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Episode 112 - Midlife Crisis: Renewal or Stagnation

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 05/21/2020

Episode 130 - Sacred Symptoms: How the Numinous Heals show art Episode 130 - Sacred Symptoms: How the Numinous Heals

This Jungian Life

Jung states “the main interest of my work is not concerned with the treatment of neurosis but rather with the approach to the numinous…the real therapy. In as much as you attain to the numinous experiences you are released from the curse of pathology.” Jung defines numinous as “a dynamic agency or effect not caused by an arbitrary act of will” that conveys a mysterious yet deeply meaningful message.

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Episode 129 - At Home in Our Bodies: Incarnation & Individuation show art Episode 129 - At Home in Our Bodies: Incarnation & Individuation

This Jungian Life

Jung teaches that soul and spirit have a home in a living body, the font of psyche’s images and means of their incarnation in the world. Embodiment is the ground of being, and engaging the tension between instinct and archetype shapes consciousness and character. Jung identified five instincts: creativity, movement, sexuality/eros, hunger in its many manifestations, and the ability to reflect and make meaning.

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Episode 128: Intuition: Non-Rational Knowing show art Episode 128: Intuition: Non-Rational Knowing

This Jungian Life

We all have intuitive experiences, from an occasional hunch to powerful gut feelings. Unconscious intelligence is a storehouse of instincts and wisdoms humankind has accumulated over millennia. We would be lost without intuition and give importance to warnings and inspirations that saved or made the day.

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Episode 127 - Seeking Certainty: The Seduction of Conspiracy Theories show art Episode 127 - Seeking Certainty: The Seduction of Conspiracy Theories

This Jungian Life

In times of uncertainty truth is hard to discern, collective cohesion frays, and social factions become embattled. Unmediated shadow then seeks expression through the archetypal realm and takes on extra-ordinary attributes. Persecutory mythologies arise, for big psychic situations need big stories to compensate for big feelings of anxiety, powerlessness, and marginalization.

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Episode 126 - The Money Complex: Incarnating Our Dreams show art Episode 126 - The Money Complex: Incarnating Our Dreams

This Jungian Life

Money reflects our shadows and strengths as much as our bank accounts. Like Hermes, money traverses the realms from Hades to Heaven--money can be a matter of survival, and money can turn dreams into realities. Because money represents value we can acquire, exchange, and store, it can become conflated with our value as persons.

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Episode 125 - The Provisional Life: Redeeming the Real show art Episode 125 - The Provisional Life: Redeeming the Real

This Jungian Life

The provisional life might be defined as a vague malaise: current relationships, work, and lifestyle feel like placeholders until the ‘real thing’ arrives—someday. If early life circumstances made over-conforming to others’ needs and expectations necessary, persona can be over-developed and shadow denied.

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Episode 124 - Pets: A Lived Relationship with Soul show art Episode 124 - Pets: A Lived Relationship with Soul

This Jungian Life

When far from life in the wild, relationships with animals are often through pets. We find kinship and difference in our friends of very foreign origin. Pets let us be tender, elicit nurturing, and help heal trauma through secure attachment. Our creatures keep our secrets. They accept our lapses and shadows. They invite us to play and appear in our dreams--and when they are gone, we mourn.

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Episode 123 - Every Hero’s Journey show art Episode 123 - Every Hero’s Journey

This Jungian Life

The hero’s journey has been the stuff of story from earliest times. Today’s popular heroes include Harry Potter, Frodo, Spiderman, Neo, and Luke Skywalker. They are all ordinary guys who suddenly receive the Call to Adventure, mythologist Joseph Campbell’s term for the beginning of the journey.

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Episode 122 - COVERED: An Archetypal Take on the COVID Mask show art Episode 122 - COVERED: An Archetypal Take on the COVID Mask

This Jungian Life

Masks are the symbol of COVID life, and they have archetypal roots as old as humankind. We ward off evil microbial forces with bandanas, neck gaiters, patterned fabrics, and high filtration medical masks. Masks provide access to our shape-shifting potential, connect us to our instinctual depths, mediate our relationship to the spirits, and open a portal to the mythic realm of story and drama.

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Episode 121 - Not Alone: Finding the Inner Companion show art Episode 121 - Not Alone: Finding the Inner Companion

This Jungian Life

The companion has a beloved place in our hearts. Famed modern-day teammates include Captain Kirk and Spock, Frodo and Samwise, Batman and Robin, and Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The companion serves and supports the hero, contributing quieter gifts of guidance, capability, and devotion.

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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 midpoint is psyche’s signal to attend to unlived inner life. It is time for meaningful encounter between ego and unconscious, worldly rewards and true fulfillment, obligation and freedom. Midlife crisis is a call to deepened feeling and the unique meaning of your life.  

 

 

Dream

 

I am walking with a group of my "clients" (developmentally disabled people). I have to work to keep the group together as some straggle here and there. I'm responsible for their well being so onward we go. I look on the ground/sidewalk and see a small round brown object which looks like a tree nut. I pick it up and upon closer inspection realize that it is of animal nature rather than plant - and alive. As I hold it in the palm of my hand, it morphs into a tiny creature, tinier than my pinky finger. I can't just leave it there so I slip it into my pocket and keep walking, trying to keep my rag-tag group together. 

 

After a while I look into my pocket to check on it and it has grown some and looks a bit like a fetal kitten. It looks unwell and I think it might not live. We continue to walk. The third time I look into my pocket, the creature has turned into a baby bird with black, red, and white feathers. The bird is in tremendous suffering with its stomach cut open and a look of horror, pain and grief on it's face. I feel these emotions too and think, "Oh no! It's going to die.” I keep it in my pocket and try to soothe it, but still we keep on walking. 

 

Toward the end of our escapade, I look into my pocket a fourth time. This time the bird is fully grown and leaps out, startling me. Now the bird is pure white, luminous with three round feathers on slim stalks atop its head. Among its body feathers are multicolored zinnia flowers sprouting along with the feathers. It hops into a landscape planter along the sidewalk and establishes itself amid the vegetation. 

 

I back away in shock, completely amazed. I pull out my cell phone to try to take a picture of it but can't because a survey keeps popping up on the screen of my phone, preventing me from using the camera. I curse and search my bag for another phone and finally do manage to snap a pic, but I still don't know what to make of it.