As an inner archetype, the DESTROYER is the part of us that helps us accept and manage the pain provoked by endings, disappearance, death, of something or somebody, as part of our own life's evolution process. In non extreme cases, the Destroyer helps us understand the need and the positive aspects of detachment, of not being afraid of situations, relationships, experiences, etc. that come to an end. In more extreme cases (such as the death of a beloved person, or violence), our inner Destroyer helps us understand that this type of destruction exists as well, and that we need to activate our best resources to go through the pain we are feeling.
When the Destroyer manifests its shadow, that is, its more unpleasant, negative, damaging, toxic expression, it can take us to self-destructive behaviors, self-sabotages, or even behaviors aiming at harming other people, as in any form of abuse and physical, emotional or psychological violence.
In this scene from A Time To Kill, we see an example of how the shadow Destroyer is activated. The story takes place in Canton, Mississippi. A white lawyer has as his client an African-American man who murdered the two white men who raped and killed his 10-year old daughter. In his closing argument, the lawyer moves away from the strategy of trying to prove to the members of the jury that his client is also a good man, and works on awakening in them the murderer that we all have inside, as a possible manifestation of our inner Destroyer's shadow. By doing this, the lawyer triggers a psychological identification (at a deep level) as well as emotional, with the defendant. This identification transcends the rational level and the racism that is at the very center of the story. What happens after this scene is irrelevant and it has more to do with a commercial logic rather than a psychological one and, in any case, it doesn't invalidate anything related to the archetype work. This work, by the way, is so intense that, at some point, the lawyer barely can control his own emotional reaction to the impact of what he is purposely doing.
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