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Robert Tyminski

ABSTRACT

Analysts have been concerned for decades about the unforeseen psychological impacts of technology. The rapid developments during the past 15 years have brought issues related to cyberspace front and center in analysis and psychotherapy. A specific question arises: what is happening to our capacity for relating openly? We now regularly see “screen time” being used 1) defensively to retreat and escape, 2) compulsively to gratify urges and impulses, and 3) addictively to quench emotional cravings. Problems with limits and recognition of separation confound the positive aspects of cyberspace. Vulnerable egos may not even realize when escapism turns into addiction. Soul can become lost in these activities, when relationships are instead transactional and technology is regarded as numinous. A case example from the author’s practice and another from the media highlight the great risks for soul in this realm of cyberspace.

Jon Mills

ABSTRACT

C. G. Jung never offered a formalized system of ethics, but his analytical psychology is teeming with ethical pronouncements. Jung’s ethical theories are introduced and explored in relation to a book written by Dan Merkur centering on the question of morality in human nature, the individuation process, and in psychotherapeutic treatment. Jung struggled to provide a dialectical account of human valuation, yet this is implied in the very process of overcoming oppositions through the negotiation and integration of differences, and in holding balances between internal and external conflicts. The psychologicalization of ethics, particularly the compensatory function of the unconscious, ensures that moral psychology is fraught with ambivalence, uncertainty, and competing dilemmas that are unique to each person, hence no formal or rational system of deontological ethics is possible.

Andrew Samuels

ABSTRACT

This paper is written in the context of a debate within the Jungian clinical and academic communities on whether or not some kind of public statement is required concerning Jung’s writings about ‘Africans’, persons of colour and indigenous people. The author eschews argument in favour of such a public statement, opting instead for a ‘forensic’ discussion of the reasons why it is not a good plan to issue such a statement. By so doing, he creates a level playing field in which the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of a public statement may attract equal attention.

John Beebe

ABSTRACT

The author, reviewing a book on Jung’s moral psychology by the psychoanalyst Dan Merkur, concludes that Jung’s idea of a divergence in aim between conscious and unconscious creates in the psyche a conflict of duties, toward the ego and its persona, on the one hand, and toward the self and its soul, on the other. An individual mind can reconcile this conflict only by ethical position-taking, which is arrived at through moral effort that fosters a growth of consciousness but is never without ambivalence and uncertainty as to the principles that have informed it. Jung’s idea that the unconscious is there to compensate for any ethical position taken by the conscious mind is echoed by contemporary psychoanalytic notions of collaboration between superego and ego in producing moral stances. Merkur is praised for recognizing Jung’s priority at countering Freud’s position that the unconscious cannot think about the ethical conflicts that are experienced by the ego.

Robert A. Segal

ABSTRACT

In Jung’s Ethics, Dan Merkur, a psychoanalyst in Toronto and the author of many books on the Inuit, psychoanalytic theory, mysticism, and drug-induced religious experience, here writes for the first time on Jungian psychology. Merkur is not abandoning Freud for Jung. A Freudian he remains. But he seeks to contrast Jung positively to Freud. Merkur draws scores of contrasts. Some of them are already known, some not. But even when the contrasts are known, Merkur illuminates them. He is especially concerned with the difference between Freud and Jung on the relationship of psychology to religion. Where Freud seeks to replace religion by psychology, Jung seeks to make psychology itself religious. Whether Jung in fact succeeds in tying psychology so tightly to religion, as Merkur contends, is considered.

Angela Connolly

Ronald Schenk

ABSTRACT

Jung's writing displays many perspectives, each of which is undergirded by a distinct set of assumptions, style of language, and sensibility of world and psyche. This paper traces some of these perspectives with an eye toward showing how the contemporary cutting edge science of complexity, in fact, is anticipated by and embodied in Jung's work, especially that which gives expression to the psyche as an aesthetic enterprise, particularly alchemy.