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Covington, C. (2002). Response to Renos Papadopoulos. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(2):189-194.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(2):189-194

Response to Renos Papadopoulos

Coline Covington, Ph.D.

Renos has masterfully mapped out the territory of the ‘other’, taking us through its different landscapes and highlighting its salient features. He starts with Havel's juxtaposition of Self and Other, continuing on to our projections of ourselves in others, raising distinctions between the individual and the collective and between forms of conscious identification (or projective identification) and unconscious processes of identification. Renos also guides us through Jung's ideas of the ‘other’, revealing Jung's own one-sidedness and at the same time Jung's emphasis on the wisdom gleaned from more traditional, non-western cultures. He relates this realm of ‘otherness’ to what Jung called his No. 2 personality, his own internal Other, which from another perspective can be seen as a schizoid or split off manifestation of Jung's psyche which he was struggling to integrate. We are then introduced to Jung's notion of the shadow and its relation to Freud's ideas about the ‘narcissism of minor differences’. Lastly, we come upon the pathological aspect of the Other or, in other words, how we create the exotic other as a means of distancing and defending ourselves against the familiar other.

Renos has, in fact, covered so much ground that I cannot respond as fully as his paper deserves. I have chosen to focus on one aspect of ‘otherness’ in particular and this is its companion, narcissism, for I do not think it is possible to consider one idea without the other.

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