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FROM PYSCHE TO SCARAB: The Emotional Resonance of Animals in Symbolism and Synchronicity

  • Friday, March 18, 2016
  • 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
  • Jung Society Library, 5200 Cathedral Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016
  • 0


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Friday, March 18th

An Evening With...

Michael Jawer

Most everyone familiar with Jung knows about his theory of synchronicity, manifest in uncanny coincidences such as the beetle tapping on his window during a session with a patient, coincident with her relating a dream in which a golden scarab was prominent.

While many such meaningful coincidences involve another person, some of the most intriguing instances involve animals.  Since animals often manifest in dreams (James Hillman devoted an entire book, Dream Animals, to this phenomenon), animals clearly have emotional and symbolic significance.  The fact that they are sensate, and that many of them have feelings and cognitions similar to humans’ (including the capacity to dream), suggests a basis in our communal sentience for synchronicities and all that they imply.

This session will examine emotion as the currency of symbolism and synchronicity, as the gateway between psyche and soma, and as the key to important similarities between human beings and other living creatures.  These are the creatures we share the world with, whose forms, habits and abilities shape not only our mythology but our ongoing conception of the world, and whose very presence is essential for us to be human.

If we are ensouled in nature then so must animals be.  In this program, we’ll look at the implications for better understanding both our own animal nature and the unus mundus of which we are a part.

Michael Jawer investigates emotion, spirituality, and the bodymind basis of personality. He writes a blog, “Feeling Too Much,” for Psychology Today.  His articles and papers have appeared in Spirituality & Health, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, Noetic Now, Science & Consciousness Review, the Journal of Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, and theJournal of the Society for Psychical Research.  Jawer has presented to the American Psychological Association and been interviewed by Psychology Today and Advances in Mind-Body Medicine. He has presented to the Jung Society of Washington and to student classes at Georgetown University, Drexel University, and the University of Maryland.  He has authored two books with Marc Micozzi, MD, PhD: The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion (Park Street Press, 2009) and Your Emotional Type (Healing Arts Press, 2011).  The book websites are, respectively, and  Jawer can be reached at


5200 Cathedral Ave., NW
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The Jung Society of Washington is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, a nonprofit educational institution. Our IRS form 990 is available upon request. Although many of the Jung Society's programs involve analytical psychology and allied subjects, these offerings are intended, and should be viewed, as a source of information and education, and not as therapy. The Jung Society does not offer psychoanalytical or other mental health services.
Images of mandalas throughout this site were created by Carl Jung's patients between the years 1926 and 1945.
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