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THE WHALE: a film about trauma, obesity, and the undying hope to connect.

This Jungian Life

Release Date: 04/13/2023

PERSONAL SHADOW WORK: Where is your dark twin hiding? show art PERSONAL SHADOW WORK: Where is your dark twin hiding?

This Jungian Life

Where are our lost talents and disowned powers hiding? PERSONAL SHADOW WORK: Where is your dark twin hiding? Helps us identify parts of ourselves pushed into the unconscious due to conflicts with our family of origin and misalignment with cultural and family norms. We first encounter shadow by projecting it on others. The despicable traits we cannot stand in others point to similar qualities we refuse to acknowledge in ourselves. Self-confrontation and honest introspection can help us say, “I am the one who hides this terrible flaw inside myself. I am the one who rejects my inner dark...

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Did Jung and Tolkien visit the same psychic realms??? show art Did Jung and Tolkien visit the same psychic realms???

This Jungian Life

How can the shared imaginal realms of Jung and Tolkien empower us to navigate our personal journeys and transform our understanding of self and community? In exploring the uncanny shared imaginal realms of Jung and Tolkien, author Becca Tarnas uncovers a profound intersection of depth psychology and mythopoeic literature, revealed in their seminal Red Books. Amid the early 20th century's upheaval, both authors undertook personal and universal journeys into the psyche, employing active imagination to engage archetypes such as the shadow, anima, and hero. Their works, brimming with symbolic...

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Can Art Heal Us? The role of imagery in Jungian Analysis. show art Can Art Heal Us? The role of imagery in Jungian Analysis.

This Jungian Life

Can spontaneous art-making harness the power of imagery and symbols to promote emotional healing and self-discovery? Mark Dean, Jungian analyst, professional artist, professor, and art therapist, helps us explore the profound connection between art-making and psychological growth, using imagery, metaphors, and symbols as bridges between our conscious and unconscious minds. Rooted in Analytical Psychology, this approach helps us identify and process complex emotions, experiences, and foundational attitudes, promoting positive change in our relationships and psyche. This work emphasizes the...

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SELF-SABOTAGE: Why we do it and how to stop it. show art SELF-SABOTAGE: Why we do it and how to stop it.

This Jungian Life

Can understanding self-sabotage empower you to overcome hidden barriers and transform your life? Understanding Self-Sabotage is crucial for unlocking our true potential and overcoming barriers to personal growth. We can identify the unconscious complexes that hinder our progress by exploring internalized negative beliefs, fear of success, unresolved inner conflicts, and defense mechanisms like avoidance and self-handicapping. Through dream analysis, active imagination, and creative expression, we can transform self-sabotaging behaviors into opportunities for growth. Prepare to discover what...

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Does AI Dream Interpretation Really Work? show art Does AI Dream Interpretation Really Work?

This Jungian Life

TRY OUT THE TEMENOS DREAM INTERPRETATION APP FOR FREE:   Can the synergy between AI technology and human expertise revolutionize dream interpretation, promote personal growth, and ensure ethical considerations in the age of digital psychology? John Temple's AI dream interpretation app TEMENOS decodes dreams, providing insights into the unconscious. The app captures and analyzes dreams, offering immediate detailed feedback, relevant myths, images, and information on specific symbols while highlighting recurring themes. AI's ability to process large datasets allows a swift comparison of...

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MALIGNANT NARCISSISTS: they're closer than you think show art MALIGNANT NARCISSISTS: they're closer than you think

This Jungian Life

How can recognizing and mitigating the psychological effects of toxic leadership protect people from regressing and aligning with dangerous leaders before it's too late? Understanding the effects of toxic leaders is crucial for fostering healthy organizational and societal dynamics. Malignant narcissism and large group regression can lead to destructive leadership, but by integrating psychological insights into leadership training and policy formulation, we can create environments that resist such toxicity. Education, ethical leadership, and community engagement are powerful tools that can...

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Can mythology really save our kids? show art Can mythology really save our kids?

This Jungian Life

Can myth-based storytelling transform urban youth? Kwame Scruggs joins us to discuss how mythology can save our kids. He discovered urban youth development thrives through the transformative power of mythological storytelling. He engages young minds by connecting their experiences with universal themes. His programs incorporate myths that foster emotional healing, personal growth, and a sense of community, guiding youth to see themselves as heroes in their stories. These initiatives offer a holistic approach to education and empowerment by integrating analytical psychology and relevant...

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Psychodermatology: How Skin Communicates Unconscious Conflicts show art Psychodermatology: How Skin Communicates Unconscious Conflicts

This Jungian Life

How do skin conditions give voice to silent suffering in our souls? Our skin serves as a canvas for our emotional and psychological states, manifesting internal conflicts through visible conditions. The symbolic meaning behind skin conditions can reveal deep-seated emotional issues.  Self-inflicted lesions highlight an individual's internal turmoil, serving as a cry for help. We all understand how blushing and sweating provide outer clues about our psychological landscape. Skin, a boundary between ego and the external world, exists as a threshold organ where experiences enter us and...

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IDENTITY CRISIS: When Our Story Falls Apart show art IDENTITY CRISIS: When Our Story Falls Apart

This Jungian Life

How can understanding and reshaping our personal narratives help us navigate and overcome identity crises during major life transitions? A Narrative Identity Crisis occurs when the evolving story we create to make sense of our lives—integrating past experiences, present realities, and future aspirations—becomes disrupted, leading to profound disorientation and psychological distress. This crisis can be triggered by significant life changes, traumatic events, or conflicting social and cultural pressures, causing our coherent self-narrative to fragment. Memory, meaning-making, and emotional...

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Can We Transform Fear into Joy? - learn the secret in the Six Swans fairytale show art Can We Transform Fear into Joy? - learn the secret in the Six Swans fairytale

This Jungian Life

How can we harness inner strength and resilience to transform personal fears and adversities into growth and joy? In our "Six Swans Jungian Analysis," we explore how a fairytale reveals profound insights into transformation, resilience, and the complexities of human emotions. Through a sister's silent endurance, a king's protective instincts, and the ultimate triumph of truth, we can also discover our own inner strength, sacrifice, and personal growth. The fairytale "The Six Swans" teaches us about the enduring human spirit, the transformative power of love, and the journey toward...

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We are born with a drive to connect meaningfully with our caregivers. When that is thwarted by fate, deprivation, or hostility, our psyche rallies, it redirects our instincts to the imaginal world where archetypal forces can care for us, and our intolerable feelings can be hidden in a cast of inner characters. We still long for compassionate connection, but the inner figures of our caregivers are intolerable, so sometimes the archetypal mother hides in food—and we follow.

 In the recent film “The Whale” starring Brendon Frasier, we meet his character Charlie, an English teacher trying to motivate his online students. With his camera off, his disembodied voice admonishes them to communicate clearly with him. This foreshadows his great struggle to make contact. When the class finishes, the scene expands, and we slowly see Charlie, a 600-pound man struggling to meet the last few needs he permits himself.

 Unresolved relational trauma is like a slowly shrinking room. Year by year, in tiny increments, without noticing it, we give up choice after choice until we are boxed in. The few thin channels of life that can reach Charlie are his friend Liz and his online students. The remaining totally unobstructed channel to take in goodness is food, his lifeline beyond the shrinking room.

 Unlike his troubled caregivers, food can be controlled and so rendered harmless; it’s allowed in and brings relief and pleasure. All of us cornered by trauma find a secret tunnel through which some small goodness can touch us. Throughout the movie, life tries to rescue Charlie, walking through his front door despite his frightened protests. Characters storm in, demanding acknowledgment. Through these encounters, Charlie is forced out of his shrinking life.

 Obesity is never a choice; it is a sign that other paths to receive have been ruined. Many fight their way free, some are rescued by love, and some seek promising new medications. Charlie fights for love and finally resurfaces, drawn by his daughter’s fierce eyes demanding engagement.

 “The Whale” depicts a real-world problem and is also an allegory, a contemporary retelling of an epic story. When we learn to see beyond the surface of people’s specific struggles, we can recognize the great human endeavor we all share-- to love and be loved, to know and be known.

 HERE’S THE DREAM WE ANALYZE:

 “I just moved to my childhood neighborhood with my best friend, and I wake up before dawn. As I walk home to school, my legs melt, and I fall to the floor. A classmate finds me lying on the floor and takes his chance to try and have sex with me. I beg him to please carry me home. Inside, my ex-boyfriend and family became concerned about my state. I need to rest; everything is fine. This new house is big and has a beautiful light, yet it seems old and dusty. There are several pieces of wood of unfinished furniture that I cannot work on now. I leave the house again; everything seems nice, but on my way home, my legs stop working, and I desperately start to crawl. Now I seem not to find the door to the house; luckily, a cleaning worker comes up to help me, then she hands me a caterpillar having babies. She tells me had I been lying on my bed for more time, I would have woken up surrounded by them.”

 REFERENCES: THE WHALE (film, 2022)

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