For almost my entire adult life I have been periodically drawn to the writings of Carl Jung. But every time I engage, I find myself somewhat mystified. I usually tell myself that I should try again when I am older and wiser. It always feels like there is something there I need to know, but I’m not quite ready to grasp it.
Watching Jordan Peterson’s 2015 Maps of Meaning videos on YouTube has been, on one level, a revelation of why I’ve been drawn to Jung. Tonight as I re-watched Peterson end his long section on psychobiology, behaviorism, and dominance hierarchies, and begin his transition to narrative psychology and myth (Lecture 5 Part 1) I realize that the magnificent overarching synthesis that ensues was totally inspired and enabled by his reading and deep integration of Jung. Jung and Peterson together point the way toward the necessary and long overdue reconciliation of science and religion, the physical and the mental, and many other problematic dualities. The depth and breadth of the world-view that opens up is staggering and awe inspiring. The koan I took on as the theme of my Active Hope blog, what is the change of consciousness necessary to avert global eco-catastrophe, has led me to this particular juncture. It is unfortunately very deep and complex. But I am somehow thrown to keep on trying to unpack, clarify, and maybe even somehow embody it.
Caveat about Jordan Peterson 10/9/17 – I was very enthusiastic about him before he became a combative public figure. I watched all the way through both his 2015 courses, ‘Maps of Meaning’ and ‘Personality and It’s Transformations’. I liked the way he combined a Jungian approach to mythology with evolutionary psychology and several other disciplines. But once he got into the public arena as an opponent of political correctness, his dogmatic tone and ant-left rants which had seemed an interesting part of the mix, tainted even the parts of his presentation I had enjoyed.