The Psyche, Politics, and the West in an Era of Turmoil and Disorder

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Six Blind Jungian Monks Tackle  Questions of The Psyche, Politics and Culture of the Western World in the Era of Brexit, Trump, Immigration and other turbulent social/political events.

The Western world is besieged by rapid and frightening economic and social changes that are leaving many of its citizens feeling overwhelmed, confused and left behind.  In addition, the influx of immigrants from other parts of the world (from Syria and other countries of  the Middle East to Europe and from Mexico and other countries of Central America to the United States) raises vulnerabilities about basic safety, economic threat, and the clash of cultures.  In both America and Europe, these forces are deeply unsettling to those least able to adapt to change and most threatened by the loss of the world as they have known it.  Brexit in England and Trump in America are political examples of how disruptive these forces can be to the status quo.  For example, “Make America Great Again” is a perfect slogan to mobilize the yearnings and fears of many in America. This webinar will offer a  wide ranging discussion of our contemporary psyche (s) and the political/social/cultural/economic/ shifts that are profoundly disruptive to all citizens.  With the American Presidential election about to take place, this is a perfect time to both dive into what is happening right now and to step back and reflect on its cause as well as on its destructive and perhaps less visible, its creative potentials.

Many questions emerge in such turbulent times and the panel includes representatives from the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland and Germany. some of the questions that will be explored in this wide ranging discussion include:

  • What is happening in the psyche (s) of the Western World?
  • ‘How does the US Presidential Election look from the perspective of the UK vote in favour of Brexit?’
  • What is the difference between healthy and unhealthy narcissism in world leader?
  • Are there limits to inclusiveness with regard to both personal and group identities within any
    given nation?
  • What does it mean for America and the world that such a revelation of shadow has been generated by this election campaign? Can this be useful for our country’s and the human world’s further individuation?
  • Does the Donald Trump phenomenon represent an American cultural complex (s)?
  • To what extent are the political conflicts embodied in Trump and Clinton manifestations of underlying cultural complexes in the group psyche with their own long histories of conflict around issues of race, gender, ethnicity, social and economic class?
  • How has the immigration of Muslim peoples into Europe effected the psyches of different European populations?
  • With regard to gender, how are the figures of Trump and Hillary Clinton paired and polarized in terms of our notions about masculinity and femininity?


Warren Colman is a Jungian analyst in London, UK. He is Consultant Editor of the Journal of Analytical Psychology and the author of a recently published book on The Emergence of Symbolic Imagination in which he explores the role of culture as the medium for symbolic thought and suggests that symbols create the realities they represent. Through this work he has become interested in how social and economic changes impact on the symbolic life of a culture. The advent of Brexit and the potential election of Donald Trump as US President are illustrative of the dangers that arise when a yawning gap arises between a culture’s dominant ideology and the lived experience of large sections of its population. Warren Colman is particularly interested in the disappearance of truth as an arbiter of political decision making and the emotional background to increasing fears about immigration.

Betty Sue Flowers, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus and former director of the Johnson Presidential Library. She has moderated executive seminars at the Aspen Institute, consulted for NASA, CIA, and the US Navy. Her publications include four television tie-in books in collaboration with Bill Moyers, among them, the best-selling Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. In addition to two collections of poetry, her books include Browning and the Modern Tradition; Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future; and, as editor, Christina Rossetti: The Complete Poems in the Penguin English Poets series.

Dr. Joerg Rasche is the co-editor of the recently published Europes’ Many Souls: Exploring Cultural Complexes and Identities. He is Jungian analyst following his training in Berlin and Zurich where he studied sandplay therapy with Dora Kalff. Dr. Rasche is a child psychiatrist,working in private practice in Berlin. He served for many years as president of the German Jungian Association (DGAP) and was vice-president of IAAP.Currently he is president of the German Association for Sandplay Therapy (DGST). Also a trained musician, he has published many papers and some books on mythology, music, sandplay therapy, and analytical psychology,Dr. Rasche has taught in Central European countries for many years and is a training analyst for IAAP. Dr. Rasche was honored for his work on reconciliation between the Polish and German people by the Polish President who presented him with the Golden Cross of Merit. He gives concerts and lectures around the world.

Thomas Singer, M.D. is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst who has co-edited several books on cultural complexes in various parts of the world, including North America, Australia, Latin American and is currently preparing a volume on Asian Cultural Complexes. In this series, he recently co-edited Europe’s Many Souls with Joerg Rasche.He has explored the relationship between cultural complexes and politics in several conferences during Presidential Election years at the San Francisco Jung Institute. Other interests include his work on Ancient Greece/Modern Psyche that has grown out of conferences in Santorini, Greece. In addition, Dr. Singer currently serves as President of National ARAS, the Archives for Research into Archetypal Symbolism.

Murray Stein, Ph.D. is a past president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP) and also of The International School of Analytical Psychology in Zurich (ISAPZurich). He is the author of (among others) Jung’s Map of the Soul, Minding the Self, and Soul – Retrieval and Treatment as well of numerous articles on analytical psychology and Jungian psychoanalysis. He lives in Switzerland and is a Training and Supervising Analyst with ISAPZurich.

Steven Buser, M.D.  trained in medicine at Duke University and served 12 years as a physician in the US Air Force.  He is a graduate of a two-year Clinical Training Program at the CG Jung Institute of Chicago and is the co-founder of the Asheville Jung Center.  In addition to a busy psychiatric private practice, he serves as Publisher of Chiron Publications

This webinar adds onto the discussion from the recent book by Chiron Publications titled A Clear and Present Danger: Narcissism in the Era of Donald Trump. Authors Steve Buser and Thomas Singer continue the discussion of the issues raised in the book.  


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