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Stein, M. (2002). Endnote. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(2):307-310.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(2):307-310


Murray Stein, Ph.D.

The bumper sticker on the car next to mine in the office parking lot reads: ‘Unity in Diversity’. The car belongs to the psychoanalytic psychotherapist from the office across the hall from mine. She is a noted feminist, and I am sure the bumper sticker is for her a political statement. For a Jungian like myself it is also a psychological statement: the psyche is a complexity with multiple and diverse centres, and yet, if we are healthy, there is also unity in this plurality.

One could argue that there should be no limit on diversity, and certainly politically and psychologically we are bound to hold that there should be no arbitrary limits placed on diversity. This is what authoritarianism and persecution are made of. Analytically we are bound to allow for the full diversity of the psyche to come into play, symbolically speaking, but also to recognize the need for boundaries, edges, and rules. Without these there can be no unity within the diversity, and unity would not emerge from the flux.

Set in Prague, a midpoint in Europe between East and West, this conference proposed to explore diversity and its limits in analytical psychology and psychoanalysis. Prague and East Europe generally have only recently emerged from a heavily enforced social and political unity, the psychological results of which have been one of the key themes of this meeting. When enforced unity is suspended, people are left to deal with their relief, manic exuberance, and loss of orientation and safety.

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