#550 – Archetypal Roots in The Evolution of Consciousness and the Upheaval of Paradigm Shift with Jerome S. Bernstein


Jerome Bernstein is a Jungian Analyst in Private Practice in Santa Fe, NM, a senior training analyst with the Santa Fe Jung Institute, with 40+ years of clinical experience has a forty-five year collaborative clinical relationship with a traditional Navajo medicine man. He teaches and lectures internationally on the Psychology of Politics, Borderland Consciousness, the Global Climate Change Crisis, Trauma, and is the author of two books, Living in the Borderland: The Evolution of Consciousness and the Challenge of Healing Trauma; and, Power and Politics: The Psychology of Soviet-American Partnership; and was Co-Editor with Philip Deloria of C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions by Vine Deloria, Jr. as well as numerous articles on clinical and collective psychology.


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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

copyright 2017: David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Jeremy
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dr. Dave,

    I really appreciated this podcast because I have been searching for deeper dynamics of the current sociopolitical environment. I think I am doing this because it is easy to just blame individuals who seem to go along with the Trumpian view. One thing I have a consistent problem with is privileged individuals, like Mr. Bernstein, claiming that political correctness is a big problem. I also hear this from the Trumpian folks who refer to liberals as ‘snowflakes’ and support Trump ‘calling it like it is.’ I guess I think there should be some nuance in ‘political correctness’ in that, if a White male is saying racist stuff, that should be called out. But if marginalized folks are telling privileged folks the the privileged person’s speech is racist, then it would be appropriate to stop saying it. However, people also call this political correctness. I am not sure I am being clear with this. One example is that I have seen well meaning privileged comedians make jokes about race, weight, women, etc. and when they are called out, they say political correctness is the death of free speech. Anyways, thanks again.

  2. Dr. Dave
    Posted April 8, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    In the interview, Jerome S. Bernstein said he found hope for the future in the remarks of former Vice President Joe Biden during an interview with University of Pennsylvania president Amy Guttman. Here is a link to that interview: https://youtu.be/qvd4GpgXhts

  3. Posted April 13, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    During your interview with Jerome Bernstein, he mentioned the fact that Navajo Native Americans don’t have a separate word for animals and humans but rather use two-legged or four legged beings. Upon hearing that, I instantly went back to a very uncomfortable conversation I had with Grandmother when I was about eight years old.

    The conversation took place one evening at the dinner table at her house. It was just Grandmother, Grandfather, Becky her deaf housekeeper and me…not exactly my favorite dinner crowd. I had probably just been told that “Children should be seen and not heard,” but being a persistent and precocious child, I was probably trying a little too hard to join in the grownup’s conversation.

    I’m not sure what the subject matter was but I do remember the scene like it was yesterday. Grandmother all of a sudden got very upset and snapped at me in a loud, stern voice. “We are NOT animals! We are humans! Well, I must have referred to myself or someone else as an “animal” but blurring that line was not something she was going to stand for. Not separating the two species or putting them on an equal level was extremely upsetting and almost seemed obscene or blasphemous to her. It was like a scene from Planet of the Apes.”

    One one hand I felt hurt, embarrassed and confused and on the other hand I felt like jeez, what’s the big deal and why is she so agitated over semantics or a child’s ignorance of a biology? Her reaction was very hurtful to me as she rarely raised her voice or scolded me. Did it have something to do with religion? Did I accidentally cross over some Darwinian line or was it just displaced anger? We’ll never know but until yesterday it’s been an unresolved mystery…a sore spot gnawing away at my consciousness for over 60 plus years!

    Side Bar: While listening to the interview, I recalled that when I worked at the radio station in Page, Arizona that whenever we translated commercials from English into Navajo that a :30 second commercial ended up being 5 minutes! How could that be? But then it was explained to me that in Navajo for instance, there’s no single word for the color red but many words describing the color of the sky in the evening when the sun is setting over the mountain…for example. So when Jerome Bernstein used the 2-legged and 4-legged example in describing the difference between the species, my light bulb went on. Yes, I had been down this road before. I immediately recognized it and knew it was the right road:-)

    Of course, that’s it’s! Eureka! My connection with animals went a lot deeper than my grandmothers. Like the Navajos, it never occurred to me that it could be necessary to label animals as such in some sub-human category. They were my best friends, different and superior in many ways and in my eyes entitled to equal treatment and respect. Grandmother clearly looked down on upon them. She raised them for profit and used them for protection. They were the best things in my life and I truly loved them and them me. They brought me joy. They brought her income and gave her obedience. They were her property. She was the master and they were her servants. Maybe a bit harsh but at age eight that’s how I saw it and honestly. I still do.

    Jerome Bernstein spoke to the Native American in me and made it possible for the first time in my life to look back at that situation clearly through different eyes and thru my heart. I can now identify myself as part of a like-minded group that looks at the world (and the animals we share it with) thru different eyes than most. I see my “different point of view” now as a positive and I feel philosophically validated…or something like that. I no longer feel like I’m the odd ball who missed something or that’s it’s necessary for me to turn off a part of my intellect or emotions. That painful and confusing memory will no longer be able to confuse or haunt me.

    Although this may sound like much to-do over nothing, your interview touched me in a way that you could never know. Just thought I’d share to reminded you of the positive impact your podcast can and is having on people.

    Thank you both for doing what you do so well!

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