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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.
165 Episodes
Episode 163 - INTROVERSION

Episode 163 - INTROVERSION


The terms introversion and extraversion, now cultural staples, originated with Jung and describe the overall direction of life energy. The widely used Myers-Briggs Typology Indicator (MBTI), now available online, is drawn directly from Jung’s theory of personality types. Although extraverts direct their energy outward, introverts direct their energy inward. External-world relationships and events tend to pale in comparison to ideas, internal images and reflective processes. The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke expressed this idea pithily: “I am in love with you and it’s none of your business.” Introverts are not shy, reclusive, fearful, detached or avoidant—they simply find their inner world enlivening. Introversion places a high value on receptivity, quietude in a busy world, and relationship with oneself.  Jung, himself an introvert, valued the ability to claim inner life, freedom and independence.  Here's the dream we analyze: "I'm in the central square of my native city with my grandmother and my cousin (he and I are in our teenage years). We hear a deep rumbling as though a huge mass of water is approaching. We look around trying to figure out which way it is coming from. I see a gigantic wave crashing over the clock tower which looks more ancient than the one in my real city. The three of us stand facing the wave. My grandmother grabs both of our hands and says, "We hardly have a chance." I think that it might be the end but still hope to survive. The wave hits us (I often dream of huge waves but never been hit by one before). I'm holding my breath under water. It is dark. Then the water subsides. Now it's completely gone. People walk around as though nothing much happened. I meet a couple of my classmates who are not at all surprised that they survived." References: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Susan Cain.
Erich Neumann publicly proposed the concept of the ego-Self (or Self-ego) axis and began to sketch its implications in his 1952 Eranos lecture, "The Psyche and the Transformation of the Reality Planes. Edward Edinger popularized the concept writing, "It portrays the developmental relationship between the ego and the Self, Jung’s term for “the totality of the conscious and unconscious psyche [that] transcends our visions…”  As infants, we embody an original wholeness, or Self-hood, out of which ego (a sense of “I”) gradually emerges. The connection to the Self may be damaged if the ego believes itself the sole source of identity and life or if the ego has been depleted through trauma. In either case, reconnection to the Self is essential to life vitality. A living relationship with the Self can be sought through work with the unconscious: we can attend to our dreams, develop self-reflective capacity, and learn to see meaning and magic in everyday occurrences.  Here’s the dream we analyze: “I was taking part in a marathon. At first, I was doubtful I could complete the race. As I started running, I realized I was not losing my energy too quickly, and my hope I would reach the destination was growing within me. Toward the end of the race, I still had plenty of energy, so I decided to accelerate a bit, even though I could see so many people were ahead of me, and I, therefore, had no chance of winning. As I reached the end, I checked the results and noticed I was around the 14th person to arrive. I was, however, the first among female participants. I was very excited and wanted my partner to see the results. Then I somehow started running back along the same route, still full of energy. While I was running back, someone was announcing the prizes, and I knew I would be offered a pram and could choose out of three types. One of the prams offered as a prize was a “German” pram that had a seat for the baby that could be turned around so that the baby is either looking forward or looking back at the parent who is pushing.”   REFERENCES:  Linda Leonard. On the Way to the Wedding. Edward Edinger. Ego and Archetype. RESOURCES: Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:
In 1543, Andreas Vesalius dissected a corpse, thereby inaugurating a scientific attitude toward the human body. This new attitude taught us to stand aside from our identification and connection with the body and see it as a lifeless subject of inquiry. Such an approach brought obvious vital advances in science and medicine, but it also came at a cost. In the 20th century, philosophers such as Foucault and Derrida did for language what Vesalius had done for the human body. Their careful dissection of language laid bare formerly hidden assumptions and revealed the ways that language shapes our thinking.  We are joined on the podcast by Dr. Bret Alderman, author of Symptom, Symbol, and the Other of Language: A Jungian Interpretation of the Linguistic Turn. We discuss alienation and dissociation that results from the Promethean project to deconstruct language and its meaning.  Foucault, Derrida, and the other postmodernists contributed valuable insights to our understanding of the role of language in determining our assumptions. Still, their desire to sever the meaning of words from those things that words represent is symptomatic of a profound dissociation from our embodied, instinctual selves. Jung was aware of the perils inherent in such a project. "This rupture of the link with the unconscious and our submission to the tyranny of words has one great disadvantage: the conscious mind becomes more and more the victim of its discriminating activity, the picture of the world gets broken down into countless particulars, and the original feelings of unity, which we integrally connected with the unity of the unconscious psyche, is lost. This feeling of unity, in the form of correspondence theory and the sympathy of all things, dominated philosophy until well into the seventeenth century." The ideas of the postmodernists have permeated culture in ways that are not always obvious. Current movements to redefine certain phenomena as social constructs are evidence of the inroads these philosophies have made. Though there are benefits to looking at this world this way, these ideas may also be giving rise to a "rootless consciousness." Here's the dream we analyze: "There are tarantulas stuck on my skin the way ticks would be. They are big and hairy. Strangely the tarantulas are hidden in small boxes, which hang on my body. So their legs are digging into my skin, but I can't see them unless I remove the boxes. My mother is helping me to remove the spiders, but they keep coming back. They don't crawl upon me but rather seem to be born from my skin. All of a sudden, my mother is gone, and I'm alone with some spiders still hanging on me. I can't remove them myself because I'm too scared to touch them. I am terrified and helpless." REFERENCES: Dr. Bret Alderman. Symptom, Symbol, and the Other of Language: A Jungian Interpretation of the Linguistic Turn. Cave of Forgotten Dreams. (Movie). RESOURCES: Learn to Analyze your own Dreams: You can contact Dr. Bret Alderman at
Our colleague Puddi Kullberg, author of The Bad Mother, joins us to acknowledge motherhood’s shadow. A link to her paper is below. Our culture idealizes motherhood, but mothers everywhere have experienced themselves as bad in varying ways and to various degrees. Jung suggests that even truly harmful mothers can expiate their actions by becoming conscious of what they have done. If we can face even grievous mistakes, we can deepen into our ordinary, sometimes dark humanity. Confrontation with our negative mothering leads to experiencing emotions that were previously unrecognized or denied. We can mitigate isolation by getting help. We can be known, our experience is understandable, and we can choose the life that lies before us now. We may also discover new capacity for compassion and presence—and moments of genuine joy.  Here's the dream we analyze: “I climb a gigantic rock. In the carrier on my belly, I carry my son. I am trying to reach the tree that stands solely on top of the rock, which feels like the ceiling of the world. The tree is bigger than any tree I have ever seen. It is, in fact, so big I feel it to be the world tree. I am desperate to reach it, for I feel I need to be there; it is essential. The tree is wildly moving its gigantic trunk from left to right all around its circumference. There is no wind, so I feel it must be moving from itself. Its crown is damaged by what seems to have been lightning. It feels overwhelming how big the tree is. I know that I have to reach the base of the tree when it is moving its trunk into the other direction. Although there is a risk of its branches hitting me and my baby, I know there is a certain time span for me to quickly reach its base before the trunk will change direction again. Suddenly there is a figure that attacks me as I climb upwards. He hits and tries to throw me off the mountain. It feels like he is from space, for he has a strange appearance, metallic-like. I know I will have to fight him; it is too important to reach the tree. I feel a sense of overcoming this figure, but there is no real image of that. I am very aware of my baby on my belly during the fight.”  REFERENCES Lisa Marchiano. Motherhood: Facing & Finding Yourself Puddi Kullberg. The Bad Mother: Daniela Sieff. The Death Mother as Nature’s Shadow: Infanticide, Abandonment, and the Collective Unconscious: RESOURCES Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:
The wellspring of consciousness has long been located in word. Once words were etched on clay or inked on papyrus, a new way of knowing was born. Writing ordered and expanded language, captured ideas, bloomed imagination, and preserved human experience.  Writing is an encounter like no other with oneself and inner others, light and dark. Whether we meet the page in a personal journal or as professional necessity, we discover that ego alone does not do this job. Some days words leap like dolphins; other days find us becalmed on a flat sea. To create through writing is to encounter self and depths, and Lisa shares experiences of writing her forthcoming book, Motherhood: Facing and Finding Yourself. Her words for the creative and challenging process of mothering map a path to soul and greater wholeness.     Dream I was attending a house party, and I was in the kitchen. I was wearing a skirt and all of a sudden I realized I had pooped without realizing it and the poop was on the floor of the kitchen. It was like a long light beige dinner roll in size and shape, and there were large batteries in the poop. I quickly picked it up, hoping no one saw me and turned to put it in the toilet, but there was someone in the bathroom, so I wrapped the poop in a yellow garbage bag and dropped it in the garbage can. At some other point in the dream, I had to collect many things I had strewn about in the home because I had to leave to make a train journey. I often have elements of my dream where I'm hustling to get somewhere to be on time for a leaving train or bus, but I can't find my belongings. At another point I was in a van with many people driving along a bumpy dirt road. For the majority of the dream, I was surrounded by people but feeling alone.    References Lisa Marchiano. Barbara Hannah. Encounters with Soul. Rollo May. The Courage to Create.  
The splendid-feathered phoenix lives for hundreds of years builds its own funeral pyre, sets it on fire, and rises from the ashes after three days. The phoenix represents long life, conscious acquiescence to death, and assured regeneration. The fiery alchemical process of calcinatio leaves behind a white ash equivalent to salt, that which cannot be burned: life, soul, and Eros. The phoenix is usually depicted ascending in its joyful solar plumage of red, orange, and gold, indicating that when one is purged of instinctual drives, affective intensity, and egotistical desires, fire is experienced as divine illumination. The resurrected phoenix constructs an egg from the ashes of its former self and deposits it on the altar of the sun god—an acknowledgment of the regenerative connection between the ego and the Self.  Here's The Dream We Analyze: “In this dream, my father, who passed away fifteen years ago, had come back to visit. He seems well but somewhat less warm than he used to be, and not as demonstrative; taller and paler than I remember. We all go to some sort of train station in Amman, which does not actually exist, and hop on a light-rail train suspended high above the city. My father, eldest sister, and brother go ahead of us; and myself, my disabled brother, and his driver are in the compartment behind them. No sooner had the train started to move than I look down and see ancient ruins that apparently were recently excavated. The view is breathtaking; an entire ancient city so well preserved; so beautiful as to rival any ancient ruin on the planet. I notice one or two temples fashioned in the image of gigantic feline heads. I also notice the tasteful lighting that adds a lot to the experience as the evening darkness descends. I wonder how this is here, in the middle of the city, and worry a bit about this lovely ancient ruin being overrun and perhaps damaged by people and tourists. For the moment, there were only one or two people down there that I could see. As I look further I remember that I have been in this place before. We get to our destination and my siblings and father want to go down below and walk. I tell them that I will push my other brother’s wheelchair and take him to the car with the driver.”  References Edward Edinger. Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy,
The fool in various guises has appeared since ancient times. The court jester seduces through comedy, song, and story. The dummling son of fairy tales wins the treasure with well-meaning ineptitude. Shakespeare featured fools in many of his plays, the Tarot deck begins (or ends) with the fool, and comedians have built careers on playing the fool. The fool punctures the posturings of others’ personas and egos, bests his “betters,” and transgresses social boundaries and conventional morality. The fool flaunts and taunts us with shadow, making truths about cultural norms and human complexity both pointed and palatable. We might well claim that dreams come from the inner fool, and they can shock an ego made lowly by bawdy images of shadow in bathroom dreams and sexual acts. The fool is the unconscious itself, and we recognize if dimly, his close and paradoxical relationship with the Self, light, and dark. Here's the dream we analyze:  “I'm not even sure what I was studying. I was wandering around a large parking structure looking for my car and I couldn't find it. I kept using my key to lock it and then listened for the chirp, but it seemed very distant. Then I went into an elevator that seemed to move sideways before it finally started going up. I got out of the elevator and wandered into an empty classroom and sat at a table and wrote in a notebook, but it was just odd musings, like random lines of poetry. A young woman sat next to me. She put her hand on my hand and asked me what I was studying. I told her I did not know. I told her I did not know where my car was or what dorm I lived in. She said she would help me and we started to wander through the structure together. It was like an Escher painting. The woman was flirtatious and I told her she was barking up the wrong tree (I am gay) but she did not seem deterred. We went to the lobby of the building, where there were tables with computers on them and packages in a corner. There were several packages for me, wrapped Christmas gifts from my family from earlier years that I had never picked up. No one seemed to know where my room was, but I went alone back into the structure and continued to wander. Finally, I met two young men who led me to my room. Then I gradually realized I was dreaming and woke up.” RESOURCES: Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:
Swiss Jungian scholar Jager Schmallzenburger has recently released news of the discovery of Jung’s erotic stamp collection. Found tucked into the wall behind a bookcase, the box of stamps features uniquely rendered images of milkmaids from countries around the world. The milkmaid, symbolic of the archetypal feminine in the flower of fulsome youth, has long been prominent in the mythopoetic imagination of man. No one had previously realized that Jung, in addition to his many other interests, was also a passionate philatelist, and his dedication to the image of the milkmaid puts a decidedly Jungian stamp on this universal and compelling image. Although Schmallzenburger is currently engrossed in researching the images comprising The Milkmaid Collection, various Jungian journals are vying for publication rights. Interest is high and Schmallzenburger’s findings and photographs are expected by the end of the year. Here's the dream we analyze:  “I am running down a back ally and see a slightly opened door. I’m running for my life and jump inside bolting the door behind me. Inside it’s the back room of a smokey bar. I try to walk confidently through the room to find the front door. A short, bearded man in a three-piece suit looks intensely at me while he slowly pulls a huge blunt out of his pocket. It’s at least 8 inches long and really thick. He nods and asks if I’d like a hit. I’m tempted but I need to get out the door. He places the blunt on a small low table and takes out a cigar knife, just like my grandfather's, and chops off the tip of the blunt. For some reason, I feel faint. As he clamps the blunt in his teeth, I run out the door. I’m home in the kitchen with my fiancé but now she looks different having gained a huge amount of weight. I sit at the dining table while she slowly peels a banana - strip by strip. It takes forever but I keep staring at it. All pealed now she smiles. I know she’ll make me a banana split. She walks to the counter, winks, and throws it in the blender. I scream and try to turn off the blender but it’s too late. I’m upset and try to leave but long black ropes wrap around my leg and pull me across the kitchen floor. There’s a huge hole in the floor. The strands pull me in. I’ll know I’ll drown so I fight real hard. I wake covered in sweat.” RESOURCES: Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:
not chosen but is imposed and unwanted: a relational break-up, job lay-off, or deportation. Exile can affect the human spirit so powerfully that the ancient Romans used it as an alternative to execution. Alienation describes an internal state of deadness and despair--an uncanny valley that feels featureless, gray, and unending. It can manifest as depression, anxiety, addiction, and desperation—which can lead to violence against self or others. A return to feeling heals, movingly rendered in Va, Pensiero in Verdi’s opera Nabucco: the exiled Hebrew slaves sing of their loss, love, and longing for home. Tears transform pain into suffering and restore personal presence in relation to something greater.  Here’s the Dream We Analyze: “I am in a conservatory. It is night and the conservatory is dimly lit. It is a large room between two castle towers, and the stone walls of the castle can be seen at each end of the conservatory. I feel very comfortable in the room and I even begin to consider how I could move in with my belongings. An old friend from my music college years appears and tells me that the stone walls outside are covered with crystals and diamonds. He also says; "the diamonds are strong enough to cut the scales of a dragon." We then spend some time making incisions in wood with these diamonds, though it feels like a childish exercise. I tell my friend that there is a hidden room in one of the towers and I invite him to follow me to this room. As we walk I mention other rooms (an organ room, a library) and we ascend staircases along the way. The corridors and staircases become more narrow and awkward. I enter the secret room alone; it is empty and very small. I feel extremely uncomfortable, as though there is a strong invisible presence there, and I feel terrified. I leave the room and rejoin my friend; the building is different and we join a crowd of people exiting a theatre. I wake from the dream.”  REFERENCES James Hillman. Edward Edinger. RESOURCES Learn to Analyze your own Dreams: 
Elliott Morgan, comedian and PhD candidate in depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, joins us to explore humor and psyche. Elliott grew up a fundamentalist Christian in central Florida, and has gone from practicing holy laughter to creating HOLY SH*T, his comedy special on Amazon (also featuring Jung’s debut on the comedic stage). Elliott’s college major, zoology, prepared him to play Goofy at Disney World and Big Bird on Hollywood Blvd. A recovering Nice Person, Elliott draws on life experiences, relentlessly engages shadow, and uses laughter to turn suffering into soul making. Hitting rock bottom led to the choice not to fall back into old patterns but to fall forward; Elliott’s new life features avocado toast and other radical practices. Jung, quoting Schopenhauer, said, “A sense of humor is the only divine quality of man,” and Elliott’s storytelling and self-disclosure define the alchemy of fellowship, insight, and human spirit. Elliott’s podcasts, The Valleycast and The Fundamentalists, are additional paths to laughter and transcendence (see Elliott will perform live in Washington State at the Spokane Comedy Club on June 23 and at the Tacoma Comedy Club on June 24.     Dream I am taking a ballet class in a room in a famous building in NYC. The room is shaped like my old apartment in Brooklyn. The building is by the water and there are windows but no good views. It’s dark, rainy and storming outside. The class becomes full and crowded, too crowded to really dance. I feel content, I feel like I’m home. The room is dark. I can’t make out anyone’s faces, including my ballet teacher’s face. Soon the rain starts to seep into the room. The floors are getting wet. It seems like the room is caving in and I am scared that the old building is falling over from the rain. I worry that the floors are getting ruined with the rain but my ballet teacher doesn’t seem worried. We all leave the room. I am worried we are running out of time and the building will collapse. No one else seems scared. There are two exits: the elevator or the stairs. The elevator looks dangerous because the rain is seeping in and the elevator runs on electricity. The stairwell shows that we are on the 43 or 44th floor of the building. The stairs are flooded and look slippery. But I think the stairs are safer than taking the elevator.   References: Lionel Corbett. The Soul in Anguish: Marie Louise von Franz. The Way of the Dream: Edward Edinger. Anatomy of the Psyche. Peter Berger. A Rumor of Angels Peter Rollins. Divine Magician, Insurrection
Horses herd, birds flock, whales pod, and people tribe. The need to belong is as intrinsic to human nature as the need for food, touch, clothing and shelter. We belong to families, communities, ideas and ideals, yet must also separate from them in service to our own individuation. As we grow, we belong to teams and clubs, and find new homes in school and at work. Is the price of belonging rigid conformity and sameness, or is uniqueness valued and difference supported? We later express attitude and attachment to home in the houses we inhabit: photos and mementos honor connections within a framework of personal expression. Jung built Bollingen, the unique home in which he was “in the midst of my true life [and] most deeply myself.” To be at home in the world and belong to ourselves is the mature manifestation of affiliation, differentiation, and creative endeavor. Here's the dream we analyze: "I see our home landscape from air some distance away from the home, as though I'm seeing it while hovering/flying in the air - a birds-eye view. I see that the bungalow, that's our home, is in a ruined condition. The building appears deserted, a destroyed habitat in time of apocalypse with its bare skeleton remaining - the base and some misshapen columns, like the one in destroyed cities of war-torn Syria, except there are no large number of buildings in the vicinity. It's the only building in the area. During one time that I dreamt this recurring dream, I saw my paternal grandfather walking around the building and when I approached him, he kind of said with his body language, "What do you want? I got nothing!" and the dream ended. His hands were out in front at hip height as if showing he had nothing."   References: John Hill.
Like fire in a wood-burning stove, resentment burns long and hot: bitterness, frustration, and hostility. The fires of resentment are lit when we feel needy and vulnerable and feel wronged and rejected. This old human story is told in the biblical tale of brothers Cain and Abel. When Cain’s offering is judged inferior, Cain takes it out on Abel. He acts--and acts out—defensively to insulate himself from shame and culpability by killing Abel. Cain’s subsequent mark symbolizes the psychic price of resentment. Creating a new human story means facing, feeling and healing from the fruitless quest for reparation. We must instead accept even awful disappointment and seek new possibility. The story of Cain and Abel is a tale of the archetypal masculine. Healing is likely to lie in discovering one’s tender, embracing feminine soul.    Here's the dream we analyze: "I'm at an apartment's open house. I know that the place was previously owned by someone considered to be very social and popular. The apartment is right downtown, prime location for shopping and partying. It is also attached to a well-known café/bar. As I'm looking around, I find that the ceilings are very low and I'm hunched over as I move through the rooms and open closets ('cause closet space matters!). I start to have my doubts even though there's a part of me that really wants to live here to be popular too. I sit down with the real estate agent and the café owner. They are playing really loud rock music, the kind of music that just sounds like awful noise to my ears. I mentally retreat from the scene by delving into a book. The café owner looks at me and says that I'm not really a fit for the vibe of the place, which he wants to be the same as before. I agree, although reluctantly."   References: Ronald Fairbairn: Melanie Klein: John Bowlby:
The twenties are a period of emerging adulthood, a time to engage in the maturational tasks of finding one’s place in the wider world and forming intimate relationships. This stage of life calls for the ego strength necessary to make initial choices about work, intimacy, money, lifestyle and values. The protections and constraints of family, education, and culture are no longer unquestioned. It is time to engage life on one’s own authority: take appropriate risks, tolerate anxiety, weather disappointments—and reap the rewards of growing self-confidence and life competencies, lest isolation and stasis ensue. Embark bravely and with an open heart; learn to balance aspiration and reality, passion and practicalities. Jung says, “If one lives life then surely something should come from it. You see, life wants to be real; if you love life you want to live really, not as a mere promise hovering above things.”  Here's the dream we analyze: "I walk into my older brother's bedroom in my childhood home. The room is full of sunlight. I head towards a mirror that is leaning against the window. I pull down my pants to check on a tattoo I recently got on my right thigh (I really did get a tattoo there recently). As I'm pulling my pants down I see another tattoo on my left thigh. It's massive. The tattoo is of a statue of the Virgin Mary. Except where her face should be there is a black square covering her face. I panic and will myself to remove the tattoo with my own mental fortitude. The tattoo began to disappear. Then came back then finally disappeared."  References: Erik Erikson. Poem: Desiderata.
Subjective truths yield multiple realities—political and religious truths famously differ. Objective truths rely on independent realities—two plus two must ever be four, not five. Jung’s four functions of consciousness help us reconcile inner and outer realities. Sensation causes physiological reactions to untruths in ourselves and in others; our bodies are wired for congruence. We can also notice and name feelings, beliefs and desires: are we inflamed and defensive, or calm and considered? Our thinking function insists on impartial reason, and intuition lets us know when something is “off.” Conscious functions of sensation, feeling, thinking and intuition allow us to engage all our faculties of knowing. Centered in self, we can regard the decision, person, or situation at hand with internal integrity that is congruent with external reality: truth.   Here's the dream we analyze: The Strange Visitor: "I was in my house, the one my family and I have lived in for the past 16 years. It’s a small ranch. But in my dream, there was no furniture and all the walls were painted deep, glossy red, almost like blood. But the walls were not in good shape. They were scraped and nicked. On one wall, the drywall was missing completely and the studs were exposed. I was with my two boys, but my wife was not there. Suddenly a man walked in the house who I had never seen before, but somehow I knew exactly who he was. So I asked my two boys (they are teenagers), “Do you know who this is?” They did not know. So I told them, “It’s Mr. Harkness. He used to live here before we did.” (In real life, Mr. Harkness died a few decades ago and we bought the home from his own two sons. When we bought the home, Mr. Harkness’s widow had just died because of a fire in the home; I don’t think she died in it, but in the hospital afterward. Again, I had never met Mr. Harkness and I’ve never thought about him.). He appeared in my dream as an old man with silver frame glasses and a tan Carhartt jacket. For some reason, I asked him, “What was it like to live here in 1955?” (That’s when the home was built). To which he replied in a very ominous tone, “I don’t know, I wasn’t the first one to live here, there was another before me.” I was very surprised and didn’t believe him, because I thought I knew he was the one who built the home. So the four of us began to inspect the home and saw it was in rough shape. But it’s strange, because though it looked rough, it was still very bright and sunny inside and felt hopeful. When we saw the wall with missing drywall and exposed studs, I said right away to my two sons, “Well, boys, let’s go to the hardware store and get some supplies to fix this wall today.” I assumed Mr. Harkness would be impressed with my work ethic and drive to get the house repaired so quickly. But he simply moved slowly to the corner of the home where the broken down wall met another wall, and he leaned over, pointed to the floor, and said, “Do you see that? Plumbing tape. You need to fix that plumbing there first. Son, take your time, it doesn’t need to be fixed today. You don’t want to miss anything important like this.” I breathed a sigh of relief."    References The Master and His Emissary, by Iain McGilchrist The Nix, by Nathan Hill The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
While we welcome “good” feelings, we often try to banish “bad” ones like sadness, fear, vulnerability and shame. We may deny them by trying to “think positive.” We may attribute them to political wrongs or even the barking dog next door. If emotions have nowhere else to go, they become symptoms, complexes, and even physical illnesses. Avoiding negative emotions simply causes them to go underground and express themselves in disguise. Jung says, “Our emotions happen to us; affect occurs at the point at which our adaptation is weakest and at the same time exposes the reason for its weakness.” So what is calling for encounter instead of avoidance, displacement or somatization? Feelings are information—they do not necessarily mandate action, nor do they originate externally. Notice them, name them--and look to your dreams, for the unconscious compensates nightly for what consciousness avoids. Something may be pursuing you.  Here's the dream we analyze: "I saw a bride in a white dress sitting behind a small table in a candlelit, cave-like room. Her groom was standing/waiting across the room. It was an arranged marriage but of their own volition. The bride stood up as a signal that the marriage would occur. They looked into each other’s eyes and knew the marriage was right. This part of the dream seemed to be in close-ups of their eyes and lasted what seemed like a couple of minutes. The sense of certainty seemed to have been there, either two weeks before or after the marriage. " References:  Inside Out (film). On the Way to the Wedding: Transforming the Love Relationship, by Linda Leonard (Amazon). It'ss Not Always About Depression by Hilary Jacobs Hendel Resources: Learn to Analyze your own Dreams: 
The judgmental inner voice has volume, speed, pitch and range. It may appear as a perfectionistic critic, demanding taskmaster, or abusive bully. It also seeps in through the collective, with criteria for beauty, status, and wealth that are unrealistic and artificial. At its worst, this punitive, shaming complex incites self-destructive behavior, and has long been imaged by witches, warlocks, ogres and fiends. Most of us would never treat anyone as badly as we sometimes treat ourselves. This internalized dynamic seesaws between extremes of idealized expectations and punitive backlash that pretends to be ‘for our own good.’ Like Sisyphus, we labor to roll the stone of achievement uphill when what is needed is self-acceptance, compassion, and the courage to confront the negative voice. Authentic encounter creates a vessel for transformation through consciousness. It makes room for choice, freedom—and soulful self-acceptance.   Here's the dream we analyze: "I found a tiny fish in the sink. It was really beat up but alive, so I got a bowl of water for it and put it there, but it immediately started outgrowing the bowl. I got a bigger bowl but as soon as I put it there, the fish got bigger. I got a tub of water and put it there and it got even bigger. It had stripes and it was looking at me and interacting with me the whole time. This fish seemed to have a soul."  References: Robert Firestone. Overcoming the Destructive Inner Voice: True Stories of Therapy and Transformation.
Kwame Scruggs inspires men through mythology, drumming and connection to community and culture. As a young man Kwame discovered his inner fire through African-based initiatory rites. He asked himself “What is it I really want to do? Not what could I do. What did I want to do?” His passion for myth and drumming led him to graduate studies and creating programs in which story is the catalyst for inspired manhood and realization of potential. Story, fellowship and rhythm create an alchemical mixture that facilitates connection with self and others and the deep archetypal wellsprings of mature masculinity. As one participant exclaimed, “It works—it really works!” Alchemy, Scruggs’ award-winning program for young men, is the backdrop of a documentary film, Finding the Gold Within. On February 6 Kwame Scruggs brings his wisdom to a four-week online program, Men and Mythology (link below).    Here's the dream we analyze "I am in an enormous, old building with a male friend. We are on a trip in a Middle Eastern, South Asian or North African country, and this building houses a huge market full of people, goods and activity. We, however, are in a big dusty storage/junk room, and there is no one else there. The ceilings are extremely high and light fills the room from windows near the top. The room is a pleasant warm color, and I feel contented. We aren't doing anything in particular and have no agenda. I have no problems, questions or desires. My friend goes into an adjoining room that is also very large and stores old, forgotten stuff, but it's completely dark. I can only make out the body of a dead man on a table and can only see his feet, which have a mummified appearance. My friend approaches the body, which surprises and somewhat alarms me. He reaches out and removes the tag from its toe. He flings it toward me while bent over with laughter. I turn away and the tag lands on the back of my left shoulder. I'm aware that we don't know the cause of death and think there could be smallpox on the tag for all we know. I'm not scared, though, just a bit disgusted and very annoyed." References: Michael Meade. Men & the Water of Life (Amazon)
The king is figured prominently in myth, religion, and fairy tale. This compelling archetypal image has roots in our earliest human beginnings, when the king embodied his tribe’s earthly vitality and supra-human connection to spirit. Today, the king symbolizes universal psychic functions; each of us has an internal ruler. Like Solomon, the king presides over standards of ordering and lawgiving that undergird processes of discernment and decision. As warrior, the king protects and defends the kingdom of selfhood he has built; he has access to aggression and takes responsibility for the consequences of his actions. The masculine principle is also a symbol of the fertilizing presence that creates new psychic life and fuels libido for growth. And the king has the power to confer blessings. Like King Arthur, he provides all aspects of internal life with a seat at the round table of consciousness—and wholeness.  Here's the dream we analyze: "I'm in a beautiful old building, it looks to be a library with large windows and oak desks. I'm there to talk to a man that my bossy/controlling neighbor friend is interested in. She wants me to convince him to ask her on a date. I'm carrying the book How to Be An Adult by David Richo in a semi-translucent grocery bag. As I start talking to him, we really hit it off and I'm very attracted to him; I want him for myself. Getting caught up in our connection, I almost forget why I'm there to talk to him but I also completely forget my friend's name. I go looking for her and find her bathing in a large metal tub in a back room of the library and I'm scared to tell her I didn't do what I was supposed to do (and that I even betrayed her in a way). I'm trying to get her to tell me how to pronounce her name, acting as if I still remember it but just can't pronounce it. The dream ends there." References Robert Moore. King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine. Sir James George Frazer. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion.  Jordan Peterson. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.  Bella Puglisi and Angela Ackerman. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. 
Inflation applies to balloons, economics--and psychology. Jung defined it as being seized by archetypal energy resulting in “a puffed up attitude, loss of free will, delusion, and enthusiasm for good and evil alike.” Inflation is more than a “swelled head” because the influx of unconscious contents leads to identification with god-like powers. In Greek myth Phaeton became inflated when the sun god, Helios, acknowledged him as his son. Phaeton then asked to drive his father’s chariot, pulling the sun across the sky. He could not control the powerful horses, scorched the earth, and was killed. Arrogating god-like powers to oneself eclipses self-awareness and disaster ensues. Inflation can be expressed outwardly as power-seeking grandiosity or inwardly as self-sacrificing suffering. It is present in unrealistic risk-taking, frenzied creativity, spiritual illusions, the entitlement of toddlers and teens, and in collective excesses. Mobs are inflated, flouting the constraints of civilization, culture, and common sense. The antidote to inflation is humility, service, and love. Here's the dream we analyze: "Midway up a mountain I tried to get rid of my son, who was the size of a baby Yoda. My last attempt was to throw him into water in hopes it breaks and he freezes to death. He gets close a few times but always comes back to me. At this time I hear a woman in the distance yelling, telling me to stop and saying she would help and asking for my number. I ignore her and decide I better just grab my son and head up the mountain. I put him under my shirt as he hugs my chest -- he is freezing but warming up quickly. The last half of the mountain has a huge canvas sheet over it colored yellow, black and orange. I grip it with my hand and climb up. It’s hard and at no point does it ever ease up. My muscles are burning and I’m losing strength. When I’m near the edge to get to the top I have to give everything to get up top. I almost fell but I did make it. Once up I find a hidden compartment that has food and water. I rest before we descend. The lady made it up and she has a guy with her. She asked if I used the canvas to make it up. I said yes...she replied it’s beginning to tear so she didn’t use it. I showed her the compartment. She began talking about descending and not using the zipline to make it down this time. I tell her I need to practice ascending and descending vertically more."
The ability to choose and exercise will is a defining characteristic of humans. Only humans have enough energy available to consciousness to escape the rule of instinct. Jung says, “the realm of will cannot coerce instinct nor has it power over spirit,” so ego shall not dictate to psyche but find alignment with instinct and spirit, values and volition, before springing into pursuit of a goal. We must first choose to attend to ourselves, consider the size, worth, and cost of the goal—and then practice parenting ourselves through the journey to achieving it. The nurturing inner parent is neither punitive and depriving nor lax and indulgent, but helps us chart a course between immediate gratification and long-term fulfillment. Willpower is in service to harmony and wholeness. Here's the dream we analyze: "Scene 1: I received a huge certificate/invitation that said I had been chosen for special study among others in my class. It was a big 30x40” purple and white piece of sturdy paper. At first I thought I wasn't going to get it but I did. Although I felt like someone had given it to me just because I was upset that I didn't get one and it probably showed. The rest of the people who got it were the quiet, timid ones in the class. So this extra invitation or opportunity to learn presented by the certificate ensured this was their opportunity to shine. I was with a young guy carrying stuff in an elevator that descended past the ground floor to levels A,B,C,D,E. We stopped at Level E. That's where the training (from the certificate scene) would take place. I was eager but also anxious about going so far down beneath ground level. We walked out of the elevator into a corridor that was of concrete blocks and there were lights spaced out along the walls in equal distance. I had the feeling it was damp like a basement. I don't remember if we went anywhere past that. Scene 2: I saw different size bodies of water from above. I wanted to picnic by one of them. All of them had alligators in them so kayaking or swimming was out of the question. They were kind of marshy, with different vegetation growing around. I was with a girl. We picked a small pond and sat on its edge on something like a concrete slab that had a built-in bench-like feature. I was carrying two small, transparent organisms in my hand that I had to make sure not to lose or let them die. They were cup shaped. I was incredibly careful when placing them on the concrete and went to pick some tiny vegetation from the edge of the lake for them to rest and feed on. We talked and I noticed that one organism was trying to eat or hump the other except they weren't cup-shaped anymore but were rather elongated, resembling an ancient, less developed and basic structure like an insect with wings (like bee wings). They were still transparent. I think I tried to separate them but didn't want to hurt them so I didn't really intervene much, just kind of worried a bit if I should or how to intervene." References: Books by Robert A. Johnson
Comments (13)

تجربه زیستی

I wonder why I am getting this sense from the recent episodes that Joseph's role is somehow not as it was before.

May 10th

Brian McMichael

We are dissociated because of the lies, crazy-making and gaslighting, personally and collectively, to which almost all of us have been, are, and likely will be subjected in contradiction to our own sensory, and even lived, experience by exploiting individuals, groups, and paradigms. I realize the anxiety it might unleash, but the notion of there being two clear, axiomatic human sexes reflects stunning ignorance, willful naivete, and/or the denial of direct experience. Human primary sexual characteristics start as one form, female. Males are modified females. If you haven't done so before with this knowledge, look at or recollect the genitals you have seen in your own life, with new eyes. The normal (as in curve) development of each sex is incredibly complex, with resultant wide variability, and many opportunities to "go wrong." About 1 in 1,000 births result in genitalia ambiguous enough to be diagnosed as intersex. "Study: About 1 in 1,000 Babies Born 'Intersex'"'Intersex%2C'%20Study%20Finds Then there are secondary sexual characteristics from puberty, and the ebb and flow onward, with even greater variability across the lifespan. Sex, my fellow travellers, at best, is a bimodal-ish 4-D scatter-plot. I am not intersex, but I cannot imagine someone who is intersex listening to your arrogant, unreflective statements without some wounding by that privileged microaggression. It's just like structural racism with its self-reinforcing, perverse incentives/disincentives and its plausible deniability of the privileged. I was further stunned at the comment about voluptuous female figure not being archetypal Venus of Willendorf She was not an anomaly: "The Venus of Willendorf and Other Voluptuous Ancient Figures May Have Been ‘Ideological Tools’ to Shape Body-Image Norms | Artnet News" How construction > deconstruction > reconstruction can be anything other than collective alchemy towards collective individuation, yeah I know, how about collective alchemy towards collective telos? Peace

May 6th

jules Lag

One of the best podcasts I listen to.

Mar 21st


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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