The Image and Reality of the Father has been increasingly precarious in this past century. From the American and French Revolution, through the Industrial Revolution in which men were demoted to chain workers, on to the experience of the young father as veteran by way of two World Wars and the Vietnam war, and witness to the downfall of the Terrible Fathers (the dictators of the 20th century), there has been a historical and symbolic demise in the status and power of the Father. As shown in myths that celebrate him in Western Antiquity, the Father has been largely a cultural construction; recent, fragile, and relative. That historical and symbolic change reaches us through the collective unconscious. Is it surprising then that the increasing separation of fathers from their children in every corner of the Western world is occurring? We will discuss this century-old phenomenon in light of the dynamics of our collective experience, rather than as a sum of individual cases.
Three classical characters: Hector of the Iliad, Ulysses of the Odyssey, and Aeneas of the Aeneid will illustrate the ambivalence between man as Father and man as Competitive Male. A series of slides will show images of fathers in different places and times. They represent many gradations, from authoritarian to soft, and should offer opportunity for analysis and discussion.
Luigi Zoja, Ph.D. is a Training Analyst and graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich and Past President of CIPA (Centro Italiano di Psicologia Analitica). Outgoing President of IAAP (International Association of Analytic Psychology), he is current Chair of the International Ethics Committee. He has taught at the School of Psychiatry of the Faculty of Medicine, State University of Palermo, as well as the C.G.Jung Institute and abroad. He has been in clinical practice in Zurich, New York and Milan. He has published papers and books in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Lithuanian and Slovenian, including Drugs, Addiction and Initiation, and Growth and Guilt, also The Father, and The Global Nightmare. Jungian Perspectives on September 11 (ed). which are available in English.