Museo Archeologico Paolo Orsi, Siracusa, Sicily
My training as a psychoanalyst included a range of theoretical perspectives, which are a resource for my work as a therapist. But the core of my work is in the tradition of C.G. Jung (1875–1961), who pioneered a language of depth psychology that honored the vital role of the unconscious functions of mind, and translated the principles of ancient wisdom traditions, religions and mythology into modern psychological terms and methods. His work culminated in the concept of the mysterium coniunctionis, or the mysterious marriage of conscious and unconscious processes—the rational with the irrational, and the personal ego with universal, elemental patterns. This concept, born of Jung's exploration of his own inner depths, addresses the imbalance in the modern psyche, in which the individual experience is one of alienation from the fundamental roots in nature and cosmos.
Jung’s quote from 1938 remains pressingly relevant: "We are still as much possessed today by autonomous psychic contents as if they were Olympians. Today they are called phobias, obsessions, and so forth; in a word, neurotic symptoms. The gods have become diseases; Zeus no longer rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus, and produces curious specimens for the doctor's consulting room, or disorders the brains of politicians and journalists who unwittingly let loose psychic epidemics on the world." (Collected Works, Vol. 13, § 54)