Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Chiron Publications Interview with Murray Stein


Chiron Publications has posted a thoughtful, in-depth interview with Murray Stein entitled "Keep Calm and Carry On" about the Trump era.  It is well worth reading.  You can find it at:  http://chironpublications.com/keep-calm-carry-interview-murray-stein-donald-trump/

Saturday, August 19, 2017

STUDY GROUP - Jung Readings - Analytical Psychology


I will be leading a Jung Readings Study Group this Fall.  We will discuss C.G. Jung's Analytical Psychology, a series of five lectures he gave at the Tavistock Clinic in England in 1935.  The group will be limited to ten participants and will meet for a total of six Monday evenings.  For detailed information or to register, please visit www.cgjungstl.org and click on the "Study Groups" tab.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Video on Jung's "Scrutinies," in THE RED BOOK


In 2011 Dickson Beale interviewed me about Jung's "Scrutinies" for The St. Louisan.  You can see the video of that short interview by googling, "Rose F. Holt on The Scrutinies."  I thought the video was no longer available so was happy to see it again.  Thank you, Dickson!

Jung's self examination in his "Scrutinies" (included in THE RED BOOK) is extremely interesting and revealing of the tremendous conflict Jung experienced between his inner life and his outer life, his Number 1 Personality and his Number 2 Personality.  (See MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS for Jung's explanation of the two personalities he understood inhabited his personality.)  The entire RED BOOK can be understood as his work to resolve this conflict, his reconciliation to the real person he was, or, as he was to call it later, his individuation process.

Before Jung's time this process of reconciliation was primarily understood in traditionally religious terms.  Jung does a translation of the work into psychological terms.  After his six-plus years recording his experiences in his "Confrontation with the Unconscious," he spent a good deal of his life writing and speaking about the parallels and differences between the two approaches to the work.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

REPORT ON "CASTING SHADOWS" PLAY PRODUCTION



FINAL REPORT

“Casting Shadows” Play Production, February 17, 18, 19, 2017
A new play by Carol Haake
Directed by Carol Haake and Susie Bradley

The goals of the play production project were (1) to offer some essential principles of Jungian Psychology to a new and broad audience, and (2) to break even financially.  We far exceeded both goals.

Goal 1:  The play had embedded in the storyline an essential Jungian idea, that of the continuing development of the personality over the entire lifespan.  The story plus Carol’s and an accompanying analyst’s discussion with the audience after each performance added to the first goal.  About half of each audience was new to the Jung Society, and some unknown fraction was new to Jung’s ideas.  Our initial plans were to do two or three performances.  As it developed, three performances were necessary, and all three were sold out.  About 250 people total saw the play.  That number included paid ticket holders, invited guests, and workers for each performance.

The Jung Society Board decided to have Visual Alchemy (Rick Vaughn and Ken Clayton) videotape one play performance.  Taping was done during dress rehearsal the evening before opening night.  Visual Alchemy also videotaped an interview with Carol Haake, the playwright, and Donna Leone, a Society board member.  Both will be available on the Jung Society website soon (www.cgjungstl.org).

Goal 2:  Given the cost of The Chapel Theater (none) with refreshments (part of the Theater gifting for one performance), the low-cost use of Unity Church facilities for rehearsals, the donations of time, treasure, and the talent from many people (especially Carol Haake, Susie Bradley, Julie Schulte, Don Weseman, and Sandy Cooper), the production should have came in under budget.  Jung Society Sales of the play DVD’s over time should add to revenue.

There were many factors that added to the over-the-top success of this project.  They include:

A)  Having “Casting Shadows” a fine story and play, one that lended itself to explication of Jungian themes.  (Thanks, Carol Haake!)

B)  Securing The Chapel Theater and fixing the dates on the calendar a year in advance of the performances.  (Thanks, Kathryn Stinson!)

B)  Having arresting artwork that provided an image early in the project for garnering interest.  (Thanks, Ginger Adkins!)

C)  Getting simple  “Save the Date” post card (with the image) notices to over 800 people on the Jung Society mailing list.  (Thanks, to all who helped with the mailing!)

D)  Having the help of an experienced play director.  (Thanks, Susie Bradley!)

E)  Getting the assistance of sound and lighting experts.  (Thanks, Rick Vaughn and Ken Clayton!)

F)  Having the fine cooperation of the coordinator of The Chapel Theater.  (Thanks, Wilson West!)

G)  Having imaginative set and costume design/implementation, posters, and picture boards.  (Thanks, Julie Schulte and Don Wesemann!)

H)  Taking on the role of the magician when two original cast members had to bow out.  (Thanks, Francesca Ferrentelli!)

I)  Having the Society Registrar carefully track ticket reservations and report progress.  (Thanks, Jeri Malone!)

J)  Having the coordination of efforts between the play production committee and the Jung Society Board of Directors. (Thanks, Sandy Cooper!)

K)  Having dedicated cast members who gave so generously of their time and talent to bring words on paper to enlivening, joy-filled performances.  (Thanks, Cast Members!)

L)  Having the Jung Society underwrite, publicize, and support all facets of the Production.  (Thanks, Jung Society Board Members, Subscribing Friends, and Anonymous Donors!)

M) Having photographs for posting on the Jung Society website (cgjungstl.org).  (Thanks, Julie Schulte, Donna Leone, R.J. Fitch!)

No doubt I have missed acknowledging people’s efforts.  My apologies to them.

This whole play production project, from vague idea to accomplished reality, is itself an example of a fundamental principle of Jungian Psychology.  That principle:  There are forces at work in us and in the world beyond those of simple cause and effect.  Plentiful evidence suggests that when something is to be fulfilled in the future, a gathering of forces—particular people, talents, materials, resources, places, events—converge to insure that fulfillment.  Human intention and discernment are critical to insuring any fulfillment is of a benign and benevolent nature.

This is actually an ancient notion:

“Write the vision down;
make it plain on tablets,
so they may run who read it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come;
it will not delay."
         [Habakkuk 2:2-3]


Rose F. Holt

Review: THE UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE OF GROWING OLD


Leah Friedman's The Unexpected Adventure of Growing Old is an exploration of many of the facets of a subject our culture avoids, primarily out of fear and misunderstanding, but also abetted by a consumer society that rewards youth and ignores the elderly. Add to those factors, a medical mentality and a pharmaceutical industry focused almost entirely on all that is wrong, awry, dysfunctional, and diseased, ageism is the inevitable by-product.


One of the delights of the book is the author's clear understanding of Jungian concepts which she uses to help elucidate a process of growth and development that has the potential of delivering fine rewards of creativity and satisfaction well into very old age.  If you are interested in the prospects of a late life that is a celebration of growing old, this is the book for you.

Dr. Friedman, in her 89th year, takes on the topic of aging directly and without apology, writing while standing on the shoulders of giants who have lived long and well, and while being attentive to and conscious of her own aging process. She in no way minimizes the issues she and many aging people (a group that includes everyone of us!) encounter but dares to explore with clear eye and warm heart many of the experiences of her last three decades--some enriching, rewarding, life-enhancing; others, vexing, heart-breaking, challenging almost beyond human endurance; all imbued with valuable life lessons.

In my initial read, I was happy to jump from chapter to chapter, engaging the text randomly as the author invites the reader to do. Soon, though, I returned to page one and read straight through, having realized the order of the chapters, like the aging process itself, parallels a growing, deepening understanding.

I am in my eighth decade and was delighted to have many of my own assumptions about aging up-ended, especially the most general one of all, that growing old is difficult, unpleasant, troublesome, and to be postponed as long as possible (an actual impossibility) by every means available. Personal experiences of loved ones entering periods of illness that short-circuited and truncated their lives had cast an unconscious pall over my own ideas of growing old. I found practical benefits in having some of my own implicit assumptions called into question and corrected. I know full well that we often find in life what we expect to find, that we both live our own story and can be seduced into living stories others too-frequently and often eagerly write for us. One's own stories about growing old are important, even life defining.

The Unexpected Adventure of Growing Old is well researched and well written. The author has an engaging and deceptively simple style that makes for a smooth read; there is no stumbling over awkward verbiage or jarring style. There are many occasional delights of sentence structure that help shine a light on unexpected rewards in very trying circumstances, even humor in pathos. A paragraph I particularly noted was the description of the author’s own acquisition of a desirable patience as her husband declined into dementia. “. . . there was one period when he told me hundred of times each day how important it is to have compassion, advice which, due to its tiresome recurrence, greatly tested my capacity to follow his worthy instruction.”

Dr. Friedman has given us a brilliant and uplifting new narrative for growing old in a time of increasing longevity and opportunity, a narrative necessary for a changing reality. In typing the book title, I accidentally wrote “The Unexpected Adventure of Growin Gold.” With an added apostrophe, I think that might well serve as a silent subtitle.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

REFLECTIONS



SOME QUESTIONS/RESPONSES FOR REFLECTION


1.  Why do you think dreams are important?  Dreams are an important way unconscious contents reach consciousness.  Even a cursory self-reflection reveals that our attitudes and behaviors are influenced by unconscious ideas, assumptions, dynamics, feelings, memories, and imaginings.  Dreams are a way we may be able to better understand these influences and deal with them more effectively—eliminating some, exaggerating others, developing and implementing those that are helpful.

2.  Where do you agree with Jung’s ideas?  Where do you disagree?  For the most part, I agree with Jung’s ideas and theories, especially the ones we have touched on in our study together.  Jung was,  (as are we), confined in his milieu so that some of his notions appear to us as archaic or misogynistic.
 
3.  Why do you think the concept of the unconscious is difficult for some?  People for whom the unconscious becomes a reality HAVE to come to terms with it.  For many others, a quiescent unconscious puts no demands on them, hence they have no need to deal with it, even believe in its existence.  Some would argue they are the lucky ones.

4.  Why do you think the relationship between consciousness and the unconscious is important?  Or unimportant?  The relationship is important, even vital, for someone for whom the unconscious has become a disturbing influence in his/her life.  Usually the unconscious makes its disturbing presence felt through compulsions, depression, overwhelming life events—any issue for which ego consciousness alone cannot muster an adequate, adaptive response.  As long as ego consciousness functions well, a relationship with the unconscious is unimportant, perhaps undesirable.

5.  What is your understanding of archetypes?  Archetypes are patterns of behavior.  A simple example is the bird building its nest.  Presumably, it is adhering to some instinctive imprint that informs its behavior.  How do archetypes fit into one’s approach to the dream?  When archetypal themes begin to appear in dreams, it marks an important milestone in the development of the personality.  The layer of insulation between consciousness and the unconscious, i.e., the personal unconscious, has become sufficiently permeable that elements from the unconscious begin to show themselves to ego consciousness.  The personal unconscious consists of one’s own history—forgotten or repressed contents, undeveloped and undesirable personality traits sometimes apparent to others but not to oneself, deeds we do not want to acknowledge.  The deeper unconscious, which Jung calls the collective unconscious, is the repository of all humankind and is teeming with creative energies and patterns seeking realization and incarnation in a responsive and responsible individual consciousness.

6.  What are important considerations to keep in mind when considering a dream?  The most important and the most difficult consideration is that the dream is bringing NEW information to consciousness.  Our natural tendency is to immediately place the information into existing categories where nothing new can enter in.  Our consciousness, by its very construction is a Procrustean bed.  [The notion of the Immaculate Conception, understood symbolically, is that in a sufficiently cleansed consciousness, something new has a chance for insemination and eventual birth—the saving thing.]

7.  Why do dreams convince when no amount of logical argument can?  I don’t know, but I do know this is a true statement.

8.  Why are dreams so discounted in modern life?  Our collective consciousness is all about keeping itself intact and turning the individual to its service.  Dreams, by emphasizing individual development and fostering an anything-but-the-herd mentality, are naturally unwelcome to the collective.
 
9.  Is there a resurgence of interest in dreams?  Perhaps.  I would be interested in others' opinion about this question.

10.  There is no account of Jesus’ ever sharing a dream in the N.T.  Why might that be?  A real puzzle.  Maybe Jesus’ statement, “I and the Father are one,” is an indication that his relationship with the unconscious was so well formed that he and it had no need for the corrections and compensations that dreams bring.  Or it could be the case that Jesus lived in a multidimensional reality in which he did not distinguish waking consciousness from any other state of being?  If the latter case is true, his final victory would be that of achieving a state which in itself is eternal.  

11.  What might the unconscious be seeking from a cooperating ego consciousness?  Ah, the Big Question!  Truly a mystery akin to that of the fate of the Son of Man.  Did he know all before the Passion or did he live it in blind obedience to the unknown—as we must do?

 12. Why does contact with deep layers of the psyche (the unconscious) have a healing effect?  I don’t know, but I do know that is a true statement.






Wednesday, January 25, 2017

C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis - Newsletter


The new issue of the St. Louis Jung Society Newsletter is out.  To access it, go to www.cgjungstl.org.  The Society always offers interesting programs and study groups.  This issue also contains information about the Society's play production, "Casting Shadows;" about the 2017 Writing Contest; and about the 2017 Jung in the Heartland Conference.

The Society has many videotapes of past programs available for purchase.  That information is also available at www.cgjungstl.org    The upcoming play will be filmed and available on DVD as will the major talks of the 2017 Conference by Lionel Corbett and Chelsea Wakefield.

The newsletter featured this quote, so fitting for our times:

“Just as the conscious mind can put out the question, ‘Why is there this frightful conflict between good and evil?’ so the unconscious mind can reply, ‘Look closer! Each needs the other. The best, just because it is the best, holds the seeds of evil, and there is nothing so bad but good can come of it.’”

                                              C.G. Jung, from "The Relations between Ego and the Unconscious”

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A FUN PROJECT






 SAVE THE DATE!

“Casting Shadows”
A new play by Carol Haake

Directed by Susie Bradley

February 17 & 18,  7:30 pm
February 19,  2:00 pm

Reserve seats now at
www.cgjungstl.org

$10-$15 in advance; $15-$20 at the door
The Chapel Theater
6238 Alexander Drive, St. Louis, MO  63105

CASTING CALL:  If you are interested in auditioning for a part in this production, please read on!


 Casting Shadows” depicts the Jungian process of individuation, the inner impulse in a person that can urge one on to a fuller, more creative existence.

The play is a fairy tale about an aging queen who is caught in cultural and family expectations about women, aging, and her role as queen. A tragedy sends her running away into the woods where she meets persons from her past, unremembered parts of herself, and other helpful characters. Her experiences help her to become comfortable with herself as an aging woman and a ruler. 

Cast of Characters

Magician: Androgynous character, introduces and closes show, also appears in second scene.

Queen: the main character, a middle aged or older woman

Queen’s shadow: The unacknowledged part of the queen, always with her, giving advice or comments.

Angry woman: Another unacknowledged part of the queen, always with her, takes over and answers for the queen periodically

King: older man, appears with queen in first scene

King’s shadow: Unacknowledged part of king, always with him, giving advice and comments

Father: Makes 3 brief appearances in second scene, once as older man, twice as younger

Mother: Makes 3 brief appearances in second scene, once as older woman, twice as younger

Trickster: Dashes in, causes trouble, dashes out, in second and third scenes, body language important.

Old woman: Older wiser part of the queen, appears in second and third scenes

Young girl: Teen age (or at least young) part of the queen, appears in second the third scenes

Young man: Young man representing the masculine side of queen, appears in second and third scenes

Prime minister: Mature, haughty man, appears in third scene.

Prime minister’s shadow: Unacknowledged part of prime minister, always with him giving advice and comments.

If you are interested in auditioning for one of these amateur roles, please send an e-mail to www.cgjungstl@yahoo.com    Auditions will be held during the second week of December.



Tuesday, November 08, 2016

ELECTION DAY IN AMERICA



Voters in the U.S. go to the polls today.  Never in American history have we faced a clearer choice--continuing slow progress toward consciousness or a dangerous backsliding into darkness.  I personally believe the long arc of history does indeed bend in the direction of peace and justice.  However, just as in the individual, divisive and dangerous tendencies can arise from the unconscious and infect entire nations.  The reminder of Nazi Germany alone is proof.

The tip weight in the critical balance between light and dark is the tiny light of consciousness that each of us carries.  Without the understanding of our own processes of development and memory of our personal history, we can too quickly succumb to energies that, rather than enhance our lives, can damage and even destroy them.  Nations, too, face a parallel danger.

Dr. Jung believed the impetus toward individuation could arise in two different ways, from a crisis in the life of an individual or from a cataclysmic event in the world.  Today there is a clash in the world between light and dark, between order and chaos, between barbaric and civilized behaviors.  We in the U.S. have seen this played out in our national politics and, alarmingly, in our government.

There are people in the U.S. Congress who have abandoned long-standing rules of decorum and duty, whose one goal is winning, who serve the gods of money and power.  Only the spoils of victory will do for these people.  These people and the gods they serve have Donald Trump as their fitting champion.  Hillary Clinton offers a critically important alternative.

Most women and many, many men, because of instinctual energies that protect and preserve their children, energies that serve evolution, have a natural civilizing influence on society and are much more likely to serve a very different god.  In themselves, money and power, though seductive and important, are insufficient to carry, give birth to, and nurture children.  Another god is required, one deeply rooted in reality and generative impulses.  Ambition, conflict, warring, disbelief in evolution--all are inimical to raising children.

Hillary Clinton understands the nature of ALL warring gods well.  She appears to have experienced many of them in her own psyche and has had to come to terms with them--even to have used her consciousness to forge a warring peace among them.  I believe for Secretary Clinton money and power are now in the service of another and higher god, one amenable to tempering by human reason and feeling.

Individuation, according to Jung, is the task of harnessing god-like energies in the unconscious psyche and guiding them toward higher purposes so that they can enhance the lives of individuals and societies.  I count myself lucky to live in a culture that makes room for people like Hillary Clinton and the gifts she brings to all of us.

For these reasons, I am with her.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

NEWSLETTER - C. G. JUNG SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS Fall 2016



The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis has gone green!

The theme at our "Jung in the Heartland: Altar of the Earth" conference prompted us to examine our own carbon footprint. To make it smaller, our newsletter is now available in electronic format.  To receive a pdf of the Newsletter and to be added to the mailing list, please send your request to cgjungstl@yahoo.com.  You may also request a printed one be mailed to you.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis Fall '16 Programs



The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis has just announced its Fall '16 programs.  For detailed information or to enroll, please visit www.cgjungstl.org

One study group is of particular interest because it offers both an overview of Jungian Psychology and because it will be presented by seven different Jungian Analysts.  This is a rare opportunity for gaining insight into facets of Jung's works and for meeting individuals steeped in the Jungian tradition.

Fundamentals of Jungian Psychology
Presented by Seven Jungian Analysts

7 Sundays, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
September 11, 18, 25; October 2, 9, 16, 30
Fee:  Friends:  $195; Others: $215 (Includes $36 for Personality Type Assessment Materials)
CEU’s:  10 1/2

Description:  This course, taught by seven Jungian Analysts, will provide participants with a solid understanding of some basic ideas and theories that underlie Jungian Psychology.  The course is designed for counselors, social workers, artists, teachers, and others interested in ways Jungian thinking can enhance one’s work, relationships, and creativity.

Date/Presenter/Topic

September 11/Virginia Krauft/C.G. Jung:  His Life and Times

September 18/Jan Stannard/Structure of the Psyche

September 25/Sheldon Culver/Complex and Archetype

October 02/Deborah Stutsman/Self and Individuation      

October 09/Pam Behnen/Jung and the Creative Process

October 16/Shirley Fontenot/Psychological Types

October 30/Rose Holt/Summary Discussion

Classes will be held in the First Congregational Church, UCC, 6501 Wydown, Clayton, MO.  If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact me (Rose Holt,) phone (314) 726-2032 or email:  rosefholt@gmail.com

Sunday, July 03, 2016

PLAY ABOUT JUNGIAN CONCEPT OF INDIVIDUATION


C. G. JUNG SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS PLAY COMMITTEE MEETING AT THE CHAPEL THEATER 

On Thursday, June 29, 2016, the coordinator for The Chapel Theater hosted some of the group preparing for production of a play, “Casting Shadows,” at the Chapel Theater next February.  The theater is a warm and welcoming place, just the kind of space this play calls for.

“Casting Shadows” is about the full flowering of the personality of a woman who is called to become the heroine of her own life in a decidedly conscious way.  For the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis, this play is a new avenue for promoting the concepts of Jungian Psychology and its emphasis on consciousness and individual development.

SAVE THE DATE:  “Casting Shadows,” performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 17, 18, and 19, 2017.   The Chapel Theater, 6238 Alexander Drive, St. Louis, MO  63105

For more information, please visit www.cgjungstl.org

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts - Two-Year Jungian Studies Program



The Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts is accepting applications (deadline July 1, 2016!) for its two-year program of Jungian studies.  Go to www.jungchicago.org for detailed information and for   application.

The program is excellent, always fills to maximum, and is offered in a weekend format so that people from any geographical area can attend.  

Friday, February 26, 2016

CONFERENCE IN FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, June 24-25, 2016


The C.  .G Jung Society of Northern Alaska will have its first Jung Midnight Sun Conference: Psyche, Nature, and Culture on June 24 and 25, 2016, in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Detailed information available at:  http://jungalaskaconference.com

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Jung Institute of Chicago Study Programs


For anyone interested in formal study in Jungian Psychology, here is a link to programs the Jung Institute of Chicago offers:  http://jungchicago.org/pages.php?page=ctp_overview

Sunday, January 31, 2016

AN APPROACH TO THE DREAM



On Friday evening, January 29, 2016, I gave a lecture on the topic of dreams for the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis.  Here is the text of that lecture:


AN APPROACH TO THE DREAM

     Peoples throughout history have been fascinated by their dreams, have sought to understand them, and have used them for guidance.  It is only we moderns who have somewhat lost touch with the dreamworld and with how to understand or work with it.  The language of dreams is symbolic.
     We can largely credit Sigmund Freud with giving dreams their due.  Freud understood the unconscious as a sort of “trash heap” of consciousness, the repository for all things discarded by consciousness because unpleasant, not fitting with the conscious attitude, or interfering with the fulfillment of the ego desires.  Dreams were a product of the trash heap; any value they might hold came only from their shaping by consciousness.
     To Freud, dreams were a facade behind which the individual repressed painful memories, censored unacceptable thoughts, and hid unpleasant realities.  The function of psychoanalysis was to lay bare these hidden memories, thoughts, and realities so the individual could grow up, form a superego strong enough to deal with the unconscious id desires and energies.  A nifty arrangement if you were the analyst; not so great for the patient trying to make his/her psychic energies fit into a someone else’s psychological and theoretical frame.
     C. G. Jung read Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams shortly after its publication in 1900, and became a follower of and collaborator with Freud for about a decade.  The two men kept up a voluminous correspondence, met many times, and traveled together.  Jung had a father transference to Freud, who was older by 19 years.  Freud insisted on the father-son dynamic, and Jung began to chafe under it.  You probably know that all Jung’s major life decisions grew out of his dreams and his active imaginations.  The break with Freud was presaged by dreams Jung had during a seven-week-long trip the two men took together to the United States in 1909.  During the trip they were together every day and analyzed each other’s dreams.
     I am going to dwell on one of Jung’s dreams during that trip because it so well illustrates his general way of working with and understanding dreams.  This particular dream was one of several experiences that led Jung to develop the concept of the collective unconscious, which I’ll talk more about later on.  Jung recounts this dream in his autobiographical work, Memories, Dreams, Reflections:
I was in a house I did not know, which had two stories.  It was “my house.”  I found myself in the upper story, where there was a kind of salon furnished with fine old pieces in rococo style.  On the walls hung a number of precious old paintings.  I wondered that this should be my house, and thought, “Not bad”  But then it occurred to me that I did not know what the lower floor looked like.  Descending the stairs, I reached the ground floor.  There everything was much older, and I realized that this part of the house must date from about the fifteenth or sixteenth century.  The furnishings were medieval; the floors were of red brick.  Everywhere it was rather dark.  I went from one room to another, thinking, “Now I really must explore the whole house.”  I came upon a heavy door, and opened it.  Beyond it, I discovered a stone stairway that led down into the cellar.  Descending again, I found myself in a beautifully vaulted room which looked exceedingly ancient.  Examining the walls, I discovered layers of brick among the ordinary stone blocks and chips of brick in the mortar.  As soon as I saw this I knew that the walls dated from Roman times.  My interest by now was intense.  I looked more closely at the floor.  It was of stone slabs, and in one of these I discovered a ring.  When I pulled it, the stone slab lifted, and again I saw a stairway of narrow stone steps leading down into the depths.  These, too, I descended, and entered a low cave cut into the rock.  Thick dust lay on the floor, and in the dust were scattered bones and broken pottery, like remains of a primitive culture.  I discovered two human skulls, obviously very old and half disintegrated.  [p. 158-59]
     When Jung recounted the dream to Freud, Freud focussed on the two skulls and urged Jung to find the wish connected with them, the death-wish having a prominent place in Freud’s theory.  A man has to “kill” the father to grow up.  Rather than explore the dream for what it might have to reveal, Freud insisted on taking refuge in his theory.  Jung, 34 years old at the time, didn’t have sufficient foundation within himself to challenge the famous authority Dr. Freud, so kept his thoughts to himself.
     His own reflections on the dream, no doubt developed over decades since he is recounting it in MDR at age 85, hold some gems of understanding for us in working with our own dreams.

     THE HOUSE - An image of the psyche with hitherto unconscious additions.  The house is a frequent image in dreams.  People often bring dreams of new spaces, parts of their house they didn’t know existed.  These are important dreams.  One in particular I will relate.  [And in every case, I use only client material for which I have the permission of the client to cite.]  The dreamer, (I’ll call her Alice), was a young woman who had suffered a traumatic childhood.  She believed her mother hated herself and hated her.  Her parents’ marriage was turbulent, marked by violent fights, separations and reconciliations.  At around age 12, Alice was turned over to her maternal grandmother permanently, a woman far more kind and loving.  Alice’s early dreams revealed a psychic house that reflected her childhood home—chaotic, disturbing, terrifying at times.  About some two years into our work together, she dreamed she was in that early home and discovered underground tunnels that connected to the houses on either side, houses in which two of her childhood friends lived.   Her associations with those friends and the kinds of houses they lived in were revealing.  The friends were cherished by their parents; their homes were a refuge for Alice when things grew unbearable at home.  The tunnels represented for Alice the possibility of escape from a psychic space dominated by crushing parental complexes.  As you can imagine, Alice’s self-identity and her world view began to change.  Rather than experiencing mostly painful situations and people she saw as hostile, she began to venture out more, make friends, find supportive figures at the university she had attended sporadically before.  As indicated by the dream, she made new connections to friendlier places.
       In general, our parents (and other authorities) are the architects and builders of our psychological and emotional houses.  When these authorities are adequate and sufficiently strong, yet flexible and adaptive to the developing individual and a changing world, all goes well.  Such an individual will have in place parental imagos, i.e., unconscious parental guides, that provide guidance and wisdom for life’s journey.  Institutions, like these individuals, encode and preserve collective guidance and wisdom.  The problem as well as the blessing, of course, is that both a predetermined ego consciousness in the individual and in the institution is highly-resistant to change.  An individual sufficiently contained in such structures is never forced to venture beyond the part of his/her “house” that exists above ground.  It is from this type rigid structure that we hear arguments like “Well, we’ve always done it this way before.”  As well, as, “We can’t go there, do that; there are disasters ahead, “giants loose in the land.”
     Often times a dream will show figures who go ahead of the dream ego, who enter unknown places.  These are the “scouts” of the psyche who help allay anxiety and fear.  [And by dream ego, I simply mean the individual having the dream who plays a role in it.  The dream ego is some facet or part of the entire personality.]
     When the parents are not good enough, missing, abusive, alcoholic, etc., the individual can grow up ill-equipped to handle the vicissitudes of life.  These people may follow the pattern their parent or parents set.  They may become neurotic, even psychotic.  Jung argued that these are the individuals—the misfits, the ill-adapted, the miserable, the broken—who, lacking the unconscious mechanisms that guide ego consciousness more or less successfully—who can become creative, can provide the leadership to move the culture beyond established norms.  Of course, these people can also become extremely problematic and destructive, passing their own sins “down to the fourth generation.”
     Jung’s “house” dream, which he noted as an extremely important one, marked the beginning of an understanding that much lay below the domain of ego consciousness.  He determined to discover as much as possible about that other domain.
     From earlier experiences and from this dream and its architecture, he came to see that human consciousness, civilization, and culture rests on historic layers of an ordered history that gives shape and structure.  One of Jung’s Red Book paintings is of his conception of the ordering he perceived.
     Another way he found to express his lifetime of understanding was in his Bollingen retreat house which he built over several decades.  He wrote that Bollingen was, “a representation in stone of my innermost thoughts and of the knowledge I had acquired and a concretization of the individuation process.”
     Jung eventually postulated the existence of archetypes, patterns of human behavior that inform the personal but that lie below the surface.  When individuals like Alice connect with different patterns, ones that are healthier and more life-giving, they are drawing upon archetypal dimensions of the psyche, patterns that exist at a level below (or above and around) personal consciousness. These patterns serve to broaden one’s self identity and one’s conscious awareness.  An individual may express this increased sense of self and personal history as “Oh, so there is much more to me than I ever knew.”
     Of course, it was Freud who paved the way for the exploration of the unconscious and the patterns it contains.  You might say Freud was caught in one archetypal pattern that much informed his theoretical frame, the pattern of Oedipus.  Remember, according to the Greek myth, Oedipus unwittingly murders his father and marries his mother.  [And, of course, Jung added later the parallel figure of Electra who competes with the mother for the father’s affections.]   The Oedipus and Electra dramas depict one archetypal pattern, that of conflict between child and parent, but consider two others—those of Odysseus and Demeter.
. . . “Odysseus had been warned by an oracle:  ‘If you go to Troy, you will not return until the twentieth year, and then alone and destitute.’  He, therefore feigned madness, and Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Palamedes found him wearing a peasant’s felt cap shaped like a half-egg, and plowing with an ass and an ox yoked together, and flinging salt over his shoulder as he went.  When he pretended not to recognize his distinguished guests Palamedes snatched the infant Telemachus from Penelope’s arms and set him on the ground before the advancing team.  Odysseus hastily reigned them in to avoid killing his only son and his sanity having thus been established, was obliged to join the expedition.”  
     An early attempt at draft dodging.
     Not even threat of a 20 year servitude in war could sever the love between this parent and child. Many, if not most parents do go into long servitude to raise a beloved child to adulthood.  They put their personal wishes and ambitions aside to assure the welfare of their children.
     And remember when Persephone is swept into the underworld, Demeter, her mother, is inconsolable.  All four of these ancient tales speak of patterns of relationship between parent and child, archetypal patterns that get replayed endlessly in actual relationships, mostly unconsciously.  These patterns and many others are encoded in story, mythology, scripture, and fairy tales.  Often an individual will remember a favorite fairy tale from childhood that expresses his/her fundamental pattern. Television shows and movies can also serve to mirror and echo one’s personal story, and they serve to expand one’s possibilities for story.
     These stories and many like them are our stories.  They can help us understand and explain our behaviors, our relationships, and our ways of being in the world.  Dreams are always working to reunite us with the deeper stories that are ours and that shape our psychic structures.  Presumably, understanding the psychic patterns in play within us empowers us to affect them consciously rather than to be only affected by them.
     No one knows quite how or why it happens, but the individual who connects with the archetypal dimensions that undergird his/her personal consciousness experiences healing and a renewed sense of life and value.  There is a reconciliation with an unfathomable “other,” which traditionally has been expressed in religious terms.  Jung defined this other as the Self which is the organizing principle within the psyche, the archetype that organizes archetypes.
     Of course, we do not know what or who this other is, only that there is something like ancient wisdom gathered in the collective unconscious that has fashioned and preserved life-giving  elements and patterns of existence, a sort of museum of natural history.  Darwin explained the evolution of species.  Jung explains the evolution of consciousness in a parallel way.  Keys and doors to this museum appear all the time in dreams, in everyday experiences, in relationships, in startling thoughts, in the imagination.  Art, painting, and literature hold keys to this domain.  Mostly we moderns are far too busy and involved in our 24/7 lives to care about visiting this inner museum, but the reality of sleep forces us into it daily.  Sometimes we emerge with a lasting dream that tells us something about that underlying reality and our place and role in it.
     My guess is that everyone here has recall of a dream from long ago that lingers in the memory.  It is as if the dream clings to us, stays alive in us through no intentionality of our own.  Those are important dreams.
     We all make assumptions about dreams.  They were caused by the snack I had at midnight.  They are frivolous and lack meaning.  They may mean something, but who knows what?
     I want to offer a few hypotheses for understanding the dream and its function.
*There is something like an “eye” of a camera or a “watcher” that captures the dream and presents it as a memory to waking consciousness.
*Every dream is an attempt to help us heal and move us toward wholeness.
*Every dream is a comment on our life situation.
*Threads from any dream can and do lead into many, many areas of our lives.
*Through patient attention to our dreams, we can make contact with and enter into a meaningful dialogue with the unconscious. [By unconscious, I simply mean the source of those factors that influence and impact our lives in unknown ways.]
*The unconscious turns to us the face we turn to it.  We ignore it; it ignores us.
*Every dream is given to us for the purpose of healing past hurts, enlarging our perspective, and/or integrating portions of our personality.
*The dream brings new information to compensate or complement our waking attitudes.
*Our life energy, or libido, is personified in dreams, as if the psyche or the unconscious wants to draw us into a living relationship.
*Relationships with inner figures can be as important, enriching, and rewarding as relationships with people in our outer lives.   [SLIDE 9]
*Our inner and outer lives are in some way mirrors of each other. Dream work can provide for a more harmonious balance between the two.
*The psyche has a teleological aspect, i.e., it is working towards a goal or purpose. Further, it seeks our participation and cooperation.
*The unconscious both conceals and reveals itself. It both yearns to be seen, yet is reluctant.
*In analysis, a secured-symbolizing field is certainly necessary for the individual. Such a field is also necessary for the unconscious. [Therapeutic containers are the “safe and secured spheres or circles in which ‘heavy’ things can safely happen.” This is the sense in which I use the phrase, “secured-symbolizing field.”]  The element of trust is of utmost importance in any depth work with another person.  In Jungian circles the expression “sacred temenos” is often used to describe the field that needs to be established for analysis.
*The dream can speak with more authority than any human voice.
     These are the assumptions, the working hypotheses that I’ve settled on over decades of working with dreams, my own and those of many others.
      I am fond of this quote from Jung:  “If you pay attention to your dreams long enough, you will develop an opinion about the unconscious.  More importantly, the unconscious will develop an opinion about you.”
     Another way of saying much the same thing is that over time you will understand the nature of the relationship that your conscious self has with its unconscious backdrop.  Dreams will inform you about that relationship.
     Is something (the Self, the “Other”) in the unconscious critical of me, pleased with me, helping me, wanting something from me, giving me a warning?  The dream storyline and characters present a drama in which the dream ego usually plays a role.  (The dream ego is the part of the dreamer’s personality depicted in the dream.)  Is the role cooperative, adversarial, passive, etc? Does the dream depict me as a responsible, worthy adult or as a petulant child, angry, obdurate, difficult?  The dream seems to hold an opinion about our ego, and will tell us that opinion in no uncertain terms.  That is precisely the reason so many people ignore and/or dismiss their dreams. Who likes criticism?
     If you pay attention to your dreams, jot down notes and reflections about them, you will, over time see that the dreams begin to respond to your attention.  That is when it gets really interesting.
     There is solid empirical evidence for all this, so don’t take it as an article of faith but as a possible working hypothesis for personality development. I do assume you are here because of an interest in dreams and their function.
     That is a lot about dreams and assumptions about dreams, what about specific guides for approaching the dream?  The best approach is a simple one that Jung himself describes in MDR:
“After the parting of the ways with Freud, a period of inner uncertainty began for me. … I felt it necessary to develop a new attitude toward my patients. I resolved for the present not to bring any theoretical premises to bear upon them, but to wait and see what they would tell of their own accord. My aim became to leave things to chance. The result was that the patients would spontaneously report their dreams and fantasies to me, and I would merely ask, ‘What occurs to you in connection with that?’ or, ‘How do you mean that, where does that come from, what do you think about it?’ The interpretations seemed to follow of their own accord from the patients’ replies and associations. I avoided all theoretical points of view and simply helped the patients to understand the dream-images by themselves, without application of rules and theories. Soon I realized that it was right to take the dreams in this way as the basis of interpretation, for that is how dreams are intended. They are the facts from which we must proceed.” [Pp. 170-71]
     Let’s move on now to discuss some specific dreams, dreams that proved helpful to the individual.  After all, what good is any understanding if it doesn’t in some way enhance our day-to-day living?  What I most like about Jungian Psychology is that it has practical and helpful application, nowhere more than in its use of dream interpretation
     The very first dream an individual brings into analysis is often extremely important and sets the trajectory for the entire work.  This was such a presenting dream:
     I was running along a ridge, following behind a group of runners.  We came to a deep chasm, and they all just leapt across.  I stopped, knowing there was no way I could jump across.  It was too wide.  Then, a man and woman appeared on my side of the chasm and went up to a switch that turned off the current of the electric fence at the bottom.  They then walked arm and arm down the hill and up the other side.  I realized that I could just keep practicing jumping and maybe eventually be able to jump over.
     The dreamer’s (I will call her Marion) answers to the questions about her associations all centered about a personal dilemma she was feeling very strongly.  Revisiting the dream a few years later, she wrote the following:
“I had been deeply upset, saddened and depressed over (a personal matter).  It was a death of sorts, and I couldn’t get over it.  The chasm certainly symbolized that to me.  The couple knew how to “disconnect” the current to get across.  After much discussion, I realized that I needed to disconnect from feelings that were holding me back.  Often, it seemed disloyal or unfeeling to move on, but the dream showed me how to disconnect from feelings that kept me blocked from going where I wanted to go.”
     There is a lot packed into this first dream, symbols of the chasm, a strong current that stops the dreamer; another connection of a man and a woman, a coupling, who represent helpful elements in the unconscious; and the hope and promise of change.  Figures in the dream show Marion the way through her dilemma.  The dream had a profound and lasting effect.  And, of course, the “watcher” provided the dreamer a broader perspective on her situation.
     This dream illustrates something more about the way dreams work.  Dreams seem not to operate under the rules of our three-dimensional world, rules about time, cause and effect, spacial relationships.  Rather than cause and effect, the dream uses more of a “when-then” logic.  In this dream, when the coupling happens, i.e., the joining of some masculine and some feminine energies, then something else can be disconnected, that is, the restricting current, which Marion believed was her strong feelings about certain troubling situations.  There are hints in this dream about restructuring of defense systems when they no longer serve.
     This one dream had far-reaching consequences for Marion in how she lived, and it immediately convinced her of the value of working with her dreams.  Her conscious view of her situation was limited.  The dream greatly expanded that view.
     Now I want to share a sequence of dreams where the personal and the archetypal are so intertwined that no interpretation on my part was necessary.
     Sara was a woman in her mid-30’s who had gone through a painful divorce, and after several years alone, had remarried. She was eager to have a child as she felt her biological clock might run out on her. She had this dream:
     I discovered that my mother and her two sisters had been secretly keeping my grandmother (their mother) alive for years. However, when I was face to face with my grandmother, I saw that her eyes were brown instead of the vivid blue they were when was alive. I said, “No, this is not Grandma. Her eyes were blue.” At that moment I touched her arm. Her eyes turned blue, and I knew it was she.
     Shortly after this dream, Sara discovered she was pregnant. The night before the child was born, she dreamed that her grandmother came through the front door of her house. Later she told me that when she awoke she knew the dream was announcing the birth. Sure enough, on that day she went into labor.
     Some four months went by, and Sara brought a new and puzzling dream:
          My grandmother comes to my house. She tells me she is bored and needs a new craft.
     I asked her what she made of this Grand Mother dream. She looked very startled. Later she told me that on the way home she bought a pregnancy test. She discovered, much to her surprise, that she was again pregnant.
     On the day Sara’s second child was born, her sister called to tell her that she had had a dream about their grandmother in which the grandmother had assured her that Sara and her little family would be just fine. As Sara told me later, she (Sara) immediately wondered if the sister were herself pregnant. The sister was but didn’t yet know it.   By this time, as you can guess,  the whole family is on the alert for appearances of this grandmother.     Some years go by. Sara brings this dream, which she had the night before she was to have a hysterectomy:
     My grandmother comes to tell me her work is done. The scene shifts. There is to be an elaborate funeral for her in a huge theater. All my grandmother’s progeny are ushered into the place. The funeral service is more beautiful and moving than I can possibly describe. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. 
     These dreams were all deeply moving and held great meaning for Sara. She felt very much supported and loved by this grandmother who, when she was a young child, had been so loving and gracious to her. The dreams helped her realize that this loving and supportive Great Mother continued her presence in Sara’s life.  No earthly person could have reassured and supported Sara in the ways these dreams did.
     Here is a dream of someone (I’ll call her Joanne) who has done her life’s homework.  She is a woman in her 70’s, is married, has raised a family, is a talented artist, and has enjoyed a successful career.  She still works part time.  The dream:
     President Obama is on the deck behind our house.  He is bowing reverently before my madonna statue.
     For Joann this was a profound, even numinous, dream.  She experienced it as a gift. In her associations she talked about her admiration for the president, how she felt he had his values in the right place, and was able to press on in spite of extremely trying circumstances.  A cradle Catholic, for Joann the madonna is a symbol of great import though she left the Catholic church a long time ago.  Joann always made her role as mother a priority and is now playing a formative role in the lives of her grandchildren. She spoke at length about all that her maternal dedication still requires of her.
     From an archetypal and symbolic perspective, this dream says a great deal.  The “president” presides over the “united states.”  Psychologically the united states speaks to consciousness with its amalgamation of various complexes and feeling states, integrated sufficiently that the states remain in a fixed position, no state going rogue or acting entirely independently of the others.  The borders between the states are porous and make for easy access.  Each has it own governing organization, yet all allow and bow to a higher authority.
      The madonna, Mary, the “mother of god,” is another archetypal image.  She is the goddess incarnate.  Tradition has it that Mary was conceived without “sin,” i.e., she represents an uncontaminated consciousness that can bring forth something of a “saving nature” without sullying it with preconceived ideas or assumptions
     I think most creative people would say their work involves, even requires, a kind of “divine spark,” as well as the willingness to persevere under extremely difficult circumstances.  Another archetypal image, not imaged in this dream is that of the annunciation, the moment the angel Gabriel whispers the inspiration to Mary.
     We can infer something about the state of Joann’s consciousness from these archetypal associations.  I especially appreciate dreams of this sort because they give us a fine idea of the psychological relevance of scriptural stories.  It is one thing to believe the stories relate to events millennia ago.  It is quite another to realize the stories describe developments possible and occurring in the personality of an individual today.
     I have dwelt on the Great Mother for good reason.  Ultimately, she is the unconscious itself.  She is the source; she gives birth to consciousness.  Dreams reconnect us with her.  We all come from the goddess-mother, and to her we shall return.




Thursday, December 31, 2015

READING JUNG



Readings in Jung: Mother Complex and Mother Archetype

Presented by Rose Holt, MA

Six (6) Sundays: 2:00 - 3:30 PM
March 6, 13 , 20; April 3, 10, 17
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 631055 Map it!
Fee: Friends $115; Others $135 (9 CEUs)
Text: C. G. Jung, "Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype," in Aspects of the Feminine, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982

The Mother Archetype comprises many ambivalent patterns. An individual's particular and powerful personal pattern or imprint is determined by his/her relationship with both the personal mother and other significant female influences, especially early in life. Parts of the mother compex are lived consciously; parts are split off to reside in the unconscious. Unconscious parts then are often projected onto figures in one's life, clouding real understanding of the other and the relationship. Working with one's personal mother complex, usually as it appears in dreams, can lead to increased understanding so that split-off parts--positive and negative--can be made conscious. Resolution of the complex brings increased feelings of freedom and, quite often, an improved relationship with women in one's life.

For anyone interested in the group who feels unfamiliar with basic Jungian theory, we recommend two videos: Rose Holt: "An Overview of Jungian Psychology & Its Value for Today", and Ken James: "Complexes, Archetypes, and the Transcendent Function." Both are available through our website or by calling 314-533-6809. If you have questions regarding the course, please contact Rose at 314-726-2032 or roseholt@aol.com.


Rose F. Holt, MA, a Jungian Analyst in private practice in St. Louis and advisory analyst to The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis, is on the faculty of the Chicago Analyst Training Program. She has lectured widely, taught numerous courses, and authored a number of essays on topics in Jungian psychology.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER, PLEASE VISIT WWW.CGJUNGSTL.ORG

AN APPROACH TO THE DREAM


An Approach to the Dream
Presented by Rose F. Holt, M.A.

Friday, January 29, 2016 - 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC Picture of the Church

6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105 Map it! 

Fee: Friends $15/ Students $2 / Others: $20 
(2 CEUs)
Both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung demonstrated the significance and value of dreams in psychoanalysis although their assumptions about and approaches to working with dreams were markedly different. Jung's understanding of dreams as a spontaneous living manifestation of nature and his way of working with them open up the possibility for any of us to self-explore via the dream, if we are so inclined. In this lecture, Rose will outline the differences between Freud's and Jung's approach, will offer helpful assumptions for working with dreams, and will provide examples of the effect of dreams in the lives of individuals. She will also discuss the importance of dreams with archetypal images and motifs that emerge from the deepest layers of the unconscious. 


Rose F. Holt, MA,
 a Jungian Analyst in private practice in St. Louis and advisory analyst to The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis, is on the faculty of the Chicago Analyst Training Program. She has lectured widely, taught numerous courses, and published a number of articles on various aspects of Jungian Psychology.


FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER, PLEASE VISIT:  CGJUNGSTL.ORG

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

THE GIFT OF CONSCIOUSNESS



If you are casting about for an unusual but intriguing gift for a friend or loved one, do consider the gift of consciousness.  The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis has a number of superb programs which are available on DVD or CD.  Some of the programs are of an introductory level to Jungian Psychology; others are more nuanced and expand upon some of Jung's original ideas.  The quality of the recordings is excellent.  You can see trailers and order various ones at www.cgjungstl.org.  Order now to receive one or more in time for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES LISTING


PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES LISTING

St. Louis has a vibrant Jung Society where many Society members have educated themselves in the facets of Jungian Psychology. The Society is providing a list of professional resources for individuals seeking analysis, therapy, spiritual direction, or other services from practitioners versed in Jungian psychology and who maintain membership in the Jung Society. This will include:

Jungian Analysts
Analysts in Training
Counselors
Spiritual Directors
Bodyworkers
Coaches
Social Workers

The C.G. Jung Society of Saint Louis makes no endorsements for any specific practitioner listed. We offer this information as a service to those interested.

If you are a Jungian Analyst, Analyst Candidate, Counselor, Spiritual Director, Social Worker, etc., and are a Society Member who has attended lectures, workshops, and study groups, you are eligible to be listed on the Society's website under "Resources" for an annual fee of $99. To be listed, please complete the application below. The Society will review all applications for suitability.

1. Go to Our Website  http://www.cgjungstl.org

2. Click the "Resources" tab

3. You will see a heading that says "Jungian Analysts and Jungian-Influenced Practitioners. Are you interested in being listed here? "Click here to find out how"

4. Click that link and complete the form

In addtion to completing the registration form, you will also need to submit photograph (headshot) of yourself, a copy of your license or certificate, and your check for $99 (if sending payment and form by postal-mail) for a one-year listing.

Please submit this information electronically to cgjungstl@yahoo.com, or mail to: C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis, P.O. Box 11724, St. Louis, MO, 63105.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

JUNG IN THE HEARTLAND CONFERENCE Photos


There are a number of photographs from the recent Jung in the Heartland Conference, "The Altar of the Earth," posted on www.cgjungstl.org   To view the photos, click on the "recent happenings" tab or follow the thread on the Facebook link on the main page.  Donna Leone, a Society board member, was the conference photographer.

This September 10-13, 2015, event was the fourth major conference undertaking for the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis and, by all attendee reports, the finest of the four.  Video and audio recordings of the conference presentations will soon be available for order through the Society's website, cgjungstl.org    New to this year's conference was an art exhibition that added interest and depth to the conference theme.

The winners of the 2014 writing contest on the conference theme, "The Altar of the Earth," read their essays during the Authors' and Artists' Reception on Saturday evening at the conference.  The winning essays along with other fine entries have been published in a book, which is also available for order on the website.

These Society conferences are partially underwritten by an anonymous donor and by Society Friends' subscription fees so that attendee costs for the event, the book, and the recordings are quite reasonable.

The mission of the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis, a not-for-profit 501C organization, is to educate the public about the work of C.G. Jung and the psychological understanding it affords everyone.  Above all, Jungian Psychology is a guide for a more creative and satisfying life.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE EARTH


THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE EARTH

     The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis will soon release a book of the finest essays from the Society’s third writing contest, this one on the theme of “Honoring the Altar of the Earth.”  The book will be available at the Jung in the Heartland Conference - “The Altar of the Earth” to be held at King’s House Retreat Center September 10-13, 2015.
     When Kathryn Stinson, the editor of the book, invited me to write a blurb for the back cover, I offered this:

     Jung’s view was that one could not be reconciled with one’s own deepest nature without becoming reconciled with Nature itself.  These essays illustrate ways in which the authors, finely attuned to their own delicate and precious natures, are also finely attuned to our exquisitely-balanced Earth.  Civilization requires sufficient numbers of such individuals to save itself, and in doing so, save our small home in the great cosmos. 

     This short statement leads to critical questions.  What does it mean to become reconciled with one’s own deepest nature?  How does one effect reconciliation?  For people steeped in religion, the tenets and dogma of their tradition provide working answers.  Others, for whom religious institutions no longer hold value or provide answers, may not bother to ask, or even to know, the questions.  Yet reconciliation, though an old-fashioned notion, can be a pressing need that arises from one’s deepest nature and requires some kind of response.
     Often an individual’s first response to vague feelings of discontent and dissatisfaction is a combination of denial and repression.  He or she tries to soldier on, to pretend nothing is awry.  In extreme cases the result of so much energy invested in defenses that do not work is extreme ennui or depression.  What is behind such disturbing feelings is an inner force for fuller development that initially seems hostile because it is often foreign and upsetting to the status quo.
     At the onset of this inner urge from one’s truest and deepest nature, an individual may have threatening and difficult dreams, even nightmares.  Repressed unconscious contents presenting themselves and seeking reconciliation with waking consciousness appear as people breaking into one’s home, threatening animals, angry teachers, condemning or indifferent parental figures, or situations in which windows and doors cannot be kept shut.  Another recurring motif is the lost wallet, purse, keys, car, baggage.  Other common dreams feature dismemberment motifs and are accompanied by feelings of being torn apart by inner conflict.
     These contents from the deep can also be life-giving and expanding.  The dreams may show the dreamer finding new wings of his/her house, discovering hidden tunnels, entering fascinating caves or ancient temples, opening ancient texts, meeting wisdom figures.
     One’s deepest nature (the “Self” in Jungian terms) seems to want to tear away parts of the individual’s self-identity yet at the same time preserve essential elements and add to them.  It is as if the “sculptor” of one’s being molds delicate material to one’s armature structure while carving away at existing casting, all at the same time.  To the individual experiencing this process, it is disconcerting, disturbing, and at times terrifying. There are also moments of joy, of numinous insight, of secret delight.  Mostly, it is a set of experiences that can hardly be communicated to anyone, a secret one cannot disclose.
     This is the painful and exhilarating process C. G. Jung calls “individuation,” a word that means “not divided.”  It is the movement of the whole person toward reconciliation of consciousness with the unknown and with the seemingly unknowable backdrop of the unconscious. Jung’s lasting gift is a rough guide through this difficult but rewarding process which apparently ends only in death.
     The value of immersing oneself in and tending to this long-term careful process of development is that one becomes an instrument for harmony, a sort of tuning fork of nature.  If one feels horribly awry within one’s being, the first questions to answer are:  Where might I be at odds with the Self, and what thoughts, attitudes, behaviors do I need to change?  Almost miraculously, “fixing” oneself, i.e., reconciling oneself, brings harmony to an outer situation.  Perhaps just as frequently, one determines to change one’s outer situation.
      And that brings us back to my book blurb.  Are we reaching a critical mass, a sufficient number of reconciled individuals to effect the change necessary to save our small home in the cosmos?

     For information about the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis, about the September 10-13, 2015, Jung in the Heartland Conference, and about the book of essays, Honoring the Altar of the Earth, visit cgjungstl.org or call (314) 533-6809.  The Heartland Conference will feature an art show with the conference theme.  The Society is hosting a reception at 7:00 pm Saturday, September 12, 2015, at the King’s House Retreat Center featuring the artists and authors presenting their prize-winning essays.


Rose F. Holt
Jungian Psychoanalyst
August 11, 2015
         

JUNG IN THE HEARTLAND CONFERENCE September 10-13, 2015



There are still a few openings for the Jung Society of St. Louis fourth Jung in the Heartland Conference to be held at King's House Retreat Center in Belleville, Il.  For detailed information, please visit www.cgjungstl.org

A guest speaker will be Monika Wikman, Jungian Analyst from Santa Fe, NM, author of Pregnant Darkness.  A feature of this conference will be an art exhibit.  Winning authors of the writing contest will present their essays.  There will be an Authors' and Artists' Reception on Saturday evening, September 12, to which the public is invited.  Details also at www.cgjungstl.org

The St. Louis Jung Society opens it new and used book store at each conference.  Conference goers have the opportunity to purchase books on Jungian topics.

Attendees at previous Jung in the Heartland Conferences have described them as "a happening";  "best conference ever!"' "a wonderful group of like-minded folk"; "rich with community and spirit",;"delicious food."

All rooms at the center are private rooms with bath.   Meals are prepared from locally-owned, organic gardens.  Special diet restrictions can be accommodated.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Psychology and Religion Study Group



The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis organizes various study groups on topics related to Jungian Psychology.  I usually lead a study group on some Jung lecture or text.  This fall the text is Jung's Psychology and Religion, the Terry Lecture Jung presented at Yale in 1937.  Here are the particulars:

Jung Readings Study Group – Psychology and Religion

November 1, 8, 15, 22; December 6, 13, 2015
Sundays 2:00 – 3:30 pm

First Congregational Church UCC Conference Room
6501 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton, MO  63105

Test:  C. G. Jung, Psychology and Religion, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1938.  [This lecture, “Psychology and Religion,” is also included in Volume 11 of Jung’s Collected Works.]

In this work Jung discusses “what psychology has to do with or to say about religion.”  Regardless of one’s religious affiliation or personal belief system, there is considerable evidence that within the psyche there is something like a religious function that has psychological implications in one’s life.  In this study group, we will read and discuss Jung’s views in an effort to discern how his psychological approach might inform our own lives in a modern world increasingingly torn apart by religion.

(For people who are interested in the group but feel they lack a familiarity with basic Jungian theory, we recommend reviewing two videos: Rose Holt: "An Overview of Jungian Psychology & Its Value for Today", and Ken James: "Complexes, Archetypes, and the Transcendent Function."  Both are available through the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis website (www.cgjungstl.org) or by calling (314) 533-6809.)  If you have questions or would like to discuss the course before registering, please contact Rose at (314) 726-2032 or roseholt@aol.com.

[Rose Holt is a Jungian analyst in private practice in St. Louis. She serves as advisory analyst to the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis and is on the faculty of the Chicago Analyst Training Program. She has taught numerous courses and has authored numerous essays on topics in Jungian Psychology.]

Friday, August 07, 2015

THE WATCHER IN THE DREAM


I recently had an inquiry from a college student who had had a troubling dream about being watched. He awoke feeling anxious and tried to google information to understand the dream.  In response to his questions, I sent him a couple of pages about the "seeing eye" in a dream and the following explanation:

Hi Danny,

I sent you two pages that are pretty opaque.  Essentially the idea is that there is an entity (The Self, in Jungian Psychological terms) that lies in the unconscious and keeps a watchful eye on the ego.  The Self is a kind of guiding principle that needs something from the ego and will guide and grow it up in ways so that it (the ego) can function effectively both in the world and in the unconscious. All real creativity emerges from this Self-ego relationship, and it is fundamentally important for full development of the personality.

One way to examine the state of the relationship is by reflecting on one’s dreams.  Is something (the Self) in the unconscious critical of me, pleased with me, helping me, wanting something from me?  The dream storyline and characters present a drama in which the dream ego (the part of the dreamer’s personality depicted in the dream) has a role.  Is the role cooperative, adversarial, passive, etc? Does the dream depict me as responsible, worthy, adult or as a petulant child, angry, obdurate, difficult?  The dream seems to hold an opinion about our ego, and will tell us that opinion in no uncertain terms.  That is precisely the reason so many people ignore and/or dismiss their dreams.

Of course, if you think about it a minute, for every dream there has to be something like an "eye" (of a camera?) or "watcher" that captures the action and presents it the dreamer as a memory upon awakening.

If you pay attention to your dreams, jot down notes and reflections about them, you will, over time see that the dreams begin to respond to your attention.  That is when it gets really interesting.

There is solid empirical evidence for all this, so don’t take it as an article of faith but as a working hypothesis for your own personality development.

Anyway, Danny, this might give you a foot hold for gleaning some meaning out of that one dream and, of course, out of others.

Best of luck in the coming school year.

Sincerely, Rose F. Holt

Sunday, July 26, 2015

C. G. JUNG'S BIRTHDAY - JULY 26, 1875



Carl Gustav Jung would be 140 years old today.  I am truly grateful to this man who has changed my life for the better through his ideas and theories.  The more I learn about his process of individuation, his explanation for many of the quirks of personality, his willingness to be merely human, his notions of process theology, the more I admire the man.  Truly, he has left us a great treasure which will take centuries to discover and unpack.





Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Jung Society of St. Louis


For those of you interested in Jungian Psychology, an excellent way to expand your understanding and meet like-minded folk is membership in a local Jung Society.  Following is a summary report of programs of our society in St. Louis:

The Jung Society St. Louis Society hosts a major Midwest Jung in the Heartland Conference every other year (September 10-13 in 2015).  The upcoming conference theme is “The Altar of the Earth,” and will include an art show that focuses on that theme.

The Society also sponsors lectures and workshops by major Jungian Analysts and scholars, provides a host of study groups led by local analysts and others well versed in Jungian studies, presents authors’ evenings for Society members who have published on topics of Jungian Psychology, offers film nights, and various other social events of interest to members.

Biennially the Society sponsors a writing contest (with the theme of the next year’s conference and focused on topics of Jungian Psychology) that draws global-wide entries.  The Society publishes winning contest entries in a book, and invited authors read and discuss their winning essays during the conference.

Lectures by Jungian analysts and scholars are videotaped and are available on DVD.  Audio recordings of the lectures are available on CD.  Jane Wilson, a long-time board member, interviews major speakers for the Society.  Those interviews are now part of the Society’s Video/Audio library and will soon be available in a collection.  Interviewees include James Hollis, Lionel Corbett, Murray Stein, Jean Shinoda-Bolen, Donald Kalsched, Monika Wikman, Gary Sparks, Mary Dougherty, Ken James, et. al.

The Society’s offerings are underwritten by subscribing members and generous donors so that all programs are more affordable for everyone.

For more information or to purchase program DVD’s, CD’s, and books, visit www.cgjungstl.org.  To receive the St. Louis Jung Society Newsletter, e-mail www.cgungstl@yahoo.com