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This Jungian Life
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This Jungian Life

Author: Deborah Stewart, Lisa Marchiano, Joseph Lee

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Eavesdrop on three Jungian analysts as they engage in lively, sometimes irreverent conversations about a wide range of topics. Join them for discussion of news events, family dynamics, personal issues and more as they share what it’s like to see the world through the depth psychological lens provided by CG Jung. Half of each episode is spent discussing a dream submitted by a listener. Lisa, Joseph and Deb went through their Jungian training together, becoming friends and developing working partnerships. Now they are engaged in a new creative venture with a spirit of adventure and hope you will join them.
141 Episodes
Doubt disturbs us. Unlike the more defined polarities of ambivalence, doubt is pervasive, muddy, and ranges from crippling to constructive. We may doubt our capacity to meet a challenge, achieve a desired outcome, or make the right decision. At a deeper level, doubt can threaten our orientation to reality and erode our sense of self. Doubt can also help us prepare, increase our capacity to take risks and build confidence in our ability to prevail whether we win or lose. Doubt is about the future—possibilities, and perils. We are called to remain steadfast and chart a course in the face of life’s unknowns, for to court certainty is to seek death of the soul. Jung says, “When you are in doubt you have the greatest opportunity to unite the dark and light sides of life.” And become more whole.   Here's the dream we analyze: "I am going on a trip and traveling in a cab with friends. During the journey it gets lively, we are excited. I am dancing, making promises to my friends that I am not thinking about fully, and telling them how judgmental my father is. There is a lot of mess being made too which I am clearing up, it seems like grass I am sweeping up and there is a small pig/dog-like animal with us but I am caught up in the moment and not paying it too much attention. I get a feeling that my behavior is quite obnoxious in front of the driver but I don't stop. We arrive at a boat port, there are lots of people and enormous boats, everyone is getting their stuff loaded for their journeys. I check the time and realize we have 20 minutes to board the boat - I think perfect. I get out of the car look around and as I turn back to the cab I notice it drive off with my stuff. I panic and instantly think the driver didn't like me, that's why he drove off with my luggage. I start running after the car and notice others running after the car too. We run and keep up with the car but are not able to reach it then one of the girls I am running with says she has the driver’s number on her phone. I shout at her to call him urgently."
We welcome Sonu Shamdasani, PhD, scholar and historian of depth psychology and Jung’s opus. His research and expertise were instrumental in bringing Jung’s Red Book to the public in 2009. Jung’s Black Books, the journals in which he recorded “my most difficult experiments,” have just been published. We discuss Jung’s encounters with figures and images from his psychic depths--experiences foundational to Jung’s subsequent work and which opened a portal to humankind’s imaginal mind and mythic substrata. The Philemon Foundation, which Dr. Shamdasani co-founded in 2003, is dedicated to bringing forward more of Jung’s unpublished manuscripts and correspondence—and now needs financial support to continue bringing Jung’s vital ideas to the world. Please click on the link below to learn more about the Philemon Foundation and how to support its work.  How You Can Help: You can help bring CG Jung’s unpublished manuscripts to press by donating here:   References: The Black Books may be purchased at a discount:   Resources: Learn to Interpret Your Own Dreams: 
The spider is a symbol of generative and destructive capabilities. As creator, spider spins the sustaining web of life. As predator, spider’s sticky web is an inescapable trap. Parents weave webs of familial ties, cultural norms, and generational patterns that contain—or restrain--their children. Emotional strings of attachment or enmeshment affect how—or if—a young adult child is released into the world. A net of comfort and connection can become a web of entanglement and stultification. The tale of Sleeping Beauty portrays the stasis that ensues when parents try to protect their child from future dangers. Hindering destiny’s call to independence and individuation only obstructs the flow of life. Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. Kahlil Gibran Here's the dream we analyze: "I was on a hospital bed, due to a heart attack. Doctors were trying to send an electric wave to measure my heart damage--and I was terrified of the pain it may cause. Doctors told me that if it hurts I need surgery immediately. I was watching the screen, and it didn’t hurt at all. Doctors told me that my heart was really strong and that I can go home. I felt relieved. Then a nurse walked over to me and handed a piece of paper, a note from someone, and said I have to go see this other patient. The note was from Su, a high school female friend that betrayed me, a person that I don't think about at all. The note said that I need to take care of her babies. I was so confused. I walked over to the room, found her sitting on the bed. She pointed the babies to me and asked for help. I didn't talk to her. She has just given birth, and 3 little bundles were in a crib next to her. I lifted the bundles and they didn't look like babies, they were marble white and looked weird. Almost looked like the Hindu god with the elephant trunk- god Ganesh I think. I dropped them on the floor. I wanted to check whether they are real. I filled them with milk and said they are alive. I was so confused. I woke up." 
QAnon is a recent iteration of a historical pattern: Romans persecuted Christians, Christians libeled Jews, and citizenries hunted witches. When existing social structures break down, psychological splitting ensues in an effort to counteract fear and re-establish certainty. Collective projections demonize a selected ‘other’ and tend toward lurid attributions of badness: pedophilia, blood drinking, and devil worship. At the same time collectives project their need for leadership and unity onto a leader, investing the person with larger-than-life qualities. The mythic unconscious creates a dualistic division between ‘above and below’-- religious purity and righteousness versus ‘beasts of darkness,’ especially sex and aggression. Depth psychology focuses on the middle ground of soul, the realm of potential human wholeness. Without spiritual bypasses or fiends we may own our sexual, psychological and spiritual realities and develop a symbolic understanding of the myths we live in.  Here's the dream we analyze: "I found myself in an enormous mansion, entirely empty; it was like a Jane Austen ball room. I was alone. A man with an Afro and a baby in a baby Bjorn walked past one of the many giant windows, snow behind him. He saw me and looked petrified. Running inside, he wanted to know what I was doing there, saying that this was the devil’s house. The town had gotten together years before and killed the devil. A prophecy was made that the next person to enter the house would be the devil. He said the townspeople now wanted the devil back because they were fighting so much more now, getting divorces, as they no longer had anyone to blame for their problems. I said I didn't want to be the devil and protested. Then my vision went black and I saw the silhouette of four distinct animal faces rushing toward me. The only one I remember is the goat."    References Bradley Tepaske Bradley Tepaske’s publications can be found at: Poem: Sometimes a Wild God by Tom Hirons  
Marie-Louise von Franz, Jung’s close collaborator, capped her public work in a 1986 lecture that summarized Jung’s signal contributions to understanding the human experience. Jung was concerned that rationalism, quantitative methodologies, and the objectification of people and animals had become one-sided, resulting in ethical and empathic deficiencies. He felt the over-development of professional personas—even among physicians and psychotherapists—led to avoiding authentic encounters. Sentimentality, a superficial expression of feeling, could be used to mask cruelty, including to animals. For Jung, relationship to the sacred was foundational, and was the true source of an ethical stance. He felt that a well-developed feeling function, the conscious development of empathy, and differentiated relatedness are at the heart of the human endeavor. The feminine principle of eros is central to his work. This Jungian Life explored von Franz’ insightful and moving summation of her understanding of Jung and his work in a presentation for the Washington, D.C. Jung Society.
The hair on the back of our necks bristles in response to the horrors of the uncanny. Transfixed by shock, awe, dread and fascination, we can neither dare the dangerous darkness nor turn away. The mysteries of the unknown take us into realms of transgression and taboo. Enthrallment and abhorrence mix in encounters with all that is alien and dispossessed. We face our own human monstrosities and the traumas that create them. We also meet the dark, nonhuman otherness of the collective unconscious; it threatens to possess us and can annihilate our sense of self. Whether we shudder in disgust, quiver in fright, or feel forbidden attraction, we are forced to more fully acknowledge the awful portent of ominous misfortune and confront the abyss. Only consciousness can break the spell.   Dream "In my dream I was talking with my therapist on Zoom. The topic of our conversation wasn't clear, but I had the sense that my therapist kept misunderstanding what I was saying. He then did the "share screen" feature on Zoom to show me that he had been keeping a record on his computer of the different ways that I was wrong about who I thought I was. For example, he said that I thought that I was a kind person, but he had determined I was only kind 40% of the time. As he showed me this, a graph appeared across my face, and I had the sense that he had been spending our time together taking measurements of my face and wasn't listening to what I was saying. The dream then changed and I was outdoors standing next to a Native American man in traditional dress. The man was working with cloth. I approached him and he told me that he was working on creating a garment similar to the one that he was wearing that he was going to give as a gift to his son."   References Greg Mogenson. God is a Trauma: Vicarious Religion and Soul-Making (Amazon)  Lisa’s quotation from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche (Amazon). 
There are few more painful thoughts or frightening events than suicide, a phenomenon unique to the human species. Depression, rage, and powerlessness can overwhelm ego functions, leading someone to believe that escaping life is the only option. Affects of archetypal proportions can act like tsunamis in the psyche. What can help? A supportive other can offer protection, options, and hope. Willingness to engage in mental health and medical treatment is critical, as is the development of a symbolic attitude: what value, belief, or ambition may need to die instead of being concretized as physical death? Similarly, what maturational task, sacrifice, or fate is asking to be met? Facing suicidal thoughts can bring the potential for new life, but when death occurs bereavement can be especially painful for families and friends. One of the tasks of mourning is accepting that each of us is ultimately, and sometimes tragically, responsible for our life.    Dream I see a baby approximately a month old. It is my baby, and it has been crying a lot. I see that he is wet, so much so that his blanket is also wet. I am in horror as I try to understand why is he so wet, even with the diaper on. I wonder for how long did I not check on him. I change him, while doing [I see] that his leg is so fragile that if I hold it twists. I panic. I look at my hands and they are shaking. I get scared and criticize myself and wonder if I would be able to take care of him. In the end, he has been changed and cleaned and I am holding him in my arms, it's peaceful now and I feel much better.    References Jan Bauer. Impossible Love: Or Why the Heart Must Go Wrong (Amazon).
The world is the canvas on which we paint our lives. Through this lifelong work, we express personal vision, develop skills, and come to terms with the realities of our outer and inner worlds. The first major stage of adaptation, the transition from child to adult, requires readiness to separate from protective life structures in pursuit of outer world goals. It entails developing a strong, flexible ego devoid of overly negative or idealistic beliefs about self and world, a progressive orientation, and ability to cope with disappointment. In the second half of life, the adaptive task is introverted, and consists of relating to and integrating contents of the unconscious. While most of us come to recognize and adapt to ego’s limited control over external-world actualities, realizing the autonomy of the inner world is less universal. Jung described this process in his memoir, Memories, Dreams, Reflections as his confrontation with the unconscious. This process of adaptation led him--and can lead us--to living in relationship to something larger, the Self.   Dream I'm standing outside of a pool and my sons (6 and 10) are in the pool with my ex-husband. My mother is sitting near me. I realize I need to go to the bathroom and shout to my ex-husband to take care of our youngest son. As I turn my back at the pool I see a frogman, he has the body of a man and the head of a frog. He is sitting as a frog on the floor. I'm surprised and fascinated by it. His skin is dark blue with small light green and light blue freckles. His eyes are green. It is raining and he seems to be enjoying the water. I call my brother so he can see the creature; my brother appears as a little boy and the frogman sits at a table with my brother that asks him many questions about his origin. The frogman speaks to my brother while I go to the bathroom. When I return the frogman is sitting on a small stairway, like waiting for me. I see him and I ask him if I can touch his skin. He lets me touch his arm; it is shiny and beautiful like a night full of stars. I don't remember if I kiss him or hug him. He asks me to go with him and I tell him that I have other things to do. I walk down a street and find a busy avenue with heavy traffic. I have to cross to the other side but it seems hard, like a complex coordination of moves and traffic lights. I see the frogman walking on the other side of the avenue.    References C.G. Jung. Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Amazon). 
Although neurosis is no longer a clinical diagnosis, it is often used to describe anxious attitudes and behaviors that are maladaptive to life situations. Neurosis often entails a capacity to function well despite feeling bad; emotional suffering leeches ease and pleasure from life. A neurotic symptom—a phobia, compulsion, or addictive tendency—is no different from a dream. It is important to hear the unconscious story ego has disallowed, welcome fantasies, fears, and instinctual life, and understand their symbolic meaning. Symptoms ask us to know ourselves as we really are so that we can live the life we are meant to be living. Jung says neurosis “must be understood, ultimately, as the suffering of a soul which has not discovered its meaning.” The purpose of neurosis is to help us discover our purpose.    Dream I am with my family. I go to the kitchen, as this isn't my family's home. I have broken glass inside my mouth; I open my mouth to try and get it out. There aren't many shreds but they are tiny and sharp, I can't get rid of everything, my tongue bleeds but the blood is curdled, dry, dark and thick. As I'm trying to remove the glass with both hands I realize I have broken glass on my lips, too. The shredded glass is inside both lips, and the blood is coagulated and my lips shrank. Now I have broken glass inside my nostrils; I can't breathe from my nose. I just can't, I breathe through my mouth. I bleed profusely but the blood is thick and dark, dry and slimy, it's coagulated. I pull it out like an endless slime that just won't come out all at once. I'm suffocating, no air gets through my nostrils, it's all blocked. I call my brother for help. I complain about it saying I can't breathe and I can't handle it alone. But he doesn't show up. Other things happen in the dream after this that I can't remember, but somehow I end up again in this kitchen with blocked nostrils - because of thick blood, not glass anymore - and now the thick blood has covered my chin, my neck; it's awful and I can't stop it. The blood is dark, slimy and dry (not shiny like slime). I call my dad for help. He appears in front of me. I am persuaded that he's the one who can help me. I wake up.   
We celebrate curiosity’s role in discovery, and regret its potential for damage. Mature curiosity demands that we embrace the confusion, doubt and anxiety inherent in engaging new ideas and complex problems. Social curiosity requires discernment: are we genuinely and empathically interested in others, or simply indulging voyeurism via social media? Curiosity can lead us into thrill seeking, but lack of it dulls our libido for life. Is it grandiosity, ambition, or impulsive desire that is tweaking our interest—or is curiosity leading us into purpose, service and the numinous? We need to be curious about curiosity: what are we enacting--and why? In the unrestrained theater of our dreams even the most disallowed outer-world scenarios are played out. Dreams can do much to satiate and integrate the shadowy curiosities of the inner world if we remember, record, and reflect on them.    Dream I am in a dreary kind of industrial place full of single-story warehouse or farm type sheds/buildings - everything is grey. I don't relish being there but I am resigned to it. I look up again at the shed I'm standing next to and am surprised to see a beautiful mural has appeared on it's concrete apex (the triangular bit under the roof) - I don't remember exactly the image but it is full of blue and movement. I walk on to the next smaller row of sheds and in one I find skeletal figure of a man who is very sick and being tended to. The man is more skeleton than person, he has no eyes, only eye sockets for example, and is blackened/scorched: parts of his flesh seem about to fall away. I remember him as a famous actor, someone once very charismatic and good-looking, it is terrible to see him reduced to this. He is being moved from bed to chair by two nurse-type figures whom I do not see clearly. I go to help and hold his head - I am disgusted a little but also terrified that his head will come away in my hands if I am not careful enough. Once he is installed I move away. I find myself in another larger room next door where a group of people I do not know are gathered for a purpose I do not understand. I leave and go back out into the grey yard, but then feel an urge to reconnect with the man. I find another of these nurse-type figures who tells me he is with his wife and family now. I feel a little disappointed/left out but also glad for him that even in his repulsive/decrepit state he is surrounded by loved ones and is cared for.    References:Giorgio Tricarico. Lost Goddesses: A Kaleidoscope on Porn. Verena Kast. Father-Daughter, Mother-Son: Freeing Ourselves from the Complexes that Bind Us. Far From Heaven (film with Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid).
Jung states “the main interest of my work is not concerned with the treatment of neurosis but rather with the approach to the numinous…the real therapy. In as much as you attain to the numinous experiences you are released from the curse of pathology.” Jung defines numinous as “a dynamic agency or effect not caused by an arbitrary act of will” that conveys a mysterious yet deeply meaningful message. Numinous experiences happen to us, yet we can approach the numinous by engaging in practices like active imagination, recording dreams, or religious and esoteric modalities. Wisdom traditions—and Jung—have marked the trails. Life crisis and trauma can also open us to the numinous: fairy tales, myths, and religious texts relate happenings of help when all seemed lost. Whether sought or suffered, something greater appears when ego yields. We can act on the guidance that is given, and may attain the healing gifted by experience of the numinous.    Dream I have a joined a circle of men and women studying something psychological. I watch and wait for their leader to welcome me but he wanders off. It is part of a festival and people are lying around sexually pleasuring each other. I explore downstairs but when I come back the workshop members have put on costumes of gods and goddesses (the theme is Celtic, Nordic) They are coming to a gate at the centre of the ritual and I am in the way. Suddenly, a door opens and I'm pulled out of the way. It is the workshop leader and he takes me to a workbench. I can't remember his name but his book is on the bench. He is called Loki. Suddenly, the screw falls out of my glasses frame and lens falls out. I look on the floor but it is made of sand and there are lots of screws which are too big. After a long search, with no success, I discover something thin and fine in my mouth. I take it out. It is part of my glasses. There is more in my mouth. It is a sliver of the lens and rather than being plastic it is made of glass. I must get it out of my mouth or I will swallow and cut my own throat.   References: William James. The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (Amazon).  C.S. Lewis. The Problem of Pain (Amazon).
Jung teaches that soul and spirit have a home in a living body, the font of psyche’s images and means of their incarnation in the world. Embodiment is the ground of being, and engaging the tension between instinct and archetype shapes consciousness and character. Jung identified five instincts: creativity, movement, sexuality/eros, hunger in its many manifestations, and the ability to reflect and make meaning. If Pinocchio’s task was to humanize his instincts, much of modern man’s mission may be to re-establish vibrant connection with instinctual life. Jung says, “The archetype as an image of instinct is a spiritual goal toward which the whole nature of man strives; it is the sea to which all rivers wend their way, the prize which the hero wrests from the fight with the dragon.” The rigorous refining of instinct through embodied, conscious action is the path toward wholeness.   Dream I was waiting for a young man to pick me up for our second date, but he was late. I was in a park and there was a fair, and I ran into some of my childhood friends who were quite surprised about my date. So they started harassing me with questions about who he was and, mostly, why he was late. I didn't have his phone number, so I didn't know. I had with me a backpack, laptop, kindle, handbag, another bag and my stuff kept falling on the ground, and I had to pick it up over and over. It was raining hard, hours had passed and I decided to walk through the fair. There I bought a unicorn-shaped mug, that immediately fell off my hands and became ash as it hit the ground. I was tired and cold and went sitting under a large tree. In the tall grass, emerged a group of people who were shooting at wild ducks.   Reference: Besel van der Kolk: The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma (Amazon). 
We all have intuitive experiences, from an occasional hunch to powerful gut feelings. Unconscious intelligence is a storehouse of instincts and wisdoms humankind has accumulated over millennia. We would be lost without intuition and give importance to warnings and inspirations that saved or made the day. We are also skeptical of intuition, which tends to become infused with emotion, superstition, and cultural bias. Altogether, intuition is about the future, from promising possibilities to potential pitfalls. To apply inner perception in meaningful ways we need to balance it with conscious considerations around values, objective assessment, and meaningful action. Intuition can then provide a glimpse of a higher level of reality that can anchor us to purpose.    Dream I walk outside of my front door and notice a storm is brewing in the grey sky. The wind feels like it could pick me up and take me, but I remain steady and fixated on the intensity and beauty of the sunset. I walk several feet and stand on top of a flowerbed I’ve been building. I can somehow see all the way down the valley. I instantly hear a loud humming noise coming toward me and when I look up, I notice a giant swarm of bees - they stop and hover above me. They drop, as a whole, to just above my head and then lift up again. I am aware it is scary, but I don’t feel scared. They do it a second time and I lie down in the dirt, gazing up at them. I’m surprisingly calm. Then when they lift again, suddenly a giant bird (an eagle ??!!) lands just above my head and starts pecking at the ground. The bees drop, almost suffocating me in this space with the eagle violently pecking around my face. I remain frozen and in awe. Then the bees fly away and then the eagle.    References Jonathan Haidt. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion (Amazon). Malcolm Gladwell: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Amazon)
In times of uncertainty truth is hard to discern, collective cohesion frays, and social factions become embattled. Unmediated shadow then seeks expression through the archetypal realm and takes on extra-ordinary attributes. Persecutory mythologies arise, for big psychic situations need big stories to compensate for big feelings of anxiety, powerlessness, and marginalization. Insecurities are projected onto the outer-world as clandestine enemies of mythic proportions: alien rulers, government cabals, and other images of secret domination. Understanding conspiracy theories as symbolic expressions of unconscious contents can allow us to take them seriously without taking them literally. We may then respond with consciousness and empathy instead of judgment--and begin to shift the collective psychic field toward wholeness.    Dream I am with my housemate, L, and we are in a city. The dream begins with us trying to get an answer to a question about the psychology of animals (I do not remember specifics of the question). We have gone to see a psychologist whose last name is Green. He is writing something on his laptop and when we ask to speak with him he asks for 30 minutes. There are churros in the waiting area, and for some reason I am taking some in a bag. Somehow I know there is a party that I am supposed to be bringing these back for. There isn’t even a churro machine, a stack of them just continues to appear in the same spot on a desk. Once I have entered the conference room with Dr. Green, I am in the middle of eating a bite of churro and cannot respond to what he is saying, though he is laughing at the fact that my mouth is full of churro. Suddenly, the entire world has changed, I am entering what looks like a room from the back of a club, or maybe an abandoned house? The dreamscape room has a deep purple color and though there is no light in the room, I can still see. At this point in the dream I become lucid and think “I should make something appear here”, however, a man appears in the room and he begins to wrestle me to the ground. We begin fighting and the face of the man seems to be changing as we roll. I do not recognize him. I have an intuition that I am dancing, however, I decide to fight back against the attacker. I punch the man and the dreamscape changes again. I am in the middle of a living room at the bottom of a tower and realize that I have just punched Dr. Green. I apologize profusely, and end up saying, “sorry, Dad… I mean… Doc”. I put my hands on my head after this slip up and am feeling very confused. Dr. Green says it’s ok and that we should begin making our way up the tower. I look up and see L climbing the stairs and her face is covered in sweat. Dr. Green begins up the stairs but I realize I can float. I allow myself to float just to see what it is like and then I wake up.   References C.G. Jung. The Undiscovered Self: The Dilemma of the Individual in Modern Society (Amazon).  Iain McGilchrist. The Master and His Emissary: The divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (Amazon).  Jonathan Haidt. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Amazon).
Money reflects our shadows and strengths as much as our bank accounts. Like Hermes, money traverses the realms from Hades to Heaven--money can be a matter of survival, and money can turn dreams into realities. Because money represents value we can acquire, exchange, and store, it can become conflated with our value as persons. Material wealth can become equated with status and self worth—and the lack of it with inadequacy and anxiety. To come into right relationship with money we need to develop a realistic perception of its power and place within a larger personal economy. In a healthy life economy energetic currencies flow freely—we have rich relationships, and wise investments in work and purpose generate psychic interest. Inner treasure allows something of value to come into the world through us.    Dream I found myself walking down a street in a European-like town until I came upon a group of my peers. One of them proclaimed that the book we had all been searching for was in a bookstore ahead and that she was intent on finding it. As I was also intent on finding this book, I went on ahead. The bookstore was, in fact, nine book stores located in a three story building with three stores on each floor. I, alone, entered the middle bookstore on the second floor and asked the attendant if she had any special books related to psychoanalysis. After pondering a moment, slightly confused at my request, she remembered that she did have a special book enclosed in a wooden box. It was the book I had been searching for- decorative and ancient looking. I purchased it for $45, thrilled with excitement. I met back with my peers in the library, all of whom were perturbed and annoyed that I was the one who found the book. "I told you about it and then you go and take it for yourself," one said angrily. I set the book on the table and told them that they are welcome to check it out, as long as they are careful and respectful with it. They all seemed appeased by this motion, yet still slightly bitter, and treated the book with care. Soon after, a famous relationship therapist called my name, asking for my opinion on a matter. I felt shocked that someone of such renown would consider my opinion on anything. She was holding two pictures, one clearly of a bridge, the other obscure. Through analysis of key symbols and images in each picture, we discovered that it was an image of the same bridge, taken at different angles.    References Myths, Morals & Money –This Jungian Life joins Australian visionary Berry Liberman in a series of six podcasts. See James Hillman. Soul and Money (Amazon). Aaron R. Kipnis. The Midas Complex: How Money Drives Us Crazy and What We Can Do About it (Amazon).
The provisional life might be defined as a vague malaise: current relationships, work, and lifestyle feel like placeholders until the ‘real thing’ arrives—someday. If early life circumstances made over-conforming to others’ needs and expectations necessary, persona can be over-developed and shadow denied. The person may orient to external sources for self-definition, acceptance and direction, because deep roots in shadow’s dark, fertile soil of authentic feeling and experience are lacking. The recovery and discovery of the true self comes from engaging the inner world: dreams, reverie, creative endeavors, service to something greater—and perhaps a wise guide on the road to wholeness. Jung says, “If the risk is not taken, the meaning of life is somehow violated, and the whole future is condemned to helpless staleness...” Or we can be alive while we’re alive.    Dream I find myself in an old abandoned church. I am climbing up a ladder and next to me is a being, half-bird & half-human. I feel attracted to her; I kiss her. In the next scene, I push her away from me. Now she is a bird. Another person helps me to get the bird out of the church. The bird wants to come back in. I have a guilty conscience because I try to push her away from me. Now the bird person is back in the church. And in the last image, I find myself with her walking around the church and the being tells me "people can't fly because they don't have wings."   References Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki). Mary Oliver. When Death Comes and other poems. 
When far from life in the wild, relationships with animals are often through pets. We find kinship and difference in our friends of very foreign origin. Pets let us be tender, elicit nurturing, and help heal trauma through secure attachment. Our creatures keep our secrets. They accept our lapses and shadows. They invite us to play and appear in our dreams--and when they are gone, we mourn. Henry Beston said, “In a world older and more complete than ours [animals] move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.” Through our pets we can stay in touch with the magic and mystery of animal life. They remind us that we are part of a larger, living whole.    Dream The dream began when I found myself climbing up a steep snowy ledge on a tall cliff. There was a trail of footsteps, as if I had been there before. As I trekked upwards I contemplated my teenage years of debauchery and the lies I told to keep my mother comfortably unaware. As the cliff’s edge got steeper the snow became much deeper and I continued on all fours, with exhaustion setting in. Upon reaching the top I almost ate some snow feeling, overwhelmed with gratitude, but quickly realized what a poor decision that could potentially be. (Thinking of dirty snow) So I let my body sink into an icy cold bed of snow instead, relaxing all my muscles and regulating my breath at the journeys end. It felt gratifying to have reached the top, and the sensation of cold snow felt incredible against my skin. I looked up and noticed a small alcove, inside under dark shadows stirred the silhouette of a large raven. Mysterious yet significant, nodding its head toward me as if it had been waiting for my arrival.   References Henry Beston. The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod (Amazon).   
The hero’s journey has been the stuff of story from earliest times. Today’s popular heroes include Harry Potter, Frodo, Spiderman, Neo, and Luke Skywalker. They are all ordinary guys who suddenly receive the Call to Adventure, mythologist Joseph Campbell’s term for the beginning of the journey. The would-be hero first declines, then answers the call; he suffers tests and trials, succeeds with help from unexpected sources, and returns with the gifts of all he has learned. The hero’s journey is the human story--we are all called to be more, often in seemingly mundane ways. As we go to work, raise children, and experience setbacks, we are called to sacrifice personal interest and ego-driven desires for the sake of something greater. The hero’s journey is a metaphor for the inner adventure Jung described as individuation, ‘the treasure hard to attain’ and life’s true goal.    Dream The dream consisted of 3 segments. In the first, I was outdoors, looking up, observing a group of men, they were engaged in some project involving large, structural pieces of architecture e.g. old stone walls. One item was made of clay and included a large carving, I think it was of a face. The men had made a mistake in handling the clay, so that it appeared to have become moldy: white spots had appeared on it. I thought or heard a voice saying something like "they didn't appreciate that the clay is alive, it breathes, it absorbs and retains moisture." The men were trying to remedy the situation: they poured red wine on the clay, as if that would destroy the mold. In the second part of the dream, I was indoors with other women, in a small, bright jewelry shop or workshop. A young woman had brought a tiny, delicate watch that had broken. She also brought wonderful, intricate drawings of the watch and the repairs needed. With another woman, I began planning the repair. I was confident we could repair it, but my companion was fretful, fearing we wouldn't be able to. Her worries didn't seem to interfere with my confidence. I continued to explain two possible ways we could repair the watch. In the third part of the dream, I was neither clearly indoors nor outdoors, but in a large, bright space, seemingly boundless, maybe like a marquee or gazebo outdoors. A woman had given me a task: I was to write, beautifully, the list of guest names for a wedding. A man was nearby, I think he was somehow involved, too. He was a little effeminate. I was left pretty much alone, and the paper with the names was crumpled and stained.    References C.G. Jung. Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Amazon)  James Hollis. Mythologems (Amazon).  Joseph Campbell. The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Amazon)
Masks are the symbol of COVID life, and they have archetypal roots as old as humankind. We ward off evil microbial forces with bandanas, neck gaiters, patterned fabrics, and high filtration medical masks. Masks provide access to our shape-shifting potential, connect us to our instinctual depths, mediate our relationship to the spirits, and open a portal to the mythic realm of story and drama. Masks waft us into new identities: children become superheroes or face-painted animals; women apply make-up, men craft beards, and everyone wears sunglasses that shade us from more than sunlight. We also wear a social mask, persona, and present different aspects of ourselves to colleagues, Facebook friends, and family—but if we identify with the faces we present to the world we risk defining ourselves according to fixed and superficial attributes. Masks in all their forms affect the experience of wearer and viewers.   Dream I am staying in a large, gothic house in the countryside while some sort of calamity is occurring in the world. I think it is a weather event, as it is raining heavily outside. My adult daughter screams, summoning me to the foot of the imposing stairs, where she has seen a mouse scurrying. She is desperate that I catch it, and I do, holding it in my fist, against my bare chest. I know it is terribly diseased and that the best thing would be for me to kill it, so I simply crush it. To my horror, and disgust, foul liquid bursts out of the mouse. Now I have this horrible corpse to dispose of and I don’t want my daughter, or anyone else, to see it. I can feel the sticky liquid on my bare skin. I find myself outside in the pouring rain. The rain is soaking me and now I have a large teddy bear in my arms. The corpse of the mouse is embedded in the teddy bear. As I walk, the bear becomes sodden, heavy and cumbersome. I am looking for somewhere to dispose of it, but nowhere seems suitable. I wake feeling anxious.
When you’re down, and in trouble, and you need some loving care... You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am,  I’ll come running to see you again…you’ve got a friend.  Carole King song   The companion has a beloved place in our hearts. Famed modern-day teammates include Captain Kirk and Spock, Frodo and Samwise, Batman and Robin, and Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The companion serves and supports the hero, contributing quieter gifts of guidance, capability, and devotion. Every companion is an image of the inner Other, and is present whenever gifts of wisdom, care and guidance are received. Our bodies, instincts, and feelings recognize and respond to the companion: a night’s sleep and dreams ease anxiety, a quandary melts into resolution, a new idea shines in mind. The Companion is already and always there.    Dream I keep making this lucid dream, of bumping into a long-lost best friend of mine. We first happily greet each other, and discuss how long it's been since we last met. But quickly, I realize that I'm indeed dreaming. I try to explain that to him, and ask him for his contact information, such as a phone number, e-mail, or his social media account, to hopefully meet him in the real world... But he always seems either confused, or reluctant. He just stares at me, smirking, as I try to hurry up and get a way to contact him before the dream ends, but he never gives an appropriate answer, he either avoids the question, or simply walks away, as if he didn't truly want to regain contact with me.    References Edward C. Whitmont and Sylvia Brinton Perera. Portal to the Source (Amazon). Henri Corbin. Alone with the Alone (Amazon).
Comments (10)


This topic is very amazing

Jun 22nd

Orsolya Tóth

At 39.40 they mention a book about transgenerational imprints. I couldn't understand the author, could someone help me?

Jun 15th

Moira M

Totally disagree with Deb's take on alcoholism. Wow. Just wow.

Feb 3rd

Moira M

I love this podcast. It's so good listening to three intelligent and compassionate people. Thank you so much.

Jan 13th
Reply (1)

Ursula Bronicki

hello, I'm having issues playing episode #86; it seems to have cut off half way. Now I get a message saying it cant be played due to a broken source (unknown error)? the other episodes play fine...any recommendations?

Nov 22nd

Love Life

one assumption made that being a slob is low functioning. is it?

Apr 22nd

Daniel Taylor

This episode reminded me of the concept that God, as an architype, is possibly being replaced with other types or images. For example, the idea that sacredness as being applied to many nonreligious ideas, like food or politics or even morality, like do no harm is, maybe, a reflection of our secular society and the idea that God, whether consious or unconscious, is an important part of being human. By that I mean, that the idea of God or God himself is a need or a manifestation of our need for a God.

Mar 11th

Daniel Taylor

ok, the only issue I have with this discussion, is that maybe it's possible that the only power a person may have is to cut off ones family of origin. If a parent or any individual in any relationship refuses to modify their perceptually abusive behavior the person repetitively abused may have no other choice, but to remove themselves from that behavior.

Mar 5th

Vanessa Hannah Bright, LAc, LP

What an incredible podcast, thank you for taking the time to produce it. It is immensely inspiring and enriching.

Aug 27th
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