Bond, Solitude and Digital Sociality: Freud and Jung One Hundred Years Later

Today's bonds are increasingly unstable, digitally modified, capable of throwing us into the hypnotic intoxication of massification as well as abandoning us to the darkest solitude. When we take part in a group, when we act within it, what sustains our bond and from where does the power by which we feel inhabited come from? What happens to our responsibility, our instincts, our emotions, when we are socialized by the multitude, in the places and forms through which it expresses itself from time to time? These are all questions that come to the fore today because of the communication devices offered to us by new technologies. We can well see all this in the new forms of virtual aggregation, in its forms of giving body to the different online communities, with concrete consequences on the way of doing politics, of understanding relationships, of generating conflicts. But they are also questions at the heart of a work, now a classic, of which this year marks the centenary of its publication: Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego by Sigmund Freud. From a classic we always have something to learn to better understand what we are living today, and it is in this sense that we will try to question the Freudian essay starting from the notions of identification and falling in love, with which the author explains the functioning of the bond. Not only that, we will also try to question these themes in the light of another classic whose centenary of publication is being celebrated: Psychological Types by Carl Gustav Jung. With a completely different approach, although published in the same year as the Freudian essay, Jung's study tries to find in the inescapable variety of human experience some "forms" or "structures", also building on some of the insights of Otto Gross (whose existential path intercepts the experience of Monte Verità almost thirty years before Jung's arrival at Eranos) that founded the now well-known Jungian concepts of extroversion and introversion. The evening will try not only to put in tension the two essays, but also and above all to verify how much the categories discussed by the two authors (in Jung's case, already problematized by James Hillman in a memorable lecture held at Eranos in 1976) help us to shed light on some of the social phenomena that today direct our ways of living, thinking, and reflecting on ourselves: not least, on some of the most regressive forms of contemporary digital narcissism.

The study afternoon, scheduled on Friday, November 26, 2021, from 6:30pm to 8:30 pm at the Monte Verità Congress Center (Ascona), is held in collaboration with the "Tiresia. Philosophy and Psychoanalysis" Research Center (Department of Human Sciences, University of Verona). Lecturers will be Matteo Bonazzi (University of Verona), Federico Leoni (University of Verona), Matteo Vegetti (Università della Svizzera Italiana), Fabio Merlini (Eranos Foundation and Federal University Institute for Vocational Training), and Riccardo Bernardini (Eranos Foundation).

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