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Dissertation Title:

A Cinematic Imagination of Ego–Self Encounters Through the Lens of Endosymbiosis


Antonio Carlos Pires De Araujo Jr.

Date, Time & Place:

September 25, 2020 at


The ego-Self encounter is a crucial construct in Jungian psychology. Jung wrote of the confrontational nature of this encounter, proposing that if the ego can endure the clash, it will eventually experience the inevitable initial defeat as a victory in which the personality is enlarged and matured. If the ego is not strong and flexible enough to cope with and integrate dystonic material, serious psychological perils are at stake. This project raises the question: Might there be other forms of relationship in an ego-Self encounter beyond those that Jung envisioned? Following this line of thought, this dissertation explores imaginally alternative dynamics in and effects of these encounters. As art is a vehicle for the exploration of psyche, this project examines and amplifies the characters, motifs, and aesthetics of five motion pictures for symbolic content related to the ego–Self relationship and its imagined outcomes. A hermeneutic methodology engages different views and alternative angles of exploration. Guided by Jungian film theory and employing endosymbiotic theory as the lens of apprehension, the author gathered a harvest of possible ego–Self encounters from his appreciation of the films’ symbolic content. The research found the possibility of incrementally different ego–Self encounter dynamics and outcomes encompassing a spectrum from beneficial, to indifferent, to detrimental, and from harmonic, to confrontational, to destructive. These views contribute insights that expand and enrich a depth psychological understanding of the ego-Self encounter phenomenon.


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  • Program/Track/Year: Depth Psychology with Specialization in Jungian and Archetypal Studies, Track ZZ, 2013
  • Chair: Dr. Keiron Le Grice
  • Reader: Dr. Dylan Hoffman
  • External Reader: Dr. John Izod
  • Keywords: Ego¬–Self Axis, Ego–Self Encounter, Jungian Film Theory, Jungian Psychology