Individuation

The role of problems in the individuation process

I have been a student of Jungian psychology for two decades. My field of study, in addition to Jung’s primary texts, the Collected Works, included other pioneers of depth psychology: Freud, of course, Adler, Lacan, Klein and Fordham, among others. I have also studied a vast amount of the secondary literature. I have during that time, in the spirit imparted to me by my first Jungian mentor, Châtillon Coque, actively applied the Jungian principles or theoria[1], in the pursuit of [...]

Love me, so that I can love myself: A Western identity crisis

I recently watched a thought provoking TED Talk by Yann Dall’Aglio, a French philosopher. His talk was about the current Western approach to love. There is no doubt that we all want to be loved, not only romantically, but also by family, friends and peers. Yann makes compelling observations about the way this “desire to be loved” has impacted on modern Western society, and that it is not necessarily in a positive way; in fact he reveals a rather disturbing [...]

The Grand Promise of Transformation

transfəˈmeɪʃ(ə)n, noun, a marked change in form, nature, or appearance. There is a major paradox in the personal growth movement. A critical fault line running down its centre. We are sold and often tempted by promises of transformation, but, critically, what we most want is to be authentic. Do you want to transform? If you do, it is worth thinking about what you trying to change. Your nature? Who you are? How you live in this world? Do you want to be better? Do you desire to change somehow to [...]

A short course in Wrestling an Angel

The mistake is to think of angels as cherubs. They’re not. That was just the romantic imagination of renaissance art. A more accurate perspective of the angel, at least psychologically, is provided by the Old Testament story of Jacob, who wrestled with the Angel of the Lord. To put it plainly, the angel fucked him up. He escaped with his life intact, no mean feat after seeing the face of God[1], but, not without suffering a dislocated hip, resulting [...]

Spirit or soul? A New Age movement critique.

I recently signed up with my Alma Mater to do a module called Contemporary Spirituality.  The main concept that emerged for me is that the New Age movement is capturing the market of modern individuals attempting to connect with the transcendent. This essay is a critical look at the New Age Movement and its influence and effect on Modern Spirituality. I also explore the difference between soul and spirit and the modern attitude towards both. The attitude towards spirituality and soul in western [...]

Individuation, Jung’s 2nd Personality, and the Freak

Consider for a moment the utterly and overwhelmingly absurd nature of our existence. We send our children to school to learn what? Their capacities or their limitations? What they are capable of or incapable of? I would argue the latter. Here I think one must agree with Freud’s very astute analysis of the human condition that psychic castration is an essential developmental stage. Without the recognition of our limitations we become monsters. One has only to encounter a precocious teenager [...]

Memories, Dreams, (and) Reflections of Stephen Anthony Farah

With apologies to C. G. Jung Some general context What follows is an attempt to synthesise and make meaning from my very own Jungian journey of the last fifteen years. Besides borrowing the title from Jung’s biography Memories, Dreams, Reflections, I follow in the footsteps of two of my students, Tasha Tollman and Linda Hawkins, who have previously written pieces along these lines for publication on this site. I am not into the white washing or spin doctor style of narrative. I [...]

When there is no judgement, what is alive in you?

The multi-award winning documentary, Ensoulment, created and directed by Loris Simón Salum, explores the feminine principle in present day Western society. It is a journey in search of meaning, belonging and the path back to the authentic self. Watching the documentary, I was content, dare I even say happy with my life and completely unprepared for a question so powerful, that it hit me between my solar plexus and left me breathless. A question that filled me with excitement and [...]

Dr Seuss Inspired Guide to Applied Jung

The life work of Carl Gustav Jung has inspired me for so many years to a life of adventure, a call to the hero’s journey and the discovery of the depths and treasures of my psyche. This exciting journey has been made possible by the wonderful teaching of my friend Stephen Farah at The Centre of Applied Jungian Studies, who strives every day to make Jung’s work accessible to all and to find practical application for Jung’s work in [...]

Did mommy & daddy neglect to mention that you are a freak?

Yes I am afraid it is quite true, you are a freak. This short communication should remove any lingering doubts you may have and dash any hope that you are not a freak. Let me spell it out for you, to avoid any unintended ambiguity. You are not a normal, well adjusted, respectable member of society.  You are not a pillar of the community, someone to whom others should look as an example to model themselves on.  You are [...]