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This Jungian Life Podcast

This Jungian Life Podcast

Podcast This Jungian Life Podcast
Podcast This Jungian Life Podcast

This Jungian Life Podcast

Joseph Lee, Lisa Marchiano, & Deb Stewart
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Eavesdrop on three Jungian analysts as they engage in lively, sometimes irreverent conversations about a wide range of topics as they share what it’s like to se... More
Eavesdrop on three Jungian analysts as they engage in lively, sometimes irreverent conversations about a wide range of topics as they share what it’s like to se... More

Available Episodes

5 of 274
  • THE UGLY DUCKLING COMPLEX: a path of transformation
    We all understand the Ugly Duckling complex because we lived it at one time or another. Hans Christian Anderson’s famous tale paints a poignant picture of a child’s experience of rejection only because he’s born in the wrong nest. People who seem different or have not yet matured into their natural beauty endure a kind of scorn that can bring them to despair. The ugly duckling’s capacity to endure and find refuge once he is recognized by fellow swans can hearten us during the long winters of our lives.   As an individuation metaphor, the tale dramatizes how many of us feel essentially different than our playmates and family. The combination of alienation and desperation drives us to merge with others’ feelings and paradoxically escape into fantasies. When the Self finally activates, it drives us toward the reality principle—only through regarding ourselves accurately and meeting the eyes of others can we discover our true nature and feel welcomed. As Jung suggested, we need relationships to feel whole despite the fear of being hurt. The Ugly Duckling shows us the archetypal theme from misery to fulfillment. Born into the crushing poverty of Odense, Denmark, Andersen, too, felt marked by his stark divergence from the norm. His father, a cobbler with an affection for literature, instilled the young Andersen with a zeal for reading, an enthusiasm not shared by most of his peers. His narrative of becoming was intertwined with his homoerotic identity, a fact that he could neither fully express nor openly explore in the conservative climate of the 19th century, which amplified his sense of estrangement. His unreciprocated affections, extended towards both men and women, nurtured a profound isolation that catalyzed his writings, infusing his narratives with empathy and personal experience. His genius resonated with every underdog and ostracized child who yearns to break the chains of circumstance and find a place of acceptance. Like Hans Christian Anderson, we may find ourselves alien in our own homes. We may flee only to discover the world cannot understand us. Yet one day, perhaps in the nadir of despair, something greater will claim us from within. Then, quickened and set aright in the world, our true kin will recognize us, and in their embrace, we may understand our suffering as a process that eventually enabled us to fly.  HERE’S THE DREAM WE ANALYZE:  “I was eating at a restaurant with a familiar group of people, though many of them were just familiar dream people, not people I know in real life. I felt something on my foot and thought I had dropped a piece of food, so I looked down. It was a small frog jumping across my foot. I picked it up and recalled feeling repulsed by it. I started cutting it across its back and pulling its legs off, but it was dying; it remained alive and kept looking at me, almost as if it was begging me to stop. Suddenly, I thought, “Why am I doing this?” “Why didn’t I just take it outside and set it free?” then, I knew I couldn’t fully kill it, so I asked someone at the table to come outside with me, and I wanted them to ‘finish the job’ and kill the frog so it wouldn’t suffer anymore. The dream ended with the other person killing the frog and me crying uncontrollably at my callousness and gratuitous violence towards the frog.”  BECOME A DREAM INTERPRETER: We’ve created DREAM SCHOOL to teach others how to work with their dreams. A vibrant community has constellated around this mission, and we think you’ll love it. Check it out.  PLEASE GIVE US A HAND: Hey folks -- We need your help. So please BECOME OUR PATRON and keep This Jungian Life podcast up and running.  SHARE YOUR DREAM WITH US: SUBMIT YOUR DREAM HERE FOR A POSSIBLE PODCAST INTERPRETATION.  FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, TWITTER, YOUTUBE  INTERESTED IN BECOMING A JUNGIAN ANALYST? Enroll in the PHILADELPHIA JUNGIAN SEMINAR and start your journey to become an analyst.  LET’S STAY in TOUCH: SUBSCRIBE to our free newsletter.  YES, WE HAVE MERCH! Shop HERE
    6/1/2023
    1:36:48
  • SHADOWS & HIGH STAKES: understanding gambling
    Understanding gambling illuminates the amalgam of desire, risk, and reward that defines our interactions with a capricious world. The lure of gambling, entwined within the fabric of human history, irresistibly draws us to its mesmerizing dance of fortune and chance. Exploring the gambler's psyche, we'll discover the psychospiritual elements that pull us towards Lady Luck. Gambling's allure is steeped in mythology. The concept of chance, the Moirai of Greek lore, the Roman Goddess Fortuna, and the I Ching from ancient China evoke the numinous aspect of luck, symbolically guiding us through its enigmas. This mythological lens offers a universal perspective. The Gambler, a mercurial figure inhabiting conscious and unconscious realms, represents our inherent wish to transcend known boundaries. Presenting in various forms - the trickster, dreamer, and adventurer - the Gambler embodies the tension between control and surrender, resonating with our struggle to balance familiarity and novelty. Eros and Thanatos, the opposing drives of life and death, fuel the gambling world. The lure of infinite possibilities animates Eros within the gambler, who, in his euphoria, overlooks his vulnerabilities—fear and desire mix, producing a potent cocktail. Temporarily, the gambler escapes this reality through the exhilarating throws of chance, finding aliveness in this tension. The capricious Fortuna, goddess of luck, fate, and fortune, reigns over the gambling world. Her symbol, the Wheel of Fortune, reflects the perpetual rise and fall of fortunes, echoing the rhythm of life itself. In her dual nature - benevolent Fortuna Bona and disastrous Fortuna Mala - she challenges the gambler to confront control's limits and embrace uncertainty. Tyche, Greek counterpart to Fortuna, carries a cornucopia of rewards for life’s risk-takers who dare to pursue success, a heroic vision central to the modern entrepreneur. In the end, the gambler’s relationship with chance is a mirror that reflects the essential human condition, for we are all, in a sense, gamblers, poised on the precipice of the unknown. As we journey through life, we must learn to embrace the uncertainties and risks that define our existence, for it is in the very act of embracing the gamble that we find the courage to forge our destinies. BECOME A DREAM INTERPRETER: We’ve created DREAM SCHOOL to teach others how to work with their dreams. A vibrant community has constellated around this mission, and we think you’ll love it. Check it out.  PLEASE GIVE US A HAND: Hey folks -- We need your help. So please BECOME OUR PATRON and keep This Jungian Life podcast up and running.  SHARE YOUR DREAM WITH US: SUBMIT YOUR DREAM HERE FOR A POSSIBLE PODCAST INTERPRETATION.  FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, TWITTER, YOUTUBE  INTERESTED IN BECOMING A JUNGIAN ANALYST? Enroll in the PHILADELPHIA JUNGIAN SEMINAR and start your journey to become an analyst.  LET’S STAY in TOUCH: SUBSCRIBE to our free newsletter. 
    5/25/2023
    1:18:12
  • WHISKERS of WISDOM: A Jungian Analysis of ‘Puss in Boots’
    Something about a cat wearing clothes has captured our imagination for over 500 years, so it’s about time we tackle a Jungian analysis of Puss in Boots. Anthropomorphized felines have enthralled us for half a millennium, making Puss in Boots perfect for our discussion. From enchanting fairytales of yore to modern viral videos, our fascination with pets in human attire and mannerisms persists. Whether a parrot blurting expletives or a dog groaning human words, we’re captivated. Through Puss in Boots, we might better comprehend this instinct to imbue our pets with our psychological traits. This tale can be traced back to various oral traditions, but the rendition most recognized in the West is Charles Perrault’s adaptation during France’s fairytale golden era in the late 1600s. In this period of societal flux, with feudalism dissolving, bourgeoisie emerging, and royal power consolidating, Perrault’s cat symbolizes a social opportunist reflecting the aspirations of the rising middle class. The cat’s shrewd maneuvering through societal ranks and achieving change through cleverness rather than lineage resonated with the changing society. While these socio-political shifts were relevant, they don’t fully explain the tale’s longevity. The enduring appeal of the shrewd, charming cat and his moral dilemmas suggest deeper, archetypal themes. Historically, cats have been associated with supernatural instincts, independence, adaptability, and boldness. Puss’ attributes echo these, drawing parallels to the feline goddess Bastet from ancient Egypt, renowned for her protective, nurturing powers and ability to speak like humans. As modernity progressed and Cartesian dualism prevailed, animals and their symbolism lost their depth and voice. In studying the silent afflictions of the nervous system, Freud gave voice to suppressed instincts. Jung, however, restored their wisdom. Fairytales, through symbolic imagery and archetypal motifs, still convey ancient wisdom our conscious minds have forgotten, appealing to our personal unconscious and reviving dormant truths. Puss in Boots epitomizes this restoration of life-affirming instinct. The story starts with an old miller dividing his estate among his sons. Through a Jungian lens, we can see that physical and psychological inheritance shapes each son’s destiny. The eldest son inherits his father’s life, forsaking his individual path. The middle son aligns with the donkey’s value of unthinking hard labor. The youngest, bestowed the cat’s independent instincts, sets forth on a journey that will surprise him. When our ego feels isolated, and the world’s promises seem hollow, we may finally turn to our instincts, symbolized by the feral barn cats of our unconscious. As we reconcile ego and instinct, our inner creatures are granted voices. This process translates archetypal images and emotions into thoughts and plans. Puss’ first request, boots, signifies the alignment of ego and instinct, marking the start of a spirited life journey. The instinct to survive often overrides moral judgment, bringing forth the Trickster archetype. This is seen across the natural world as creatures employ deception and evasion for survival. The war between human ideals and animal instincts defines us. An imbalance can have repercussions. The ultimate goal is an integrated stance that promotes a fulfilling life while contributing to civilization. The miller’s youngest son’s journey from despair to royal rule symbolizes the process of individuation encoded in the symbols of this enduring fairytale. BECOME A DREAM INTERPRETER: We’ve created DREAM SCHOOL to teach others how to work with their dreams. A vibrant community has constellated around this mission, and we think you’ll love it. Check it out.  PLEASE GIVE US A HAND: Hey folks -- We need your help. So please BECOME OUR PATRON and keep This Jungian Life podcast up and running.
    5/18/2023
    1:13:17
  • ARCHETYPAL IMAGES: the soul's language
    Thomas Singer, M.D., Jungian Analyst and president of The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism joins us to decipher Archetypal Images and explain the essential role of A.R.A.S. in collecting and curating them.  Archetypes, as cosmic blueprints, dictate universal patterns of the collective unconscious, transcending personal experiences and cultural variations. They mold our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Archetypal images are their visible expressions, emerging in dreams, myths, and cultural narratives, providing a visual language linking psyche to self. They adapt and evolve across cultural contexts.  Archetypal theory traces back to Plato's theory of Forms, which proposed transcendental ideals, or "arkhetypos" (first-molded), as the pure essence behind physical manifestations. The Swiss psychiatrist CG Jung linked these archetypes to the collective unconscious, profoundly influencing our experiences.  Archetypal images carry universal resonance, stirring deep recognition within us. Iconic images, on the other hand, reflect temporal cultural dominants. Archetypal imagery identification involves recognizing recurring symbolic patterns with deep cultural or psychological significance.  In the therapeutic relationship, archetypal imagery offers a stage for the drama of the unconscious. The analyst’s role includes identifying the universal patterns in the analysand's dreams and fantasies. Interpreting these influences can free the analysand from the grip of debilitating complexes.  Archetypal images are also prominent in culture and commerce, shaping narratives and influencing behavior. They find use in brand narratives, films, religious and spiritual traditions, and even political leaders' narratives. However, they can both inspire and manipulate, highlighting the need for discernment and critical awareness.  Archetypal imagery also aids in expressing complex emotions and experiences. Expressions such as "Pandora’s box," "Siren’s call," and "Promethean knowledge" exemplify this influence on language and culture. A.R.A.S. (www.ARAS.org) was initially assembled by Olga Froebe-Kapteyn, who collected illustrations of ancient symbolic artifacts at her estate on Lake Maggiore in southern Switzerland. These images illustrated the annual meetings of the Eranos Society, conducted by Froebe-Kapteyn from 1933, with participation from renowned scholars such as Heinrich Zimmer, Károly Kerényi, Mircea Eliade, C.G. Jung, Erich Neumann, Gilles Quispel, Gershom Scholem, Henry Corbin, Adolf Portmann, Herbert Read, Max Knoll, and Joseph Campbell.  In 1946, Froebe-Kapteyn donated her collection to the Warburg Institute in London, with duplicates given to the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich and the Bollingen Foundation in New York. Jessie E. Fraser, librarian of the Analytical Psychology Club of New York, expanded the archive beyond its original scope, leading to the creation of the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism. The collection was acquired by the C.G. Jung Foundation of New York and copies were also kept at the C.G. Jung Institutes in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  HERE’S THE DREAM WE ANALYZE: “I was walking down a scenic nature trail and felt awed at the sight of ducklings and their mother in a tree. Then a great owl swooped down and snatched the ducklings from their mother, flew to a nearby tree, and started gorging them while the mother could only stare in horror.”  BECOME A DREAM INTERPRETER: We’ve created DREAM SCHOOL to teach others how to work with their dreams. A vibrant community has constellated around this mission, and we think you’ll love it. Check it out.  PLEASE GIVE US A HAND: Hey folks -- We need your help. So please BECOME OUR PATRON and keep This Jungian Life podcast up and running.  SHARE YOUR DREAM WITH US: SUBMIT YOUR DREAM HERE for a possible podcast interpretation.
    5/11/2023
    1:57:11
  • MEDUSA’S MANY FACES: The Evolution of a Myth
    The symbolism of Medusa, one of three Gorgon sisters in Greek mythology, has fascinated artists, writers, and philosophers for centuries. Initially a monstrous creature with snake-writhing hair and a petrifying gaze, Medusa has undergone numerous transformations. The earliest known account of Medusa appears in Hesiod’s Theogony (c. 700 BCE), where she is portrayed as a mortal Gorgon sister with a deadly gaze. Ovid’s Metamorphoses (c. 8 CE) ascribes Medusa’s monstrous appearance to a curse from Athena, punishing her for desecrating the temple with Poseidon. Medusa’s terrifying image persisted for centuries, eventually finding its way into Roman wine goblets as a delightful decoration. Sigmund Freud suggested that Medusa’s visage symbolizes castration anxiety, while Jungian analysis views the myth as a development of the anima, the feminine aspect of the male psyche. By incorporating Medusa’s head into his arsenal, Perseus metaphorically assimilates her power, integrating the darker elements of his anima. The myth also reflects the evolution of the father-bound virginal feminine principle. Athene, unfailingly loyal to Zeus, demonized Medusa, a figure related to ancient fertility goddesses. Medusa’s killing power, once uncontrollable, was ultimately transformed into a symbol of instinctive sexual power and reintegrated into Athene. Medusa’s story also explores humanity’s relationship with nature and the cosmos. As a Gorgon, Medusa embodies chaos and destruction, reflecting the untamed aspects of the natural world. Her petrifying gaze is a reminder of the inherent danger within the natural order, further reinforced by her connection to the sea god Poseidon. Contemporary thinkers and artists have reevaluated Medusa’s image as a symbol of female empowerment and resilience. French feminist philosopher Hélène Cixous argued that Medusa’s transformation into a monster represents the subjugation of women and their sexuality. She encouraged women to reclaim the Gorgon’s image as a symbol of female empowerment. Medusa’s evolution demonstrates the power of reinterpretation and the resilience of archetypal symbols. From her monstrous origins to her contemporary status as a feminist icon, Medusa defies expectations and continues to challenge. Her ongoing transformation attests to the malleability of myth and the enduring appeal of characters that embody transformation, resistance, and power. HERE’S THE DREAM WE ANALYZE: “I was alone in an unfamiliar building and going to give birth to twins, but they were crocodiles. I was afraid and trying to escape this building, but a midwife appeared and kept finding me when I tried to escape. She would tell me I had to give birth and wouldn’t let me escape. She was firm but wasn’t mean. Then the building morphed into a hospital, and I gave birth to the crocodiles in a hospital room. I was terrified I was going to have to breastfeed them. (This stands out as the scariest part of the dream.) I was scared holding two baby crocodiles with their mouths open, their teeth exposed, and I was getting ready to breastfeed them.” MEET JOSEPH in NEW ORLEANS ON MAY 5th 2023. For more information, click HERE. BECOME A DREAM INTERPRETER We’ve created DREAM SCHOOL to teach others how to work with their dreams. A vibrant community has constellated around this mission, and we think you’ll love it. Check it out. PLEASE GIVE US A HAND Hey folks -- We need your help. So please BECOME OUR PATRON and keep This Jungian Life podcast up and running. SHARE YOUR DREAM WITH US SUBMIT YOUR DREAM HERE FOR A POSSIBLE PODCAST INTERPRETATION. FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA  FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, LINKEDIN, TWITTER, YOUTUBE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A JUNGIAN ANALYST? Enroll in the PHILADELPHIA JUNGIAN SEMINAR and start your journey to become an analyst. 
    5/4/2023
    1:08:09

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About This Jungian Life Podcast

Eavesdrop on three Jungian analysts as they engage in lively, sometimes irreverent conversations about a wide range of topics as they share what it’s like to see the world through the depth psychological lens provided by Carl Jung. Half of each episode is spent discussing a dream submitted by a listener.
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