Re-envisioning Carl Jung from “The Red Book”

Neuroscience

Many modern-day therapists and psychologists – particularly those who work with dreams as a means of exploring a patient’s unconscious – owe a great debt to the Swiss analyst Carl Jung. While he lived, Jung significantly broadened the scope of psychoanalysis from the model established by Sigmund Freud. Whereas Freud largely viewed the Unconscious as a repository of unsavory memories and repressed impulses, Jung believed that it was in many ways aware and responsive, and an untapped reservoir of wisdom, knowledge, and even spiritual revelation. Read More →

Epistemology: Defining the Concept of Learning

Learning

Epistemology is the study of how humans acquire knowledge.  Human learning is best defined as a relatively permanent modification of behavior that comes about as the result of experience. Read More →

Theories & Techniques of Dream Analysis

Dream Interpretation

A castle in the sky, a monster taller than any man-made structure, and public escapades in your underwear are just a few of the scenarios you could encounter in your dreams. Nobody quite knows why every night we drift off to distant lands and encounter bizarre scenarios, but in seeking to understand this great mystery researchers have contributed vast amounts of information to the area of dream interpretation. Thanks to the work of scientists and laymen alike, now anyone can take part in the rewarding experience of decoding your own dreams. Read More →

Study Finds Brain System for Emotional Self-Control

Human Brain

Different brain areas are activated when we choose to suppress an emotion, compared to when we are instructed to inhibit an emotion, according a new study from the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Ghent University. Read More →

Awake While Asleep: Lucid Dreaming

Image Credit: webneel.com

Image Credit: webneel.com

For the typical dreamer, a dream is usually a phenomenon that’s only experienced in hindsight. We may be moved to wonderment by the memory of it, but oftentimes we’ve missed out on the actual moment of participation. What’s more, we may already have begun to alter many of the details due to foggy recollection. We’re thus already experiencing a translation of our dream by the time we awaken. Read More →

Understanding Your Personality Type

Personality Types

Many schools of modern psychology have recognized four basic personality types, with various sub-groupings being comprised of mixtures of these basic traits. The main four are like the “primary colors” of the social palette. Although people can oftentimes find labels confining, an understanding of these basic personality types – and their distinctive approaches to life – may help you to understand how you see yourself and others, as well as your place in relation to the world.

The idea of personality types is not a modern concept. The ancient Greeks, for example, recognized that humanity’s approach to life and problem solving tended to fall within four key categories, and this idea may have originated even earlier. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung made an extensive study of personality types, and many of his deductions have survived into modern psychological practice.

While labels can oftentimes be restrictive – and fail to honor the uniqueness of each person – some understanding of the basic personality types can help you to interact with others and make decisions with a greater degree of self-awareness. While most of us will share in the qualities of each group to some degree, you may find yourself resonating strongly with one in particular as you read its description. You could think of this as your primary stance in life, the way in which you see yourself in relation to the world.

Choleric people are drivers and doers. This type is the prototypical extravert. People in this category tend to be driven, organized and disciplined in the pursuit of their goals. Decisiveness is the dominant fact of their nature, and they back this up with a strong will. The shadow aspect of their will can express itself as stubbornness, arrogance and lack of consideration for the perceptions and feelings of others.

Sanguine (also known as expressive) people are filled with spontaneous, creative energy. This type makes for a good entertainer as well as a fun and energetic friend. The shadow side of the sanguine can be very self-centered, caught up in its own world. This can express itself in an overall lack of organization, and the inability – or unwillingness – to reciprocate in personal relationships.

Phlegmatic (also known as amiable) people are peacekeepers. They dislike conflict and strive to promote harmony. They tend to be good listeners. Amiable people can be counted on; they consistently pull through even when the going gets tough. On the downside, they may have problems communicating or setting limits because they’re so averse to confrontation. They may avoid certain responsibilities – particularly those involving decision making – for this reason.

Analytical people are neat and organized. They live their lives according to high personal standards. Their approach to life’s various challenges is typically persistent and thorough, and it proceeds according to a well thought out plan. They are good problem solvers for this reason. On the downside, the analytical tendency towards high standards can become overly rigid and demanding. Such people can become pessimistic or easily hurt when the world doesn’t live up to their expectations. The original word for this personality type was melancholy, but this is not so often used nowadays because of people’s tendency to associate that word with despondency.     

Understanding which personality type you resonate with most strongly can help you to interpret your interactions with other people better. It helps you to perceive the various conflicts in life as less a matter of right or wrong and more a matter of people’s different values. This awareness can serve you well when making major life decisions – for example, those involving career choices or the pursuit of an intimate partnership.

Wanna find out what your personality type is? Take a free, confidential assessment here. Once you’re done, let me know if the results align with what you perceive as your personality. I’m especially interested in hearing about anything you might disagree with or results that you find surprising.

Witch Persecutions and the Perils of Shadow Projection

Image Credit: Hjoranna/Deviant Art

Image Credit: Hjoranna/Deviant Art

The history of our race is highlighted by many bright peaks and shadowy valleys. We have seen lofty heights and despairing lows. Occasionally there have been black gulfs almost too horrible to contemplate. The Holocaust in Nazi Germany is assured a permanent place on this list. Another black splotch upon the tapestry of human history is the rampant and mindless persecution of alleged witches, which cast its cruel shadow over many parts of Europe and the New World over a span of nearly three centuries (roughly 1450 to 1750). Oh, and let’s not forget 2013Read More →

The History and Basic Principles of Archetypal Psychology

Archetypal Psychology

The basic philosophy behind archetypal psychology was inspired by Carl Jung’s concept of the archetypes: Primordial symbols, appearing predominantly within our dreams, which are the common heritage of all mankind. The concept of archetypes implies that there are sources of health, healing, strength and wisdom within the psyche that are accessible to all of us. Archetypal psychology seeks to open up connections to this deeper source, believing that the true cures for a wide array of mental and emotional problems can be found there. Read More →

Beliefs and Questions About the Paranormal

Heaven

While people of different beliefs from all over the world believe in an afterlife, many of them can’t seem to agree with each other or accept views other than their own. Yet, men have talked about the supernatural since the beginning of time. Recently, authors like Bill Guggenheim, Dr. Raymond Moody, and Dr. Eben Alexander have written books that explore the existence of the consciousness after death. Read More →

The Joys that Dogs Can Bring to Our Lives

A strong and unspoken bond has existed between human beings and dogs for centuries. Even prehistoric man considered dogs to be ideal companions, a fact that is attested by numerous cave paintings and ancient remains. What is it about these animals that brings comfort to our hearts and spontaneous fun into our lives? No doubt there are many factors that contribute to our enduring relationship with them, but most of them are connected with the way that dogs, if treated with love, will reflect that love back to us unconditionally.

The bonds that we form with our canine friends can connect us to a whole world of experience that we otherwise might miss out on in our fast-paced and highly technological society. When a dog stops along a woodland path to investigate a scent or sound, then our attention is drawn there as well. Such experiences bring us in touch with the movements and rhythms of nature, which otherwise can escape our notice in our daily lives. Dogs bring a piece of the wilderness into our homes, and remind us of where we came from.

In effect, they bring nature back into our lives. Their response in the moment is immediate, complete and uninhibited – regardless of the situation. They aren’t burdened with the kind of self-consciousness and reflection that can sap so much of the energy and joy out of our lives. Spending time with dogs, we can begin to tap into that sense of spontaneity and abandon ourselves. Dogs may shy away from certain people or experiences, or react with fear or aggression, but they don’t judge. Once they make up their minds to love us, it will take quite a lot for us to fall out of favor with them.

Because they are so uninhibited, dogs can be ideal icebreakers in our social world. We may feel the impulse to approach someone and then consider a dozen reasons why we shouldn’t, but our canine friends have no such scruples. They express their interest in other people as freely as they express everything else. As a consequence of this, we may suddenly find ourselves engaging in a conversation with a nice and attractive fellow dog-walker in the park. Believe it or not, many an entangled leash has led to a first date or new friendship. Dogs not only can initiate conversation with their very presence, but also give us plenty of things to talk about with people who might otherwise remain strangers.

The connection that exists between dogs and their owners is very old, instinctive, and unconditional. It is also uncomplicated, which can be a very heartwarming thing in this oft-times confused and troubled age. Dogs are present with their feelings and needs in ways that we are oftentimes afraid to be. We can learn a lot from them in that regard, and they’re likely to be patient and forgiving teachers. The effort that they demand from us in terms of feeding, exercise, and attention they repay many times over with loyalty, affection, and sheer enthusiasm for our presence in their lives.

Our Pups: