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a container for the psyche in an uncertain world

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  • Friday, September 22, 2017
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • The Butler Board Room, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW Washington D.C. 20016


Registration is closed


Is the culture in crisis? Is what is happening in culture any different than before? Is the Jungian response to cultural turmoil to turn inward a truly psychological reaction? Anima mundi, the soul of the world, was considered by alchemists as the force providing vitality to all earthly life. Contemporary complexity theory holds that phenomena of the world emerge through the interaction of systems outside of human intentionality. From these standpoints, cultural issues can be seen from a larger depth psychological perspective than contemporary political dialogue allows.

This presentation lays out the concepts of soul, anima mundi or world soul, and American soul and relates them to the new science of complexity.  We then look at how the “Trump” phenomenon serves as an alchemical “emergence” from the interaction of multiple systems in the cultural soul. Our focus will be on how qualities ascribed to an individual placed into the role of leadership are reflections of various strains predominant in the cultural psyche and how this type of inquiry relativizes a sense of certainty regarding American identity.

Ronald Schenk, MSW, Ph.D., trained in Jungian Analysis with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts, where he has been a senior training analyst for many years and acted in several administrative capacities, most recently serving as President. Ron practices in Dallas and Houston, and teaches at various institutions around the country.  His interests are in clinical training, cultural psychology, and post-modernism. In addition to numerous essays on a variety of topics, most recently cities, anger, language, and complexity theory, he has published four books—The Soul of Beauty: A Psychological Investigation of Appearance; Dark Light: The Appearance of Death in Everyday Life; The Sunken Quest, The Wasted Fisher; The Pregnant Fish: Post-modern Reflections on Depth Psychology and American Soul: A Cultural Narrative.

Directions to Community Meeting venue - AUs Butler Board Room.pdf


5200 Cathedral Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016


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The Jung Society of Washington is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, a nonprofit educational institution. Our IRS form 990 is available upon request. Although many of the Jung Society's programs involve analytical psychology and allied subjects, these offerings are intended, and should be viewed, as a source of information and education, and not as therapy. The Jung Society does not offer psychoanalytical or other mental health services.
Images of mandalas throughout this site were created by Carl Jung's patients between the years 1926 and 1945.
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