Jennifer Leigh Selig, PhD.
They Had a Dream (We Have a Dream): C G Jung, Martin Luther King, Jr, and the Evocative Power of Symbols
Jung initially rejected the invitation to write Man and His Symbols, whose intention was to make Jungian psychology understandable to a general audience, but a dream convinced him otherwise. In his dream, he speaks to a multitude of enthralled people who understand everything he says. In this presentation on Chapter 1 of Man and His Symbols, “Approaching the Unconscious,” we’ll explore how two years after Jung completed both his chapter and his life, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to a multitude of enthralled people and translated many Jungian concepts into everyday language in his “I Have a Dream” speech. Jung’s chapter is concerned with four major areas—the unconscious, dreams, archetypes, and symbols—all four of which we find illustrated and translated to a general audience in King’s dream speech. We'll dream the dream forward into the 2020 election and see how leading presidential candidates are working with archetypes and symbols as well, on behalf of the psychological health of the body politic.
As a result of attending this course, participants will be able to:
1) Identify the areas of distinction and overlap between personal (introverted) and cultural (extroverted) therapy.
2) Analyze and assess the archetypes and symbols being offered by leading 2020 presidential candidates.
3) Discuss and apply the theories from the presentation to working with our own dreams, the dreams of our clients, and the dreams of our country.
Jennifer Leigh Selig, PhD was the founder and former chair of the Jungian and Archetypal Studies doctoral degree at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She has spent almost two decades researching, writing about, and presenting on Martin Luther King, Jr., including her 2005 title, Integration: The Psychology and Mythology of Martin Luther King, Jr. and His (Unfinished) Therapy With the Soul of America. Her latest books include Everyday Reverence: A Hundred Ways to Kneel and Kiss the Ground and a co-authored volume titled Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit. jenniferleighselig.com
Today the “Spirit of the Times” pushes us toward economic growth, self-absorption, and resulting conflict both national and international. Is it possible to call upon the “Spirit of the Depths” to energize and inform us for a more equitable, sustainable and integrated global society that embraces the Soul of the World, the Anima Mundi?
Carl Jung’s text and paintings from the The Red Book (2009) reveal that Jung recognized that he had been led astray by what he described as the Spirit of the Times. He called out to his soul and encountered the Spirit of the Depths. It was and is a difficult and painful time of intersecting, conflicting energies: the more conscious, everyday and linear journey of the Times submitting its will to relate to an unknown and timeless, not-yet-conscious creative presence of the Deep. This is a crucial choice that requires sacrifice, by Jung, by ourselves, that may promise transformation.
As we collectively feel the strain of the Times towards multiple tipping points, whether it be our ecology or political instability or social unrest, we too might seek to welcome new time and space for better understanding and appreciating the journey required of us by the Spirit of the Depths.
Man and His Symbols (Jung, 1964) offers a framework and roadmap for the subjects and titles of the individual Five Part Series Public Programs.