Eternalised Jan 21, 2022
The Psychology of The Wise Old Man (Sage)
The Wise Old Man or Sage is an archetype that is recognised by almost everyone, be it in stories, games, movies, or everyday life. In myth he is often shown as one living in isolation, meditating and living a simple life deep in a forest, in the mountains, or in other uninhabited places. The Wise Old Man is a lover of wisdom, and uses his experience to guide others. He is portrayed as a mysterious person or a wizard, in contact with nature and the numinous and unseen forces that permeate our existence.
The Wise Old man appears as a teacher of wisdom such as King Solomon from the Bible. In Hermeticism, he is Hermes Trismegistus, the fount of all wisdom and the teacher of the mystery of all ages. In China, the sage is Lao Tzu ("old man" or "old master"), the founder of Taoism, while in India there are the sadhus and yogis. In Arthurian Legend he is Merlin, in Nietzsche he appears as the prophet Zarathustra, and in Carl Jung as Philemon. In modern popular fiction we have Yoda, Gandalf and Dumbledore, among others.
In the individuation process (the lifelong journey towards psychic wholeness), the archetype of the Wise Old Man is late to emerge, and is therefore seen as an indication of the Self (the total personality).
⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (1:35) The Symbolism of the Desert (3:30) The Hermit and The Wandering Ascetic (5:00) The Wise Old Man Archetype (12:32) Senex and Puer Aeternus (14:47) The Dark Side of The Wise Old Man (18:34) The Wise Old Man and The Hero (19:44) The Dangers of Identifying as The Sage (21:00) The Hermit in Tarot (24:35) The Hermit and The Madman Archetype (27:18) Facing Death in Old Age (28:08) The Forgotten Art of Solitude (32:48) The Sage’s Journey: The Search for Truth (35:20) The Eternal Inner Centre (37:24) The Book of Ecclesiastes: Meaninglessness (38:47) The Truth Shall Set You Free (39:50) Conclusion
The Quest for the Holy Grail (The Self)
The Quest for the Holy Grail has fascinated the Western consciousness for a long time. It epitomises the true spirit of Western man and is, in many ways, the myth of Western civilisation. It is a perennial and timeless pattern that expresses fundamental concerns of the human condition.
The Holy Grail is a mysterious object guarded by a king in a hidden castle. It has been described as a cup, dish, or a magical stone that can provide healing powers, immortality, eternal youth, and unlimited nourishment. It represents the fulfilment of the highest spiritual potentialities in human consciousness, which endows the world with a symbolic and spiritual meaning. The quest for the Holy Grail is always more or less the same, it is the hero’s journey, at the end of which one obtains the “treasure hard to attain.” It is the search for that which makes life most meaningful.
Psychologically, the Holy Grail—like the philosophers' stone—is a symbol of the Self, the psychic totality and ultimate wholeness of the human being. The soul which represents the life principle, is that wondrous vessel which is the goal of the quest, whose final secret can never be revealed, but must ever remain hidden because its essence is a mystery.
⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (2:44) Perceval and the Grail (9:35) The Continuations of the Grail Legend (10:35) The Grail and The Philosophers’ Stone (13:46) From Grail to Holy Grail (23:17) Holy Grail: The Spirit of Western Man (24:41) The Treasure Hard to Attain (26:10) The Eternally Alone (27:52) The Holy Grail as the Self (29:19) Balancing Light and Dark (33:12) Merlin: The Wise Old Man Archetype (36:53) Conclusion
The Psychology of Fairy Tales
Fairy tales fascinate us and give us a sense of warmth and home-coming that comes from the mythical realm of the imagination, a necessary complement to our everyday life. We are fundamentally story-telling creatures, and there is much we can learn by reflecting on the fairy tales heard in childhood. They seem almost magical because they connect us with emotions deeply buried within that cannot find expression in outer life, because as we grow up, the world of imagination is shunned by our peers, considered as unproductive and good for nothing.
Fairy tales can provide us with a sense that we are not alone in our life struggles. Humans have faced these struggles in one form or another since the beginning of time, and fairy tales represent this fundamental concern of the human condition.
Psychologically, fairy tales reflect our inner landscape, and the characters can represent aspects of our own personalities. Jungian analyst Marie-Louise von Franz writes: "Fairy tales are the purest and simplest expression of collective unconscious psychic processes. Therefore, their value for the scientific investigation of the unconscious exceeds that of all other material. They represent archetypes in their simplest, barest, and most concise form."
⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (3:43) What are Fairy Tales? (8:15) The Origin of Fairy Tales (11:39) Faërie, Fairies and Eucatastrophe (13:00) Fairy Tales and Collective Unconscious (18:19) The Interpretation of Fairy Tales (21:31) Rituals and Archetypal Stories (22:15) The Most Ancient Form of Tale (23:16) Individuation in Fairy Tales (25:14) The Three Feathers (28:42) Interpretation: The Three Feathers (30:39) Rumpelstiltskin (34:05) The Frog King or Iron Henry (37:15) Beauty and The Beast (40:15) Hansel and Gretel (43:06) Sleeping Beauty or Briar Rose (46:42) Conclusion
The Psychology of the Devil
The Devil goes by many names: Satan, Lucifer, The Great Beast, Beelzebub, The Prince of Darkness. He is the adversary, the accuser, the tempter, the deceiver, and the one who divides from God. The Devil is incredibly wicked and evil, but also intelligent and witty – he is the father of all tricksters – that is what makes him so dangerous. The English word “devil” derives from the Greek diábolos (“the one who divides”). Diabolic is the term in contemporary English. The Greek verb dia-bollein literally means to tear apart. These divisions occur in almost every facet of our lives: race, sex, religion, politics, and economics. The demonic is an inversion of order.
Temptation is the ordinary activity of the devil. It is a real thing for us in each and every day. It begins with deception, buying into the lies of the devil, who promises good, only to deliver evil. The goal of this is to create division or inner conflict in ourselves. In despair, we numb ourselves with pleasure or diversion, which can lead to addiction. Hell is that state of mind which has abandoned itself so completely to a given sin that it cannot act independently of that sin.
⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (1:18) Daimon (2:06) Pan: The God of Panic and Pandemonium (3:24) Scapegoating, Projection, God-Complex (5:38) The Devil: The One Who Divides (7:06) The Characteristics of the Diabolic (9:05) Deals with the Devil (13:30) Archetypes, Ego-Inflation, and Delusion (14:35) The Fall from Paradise (Felix Culpa) (16:52) The Devil and Christ as Lucifer (Morning Star) (20:09) Satan (The Adversary) and Job (23:52) The Ultimate Tragic Story (24:29) The Harrowing of Hell (25:16) Satanism: Evil Disguised as Good (27:02) The Psychological Activities of The Demonic (31:08) Carl Jung on the Devil (Shadow) (33:23) The Devil in The Major Arcana (34:13) The One-Sided Western Image of God (36:50) Summum Bonum: The Highest Good (37:22) Privatio Boni: The Absence of Good (37:56) Deus Absconditus: The Hidden Dark Side of God (39:00) The Apocalypse (Revelation) and Enantiodromia (43:00) Conclusion
The Psychology of The Fool
The fool is one of the most relatable, intriguing and recurring figures in the world. There have been fools who have caused surprise and laughter since time immemorial. We worship folly by seeing it in people and in the world and by willingly displaying it in ourselves. It is one of the timeless archetypes, which we all inherit at birth. Many of us suffer from the absence of the fool in our lives. Frenetic and upright, we take ourselves too seriously. As William Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Forgetting that playfulness is a basic human need, we wonder why we so easily become bored and exhausted, losing all capacity for spontaneity, authenticity, and passion. The antidote to this would be to give the fool archetype some space in our lives. “The soul demands your folly; not your wisdom.” - Carl Jung
(0:00) Introduction (2:00) In Praise of Folly (3:45) The Wise Fool (5:15) The Fool as Truth-Teller (6:24) Fool, Clown and Trickster (10:24) The Medieval Court Jester (13:54) The Shakespearean Fool (14:38) Parsifal: The Quest for The Holy Grail (17:47) Don Quixote (20:02) Dostoevsky’s The Idiot (22:17) The Fool as Hero (22:54) Ivan The Fool (24:50) The Fool’s Journey (Tarot) (27:57) The Number Zero in The Fool (29:32) Symbolic Transformations of The Fool in Tarot (31:42) The Fool: Precursor to Transformation (34:44) The Dark Side of The Fool (36:04) The Fool and the Child Archetype (36:45) The Fool: The Inferior Function (38:08) The Holy Fool
The Psychology of Nightmares
Nightmares. We all have them. But what exactly do they mean? Why do we have bad dreams? Is there any psychological meaning behind them? Nightmares are the source of much of the horror we see in stories, myths, movies and games. They are an encounter with the dark side of the unconscious, which often includes facing some of the most painful aspects of who we are. And one does not know what that part of oneself is, until one confronts it.
Nightmares are the most substantial and vitally important dreams, and are of therapeutic value. They wake us up with a cry, as if all our repressed content forms a bubble which expands until it bursts one night, and we experience a nightmare. They are the shock therapy nature uses on us when we are too unaware of some psychological danger, and shock us out of deep unconscious sleepiness about some dangerous situation. As if the unconscious says, “Look here, this problem is urgent!” The psyche tells us to “wake up” and face what we have neglected. The majority of nightmares represent opportunities for personal healing through much-needed emotional release.
⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (3:00) Dream-Motifs in Nightmares (3:37) Lilith: The First Nightmare (5:07) The Origin & Folklore of Nightmares (9:09) Non-REM Sleep (Night Terrors) (10:36) REM Sleep (Nightmares) (11:43) Nightmare in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (15:40) Fever Dreams and Franz Kafka (17:36) Post-Traumatic Nightmares and Recurring Nightmares (19:00) Precognitive Nightmares (20:36) Carl Jung and The Meaning of Dreams (26:07) The Shadow and Nightmares (28:32) The Devouring Mother Archetype (30:39) Active Imagination (33:08) Lucid Dreaming (36:14) Nightmares and Artists (37:40) Nightmare Artists: Beksiński and Giger
The Psychology of The Shaman (Inner Journey)
Shamanism is one of the oldest, if not the oldest system of healing known in the world. It forms the prototype from which many other forms of healing are derived, such as modern psychotherapy. The shamanic journey is an expression of the human condition, and despite the cultural differences around the world, the deeper structure appears to remain constant. A common thread seems to connect all shamans across the planet. An awakening to other orders of reality, the experience of ecstasy, and an opening up of visionary realms form the essence of the shamanic mission.
(0:00) Introduction (4:12) The Shamanic Call (7:52) Becoming a Shaman (9:20) Symbols of the Self: Animal Spirits (11:28) The Three Worlds: Shamanic Cosmos (12:15) The Gold in the Shadow (13:54) The Underworld: Death (15:56) The World Tree (18:24) The Sky Realm: Awakening (20:31) The Return to the People (22:02) The Shaman’s Shadow (23:10) Beware of Unearned Wisdom (24:52) Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (28:10) Carl Jung and Shamanism (31:02) Psychologist: Healer of the Soul
The Psychology of Personality Types (Know Yourself)
We all have a particular personality type, and at the same time, we are all unique. To partake in the journey of discovering who we truly are, it is necessary for us to know our true and authentic personality. The quest to know ourselves allows us to better understand the complexity and intricacies of the human condition, improve our relationship with ourselves, with others, and with the world.
Carl Jung’s model of typology is not a system of character analysis, nor is it a way of labelling oneself or others. Much as one might use a compass to determine where one is in the physical world, Jung’s typology is a tool for psychological orientation.
The main aspects are the attitude types: extraversion and introversion, and the psychological functions: feeling, thinking, sensation and intuition.
⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (0:27) Introversion and Extraversion (5:48) Example of Introvert with Extravert (7:50) The Four Psychological Functions (8:36) Libido (9:16) Thinking and Feeling (10:47) Feeling, Emotion, Affect (11:50) Sensation and Intuition (14:42) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) (16:45) Dominant Function (18:00) Differentiation and Distorted Types (20:05) Auxiliary Functions (21:48) Inferior Function (27:10) Conclusion
Hermeticism: The Ancient Wisdom of Hermes Trismegistus
The legendary figure of Hermes Trismegistus (Hermes Thrice Great) is the inspiration for the spiritual teachings known as Hermeticism. He is a syncretism (joining) of the Greek deity Hermes, the winged messenger of the Gods, and his Egyptian counterpart, the Ibis-headed moon god Thoth.
The Way of Hermes involved altered states of consciousness in which practitioners went through a training regime that involved luminous visions, spiritual rebirth, cosmic consciousness, and union with the divine beauty of universal goodness and truth to attain the salvational knowledge known as gnosis.
(0:00) Introduction (3:43) Renaissance of Hermeticism (9:33) Technical and Religio-philosophical Hermetica (11:38) Where to start? (15:53) Gnosis (18:36) Hermeticism and Gnosticism (21:40) Eusebeia (22:50) The Hermetic Universe: Ogdoad, Ennead, the One (25:20) The Three Worlds: God, Cosmos, Man (28:03) The Three Faculties: Logos, Gnosis, Nous (29:08) Corpus Hermeticum: Introduction (30:48) The Vision of Poimandres (Nous) (37:05) Corpus Hermeticum: Hermes and Tat (43:05) The Discourse on the Ogdoad and Ennead (46:22) Writing as Healing or Poison (Pharmakon) (48:24) The Illusion of Death (50:30) Man as a Divine Being
Philosophy: The Love of Wisdom | A Guide to Life
Philosophy is a mode of life, an act of living, and a way of being. Modern philosophy has forgotten this tradition, and philosophical discourse has all but overtaken philosophy as a way of life. Philosophy is not just an intellectual discipline, which can get abstract and divorced from the real world, but is most importantly a way of life that teaches us how to best live our lives.
Philosophy is a mode of existing in the world, which has to be practiced at each instant, and the goal of which is to transform the whole of the individual’s life. Real wisdom does not merely cause us to know: it makes us “be” in a different way.
Ancient philosophy proposed to mankind an art of living. By contrast modern philosophy appears above all as the construction of a technical jargon reserved for specialists.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (2:18) Philosophy as a Way of Life (7:12) Socrates (8:53) Master of Dialogue: Know Thyself (13:30) Plato (15:58) Idealism: Platonic Forms (17:15) Parable of the Cave (19:33) Plato’s Cave in The Matrix (20:16) Plato’s Tripartite Theory of the Soul (22:36) Philosophy as an Exercise of Death (24:56) Aristotle (27:06) Hellenistic Schools (28:25) Cynicism (31:45) Pyrrhonism (34:46) Stoicism (39:45) Premeditatio Malorum (41:03) Memento Mori (42:24) Voluntary Discomfort (43:54) Epicureanism (50:12) Similarities Epicureanism & Stoicism (50:57) Neoplatonism (57:45) View from Above: Cosmic Consciousness
The Psychology of The Wounded Healer
The wounded healer refers to the capacity to be at home in the darkness of suffering and there to find germs of light and recovery. It is the archetype at the bottom of all genuine healing procedures. As long as we feel victimised, bitter and resentful towards our wound, and seek to escape from suffering it, we remain inescapably bound to it. This is neurotic suffering, as opposed to the authentic suffering of the wounded healer which is purified. The wound can destroy you, or it can wake you up. As Carl Jung wrote, "The doctor is effective only when he himself is affected. Only the wounded physician heals."
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: The Wounded Healer (1:39) Chiron: The Wounded Healer (4:03) Asclepius: The Greek God of Healing (6:13) Asclepieia: Healing Temples (11:12) The Importance of Death (15:06) The Wound as Initiation: Hero’s Journey (17:30) The Sacred and The Profane (19:59) The Wound as Initiation: Shamanism (21:49) Compensatory function (22:51) Repetition Compulsion (23:32) Pharmakon: Poison and Cure (24:26) Therapist as Wounded Healer (29:49) Conclusion
Journey to Hell - The Path to Self-Knowledge
Hell is understood as the archetype of ultimate suffering. It is no imaginary place, but rather a state of consciousness that we all experience at some point in our lives. Hell is an unavoidable journey in life. In ancient mysteries or rituals of passages, the hero must descend into a dark place in order to give birth to a new consciousness and gain access to a new stage of life. It is the most profound psychological death and rebirth of the self.
We will be exploring the journey into hell as the path to self-knowledge, self-transformation, and ultimately, self-transcendence. Only in the region of danger can one find the treasure hard to attain. As Carl Jung stated, “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: Concept of Hell (2:33) Hell is Other People (3:56) The Therapist and The Journey into Hell (5:15) Paradise Lost (6:12) Divine Comedy: Introduction (10:21) Divine Comedy: Hell (14:05) Faculty of Knowing and Faculty of Choosing (16:05) Divine Comedy: Purgatory (18:30) Divine Comedy: Heaven (19:58) Salvation as Individuation (21:15) Marriage of Heaven and Hell (25:32) The Red Book: Descent into Hell (35:08) Conclusion
Loneliness, Emptiness, Anxiety in Modern Society
Loneliness, emptiness, and anxiety – these are the main complaints American existential psychologist Rollo May encountered over and over from his patients. In 1953, May published Man’s Search for Himself, in which he explores these problems – that are perhaps more relevant than ever in our modern age.
When society can no longer give us a clear picture of our values and standards, of what we are and what we ought to be, we are then thrown back on the search for ourselves. This is one of the few blessings of living in an age of anxiety. To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose oneself. To venture in the highest sense is precisely to become conscious of oneself.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (0:47) Emptiness (4:46) Loneliness (8:17) Anxiety (13:22) Rediscovering Selfhood (24:08) Freedom (28:12) Courage (29:19) Death
The Psychology of the Man-Child (Puer Aeternus)
The term puer aeternus is Latin for eternal boy. Carl Jung used the term in the exploration of the psychology of eternal youth and creative child within every person.
It is an archetype, and like all archetypes, has both a positive and a negative side. It can bring the energy, beauty and creativity of childhood into adult life, or thwart self-realisation and doom us to both unrealistic adolescent fantasies and experiencing life as a prison.
The puer is the man-child who refuses to grow up, take responsibility, and face life’s challenges, he expects other people, typically his parents, to solve all his problems. He tries to go as high as possible away from reality, ending up like Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn’t grow up, who lives in Neverland, a place where people cease to age and are eternally young. The puer aeternus is also known as the Peter Pan syndrome. This has become an increasingly common problem in our modern age.
Those who find themselves unable to commit to work, to form satisfactory relationships, to commit to the discipline of education, to carry the weight of responsibility, or who feel that their life has become meaningless, will find the integration of the archetype of eternal youth invaluable in their life.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (2:36) Adult Struggle with the Paradise of Childhood (15:08) Senex and Puer (16:55) The Role of Play in Jung’s Life (19:24) The Puer Aeternus and The Little Prince (26:16) Integration of Puer Aeternus
The Psychology of The Trickster
There is perhaps no figure in literature more fascinating than the trickster, appearing in various forms in the folklore of many cultures. Trickster is witty and deceitful. He is the timeless root of all the picaresque creations of world literature, and is not reducible to one single literary entity. Trickster tales have existed since ancient times, and has been said to be at the very foundation of civilisation and culture. They belong to the oldest expressions of mankind.
Tricksters are the breakers of rules, agents of mischief, masters of deceit, and boundary crossers. He is an agent of change, and is amoral, not immoral.
Trickster is at one and the same time creator and destroyer, giver and negator, he who dupes and who is always duped himself.
Psychologically, the trickster is an archetype, part of the collective unconscious. Trickster is everywhere, he is an eternal state of mind.
The integration of the trickster archetype allows us to go from being ruled by our own self-centred ego to a new way of living, in which one has integrity and relatedness. It allows us to become aware of our true emotions, behaviours, and thoughts, that our unconscious persona is hiding, and without which there is no individuation at all.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (0:45) What is The Trickster? (2:35) Primitive Form of The Trickster (3:48) Trickster and Laughter (5:50) Trickster as Agent of Change (7:35) Trickster as Creator and Destroyer (9:40) Trickster as Amoral (10:50) Trickster Figures (17:32) The Psychology of The Trickster (22:10) Trickster and Shadow (24:04) Trickster and Ego Inflation (26:15) The Trickster in Alchemy (29:08) Conclusion
The Dark World of Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka's dark world deals with existentialist themes such as alienation, anxiety, disorientation and the absurd. His work is so original that the term Kafkaesque was coined to describe the nightmarish and bizarre atmosphere of his work. Throughout his works we see the strange dream-like mixture of perplexity and embarrassment play out, and the notion of a grand organisation with its incomprehensible bureaucratic system that hovers invisibly over each helpless individual, taking complete control over one's life.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (1:10) The Life of Kafka (9:20) The Metamorphosis (1915) (13:59) The Trial (1925) (23:07) The Castle (1926) 24:29) Conclusion
Inner Gold - Alchemy and Psychology
Alchemy occupies a unique place in the collective psyche of humankind. Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist Jung discovered alchemy and devoted the remaining 30 years of his life to studying it, which he practically dug up from the dunghill of the past, for it was considered pseudoscience, a forgotten relic of history and despised field of investigation which he had suddenly revived.
Alchemy allows one to achieve wholeness of personality, of aligning one’s ego to the Self through a reconnection with the unconscious. For Jung, the task of alchemy was and has always been psychological. The end product is not material in nature, but rather spiritual. Alchemy is the art of expanding consciousness, of self-realisation.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (6:33) The Self: Achieving Wholeness (13:45) The Origins and History of Alchemy (20:20) The Basics Concepts of Alchemy (28:54) Alchemy as Psychological Projection (32:07) The Importance of Symbols (35:50) The Operations of Alchemy (42:52) Stages of Alchemy: Nigredo, Albedo, Rubedo (50:03) Conclusion
The Psychology of Projection
Projection is a psychological fact that can be observed everywhere in the everyday life of human beings. It is an unconscious mechanism where one ascribes one’s own motivations, thoughts, feelings, and desires that are unacceptable to oneself, while attributing them to others. It is a misalignment of the inner and outer world, because what one is inwardly, one will see outwardly.
To really know who we are, we must concern ourselves with correcting such misjudgements. Many people will cling to them with every fibre of their being, because if one accepts correction, one may fall into a depression.
When we find certain unacceptable feelings, thoughts or behaviours in ourselves that we refuse to acknowledge, and see someone with that specific trait, we will feel resentment, hatred and anger towards them. Projection occurs not because of what other people say to you, but rather because of what you yourself think about those people.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (2:15) Example of Projection (6:37) Freud: Mother Complex and Transference (8:06) Carl Jung on Projection (9:33) Jung: Shadow Projection (12:52) Jung: Anima and Animus Projection (16:18) Projection and Projectile (19:11) Active and passive projection (20:54) Introjection (21:42) Mystical participation (25:36) Psychological Projection as Inner Gold
Synchronicity: Meaningful Patterns in Life
Synchronicity is a term coined by Carl Jung which describes a meaningful patterns or meaningful coincidences of outer and inner events that cannot be causally linked. It occurs with an inwardly perceived event (dream, vision, premonition, thought or mood) is seen to have a correspondence in external reality: the inner image has "come true", bringing meaning to your life.
When Jung was investigating the phenomena of the collective unconscious, he kept on coming across “coincidences” that were connected so meaningfully, that they broke all statistical probabilities. The culmination of his investigations is covered in his work: Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (4:50) Origins of Synchronicity (8:38) What is Synchronicity? (10:09) Atom and Archetype: Matter and Psyche (11:43) Rhine: Extrasensory Perception Experiments (13:00) Archetypes, Collective Unconscious, Psychoid (15:54) Examples of Synchronicity (26:16) Synchronicity at Jung’s death
Active Imagination: Confrontation with the Unconscious
Active imagination is a technique developed by the Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung. He considered it the most powerful tool to access the unconscious and for achieving wholeness of personality.
Jung discovered this method between the years of 1913 and 1916, a period of disorientation and intense inner turmoil which he called his confrontation with the unconscious. He searched for a method to heal himself from within, through the power of the imagination.
Active imagination is a dialogue with different parts of yourself that live in the unconscious. In some way it is similar to dreaming, except that you are fully awake and conscious during the experience.
If we honestly want to find our own wholeness, to live our individual fate as fully as possible; if we truly want to abolish illusion on principle and find the truth of our own being, however little we like to be the way we are, then there is nothing that can help us so much in our endeavour as active imagination.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (2:02) Confrontation with the Unconscious & The Red Book (4:46) Alchemy and Jung (5:39) Approaching Active Imagination (6:56) Precaution Before Starting Active Imagination (7:46) Inner Work: Active Imagination (9:21) Distinguishing Active Imagination from Passive Fantasy (9:51) Active Imagination Example: Talking with the Inner Artist (11:51) When You Think You’re Making Up Something (13:01) Active Imagination as Mythic Journey (14:10) The Four-Step Approach to Active Imagination (16:25) Step 1. Active Imagination: The Invitation (20:50) Step 2. Active Imagination: The Dialogue (25:00) Step 3. Active Imagination: The Values (27:25) Step 4. Active Imagination: The Rituals
Owning Your Own Shadow: The Dark Side of the Psyche
In his book Owning Your Own Shadow: The Dark Side of the Psyche, American author and Jungian analyst Robert A. Johnson states that to honour and accept one’s own shadow is a profound spiritual discipline. It is whole-making and thus holy and the most important experience of a lifetime.
In this podcast, we briefly clear up some misconceptions regarding the concept of shadow. It is not our enemy, but our friend. It contains pure gold waiting to be integrated into our personality.
It is not the light element alone that does the healing; the place where light and dark begin to touch is the most profound religious experience we can have in life. The religious task is to restore the wholeness of personality. Religion means to put things back together again, to connect whatever is fractured.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (3:12) Misconceptions of the Shadow (5:20) How the Shadow Originates (8:35) Balancing Culture and Shadow (12:39) The Shadow in Projection (15:04) The Gold in the Shadow (16:38) The Shadow in Middle Age (16:59) The Ceremonial World (17:46) Paradox as Religious Experience (21:54) The Shadow as Entree to Paradox (23:02) The Mandorla
The Otherworldly Art of William Blake
William Blake was an English poet and visionary artist whose unique work gives us a glimpse into an entirely different world. His art was ignored and neglected, and few people took his work seriously. He was generally seen as a madman.
His vivid imagination, visions and mystical experiences lead him to a spiritual task that was the exploration of his inner self. For Blake, the essence of human existence is imagination.
⌛ Timestamps (0:00) The Life of William Blake (13:16) The Lyrical Poems of William Blake (15:48) Prophetic Books & Mythology (21:35) 1. The Ancient of Days (1794) (22:38) 2. Albion Rose (1794 – 1796) (23:37) 3. Isaac Newton (1795 – 1805) (24:23) 4. Nebuchadnezzar (1795 – 1805) (25:39) 5. The Night of Enitharmon's Joy (1795) (26:31) 6. Satan Exulting over Eve (1795) (27:00) 7. The Good and Evil Angels (1795 – 1805) (28:13) 8. The Angel of Revelation (1803 – 1805) (28:36) 9. Los Enters the Door of Death (1804-1820) (29:35) 10. The Great Red Dragon Paintings (1805 – 1810) (31:20) 11. The Man Who Taught Blake Painting in his Dreams (1819 – 1820) (31:44) 12. The Ghost of a Flea (1819 – 1820) (32:58) 13. Elisha In The Chamber On The Wall (1820) (33:30) 14. The Spectre over Los (1821) (34:38) 15. The Inscription over the Gate (1824 - 1827) (36:18) 16. Behemoth and Leviathan (1825) (36:41) How Blake's Art Can Help Us
The Dark Philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer was a German Philosopher born in 1788 known for his dark pessimistic philosophical reflections.
For Schopenhauer, the underlying force of reality is the Will (also called will to live or will to life), which is the essence of existence. It is an unconscious and blind desire that restlessly strives for more activity. The will is the tornado that swirls inside of us and throws us from one place to the other, it is the source of our insatiable appetite that results in strife and misery.
Schopenhauer’s writing is far from the sterile and academic German of the time, his work is straight-forward, colloquial, concrete, full of metaphors and anecdotes. His philosophy sent him on a quest for tranquility and peace of mind. He offers as alternatives the denial of the will, the wisdom of life through philosophy, aesthetics and ethics.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: Arthur Schopenhauer (7:47) The World as Will and Representation (15:07) The Will to Reproduce (16:36) The World as Evil (22:52) The Denial of the Will (25:11) Philosophy: The Wisdom of Life (27:32) Aesthetics (30:45) Ethics
Nihilism | Encounter with Nothingness
Nothingness is generally considered to be analogous with death and extinction which every healthy living instinct wants to avoid. Many find the notion of nothingness unfathomable.
Japanese philosopher Keiji Nishitani, however, was convinced that the way out of nihilism, that which renders meaningless the meaning of life, could only be reached by gazing into the abyss itself.
Nishitani understands human existence as consisting in three fields: consciousness, nihility and emptiness. Nihility is as part of the fabric of reality as Being is, it is relative nothingness, and emptiness is absolute nothingness, where the “absolute negation” as the negation of negation becomes the “great affirmation”.
In the openness of śūnyatā realised by nihility overcoming itself, one completely oversteps the confines of self-consciousness and comes to be free of egocentrism, anthropocentrism and even theocentrism, thus allowing ultimate reality to manifest itself in all its fullness.
We will be focusing on two important works of Nishitani: The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism and Religion and Nothingness.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: Keiji Nishitani (4:24) The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism (8:12) Religion and Nothingness (14:36) Consciousness, Nihility, Emptiness (19:13) Cosmic Individual
The Courage to Be: An Antidote to Meaninglessness
In The Courage to Be, Paul Tillich presents his antidote to meaninglessness through the concept of courage. He was a German-American Christian existentialist philosopher born in 1886 and is considered as one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century.
While lecturing on anxiety, Tillich noticed that there was an enormous response in the post-war era, especially in the younger people, and he sought to give an answer to the growing anxiety which had developed. The aftereffects of the two World Wars had left the world in a state of disorientation, estrangement, anxiety and meaninglessness.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: Paul Tillich (3:17) Method of Correlation (4:02) The Courage to Be: Introduction (5:49) The Courage to Be: Anxiety (11:30) The Courage to Be: Participation and Individualisation (13:12) The Ground of Being (14:20) Symbols (16:17) The Ultimate Concern
The Dark Philosophy of Cosmicism - H.P. Lovecraft
Lovecraft's dark philosophy is known as Cosmicism, which focuses on the insignificance of humanity and its doings at the cosmos-at-large, in contrast to the anthropocentric philosophies in which many find intellectual reassurance. This form of non-anthropocentrism is crucial to the philosophy of Cosmicism.
The question of the meaning of life was better left unanswered. Cosmicism is a type of extreme existentialism, as it brings up the uncertainty about the role of humanity in the uncaring universe, an existential crisis on a large scale.
Lovecraft embraces the truth of reality. Things are important to us on the human scale, but we simply don’t matter in the cosmos. He described us as "the miserable denizens of a wretched little flyspeck on the back door of a microscopic universe.”
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: Fear of the Unknown (1:35) A Biography of H.P. Lovecraft (7:20) Introdction: Cosmicism (12:00) The Cthulhu Mythos: Introduction (14:03) The Cthulhu Mythos: The Elder Things (15:10) The Cthulhu Mythos: The Great Old Ones and The Deep Ones (18:05) The Cthulhu Mythos: The Outer Gods (21:26) Fourth Dimensional Horrors (24:48) Forbidden Knowledge (25:50) The Dreamlands (26:37) Otherness: Anti-Human Becoming
The Dream Artist Nobody Knows About
Few artists have so powerfully evoked the uncanny otherness of the unconscious like Swiss artist Peter Birkhäuser. His unknown dream paintings were met with blank incomprehension, and were not well-received by the art community of the time, but, viewed today, his vivid paintings bear striking testament to the disruptive and transformative reality of individuation, the purpose of Jungian psychology, which is to seek wholeness of personality by bringing the unconscious contents into reality.
After a midlife crisis, Birkhäuser dedicated himself exclusively to bringing these unconscious images into reality. Just how hard this struggle with himself must have been is suggested by the fact that it took the artist twelve years to make the great break and paint a picture entirely according to his own imagination, with no model from the real world.
The fantasy pictures reflect not only the artist’s own personal psychological situation, but also the spirit of the age, revealing what is taking place in the depths of the collective unconscious in all of the people of our time. Because of this, they are not easy to decipher: they are simply there, and wish to be experienced.
⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: Peter Birkhäuser (6:06) 1. The World’s Wound (1953) (7:10) 2. The Cat (1949-1955) (8:05) 3. Depression (1954-1955) (8:39) 4. Depression #2 (Date unknown) (9:16) 5. Duel (Date unknown) (9:51) 6. Coming Up (1954-1955) (10:24) 7. The Inward Gaze (1954-1955) (11:18) 8. The Fourth Dimension (1956-1957) (12:30) 9. Imprisoned Power (1958) (13:31) 10. Fire Gives Birth (1959-1960) (13:59) 11. The Outcast (1960) (14:36) 12. Puer (1960) (15:36) 13. The Magic Fish (1961) (16:14) 14. A Birth (1961) (16:51) 15. Alarm (Date unknown) (17:07) 16. The Hidden Power (1964) (17:40) 17. Moira (1965) (18:25) 18. Untitled “The Four-Eyed Anima” (Date Unknown) (18:55) 19. At The Door (1965) (19:41) 20. With Child (1966) (19:58) 21. Anima with Crown of Light (1966) (20:28) 22. The Observer (1966) (20:54) 23. Bear at the Tree of Light (1968) (21:28) 24. Dark Brother (Date unknown) (21:51) 25. Spiritus Animalis II (1968) (22:18) 26. Window on Eternity (1970) (23:04) 27. Sun of the Night (1970) (24:04) 28. The Woman with the Cup (1971) (24:48) 29. 24 of March 1971 (1971) (25:17) 30. Constellation (1971) (25:30) 31. Lighting the Torch (1974) (25:53) 32. Having Speech (1975) (26:15) 33. In The Night of 13 October 1942 (1975) (27:30) 34. Spiritus Naturae (1976) (27:54) 35. Lynx (1976)
Anima and Animus - Eternal Partners from the Unconscious
The anima and animus are two contrasexual archetypes crucial for individuation and to progress towards the Self in Carl Jung’s analytical psychology, they are the archetype of life and archetype of meaning, respectively.
The anima is the personification of all female psychological tendencies in man, while the animus is the personification of all male psychological tendencies in woman.
They form part of the collective unconscious, as archetypes or collectively inherited patterns of behaviour, which are autonomous, making them particularly difficult to integrate into one’s personality.
The integration of the shadow, or the realisation of the personal unconscious, marks the first stage in Jungian psychology. Without it, a recognition of anima and animus is impossible.
Shadow integration is the ‘apprentice-piece’, while the anima or animus is the ‘master-piece’.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: Carl Jung’s Model of the Psyche (2:11) Introduction: Anima and Animus (4:49) The Anima: The Woman Within (13:05) The Animus: The Man Within (17:43) Anima and Animus: Path towards Individuation
The Nightmare of Total Equality - A Warning to The World
In Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. describes the nightmare of total equality, a society in which equality is finally achieved, but at the cost of freedom and individuality. One’s utopia is another’s dystopia.
We’ll be exploring the increasing promotion of equality to the point of it being absurd as a consequence of the “unheard cry for meaning” that plagues modern society.
The modern age is characterised by a sense of disorientation of not knowing what to do with one’s life. Nietzsche’s foresaw nihilism as an inevitable consequence of the Death of God, where God is replaced with public opinion, the entertainment culture, and the State.
Without objective values, we fall into relativism, making us fall prey to authoritarianism and conformism, as displayed by George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: The Nightmare of Total Equality (1:40) Disorientation and Nihilism (4:10) Living a Meaningful Life (4:43) The Problem of Relativism (5:23) Totalitarianism and Conformism (7:45) Preachers of Equality (11:20) Pathos of Distance: The Overman and The Last Man (12:25) Orwell’s Warning: 1984
The Philosophy of Existential Despair
The Russian existentialist philosopher Lev Shestov is known for his “philosophy of despair” or “philosophy of tragedy”. For Shestov, the sources of philosophy were the human tragedy, the horrors and sufferings of human life and the sense of hopelessness.
Tragedies take place in the depth of the human soul, where no eye can reach out to see. Consequently, He saw the beginning of philosophy starting not with knowledge, not with wonder, but with despair.
Despair is what he considers a “penultimate knowledge”, that is, a preliminary step that we must acknowledge, in order to progress towards something higher, the “ultimate knowledge”.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (0:52) Philosophy of Despair (3:32) Conflict between Faith and Reason (6:14) Penultimate Knowledge: Despair and Awakening (11:03) Ultimate Knowledge: Freedom and God
The Persona - The Mask That Conceals Your True Self
The persona is one of Carl Jung's most well-known concepts, representing the social mask that we put on. We all embody different masks in different settings, as it is our way to adapt to the demands of society, playing an important part in shaping our social role and in how we deal with other people. But, it also has its dangers.
We will be discussing the dangers of concealing our true self. We may use the persona to help us conceal our vulnerabilities and other parts that we do not want to reveal about ourselves, or we may excessively identify with the persona.
The persona prevents us from what Jung considered the most important task in our lives, the process of individuation, bringing one closer to the Self.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: The Persona (1:23) Stages of the Persona (3:16) Being Unconscious of The Persona (4:57) Excessive Identification with The Persona (6:02) The Persona and The Self (Individuation) (7:10) The Persona and Bad Faith (9:10) The Persona and The Collective Unconscious
Mass Society - A Warning to The World
In the 19th century the status of mass society became a philosophical and moral issue in a manner hitherto unseen. It came to be defined as the permanent possibility in all individuals of losing concern for their personal status and worth, and assigning themselves to something outside themselves in an abstract “other”.
We’ll be exploring the various existential critiques and interpretations of this phenomenon peculiar to modern society from four major 19th century thinkers who have integrated the event of the masses into the very structure of their philosophies: Søren Kierkegaard ("The Crowd is Untruth" and "The Public"), Friedrich Nietzsche ("The Last Man"), Martin Heidegger ("Das Man") and José Ortega y Gasset (The Mass Man").
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (1:20) Kierkegaard: The Crowd is Untruth (4:50) Kierkegaard: Levelling and The Public (6:19) Nietzsche: The Last Man and The Übermensch (7:30) Heidegger: Das Man and Being-toward-Death (8:57) Ortega y Gasset: The Mass Man (11:30) Ortega’s Philosophy of Life (13:36) New Challenges: Posthuman Era
Carl Jung and The Collective Unconscious
Carl Jung’s collective unconscious is one of his most well-known (and controversial) concepts. The collective unconscious is the aspect of the unconscious mind which manifests inherited, universal themes which run through all human life. He came upon the idea in a dream.
The collective unconscious does not owe its existence to personal experience and consequently is not a personal acquisition, while the personal unconscious is made up essentially of contents which have at one time been conscious but which have disappeared from consciousness through having been forgotten or repressed. The personal unconscious consists of complexes, while the collective unconscious is made up of archetypes (or primordial images).
Archetypes are collectively-inherited forms or patterns of behaviour. They reflect basic patterns common to us all, and which have existed universally since the dawn of time.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Jung’s Discovery of The Collective Unconscious (3:31) Personal Unconscious & Complexes (5:05) Collective Unconscious & Archetypes (9:17) The Psychological Meaning of The Collective Unconscious (11:30) Method of Proof: Dreams and Active Imagination (13:26) Confrontation with the Unconscious
The Underground Man - Dostoevsky's Warning to The World
Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote Notes from Underground in 1864 which is considered to be one of the first existentialist works, emphasising the importance of freedom, responsibility and individuality. It is an extraordinary piece of literature, social critique and satire of the Russian nihilist movement as well as a novel with deep psychological insights on the nature of man.
Dostoevsky’s most sustained and spirited attack on the Russian nihilist movement is voiced by one of the darkest, least sympathetic of all his characters – the nameless narrator and protagonist known as the Underground Man, revealing the hopeless dilemmas in which he lands as a result.
Notes from Underground attempts to warn people of several ideas that were gaining ground in the 1860s including: moral and political nihilism, rational egoism, determinism, utilitarianism, utopianism, atheism and what would become communism.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (0:54) Notes from Underground: Historical Context and Themes (7:26) Notes from Underground: Introduction (10:38) Man of Action vs Man of Acute Consciousness (15:39) Irrational Pleasure in Suffering (17:05) Critique of Rational Egoism and Utopianism (23:48) The Value of Suffering
The Hero's Journey - Experiencing Death and Rebirth
In his best-known work The Hero with a Thousand Faces published in 1949, Joseph Campbell describes the archetypal Hero’s Journey or “monomyth” shared by the world. The Hero’s Journey occurs in three sequential phases: separation, initiation and the return. In the climax of the myth, the Hero experiences a psychological death and rebirth. The death of an old aspect of one’s self and the birth of a new and more capable self, receiving insights and experience.
Joseph Campbell was influenced by Carl Jung’s analytical psychology and his extensive work in comparative mythology and religion covers many aspects of the human experience. The Hero’s Journey is not just a mythological story, but is deeply embedded within the human condition. It tells the story of a person encountering a difficult life problem and their journey in resolving it through personal transformation.
In therapy, patients who were introduced to the Hero’s Journey as a means of reconceptualising their disorder as a hero quest, rather than an external stressful task, shifted their attitude from passive to active, supporting them to become the “author of their own lives”. This has been clinically tested in a diverse range of issues, such as: anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, PTSD and psychosis.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: The Hero’s Journey (4:23) Introduction to the Phases of the Hero’s Journey (5:26) First Phase of the Hero’s Journey: Separation (7:19) Second Phase of the Hero’s Journey: Initiation (9:24) Third Phase of the Hero’s Journey: The Return (11:38) Follow Your Bliss
Mental Illness as a Crisis of Meaning in Modern Society
Modern society has seen a massive spike in mental illness. Why could this be? We will be exploring the characteristics of modernity and associate it with the rise of mental illness. Modernity is associated by scientific and technological advancement, individualism and hedonism. The empowerment of the individual self is one of the most ramifying features of modernity.
In The Myth of Mental Illness, Thomas Szasz suggests that many people who suffer from mental illness is due to the consequence of the attempt to confront and to tackle the problem of how to live. Modern man feels the weight of his freedom and responsibility to live his life, as Sartre asserts, we are “condemned to be free”. Kierkegaard says that one can get lost in the finite (becoming lost in the crowd) or in the infinite (a state of analysis-paralysis). Camus’s absurd person is one who has seen through the ridiculous repetitions of daily life (Sisyphean condemnation). When we do not have a “why” to satisfy our existence, we must search for alternatives or risk falling into an existential crisis.
Nietzsche’s proclamation of the death of God engenders the most profound cultural, sociological and psychological repercussions, leaving many facing a crisis in discerning a meaning or purpose for their existence, leading to a sense of disorientation. Viktor Frankl tells us that we are living in an existential vacuum, the mass neurosis of modern times is the “unheard cry for meaning”.
Modern man is in desperate need for the hero journey, described by Joseph Henderson. Carl Jung analyses the question: “What actually takes place inside the mentally ill?” Sebastian Junger tells us of he importance of a tribe which modern man lacks, and finally, Carl Jung describes the psychic dissociation in modern man.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: Modern Society and Mental Illness (1:50) The Myth of Mental Illness (3:00) Modern Society: Freedom and Responsibility (5:14) Modern Society: Death of God (6:34) The Existential Vacuum (8:20) The Hero Journey (9:13) What Actually Takes Place Inside the Mentally Ill? (11:45) Modern Society: Lack of a Tribe (14:52) Modern Society: Psychic Dissociation
Nihilism - Friedrich Nietzsche's Warning to The World
Friedrich Nietzsche provided the first detailed diagnosis of nihilism as a widespread phenomenon of Western culture and warns the world of its consequences, most famously in the parable of the madman where he proclaims that "God is dead".
Nietzsche was concerned primarily with existential nihilism, where life as a whole has no intrinsic meaning or value. He defines nihilism as the “radical repudiation of value, meaning, and desirability." In other words, nihilism consists in an inability to find value and meaning in the higher aspects of this life and world. It empties the world and purpose of human existence.
In order to overcome nihilism, Nietzsche proposes a “revaluation of all values”, through concepts such as the Übermensch, the Will to Power and the Eternal Recurrence, seeking to replace the old values with new ones that focus on life-affirmation, rather than some beyond. He tells us to remain faithful to the earth.
In this episode, we begin with an introduction to nihilism followed by three different manifestations of nihilism throughout Nietzsche’s works: nihilism as despair, nihilism as disorientation and nihilism as a lack of higher values. We then discuss the formal distinction he makes of nihilism in the will to power as active nihilism and passive nihilism. Finally, we consider nihilism in modern man, answer the question: Is Nietzsche a Nihilist? And end with how to overcome nihilism according to Nietzsche.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction: Nihilism (2:19) Nihilism as Despair (3:00) Nihilism as Disorientation (7:25) Ascetic Ideal as Nihilistic (8:30) Nihilism as Lack of Higher Values (13:25) Active Nihilism and Passive Nihilism (14:34) Nihilism and Modern Man (16:24) Is Nietzsche a Nihilist? (17:20) Overcoming Nihilism
KIERKEGAARD: The Knight of Faith
The knight of faith is one of Kierkegaard’s most important concepts, which he discusses in Fear and Trembling under the pseudonym Johannes de silentio. He begins explaining the knight of faith through the story of Abraham and Isaac.
Although he has never found any knight of faith, he would not deny on that ground that they exist. He looks like any normal person, one detects nothing of the strangeness and superiority that marks him.
Before one can be a knight of faith, one must become a knight of infinite resignation, one who renounces that which he most loves in the world. The knight of faith makes the leap of faith and by virtue of the absurd, he renounces everything and regains everything, coming back to his original position through a double movement.
He compares both movements: the movement of infinite resignation and the movement of faith with the leap of a ballet dancer and gives the example through the story of a man in an impossible love with a princess.
The general message is that the notion of faith is so far cheapened that what is talked about is not properly called faith at all.
The Shadow - Carl Jung's Warning to The World
Carl Jung warns us against the dangers of the collective shadow (the unknown dark side of society) and urges us to develop our personal shadow (the unknown dark side of our personality) to be consciously aware of the collective shadow and not fall prey to it. We must acknowledge our personal shadow and enter into long and difficult negotiations with it through shadow work.
Allowing us to rescue the good qualities that lie dormant within us, which improves our lives and the lives of those around us. We can then face the collective shadow and take responsibility to address the denial of important issues and a lack of individual and collective initiative. Telling the truth is the most desirable way to deal with a difficult past, rather than dismissing the atrocities and having the shadow grow blacker until it can no grow no more, and thus history repeats itself.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Personal Shadow (5:40) Collective Shadow (10:42) Summary - Facing the Collective Shadow
What is the Meaning of Life?
Man cannot stand a meaningless life. What is the meaning of life? It is hard to think of a single proposition that can make your life meaningful in an instant. One can, however, orient oneself more meaningfully towards one’s goals. To find meaning is a dynamic process that constantly shapes yourself, immerses yourself in reality and has reality immersed in you.
A meaningful life can be defined according to a positive life regard, referring to an individual’s belief that he is fulfilling a life-framework or life-goal that provides him with a highly valued understanding of his life.
In this episode we explore several models to the development of a positive life regard, the problems of a meaningless life and dangers of nihilism, life affirmation and meaning as embedded in life and Viktor Frankl’s Will to Meaning.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Man Cannot Stand a Meaningless Life (2:25) What is the Meaning of Life? (3:51) Development of Positive Life Regard (Meaningful Life) (14:02) A Meaningless Life: Dangers of Nihilism (16:29) Life-affirmation & Meaning as Embedded in Life (18:12) Viktor Frankl: Will to Meaning
What is the Meaning of Death?
What is the meaning of death? It is the unequivocal and permanent end of our existence. Most people unconsciously repress the idea of their death, as it is too horrifying a notion to think about. Some are perhaps not so horrified of the idea of death, but rather the pain associated before one’s death, or the death of loved ones.
We live entirely unique lives with complete different experiences, but we all share one common fate: Death. This is what links all of us together. Death smiles at us all and all we can do is smile back.
In this episode we will analyse death philosophically and psychologically: if it is undesirable, if it is to be feared and the misconceptions around the notion of death. Starting with the terror of death with Becker’s The Denial of Death and how to confront one’s mortality with the Stoic Memento Mori and Nietzsche’s Free Death “dying at the right time”.
We’ll then discuss the Death of Socrates “the unexamined life is not worth living” and Carl Jung’s notions of Life and Death along with his near death experience.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (0:35) Is Death Undesirable? (2:08) Should We Fear Death? (4:40) Ernest Becker: The Denial of Death (8:40) Stoicism: Memento Mori (10:00) Nietzsche: On Free Death (12:08) The Death of Socrates (14:06) Carl Jung: Life and Death
What is the Meaning of Self Realisation?
Life is a journey of self-realisation, of understanding and discovering who we truly are, and of maximising our potential. While this might be a life long journey, one can be closer or further from one's true self. This video analyses self-realisation from a philosophical and psychological perspective.
Starting from the father of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard, where we’ll discuss the self, despair and the leap of faith. Sigmund Freud as the father of psychoanalysis, Carl Rogers’ self-concept and Abraham Maslow’s self-actualisation.
We’ll then discuss some aspects of eastern philosophy and their notion of self (Buddhism, Taoism, Advaita Vedanta), concluding with Carl Jung’s analytical psychology and process of individuation.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (0:15) Søren Kierkegaard: The Self (1:00) Søren Kierkegaard: Despair (4:10) Søren Kierkegaard: Leap of Faith (4:48) Sigmund Freud: Psychoanalysis (5:40) Carl Rogers: Self-Concept (7:11) Abraham Maslow: Self-Actualisation (7:40) Abraham Maslow: Hierarchy of Needs (8:40) Abraham Maslow: Self-transcendence (9:58) Eastern philosophy: Buddhism (10:50) Eastern philosophy: Taoism (11:22) Eastern philosophy: Advaita Vedanta (12:02) Carl Jung: The Self (13:30) Carl Jung: Individuation (15:38) Carl Jung: Shadow & Persona
What is the Meaning of Suffering?
What is the meaning of suffering? One of the problems of life is meaningless suffering. Life is pervaded by suffering, and this suffering must be meaningful. It is hard to deny that to live is to suffer, as long as we do not mean that to live is only to suffer.
One who cannot bear suffering and tries to avoid the unavoidable is bound to end up in existential despair and nihilism, death is just as welcome as there’s no purpose for living.
We'll explore how to tackle the problem of suffering ("why do I suffer?"), with the objective of finding a meaning to one's suffering. There are two ideals: to see suffering as a punishment (ascetic ideal) or to seeing it as something for human growth, flourishing and greatness.
KIERKEGAARD: How To Avoid Boredom and Maximise Happiness
In Either/Or, Kierkegaard dedicates a chapter on the problem of boredom and the difficulty of maintaining happiness, and proposes his solution for it through the aesthetic sphere of existence.
To explain how one avoids boredom, the aesthete’s worst enemy, he proposes “crop rotation” as an attempt at a theory of social prudence. It is a sort of science of seeking pleasures characteristic of the reflective aesthete, and not mindlessly doing it as an unreflective aesthete, such as the legend of Don Juan.
This method can be done extensively or intensively. The aesthete proposes the intensive cultivation of pleasure as the means to avoid boredom, achieve pleasure and subsequently, happiness.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (0:45) Boredom (5:10) Crop Rotation: Extensive Cultivation (6:33) Crop Rotation: Intensive Cultivation (7:35) Remembering and Forgetting (10:33) Arbitrariness (13:00) Conclusion
NIETZSCHE: Living in Solitude and Dealing with Society
Nietzsche recommends to spend some of our time in complete solitude. To reflect upon the inner voice that conditions our life which is the product of the common conscience of society.
Solitude is but a temporary matter. He also recommends to spend time with people who possess virtues of the love of life, these “higher men” allow for mental elevation. An individual who isolates himself without ever valuing external opinions will only have his conscience with himself and nobody to ever confront or challenge his views.
Solitude is thus not just a result of the contempt of the masses, but allows to forge a more profound longing for a community that allows one to explore the best version of oneself. Company is important, and if chosen well – can be mutually beneficial.
In this sense, solitude is compatible with life in community, but it is also necessary to retreat into complete solitude once in a while, in order to receive its fruits.
NIETZSCHE: The Übermensch (Overman)
Nietzsche’s Übermensch (Overman) is among the most important of his teachings, along with the eternal recurrence and the will to power. The appearance of the overman most famously occurs in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. He is declared as “the meaning of the earth”. The overman is the ultimate form of man, he is one who overcomes nihilism by creating his own values and focusing on this life, not the afterlife.
He puts all his faith in himself as an autonomous creator and relies on nothing else. He is the pinnacle of self-overcoming, to rise above the human norm and above all difficulties, embracing whatever life throws at you. He is one who overcomes mediocrity and is not afraid to live dangerously.
We’ll be exploring the translation and origins of the Übermensch, its connection with Nietzsche’s early conception of the “free spirit”, the relation between the three metamorphoses, the tightrope walker, the last man, the higher man, the death of god and we'll finish by comparing it with the eternal recurrence and the will to power, where self-overcoming is what unites everything together.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (0:22) Translation and Origins of “Übermensch” (1:30) The Overman and The Free Spirit (2:10) The Overman and The Final Metamorphosis (3:41) What is the Overman? (4:40) First Appearance of The Overman (5:57) The Overman and Thus Spoke Zarathustra (8:56) The Overman and The Last Man (9:43) The Tightrope Walker (12:05) The Overman: “The Meaning of The Earth” (13:12) The Overman and The Death of God (15:43) The Overman and The Higher Man (17:55) The Overman, The Eternal Recurrence, The Will to Power
The Present Age | Søren Kierkegaard
The Present Age was published in 1846 by Søren Kierkegaard. He discusses the philosophical implications of a society dominated by mass media, foreseeing the rise of twenty-four hour news and social media, it examines the philosophical implications of a culture of endless, inconsequential commentary and debate – a society eerily similar to our own.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (2:20) Ice Skater Analogy (3:40) Reflective Tension (5:00) Ressentiment (6:22) Levelling (7:12) The Public (8:26) The Leap
Human All Too Human | Friedrich Nietzsche
Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits was published by Friedrich Nietzsche in 1878 and represents a “monument of a crisis” for Nietzsche, a critical turning point in his life and thought.
The book marks the beginning of a second period in Nietzsche’s philosophy, his period as an independent philosopher.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (1:40) The Structure of the Work (2:20) Preface (3:17) I. Of First and Last Things (4:15) II. On the History of Moral Feelings (5:15) III. Religious Life (6:05) IV. From the Soul of Artists and Writers (6:42) V. Signs of Higher and Lower Culture (7:52) VI. Man in Society (8:03) VII. Woman and Child (8:39) VIII. A Look at the State (8:58) IX. Man Alone with Himself (9:27) Among Friends: An Epilogue
NIETZSCHE: The Will to Power
The will to power is one of the most fundamental concepts in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. It is also one of his most complex concepts as it was never systematically defined in his works, leaving its interpretation open to debate.
The central point revolves around gaining power over oneself, not others. It is the expression of self-overcoming, becoming who you truly are.
This episode intends to shed light on this concept, tracing all the way back from his psychological insights of the "desire for power'" to the conception of "will to power", as well as its relationship with the "will to existence", "will to live" and "will to truth".
We will be focusing on what Nietzsche actually wrote and published himself during his active years, as well as making some references to his posthumously published notes (The Will to Power) where it is appropriate.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (2:07) Desire for Power: A Psychological Insight (5:37) The Origin of the “Will to Power” (7:18) Will to Power and Self-overcoming (8:57) Will to Power and Sublimation (10:24) Will to Power as Dualistic (11:10) Will to Power vs Will to Existence (Nietzsche contra Darwin) (13:55) Will to Power vs Will to Live (Nietzsche contra Schopenhauer) (15:49) Will to Power vs Will to Truth (Nietzsche contra Philosophers) (16:56) Will to Power and Metaphysics (20:44) Conclusion
Either/Or | Søren Kierkegaard
Either/Or: A Fragment of Life was published by Søren Kierkegaard in 1843, making it his first major work. It was written under the pseudonym Victor Eremita “Victorious Hermit”.
The book expresses the viewpoints of two distinct figures with radically different beliefs – the unknown aesthetic young man of Part One, called simply “A”, and the ethical judge of Part II, which he calls “B”. The first part "Diapsalmata" contains some of Kierkegaard's most popular lines, such as the "unmovable chess piece", "the tragic clown", and "do it or don't do it, you'll regret it".
Kierkegaard was far more interested in making us think than in giving us answers. We are thus encouraged to decide for ourselves the merits of the various viewpoints presented.
━━━━━━━━━━━━━ ⌛ Timestamps (0:00) Introduction (0:13) Preface (0:31) Part I. Containing the Papers of "A". Diapsalmata (1:29) Part I. The Immediate Erotic Stages or the Musical Erotic (2:41) Part I. Ancient Tragedy’s Reflection in the Modern (3:15) Part I. Shadowgraphs (3:57) Part I. The Unhappiest One (4:50) Part I. Crop Rotation (6:14) Part I. The Seducer’s Diary (7:14) Part II. Containing the Papers of “B”. The Aesthetic Validity of Marriage (7:58) Part II. Equilibrium between the Aesthetic and the Ethical (8:58) Part II. Last Word (9:23) Part II. The Edifying in the Thought that Against God We Are Always in the Wrong