Aging Strong: Fully Engaged – The Key to Being Fully Alive

“When death finds you, be sure she finds you fully alive.” This saying from an old African folktale has stuck with me for many years. One of the first steps we must take in becoming fully alive is to overcome …
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Aging Strong: Ambition and Awareness Come Together

One of the biggest surprises in my life is to find myself as ambitious as I have ever been while I am approaching my eighth decade. I credit Jung’s individuation process for this reality and for helping me uncover the …
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Captives of Normalcy (Part 4)

Erich Fromm believed that character determined behavior. In his studies of how society affects our development, he concluded that every society shares a common character structure, meaning a common set of traits that motivate us to behave in ways that fulfill the goals and ideals of our culture. For example we are taught and conditioned to believe our self-worth depends upon our achievements, our financial value, the things we own, how productive we are, and how other people evaluate us. Fromm called this collection of traits our social character. Society from its largest institutional units down to its smallest, the family, endeavors to teach us these traits.

Awakening to Our Stories: Captives of Normalcy (Part 2)

To understand what Jung meant by a religious attitude and our emotional problems, we need to become familiar with what he calls the individuation process. While each of us grows and ages physically, whether we like it or not, the same fact isn’t true about our psychological growth. The individuation process recognizes that after we have grown to a certain point psychologically, we have to make an effort; we have to pursue self-knowledge, to mature as people and live in a satisfying manner in our relationships and culture.

Sacred Selfishness: Self-Loving vs. Self-Serving (Part 3)

Have you ever thought about how strongly we have been indoctrinated into the idea: “Don’t be selfish?” When I think back about the southern culture I was raised in, I remember very clearly being told, “Don’t be selfish,” again and …
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Individuation, The Promise in Jung’s Legacy and Why Our Culture Has Trouble Accepting It

In June 2011 I was invited to give the C.G. Jung Memorial Lecture, sponsored by the Jung Society of Washington D.C. and presented at the Embassy of Switzerland. The title of the lecture was “Individuation, The Promise in Jung’s Legacy …
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