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The ORPHAN: symbol of eros, pathos, and hope

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 03/09/2023

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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The archetype of the orphan, closely related to the hero, evokes powerful feelings of abandonment, deprivation, and hope. From Harry Potter to Little Orphan Annie from Daenerys Targaryen to Cinderella, orphans who triumph over adversity remind us that healing the inner child is possible.

The factual history of orphans is frequently heartbreaking. In the ancient world, unwanted infants were subject to abandonment or death through exposure. In the US, Orphan Trains moved 200,00 children from NE coastal cities to live with farm families between 1853 to 1929. Journalists exposed the nightmare of Romanian orphanages in 1989, rousing adoption efforts and fundraising efforts. The Canadian government forcibly took native children and placed them in Christian boarding schools under the pretense of assimilation. This tragic history lives on in the collective unconscious.

Many of us have inner orphans. The unloved parts of us shipped off to the unconscious exert a powerful influence over our moods. Our adult selves may feel resilient and resourceful most of the time, but a cruel tone of voice as we’re dismissed from work or a cold shoulder from a lover can awaken our inner children putting us in a tailspin. When threatened by abandonment, they can trigger profound feelings of dread and even panic.

In the grip of our inner orphan, we may find ourselves pining to rewrite our childhood, including a cast of perfect parents. Some of us may even question whether we’re adopted because the feeling of belonging somewhere better haunts us. We can suddenly feel desperate and likely to starve even though we have substantial assets in our accounts. Finally, and most painfully, we can feel unloved and unlovable.

We may scramble to find reassurance from outside sources – asking our family if they really do love us or fawning over a new acquaintance in hopes they’ll stick around. We might hoard food or money, reassuring ourselves that we won’t need to rely on anyone, which is best because no one stays with us anyway. In the grip of this complex, our bodies ache, and we may even feel invisible or unreal.

Working through these feelings seems daunting at first because a moat of distress surrounds the inner child. But if we persevere, we may find an inner treasure. On the far side of our remembered suffering is a part of us that recalls how to love and be loved. And when they return, we will wonder how we ever forgot.

HERE’S THE DREAM WE ANALYZE:

“I am in an orphanage. There are many other children with me as well. I am the oldest of the group; I feel responsible for the group’s well-being since I am the oldest. We are together in a room with wooden floors and ceiling. Suddenly an evil man and strange appears out of nowhere. He is our master. He teargases us; we cannot see or breathe. The gas makes what is in our pockets fall out, knick-knacks, little toys, memorabilia, coins little notes on crumpled paper. What is in our pockets does not have high monetary value, but it is meaningful to us since we are orphans and have nothing else. The evil master collects our belongings that are falling to the floor from the gas. He makes them his. I ache with sadness to lose what was the only remnant of our identity. Suddenly, Komitas (he is a famous Armenian composer and ethnographer) breaks through the door of the room we are in. He charges aggressively toward the evil master. Komitas has a gun; he points and tries to shoot at the evil master. He misses. Komitas turns toward me. His eyes are full of rage but feel vacant and maniacal. I feel Komitas is in a psychotic state. Komitas takes my hand and places it on the gun. He is standing behind me, I am holding the gun, and he is holding my hands. He points the gun at the evil master. He asks me, “Is this the man? The one I need to kill?” I say yes in agreeance. I know this is what needs to happen. I am sad and afraid.”

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