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Episode 207 - Hunting: An Archetypal Perspective

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 03/31/2022

Episode 220 - Can We Consider Abortion? show art Episode 220 - Can We Consider Abortion?

This Jungian Life

The word consider derives from Latin considerare, “to look at closely, observe.” Con means “with, together,” and sidus refers to “heavenly body, star constellation.” Observing the marvel of the stars with another is very different from engaging in conflict, “to contend, fight, or struggle.” Conflict summons rigid polarities: for or against, right or wrong, and winning or losing. Significant issues like abortion test our ability to tolerate ambiguity and anxiety without activating the polarizing defenses of judging, moralizing, or demonizing the other. Pregnancy, the archetype...

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This Jungian Life

Schools have existed across cultures and throughout time; the knowledge they transmit leads us out of childhood, shapes our values and world view, and grooms us for citizenship. Schools help us build ego strength and adapt to cultural norms, the goal of the first half of life and the first stage of individuation. School experiences also wound us, as Jung recalled in his memoir. Collective schooling instills the uniformity needed for a cohesive culture, but individual uniqueness may be lost. Individualized education—including home life--can enhance personal uniqueness or compensate for...

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Episode 218 - Dream Incubation with Machiel Klerk show art Episode 218 - Dream Incubation with Machiel Klerk

This Jungian Life

Guest Machiel Klerk has worked with dreams and healing traditions worldwide; his new book is Dream Guidance: Connection to the Soul through Dream Incubation. Religions, shamanic practices, and depth psychology have recognized the significance of dreams and sought their aid. Dreams open into a deeply intelligent source Jung called the two-million-year-old man. This inner companion is interested in our development and life purpose, and he transports us nightly to worlds of vivid images, fulsome feeling, and embodied experience. Dream incubation invites these encounters into consciousness through...

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Episode 217 - DEATH: A Jungian Perspective show art Episode 217 - DEATH: A Jungian Perspective

This Jungian Life

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This Jungian Life

While many of Hans Christian Andersen’s 19th-century stories have moralizing motifs, their universality and depth places them among ageless fairy tales. Although The Princess and the Pea and The Emperor’s New Clothes are social satire, they also depict psychic dynamics. A young prince searches but cannot find a mate—until a princess arrives one stormy night, soaking wet and mind-blowingly over-sensitive. Do opposites attract, or are they only contrasting representations of superficiality and entitlement? Andersen’s pen next delivers the famous emperor an even more pointed jab: a child,...

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Episode215 - POISON: Toxic or Transformative? show art Episode215 - POISON: Toxic or Transformative?

This Jungian Life

Pharmakon, the ancient Greek word for drug, can mean both “remedy” and “poison.” There is a close connection between poison and cure. Poison is stealthy, and takes us by surprise, whether through an unseen snake’s venomous bite or a ripe apple’s alluring disguise. Psychological poison glides past our defenses, pervades our being, and wounds us where we are most vulnerable. We participate in our poisoning through our own unknowing, from toxic cognitions and rigid fixations to self-doubt and self-sabotage. Poison can transform us by stinging us into building the immunity of increased...

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Episode 214 - HOMESICKNESS: Longing & Belonging show art Episode 214 - HOMESICKNESS: Longing & Belonging

This Jungian Life

From Homer’s Odyssey to the Wizard of Oz our native soil draws us home, whether home is a small Greek island or a simple Kansas farm. The soul has a natural longing to return to the place of its beginning and belonging. Home is a state of safety and changelessness; it is our foundational experience of original completeness, containment and care. As we mourn the loss of the familiar and face the unknown, homesickness generates neural activity similar to physical pain. Its underlying intent is to spur us into detaching from the familiar and investing in the foreign. Homesickness asks that we...

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Episode 213 - VOCATION: Answering the Call show art Episode 213 - VOCATION: Answering the Call

This Jungian Life

Vocation, once associated with serving God through service to others, is now most strongly associated with a career having personal worth. Vocation spans a range of needs and values:  commitment to making ends meet, striving for material rewards and social status, or the more internal satisfaction of research, helping others, and artistic expression. Freud considered love and work the cornerstones of our humanness, and Jung said, “In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.” A discernment process...

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Episode 212 - THE PRODIGAL SON as Shadow, Ego & the Self show art Episode 212 - THE PRODIGAL SON as Shadow, Ego & the Self

This Jungian Life

Jung interpreted religious traditions from the viewpoint of their psychological significance. The allegorical tale of the Prodigal Son illustrates Jung’s basic understanding of the structure and development of the psyche. The young prodigal epitomizes shadow qualities of ignorance, arrogance, and impetuousness. His dissolute indulgences show a lack of ego strength and land him in a pigsty. Repentant, he returns to his father’s estate, hoping for servant work. Instead, his father celebrates his homecoming. At this joyful reception, the older brother is aghast; he has been dutiful yet never...

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This Jungian Life

Beth underwent gender transition from natal female to trans male and has since de-transitioned. In her early teens, Beth felt she was not like other women and began to question her gender. She saw people who were nonconforming, but although she adopted a non-binary identity in college, people still saw her as a woman. Beth became drawn to a masculine identity and associated transitioning gender with empowerment: she would be free from the perceived social constraints and physical vulnerabilities of womanhood. Beth’s parents, the therapist she saw a few times, and the surgeon all affirmed her...

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To hunt is to engage the opposites: the hunter must attune and align with nature in order to kill part of it. According to mythographer Joseph Campbell, “the basic hunting myth is of a kind of covenant between the animal world and the human world.” Myth and rituals of sympathy, sacrifice, and gratitude honor the age-old bond between man and animal: one dies so the other may live. If the hunter imposes will alone, hunting becomes ego dominance--sport or slaughter. In traversing the realms from human culture to nature’s archaic terrain, the huntsman echoes and honors the relationship between ego-consciousness and the unconscious. 

For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear...they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth. -Henry Beston

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“My extended family were in the process of relocating to a city named Boreham Wood in Tunisia (I checked, it doesn’t exist). It was a sort of fairytale paradise, blue skies, palm trees, and low-standing terracotta houses. They asked me to help with the move by driving my grandma’s electric scooter from Scotland through the desert. Strapped to the sides were two bags filled only with ice and rum. Once I arrived at the new house, I unloaded the alcohol but immediately felt the urge to leave and explore the area. It was clear my family wanted to celebrate my highly anticipated arrival, but I knew couldn’t stay. Instead, I took the scooter and drove into town, winding through the cobbled streets, past gothic arches and flocks of tropical birds. As I approached the city center, a large, dark castle rose in the skyline. At the gates, a young woman was weaving mushrooms from a hook to sell to tourists. I stopped and watched her but didn’t buy anything. I parked the scooter and entered the castle gates. The courtyard was bustling with young families eating lunch from long tables. I wandered around until I stumbled upon a group of disheveled-looking men dressed in grey robes and animal furs. They didn’t pay me much attention, but I was fascinated and struck up a conversation with what appeared to be the leader. He explained that they were a tour group from America called Warriors of The Soul that had been doing annual trips to Boreham Wood since 1992. I could see they had self-inflicted cuts all over their arms, some openly bleeding onto the table. He (the leader) explained that they were mostly vets, recovering addicts, and environmental protesters who were on a journey of healing together. I asked the leader if I could spend the day with him and was immediately invited back to a tower in the castle to see his studio. We left the group and walked to the base of the tower; from there, we climbed a seemingly endless spiral staircase, dilapidated and strewn with trash bags. I remember taking note of the exit signs. Once at the top, I was ushered into the studio. It was dark, cold, and filled with primitive paintings made from human blood. He drew his knife and explained that the canvases were waxed paper, as that allowed the blood to move more freely across the surface, unlike regular paper, which is far too absorbent. He then asked if I would donate blood for his next painting. At that point, I noticed a dead body under the drawing desk and tried to move the conversation back to the wax paper. I asked if the toxins were harmful if used when baking. This seemed to work, as he began extolling that yes, never use wax paper when baking. At this point, I turned on my heels and ran back down the stairs, bounding three at a time. He sprinted after me, brandishing the knife and laughing. I knew I’d be safe if I got to the exit signs, but they didn’t appear. Instead, the staircase began to climb again, twisting and turning like a rabbit warren. He started gaining on me and nicked my thumb with the knife, but eventually, I came to a window with a Brooklyn-style fire escape. I smashed the glass and shimmied down the ladder, my legs and thumb bleeding. As I descended, he laughed at me continuously. Once on the ground, I ran back to the scooter, only to realize I didn’t know how to get home. I couldn’t call because I didn’t have my phone and I couldn’t buy bandages for my cuts as I didn’t have a wallet. Then I awoke.” 

 REFERENCES:

Anna Braytenback, Animal Communicator. https://www.animalspirit.org/

 The Great Dance: A Hunter’s Story (documentary). Craig Foster and Damn Foster. https://www.amazon.com/Great-Dance-Hunters-Story/dp/B074G43NYT

Eleanor Wilner, Hunting Manual (poem): https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42971/hunting-manual

Eric Fromm. The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. https://www.amazon.com/dp/080501604X/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_JAETSJ4S52DE4N19XYC5

Yuval Harari. Sapiens. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0063051338/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_M4XT8Y4VQWPN43JZ8PEF?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Henry Beston. The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0140043152/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_YG8701XC4Q358473D67A

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