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Episode 069 - Retirement

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 07/25/2019

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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Episode 224 - The Way of Kabbalah: ancient map of the psyche show art Episode 224 - The Way of Kabbalah: ancient map of the psyche

This Jungian Life

Kabbalah is an ancient Jewish mystical tradition that has captured the imaginations of people from widely diverse backgrounds, including Jung himself. Three weeks after his heart attack in 1944, Jung had an ecstatic vision, “…Everything around me also seemed enchanted…I myself was in Pardes-Rimonim, in the pomegranate garden where Tiferet and Malchut married. I also imagined myself as Rabi Shimon ben Yochai, whose mystical marriage was celebrated now. It looked exactly as the Kabbalists portrayed it. I cannot tell you how amazing it was…” Though Jung did not live long enough to...

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The life transition we call retirement mandates a major readjustment in how time, energy and money are spent, whether retirement means becoming a “snowbird” or having a stepped-down lifestyle. Work has structured the rhythm of life and time; most have found aspects of identity, status, and socialization at work, regardless of how fulfilling, arduous or well paid it may have been. Shakespeare’s King Lear and the Greek myth of Baucis and Philemon illustrate contrasting inner attitudes and their outcomes. Jung believed that the second half of life had a prospective and healing function in the psyche. If retirement can be considered redirection, these years hold promise: life can now be oriented to internal life and meaning, especially awareness of the ego’s secondary place in relation to the Self.

 

Dream

I am in a McDonald’s, waiting for my younger sister to collect her meal. Her order is called and we pick it up, the meal is excessive – a huge portion of chips and lots of nuggets, so I steal a chip. As she is eating I look around; the McDonald’s is filthy and disgusting. There are graffitied yellow plastic chairs, dim lighting and a bare concrete floor covered in litter. It smells disgusting - like stale chip fat and smoke. People are smoking inside and everyone looks mean/dodgy/scary dirty. I do my best to avoid eye contact with them all. As we leave a smelly and dirty older man holds out the door and asks where I am sleeping tonight. I feel disgusted and rush away. As I turn a corner I am in a dark alleyway. My sister has gone. I check my pockets and my bus pass, phone and keys have also gone. I have no money or way to get home but I know I need to get to the bus stop to get away from this place. I glance over my shoulder and a hooded man is following me. I walk faster and then turn to look again, this time he starts running towards me. As he gets closer I realize he has no face. As he approaches me at fast pace his outstretched arm strikes me very hard in the throat. The pain felt so real I jolted awake - heart racing and panting.

 

References

Frankl, Viktor E. Man’s Search for Meaning, Beacon Press, 1959 (and subsequent editions).  http://a.co/g0wAOJk