Ecstatic Ancient/Archaic Thought and analytical psychology, an inquiry
1. Emmanuela Bakola – ‘Staging interiors in Greek tragedy’ –
Seeing the invisible: interior spaces, the unseen, and the Erinyes in the Oresteia’
Interior spaces and the ‘unseen’ in Greek tragedy
It hardly needs to be stated that the visible and the invisible lay at the very heart of 5-th century Greek theatre. Greek theatre took place in the open, in the bright light of day, the sun illuminating the natural spaces that hosted the event. However, when so much of Greek tragedy is about the dark sides of human nature, the suppressed memories of terrible deeds, the unrecorded desires hidden in the recesses of the human psyche, and the darkness of death and Hades, the contrast between the ‘seen’ and the ‘unseen’ may be one of the genre’s most paradoxical features. Flooded by the brilliant natural light of Greece, how did the theatrical event represent physically the hidden, the suppressed, the unconscious, the unseen? Decades ago, studies informed by structural anthropology showed that the way Greek tragedy used theatrical space was crucial for its representation of the ‘unseen’. Classical studies have moved on since structuralism and my paper proposes to address new conceptions.
Bio: Emmanuela Bakola is based at University of Warwick initially as Leverhulme Research Fellow and from January 2016 as Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek Language and Literature. Before this position she held a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at UCL and a early career fellowship at King’s College, London. She is originally from Greece, and has been based in London since 2000.
2. Helena Bassil-Morozow: Loki Then and Now: the Evolving Story of the Trickster
The mischievous and dangerous Loki, an Icelandic god, is a classic example of the trickster figure. The trickster is notoriously difficult to define, and can be seen as an archetype and part of the individuation process (the Jungian approach) or as a metaphor for change personifying the dynamics between the personal and systemic (the anthropological approach). As part of the individuation process, the trickster triggers the psychological change in the individual. Mythological and folkloric narratives portray the trickster as a figure challenging the civilizing forces of society and attempting to destabilize or renew the system.
Recently, however, he has become part of several highly profitable entertainment franchises alongside his fellow gods and goddesses including Thor, Odin and Frigg. Apart from being the protagonist of a solo Marvel series, Loki: Agent of Asgard, the infamous Scandinavian trickster has been featured in a number of Hollywood films such as Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012) and Thor: the Dark World (2013).
This paper will examine how the appropriation of the character of Loki by the Marvel and Hollywood industries affect the character (played in the films by Tom Hiddleston). It will also explore why the figure of the trickster has such psychological importance for the contemporary individual; to the extent of becoming a mass commodity.
Bio: Helena Bassil-Morozow is at Glasgow Caledonian University, a lecturer in Media and Communication, Department of social Sciences, Media and Journalism.
3. Paul Bishop – (Professor, University of Glasgow, Dept Modern Languages (German) – Ancient thought, Jung and Klages
I MUST GET OUT (OF MYSELF) MORE OFTEN?
JUNG, KLAGES, AND THE ECSTATIC ARCHAIC
The very title of this conference — ‘Ecstatic Ancient/Archaic Thought and Analytical Psychology: An Inquiry’ is in a way an act of defiance, because its subject is exactly counterposed to the dominant discourse in the arts & humanities. According to this discourse, which describes itself as postmodern, but might equally well be described as ‘Sophistic’, what we are talking about does not exist. On this account, there is no origin, Ursprung, arché: instead, as good Foucauldians reading our Nietzsche, we have to talk about ‘provenance’ (Herkunft) and ‘point of emergence’ (Entstehung). Nor is there ‘ecstasy’, or ekstasis, there is nothing outside the self; nor the ecstatic in the more circumscribed sense of its sexual or erotic dimension, there is only a discourse of sexuality.
And yet we cannot escape the archaic, and by the same token nor can we remain oblivious to its ecstatic manifestation. On the one hand, the ecstatic archaic manifests itself through something that Karl Jaspers called the Grenzerfahrung. On the other hand, it is something one encounters in a more everyday experiential way as well, as the work of Joseph suggests. While postmodernism denies the very idea of the archaic and shows disdain for its ecstatic manifestations, there is a steadily growing literature on the archaic, and a growing appreciation of the role it plays in a diverse range of thinkers from Plotinus to Terence McKenna, including Ludwig Klages and C.G. Jung. Both Klages and Jung orient their discussion of the ecstatic and the archaic around the figure of Nietzsche, and this paper proposes to examine some of the ways in which they do so. It will argue that Klages and Jung stand as exponents of the importance of cultivating and nurturing a cultural memory (Assmann), and both of them warn us that, if we do not cultivate this cultural memory, what is not so much repressed as forgotten can and maybe will return in dangerous forms. For the archaic in general and in its ecstatic form in particular is a genuine case of something that is, in the parlance of postmodernism, ‘always already’ there: and it is something that we, quite literally, ignore at our peril.
4. Alan Cardew: Antiquity and Anxiety: Psychoanalysis and the Judgement of the Past
What can account for Freud’s anxieties about visiting Rome and Athens, and Jung’s physical inability to travel to Rome ‘the smoking and fiery hearth of ancient culture’? Was the greatness of the classical ideal as developed by German classicists from Winckelmann to Nietzsche, simply too imposing to be faced? Freud used a passage from Virgil as an epigraph for The Interpretation of Dreams: ‘Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo’ – ‘If I cannot move the higher powers, I will move the infernal regions’; could the unconscious, with all its repressed desires, condensations, displacements and defensive obscurity, be something of a refuge from that terrible, high ideal?
This paper will attempt to consider psychoanalysis from the position of late antiquity. In particular, it will examine psychoanalysis from the perspective of Neoplatonism, which appears to possess the same central concerns: the importance of dreams, therapy, and the understanding and deliberate development of the psyche. Would such a late classical analysis be more bearable than one based on the forbidding principles of German classicism?
Bio: Dr. Alan Cardew is a Senior Fellow at the University of Essex, a Member of the Athens Institute for Education and Research, and a Member of the Foro Di Studi Avanzati in Rome. At Essex he was Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities and Director of the Enlightenment. He has written on Heidegger, Jung, Cassirer, and Nietzsche, and his recent publications have been on the idea of the protrepticus and the sublimity of origins.
5. Martyna Chrzescijanska
The presentation will focus on relation between the theme of sacrifice in Ancient Greece and contemporary understanding of the process of individuation and other similar models of personality/self-development. I will propose to discuss the meaning of sacrifice as it appeared in rituals and mythology of Ancient Greece in the context of contemporary psychological theories. This discussion is possible only in a broader interdisciplinary framework of psychology and religion. I will be especially interested in the both covert and overt religious sources of psychological theories. It can be claimed that some models such as the process of individuation, Post Traumatic Growth or Positive Disintegration stem from a religious thought and practice and are based on a similar assumption and a developmental model as a myth of sacrifice. I will especially focus on the concept of eniautos daimon, discovered and popularized by anthropology at the beginning of the XXth century and its influence on understanding of development of individuality in psychology in the XXth century.
Bio: Martyna Chrzescijanska –presently is a student of Refugee Care at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, graduated from Cultural Studies and Philosophy at the University of Warsaw. She has been in the training of analytical psychology since 2011 (in Poland, PTPJ in co-operation with IAAP). Recently approved for PhD studies in Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex (commencing in October 2016).
6. Terence Dawson: ‘One China [i.e. One Nation]’ as archetype
‘One China[i.e. One Nation]’ as an archetype with reference to one of the best-known classics of Chinese literature. Ostensibly, Three Kingdoms: a Historical Novel, aka Romance of Three Kingdoms (? late C.14th CE), a prose epic attributed to Luo Guanzhong, is a fictionalized history spanning the collapse of the Han Dynasty, the turbulent period of The Three Kingdoms, and the reunification of China by the Jin (i.e. events set between 184 and 280 CE). Beneath the history, however, is a powerful moral novel based on the ideas of/ascribed to Confucius (c. 510 BCE). I want to examine the tangled relationship between the concerns of these three very different time periods and to show how they imply that the Chinese view of history rests on moral psychology; and also to explore the differences between the fundamental assumptions of the Asian/Chinese mind from those of the Graeco-Christian West. On the surface, the characters of the novel have no notion of what Freud or Jung would call the unconscious. And yet in much the same way as Jung claims that a dream effectively challenges the whole being of the dreamer, I argue that the “novel” challenges the reader to integrate the moral values that lie at its heart.
Bio: Terence Dawson is an associate professor and currently head of the Division of English at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is interested in the application of Jungian theory to literature and other art forms, especially of the long Romantic period. His publications include The Effective Protagonist in the Nineteenth Century British Novel (Ashgate 2004) and, co-edited with Polly Young-Eisendrath, The Cambridge Companion to Jung, 2nd edition (CUP 2008).
7.Nadi Fadina Proposal: Gender Axiom
The quests for real masculinity and femininity, as well as an illusive androgynous wholeness, have been present in humanity’s discourses and cultural products since early times. Greeks and Romans, medieval clergy, pro-feminist Russian thinkers of the XIX century, psychoanalysis and analytical psychology present us with interesting views on our gendered identities. Historically these discourses played a significant role in constructing people’s conceptions not only by offering role models, but offering insights into society and self-discovery. Moreover all forms of media ( i.e. Iliad, ancient Slavic fairytales or modern cinematic adaptations), become integral to life-long searches to understand who we are and how to be in the world; they might provide powerful tools for transformation and influence human’s gendered perceptions.
The paper brings together ancient philosophical thought on femininity and masculinity, analytical psychology, pagan Slavic fairytales, and modern cinematic texts to dissect implicit politics behind the screen of androgynous wholeness and individuation. Using broadly feminist media analysis, the work explores the correlation between gender as a contra-sexual and archetypal pattern, and gender as a socially constructed vehicle of cultural production. As a paradigm I will look at Jungian theory of individuation and the anima/animus dichotomy, and draw on two animated adaptations of a Russian fairytale Tsarevna Lyagushka (The Frog Princess) to analyse the transformative effect they offer audiences.
bio: Nadi Fadina, PhD, is a London-based media entrepreneur and cultural academic, investigating gender politics of totalitarian regimes and new democratic societies constructed through a prism of ancient fairytales. As a film industry executive, Nadi also holds an MA in International Cinema. She is a member of Psychology and Moving Image International (PAMII). Nadi teaches a diverse range of film subjects at Goldsmiths University of London and University of Bedfordshire. Her co-edited book is The Happiness Illusion – How the Media Sold us a Fairytale (Routledge 2015).
Dionysus, Pentheus, and the Theatergoer: Split Psyches as a Model for Audience Response:In this paper, I explore how the concept of the split psyche can illuminate the nature of the effect of Greek tragedy on its audience. In Euripides’ Bacchae, Pentheus is possessed by Dionysus; in Jungian terms, he experiences the energy of an active complex that overwhelms his conscious intentions (Jung 1960/1975: 96). Rachel Blass’s reflection on the “fundamental brokenness” of the schizophrenic could speak directly of Pentheus: “It is not only, as Freud says, that ‘the ego is not master in its own house’; it is also unclear who the ego is, and where the house is” (Blass 2015, 136). After he splits, Pentheus does not know what life he leads, what he does, or who he is (Bacchae 506). Pentheus, through his splitting, models the experience of the audience members in the theater. Unlike Pentheus and the schizophrenic, however, the theatergoer achieves a cathartic reintegration and abandons the recent trauma to the world of the tragedy.Bibliography:Blass, R. B. 2015. “Conceptualizing splitting: on the different meanings of splitting and their implications for the understanding of the person and the analytic process.” The International Journal of Psychoanalysis 96: 123-139. Jung, C. G. 1960/1975. The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. CW 8.
Bio: Assistant Professor at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, USA. My research interests include history, tragedy, and ancient literary criticism, and I have published on conceptions of tragedy, history, and rhetoric in Polybius and Hellenisitic historiography. I have a particular interest in the psychological effect of literature on its audience. I am a participant in the Philadelphia Lacan Study Group, curated by Patricia Gherovici.
9. Randy Fertel
Improvisation, Trickster, and the trans-heroic mastery of time: Harvard classicist Gregory Nagy argues that the classical hero – like Achilles – is untimely, unseasonal (‘hero’ derives from ‘Hera’ – timely, seasonal). He attains his heroic stature only at the moment of his death when, at last timely, he fulfils his destiny to choose between long life and no fame or short life and eternal fame. But Nagy misses Homer’s alternative hero, the improviser, exemplified by the Trickster Odysseus who as master of the present moment attains heroic stature with his every achieved improvisation.
In myth the great-grandson of Hermes, Odysseus is the existential hero. His heroism is not defined by some external source like the oracle or a destiny fixed from Mt Olympus. A master of metis, the cunning intelligence that is fed not just by reason but by intuition and the unconscious, Odysseus, like Jung’s individuating analysand, journeys to the underworld and makes his fate as he goes.
The paper will explore Liber novus’s formal connection to the sub-rosa tradition of improvisation (in which the Odyssey participates) and its perennial challenge to rational and moral discourse. Like Jung’s analytic method, Odysseus’s improvising heroism is amoral: improvisation might help him attain his heroic stature but it gets each and every one of his men killed. Thus, understanding the trans-heroic persona of the improviser can help us better understand Jung’s amoral embrace of his Shadow figures.
Bio: Harvard Ph.D in English and American Literature (1981), Dr Fertel has taught at Harvard, Tulane, and the New School for Social Research. ‘A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation’ (Spring Journal Books, 2015) explores art that claims to be improvised. It includes chapters on The Homeric Hymn to Hermes, The Odyssey, and Jung’s Liber Novus.
10. David Henderson: The varieties of ecstasy
Ecstasy is variously described in the philosophies and theologies of late antiquity and the patristic period. Proclus, Plotinus, Gregory of Nyssa and Pseudo-Dionyius each present distinct concepts of ecstasy. It is unlikely that any of these theories had a substantial influence on Jung, but It is possible to identify parallels in his theory and technique. Reference to the thought of Bataille can further contextualise the discourse of ecstasy.
Bio: David Henderson, PhD. is senior lecturer at the Centre for Psychoanalysis, Middlesex University. He is a member of the Association of Independent Psychotherapists. Publications include: Apophatic Elements in the Theory and Practice of Psychoanalysis: Pseudo-Dionysius and C.G. Jung (Routledge).
11. Raya Jones
The stream of desire: Jung’s concept of psychic energy
ABSTRACT: Jung’s theory of psychic energy differs from Freud’s notion of libido in ways that bring Jung close to field physics and Gestalt psychology as well as to Bergson, but nevertheless carries vestiges of the hydraulic metaphor. Neither Freud nor Jung cite Plato’s stream analogy when articulating their respective theories to my knowledge, and yet there is a striking confluence in terms of the central image. There are also significant differences across the ancient and modern uses of this image, differences reflecting the post-Enlightenment machine metaphor of Man.
Bio: Raya A. Jones, Ph.D., is a Reader in the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, UK. She was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for Jungian Studies (2003-2009) and chaired the IAJS Second International Conference in 2009. She is the author of ‘Personhood and Social Robotics’ (Routledge, 2016), ‘Jung, Psychology, Postmodernity’ (Routledge, 2007) and’ The Child-School Interface’ (Cassell, 1995), editor of ‘Jung and the Question of Science’ (Routledge, 2014), ‘Body, Mind and Healing after Jung’ (Routledge, 2010), and co-editor of ‘Jungian and Dialogical Perspectives’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), ‘Cultures and Identities in Transitions’ (Routledge 2010) and ‘Education and Imagination’ (Routledge, 2008). She has published numerous journal articles on Jungian and postmodern approaches to the self
12. Catriona Miller
The Sumerian Underworld and Jung: In the story of Inanna and Enki, the goddess Inanna visits the god at his temple Eridu, which is described as being in the abzu (an underworld, watery abyss). After a good meal, the now drunk Enki gives Inanna a large number of the mē (skills and attributes of civilisation) in his keeping. The following morning, regretting his largesse, Enki tries to get them back, but Inanna escapes to her own city of Uruk and gives them to her own people.
Kramer suggests that this this myth was inscribed as early as 2000 BCE and the ideas were no doubt current centuries earlier (Kramer, 1972 p.66) and as such it considerably predates the Greco-Roman mythology more usually discussed in relation to psychoanalysis and analytical psychology. This paper would explore the key Sumerian concepts of the abzu and the mē in relation to the foundation of consciousness and Jung’s model of the psyche.
Bio: Dr Catriona Miller is a Senior Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University where she teaches TV script writers and media students. She publishes in the field of film and television studies, with a particular interest in Horror, Cult TV and Science Fiction genres from a Jungian perspective. She is currently working on a joint book The Heroine’s Journey: Female Individuation on Screen for Routledge
13. Ben Pestell: Ecstatic terror and the Oresteian individual in society
Should we see the protagonists of Greek tragedies as psychologised characters (as in 2015’s acclaimed production of Oresteia at the Almeida Theatre in London) or personified forces? In his study of Greek Tragedy and the emotions, W. B. Stanford argued that fear is not felt in the head but as physical manifestations in the body, yet the Oresteia invites a different view in which Phobos is not only palpably felt but – in Orestes’ experience – also exists as a psychological experience, inducing a madness. I propose that the ‘talking cure’ of the persuasive language employed by Aeschylus’s Athena activates an inherent property of the mythical method, as defined by Lévi-Strauss: the dialectical powers of myth are able to overcome contradictions and trauma. By arguing that the work of Freud, Jung, et al. deploys a word magic that has remained latent throughout the history of human verbalisation, I conclude that Athena unites the individual and society in a cure which supports the defence of Jungian individuation against the charge of solipsism.
Here the Furies represent and personify terror, and are guardians of the phrenes (the mind or soul), but they also appear on the stage: they are, as Padel writes, ‘in the mind as well as out of it’. In the tragedy’s conclusion, the goddess Athena simultaneously represses and recognises the rupture embodied by the Furies: housing them under the Acropolis and ensuring that there is a permanent, wakeful memory of their essential underlying darkness and threat of transgressive violence – they are, in Helen Bacon’s words, ‘part of the consciousness of mortals and gods’.
Bio: Ben Pestell holds a PhD from the University of Essex on divine contact and mythical thought in the Oresteia of Aeschylus. He serves on executive committee of the Centre for Myth Studies at Essex. He is co-editor of ‘Translating Myth’ (Legenda, 2016), and has published on Aeschylus and contemporary classical reception.
14. Constance Romero:
Abstract: Jung and Dionysus or Whatʼs Individuation got to do with Dionysus? This paper proposes that there are common foundational elements and tensions that lie between and within the disciplines of Depth Psychology and ancient Greek Theatre. The ecstasy inducing effect of the theater of Dionysus with its roots in the need for connection to the unconscious is explored as similar to, but often at odds with ideas in modern psychology. Specifically, Jungʼs view of Individuation is examined through the emergence of the “first” actor, Thespis, who differentiates himself from the Greek chorus and temporarily assumes an “Other” identity. The Athenian Magistrate Solonʼs reaction to this phenomenon is to berate the collectively popular Thespis as a liar with the capacity to provoke civil collapse. Plutarchʼs account of the accusation/conversation is used as a jumping off place to turn over the idea of Individuation (with supporting Jungian notions of shadow, tension of opposites and transcendent function) as the result of a more singularly defined consciousness breaking free from an original unconscious, undifferentiated “wholeness”. This notion is prevalent throughout Jungian discourse alongside Jungʼs well documented ambivalence toward “participation mystique” and the communal, ecstatic aspect of the Dionysian. It is proposed that this ambivalence is both problematic and generative and continues to impact the practice of Jungian analysis, our ideas about the unconscious, as well as prevailing notions of what constitutes health and wholeness.
Bio: Constance Evans Romero, LPC, LMFT is a practicing Jungian Analyst in the Greater New Orleans area. She is a Senior Training Analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and on the teaching faculty of the New Orleans and Florida Jung Seminars. She has a professional background in Theatre Arts and lectures nationally on topics that explore the interface between Depth Psychology and the Arts.
15. Mark Saban
‘The Figures Speak Because They Want to Speak: A Dionysian perspective on Analytical Psychology::Jung’s early work on the differentiation and personification of the complexes revealed a psychological scene in which multiple figures – autonomous and personified – dynamically play out their interrelations on the intra-psychic stage. This highly dramatic (and dramatising) perspective on the psyche led him directly toward the development of what he called the ‘transcendent function’ – a concept enacted in the improvisations and personifications of Active imagination. In this paper I intend to investigate the Dionysian implication of a psychological model whose aim to bring opposites together manages to combine both the paradoxical and the theatrical.
Bio: Mark Saban is a senior analyst with the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. He recently co-edited (with Andrew Samuels and Emilia Kiehl) Analysis and Activism: Social and Political Contributions of Jungian Psychology, Routledge 2016. Recent papers include: ‘Jung, Winnicott and the Divided Psyche’ Journal of Analytical Psychology, Volume 61 Issue 3, June 2016, ‘Two in one or one in two? Pushing off from Jung with Wolfgang Giegerich’ Journal of Analytical Psychology, Volume 60 Issue 5, November 2015.
16. Richard Seaford
ON A JUNGIAN ACCOUNT OF EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY: This paper is the response of a non-Jungian Hellenist to the strengths and weaknesses of Edward Edinger’s Jungian account of early Greek philosophy. The first strength is the claim that ideas from the remote past are relevant to understanding our own psyches. I note only that this approach might be enhanced by an encounter with the evolutionary psychology of Merlin Donald. Secondly, whereas most scholars of early Greek thought treat it as the purely intellectual activity of ‘philosophy’, i.e. the use of reason to understand the world, Edinger’s entirely justified rejection of this assumption opens up possibilities well beyond the reach of the scholars, who are curiously uninterested in preconceptions. Thirdly, Edinger asks the question that is almost never asked (and never properly answered) by the scholars: given that the world around us is obviously multiple, why do the earliest (presocratic) ‘philosophers’ concur in imagining that it is in fact composed of a single substance?
Edinger’s answer is that this presocratic monism is a projection of the ‘unity of the psychic Self’. In fact for Edinger Greek metaphysics is always a ‘projection of the reality of the psyche, which lies behind sensible, concrete existence’. Greek metaphysics varies greatly. For instance, Herakleitos maintains everything is constantly changing; whereas for his contemporaty Parmenides all change is an illusion, and what truly exists is invariant in time and space. For Edinger the Herakleitean metaphysic represents the constantly changing ego, whereas the Parmenidean metaphysic represents the transpersonal Self, which transcends time.
Edinger is right to assume that metaphysics – at least in this early period – derives neither from observation nor from reason, but from preconception. But when the Greeks imagined the world as ruled by Zeus (with beard, sceptre, and throne), this is a projection not of the psyche but of social omnipotence (monarchy). To be sure, social omnipotence must – in order to be effective – be introjected (into the psyche) as well as projected (onto the cosmos). I will show that – with the revolutionary new (impersonal, all-pervasive) omnipotence of money – this introjection-cum-projection provides the only possible way of understanding Herakleitos (the first extant account of the soul as unified consciousness), Parmenides, and early Greek ‘philosophy’ generally. Edinger’s approach, on the other hand, is characterised by a ruthlessly one-sided exclusion of history and society.
Bio: RICHARD SEAFORD is emeritus professor of anciet Greek at the Unversity of Exeter. He is the author of numerous papers and books on Greek drama, Greek religion, Greek philosophy, Greek society, and on the interrelation between them.
17. Yulia Ustinova
Ancient psychotherapy? Fifth-century BC Athenian intellectuals and the cure of disturbed minds: The treatment of abnormal behavior advocated in Hippocratic medicine was focused on the body of the patient: mental afflictions were attributed mainly to humoral misbalance or trauma. Hippocratic therapy was still based on purgation of the body – procedures which ensued from time-honored techniques of purification. Madness and purification remained intertwined, and the innovation offered by scientific medicine was in the realm of theory rather than practice. Actual innovation in practical terms came from the experts in the use of words, who recognized their healing power and began to elaborate methods of ‘speaking therapy.’ These methods may have been rooted, to a certain extent, in the age-long appreciation of compassionate conversation and the power of persuasion, and even in the ancient belief in the magic power of the words. On the other hand, therapy by persuasion evolved close interaction with the ideas of contemporary thinkers on illness of the soul as ignorance, to be treated by education and wise words. This method appears to have been developed by the sophists, in particular by Gorgias and Antiphon. This paper proposes to explore the evidence which attests to the practical interest of the ancient thinkers in the subject which would be defined today as psychology and psychotherapy. It also discusses the place of Gorgias’ and Antiphon’s ideas and activities in the fifth-century intellectual milieu, putting an emphasis on their dialogue with medicine and drama.
Bio: Yulia Ustinova is Associate Professor at the Department of General History, Ben-Gurion University of Negev, Israel. My current research is entitled “Mania: Alteration of Consciousness and Insanity in Greek Culture.” My publications on Greek religion and culture include The Supreme Gods of the Bosporan Kingdom: Celestial Aphrodite and the Most High God, Leiden (Brill, 1999) and Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind. Descending Underground in the Search for Ultimate Truth(Oxford University Press, 2009).
18. Zsuzanna Varhelyi: Reading Epictetus with Freud and Jung: Stoic interiority and perfection: In this paper I look at the idealizing projection of perfectly rationalized behavior onto the imaginary figure of a Cynic philosopher in Epictetus’ Discourses. Without positing an exactly matching parallel of analytic mental agencies in Stoic writings, I contend that psychodynamic processes related to self-observation and the setting and enforcing of values can offer insight into why Epictetus chose not to posit himself as the exemplary figure to be followed by his students. On the one hand, in his Shadow Jung picked out a contemporary Gnostic/Neoplatonic philosopher, Carpocrates, from the same period, to point at how already in the ancient world some were bothered by the difficulties of reconciling both the moral elements of the self and its disowned parts, or as he referred to it, the individual’s shadow. On the other hand, the dynamics of loss explored by Freud offers an analytical tool that seems especially relevant to a section of Epictetus’ Discourses (3.22.100-106), in which Epictetus’ imaginary Cynic lashes out at any would-be philosopher. This Cynic denies the existence of interiority to anyone engaged in the competitive desires of social life for wealth or political office, from which he himself has wholly withdrawn. In doing so, he also fills the only true interior, that of the philosopher, with an aggressive and punishing self-examination of any failure in the pursuit of rational perfection—which Epictetus remarkably symbolizes by a comparison to the vicious watchfulness of the never-sleeping, 100-eyed mythic monster, Argus Panoptes. I suggest that the loss experienced due to the deprivations required by the philosophical prescriptions leads to introjection and splitting that idealizes and demands an unrealistically perfect rational life. Epictetus’ textual externalization of the imaginary, hyper-rational Cynic offers evidence of his own struggles with considering human imperfections and of his likely unconscious ambivalence towards the promise of happiness by leading a Stoic life.
Bio: Varhelyi is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Boston University. She has published extensively on Roman social and religious history, a monograph on the religion of senators in the Roman empire and an article on PTSD among Roman soldiers. She is currently working on a monograph, tentatively entitled The Others of the Self, a social history of the development of selfhood in imperial Rome.
Leslie Gardner PhD, convenor. Director of international literary agency Artellus Limited, based in London. Founding member International Association Jungian Studies. Author of ‘Rhetorical investigations: GB Vico and CG Jung’ (Routledge 2013), co-editor ‘House: the wounded healer on television’ (Routledge 2010) with Luke Hockley; co-editor ‘Feminist Views from Somewhere (Routledge 2017) with Fran Gray and author of articles and reviews. Presently Visiting Fellow at Centre Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. Previous IAJS regional conference in London, ‘(Dis)enchantment’ with Mark Saban and Kevin Lu.