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Bargaining with the Faustian Bargain

Jungian psychoanalyst Ashok Bedi discusses Goethe and the ‘me civilization’ in day-long seminar

Oct. 10, 2016
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Many of us are aware of the Faustian bargains we have made—the soul-killing job in exchange for a comfortable living, the ethical shortcuts to getting ahead. Ashok Bedi expands the scope of that awareness to encompass virtually the whole world. For Bedi, contemporary western civilization is a Faustian bargain where material comfort and self-aggrandizement are traded for our souls. 

The author of numerous books, including Awaken the Slumbering Goddess and Retire Your Family Karma, Bedi is a Jungian psychoanalyst on the Medical College of Wisconsin faculty. His mission has been to popularize the theories of Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud’s great competitor in exploring what was once considered the dark continent of the human unconscious. Says Bedi, “Goethe’s Faust is the central myth of the western psyche and captures the central problems of western civilization—narcissism, materialism, the me civilization embodied in Part I of Faust with its rape of the environment and the feminine.” He adds that an understanding of the psychology of the Faustian legend has applications in treating addiction, depression and other health problems. 

Faust Part II, Bedi adds, contains what Jung understood as the prescription for untangling the deals we make the devil. In his day-long series of discussions and talks, “Faustian Bargain: The Dynamics of the Deal we Make with the Devil,” Bedi with will discuss Faust along with Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (a manifestation of the Faustian myth) from a Jungian perspective.

The event takes place 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Oct. 21 at the Lighthouse on Dewey, 1220 Dewey Ave., Wauwatosa. Admission is $165 ($105 for students) with proceeds benefitting the USA-India Jung Foundation. Register at http://jungchicago.org/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=350

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