To Analysts and Candidates of the C.G. Jung Institute, Los Angeles – 5/17/2019
The history of Jungian Psychology includes at the very least some insensitivity to the experience of anti Semitism. Currently many places in the world are dealing with a resurgence of behavior that mirrors what led to the horror of millions of people exterminated because of their cultural, racial, and genetic condition. Our collective shadow and our implicit as well as explicit involvement in such terror constantly requires our attention. I know of no other psychological orientation and understanding that is as focused as the Jungian community is about the dark and dangerous contents of the human psyche.
Indeed for some of us this shadow is vital to our analytic framework, often it serves as a bridge to the deepest and most profound encounters we have with the unconscious. In my view we are obliged to share our understanding of how treacherous it can be to project this shadow out into the world and on to people who are in the position to be its victims.
One of the places in our world that once again seems to be engaged in this sort of projection at an increasingly alarming scale is Austria. It would not be accurate to conclude that Austria is predominantly composed of people who might subject the world to aggression as the result of projected shadow; but, it would also not be accurate to claim that there is only a limited threat of such terror in Austria. There are sufficient facts available from a variety of sources to support the claim that there is more than a casual basis for fear.
Many of us in the Jungian community are planning to attend the IAAP conference in Austria this Summer. I am sufficiently worried and upset about anti Semitic, anti Muslim, anti African, and anti humane attitudes and behaviors to write to you, my colleagues. I urge you to be cautious, to be alert, and observant, if you feel you must attend this conference. It is painful for me to say this because I very much enjoy these international conferences and I have attended many of them over the years and hope to attend a few more but it is important to be vigilant and to support those who are engaged in fighting to contain this ugly shadow.
Anson J. Levine, Ph.D