Question: “How do I apply Jungian concepts to the Mideast Conflict?”


[These were the responses to “”How do I apply Jungian concepts to the Mideast Conflict?” on Facebook on July 20, 2014:]

VR: Apply love, not concepts.

JM: I believe the practice of compassion is helpful. Breathing in the pain and and suffering, breathing out healing golden light

JH: The projection of the shadow on to the other side….
Jung on the Shadow: The Iron Curtain
“It is the face of our own shadow that glowers at us across the Iron Curtain.” T… See More

CH: An adherence to an idea of right/ wrong concepts and a lack of integration of Other as in the understanding of difference appears to be one of the deeper missing aspects in this/ all conflicts.

Work done on the (in this case collective, but mostly individual) symbolic level thus seems to be what is missing throughout conflictual areas. I guess this is what could be understood by a word such as ‘concept’

It feels to me to be completely out of tune with the reality of this situation and other conflictual crises, to say that ‘love’ is the cure.

Love IS (I feel tempted to write ‘of course’) the cure, but access to that love (and compassion) seems to currently be prohibited and is thus the first step to investigate, to get ‘access’ to.

How this ‘access-point’, on an individual, but in this case primarily collective level is connected to in such a way that many of us would be able to participate, would be of great interest for me to explore in such a way that not only the Palestinians and the Israelis are able to take responsibility, but the rest of us too.

DS: Projection as a “concept” is all very interesting. And in Psychological terms plays a part in the ascribing of blame from one to the other. But in a situation where one side is a technologically advanced and militarily superior adversary, committing or intending to commit genocide on children and unarmed civilians. I think we need to look at that situation through a different kind of lens? A deeper lasting peace might well involve such rarefied accords be sought. But at the moment I think the world needs to wake up and call murder what is it.

HH: Herman Both sides think they are right. Both sides are wrong in the sense of applied barbarianism, i.e. the denial of the shadow and the projection of their own shadow unto the other. Both sides belong to the one family of mankind where there are no sides, but do not realize that and they only see their own evil on the other side the border. It will take a long, dark path to coalesce two sides into that unified third choice and it will come from much pain.

KT: If I have no sense of self, I can violate others without compunction.

DS: Agreed Hunter, but such a level of understanding is completely unavailable at this point isn’t it? The blindness which afflicts both sides is the product of thousands of years of accusation and counter accusation. This conflict is only going to lead to a conclusion which is too frightening to contemplate. The West needs to find some courage of their own convictions and take decisive action to halt this madness, before we are all pulled in to a nightmare. A consideration which as I type sounds like just another “not in my backyard” escape which is so characteristic of the world we are increasingly the victims of.

David Smith: Maybe handing over our deepest contact with reality to an authority in the sky, is in no small part an explanation for that Kelly?

JP: To mythologize the conflicts that are escalating all over the world, not just the Middle East, we might say that the world soul is being broken open so that the Gods can be released from their deep repression–Mars and his blood rage, the Morganna, Huitzilopochtli, Ogoun–it is in the vales that soul is made, not in the airy peaks. War is a part of humanity if we look to the mythologies. The question is how can we psychologize this–can we see it as shadow that must be reclaimed? Do we look at it as part of a dualist mind set? Do we consider ti as evil which cannot be stamped out because it is part of the dualism of the major religious backdrops in the various areas? It seems that mythology also offers us some solutions–balance, not stamping out, not denial, not onesidedness…

HH: Yes. It’s like we’ve been bred (as humans) for thousands of years to deny the inner Self and fuel hatred. It’s like willingness to jump on the treadwheel of karma over and over again because it is easier to follow one’s base instincts instead of doing the inner work.

DS: I think doing the inner work doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are forces shaping our world which are about the control of human freedom and our right to individuality. Done with the full oversight of oligarchic individuals bent on suppression. The conflict in the Middle East is one aspect of this. But for me, only represents a much wider crisis of perception within human culture. We are so taken with our technological wizardry, that we have ignored the core empathy of the human being. Without this, we are like destructive children with our finger poised on the button of Armageddon. This is a symptom of a much deeper disease, that of external control and the abdication of personal accountability those with power maintain through bread and circuses.

HH: It’s me, but 50 years ago, we as humans seemed to do almost anything to prevent a world war. Although perpetual skirmishes have fueled America’s economy though her history. But now, we seem to be willing, even egging on “opponents” to engage a massive war. Are we trying to decrease our population? Do we act as viruses consuming everything in site until there is nothing left and not evolving to a self sustaining environment? It’s as if we want to bomb ourselves back into the stone age. Does growth only come through trauma and pain?

CH: It seems to me that all of us could do one thing, which is to look into each our own selves each time conflicts come to our attention.

To attend to the strong feelings of repulsion, horror, dread etc. that each of us feel whenever confronted with news of this nature.

In this way each of us will work (take responsibility for) with what would be our unconscious projections of the shadow onto either side(-s) of a conflict, on an individual level, thus (perhaps) helping a move of the collective unconscious too?

KT: I do believe my part is to deeply attend to and do the work of consciousness in myself. We must all ultimately come to this.

LB:It’s also arises from the overlap of evolution described in Ken Wilber’s spiral dynamics-the levels of human evolution from tribal/magic thinking though to material technological hubris-a very dangerous and toxic cocktail as evidenced by Afghanistan, Russia/Ukraine, Iran and elsewhere.

KT: It seems truly insane to engage in conflict with each other. Just insane. There is a collective trance, a hypnotism. Where does that come from? The trance of duality. The appearance of duality which is false.

DS: I suppose whether we see the conflict through a Jungian lens, or through a strictly human emotional precept. The same process is in play. It is the “other” who is to blame. We the Muslim/Jew are blameless and the true servants of “God”. Once this dogma has replaced reason as the primary vehicle of analysis, what will transpire, will be, has become the projection of culpability from one to the other and back again. It is a failure to own responsibility, at the deepest level, for the creation of misery and suffering.

Substituting that rational appraisal, with a confirmation bias of the others “evil status”. Jung describes it as the “Shadow” but more ubiquitously, it is the tendency human being have to see no blame in their own creation of the others misery. From oligarchs to Patriarchs, this is what I see. A substitution of basic human awareness and empathy for the legitimisations of power whether that be economic and political abdication or theological dogma providing a chosen and the dammed narrative.

KT: Thompson It’s time for this narrative to come to an end. I deeply sense that.

DL: How could you NOT apply them? To me, an aspect is that is as simple as the most vicious group with the newest armament and the most powerful support from the outside is going to do what they choose. The choice being made is not particularly wise or sophisticated. The consequences come next…

DS: I totally agree Kelly. But what I fear is the Messianic nihilism which underpins both sides. If sense does not prevail, and those with the power to do so, do nothing to intervene in this insanity, we will all continue to suffer, as the spectators to genocide who do not act always suffer, with the moral shame of that abdication.

TE: Because of our propensity to cast-off our shadow unto others, groups tend to demonize the “other” who are not part of the in-group, and since they are then the “other” they are somehow evil and must be destroyed before they destroy us.

CL: 6 million jews lost their homes; the United States found them a home that would protect their interest re oil as a resource. Religious war? Those of you who know tell me. I do not even know if what I just wrote has legs; just feelings and those of you who know me understand I live there a lot. The world continues to watch as it did over 50 years ago. Pretense, Power, Money, Greed… Somehow Hitler’s Regime found it’s way into the hearts of all of us on one level or another. Time heals all wounds. I don’t think so. Change, compassion, surrender, and care heal wounds; and some though healed, are easily re-opened. .

JS Unfortunately, because of its emphasis on “the union of opposites” and the “projection of the Shadow”–both valid concepts properly applied–Jungian psychology is apt to and repeatedly has been used to impose an artificial moral equivalence on many conflicts. In this of course it is nbt being original, as the proponents of this misuse thinking themselves original have simply followed the common, collective impulse to appeasement and easy solutions. Naturally there exists a comparable collective impulse to identify with one’s mob, but the “tertium quid” in affairs of the world is very often simply the “tertium non datur”.

AM: I think a huge influence on my perspective on this issue came after I read the book, and saw the film The Chosen.. because the old Rabbi who lead his people to the US of A, did not believe in establishing a literal “home land”. “Messiah is within!” he would say.. but once it had been established he supported it. When I look at the situation I see the leaders in Israel treating the Palestinians like they, the Jews, were treated by Hitler and his followers. It is so obvious it boggles the mind that the International community hasn’t stopped the madness .. Many Native American’s identify with the Palestinians.. and for good reason.

KT: The shadow must never be dismissed as merely evil or demonic, for it contains natural, life-giving, underdeveloped positive potentialities too.” I would hazard to guess that, because we have not reaped the positive potentialities of this collective shadow, nothing whatsoever has changed.

KT:I LOVE that rabbi! The messiah is within. Israel is not on this earth but a state of consciousness!

CL: What is not acknowledged continues to be projected; and we remain foreigners was we walk upon the “heartland” of our brothers and sisters.

JD: it is all clear – it is just a religion in its own doubt, and the two poles do the work that is needed – because none of the poles know their position; they undermine the self – without knowing;that. It is really close to what Jung also said: Show me a sane man and Iwill cure him for you. But still; the west – the hebrew-chatolic aspect on life is still more ignorant. So first we need to do our homework

KT: Yes Is it possible?mistakenly establishing an external homeland appealed to and seduced the shadow side of the Jewish people. When I project my birthright to be in literal terms then I rely on myself to wrest it from a world that “owes” me, rather than realizing my true nature and thus, homeland.

MC: ITS NOT JUNG etc -ITS DARWIN -its man loves to competes craves excitement war violence —ITS SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

DS: I think this, perhaps is where changing the frame of the term “shadow” can help. If we describe the emotional contents of the shadow as the collective history of unresolved emotional material, the approach can also move to one of possible resolution in this light. If both sides can be validated, and in this their sense of injustice also heard and then integrated, perhaps the need to transfer in an endless cycle of projection may also be ameliorated in that process also.

Both sides have histories of legitimate pain and trauma to be heard. And as Kelly says, the positive aspects of the shadow are too persistent to be overlooked. So in this honest admission of the relevant emotional contents, there is perhaps a chance to examine that which is painful, and resolve that emotional expression, without the need to dam the shadow so to speak.

Anger is often a legitimate expression of hurt isn’t it? And in order to integrate the suffering and pain those quite natural feelings must be validated in order that a process of integration be at all possible. By negating the sense of anger both sides feel, there will be no possibility of resolution of any kind. As we see from the relentlessly trenchant positions taken up on both sides.

BF: @ AM: I have been thinking the same over the past few weeks! It’s the mistaken literalism of being “god’s chosen” that leads so many into dangerous manifestations. Accepting that we are darkness as well as light, that it’s all one and the same, lends itself to being compassionate. When I used to contemplate the god of the Bible, I used to think about Satan and where he came from. This dark energy also came from god, as well as all the light energy. There was no way in my mind to see god as apart from this darkness…Being all part of one body why would we wreak havoc on ourselves – Why would a person shoot off his or her own foot?

CL: Anger itself, in my opinion, serves the highest purpose when moved towards change; when it is held against what it perceives as a polar opposite, it is nothing more than static, nothing more than a road to nowhere until it explodes itself; implodes upon the container and either dissolves or transforms itself into either surrender, forgiveness; or sprouts from the battlefield of hatred into the realm of creative genius. I don’t know what I said; again, intuitive responses to historical situations I know not enough about. Sheltered life re: politics.

CN:: oerhaps, BF, the person shoots his own foot to find his ticket Home, the true Home within. It may be quite a feeling of disappointment, after centuries of suffering for God, to realize the Promised Land is only a piece of real estate.

One might say this teapot has been brewing since the Balfour Declaration of 1917. May we unite the opposites and transcend Darwin.

HH: On the other hand, it is economically sound to fuel both sides of a conflict. From an American perspective or even a UN perspective, it just makes good business sense to see, feed this and any other conflict. The longer the term the better. Making bombs and rockets is a mantra for jobs in our state. Jobs equals more taxes etc. From a spiritual point, it is insane, but we are a society of short term thinkers that want a good bottom line at the end of each month, and we are not concerned with humanity, long term plans or the existence of our planet.

CL: Being more of a poet, than a historian, I say it might be interesting to use texting in the same manner as lip service re: the war in the middle east. It’s as if cell phones and stating we must use hand-held devices, (peace talks) while allowing texting (some one tell me what that my represent) which is killing even more of us, is truly an example of not wanting change; just gives the appearance of change. Result is same; death, dismemberment, mayhem on our highways. Same with legalizing M.J. Let’s kill them on the roads, lets fry the brains and dulll the senses of our yourth and wonder why in 50 years we’ll be speaking English as a second language. I think I have to quit. My mind works differently – connects differently – so bye for now.

DS: I think maybe rather than transcending Darwin, we should be transcending Yahweh perhaps? The rational understanding of how human beings actually evolve is not the enemy. The mystification of that process with arcane dogma perhaps is? We are animals this much is certain. We are full of contradictions this is also true. But with reason and the empathy which can grow from the clear understanding of how human beings can individuate as the result of good enough attachments and nurturing could in some ways be the greatest legacy Darwin has bequeathed to us.

The old notions of “Darwinian survival of the fittest have surely by now, or at least are starting to give way to the recognition of how the environment shapes our genetics. The implications of which are enormous aren’t they? If we are epigenetically defined by the contexts of our growth, then all the hierarchy of need and the associated developmental opportunities and possible deficits become apparent. A clear understanding of how we are shaped by this relational exchange, may allow the dogma and mystification to become obsolete. To be replaced by a commitment to the understanding that the “shadow” may not be an inevitable aspect of human life, if needs and relationship meet basic requirements of socialisation and emotional stability. How much more creative is the possibility for the human race which not only recognises these developmental realities, but whose society and culture embraces them to create environments which are congruent with human needs for attaining the very empathic depth and richness denied us for two thousand odd years of fanaticism and superstitious ignorance of the actual character of human actualisation.

GG: Step back for a moment and breathe. Take a look at the “longbody” of the patterns of the arena; the cycles, the spirals, the waves. And this too will pass to another and another. And concepts will not alleviate the human suffering that is happening now. Open your hearts to compassion in meditation, prayer, metta practice, tonglen, or the practice of your choice for the pain and suffering and a resolution to the conflict. The effects are exponential….”where two or more are gathered…..”

HH: It is a hard thing to swallow: Love you enemy as yourself. Your Self is an enemy of yourself and with God, but it can be transcended and integrated if we volitionally forgive. If…

BF: This may seem insane, but I think our world, as a collective, is really trying more than ever to integrate all it’s parts. It’s a struggle and some parts that stand in the way have to die/transform. I thought what happened with Hitler and the Jewish persecution had taught us all something about ourselves, but genocide continues. Maybe we’re only one rung up on the spiral – Like for me personally… after all the personal work I’ve done inside myself in regard to my family of origin, then here comes those family shit dreams again. Oh, no! Over-running toilets, and crap everywhere! If I struggle in change/perspective/growth, then it would explain why the world struggles too.

DO: The archetypal basis for the conflict seems to me to be related to a radical and ancient fundamentalism, that of blood sacrifice of the child to appease Moloch. Both sides are back to killing young children in the name of ‘collateral damage’ yet I see it as a regression to this religious fundamentalism. The future (carried by the innocent youth) is being sacrificed. Both parties are enacting this drama unconsciously and by this ritual sacrifice are secretly imagining special status in the eyes of their Gods. Is it time to concentrate more on the loving kindness said to be the emanation of all the Gods rather than on the appeasement and appeal to entitlement of the One God? The blood loving dark side of the ancient deity is being given free rein in many places in the world (the bombing of MH17 for example). This vampiric extremism must be present in our own hearts too and will prevail until made conscious and met with appropriate guilt and atonement. The Israeli and the Arab live in my own heart.“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

RW: Seems clear to me – irreconcilable opposites that need to hold the differences of the Other long enough for a transcendental (not yet conscious) reconciliation/symbol to arise. Of course, with geopolitical global politics, this could be awhile – like generations.

DS: I know it may sound trite Hunter, but before we can forgive anyone else, is it not a question of forgiveness for ourselves? Haven’t we got to realise that the causes and creations of our deepest fears, and the shadows of those fears, are found in the pain and misery of the past in many instances?

We hold on to, and internalise so much of what has gone before. And to condemn that all too human predisposition is, to me to miss the opportunity to resolves and move on from it. But as you say we must choose that direction. I do think however that reaching an agreement as a group will enable the possibility of this resolution, by opening the doors of our past, and in that allowing each other the space and time to grieve and recover what was lost of our own deepest feelings.

Compassion and empathy form the bedrock of this for me. Because unless we feel we will be heard fairly and with feeling, no disclosure and therefore no resolution is possible. I also think that ironically, we then truly possess the very core, the essence of what both Islam and Judaism/Christianity and Humanism are about enabling. The fully empathic and naturally compassionate human being. But without the propensity to divide humanity into camps of the chosen and the dammed. Just the “doing the best they can”. With people who themselves have experienced the restoration of receiving warmth and empathy for their own suffering, and the “shadows” this has created. But to achieve this the old culture of me, mine ours has got to go. Maybe it is time, maybe the idea whose time has come will prove to be the strongest force we hoped it would be?

BF: Hope not that long, Richard. Heaven forbid many more generations of this insanity! …Don’t think the world will survive, if we don’t become conscious of what it is we have inside that we see as “other”.

RW: When I hear people want to quicken a process, I think of Jung and Alchemy. What is it, that will quicken the process of allowing the opposites to be held in tension and recognition of the Other long enough for some significant political transmutations to take place? The answer hasn’t yet appeared on the horizon, so some dissolve and coagulating is needed. I would recommend for those folk to check out the forms of Cultural Dreaming that have been maturing over the last decade – such as at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, or the Dream Institute of Northern California. where basically the dream work is shifted , as Aizenstat says, from two people facing one another and asking what the dream means, to two or more people both looking TO the dream and asking what it wants. In the DI culture dreaming practice, there is sharing of dreams for cultural advancement and global reconciliation with the mOther, typically, but also their techniques can be used with Geo-political situations.

DS:The problem is though Richard that the people living through this aren’t dreaming it. They are front row centre in an ongoing nightmare of literally Biblical proportions. They need rational,sensible and fully conscious solutions don’t they? The alchemy has already been tried and tested by Carl Rogers with his Person Centred approaches to conflict resolution. His successes included such intractable religious groups as the Catholic and Protestant troubles in Ireland. The approach itself validates both sides without appeasement, and requires that the real core and depth of emotional feeling be expressed and mediated towards resolution. Only in this, fully transparent and genuine emotional nakedness will have any hope of the possibility of an end to this I feel. Another example of a similar process was carried out in the former apartheid South Africa as a means of pre-emptively avoiding revenge killings there. The disclosure of the pain which people had suffered offered a conduit for built up tensions and hatreds and facilitated a transition without bloodshed.

KC: Capitalism run amuck the Military Industrial Congress.

JM: I think the Jewish community internalized a different lesson from their experiences with the Nazis that Jung doesn’t address……… When someone repeatedly says they are dedicated to your destruction, believe them……

DS: I think you are absolutely right there John.

The Great Carl Rogers – Person Centred Therapy
Here is a fantastic video where Carl explains his approach. You even get to see … See More

RW: Dave – You bring up a good point about dealing with irreconcilable opposites. It is always a double bind – one cannot find the best way to act, but one must act anyway. And ‘making the extremes conscious’ may have dire consequences. But we saw with Bosnia what happens if we don’t. Still, there is (IMHO) never an abstract solution – as I think the Gandhi story show – finding the extreme between killing all the English or doing nothing, he found passive resistance. But this same solution was not the answer to Hitler. However, I would still vote for the path of transparency, of exposure, of letting the world in on what is going on in these kinds of events.

RW: and – does the media make us conscious, or give distorted truths designed to inflame?

DS: I agree certain historical situations require the approach which is possible given the context. Hitler could not be either reasoned with or appeased as history showed. The only solution to his type of aggression was war. Ghandi ultimately gained his end to the British Raj by as you say passive resistance and none cooperation. Combined as is often forgotten by many Indian armed freedom fighters who harried the British alongside the non cooperation of Ghandi. In the Israel Palestine situation we have diametrically opposed sides, but bizarrely who share a history and religious prophets and the angelic order and a basic moral reflection of one another which is congruent. It begs the question how do two sides who share so many moral similarities find themselves in a situation where no resolution is possible?

If it was about religion and theology wouldn’t we expect to see a common frame of reference? In fact this parity does nothing to permit a possible working towards peace. I believe because rather than religion being the core of the conflict, the emotional and intrinsic qualities of individual and very usual human emotional reactions to such conflict are in play. And it is fair to assume that given this quite easy to understand chain of mutual assured destruction, that the solution may well turn out to be grounded in the very landscape we use very often within conflict resolutions which endorse and validate both sides towards the Psychosocial threat defence being ameliorated. This, after all would seem to be the core of both religious sects. A commitment to compassion and to empathy which has become ensnared within personal human intractability. Rogers showed very effectively how very often it is possible to rush past the wood whilst looking for the trees in this respect. But as you allude, this situation has become polarised into apparent opposites, but this situation is also a common one as Rogers describes in great detail within his work.

DS: I didn’t see the next part of your post Richard. The role of the media is a complicated one to say the least isn’t it? The agendas which are often very definitely weighted towards one side or the other, seem to me to be derived from a bias within, certainly mainstream U.S media and government towards Israel and her interests within the U.S. The “War on Terror” is an obvious example of a slogan rather than a term with any real meaning. A deeply amorphous term which is a little like as Gore Vidal noted is like declaring war on dandruff! Some kind of intangible positioning which seems like a short hand for continual aggression and a purely militaristic solution to complex problems. Something which undoubtedly, does nothing to mitigate the willingness of Israel to engage in the kinds of naked aggression we are seeing now. Without any international pressure or will to find a peaceful resolution.

RW: ” how do two sides who share so many moral similarities find themselves in a situation where no resolution is possible?” See USA divorce rates.

PK; There is so much complexity in that part of the world that you can not look at it as a single problem or situation. There is so much involved. Religion, culture , British colonialism, emotions, suppressed pain and many other things which go back to many centuries ago.

DS: LOL very good, and very true. The core of what I mean. Human relationships can very often go into a downward spiral into total enmity can’t they? And the types of resolution we see in such situations, apart from a shark lawyer, are about mediation which does not add petrol to the bonfire. But a skilled mediator who is fully experienced in the emotional triggers can navigate a solution, where someone else may provoke outright hostility. There is real art in this kind of mediation, and someone who is fully congruent emotionally has at least a shot at presenting a no lose sense of resolution. Where both parties reach an amicable settlement.

DS: True PK, and the very reason why all facets must be allowed and enabled in the resolution,. Anything else will merely provoke more incendiary reactions in the perceived exclusion of their emotionally charged material.

DR: We all need to cultivate the art of being both individual tree and forest so to speak. We need to empathically dissolve boundaries in collective consciousness beyond the obvious duality and then come back to individual consciousness to do the necessary inner work that is a pre-requisite for action. The problem is that many have lost themselves in overly identifying with national collective values whilst onlookers in the West have retreated to the relative safety of switching off.

DS: I think the switching off is partly due to political forces who wish to create a narrative which involves the abdication of responsibility for the social creation of Psychological breakdown and the social disintegration which goes with it. A deeply remote indifferance to suffering made policy and practice.

PK; It is better to have a coalition of real people of all sides without the involvement of any governments and UN ( which is the most useless thing in the world) to sit and talk and find a solution and execute it. Self- organized approach I would call it.

DS:I think the apathy around the several “Wars on Terror” we have seen underscores this quite vividly. As does the continuing erosion of employment rights in the U.K. Both facets of a slide into the disempowerment of the general population, and an apparent indifference, bordering on contempt for the needs and suffering of those not wealthy enough to be sheltered from the economic consequences of a predatory type of corporate business.

DR:Thich Nhat Hanh would begin by listening to and feeling with representatives of each side. Have we for gotten what empathy is?Here’s an empathy inducing video to share as i am preaching to the converted here I realise.

DS: I think this is where our collective consciousness has to find its full expression Parvin. If we call for action, and make our voices heard and demand that this appalling brutality stop, it will stop. The economic pressure which could be put on Israel would make such actions unthinkable, if we pressure our leaders to do so. But they cultivate our apathy, so it is totally up to us to overcome this designed impotence I feel.

DS: Empathy is central to healing in every way isn’t it David? It’s a sad fact that the recent nursing scandals around patient care in our hospitals showed clearly that something is very wrong at the “heart” of what we think of as care?

DR: There is an art, a real art to constructive criticism. It begins with a refined capacity for self criticism and to be capable of seeing our own part in allowing the status quo to continue as is.

PK:Empathy from the people not the rulers.

DS: Self awareness is the key to being able to realistically engage with someone at the emotional level. No prescriptions, no critisism. Enabling and emapthic, growth promoting and validating. So simple and yet so precious and easily lost.

DS: A real healer is someone who feels deeply and can communicate that care in the empathy they show. All dependent upon how accepting of our own feelings we are. The question gets a little more complex when we approach those with power. But if people enter a space of resolution for me, that judgement is not needed. Only when people abdicate that accountability for the feelings and welfare of others does that balance of reciprocity have to be defended by reason I feel. until the recognition of mutual consideration and rights is re-established.

PK: DR, I have used that approach in our small clinic and really works. I let the patients get involved in their own treatment and emphasize on building relationships within the frame of ” laws”. I have had the minimum percentage of cancellations. It is also the environment of laughter and happiness. I would dare to say.

DS: Sounds like a place I wouldn’t mind being ill David and Parvin?The atmosphere is all important isn’t it? Like any culture it can reinforce recovery or reinforce breakdown.

DR: If the world at large engaged the Middle East empathically as warriors for healing then it will have been a ‘cancer’ that we could be grateful for.

PK: One of the ancient Persian poets says: if the teachings of the teacher become the melody of love, the skeptical student will find his way back to school even on the day of feast.

PK: It is good to have a dream and work hard for it.

BF: Patriarchy hasn’t been mentioned yet, and it’s really the source, in my opinion, of most of the suffering on the planet. I will correct myself here. I think we are mentioning it, but talking all around it as the core…Judaism is one of the oldest patriarchal institutions – but the whole world is infected. Warfare, dominance, abuse will continue as long as we continue to act from this core value system.

PK: I wouldn’t say it is infected but imbalanced. We need both energies.

BF: Infected with an imbalance? LOL!

RW: Ideology and mass psychology.

KG: enantiodromia.

BF: It’s comforting to know that in the grand scheme of things it all comes back home.

RW: Enantidromia sounds too new age for me, too romanticistic. Jung was looking at a moral, reacted against Schiller on naive harmony. Mass psychology was a part of the coming evil. Also, the ideology against patriarchy,,,,, not going to the problem of mass. Feminism is just another mass thinkingvv

DL: BFI agree with you about the root of the problem. ( “It doesn’t matter how you want to change things. Unfortunately for you, we don’t want them changed.”) Unfortunately, most people who are born into a culture defined by patriarchy are in the position of the fish being told about water.

RW: Patriarchy has become a much overblown diversion and feminism has certainly created a number of new social ills

RW: Zionism would of interest to Jung as a one sided ideology that binds people, including its Christian Zionist variants.

DR: Fundamentalism of all kinds is a perversion of the fundaments of enlightened ontology which is inclusive, inclusive of the essence of all living things. We are both One and a Multiplicity, tree and forest. This is no new age concept, it is as ancient as the sun. Just as a narcissist is centred in himself rather than the Self, a Zionist has ideals that just need to be extended to include us all. Anti-Semitism then becomes as meaningless a term as Anti-Breathism. Jerusalem is a pre-existing Void Hotel which we are all already inhabiting. We just need to stop tearing it apart and learn to get along.

Dl: Patriarchy is a diversion and matriarchy is a problem? I don’t think so. I think it’s like any energy field, the polarities are equally important and have to serve the field, not be served by it. If the male polarity begins to think it’s the big enchilada and stands on the feminine to appear taller, it isn’t serving anything except itself. That’s what patriarchy is doing. It’s not the true masculine. It’s what Woodman refers to as poisonous pedagogy.

VQ: Many are seeing issues in black and white, without entering the rubedo.

RW: Feminism as another modern ism is of no real help. It comes out of enlightenment universalism, is initially hatched by men. Feminine and masculine symmetry in symbolic comprehension is something different. I really can’t see any significant connection of feminism to the ME conflict.

DL: All I know for sure is that love and respect for other people’s bodies would preclude blowing them to bits.

DL: RW I didn’t know feminism was hatched by men. But there are so many things I don’t know I have no idea of the magnitude of my ignorance. How did feminism come from enlightenment universalism? I guess I can google it, eh?

RW: Equality and freedom are basic tenants in enlightenment philosophy. Virtually all enlightenment philosophers were European men. They naturalized these values, “as self evident…God created”. Modern feminism is an application of this philosophy

BF: We’ve all experienced the negative side of masculinity and even men have been suffering from patriarchy’s failure. These ideas of aggression, brute force, etc…have practically ruined this planet. Time to consider another way. Call it what you will. I never called it “feminism” – Yet, feminism may provide the balance we need.

DR:Many women have an inner patriarch of which they are unaware on a par with any man. It is not a gender issue.

DZ: Hopefully the two opposites will find a new third through the Transcendent Funct

RW: I find it highly utopian and naive to make “patriarchy” the root cause for social ills. Another circular spin in ideology. Jung was very concerned about mass, thinking/feeling/imagining. Feminism and its vision is part of modern mass consciousness. It seems a part of the problem that would lead people to bizarre social Darwinians, as in Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Africans…in effect any traditional society is undeveloped, unevolved, unenlightened or for Jungians unconscious.

DS: Defining the intrinsic experience of human life and writing it them a book to be internalised dogmatically, without having the emotional empathy to know that the words must be underpinned by the actual feelings with which they correspond is the problem I feel.

You can call it “Patriarchy” you could equally call itself serving power. But the underlying emotional lack of contact between people is the same. Fathers are not the only ones who practice such self serving ways of being. Mother’s have also utilised many devices of emotional manipulation and control. In the end, and I use this quote with some hesitancy: “The truth will set you free”. Should amount to individuation. The liberation of the individual from the external controls which prevent that growth, would be a better way of framing the problem I feel. Not making the mistake of, ironically labouring the “Shadows” role in such conflict, only to replace that with a scapegoat Father figure. Restoring compassion as the benchmark of human relationship and religious beleif, may also facilitate the end to a cycle of blame? And also ask ourselv’s why it is that Isreal receives more funding and aid than do most if not all developing nations who survive in abject poverty, and in many cases are not “surviving at all”. We have allowed the notion that one life is more important than another life for far too long I beleive.

Maybe it is time for making to own our own “crap”, all of us. And that process begins in the micro scale between individuals. So a little “truth” between peoples of equal standing, and in that equal responsibility might well have a chance of setting us free from the kinds of endless cycles of blame and counter blame so endemic in the Middle East? But masters and servants deciding the truth, is a bit like a Lion, a wolf and Lamb deciding who is going to be for lunch I feel. Some restoration of equity in relationship must I believe underpin the process. Otherwise the powerful will simply reconstruct the same self serving power structures, and the whole mess begin again.

CB: If you want to go Jungian, I feel there are many areas in the mid-east where the feminine has been too suppressed…it is out of balance. The masculine without the balance of the feminine.

RW: Equal is in itself another ideology. How is anyone equal to another? I would hate to see Jung turned into another mass, media driven, colonial enterprise.

CB: And I am not talking about ‘feminism’, I am talking about true femininity.

RW: CB I have to tell you there are a lot of traditional living women in Africa and the ME that think western women lost their “power”. Yes many want your money, but they don’t want your culture

CB:I can understand that RW think we have lost it here too. Not me…I hold on to mine but it was a struggle in my culture here .

DS: We should be respected as people, first before gender becomes a factor shouldn’t we?. And if there has been, and there has, mistreatment of one gender or the other a mutual and healing examination and acceptance of that pain, in a spirit of reconciliation. But not allow that reconcilliation to turn into a conduit for revenge and begin the process of persecution anew surely?

DS: Equity is power.

CB: I’m speaking very metaphorically, the anima and the animus which according to Jung we all have within us…countries have it too…not personally. Maybe I am not making sense? (See that question I just asked, not making sense? that’s the feminine…soft, yielding)

DS: Jung aside CB we are 50% Matrilineal D.N.A, and 50%Patrinlinial D.N.A. We are the combination of both interacting and finding balance. It is intrinsic to our very Biology. The working out of this balance of traits and states at the level of the Psychological takes many forms, and can be seen in many ways. I’m a big believer in “Occam’s” razor here. And the polarity between Male and Female elements or aspects, is about balancing emotional experience with the rational explanations we internalise of that experience and find to be true. One should not negate the other. The two are complimentary, when ideology doesn’t contaminate the balance.

CB: I can agree with that DW. Now I have to look up Occam’s razor

RW: The problem is how Jung could be turned into ideology, which I see in feminist jargo. Yes feminine IS different than feminism. Quite a difference.

DS: Sorry CB the recognition in Science that often what is descriptive comes down to quite common sense perceptions.

CB: I looked it up DS. Thank you both, I found this to be a very interesting conversation to start my day with. I appreciate the thread.

BS: Occam’s Razor – let your neighbors live in peace and get on with your own lives.

BF: Well people really get tripped up on the words masculine and feminine don’t they? When all I meant was these two in principle only, not gender. Yes we all have both! – Even if women get an even shot at running things (position and power) the world will not change if they continue on course, behaving as men have done before them. Women have been conditioned too. Maybe we need new words to describe the changes we all want, instead of Matriarchy/Patriarchy, feminine/masculine… What would bring healing is a peaceful, non-agressive, inclusive, let’s sit in a circle kind of way. Let’s listen to each other, rather than dictate the terms.

Resolving conflict by walking together: William Ury’s pathway to peace in the Middle East.
Negotiation and conflict resolution expert William Ury says: “When you are angry… See More

DS:Equity, Courtesy, Compassion all “a lived presence” Carl Rogers 101!

CB: I don’t get tripped up on the words, I am looking at it very objectively but a lot of people do get tripped on the words. The reality is there are groups that are just not at the point of wanting to sit in a circle…and that is a lack of the anima. That’s my opinion…and it shows up micro and macro in the culture.

DR: They may not sit in a circle but they could be convinced to do the Abrahamic walk if it makes economic sense to do so which it does. Take 18 minutes to hear William Ury on the 18th camel story posted above.

DS: The problem is I suppose though CB that words are all we have to communicate about such a complex situations aren’t they? I agree that the absence of empathic feeling is a large part of the problem. But as you say these two sides are totally unwilling to even contemplate the possibility as things stand. To get them to a point where they may consider a dialogue, the words must speak eloquently of things such as empathy, and compassion. And they must be underpinned by the presence of those emotions also. Anything but honest, genuine and reciprocal discussion will just enflame the state further I feel. Which leads us to how we may draw together the things which unite us at the level of our core values and beliefs. David has posted a TED talk which makes some really valid observations about how this might be achieved. If you haven’t seen it, it is well worth a view.

TC: Shadow Projections on both sides!

DS: Definite DR. As William Ury says, we as a larger “family” must convey not only our rejection of this violence, but a degree of understanding which enables the restoration of peace by making room for every side to feel heard. We will enable those values by showing that we ourselve’s embody them I feel.

CB: I will listen and look into it, but yes…words are symbols of symbols so it becomes challenging to communicate about such a deep issue but basically…I feel the mother and the sister have been repressed in those countries especially but here too where we have a lot of men in skirts or the pressure to be a man in skirt and you lose the temperance of the ‘feminine’ the wisdom of the crone etc.


DS:I agree, the true power of the Feminine in the nurturing as well as the power of perhaps the huntress Diana is a great loss of self reverance for a Woman I would speculate? Different but equal is a description I prefer. We embody a different polarity, …See More

LC: A new dream is needed. Pray for Peace. Reason has been abandoned to his/ story.


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One Response to Question: “How do I apply Jungian concepts to the Mideast Conflict?”

  1. I have not read all of these posts, but will very soon … and do not subscribe to television … but with my little understanding from information gathered from the internet I feel I can add some insights from Robert Johnson’s book: ‘WE’ … which was very disturbing to me when I initially read his book; and this is out of context … “In the evolution of consciousness, our greatest problem is always our richest opportunity. Zen teaches us that inner growth always involves an experience of a “red-hot coal stuck in the throat.” In our development we always come to a problem, an obstacle. that goes so deep that we “can’t swallow it and can’t cough it up.” … After many years of living in the rich world of the psyche and learning its laws, Carl Jung saw a vast evolutional Power at work in the psychic universe. He saw that the human psyche strives always to toward wholeness, strice to complete itself and become more conscious. The unconscious mind seeks tomoce its contents up to the level of consciousness, where they can be actualized and assimilated into a more complete conscious personality. Each person’s psyche has an inborn evolutionary urge to grow, to integratethe contents of the unconscious, to bring together all the missing parts of the total individual into a complete, whole, and conscious self.” …” This little ego-mind, surrounded by the vastness of the unconscious, has a high and noble task, a special destiny to live out. Its role in this evolution is to integrate more and more of the unconscious until the conscious mind truly reflect the wholeness of the self.” “All human kind is in the grip of the huge evolutionary Power. when he collective unconscious begins a new stage in this process, it tolerates no obstacle. In order to force a new ideal or possibility into the conscious psyche of a people, it will turn a society upside down, launch crusades, beget new religions, or shake empires down into rubble.
    This vision of psychic evolution is crucial for us, both for understanding our myth and for seeing…a true perspective. The appearance of romantic love in the West began a momentous chapter in this cosmic drama of evolution. Romantic love is the mask behind which a powerful array of new possibilities hides waiting tobe integrated into consciousness. But what has begun as a huge surge of psychic energy must be perfected at the individual level. It is always the role of individuals to complete the task, to bring the divine process to fruition with in the microcosm of our own souls. It is up to us, as individuals to take this raw unconscious energy of romantic love, this confusing array of impulses and possibilities, to transform it into awareness and relatedness. Every great myth is the symbolic record of such a stage of growth in the life of a people.” The rampant desire of the ego driven patriarchal clergy to control their women in this dismal warring in the Middle East has not room for romanticism. It is forbidden to listen to music or dance or enjoy any form of romanticism in the fascism state of any patriarchal religion; to enjoy the body and the desire nature is considered an act of disobedience to the projected idea of a monotheistic godhead. The egoic focus on power and control is currently at an extreme manifestation in this Kali Yuga of the polarization of matter vs Spirit. The more light that enters our consciousness the wider the pendulum swing to darkness. How it is acted out in the Middle East or Africa or what ever geographical point on this planet is painful to witness, as most, many of us have participated in past lives these dramas, and now choose not to by simple exhaustion asactive members of needless suffering witnessed, and full participation leading to being imprinted in our cellular memory. We can practice being present and allow our judgments to soften and hold the ‘light’. The Islamic culture holds much beauty and compassion, but the fascist mind set that is rampant here and abroad is highly volitile, wherever and when ever it manifests. Hold your space and remember tohave faith and listen to your Self. To simply witness your emotions and practice being present will assist us as individuals and our interrelated interdependent relationship with one another and our world to embrace life more fully and authentically.

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