What Would C.G. Jung Say about Donald Trump?

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The great doctor of the soul and modern day alchemist C. G. Jung was so far ahead of his time that, more than half a century after his death,[1] he is still barely appreciated. Jung was a genius who had incredibly deep insight into the nature of the psyche, particularly how it informs and gives shape to what plays out in our world. I find myself wondering, what would Jung say about the madness currently playing out in our world if he were alive today? I can only imagine.

Jung was of the opinion that “Active Imagination,” a process in which we actively dialogue and have it out with the figures of our unconscious, was the most powerful practice he had ever come across for working with—and integrating—the unconscious. I find myself wondering, what if I were to do active imagination with Jung himself?

Upon imagining this, I immediately sense the presence of Jung. As if in possession of a priceless gift, he seems delighted at the opportunity to share his insights with someone who is open to receiving them. Rather than ghostly, his presence seems substantial, actually quite huge, and very warm. He seems professorial in demeanor, which immediately makes feel like I am in the role of student, a role I am very happy to assume when I meet someone who I consider to be my teacher, orders of magnitude wiser than myself.

Deeply wanting to take advantage of my good fortune, I try to connect by asking him if he can believe the insanity that is happening in the United States today. As if he recognizes what is playing out, Jung says, with the utmost assurance, that what is taking place is “brought about by an upheaval of forces lying dormant in the unconscious.”[2] It is as if darker subterranean powers that have been brewing in the cauldron of the collective unconscious for centuries have been unleashed into our world.

I remember that in Jung’s view what distinguishes our age from all others is that we are being forced to recognize and come to terms with the active world-shaping powers of the psyche.[3] As if hearing my thoughts, Jung comments that the psyche is “the World Power that vastly exceeds all other powers on earth.”[4] Jung adds, “We can no longer deny that the dark stirrings of the unconscious are active powers.”[5] This immediately makes me think of Jung’s well-known insight that if we don’t bring consciousness to the shadow forces within the psyche, we will then most assuredly dream up our inner unconscious situation to play out—destructively—on the world stage as our fate.

I am familiar with Jung’s idea that when the darkness of the unconscious begins to stir, if these forces are not understood, they will magnetically draw people together who will become unwitting instruments for what Jung calls “the powers of darkness” to act themselves out in the world. A leader, such as Donald Trump, will invariably appear—in my language, get “dreamed up”—who will express, reflect and, like a lightning rod, amplify these darker forces. This leader is typically someone who, in Jung’s words, has “the least resistance, the least sense of responsibility and … the greatest will to power.”[6] Jung comments that this leader “will let loose everything that is ready to burst forth.”[7] As if offering a prophetic warning, Jung says with complete certainty, “a mass always produces a ‘Leader,’ who infallibly becomes the victim of his own inflated ego-consciousness, as numerous examples in history show.”[8] I think many of us intuit that Trump’s reign is not going to end well – the question becomes: how can we mitigate the damage?

It is as if Jung is describing exactly what is being acted out in the United States after the 2016 election. I can’t help but to ask Jung’s opinion about the fact that someone as clearly pathological as Donald Trump has become president. As if anticipating my question, Jung says, “As soon as people get together in masses and submerge the individual, the shadow is mobilized, and as history shows, may even be personified and incarnated.”[9] I remember that Jung defines the shadow as “the inferior part of everybody’s personality,”[10] the darker half of the human totality, what he refers to as humanity’s “own worst danger.”[11] I remember that the word mirror, etymologically speaking, means the “holder of the shadow.” It is as if we have collectively dreamed up Trump to embody—and reflect back to us—our unconscious shadow. Jung then matter-of-factly states, as if what he is saying is beyond debate, “It is everybody’s allotted fate to become conscious of and learn to deal with this shadow.”[12] It does feel as if we live in a time where it is no longer possible to avoid or postpone dealing with our darker half.

Jung adds that Trump “symbolized something in every individual.”[13] Commenting on Trump’s supporters, Jung points out that “people would never have been taken in and carried away so completely if this figure had not been a reflected image … ”[14] before Jung completes his thought, I finish it for him by blurting out loud “ … of their own unconscious shadow.” Satisfied that he has gotten across his point, Jung nods in agreement.

In describing Trump, Jung uses phrases such as a man acting out “the power fantasies of an adolescent” who behaves in public “like a man living in his own biography.”[15] I am beginning to understand that Jung is able to so precisely describe Trump because our president, as if sent by central casting, is simply the latest embodiment, in an exaggerated form, of a deeper archetypal pathology—existing in the collective unconscious itself—that has played itself out throughout history.

I express my concern to Jung that Trump is severely inflated, by which I mean he is unconsciously identified with, instead of being in conscious relationship to, what Jung refers to as the Self (which can be equated to the higher Self, i.e., God). To suffer from inflation is to have one’s ego blown up beyond its proper human limits, to be filled with hubris, to become full of oneself, a legend in one’s own mind. In his writings Jung refers to this state of inflation as being a conceit that borders on madness. With the utmost authority Jung replies to my concern, “’God-Almightiness’ does not make man divine, it merely fills him with arrogance and arouses everything evil in him. It produces a diabolical caricature of man, and this inhuman mask is so unendurable, such a torture to wear, that he tortures others.”[16] I can’t believe how accurately Jung is describing Trump—who is the embodiment of arrogance and who, in his own words, “likes torture ‘a lot’”—to a T. Speaking to the inflated, larger-than-life, gold-plated universe of our current president, Jung points out, “Everything that exceeds a certain human size evokes equally inhuman powers in man’s unconscious. Totalitarian demons[17] are called forth.”[18]

I start thinking how inflation is a form of blindness, as it disables our ability to see clearly and take in reflection from the outside world. As if validating my thought, Jung says, “Inflation magnifies the blind spot of the eye.”[19] His comment makes me think of how our species certainly seems to be suffering from a form of psychic blindness, as if we are wearing blinders and have become myopic in our viewpoint, lacking clear vision. Is Trump the outer reflection of this blindness? Jung then amplifies his thoughts on inflation by saying, “A clear symptom of this is our growing disinclination to take note of the reactions of the environment and pay heed to them.”[20] His statement makes me reflect upon how our current president not only doesn’t take in reflection from other people, but is ignoring the reactions from the environment—the biosphere—itself. Deeply recognizing the peril of our current situation, Jung becomes somber and in a barely audible tone, mutters under his breath, “our blindness is extremely dangerous.”

The next moment, as if a light-bulb has gone off inside of his head, Jung snaps out of his momentary state of melancholy and exclaims, “Greater than all physical dangers are the tremendous effects of delusional ideas.”[21] Ideas, what Plato calls “the eyes of the soul,” are ways of regarding things, the means by which we see, the perspectives through which we view the world and create our life. “Delusional ideas,” I find myself thinking, are the one thing that our current administration is not lacking.

As if wanting to complete his thoughts on an inflated consciousness, Jung says, with complete certainty, that it “is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead.”[22] His words send a chill down my spine, as once again it feels as if he is describing our current president. Jung is pointing out that inflation—which we should remind ourselves is a characteristic of an unbalanced mind—invariably leads to catastrophe. The scary thing is that we—all of us—are potentially under the sphere of influence of a commander-in-chief who is not in his “right mind.”

I start thinking about all of the over-the-top campaign promises that Trump made and continues to make. As if once again reading my thoughts, Jung points out, “The man who promises everything is sure to fulfill nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition.”[23] I immediately think about our president’s proclivity to not just “promise everything,” but to lie at seemingly every chance he gets. I ask Jung about this, to which he responds, “things only become dangerous when the pathological liar is taken seriously by a wider public. Like Faust, he is bound to make a pact with the devil and thus slips off the straight path.”[24] I think how Trump’s lies are believed as truth and taken seriously by his supporters, as if their faculty of discernment has been disabled. Jung continues, “But I should like to emphasize above all else that it is part and parcel of the pathological liar’s make-up to be plausible.”[25]

Trump, I imagine Jung pointing out, is suffering from what is known as pseudologia phantastica, a “form of hysteria which is characterized by a peculiar talent for believing one’s own lies.”[26] Upon reflection, it does seem that Trump has hypnotized himself such that he really seems to believe his own lies, as if he himself isn’t able to discern between truth and falsehood. As if adding a commentary to my own thoughts, Jung says, “Nothing has such a convincing effect as a lie one invents and believes oneself.”[27] This certainly explains why Trump’s followers seem to be so taken in by his lies.

I notice that I am a bit taken aback by Jung’s continual telepathic powers—how does he know my mind so well?—until I remember that he is an imaginal figure not separate from my mind. He seems to represent a perspective that is other than my own, as if I am dialoguing with a living, autonomous part of myself that knows more than I do.

As if completing his psychological analysis on our president’s genius for deceiving himself, Jung explains, “Believing one’s own lies when the wish is father to the lie is a well-known hysterical symptom and a distinct sign of inferiority.”[28] This makes sense to me, as Trump’s braggadocio certainly seems, from the psychological point of view, as if it is a compensation for deep feelings of inferiority. Jung elaborates, “Inferiority feelings are usually a sign of inferior feeling—which is not just a play on words.”[29] Jung’s point rings true – from all appearances, Donald Trump’s feeling function and sense of empathy seem highly underdeveloped and stunted.

From his statements, I realize that Jung is of the opinion that Trump is suffering from hysteria, which is something I hadn’t considered, yet it makes perfect sense upon reflection. People like Trump who suffer from hysteria invariably fall prey to what Jung refers to as “prestige psychology,” evidenced by his typical need “to flaunt his merits and insist on them, of his insatiable thirst for recognition, admiration, adulation.”[30] I remember how in his writings Jung points out that people who suffer from hysteria, due to their unwillingness to own their own failings, compulsively wind up hurting other people. Jung refers to Trump as a “theatrical hysteric” (when he says this, I immediately wonder if Jung even knows about the concept of “reality TV”), who is “not strutting about on a small stage,” but, frighteningly, is in charge of the greatest war-making machine that this planet has ever seen.

As if starting to dream, Jung, with a twinkle in his eye, conjectures, “Perhaps in a more enlightened era a candidate for governmental office will have to have it certified by a psychiatric commission that he is not a bearer of psychic bacilli.”[31] I appreciate Jung’s idea of having our would-be-leaders vetted for mental stability; from all appearances our current president would fail the test. I immediately think how I would be quite happy to be on the board of examiners. It certainly seems as if Trump is infected with a psychic bacilli/mind-virus[32] of sorts, as his mind seems truly deranged, i.e., not oriented in the right direction.

In any case, it certainly seems like an incredibly dangerous time we are living through – images of a mentally unbalanced person such as Trump with his finger on the button come to mind. Jung comments, “The situation is about the same as if a small boy of six had been given a bag of dynamite for a birthday present.”[33] Yeah, I find myself thinking, but the bag of dynamite in our case is nuclear.

Feeling my fear rising, I imploringly ask Jung what we can possibly do. Without even having to think about it for a second, he responds, “a complete spiritual renewal is needed. And this cannot be given gratis, each man must strive to achieve it for himself. Neither can old formulas which once had a value be brought into force again. The eternal truths cannot be transmitted mechanically; in every epoch they must be born anew from the human psyche.”[34] I immediately think of Jung’s consistent message that it is only through change in an individual’s consciousness—the individual being, in Jung’s words, “the carrier of life”—that real transformation happens in the world at large.

Sounding quite pleased at my understanding, Jung comments, “Therefore it is always single individuals who are moved by the collective problem and who are called upon to respond and contribute to its solution by tackling it in their own lives and not running away from it.”[35] As I’ve previously written, it is the artists—those among us who are actively engaged with the creative spirit—who will help to heal our world.

Jung continues, “If ever there was a time when self-reflection was the absolutely necessary and only right thing, it is now, in our present catastrophic epoch.”[36] Self-reflection, a privilege born of and intrinsic to human freedom, is a genuinely spiritual act – essentially the act of becoming conscious. He continues, “The true leaders of mankind are always those who are capable of self-reflection.”[37] In self-reflection we recognize ourselves in the mirror of the world. As if amplifying my thoughts, Jung exclaims, “Yet, whoever reflects upon himself is bound to strike upon the frontiers of the unconscious, which contains what above all else he needs to know.”[38] I love Jung’s idea that the unconscious, instead of simply being a repository of what we repress, contains what we need to know. My unconscious apparently contains the living figure of Jung.

As if reflecting upon my own self-reflection, Jung says, “Individual self-reflection, return of the individual to the ground of human nature, to his own deepest being with its individual and social destiny—here is the beginning of a cure for that blindness which reigns at the present hour.”[39] Connecting with the innermost foundations of our being is like finding a safe refuge during these crazy times we are living through. “If things go wrong in the world,” Jung says, and then waits to make sure I am listening, “I shall put myself right first.”[40] I certainly can’t argue with that.

I am deeply affected by Jung’s wisdom. I have the thought that I am in the presence of a living genius. I remember that the word genius is related to the word genie (as in “I dream of…”), which is etymologically related to the word daemon, which means the inner voice and guiding spirit. I wonder – is Jung just a personification of my own guiding spirit, my inner guru? I then remember that the deeper meaning of the word “guru” is one who inspires; in this sense, I am happy to call Jung my guru – he is a source of continual inspiration in my life. Jung seems greatly bemused by my contemplations, and starts smiling, only to break out into a big laugh. I see why so many people have said that he has an unforgettable laugh. For the moment, all seems right with the world.

Jung seems deeply satisfied by our meeting. I am more than satisfied; I’m in a practically ecstatic state, literally overflowing with gratitude. As if our time together is coming to a close, Jung’s image, like a rainbow dissolving into the emptiness of its nature, starts to fade. As if receiving a mystic revelation, I continually hear Jung’s voice echoing in my head, “I shall put myself right first.” His words are profoundly inspiring, as if they are speaking directly to me. It is as if he is giving me a transmission, pointing me in the right direction. As these words resound in my mind, I begin to wonder, “Are these Jung’s words, or my own?”

~~

A pioneer in the field of spiritual emergence, Paul Levy is a wounded healer in private practice, assisting others who are also awakening to the dreamlike nature of reality. He is the author of Awakened by Darkness: When Evil Becomes Your Father(Awaken in the Dream Publishing, 2015), Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil (North Atlantic Books, 2013) and The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis(Authorhouse, 2006). He is the founder of the “Awakening in the Dream Community” in Portland, Oregon. An artist, he is deeply steeped in the work of C. G. Jung, and has been a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over thirty years. He is the coordinator for the Portland PadmaSambhava Buddhist Center. Please visit Paul’s website www.awakeninthedream.com. You can contact Paul at paul@awakeninthedream.com; he looks forward to your reflections.

Footnotes

[1] Jung died in 1961.

[2] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, para. 448.

[3] The madness that is playing out in today’s world is, in Jung’s words, “forcing us to pay attention to the psyche and our abysmal unconsciousness of it. Never before has mankind as a whole experienced the numen of the psychological factor on so vast a scale.” – Jung, The Practice of Psychotherapy, CW 16, para. 442.

[4] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, para. 471.

[5] Ibid., para. 161.

[6] Ibid., para. 449.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid., para. 500.

[9] Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, CW 9i, para. 478.

[10] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, para. 454.

[11] Ibid., para. 455.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid., para. 454.

[14] Ibid., para. 419.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid., para. 439.

[17] In his writings, Jung refers to this madness as a “totalitarian psychosis” (see Jung, The Practice of Psychotherapy, CW 16, para. 442).

[18] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, para. 457.

[19] Ibid., para. 535.

[20] Jung, Aion, CW 9ii, para. 44.

[21] Jung, The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, CW 8, para. 747.

[22] Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, CW 12, para. 563.

[23] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, para. 413.

[24] Ibid., para. 420.

[25] Ibid., para. 421.

[26] Ibid., para. 419.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid., para. 426.

[29] Ibid., para. 416.

[30] Ibid., para. 425.

[31] Jung, The Symbolic Life, CW 18, para. 1378.

[32] The Native American people call this mind-virus “wetiko.” I have written a book about this – Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil.

[33] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, para. 485.

[34] Ibid., para. 443.

[35] Jung, Psychological Reflections, p. 296.

[36] Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, CW 7, p. 4.

[37] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, para. 462.

[38] Jung, Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, CW 7, p. 4.

[39] Ibid., p. 5.

[40] Jung, Civilization in Transition, CW 10, para. 462.

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34 Responses to What Would C.G. Jung Say about Donald Trump?

  1. I hope that I am not wearing out my welcome here – but I would like to offer a further amplification on what I believe is going on.

    The unbelievable defeat of Hillary Clinton, the most winnable candidate in the history of US politics, is evidence for the notion that “this isn’t about politics -it’s about understanding the signs of the times aright”. These signs are growing more and more each day in the aftermath of this presidential election.

    It seems to me it is about Pandora’s box having been opened which has released all its ills and plagues (Great Whore Of Babylon measure) accumulated during the reign of the Logos Christ eon. The only thing left in the box is HOPE. In my visions and dreams that “hope” has been connected to being Jung’s Collected Works and to heart shaped bell peppers of red, yellow, orange and green kind to mention a of them. There is a pressing need for humanity to learn from the wisdom of the lower three chakras in the feminine principle and its resulting influence on the heart chakra. It’s about the activity of the be-deviling/be-witching aspect of the Eros Self polarity of the dominate archetype at our time in history! It’s about the “Return of the World Soul” (aka the Holy Spirit) that Dr. Remo Roth writes about in his book of that title. It is more than Paul Levy’s article about our personal complexes and inner demons – http://www.awakeninthedream.com/are-we-possessed/ – this is a collective shadow problem (not a personal shadow problem) and psychologically speaking, “no one is getting out of this alive”. All will have to undergo a death-rebirth experience in their souls. Jung’s thinking on this subject pertains.

    Because the imago Dei pervades the whole human sphere and makes mankind its involuntary exponent, it is just possible that the four-hundred-year-old schism in the Church and the present division of the political world into two hostile camps are both expressions of the unrecognized (Eros Self) polarity of the dominate archetype. C.G. Jung, Answer to Job, in CW 11, §660.

    Examples abound. People on the left and the entire US Congress and the 17 intelligence agencies want everyone to believe it was the Russian’s meddling in our elections that caused Hillary to lose the election; that our democracy is under siege and that a “Siberian candidate” got elected illegally. Donald Trump and the right thinks it is a witch hunt. In a way all are correct, but only because the real source for all this mayhem is hidden behind the scene. Dirty politics didn’t do this. The Eros Self did this and one of Her attributes is to be a witch. It is this deeper agenda occurring inside the psyche of humanity that is doing this. Paul Levy’s book Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking The Curse of Evil is really about the activity of the Eros Self at our time in history. Our psychological development in the West has become too one-sided into Logos ego functioning. It has placed too much emphasis on the Logos Self. We have disowned our connection to Eros ego functioning.

    We are unconscious of our huge collective Eros Self shadow problem. The hook for the projection of this shadow that drives people to blame Russia with all our troubles is that as a nation the Russians and Asians are Eros ego (matriarchal) in their psychology. The West is Logos ego (patriarchal) in its psychology. So, the deeper understanding is that the Eros Self did it. She is infecting the soul of humanity with Her purpose, Her agenda. She is in Her “Wicked Witch of the West” (paranormal) role as featured in The Wizard of Oz; “I can cause accidents to, my sweet” and like this Trump wins the presidency and becomes God’s instrument.

    I invite Paul’s readers to periodically check out the unus mundus forum on Dr. Roth’s website to take in the ongoing “rant” of the World Soul about this Apocalypse of the soul as seen in my dreams and visions. Perhaps it will help one to gain a certain right attitude with which to approach the Eros Self in the inner world.

    My most recent post is at http://unus-mundus.fr/viewtopic.php?p=16267#p16267

    Good Luck To All

  2. True enough, but a bit beside the point of the article.

    The so-called Deep State, with it’s ever shifting cast of characters and hidden agendas, has been at the levers of power for at least the last century. But we’re talking about Trump as a public personality. Bush, with his “aw shucks” good-ole-boy routine was certainly a step down in presidential dignity. But Trump makes Bush look like a piker. The inner soul of the people, with all its unconscious shadow material, is now on full display. “Monsters from the id, Morbius.“

  3. Actually had Mencken been alive, he would have cited Bush II as evidence that a moron was occupying the White House.

    In any event, who actually occupies the White House no longer matters that much any more.

    Liberal democracy was never anything more than oligarchy rubber stamped by mob rule. The only difference today is that the Powers That Be no longer even bother to maintain the illusion.

    The Deep State sees to it that whoever winds up in the Oval Office is someone who will dutifully implement its agenda.

  4. Apropos of Trump, Jung, and our collective unconscious. The phenomenon has been some time in the making.

    “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — H. L. Mencken 1920

  5. Dear Bevin,

    “I know full well how much work remains to be done on myself. Actually, I take that back. I have probably seriously underestimated the amount of work I must do on myself.”

    Double dittos on that assessment for it resonates with my personal psychic situation. It has taken 2,000 years to generate the Logos ego bias of the West due to the teachings of the Logos Christ so it is likely it will take another 2,000 years to sort it all out. This one-sidedness has inflamed the archetypal dynamic of the “hostile brothers” to an unimaginable degree. This dynamic plays out on the plane of human history in the Israel/Palestine conflict as Paul Levy has noted (see below). The shadow problem has now come home to roost. No longer can we project it out trying to be “peace makers” by trying to resolve the Israel/Palestine conflict. It has come home to roost in American politics in the form of a psychic “Civil War” between red (Republican) and blue (Democrat) states. How to consciously realize an inner United (blue) State (red) of feminine (blue) and masculine (red) principles in Alchemy. The psychic infestation of the unresolved “hostile brothers” now engulfs not only American politics but also forging a less destructive relationship between Russia (Eros ego bias) and America (Logos ego bias). Psychic contamination is everywhere.

    In his article “Shadow Projection Is Its Own Medicine” http://www.awakeninthedream.com/shadow-projection-is-its-own-medicine/ Paul Levy notes, “In shadow projection, both parties, the projector of the shadow and the recipient of the projection, are unconsciously “re-acting” to their own projected darkness as it is reflected in each other, which just unwittingly feeds and perpetuates the very darkness they are reacting to. In essence, they are both asking the other to do something that they themselves are unwilling to do. For example, both Israel and its enemies want the other to stop attacking them, but they aren’t willing to stop attacking the enemy. This is the convoluted logic of a traumatized (national) soul being played out on the global stage.”

    In my previous post when I wrote “No one is getting out of this ‘alive’…” I realized in the moment that the Nobel Laurate in Physics, Wolfgang Pauli, (who collaborated with Jung from 1934-1958) said something to that effect when he was admitted to the hospital in 1958 (he would be dead in two weeks from cancer of the pancreas which he did not know he had) and was assigned room number 137. When he saw the room number he exclaimed to a fellow quantum physicist, “I’m not getting out of here alive.” By that he meant 137 sums to 11 or the number of the unus mundus, the one-world, the united world, the eternal world (the empty center of a circle in Chinese number symbolism). Pauli was never able to resolve his one-sided Logos ego adaptation and it literally cost him his life for in this quest for wholeness, incarnation can be destructive if not consciously realized. Jung was also not able to resolve his one-sided Logos ego adaptation and he admitted that he could no longer pursue the coniunctio as his heart would begin to act up. This is an example of the trouble humanity is caught up in and have no clue about. Like this we “lay down our live for unseen friends of the future” as we try to create more psychic balance in our individual lifetimes. Good Luck to all.

    PS As I write this I sit on my 2nd level balcony in Kihei, Hawaii on Maui looking out over the Natural balance of nature’s beauty. To my horror I learned from Kathy (a Canadian visitor on the first floor below) that all the dead coral washing up on the local beaches which I had just walked and noticed this strange phenomenon is the result of humans using sun blocking lotions. The chemicals in that lotion are now connected to killing coral reefs. Human nest shitting has many unintended consequences. We too many are creating a world of filth as Pope Francis recently remarked in reaction to Trump pulling out of the CO2 Paris pact. I’m afraid CO2 is the least of our “nest shitting” effects. Nuclear war would certainly be the ultimate one. “On a beach” near you comes to mind (a reference to the 1959 movie of a nuclear war called “On The Beach”). The only meaningful antidote that I know of personally is to meditate using an Eros ego altered state of consciousness. Dim the Logos ego and record what you see, sense, “hear”, etc. and later using both Logos and Eros ego states of consciousness try to understand what was communicated to you from the Eros Self, the World Soul, the Holy Spirit in Christianity. See my latest post “Healing A Bipolar Disorder: on the unus mundus forum of Dr. Remo F Roth in Zurich if you would like to further understand my meaning; http://unus-mundus.fr/viewtopic.php?p=16248#p16248. Good Luck to all.

  6. Dear Gregory,

    ‘None of us are getting out this “alive” when it comes to dealing with our personal shadows.’

    You won’t get an argument from me. I know full well how much work remains to be done on myself.

    Actually, I take that back. I have probably seriously underestimated the amount of work I must do on myself.

    I do think however, that a simple “interim agreement” might be useful while we continue on our individual journeys.

    Knowing that we are all driven by darker impulses within our own psyches, perhaps we can agree to call “time out” on state violence in the name of doing good, at least until we are more fully enlightened?

    Besides, who knows? Perhaps when we are more fully enlightened, we will no longer consider state violence in the name of doing good, to be enlightened policy?

  7. Bevin Chu I agree with your comments. None of us are getting out this “alive” when it comes to dealing with our personal shadows. If you understand what the Archetype of the Apocalypse has in store for humanity as noted in Jung’s book “Answer to Job” you will understand that no one will be spared having to deal with their shadows – and believe me when I say we all have a shadow; whether Democrat or Republican or anything else. We all have a huge shadow problem to deal with on an individual basis, i.e., within the vessel of our own psyche. The old King is in need of renewal (meaning: the existing worldview is no longer working). Thus all need to suffer the Alchemical dismemberment (of decapitation) in order to let the unconscious give us a new worldview. Meditating and recording what is seen, heard and sensed and then understanding the “alien” communication is necessary for the agency of transformation is consciousness. Interesting that Kathy Griffin was moved to show the decapitated head of Trump recently – she is right on with that “message” – the only thing is that she does not realize she must add her head to the heap like we all must do in order to be reborn as the new Red King, i.e., into a new worldview. Of course Kathy has in a way already begun to add her head to the growing heap as she most certainly has hurt her working ego adaptation to the outer world. That may plummet her into an encounter with the unconscious in her inner world. Good Luck to all.

  8. What would C.G. Jung say about Donald Trump?

    Why exactly the same thing he would say about Hillary Clinton!

    After all, as Hillary Clinton herself has complained loudly and often, she received more popular votes than Donald Trump. It was the Electoral College that handed the presidency to Trump, not the voters.

    Trump is unquestionably highly representative of the collective shadow of America. But if the final vote counts are correct, Clinton is even more representative of America’s collective shadow than Trump, which means the penetrating insights about Trump in this article, apply in even greater measure to Clinton.

    To wit:

    “Clinton, I imagine Jung pointing out, is suffering from what is known as pseudologia phantastica, a “form of hysteria which is characterized by a peculiar talent for believing one’s own lies.”[26] Upon reflection, it does seem that Clinton has hypnotized herself such that she really seems to believe her own lies about “Russian rigging of the US presidential election”, as if she herself isn’t able to discern between truth and falsehood. As if adding a commentary to my own thoughts, Jung says, “Nothing has such a convincing effect as a lie one invents and believes oneself.”[27] This certainly explains why Clinton’s followers seem to be so taken in by her lies about Putin.”

    US presidents are “first selected, then elected”. Both Trump and Clinton were pre-vetted by the deep state. If the crony corporatists who constitute the shadow government of America did not consider either of the two candidates more or less acceptable, one of them would have been eliminated the way Ron Paul was eliminated during the previous election by the Republican National Committee, through rule changes.

    To sum up, someone as clearly pathological as Donald Trump became president by precisely the same process that would have made an equally pathological Hillary “We came, we saw, he died, hahaha” Clinton, the “Leader of the Free World”.

  9. It is the artists—those among us who are actively engaged with the creative spirit—who will help to heal our world.

    Totally agree.

    “I shall put myself right first.”

    I certainly can’t and won’t argue with that.Lol.

    Hi Paul.Yet another article with consummate accuracy of our current world view.

    What drives this madness?

    And the most frightening thing is…. the majority is unable to see this dark shadow that looms over our collective psyche. It’s as if we all have become the sacrificial lambs unwittingly in the whole process.

    I have been following your work for number of years now with great gust. And through your work I feel that we are soul mates spirited in Unity. And to resonate with your thought processes brother, I only have this orison to offer.

    Dream the dreamer to dream the transubstantiation in Unity. For in that dream the dreamer finds itself too is dreaming of the other to find itself in obscurity. However, it is in the remembrance of those two polarities in Unity does the heart truly sees the personified attribution of the mirrored other, the self; to change in peace, in a reality.

    To one artist to another brother, we have to dream up that dreamer within us through what you have called the creative spirit….. the self.

    That is where the transubstantiation of light will take place.

    Thank you once again for a great insight.

  10. Wow, Paul! I found you watching Buzzsaw tonight and checked out your blog. Your writing really draws me in. I’m a Jung fan, and how you weaved his mystical insights into a dialogue about this present menace is pure genius. You have a new kindred-spirit follower.

  11. Wow. I just want to say how beautiful and incredible it was to read about your active imagination experience with Jung. This is such a gift. And feels so incredibly important right now. I discovered your blog after watching your interview with Sean Stone on Buzzsaw, and this was such a nice supplement! Many cheers!

  12. You know, I’ve begun to question the assumption amongst some of those who view life as dream; life as illusion; life as holographic projection; life as a product of mind, that there’s something wrong with the dream — that we must work to change the dream! — if the dream is unpleasant. In fact, we cannot make the dream more “one” than it already is. To imagine otherwise is also vanity.

    As odious a character as Mr. Trump seems to be, it’s hard to imagine anyone who might fill the Oval Office being much different. Seals do not swim with sharks … unless they want to become lunch. People tend to have a very childish view of government, seeing it, at best, as a distant but ultimately benevolent father, rather than the selfish den of vipers, murders and thieves that it is. (No judgment! Just an observation based on facts.)

    We like to heap a tremendous amount of culpability on the figure(head?) of the president, when in reality the numerous interlocking circles of influence that surround him all move by their own momentum and their own agendas and one man cannot expect to stand athwart such power … and keep his brains in his head. This is why my one criterion for whether someone is a “good” president has become: is he dead yet?

    Interestingly, Trump’s bombing of Syria earned him his (first?) praise as president from the New York Times. That’s what a guy’s got to do get liked around here, apparently — blow stuff up! Finally, he’s acting like a sensible leader. But the American empire has had Syria in its cross hairs since the ’50′s. It wasn’t his idea, anymore than it would have been Hillary’s.

    And as for having candidates vetted by psychiatric commissions, well, Jung might say that, but we also had a flavor of that in the old Soviet Union, which was hardly one of the most “enlightened” polities in history.

    Speaking of shadows, I’m thinking of a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., “Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” In fact, I’ve come to see the ego itself as something of a shadow, rather than the shadow being some subterranean psychic realm, a swamp we must drain. Everything we see is but the shadow of that which is unseen. Everything — this dream world, all the dream bodies within it — shadows. “Life’s but a walking shadow … ” And how much power does a shadow really have? Can a shadow lift this glass of water off my desk? Peck at the buttons on this keyboard?

    Freud was certainly wrong when he proposed that the unconscious was a prison of repressions, etc. The unconscious is hardly unconscious; it’s a great deal more conscious than the personality rambling into this comment box, as my dreams show me every night. So who’s running this show anyway? And does my Higher Self, which is seemingly untouched and unstained by all these goings-on, care when the shadows cast on the screen of the world disappear when the film runs its course? If not, why should I take it so seriously?

    I’m glad to see so many of the commenters echoing the “I shall put myself right first” sentiment. Perhaps in putting myself right, I shall get out of my own way, and in getting out of my own way, there will be nothing there to cast a shadow.

    Thanks for all that you do, Paul.

  13. Paul, Thank you very much for sharing this insightful, soul resonating article. I’ve read through the commentaries and found them touching deeply within me as well. As we each work to put ourselves right first, may we be filled with the light of enthusiasm, wonderment, patience and grace.

  14. Peter,

    Contrary to you comments about Trump and his deplorable followers we have the following comment by Jung to contend with. “Physician heal thyself” comes to mind.

    “If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. He lives in the “House of the Gathering.” Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day. ‘Psychology and Religion’ (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.140″

  15. Thank you Paul !
    I do see Trump as the LAST ” Trump card ” playing out from the darkside ! Anyway THEY have lost the play already!
    We are just to many which THEY Can deal with ! GAME OVER !

  16. THE SHADOW

    Here is a link to Jung quotes on the shadow. It is well worth reading. As Edinger noted in his writings – it does no good to rail against this or that evil in the world. The only demons that one can make peace with is to become conscious of that which is tormenting your own soul.

    http://psikoloji.fisek.com.tr/jung/shadow.htm

  17. A most wonderful INsight Paul. I most recognize your experience, as written above, as the perfect metaphor of any DEEP and PERSONAL REAL-ization of one’s IN-nermost HIGH-er SELF …THAT which is called BY ANY “other” NAME when one either does not recognize their most personal relationship of their SELF, when one, INstead, rather chooses to relate to an-OTHER, such as GOD, God, maybe god, all of which are relatively the same in meaning WHEN that IMAGE stands for the Highest expression of Truth and Love that they have ever experienced.

    When one so “names” that “other”, they often limit themselves to a relationship of reverence to a commonly held perception of what that would mean to others who similarly hold such relationships, Jesus (The Christ) maybe being such a person that most in the west probably relate to.

    That relationship can be relatively good or bad, all depending upon what one chooses to do with it in relationship to others. Many “Christians” really short-change themselves when their belief and expression is thus limited to what they are told, by their Church, and “brothers in Christ”, as to how they should think and act.

    When one finds their True Higher Self, it need not require a “naming” because any naming “less than GOD” becomes an expression “limited to” such a name. GOD>God>gods.

    IMnsHO and E.

  18. Matt wrote: “…essentially, we are all acting out the very same madness and self-deception here ascribed to Mr. Trump. Perhaps in reflecting on the larger-than-life shadow figure of Mr. Trump, more of us will awaken to our own unconscious…”

    For me Matt makes a connection to what has come up in my Eros ego meditations (the Wu Wei = “not doing” or passive imagination way) when mind-melding with the Eros Self, “Trump is God’s instrument” – just like a dream told Jung in 1940 that “Hitler is God’s instrument.” All the aforementioned is a connection to the ending of Paul’s active imagination sharing (in which the Logos ego mind-melds with the Logos Self), “I shall put myself right first” – as if to say “Why do you complain about the speck in your brother’s eye when you have a plank in your own?”

  19. Amazing article as usual Paul, and synchronistic timing – a few hours after you released this, the narcissist Trump just started WW III.

  20. Thank you Paul. Being in Jungian analysis back in the 80′s literally saved my life taking me to the depths and the heights of my psyche.
    What will happen when enough of us have and continue to face our fears. One of the greatest being, the fear of death. When fear no longer controls our lives. when we break through that barrier to know who we truly are? What will happen then both personally and collectively?

  21. Paul: You wrote: “I notice that I am a bit taken aback by Jung’s continual telepathic powers—how does he know my mind so well?—until I remember that he is an imaginal figure not separate from my mind. He seems to represent a perspective that is other than my own, as if I am dialoguing with a living, autonomous part of myself that knows more than I do.”

    IMHO, you are being spoken to by your Inner Self, who, indeed, knows more than you do in your awake state. That is also my personal experience with my Guide. I have often wondered if my Guide is my Self, my connection to the Universal Consciousness (called God by many) and is a source of my own truth in this life. As I said in a post waiting approval, he has never been wrong. More importantly, I have direct experience of being guided in decisions about my work life. A powerful dream in 1970 set me on a course that worked out wonderfully but that I could not have appreciated otherwise. But I did not consciously apprehend, beyond the dream, of being guided until 20 years later. Old we get too soon…… :)

  22. And, Kathy, et. al., one way of starting at home is to enter a practice of Mindfulness as elucidated by Jon Kabat-Zinn at Mass. General (started 30 years ago) for helping people dying, in great pain, permanently disabled, etc., come to terms with their condition. It is called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. He has some excellent CD’s for guided meditation, some for medical conditions. Great gathering of neuroscientists and mindfulness practitioners is given in “The Mind’s Own Physician”. Stunning scientific studies and graphs of the brain changes from MBSR and other meditative practices.

    Jung has been a great influence on my own life. During a particularly tumultuous period, I put myself in analysis with a Jungian psychoanalyst. Five years later a somewhat more conscious me emerged. Saved my marriage (now 56 years) and my succeeding years (25 years, I’m now nearly 80). Worth every penny and the time.

    My Inner Guide appeared very forcefully during a two-week Heart Chakra retreat in the Arizona high desert. He has been with me ever since and has never been wrong. I’m still listening but not always acting, to my loss.

    We are in desperate need of Consciousness but, as PD Ouspensky wrote, nobody seeks to become that which they already think they are–conscious. Mankind goes around in a state of waking-sleep, leading lives of quiet desperation (to steal a phrase).

    Blessings on Paul for this great piece and for the comments here.

  23. Thank you for writing and sharing this. As more and more caricatures of human flaws appeared on the world stage, I would frequently ask myself, “what would Carl Jung say?”. You have provided a potential and very plausible answer. Thank you.

  24. …and once AGAIN Paul, you have expressed so MUCH….so many dimensions so well. What a beautiful and all encompassing writing. Look forward to more from you/Dr. Jung….and/or anything else from you!
    THIS with Dr. Jung IS SPLENDID!

  25. Thanks for writing this Paul. I am in the UK, and we are also experiencing the rise of delusional hysterics on this side of the pond with May and all the Brexit nonsense. There has been such a rise of division and hatred here that it’s difficult to relate to anything decent that has ever come from this country.
    Jung has also been the teacher of most influence to me. This article is very insightful and helpful given the nature of the current world politics and the state of consciousness of humanity. Thank you for your work.

  26. Thanks Paul..Its too late for the screaming meemies,as we circle the drain with Trump in the saddle.”I shall put myself right first” has also been my intuition,and is reinforced with this meaningful feedback from you.In the spirit of the old saying “mans extremity is gods opportunity”.
    Instead of “America first”,I would like to propose humility first for us all.

  27. If ego is fundamentally the dedication to the idea of separateness (i.e. our identification with a separate body and separate psyche, and the projection of this idea onto the world), then essentially we are all acting out the very same madness and self-deception here ascribed to Mr. Trump.

    Perhaps in reflecting on the larger-than-life shadow figure of Mr. Trump, more of us will awaken to our own unconscious, funcdamental identification with the idea of separateness.

  28. Thank you, found this article interesting and well written. Have no comments/judgements as we are wondrous creators. Pointing to your words “Jung adds that Trump “symbolized something in every individual.”[13]” and “As these words resound in my mind, I begin to wonder, “Are these Jung’s words, or my own?” Beautiful.

  29. Thank you Paul! It seems we were born for these times. As a performing artist, singer/ songwriter I have felt drawn to the elucidation of my own very arduous individuation process through performance. I have been giving voice to my shadow through humor and whatever insights are given to me while on stage. A kind of synergy goes on with the audience and a spontaneous revealing comes into play that affords a catharsis and a reciprocal kind of relief as I give voice to the repressed…its a truly humbling experience to surrender to the revealing process in faith and in love for the people who come to my shows.
    I have called upon inner guides as well and have had the palpable experience you describe so incredibly with Jung. Your inner conversation, with Jung. so profound and lucid, I experience as a great gift. It buoys me and gives focus as I do my best to traverse this strange American landscape. I want to serve the ineffable beauty of life…Jung’s guidance…” I shall put myself right, first”… Invaluable.Again Paul, thank you for your tenacity, vulnerability, courage and devotion!

  30. Thank you for this article. I found it helpful in confirming my intuition to start at home, right where I am.

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