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Episode 61 - Individuation

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 05/30/2019

Kate Berlant: Art, Psyche, and the Collective Unconscious in DREAM SCENARIO show art Kate Berlant: Art, Psyche, and the Collective Unconscious in DREAM SCENARIO

This Jungian Life

How do dreams intrude upon our Psyche, our roles in others' lives, and our societal identities? "Dream Scenario" is a thought-provoking new film that explores the uncanny power of the collective unconscious to shape culture and be shaped by it. In the movie, Nicholas Cage's character Paul mysteriously starts appearing in others' dreams across the globe. He grapples with the fear of being randomly celebrated by the collective and later demonized. Kate Berlant's role in the film and insights into Jungian analysis and dream interpretation launch our conversation into the growing presence of...

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Why We Make Others Feel Bad: understanding projective identification show art Why We Make Others Feel Bad: understanding projective identification

This Jungian Life

How do we invisibly transfer our emotions to others, and what magic lies in revealing this unseen dance? Projective identification is like unconsciously tossing our feelings into someone else, a behavior first noticed in babies with their moms. It's an invisible way we influence others based on our buried issues, avoiding dealing with our tough emotions by making others express them for us. Facing up to this pattern can help us understand ourselves better and grow. Often, this cycle kicks off with blaming others, triggering a domino effect that reveals deeper, hidden struggles within us....

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Everyday Animism: Did Jung speak to his pots and pans? show art Everyday Animism: Did Jung speak to his pots and pans?

This Jungian Life

How do our interactions with the seemingly mundane objects around us reflect and influence our deeper psychological processes and connections with the broader universe? Jung held a fascinating belief in the soulful essence of inanimate objects. He engaged in daily greetings with his kitchenware at Bollingen Tower, expressing a unique form of animism that extended deeply into his personal and professional life. His collection of beer steins, each with its name, served not only as vessels for drink but as partners in dialogue, reflecting his practice of active imagination. This relationship with...

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VULGARITY: What's Its True Power? show art VULGARITY: What's Its True Power?

This Jungian Life

How does the interplay between vulgarity and societal norms reflect and shape the human experience of freedom, creativity, and psychological depth?   Our collective fascination with vulgarity, obscenity, and profanity lies in the thrill of transgression and the need to articulate the unspoken aspects of human experience. As we navigate social acceptability, the vulgar mirrors our deepest shadow and wildest laughter, a space where sacred and profane dance in the liminal light of truth and rebellion. Engaging vulgarity challenges the rigid confines of propriety. Embracing discomfort and...

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Ronnie Landau: Unpacking Allegations, Was Jung Antisemitic? show art Ronnie Landau: Unpacking Allegations, Was Jung Antisemitic?

This Jungian Life

How do we interpret and evaluate C.G. Jung's complex legacy in light of his interactions with Jewish individuals and the allegations of antisemitism, considering the nuanced historical context in which he lived and worked?"   Assessing Jung's possible antisemitism is complex and requires a nuanced understanding of his historical context and personal relationships. His involvement in psychoanalytic societies during the Nazi era has led to accusations of antisemitism, yet his actions and writings suggest an intimate, dynamic, and protective relationship with Jewish colleagues and theories....

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THREE LITTLE PIGS SYNDROME: Is it better to flee or be the big bad wolf? show art THREE LITTLE PIGS SYNDROME: Is it better to flee or be the big bad wolf?

This Jungian Life

Can we grow by facing and integrating our ferocious instincts? The Three Little Pigs isn't just a children's tale; it's a sharp commentary on resilience, preparation, and the strategic mindset required to navigate life's challenges. This story strips back the layers of our decision-making processes, questioning whether we opt for quick fixes or invest in durable solutions. Prepare to discover…who embodies the stages of ego development, from initial vulnerability to mature resilience; when the processes of ego fortification and psychological maturation are catalyzed by the confrontation with...

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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF STRIFE: What Lies Beneath Our Conflicts? show art THE PSYCHOLOGY OF STRIFE: What Lies Beneath Our Conflicts?

This Jungian Life

How does resolving inner conflicts enhance external relations? Conflict, both inner and outer, is a fundamental part of the human experience. We engage in conflicts externally with others and internally within ourselves, reflecting the complex nature of human relationships and the psyche. Our external conflicts often mirror internal struggles, serving as manifestations of unresolved or unacknowledged inner turmoil. Recognizing the projection of our inner conflicts onto external situations can lead to deeper self-awareness and understanding. Delving into inner conflict necessitates...

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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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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.