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Episode 082 - Medicating Psyche

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 10/24/2019

ROBERT HOPCKE: Did Jung understand gay identity? show art ROBERT HOPCKE: Did Jung understand gay identity?

This Jungian Life

Can Jungian psychology shed light on the archetypal forces shaping gay identity?" Our guest, Robert Hopcke, examines how Jung and Jungians have regarded homosexuality both clinically and theoretically, demonstrating that within a great diversity of opinion, there exist many ways to deepen an understanding of the lives and loves of gay men and lesbians. Hopcke proposes a view of homosexuality that is archetypally based, empirically supportable, psychologically profound, and spiritually evocative. Jungian psychology has a fresh take on integrating the shadow and the individuation process for...

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THE VITAL SPARK: Reclaim Your Outlaw Energies and Find Your Feminine Fire. show art THE VITAL SPARK: Reclaim Your Outlaw Energies and Find Your Feminine Fire.

This Jungian Life

 Deep in each of us, a Vital Spark fights to free us and set us back on the path.  Lisa, Joe, and Deb were joined by more than 300 audience members for their first-ever live podcast to celebrate the launch of Lisa's new book, The Vital Spark: Reclaim Your Outlaw Energies and Find Your Feminine Fire.  The "Vital Spark" is the core essence of our innermost fiery qualities—creative aggression, fiery sexuality, emboldened disagreeableness, sharp-witted trickery, burning desire, clearsighted shrewdness, empowering anger, and bold authority—that fuel creativity, assertiveness,...

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UNREQUITED LOVE: Can Eros be revived? show art UNREQUITED LOVE: Can Eros be revived?

This Jungian Life

When we offer our heart and it is refused, even the gods become angry.  One day long, long ago, Aphrodite was a new mother. Her son, Eros, was the living symbol of her endless passion for his father, Aries. Despite her divine gifts, Eros failed to thrive. Desperate, she brought the goblet to the ancient mother, Themis, who knew the boy was dying at once. Aphrodite was instructed to bear a second child who, when presented to Eros, would cure him. Dutifully, she lay with Aries and begot a second son. She brought them close and was astonished to see her new son leap toward Eros, who met him...

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THE LAST AWAKENING: Death Anxiety and Its Role in Psychological Transformation show art THE LAST AWAKENING: Death Anxiety and Its Role in Psychological Transformation

This Jungian Life

How do the varied human experiences, beliefs, and practices related to death and dying illuminate our understanding of life's meaning and help us face the end of life with peace and a spirit of adventure? The death instinct (Thanatos) and the life instinct (Eros) symbolize the internal conflict between self-destructive urges and desires for creation, reflecting the psychological struggle with mortality. Religious traditions across the globe, from Buddhism's focus on impermanence to Christianity's belief in eternal life, offer diverse approaches to mitigating the fear of death, demonstrating...

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SPEAKING TRUTH: Is it Venom or a Cure? show art SPEAKING TRUTH: Is it Venom or a Cure?

This Jungian Life

How do we navigate the complex interplay between personal truths, societal norms, and psychological well-being to foster individual growth and societal progress? We examine the multifaceted nature of Truth and its impact on individuals and communities. We touch on the challenges of speaking Truth to power, the psychological dynamics of scapegoating and being disbelieved, the role of psychotherapy in uncovering and dealing with personal truths, and the significance of narrative and perception in shaping our understanding of reality. We underscore the importance of discerning and integrating...

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Promethean Inflation: Will our creations destroy us? show art Promethean Inflation: Will our creations destroy us?

This Jungian Life

Are we inadvertently summoning forces beyond our control in our relentless pursuit of innovation and progress? Can we harness the power of our creations without unleashing terrible consequences upon ourselves and our world?  Prometheus and his brother, Epimetheus, were tasked by Zeus with fashioning all living creatures. They granted animals remarkable abilities - feathers for flight, claws, fangs for hunting, tails for balance, and gills to breath underwater. When it came to humans, they had no gifts left. Still, Prometheus loved his human creations and daringly stole fire from Olympus...

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Kelly Bulkeley: Is Dreaming the Source of Spirituality? show art Kelly Bulkeley: Is Dreaming the Source of Spirituality?

This Jungian Life

How do dreams influence and reflect our spiritual beliefs and experiences across different cultures and historical periods, and what does scientific research reveal about this relationship? Kelly Bulkeley, PhD, is a global expert on dreaming and the psychology of religion.  We explore his latest book "The Spirituality of Dreaming: Unlocking the Wisdom of Our Sleeping Selves." Dreams universally function as essential gateways to spiritual understanding, a truth echoed across cultures and eras. Modern sleep and dream research confront and expand upon the traditional views revealing a more...

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DIVORCE: How can heartbreak lead to transformation? show art DIVORCE: How can heartbreak lead to transformation?

This Jungian Life

How does the experience of divorce lead to personal transformation and self-discovery? The journey of divorce is emblematic of a profound personal transformation, often unveiling the paradoxical nature of human relationships where deep trust and love coexist with the potential for betrayal and disillusionment, reflecting the intrinsic human struggle between connection and individuality. This individuation process during and after divorce constellates a metamorphosis, where confronting the shadows of a broken relationship becomes a gateway to self-discovery, self-acceptance, and a deeper...

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Three Jungians on Psychedelics: Is Tripping a Valid Path of Self-Discovery? show art Three Jungians on Psychedelics: Is Tripping a Valid Path of Self-Discovery?

This Jungian Life

How can combining psychedelics and Jungian psychology enhance our understanding of psyche? Psychedelics may help us access deep layers of the unconscious, revealing aspects of psyche that are often inaccessible through traditional psychoanalytic methods alone. Jungian analysis, with its focus on archetypes and the collective unconscious, provides a framework for interpreting and integrating the complex, symbolic experiences often encountered in psychedelic states. The combination of psychedelics and analysis could facilitate a more profound and holistic healing process, addressing not only...

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FANNY BREWSTER: How can dreams bridge us to ancestors? show art FANNY BREWSTER: How can dreams bridge us to ancestors?

This Jungian Life

Jung's concept of the collective unconscious emphasized the universal psychological substrate common to all humans. While he acknowledged the effects of the cultural unconscious, his work, at times, fell into the trap of perpetuating oversimplified and racially prejudiced stereotypes. Jung's writings that refer to Africanist peoples, in particular, suffer from offensive assumptions. Dr. Fanny Brewster, Jungian analyst and author, searches for the healing cultural elements in the dreams of the African diaspora. Dreams have always been important in traditional African cultures. In Zimbabwe, the...

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More Episodes

The question of whether, when, and what psychoactive medications may be helpful is both big and ambiguous. Mental distress has always been strongly influenced by cultural filters and subjective perceptions. Whereas a person might once have sought to placate a god, sufferers today may turn to medical management rather than mining their psychological symptoms for meaning. In his autobiography Jung describes his years of mental turmoil—and that they became “the prima materia for a lifetime’s work”; his Red Book documents his encounters with the unconscious in compelling and artistic detail. There is much evidence of the potential suffering holds for self-awareness and psychological depth – and it is also important to acknowledge that judicious use of today’s medications can relieve unnecessary or pointless suffering. No matter where on the spectrum of severity emotional illness may lie, psychotherapy, medication, lifestyle, and relationships can all play a role in recovery and growth.

Dream
“I am walking toward a large concrete structure with an unbelievably fit, handsome and powerful man. He appears to be my friend although I am envious of his physical attributes. We climb into a small passage that leads to a clearing in which undulating hills descend into a body of fast-moving water. I am immediately struck that there is a goal or intention to swim across this water and scale a flat concrete wall which is about 100 feet up, facing us across the body of water. My companion says, “I've got this,” and “I do things like this all the time.” He jumps in the water at the exact moment I become aware of holes in the wall which then begin to fire cannonballs. I rush back to where we began to avoid the cannon barrage, but also (it seems) to “watch” the negotiation of the obstacle. I am now with another man who is soft and slightly overweight. I ask him where the best place to watch this endeavor is and he leads me up a stairwell to a room that contains two old CR TVs. One is large and a smaller one is on top of the larger. The room has a greenish-yellow carpet and it looks very much like the late ’70s or early ’80s. I feel sorry for the man because in that moment I realize this is all he can afford. Next, I am struck with an awareness that the fit man has successfully completed his endeavor – although I did not see it happen. I then become aware that the room adjacent to the one I am in is filled with two groups of women. The first group are sitting at a table conducting what appears to be an executive meeting. The second group are on the floor engaging in a yoga class. My wife is among the women doing yoga and her cousin is among the executives. I suddenly am struck by the realization that I am only wearing a t-shirt and I’m naked from the waist down, and I fear they will discover this.”

 

References
Hillman, James. The Myth of Analysis (Amazon).
Whitaker, Robert. Anatomy of an Epidemic (Amazon).
Perry, John. The Far Side of Madness
Lingiardi & McWilliams. Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual, Second Edition
Jung, C.G. The Red Book.