Episode 81: Interview with Dr. Robert Romanyshyn on Frankenstein, technology and climate collapse
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Robert Romanyshyn, a retired emeritus professor of clinical psychology. Prof. Romanyshyn is an internationally recognized scholar in depth psychology, which attends to how unconscious dynamics shape human behavior. A prolific author, he has published many books, chapters, and, articles on the cultural and historical origins and development of the scientific and technological worldview. His most recent book Victor Frankenstein, the Monster and the Shadows of Technology; The Frankenstein Prophecies continues this work. Within the context of that dramatic tale, his new book describes for a general audience the story of technology that he told in Technology as Symptom and Dream.
Along with his nearly 50 years as teacher and practitioner of clinical psychology, he has focused his work on the increasingly dire issue of climate challenges, emphasizing the role of unconscious dynamics in shaping the ways we see ourselves in relation to the natural world. Using numerous examples, he describes how the various social, political, economic and ecological crises that we face today are the dark shadow side of our unexamined and unquestioned belief that we are apart from the natural world and not a part of it.
Drawing on his many years of experience working with unconscious dynamics in the private contexts of psychotherapy, he acknowledges the challenges of bringing these skills into the public sphere. He argues, however, that alongside political, economic and technological responses to climate crises, a psychological perspective is essential. In his remarks he provides examples of how a perspective that would make a place for unconscious factors offers seeds of hope for the future of our planet and our species.