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Sociosomnia: The Last of Us (HBO) 🍄

3things archetypes in media integral theory jordan myska allen last of us interpretation modern myths personal growth relatefulness sociosomnia Feb 16, 2023


Perhaps it’s just me being able to see more beauty in everything, but what makes this post-apocalyptic show so unique is its emphasis on beauty.

I always see zombies as representing our id/unconsciousness in these collective-dream-interpretations. In this show, FEDRA then represents the superego that’s willing to kill giant swaths of ourselves to maintain order. Our main characters represent ourselves, coping with the overwhelming complexity of being through hardening (Joel) or humor/sarcasm (Ellie). 

Most of our modern myths show survivors (the bit of consciousness peaking through us) trying to eradicate the unconsciousness (symbolized as zombies)—a more Teal perspective, mirroring how we try to eradicate our blindspots and shadows, or occasionally transform it—Tealish-Turquoise, mirroring a willingness to surrender into the unconsciousness and dialogue with it (but still with the aim of getting rid of it). The Last of Us instead embraces the beauty of the unconscious without diminishing its destructive power. We see people finding meaning and purpose beyond just surviving, in holistic embrace of the human experience. Even the outbreak itself is organic—fungus evolving to take over the brain in these disturbing-but beautiful fungal blooms (a symbol of our analytic/rational capacity being hijacked by the id/unconscious). 

It’s worth watching just to get to Episode 3—the gorgeous, heartbreaking love story of Bill and Frank.


With love, Jordan


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