Wednesday, December 12, 2018

NEW PLAY - Jung Society OF St. Louis 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

All tickets through  (314) 534-1111
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.