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. 4 Summer 2010
Editor: Robert Black
|NEW! .pdf version of this issue for easier printing|
- 2-4-1- Membership Offer Returns
- “Burning Issues” Report
- New Public Education Brochure
- Active Imagination (Part Two)
- Towards Appreciating the Symbol
- Honouring Daryl Sharp
- Cooperation with Marion Woodman Foundation
- Former Ottawa Jung Club Donates Journals
- IAAP Congress XVIII in Montreal
- OAJA’s Newest Analyst-Member
- Introversion an Indicator of Mental Disorder?
- Letters to the Editor
- An Internet Error?
- Jungian Activities in Guelph
- SUBMISSIONS TO CHIRON
- Past issues
It is with great enthusiasm that the C. G. Jung Foundation of Ontario announces the return of our Complimentary Membership Offer for the 2010-2011 season. Renew your membership — or become a new member — and you’ll receive another basic 2010-2011 annual membership at no charge.
Last year this incentive produced thirty new members, which exceeded our expectations. Our reporting also shows that many of these bonus members attended a number of events. This truly win-win opportunity provides our members with a great reward for their patronage, gives a friend or family member a wonderful gift, and, for the Foundation, helps broaden our base.
Every year we develop a rich, rewarding public education programme. We are delighted if more people can take advantage of our engaging — and often thought provoking! — lectures, seminars and workshops.
We will be mailing membership renewals shortly, and we’d like you to encourage others not previously known to us to attend our events. When you sign up or renew, we’ll send the person of your choice an annual membership absolutely free.
One small note, if you took advantage of the offer last year, this year your bonus member must be a different (lucky!) recipient. We look forward to seeing you in the fall.
Working for you and your programme,
The Public Programme Management Committee
On June 12, the C. G. Jung Foundation of Ontario held its first “Jungian Views on Burning Issues” panel-and-member discussion.
Inspired by models experienced in the United States, OAJA analyst Tim Pilgrim organized and moderated the event. Three analysts made short presentations on the theme of “Mind versus Body in a Virtual World.” This was followed by lively discussion among the thirty or so members present.
Analyst Paul Benedetto introduced the session with penetrating and amusing remarks on how we are being transformed – for good and for ill – by the “virtual world” of the World Wide Web. Yet, he suggested, this is just the latest version of old temptations. Are we getting separated from our true selves, or are we being better prepared for the real world? This would be a psychological question to ask.
Analyst Elizabeth Pomès, also a certified yoga instructor, spoke of the effect on our bodies of prolonged inactivity in front of the computer, and led the gathering through a series of yogic breathing and embodiment exercises to enable us to reconnect with ourselves.
Analyst Douglas Cann shared some autobiographical stories illustrating the theme of physical enactment in childhood of imaginal states, showing the fascinating connection of these states to the later emergence of adult characteristics. He argued that if we lose our connection to the body, we lose ourselves.
For well over an hour, members and analysts asked questions and made observations on the topic. One interested observer remarked that the Internet and other virtual realities do not create a problem, they
amplify and make it visible. A compulsive or anxious quality can emerge with the sheer quantity and speed of stimuli. On the other hand, in a context where all else is abstraction and intellect, even “anti social” phenomena such as pornography may, for some, preserve a connection to instinctive energies.
Does the virtual reality draw individuals into a balanced relationship with outer reality in accordance with their inner reality, or does it not? In the end, a Jungian consensus seemed to emerge: the influence of the virtual world on mind and body is a matter of degree.
The fact that attendance was restricted to Foundation members was not felt to be a problem. This limitation may even have concentrated the serious, purposeful, and able atmosphere within which the topic was approached.
As to the “Burning Issues” event itself, the general feeling seemed to be that the exercise was a good one to be repeated in the future.
The educational offerings of the CGJFO for the next year will soon be on-line at our website, www.cgjungontario.com. Just let the office know if you’d like a “hard” copy, or drop by on some Thursday. A number are also sent for distribution through each OAJA analyst’s consulting room.
by Douglas Cann
(Please note that this piece is a continuation of an article from the last issue which is on line at our website if you haven’t read it yet.)
When I am in a bad mood, or a state of criticism, blaming or resentment, the world around me suffers. The negative side of the animus and anima get in the way of knowing our shadow. Good is accepted and evil rejected, which only results in the repression of darkness so we are no longer conscious of how we participate in it in the world. My personal shadow gets contaminated with the collective darkness as we all contribute to the suffering in the world unconsciously.
When I am in harmony with my self, there is a positive effect around me – yet I have no power to cause this. Here is a wonderful story to illustrate this point, which Jung heard from Richard Wilhelm and often used:
There was a terrible drought in that part of China where Wilhelm was living. After all the ways to bring rain had been tried that the people knew about, they decided to send for a famous rainmaker. This interested Wilhelm very much, and he was careful to be there when the rainmaker arrived. The man came in a covered cart, a small, wizened man who sniffed the air with evident distaste as he got out of the cart, and asked to be left alone in a small cottage outside the village; even his meals were to be laid down outside the door.
Nothing was heard from the rainmaker for three days; and then not only did it rain, but there was also a big downfall of snow, unknown at that time of year. Very much impressed, Wilhelm sought the rainmaker out and asked how it was that he could make rain, and even snow. The rainmaker replied, “I have not made the snow; I am not responsible for it.” Wilhelm insisted that there was a terrible drought until he came, and then after three days they even had quantities of snow. The old man answered, “oh, I can explain that. You see, I come from a place where the people are in order; they are in Tao, so the weather is also in order. But directly I got here, I saw the people were out of order and they also infected me. So I remained alone until I was once more in Tao and then, of course, it snowed.
When we pray, contemplate or curse, we are actively attempting to explore and come to terms with the unknown invisible force of the unconscious. But a curse attempts to use that force for my ego desire; and prayer used improperly does also. A right prayer will bring our difficult straits to the attention of the invisible power and ask for help or guidance; a curse attempts to compel that power to our own will.
One can proceed to begin as follows: be alone. Be free from disruptions. Switch off conscious direction, Focus on what comes up.
Hold on! Remember Menelaus and his encounter with Proteus, the old man of the sea? Proteus turned himself, “into a bearded lion and then into a snake and after that a panther and a giant boar. He changed into running water too and a great tree in leaf.” This energy was dynamic, fast and slippery! But Menelaus and his men hung on and finally got an answer to their question as to why they could not get home. The answer: before leaving Troy they had failed to make offerings of thanks to the gods for their victory. Now they would have to go to Egypt to do so, a long and wearying trip. Proteus also told Menelaus that his brother Agamemnon had been treacherously murdered and that Odysseus was imprisoned by the witch Calypso. And so....
Catch hold and fix the image by drawing, painting, writing, modeling, dancing or music. In an inner conversation visualize the figure, or listen to the voice or manner of speaking in order to identify the figure. Or even more simply, ask who you are talking to! And write down what is said. If I still my mind, sacrifice wanting my own way, and accept without protest my own nature – then the Unconscious can speak. But this process is active: I bring my own feelings and thoughts and reactions to the dialogue. It is not a passive acceptance of what is encountered, rather a vital two-way coming to grips with the other. And remember that there is an ethical obligation in the outer life which calls for sacrifices.
As we grow towards greater relatedness and insight into the meaning of life, our consciousness becomes less bright, less focused, but on the other hand, broader, deeper and more all pervading as a web which can unify all life – distinct yet one. Great Mother and Great Father can then speak as one to us all and open the doorway to the wisdom of the ‘viniculum amoris’, the universal truth of the divine which binds the web of life together.
The Great One within, the ancient Spirit of Life, is the source of the remarkable wisdom and guidance which lives in all of us. Many emissaries appear to guide us to the relationship with this Old One. Shadow, for example, for we must know that we have destructiveness within ourselves, in order to tolerate an encounter with the dark side of the archetypes and the divine.
Today, we must learn to contain the darkness as well as the light, for wholeness contains all the opposites and in particular, good and evil. This does not mean to embrace evil in a one-sided manner, but rather to carry awareness of our darkness consciously, to know the impossibility of being only good. We ought never to repress awareness of what we perceive as bad in ourselves, rather face and accept it, and then seek to give it (perhaps symbolically) some place in life.
In essence, to embrace the point mid-way between the inner and the outer worlds is to find Noösphere – the Omega point – the centre and the totality of the inner World Wide Web: the Great One!
"But the real therapy only begins when the patient sees that it is no longer father and mother who are standing in his way, but himself – i.e., an unconscious part of his personality which carries on the role
Occasionally one feels exasperated when someone attempts to reduce a dream symbol to some tiny, little, pre-digested content. “She dreamt of a shoe, and you know what that means!” I do? Really? Without asking the dreamer, without having her associations, without knowing the context?
Here, we are treating a “symbol” as if it were a “sign.” This is not a Jungian approach.
A sign is the image of an object that is used to make a specific link or remind one of an established reference. A sign conveys specific information, or points to something already known: “cross”, for example, equals Christianity. It points backwards to a cause to which it remains linked. One consequence of treating symbols like signs is that they become arcane, lifeless, and sterile. (Just think of sign-using systems like heraldry to imagine how largely unconnected and uninteresting this
might be.) Cross taken as a symbol, for example, yields a wealth of other possible meanings.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a “symbol” as, “Something that stands for, represents or denotes something else.” As Jung wrote, symbols are “manifestations and expressions of excess libido [psychic energy] … stepping stones to new activities” (CW 8, para 91.) The symbol points towards a meaningful destination. As Daryl Sharp succinctly summarized Jung on the topic, it is “The best possible expression for something unknown.” (C.G. Jung Lexicon, 131.)
Jung found signs lifeless, and not of much interest to a depth psychologist. A sign is “a petrified symbol used stereotypically.” It stops having “fascinating effect” unless it still “touches those layers
of the unconscious from which the symbol arose.” (Letters, I, 10 Jan. 1929)
One’s attitude largely determines whether something is interpreted as a sign or as a symbol. In the Jungian orbit, the reductive, lifeless, stereotypical, and backwards-looking tendency to make dream symbols into signs is not usually helpful.
There are different ways to grasp the sign/symbol distinction. One is the difference between a square and a cube. The square is perfectly all right as far as it goes, but it lacks the depth and substance – the added dimensionality – of the cube. A rather more theological analogy, for those who like to engage with tricky comparisons, might be the difference between Jesus of Nazareth and Christ the Messiah, as in Roger Haight SJ’s 1999 book Jesus, Symbol of God.
Symbols express something essentially unknown. They need to be engaged with, puzzled over, incubated, related to, and touched. Ultimately, a symbol conveys energy, a kind of oomph. It transforms instinctual energy and makes it available for life.
So if someone shares unconscious material with you, make no assumptions about it. Consult no secondary sources. Hear the person’s associations, and get a sense of their feeling reaction and the place such a symbol might have in the dream narrative and their inner life. Let it glow! For one thing is certain: if we ignore or bypass the “fascinating effect” that it has for the dreamer, we will never find out what it means.
A party for Daryl Sharp is in the works. Planned for December 12 in the late afternoon and early evening, at Hart House in the University of Toronto, it is intended to celebrate the immense and lasting
contributions of Daryl Sharp to the local and wider Jungian worlds over the last three decades. Stay tuned! More details, including ticket costs, will be forthcoming in our Fall issue.
The CGJFO and the Marion Woodman Foundation have recently entered into an agreement allowing the MWF to access and use on their website and elsewhere the written, photographic and audio material that Mrs. Woodman contributed as a member of the CGJFO over the past thirty-plus years. We
are always happy to support the cause of increasing consciousness within the Jungian tradition. Mrs. Woodman’s contributions in this regard have been outstanding. May the MWF go from strength to strength.
The C.G. Jung Society of Ottawa (now dissolved) has donated its collection of Jungian journals to the Fraser Boa Library. These journals, when accessioned, will permit us to fill gaps in our collection and may allow us to permit duplicate journals to be borrowed, as with books and DVDs, for up to three weeks.
Thank-you to the Ottawa Jung Society, represented by Katherine Kimbell, for reaching out to give us this valuable gift.
The global professional association for Jungian Analysts, the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP), is meeting August 22 to 27 in Montreal on the theme of “Facing Multiplicity: Psyche Nature Culture.” This is the first time the congress has been held in Canada, thanks to the efforts of Montreal analyst and IAAP Vice-president Tom Kelly.
The IAAP grew from small beginnings under Jung in 1955, today comprising about three thousand members with member-associations in twenty-eight countries. It aims to ensure that the highest professional, scientific and ethical standards are maintained in the training and practice of analytical psychology. It is a valuable clearing-house for common concerns. Triennial conferences allow for a creative mix of professionals at a high level of discourse.
Analyst Boshira Toomey introduces himself.
I am a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich (1997-04), and Toronto native who has lived fifteen years abroad. I’m fascinated by the searching political self in nuanced city landscapes of biased
gender/sexual/racial situations, ethnic diversity, and climate pathology. My interests are piqued by transference fields and the identification with the aggressor in apartheid states, archaic systems
of occupation, and indigenous rights of land return. My alignment to travel, university (psy.) days, and imagination intwines with Analytical psychology and our evolving world anima. This unfurls through
the hero, beauty, redemption, melting, Eros, waiting, bewitchment, Julian Sorel, Molly Bloom, Helen, Sylvia Plath, Rachel Corrie, Prince Myshkin, Beatrice, Beethoven/Mozart, and a train of adventurous others passing through liminal space and beyond. Urban inner/outer realities link me to 19th century French culture, literature, Hillman, Greek/Joycean feminist psychoanalytic ideas, psychopathology/analysis, and the spontaneous, revaluing thoughts of young people. Jung’s lyrical Red Book and its Nietzschean/Dantian poetic weave, crowns Analytical psychology and the real world of fantasy/dream life.
My finished manuscript is A Jungian/Greek Reading of Madame Bovary: Eros, Desire, Deception.
Members may have heard rumblings in the media recently about the possibility that introversion may soon be considered a dimension of mental disorder. Creators of the DSM–V, currently in production,
propose to consider this factor prominently in diagnosis of mental disease.
The American Psychiatric Association is the organization that publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This compendium has an immense influence on the treatment of psychological issues, attempting as it does to provide a common language for psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists. Its spin-off effect on insurance companies, regulation agencies, pharmaceutical companies and policy-makers is very high.
On behalf of the IAAP, president Hester Solomon wrote to the head of the DSM–V committee as follows:
“I am writing on behalf of the International Association for Analytical Psychology to urge that the term introversion not be used to identify the trait domain of personality functioning that can become, if carried to an extreme, a pathological syndrome of reclusiveness, withdrawal, and affective constriction.
Introversion, a term introduced into psychiatry by C. G. Jung in 1909, has a long and varied history in personality theory, only a small part of which is captured in Theodore Millon’s otherwise extremely useful discrimination of the syndromes of personality disorder. Millon’s book, Disorders of Personality, has led many American psychiatrists and psychologists to accept the erroneous belief that introversion was simply the historical antecedent to the contemporary conception of schizoid personality disorder. Indeed, if one looks on the DSM-V website for a definition of introversion, one finds this proposed personality trait domain defined in exclusively negative terms: ‘Withdrawal from
other people, ranging from intimate relationships to the world at large; restricted affective experience and expression; limited “hedonic capacity” with trait facets of “social withdrawal,’ ‘social detachment,’
‘intimacy avoidance,’ ‘restricted affectivity,’ and ‘anhedonia.’
”This definition is transparently based on the current DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for Schizoid Personality Disorder, and thus equates introversion with a pattern that has long been regarded as personality pathology. Under the proposed new terminology, the pattern defined as introversion is a trait domain, within a dimensional approach to diagnosis. While this approach does not insist that a personality displaying the trait of introversion is ipso facto pathological, unless the trait dominates the personality to an extreme degree, the clear implication of the definition is that extraversion is the sole basis of positive affectivity and healthy relationships with others. We believe this unjustified conclusion stems from the misuse of “introversion” as a term to represent a trait domain of detachment from social relationship and one’s own affects.
“For many of us, the term ‘introversion’ means the normal and psychologically essential process of introspection and reflection through which people define, evaluate, identify, and digest both outer
and inner experience. Encouraging mental health professionals evaluating personality to write and think about introversion in negative terms would be analogous to asking internists evaluating patients to view inhaling with suspicion, because it is a compromise or absence of exhaling.
‘The International Association for Analytical Psychology represents approximately 3000 member analysts in 50 Institutes of Jungian Analysis around the world, and their influence is sufficiently felt through teaching, supervision, publication, and, of course, clinical work, to bring us in contact with many mental health practitioners who are working closely in psychotherapy with patients who happen to be introverted. It is clear to us that patients who need to connect positively with their inner lives will suffer if the very word ‘introversion,’ which has been a lifeline to many, becomes stigmatized as it would under the proposed DSM-V wording.
”I want to thank you for letting us give input as part of your own hard work to get this right.”
We hope that this articulate presentation of the Jungian point of view is heard, and that a different term is substituted for one that we Jungians find invaluable – a concept not only important to understanding the proper functioning of psyche but, indeed, a key to mental health
April 11, from Robert Gardner:
"Many thanks for turning out yet another fine Chiron. It simply gets better each time. Let's hope that it will become a place where members of the Foundation will feel free to present their ideas and creative work.".
There is a powerful saying attributed to C.G. Jung – without reference, of course – which abounds on the Internet. It is: "The foundation of all mental illness is the avoidance of true suffering." It doesn’t quite sound like Jung’s “voice” nor does it feel consistent with what he said elsewhere. Some of us who have encountered it are not so sure it’s genuine and, despite much effort to find it, have failed to do so. Can anyone provide the source?
In "Psychology and Religion" (CW 11, para. 129) Jung writes, "Suppression amounts to a conscious moral choice, but repression is a rather immoral 'penchant' for getting rid of disagreeable decisions.
Suppression may cause worry, conflict and suffering, but it never causes a neurosis. Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.” This is a very different kettle of fish. It’s about repression, an unconscious psychological process over which the individual has – by definition – no control.
The comment as cited and attributed on-line seems to indicate a moral failing, one more application of the notion that hectoring and “beating up” someone will bring them to mental health. We don’t think so, and we don’t believe that Jung thought so either. Jung said, “When the doctor makes a diagnosis, he does so as part of his effort to find the remedy, and not in order to hurt, degrade or insult the sufferer.” (CW 10, para. 427)
If this is what is intended by some half-heard reproduction of the great man’s teachings, its deformity in this way is (once again) a warning not to believe everything you read “out there”! People can hide their own agendas behind Jung’s reputation, but in so doing they erode and deprecate it. And that, we hope you agree, is truly a shame. .... But, we’ve been wrong once or twice before, so if the reader believes this is Jung speaking – prove it!
“Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.",C.G. Jung, “The Psychology of the Unconscious,” CW7, para. 78.
If you have friends in Wellington County who might support the emergence there of Jungian discussion groups, e.g., around fairy tales, please get in touch with analyst Paul Benedetto through the CGJFO website.
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.
Back to top