Newsletter of the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario

ISSN 1918-6142

Chiron is a newsletter that exists to support the work of the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario. It was established in 1980, and has existed in electronic form since 2006. Its name and masthead image, adopted at that time, are drawn from ancient Greek culture. In Greek mythology, Chiron was the last centaur, a son of the titan Cronus. He was famed for his wisdom, knowledge and skill at deciphering the will of the gods, to healing effect.


Volume 29, No. 3 April 2010

Editor: Robert Black


Jungian Views on Burning Issues!
Saturday, June 12, 2010, 2:30 p.m.
223 St. Clair Avenue West, Third Floor

We welcome you to come out and participate in a casual but lively engagement of minds and matter for our first “Jungian Views on Burning Issues” event. This will be a fun and relaxed affair intended to stimulate as much camaraderie as it does good ideas and discussion.

On Saturday June 12th at 2:30, three analysts Paul Benedetto, Douglas Cann and Elizabeth Pomès, will each give brief presentations on the tempting, tantalizing and potentially totally tempestuous topic of, “Any body out there? Mind vs. body in a virtual world.”

Our exploding virtual culture is criticized for bloodless even mindless subscription to ‘life on "Portavit eum ventus in ventre fuo" (The wind has carried it in his belly).the screen.’ Screen time is fast replacing ‘face time’ — let alone real time! — and internet avatars and reality TV seem to have more substance than our next door neighbours. In a new age where our screen lives have increasing substance and human interaction is reduced to digital texting and twitters, where are we now locating our minds and bodies? Are we losing our bodies or just losing our minds!?!

After the analysts reveal their minds and matters, audience participants will have a chance to express their reactions in small groups before reconvening for a summary round-up. We hope to see anyone who would welcome the chance to spend time with their Jungian friends and enjoy some provocative ideas.

Refreshments will be served.

"Portavit eum ventus in ventre fuo"
(The wind has carried it in his belly).

Mind vs. Body: Analyst Presenters
Paul Benedetto, analyst and long time yoga teacher and practitioner
Douglas Cann, analyst and classical guitarist, mountain hiker and wood splitter
Elizabeth Pomès, analyst and certified yoga teacher, singer and vocal teacher

Moderator: Tim Pilgrim


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President in CBC broadcast

Recently, the CBC radio programme Sunday Tapestry did a programme called, “Tapestry Goes to Hell.” Our president, analyst Robert Gardner, was featured along with one of our good friends, retired Anglican priest John Whittall “and a no-name supporting cast.” If readers of Chiron would like to hear it, the link is: http://www.cbc.ca/tapestry/archives/2010/032110.html

Encounters with the Soul: active imagination (Part One)

by Douglas Cann

Active Imagination is a direct encounter with the reality of the Unconscious.  It is not simply a releasing of unconscious fantasies, such as occurs in free association, and the use of projective techniques such as the Rorschach or Thematic Apperception tests.  It differs from the “simple” expression of fantasy material in drawings, paintings, sculpture, music, dance, writing and sandtray. It is not a guided or directed imaginal technique. It is active and calls for an ethical confrontation between the whole person and the figures of the unconscious.  One must immerse oneself within the fantasy drama and enter into a dialogue which ultimately changes both sides!

Active imagination occurs alone and by myself with the inner other!  The methods of expressing fantasies from the Unconscious I have mentioned can become forms of active imagination when the participant becomes aware of an encounter with a living, responding and communicating energy of life that is separate and distinct.

This should not be entered into lightly, for many people live in the realm of the imaginatio phantastica: I make up the fantasies; they are simply products of my imagination.  They are completely subjective and, after all, I created God anyway. In this hyper-rational world I am the sole creator (after all, we created numbers didn’t we?!). And psychic life has no autonomy. 

Now, what tends to happen when we unexpectedly and without preparation, encounter the imaginatio vera?  Oh, generally terror, freaking out, panic that I’m losing my mind, I’m hallucinating, I’m psychotic and I’ll be incarcerated in an institution for the insane. Nothing really all that serious. But what has really happened? I’ve been discovered by or (as Scrooge was) visited by the autonomous spirits of the Unconscious.  In fact, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is really the story of a man who was thrust into an active imaginal dialogue with his unconscious – and look at the profound result: only the complete transformation of his personality, the achievement of his wholeness!

So, to begin in the experiences through which the unconscious tries to show us that it is real and alive: Is that face in the plant real, or just my imagination? Do I only see the face or – shudder –does it see me? Is there a tiger under my chair? Will it eat me or will it talk to me? Depends, “Can you speak tiger?”  “Do you know the language of the great cat?”

Now this is a very serious business! And very difficult work! It is possible to be overwhelmed by the unconscious world: the alchemists knew this and actually could succumb not only to unconscious contents but also to chemical poisoning or explosions. So a few rules of thumb:

1.  Ask yourself sincerely: why do I wish to make an encounter with the Unconscious?  What are my motives?
2.  Am I ready to know and accept my own Shadow qualities?
3. Am I ready to encounter the unknown, the unexpected and – above all – the truth about myself and life?
4.  Am I willing to experience fear, frustration, impatience and suffering?  Generally we don’t mind too much experiencing the positive emotions. What about the heavier and darker ones?
5.  Do I have ways to quell my tendency to panic?
6.  Do I have someone I trust to seek out, if ever I feel out of my depth or overwhelmed?
7.  Remember that the Unconscious shows us in its face the attitude we approach with. So if I am hostile or scornful towards the Unconscious, it will assume a frightening form; if friendly and open, it will appear more helpful and benevolent.

Recovering a straightforward, sincere, truthful relationship with the Unconscious will mean opening negotiations with forces of life that are more powerful and universal than I am. We have done this for thousands of years in prayer and when we ask the Powers That Be for help.  But mostly, today, people can no longer hear the response. So if it comes, it will demand an ethical response that is lived in our outer lives!  It can also take us into realms and truths of life which are at times shattering and brutal: so don’t go in without a strong human relationship. “Human companionship is absolutely necessary.”

8. Never use the unconscious for your personal goals - you are in the encounter to serve your wholeness, not to use its power for personal gain; that is witchcraft, a pact with the devil.
9. Don’t take the figures of living people with whom you have relationships into active imagination; only use it honestly to try and discover your wholeness, and take back the darkness you have put into the world.
10. As a rule of thumb, get to know and accept your own shadow - this allows us to experience the reality of the unconscious - then consider active imagination.

(Part Two appears in the next issue of Chiron.)

"The fact is that real poets create out of an inner vision which, being timeless, also unveils the future, if not in actualities, at least symbolically."
C.G. Jung, Letters, II, Sept. 1957.


Recent Graduates of the OAJA Analyst Training Programme

At a graduation ceremony held in the C. G. Jung Foundation office on February 20, two new graduates were added to the list of the dozen previously qualified through the Analyst Training Programme of the Ontario Association of Jungian Analysts. Here they introduce themselves in their own words, listed alphabetically:

13. Brian Collinson

Brian lives and practices in Oakville, and first engaged the psychology of C.G. Jung 35 years ago. He grew up in suburban Calgary and was profoundly affected by suburban life. He sought refuge in philosophy, comparative religion and psychology of religion.  He then moved to Ontario, studied theology and was ordained in the Anglican Church in Niagara diocese.  During that time, a deep spiritual crisis drew him back into Jung’s exploration of the God-image, and through many years of psychotherapy, eventually into Jungian analysis.  Brian Collinson

After information science and law degrees, he practiced law in Ontario, including lobbying and government relations, engendering his interest in individuation and psyche in the workplace. In addition to Jungian analysis and training through OAJA, he also has postgraduate training in pastoral counseling, the psychology of trauma and the psychology of bereavement.  His professional interests include First Nations symbology of land and nature and the cross-fertilization of literature, existentialism and Jung’s analytical psychology.

Brian is still engaged by the psychological aspects of suburbia, and the unique aspects of the individuation process for suburban people.  His OAJA thesis Golden Cities: Gods and Demons of Suburbia explores the archetypal roots and collective persona of suburbia.  Brian is passionate about theatre and jazz, and lives with his wife and daughter in deepest, darkest suburbia.

Jean Conon Unda14. Jean Connon Unda

Born in England of Scottish parents, Jean immigrated to Canada as a child. Growing up on the edge of a small town, she learned to attune to “the litany of nature”, a practice that still serves as spiritual grounding. Jean has always been drawn to the creative process, in the arts and in life generally.

As an educator working in diverse settings, she has been dedicated to holistic approaches inviting expressions of greater wholeness. She has explored different modes of expression and her lifelong love of dance led her to dance briefly with an itinerant theatre group in South America. Jean lived and worked in Latin America and is fluent in Spanish. Her experiences of other cultures deepened her appreciation of the challenges – and rewards – of relationship with “the other”, both in society and in oneself. She is very interested in the resonances – and interplay – between the processes of personal and social transformation.

The Jungian chapter of Jean’s journey began 20 years ago when, feeling “imprisoned” by outer circumstances, she entered analysis. What began as a search for a solution to a specific problem, gradually evolved into a deeper process that led to a call to train as a Jungian analyst.  She completed graduate studies at OISE/U Toronto and worked as a psychotherapist, eventually entering the OAJA training program. Her thesis was titled, Imprisonment and Individuation. In addition to her private practice in Toronto, Jean facilitates workshops for individuals and organizations interested in engaging in change. She has one adult daughter.

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From the Editor

There’s nothing like a mild winter and a hastened spring to cheer us up. Whatever our customary perspective, there’s something about renewed warmth and a living environment that changes our outlook for the better. It makes our work easier to do, and our lives easier to live.

It’s probably true that a model Jungian perspective on anything would strive to be one of balance, where one can see any situation methodically – in all its intricacy – for what it is, free of both the deforming cheeriness of a Pollyanna and the warping pessimism of an Eeyore. “It is what it is”: a bit of this, and a bit of that. But even so, sometimes a shift, a turn in the road, a ray of light, a change of perspective brings sudden delight.

I was struck with such delight by a key insight of Josef Goldbrunner in his 1955 book Individuation. His perspective is that Jung, more than any other pioneering psychologist, set out to understand the everyday psyche in its usual scope of functioning. Instead of developing theories largely from the experience of psychopathology, he gladly read anthropology, mythology, sociology, and the like, to look without prejudice at all human behaviour as it had manifested anywhere throughout time. And thus he broadened the boundaries of health and normalcy for us all.

This is part of how he came up with his notion of typology – the usual ways that energy flows inwards (introversion) or outwards (extraversion) and how we most characteristically gather information (perception) and how we work with it (judgement). Typology contains the simple enough but powerful point that all of us, being characteristically robust in one or two areas, will naturally be wanting in others. That’s not only OK; it’s simply how we all are. In fact, it makes community a positive good – it’s always good to ask friends for help when we’re working “out of type” – as well as helping us to work with both our strengths and our limitations.

So we’re all going to mess up, and we’re always going to need others – but we are unique individuals with our own insights and perspectives to offer. No matter how diminutive we feel our contributions to be, we can make them in the knowledge that they are genuinely ours, the best we can do with what we know. As Jung told his analysand Catharine Rush Cabot, in the book cited elsewhere in this issue, “One must do one’s job, even if it is a small one. A pear tree is bigger than a hazel-nut tree, but nuts are good too. Some of us are pear, apple, peach trees, and as such, we have our unique values.” (p. 110)

There’s something worth remembering: you may be a nut, but “nuts are good too.”

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A Library Gem

There are a number of excellent books in the library that deserve a wider audience than they have heretofore garnered. One such is the amazing analytical diary of Catherine Rush Cabot, who worked with Jung and Toni Wolff from the late 1920s until the 1950s. The various entries, including verbatim reports of Jung’s opinions on a wide variety of subjects, have been extensively contextualized and introduced by her daughter, analyst Jane Cabot Reid.

This material is one woman’s “take” on Jung, his circle and his approach, and this caution should perhaps be borne in mind as one reads. But included are many candid comments that will strike the experienced Jungian reader as fresh, revealing, and helpful. It sum, it would be hard to imagine a more vivid and immediate sense of Jung the man and the psychotherapist-in-action. At more than six hundred pages, this read is a bit of a commitment, but it’s one well worth making.

Jane Cabot Reid, editor and narrator, Jung, my mother, and I; the analytical diaries of Catharine Rush Cabot. Einsiedeln, Switzerland: Daimon Verlag, 2001. ISBN 3-85630-601-3. 623 pages.

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Jung Foundation of Ontario “dot com”

Did you know that last month, in March 2010, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the “dot com” Internet domain suffix?

The original users of the Internet, before 1985, are identified in the earliest suffixes authorized for domain names: “dot mil,” “dot gov,” “dot edu,” “dot org,” and “dot net.” Users who wanted such a name had to apply, at first, to the U.S. Department of Defence for the assignment of their “Internet address.”

The “dot com” category was a latecomer, an afterthought, and supposed stood for a business, an outfit with a commercial identity. Very quickly, assignment of this particular suffix – “dot com” – became a commercial concern in itself, a business, and it was not longer necessary to apply to the military. But it was practically the only suffix available to anyone outside the original user-categories, which is why “dot com” quickly became almost universal for everyone not covered by the older suffixes.

Our own C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario, as an early Internet user, fell into the story at this point, and that is why we have had a “dot com” address. In the years since then, however, the “dot com” suffix has became pretty hollow. Hundreds of thousands and millions of Internet sites are commercial, but many “dot com” addresses are not – and that includes us.

As far as we as the CGJFO are concerned, we are not now and have never been a commercial organization. The “Word and Image” Bookstore being a relatively insignificant exception, our operations don’t earn, they cost!

Nowadays, with the Internet having become the vital phenomenon it has, Internet identity requires a bit of strategizing. Many good, new, logical suffixes have been authorized and are becoming familiar, often with a geographical basis. So members may be interested to learn that, besides cgjungontario.com, we have also acquired the URL (“uniform resource locator”) cgjungontario.ca (a suffix indicating location in Canada). So if anyone types either in the routing line of their browser, our website will still come up.

The Public Programme Management Committee (PPMC) is planning, later this summer, to discuss with our webmaster other such names we might want or need to acquire, and if you have any suggestions in this regard, are welcome to get involved. Just drop a note to the office and it will be forwarded to us, or contact one of us directly (Robert Black, Caroline Duetz, Tim Pilgrim) through the Analysts’ page on this website.

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Recent media acquisition

We expect, this summer, to take delivery of the entire “Remembering Jung” series of DVD interviews with early Jungian analysts about C. G. Jung.

In the 1970s and 80s, the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles sponsored a series of over thirty films, interviews with people who had known and worked with the great man himself.

Over the years our Library acquired more than a dozen of these films – but in VHS format. These tapes were popular choices for members who borrowed learning materials. It’s not hard to understand, however, that this demand fell off with the universal move to DVD format and the gradual attrition of VCR machines.

Latterly, we have set about to expand our DVD collection. Worthwhile Jungian DVDs are relatively scarce, as far as our casting about has revealed, but the “Remembering Jung” series retains its value more than a quarter-century on. As it turned out, when we approached the LA Institute about supplementing our taped collection with just a few DVDs, they kindly offered us the entire “Remembering Jung” series at a very substantial savings from the list price. We are grateful for this support!

It is anticipated that, starting in the late summer, these DVDs should be available for members. Three library items may be borrowed for three weeks, renewable once if no one has requested the items in the meantime.

“The devils we have within us make us believe they don’t exist so they are able to work on in the dark.” C. G. Jung, ca. 1932, quoted by Catharine Rush Cabot, in Jane Cabot Reid, Jung, my mother, and I, page 58.


And speaking of media

We are investigating the costs and copyright ramifications of converting to digital format some of the audio recordings in our archives. There are major talks to the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario from analysts and others over the last thirty or more years. If they have survived the ravages of time, they might well be worth a listen.

Our proposal is to make these recordings available to members on DC or DVD as part of our lending library. Anything more extensive than that would probably require permission from the various literary estates.

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Contemporary Symbolic Material

Members might be interested to add the Canadian Sculpture Centre, located at 500 Church Street in Toronto, to their list of regular “haunts.” Supported by the Sculptors’ Society of Canada, with free monthly exhibitions, it is a veritable shrine to the operation of the imaginative psyche.

The gallery is a spare but marvellous place. Each month exhibition highlights different sculptors and sculptures. Almost all are by Canadian artists, using media ranging from stone to modern materials.

It is always interesting to see how the Collective Unconscious manifests through the creative process. Some sculptures will delight, others puzzle, some mystify. All can provoke reflection and engagement with deep themes.


U. of T. Jungian Society

by David Taylor

From January to April of this year, the University of Toronto Jungian Society has been presenting a six-part series entitled, “Myth and Fairy-Tale: the Depth Psychological Analysis of Narrative Structure”.  The program has included two lectures, led by analysts Robert Black and Christina Becker, three discussion groups led by executive members of the Jungian Society, a selection of readings by C.G. Jung, M. L. von Franz, and Verena Kast, and a culminating two-day workshop, led by Prof. Ann Yeoman. 

Dedicated to investigating the special relevance of C.G. Jung’s model of the psyche to understanding narratives of myth and fairy-tale, this series has attracted students with academic backgrounds in psychology, philosophy, cognitive science, religion, literature, and others from outside the University of Toronto.  The response has been enthusiastic and attendance at these events has surpassed our expectations.

Our aim has been to explore myth and fairy tale using C.G. Jung’s insights into the dynamic relations between the conscious and unconscious psyche.  With these tools, we have been learning to interpret and uncover, through the irrational and often strange surface features of these archaic stories, a coherent picture of the relevant and important insights contained within their deep structure.  In addition to lectures and workshops led by Jungian analysts, participants have had the opportunity to develop and apply these critical skills in discussion groups led by members of the U. of T. Jungian Society.

To begin, Jungian analyst Robert Black introduced C.G. Jung’s ideas on myth and their usefulness in understanding the psyche.  Philosophy graduate student, Cory Lewis, followed with a comparison of the underlying structure of the Big Bang theory with the archetypal structures of creation myths, such as the Mesopotamian “Enuma Elsih” and Hesiod’s Theogony. Jungian analyst Christina Becker led an introduction to the Jungian interpretation of fairy-tales, including some recent and related developments in the neurosciences and attachment theory.  Jungian Society Vice-President, Nick Field, led the fourth event, with a group depth psychological analysis of Italo Calvino’s tale 147, “Nick Fish;” followed by the fifth event, a group analysis of the Grimm’s tale, “The Nixie in the Pond,” led by Jungian Society President, David Taylor.  The series culminated on Easter weekend with a two-day workshop, led by Prof. Ann Yeoman, guiding exploration of the Grimm’s tale, “The Raven,” as it “narrates the struggle to rediscover, redeem and bring to consciousness traumatized, devalued, and unlived dimensions of the soul often ransomed in the name of conscious ideals and collective demands.”

In an academic environment, myth is all too often taken to mean “that which is untrue” and fairy-tales are often dismissed as stories only for children.  However, from a Jungian depth psychological perspective, we regard these as careless strokes that cut, as it were, through living symbols.  It has been our hope, through this series, to counter such assumptions by exploring these narratives as stories of psychological transformation that reflect and organize human experience.

Golden Anniversary in 2011

Next April is the fiftieth anniversary of C. G. Jung’s passing. We are hearing comments from throughout the Jungian world of measures being proposed to mark this milestone. No doubt there will be more about this after August’s international conference in Montréal of Jungian analysts. As for the CGJFO, we are musing over several possibilities and will get back to you when we can. If you have suggestions or ideas of your own, please do get in touch!

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The C.G. Jung Foundation’s members and friends are very welcome to submit pieces for publication in Chiron. We would particularly welcome short articles (under 1000 words) on archetypal material, and very short (under 500 words) “book notes” and film reviews. Longer pieces can be negotiated, especially if serialization is possible.

We very sincerely promise that our responsibility to cast an eagle editorial eye over these submissions will be lightly and not impertinently applied, and that you will see beforehand any results of our meddling; so that the full essence of your insights and the character of your “voice” is kept safe and sound in the published version.

Hyperlinks in the electronic version of Chiron

Hyperlinks in the electronic version of Chiron do not imply or constitute endorsement of the organization or individual concerned, and are provided as a courtesy in current issues only. The C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario is not responsible for the content of such sites.


Past issues available online


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