(Lecture presented at the Congress of Jungian analysts in Mediterranean countries--Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Israel and Tunisia--at the University of Naples, Department of Psychology, organized by Prof. Antonio Vitolo, February 1999)
Allow me first of all to explain why I, who was born and brought up in Switzerland, and whose family had lived there for over 200 years, nevertheless left the country of my birth and settled in Israel.
Already, as a boy, I felt somehow out of place as a Jew living in a Christian country. This was particularly so on the Jewish high holidays, when we used to go to the synagogue, which in Zurich is situated in the centre of the town. As I walked to the synagogue with my father and grandfather, all of us dressed in our holiday clothes, the people in the streets glanced at us curiously, which made me feel very uneasy. For the Christian population this was an ordinary working day, and we must have appeared very odd to them.
In the year 1932, I was visiting my grandparents who were taking a holiday in Baden-Baden, in Germany. And there, for the… Read More
Murray Stein has asked me to write about what it is like to live and work in Israel during these terrible times. My report is a purely personal statement but it is informed by discussions at a recent meeting of the Israel Institute of Jungian Psychology devoted to the topic of "Personal and Therapeutic Coping in the Shadow of Terror Attacks, the Occupation and a Sense of Helplessness."
My first and most pervasive reaction to the repetitive suicide bombings is a daily encounter with death. Everyday I wake with a clear and present sense that today may be my last. I may never again see my wife, my children, my friends and dear ones. This death imprint is no paranoid fantasy but very much based on the sense that "my death" seems to be getting closer all the time. A horrid devastation occurred in a popular café, meters and minutes away from where I regularly attend demonstrations against the Occupation. A second bomber entered another popular café near my office. He asked for a glass of water which aroused the waiter's suspicions and in the ensuing struggle,… Read More
"Individuation, becoming a self, is not only a
spiritual problem, it is the problem of all life."
Jung, CW 12. para. 163
With respect to psychological identity, individuation means creation, destruction, eternal recreation -- an ongoing process whose faraway goal is maximum wholeness through the union of opposites in consciousness. Can we use this concept of individual development to understand the evolution of collectivities such as nations and groups of nations? Is it useful to think about the political and economic dynamics that underlie the movements of world history from a psychological perspective such as 'a politics of individuation'? If so, what does such an analysis look like? These questions pose the challenge of this essay
All the nations of the Americas - whether of North or South - were created from actions on the part off explorative and aggressive European peoples who, in their own way, were largely unconscious of their ulterior motives and of the implications for the future. They invaded, conquered, and often plundered the territories where we now live and which we call home. This is a shared ancestral heritage. A kind of naked power shadow therefore is woven deeply into the fabric of our original identities.
All… Read More
In this terra-cotta relief from the Greco-Roman era we see the baby Zeus surrounded by his shieldbearing protectors, the Kouretes, also known as the Daimones. Had it not been for them, according to the myth, this child of Rhea and Kronos would have been devoured by his father, who was in the habit of swallowing his children. A Cretan hymn tells the story: "For here the shielded Nurturers took thee, a child immortal, from Rhea, and with noise of beating feet hid thee away." (Image courtesy of the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism [ARAS], San Francisco.)
Much as an airline pilot gives the passengers a brief synopsis of the flight plan, I would like to provide an itinerary for this intuitive flight so that some of the landmarks along the way have a context. The series of seemingly unrelated historical episodes which I will be highlighting are linked together by a kind of intuitive logic that seeks to sketch an extension of traditional Jungian theory. Indeed, this essay is meant to be a "sketch" in the same way that an artist or architect would render a preliminary drawing of a work in progress which will be elaborated over… Read More
Note to the Reader
It is with pleasure and sorrow that I make this essay(1) available to the analytical psychology community. (This article appeared in its original form in the November 2003 issue of The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal .) Soon after the tragic events of 9/11/01-the suicide bombings of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the subverted suicide-bomber plane that crashed "safely" in Pennsylvania, and the thousands of American lives lost to these catastrophes, now over a year ago-I made a decision to put a manuscript-in-progress on Herman Melville down. Like Melville himself during the Civil War, I had to watch, in astonished recognition, outrage, and horror, and not speak.(2) But now I return to my reading of his work with a fresh appreciation of what he had actually done in the 1850's. Could it be that Melville anticipated in a "prospective" and "teleological" way some of the tragic and frightening events we are witnessing in the religious, economic and political upheavals of our current global civilization? "The prospective function" which C. G. Jung first underlined in his reading of dreams, is an anticipation in the unconscious of future conscious achievements, something like a preliminary exercise… Read More