Brown cast into the dungeon of the unconscious,

Brown is consciously unaware of the
true nature of his devilish journey and his non-Christian self has insisted he
split off and cast into the dungeon of the unconscious, cries out for
expression and demands he keep the journey to the woods intact. Unwanted parts
may be repressed, according to Jung, but they carry with them into the dungeon
a significant amount of “spiritual” energy, he says (Moores 1). Moores
says that consciousness is then reduced by the amount of repressed and subjugated
energies located in the dark shadow. Brown’s energies compel him forward
because they know they can find expression only in the dark forest. Brown is
not aware of his “own sense of sire has no concomitant sense of conscious
guilt, and can only see evil as originating somewhere outside of himself because
the nature of projection is to defend the ego against other elements in the
psyche that would prove inimical to it” (Moores 1). Brown is unconscious of his
evil and thus projects it onto every Puritan he knows. He is utterly unaware
that the scene in the dark woods is a projection of his own dark psyche.  

As Hawthorne’s story shows,
encountering the shadow can be seriously destabilizing. According to Moores, Goodman
Brown dies as a miserable man due to the fact that he has engaged the contents
of the unconscious, facing part of himself that his religion deems unacceptable
and demonic (1). According to Jung, the integration of dark unconscious elements
can only occur “if one’s conscious mind possesses the intellectual
categories and moral feelings necessary for their assimilation” (68).
Goodman Brown, with his either/or, us/them morality, can do only little to make
room in his consciousness for his satanic self which he thus experiences in
projection to his dying day. Everyone is satanic from his perspective because
he cannot recognize his own inner Satan archetype (Moores 1). From a Jungian
perspective, Brown has stumbled upon a treasure trove of psychic energy but
does not see it for the gold it truly is. He could have been made whole had he
had the correct intellectual categories and moral feelings and had he been more
nuanced in his religious outlook. But instead, he experiences something on the
order of a sustained lifelong psychosis where he trusts no one, lest he be
corrupted by evil. Jung believed there is “little difference between what the
psychotic and the mystic experience because he believes both take a plunge in
the same unconscious place, but the mystic knows how to swim because he can
make room for the material in his ego-consciousness, whereas the psychotic
flounders helplessly, which is then overwhelmed by the waters of being” (Moores
1). Brown is engulfed by a psychic wave that has the potential to cleanse him
of the sin of not recognizing his own sinfulness, but we find out he fails and
drowns as we see him commit these sins. Brown lacks real faith and he then “adopts
his position of seeing his own evil in projection onto other people as a way to
feel a sense which is illusory of holiness in a culture which said a sinful
life is a sure sign that one was not one of the Elect” (Moores 1). Jung would
have applauded Hawthorne for such criticism because he believed most
interpretations of Christianity lacked a shadow vent. He believed
Christianity’s simplistic pitting of good against evil, spirit against body,
and God against Satan was inimical to and incompatible with the psyche, which
contained a myriad of darker unconscious forces all making claims on the
conscious ego. These forces needed to be integrated, according to Jung, not
divorced from consciousness and then disowned and demonized (Moores 1).

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Moores touches upon the significance of the Devil, who is a figure with
strong associations with nature plays such a primary role in Goodman Brown’s
forest. The Devil is the supreme outcast and the premier symbol of shadow. All
gods and goddesses, according to Jung, are projections of us. We are all “idolaters
in this regard, creating gods and goddesses in our own image by projecting our
virtues onto various omnipresent abstractions and calling them divine figures
(Moores 1). So too is it with demons and devils: they are merely projections of
our unwanted parts or those elements that do not fit our sense of ego-self.
Satan, according to Jungian theory, is Christianity’s shadow; he is all the
religion refuses to tolerate. Just as the forest reflects Goodman Brown’s
unwanted and reconciled energies, Satan also does the same because he is the
specific embodiment of his shadow archetype. The details presented throughout
the story strongly support such a reading because the Devil appears to be “in
the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance
to him …. they might have been taken for father and son” (66). The Devil
is even dressed in the same manner as Brown. Later in the story, Goody Cloyse
recognizes the appearance of the Arch-fiend as that of her “old
gossip”. When the resemblance between Brown and the Devil is established,
the narrator simply refers to