Tag - consciousness

Lessons in Heartbreak

I recently fell in love. Deeply. I had all the classic symptoms; I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t focus on anything. He was interesting, cute, sweet, sexy, bright, difficult, challenging – everything that I wanted. He told me that he never shared so intimately with anyone, he told me he loved me, he told me that he was a better man around me, he told me that he thinks I could be the one. And the kisses…well, left [...]

COMPLEX, ARCHETYPE, SYMBOL in the Psychology of C.G. Jung by Jolande Jacobi

This is a book review by Lynelle Pieterse who manages the Jungian Book Club.Click here to buy this book. Complex/Archetype/Symbol in the Psychology of C.G. Jung (Bollingen Series (General)) Introduction In the foreword, Jung writes: “…the concept of the archetype has given rise to the greatest misunderstandings.”The book is a discussion about the intricate terms Complex, Archetype, and Symbol and specifically about how they are interrelated.Jolande Jacobi was an associate of C.G. Jung for many years. She is known for her [...]

A Bullet in the Chamber: A Jungian Perspective on a Murderous Gun Complex

Oscar Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend on Valentines Day. He was devastated and cried uncontrollably at his first court appearance and frequently at his bail hearing. His affidavit stated that that he believed that there was a burglar in his bathroom whom he shot, only to realise to his horror that he had shot Reeva Steenkamp.Whether his version of events is true or whether, as the state claims, the killing was in fact intentional, i.e. murder, remains undecided. [...]

Of Butterflies and other Symbols of Transformation

I have a butterfly in a bottle on my desk. It is not a real butterfly, it is fake. There is a wire attached to it and it is battery operated. When you tap the top of the bottle, the butterfly flutters and flies and flaps its wings. It is absolutely convincingly real.I LOVE it!I am fascinated by it and it is a symbol for me. Perhaps it is the ingenuity of the design, or the fact that it [...]

A Roadmap of the Soul

Although not our natural state, I believe in the possibility of a truly meaningful and fulfilled life. A life lived with a sense of profound excitement and awe; a life where the depth, complexity and beauty of the cosmos live in us.I don’t suggest that suffering is not a reality, or that I have personally reached such an elevated state of consciousness. I suggest rather, that much suffering we do endure is illegitimate and that:a meaningless existence, boredom, lack of purpose, a [...]

Consciousness and Freedom: Jung, Sartre, Steiner.

Freedom, that is the idea of freedom, the possibility of freedom, is a topic which strikes me as worth considering. It is, after all, arguably, the most important question philosophy can ask; and a defining parameter in our understanding of what it means to be a human being.The question simply put is this:Can an individual make choices which are not wholly determined by a prior casual chain?Is it possible, like Kant’s hypothetical God, to initiate a first [...]

Trauma, Emptiness and Failure to Relate in Steve McQueen’s “Shame”

This is a guest post by Helena Bassil-Morozow.The opening scene of Shame (2011) is shocking in its colourlessness and stillness: the film’s protagonist Brandon (Michael Fassbender), with his hand almost on his groin, is lying in bed looking rather dead. The shot’s colour temperature is cold; the mis-en-scene’s minimalism – the still naked body against the background of blue-white sheets – evokes associations with hospital rooms and mortuaries. The bird’s-eye shot lasts half a minute and looks almost like [...]

Yes I know your mother is a bitch…

Recently a young man (well not that young really, late thirties) came to see me for some coaching. He was fairly distressed; he felt a certain lack of direction, an absence of meaning in his life perhaps. Looking back on his life he saw a litany of failures, missed opportunities, could-have-been’s, should-have-been’s, mistakes, wrong turns, unfortunate turn of events and a few regrets thrown in for good measure.The young man was familiar with some pop-psychology and understood the importance [...]

To Have or Not to Have an Ego

In western culture the ego has had a bad rap. Most people think that an ego is something negative. That it should be suppressed. You have an over inflated ego, or you are egocentric or egotistical.And Eastern religions say you should abandon it altogether, it just causes problems. :)But what is the ego? Is it something good or bad?Should you give up on it or hold on to it?In both analytical psychology (Jungian) and psychoanalysis (Freudian), the Ego plays [...]

The experience machine and Jung’s symbolic attitude

I heard from one of my lecturers at Wits recently about a book called Better never to have been: the harm of coming into existence, written by a local lad, Professor David Benatar, HOD of the philosophy department at the University of Cape Town. As the title suggests Benatar proposes that it is far better never to be born; that one is irreparably harmed by coming into existence.The two arguments that Benatar offers for this view are: 1.By bringing someone [...]