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November 7, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm MST

Country in Crisis

Zoom Online Panel and Public Forum: Our Country in Crisis

Each November for the past few years, the panelists – Jacqueline, Jerome, and Don – have presented their current reflections about the state of our nation, followed by a group discussion. Given the ongoing intensification of radical and rapid shifts in our nation with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and national demonstrations supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, it is once again impossible, until November arrives, to closely identify what will be ripe for discussion at that time. Trusting that we all are ruminating about what is emerging individually and collectively from the multi-leveled complexity of our current psycho-political world, we encourage you to bring your reflections to this forum, expanded this year to three hours to make time for more public participation. We will explore whether the fast moving, shocking changes in our individual and collective lives are propelling us towards the edge of destruction, or, whether they are heralding an unexplainable transformation, an innovation, an essential re-formation – or both? How are we maintaining balance as we face these challenges?

Donald Kalsched, Ph.D., is a Jungian psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist with a private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a training analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts where he supervises an advanced colloquium of candidates in training. His two books The Inner World of Trauma and Trauma and the Soul, have sold thousands of copies in the US and have been translated into many languages. He is currently on the faculty of Pacifica Graduate Institute where he teaches a Trauma Certificate Program.

Jerome S. Bernstein, M.A.P.C., NCPsyA., is a clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst. His work is influenced, for over 40 years, by his collaborations with Navajo peoples and their way of life, including Navajo healing through his collaborative clinical work with a traditional Navajo medi- cine man and a Navajo cultural translator. He is the author of Living in the Borderland: The Evolution of Conscious- ness and the Challenge of Healing Trauma (Routledge 2005).

Jacqueline West, Ph.D., co-author of The Matrix and Meaning of Character, is a Jungian analyst in Santa Fe. She lectures, teaches, and writes about character structures as they are portrayed in fairy tales, mythologies, and current art. Her work is currently focused on the archetypal, individual, and collective nature of narcissistic dynamics woven into the current patterns of our lives as Americans.


Remaining Comments, Questions & Gratitudes from the Event

Jerome: I notice that a half dozen or so attendees wish to seek more information about Reciprocity Matters website.  Here is a link to
Larry: Thanks to you all. Rich, you’re a hero.  I was stimulated and “provoked” in a good way.  My iPad wouldn’t respond to my touch, so it failed to unmute.  That’s why you didn’t hear from me.
The restoration of the (hopefully healthy, resilient) ego, in Jung’s sense, was a big subtext to the discussion.  I fear that we are in a position of always trying to restore the center in the face of the tremendous pulls toward dissociation.  As Jerome articulated with the idea of “triage”, we constantly are thrust into getting back to stability just in time (at best) for the next catastrophe or election.  Never enough time to get to remediation, and if such an attempt is made, it leaves one more open to an attack which is often underestimated.  It feels as if we only learn by destruction, the degree of which has to be greater and greater as our adaptation to catastrophe increases.  Just because a shift in consciousness is necessary for survival doesn’t mean we will make one.
Imagining “treatment” was touched on, but we need a level of sophistication that matches our clinical thought.
I think there will be some necessary relief about the election being resolved and I do think complacency is a danger, but Trump is not going away. I suspect there will be an ongoing series of rallies that will keep him in our awareness.  As a recent piece in the Times notes,  he is the president of Red America, likely to be much more active than his counterpart, Obama–previous President of Blue America.  Our archetypal civil war will continue.
I think Teri got it exactly right.  The struggle to “reach across the aisle” psychically and politically is our (perhaps tragic) necessary task.  It just cannot be done naively.  Aggression will be necessary as well as empathy.
Thank you all for your thoughtful work.
Kirstin: Covid is obviously an agent for collective humility. How can we as people take advantage of the virus to maximize the teaching?
Sarah: I am interested in hearing about the group ‘reciprocity matters’ that Jerome mentioned.
Lisa: There is a website, that you can visit to learn more.
Charlene: I think it is so important to understand that sociopathy is not treatable. Many highly empathic folks think it is and this makes them extremely vulnerable to staying in toxic relationships, and this includes with our clients.
Inessa: Thank you, Don, Jerome and Jacqueline. Exactly, it is our shadow as well. I believe our own personal work on staying in conscious as possible will be most important now.
Marelene: Any suggestions as to how to have a conversation with someone who voted for Trump without anger?
Betty: Isn’t moderation usually the healthiest position?  Far right and left can be too restrictive in thought, opinion, fact-gathering, etc.  Go to the center!
Marelene: Never been good at that, but it could be a healthy exercise. Thanks!
Lisa: What about teaching Non Violent Communication in schools?
Nicola: the centre: “The Second Coming” is a poem written by Irish poet W. B. Yeats in 1919
KEN: I think teaching critical thinking is an important part of the solution. The book “Factfulness” says one number means nothing all by itself, this can be extrapolated to the idea is that one source of information also .means nothing if we want to understand the whole picture and the people who hold a different View.
Georgena: I feel blessed to have been hanging around with you all for a number of decades – thank you for the alchemical mix elixir.  We have 4-8 years to maybe extend our sharing and impact to community – not sure what it looks like – but is sure called for!  THANK YOU!!
Inessa: I agree. Having an intelligent and thoughtful community is our gift – now more apparent when I see the red country map.
Paula: Thank you for this presentation. It has been enormously helpful and so much to think about
Marlene: Thank you so much for the wonderful discussion. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I heard the news and joined you and it has given me a chance to
Marelene:  sorry clicked the wrong button….a chance to put things in perspective. Now I’m going to jump up and down for joy!!! Blessings to all.
Lisa: Thank you Jacqueline, Don, and Jerome, as well as Rich and the “tech team” for this presentation today!
Isabel: Thank you for this wonderful and timely presentation. Much to think about where do we go from here and work towards shifting to what the new paradigm and language will look like.
Anne: Yes, thank you all for this rich conversation at this time.  Lots to digest.  Lots to work on.
Nicola: The Yeats Poem:  the Second Coming:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Larry: Sorry about my muting issue.  I’m back on another device.  Thank
Nicole: on holding the centre:
Frances: nice playlist Rich!!
Phillip: Thank you so much…
Tara:  I would love to see the Jung Institute become actively involved in the eloquently spoken tasks at hand.  Ruth King’s Racial Affinity Group Development Programis a public offering for communities to self organize into a mentorship based, 12-month immersion on racial identity and awareness. I am hearing “loud and clear” that we need to find greater value in “meeting the other” and in our capacity to come together with self understanding that offers equanimity and even affection, something sorely missing in our culture.  For myself, I can say, as an introverted thinking type, this is a great undertaking!  I am curious what a mentorship based, 12-month immersion on reciprocity as anecdote to dominion would look like?  Its objective being to step towards harmonizing our two souls, the aggressive instinct & longing for loving relationships.  Cognitive understanding and isolated personal work does not appear to be enough for the changes and growth needed in these times.
Our souls need resuscitation!  A breathing with one another rather than within the isolation of our own silos. How do we create embodied collective, experiential learning that complements the intellectual and psychological breath of understanding that was offered here today?


November 7, 2020
10:00 am - 1:00 pm MST
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Zoom Webinar


Rich Ryan