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Episode 101 - Pessimism: Was Eeyore Right?

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 03/05/2020

Episode 135 - Horror: Why Can’t We Look Away? show art Episode 135 - Horror: Why Can’t We Look Away?

This Jungian Life

The hair on the back of our necks bristles in response to the horrors of the uncanny. Transfixed by shock, awe, dread and fascination, we can neither dare the dangerous darkness nor turn away. The mysteries of the unknown take us into realms of transgression and taboo.

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Episode 134 - When Despair Prevails: Facing Suicidal Darkness show art Episode 134 - When Despair Prevails: Facing Suicidal Darkness

This Jungian Life

There are few more painful thoughts or frightening events than suicide, a phenomenon unique to the human species. Depression, rage, and powerlessness can overwhelm ego functions, leading someone to believe that escaping life is the only option. Affects of archetypal proportions can act like tsunamis in the psyche. What can help?

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Episode 133 - Adaptation: Meeting Life’s Demands show art Episode 133 - Adaptation: Meeting Life’s Demands

This Jungian Life

The world is the canvas on which we paint our lives. Through this lifelong work, we express personal vision, develop skills, and come to terms with the realities of our outer and inner worlds. The first major stage of adaptation, the transition from child to adult, requires readiness to separate from protective life structures in pursuit of outer world goals.

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Episode 132 - Neurosis: Befriending Our Broken Places show art Episode 132 - Neurosis: Befriending Our Broken Places

This Jungian Life

Although neurosis is no longer a clinical diagnosis, it is often used to describe anxious attitudes and behaviors that are maladaptive to life situations. Neurosis often entails a capacity to function well despite feeling bad; emotional suffering leeches ease and pleasure from life. A neurotic symptom—a phobia, compulsion, or addictive tendency—is no different from a dream.

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Episode 131 - Curiosity: The Inner Engine of Change show art Episode 131 - Curiosity: The Inner Engine of Change

This Jungian Life

We celebrate curiosity’s role in discovery, and regret its potential for damage. Mature curiosity demands that we embrace the confusion, doubt and anxiety inherent in engaging new ideas and complex problems. Social curiosity requires discernment: are we genuinely and empathically interested in others, or simply indulging voyeurism via social media?

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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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More Episodes

“Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be.” For Eeyore, only perverse possibilities lie ahead, even if they are unknowable. Do gloomy expectations create self-fulfilling prophecies? Or are pessimists more realistic than naive optimists like Winnie the Pooh? Pessimism can be associated with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and more. It may also motivate preparation and striving, especially if the pessimist believes he or she can overcome significant obstacles and succeed. 

 

There is a difference between ability to anticipate pitfalls and a depressed or hopeless emotional state. Pessimism may have roots in early relational disappointments, leading the person to believe it is better not to expect anything good than to hope for reward and be disappointed. 

 

The Greek myth of Icarus is often seen as a cautionary tale against recklessly flying too high and falling – but Icarus was also warned against fearfully flying too low and immobilization. Holding the tension of the opposites—pessimism and optimism--is what makes movement of libido possible.

 

 

Dream

I was flying through a futuristic city. On the ground below me, I saw a small model or replica of a stadium and circled above it several times. It felt familiar to me, and I thought that I had seen it in other lucid dreams of mine. It felt like an important sign since it was showing up again, so I wanted to investigate it more in this dream. In my mind, I thought to myself, “May I understand the wisdom of this art piece.” 

 

When I flew down to the ground to get a closer look, I saw what looked like a children’s book lying there. I picked it up and tried to read the cover and flip through to see what was on the pages. The text was blurred, as though I wasn’t wearing my glasses. I squinted and moved the book further away and closer to me, trying to get the words in focus, but the text remained blurry. I felt thwarted and began crying with frustration. I cried, “God, why do you put this here for me if I can’t read what it says?” 

 

At last, I was able to see the title somewhat more clearly and repeated it to myself again and again in the dream in order to remember it when I woke up. The title of the book was “The Fullness of Round Objects”.