Sunday, December 29, 2013

C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis - Winter/Spring Newsletter

The latest newsletter from the Jung Society of St. Louis with detailed information about winter/spring 2014 programs is available now online at

I am facilitating a study group about Jung's work AION on Sunday afternoons.  Details are available on the website.  For additional information or if you have questions, please e-mail me at   AION is one of Jung's most challenging works.  Entering into it and discussion with others about it promises to yield fruitful results.

Sunday, December 08, 2013


The local Jung Society has a large collection of video and audio recordings of past programs.  The quality of the recordings is superb.  Speakers include James Hollis, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Lionel Corbett, Ken James, Monika Wikman, Gary Sparks, Leah Friedman, Laurence Hillman, and myself.  The topics are wide-ranging, covering many facets of Jungian Psychology.

The gift of Jungian understanding is a unique one.  It is the gift of the possibility for self-creation, for the enlargement of consciousness, for enhancing one's personality, and for creating a more harmonious consciousness.  There are short "trailers" for many of the video recordings that give a flavor of the material presented.

The Jung Society Holiday Offering includes both reduced pricing and free shipping.

Go to for additional information or to order.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jung in the Hearland Conference - Healing Through the Numinous

There are a number of photographs taken during the recent Jung in the Heartland Conference, now posted on the St. Louis Jung Society website.  Go to and click on the tab "recent events" to view the photos.  During the group labyrinth walk, a blue orb appeared in the center of the labyrinth, visible only in the photos.  It is extremely interesting.  A similar blue orb appeared in photos from the 2011 Jung in the Heartland Conference.  Spirit is alive and well in these events!

Planning is underway for the 2014 writing contest and for the 2015 conference.  The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis will be announcing the theme for the two events.  If you have suggestions, please send them to the Society via the e-mail address on the Society website.  If you wish to purchase a collection of the 2010 and 2012 winning essays, you may do so on the website.

Events sponsored by the St. Louis Society, a non-profit organization, are underwritten by Friends of the Society and by donations.  Scholarships are available for Society events.  See the website for additional information.

I will be facilitating a Reading Group in the winter/spring of 2014.  Participants will read and discuss C. G. Jung's AION, one of his most intriguing and, yes, difficult works.  Detailed information will be available here and on the Society website.  If you have questions or would like additional information about the reading group, please e-mail me:



In our development, we recapitulate 
the issue of our times.

     In a recent writing group, the facilitator assigned the task of writing about the influence of broader collective trends on our individual development.  When she talked about the assignment, one word leapt to my mind—Sputnik. In thinking about this topic, however, I had to enlarge her instructions to include a significant personal influence that opened the door to a larger collective one.
First, the personal influence.  When I was an adolescent I was particularly susceptible to authority.  One person who embodied authority for me was my high school plane geometry teacher, Miss Story.  On the first day of class, Miss Story explained that plane geometry was a subject that would teach itself to you; all you had to do was wait for it to show you the way.  For me, an extremely near-sighted, introverted, and troubled teen, her words might as well have been written on stone tablets on Mount Sinai.  Plane geometry taught itself to me, and I excelled at it.
The next year the Soviets launched the first Sputnik satellite, an achievement that stunned the world.  Few could imagine how the United States had fallen so far behind in technology.  A rallying cry went up across the land:  Grab all the young people you can find who are good at science and math and train them.
My personal world and the larger world intersected at that time.  Never mind that my interests lay in literature.  Never mind that higher forms of math failed to teach themselves to me.   In fact, never mind ANYTHING else; the larger interests must be served.   It was decades before I learned--painfully and often at odds with collective values like money and position--that what is important is the direction and flow of my little life force, that only in them are larger interests truly served.
Events of the late 50’s and early 60’s contorted me into a misshapen young adult.  Influential figures, both in my little world of high school and in college delivered the same message:  It doesn’t matter what is important to you.  And lacking personal authority, I colluded with them.
In looking back on these events decades later, I can see that new, powerful currents were set in motion then that were at odds with long-standing cultural values.  Young girls were supposed to marry, achieve marital bliss, have children, and keep a good house.  How could I excel in math and science AND do all that too?  Oh, the confusion of it all, the utterly impossible demands.  Some how I muddled through, perhaps am even better off for having done so.
I can see clearly now that the current cultural message to young women is as stupidly unnatural and unlivable as it was 50 years ago.  Today’s demand on young women?  You can still do it all.
There is a lot to be said for growing old.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Healing Through the Numinous - Companion Essay to Jung in the Heartland Conference


“The approach to the numinous is the real therapy,
and inasmuch as you attain to numinous experiences,
you are released from the curse of pathology.”   C.G. Jung

I have long been interested in 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 responses 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 relativizing 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, and a stressful role it is.  
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. 

Jung in the Heartland Conference - Healing Through the Numinous

The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis held its third major Heartland Conference September 5-8, 2013, at King's House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL.  The conference was a huge success.   Jean Bolen, Monika Wikman, and Laurence Hillman, speakers at the event, presented variations on the topic of healing--physical, emotional, and psychological healing.  Leah Friedman opened the conference on Thursday evening with a ritual during which each attendee introduced him/herself.  Dr. Friedman also closed the ritual at noon on Sunday.  Additionally, the three winning entries in the writing contest on the same theme, healing through the numinous, read their essays during the Authors' Evening on Saturday.  The Society has published a book of the best contest entries which is available for order on the Society website,

The major presentations were videotaped.  Both video and audio of the presentations will be available for purchase soon.  Go to for more information.

Planning is underway for the next writing contest to be held in 2014 and for the next conference scheduled for the Fall of 2015.  Information will be available on the website soon.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

JUNG IN THE HEARTLAND CONFERENCE - Healing through the Numinous

I want to alert you again to the upcoming (September 5-8, 2013) third “Jung in the Heartland” Conference, offered by the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis.  Those of you who attended either of the first two (2009 and 2011) know what a wonderful experience each one was.  The 2013 conference builds on the huge successes of the first two.  The 2013 conference theme is "Healing through the Numinous."  It will be held at King's House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL, near the St. Louis, MO, metropolitan area.

Presenters will be Jean Shinoda Bolen, Monica Wikman, and Laurence Hillman.  Details and registration information are on the Society’s website,   A special feature of the conference will be the winners of the 2012 writing contest on the same theme presenting their essays

We expect the Conference to be sold out.  The event is underwritten by Society donors, so the cost of attending is extremely reasonable.  If you plan to attend, please register early.

The conference brochures (cover shown below) will be mailed next week.  The Jung quote is one of my favorites, and contains a message of importance for all therapeutic approaches, indeed for all relationships.  [The link named in the brochure is]

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Healing through the Numinous," JUNG IN THE HEARTLAND Conference - September 5-8, 2013

I want to alert you to the upcoming (September 5-8, 2013) third “Jung in the Heartland” Conference, offered by the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis.  Those of you who attended either of the first two (2009 and 2011) know what a wonderful experience each one was.  The 2013 conference builds on the huge successes of the first two.  The 2013 conference theme is "Healing through the Numinous."  It will be held at King's House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL, near the St. Louis, MO, metropolitan area.

Presenters will be Jean Shinoda Bolen, Monica Wikman, and Laurence Hillman.  Details and registration information are on the Society’s website,   A special feature of the conference will be the winners of the 2012 writing contest on the same theme presenting their essays

We expect the Conference to be sold out.  The event is underwritten by Society donors, so the cost of attending is extremely reasonable.  If you plan to attend, please register early.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013


The C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis has a number of video recordings of presentations by Jungian Analysts available for sale.  The recordings, available either by streaming from the internet or on DVD, are of outstanding quality.  The Society has sponsored major presentations by Robert Bosnak, Lionel Corbett, Laurence Hillman, James Hollis, Ken James, Leah Friedman, and myself on various facets of Jungian Psychology.  To see trailers of the videos or to purchase, go to and click on the audio/video recordings tab.

James Hollis presented a major lecture,  "Stories Told, Stories Untold; Stories that tell us" on January 18, 2013.  That recording will soon be available on the website.

[Disclosure:  I serve as analyst advisor to the Board of the C. G. Jung Society of St. Louis.]

Monday, January 07, 2013


Reading Jung -- Two options: Local (St. Louis)  & Online
Presented by Rose F. Holt. M.A., Jungian Analyst

Reading: C. G. Jung, Dreams [A compilation of writings from Jung’s COLLECTED WORKS.] Bollingen Press, 2010. Available in paperback on

This study group is oriented to those seeking a better understanding of the role of dreams in personality development, in their service as mirror for ego consciousness, and in the unfolding process of individuation.

 [For people 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 & the Transcendent Function.” Both are available through the Society’s website at or by calling (314) 533-6809]

For those interested in this study group but find the local meeting time or place inconvenient, this same course is also offered online.

Local Study Group [14 CEUs available] - 7 Sundays; 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. February 3, 10, 17 / March 3, 10, 17, 24
Jung Society Friends: $110 / Others: $130 (14 CEUs)
Class limit of 12 at First Congregational Church UCC
6501 Wydown, Clayton, MO 63105
This group meets in a seminar format for seven sessions.

Online Study Group [14 CEUs available] - 7 Mondays; 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. February 4, 11, 18 / March 4, 11, 18, 25
Jung Society Friends :  $105 / Others: $125 (14 CEUs)
Class limit of 10. We will meet in seven (7) web-hosted seminars for real-time interaction between the presenter and participants. [For our live video conferences, participants will need a computer, a webcam, and a fast internet connection.]]

 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 a number of essays on topics in Jungian Psychology.

Register/pay online or by mail using our printable Registration Form available on the C.G. Jung Society of St. Louis website at

For additional information, please e-mail Rose Holt at or call her at (314) 726-2032.