New Publication from Inner City Books
A Jungian view of environmental disasters
and the nature archetype
by Stephen J. Foster
ISBN 9781894574334. Index. 128 pp. 2011
In Risky Business, environmental disasters, our relationship with nature and the Nature archetype are explored from a Jungian perspective through the use of nature myths that illustrate greed and environmental destruction.
Our relationship with nature is considered through a felt-sense of nature’s presence, what Jung called the “One World” or unus mundus. Using Jung’s complex theory and his work on archetypes, the author combines his background working as a scientist for hazardous waste cleanup projects and his training as a Jungian analyst to examine the psychological problem of toxic environmental spills.
Risky Business examines how Jung’s theoretical ideas activate the psychology of not only the individual but also the collective when environmental disaster occurs. Specific toxic spill case studies illustrate how the Nature archetype can be expressed within communities that struggle with cleanup; the resolution of conflicts between parties often reveals the presence of what Jung called the Self working at the level of the group.
Finally, the author discusses a love story written by J. R. R. Tolkien, within the framework of an alchemical model, as an allegory for building a resilient and more engaged relationship with nature.
Stephen J. Foster, Ph.D., M.A., is a graduate of the Inter-regional Society of Jungian Analysts with a private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and has an environmental consulting firm where he calculates cleanup levels for hazardous waste sites in the U.S. and around the world.