Civilization Still in Transition: Psyche in the World

1 hour 38 minutes



Part of the symposium Conflict and Collision: The Cultural Complex in Public Life. Purchase the full symposium for 30% off individual titles!

Topics: Complexes & Complex Theory, Society & Culture.

Civilization Still in Transition: Psyche in the World

Analytical Psychology has rich insights to share about the nature of the human condition–not just about the trajectory of the individual soul but also about the way in which human societies shape themselves and how they go about wrestling as cultures with social, political, economic and spiritual problems. With particular focus on the theory of cultural complexes, this presentation will look at the ways in which we are tackling or avoiding the major problems confronting our culture.

For the past decade, I have focused on elaborating the theory of cultural complexes in the context of Jungian thought.  I have been inquiring about the way in which unconscious conflicts in the psyche of groups and individuals play themselves out in the social and political arena.  This inquiry has led me to join with others in Australia, the United States, Latin America and Europe to explore the ways in which cultural complexes shape our thoughts and feelings about conflicts between groups which can be based on gender, ethnicity, race, or social and economic conditions.  Many observers are now writing about the failure of a real, but unspoken contract between business, labor and government that balanced American society during the post-world war 2 years and is now crumbling in an increasing economic and social divide.  My focus is how specific conflicts arise around core issues in the social life of groups–what Jung called complexes.  I will elaborate on this theory by giving a description of the core cultural complexes that fracture contemporary society.  These complexes operate in the collective psyche and determine how people relate to one another in almost every aspect of our social life.

PowerPoint: PowerPoint slides are edited into the video.

Diagrams: The following diagram is referenced in the talk: CLICK HERE

Audio: This download includes an audio MP3 of the lecture that can be played on smartphones, tablets, and laptops for listening on the go.


© 2012 The Respective Speakers
℗ 2012 CG Jung Institute of Chicago

Additional information

Audio Format

1 MP3 File: 39MB

Video Format

1 3GP File: 363MB

Video Resolution



Singer, Tom

Thomas Singer, MD is a psychiatrist and Jungian psychoanalyst who lives and practices in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He has written and edited many books, including Who's the Patient Here?,  A Fan's Guide to Baseball FeverThe Cultural Complex, Ancient Greece/Modern Psyche,  The Vision Thing, Psyche and the City: A Soul's Guide to the Modern City, Initiation: The Living Reality of An Archetype and most recently, Placing Psyche:  Exploring Cultural Complexes in Australia. Dr. Singer currently serves as the Series Editor for the Analytical Psychology and Contemporary Culture Series of Spring Book Publications and is active on the board of National ARAS.



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