My mother is a ghost now. She died the last day of 2016. She was the person nearest and dearest to me for much of my life, yet it seemed we never quite understood and accepted each other unconditionally. She haunts me as an unfulfilled spirit when I have anxious thoughts, or fearful premonitions, or self-admonition, but also in old sayings, endearing quirks, and the names of flowers and trees. And she inhabits my dreams, mostly as an unhappy child.
A typological analysis of the psychological forces constellated in Trumpism helps explain the situation in the United States today. The co-occurrence of the savior and trickster archetypes represents an awareness that a catastrophe has already happened that must be consciously integrated. A psychological—as opposed to a political—understanding of the forces at work in the collective psyche is necessary.
Viewing the remarkable coincidence of Jung’s and Polanyi’s ideas as a synchronistic event evokes the feeling of a milestone, as if there were a sudden breakthrough in the collective unconscious after a centuries-long epistemic struggle. Despite this accomplishment, the field of Jungian psychology, especially as it is understood in popular culture, has tended to fall into one-sided subjectivism.
I now better understand the odds against all of this: a male, Caucasian physician, living in the firm grasp of an ESTJ cultural weltanschauung awakens to the soul’s desperate pleading late in life. That the soul seeks to live forward something alien, foreign, and predictably destructive is now so comprehensible. Nothing heroic is here, merely a journey of survival.