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Edith Sullwold Memorial Lecture
The Childhood of the Biblical God:
The Underpinnings of the Yahweh Complex in Human Behavior
October 5 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pmPrepaid Cost: $45 – $60
Presented by Michael Gellert, M.A., L.C.S.W.
The degree of character flexibility, the ability to open oneself to the outside world or to close oneself to it, depending on the situation, constitutes the difference between a reality-oriented and a neurotic character structure. – Wilhelm Reich
This presentation will focus on the profound disappointments and suffering that the biblical God encountered on his evolution toward greater consciousness. We will explore how these contributed toward his PTSD and other clinical and existential afflictions as illustrated in the Hebrew Bible. We will also discuss what it means historically and for us today that the God of Western and Islamic civilization suffered from these conditions. Special attention will be given to what Jung, among others, has called the “Yahweh complex,” a cluster of clinical features including narcissistic grandiosity and self-centeredness, fits of rage, and empathic failure. Our approach to God will be as a figure of the religious imagination rather than as a representation of an objective Godhead.
- Describe how the story of the Abrahamic God mirrors the evolution of our human experience of God from a personal and symbolic perspective.
- Describe from a historical and cultural perspective the idea that the God of Western and Islamic civilization suffered psychologically from PTSD.
- Describe what is meant by a Yahweh complex, and give examples of how this would manifest in clinical practice.
The Divine Mind
By Micheal Gellert
Michael Gellert, M.A., L.C.S.W. is a Jungian analyst practicing in Los Angeles and Pasadena, California and former Director of Training of the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles. He is the author of Modern Mysticism, The Way of the Small, The Divine Mind, and America’s Identity Crisis, the latter two of which each won a Nautilus Book Award. His website is www.michaelgellert.com.