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Episode 61 - Individuation

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 05/30/2019

ROBERT HOPCKE: Did Jung understand gay identity? show art ROBERT HOPCKE: Did Jung understand gay identity?

This Jungian Life

Can Jungian psychology shed light on the archetypal forces shaping gay identity?" Our guest, Robert Hopcke, examines how Jung and Jungians have regarded homosexuality both clinically and theoretically, demonstrating that within a great diversity of opinion, there exist many ways to deepen an understanding of the lives and loves of gay men and lesbians. Hopcke proposes a view of homosexuality that is archetypally based, empirically supportable, psychologically profound, and spiritually evocative. Jungian psychology has a fresh take on integrating the shadow and the individuation process for...

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THE VITAL SPARK: Reclaim Your Outlaw Energies and Find Your Feminine Fire. show art THE VITAL SPARK: Reclaim Your Outlaw Energies and Find Your Feminine Fire.

This Jungian Life

 Deep in each of us, a Vital Spark fights to free us and set us back on the path.  Lisa, Joe, and Deb were joined by more than 300 audience members for their first-ever live podcast to celebrate the launch of Lisa's new book, The Vital Spark: Reclaim Your Outlaw Energies and Find Your Feminine Fire.  The "Vital Spark" is the core essence of our innermost fiery qualities—creative aggression, fiery sexuality, emboldened disagreeableness, sharp-witted trickery, burning desire, clearsighted shrewdness, empowering anger, and bold authority—that fuel creativity, assertiveness,...

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UNREQUITED LOVE: Can Eros be revived? show art UNREQUITED LOVE: Can Eros be revived?

This Jungian Life

When we offer our heart and it is refused, even the gods become angry.  One day long, long ago, Aphrodite was a new mother. Her son, Eros, was the living symbol of her endless passion for his father, Aries. Despite her divine gifts, Eros failed to thrive. Desperate, she brought the goblet to the ancient mother, Themis, who knew the boy was dying at once. Aphrodite was instructed to bear a second child who, when presented to Eros, would cure him. Dutifully, she lay with Aries and begot a second son. She brought them close and was astonished to see her new son leap toward Eros, who met him...

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THE LAST AWAKENING: Death Anxiety and Its Role in Psychological Transformation show art THE LAST AWAKENING: Death Anxiety and Its Role in Psychological Transformation

This Jungian Life

How do the varied human experiences, beliefs, and practices related to death and dying illuminate our understanding of life's meaning and help us face the end of life with peace and a spirit of adventure? The death instinct (Thanatos) and the life instinct (Eros) symbolize the internal conflict between self-destructive urges and desires for creation, reflecting the psychological struggle with mortality. Religious traditions across the globe, from Buddhism's focus on impermanence to Christianity's belief in eternal life, offer diverse approaches to mitigating the fear of death, demonstrating...

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SPEAKING TRUTH: Is it Venom or a Cure? show art SPEAKING TRUTH: Is it Venom or a Cure?

This Jungian Life

How do we navigate the complex interplay between personal truths, societal norms, and psychological well-being to foster individual growth and societal progress? We examine the multifaceted nature of Truth and its impact on individuals and communities. We touch on the challenges of speaking Truth to power, the psychological dynamics of scapegoating and being disbelieved, the role of psychotherapy in uncovering and dealing with personal truths, and the significance of narrative and perception in shaping our understanding of reality. We underscore the importance of discerning and integrating...

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Promethean Inflation: Will our creations destroy us? show art Promethean Inflation: Will our creations destroy us?

This Jungian Life

Are we inadvertently summoning forces beyond our control in our relentless pursuit of innovation and progress? Can we harness the power of our creations without unleashing terrible consequences upon ourselves and our world?  Prometheus and his brother, Epimetheus, were tasked by Zeus with fashioning all living creatures. They granted animals remarkable abilities - feathers for flight, claws, fangs for hunting, tails for balance, and gills to breath underwater. When it came to humans, they had no gifts left. Still, Prometheus loved his human creations and daringly stole fire from Olympus...

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Kelly Bulkeley: Is Dreaming the Source of Spirituality? show art Kelly Bulkeley: Is Dreaming the Source of Spirituality?

This Jungian Life

How do dreams influence and reflect our spiritual beliefs and experiences across different cultures and historical periods, and what does scientific research reveal about this relationship? Kelly Bulkeley, PhD, is a global expert on dreaming and the psychology of religion.  We explore his latest book "The Spirituality of Dreaming: Unlocking the Wisdom of Our Sleeping Selves." Dreams universally function as essential gateways to spiritual understanding, a truth echoed across cultures and eras. Modern sleep and dream research confront and expand upon the traditional views revealing a more...

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DIVORCE: How can heartbreak lead to transformation? show art DIVORCE: How can heartbreak lead to transformation?

This Jungian Life

How does the experience of divorce lead to personal transformation and self-discovery? The journey of divorce is emblematic of a profound personal transformation, often unveiling the paradoxical nature of human relationships where deep trust and love coexist with the potential for betrayal and disillusionment, reflecting the intrinsic human struggle between connection and individuality. This individuation process during and after divorce constellates a metamorphosis, where confronting the shadows of a broken relationship becomes a gateway to self-discovery, self-acceptance, and a deeper...

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Three Jungians on Psychedelics: Is Tripping a Valid Path of Self-Discovery? show art Three Jungians on Psychedelics: Is Tripping a Valid Path of Self-Discovery?

This Jungian Life

How can combining psychedelics and Jungian psychology enhance our understanding of psyche? Psychedelics may help us access deep layers of the unconscious, revealing aspects of psyche that are often inaccessible through traditional psychoanalytic methods alone. Jungian analysis, with its focus on archetypes and the collective unconscious, provides a framework for interpreting and integrating the complex, symbolic experiences often encountered in psychedelic states. The combination of psychedelics and analysis could facilitate a more profound and holistic healing process, addressing not only...

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FANNY BREWSTER: How can dreams bridge us to ancestors? show art FANNY BREWSTER: How can dreams bridge us to ancestors?

This Jungian Life

Jung's concept of the collective unconscious emphasized the universal psychological substrate common to all humans. While he acknowledged the effects of the cultural unconscious, his work, at times, fell into the trap of perpetuating oversimplified and racially prejudiced stereotypes. Jung's writings that refer to Africanist peoples, in particular, suffer from offensive assumptions. Dr. Fanny Brewster, Jungian analyst and author, searches for the healing cultural elements in the dreams of the African diaspora. Dreams have always been important in traditional African cultures. In Zimbabwe, the...

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More Episodes

Individuation, the central concept of Jung’s psychology, is the foundational image and aspiration of Jungian psychoanalysis – and life. It is the theme of many a fairy tale, the sought-for treasure of a quest, and the “juice” that makes symbols compelling. Individuation has an innate developmental arc and a psychological trajectory that allows us to bring conscious intention to our own individuation process. However, vital transformational events are not simply occurrences ego alone can command; they are ultimately mysterious. They arise independently from the unconscious and what Jung termed the Self, the center, circumference and true center of the personality. In this episode Joseph, Lisa and Deb circumambulate and amplify the concept of individuation and images of the Self.

 

The Dream:

In the beginning of the dream, it's morning. I'm waiting for my father in the house where I grew up. We are about to drive halfway across the country to look at graduate schools. It is nearing afternoon and we still haven't left the house. I know from previous experience that it takes more than a full day of driving to reach our destination, which leaves me feeling anxious.

 

Now my parents and I are in the car heading down the highway. From the backseat, where I used to sit, I'm looking outside. We reach an empty stretch of road surrounded on either side by farmland. The sky is overcast- halfway between rain and sunset; I notice a few geese flying across the road from the left of my line of vision in a small V-shaped formation. Once they have reached the other side they circle back, flying in the opposite direction; they have doubled in numbers and form a more unified chevron.

 

I am standing in a field with my girlfriend. We are watching the dark shapes of the geese bobbing in the dusk. Suddenly they start to glow, one by one, as if each is carrying on their bodies a neon orb, similar to a brake light. I look down in the mud by my shoes and see a broken red light, one that could fit on a bike; I tell my girlfriend that the cracked object must have come from the geese. She agrees with me, which I find very reassuring.