The other day, I met a guy who, like me, has a psychologist mother. His isn't a Jungian-trained therapist, though; he told me that she specializes in "child development psychology." I laughed a little to myself imagining a woman leaning over a toddler with a clipboard, checking various columns and line graphs to assess if her son was keeping up with the various mental milestones that she had studied in school.
The G20 meeting of world leaders took over Toronto a couple weekends ago, and it was pretty much impossible as a citizen of the city not to witness at least some of what became a very messy, complicated conflict enacted on the streets.
What happens when you expose yourself - whether it's something you write in a book or just something honest you say in conversation?Jung and Freud talked a lot about "projection," so much so that it's one of the more well-known concepts in psychology, even amongst non-psychology types. In short, it's the idea that the judgments you make of another person - and especially a person you have never met, have just met, or don't know well - can be overwhelmingly colored by the silent, unconscious judgements that you're making about yourself.
Last Fall, I had the opportunity to be one of the first members of the general reading public to crack open the long-awaited reproduction of Jung's Red Book.This happened while I was in New York visiting my publisher, W.W. Norton, which is also the publisher of The Red Book (and the original U.S. publisher of Freud, I always like to brag). After a meeting with my editor in her office overlooking the New York Public Library, she took me on a wander through the labyrinthine passageways of Norton headquarters to see who we might meet. As it happens, we ran into the marketing director, who excitedly informed me that she'd just received a few advance copies of The Red Book, and I could spend a few hours in a vacant office with one if I wanted. I agreed.
Ever since I was introduced to the idea of synchronicity as a kid, I identified "meaningful coincidences" in my life somewhat often. I'd see the initials of someone I had a crush on everywhere or a rare book I was looking for would appear randomly on the sidewalk.
Besides knowing a thing or two about the ideas of the famous - and infamous? - Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, being the son of Jungian-trained therapists can have other, more surprising side effects. For instance, earlier this month while on vacation in Istanbul, I discovered that all those years of my parents asking me to make "associations" to everything from a figure in a dream to the shape of a rock I came across while going over girl problems also meant that I have the makings of an excellent reader of coffee grounds.