The Asheville Jung Center is very pleased to announce a Fall webinar series on The Shadow and the Problem of Evil with Murray Stein, Sarah Stein, Erel Shalit, Mary Tomlinson, Henry Abramovitch and Brigitte Egger. Dr. Stein has already taken part in 3 recent webinar series including Jung and Evil, The Psychology of Fairy tales, and Jung and the World Religions. This course will consist of 6 webinars discussing several Archetypal Shadow topics including cultural evil, the symbolism of evil, ethics, and projection and the scapegoat. Participants may register for all 6 lectures for one price of $127. Participants joining anytime after the course begins can still register and catch up by watching the recorded version of prior lectures.
The problem of evil infects the individual psyche and the social order. Indeed, it is a fire sweeping across world culture and political arrangements. The reality of evil is indisputable, but there are questions about it: What is it? Where do we locate it? What can we do about it?
“The sight of evil kindles evil in the soul…. The victim is not the only sufferer; everybody in the vicinity of the crime, including the murderer, suffers with him. Something of the abysmal darkness of the world has broken in on us, poisoning the very air we breathe and befouling the water with the stale, nauseating taste of blood.”
-Jung, 1945. After the catastophe. Coll. Works. 10. p. 199
On the collective level, nations take action against perceived evil by building elaborate defense and prison systems. Enormous efforts are made to prevent evil from encroaching on a country’s territory and civil society. When evil breaks, out countries go to war, criminals are jailed, and defensive systems are aroused to their full magnitude. Similarly, when an individual is threatened by evil, psychological defenses are mobilized and actions taken. On an intrapsychic level, this is observed in dreams and fantasies. Evil is perceived as “out there” and must be defended against with laws and by force. But what of the evil within, the evil we do without conscious awareness, the evil we do to ourselves? And, can the perpetrator, inner or outer, be rehabilitated? Is there a therapy for evil?
In this seminar, we will discuss the problem of evil as both relative (a matter of perspective and judgment) and as absolute (beyond dispute, archetypal). What is the difference? This issue comes up in individuals and in society as they make decisions on peace or war.
Within individuals who are in analysis, what does the appearance of evil look like? Analysis aims to develop shadow awareness and integration. We will touch on the question of the meaning of “integration of the shadow” and ask if all parts of the shadow can be integrated. Are there limits? Must some impulses and fantasies be actively, consciously and forcefully suppressed for the sake of integrity and greater wholeness?
In society, we face criminality and the question of the criminal’s rehabilitation. We will raise the question of rehabilitation and its limits. Are all, or some, or no criminals capable of rehabilitation? What is the psychopathic mind and how does it respond to attempts at therapy and rehabilitation? If rehabilitation is a limited possibility, what does this imply for social policy and the criminal justice system? Empirical research and studies will add to the body of the seminar.
The question of ethics is paramount in this discussion. If as individuating personalities we are responsible to the self, who or what is the self responsible to? What is the basis for a moral order in the life of the individual and society? Extending this to world affairs, what about evil in the realm of world politics, warfare, and so-called defense systems? When the archetype of evil takes hold and comes into full power, is a return to sanity possible?
Seminar #1– “General considerations and introduction” – Jung and Neumann; what is “evil?”; the problem of projection and the scapegoat; the value of evil and the shadow. (Murray Stein).
Seminar #2 – “The criminal mind and criminality in society” – States of possession by evil – rebellion, envy, classism, racism, fundamentalism. (with Sarah Stein).
Seminar # 3 – “The symbolism of evil” – In religions, myths, fairytales, film, literature, dreams. (with Mary Tomlinson).
Seminar #4 –“Cultural evil – the quest for dominance” – War, empire-building, tribalisms. (with Lance Owens).
Seminar #5 – “The responsible self – A dynamic perspective” – Taking evil into account, personal and collective; the problem of ethics. (with Henry Abramovitch).
Seminar #6 – “The shadow of humanity written on the planet – Learning from ecological patterns” – Ecological issues on planet earth. (with Briggitte Egger).
Erich Neumann, Depth Psychology and the New Ethic
Murray Stein (ed.), Jung on Evil
Marie-Louise von Franz, The Shadow and Evil in Fairytales