Devouring and Asphyxia: Symptoms of a Cultural Complex in Present Times
Liliana Wahba (SBrPA) & Walter Boechat (AJB - AGAP)
Several studies state that there is a collective need for a civilizing change. From the twentieth century onwards, unrestrained planetary occupation is threatening humanity with a process of self-extinction, including pandemics that are associated with deforestation.
If we understan the destruction of consciousness as destruction of the world, the Dance of Death symbol embraces calcined animals and asphyxiated people, all wrapped in shadowy smokescreens of lies and spreading fear and mistrust. Splitting opposites as power/ helplessness; perpetrator/victim; leader/mass; innocent child/ powerful parents, weave the cultural complex of human-nature and human-humans dissociation leading to powerful regressive unconscious dynamics when adaptation fails.
In this atmosphere the myth of the hero emerges in new forms: in the origins of culture, it was necesary both for the construction of conscience and for cultural edification. However, humanity does not need more walls and cities, but integration with nature and community.
Nowadays hper heroism with destruction of Gaia may be understood as a cultural complex characterized by the emphasis of male devouring consciousness bringing destruction.
Liliana Liviano Wahba, Ph.D., (Brazil) is a Jungian analyst with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a Post‐Doctorate at the University of São Paulo Medical School; she is member of the Paulista Academy of Psychology and the Director of Psychology of the Institute Ser em Cena: Teatro de Afásicos (Being on Scene: Theatre for Aphasics). She teaches at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo Centre of Jungian Studies. Her main focus of research is creativity, culture and psychological development. She published the books Camille Claudel: Criação e Loucura (Camille Claudel: Creation and Madness), Médico e paciente: é proibido amar (Doctor and patient: it is forbidden to love) and is a co‐author of O Grafite e a Psique de São Paulo: Metáforas da Cidade (Graffitti and the Psyche of São Paulo: Metaphors of the City).
Walter Boechat, MD, PhD, is a graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute- Zurich. Founding-member of Jungian Association of Brazil – (AJB- IAAP). Past Representative of AJB at the Executive Committee of IAAP (International Association for Analytical Psychology) from 2007 to 2013. PhD at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Walter Boechat is part of the staff in charge of the Brazilian edition of the C. G. Jung Books: THE RED BOOK and THE BLACK BOOKS, as the reviewer of the translation from the original German version to Portuguese. He wrote: The Red Book of C. G. Jung: A Journey to Unknown Depths. (London: Routledge, 2017) Also a comprehensive study on myth: Mitopoese da Psique; Mito e Individuação. Petrópolis, Vozes, 2021 5a ed. [Mythopoieses of the Psyche: Myth and Individuation.]