Priscilla Hobbs shares a few thoughts about her lecture this Friday, February 8th, titled Forever Jung. The lecture is at the UU Church at 7:30. Dr. Hobbs will also be teaching a class beginning next Wednesday that will explore this notion of “Forever Jung” deeper. Hope to see you there!
Joseph Campbell writes at the beginning of The Hero With a Thousand Faces that psychoanalysis is the best language for interpreting myth. Indeed, the very young language of psychoanalysis seems to be the best language for interpreting our world, specifically the language of Jung’s version of psychoanalysis. But why is this?
For one thing, Jung based his language not only on ancient concepts, but he selected his concepts based on his observations of his own world, which included interviews with patients and travels around the world. He analyzed himself and maintained a dialogue with a select community.
But he and Campbell share an attribute that seems out of place in our modern world: both were part of a generation–we’ll use the conventional label “The Modernists”– that was looking to find a new sense of order to their world. The Modernists left their mark on history by trying to break all of the rules of the Established Way of Doing Things from the previous centuries and, from the destruction, construct a New Established Way of Doing Things. This included trying to find a Unified Theory that could explain everything in a somewhat simple manner. As such, myths were reduced to archetypes, a “monomyth” was identified, and our ticks and “hang ups” were labeled as diagnoses and neuroses.
Jung’s version of psychoanalysis is recognized as a language for the second half of life, and Campbell’s theories are applicable to all ages–provided one heeds the call to follow one’s Bliss. As a Post-Modernist, I instantly resist the idea that Jung is only for older people, and I resist the idea that there can be such a thing as a Unified Theory of Everything. I was raised to embrace diversity, to celebrate our differences, and to recognize that the differences in myths and experiences are what makes the human experience so, well, cool.
So why did I title this lecture “Forever Jung?” Aside from the fact that I was secretly hoping to get a popular Rod Stewart song stuck in your head, I want to look at this language of Jung and see just how it can be applied to our current world. Or maybe our current world is the way it is because of Jung’s language?