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Episode 108 - Authority: Who’s in Charge Around Here?

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 04/23/2020

Episode 241 - GAMES: a metaphor for life show art Episode 241 - GAMES: a metaphor for life

This Jungian Life

Humans have played games since prehistoric times. Games bring us together and pit us against each other. We agree to rules, take turns, develop tolerance for frustration, and learn to win and lose. We develop skills and submit to chance. Games range from luck to skill, from a throw of the dice to acing it at tennis. Games regulate aggression: only one can win, whether on a gameboard or the court. Shadow is sanctioned within the rules, creating monikers like The Black Death of chess and Boss of the Moss of golf—and in the heat of a game, shadier traits may also be revealed. But “playing...

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Episode 240 - STAY-AT-HOME DADS: Emerging Potentials in the Father Archetype show art Episode 240 - STAY-AT-HOME DADS: Emerging Potentials in the Father Archetype

This Jungian Life

As our bonds to historic roles loosen, fathers are finding new ways to express themselves within the family dynamic. In 2014 Pew Research Center identified two million stay-at-home-dads in the United States. Those men tell us that tending their children is more rewarding than chasing a paycheck. Being liberated from the hunter-gatherer role has allowed more men to incarnate aspects of the Father archetype infrequently seen since the industrial revolution. Being caregiver and homecreator does not diminish their experience of masculinity but rallies inner resources that had been set aside....

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Episode 239 - SEWING: Stitching a Life Together show art Episode 239 - SEWING: Stitching a Life Together

This Jungian Life

Humans moved from stitching animal hides to sewing cloth, from necessity to fashion, and from handwork to factory. To sew is to repair, alter, and create. If a rip or tear is sewn unthinkingly, the garment will be too tight or unsightly. Alterations have limitations, and uncut cloth is the prima materia for the alchemy of construction. Sewing requires dexterity, knowledge, and judgment. Sewing transforms parts into wholes— meticulous stitches render possibility into product, and scraps store memories in the pattern of a quilt. We hold the opposites of design and detail with attention and...

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Episode 238 - Matthew Quick on Jung, heartbreak, and healing in his new novel We Are the Light. show art Episode 238 - Matthew Quick on Jung, heartbreak, and healing in his new novel We Are the Light.

This Jungian Life

Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook, shares himself and his new book, We Are the Light. Writer’s block led Quick to This Jungian Life podcast, analysis, and letter writing as a literary device. Letters free us even as the privacy of the page dares us to reveal ourselves, risk intimacy, and express our longing to be received. Lucas, the main character, rediscovers himself through faithful letters to his former Jungian analyst after a movie theater shooting takes 18 lives, including his wife’s. Fragile, valiant, and humorously naive, Lucas Goodgame plays the game of life...

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Episode 237 - Zombies: a call to consciousness show art Episode 237 - Zombies: a call to consciousness

This Jungian Life

Zombies have recently risen from mythological depths to menace modern-day culture. Zombies image the horror of vulnerability to dehumanized existence. They exist in a meaningless void marked only by insatiable appetite; they are our collective’s pathological shadow. The undead alarm us--and can also awaken us. We are summoned to contend with dark and deadening powers through vigilance, consciousness, and action. Jung says, “If you will contemplate your lack of…inspiration and inner aliveness, which you feel as sheer stagnation and a barren wilderness, and impregnate it with the interest...

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Episode 236 - The Problem with Problems: solve or avoid? show art Episode 236 - The Problem with Problems: solve or avoid?

This Jungian Life

Problems can pester, persist and plague. They range from short-lived to chronic, bothersome to heart-wrenching, resolvable to unalterable. Problems cause what Jungian analyst and author James Hollis refers to as the three As: ambiguity, ambivalence, and anxiety. Ambiguity arises when a problem is complex and confusing, demanding action without certainty. Ambivalence is a state of conflicted feelings, often related to immediate versus long-term gratification. Anxiety is worry and doubt about whether we can meet a challenge or achieve a desired outcome. Problems confront us with a basic choice:...

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Episode 235 - OCD: The Distress of Repression show art Episode 235 - OCD: The Distress of Repression

This Jungian Life

Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts; compulsions are unwarranted, involuntary behaviors. Though different, they often go together, for compulsions pose as protection from the imagined bad consequences of obsessions. They tend to escalate, demanding more time and attention: spontaneity is sacrificed to schedule, desire surrenders to compliance, and aliveness is stifled by stiffness. OCD’s insistence on “rightness” attempts to deny feelings, especially anger, neediness, and desire, displacing them onto rigid exercise routines, midnight phone scrolling, finicky dietary convictions,...

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Episode 234 - CREATION AND DESTRUCTION: Archetype of the Volcano show art Episode 234 - CREATION AND DESTRUCTION: Archetype of the Volcano

This Jungian Life

Volcanoes appear in our myths, movies, and dreams. Their awesome destructive power fascinates us and serves as a reminder that we are not in control of nature’s primordial forces. Offering access to the earth’s molten core, volcanoes have been believed to be the entryway to the underworld or Hell. The Greeks believed that the fiery bursts from volcanoes were the sparks flying from Hephaestus’ forge, thus underscoring the creative aspect of volcanoes – Hephaestus created items of incredible beauty and power in his underground workshop. Volcanoes create new rocks and new land mass. Their...

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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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The dictionary defines authority as the power to “influence or command thought, opinion or behavior.” Authority’s Latin roots are master, leader, author—thus it lives next to its tough cousin, power. Families, organizations, and governing bodies influence and command us, whether slightly or mightily. Authority has legitimacy, from a traffic officer’s directives to a mentor’s wisdom.

An authority may reward desired behavior or provide expert advice. We can rebel against authority, be coerced into compliance, or fall into identification with a leader. Ultimately, we must claim our own authority in determining values and making decisions. Jung says, “Life calls us forth to independence, and anyone who does not heed this call because of childish laziness or timidity is threatened with neurosis. And once this has broken out, it becomes an increasingly valid reason for running away from life and remaining forever in the morally poisonous atmosphere of infancy.”

Dream

There is a viral outbreak. I'm in a car pulling out into the street. I see a lot of police cars parked to monitor traffic. I'm pulled over by the police and taken to a medical facility for testing. The police officer gets tested first by a shot in the arm and then I'm taken downstairs for a "cheaper, less reliable test for the virus." This seems stupid and vindictive.

My perspective shifts to a news flash vignette showing how amidst the pandemic, young men have regressed into grotesque testicular forms who engage in tribal rituals of dysfunctional, impractical sex, chanting "me to me" or "us to us" like in the sex scene in the film Requiem for a Dream. Very dark and disturbing. The global birth rate is plummeting. From elsewhere on the planet a "pure as the driven snow" baby girl is born and mankind is redeemed.

References:

Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind (Amazon).