Memories, Dreams, Reflections is conventionally taken to be Jung’s autobiography. This lecture presumes something different: Memories, Dreams, Reflections can be read as the ‘biography’ of an attitude that engages the distresses of postmodern psychological life. Jung is chronicling not only his personal development, but also how consciousness might deal with the maturity of the ego-complex, or its failure to mature. If consciousness does not confront this complex, certain pathologies appear in personal and collective life, both centered around the "presence of the absence" of the psyche’s natural religiosity. Tonight’s lecture approaches Memories, Dreams, Reflections as a manual on how to repristinate the psyche’s natural religiosity in an age of cynical postmodernism.
The Fate of Jung’s Psychic Objectivity in an Age of Contemporary Cynicism
The workshop contends that Jung is a marginal figure in psychotherapy because he distinguishes between a self constructed through social experience that he called personality #1, and a self that exists prior to and apart from socialization that he called personality #2. Because the latter is not easily influenced, it retains a capacity for psychic objectivity. Jung’s belief in psychic objectivity places him at odds with most contemporary psychotherapies, which consider the idea of psychic objectivity as illusory at best, and dangerous at worst. This workshop will passionately defend Jung’s notion of psychic objectivity, contending that only the repristination of this capacity can minister to the cynicism of the postmodern mind.
MARK KURAS, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Jungian Analyst. He is an Assistant Professor at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, as well as the clinical Director of the Acute Treatment Unit. He is a charter member of the Jungian Psychoanalytic Institute and currently serves as the Director of Training.