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[Podcast] Speaking of Jung - Episode 42: Jung's Map of the Soul




Speaking of Jung is a monthly podcast hosted by Laura London. In each episode, she invites a Jungian analyst to have a discussion about the life and works of psychoanalyst Carl Jung. For episode 42, she talks with Dr. Murray Stein, author of Jung's Map of the Soul: An Introduction, which is one of the inspirations of BTS' upcoming album.

In this episode, they discuss some general Jungian concepts, how they relate to RM's speech at the UN General Assembly, and answer some twitter questions from ARMYs. The full episode is over an hour long, here is a summary of what was discussed:

  • "Persona" is a Latin word that references masks worn in theatre. Jung uses the word persona to talk about imitation, specifically social imitation and how we present ourselves in social situations e.g. husband, father, etc.

  • People can have multiple personas and your mannerisms and voice change depending on who the person is talking to. Personas have conscious and unconsious parts.

  • Names are central to human identity. It's given to you by someone else, but if someone calls your name, you respond and people are attached to their names.

  • Stein describes a "persona trap" where someone becomes identified with the role that they play and lose freedom of movement because they're so invested in a certain set of behaviours, mannerisms, social identity, etc. Stein says the optimal stage is to be able to play a persona consciously without losing one's self in it and without identifying with it.

  • Stein was impressed with RM's UN speech because there was a clear distinction between who he was as a small boy growing up in a village outside of Seoul vs. who he is publicly as an entertainer.

  • Stein cautions that if RM were to identify completely as an entertainer role, he would lose contact with himself as a boy and become ungrounded. Once you lose contact with the self, you become vulnerable to what other people say and think about you. A person in the public domain depends on the public's admiration and approval, lifting you to a pedestal. And if you lose that admiration, you become empty and have to go on a quest to the self, to find the link to the core of yourself. Core of self is best discovered through retracing your history to look at your childhood and family and the archetypical sense of self that underlies everything.

  • An ARMY asked Stein how he became aware of BTS' interest in Jung and Stein's book. One of Stein's Japanese students in Zurich told him that Jung's Map of the Soul: An Introduction was a recommended book on Bighit's website, he looked it up and found that his book was there along with Hermann Hesse's Damian and Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving. A week ago, he was told that BTS' new album was going to be titled Map of the Soul: Persona. He's thrilled that Jung's vision is being made available to an audience who might not have heard of Jung otherwise. Stein says Jung's vision gives importance to the individual to take responsibility for their own life and the world around them.

  • Another ARMY asks if the end game is to embrace the "shadow"? The "shadow" is the unconscious narcisism, selfishness, envy, etc., parts of ourselves that we to get rid of. Stein says that there isn't an end game, the shadow is always with us, we shouldn't identify with it, but we should be made conscious of it. The process of transformation is to work on becoming aware of the shadow. When one isn't aware of the shadow, it could lead to mistakes that harm other people i.e. I thought I was helping this person, but I was actually helping myself. Once you recognize your shadow and mistake, the person can apologize, acknowledge what they said, and make amends. Stein talks about the Judiaism concept of "Tikkun olam" (repairing the world), the step after making amends is to change your attitude from being solely self-interest and self-responsibility to helping take care of the world around you (e.g. ecologically, politically, socially, etc) to the best of your abilities.

  • One ARMY asks about the relationship between dreams and persona. Stein responds that clothes play an imporatant role in dreams. What you wear or don't wear in dreams reveals what you're feeling. He's observed a patient where the patient had a dream they were naked in public, and through a series of dreams, the person becomes more comfortable in being naked in public and that's seen as a sign to "individuation", which is more self-acceptance and loving oneself as you are.

  • Stein notes that BTS' music is about loving one's self and self-acceptance and thinks it's important because a lot of young people feel shame and that they're not good enough, especially in the social media age, which can lead to mental health issues like suicide and self-harm. Thinks the effort to love one's self and not adjust to persona expectations is an important message.

  • Stein says that self-acceptance starts with others loving you e.g. a mother's bond or if you don't have that, sometimes people look elsewhere for it. Being able to love yourself is the stage that a person would want to reach.

  • Stein says that he likes how RM said that he's working on loving himself in his UN speech because he's still young, so Stein doesn't expect him to reach that stage yet, to love one's self is something that has to be worked on everyday.

  • An ARMY asked to define "soul". Stein responds that he used the word "soul" in his book title because the word has emotional resonance. Soul is used to refer to something sacred in the person, he wants to convey that the psyche and self are precious and not to be abused. Psychotherapists have to be careful with how they deal with other people's histories, lives, inner worlds, etc.

  • Stein defines "projection" as to "place an unconscious part of yourself onto someone else and relate to them as if that's who they were." Projecting the shadow onto someone else, you can see them as a demonic character, it comes from your own unconscious psyche. Stein says that it's a normal part of the unconscious and "active imagination" is to take the images that are projected outward and to engage in a dialogue and work with them to integrate them into the self. Envy is a part of the shadow, when we're not aware of it, it can lead to attacks on other people, so it's important to not accept other people's projections because it has more to do with the other person than you.

  • An ARMY asks about the connection between Jung's paintings in the Red Book and symbolism in BTS' MVs and stage performances. Stein hasn't studied BTS' MVs or stage performances, but speculated that the music and text would be intimately related to the symbols projected and thinks it would be interesting dissertation for someone to write. He might be able to break down the album lyrics and MV once it comes out.



Source: Speaking of Jung website, @jungianLaura
Tags: books / authors, bts
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