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Episode 105 - Ancestors: Our Psychological Inheritance

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 04/02/2020

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 archetype of origins is in resurgence since the advent of ancestry-mapping programs. What are the psychological and symbolic meanings of ancestry? Identity is often strongly linked to ancestry in its ethnic and cultural aspects, and as the carrier of personal traits.

Genealogy gives rise to meaning-making narratives such as: I get my talent for storytelling from my Irish forebears. Jung knew that family complexes are handed down when he said, “Psychologically, the central point of a human personality is the place where the ancestors are reincarnated.” Genograms, another mapping technique, allow us to trace those intellectual and emotional family patterns.

Every individual rests on a historical foundation of family, tribe, clan, and nation—and, at levels below consciousness, we are also affected by our common roots in the primeval past and the mysterious central fire of life. In order to differentiate from this multi-layered context, it can help to know it.

 

Dream

I was in a quaint English village. Next to the village ran a river, and on the other side of this river were fields. A traditional Cotswold stone bridge joined both sides of this river. Suddenly, I seemed to be competing in some sort of local race. I was competing in this race against 2 friends/girls (unknown to me). I remember pushing myself past one of the girls to place first in this race.

I remember feeling a little self-conscious of the fact that I had not let this friend of mine win, and hoped that she didn't think I was being a "dick". The race centered and finished around the bridge joining both sides of the river. As I stood on this bridge and looked down at the river, I noticed a dog (possibly a Springer Spaniel) was drowning. I felt a strong urge to save this dog, and felt sad that it was in such distress.

As I looked on in horror I noticed some netting was beginning to cover the surface of the river (a bit like when you cover a pond or swimming pool). I knew at that point the dog was going to die, as it could no longer come up for air. I could hear sirens in the distance, which seemed to indicate both the possibility of help and danger in the form of police sirens (something/someone coming to reprimand me). It was forbidden to jump in the river but I did it anyway. I pulled the dog out of the river, at which point I noticed it had morphed into a Seal.

I began to care for this Seal, and in doing so, it again morphed in to a small, podgy young boy. I held the young boy in my arms, and I told myself, "I'd do it all again despite the potential danger". I was relieved I had saved the dog - seal - young boy. There was a sense of heroic accomplishment.

References:

Monica McGoldrick: source of multiple books on genograms (Amazon).