(Week of 10/20/18)

I found myself in a conversation the other day about the influence of Freudian psychology on late 20th-century Western society, and Darwinian theories of evolution on the century that preceded it, which led to the inevitable question: what psycho-scientific concepts are — for good, bad or simply popular intrigue — underlying the way we humans conceive of ourselves and interact with the modern world?

It didn’t take long to land on Carl Jung, that delicious Swiss student of Freud’s who, in trying to reconcile his predecessor’s conscious and unconscious so that human life didn’t seem quite so grim, delved into the role of spirituality and myth in the human experience. In so doing, he established a system of archetypes by which to organize and understand oneself and fellow man.

From business obsession with personality types to gender roles to trying to find meaning in a divided world, Jung’s principles touch it all, and this week we dive right in.

If you’ve only got a little time, watch this short two-part BBC documentary excerpt, which is delightfully aged, but gives a great overview of Jung’s life and thought. (If you’d rather read, we’ve also included a New York Times Magazine article that provides a great overview.) To apply the principles to yourself, follow the Guide to Individuation and, assuming you have somehow managed to avoid it up until this point, determine your Myers-Briggs Indicator type based on Jungian archetypes. For a more contemporary dig, listen to this lecture and interview by Canadian psychology professor Jordan Peterson, and the New Yorker’s examination of the controversy his applications of Jung to gender roles have sparked. And to get a more spiritual fix, close your eyes and listen to this oh-so-calming tribute to Jung by Alan Watts, the British philosopher who brought so much Eastern thought to the western world, and learn how to amp up your meditation practice with Jung’s favorite symbol of harmony, the Mandala.

Hope you enjoy,



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