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:

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 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



“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 (

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 (  (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


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



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  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    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”