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Episode 161 - When Words Lose Their Meaning

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 04/29/2021

Episode 185 - Assessing Our Psychic Inheritance show art Episode 185 - Assessing Our Psychic Inheritance

This Jungian Life

Jung said of the parent-child relationship: “Nothing exerts a stronger psychic effect upon the human environment, and especially upon children, than the life which the parents have not lived.” Jung understood that parents can unconsciously compel children to fulfill parental dreams or compensate for disappointments.

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Episode 184 - Does Analysis Work? A Conversation with Jonathan Shedler, PhD show art Episode 184 - Does Analysis Work? A Conversation with Jonathan Shedler, PhD

This Jungian Life

“Talk is powerful medicine.” Renowned researcher and clinician Jonathan Shedler, PhD joins us to discuss the effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy. While so-called evidence-based therapies—brief treatments conducted by instruction manuals—offer benefit for some, their status as the “gold standard” of treatment for mental distress is undeserved.

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Episode 183 - JUSTICE: The Struggle for Balance show art Episode 183 - JUSTICE: The Struggle for Balance

This Jungian Life

Principles of fairness and justice have deep roots in the human psyche: we want to receive our fair share and a fair shake. When man injures man we may protest, strive for redress, and measure wrong with morality—but what about godly misfortunes? Life, myth and religion are rich with issues of injustice. Whether individual injury, social inequality, or divine mystery, over-insistence on fairness can lead to depression, resentment, and fixation.

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Episode 182 - Confronting Shadow: The Work of Self-Discovery show art Episode 182 - Confronting Shadow: The Work of Self-Discovery

This Jungian Life

Psychotherapy is essentially the work making shadow conscious—all that we have not discerned, disown, or project onto others. We seldom welcome shadow, for it is marked by emotions and motivations that deflate, disturb, and dethrone ego. From family scuffles to political hostilities and outright war, we most often meet our shadow in others. Its presence is signaled by a strong urge to take action, with feelings ranging from judgment to antagonism, from pity to self-sacrifice, and from obsession to disgust

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Episode 181 - Self-Reflection: What Was I Thinking? show art Episode 181 - Self-Reflection: What Was I Thinking?

This Jungian Life

Jung says, “There is another instinct, different from the drive to activity and so far as we know specifically human, which might be called the reflective instinct.” Self-reflection is correlated with consciousness, and is arguably humankind’s unique and essential competency: a meta-cognitive capacity that is aware of its own awareness.

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Episode 180 - INFLUENCE: Connection or Contagion? show art Episode 180 - INFLUENCE: Connection or Contagion?

This Jungian Life

We have always been subject to the influence of others—it’s how we learn language, become socialized, cooperate and collaborate. It’s also how we exclude, denigrate, and assault others. Today, we are subject to unprecedented social influences. Multiplicities of media shape our ideas, identities, beliefs and values--and foster connections and communities around the world.

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SHADOWLAND: Prostitution - the story of Kay show art SHADOWLAND: Prostitution - the story of Kay

This Jungian Life

Today we walk with Kay, a 21-year-old single mother who works throughout the American southwest as a self-described prostitute. We explore how she found her way to that life, what she aspires to, and how she holds the complicated tensions between herself, her clients, and the current culture. We shared this interview with composer Wells Hanley from I Wrote This Song For You podcast, who was moved to create a song for Kay. We hope you’ll be as touched by her story as we were.

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SHADOWLAND: a new podcast experience – September 9 on TJL show art SHADOWLAND: a new podcast experience – September 9 on TJL

This Jungian Life

On September 9th, This Jungian Life will launch a new podcast experience - SHADOWLAND. In this series, we meet soulfully with people who live and work in the hidden places of our culture.

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Episode 179 - The Archetype of WAR show art Episode 179 - The Archetype of WAR

This Jungian Life

Recent events in Afghanistan have again put war in the forefront of collective consciousness. War’s destruction belongs to the mythic realm. Mars, the Roman god of war, was a primordial force whose altars were placed outside city gates. Although acknowledged, he was not accepted. His paramour, Venus, is warfare’s seductress, offering spectacle, pageantry, and glory.

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Episode 178 - The Music of Metaphor: Healing in Therapy & Life show art Episode 178 - The Music of Metaphor: Healing in Therapy & Life

This Jungian Life

Guest Mark Winborn is a clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst who teaches in the U.S. and internationally. Author of three books and numerous articles, Mark is an active member of the IRSJA and the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich/Kusnacht. Psychotherapy is talk therapy—but what kind of talk are we talking about? The most fundamental medium of our knowing is language, and metaphor imbues language with music.

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In 1543, Andreas Vesalius dissected a corpse, thereby inaugurating a scientific attitude toward the human body. This new attitude taught us to stand aside from our identification and connection with the body and see it as a lifeless subject of inquiry. Such an approach brought obvious vital advances in science and medicine, but it also came at a cost. In the 20th century, philosophers such as Foucault and Derrida did for language what Vesalius had done for the human body. Their careful dissection of language laid bare formerly hidden assumptions and revealed the ways that language shapes our thinking. 

We are joined on the podcast by Dr. Bret Alderman, author of Symptom, Symbol, and the Other of Language: A Jungian Interpretation of the Linguistic Turn. We discuss alienation and dissociation that results from the Promethean project to deconstruct language and its meaning. 

Foucault, Derrida, and the other postmodernists contributed valuable insights to our understanding of the role of language in determining our assumptions. Still, their desire to sever the meaning of words from those things that words represent is symptomatic of a profound dissociation from our embodied, instinctual selves. Jung was aware of the perils inherent in such a project. "This rupture of the link with the unconscious and our submission to the tyranny of words has one great disadvantage: the conscious mind becomes more and more the victim of its discriminating activity, the picture of the world gets broken down into countless particulars, and the original feelings of unity, which we integrally connected with the unity of the unconscious psyche, is lost. This feeling of unity, in the form of correspondence theory and the sympathy of all things, dominated philosophy until well into the seventeenth century."

The ideas of the postmodernists have permeated culture in ways that are not always obvious. Current movements to redefine certain phenomena as social constructs are evidence of the inroads these philosophies have made. Though there are benefits to looking at this world this way, these ideas may also be giving rise to a "rootless consciousness."

Here's the dream we analyze:

"There are tarantulas stuck on my skin the way ticks would be. They are big and hairy. Strangely the tarantulas are hidden in small boxes, which hang on my body. So their legs are digging into my skin, but I can't see them unless I remove the boxes. My mother is helping me to remove the spiders, but they keep coming back. They don't crawl upon me but rather seem to be born from my skin. All of a sudden, my mother is gone, and I'm alone with some spiders still hanging on me. I can't remove them myself because I'm too scared to touch them. I am terrified and helpless."

REFERENCES:

Dr. Bret Alderman. Symptom, Symbol, and the Other of Language: A Jungian Interpretation of the Linguistic Turn. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0815359136/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_9HK34JAF7WEVYR1JQS5V

Cave of Forgotten Dreams. (Movie). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWbqBNKZ-aU

RESOURCES:

Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:  https://thisjungianlife.com/enroll/

You can contact Dr. Bret Alderman at https://www.aldermancoaching.com/