I discovered Joseph Lee through the podcast “This Jungian Life,” in which he and two friends, all of them therapists, come together to discuss a topic through a Jungian lens. Every week I’ll listen in to a conversation about sibling complexes or procrastination or chronic lateness, and be riveted by the collective wisdom and banter that unfolds. Joseph, Deb and Lisa share personal anecdotes and weave in mythology, archetypes and fascinating insights from the work of Jung to unpack the topic and illuminate the workings of the subconscious. They finish each episode with an analysis of a dream that’s been submitted by a listener. It’s scintillating, and—because of the intimate connection between the three friends—delightful and hilarious too.
Joseph is a clinical social worker and Jungian analyst working in private practice with adults and teens in Virginia Beach. A fateful meeting of mystics as a high school student sparked his curiosity and entry into the world of chakras, cosmologies and energies, ultimately leading him to the Hermetic Kabbalah tradition which he has been connected to for the past 40 years, and has profoundly shaped his personal and working life.
As a Jungian analyst, Joseph pays attention to the symbolic language and archetypal imagery of one’s inner and outer experience, helping to facilitate what Jung called the “Process of Individuation,” which is one’s natural movement towards wholeness. Our conversation took place on the eve of the new year and was for me a mystical experience in itself—mostly because of the way Joseph invited me to connect with him through our monitors, arriving at a place where the notes I’d prepared were merely obstructions to a much deeper, more soulful enquiry of what it means to experience the world in a mystical way. I was taken by both his brilliant mind (he’s a living encyclopaedia on Jung alone) and his wisdom on the human condition, which seems to come from his own rigorous self-work, as well as an open, desirous spirit that lets the particulars of the world—the nectar of it—in.