Postmodern Personality: Surviving the 21st Century
On closer examination one is always astonished to see how much of our so-called individual psychology is really collective. So much, indeed, that the individual traits are completely overshadowed by it. Since, however, individuation is an ineluctable psychological necessity, we can see from the ascendancy of the collective what very special attention must be paid to this delicate plant "individuality" if it is not to be completely smothered. —C. G. Jung (1928)
The changes in world life that "we" [however that "we" may be construed] engage every day are of magnitudes without precedent in human experience. The "postmodern personality" can be viewed as an unframed/frameless frame. On the one hand, we can project into this frame various fragmenting self-destructive/life-destructive disorders and fantasies at any and all scales. On the other hand, we can also project a universality of awareness of breathtaking immensities. We can make our choices through perceptions of the unbroken possibilities of one world, Unus Mundus, and the universal awareness of the Anthropos. Indeed, we find ourselves facing realities on both hands, and heavy-handedly.
How does each of us, here and now, find her or his individual, postmodern personality to be organizing? What are some of the effects of the transformations that we are observing in ourselves, in our most intimate relationships, in diverse groups and cultures, and in the global community?
Our discussion will include an inventory of the effects of instantaneous, world-wide communications, the world economy, and some of the implications of the new sciences. We will also share something of our experiences of permeable psychological and social boundaries and of radical changes of religious consciousness.
Then, we will conclude the evening with an experiential exercise to help each of us "locate" ourselves in relationship to the personalities of our ancestors—and our descendants!