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Episode 095- TRIGGERED: Understanding & Transforming Complexes

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 01/23/2020

Episode 220 - Can We Consider Abortion? show art Episode 220 - Can We Consider Abortion?

This Jungian Life

The word consider derives from Latin considerare, “to look at closely, observe.” Con means “with, together,” and sidus refers to “heavenly body, star constellation.” Observing the marvel of the stars with another is very different from engaging in conflict, “to contend, fight, or struggle.” Conflict summons rigid polarities: for or against, right or wrong, and winning or losing. Significant issues like abortion test our ability to tolerate ambiguity and anxiety without activating the polarizing defenses of judging, moralizing, or demonizing the other. Pregnancy, the archetype...

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Episode 219 - Archetypal Aspects of School show art Episode 219 - Archetypal Aspects of School

This Jungian Life

Schools have existed across cultures and throughout time; the knowledge they transmit leads us out of childhood, shapes our values and world view, and grooms us for citizenship. Schools help us build ego strength and adapt to cultural norms, the goal of the first half of life and the first stage of individuation. School experiences also wound us, as Jung recalled in his memoir. Collective schooling instills the uniformity needed for a cohesive culture, but individual uniqueness may be lost. Individualized education—including home life--can enhance personal uniqueness or compensate for...

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Episode 218 - Dream Incubation with Machiel Klerk show art Episode 218 - Dream Incubation with Machiel Klerk

This Jungian Life

Guest Machiel Klerk has worked with dreams and healing traditions worldwide; his new book is Dream Guidance: Connection to the Soul through Dream Incubation. Religions, shamanic practices, and depth psychology have recognized the significance of dreams and sought their aid. Dreams open into a deeply intelligent source Jung called the two-million-year-old man. This inner companion is interested in our development and life purpose, and he transports us nightly to worlds of vivid images, fulsome feeling, and embodied experience. Dream incubation invites these encounters into consciousness through...

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Episode 217 - DEATH: A Jungian Perspective show art Episode 217 - DEATH: A Jungian Perspective

This Jungian Life

Awareness of death can help us create an intentional life—one that serves the movement of soul toward wholeness. Jung realized that although we experience death as “a fearful piece of brutality,” the unconscious images death as celebration. On a night train, after his mother died, Jung reported that “during the entire journey I continually heard dance music, laughter, and jollity, as though a wedding were being celebrated.” Our limited capacities and the conditions of earthly life preclude certainty about life after death, but Jung’s recognition of universal mythic patterns led to...

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Episode 216 - Hans Christian Andersen: Persona & Personhood show art Episode 216 - Hans Christian Andersen: Persona & Personhood

This Jungian Life

While many of Hans Christian Andersen’s 19th-century stories have moralizing motifs, their universality and depth places them among ageless fairy tales. Although The Princess and the Pea and The Emperor’s New Clothes are social satire, they also depict psychic dynamics. A young prince searches but cannot find a mate—until a princess arrives one stormy night, soaking wet and mind-blowingly over-sensitive. Do opposites attract, or are they only contrasting representations of superficiality and entitlement? Andersen’s pen next delivers the famous emperor an even more pointed jab: a child,...

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Episode215 - POISON: Toxic or Transformative? show art Episode215 - POISON: Toxic or Transformative?

This Jungian Life

Pharmakon, the ancient Greek word for drug, can mean both “remedy” and “poison.” There is a close connection between poison and cure. Poison is stealthy, and takes us by surprise, whether through an unseen snake’s venomous bite or a ripe apple’s alluring disguise. Psychological poison glides past our defenses, pervades our being, and wounds us where we are most vulnerable. We participate in our poisoning through our own unknowing, from toxic cognitions and rigid fixations to self-doubt and self-sabotage. Poison can transform us by stinging us into building the immunity of increased...

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Episode 214 - HOMESICKNESS: Longing & Belonging show art Episode 214 - HOMESICKNESS: Longing & Belonging

This Jungian Life

From Homer’s Odyssey to the Wizard of Oz our native soil draws us home, whether home is a small Greek island or a simple Kansas farm. The soul has a natural longing to return to the place of its beginning and belonging. Home is a state of safety and changelessness; it is our foundational experience of original completeness, containment and care. As we mourn the loss of the familiar and face the unknown, homesickness generates neural activity similar to physical pain. Its underlying intent is to spur us into detaching from the familiar and investing in the foreign. Homesickness asks that we...

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Episode 213 - VOCATION: Answering the Call show art Episode 213 - VOCATION: Answering the Call

This Jungian Life

Vocation, once associated with serving God through service to others, is now most strongly associated with a career having personal worth. Vocation spans a range of needs and values:  commitment to making ends meet, striving for material rewards and social status, or the more internal satisfaction of research, helping others, and artistic expression. Freud considered love and work the cornerstones of our humanness, and Jung said, “In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.” A discernment process...

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Episode 212 - THE PRODIGAL SON as Shadow, Ego & the Self show art Episode 212 - THE PRODIGAL SON as Shadow, Ego & the Self

This Jungian Life

Jung interpreted religious traditions from the viewpoint of their psychological significance. The allegorical tale of the Prodigal Son illustrates Jung’s basic understanding of the structure and development of the psyche. The young prodigal epitomizes shadow qualities of ignorance, arrogance, and impetuousness. His dissolute indulgences show a lack of ego strength and land him in a pigsty. Repentant, he returns to his father’s estate, hoping for servant work. Instead, his father celebrates his homecoming. At this joyful reception, the older brother is aghast; he has been dutiful yet never...

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SHADOWLAND: DETRANSITION – THE STORY OF BETH show art SHADOWLAND: DETRANSITION – THE STORY OF BETH

This Jungian Life

Beth underwent gender transition from natal female to trans male and has since de-transitioned. In her early teens, Beth felt she was not like other women and began to question her gender. She saw people who were nonconforming, but although she adopted a non-binary identity in college, people still saw her as a woman. Beth became drawn to a masculine identity and associated transitioning gender with empowerment: she would be free from the perceived social constraints and physical vulnerabilities of womanhood. Beth’s parents, the therapist she saw a few times, and the surgeon all affirmed her...

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When we speak of being triggered, what exactly is it that sends us into a familiar  arc of feeling and behavior we may later regret? That mysterious force seems external and can elude our ability to locate it within. Jung called these autonomous and unconscious incursions complexes, and he discovered them through his Word Association Test.

A subject’s delayed or inappropriate reaction to a stimulus word such as tree or house indicated an unconscious disturbance that could then yield to understanding. Complexes are a fundamental part of our inner landscape: our experiences cluster around innate human patterns, emotions, bodily sensations, and personal memories.

We are complexed when we are automatically, emotionally and physiologically aroused, often in ways that are out of proportion to the situation. We begin to transform a complex by noticing, naming, and claiming it as our own. Then we can catch it before we react—and instead, respond. Complexes are constellated, clustered together like stars—and they can shine their light on our unconscious patterns. 

 Dream

"I am going to become the next queen of England. But first, I had to clean a lot of food and trash from an audience seating area (like stands at a sports arena). I asked the Queen if I was making a mistake by becoming the next queen. She said yes, and that I will have no time to give to my own children (once I have them). A young male adviser to the Queen was assisting her and helping to set everything up for the transition. On a break from cleaning, I went down to a craft fair and visited some old ladies and talked to them about the beautiful art they made. My grandmother was there, trying to print a photograph I took of a Legislature building. I returned to my task and at 6:00 PM, I made my way to sit on the right arm of the Queen's chair, ready for the ceremony."