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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.
130 Episodes
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).
The root of create, “to bring something into being out of nothing,” echoes divine creation. Ideas arise from mysterious sources, yet creativity is such an intrinsically human function that Jung considered it one of five human instincts, together with hunger, sexuality, activity, and reflection (a function of consciousness). Positive circumstances foster creativity: the ability to engage imagination, seek novelty, hone competency, and pursue autonomous, intrinsically rewarding activities. Stress inhibits new possibilities, and rigid societies and personalities fear creators, as new ideas and images challenge the status quo. Creativity can also be quashed from within, and one’s internal cynic, doubter, and deflator often shows up disguised as reason. It takes confidence and courage to surmount uncertainty, obstacles, and potential disappointment. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” What wants to come into the world through you?   Dream I dreamt last night that my agent (and very good friend) had died, but while she was dead, she was still conscious! She was walking around and we were chatting, but she knew she was dead, too. Over what seemed like a few days she was decaying and there was a smell, but we were still in this one room, chatting. I remember feeling slightly scared, and would hold my breath around her. She knew she would have to be buried soon. And there was a sense of us getting ready for that. But the burial never happened. There was no goodbye or funeral - or perhaps I just woke up.   References Rollo May. The Courage to Create (Amazon). Linda Leonard. The Call to Create (Amazon). Marie Louise von Franz. Creation Myths (Amazon). Allan B. Chinen. Various books on fairytales (Amazon).   
The religious instinct is as basic as the need for food or shelter. Psyche seeks and selects a central, organizing life principle whether consciously or unconsciously chosen. Secular deities range from food, money, or even science, to the gods of addiction; false gods lie behind neuroses and pathology. Traditional religions and cosmologies offer connection to large, well-ordered frameworks of myth and meaning. Realizing one’s place in the context of larger realities has the potential to connect us to mystery and numinous experience; then we belong to something greater. For Jung the decisive question was whether a person was related to the infinite: “It seems as if it were only through the experience of a symbolic reality that man, vainly seeking his own ‘existence’ and making a philosophy out of it, can find his way back to a world in which he is no longer a stranger.”    Dream It is dusk and quickly becoming night. I am hidden from view, lying on my belly in a tunnel of some sort. I am looking out onto a clearing surrounded by trees. I see a small, fluffy, grey kitten--innocent, sweet. I want to climb out to hold the kitten and take care of it. Suddenly, a large, dark-brownish black bear lumbers in, crashing through the foliage; it doesn’t see me. I watch it, and am struck by how coarse the hair of his fur is and that the claws are ivory white but thick, strong and sharp. I stay hidden, watching. The bear moves away and as it does, turns into a wrinkled light grey elephant; it is small, but from my point of view it looks quietly significant as it treads by. I am still hidden from view and feel awestruck and numb watching all this. I look down; I appear to be lying on over-sized slate- green stepping stones--oblong, almost triangular. Then to my horror, the stones begin to slowly shift up and along the ground, undulating! I feel a mix of awe and fear when I realize that the stones are actually the scales of an enormous serpent/snake--and my reclining body is being carried along with it. I wake with the feeling that this dream is important to remember.   References Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death (Amazon).
Jung discovered the psyche’s dissociative nature through his Word Association Test. Subjects would delay or make nonsensical responses to ordinary words associated with troublesome personal memories or traumas. Dissociation, our autonomous psychic “circuit breaker,” exists on a spectrum from ”spacing out” to disorders that interfere with life functioning. Psychotherapy could be considered the practice of healing dissociations, as treatment entails bringing banished contents into consciousness with feeling and understanding. Fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty frequently depict dissociation as enchantment, abduction, or dismemberment. Reconnection with consciousness is the happily-ever-after resolution, for dissociation takes psychic energy that should be available for life. Giving our inner exiles a seat at the table of consciousness is crucial to wholeness.    Dream  I find myself at the bottom of an archaic like pit or well about 5 meters deep. There is very nice warm light coming into the pit, sandy golden and amber colors.  recognize it as a snake pit but the space doesn't feel threatening. A large four-legged snake appears; at this moment I do feel fear but am also intrigued by this creature. I start climbing up a ladder to escape from the pit and the creature stands on its back legs to tug me down with its teeth. The creature is not violent but insistent. I make my way out of the pit that is bathed in warm light.   References:  John Bradshaw, Healing the Shame that Binds You (Amazon)  Bennett Braun, BASK model:
The transcendent function comes in all sizes, from “aha” moments to epiphanies. A new orientation to a dilemma arrives unthought, recognized, and right. Perhaps there is a moment where loneliness gives way to solitude, or heartbreak yields to a larger sense of self. Apprehension of a new attitude--sunlight breaking through clouds--has overcome the impasse, bringing freshness, spaciousness and possibility. Engaging the tension of an emotional struggle without giving in to premature, one-sided action can prepare the way for the unconscious to unite with consciousness. The transcendent function can also be sought through practicing active imagination or involvement in expressive arts, a practice Jung encouraged. He said that the transcendent function “is a way of attaining liberation by one’s own efforts and of finding the courage to be oneself.”    Dream I'm on black rocks, like volcanic lava black, and walking from the sea behind me towards the land. I'm with my husband. There's a gap in the rocks--he goes to the left and I walk to the right. There is a channel of water between us. The channel gradually widens and I realize it will be difficult for us to cross it but we keep walking and then the rocks start to climb uphill but in such a way that we will not be able to cross over to each other. I say to my husband that we should cross now. I suggest that it will be easier for me to cross and I have found what looks like the narrowest part of the channel but then look to my right, and he has taken a giant step over at a wider spot and has reached my side but can't hold on--his feet have reached the rocks and his hands are trying to hold on so he can climb up, but the rocks he catches in his hands are loose and start to come undone so he is going to fall backwards. But he somehow manages to hold on. But I am looking at him and then I see myself in the water beside him--I see my body fully clothed wearing black warm wintery clothes and I'm slowly sinking from the surface. My husband says to me (the me that is on the rocks standing looking at my husband and myself sinking), “I'll just get you first” and he dives under the water and grabs me and tries to pass me up to myself. I realize I'm quite heavy and it's awkward to heave my body up. Then I am no longer separated in two anymore and we go into a house and he goes for a shower and I realize I am wet and that I need to go for a shower. 
James Hollis, noted Jungian scholar, teacher and author, joined us to discuss resilience. His new book, Living Between Worlds: Finding Personal Resilience in Changing Times, will be available on Amazon in mid-June.   When life rhythms and habits are suspended or upended, we may find ourselves adrift. What supports us then? For most of history institutional religion, tradition, and tribal mythology unified communities and connected members to the transcendent. Today, however, discovering the capacity for creativity, wisdom and connection to a larger reality has become increasingly an individual endeavor. Hardship and its associates, anxiety, depression and desperation, can be the catalyst for turning from external authorities to the internal world. Our instincts, feelings and nightly dreams are accessible, autonomous and informative. They tell us what we don’t know about our values, issues, and actions—and they insist on re-accessing personal myth and meaning, for that is what moves us to an authentic journey. Real life wants to live in us and through us. 
Racial injustice takes one’s breath away. It reaches back to the psychic asphyxiations of the Middle Passage, slavery, and Jim Crow—cut-offs from home, family, freedom and justice. Racism persists in systemic inequities and ongoing instances of police violence. The death of George Floyd, handcuffed, pleading, and unable to breathe, has inspired a collective rising in protest against current brutality and historic inhumanity. Breath as essence, consciousness and soul gives voice to lamentation and outrage. We cry out for the clean air of fairness, because racism is utterly breathtaking. Dr. Fanny Brewster joins us for today’s important discussion.    References Books by Fanny Brewster, PhD are available on Amazon.      The Racial Complex: A Jungian Perspective on Culture and Race      Archetypal Grief      African Americans and Jungian Psychology: Leaving the Shadows
Many listeners have expressed interest in Jungian analytic training. We welcome those inquiries and outline the prerequisites, practicalities and processes which lead up to and constitute Jungian analytic training--a life path of ongoing growth, challenge and satisfaction. We encourage all who are interested in becoming a Jungian analyst to consult the major Jungian organizational and training resources below, and to research additional educational and Jungian institutes around the world. There are many routes to training as a Jungian analyst and we hope to help you find yours. References
How can we understand the psychological wild fire of rioting? Jung, who lived through two world wars, understood that mass movements had the power to manifest archetypal energy. The urge to unleash destructive chaos is depicted in mythologies around the world. Early Norse warriors attained battle-crazed states as "berserkers," and Cu Chulainn, a mythological Irish warrior, killed both friends and foe. Eris, the Greek goddess of discord and strife, started the Trojan War, and Kali, a Hindu god whose name derives from suffer, hurt, startle and confuse, also incited war. Riots--contagious states of regressive possession--belong to this archetypal realm. Jung said “collective man threatens to stifle the individual man, on whose sense of responsibility everything valuable in mankind ultimately depends…the true leaders of mankind are always those who are capable of self-reflection.”   Dream I was in a forest next to a fortress wall. A little boy appeared with a cotton hood over his head that covered his face. The child was riding a white pony. I could see his blue eyes through slits in the hood. They looked sideways. I don't know if the child saw me, but he felt I was there because he clung to me. I hugged him and the pony with great love and tenderness. The child needed my love and protection. At that moment, a man in green clothes and armor approached me. Without being aggressive, he told me that I had to leave the child who was the king's son and had his own guard. The man kindly invited me to go with him. I was divided in my feelings. I felt great love for the child, but I also felt guilt that I was breaking some high rules I didn't understand. I followed the man, who was now dressed in a long red robe and looked like a royal nobleman. I was walking about 10 meters after him. We went around the fortress and took the streets of the city. We walked for a long time. He entered a building, I followed him at a distance. When I entered the building, I heard his voice from below, he was walking down the stone stairs. He told me to pass him a big black hook on a chain. I obeyed unquestioningly and handed him the hook. At that moment, for the first time, I doubted the man and his intentions. Horrified, I realized that, guided by my guilt, I was following a torturer who made his prey prepare their own torments. I realized that I had to do something right away and I regretted that I had not felt the threat before, when I could easily escape, because moving away after him, we were often in different places - for example, he had already entered the entrance, and I was still walking down the street. All I had to do was rush back up the stairs before entering his dungeon. I woke up in horror.   References: Donald Kalsched. The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit. (Amazon) Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Women Who Run with the Wolves (Amazon).  
Oppressed, repressed and regressed, the forced restrictions of the Covid Complex have us in its grip. We may see friends and family more often than ever, but only on a screen. Work, school, home, weekdays, weekends—time and tasks slide around like Jello on a hot plate. Loss of structure, variety, movement and touch are destabilizing. Confined to tight physical and emotional spaces, we may collapse into ourselves or lash out at loved ones. We hear contradictory messages on the news and go outside only if masked and defended. The Covid Complex is both personal and collective—it affects each of us differently and it affects us all. Most of us have been forced inward physically and psychologically; perhaps this time is also an opportunity to rediscover inner resources and experience depth of being.   Dream I am viewing media footage filmed from a helicopter looking down onto the forward section of a fast moving 60 foot solo sailed yacht that is heading out to sea. The yacht is hard to the wind, heeled over, plunging through a 1.5 meter sea, with ocean spray sweeping over the bow. The sky is overcast, the sea grey, the wind is blowing over 25 knots and the land is out of sight and astern. A man (solo sailor) of approximately 70 years, dressed in yellow wet weather gear, is steadily making his way aft from the bow of the yacht toward the stern. He is moving in a crouch using a hand for support in an experienced and careful manner. As he moves he is also tending to the headsail that is temporarily impaired by the life lines; he is caring in his attention to the sail. A news commentator is wishing the sailor well as he embarks on a long offshore passage. I am yearning that this will one day be me embarking on such a passage and I am empathizing with the harmony that the sailor is demonstrating toward the yacht by smoothing the sail and his experienced movements in challenging conditions. Suddenly the sailor looks up toward the stern and breaks into a run, toward the stern. However, his foot catches on a fixed piece of rigging and he trips, falling forward, hitting his head hard on the deck. The news commentator is saying that this is the last time the sailor was seen or heard from and is now missing at sea. I am thinking how could it be the last time he was seen as there were people recording the footage and flying the helicopter. I can’t understand how he could be missing. I wake up feeling shaken and bewildered.
Jung was particularly interested in the second half of life, perhaps because after his own midlife crisis he found himself so surprisingly generative. We tend to spend the first half of life oriented to familial values and cultural norms for success.    Education, work, partnering and child rearing are some of the mile markers for speed and distance on the road of life—until midlife strikes. We may then discover that worldly successes feel flat, or blame discontent on bad breaks.    Although dramatic lifestyle changes at midlife are the stuff of story, malaise at the midpoint is psyche’s signal to attend to unlived inner life. It is time for meaningful encounter between ego and unconscious, worldly rewards and true fulfillment, obligation and freedom. Midlife crisis is a call to deepened feeling and the unique meaning of your life.       Dream   I am walking with a group of my "clients" (developmentally disabled people). I have to work to keep the group together as some straggle here and there. I'm responsible for their well being so onward we go. I look on the ground/sidewalk and see a small round brown object which looks like a tree nut. I pick it up and upon closer inspection realize that it is of animal nature rather than plant - and alive. As I hold it in the palm of my hand, it morphs into a tiny creature, tinier than my pinky finger. I can't just leave it there so I slip it into my pocket and keep walking, trying to keep my rag-tag group together.    After a while I look into my pocket to check on it and it has grown some and looks a bit like a fetal kitten. It looks unwell and I think it might not live. We continue to walk. The third time I look into my pocket, the creature has turned into a baby bird with black, red, and white feathers. The bird is in tremendous suffering with its stomach cut open and a look of horror, pain and grief on it's face. I feel these emotions too and think, "Oh no! It's going to die.” I keep it in my pocket and try to soothe it, but still we keep on walking.    Toward the end of our escapade, I look into my pocket a fourth time. This time the bird is fully grown and leaps out, startling me. Now the bird is pure white, luminous with three round feathers on slim stalks atop its head. Among its body feathers are multicolored zinnia flowers sprouting along with the feathers. It hops into a landscape planter along the sidewalk and establishes itself amid the vegetation.    I back away in shock, completely amazed. I pull out my cell phone to try to take a picture of it but can't because a survey keeps popping up on the screen of my phone, preventing me from using the camera. I curse and search my bag for another phone and finally do manage to snap a pic, but I still don't know what to make of it. 
The Pentagon recently released a film of a UFO made by Navy pilots. Although such credible documentation is new, UFO sightings go back to ancient times and surged after World War II.    Interstellar travel then seized the collective imagination, and the ongoing abundance of books, television shows and films signals the emergence of a new mythology. In his treatise “Flying Saucers,” Jung took a phenomenological stance, acknowledging experiences of sightings without concretizing them as physical or dismissing them as fictional.    Alchemists projected psyche onto matter at a time when its transformational properties inspired reverence and awe. Today, no matter what other truths are out there, UFOs reach “beyond the realm of earthly organizations and powers into the heavens, into interstellar space, where the rulers of human fate, the gods, once had their abode in the planets…”     Dream I’m in a Catholic Church that is crumbling down with my mother and a priest. At the bottom of the building there are some wooden boxes and there is a big, brown female marsupial there. I am told by the priest to kill her, but I don’t want to, so instead I hit her repeatedly on the head with a book.    At some point she reacts and moves. She does not attack me but opens her mouth like a vagina, and before leaving she tells me: At least you won’t have kids that make you older and make you fat. She departs and I feel somehow relieved to have some definition about the topic of having children or not.     References Jung, C.G. Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies(Amazon). Harper, Patrick. Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld (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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