An Opportunistic Infection

DONALD TRUMP AS AN OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTION
by Robert Magrisso, M.D.
 

The Republican Party has been a sick, dysfunctional body for a long time. Denying reality and living within a narrative of its own creation, it cannot really participate in national governance and it cannot recognize its own illness. Donald Trump is the opportunistic infection that comes in the terminal phase. A weak bacterium that normally lives innocuously in the colon suddenly becomes a pathogen when the body is so weakened. It is political sepsis we are witnessing. I hope we have the strength as a nation to resist but it will require some painful soul searching on the parts of many who seem to have lost their souls.

Every physician knows that when the body is weakened by disease, very often the final, terminal illness is an opportunistic infection. The immune system, which protects against the myriad of bacteria, viruses and fungi to which we are routinely exposed, but can easily fight off, is so weak, that otherwise innocuous bacteria becomes potentially lethal.  In the 1970s when I was doing my internal medicine residency, one rotation was at a VA Hospital.  The veterans who had started smoking during World War II had so much lung cancer that there was one ward just for lung cancer patients.  It was always full and there would be deaths daily. As trainees, we routinely did so called “fever work ups” on patients with a fever.  This included blood cultures, which were looking for bacteria in the blood stream.  Almost everyone who died of lung cancer, had positive blood cultures terminally.  They technically died of sepsis due to pneumonia rather than the lung cancer itself.

I bring this up because Donald Trump has seemed to me to be an opportunistic infection, infecting the Republican Party and, by extension, our entire body politic.  The Republican Party has been ill for a long time.  One could date the nomination of Sarah Palin for Vice President of the United States as one clearly visible sign.  Her incredible unqualifiedness, born out by subsequent history, was like seeing visible skin rash reflecting deeper pathology.  President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney may go down as the worst executive pairing in modern history.  The Tea Party wing of the party is reactionary in the extreme, having no ideas to meet the challenges of the 21st century, interconnected world in which we live but simply reacts against anything the Democrats support.  Ungrounded in basic facts, lost in narrative of their own creation, they have nothing constructive to offer any thinking person.  The business wing seems only interested in preserving and extending its power and using that power to keep intact or extend its share of the pie.  The disconnect between what the party says, its rhetoric and its actions is so great as to make one seriously wonder if mental illness diagnoses apply.  At some point, the people who voted Republican were going to realize this and they weren’t going to move to the Democratic Party. 

So we have a weakened party.  We have a dysfunctional government due to this weakened party.  There is no sound leadership in the party.  The nominees for President did not, in my opinion, include a single qualified person.  This is the weakened political body, a body susceptible to an opportunistic pathogen.  Donald Trump is someone who never in the past would be taken seriously as a presidential nominee.  He is like the bacteria in your colon.  They have a place, a necessary place in the scheme of things but not in government.  He is a self promoting businessman of questionable success, an entertainer, an insult artist, a narcissistic joke actually.  But now, he is dangerous to the weakened political body and he can’t be stopped.  Taking his script from the demagogue playbook, he has preyed upon the fears, distrust, betrayals of people.  When I read how the Republican leaders have tried and failed to stop him, I can’t help but think that they have been the disease that has weakened the body.  Even if one is a “liberal” or Democrat, one needs a strong, relevant Republican Party.  A party who has serious ideas, who really cares about the people of this country, who is aware that the world has changed and is not trying to turn back time with different ideas than the Democrats would be great. 

Hopefully, the American people as a whole are a healthy enough “body” that can destroy this pathogen and new health can be restored.  However, how many other nations have had demagogues take power when their political body was sick?  Just as having an opportunist terminal infection is the oldest way to die (think of the time before antibiotics), getting a demagogue to take over is the oldest political solution of a diseased body politic.

Robert Magrisso, MD

This paper was referenced by Dr. Tom Lavin in Episode #17

Special thanks to Dr. Magrisso for allowing publication of his paper on this website.

Who's Coming?

Long-Eared Owl by Brad Wilson, at an exhibit I saw in Santa Fe in September 2014.

Notes from my talk with Jungian analyst Russ Lockhart:

1.  The caption on the Zarathustra Seminar photo reads, "Front row, left to right: William Sanford, Janet Dallett, Suzanne Wagner, Deborah Wesley, Rose Emily Rothenberg, Hilde Kirsch; back row, left to right, Russell Lockhart, Max Zeller, Charles Zussman, James Silber, Weyler Greene."

2.  Hilde Kirsch was his personal analyst. The Kirsches {James & Hilde} and the Zellers {Max & Lore} started the Psychology Club in LA in 1944, which later became the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles.

3.  His video shoots with Suzanne Wagner were how Matter of Heart came to be.

4.  He was introduced to Jung when he was 13 years old, by a man who was trying to turn him into a Communist. Among the man's propaganda was a copy of Jung's Modern Man in Search of a Soul.

5.  Hal Stone was his wife's first analyst. My former analyst is currently writing a book about him.

6.  What/who told him to become a Jungian analyst ... and who told him not to?

7.  "What I knew was best for me was coming up in my dreams."

8.  "The purpose of Jungian analysis is to connect you with your unconscious and the collective unconscious underneath that."

9.  Regarding world affairs: "A lot of our conscious efforts are not really solving the problems – not even taking into account what the problems are."

10.  It is important to see, to recognize, the continuity between synchronicities.

11.  Jung's principle of the coming guest.  ... 'Coming' points to eros as the major factor that we're missing, and it needs to be developed. ... The great work that lies before us in the future as humans is to develop eros.

12.  Experiencing it {what?} primarily through our dreams and through art and the artist. The artist in each of us. Relating to every aspect of our life in an artistic way.

13.  Dreaming is crucial to proper functioning – of the immune system, physiologically, in our capacity to relate.

14.  Why people don't remember their dreams. ... The memory cannot consolidate what you're experiencing in the dream. ... Stress and cortisol. ... The neurological basis of imagination.

15.  In Psyche Speaks, he wrote about how we're losing our connection to animals. He then relates to us a story about how an owl saved his life.

16.  Gilles Quispel – what he said about mystery. "Shhh..."

17.  "Eros always gives birth to something that is different than what logos generates."

18.  Keats, the poet, in a letter to his brother, wrote about 'negative capability.'

19.  "It begins by attending to your dreams."

20.  "Dreams are one of the few things that have not been subjected to commodification."

21.  Edward Bernays, Freud's nephew, was the inventor of modern public relations and propaganda. A way for the elites to manipulate the public.

22.  "Our desires are manipulated into monetizing for the elite. That's what's happening ... at every level of society ... basically all over the world."

23.  "The dream is not yet commodified. We don't have to pay for dreams. ... You don't have to pay any money to have your dream. That's one of the last areas in human experience that's not being commodified. So, to me, that's the antidote: paying attention to your dreams. Spend time with them."

24.  So what can we do with our dreams? He explains.

25.  "It became clear to me that all dreams are about the future. ... Use the dream as the impetus for writing an new story."

26.  Alice O. Howell was an astrologer and a poet and a storyteller. She was not an analyst. But she was on the faculty of the C.G. Jung Institutes of Los Angeles and Chicago.

27.  He gave Alice a kick in the ass. "She just needed a push. A kick in the pants, as it were."

28.  "One of the things I point out in Psyche Speaks is how important in eros acting is. Acting on the eros impulse. That kick in the pants was an erotic act between Alice and I. ... An eros act. It generated. It generated."

29.  "I called it erotic because I want erotic to be much larger than its usual conception."

30.  "Power has so usurped eros. Logos has so usurped eros."

31.  "I like Graham Jackson's 'war on eros' idea because that's the one thing that can really counter so much of what's wrong with the world today."

32.  "Eros does not recognize boundaries."

33.  Dreams are the source. The resource.

34.  "Here's a little story about Edward Edinger. And pardon me if I bring along James Hillman into this." ... The story ends with, "Such is the real back and forth between analysts." Hilarious.

35.  M. Esther Harding: He once asked her Freud's question, "What do women want?" Her answer prompted him to write Psyche Speaks.

36.  My favorite Esther Harding quote is on the Laura page of this website.

37.  Harding's answer relates to power and how consumed most men are with power.

38.  Eros is "the general principle of relatedness."

39.  What are men looking for in their pursuit of power? "The solution, or the cure, for inadequacy." {That's it right there, ladies and gentlemen.}

40.  "I have to say, rejecting power is not the same as eros. Not having power is not the same as eros."

41.  "The opposite of power is not eros; the opposite of power is powerlessness."

42.  "Power is vertical; eros is horizontal."

43.  Hollywood people, sports people, the rich and famous, when he worked with them at his practice in LA, it became boring. Partly because the narcissism is so extreme. You could be in the room with a person and essentially not be able to breathe. ... "The people were so far away from being themselves that it started to have more of a tragic quality."

44.  Why does he use the word 'boring' to describe working with celebrities? Because "the progress toward becoming real was really slow."

45.  On his book, Words as Eggs, what generated both the most flack and the most comments?

46.  "One of the qualities of a good relationship is when each partner can fully reveal themselves to the other. No secrets."

47.  What did he say this about? "Obviously that's an ego solution to a problem that goes much deeper and so it's not a solution at all."

48.  "A great deal of relationship problems come back to this one issue of not telling."

49.  I kept saying, "You said..." when I should have been saying, "You wrote..."

50.  Below is a quote from Dr. Lockhart's April 4, 2016, blog post, Ragnarök & the Coming Guest.

In his 1960 letter to Herbert Read, Jung called what was needed, was a ‘great dream.’ Jung said that such a great dream has always spoken through the artist as ‘mouthpiece’ proclaiming the arrival of the coming guest. It is the artist’s love and passion (the human eros) that needs to be listened to in order to proclaim and welcome the coming guest (the heavenly Eros). In my view, it was the artist in each of us that would be the source of what was necessary to welcome the coming guest. But we seem far from such a realization and manifestation.

The earlier Freud expects the arrival of the heavenly Eros. The later Jung expects the arrival of the coming guest. I think both great men are talking about the same thing.

Thus, in the face of the final Ragnarök, which seems ever more certain, one may either give up in despair, entertain oneself to death, or manifest ever more fully the human Eros that is love and passion and generative creativity. One must perhaps, celebrate both the final Ragnarök and welcome Eros, the coming guest.
— Russ Lockhart, "Ragnarök & the Coming Guest," Apr. 4, 2016

You can listen to the entire interview in Episode #16 of Speaking of Jung.

Brad Wilson's exhibit, Avian, at photo-eye in Santa Fe.

Beyond The Strange

The bread knife that inexplicably snapped into four pieces inside the sideboard in the Jung family home. Jung kept that knife for the rest of his life. Photo from the book, C.G. Jung: Word & Image, p. 32.

On January 31, 2016, I was the guest on Beyond The Strange where I joined Dave, Les, and Brian for two and a half hours to discuss the life and work of C.G. Jung, plus a whole lot more.

The show has been archived, so you can listen to it now on YouTube, as well as on Spreaker where it is also available as a download.

I thought I'd create this page in order to provide more information on some of the things that we discussed.

LINKS
 

J. Gary Sparks  Our interview about synchronicity and Jung's relationship with one of the founders of quantum physics, Wolfgang Pauli

The Podcast  A complete listing of all the episodes of Speaking of Jung

Remote Viewing  A comprehensive definition from my teacher, Dr. David Morehouse

CUP  The Cleveland Ufology Project, founded in 1952, is the oldest operating UFO group in the world.

The Mystical Arts of Tibet  Tibetan Buddhist monks on tour in the US

Trip to Zürich  Shaun Lau stepped in as guest host to interview me about my recent trip to Zürich, Switzerland
 

BOOKS
 

Memories, Dreams, Reflections  The autobiography of C.G. Jung, edited by Aniela Jaffé

C.G. Jung: Word & Image  Jung's life in pictures, also edited by Aniela Jaffé

C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews & Encounters  A great compilation of some of Jung's interviews and talks. This is my personal favorite.

C.G. Jung Letters: Volume 1 and Volume 2  These contain numerous references to the occult

The Red Book  Jung's diary of his encounter with the unconscious

Jung: His Life & Work – A Biographical Memoir  by Barbara Hannah

Jung: A Biography  by Deirdre Bair

Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies  by C.G. Jung

Psychology & the Occult  From The Collected Works of C.G. Jung

The Freud/Jung Letters  by Sigmund Freud & C.G. Jung

A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, & Sabina Spielrein  The real story which the movie did not portray

At the Heart of Matter: Synchronicity & Jung's Spiritual Testament  by J. Gary Sparks

Valley of Diamonds: Adventures in Number & Time with Marie-Louise von Franz  by J. Gary Sparks

Atom & Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters  by Wolfgang Pauli & C.G. Jung

A complete listing of The Collected Works of C.G. Jung may be found on the BOOKS page.

Whitley Strieber  A complete listing of his books at Amazon.com
 

DVDS
 

What is Synchronicity?  This new documentary features two Jungian analysts who have been guests on Speaking of Jung: J. Gary Sparks and Christina Becker.

Matter of Heart  The best documentary out there about Jung's life and work

Remembering Jung  The DVD series of conversations with those who knew him best. {You can also stream these individually on your computer or device for $5.00 each from the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles' website.}

The World Within: C.G. Jung in His Own Words  Contains lots of old film footage of interviews with Jung

A Dangerous Method  Hollywood version of the story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein

When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions  A six-part documentary series on how we got to the Moon. This is my favorite documentary about our space program.

The Dance  Fleetwood Mac's 1997 concert featuring the brilliant guitar playing of Lindsey Buckingham

C.G. Jung's Grave

The Jung Family grave in Küsnacht, Switzerland.

C.G. Jung passed away on June 6, 1961 after a short illness at his home in Küsnacht. In the words of Aniela Jaffé, he died "in great peace." He was almost eight-six years old.

Below are some photos from my visit to the Swiss Reformed Church and graveyard in Küsnacht, Switzerland, on November 24, 2015.

Jung's funeral was held in the church on June 9, 1961. In fact, all of the funerals for the Jung family were held there. Lewis Lafontaine has a transcript of Jung’s funeral service {Link fixed on June 6, 2017} which includes several eulogies. In one of them, Jung was referred to as a prophet. Mighty heavy words coming from a Swiss Reformed pastor.

On the Jung family gravestone, "Familie Jung" {which was not easy to find, by the way}, are the names of Jung's father, Johannes Paul Jung {1842-1896}; his mother, Emilie Jung-Preiswerk {1848-1925}; his sister, Gertrud Jung {1884-1935}; his wife, Emma Jung-Rauschenbach {1882-1955}; Jung himself {1875-1961}; his daughter-in-law, Lilly Jung-Merker {1915-1983}; and his son, Franz Karl Jung {1908-1996}. Along the top and bottom is an inscription in Latin that says, “Called or not called, God will be present” {a quote by Erasmus}. Along the sides it says, “The first man was of the earth, earthly: the second man from heaven, heavenly” {St. Paul}.

Two of Jung's long-time pupils and friends, Jungian analysts Barbara Hannah and Marie-Louise von Franz, are buried there as well. They share a gravesite, as Jung insisted that they live together in the latter part of their lives. Their funerals were held in the church as well.

I was there to pay my deepest respects to all of them.
 

Einsiedeln

The Black Madonna of Einsiedeln. Scan of the rosary booklet from the monastery.

This is a brief synopsis of my visit to Einsiedeln, Switzerland, on November 23, 2015, where I met with Jungian analyst Robert Hinshaw at his publishing company, Daimon Verlag.

The offices are located in a 700-year-old building, and his window looks out onto the Kloster Einsiedeln, an enormous Benedictine monastery that is home to the Black Madonna. Late in the afternoon, I was able to snap a photo of the Moon rising behind the magnificent abbey.

In the 1970s, Dr. Hinshaw attended the C.G. Jung Institute Zürich where he took classes from Marie-Louise von Franz, Barbara Hannah, and James Hillman. As a student, he worked alongside Daryl Sharp at Spring Publications, eventually becoming their business manager. After Spring moved to the United States, Hinshaw started his own publishing company, Daimon Verlag.

Daimon publishes books on Jungian psychology in both German and English, and also has a few rare DVDs as well as a postcard series from the Red Book. But I think their biggest endeavor is the publication of the Eranos Lectures and Eranos Yearbooks.

Dr. Hinshaw sent me off with the book, The Black Madonna of Einsiedeln: An Ancient Image for Our Present Time, written by a friend, Jungian analyst Fred Gustafson, whom he trained with in Zürich.

The Black Madonna of Einsiedeln is a collective expression in image form which compensates the collective conscious mentality of our age. In other words, for renewal to come in our time, it must be borne in the arms of the black, unknown maternal night of the unconscious, where humanity will once again open its psyche to that rich natural soil that is the mother of all human thought, invention, doctrinal formulation and truth.
— Fred Gustafson

When I left the office it was very dark and very cold outside. I walked up to the abbey to get a glimpse of the Black Madonna and discovered that a mass was being held, so no photo-taking was allowed. There is, however, a replica statue in a small room off to the side, and I've included her photo above and below.

A scan of the pamphlet, "Rosary in Einsiedeln":

The monastery has a very active Facebook page as well as a live webcam.

On Monday, December 14, 2015, I recorded an interview with the author of The Black Madonna of Einsiedeln, Dr. Fred Gustafson. You can listen to that episode on his podcast page.

Special thanks to Episode #7 guest Christina Becker for suggesting I visit Einsiedeln during my trip to Zürich.