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Episode 107 - Nigredo: Finding Light in Our Darkness

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 04/16/2020

Episode 119 - The Religious Attitude: What Do You Worship? show art Episode 119 - The Religious Attitude: What Do You Worship?

This Jungian Life

The religious instinct is as basic as the need for food or shelter. Psyche seeks and selects a central, organizing life principle whether consciously or unconsciously chosen. Secular deities range from food, money, or even science, to the gods of addiction; false gods lie behind neuroses and pathology. Traditional religions and cosmologies offer connection to large, well-ordered frameworks of myth and meaning.

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Episode 118 - Dissociation: Encountering Our Inner Exile show art Episode 118 - Dissociation: Encountering Our Inner Exile

This Jungian Life

Jung discovered the psyche’s dissociative nature through his Word Association Test. Subjects would delay or make nonsensical responses to ordinary words associated with troublesome personal memories or traumas.

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Episode 117 - The Transcendent Function: Getting Unstuck show art Episode 117 - The Transcendent Function: Getting Unstuck

This Jungian Life

The transcendent function comes in all sizes, from “aha” moments to epiphanies. A new orientation to a dilemma arrives unthought, recognized, and right. Perhaps there is a moment where loneliness gives way to solitude, or heartbreak yields to a larger sense of self. Apprehension of a new attitude--sunlight breaking through clouds--has overcome the impasse, bringing freshness, spaciousness and possibility.

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Episode 116 - Finding Resilience: A Conversation with Jim Hollis show art Episode 116 - Finding Resilience: A Conversation with Jim Hollis

This Jungian Life

James Hollis, noted Jungian scholar, teacher and author, joined us to discuss resilience. His new book, Living Between Worlds: Finding Personal Resilience in Changing Times, will be available on Amazon in mid-June.

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Episode 115 - We Can’t Breathe: Facing the Pain of Racism show art Episode 115 - We Can’t Breathe: Facing the Pain of Racism

This Jungian Life

Racial injustice takes one’s breath away. It reaches back to the psychic asphyxiations of the Middle Passage, slavery, and Jim Crow—cut-offs from home, family, freedom and justice. Racism persists in systemic inequities and ongoing instances of police violence.

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Bonus Episode - On Becoming a Jungian Analyst show art Bonus Episode - On Becoming a Jungian Analyst

This Jungian Life

Many listeners have expressed interest in Jungian analytic training. We welcome those inquiries and outline the prerequisites, practicalities and processes which lead up to and constitute Jungian analytic training--a life path of ongoing growth, challenge and satisfaction.

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Episode 114 - Riots: When the Collective Catches Fire show art Episode 114 - Riots: When the Collective Catches Fire

This Jungian Life

How can we understand the psychological wild fire of rioting? Jung, who lived through two world wars, understood that mass movements had the power to manifest archetypal energy. The urge to unleash destructive chaos is depicted in mythologies around the world.

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Episode 113 - Lockdown: Decoding the Covid Complex show art Episode 113 - Lockdown: Decoding the Covid Complex

This Jungian Life

Oppressed, repressed and regressed, the forced restrictions of the Covid Complex have us in its grip. We may see friends and family more often than ever, but only on a screen. Work, school, home, weekdays, weekends—time and tasks slide around like Jello on a hot plate. Loss of structure, variety, movement and touch are destabilizing. Confined to tight physical and emotional spaces, we may collapse into ourselves or lash out at loved ones. We hear contradictory messages on the news and go outside only if masked and defended. The Covid Complex is both personal and collective—it affects each...

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Episode 112 - Midlife Crisis: Renewal or Stagnation show art Episode 112 - Midlife Crisis: Renewal or Stagnation

This Jungian Life

Jung was particularly interested in the second half of life, perhaps because after his own midlife crisis he found himself so surprisingly generative. We tend to spend the first half of life oriented to familial values and cultural norms for success.    Education, work, partnering and child rearing are some of the mile markers for speed and distance on the road of life—until midlife strikes. We may then discover that worldly successes feel flat, or blame discontent on bad breaks.    Although dramatic lifestyle changes at midlife are the stuff of story, malaise at the...

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Episode 111 - Jung, UFOs & Aliens: The Truth is Out There show art Episode 111 - Jung, UFOs & Aliens: The Truth is Out There

This Jungian Life

The Pentagon recently released a film of a UFO made by Navy pilots. Although such credible documentation is new, UFO sightings go back to ancient times and surged after World War II. 

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The alchemical term nigredo means black or blackening, and is associated with decomposition and putrefaction. As a psychological state, nigredo is “the great suffering and grief” which the detached forces of nature inflict on the soul.

We realize in sorrow that what we thought were truths were illusory. Individuals may have taken pride in their virtues, talents or good fortune; societies may have touted their cultural superiority, military prowess, or wealth. When we are stripped of easy beliefs, we have no defense against the desolation of nigredo.

But as surely as a seed releases its urge to life underground, blackness is also a place of incubation. Jung states, “Everything psychic is pregnant with the future.” Our task is “to be at home in the darkness of suffering and there find germs of light and recovery” from which new life will come.

 

Dream

I was arriving to a commotion in a beautiful open-space garden beside the university building where I graduated. As I was approaching the crowd, I wondered who it was that everyone were so excited about. I was carrying a sort of notebook and was wearing a sort of girly school outfit that indicated that I was a student again.

I was surprised to see a slender gay man who was topless and with a floral headpiece dancing in a circular motion or like he was just so free and flowing and everyone was hoping he would notice them. He was dancing backed up by 3-4 women with floral crowns and white flow-y gowns. He was just so fluid and beautiful. Then he looked at me. And I knew he liked me. When his dance was finished and everybody had left, he came to me and said hi. And then, we kissed. It was a deep and profound kiss; I have never been kissed that way.

With our tongues doing the talking, we communicated to each other. He told me, 'Why are you so sad?' I said I was afraid. Then I woke seeing my sleeping baby beside me.

 

Reference

Edinger, Edward. Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy (Amazon).