Saturday, March 02, 2019

Tickets Selling Fast! Don't miss out.



C. G. JUNG SOCIETY PLAY PRODUCTION

“ANSWER TO JOE” by Rick Vaughn



Produced by the C. G. Jung Society of St Louis
            
March 22 and 23, 7:30 pm.  March 24, 2:00 pm
Kranzberg Arts Center
501 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO  63103

Tickets available December 15:   $25    ($20 for Society Friends – for information about becoming a subscribing member, go to www.cgjungstl.org

All tickets through MetroTix.com  (314) 534-1111
https://www.metrotix.com/events/detail/answer-to-joe
Or Fox Theatre Box Office

2 CEU's available for attendance at a performance and the following discussion. ($15 Fee).  Apply before performance or at break between the performance and the discussion with the playwright and a Jungian Analyst.

The C. G. Jung Society is producing a new play, “Answer to Joe.”  The play is loosely based on Jung’s Answer to Job, and deals with the same themes—the nature of God, the reality of the divine vs. an individual’s image of it, and the psychological implications of an individual’s often unconscious god-image.  Though these are deeply serious topics, the play presents them in modern understandable dress and treats them with considerable humor. 

Rick Vaughn, author of “Answer to Joe,” has long been interested in Jungian Psychology and its potential for resolving inner conflicts in ways that release creative energies.  In presenting his work for possible production by the Jung Society, he said, “My intention was to communicate some of the profound, transformative insights that I discovered from reading Answer to Job. In the process of writing, it became clear that the work was much more personal.  This story is mystory.  It may well be a story for many others.  Job’s working out his relationship with the overwhelming and overpowering energies of Yahweh-- which Jung equates with an individual’s coming to terms with the unconscious—has been my quest for decades.  My own god-image of a punitive, demanding, and intractable old patriarch needed considerable updating.  In writing the play, I knew I was somewhat describing my own inner conflicts and working them to a more satisfying end.  I seemed to be engaging the energies bound up in an old god-image and tempering some of them so they could be directed creatively.  I’m happy with the result, and in some strange way, I feel my ‘god’ is, too.” 

“Answer to Joe,” is the second play the Jung Society has produced.  In February 2017, our first one “Casting Shadows” by Carol Haake was presented to sold-out audiences for three performances.  We hope for similar enthusiasm for “Answer.”

Ti

Thursday, January 31, 2019

THE CALF PATH



  • One day, through the primeval wood,
    A calf walked home, as good calves should;
    But made a trail all bent askew,
    A crooked trail, as all calves do.
    Since then three hundred years have fled,
    And, I infer, the calf is dead.
    But still he left behind his trail,
    And thereby hangs my moral tale.
    The trail was taken up next day
    By a lone dog that passed that way;
    And then a wise bellwether sheep
    Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,
    And drew the flock behind him, too,
    As good bellwethers always do.
    And from that day, o’er hill and glade,
    Through those old woods a path was made,
    And many men wound in and out,
    And dodged and turned and bent about,
    And uttered words of righteous wrath
    Because ’twas such a crooked path;
    But still they followed — do not laugh —
    The first migrations of that calf,
    And through this winding wood-way stalked
    Because he wobbled when he walked.
    This forest path became a lane,
    That bent, and turned, and turned again.
    This crooked lane became a road,
    Where many a poor horse with his load
    Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
    And traveled some three miles in one.
    And thus a century and a half
    They trod the footsteps of that calf.
    The years passed on in swiftness fleet.
    The road became a village street,
    And this, before men were aware,
    A city’s crowded thoroughfare,
    And soon the central street was this
    Of a renowned metropolis;
    And men two centuries and a half
    Trod in the footsteps of that calf.
    Each day a hundred thousand rout
    Followed that zigzag calf about,
    And o’er his crooked journey went
    The traffic of a continent.
    A hundred thousand men were led
    By one calf near three centuries dead.
    They follow still his crooked way,
    And lose one hundred years a day,
    For thus such reverence is lent
    To well-established precedent.
    A moral lesson this might teach
    Were I ordained and called to preach;
    For men are prone to go it blind
    Along the calf-paths of the mind,
    And work away from sun to sun
    To do what other men have done.
    They follow in the beaten track,
    And out and in, and forth and back,
    And still their devious course pursue,
    To keep the path that others do.
    They keep the path a sacred groove,
    Along which all their lives they move;
    But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
    Who saw the first primeval calf!
    Ah, many things this tale might teach —
    But I am not ordained to preach.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

GRASPING THE NEW GOD-IMAGE


Edward Edinger, in the slender tome, The New God Image, tells us that there are three steps involved in understanding Jung’s material concerning the new God-image. One must be able to perceive the new God-image and that requires mastering certain epistemological premises. One must actually perceive for one’s self this living reality and the impact it has on one’s own psychology as well on the psychology of the collective. Jung (and analytical psychology) can teach the how, but it is not something taken as an article of faith. It is something one must do for one’s self, a kind of God-has-no-grandchildren concept. And the third step requires a developing awareness of one’s own role in the transformation of the God-image, one’s part in the process of continuing incarnation.

Edinger manages to capture the essence of Jungian analysis in these three steps.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

"Answer to Joe," a New Play - C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis Production



March 22 and 23, 7:30pm. March 24, 2:00pm.

The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis is producing a new play,
“Answer to Joe,” by Rick Vaughn.





Tickets now on sale.

Kranzberg Arts Center
501 North Grand
St. Louis, Mo 63103


All tickets sold through MetroTix.com (314-534-1111)
or Fox Theatre Box Office

Ticket prices: $25 ($20 for Friends of the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis.
Friends received an e-mail with a code for discount purchase.)
The Kranzberg is a small theater, and, as was the case with the Society’s production of “Casting Shadows,” we anticipate all three performances of “Answer” will sell out.

Call the Jung Society (314-533-6809) or e-mail cgjungstl@yahoo.com for further information.


The C. G. Jung Society is producing a new play, “Answer to Joe.” The play is loosely based on Jung’s Answer to Job, and deals with the same themes—the nature of God, the reality of the divine vs. an individual’s image of it, and the psychological implications of an individual’s often unconscious god-image. Though these are deeply serious topics, the play presents them in modern understandable dress and treats them with considerable humor.

Rick Vaughn, author of “Answer to Joe,” has long been interested in Jungian Psychology and its potential for resolving inner conflicts in ways that release creative energies. In presenting his work for possible production by the Jung Society, he said, “My intention was to communicate some of the profound, transformative insights that I discovered in reading Answer to Job. In the process of writing, it became clear that the work was much more personal. This story is my story. It may well be a story for many others. Job’s working out his relationship with the overwhelming and overpowering energies of Yahweh-- which Jung equates with an individual’s coming to terms with the unconscious—has been my quest for decades. My own god-image of a punitive, demanding, and intractable old patriarch needed considerable updating. In writing the play, I knew I was somewhat describing my own inner conflicts and working them to a more satisfying end. I seemed to be engaging the energies bound up in an old god-image and tempering some of them so they could be directed creatively. I’m happy with the result, and in some strange way, I feel my ‘god’ is, too.”

“Answer to Joe,” is the second play the Jung Society has produced. In February 2017, our first one “Casting Shadows” by Carol Haake was presented to sold-out audiences for three performances. We hope for similar enthusiasm for “Answer.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

NEW PLAY - Jung Society OF St. Louis Production






C. G. JUNG SOCIETY PLAY PRODUCTION

“ANSWER TO JOE” by Rick Vaughn



Produced by the C. G. Jung Society of St Louis
            
March 22 and 23, 7:30 pm.  March 24, 2:00 pm
Kranzberg Arts Center
501 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO  63103

Tickets available December 15:   $25    ($20 for Society Friends – for information about becoming a subscribing member, go to www.cgjungstl.org

All tickets through MetroTix.com  (314) 534-1111
https://www.metrotix.com/events/detail/answer-to-joe
Or Fox Theatre Box Office

The C. G. Jung Society is producing a new play, “Answer to Joe.”  The play is loosely based on Jung’s Answer to Job, and deals with the same themes—the nature of God, the reality of the divine vs. an individual’s image of it, and the psychological implications of an individual’s often unconscious god-image.  Though these are deeply serious topics, the play presents them in modern understandable dress and treats them with considerable humor. 

Rick Vaughn, author of “Answer to Joe,” has long been interested in Jungian Psychology and its potential for resolving inner conflicts in ways that release creative energies.  In presenting his work for possible production by the Jung Society, he said, “My intention was to communicate some of the profound, transformative insights that I discovered from reading Answer to Job. In the process of writing, it became clear that the work was much more personal.  This story is mystory.  It may well be a story for many others.  Job’s working out his relationship with the overwhelming and overpowering energies of Yahweh-- which Jung equates with an individual’s coming to terms with the unconscious—has been my quest for decades.  My own god-image of a punitive, demanding, and intractable old patriarch needed considerable updating.  In writing the play, I knew I was somewhat describing my own inner conflicts and working them to a more satisfying end.  I seemed to be engaging the energies bound up in an old god-image and tempering some of them so they could be directed creatively.  I’m happy with the result, and in some strange way, I feel my ‘god’ is, too.” 

“Answer to Joe,” is the second play the Jung Society has produced.  In February 2017, our first one “Casting Shadows” by Carol Haake was presented to sold-out audiences for three performances.  We hope for similar enthusiasm for “Answer.”



Monday, December 10, 2018

Note about Jung's ANSWER TO JOB



Jung, above all, is convinced that we will find God within our own experiences, inner and outer.  His argument is that ego-consciousness swims in the unconscious.  Accepting that notion as a working hypothesis can help us discover and come to terms with all our split-off parts (our complexes) that swim with us (and sometime behave like big fish, e.g. Jonah swallowed up for three days).  Further, Jung posits the existence of a factor in the unconscious (the Self) that is the organizing principle of other contents.  The parallel process then is:  Self acts and organizes in the unconscious, and ego-consciousness acts and organizes in the world.  Our lifelong work then is forging a close working relationship between ego and Self.

Myth, fairy tales, religious scriptures, art, fiction are ways this process of unconscious becoming conscious (Yahweh seeing him/herself reflected and becoming conscious) has been encoded, (an unbreakable code to ego-consciousness dominated by rational thought and lacking in self-reflection.). Jung's emotional diatribe on “The Book of Job” is his attempt to break the code for his readers.

A Jungian approach, i.e., understanding scripture as revealing the psychological process of the development of consciousness, doesn't work or even make sense for people who get their spiritual needs met in an established church, synagogue, or mosque.  It is an effective path for those of us who no longer find comfort or solace within the frame of a religious structure.  Jungian psychology is but one more way for the religious function of the psyche to find expression, a way that engages the intellect and religious feeling.

Friday, November 02, 2018

JUNG SOCIETY STUDY GROUP - ANSWER TO JOB Fall 2018



Reflections on Jung's "Answer to Job"

There is an account in fiction that might help us understand what Jung is getting at in his "Answer to Job." In considering this topic, we would do well to remember that when we talk about "God" that we are really talking about our images and ideas about God. GOD is precisely what we do not know because whatever the entity God is, that entity is far beyond our human understanding.

In our course [St. Louis Jung Society "Jung Readings"], we are grappling with our images of God, trying to make them conscious and, in doing so, trying to see if they fit our reality. Most of us received our personal God-image while we were very young. And for most of us, that God-image is like our eyeglasses, that is to say, simply something which we see the world through but of which we are usually unaware. That said, let me return to the fictional account that will serve as an example.

The example comes from Robertson Davies’
The Manticore, the second book in his Deptford Trilogy. David Staunton, a successful but very neurotic barrister from Toronto has suffered a mid-life crisis. His symptoms are so severe that he takes himself to Zurich where he enters analysis with Dr. Johanna von Haller. David suffers from a father-complex. He has been shaped, formed, and dominated by his father; and in spite of considerable evidence to the contrary, can only see his father in a positive light.

After about a year of analysis, working with dreams and gathering together the threads of his life story, David has developed a fuller and more complete picture of his father. He has a dream, biblical in style, which he reports to Dr. Von Haller.

"‘I dreamed I was standing on a plain, talking with my father. I was aware it was Father, though his face was turned away. He was very affectionate and simple in his manner, as I don’t think I ever knew him to be in his life. The odd thing was that I couldn’t really see his face. He wore an ordinary business suit. Then suddenly he turned from me and flew up into the air, and the astonishing thing was that as he rose, his trousers came down, and I saw his naked backside.’
‘And what are your associations?’

‘Well, obviously it’s the passage in Exodus where God promises Moses that he shall see Him, but must not see His face; and what Moses sees is God’s back parts. As a child I always thought it funny for God to show his rump. Funny, but also terribly real and true. Like those extraordinary people in the Bible who swore a solemn oath clutching one another’s testicles. But does it mean that I have seen the weakness, the shameful part of my father’s nature because . . . .?  I’ve done what I can with it, but nothing rings true.’

‘Of course not, because you have neglected one of the chief principles of what I have been able to tell you about the significance of dreams. That again is understandable, for when the dream is important and has something new to tell us, we often forget temporarily what we know to be true. But we have always agreed, haven’t we, that figures in dreams, whoever or whatever they may look like, are aspects of the dreamer? So who is this father with the obscured face and the naked buttocks?’

‘I suppose he is my idea of a father–of my own father?’

‘He is something we would have to talk about if you decided to go on to a deeper stage in the investigation of yourself. Because your real father, your historical father, the man whom you last saw lying so pitiably on the dock with his face obscured in filth, and then so disheveled in his coffin with his face destroyed by your stepmother’s ambitious meddling, is by no means the same thing as the archetype of fatherhood you carry in the depths of your being, and which comes from–well, for the present we won’t attempt to say where.’"
In this dialogue, Davies may have had in mind an interesting and controversial statement Jung makes:
"I look upon the receiving of the Holy Spirit as a highly revolutionary fact which cannot take place until the ambivalent nature of the Father is recognized." [Collected Works, Vol. 18, Para. 1551]

All of Davies’
Deptford Trilogy is an interesting read and in many ways a fine introduction to some basic concepts of Jungian Psychology. I selected this particular passage to help illuminate Jung’s Answer. The character David is not a religious man but he has an unconscious and very masculine God-image that has been mediated to him through his personal father and through other significant men in his life. The same is true also of his feminine God-image which was mediated to him through his personal mother and through other significant women, including his stepmother. For "God" in both these instances, you could simply substitute "Power" because it is these masculine and feminine power-images that have formed and shaped David’s worldview, that is to say, shaped how he sees the world and how he seems himself and his role in that world.

As long as his vision is truncated by a one-sided development, David necessarily holds a narrow and rather naive conscious view of himself and his world. His complexes around mother and father make him sensitive and prone to black moods and fits of anger. What he has repressed about both figures, the good and the bad, lies unconscious in his psyche and rises up to bite him in ways that eventually are debilitating. He cannot deal with his father’s cruel and controlling ways because he literally cannot see them. He cannot deal with his birth mother’s influence and power over him because he simply does not recognize them.

In his analysis, he is able to uncover aspects of his unconscious personality (also mediated to him through mother and father) that have bedeviled him for decades and to gain a certain degree of freedom from behaviors and compulsions that previously controlled him.

Of course, each of us is in some ways a "David Staunton." We each have had our worldview and our personality shaped and influenced by significant people in our history. We each are blind to certain influences and forces that are very real but fall outside our field of vision. The more completely we think we see, the more vast our blind spots.

The prevailing and unquestioned image of God that has been mediated for us is that of a loving, kind, benevolent, omniscient, all-powerful deity. No matter our personal experiences to the contrary, most of us cling to the prevailing God-image. Jung, in the essay we are studying, calls all these God-image assumptions into question. He does so in a way that was upsetting when he published this work in 1952 and is upsetting when we read this work still. We might do well to reflect on the question of WHY calling these God-images into question and examining them is so disturbing. After all, if Jung’s notions about the God-image are only ideas and theories, why do they upset?


INTRODUCTION TO READINGS COURSE
JUNG’S ANSWER TO JOB

In this course, we are going to take up one of Jung’s most controversial works, his
Answer to Job. First, some background. Jung wrote Answer in 1951. On May 29, 1951, Jung wrote to Aniela JaffĂ©: "So it goes all the time: memories rise up and disappear again, as it suits them. In this way I have landed the great whale; I mean "Answer to Job." I can’t say I have fully digested this tour de force of the unconscious. It still goes on rumbling a bit, rather like an earthquake. I notice it when I am chiselling away at my inscription (which has made good progress). Then thoughts come to me, as for instance that consciousness is only an organ for perceiving the fourth dimension, i.e., the all-pervasive meaning, and itself produces no real ideas." [Letters, Vol. 2, pp 17-18.]

Again, on July 18, 1951, he wrote to Aniela Jaffé: "I am especially pleased that you could get into such close relationship with the second part of my book (
Answer). So far most people have remained stuck in the first. I personally have the second more at heart because it is bound up with the present and future. If there is anything like the spirit seizing one by the scruff of the neck, it was the way this book came into being." [Letters, Vol. 2, p. 20]

Clearly, Jung felt more that his
Answer to Job wrote him not vice versa. And he valued the second part of the work more than the first part. Let’s keep that in mind as we read and discuss the book. Which parts hold meaning for us?

In a letter to "Dr. H," dated August 30, 1951, Jung wrote: "You must pardon my long silence. In the spring I was plagued by my liver and had often to stay in bed and in the midst of this misere wrote a little essay (c.a. 100 typed pages) whose publication is causing me some trouble." [
Letters, Vol. 2, p. 21]

Even before his
Answer was published (in 1952), it provoked a firestorm of controversy, criticism, and rebuke. What was the firestorm all about? Jung’s biographer, Vincent Brome, writes:

"If one understands Jung’s thesis correctly, Job reveals a hubris which involves a higher form of justice than God himself and the challenge is met by the incarnation of Christ. In this interpretation Christ appears as a deliberate attempt to set right the balance between good and evil, to redeem the injustice God has committed toward Man. This perfection of God is achieved by union with Divine Wisdom or Sophia, the feminine counterpart of the Holy Spirit which reappears under the image of the Virgin Mary." [
Jung, Man and Myth, p. 254]

Only two years earlier, the Catholic Church had issued a papal pronouncement on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, an event Jung saw as an expression of the collective unconscious that was a sorely-need feminine compensation for the patriarchal one-sidedness of Christianity. As we shall see, Jung thought it was God’s estrangement with, or ‘forgetting’ of, Sophia that allowed him to treat Job so harshly.

Again, I quote from Brome’s biography:

"There were those who felt that
Answer to Job simultaneously committed the sins of blasphemy and arrogance: blasphemy that he should attempt to unravel the metamorphoses of the Holy Spirit in the manner of a neo-Gnostic and arrogance in making it conform to his own theories. Fierce controversy followed, with one school reading the book simply as a psychological explanation of Man’s conception of God, while others recoiled from the notion that any imperfection had ever appeared in the Holy Spirit. Ellenberger believed that the book could also be understood ‘as a cry of existential anguish from a man desperately seeking for a solution of the greatest of all philosophical riddles, the problem of evil’

"There remained a hostile handful who claimed that Jung had now appointed himself psychiatrist to God, diagnosed a divine sickness and successfully cured the Patient by applying his own theories. Eric Neumann, his old friend in Israel, wrote on 5 December 1951, "[Answer to Job] is a book that grips me profoundly. I find it the most beautiful and deepest of your books. In a certain sense it is a dispute with God similar to Abraham’s when he pleaded with God on account of the destruction of Sodom. In particular it is for me–for me personally–also a book against God who let 6 million of his people be killed, for Job is really Israel too.’" [Brome, p 254]

Jung’s reply to Neumann (January 5, 1952) clearly shows that he recognizes just what his "little essay" displays: ". . . the arrogance I had to summon up in order to be able to insult God? This gave me a bigger bellyache than if I had the whole world against me." [
Letters, p. 32]

There were many reactions to Jung’s
Answer. Victor White, a Dominican priest and close collaborator/friend of Jung’s, wrote a scathing review of the book. His views were so counter to Jung’s that the difference eventually ended their relationship. "As one critic put it succinctly if inelegantly, the two scholars (Jung and White) were able to maintain a respectful and cordial tone to their disagreement until Jung ‘cornered God the Father, pinned him to the nearest couch and promptly set about psychoanalysing him.’ Jung found God ‘guilty of being unconscious, having projected his shadow upon humanity, and of perpetuating a considerable amount of injustice and evil.’ When Jung concluded that Christian theology deprived God of the possibility of having a shadow, White was bound by the tenets of his faith to declare him wrong." [Bair, Jung, A Biography, p. 546]

For anyone interested in God, or in the nature of God, or in one’s relations with God, Jung’s ‘little essay’ raises disturbing questions. How does one reconcile the sometimes warring, vengeful, dangerous God/Yahweh of the Old Testament with the loving, compassionate, merciful Son of God of the New Testament? How is it that God could forget the covenant he made with God’s People and turn against them with such wrath at times?

In our readings course we will be revisiting one of the early issues of Christianity, the Marcion heresy. Marcion lived in the second century CE and held beliefs that were counter to those prevailing in Christian circles at the time. He believed there was no way to reconcile the Gods of the Old and New Testaments; their differences were just too great. He also believed that Jesus had revealed certain ‘truths’ that were available only to a select few (Gnosticism). And he believed that Christ’s nature was divine without the human element that the early church insisted upon. All three of these beliefs were eventually declared heretical.

As we study Jung’s Answer, we will be revisiting these ancient heresies and examining them for ourselves. Did the early Church Fathers settle these issues once and for all? Why are they important today? What do they have to do with us? Why should we care? What is the true nature of this entity we call God, the nature of the Christ/Man? Can we know?


I think exploring these kinds of questions and considering possible answers for ourselves is important because such exploration can be of help in our uncovering, i.e., making conscious, and possibly reformulating a living myth for our own lives.

If our myth is of a kind, loving, compassionate Father God, how do we reconcile a world in which evil runs rampant? If we are made in the image and likeness of this God, from whence evil? What about this God who allowed six million of his chosen people to die in the Holocaust? Elie Weisel has said the holocaust should make us revisit everything we ever thought about God. And what of the tsunami that killed upwards of 100,000 people?

If, as Jung suggests, the role of the conscious human being is to stand with God against God, what does that mean for us? Of course, a kind, loving, compassionate, all-knowing, all-powerful God has no need for such a posture on our part.

One way of looking at our Judeo-Christian scriptures is to see them as the ‘story’ of an individual and collective and unfolding/development of consciousness. It begins with the evictions from the idyllic garden of Eden, that state of not-knowing and innocence of childhood. There is the Moses kind of consciousness that unifies the personality/culture with law and order, leads it out of bondage, through difficult and dangerous passages. What about the God that strikes Moses down for a simple act of disobedience after decades of faithful service? That Moses consciousness cannot enter the ‘promised land.’


We will be examining the Job-type consciousness that keeps insisting God remember his better nature and the covenant God has made. Job does indeed stand with God against God. But what kind of God is it that needs a human reflection to remember his nature? What is the level of consciousness of the human person who does not question, does not reflect, does not accept any mirroring that would crack his/her belief system? Such a one is in dire need of a ‘Job’ to expand the controlling myth of his/her life.

And there is the Jesus-type consciousness that stands all prior understanding of the nature of God on its head. Where Yahweh would flatten the enemy, destroy it totally, this new God-Man shows and lives out a totally different kind of victory. As Jack Miles’ explains, ". . . Christians who have bound themselves to Christ sacramentally in his death will find themselves bound to him as well in his glorious resurrection. Their victory and God’s will be over death itself rather than over any one death-dealing human enemy. God will have achieved this victory for them not by defeating his human enemies but by allowing himself to be defeated by them and then triumphing impersonally over the defeat itself rather than personally over he enemies who inflicted the defeat." [Miles, "The Disarmament of God," p. 3, http://www.jackmiles.com/default.asp?id=28 ]

Or, put more succinctly by Anthony de Mello in his little story, "The Coconut":

"A monkey on a tree hurled a coconut
at the head of a Sufi.
The man picked it up, drank the milk,
ate the flesh, and made a bowl from the shell.

Thank you for your criticism of me." [The Song of the Bird, p. 163]

If we view our actions, both personally and collectively, in the light of a scriptural mythology of developing consciousness, those actions tell us a great deal about the state of our consciousness. Do we focus on defeating our enemy and raining fire and shame on their heads or do we focus on defeating the defeat our enemy has visited upon us?

I started this introduction with background and will return to background here. Jung wrote
Answer in 1951 when he was 76 years old. He spent three months of intense effort revising it. Deidre Bair in her recent biography writes about the last two decades of Jung’s life. (He died in 1961.)

"In the last two decades of Jung’s life, coinciding with the isolation and introspection imposed by the war, those who were close to him noticed changes in his attitude toward the world at large. In one of her succinct pronouncements, Jolande Jacobi described the major one: ‘He really wasn’t interested in anyone’s private life anymore. He was only interested in the ‘Big Dreams,’ in the collective archetypal world.’ Using his two infarcts as his excuse, he curtailed public appearances and refused to meet most new people. He . . . cut his analytic calendar drastically, seldom seeing more than four persons in any given day and then mostly for fifteen-minute conversations . . ."

His behavior created concerns for those around him. Jacobi put it this way: "‘When journalists came we were trembling and hoping that Muller the gardener gives the interviews because he is closer to reality. Jung lived now in another world.’


There were more visible extremes in his behavior as well. During the three months he took to revise the original text of Answer to Job, he closeted himself away for long hours each day, writing to the point of exhaustion. Jacobi described him as ‘moody in a rude and crude way, like a peasant . . . furious all the time.’ The usually fastidious Jung sometimes went several days without shaving or (as some of his intimates inferred) bathing, but Emma was always there to see that he wore clean clothing." [Jung, A Biography, p. 528]

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

REREADING MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS


During the spring of 2018, the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis offered a study group, seminar format, during which two dozen people read and discussed Jung's MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS in two small groups.
  
For the last meeting of both groups, I summarized my own thoughts and shared them:

It was a pleasure reading through MDR at a leisurely pace with the benefit of others’ reflections and impressions.  Many memories of my own early life came flooding back as I read the first chapters.  Many of those memories I’ve revisited before in my journals, in conversations with my siblings and friends, in discussion groups like this one, and in many analytic sessions.  This time with our text, from an even more distant perspective, yielded new insights and depth of understanding of my own journey.  I came away with a firmer understanding of the role of my mother in my life and the impact of the death of my father when I was three years old, two areas of intense focus now for decades.

Jung’s discussion of his No. 1 and No. 2 personalities was particularly helpful.  I know I, too, suffered a similar split early on.  I, too, left behind my No. 1 to take up the tasks of adaptation—over-adaptation in my case—as a young adult.  Only with the complete failure of my No. 2 to deal with tragedy was I thrown back on myself in a way I came to see as essential.  But, oh, was it ever painful!

At age 30 I had a numinous experience in which my No. 1 personality broke through though I didn’t recognize what was happening.  I only registered something foreign but vaguely familiar from very early experiences.  I went to the Louvre and, turning a corner, I saw the Venus de Milo down a long corridor before me.  Suddenly I knew something new, and understood why all the emphasis on and study of art.  I didn’t know the word numinous then, but it was a numinous experience.

In my early 40’s, in the middle of a life crisis, I happened to go with a friend to a week-long program about dreams led by a Jungian Analyst.  The week got me extremely interested in dreams, but mostly I saw something in the analyst, undefinable to be sure, that I wanted for myself.  That week I began a pursuit that is still on-going.  I am somewhat clearer about what it was I glimpsed in that person and can now say that it is a way of being in process—a way of being and becoming that is life giving.  It is a process where the goal paradoxically is death.

There are many, many ideas and specific sentences in the book that grabbed me, particularly the paragraph on p. 325 where Jung talks about embodying the essential “or life is wasted.”  A harsh judgement!

Jung’s discussion about stumbling onto alchemy and its contributions to his psychological theories was enriching.  I liked, once again, reading about his discovery of a myth that gave meaning to his existence.

My main takeaway from these weeks of reading and discussion is the vital importance Jung assigned to his inner life.  His emphasis on the interior process put me, more than ever, in touch with my own.  Reading about his experiences, his insights, his reflections made me more keenly appreciative of my own.

Somewhere Jung argues that one must fall in love with one’s own life.  I did that one more time during these past weeks.

Thank you, All, for this rich experience.

May 6, 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

HEALING THROUGH THE NUMINOUS




I have long been interested in C. G. Jung’s work, especially as it relates to healing the personality, my own and that of others. We live in a culture in which “personality” is often equated with ego and the ego equated with personhood. Jung amply demonstrated that there is potentially a good deal more to the personality than simply one’s ego and one’s ego self-image.

For someone identified with the ego, that is, someone who believes he/she is the sum total of the ego’s understanding, alienation is a necessary condition. You might ask, alienation from what? Jung’s answer is alienation from the collective heritage of humankind, from the healing balm of unconscious processes and contents that seek to enliven and enrich the ego but cannot find a welcoming window in the ego structure.

The first step for the person isolated in the ego shell is to posit the existence of the unconscious and its healing factors. [The enormous success of the Alcoholics Anonymous movement rests on this supposition. Interestingly enough, Jung’s work was instrumental in the origins of AA.]

The usual condition of the alienated ego is suffering, the natural consequence of the individual encountering a situation for which the coping mechanisms of the ego are inadequate. Such a situation brings enormous dissonance and disillusionment with it—anguish, disorientation, suffering, and depression--sometimes accompanied by physical illness. Common expressions for this experience are “midlife crisis” and “nervous breakdown.” There are myriad symptoms that accompany this condition. Common treatments are prescription drugs, alcohol, busyness, exercise, shopping, etc; all serving the purpose of distraction, repression, and reduced suffering.

If the individual has a religious orientation with beliefs, dogma, and images sufficient to connect the ego with the deeper strata of human existence, that is, with the healing balm of unconscious processes, all will eventually go well. Through scriptural stories, ritual, sacramental acts, and community, he/she will receive the blessings humankind has long relied upon religion to facilitate and will weather the crisis. The individual is graced. Blessings and grace are old-fashioned words that fit well a certain psychological state that is experienced as the end of alienation.

However, if the individual has a remote connection with religion or none at all, the window to the healing effects of the unconscious is not only closed, it cannot even be imagined. Blessings and grace are foreign concepts. For these people Jung’s approach to psychology can be life saving.

Jung discovered that there are very important “nuclear processes” in the unconscious—actual images of the goal (the goal being the union of the ego with these unconscious processes), which can appear in dreams or fantasies. These images appear when there is a certain condition of ego need, a sort of hunger. Of course, the ego seeks familiar and favorite dishes, unable to imagine some outlandish food unknown to it. What the individual experiences is a longing but a longing for which there is no object. Nothing satisfies. An old Peggy Lee song, “Is That All There Is?” well describes this experience

Jung writes about this occurrence: “The goal which beckons to this psychic need, the image which promises to heal, to make whole, is at first strange beyond all measure to the conscious mind, so that it can find entry only with the very greatest difficulty.” Entry and servings of “outlandish food,” come through the numinous. The ego is confronted with numinous experience that is awe-inspiring and naturally demanding of attention.

Addressing the key role of religion to provide healing, Jung goes on:
“Of course it is quite different for people who live in a time and environment when such images of the goal have dogmatic validity. These images are then eo ipso held up to consciousness, and the unconscious is thus shown its own secret reflection, in which it recognizes itself and so joins forces with the conscious (ego) mind.”

Jung is speaking here of the symbol systems, imagery, mythology, etc., that are effective as bridges between the ego and the unconscious. That is why the Catholic Mass, Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, sacred rituals of world religions, Hasidic story, parables, astrology, etc., work so effectively for so many people. These methodologies allow the unconscious, in “its own secret reflection” to be recognized by the individual ego so that the two can be joined in a unity. Jung called that unity “individuation.”

In the numinous experience, the ego encounters a reality incomprehensible to it, a power far greater than itself. The relativising effect on the ego can also release the individual from impossible responsibilities and overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. [Humankind throughout history has always left certain life tasks to the gods. Where there are no gods, the individual feels compelled to fill the role.]

Jungian Psychology, then, is uniquely suited for those people who cannot find a comfortable home in any religious tradition. People who study Jung’s ideas, who gather to hear presentations on various facets of his work, or who enter deeply into Jungian psychoanalysis have discovered the psychological path to healing of the personality. The meandering path of individuation, the cooperative dance of ego individuality and unconscious processes, is enormously enriching. In this dance the healing effects so many of us seek today are revealed and actualized.



This article was first published in The Pathfinder newspaper, September-October, 2013 issue, pathfindnews.com.
____________________________________________________

Saturday, April 07, 2018

SEMINARS AT CARE AND COUNSELING, April 11 and 25, 2018



Care and Counseling, 12141 Ladue Road, St. Louis, MO, 63141, has invited me to present two seminars, "Elements of Jungian Psychology and Their Application in Counseling," on April 11 and 25, 10:30 am - 11:45 am.  The first seminar will focus on the efficacy of the dream for identifying and resolving troubling issues in the personality.  The second seminar will cover (1) the role of symbols in understanding, (2) the relationship between psychology and religion, and (3) Consciousness and its relationship to the Collective Unconscious.

For additional information or to register for these and other Care and Counseling seminars, please visit www.careandcounseling.org

Description:

C. G. Jung’s understanding of patterns in the unconscious and their influence on conscious functioning can be helpful for approaching seemingly intractable problems, problems that cause terrible suffering due to the dissonance between those patterns and an individual’s adapted consciousness.  These two seminars will include discussion of ways of identifying factors in the unconscious that give rise to maladapted functioning as well as approaches for resolving troublesome behaviors. We will also touch on Jung’s ideas about fuller functioning for normal individuals whose issues, though troubling, do not rise to the level of psychopathology.  Jungian analysis has aptly been described as rebuilding one’s ship while at sea because of the structural changes that take place in the personality.

Learning Objectives:

*Identify troubling behaviors that have their source in hidden (unconscious) parts of the client’s
  personality.
*Help clients see more deeply into reasons/sources of their difficulties so that they are able to adapt to
  challenging circumstances more effectively and with a deeper sense of satisfaction.
*Understand that dream images and storylines are experiences that, when properly understood,
  always provide helpful information and can reveal an inner urge toward grown and development of
  the personality.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

PRESENTATION: JUNG ON HIS OWN DREAMS



Jung on His Own Dreams

Presented by Rose F. Holt, M.A., Jungian Analyst


Friday, February. 9, 2018    7:00 - 9:00 PM
First Congregational Church UCC 
6501 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, MO, 63105
Fee: Friends $15/ Students $5 / Others: $20 (2 CEUs)

Visit C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis website, www.cgjungstl.org, for more information or to register.

In his autobiographical work, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, C. G. Jung (1875-1961) recounts pivotal dreams from his long life and discusses the meaning and direction he took from them. In this lecture Rose will use Jung’s work with his dreams to illustrate effective ways of approaching our own dreams. Everyone dreams. Jung, more than any other psychological theorist, helps us unpack the meaning and value to be found in dreams. For Jung, the dream is a part of nature, to be explored just as we would any other natural phenomenon. When we examine our own dream, we are exploring important elements of our own nature. Dreams emerge from an unconscious part of our personality. Exploration of the dream can reveal a great deal about parts usually opaque to our understanding but glaringly obvious to others. As with any topic, the more we understand, the deeper the meaning and value we are able to glean from it. When the topic is our own personality, the work can be both troubling and richly rewarding. 

Rose F. Holt, M.A. is a Jungian analyst in private practice in St. Louis and is a member of both the Chicago Association of Jungian Analysts and the Interregional Society of Jungian Analysts. She received her Diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago in 2001 where she is active in the Analyst Training Program. She served as Advisory Analyst to the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis for twelve years. Rose has lectured widely, taught numerous courses in all facets of Jungian Psychology, and has published articles and essays on the topic.

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.