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Episode 067 - Early Abandonment

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 07/11/2019

Episode 234 - CREATION AND DESTRUCTION: Archetype of the Volcano show art Episode 234 - CREATION AND DESTRUCTION: Archetype of the Volcano

This Jungian Life

Volcanoes appear in our myths, movies, and dreams. Their awesome destructive power fascinates us and serves as a reminder that we are not in control of nature’s primordial forces. Offering access to the earth’s molten core, volcanoes have been believed to be the entryway to the underworld or Hell. The Greeks believed that the fiery bursts from volcanoes were the sparks flying from Hephaestus’ forge, thus underscoring the creative aspect of volcanoes – Hephaestus created items of incredible beauty and power in his underground workshop. Volcanoes create new rocks and new land mass. Their...

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Episode 233 - The Inferior Function: Opening to the Interior show art Episode 233 - The Inferior Function: Opening to the Interior

This Jungian Life

There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in. LEONARD COHEN Jung’s system of typology—our characteristic way of orienting to the world—led to the creation of the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Jung observed four essential ego functions. Thinking and feeling are rational functions of assigning value and making decisions, and intuition and sensation are non-rational modes of perception and attention. Ordered hierarchically from most to least developed, our inferior function lies closest to the unconscious. It tends to manifest through tasks, people, and...

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Episode 232 - Theory of Enchantment: Chloe Valdary show art Episode 232 - Theory of Enchantment: Chloe Valdary

This Jungian Life

Could the antidote to racism be enchantment? Chloe Valdary thinks so. Theory of Enchantment is a radical approach to anti-racism rooted in understanding that celebrates the complexity of the human spirit. Since racism derives from deep insecurities projected onto others, the work of enchantment includes shadow, acknowledges personal complexity, and affirms right relationship with self. Diversity need not be division, and inclusion does not discount differences. Empathy does not ‘fix’ but accompanies another’s suffering, and criticism can be used to uplift and empower. Valdary’s fulsome...

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Episode 231 - THE QUEEN: Archetype & Individual show art Episode 231 - THE QUEEN: Archetype & Individual

This Jungian Life

Queen Elizabeth II is mourned around the world. The world saw stages of life live in and through her: from maiden to mate, mother to matriarch, elder to aged. She inherited her title but grew into her role, becoming a unifying image of virtue, service, stateliness, and constancy--wrapped in dedication and devotion. Above the skirmishes of ego-driven politics, the Queen balanced the mystique of majesty with human presence. She bore difficulties and disappointment with dignity, and in the 70 years of her reign modeled a standard of nobility that enabled her to preside over tumult and change....

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Episode 230 - ROAD TRIP: outer journey, inner mission show art Episode 230 - ROAD TRIP: outer journey, inner mission

This Jungian Life

The open road beckons: bigger, better, boundless. To see and to seek is a mythological theme with an American stamp, from wagon trains to memoirs and movies. Progress and mobility have long been associated with forging ahead and hitting the trail. Cars are personal capsules of autonomy and freedom: load, stop, and go according to wish or whim. Passing through and possibility are part of the road trip’s drift and direction. The traveler may hope for treasure, pleasure, or revelation—or be in flight from stasis, failure, and alienation. A road trip can be planned or spontaneous, solo or...

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Episode 229: HATRED: a way to hide our secrets show art Episode 229: HATRED: a way to hide our secrets

This Jungian Life

Hatred is a universal human emotion related to distancing and destroying. Hatred is anger, disgust, judgment, and contempt cemented into implacable permanence. Obsessive and inflating, hatred dupes us into feeling righteous and wrathful instead of small and wounded. Hating tricks us into projecting our disowned qualities onto an outer other, making the object of our hatred into an avatar for our own split-off instincts and desires. Our fixation fuses us in a darkly intimate way with “other,” the holder of a secret we are compelled to uncover, a truth we demand to rule. Hate hides the dread...

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Episode 228 - Donald Kalsched: Trauma & the Informed Heart show art Episode 228 - Donald Kalsched: Trauma & the Informed Heart

This Jungian Life

Dr. Donald Kalsched, Jungian analyst, teacher, and author, discusses his acclaimed work on childhood trauma; (see for upcoming programs). When there is unbearable emotional pain in childhood, archetypal defenses dismember such experience and banish parts of it to the unconscious, where it remains as unconscious suffering.  Such suffering is manifested as pathological symptoms, i.e., dysfunctional relationships, addictions, narcissism, and more. The defensive system that takes over--a ‘self-care system’--is both protective and persecutory of the innocence and vulnerability hiding in...

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Episode 227 - COMPARTMENTALIZATION: Coping with Contradiction show art Episode 227 - COMPARTMENTALIZATION: Coping with Contradiction

This Jungian Life

Compartmentalization is like a home electrical panel that separates power into different zones. It allows us to separate the charge carried by ideas, feelings, and actions without risking system overload. Compartmentalization lets us express concern about climate change yet fly overseas for a family vacation or care about animal rights and ignore factory farming. Such incompatible values and incongruent reasoning usually bypass the zone wired for emotional activation, allowing many daily activities and attitudes to operate smoothly. At the other end of the spectrum, compartmentalization can...

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Episode 226 - HERMES: Divine Trickster show art Episode 226 - HERMES: Divine Trickster

This Jungian Life

Karl Kerenyi collaborated with Jung in demonstrating the psychological meaning of Greek mythology. Kerenyi found in Hermes a representation of “a third way of living life, besides the Apollonian rational and the Dionysian irrational. God of jokes and journeys, thieves and magicians, the tricky Guide of Souls” arrives as a surprise. Like the quicksilver that is his Roman name, Mercury/Hermes appears on winged sandals, heralding the new. Hermes disdains regulation and law to deliver new ideas, dissolve opposites, and provide decisive experiences. Just as he alone traversed the realms--from...

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Episode 225 - Archetype of the Wave: image of energy and motion show art Episode 225 - Archetype of the Wave: image of energy and motion

This Jungian Life

Images of earth’s perpetual restlessness waves gently rock us, lift us up for an exhilarating ride – or inundate us in the terrifying phenomenon of a tsunami. Surfers surrender to the rhythm of waves, an embodied metaphor of attuning to the rising and falling of unconscious forces. Poseidon, Greek god of the ocean, was also the deity of destructive tidal waves, which can sweep us away and show up often in dreams. In physics, a wave is a disturbance that travels through space and matter, transferring energy from one place to another and, therefore, part of the fabric of the subatomic...

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Experiences of physical abandonment are depicted in stories old and new as ways of out-picturing traumas of early relational abandonment. Jung articulated the archetypal foundation of what later psychologists came to call attachment theory. In an infant’s primal state of identification with a mothering other, lack of caregiver availability and attunement constitutes psychic abandonment. This is depicted in fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel and the more recent film, Pan’s Labyrinth. Both image of the inner world of the emotionally abandoned child: the archetypal world first comes forward to protect the abandoned child, only to become persecutory, like the witch in Hansel and Gretel. Abandonment may become internalized, manifesting as denial of one’s own feelings and needs. Getting in touch with one’s longing for a loving other, and grieving early loss is often the road to redemption.

 

Here’s the dream we discuss:

I'm in a house by the sea, to see and somehow help a woman. I first meet her outside - a dark, handsome man is a few paces behind her and I take him to be her lover. She appears to be in her 30s.

 

Later we are inside with her family - her father has invited me there. Her husband (older, pudgier and more domesticated than her lover, but seemingly intelligent and relatively attractive) and father are talking about a sailing trip. She, sitting off to the side, interjects that she's always wanted to do a long solo voyage. Clearly this is a conversation that has happened before. Her father says it wouldn't be safe, and her husband agrees. Either she or I (I'm unsure) comment that they are more worried about her being dangerous than they are something happening to her. At this point I/we are thinking of the lover, who the family are unaware of.

 

The father calmly comments that there's a large wave rising on the sea. He's standing at a window watching it. I come to take a look - it's huge; more tidal wave than wave. It breaks on the house and starts to wash it away. I'm holding on and realise that I'm in an untenable situation. I go back in time slightly, and this time as the wave hits I climb into a wooden box.

 

After the water has receded I get out and try to find the family. I find the father and husband, but cannot see the woman. I'm unsure if that's because she was swept away, or because now I am the woman.

 

References

Kalsched, Donald. The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit.