The deeper into the 21st century we get, the clearer it is that this century’s most notable characteristics – globalization, rapidly accelerating technological innovations, and confounding socioeconomic disparities –are creating some very unsettling schisms in what heretofore have simply been taken-for-granted beliefs, values and world views. In 1919, W.B. Yeats published The Second Coming, perhaps his most famous poem. The opening lines of this poem are; “Turning and turning in the widening gyre…Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…” At this point in our history, these prophetic words seem an apt
Leon Festinger, in his bookWhen Prophecy Fails, coined the term “cognitive dissonance.” He createdthis concept to explain the bizarre behavior he’d observed amongst members of a doomsday cult when their leader’send-of-the-world’ prophesyfailed to occur, and they were confronted with the fact thatsomething they’dso fervently believedwouldhappendid not. The world had notendedthe day their leader had prophesized, and this, for each member of the cult, meant that the validity and reliability of a key piece of their collective belief system had been gravely challenged.
Jung wrote The Undiscovered Self in 1958. Back then his basic notion was that the psychological work each of us has to do to grow and develop involves integrating the archetypal opposites embedded deep in our psychic makeup. Integrating archetypal opposites like love and hate, thought and action, and masculinity and femininity are the core of Jung’s transformational approach. Of particular importance is what Jung understood to be “the integration of opposites.” He called this kind of work individuation, and considered it to be every adult’s primary developmental challenge. A journey that was