Dear members of the depth psychology community, 

Like many of you, I was stunned by the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election yesterday, November 8, and have spent the day mourning for so many things that feel like they have been lost. As a woman, I am keenly aware that the moment for electing our first woman president has evaporated, but on a much deeper level, I am also profoundly distressed by the election of someone who is so clearly disrepectful of women and lacks compassion and understanding for so many who are marginalized, including other minorities, other species, and planet itself. I wonder how all these deep feelings, including anger, are going to be manifest in coming weeks, months, and years.

Like some of you, also, I seem to bounce between feeling numb and being distraught, even questioning on some level what role I play in all of this, and whether the calling I feel to make depth psychology more accessible in the world actually does a bit of good on some many levels. And yet, I know I must have hope: hope for our future, for our young people and generations to come; for everyone who is suffering and will continue to suffer in the face of a political system that favors certain groups over others. 

We live in a world that is as challenged as it has ever been, and yet I maintain a powerful faith in the patterns at work in a world where change is the only constant. I know there is something bigger at work. I am certain I see only a narrow slice of what's at work. I believe in the idea that nature is constantly reaching out to us to pull us back from the brink of extinction (an idea I first encountered in Jerome Bernstein's groundbreaking work, Living in the Borderland.) Some part of me wonders if Donald Trump had to be elected because it will serve as a catalyst to something new; because people will be more innovative in creating change, be inspired to action in a different way, collaborate together with those they may not have engaged with before.

Ten years ago I experienced a profound awakening of my own—so powerful it sent me into what Stan Grof aptly terms "spiritual emergency"—basically, when something spiritual happens that sends one spiraling into emergency. Somehow, at that time, I believe I managed to tap into something bigger than me, a pattern at work in which I play a part and which is playing out not only for the good of each of us individually, but for us as a collective, a species which is resilient, conscious, and able to evolve and learn and love one another. What I experienced then was a taste of what we truly are as divine souls, and the stunning realization that as earthly beings caught up in human bodies and conditioned by culture outside our control, we have truly "settled" for something we can't begin to grasp. Each of us is different, and perceives our lives on earth in different ways, and we each must find our way to carry the torch for new beginnings, for hope in humanity, for belief that we can truly evolve as a species. I think being willing to participate in community is one of the ways these things can manifest. I hope you believe that too.

If anyone feels moved to share your own thoughts and feelings about all of this, please feel free to respond below. If you have criticisms or comments on political parties or policies, maybe your forum is elsewhere. If you wish to provide a depth psychological response or lens, or simply an authentic contribution (it could even be in the form of art or poetry), please respond below, and let us each hold one another in love, compassion, and a willingness to hold the tension as much as we possibly can.

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  • Dear Bonnie,

    Thank you for all you do for the Depth Psychology community. I think so many of us are still shaking our heads in disbelief, shock, and trauma over the election results, asking 'how could this have happened'? I do believe the trickster archetype is at play here, as a wake up call to us at this time of enormous change and uncertainty . . . forcing us to tune in, to stay informed and educated, to sort through the surface headlines to find unbiased, reliable information, and to get involved.

    As a mother to two, young boys and a psychotherapist working primarily with young adults and college students, I hold a great deal of concern for the welfare of our society as a collective, and for our planet, and how we model decency, compassion, equality, love, and respect toward self and others. Yesterday proved to be one of the most difficult days to talk with my son about the election results as well as to sit with my clients. I wondered how I might muster the strength to sit with them in a way that was authentic while modeling a sense of empowerment and hope, as I simultaneously grappled with my own feelings of loss and despair.

    I surprisingly came home yesterday feeling a great deal of hope for our future generations, as many of my younger clients, although shocked and saddened by the election results, they suddenly felt propelled to act. They realized that in the grand scheme of things, their usual day-to-day struggles no longer seemed so horrible. That much larger forces are in fact at play here, and that they could step in, advocate, and continue to educate themselves and others who are not as fortunate in terms of receiving an education themselves. I left feeling a great sense of hope for the future, through my own despair, as I witnessed them feel inspired to affect positive change in their surrounding communities and in the world. In this way, I feel the trickster, as an agent of change, is showing his face, through both the dark, shadow aspects, as well as the light.

  • Thank you, Bonnie, for opening this vital dialogue and bringing the depth/soul-conscious dimension to this time of cataclysmic cultural change in the US. (I, too, love the Jerome Bernstein idea cited here!)

    Like so many others, I am in a period of serious thought, emotional processing and curious questioning that I know will soon erupt in written form as well, probably on my blog and here with the Alliance. I am just not there, yet! 

    Again, big thanks to you... for opening this space, and for being.

  • Hello Bonnie,

    I believe the Depth Psychology Alliance and your work are very important. The deep underlying forces at work in the collective psyche, which have been expressed so powerfully in this election, must be understood for there to be wise intervention. During this crucial moment in humanity's self-development, the Alliance provides a vital forum for sharing information, exchanging expertise, and developing insight into what is needed. If we can put aside personal self-promotion--if we can enter a space of co-creation and collaboration--we (people with knowledge of depth psychology) can work together to develop and promote an understanding of the process that humanity is going through on the global scale. As David Lukoff points out, the most helpful thing depth psychology can offer people who are experiencing spiritual emergence is a context for understanding the process in which they are engaged. If the Depth Psychology Alliance can band together and develop a coherent understanding of the challenges and needs of this threshold moment in human history, we may be able to pinpoint trim tab openings and develop strategies for intervening. Your work has created a forum and platform. Thank you for your work and bless you for responding when you were called, Skye Burn   

  • Hello, first I am sorry for your distress. Take good care. I had a foretelling feeling that the man would win and he now has. What seems to be coming to the forefront now is the kind of literalism and concretism into which humanity seems to so easily fall when dealing with the reality of life, political life in this case, and I am afraid I have to include the way your invitation message covers different aspects of what the result will mean for America, first and then the World. In moment like this I find that the use of satirical writing is much more effective at conveying the kind of equivocating discourse that in line with a depth psychology approach might be beneficial in de-literalising and de-potentiating the concretism into which we are so easily tempted to imprison the images that are emerging (from the election results). I humbly will refrain to take such a step, as I am very new here and perhaps I will offer something if requested.

    Meanwhile I just want to remind us that Jung claimed that a lot of what had turned to good in his life had come from what was evil. Best regards

  • I had a dream a while ago:

    I see a girl come out of the darkness. She holds a flame in her outstretched hand.

    This is the hope. I see her, small and ethereal, showing me in a delicate outstretched hand. It is a tiny, yellow flame, beautiful and fragile yet illuminating the darkness with light. Not hidden, but held out, an offering.

    From Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

    “One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.” 

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    • Awe Laura...thank you, so appropriate and spot on!  Peace + Love Linda

  • Hello, 

    Thank you for your response to the election, as we are all trying to rationalise the outcome. 

    Im strangely relieved, not for the outcome itself, but at least it’s over, its been a horrible experience, a chronic display of a culture disaffected and confused, I am talking too of Brexit, although that has not technically started yet. 

    So I am from the UK and the US election is clearly affecting others across the world.

    I found this website when I searched for Jung and Archetypes, the following came up in the search:

    I don't see anything changed, he still seems like a Trickster Archetype and unfortunately this archetype is ambivalent to good or bad and here we are.

    But my question is, whilst we can apply Archetypes to our public figures such as Trump; what is the interplay of the personal psychology of a leader themselves and the archetype that is projected onto him?

    In other words, I doubt very much that Trump himself considers himself an Archetype, let alone a Trickster, he probably just wants to build a taller Trump Tower.

    So I am interested in the interplay of the Collective and the Individual - a collective can not have change unless it appoints an Archetype that embodies them, and the personification of the Archetype can’t have power, unless he/she embodies the collective that it represents.

    Understanding this nuanced interplay may give ground to assess and understand this situation and to figure out how such leaders rise to power 

    Why is Donald Trump so popular? A Jungian view.
    Friends, I am posting a paper I wrote for Pacifica regarding the phenomenon of Donald Trump. It is an analysis of what is happening from a Jungian pe…
    • In the 1930s Jung Spoke of the Archetype of The Blond Monster. It has simply re emerged but will never go away. Thus: I am not prejudice myself, just hate all those who are!
      We need to accept our human limitations and realise we are unable to resolve such personal,tribal, national, international conflicts such as prejudice through some notion that an intellectual, emotional responce can resolve our human's like using emotions to overcome emotions!
      Sad lot ain't we! Holding the ballence suspended between all that's good and all that's evil..Shadow and all...So...
  • Organization

    The male candidate was elected because millions and millions of women did not see gender as being the central deciding issue in the campaign. Obviously like all of us Trump has a shadow. That was pointed out, elaborated upon and highlighted in big exclamatory and hysterical presentations by the mainstream television media 24/7. The electorate had to refer to the alternate media and Wikileaks to discover the unmitigated and so obviously damning evidence of Clinton's shadow.

    The road to Hell can be paved with good intentions. And as Jung so rightly pointed out, someone setting off down what looks to be the wrong path can end up accomplishing exactly the opposite. The Greeks understood it took a rough crude brutal and powerful Hero to fulfill the 12 Labors that formed the foundation upon which civilization is based. Trump is no Herakles but he has a resume of accomplishment few in America can match today. The electorate voted for change and change is what they are going to get. I welcome that change. I would have abandoned all hope for the redemption of America if the other candidate had won.

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