Technology-Pharmakon, Poison And Cure: Jung and the Paradox In Media

Royce Froehlich, PhD, MDiv, LCSW-R

Saturday, September 21, 2019 | 1:00-5:00 pm

The pharmakonis a concept Jung employed to support his theory of the paradoxical nature of the opposites, the inherent polarity of the psyche. The paradox of technology reveals itself as a power that is both life-enhancing and holds the potential for the self-destruction of humanity. C.G. Jung saw the threat to human life in the death machines of the two World Wars, and also the threat to psychic balance in the technological developments in the communications media of his day, “especially the television.” The greatest danger however, says Jung, “is the psyche of man,” and he feared that we would not be able to live up to the psychological demands that technology asks of us.

The music industry can also be seen as a pharmakon, bringing great joy to audiences throughout the global village while “the star-maker machinery” (Joni Mitchell) cranks out the next American idol. Two ‘rock operas’, Tommy, by The Who, and The Wallby Pink Floyd will serve to illustrate aspects of the mass effect of electronic media as well as its individual effect on the celebrity, the hero at the center of the spectacle; who, in turn, could be anyone. This workshop will locate Jung in the arena of media studies as a sober critic of technology and its effect on the psyche, with the intention of finding psychological balance in our electronically mediated lifeworld.

Royce Froehlich is a practicing Jungian analyst with an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research, and Ph.D. from the European Graduate School. He is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Social Work (MSSW) and the C.G. Jung Institute of New York. Royce is on the faculties of the Jung Foundation and Institute.

Members and Seniors: $35.00
Non-Members: $45.00
Students with IDs: $15.00
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