CHRONIC ANGER: trapped in resentment

Mar 4, 2021

A scowling man displays chronic anger.
Photo Credit: Engin Akyurt via Unsplash

Like fire in a wood-burning stove, resentment burns long and hot: bitterness, frustration, and hostility. The fires of resentment are lit when we feel needy and vulnerable and feel wronged and rejected. This old human story is told in the biblical tale of brothers Cain and Abel.

When Cain’s offering is judged inferior, Cain takes it out on Abel. He acts–and acts out—defensively to insulate himself from shame and culpability by killing Abel. Cain’s subsequent mark symbolizes the psychic price of resentment. Creating a new human story means facing, feeling and healing from the fruitless quest for reparation. We must instead accept even awful disappointment and seek new possibility. The story of Cain and Abel is a tale of the archetypal masculine. Healing is likely to lie in discovering one’s tender, embracing feminine soul.  

 Here’s the dream we analyze:

“I’m at an apartment’s open house. I know that the place was previously owned by someone considered to be very social and popular. The apartment is right downtown, prime location for shopping and partying. It is also attached to a well-known café/bar. As I’m looking around, I find that the ceilings are very low and I’m hunched over as I move through the rooms and open closets (’cause closet space matters!). I start to have my doubts even though there’s a part of me that really wants to live here to be popular too. I sit down with the real estate agent and the café owner. They are playing really loud rock music, the kind of music that just sounds like awful noise to my ears. I mentally retreat from the scene by delving into a book. The café owner looks at me and says that I’m not really a fit for the vibe of the place, which he wants to be the same as before. I agree, although reluctantly.”


Ronald Fairbairn:


Melanie Klein:


John Bowlby:



Learn to Analyze your own Dreams:  https://thisjungianlife.com/enroll/


  1. Linda L Koenig

    Thank You
    You mentioned the notes would provide the John Clease link .
    Where are the notes posted?

  2. Salisbury

    Please can you tell me whether there are transcripts anywhere of these podcasts? The podcasts themselves are great to listen to as you all work so well together, but there are certain episodes i would love to read as well, as i retain information better that way. Thank you for the podcast – i’ve listened to every single one!

    • Joseph Lee

      We have generated transcripts for a number of episodes thus far. We have found it very time consuming to generate edited transcripts four times a month so new transcripts are on hold for now.

  3. Todd

    If we accept the radical premise put forward by Jung in “Answer to Job” that the evolution of Yahweh in the Bible towards the Christ is actually a complex symbolic image of the evolution of the human psyche/Self towards individuation, we can see that the early God’s reaction to Cain and Abel is very much in line with your explanation of the arbitrary reaction of an infant. There is no rhyme or reason to God’s reaction because at this stage, this image of God points to a relatively unevolved stage of psyche…. it wants what it wants (meat over veg!)…no explanation offered; Yahweh flies into a rage when he doesn’t get what it wants and wounds those around it indiscriminately. In fact, if you think about it Yahweh is a very schizoid character isn’t he and he often prefers the company of other angry, malicious schizoids…. murderers (David) and cheats (Jacob) to those more earthy, balanced characters (Jonathan/Esau?). It took the earthy Jesus born of the divine feminine (nourished by the Virgin Lactans), to bring balance back to Yahweh. So all these images that you discuss there in the story!



  1. Dr. Jess and Cain and Abel - Reflecting My Self - […] It reminded me of another podcast to which I recently listened. That one was about Cain and Abel, and…

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