Jung, The Maya, and the End of the World



December 21, 2012 was prophesied by some as  the end of the world.  Many prepared themselves for a suspected doomsday, but awoke on December 22 still alive and without any clear world catastrophe.  Curiously, human’s have been predicting the world’s end for centuries.  Something keeps pulling people into fearing the worse.  Some have even taken their lives to avoid the expected apocalypse.  What is it about human psychology that keeps many obsessed with the world’s end?  What did the Mayan Calendar really say about this date?  Join us in the exciting seminar looking at this phenomenon.

Nancy Furlotti has extensively studied the Maya Calendar and in her presentation will explore the meaning of the ending of the present historical cycle as conceived by the Maya mythologists. Hers is a fascinating story replete with archeological data, images of Maya culture, and ancient reflections about temporal cycles of vast proportions. Can some of the insights from Maya myth prove to be relevant to issues of our day?  Certainly the myth of the end of time strikes a deep chord in the contemporary psyche.

The emotional issues stirred up by apocalyptic scenarios are what psychological practitioners – counselors, psychotherapists, psychoanalysts – take a special interest in. What depths of the psyche are being activated in our time? The great mythic images have a psychological meaning and are part of a general transformation process going on within a global culture now in formation. Many events, both those that are humanly contrived and those that are purely natural, are caught up in the webs of meaning woven by the human imagination when it looks at the world through apocalyptic lenses. Is Mother Nature punishing human greed and pride with earthquakes, droughts, hurricanes, volcanic actions, tsunamis, etc.? Is the Last Judgment upon us for our hubris? Alternatively, is the apocalypse the beginning of something entirely new, a ‘new world order’ that will be an improvement on the old? A vast Mayan Age is about to end and another to begin, the Age of Pisces is changing into the Age of Aquarius, and the whole world is being turned upside down politically, financially, naturalistically, and culturally.

Jung was attuned intuitively to the enormous cultural shift that is underway. One of his last essays considers the wide observation of flying saucers as the harbinger of a visitation that will inaugurate a new era of human consciousness just as the appearance of a savior two thousand years ago inaugurated the Christian Aeon and the Age of Pisces. Do we stand on the precipice of such a dramatic moment in world history? Such are the thoughts that arise as we consider the theme of this timely seminar.


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.

Karin Jironet, Ph.D., is a psychologist of religion, a consultant to business executives, and a Jungian psychoanalyst. She is the author of several books and articles.

Nancy Swift Furlotti, MA, is a Jungian Analyst in private practice in the Los Angeles area. She is a past President of the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles and of the Philemon Foundation. As an active member of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and the newly forming C. G. Jung Institute of Colorado, Nancy is, also, Chair of the Film Archive Committee that oversees the Remembering Jung Video Series and the films, A Matter of Heart and The World Within, and remains a longstanding ARAS Board member.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To explain the Maya Calendar and its meaning to participants
  2. To describe the archetypal image of apocalypse
  3. To develop a critical psychological view of end of the world scenarios
  4. To discuss what depth psychology can teach us about mythic images and stories
  5. To promote and encourage further research into the archetypal images that become widely activated in popular culture and the media

Outline of Talk:

  1. An Introduction to Apocalyptic Symbols, by Murray Stein and Karin Jironet.
  2.  The Mayan Calendar, by Nancy Furlotti with Q & A
  3. Endings, Beginnings and What is In-Between, by Murray Stein and Karin Jironet
  4. Challenges and Opportunities, New Beginnings, and Conclusions, by Murray Stein and Karin Jironet
  5. Discussion and Q & A


Jironet, K. (2011) Female Leadership. Management, Jungian Psychology, Spirituality and the Global Journey Through Purgatory. Routledge: London.

Jironet, K., Stein. M., (2012) New Approaches for Leadership: A Psychospiritual Model for Leadership. In The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership, ed. Pearson, C. Berrett-Koehler: San Francisco

Jung, C.G. (1956) “Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies,” CW 10.



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