administration (as author James Mann terms them) or an abused child who grows up to wage ongoing battles even on a landscape of peace in a more stable family situation, this is a notion well worth focusing on. I think of the Roman general Cincinnatus, who moved back and forth between sword and plow and the dwarves of the novels of Dan Parkinson, who switch the hammer from one hand to the other as necessary in times of peace and war.
The hero struggling with the shadow often projects onto a demonized Other because, as Shalit reminds us, "Since shadows easily lend themselves to projection [see pgs. 97-101 for the three types identified by Jung], they are discovered so much more easily in the other than oneself" (p. 84). This is, of course, the source of most of the ugliness in the history of Humankind.
The Biblical explorations/interpretations presented are a high point of the book (see, for example, p. 63 on the Virgin Mary) and begin in earnest with the section on the shadow. The etymology of both biblical and mythological names given throughout add much to the discussion.
Shalit uses Oscar Wilde's "doppelganger novel," Picture of Dorian Gray, to explore the notion of shadow in terms of our duality, as Dorian is projecting his shadow onto the canvas. Duality--war/peace, animus/anima, masculine/feminine, dark/light--is prevalent throughout the book.
The second half of the book deals with the Enemy, Cripple, and Beggar of the title. The Enemy (the projection onto the Other that is really the shadow in oneself) is explored through such Biblical figures as Amalek, Samson, Jacob, and the key figures in the trial of Jesus. The section on the Fathers and the Collective Consciousness, dealing with Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Barabbas, and Judas, is fascinating reading. The connection of the father and the son resounds on many levels, including the relationship of Jesus/Judas as being nearly inseparable.
The Cripple (one's weaknesses and inner wounds) is explored through mythological/fictional figures such as Hephaestus, Ptah, Oedipus, Quasimodo, and the child in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Cripple." There are case studies here that serve many of the same functions as the analyses of the myths and fairy tales, and will appeal to those interested in the dynamics of Jungian analysis. Certain aspects of the second case study reminded me of Don Juan DeMarco (1995), the film starring Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp, especially considering that love (Eros) is the means to heal the Cripple, as articulated so well in this book.
The final section deals with the Beggar (the "door that leads to the passageway of the Self," p. 225), which is the Inner Voice or Daemon. Shalit deals here with the notions of alchemy that so fascinated Jung. I was intrigued by the story of King Solomon as the wandering beggar and Shalit's exploration of the life of the prophet Elijah.
In closing, I want to mention the cover art, a painting titled "Emerging" by Susan Bostrom-Wong, an artist and Jungian analyst. Shalit asks the reader to examine the images embedded in the human figure. It is well worth the time to do so. Like the book itself, the longer you look, the more you will see.
I urge educators, artists, and those in search of new paths toward a life well-lived to buy this book. I know that one of my own heroes, Joseph Campbell, certainly would.
A gracious invitation to evolve
by R. S. L., posted on Amazon Jan 1, 2009
Erel Shalit has extended a gracious invitation to evolve. If digested slowly and carefully his book equips us with the tools to decipher the images met on our soul's quest for meaning and relatedness.
Enemy, Cripple and Beggar; Shadows in the Hero's Path (ECB) is a scholarly analysis of the soul's struggle with demons in the hopes of deepening self awareness.
The foundation of his treatise lies in psychoanalysis, the science of the images that form a collective treasure of lore. He illuminates these images and tracks the patterns at play. The images that hold meaning for us are embedded in our soul. As he beautifully writes: It is the Self that resides within the soul, or that perhaps is the soul, that is given voice whenever attended to.
The ego searches for meaning vis-à-vis the hero in its dreams. The hero "ventures into the darkness of the shadow to retrieve the treasure", one's true feelings and unique potential. Relating to our dreams can procure the understanding we yearn for.
Shalit makes a convincing case for the role of the shadow in the hero's path. Quite simply, without a shadow there is no hero. The hero is only a hero as long as he is facing his shadows which are an integral part of him.
The shadow never dies and the more one represses it, the more imbued with energy and destructive it becomes. By facing and embracing these shadows, the hero diffuses them. Pathology is imminent for the detached hero who stops relating to the shadows and becomes one with his false gods, at war with the enemies of himself.
The three aspects of the shadow, Enemy, Cripple and Beggar are the markers of our quest. We project our difficulties on the other who we define as the Enemy. Our empathy for others is how we face our own wounds, the Cripple in ourselves. Our encounter with the Beggar within, teaches us compassion.
Through tales and dramas- Biblical, literary and clinical, Dr. Shalit guides us through the secret and sacred truths of our soul. This is the process of transformation that ECB extracts from myths that carry archetypal significance for mankind. Looking beyond our personal narratives we discover many tales for-told whose significance for us depends on our willingness to address them. Our stories clothe the metaphors of the hero's encounters. The life we breathe into them when we reflect upon them is the bringing together of heaven and earth- heavenly understandings permeating our personal narrative and "moisturizing" our Soul with meaning.
"To find meaning we need to be equipped with the sword and with bravery and with a mirror and with reflection, embrace and compassion, with strength and with weakness, with the light of appearance and a guiding lamp."
Shalit's enlightened examination is his guiding lamp. Now I must free my ego's heroes to grope amongst the shadows lurking in my innermost thoughts in an effort to identify and relate to them, so I may pierce the darkness with insight in the hope that I will see the light.