Deciphering the subtle implications embedded in media slogans, public images or political double-talk often requires a deeper, nuanced understanding of their working principles — most of which operate in instinctual, almost involuntary ways.
Through behaviours that surface again and again almost unconsciously, many messaging equations attempt (like in Jungian archetypes) to draw patterns from our behaviours. These categories often leverage principles of connection, journey, movement, and transformation, or things that some marketing strategists consider the guiding principles of a marketplace, and the guiding 'lights' of us, as people. At the core of this process are metaphors or allegories, and we use them in fantastic ways to shape social reactions and group appeals. Using expressions like "Find yourself" "More of what you want" "It’s all about you" "Seek Find Enjoy" — many of these 'jingles', their images, and their choreographed theatres imply a certain mastery of goals, events, others and ourselves. But like Jung once suggested, a deeper knowledge and awareness of our unknown biases at work — what he called the darkness of mere being — were crucial to navigating our human condition with a more meaningful purpose in mind. Rather than succumbing to an identity or a subscribed want by a costumed society, Jung offered a more contemplative approach to recognizing our inner and outer lives.
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This is where the role of the artist, the writer, the philosopher or agent becomes so crucial — realizing that behind a visible reality hides a deeper one where our thoughts rest on things unseen and categories unknown. Of course we must accept certain knowns to operate, but to meaningfully engage ourselves and our public thoughts requires models of different perceptions to build upon, rather than just the simplest of reactions. Although the human hardware for making connections may be partially innate in us, the experiences driving them are learned through living. This is where things become challenging and engaging. While a certain familiarity is critical in understanding ourselves, powerful ideas or metaphors are original, connecting new and unfamiliar associations with old and familiar ones — and this creative potential can become a hidden, magnetic lure for us. Identifying these levers of language is critical to understanding the unseen threads in both artistic works, as well as the deceptions in our public rhetoric. To establish these connections requires some measures of empathy, or deep levels of thought to view through the eyes of both viewers and the viewed, and the social influences that evolve from times and places — or simply put Otherness. In many ways, the roles of Other often uncover both the wonderous and wayward realities of a shared human nature, but in doing so, gives us the power to reshape ourselves along the way. In the twilight of his life, Jung thoughtfully reflected on this in his memoir, "The sole purpose of human existence, is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being." — michael graf