Living on the Edge of the Apocalypse: What ISIS, the Christian Right, and Climate Change Deniers Have in Common

The belief that the world is coming to an end is an ancient human experience, taking varied forms in vastly differing times and cultures. The archetype of the apocalypse now casts a long shadow over the coming national elections. The public is gripped by the fear of ISIS , which promotes a belief in the foundation of the Caliphate leading to world destruction, while less attention is now given to the Christian belief in the end of times and the coming Rapture. And finally, the threat posed by climate change and environmental degradation represents the most scientifically based threat to human life on earth. Are those of us who fear it as well as those who deny it caught in the emotional grips of the same archetype? This talk will explore the historical and religious roots of the archetype of the apocalypse with the hope of bringing some psychological objectivity to the current political climate, as we face one of the most important elections in our history.

headshot_RichardS Richard Stein, MD is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst who has been practicing in San Francisco for 40 years. In addition to his work as a clinician and supervisor, he has been a regular speaker in the public and analytic training programs of the San Francisco Jung Institute, other Jung centers in the U.S., and elsewhere abroad. His teaching and writings include the transference countertransference field, Jung’s alchemical discoveries, the intersection of analytical psychology and spiritual practices, and the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, as well as the archetypal roots of cultural and political reality.