The modern world has witnessed a dramatic breakthrough of the dark, negative forces of human nature. The old ethic, which pursued an illusory perfection by repressing the dark side, has lost its power to deal with contemporary problems. Erich Neumann was convinced that the deadliest peril now confronting humanity lay in the scapegoat psychology associated with the old ethic.
We are in the grip of this psychology when we project our own dark shadow onto an individual or group identified as our enemy, failing to see it in ourselves. The only effective alternative to this dangerous shadow projection is shadow recognition, acknowledgement, and integration into the totality of the self. Wholeness, not perfection, is the goal of the new ethic.