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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anger is a core human emotion. Newborns express instinctual cries of protest, and many a mythological god has wreaked archetypal havoc.
People have reported experiences with ghosts from antiquity; Jung documented his encounters with mysterious sensed presences. How do we make meaning of such experiences? Are they visitations from external beings? Could they be related to unconscious reactions to toxic substances, auditory subtleties, or erratic electromagnetic fields?
The question of whether, when, and what psychoactive medications may be helpful is both big and ambiguous. Mental distress has always been strongly influenced by cultural filters and subjective perceptions.