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 31, No. 2 Winter 2012

Editor: Robert Black

PDF version of this issue for easier printing



The Search for New Premises

By Roger LaRade

As many of you know, the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario needs to relocate its premises from 223 St. Clair Avenue West. We have received notice from the landlord that the property is to be developed (likely into condos). After so much time at 223, this is sad news for many of us. Yet, this change offers us the possibility of renewing the work of the C.G. Jung Foundation in Toronto.

While we may have the possibility of renewing our lease for another year with a six-month notification rider – our current lease expires at the end of June this year – this would leave us in an uncertain position. Consequently the Board, with the guidance of the General Analysts’ Meeting, has undertaken a search process for new space.

We are enlisting the help of all Foundation members and friends to keep an eye out for potential new space.

What are we looking for?
Something similar to what we have now. A space big enough to house our office and library. If affordable, a space that would also permit us to host our smaller lectures/seminars, as we now do at 223. We would prefer a more 'home-y' space rather than a commercial one. Convenient to TTC is a must. A more accessible space (with ramp at entrance and without interior stairs) would be preferable.  Currently, we occupy 1248 square feet at a lease of approximately $1400.00 per month. We cannot afford more than this monthly rate. This will largely dictate the space we end up with.

If you know of any space that could meet our needs, or come across one, or have any questions or  comments about our relocation, please let us know by calling or e-mailing Catherine Johnson at the office (416 961-9767). Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


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What is the use of changing the external conditions if man’s inner attitude remains the same?

C.G. Jung, CW18 para. 1745


Music and Psyche: a review

by Elisabeth Pomès

This essay is based on a passage through Music and Psyche; Contemporary Psychoanalytic Explorations, edited by Paul Aston and Stephen Bloch. It is published by Spring Journal Books. (ISBN: 978-1-935528-04-3, 325 pp.)

I have always been astonished by the almost complete absence of music in Jung’s work, and I have always wondered why. It seemed to have been only late in his life that Jung wanted to correct that state of things. After meeting with music therapist Margaret Tilly in 1956, he said: “I feel that from now on music should be an essential part of every analysis. This reaches the deep archetypal material that we can only sometimes reach in our analytical work with patients. This is most remarkable.” (Music and Psyche, p.13, citing Margaret Tilly, “The Therapy of Music” in C.G. Jung Speaking, ed. McGuire & Hull, p.275)

Music and Psyche, a collection of articles edited by Paul Ashton and Stephen Bloch, begins to fill that absence. The book presents seventeen articles which deal with different aspects and styles of music in relationship with Jungian analysis. A CD is included with the book for listening support.  Selected articles are reviewed here.

In “The Third in Mahler’s Ninth,” Melinda Haas focuses on the transcendent function in the life and compositions of Gustav Mahler – particularly in his ninth symphony. The tension of opposites was part of Mahler’s life. He was born in 1860 in a small town in Bohemia, at the edge of what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His childhood was marked by death. He witnessed the death of six brothers. Alex Ross, music critic of The New Yorker, in his book The Rest is Noise, recalls the incident when Mahler stormed out of his house when his parents were having an argument and he could not take it any more, and how he suddenly heard a very happy tune performed on a barrel organ by a street musician. The juxtaposition of drama and joy, suffering and elation is something that is found in Mahler’s music time and again.

Melinda Haas observes that the transcendent function in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony would be Beauty  – a beauty that “is wrought from ugliness and sarcasm and a life lived as an outsider….” (Ibid., p.15) – a life that includes money worries, illness, death, hopes and betrayal, and also connections to nature, the world of ideas, and to meaningful relationships with other people. The music that emerges from Mahler has got a numinous quality because it encompasses all these aspects of Mahler’s life experience, embraces them, and moves through them, without reliance upon the goals of the day-to-day logical world, but instead with the conduction thread of the heart rather than the ego.

Melinda Haas’s excellent article is accompanied by well chosen excerpts from the symphony that can be found on the accompanying CD. The short excerpts make her comments very clear and easy to follow.

An article by John Beebe focuses on popular music, “Voice of the Anima in Popular Music.” Beebe’s starting point – one that I find highly questionable – is to say that only women popular singers, and not classical singers, can embody the archetype of the Feminine, which Jung calls the Anima. For Beebe, the anima voice is constellated within an earthbound frame that merely hints at the transcendent. Popular singers such as Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Amelia Rodriguez, Edith Piaf, and Judy Garland may hint at the transcendent with their homespun voices and allow the “anima effect” to occur.

Beebe's depiction of these qualities is what makes the article very engaging. He speaks first of the fragility and vulnerability of the anima voice in popular music, "meaning that its consciousness is embarrassingly out of step, won’t follow our will and remains, as if incurably infantile, under the sway of the unconscious.... An anima voice is one that just might lose its way in a great song, not have enough breath, miss reaching the right pitch, wobble, lose control of its vibrato, possibly stumble....” (Ibid., p.27)

“The anima voice shimmers but is not brilliant - the effect of moonlight rather than sunlight.” (Ibid., p.28) The singer must demonstrate “an unusual capacity to engage with life “and must desire to make an “emotional connection to the audience” (Ibid., p.31), she must exert a protective effect on the listener by singing the song with its feeling for life, its vitality and its wisdom. The ego can’t be the protective agent. The singer then embodies a wisdom that is born of experience and she “summons the experience of the self that endures the burden of experience” (Ibid., p. 39).

These qualities of the anima voice confirm Beebe's belief on its role: “The singer actually performs an anima function for her listener, by which I mean connecting the listener to the actual situation in the unconscious, a function usually reserved for our dreams, our symptoms, and our stronger feelings.” (Ibid, p.33) Beebe offers several well-chosen examples of songs, lyrics and their interpreters - some of which can be found on the accompanying CD.

I can imagine a debate around these ideas including some rare delight listening to and watching different anima singers. I would nevertheless add a question to the debate: aren’t these qualities of the anima voice noted by Beebe necessary and essential qualities that are required for any kind of singing - popular and classical?  Aren't these qualities of the anima voice brought to the performance by the presence of soul, spirit and the essentially deep human experience in singing?

E-Mail Interview with Mario Jacoby

I was lucky enough to meet the distinguished senior analyst Mario Jacoby during my training in Toronto, and some hours spent with him in colloquia made a strong impression on me. His kindness and humanity, as well as his love for music were pervasive as we spent some time speaking of our mutual passion for music and how it enriches our lives. The “E-Mail Interview” conducted by Paul Aston is a testimony to the spirit of Mario Jacoby, who died on October 1st, 2011. The interview focuses on many different aspects of music in relationship to Jungian Analysis; I was particularly struck by the notion of “affective resonance”.

Jacoby said,

The task of the analyst has mainly to do with his capability in providing the ‘space’ in which the ‘facilitating environment” [quoting Donald Winnicott] may operate…. I feel that for an analyst the metaphor of being an instrument may be helpful in finding an adequate approach to our difficult task. I imagine such an instrument above all as a sounding board. For an analysis to really convey ‘resonance’ he or she must have a keen ear for the vibration of those strings that are touching him or herself. To find resonance is an extremely crucial human experience. Without it, we are basically not certain whether we exist at all... Next to Descartes’s famous dictum “I think therefore I am” we would have to add ‘I experience resonance to my being therefore I am.’ Thus it is essential for an analyst to have a sensitive ear to perceive how the specific “music” of each person sounds. Analysts may ask themselves: What are the feelings, ideas, tensions, fears and so forth that are coming up in ourselves in the presence of this particular patient? What are we called up to do; how should we respond? To feel the resonance that is evoked in the analyst by the patient is of great importance, whether the therapist expresses it in words or otherwise or not at all. (Ibid., p. 72)

In “The Matrix of Music and Analysis,” Patricia Skar, pianist and Jungian analyst, analyses the symbolic relationship between music teacher and student and states that there are many aspects similar to the relationship between analyst and analysand. She recalls having been particularly impressed by one of her piano teachers who could always back up what he suggested musically by demonstrating it on the piano. “This showed me the sense of his conception, and, more importantly, that he could do it: he had ‘lived through it’. This is similar to Jung’s suggestion that ‘the analyst is successful with his treatment just so far as he has succeeded in his more moral development.’” (Ibid p. 80,, C.G.Jung, CW4, para.587)

She also looks at the process of studying a piece of music and compares it to the process of individuation. In the same way as the individuation process is the goal of a lifetime, it is the process which is important when we study a piece of music; we continually discover new dimensions to a piece.

Skar focuses on Glenn Gould and his reflections on his lifelong connection to a piece of music, Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Gould first recorded the piece in 1955 when he was 22 years old and again close to the end of his life. During the intervening years, the conception of the piece changed drastically.  “In a 1982 interview with music critic Tim Page, Gould confesses that he was happy to have the opportunity to record the work again, since he no longer identified with ‘the spirit of the person’ who made the earlier recording. Listening to the opening theme of both performances, we note immediately that the tempo of the later version is much slower - about two-thirds the speed of the first. Overall, the 1981 recording seems more sober and introspective...Gould explains that he has ‘come to feel over the years that a musical work, however long it may be, ought to have basically ...  one pulse rate, one constant rhythmic reference point.’ We could compare this musical process to Jung’s idea of the self as an archetypal ordering principle underlying the many variations of human emotion and behavior. This is related to Jung’s concept of individuation, which can be seen as the process of making a coherent whole out of the disparate parts of our personalities.” (Ibid., p. 83)

As I was reading the table of contents of Music and Psyche, an article that drew my attention was “Can Music save the World?” by Melinda Haas. Her starting hypothesis is that the overvaluation of a life lived solely through ego, without regard for the depth and all-inclusiveness of psyche, is the crisis of our time.

Suppose we take as a working hypothesis the position that in our culture, ego dominates experience; ego defines, judges, and compares, whether or not its subject fits into a linear  grid of cause and effect. It analyzes and partializes (it also differentiates, separates and distinguishes). It infuses experience with this masculine energy, replete with its shadow.  Where does that leave those experiences that emerge from psyche and belong to the psyche, that lie outside ego’s purview?... We eschew and dismiss other kinds of consciousness. We ignore our bodies, senses, feelings, intuition, the ineffable. In short, we live almost exclusively in Personality #1. (Ibid., p.215)

North America could be called the ADHD nation, with multiple images flashing on the computer screen, while news enter our consciousness with sound bytes – bites, for sure – multiplicity, little bits of everything and no sense of unity! Little time or money for arts. Parents giving up encouraging their children to leave the computer and study an instrument. Can music save this world? Can making music, listening to music, help restore the capacity to experience individuality and complexity?

In 1975, Venezuelan José Antonio Abreu started a youth orchestra to give professional opportunities to talented young musicians. At the time there were only two orchestras in the country. He wanted to create many orchestras so that he would give “access to music to poor people.” After the orchestra succeeded brilliantly at an international competition in Scotland, the Venezuelan government started fully financing it. Today more than two million children have studied music in the National System of Children and Youth Orchestras, commonly known as el sistema. Javier Moreno, the general director describes that vision: “We start with the simple idea that performing music lifts the human being to another level.” (Ibid., p.217)

El sistema’s flagship orchestra is the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Caracas, led by Gustavo Dudamel, since he was 15. Its members range in age from 15 to 25. I was fortunate enough to hear the Brass Ensemble from the orchestra when they came to perform at Koerner Hall, in Toronto, a couple of years ago. I have to say that the atmosphere was electrifying, these young musicians were so full of energy and so good! They got a very long standing ovation from the Toronto crowd which would not let them leave the stage! The orchestra has now a contract with Deutsche Grammophon and the sistema model has been taken up in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and most recently Toronto. (CBC News, January 1st 2012)

One study for the orchestra in Caracas shows that two thirds of the two million children in the system came from poor backgrounds. Other studies linked participation in the program with improvement in school attendance and decline in juvenile delinquency. Melinda Haas writes: “I believe that the reason that music is able to influence delinquency and truancy is precisely because it reaches under the social/collective layer of society into the archetypal ground of humanity. It is there, in that common space, that healing can take place, no matter how diverse the outer symptoms are.” (Ibid., p. 218)

Melinda Haas quotes what Jung wrote about poetry as though it were about music: “We would do well to think of the creative process as a living thing implanted in the human psyche.... We would expect a strangeness of form and content, thoughts that can only be apprehended intuitively, a language pregnant with meanings, and images that are true symbols ... bridges thrown towards an unseen shore.” (C.G.Jung, CW15, para.115-116)

The “bridge toward an unseen shore” is our connection to psyche. The arts are eminently equipped to be that bridge. Melinda Haas echoes my own beliefs when she states: “When we build a life and culture defined and proscribed by the ego, we create gaps in ourselves and a gap in our ability to come to our deep selves as the primary resource in our lives. Paradoxically, because classical orchestral music exists outside the literal, it has the potential to fill those gaps with the wide-open limitless space of psyche. Because it exists outside the verbal, it crosses cultures and spans geographical borders.” (Ibid., p. 223)

In summation, the articles presented in Music and Psyche are excellent. They are varied and yet all point to the fundamental truth that the process of attunement – to others and ourselves – is something we can develop both through music and Jungian Analysis.

Jung was aware of music’s importance in connecting us to the transformative power of the unconscious. He wrote later in life: 

Music expresses, in some way, the movement of the feelings (or emotional values) that cling to the unconscious process.... Music expresses in sounds what fantasies and visions express in visual images.... I can only draw your attention to the fact that music represents the movement, development, and transformation of the motifs of the collective unconscious.  
(C.G.Jung, Letters, vol.1,p.542)

Elisabeth Pomès is a Jungian Analyst in private practice, as well as a voice teacher, in Toronto; and has served as a skilled music judge across the country. 

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Remarks on David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method”

by Robert Black

The much-anticipated movie on C.G. Jung, Sigmund Freud and Sabina Spielrein by the renowned Toronto filmmaker David Cronenberg went into general release on January 13, 2012. The evening before, it was screened for members of the Toronto International Film Festival and their friends, among which were a handful of local analysts and Foundation members.

This film is solidly rooted in the 2002 screen play “The Talking Cure” by Christopher Hampton, which in turn is dependent on the conclusions of John Kerr in his 1993 non-fiction book, A Most Dangerous Method: the story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein. None of this reflects entirely the available primary material, but its apparent inventions – sadomasochistic sex and a handful of uncharacteristic letters – do not, in the end, unduly deform the story.

By all means see the movie for yourself. It is well-crafted and visually satisfying, and does give some sense of what things were like in the early days of depth psychology. This field does owe much to Spielrein, murdered by the Nazis in 1941, that has not heretofore been widely acknowledged. But the details of this debt, like the title of the film, have never been adequately understood nor explained. Is the “dangerous method” the field itself, or the specific apparent means –as believed by Cronenberg, believing Hampton, believing  Kerr – cured Spielrein of her mental illness? Let the viewer decide for him- or herself.

Its excellent costumes and lovely scenery, and its ultimately sympathy for Jung's perspective on Freud, were all gratifying. The dialogue was very carefully crafted, and for the most part fits the documentation presently available.  One only suspects that both its depths and many rational subtleties will be beyond most viewers.

We do not need to defend Jung, nor his cause; and so we do not need to enter into these details. The fill will, no doubt, introduce Jung to new audiences. Like existing half-heard stories and semi-digested opinions of the Old Man that analysts face regularly in the consulting room, it is all grist for the analytical mill. However reduced to ideas, or stories, or prejudices, a living contact with the Unconscious and exposure to the processes of individuation can help the cause.

In a post-movie confab at the TIFF bar, those who attended the movie with me agreed that it was surprisingly flat. We realized that we had expected more, because of our long and intimate familiarity with the people and the material. But right from the top, it felt miscast. Michael Fassbender was ultimately, it is true, a sympathetic and credible (if rather less than peasant-like) Jung. He probably was that stiff and removed from people in those early days. But Keira Knightley’s madwoman was just silly and unconvincing. Her spastic symptoms were described by one of our number as characteristic more of drug reactions of the mid-to-late 20th century than of actual psychotic behaviour. Her awkward accent kept fading out and slipping. Tiny, golden Sarah Gadden bore no resemblance whatever to any part of the actual Emma Jung that we knew. She played a manipulative sylph who used money to keep her husband. Viggo Mortensen as Freud seemed more smug and ethnic – small, really, and petty – than the intellectually ferocious giant he played. It was a minor but compelling character, Vincent Cassell as Dr Otto Gross, who stole the show. 

Some real central points of dispute between Jung and Freud were certainly present – Mr. Kerr’s doing – and the script did communicate Jung’s deep desire to take patients beyond a confrontation with their illness to the possibility of transformation into what they might become.  The embryo of many of Jung’s later ideas was present, some important ones implicitly credited to Spielrein, which as we have come to understand was very likely the case.

So for those who knew nothing about the subjects, it may serve as a bridge into the actual material. Three cheers for that. For the rest, it’s an interesting story about a creative doctor and a talented patient grasping her material and transcending it.

Have your say on “A Dangerous Method”!

Share with members your own views about this film. No promises, but a hint: succinct offerings are more likely to make it into print unedited, than essays. If you wish to educate us from the primary materials, do feel free to quote Jung or Spielrein – in English, please – with references anyone can pursue if so minded.


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The Passing of Mario Jacoby

by Graham Jackson

OAJA is very sad to announce the recent passing (October 15, 2011) of Mario Jacoby, a noted Zurich-based Jungian analyst and writer, who was a frequent contributor to both our training and public programmes here in Toronto. 

Born in Leipzig in 1925, Dr. Jacoby spent most of his life in Switzerland, where he worked as a violinist before training first in pedagogy and then as a Jungian analyst. While Dr. Jacoby is celebrated for his writing on subjects as diverse as shame, narcissism, infant research, longing for paradise and the transference-counter transference – writings that helped to bridge the gap between traditional Jungian thought and the more psychoanalytically-focussed ”London school” of Jungian studies – it is primarily as an extremely gifted teacher, supervisor and, of course, analyst that he will be remembered. His care and sensitivity in the analytic and supervisory hour were extraordinary.

Many people who knew his writings and worked with him personally cannot help but feel that this is a great loss to the Jungian community.

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“Burning Issues” event on June 9, 2012
Members and friends are very welcome to suggest topics for this relaxed and popular, end-of-year event. The PPMC (the committee that organizes public education and membership events) well announce our choice in the Spring (March/April) issue of Chiron. Get in touch with any of Tim Pilgrim (chair), Robert Black, Jean Connon Unda, Caroline Duetz, or Elisabeth Pomès.


Introducing Lidia Mattucci

Our most recent graduate from the OAJA Analyst Training Programme, the seventeenth in the series, is Lidia Mattucci. Here she introduces herself:

Lidia Matucci17. Lidia is of Italian origin raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and living in Canada for the last thirty years. Her undergraduate and Graduate education has taken place in Europe, Boston and Canada.

Following a childhood with family traditions of daily attention to dreams, Lidia’s call to become a Jungian Analyst came at the age of twenty six. At that time she was launched into her professional life as an Architectural Designer of International Hotels and Resorts. Through this work Lidia traveled and was exposed to many cultures around the world.

The unrelenting call soon prompted her into Jungian studies while working as a designer and raising a family of three children. In 1990 Lidia was able to make the transition in her professional life by first becoming a Jungian oriented psychotherapist. In 2003 directed again by her dreams Lidia enrolled in the OAJA training Program to become a certified Jungian Analyst.

Lidia has amalgamated her background in Design with Jungian Psychology through her studies on the confluence of Psyche and Matter. She is at present actively engaged in teaching and writing on this subject. She lives and works in Toronto and Huntsville, Ontario where she offers Jungian Analysis and Psychotherapy in English, Italian and Spanish.

Since the last newsletter, another candidate has completed all the requirements for his Diploma in Analytical Psychology. More on our 18th graduate, David Pressault of Montreal, in our next issue.

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Report on the “Brain, Mind and Body” Conference

By Gary Marche (senior candidate)

I was delighted to have had the opportunity of attending the Brain, Mind and Body: Trauma, Neurobiology and The Healing Relationship conference in London, Ontario. Sponsored by the University of Western Ontario’s Department of Psychiatry at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. It took place October 20-22, and celebrated the work of the Harris-Woodman Chair in Psyche and Soma and related areas of progress.

It was the second in a three part series and having attended the first one I was a little apprehensive about number two as sometimes when Part 2 movies are released the sequel isn’t nearly as exciting as the first – this cannot be said for this second conference as it was as therapeutically brilliant as the first.

At a pre-conference address on Thursday afternoon, Françoise Mathieu tallied the cost that helping professionals pay in working with victims of trauma. Laughter erupted through the audience as Françoise gently and delicately addressed issues by poking fun at her own experience while recounting the wear and tear exacted as we listen and witness the traumatic stories of our clients. Laughter was a surprise introduction to the world of trauma!

Friday morning Dr. Bessel van der Kolk unpacked the influence culture has over the expression of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) stating that “we don’t really know how to treat PTSD.” Dr. van der Kolk spoke of some promising results being reported about acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, known as EMDR.  He indicated the importance of being able to physically act in the moment (move, run) coupled with the importance of having a safe place to retreat to (a home with loved ones) as protective factors against PTSD. These two ingredients were hypothesized as lowering the incidence of PTSD in post 9/11 New York as many of the witnesses who could run and whose primary support systems remained intact did not develop PTSD symptoms.

Drs. Allan Shore and Pat Ogden made notable presentations regarding the psychoanalytic concepts of the relational unconscious, and the impact of unresolved trauma on the body respectively.

We heard Joe Cambray, president of the IAAP, present a brief overview of a neuroscientific perspective on imagination, and English analyst Margaret Wilkinson described how an understanding of affective neuroscience, attachment theory and infant research can help create change in therapy. The present holder of the Harris-Woodman Chair in Mind-Body Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Ruth Lanius, demonstrated how the neurobiology underlying emotion regulation and interpersonal self-dysfunction can influence clinical practice.

Marion Woodman was her usual gracious and jovial self, encouraging us in our analytic pursuits. It was a delight for some to meet her for the first time and for others to reconnect once more. Analyst Judith Harris, a principal visionary for these seminars, mixed and mingled while keeping us on track and moderating the panel discussion. A number of Toronto analysts and candidates of the OAJA ATP were in attendance, giving us a chance to meet other members in the wider Jungian community.

In summary, the conference presented cutting edge connections between neuroscientific research, therapeutic interventions and the unconscious, and the relevance of the Jungian approach to all this was brought once again into focus. It was a tremendous conference. Jung would have been pleased.

We are exploring with the owners of a small theatre the notion of holding a series of film-and-reflection events, to take place in April-May-June of this year. To do this well is a demanding but rewarding activity, and we hope that members and friends will show their support. Details in the next issue.


Death of James Hillman

In case members have not heard, the former Jungian Aalyst and well-known writer James Hillman died in Connecticut on October 27, 2011. A number of excellent essays marking his work and passing have gone on line, and we invite interested members to locate and read them through an Internet search engine.

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Book notices

Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche; Archetypes In the Making, edited by Virginia Beane Rutter and Thomas Singer. Spring Journal Books, 2011, ISBN 978-1-9335528-13-5.

This book is premised on the notion that the archetypes are living entities, “systems of readiness for action” (CW 10, para 53), continually under development and “in the making.” Exploring how they once manifested in the energies of ancient Greek myth, and how they are still alive today in modern psyches, the nine contributors focus on themes such as initiation, trauma, gender, journey, homecoming and love.

As with all such collections, these essays form a somewhat uneven collection. But for courage and intelligence, they cannot be faulted. Some of the essays are fairly conventional – Athena as an archetypal image for women political leaders, for example – while others expose the reader to new ideas. The forgotten myth of Anteros (“counterlove”), for example, the dark-haired brother of golden Eros; “avenger of offenses against the god of love … also … a counterforce without which Eros cannot mature” (page 184). It is an entry into the subtle mysteries of opposition and reciprocity as forces in loving.

The benefit of this book may be, perhaps, to re-expose readers to the mythic roots of Western culture, still very much alive in our growing global civilization. Historical and theoretical considerations never dominate, however, as each writer reflects anew on fresh, and often clinical, experience of the psyche as it is in our day.

The Memoir of Tina Keller-Jenny; A Lifelong Confrontation with the Psychology of C.G. Jung. Edited by Wendy K. Swan. Spring Journal Books, 2011. ISBN 978-1-882670-85-7.

For those who enjoy reading memoires of people who worked with C.G. Jung, especially in his early days, this book is for you. Tina Keller-Jenny (1887-1985) was a Swiss physician and Jungian Analyst who worked with Jung from 1911, before he separated from Freud, and with Toni Wolff, until 1948. In particular, she sheds light on the development of active imagination as a discipline, and was a pioneer in including body work within the analytical process. Her efforts became a major support for the emergence of dance/movement and body-sensitive therapy.

The book is not visually attractive – brand new, it looks like something from the tabloid presses of the 1930s – and as an entity is not helped by the fact that it was compiled from disparate sources, including a number of abortive attempts at autobiography from Mrs. Keller-Jenny.  But it contains unparalleled primary material on the early Jung, communicating the “atmosphere” that emanated from Jung and “seized” his circle, the “fluidity” of his ideas as he met with his inner circle to sort them out and consider their relation to each other (page 13). It is no wonder that the view of the Unconscious as a kind of “family council” should emerge out of these evenings and weekends.

Keller-Jenny does not hold back from criticism of the Old Man – how sarcastic and unfeeling she found him at times – but shows some insight into her analyst in that, for example, he was able to explore dark things because he was so well acquainted with his dark side. She found Jung particularly sensitive to the truth that disappearance of symptoms was not identical to healing, one reason why he had little patience for medication as a way to get rid of disagreeable conditions (page 20).  Rather, he asked of the symptom, “What is this trying to tell me?” If one suffered from insomnia, for example, his advice was to write, and write, and write, until one articulated that which was waiting for expression. To the depressive he advocated entry into the depressive state, to feel it, and thus to go through to the light on its other side.

Above all, Jung’s advice to her was, “Follow that which is alive in you” (page 22). Our interests and needs are legitimate and should be pursued. What readers may find especially charming, in this era of hyper-availability and exposure, is Jung’s advice about “mental hygiene” – “giving in to inner needs such as extra sleep and relaxation” (page 22). But lest this be over-emphasized and lead to a flight from reality, Jung was also “quite firm in the necessity of outer achievement as part of ‘individuation.’”

Keller-Jenny ultimately took her leave of Jung in 1948, and worked to develop the body’s place in her own field, as well as “straying” into the field of religious development and releasing latent human potentials. Her friendship with Toni Wolff, about whom she also writes, steered her in later years; and the reader will probably find that these and her other stories are just as fascinating.

This book abounds in interesting anecdotes and insights, and for those who gravitate to stories of the early days of our movement it is indispensable reading.


Follow that which is alive in you.

C.G. Jung in The Memoir of Tina Keller-Jenny; A Lifelong Confrontation with the Psychology of C.G. Jung, page 22.


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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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