C. G. Jung dealt extensively with the subject of psychic energy in many of his works, importantly in Symbols of Transformation (Vol. 5 in the Collected Works) and the theoretical essay “On Psychic Energy” (in Vol. 8 of CW). Tracking the directions and symbolic expressions of psychic energy is a key feature of Jungian psychotherapy. Phenomena like depression, manic defense and states of inflation, psychic infection and mass social and political movements are but a few instances where a reflection on energy becomes critically important.
In current discussions of energy, however, the topics are mostly about oil and gas, nuclear plants, and alternative sources such as wind and sun. Since all societies today are based on the utilization of multiple types of energy that have been converted from natural elements and turned into forms that can be used by cars, planes, computers, telephones, air conditioners, and everything else that makes human existence possible in the 21st century, energy has become one of the most critical issues facing human beings in our time. Will we have enough energy to go on living as we have become accustomed to, even to survive, or will we run out of available sources of energy and face the extinction of life as we know it? Can the planet sustain the use of energy that humans require, or is the burden too great, the demand far too large, the pressure on the earth too extreme? These are burning questions that impact every corner of the world today.
In this seminar, we look at the energy issue from the psychological and the ecological points of view. At the center of this discussion is the issue of ecology.
Brigitte Egger, Ph.D. is a Jungian training analyst at ISAPZURICH with a private practice as well as an ecologist with a doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. She concentrates her research on the psychic and symbolic dimensions of collective issues and works at introducing this dimension into practical environment protection – especially concerning energy and water, further landscape, animals and market globalization – thus building up the field of psychecology.
Murray Stein, Ph.D. is a training analyst and president of the International School of Analytical Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland (ISAP Zurich). He is the author of The Principle of Individuation and many other books and articles in the field of Jungian Psychoanalysis. He is a founding member of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts. From 2001 to 2004 he was president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. He is a highly sought after international lecturer and presently makes his home in Switzerland.
To use Jungian thinking about psychic energy in psychotherapy
To analyze the issue of energy in clinical practice and ecology
To create models for estimating the impact of energy issues on individuals and societies
To describe the relationship between psychic and psychical energy in individuals and the world at large
To critique approaches to the energy issue that do not take symbolic and psychological aspects into account.
Outline of Talk:
- “Jung on psychic energy” by Murray Stein.
- “The Ecological Issue of Energy from a depth psychological perspective,” with Brigitte Egger
- “Energy as Psychological Resource, Energy as Psychical Resource.” A dialogue between Murray Stein and Brigitte Egger, with discussion.