ABOUT THE C.G. JUNG FOUNDATION
Newsletter of the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario
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. 2 January 2010
Editor: Robert Black
- Fortieth Anniversary Celebration an Outstanding Success
- The Red Book and art
- President interviewed
- Library news
- Special Thanks
- From the Editor
- Reactions to the last issue
- “Active Avoidance”?
- SUBMISSIONS TO CHIRON
- Past issues
Hart House was packed with high spirits on January 23 as friends and members the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario gathered to mark its fortieth anniversary.
Over a hundred people gathered to celebrate from as far away as London, Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa. Appreciative remarks were heard on the liveliness and enthusiasm of the event, the exceptional character of such a large throng, and the wish that such things might happen more often.
The East Common Room was filled with flowers, food and desserts. Live music was provided by “Whiskey Jack,” sponsored by long-time Foundation member Duncan Fremlin, broker with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. (www.MoreThanAHome.ca). Coincidentally, the main door prize, a copy of Jung’s The Red Book, was won by his wife Karen, who reportedly was “beside herself with glee” at the unexpected windfall. Three other book prizes were graciously contributed by analyst Daryl Sharp of Inner City Books.
Photo: Robert Gardner meets a founder, Mrs Patricia Goss.
The current president, analyst Robert Gardner, paid tribute to the late James Shaw, who played a pivotal role in founding and sustaining the organization over its first twenty years, and also acknowledged two members at the party who were present at the original meeting (January 19, 1970) – analyst Margaret Meredith and Mrs. Patricia Goss.
The party was organized by analysts Caroline Duetz, Dorothy Gardner, Robert Black, Tim Pilgrim and our office manager, Catherine Johnson, assisted by Aron Mohr, “Fred the Sound Man” and Joel Barnes of Hart House (who is, coincidentally, the son of analyst Bruce Barnes). Edith Leslie created a lovely book listing the names of those many volunteers who have helped the Foundation in its work over the last four decades. A “PowerPoint” display of archival photographs was organized by analyst Tim Pilgrim from the extensive collection amassed by Beverley and Austin Clarkson, and research around those who had attended the 1970 meetings was generated by analyst Robert Black.
The great success of this event, we hope, presages the growth of our sense of community and perhaps will point to other such gatherings in the future.
This image was taken in the East Common Room of Hart House on January 23, and depicts the variety of members, candidates and analysts whose presence combined to create such a dynamic atmosphere
by Austin Clarkson
The publication of the Red Book raises several issues, but one that isn’t being given much attention is Jung’s ambivalence toward art. On the one hand visual art provided him a vast storehouse of images for documenting the history of the human psyche and for analyzing his patients, but on the other he mistrusted modern art. He activated the imagination to access unconscious contents, but did not approve of what happened when modern artists did likewise. His discomfort with aestheticism, with the Nietzschean idealization of art, and with abstraction coloured his attitude to modernism in the arts.
During the years that Jung was engrossed in the experiences that he documented in the Red Book, the artists Hans Arp and Sophie Taueber were living and working together in Zürich. They too were reacting against the aestheticism of l’art pour l’art, and they too threw aside all preconceptions and confronted their authentic images from dreams and active imagination. Arp said that Taueber looked forward to the coming of evening and dreams: “A dream would continue after she awoke, and at breakfast she would speak about radiant worlds, sonorous forms, marvelous tales in which roses and shadows, huge and blazing sun-umbrellas, happy souls and flights all met in torrents of infinity. . . . Even then she already knew how to give direct and palpable shape to her inner reality. In those days this kind of art was called ‘abstract art.’ Now it is known as ‘concrete art,’ for nothing is more concrete than the psychic reality that it expresses. Like music, this art is a tangible inner reality. . . . These works are realities, pure and independent, with no meaning or cerebral intention. We rejected all mimesis and description, giving free rein to the elementary and the spontaneous” (Arp on Arp, New York, Viking, 1966, pp. 221-222). Arp designed a bedside table that could be swung over with a notebook for recording their dreams.
A Thought Experiment: Jung meets Arp and Taueber some time in 1917 or 1918 and they tell him how they are making art from their dreams and active imagination. He says that he is doing something similar and could he pay them a visit. They arrange an appointment, and he arrives with some drawings he has been working on. They discuss them and then invite him into their studio. They ask him to make free drawings about a dream or an active imagination, suggesting that he not use known forms, let accidents happen, use his non-dominant hand, and just feel free to play. In succeeding sessions Jung works with paints, pastels and clay, makes a collage of objects he gathered while on his walks, and assembles a construction from bits of paper, fabric, and wood. After a few sessions Jung begins to respond to the colours, shapes, lines and forms of his “concrete” designs and discovers that he enjoys Arp and Taueber’s artwork. He begins to appreciate modern painters (even Picasso), the Dadaists, for he learns from Arp about “the law of chance” as “a part of an inexplicable reason, of an inaccessible order.” Jung no longer uses the term “concretism” pejoratively to mean archaic thinking allied to participation mystique, and he understands that when artists are true to their imagination, it can also be a moral act. And so he resolves the split between ethics and aesthetics and is able to own his own artistic nature.
After the excitement over the publication of the Red Book subsides, we might consider whether art is something more than a Baedeker of archetypal images. Rilke, while meditating on the paintings of Cézanne and van Gogh in Paris in 1907, put it this way: “So surely we have no choice but to test and try ourselves against the utmost, but probably we are also constrained to keep silence regarding it, to avoid sharing it, parting with it in communication before it has entered the work or art: for the utmost represents nothing other than that singularity in us which no one would or even should understand, and which must enter into the work as such, as our personal madness, so to speak, in order to find its justification in the work and show the law in it, like an inborn design that is invisible until it emerges in the transparency of the artistic” (Letters on Cézanne. NY, North Point Press, 2002, pp. 4-5).
For Rilke, like Arp and Taueber, art is more than a diagnostic tool for examining the human psyche, it is an engine for the creation of consciousness. As a window into Jung’s psyche, the Red Book is a source of wonder, but it also reveals the limits of his (and many Jungians’) notion of art
The Foundation president, analyst Robert Gardner, was interviewed recently for an article in Walrus magazine. He ably defended the cause, although it is apparent from the results that the interviewer didn’t quite grasp everything. Copyright laws don’t allow us to reproduce the interesting piece that resulted, but we encourage you to read it at the link which follows:
by Edith Leslie
The word "volunteer" has as its root the Latin voluntas which means "wish, desire, purpose, decision, willingness, enthusiasm and eagerness". All these qualities are to be found in the hearts of our volunteers, the people who so generously donate their time to the Jung Foundation. In helping us, they promote a cause which is dear to them. This selfless (or rather ego-less!) act is quite likely to contribute to their own transformation and also to the transformation of others.
The chores which we ask them to do are often well below their level of competence and education, yet they never complain but diligently take care of the smallest details. Volunteers can be found filing correspondence, setting up chairs or screwing in light bulbs. They sell lecture tickets and collect them at the auditorium, they make phone calls to members, sell books, open the library and process the books which borrowers return.
There are times when their ingenuity, skill and learning are called upon, for instance when volunteers have to coax a temperamental copier into doing its job, or when a visitor wants to know who said what about Jung's concept of the anima. A generous calligrapher beautifully inscribed many of our library books. Even nurturing skills can be invoked. I remember one occasion when a resolute volunteer took motherly care of a seminar attendant who had looked too deeply into the glass.
Mailing days are fun for all, because on these occasions several volunteers come to the office to stuff hundreds of envelopes. While engaging in such easy work, the mind is free to roam and rejoice in conversation with fellow volunteers. The topics range from their pets' antics to the mysteries of alchemical symbolism. Jung always comes up at some point in the discussion, for after all, it is he who brings them together.
I have recently asked some of our volunteers to share with me their thoughts about volunteer work. First of all, hey are drawn to the work of Carl Jung because it offers them something which they have not found elsewhere. Some have been helped a great deal by Jungian analysis, others simply by reading Jung and attending Jungian presentations. There are not many foundations like ours in the rest of the world. Our volunteers feel that this is a precious entity and they want to see it survive and flourish.
Depending on their temperament and on the time they have available, some volunteers are content to help out with small chores now and then while others wish to have a say in the administration of the organization. By helping out they come into contact with the decision makers and have a chance to voice their opinions and contribute their ideas. All of them feel that this is a cause well worth supporting.
Each and every one mentioned the fellowship enjoyed with like-minded people, the discussions that take place when they come together with other volunteers, the bond which is forged among all those who have a passion for Jung’s ideas. One lady who is now approaching the age of 90 told me that some years ago when she helped out at the Foundation she felt honoured to be a volunteer and that she considered the people she met there as her second family her “Jungian Family.”
We are deeply grateful to all our volunteers. The Foundation could not have survived without their generous contribution.
By the way, we are in the process of re-organizing the library and would much appreciate your help with comparing the actual books on the shelves with our new book list which is now being created. Please let Catherine at the office know if you are interested. Thank you.
As Edith Leslie alluded in the article above, she and Catherine Johnson have been hard at work cataloguing the Library’s complete holdings in Excel format. Proofreading is now underway. The next task is to compare the list to our actual holdings by “reading” the shelves. We plan thereafter to identify lacunae that need filling, gaps in our acquisitions from those times when budget did not allow important books to be purchased. We will fill them as finances permit.
The catalogue, once verified, might well go on our website if there is sufficient interest in this happening, so that members can check beforehand to see if the library has a copy of books they’re interested in. And if members have surplus Jungian books to donate, they can check to see if we lack them.
The Library now has a $1500 annual budget, of which about $700 is required to renew annual subscriptions to the publications we receive. Other plans include purchasing DVD versions of VHS tapes that have been frequently borrowed. Your suggestions for other purchases are welcome.
We earlier received the five volume Atlas of Mythology from analyst Margaret Meredith and Prof. Schuyler Brown, and a handful of other useful books from anonymous donors. Our newest major acquisition is C.G. Jung’s Red Book. There is a non-circulating copy in the reference section, and another available for borrowing. At about ten pounds in weight, it also might require that you bring an extra-strong bag to carry it home! (And demand on it is such that members might want to call the office beforehand to make sure that it is available.)
Some time ago at a public lecture, we heard of Marion Woodman’s new DVD, Dancing in the Flames, by director Adam Reid, and promised to notify members when it was ready for distribution. While an early cut was shown at last year’s “Rendezvous With Madness” film festival, it still has not yet been released to the general public. Those interested in being added to the release list are encouraged to send the director an email at email@example.com. It is our intention to add a copy to our small but growing number of DVDs in the Boa Library. We already have in our collection, by the bye, her edition of Fraser Boa’s The Way of the Dream, in four DVDs. It is already sold out on her Foundation’s website.
This little detail unfortunately did not occur to us, until after the last issue of this newsletter appeared. Dorothy Gardner’s lively article telling us about the free bookmarks that the Foundation has issued, on an initiative from the Public Programme Management Committee (PPMC), did not sufficiently emphasize that the actual choice of artists, visiting with them and going through their art, and most importantly in selecting the final images, was that of the article’s author herself! She is very much a friend and supporter of the PPMC, but not an actual member, yet carried this project from initial concept to publication. We thank Dorothy for her sustained devotion and hard work.
Perhaps you will indulge your Editor in a fairly lengthy “factual preamble” to his brief comments for this issue. The facts of our history need to be known before they can be remarked upon.
It has been moving to hear the various reports of how the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario came to be. From small, informal clusters of people interested in Jung scattered all through the province, the late James Marvin “Jim” Shaw Jr. gathered together this organization (1970) and invested it with his heart and soul. Our recent 40th anniversary celebration truly felt and honoured the debt owed to our founders.
Our history is somewhat complicated in its broader context, but it’s worthwhile to know. The very first model of organized support for Jung’s ideas was that of the Club. The Psychology Club in Zürich was established shortly after Jung’s break with Freud in 1913. After that time Jung decided to call his approach Analytical Psychology and various “Analytical Psychology Societies” were established throughout Europe and North America: New York City in 1936, San Francisco in 1939, and Los Angeles by 1945. There was discussion of “federating” these as a possible way of training future analysts, but the idea faded during the Second World War. Post-war, the “C.G. Jung Institute” became the standard body to promote his ideas, starting with Zürich in 1948.
So when Jim Shaw decided to created the “Analytical Psychology Society of Ontario,” it was a venerable idea – but one whose time seemed already to have passed. Still, faut de mieux, APSO’s first decade was unusually vital, thanks to such intellectual giants as Northrop Frye, Robertson Davies, and Joseph Campbell who spoke here. In those first years there simply were no Jungian analysts anywhere in Canada, and borrowing the term from religion, powerful “lay” energy informed and coloured our early life and infused it with vigor. These “lay” Jungians spoke, wrote, taught and gave workshops which were at first the core of the Society’s educational programme. They deserve their due.
Major speakers invited from around the world, however, tended to be Jungian analysts. Most notable among these was, in March 1975, C.G. Jung’s protégé Marie-Louise Von Franz. After analytical practices opened in Toronto – Fraser Boa’s being the first, in 1978 – the “centre of gravity” slowly shifted towards what Shaw called “the Society’s professional members.”
Likewise, the term “Analytical Psychology” was seldom used to refer to what was more commonly known as “Jungian Psychology.” APSO members wanted to call their group after C.G. Jung. When approached for permission, it was discovered (July 1979) that Jung’s heirs did not want organizations named after their ancestor unless they were “in the hand of fully trained, competent Jungian analysts, and that they really practise in the spirit of C.G. Jung.” After a long process led by Shaw – and what was ultimately an overwhelming approval by members’ referendum (August 1980) – majority control of the Foundation’s Board was passed on to the analysts. In March 1982, the Ontario government allowed APSO to change its name to the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario, which it still carries today.
So much for the long factual preamble.
Your Editor’s remarks are simply this: our early history as a group established entirely by and for “lay” Jungians seems to make us unique in the Jungian world. We should be proud of that fact, and can celebrate the real passion that “lay” Jungians have devoted to promoting Jung’s ideas in this region.
In fact, can we build on this history? Jung’s ideas are offered to the wider community ably enough by analysts, especially through our Public Education Programme, but what about supporting our members in their labours once those notions are out in the world? “Lay” dedication to Jung’s approach did not vanish when “lay leadership” passed to “analyst management.” Far from it! Certainly we cherish our volunteers, without whom we could not do as much as we do. What more can we do? It turns out that some of our founders still work – consciously devoted to individuation – in the fields of art, academia, writing, broadcasting and journalism. One founder stands regularly for the Green Party in elections. Another is a dedicated ecological activist, whose engineering company is wholly dedicated to energy monitoring and management. How can we give support?
Jung wrote that his notions would not be advanced primarily by analysts and analysis, but by poets, artists, and ordinary people. The exact reference has eluded me, but the core notion is echoed in “On the Frontiers of Knowledge,” in C.G. Jung Speaking, where he hopes for a future characterized by a “spirit of greater openness towards the unconscious, an increased attention to dreams, a sharper sense of the totality of the physical and the psychic, of their indissolubility; a livelier taste for self-knowledge.”
It feels to me that our “lay” origins encourage us to be – or to become – more aware of how Jung’s approach has affected ordinary people in this region; of how his teachings are moving out from this Foundation through individuals into society and transforming it. Can we hear more about this? Will members tell us their story? We are open to it.
From Daryl Sharp, October 10: Congratulations … on another interesting issue of Chiron. I was especially pleased that … you noted that the essential thing is the life of the individual (not the organization). I trust that we will all keep that in mind as OAJA's Training Programme goes on.
From Rosemarie Kennedy, October 11: Well done ... an interesting read.
From Beverly Clarkson, October 13: Chiron looks just wonderful! I see what I think must be your unique touches, everywhere. Thank you so much.
From Sherri Shumavon, October 15: It's happened again – another excellent issue of Chiron. Three cheers for its dedicated and talented editor, Robert Black. We're lucky to have him!
One occasionally hears that a point comes where one must take the plunge into analysis, or enter a state of “bad faith” with the psyche. Avid study of Jung’s thought through reading, lecture and workshop attendance, participating in seminars, discussion groups and the like becomes – in psychological fact – an “active avoidance” of authentic consciousness.
Marie-Louise Von Franz speaks of this in The Way of the Dream, when she talks of the “banal” and “self-serving” notions that people get from self-interpreted dreams. The material in dreams “really is unconscious.” It always “points to our blind spot.” Interpretation is difficult and requires a great deal of hard work, and she was convinced that “even analysts” needed occasionally to take a dream to a colleague to avoid going off the rails.
Jung's remarks quoted in the Editorial expressed the hope that the future would bring a “spirit of greater openness towards the unconscious, an increased attention to dreams, a sharper sense of the totality of the physical and the psychic, of their indissolubility; a livelier taste for self-knowledge.” Such a future does not feel, to this observer, necessarily predicated on the extensive spread of analysis. He is rather reminded to adapt to this question of a phrase used about confession in Anglicanism: "none must, all may, some should." But perhaps you will have your own opinion on this.
What are the signs that one is summoned to analysis? What indicators might suggest that one is avoiding it? Members, we would be glad to hear from you on this subject!
Readers are very welcome to submit short pieces for this newsletter. The main criterion for selection is that your piece – in some way, broadly interpreted – promotes the aims and objectives of the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario. That, of course, can be summarized practically as promotion of C.G. Jung’s work and any aspect of Analytical Psychology. We would be especially interested to know of events, persons and history, or expressions of the Collective Unconscious, related to this region.
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