Posted by Halley Willcox on Friday, February 18 8:59 pm

The Jungian view would be to see these two sons as parts of ourselves. The Shadow side would be the son we deny (hide). The Father represents Individuation, or Wholeness.
Many haggle over which brother should receive the most praise. If we consider that the risk-taking adventurer and the dutiful cautious law abider are just two slices to investigate within ourselves, we may deepen our understanding of how God can love both when we are centered in Him (or home). The older son "projects" his shadow on the younger instead of owning it. This is like the pharisee who prayed (regarding the sinner( "I thank you God that I am not like him".) Or like the woman about to be stoned by those who probably fantasized about what she did, but never dared act it out. Shadow issues come out when we get critical and judgemental.
Regardless of which brother moves us or yanks our chain, the Father symbolizes the wholeness (in Christ) that can come when we don't split-off (judge) and we come home to forgiveness (reconciation) and a wholeness that gives us peace. I am a Christian as well as a Jungian psychotherapist (pastoral).

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