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The Fate of America

September 20, 2002 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Friday Talk:

The events of September 11 and the war on terrorism have focused our attention on America’s future in a renewed and pressing way. Given our extroverted orientation, much of our focus is on the “other,” on the enemy outside of us. However, our domestic and internal spiritual condition is also in need of serious attention, and is inextricably linked with our foreign policy. The same psychological attitudes influence both domestic and international (inner and outer) spheres. As Jung concluded in 1930, the central, archetypal force shaping American attitudes is a powerful “Heroic Ideal” or aspiration toward greatness. Today, this heroic ideal is in a state of upheaval. We are suffering, albeit unconsciously, from a heroic-identity crisis: What does it mean to be a heroic or great people? It is imperative to our future as a nation and civilization that we begin to examine this and to understand ourselves. This talk will focus on the archetypal underpinnings of our national character and their relevance to the events of our day and the future of America.

Reference Material:

9/11/01 Commentaries from New York Jungians
Kristine Mann Library of the Analytical Psychology Club at the C. G. Jung Center of New York

September 11: articles in response
International Association for Analytical Psychology

September 11th: Piercing Our Unconscious
Jerome S. Bernstein, C. G. Jung Page

The Archetypal Dimension of the New York Terrorist Tragedies of 911
Bedi Ashok, M.D., C. G. Jung Page

Mythos and Terrorism: A Response to the Events of September 11
Barry Mills, M.D., Forensic Psychiatrist, C. G. Jung Page


Related Workshop: Wrestling With Big Dreams

Michael Gellert, M.A., L.C.S.W., is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Santa Monica, California. He holds Master’s degrees in religious studies and social work. He studied with Marshall McLuhan at the University of Toronto, and undertook Zen training with the Zen master Koun Yamada in Japan. He has worked and traveled extensively in Asia. Formerly, he was Director of Training at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, a mental health consultant to the University of Southern California and Time, and manager of an employee assistance program for District Council 37, the labor union for employees of the City of New York. He was a humanities professor at Vanier College, Montreal, and taught religious studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York and psychology at the College of New Rochelle. He is the author of Modern Mysticism: Jung, Zen and the Still Good Hand of God and The Fate of America: An Inquiry into National Character.

Purchase Workshops


September 20, 2002
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Continuing Education Credit (CEU) is NOT available for this event.


First United Methodist Church, Collins Hall
1838 SW Jefferson Street
Portland, OR 97201 United States
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