Imagination as Revelation: The Psychedelic Experience in the Light of Jungian Psychology
An Introduction to Psychedelics and Carl Jung
Students will receive an introduction to Jung and his life and learn how analytical psychology may deepen one's understanding of altered states of consciousness. Students will learn about concepts such as the collective unconscious, archetypes, the shadow, and the process of individuation. By exploring Jung's life, the students will gain an insight into the foundations of his theories, and for their implications in the present moment.
This is an at-home self-study course, which means that you can go through the material on your own time. You will receive access to the video lectures for a life-time, so you will be able to go back and re-watch the course material whenever you would like to.
Why Carl Jung?
Carl Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychoanalyst and author. Most popularly known for his relations with Freud, Jung's fundamental influence for the analytical psychology movement continues to reiterate the importance of his legacy. Today, Jung is remembered for his work with dreams, and for popularizing concepts such as collective unconscious and archetypes. Although Jung never experimented with psychoactive substances, he can be considered a true explorer of the mind. The wealth of his knowledge is transmitted in his numerous books, most recently with the 2009 publication of the Red Book.
As one of the key figures in the history of psychology, Jung also plays a central role in the ongoing psychedelic renaissance. Since Jung's psychological theories revolve around understanding the unconscious material of the psyche, its applicability to the psychedelic experience is an exciting, yet largely unexplored realm.
Purpose of the Course
- To give the participants a basic introduction to Jung and his life.
- To explore the importance of Jung's work in the history of psychology and in popular culture.
- To discuss underlying reasons for Jung's importance in psychology today.
- To relate what is understood of the psychedelic experience to Jung's concepts, such as the process of individuation, the shadow, and archetypes, and to critically compare and evaluate these parallels.
- To encourage diverse and open-minded thinking regarding the phenomenology of the psychedelic experience, and integration.
1. Introduction to the Course - Psychedelic Experience from Jungian Perspective
- Understanding how Jung's theories are particularly relevant for the examination of altered states in the ongoing psychedelic renaissance.
- Why is Jungian Psychology so well suited for understanding psychedelic experiences?
2. The Conundrum of Altered States
During this class we will be exploring Jung's personal quest to the depths of imagination by getting to know the Red Book. We will be looking at the history of psychiatry, and reviewing how the insights that Jung gained through his professional life were later applied during the process of writing the Red Book. We will also discuss the differences of opinion which finally separated Jung, and Freud, and continue exploring the main elements in Jung's theory.
- What did Jung mean by lowering the threshold of consciousness, and what methods did he personally use to achieve altered states?
- How did Jung's career as a psychiatrist prepare him for his personal 'confrontation with the unconscious?'
- What is the collective unconscious, and what led Jung to emphasize its relevance for his psychological theories
3. Encountering the Shadow
During this class we will be exploring how the content of 'bad trips' could be seen in a novel light through Jungian notion of the Shadow. We will be looking at the Shadow archetype on a personal and collective level, and see how Jung managed to transform his own struggle into something personally meaningful.
- Many people report emotionally disturbing experiences while using psychedelics. How could the Jungian notion of the Shadow be helpful for understanding these kind of experiences?
4. Befriending the Paradox
During this class we are going to be delving further into Jung's idea about the ever present paradoxicality existing in nature. We will review the 'topography of the psyche', explore Jung's surrender to the collective unconscious, and discuss frameworks that have been used to explain psychedelic experience, and compare them to Jungian approach.
- How could commonly described 'ego-death' and 'ego-dissolution' be understood in Jungian terms?
- How does chaos manifest as an element of the psychedelic experience?
- How can Jungian psychology help us to navigate, and make sense of paradoxical altered states of consciousness?
5. Working with the Symbols of the Unconscious
During our final official class we will explore how the 'confrontation with the unconscious' turned into 'collaboration with the unconscious' in Jung's personal life, and how this manifested in his writings. We are going to be looking at Jung's writings on symbols, intuition, instincts and synchronicity. Lastly, we are going to be discussing the goal of Jung's life, and the purpose of his psychological theory.
- What is meant with the notion of 'collaboration with the unconscious?'
- How did Jung come up with the notion of Synchronicity?
- Was Jung a mystic, or perhaps a shaman?
In this class, I will be concluding the course, and together with Kyle we will have a discussion on some of the things covered during the course.
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that this is a difficult time for many. We do offer a discount to students and others who are experiencing financial hardships during this time. If you cannot afford the full price of this course, please send us an email with more information about you at psychedelicstodayemail @ gmail dot com. Thanks!
As a psychotherapist I loved this course and how it brings Jungian concepts to the psychedelic experience. It gives a map to lowering the threshold of consciousness which is accelerated through psychedelic assistance. The course offers ways to navigate the territory and see shadow material as opportunities to become more conscious and whole. Well thought through with clear intelligent and unflakey lesson plans each time. Highly recommended.
Big thanks to Psychedelics Today and Johanna for an amazing course, Introduction on Jung & Psychedelics. For me, as a beginner Psychedelic explorer, and also an advertiser who on the surface was familiar with Jung concepts, it helped to dig deeper into Jung’s life and teachings and use this material for better interpretation of my psychedelic trips. Highly recommend.
Anna - Advertising strategist, Moscow, Russia
Wonderful course, wonderful people. Johanna and Kyle are open minded and well educated, they are on the vanguard of todays knowledge of psychology and psychedelics. Great course, specially the conversations after each presentation.