So, in case you’ve been busy with life, BTS is coming back! A new comeback means new mind games courtesy of BigHit. This time, it is the form of another literary classic. You may remember how BTS drew on Demian by Hermann Hesse, but BTS is not done making you read just yet! Their new album is titled “Map of the Soul: Persona” and it is based off a book about Carl Jung’s ideas about the soul, the personality, and everything else. It was written by a man named Murray Stein back in 1998 (I was a little tot back then) and chances are pretty good that, unless you’re a psych major, you haven’t heard of it.
Thankfully! I studied Carl Jung in college and I had little niggling thought that I could probably break this whole “persona” thing down in a way that made sense to most ARMYs. I’m not an expert by any means, but, like, that’s kind of the point. So, here’s what you need to know!
Who is Carl Jung?
Y’all are gonna look this up on Wikipedia anyway so I’ll do the hard work for you. Here’s what Wikipedia says about him:
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalystwho founded analytical psychology. [His] work was influential in the fields of psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies.Wikipedia
Basically, he was a psychologist–and an important one at that. His views about a variety of different psychological conceptions of the mind shaped psychology for decades, and people continue to study his work to this day. Which brings us to the next section…
What is the “Map of the Soul”?
Jung wrote a lot of stuff during his lifetime. Much of his work went unpublished when he was actually alive, but there’s still a few things that are waiting to be published even now. Map of the Soul is, for all intents and purposes, a compilation of Jung’s beliefs. It’s marketed as an “introduction”, but that depends on how technical your knowledge is. I read a few sections on Google Books because, to be honest, psych books put me to sleep, but the writing is pretty easy to understand if you understand that Jung is complicated and Stein is just doing his best to make it all make sense.
How Does Persona Play Into All of This?
A persona is actually a pretty simple concept. It’s essentially who you represent yourself as for the world to see. It’s meant to serve as a bridge between the self that you are in your head and the rest of the world. Jung describes it as this:
a compromise between the individual and society as to what a man should appear to beCarl Jung
And Jung was really deliberate about using the word “persona” to describe this. In fact, he chose the word “persona” because it means personality in Latin but it also refers to the masks that were worn by Roman actors in classical plays.
Stein breaks down the whole persona thing a little further. He says that:
the persona, which is the psychic skin between ego and world, is not only a product of interaction with objects, but includes as well the individual’s projections onto those objects. We adapt to what we perceive other people are and what they want. This may be considerably different from how others see them or how they see themselves.Murray Stein – Map of the Soul
So what does that mean for BTS? I think they’re planning on tackling how we put up fronts of ourselves so that the world understands us. BTS is all about being yourself. But it’s really hard to be yourself when you are already fighting a battle against yourself to be true to who you are. It’s an incredibly deep and complex concept and I’m excited to see what BTS does with it. What do you think about BTS’s upcoming album? Let me know in the comments!