C.G. Jung Society, Seattle

Mark Troedson, Ph.D.

Take Shelter: Imagining the End of Time

Conforti photoPeople think themselves magicians who can conjure the psyche hither and thither and fashion it to suit their moods. They deny what strikes them as inconvenient, sublimate anything nasty, explain away their phobias, correct their faults, and feel in the end that they have arranged everything beautifully. In the meantime they have forgotten the essential point, which is that only the tiniest fraction of the psyche is identical with the conscious mind and its box of magic tricks, while for much the greater part it is sheer unconscious fact, hard and immitigable as granite, immovable, inaccessible, yet ready at any time to come crashing down upon us at the behest of unseen powers. The gigantic catastrophes that threaten us today are not elemental happenings of a physical or biological order, but psychic events. To a quite terrifying degree we are threatened by wars and revolutions which are nothing other than psychic epidemics. At any moment several millions of human beings may be smitten with a new madness, and then we shall have another world war or devastating revolution. Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche. This is the World Power that vastly exceeds all other powers on earth. The Age of Enlightenment, which stripped nature and human institutions of gods, overlooked the God of Terror who dwells in the human soul. If anywhere, fear of God is justified in face of the overwhelming supremacy of the psychic."
-- C. G. Jung, Development of Personality, para. 302.

Images of the end of the world have been showing up recently in the collective psyche, from television commercials to numerous films, novels, and multicultural religious eschatologies. Anxiety in the face of annihilation has also been common in dreams and experienced in the daily lives of people who have lost their financial, physical, emotional, and spiritual sense of security. How can analytic psychology help us live under the threat of Armageddon as seen through all of the different images that have arisen from the mutual projective process between the individual and collective dimensions of psyche?

We will work with apocalyptic themes imagined in films such as Lars von Trier's Melancholia and Andrei Tarkovsky's Sacrifice, as well as the recent films Children of Men and Take Shelter. In the final part of our analytic work, we will work closely with the final act of Goethe's Faust, Part II to make sense of Faust's role in murdering the examplars of hospitality, Philemon and Baucis. Jung carved the inscription, "Philemon's Sanctuary, Faust's Atonement," in his Bollingen Tower, and I will articulate a new apocalypse or revelation on these end times by meditating on how living in violation of the archetype of hospitality is threatening what it means to be human in the encounter with the stranger without and within.

Lecture: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, 7 to 9 p.m.
Good Shepherd Center, Room 202, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., Seattle
$15 members, $25 nonmembers

We will consider various visions of the end of the world framed by Jung's reflections on apocalypse and eschatology in the Red Book and other works, including words carved on the threshold of his dwelling at Bollingen honoring Philemon's hospitality and atoning for Faust's arrogance.

Workshop: Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Good Shepherd Center, Room 202, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., Seattle
$50 members and $70 nonmembers

We will develop a depth psychological analysis in more depth on contemporary visions of the end of the world in the films and music of Kurosawa, Dylan, Mahler, Wagner, Tarkovsky, Coppola, among others. We will have the opportunity to work analytically with dreams and visions of apocalypse and eschatology, welcoming any dreams or visions shared by workshop participants.

Both the evening and day presentations will welcome interaction and will include many film, music, and poetic images of the themes.

Learning Objectives

1.Participants will learn about a depth psychological approach to understanding the meaning of the current fascination with images of the end of the world and fears of personal, social or natural catastrophes.
2. Participants will learn how the various cultural traditions of hospitality can create a healing therapeutic frame for managing catastrophic anxiety.
3. Participants will learn how to use Jungian depth psychological concepts and practices to manage effects of vicarious trauma in witnessing images of terror, destruction, and annihilation.

Dr. Troedson is a Control Stage Candidate in the Analyst Training Program at the C. G. Jung Institute, Los Angeles. He is an Affiliate Faculty for the MA in Psychology Program and the Specialization in Spirituality and Depth Psychology at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Dr. Troedson is the Program Manager and Clinical Supervisor for a school-based intensive outpatient program in Los Angeles. He earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, is a licensed MFT, and earned degrees in Philosophy from Reed College and University of California, Irvine.

This program has been approved for CEUs by the Washington Chapter National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Provider number is #1975-157. The cost to receive a certificate is as follows: Total of 7 units for lecture and workshop. Details TBD.

C.G. Jung Society, Seattle home page

Updated: 5 September, 2012