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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.
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Should an analyst share personal information with clients? Freud believed that the analyst should be devoid of personal presence, so he sat unseen behind his famous couch. Jung realized that regardless of theory, psychotherapy entailed two people in a room interacting.    He likened two personalities to chemical substances: as they combined both would be altered. Jung and his patients interacted face to face, for Jung welcomed the complexities of human relationship. Relational dynamics are the bedrock of the therapeutic process; we invite them into the consulting room.    Vulnerabilities, friendliness, power dynamics, humor, and shadow’s many manifestations appear in body language, facial expression, and feeling tone as well as language. Humans are wired to read one another, so disclosure is inevitable. The crucial concern for the therapist is that disclosures serve authentic relationship, including the deconstruction of isolation and shame when we as therapists are seen in our humanity.    Dream It’s the middle of the night and pitch black outside. I am in a car with my therapist; she is driving slowly and talking to me. I listen and reply in a quiet voice with a rather trivial statement; I also use pretentious wording like ‘sine qua non’, which is not like me. She nods in agreement. I move closer but she raises her eyebrows and I pull back to my seat, concerned that I might have seemed inappropriate.    We start hearing a man in the distance, singing a beautiful operatic aria. His voice is mesmerising and sad. All of a sudden, I and my therapist are in the back seats and I cannot see who is driving the car. The voice is getting louder and I get more scared by the minute. The man is now forcing the front door opposite the driving seat, and has attached to the car. I am aware he is breaking in and I am terrorised.    I wake up with my heart beating and check on my husband who is sleeping, then go listen at my son’s door. By this point, my consciousness has fully returned and I know it was just a dream. I have a certain name in mind, a man I knew briefly but who was important in my life, but I am wise enough to realise the man could also be a part of myself.
The word plague derives from the Latin plangere, “to strike the breast as if in lamentation.” The novel coronavirus has visited loss, fear and hardship on many. Nature in her destructive mode can radically disrupt cultural creations and norms and show us how fragile they – and we -- are. We may also find new sources of sustenance within. Dreams, bodywork, and the imaginal realm can help us access a new attitude: a reorientation of purpose, meaning, and consciousness.  “The great events of world history are, at bottom, profoundly unimportant. In the last analysis, the essential thing is the life of the individual. This alone makes history, here alone do the great transformations first take place, and the whole future, the whole history of the world, ultimately spring as a gigantic summation from these hidden sources in individuals. In our most private and most subjective lives, we are not only the passive witnesses of our age, and its sufferers, but also its makers. We make our own epoch.” C.G. Jung, CW 18, Para. 1400. Dream The landscape is a lush, deep forest. In the foreground is what appears to be a bush, a brightly colored bush that looks like something out of science fiction as it is unique to the shrubbery around it. In fact, the neon-colored blossoms on the shrub are the club-shaped viral spike peplomers of a virus and I immediately know this 'bush' to be an image of a coronavirus. A female deer is peacefully munching on these 'blossoms' one by one. I take the image of the deer eating the blossoms of the virus bush to represent how the wonders of the natural world can be an antidote to the pandemics of our time.
Questions about fate and destiny have existed for millennia. Fate often refers to unalterable realities, from genes to future events, whereas destiny points to future potential. An acorn’s likely fate is to die on the forest floor, but its destiny is to become an oak tree. Jung understood that “…when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as Fate.” Differentiating from family and collective values, and from the inner world of the unconscious, is what can enable us to change what appears to be external and autonomous: “fate.” The process of making inner situations conscious, the task of individuation, is the central aim of Jung’s psychology. This is also imaged as the hero’s journey of finding and fulfilling one’s destiny -- discovering one’s true purpose. Jung said, “At bottom, therefore, there is only striving, namely, the striving after your own being.”   Dream I am at a lake with a female companion. It is somewhere in the midwest, maybe Missouri. We go to the public shelter that is at the lake, and notice that the bathroom doors have been bent and hang on their hinges. It is as if something has been ramming them from the inside. My companion gasps as she discovers there is a body behind one of the doors. There is a storm building outside, and it starts to get dark. I find myself next walking in Riverdale, NY and it is nighttime. The streets are pretty hilly and there are tall projects around me. The wind is picking up, and rain, like there may be a hurricane. I spot a werewolf crawling headfirst down one of the projects. It leaps in front of me and snarls. I realize suddenly that I know magick, and begin to shoot lightning from my fingertips at the werewolf.   References Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Amazon) Hillman, James. The Soul’s Code (Amazon) Bollas, Christopher. The Unthought Known (Amazon) Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Amazon)
“Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be.” For Eeyore, only perverse possibilities lie ahead, even if they are unknowable. Do gloomy expectations create self-fulfilling prophecies? Or are pessimists more realistic than naive optimists like Winnie the Pooh? Pessimism can be associated with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and more. It may also motivate preparation and striving, especially if the pessimist believes he or she can overcome significant obstacles and succeed.    There is a difference between ability to anticipate pitfalls and a depressed or hopeless emotional state. Pessimism may have roots in early relational disappointments, leading the person to believe it is better not to expect anything good than to hope for reward and be disappointed.    The Greek myth of Icarus is often seen as a cautionary tale against recklessly flying too high and falling – but Icarus was also warned against fearfully flying too low and immobilization. Holding the tension of the opposites—pessimism and optimism--is what makes movement of libido possible.     Dream I was flying through a futuristic city. On the ground below me, I saw a small model or replica of a stadium and circled above it several times. It felt familiar to me, and I thought that I had seen it in other lucid dreams of mine. It felt like an important sign since it was showing up again, so I wanted to investigate it more in this dream. In my mind, I thought to myself, “May I understand the wisdom of this art piece.”    When I flew down to the ground to get a closer look, I saw what looked like a children’s book lying there. I picked it up and tried to read the cover and flip through to see what was on the pages. The text was blurred, as though I wasn’t wearing my glasses. I squinted and moved the book further away and closer to me, trying to get the words in focus, but the text remained blurry. I felt thwarted and began crying with frustration. I cried, “God, why do you put this here for me if I can’t read what it says?”    At last, I was able to see the title somewhat more clearly and repeated it to myself again and again in the dream in order to remember it when I woke up. The title of the book was “The Fullness of Round Objects”.
We can all cite examples of behaviors that defy reason and meaning. How can we understand X shouting those things at a party, or the bizarre thing Y filmed himself doing on YouTube? There is a great array of psychological labels for such behaviors, as if pronouncing them “histrionic,” “manic” or even “drunk” explains radical actions and cascades of feelings. The roots of such exaggerated expressions may lie in early relational traumas and attempts to compensate for authentic lacks by appearing uncaring and daring, or dramatic and demanding. Overall, an inability to hold the tension between feeling and action has occurred, hinting at an adaptive failure. Extreme behaviors are often the externally expressed compensation for their internal opposites, so outrageous behavior may be a plea for empathic attention and authentic connection.   Dream I am observing two creatures walk up a steep flight of stairs. At the top of the stairs lies another creature, this one is beautiful and majestic. It is dying. I see its spine protruding, the bones have made it to the surface. I am disturbed. I watch as one of the creatures opens the dying creatures’ stomach - which has been sliced open. The creature slides inside. I have the felt sense that it is sucking up what little life force remains of the dying creature. I feel simultaneously disturbed, angry and paralyzed by terror. I wake up at this time.   References Salman, Sherry. Dreams of Totality: Where We Are When There’s Nothing at the Center (Amazon, paperback) McWilliams, Nancy. Psychoanalytic Diagnosis (Amazon) Sunset Boulevard (film)
The power of projections to hit psychic targets serves both defensive and integrative functions. Projections are a natural aspect of psychic functioning, as we know from watching children at play: we first see inner images “out there” in order to experience them internally. Projections give shape to affects and archetypal images, from the hero to the healer, the derelict to the destroyer. We also tend to project our shadows outward, attributing disliked or undeveloped aspects of ourselves to others. In The Wizard of Oz Dorothy and her companions project the power to change their lives onto the wizard. When they discover he is only “the man behind the curtain” they recognize their projections as illusions and are able to see the wizard more objectively. Withdrawing projections allows us to become more empowered and whole.   Dream There is a group of young women/girls - I am either one of them or I am all of them (that’s the sense I get). There is the knowledge that one of us has to make a sacrifice for the group. The youngest is chosen – a beautiful girl (maybe age 10-12) with long dark hair in shiny curls. She is kind and willing to sacrifice. She is led to an old stone building by two of the other girls (twins with bobbed dark hair and a harsher personality). Instructions for the sacrifice are in the building. The next day the girls/women return to find the sacrifice was completed. The youngest has had to sacrifice herself to make a bowl of soup for the others. The red tomato and herb soup was made with her outer layers - skin and flesh. The sacrifice was made willingly and for the benefit of the group.
Recent severe environmental events have made facing climate change urgent. We talk with Jeffrey Kiehl, PhD, climate scientist, Jungian analyst, and author, about bringing a psychological perspective to our present situation and the process of change. (Kiehl’s book is listed below.) The modern myth of infinite growth and limitless natural resources has led to equating consumerism with personal fulfillment. This belief underlies environmental imbalance; a new attitude is needed to restore right relationship with the earth. Kiehl draws on a tale Jung loved: a Chinese village struck by drought sent for the rainmaker, but right after he arrived he retreated to a secluded hut outside the village. Three days later, it rained. The rainmaker explained that the villagers had been so out of balance that he became infected. He then had to withdraw in order to return to Tao—and then, quite naturally, it rained. The rainmaker—and Jung—knew that one’s inner life and wholeness is the foundation for external change. Kiehl underscores the importance of a lived relationship with Nature and the unconscious, sources of wholeness and harmony. If we engage in the rainmaker’s work we can infect—and affect—the external world.   The Myth of Erysichthon In lieu of an individual dream, a myth, a dream from the collective, is analyzed. http://classictales.educ.cam.ac.uk/stories/metamorphoses/erysichthon/explore/Erysichthon_transcript.pdf Have you had a dream that you feel relates to our global climate emergency? This Jungian Life is collecting such dreams. You can share yours with us here. References: Kiehl, Jeffrey. Facing Climate Change: An Integrated Path to the Future (Amazon). Ovid. The Metamorphoses (Amazon). McGilchrist, Iain. The Master and His Emissary (Amazon).
As we grow, unconscious unity becomes differentiated into feeling, ego, personality and desire. As we grow, we will have initiatory encounters with shadow, demanding the sacrifice of innocence and identification with ego. The story of Adam and Eve conceives this archetypal experience as the fall. The stories of Job, Faust and even the children’s tale, The Velveteen Rabbit, tell us how we may achieve redemption from a fall. The fairytale of The Black Princess depicts this vividly as the struggle to engage shadow and the need to surrender to something greater, which Jung called the Self. We experience redemption as grace: the gift of a relationship with the Self. For Jung redemption was part of the work of individuation, a process of reclaiming lost or forgotten parts of ourselves in order to become consciously whole and in relation to a guiding Self. Dream "In my dream, my mom and I are in the backyard that is adjacent to a street. We see Jimmy Fallon walking over to us with a baby's car seat held over his head. Jimmy greets us and my mom asks if she could see the baby. So, Jimmy lowers the car seat, sets it on the ground and reveals that the car seat is filled with this orange liquid that completely submerges the baby. My mom was very excited to see the baby and Jimmy smiles at her excitement. I then panic and ask them if they can't see the baby is drowning. Although I brought it to their attention they didn't seem very worried but I wound up tipping the car seat over to discard the liquid."
Polyamory, a current phenomenon, endorses open relationships with multiple lovers. The term means many loves, and polyamory strives to legitimize the benefits of non-monogamous romance and sexuality among adults. Jung engaged in an open, extramarital relationship with Toni Wolff. Does polyamory represent an overthrow of outdated cultural mores in an age when sex can be safe? Or is committed, often sanctified bonding a deeply rooted part of human nature and development? There are parallels in the development of a relationship between two people and the relationship of ego to the unconscious. Jung discovered that the alchemical images in The Rosarium Philosophorum, depicting stages of relationship for a couple, illustrated the individuation process. Is polyamory a way of rationalizing ego gratification and avoiding monogamous commitment? Or is polyamory a call to forgo outmoded cultural restrictions and experience connections with others that can facilitate inner growth? Dream "I am walking alongside the man that I am currently dating. He is on my right side. Suddenly on my left side, the man I am still in love with appears with the woman he has a child with (in waking life, he has a child with a woman he did not marry and co-parents. I am still not over him and wish we were together). In the dream, he has had another child with her. I’m surprised he’s had another child with her. It makes me think he has had even more intimacy and “work to do” with her in his life path. I am stuck in the middle... the man I am dating is on my right side, but I am not really interested in him (even though he treats me wonderfully in real life, he doesn’t feel like “the one”). The man I desire is on my left, with a woman and two kids, a life and world he’s been focusing on. He sees me, and I feel this strong and pleasant attraction and connection between us - like a youthful friendship mixed with love - I realize/know that he continues to be interested in me too, even though we are apart. I wake up, confused but happy to have a positive dream about his feelings towards me (In waking life, I continue to regret our breakup and he has ignored attempts I have made to rekindle a friendship and begin communication again)."
When we speak of being triggered, what exactly is it that sends us into a familiar  arc of feeling and behavior we may later regret? That mysterious force seems external and can elude our ability to locate it within. Jung called these autonomous and unconscious incursions complexes, and he discovered them through his Word Association Test. A subject’s delayed or inappropriate reaction to a stimulus word such as tree or house indicated an unconscious disturbance that could then yield to understanding. Complexes are a fundamental part of our inner landscape: our experiences cluster around innate human patterns, emotions, bodily sensations, and personal memories. We are complexed when we are automatically, emotionally and physiologically aroused, often in ways that are out of proportion to the situation. We begin to transform a complex by noticing, naming, and claiming it as our own. Then we can catch it before we react—and instead, respond. Complexes are constellated, clustered together like stars—and they can shine their light on our unconscious patterns.   Dream "I am going to become the next queen of England. But first, I had to clean a lot of food and trash from an audience seating area (like stands at a sports arena). I asked the Queen if I was making a mistake by becoming the next queen. She said yes, and that I will have no time to give to my own children (once I have them). A young male adviser to the Queen was assisting her and helping to set everything up for the transition. On a break from cleaning, I went down to a craft fair and visited some old ladies and talked to them about the beautiful art they made. My grandmother was there, trying to print a photograph I took of a Legislature building. I returned to my task and at 6:00 PM, I made my way to sit on the right arm of the Queen's chair, ready for the ceremony." 
Although there have been a number of recent destructive environmental events, the duration and devastation of the fires in Australia have made a powerful impact on the collective psyche. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, although disastrous to humans, seem acausal aspects of Nature. Other environmental damage, such as Amazon fires, is caused by human behavior. Australia’s plight, however, calls into blazing question mankind’s relationship with the Great Mother herself. Like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah or The Flood, we may wonder about archetypal retribution for man’s environmental sins. Just as ego may be called through crisis into right relationship with soul, perhaps the heartbreak of this current psychic scorching will open new consciousness and caring.  Dream "It's a sunny afternoon and I'm walking, in a loose crowd, with my entire extended family up a hill on a large field of green grass. Forest surrounds us at the far edges. We are on our way to a funeral, the atmosphere is serene. Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I notice a lumberjack-like man walking past everyone through the crowd carrying a huge leather/mesh bag on his back. I can see the bag consists of three grown grizzly bears. Once the man arrives on top of the hill (quite far ahead of me and my nuclear family) he sets down the massive bag and zips it open. I'm thinking, "STOP"! The three bears scramble out the bag and wreak havoc on the crowd. It quickly goes dark and the dream turns into a hide-and-seek sort of horror show. I'm hiding with my father in a small, half built old wooden cottage by which a river flows and I see one of the bears swimming, searching."
A new year often symbolizes a new beginning, with resolutions to make specific lifestyle changes related to self-improvement. Research indicates, however, that up to 88% of these resolutions fail. If changes—no matter how worthy--are imposed by ego alone, the unconscious is likely to have its say by rebelling. Meaningful change requires the willingness to sit at the crossroads of inner conflict, steep in its mystery, and honor the opportunity for relationship rather than repression. Contemplation before action includes inner assessment of readiness, resources, and response-ability. Sacrifice is required, external programs or people may provide support, and the goal must be aligned with purpose inspired by the Self. Jung stated that we don’t solve our problems, we grow bigger than our problems. Meaningful change and renewal occurs when we have engaged an inner conflict and thereby become more whole.      Dream "I'm in a fortress with a tall tower and I'm participating in some kind of sacrificial ritual. I know there are other participants but I don't see them. We have to answer a question correctly or face a painful death. I fail the test and am brought to the top of the tower for the sacrifice, which involves being cut into pieces. I run away and throw myself off the top of the tower to avoid that torture. I hit the ground and find myself back in the tower, having to throw myself over the edge again to escape the sacrifice. This happens multiple times."
Episode 092 - Trickster

Episode 092 - Trickster

2020-01-0250:441

The archetype of the trickster shows up in ambiguity, duplicity, contradiction and paradox. Usually depicted as masculine, trickster has been featured in tales worldwide through history. We see him as a boundary crosser, shape-shifting imitator, versatile adapter, and disrupter of norms whose deceptions often backfire on him. Our inner trickster causes ego’s intentions to go haywire, and shows up as slips of the tongue, forgetting something important, or dream behavior that jolts the waking mind. Trickster’s disregard for rationality and rules disrupts stasis and rigidity, paradoxically helping to establish standards and create culture. Trickster lies at the heart of art and story, enlarging our world by imaging and voicing psychic truths. Trickster confronts us with our limitations, and can be counted on to teach us flexibility and humility with irreverent humor. Dream "I’m walking along the edge of a wood along a path. I see a stag emerge from the wood and then the rest of his deer herd join him. I think ‘wow how magical’, but it quickly becomes evident that they are a threatening presence. The stag starts running towards me and the rest of the herd follows. I run as fast as I can, but as I start to feel the stags breathe on my back, I realize that I cannot out run him. I decide to grab him by the horns and throw him down. I kill him." References Hyde, Lewis. Trickster Makes This World, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Amazon). 
Episode 091 - Secrets

Episode 091 - Secrets

2019-12-2656:42

Although a secret is usually considered information deliberately kept from others, we also keep secrets from ourselves. Internal secrets consist of emotionally laden knowledge that consciousness represses; the price of such secrets may be a complex or neurosis. Secrets can alienate us from ourselves as well as others, and are often fueled by shame, guilt and fear. Family secrets can be especially burdensome, even toxic. However, secrets can also serve positive purposes. Sharing a secret can strengthen friendship through a special bond of trust. Secrets help social life run smoothly; initiatory rites may be secret to enhance the significance of a life passage; secrets can help children and teens realize their unique and separate selves; and secrets can protect others from harm. Secrets are also essential to psychoanalysis: secrets can be safely discovered and will be well contained in the temenos of the consulting room. Dream "A man is recovering from an illness, sitting down on a chair. He calls me for protection. As I go forward towards him, he looks to his right side to some human figures (females) hidden in the dark. He is afraid of them, he tells me. I come close and hug him and notice that he has a very thick and voluminous hair. His hair emanates energy. I wake up feeling this high energy around my arms." References Westover, Tara. Educated (Amazon).
Something's going on in Scrooges soul...and it's tired of waiting for an invitation. Charles Dickens’ novella, A Christmas Carol, vividly portrays the journey to healing and transcendence. It was written in a fever, released on December 19, 1843, and sold out before Christmas. Ebenezer Scrooge’s visitations by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come are vivid depictions of the path from trauma to transformation. As in psychotherapy, Scrooge revisits his past; by reclaiming the feelings he exiled as a child, Scrooge discovers compassion and connection. The visitation to the present shows Scrooge familial abundance of spirit despite material poverty and possible death for Tiny Tim (also a representation of Scrooge’s own emotionally crippled inner child). The last scene, like the lysis of a dream, shows Scrooge the bleak future to which his miserly ways lead. Scrooge’s encounters with transpersonal power break through his defenses and transform him into a man of joyful and generous heart. Scrooge has learned from his former partner’s ghost that: “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”   And so, as Tiny Tim declared, "God bless Us, Every One!”
Siblings are embedded in the human psyche as they are in life. Even if one lacks siblings, there is ready access to them through friends, fairy tales, myths, and scripture. All feature multiple experiences and examples of sibling solidarity and siblings as shadow carriers. Birth order, sex, temperament, and the quality of parental presence play a part in constellating the intense polarities of sibling relationships: competition and cooperation, admiration and envy, hierarchy and partnership, aggression and intimacy. We often carry the dynamics of early sibling relationships into adult life and project them onto individuals, work teams or social groups. Jung used the alchemical image of the soror mystica and the adept to represent a relational ideal, whether externally between self and other or internally between ego and unconscious. Each must have a respectful and equal say, from collaboration to confrontation.    Dream In my dream, I visited a pet shop to buy a snake. I had my dog with me. I looked around the store and couldn't find any reptiles, so I asked the staff and one of the employees told me they kept them in a separate room. He had no face and reminded me of a jailer as he carried a bunch of keys with him. The old wooden door we approached didn't match the rest of the store, which was very modern, friendly and light. As he unlocked the door, my dog tried to get in with us but I told her to wait outside. The room on the other side seemed to have no ceiling or visible end and was more like a dungeon or cave. On the right hand side from the door there was a wooden outdoor rabbit cage with six compartments. It was too dark to see the animals but I could hear some sizzling and strangely humming noises and saw that all of their skins had different patterns in black and white. The man asked me if I wanted to hold one and before I could say anything he opened one of the boxes and gave me a smaller snake. It felt warm and lively in my hands and I enjoyed holding it. I couldn't see its head, so I tried to get a closer look and as I held it closer to my face it started biting my hand a couple of times though it didn't really hurt and even if it did strike before every bite they felt more like it was just nibbling a bit. The man asked me if I was okay and I laughed and told him that I was not afraid of snakes. I handed it back to him and decided that I didn't really need a snake as a pet. As I opened the door to get back, my dog was excited to see me and I petted her for a while at the threshold. Through the open door some bright light fell on the cage and I looked back and finally got a closer look at the snakes. They were all sleeping and still making humming sounds, rolled up as snakes do but their heads looked like those of rabbits with no ears.   References (books available on Amazon)  Newton, Lara. Brothers and Sisters: Discovering the Psychology of Companionship. Fairy Tales: The Children of Lir, Six Swans. Conroy, Pat. The Prince of Tides. Jahren, Hope. Lab Girl.  Film: Winged Migration.   
Partings connote a finality of farewell that signifies completion of a relationship. We may part from a stage of life, depart from home or college, or say farewell to a person, process or project. Partings signify the end of a story that has been told and reached conclusion. The Japanese tale of Princess Moonbeam illustrates the importance of accepting a necessary ending: those who could not do so were turned into statues, fixed in eternal stasis. The refusal to part or devaluing its importance may indicate a lack of the selfhood necessary to suffer a loss and move into a new, even uncertain, future. Conscious parting honors meaning and connection. It allows us to honor the spring and summer of growth, celebrate autumn’s harvest, and accept the quietude of winter. Ideally, we can embrace the depth of feeling in a farewell and fall upon it willingly and with grace.   Dream I was sitting behind a table in a narrow and small room. The placement of the table made it difficult to reach the only door out of the room. In the doorway was a reasonably pleasant African man, dressed in a uniform with various decorations. On the table, however, was a huge, dissected tarantula. Also in my possession I had some sort of file that warned me of the danger of the poisonous spider, apparently it had killed a man. I felt quite disturbed and claustrophobic in the small room, then I woke up.
Dr. Fanny Brewster, Jungian Analyst, colleague and friend, joins This Jungian Life to discuss her forthcoming book, The Racial Complex: A Jungian Perspective on Culture and Race. Complexes tend to operate autonomously and unconsciously, have strong feeling-tones, and contain archetypal fuel. The racial complex, a complicated mix of color, class and culture, operates individually and collectively and in multiple ways. Although shadow projection and “othering” are intrinsic to the racial complex, America’s history of slavery further intensifies it. Like other complexes, the racial complex cannot be either denied or defeated—it can, however, be lifted into consciousness. As with any complex, learning, discussion and self-reflection can expand awareness, connection and compassion.    Dream The scene begins with me driving my car to a hotel. I park up in a space near the entrance and go inside. After I have looked around a bit I look out of the large window to see that I have left my dog, a brown Labrador, tied to the car. As it is a grey day the dog is laying down underneath lest it rain. A white woman in her 40s with curly hair appears along with two burly white bald men. The woman squats over the car and urinates onto the dog. I am furious and rush outside to rescue the dog, but the two men get in the way, manhandling me roughly. I know they are bigger than me and that I am outnumbered but I fight for my dog as I suddenly wake up.    References (books available on Amazon)  Brewster, Fanny. The Racial Complex: A Jungian Perspective on Culture and Race (as of 11-21-19). Brewster, Fanny. Archetypal Grief: Slavery’s Legacy of Intergenerational Child Loss.  Brewster, Fanny. African Americans and Jungian Psychology: Leaving the Shadows. Adams, Michael. The Multicultural Imagination: “Race”, Color and the Unconscious (Opening Out).  Singer, Tom and Samuel L. Kimbles. The Cultural Complex. DiAngelo, Robin. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People To Talk About Racism.  Film: Get Out. 
It happens all the time: people and problems split into opposing camps, whether the conflict is internal, between partners, in a family or—as we know all too well—between political parties. When positions become polarized conflict ensues, whether between mind and body, partners and families, or value systems and religious affiliations. What makes it possible to reach across the chasm between entrenched extremes? The Jungian concept of holding the tension of the opposites allows energy, like electricity, to flow between both poles; each can have its full say. Instead of remaining mired in fixity or moral judgment, curiosity may open the way for a new attitude that transcends the polarities. Dream I am going for a holiday to Bali with my husband and best friend. We are running late for our flight. At the airport, I check in my huge suitcase, but then I realise I don't have my passport. A young man with dark hair, whom I know to be a playwright, says, 'Go to the counter. You look young, like a six year old. Act innocent. You should be able to talk your way on to the plane without a passport.' But I don't want to do this. Instead, I get in the car with my husband and friend. They are pissed at me. I know it is impossible to get back home to get my passport and make the flight. Part of me doesn't really care. I don't wan't to go to Bali. I feel busy and overwhelmed in my working life - so I want to stay to attend to things - and I don't like the tourist culture in Bali - it is infantilising. Still, I feel pulled in all directions. I have let down my companions. We stop by the side of the road to talk about it alongside an oil refinery. I say 'They have already boarded our luggage, so they are not going to take off without us.' Still, it is not clear what we should do from there. References Neumann, Eric. Depth Psychology and a New Ethic (Amazon). Woodard, Colin. American Nations: A History of Eleven Rival Regional Cultures (Amazon). Haidt, Jonathan. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (Amazon)
The archetype of the father is associated with gods, kingship, and other images of authority and order. As the image of a “personified affect” fueled by an archetypal core, the father complex is powerful. In its negative aspect it may arise from a father who was experienced as absent, emotionally unavailable, passive, critical or abusive. Jung’s father complex influenced his adult relationship with Freud, to whom he wrote, "Let me enjoy your friendship not as that of equals but as that of father and son." Although the eventual break with Freud caused Jung years of inner turmoil, he later realized that they were also the deep source of all his subsequent work. Similarly, Charlotte Bronte and her sisters were able to use their father wounds for their literary creativity. Although healing the father complex can be difficult, taking on this inner task can provide energy for living more fully, freely, and individually.    Dream I woke up in a large, 3 story wooden house that was inhabited by 3 or 4 other people. One was a film director who was coaching a rather unwilling, melancholy actress. I explored the different areas of the home and came to the conclusion that this building was too old, and was being deconstructed for something new. The floorboards creaked, and the walls were peeling off the way tree bark does. After coming downstairs, back to the first floor, and walking down the main hallway, a knock sounded at the front door. First, I looked through the peephole. A grungy looking middle-aged man with short, grey hair and a week old beard stood, impatiently waiting. I opened the door, and he abrasively brushed past me, he was wearing a long, worn, dark gingerbread colored raincoat. At this moment, the importance of the decaying house vanished behind me, along with the strange director and actress. I was led down a short set of stairs to a jungle sized backyard wet with snow. I stood alone now, gazing at the canopies. In the distance, something caught his eye. An animal, alone amidst the fog & snow. A black panther stood, staring at me. I was afraid, and buried myself in the snow as the black panther came running full speed towards me. As this situation began to fade, I woke up in a hospital where I was being shown that his hip had been injured.   References Lisa's article "Marrying Mr. Rochester: Redeeming the Negative Father Complex" For a PDF copy, please email thisjungianlife@gmail.com The Chenoo William Ronald Dodds Fairbairn, Scottish psychoanalyst Von Franz, Marie-Louise. The Cat Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre and other works.  
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Comments (8)

Moira M

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

Feb 3rd
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Moira M

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

Jan 13th
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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
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Love Life

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

Apr 22nd
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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
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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
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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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