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Episode 224 - The Way of Kabbalah: ancient map of the psyche

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 07/28/2022

Episode 233 - The Inferior Function: Opening to the Interior show art Episode 233 - The Inferior Function: Opening to the Interior

This Jungian Life

There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in. LEONARD COHEN Jung’s system of typology—our characteristic way of orienting to the world—led to the creation of the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Jung observed four essential ego functions. Thinking and feeling are rational functions of assigning value and making decisions, and intuition and sensation are non-rational modes of perception and attention. Ordered hierarchically from most to least developed, our inferior function lies closest to the unconscious. It tends to manifest through tasks, people, and...

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Episode 232 - Theory of Enchantment: Chloe Valdary show art Episode 232 - Theory of Enchantment: Chloe Valdary

This Jungian Life

Could the antidote to racism be enchantment? Chloe Valdary thinks so. Theory of Enchantment is a radical approach to anti-racism rooted in understanding that celebrates the complexity of the human spirit. Since racism derives from deep insecurities projected onto others, the work of enchantment includes shadow, acknowledges personal complexity, and affirms right relationship with self. Diversity need not be division, and inclusion does not discount differences. Empathy does not ‘fix’ but accompanies another’s suffering, and criticism can be used to uplift and empower. Valdary’s fulsome...

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Episode 231 - THE QUEEN: Archetype & Individual show art Episode 231 - THE QUEEN: Archetype & Individual

This Jungian Life

Queen Elizabeth II is mourned around the world. The world saw stages of life live in and through her: from maiden to mate, mother to matriarch, elder to aged. She inherited her title but grew into her role, becoming a unifying image of virtue, service, stateliness, and constancy--wrapped in dedication and devotion. Above the skirmishes of ego-driven politics, the Queen balanced the mystique of majesty with human presence. She bore difficulties and disappointment with dignity, and in the 70 years of her reign modeled a standard of nobility that enabled her to preside over tumult and change....

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Episode 230 - ROAD TRIP: outer journey, inner mission show art Episode 230 - ROAD TRIP: outer journey, inner mission

This Jungian Life

The open road beckons: bigger, better, boundless. To see and to seek is a mythological theme with an American stamp, from wagon trains to memoirs and movies. Progress and mobility have long been associated with forging ahead and hitting the trail. Cars are personal capsules of autonomy and freedom: load, stop, and go according to wish or whim. Passing through and possibility are part of the road trip’s drift and direction. The traveler may hope for treasure, pleasure, or revelation—or be in flight from stasis, failure, and alienation. A road trip can be planned or spontaneous, solo or...

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Episode 229: HATRED: a way to hide our secrets show art Episode 229: HATRED: a way to hide our secrets

This Jungian Life

Hatred is a universal human emotion related to distancing and destroying. Hatred is anger, disgust, judgment, and contempt cemented into implacable permanence. Obsessive and inflating, hatred dupes us into feeling righteous and wrathful instead of small and wounded. Hating tricks us into projecting our disowned qualities onto an outer other, making the object of our hatred into an avatar for our own split-off instincts and desires. Our fixation fuses us in a darkly intimate way with “other,” the holder of a secret we are compelled to uncover, a truth we demand to rule. Hate hides the dread...

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Episode 228 - Donald Kalsched: Trauma & the Informed Heart show art Episode 228 - Donald Kalsched: Trauma & the Informed Heart

This Jungian Life

Dr. Donald Kalsched, Jungian analyst, teacher, and author, discusses his acclaimed work on childhood trauma; (see for upcoming programs). When there is unbearable emotional pain in childhood, archetypal defenses dismember such experience and banish parts of it to the unconscious, where it remains as unconscious suffering.  Such suffering is manifested as pathological symptoms, i.e., dysfunctional relationships, addictions, narcissism, and more. The defensive system that takes over--a ‘self-care system’--is both protective and persecutory of the innocence and vulnerability hiding in...

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Episode 227 - COMPARTMENTALIZATION: Coping with Contradiction show art Episode 227 - COMPARTMENTALIZATION: Coping with Contradiction

This Jungian Life

Compartmentalization is like a home electrical panel that separates power into different zones. It allows us to separate the charge carried by ideas, feelings, and actions without risking system overload. Compartmentalization lets us express concern about climate change yet fly overseas for a family vacation or care about animal rights and ignore factory farming. Such incompatible values and incongruent reasoning usually bypass the zone wired for emotional activation, allowing many daily activities and attitudes to operate smoothly. At the other end of the spectrum, compartmentalization can...

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Episode 226 - HERMES: Divine Trickster show art Episode 226 - HERMES: Divine Trickster

This Jungian Life

Karl Kerenyi collaborated with Jung in demonstrating the psychological meaning of Greek mythology. Kerenyi found in Hermes a representation of “a third way of living life, besides the Apollonian rational and the Dionysian irrational. God of jokes and journeys, thieves and magicians, the tricky Guide of Souls” arrives as a surprise. Like the quicksilver that is his Roman name, Mercury/Hermes appears on winged sandals, heralding the new. Hermes disdains regulation and law to deliver new ideas, dissolve opposites, and provide decisive experiences. Just as he alone traversed the realms--from...

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Episode 225 - Archetype of the Wave: image of energy and motion show art Episode 225 - Archetype of the Wave: image of energy and motion

This Jungian Life

Images of earth’s perpetual restlessness waves gently rock us, lift us up for an exhilarating ride – or inundate us in the terrifying phenomenon of a tsunami. Surfers surrender to the rhythm of waves, an embodied metaphor of attuning to the rising and falling of unconscious forces. Poseidon, Greek god of the ocean, was also the deity of destructive tidal waves, which can sweep us away and show up often in dreams. In physics, a wave is a disturbance that travels through space and matter, transferring energy from one place to another and, therefore, part of the fabric of the subatomic...

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Episode 224 - The Way of Kabbalah: ancient map of the psyche show art Episode 224 - The Way of Kabbalah: ancient map of the psyche

This Jungian Life

Kabbalah is an ancient Jewish mystical tradition that has captured the imaginations of people from widely diverse backgrounds, including Jung himself. Three weeks after his heart attack in 1944, Jung had an ecstatic vision, “…Everything around me also seemed enchanted…I myself was in Pardes-Rimonim, in the pomegranate garden where Tiferet and Malchut married. I also imagined myself as Rabi Shimon ben Yochai, whose mystical marriage was celebrated now. It looked exactly as the Kabbalists portrayed it. I cannot tell you how amazing it was…” Though Jung did not live long enough to...

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Kabbalah is an ancient Jewish mystical tradition that has captured the imaginations of people from widely diverse backgrounds, including Jung himself. Three weeks after his heart attack in 1944, Jung had an ecstatic vision, “…Everything around me also seemed enchanted…I myself was in Pardes-Rimonim, in the pomegranate garden where Tiferet and Malchut married. I also imagined myself as Rabi Shimon ben Yochai, whose mystical marriage was celebrated now. It looked exactly as the Kabbalists portrayed it. I cannot tell you how amazing it was…” Though Jung did not live long enough to explore the Kabbalah fully, his psyche was deeply affected by the images and philosophies which played an important role in his life during this crisis.

Like analysis, Kabbalistic methods cultivate an extraordinary receptivity to Self that illuminates the inner dimensions of the human soul, its unexplored potential, and our relationship to the divine. Its first written fragments surfaced in the 13th century, but the oral tradition reaches back millennia. Its primary symbol, the Tree of Life, reflects a rich cosmology that maps the progression of archetypal forces in the outer and inner world. It helps us track the flow of psychic energy as it descends from its animating source to archetypal image, thought, and finally to action. Like all images of the Self, it invokes the transcendental ordering principle that heals and facilitates individuation.

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“I’m in Putin’s inner circle. It’s attached to some other business place that I’m working in. I’m wearing a suit. He’s got an office, like in a 1920s socialist apartment building with tall ceilings. It’s not particularly high security, and I’m in it. The place is a bit messy. Putin is thin; he looks like the younger Putin, not the rounder face. One we see on TV. He’s getting medication out of boxes, and I see their statins, and I figure he’s got heart trouble. I take a seat on a sofa, and we’re talking; I’m thinking about how vulnerable he looks like a nice man; actually, I’m sensing that he trusts me, we have a good easy rapport. I’m wondering whether he knows I’m queer and what he would make of that; given the state of LGBTQ rights in Russia, I figure out that there are two pollutants, this real one behind the scenes and the one on TV. The one on TV has a body double, but the rest of the world doesn’t know that. I wonder how I’m going to keep this from the world and whether it will ever come out that I know him and how I would justify that to the media. I go to the bathroom off his office, and Putin’s bath is running. I gather that he is going to have a bath. I go back into the office, smoke a cigarette on the sofa, and we talk some more, and then I leave. I go to another room or to my friends are out of affection. I kiss my friend A repeatedly on the face, whose name I get wrong. She tells me her name is something else. It’s the first time I’ve heard her tell me the name that she says she is hers. I know her by at least two other names. I accidentally kiss her on the lips. The other friend B is there too, and then I realized that I have kissed B, not A. B asks me whether I’ve been smoking cannabis because there is a really strong smell on my breath. I think about the cigarette I smoked in Putin’s office and wonder how it could have left such a strong smell, and for context, she says the future feels unclear.”

REFERENCES:

Dion Fortune. The Mystical Qabalah. https://www.amazon.com/dp/157863752X/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_CNHVRG5XVEK52RWZMASB?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Erich Neumann. The Essays of Erich Neumann, Volume 3: The Place of Creation. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0691603871/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_TMA84417K13TPNWG4DGV?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Meditation and Kabbalah. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0877286167/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_0HVCPYAXXW8DKHKYXMJJ

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