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 31, No. 3 Spring 2012
Editor: Robert Black
|PDF version of this issue for easier printing|
- "Burning Issues" 2012: Consciousness and Politics
- No News on Change of Address
- CBC "Ideas" programme on Jung's Red Book
- Passing of Doris Burgess
- 18. Introducing analyst David Pressault
- Book Notes
- Remarks from the Editor
- Letters to the Editor
Can psychology enter the political arena? (Does it want to?)
“What is the use of changing the external conditions if man’s inner attitude remains the same?”
C.G. Jung, CW18, para. 1745.
On Saturday, June 9th, three Jungian analysts will each give brief presentations on the topic of “Consciousness and Politics.” We certainly don’t expect this event will offer typical speeches from the hustings, but there’s bound to be a certain amount of intrigue—political and otherwise—as well as lobbying from the psychological backbenches and healthy doses of ‘internal affairs.’
We hope to see Foundation members who would welcome the chance to spend time with their Jungian friends (no proxies please!) and enjoy some provocative ideas. Is ‘conscious politics’ an oxymoron? How can we operate as political and social beings, as well as psychological individuals? Do politics activate your complexes (if not federal or provincial, certainly municipal!) and why? Can we change inner attitudes to effect political change, or are politics simply part of psyche’s extraverted Other?
After the analysts reveal their true stripes, audience participants will have a chance to enter the arena and express their views and reactions.
Free to all members. Limit of 30. Registration required.
Be afraid of the world, for it is big and strong; and fear the demons within, for they are many and brutal; but do not fear yourself, for that is your Self.
C.G. Jung, “From Esther Harding’s Notebooks,” C.G. Jung Speaking, page 27.
There is nothing yet to report on our challenge of finding new accommodation. Members and friends will remember that the premises we have rented for more than thirty years, at 223 St. Clair Avenue West, have been sold to developers. The Board of Directors continues to be very active searching for accommodations, now assisted – since the appeal for help in the last issue – by a member who is also a professional real estate agent.
Analyst Judith Harris, one of the participants in a interesting project on Jung’s Red Book, has been informed by the CBC that the IDEAS programmes on this subject will be aired on CBC Radio 1 (99.1 in Toronto) on Monday April 23rd at 9 pm, and on Tuesday April 24th at 9 pm EDT. After several previous “false starts,” they assured her that these are the final dates.
by Graham Jackson
Long time members and friends of the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario will want to informed that our first office administrator, Doris Burgess, has died. The following notice appeared in the Toronto Star on March 26:
BURGESS, Doris M. - It is with sadness we announce the sudden passing of Doris at Trilogy Long Term Care on March 23, 2012. Predeceased by her parents Constance and Peter Burgess. Also predeceased by her sister Isabel, brothers Kenneth, Richard and Herbert. Sister of Donald (May), Alfred and Inez (Ralph) and aunt to many loving nieces and nephews. Doris was known for her keen interest in the Jungian Society, discussion groups and her hobby of creating beautiful quilts. Doris was a longtime employee at Canadian Aviation Electronics.
Doris was the original office staff person of the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario after the decision was made in the early 1980s to rent premises at 223 St. Clair Avenue West and to move the library there. (Previously it was kept in a member’s residence.)
A memorial service for Doris Burgess will be held on Saturday, April 28th at 1 p.m. at Jerrett Funeral Home, 660 Kennedy Rd., Scarborough, ON M1K 2B5. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated. A reception will follow the service.
Our most recent graduate from the OAJA Analyst Training Programme, the eighteenth so far, is David Pressault of Montreal. Here he introduces himself:
David is a French Canadian, born and raised in Montreal. Before entering the Analyst Training Programme, David developed a relationship to the Unconscious through the art form of contemporary dance. He was a professional dancer and choreographer for 20 years and he still creates dances when time permits. In 2005, David retired from the stage as a dancer and began a Masters in dance at UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal). The following year, he began his studies in Analytical Psychology at the Ontario Association of Jungian Analysts.
With titles of dance works such as: “Tantalus,” “Iphigenia,” “Trois Graces,” “Puella falling,” and “Corps Interieurs,” it’s obvious that David’s interest for the symbolic world and Jungian psychology was present all through his artistic career. However, it’s through his own work in analysis that he discovered Jungian psychology as a second passion. His insatiable interest in C. G. Jung’s writings, along with his fascination for dreams and his own inner process brought him to see a future where performance would be replaced by analytical psychology.
His Masters thesis is titled : “Éros et Pouvoir : Regard Jungien sur les situations d’abus de pouvoir entre chorégraphes et danseurs contemporains.” It is available on line here. www.archipel.uqam.ca/3822/1/M11912.pdf Translation of title: Eros and Power: A Jungian perspective on situations of abuse of power between choreographers and contemporary dancers. His Jungian thesis is titled: “The Young Girl in Men’s Psyche : An Exploration on the presence of the young feminine in Sophia Cappola Films and in Men’s dreams”
David is still involved in the dance milieu, as a choreographer, mentor and consultant. He now practices as a Jungian Analyst in Montreal. His particular fields of interest are the creative impulse; work and love relationships in life and Art; and the exploration of Dreams.
We have had feedback that book notices in Chiron are inspiring interest and purchases – they are also winning us published material, sent “on spec” – but they are not so much increasing library borrowings, the original intention in offering them. So this issue we are trying something different. We have not ordered these books for the Fraser Boa library, but offer this material as potentially interesting for some of our members and friends.
Shamans and Analysts; New Insights on the Wounded Healer, by John Merchant. Routledge, 2012. ISBN 978-0-415-55827-3.
John Merchant is a Jungian Analyst in Sydney, Australia. In this original and provocative work, he seeks to demonstrate that the “wounded healer” is a component or aspect of the shaman archetype, which latter he defines and considers from both a Jungian and a neuroscience point of view.
In his study, parts of which appeared previously in the Journal of Analytical Psychology, he draws on contemporary neuroscience research suggesting that archetypes are not a priori psychic structures existing uniformly in everyone, but rather structures of the mind/brain that are forged developmentally out of the intense affective experiences of infancy. So it is not some generalized human wounding and suffering that produces “good” analysts, but a particular and specific kind of wounding that produce a particular and specific psychic constructions. Merchant calls this construction a “proto-borderline” state, and says that it springs from wounding in the earliest stages of infancy.
“Good” analysts and shamans, then, both have a core wounding “without gross psychopathology” which they have had to engage for their own self-cure. Initiates, whether shamans- or analysts-to-be, have had to demonstrate mastery over their derangements. In so doing, they gain recognition as healers. So analyst training should involves activation of the “wounded healer, archetype or “forged” state as it may be, if a pre-initiatory illness has not already done that; and then a progressive refinement of its application worked out with self and others.
Merchant’s theory is that “good” analysts will by definition have “pockets” of damage that have “become activated by, and [are] resonate with, that of their patients”(page 162). Through their own “porosity and susceptibility to the ‘psychic infection’ kinds of embodied countertransferential experiences” they are able to produce profound cures. The particular peril for the “good” healer – experiencing the patient’s illness somatically – is a serious one meriting constant attention and thus, perhaps, a reconsideration of the way analysts organize and support each other.
This book, perhaps reflecting its academic origins, is not for the faint of heart. But it approaches and enters directly into a host of serious issues confronting the Jungian world in the 21st century in a way that does not marginalize C.G. Jung, but once again demonstrate his prescience and understanding. We personally are not convinced that the wounded healer is not an archetype, inert as it may be; or that these “forged” states caused by trauma are anything other than conditions that result from the constellation of an archetype. But Merchant enters into areas and dialogues that anyone of a scientific bent might like to explore with him.
Tragic Beauty; The Dark Side of Venus Aphrodite and the Loss and Regeneration of Soul
by Arlene Diane Landau. ISBN: 978-1-935528-18-0.
"Aphrodite women always stand out. Go to any public venue and wait for the moment of recognition: There she is—the "it" girl. Tall and slim, or short and slim, blond or raven or red-haired, it matters not. Whether she dresses like a princess or a prostitute, she has the unmistakable spark that is the touch of Aphrodite.
“Aphrodite is the golden goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology. Women who embody the Aphrodite archetype have much less choice in how they behave or react than they, or others, imagine. The myths tell us that Aphrodite qualities are essential for the joy of life, but the shadow side of Aphrodite manifests when a woman is completely identified with Aphrodite's powers, when other archetypal qualities of the feminine are unimportant to her. The tragedies that result from this are the subject of numerous well-known novels and films and exemplified in the lives of certain actresses and other celebrities, all considered here.
“The dark side of the pursuit of beauty is especially apparent with aging, when the Aphrodite woman must become something other than a source of beauty or dwindle to a bitter and lonely end. Those whose lives have been wounded by the shadow side of Aphrodite—or those who do not have enough of Aphrodite's joy in their personal makeup—may find understanding and rebirth through the consciousness gained in this real-life exploration of an ideal that has ballooned into a distortion. In these times, when the idolization of Aphrodite—and the tragedy that ensues—are perhaps more widespread than ever, the crucial key for women is consciousness."
So begins Arlene Landau's examination of the Aphrodite archetype, an intimate and personal look at both the light and dark sides of Aphrodite's magic—youthful beauty and aged painfulness.
Analyst Lyn Cowan writes, “Arlene Landau has lived this book, which makes it jump alive from the opening lines, lit from within. With Aphrodite, the great Goddess of love and beauty—and dangerous seduction and tragedy too—as her subject, Landau brings a profoundly insightful eye and a flowing conversational style to an understanding of this Goddess who has ruled our culture for centuries. There is so much packed into this volume, a unique and important contribution to the culture at large and to depth psychology. Reading this book is like listening to a wise, beautiful, compassionate, utterly real woman tell us how it is, how it's been, and how it could be to know Aphrodite—and why it is so terribly important that we do.”
Melissa Studdard. Six Weeks to Yehidah. All Things That Matter Press, 2011. 170 pages
Once in a very long while, a story comes along that resonates with people, young and young at heart, heralding a timeless message for all to hear. Six Weeks to Yehidah introduces readers to one of the most delightful protagonists to skip through the pages of literature since Dorothy landed in Oz. This is truly a heroine’s journey, in the Joseph Campbell sense.
Lauded by critics and reviewers as the next children’s classic, the book shot to #6 on the Amazon.com Hot New Releases in Children's Science Fiction & Fantasy Chart upon release, ranking in the top one percent of all books on Amazon. Among other recognitions, the novel is the 2011 recipient of the Forward National Literature Award (U.S.), and was also honored by Canada’s January Magazine as one of the top ten Children’s books of 2011.
The debut novel of author Melissa Studdard, Yehidah follows Annalise of the Verdant Hills and her two walking, talking wondersheep in their travels to ever more outlandish places, meeting outrageous and enlightening folk on their journey to discover interconnectedness in a seemingly disconnected world.
Readers discover with them how just one person can be the start of the change we all strive for. A delightful and thought-provoking story for all ages, Six Weeks to Yehidah is more than an adventure story.
"Studdard intersperses elements of music, magic, myth, Native American iconography, and mystery that leave the reader yearning for a sequel. Although, like Harry Potter, it is technically a children's book, adults will be just as mesmerized by the trials and travails of the cheeky and courageous Annalise," said Aparna Mukhedkar of the journal The Criterion.
Not only has Studdard gifted the world with a rich and beautiful narrative, she raises the bar for children’s literature and playfully invites readers into fantastical domains of dreamscapes and visions, to ponder concepts of self determination, love and connection, mastery and the power of creating one’s own life with authenticity and purpose. Sophisticated on one hand, elegantly simple in its truths and wisdom on the other, Six Weeks to Yehidah has treasures in every chapter for readers and seekers of any age.
For every child old enough to wonder about their place in the world and every adult whose sense of awe and curiosity is still alive and well, Six Weeks to Yehidah delivers empowering themes and poses poignant questions for our time.
My Yehidah , By Melissa Studdard and Cheryl Kelley, All Things That Matter Press, 2011
My Yehidah: A Journal into the Story of You, writtenby Melissa Studdard and illustrated by Cheryl Kelley, is an interactive journal for middle school-aged children. This visionary work has generated excitement with U.S. and Canadian therapists as a helpful adjunct in Art Therapy and Jungian Analysis applications since its release in November 2011.
My Yehidah is intended to act as a companion to the recently released bestselling novel entitled Six Weeks to Yehidah (August 2011), also by author Melissa Studdard, yet it is just as effective as a stand-alone. The activities within it engage the participant through the exploration of dreams, prompted journal writing, drawing, visualizing, and mandala coloring, making it a fantastic journey upon which any young person can embark to connect with themselves through the worlds of imagination and possibility. Within the brilliantly written and illustrated pages, children and adults can explore and expand their creativity and tap into the limitless potential within themselves.
“This playful, imaginative workbook offers therapists and counsellors a resource for guiding children through a process of self-exploration and creativity. It is useful for both individual and group work. Attitudes, dreams, experiences, feelings and thoughts are identified, creating grand therapeutic opportunities for insight and empowerment. When children share their visual journey with family members, there is increased connection and understanding,” says Marilyn Magnuson, Family Therapist and Art Therapist.
Tess Castleman, Jungian Analyst, states, “I am excited to see a journal for young adults written expressly to encourage their own imaginations and aid in developing awareness about their spiritual journeys. The workbook, based on the novel Six Weeks to Yehidah, is filled with coloring pages, mandalas, and engaging questions that facilitate deepening one’s inner life. Adults will enjoy and benefit from this book as much as the children for whom it is intended. Beautifully illustrated by renowned artist, Cheryl Kelley, this book will delight and challenge children to be inspired to engage in their own creativity.”
With their combined talents, Melissa Studdard and Cheryl Kelley have created a magical instrument with transformative potential.
The previous two notices were submitted by Scott Lutz, a friend of the CGJFO living in Calgary, Alberta.
I would like to offer a personal apology for the tardy slightness of this issue; I have been somewhat preoccupied with the fact and consequences of two rapidly-growing cataracts. This may have given me an excuse for lack of due diligence, but it did seem sensible to participate in my new condition – the dimming of everything around – as psychologically as possible, and that is where a portion of my energy has gone.
But of course trying to make sense of things physical through the lens of the psyche is easier said than done! Most of us, and quite naturally, tend to try this by ourselves. It’s not impossible that we could thereby assist ourselves, but as often as not, we end up viewing things (unhelpfully, of course) through the lens of a complex. It makes a bad situation worse.
Introverts already look inward; more intensity in that regard is probably not called for. But the article on blindness in Ad de Vries’ Dictionary of Symbols and Imagery makes an interesting point here. It starts by speaking of blindness as the normal punishment for mortals who had intruded on the inner lives of the gods. This is a very interesting point for an analyst, or for anyone who works in the archetypal realm! If one looks at the unseeable, one pays the price. But then the myths report that the punishment sometimes gets compensated by the gift of prophecy: physical blindness can be compensated with gain of inner insight. Perhaps, psychologically, that is what has been happening.
Blindness plunges one into the darkness, the black. And that, indeed, is my surname. Jung speculated on “nominative determinism,” surnames and their significant effect on vocation. He wrote about this in his essay “Synchronicity — An Acausal Connecting Principle,” in The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche (CW8): “Herr Freud (Joy) champions the pleasure principle, Herr Adler (Eagle) the will to power, Herr Jung (Young) the idea of rebirth.” I’m not certain how deeply I will go into the symbolism of “Black,” because the surname was only assigned to my ancestors in the 1770s by Scottish clergy concerned about assimilating Gaelic-speaking people into the life of the wider United Kingdom. (My paternal ancestors were of tuath stock: small, dark-skinned, black-haired remnants of the pre-Celtic population. They and others like them became the Black, Brown, Grey, Dunn and other “dull colour” surnames so ubiquitous in Scotland today.)
Supremely, as a psychological symbol, black can be about error, ignorance, darkness, sleep, and death; on the other side, it can also be about earth, the chthonic, womb, night, creation. Alchemically the black state, nigredo, is about fermentation and putrefaction (absolute and profound change). And like any basic symbol, the meanings, amplifications, translations can go on and on in every direction.
How does one make sense, symbolically, of something? It remains possible that it will take a very long time. But mulling, holding and incubating, attention to unconscious products, and consultation of those wise in the symbolic, will very likely help. One gets a sense of something leaning in one direction and not the others. But we would advise against trying to struggle alone with these issues. Almost by definition, the Unconscious presents in symbolic language things that we simply don’t see. (Von Franz said somewhere, “It’s like being shown the back of our heads.” Rather, accept the uncertainty needed, welcome the openness required, and do whatever is possible with the means at your disposal to engage the symbols.
With dimming vision I have discovered, to my surprise, that I am not much engaged with television; and that my heart actually sinks when it is confronted too often by a page of words. This is something new for an old academic. And I have found that carving stone is not noticeably affected by some loss of sight, and cooking for myself is actually more fun that struggling with a menu. I will still get the cataract surgery, and be grateful for the provisions of state medicine. But I hope that any valuable life lessons gained in the meantime will not be lost .
If the whole is to change, the individual must change himself. Goodness is an individual gift and an individual acquisition.
C.G. Jung, “Marginalia on Contemporary Events,” CW18: para. 1378, italics in original.
In response to our invitation for members to give their own reaction to “A Dangerous Method,” we received the following:
About the movie I have only two things to say:
1) I was totally spooked by Sabina's shenanigans and
2) I did not see any chemistry between her and Jung.
Ah, one more thing:
3) Freud was really sexy. Appropriately.
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.
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