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Episode 114 - Riots: When the Collective Catches Fire

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 06/04/2020

Episode 242 – MELANCHOLY: the exquisite ache of life show art Episode 242 – MELANCHOLY: the exquisite ache of life

This Jungian Life

Melancholy evokes images of poets and artists for whom suffering and giftedness go hand in hand. Creative ability as compensation for affliction is depicted in Greek myth by the god Hephaestus. Rejected by his goddess mother and cast out of Olympus, alienated Hephaestus forged magnificent, magical objects for the gods. Such archetypal imagery can inform our understanding of the kind of depression that seems intrinsic but may have roots in early, adverse childhood experiences of emotional deprivation or rejection. Early loss, separation from a primary caregiver, or relational abandonment can...

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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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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.

Early Norse warriors attained battle-crazed states as "berserkers," and Cu Chulainn, a mythological Irish warrior, killed both friends and foe. Eris, the Greek goddess of discord and strife, started the Trojan War, and Kali, a Hindu god whose name derives from suffer, hurt, startle and confuse, also incited war. Riots--contagious states of regressive possession--belong to this archetypal realm. Jung said “collective man threatens to stifle the individual man, on whose sense of responsibility everything valuable in mankind ultimately depends…the true leaders of mankind are always those who are capable of self-reflection.”

 

Dream

I was in a forest next to a fortress wall. A little boy appeared with a cotton hood over his head that covered his face. The child was riding a white pony. I could see his blue eyes through slits in the hood. They looked sideways. I don't know if the child saw me, but he felt I was there because he clung to me. I hugged him and the pony with great love and tenderness. The child needed my love and protection. At that moment, a man in green clothes and armor approached me. Without being aggressive, he told me that I had to leave the child who was the king's son and had his own guard. The man kindly invited me to go with him. I was divided in my feelings. I felt great love for the child, but I also felt guilt that I was breaking some high rules I didn't understand.

I followed the man, who was now dressed in a long red robe and looked like a royal nobleman. I was walking about 10 meters after him. We went around the fortress and took the streets of the city. We walked for a long time. He entered a building, I followed him at a distance. When I entered the building, I heard his voice from below, he was walking down the stone stairs. He told me to pass him a big black hook on a chain. I obeyed unquestioningly and handed him the hook. At that moment, for the first time, I doubted the man and his intentions. Horrified, I realized that, guided by my guilt, I was following a torturer who made his prey prepare their own torments.

I realized that I had to do something right away and I regretted that I had not felt the threat before, when I could easily escape, because moving away after him, we were often in different places - for example, he had already entered the entrance, and I was still walking down the street. All I had to do was rush back up the stairs before entering his dungeon. I woke up in horror.

 

References:

Donald Kalsched. The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit. (Amazon)

Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Women Who Run with the Wolves (Amazon).