115: Re-Visioning America’s Heroic Ideal with Michael Gellert

“Character is fate.”  – Heraclitus United we stand. Divided we fall. The United States is becoming an increasingly divided country with each day that goes by. The idea of what American culture and values are changes, depending on where you are on the party line. In this episode, Michael Gellert discusses the newly-revised edition of his compelling book, The Fate of America, which explores the national character of the United States against the backdrop of its history, popular culture, and media. Listen in as Michael explores the development of the American heroic ideal; how it reflects the nation’s aspiration towards greatness and its sense of identity; as well as its connection to the country’s deepening divisions; increase in societal challenges; and erosion of vital institutions. Take a listen to learn about citizen- and enemy-oriented heroism; where you’re located among these ideals; and what is being called upon us now. About Michael Gellert: Michael Gellert is a Jungian analyst, practicing in Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA. He was formerly the Director of Training at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, where he is currently a research instructor. He’s also a humanities professor at Vanier College, Montreal, and a lecturer at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Michael has a Master’s degree in religious studies and social work and studied with Marshall McLuhan at the University of Toronto. He’s a mental health consultant for the University of Southern California and TIME Magazine. Some Questions I Ask:
  • What is America’s national character? What does that reveal about challenges we face? (4:13)
  • Can you share about the Principles of Youth and Authority? (19:44)
  • How has America’s heroic ideal gone awry? (33:37)
  • What does the death-rebirth cycle mean for moving forward in America? (46:46)
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
  • What the different types of heroism in America are. (6:30)
  • What happens when society loses sight of citizen-oriented heroism. (15:28)
  • Why the divide of the Spirits of Youth and Authority brings out the worst in both sides. (23:03)
  • How division dehumanizes the “Other.” (28:46)
  • America’s addiction to innocence (37:58)
  • The individual’s responsibility in relation to participating in society. (49:06)
Listen to Michael’s previous appearance on WID: The Divine Mind & The Evolution of Consciousness with Michael Gellert Resources: The Divine Mind by Michael Gellert Modern Mysticism by Michael Gellert America’s Identity Crisis by Michael Gellert Michael Gellert’s Website