Monday, February 2, 2009

Notes From The President and Editor

Dear Friends of The C.G. Jung Society of Vermont,

The February issue sets the content for subsequent issues with pieces in the following categories: Conference Papers, Essays, Clinical Perspectives, Reviews, Reflections, The Arts, News From…, and Notes From the President and Editor. An alphabetically ordered list of these content areas is located to the right of the text in a side bar headed Labels. You’ll notice a number in parentheses after each and this indicates the total number of pieces in this area including pieces from previous issues. The titles of the pieces in the current issue – arranged in the order of appearance – are displayed farther down in the side bar under the heading Blog Archive and past issues of the e-journal can be accessed by month in this area as well. If you'd like to comment on any or all of the pieces in this month's e-journal, scroll down to the end of the piece and click on comments, this will open a message box - write your comment and click submit and within a short time your comment will be available for others to read and comment upon. To access readers' comments, just click the same comments at the end of the piece.

We open with a paper presented at The Jungian Society for Scholarly Studies Conference this past August in Burlington. To quote the presenter, the paper “draws on a host of synchronicities, Jung’s own visions, chaos theory and Native American predictions (both ancient and contemporary), to gain insights into why we are witnessing so many systems in turmoil…. we can use a wealth of trends to explore what is really going on now, and why we have cause for hope.” Surely a timely presentation given all the turmoil in the housing, business, and financial sectors since then and one that may foster a sense of hope in this time of fear and uncertainty for so many.

Under Articles is featured Part 2 of The Reality of Psyche: The Foundation of Analytical Psychology, the first installment having been presented in January’s issue.

Clinical Perspectives features a piece entitled, The Life Unlived: Parent’s Fight for Self and the Profound Effect on Children, which uses Jung’s observation that “if there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves” to explore a root cause of suffering for many of the adults who seek help in psychotherapy.

Following this we begin our transition from the factual to the symbolic realm with a review of The Moon: Myth and Image, “a most comprehensive, thoroughly scholarly 400 page tome” on all things “moon” as suggested by the reviewer; a reflection entitled A Fragrance of Roses; and a poem entitled Sacred Suffering.

In this mix is included Notes From The President and Editor and in each issue of the e-journal we will endeavor to use this “note” to highlight the issue’s content as well as draw attention to current or future society events. Regarding this, we’ve made some changes and additions to the website we’d like you to know about:

1) Luanne Sberna is the new Membership Coordinator and her contact information is now listed in this position on the website.

2) We’ve added a page for the Lending Library and, although it is “under construction” and so the tape library is not presently on loan, we hope to have it in place for members’ use sometime in the near future. Due to the natural fragility of the cassette tapes and the expense and cumbersome nature of using the postal services for tape borrowing and returns, our tape librarian, Cynthia Hennard, is investigating converting the tapes to electronic format so that tapes can be borrowed electronically. We’ll keep you posted!

3) The Calendar of Events and Society Offerings Page has two listings for this winter-spring, a course taught through The Jungian Center, Waterbury, entitled The Path of Individuation and a lecture on Psyche and Wilderness: Journeying into the Depths to be held at Burlington College. Please refer to the Calendar of Events page on our website for more information on these events. We will be adding to our offerings so please keep checking-in there and also here for updated information on society events.

Also in this mix of e-journal content offerings is the News From…. section which features information of interest in and outside the society. This issue, for example, features news about The Jung Book Group, facilitated by one of our board members and open to members and non-members alike. Please take note as well of the upcoming lectures being offered this winter-spring by our neighbor society across the border, The C.G. Jung Society of Montreal. You can find their web link on our Resources page.

We hope you enjoy the selection of offerings in this February’s e-journal. Beat the cold by staying inside with good company, the e-journal Jung in Vermont, as your afternoon companion. Keep in mind that we’d love to hear from you; if you are a writer at heart and have the heart to share your love of Jung and all things Jungian, become a member and submit your work for publication. The society and the e-journal will stay vibrant because of your support! Please go to the Calendar of Events & Society Offerings page for information on submission criteria.

I’m available by phone or email if you’d like to learn more about the society: (802) 860-4921 or

With best regards,

Stephanie Buck

P.S. This edition of Jung in Vermont will be “jumping the gun” regarding changes and additions to the society website since Eva, our web master, is getting the work order today as I post this. Please be patient and check back at the website for the updated material later this week.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

"Age of Crisis, Cause for Hope: Prophetic Visions of Jung and Native American Traditions:

Paper Presented at The Jungian Society for Scholarly Studies Conference 2009 - Susan Mehrtens, Ph.D.

This Power Point presentation had five components: a few words about my background and how I came to be speaking about this topic; Jung’s intuitions and Native parallels; the “road map” of alchemy; Jung’s final vision and Native parallels; and the reasons for us to be hopeful in this transitional time.

My Background
I began my professional career as an academic. I have a Ph.D. from Yale in medieval studies and for 19 years I taught history, Latin and Greek at Queens College of the City University of New York, and then at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. In all that time I was quite unaware of Carl Jung, until my world was “upended” in November of 1983. It was November 25th, the day after Thanksgiving that I had the first of what I have come to call my “voice-over” dreams, which tell me what is going to happen and give me explicit instructions about what I should do. This first “voice-over” dream was like a megaphone went off in my bedroom and it said, “Friends will die. Relatives will die. You will give up everything and your life will be transformed.” I woke up and told my husband about this weird experience and then promptly forgot all about it—until 5 days later, when I was in the local post office and learned that my friend Hazel Crafts had dropped dead. It was my husband who reminded me of the dream’s prediction. I dismissed it as just a “coincidence.” It was to be many years before I came to know with certainty that there’s no such thing as “coincidence.”

Within six months I had lost another friend, two aunts, an uncle and everything in my life was slipping away. In the next two years I got a divorce, left college teaching, and could see that my life was being changed in some fundamental ways. Through this time the “voice-over” dreams kept coming and, given my very left-brained, logical, Cartesian mindset, I thought I was going crazy, as reality was not supposed to be like this!

To allay my anxiety about my sanity (or lack thereof) I consulted every type of mental health professional in eastern Maine. In 1983/84 there weren’t a lot, but I saw them all, with my stack of dreams in hand, and they all told me the same thing: if I wanted to work with dreams I should find a Jungian. It was testimony to just how closed I was to anything psychological that I kept mishearing them, thinking they were telling me to find a union. For months I wondered what sort of union dream interpreters joined, until one day—when the urgency of finding help overcame my pride—I finally asked one of the shrinks what union it was that dealt with dreams. Only then did I come to discover Carl Jung. It took another year or so before a Jungian moved to Maine, and I was able to begin my analysis—an analysis that has led me to work with 4 analysts over these 23+ years, and I’m still at it. Analysis, dream work and the wonderful work of Carl Jung have become my life. And that first dream was right: my life was totally transformed.

Jung’s 1958 Intuition and Native Parallels
Ours is a time of crises: Major forest fires, devastating floods, wild winter storms, terrorism on a global scale, kidnappings, torture, beheadings, people losing their homes, major banks collapsing, the economy seemingly going down the tube. It makes people wonder what is going on. I have students ask me this frequently and I tell them that Carl Jung can provide us with a context for this question and offers us a road map for navigating this uncertain time and the years ahead.
Strong intuitive that he was, Jung often had intuitions. Most focused on his work with patients and his research, but some of his visions and insights were for the collective. In 1958 he sensed an archetype stirring in the collective unconscious and he told Barbara Hannah that this archetype was characteristic of the “end of an era.”
[2] Somehow Jung was aware that we were even then living in the closing years of an epoch and that the world as we knew it would undergo a major transformation.
Native visions parallel Jung’s intuition. Completely independently, and hundreds of years before Jung, the Mayans compiled an elaborate calendar that described the end of time,[3] and the Hopi of the American Southwest described this interval as the closing years of the “Fourth World.”[4] Many other native peoples share the belief that we are now in the end days of a global era, and they give the end time a date: the winter solstice in 2012.[5]
While the Mayan developed one of the most elaborate chronologies, the Hopi are the most articulate about the features of the world that is to follow, what they call the “Fifth World.” They date the emergence of this world (which they believe is to be much more attractive and positive than the “Fourth World” we are living in now) around 2040.[6] Which leaves us with a key question: How can we get through the challenges of the next few decades? Carl Jung provides us with a valuable road map and a context for our experience of the end time/beginning time.
Jung reminds us that “... the collective psyche shows the same pattern of change as the psyche of the individual.”[7] People collectively change in the same basic way that individuals change. It was one of Jung’s great insights—and a major contribution to the discipline of psychology—that this pattern of change is alchemical.
Alchemy. We hear the word and it conjures up images of medieval monks toiling over their flasks and beakers in some deluded endeavor to change lead into gold. The more scientifically-minded might think of alchemy as the precursor of modern chemistry. But when Jung discovered the writings of the medieval and Renaissance alchemists he realized that they were describing the process whereby we transform from unconsciousness (i.e. “lead”) to consciousness as individuated persons living in the fullness of our being (i.e. “gold”). Jung mapped out how the various phases and operations described in detail by the alchemists show up in individual analysis,[8] and he understood that this archetypal process of change applies to the collective as much as to the individual. Using Jung’s insights we can examine what is going on in our world as phases of archetypal transformation.

The “Road Map” of Alchemy
There are four phases in the alchemical change process: the nigredo (from Latin niger, “black, dark”), the albedo (from Latin alba, “white, bright”), the rubedo (from Latin rubeus, “reddening”) and the citrinitas (from Latin citrus, “lemon”).
[9] These phases often overlap in outer reality and in an individual’s analysis, but we will discuss them in a linear fashion.
When we examine the features of the 4 phases we can see that we as a collective society are now in the nigredo phase. Some of the features of this phase are: confusion, being flooded with affect, disorientation, self-righteousness, greed, inflation, sickness of spirit (or a feeling that life is meaningless), confrontation with the shadow, and unconsciousness. “Operations,” or components of the alchemist’s work during the nigredo phase included the putrefactio (when the alchemist—and, in Jungian analysis, the analysand—has to confront and clear out rotted stuff), the calcinatio (the process of purifying the desire nature through the “refiner’s fire”), the solutio (during which key structures of life often dissolve); and the mortificatio (or a “dying,” when parts of life have no energy left to vivify them).[10]
These operations characteristic of the nigredo show up on the collective level in events we are witnessing now in daily news reports. For example, we hear of widespread fires and floods and the “rot” in the U.S. financial, banking and home mortgage industries. Disorientation shows up as more and more people wonder just what is going on. Greed seems endemic in our culture, from CEO pay scales to spectacular Ponzi schemes like that of Bernard Madoff. We see inflation on the collective level in both material and intangible ways: in the economy’s fluctuating value of the dollar, and in our thinking that we can control Nature (certainly a form of hubris). Spiritual sickness—the widespread sense that life has no meaning—is fueling the epidemic of drug use and abuse, as well as the religious phenomenon of fundamentalism, as people “lust for certitude”[11] and seek comfort in dogmatisms. As a society we Americans confront our shadow in the form of al Queda and the Taliban.[12]
The nigredo is the hardest phase, the most painful phase, for both individuals and collectives. The phase that follows it is easier. We can begin to see elements of this phase, the albedo, underway now too.[13]
In the individual work of analysis, the albedo is often a time of strong passions and bitter hostilities, when warring parts of ourselves come up from the unconscious and demand our attention. We face the challenge of balancing the opposites in the task of redeeming matter and more specifically, our physical system, the body. Part of this process entails integrating the animus or anima, our contrasexual side, and the alchemical operation known as the sublimatio helps in this work. The sublimatio asks us to be objective, to rise above situations and see them from a higher perspective, or to stand back and try to see the circumstances of our lives from a more objective point of view.[14]

On the collective level, we can see the albedo at work now in the passions that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama hurled at each other; at the hostilities between the Shi’ites and Sunnis in Iraq, and the Tibetans and Chinese in Tibet. We are striving to achieve a balance of opposites in all the 12-step programs that tackle addictions (all of which represent problems with imbalance). Anne Wilson Schaef’s work combating workaholism is another effort to restore balance to our collective work life.
[15] Jungian analyst Marion Woodman works to redeem matter and help her clients to gain a better sense of their bodies.[16] The environmental movement is also fostering the reclamation of a more positive regard for the world of matter. Feminists and gender studies programs at many American colleges are helping to integrate the animus and anima. The component of objectivity is showing up in our collective life as more people become conscious of a higher perspective—that they can examine what happens to them in life from a more inclusive or enlightened point of view.

The albedo leads to the third stage, the rubedo.
[17] This stage comes with the achievement of additional consciousness in the individual. The analysand in this stage develops new attitudes and is more able now to hold the tension of the opposites. The person usually experiences a sense of healing or renewal. There is more energy now for living, and the ego becomes conscious of the Self. This is both desirable and disagreeable, as Jung reminded us in his comment that “the experience of the Self is a defeat for the ego.”[18] Used to running the show, the ego does not usually appreciate being put in a subordinate role. Along with these elements, the person often in this rubedo phase comes to realize or sense the presence of an inner divinity.

Although it is only nascent now, we can see occasional signs of the rubedo in our society. For example, we see hints of it in the growing number of people becoming more conscious. We hear about new attitudes: non-violence, reverence for the Earth, respect for indigenous peoples and their perspectives, the growing recognition of how global capitalism is destroying the planet. We also see more people “authorizing their own lives,”
[19] looking within for direction rather than to priests, teachers, parents or other authority figures. We get glimpses even in some TV ads, reminding us “we’re all in this together.”[20] In such modest ways we are beginning to see hints of the rubedo phase.

The final phase, the citrinitas, lies in the future. Before we move into this phase we will have to face the end of our old world and old ways of living and working.

Jung’s Final Vision and Native Parallels
Jung had a vision of the end, in his deathbed vision in May of 1961. He was just a few days away from death but remained concerned about the world and its welfare, and told his daughter of a vision he had, which he asked her to relate to his student Marie-Louise von Franz. In this vision he said, “I see enormous stretches devastated, enormous stretches of the earth. But thank God, not the whole planet.” He sensed this devastation would occur 50 years in the future, i.e. in 2011.

As in Jung’s 1958 sense of the approaching end time, this deathbed vision has striking parallels in native visions. The Hopi, for example, speak in their prophecies of a war of retaliation against terrorists, with World War III causing radiation contamination and the destruction of the U.S. government. They foresee a competitive war of greed, major climate changes, the depletion of natural resources, empty supermarket shelves and shortages of fuel. They predict that our currency will become worthless as the economy falls apart and multitudes of people in cities perish from uprisings and civil unrest. While the world experiences revolts against corrupt and ineffectual governments common people will band together, the Hopi envision, to make peace and work out practical solutions in their immediate locale.[22]

The Hopi are not the only indigenous people to look ahead. The Peruvian Incas speak of our “meeting ourselves again.”
[23] The Senecas foresee the earth purging itself until 2012. The Zulus speak of a world upheaval in 2012 and the Maoris of New Zealand describe a “veil dissolving” in 2012. For Sufis 2012 is the “end time,” and the Aztecs, Guatemalans, the Dogon of West Africa and Sri Bhagavan and Sri Yukteswar all share Jung’s sense of crisis coming in 2011-2012.[24]

Many native images are sobering. This is how the nigredo usually is: not a pleasant time. But alchemy reminds us that it is not the final phase. We can take comfort in that fact and look forward to the multitude of positive features that mark the citrinitas, including: unity, the subordination of the ego, the integration of consciousness and unconsciousness in the creation of personal wholeness. On the collective level we can anticipate a world of peace, as sources of conflict are gone. People will recognize themselves as filii macrocosmi, children of the Universe. There will be unity among all people, just as the individual gets his act together and enjoys personal integration on the individual level.
The Hopi vision for the Fifth World is very similar: peace everywhere; life directed by the Creator; everyone understanding the cosmic plan; everyone able to communicate telepathically with everyone and everything else; all 4 races (black, yellow, red and white) bound together in unity; no government; a single currency; and love and joy being experienced all the time.[25]

In Jung’s vision of the end he did not foresee complete destruction. Like the Hopi, Jung held out the possibility that the worst would not have to occur. And like the Hopi, Jung recognized that the future is plastic. If enough people change and become more conscious, the transition can be much easier and less tumultuous.

Jung felt the key to a smoother transition was individuals working on themselves, to become conscious and encouraging others to do the same. Jung stressed this point in a book he wrote late in his life for lay readers, The Undiscovered Self. In that short book he reminded us that anyone of us could be “the makeweight that tips the scales”
[26] and shifts the planet into a whole new reality. It could be you, me, any one of us that, by working on ourselves to create more consciousness in the world, saves the planet from major devastation.

Conclusion: Reasons for Hope
We are facing challenging times ahead, times made more challenging by the tremendous hopes we have pinned on our new president. It is unrealistic to lay such heavy expectations on one person. We have to realize that Obama cannot save our country: we each have a role to play and we have to pitch in and do our share in many different ways. As we work through the challenges we face we have to remember that what may seem like the end is only a phase. 2012 is not the end: it is a new beginning. Jung provides us with the context of alchemy within which we can set daily events. The road map of alchemy is a proven method to know what is really going on and how we can do our share. Jung reminds us that how each of us chooses to respond in the future is consequential: the choice we make now and in the immediate years ahead—the choice to become conscious—could save the world.


Anonymous, Hopi: Following the Path of Peace. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1994.
Ardagh, Arjuna et al., The Mystery of 2012: Predictions, Prophecies & Possibilities. Boulder CO: Sounds True, 2007.
Argüelles, Jose, The Mayan Factor. Santa Fe: Bear & Co., 1987.
Calleman, Carl Johan, The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness. Rochester VT: Bear & Co., 2004.
Davis, Charles, The Temptations of Religion. New York: Harper & Row, 1974.
Dourley, John, The Illness That We Are: A Jungian Critique of Christianity. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1984.
________, The Psyche as Sacrament: C.G. Jung and Paul Tillich. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1981.
Edinger, Edward, Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy. Chicago: Open Court Press, 1985.
________, The Bible and the Psyche. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1986.
________, The Christian Archetype: A Jungian Commentary. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1987.
________, The Creation of Consciousness. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1984.
________, Melville’s Moby-Dick: An American Nekyia. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1995.
________, The Mysterium Lectures. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1995.
Gilbert, Adrian & Maurice Cotterell, The Mayan Prophecies. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1995.
Guiley, Rosemary Ellen, Dreamwork for the Soul. New York: Berkley Books, 1998.
Hannah, Barbara, Jung: His Life and Work, A Biographical Memoir. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1976.
Harman, Willis, Global Mind Change: The Promise of the 21st Century. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 1998.
Harvey, Charles, Anima Mundi: The Astrology of the Individual and the Collective. London: Centre for Astrological Psychology Press, 2002.
Jacoby, Mario, The Analytic Encounter: Transference and Human Relationship. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1984.
Jung, Carl Gustav, “Alchemical Studies,” Collected Works, 13. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967.
________, “Aion,” Collected Works, 9ii. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959.
________, “Civilization in Transition,” Collected Works, 10. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970.
________, “Psychology and Religion: West and East,” Collected Works, 11. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969.
________, “Mysterium Coniunctionis,” Collected Works, 14. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963.
________, “Psychology and Alchemy,” Collected Works, 12. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953.
________, “The Undiscovered Self,” Collected Works, 10. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970.
Keen, Sam, “Dying Gods and Borning Spirits,” Noetic Sciences Review (Winter 1992).
Mails, Thomas, The Hopi Survival Kit. New York: Penguin Compass, 1997.
Mehrtens, Susan, Dreaming to Wake to Life. Waterbury VT: The Potlatch Press, 1996.
O’Connor, Peter, Understanding Jung, Understanding Yourself. London: Methuen, 1985.
Perkins, John, The World Is As You Dream It. Rochester VT: Destiny Books, 1994.
Pinchbeck, Daniel, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2006.
Schaef, Anne Wilson & Diane Fassel, The Addictive Organization. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.
Schwartz-Salant, Nathan, Narcissism and Character Transformation. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1982.
Sharp, Daryl, Jung Lexicon: A Primer of Terms & Concepts. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1991.
Stray, Geoff, Beyond 2012: Catastrophe or Ecstasy: A Complete Guide to End-of-Time Predictions. Lewes UK: Vital Signs Publishing, 2005.
Sun Bear, with Wabun Wind, Black Dawn, Bright Day. Spokane: Bear Tribe Publishing, 1990.
Tarnas, Richard, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View. New York: Penguin, 2006.
von Franz, Marie-Louise, Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1980.
________, Archetypal Patterns in Fairy Tales. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1997.
________, Aurora Consurgens. Toronto: Inner City Books, 2000.
________, C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1998.
________, Redemption Motifs in Fairytales.. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1980.
Wagner, Suzanne, “A Conversation with Marie-Louise von Franz,” Psychological Perspectives, 38 (Winter 1998-99), 12-39.
Waters, Frank, The Book of the Hopi. New York: Penguin, 1963.
Woodman, Marion, Addiction to Perfection. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1982.
________, Conscious Femininity. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1993.
________, The Owl Was a Baker’s Daughter. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1980.
________, The Pregnant Virgin. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1985.
________, The Ravaged Bridegroom. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1990
[1] A full account of the first 10 years of these dreams can be found in Mehrtens (1996).
[2] Hannah (1976), 337.
[3] For in-depth discussions of the Mayan calendar, cf. Stray (2005), Gilbert & Cotterrell (1995), Argüelles (1987) and Calleman (2004).
[4] For a detailed description of the Fourth World, see Waters (1963), 21-22.
[5] Cf. Ardagh (2007), Argüelles (1987), Pinchbeck (2006) and Stray (2005).
[6] Guiley (1998), 339.
[7] CW, 10, ¶160.
[8] The bulk of Jung’s study of alchemy is contained in CW, 9ii,12,13 and 14. More accessible for lay readers (i.e. those not formally trained as analysts) are the works by Jung’s students, Edward Edinger and Marie-Louise von Franz; cf. Edinger (1985) and von Franz (1980)(1998) and (2000).
[9] von Franz (1998), 222.
[10] Cf. von Franz (1998), 222-229; von Franz (1980), 147,208,220-227,241,267; von Franz (2000), 4, 215-224, 233, 249, 352, 363, 378; and Edinger (1985), 148, 152, 169, 171-179. Edinger provides one of the most succinct, as well as readable studies of the various alchemical operations.
[11] The “lust for certitude” is one of the 4 “temptations of religion” identified by Charles Davis; see Davis (1974).
[12] For a detailed analysis of America’s shadow from a Jungian perspective, see the essay “America’s Shadow” on the Jungian Center for the Spiritual Sciences blog, to be posted in May 2009.
[13] von Franz (1998), 223-229.
[14] Edinger describes the sublimatio in detail in Edinger (1985), 117-120.
[15] Schaef & Fassel (1988).
[16] Woodman (1980) (1982) (1985) (1990) and (1993).
[17] von Franz (1998), 227-233; von Franz (1980), 196, 268; von Franz (2000), 206, 229, 231, 305, 352.
[18] CW 14, ¶778.
[19] Keen (1992).
[20] E.g. the current (January 2009) ads on TV for the United Way (which is not surprising) and for Hyundai automobiles (which is surprising).
[21] Quoted in Wagner (1998), 25.
[22] Cf. Waters (1963), 333-337; and Mails (1997), 194-219.
[23] Stray (2005), 253.
[24] Ibid., 220, 66, 28, 52, 34 and 40, respectively.
[25] Waters (1963), 334.
[26] CW 10, ¶586.

News From The C.G. Jung Society of Montreal

The C.G. Jung Society of Montreal has an exciting Winter-Spring 2009 Program of lectures and workshops.

Among the offerings are: Lessons in Letting Go: The Upside of Uselessness, Irrelevence and Impermanence, March 20th, 7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.; A Fool's Journey (workshop), March 21st, 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; and What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life, April 17th, 7:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m with workshop the following day, 10:00 a.m. - 4:30p.m.

For more information, contact Mary Harsany at (514) 481 -8664 or go to their website (check the Resources page for their link).

News From The Jung Book Group

The Jung Book Group has been meeting for almost fifteen years. It is a gathering of those who are interested in Jungian psychology and related topics. In addition to books by Jung, we have read the works of various renowned Jungians including Marie Louise von Franz, Sylvia Brunton Perrera, Edward Whitmont, Edward Edinger and Barbara Hannah. The topics we have covered are wide ranging. Some examples are the structure of the psyche, dreams, fairy tales, tarot, Gnosticism, and Jung’s life and work.

More recently the group members interests have turned to topics related to Jungian psychotherapy. We are about to finish discussion of David Sedgwick’s The Wounded Healer, Countertransference from a Jungian Perspective. This intriguing book by an American Jungian is valuable reading for anyone engaged in the practice of psychotherapy. It is divided into three sections: Jungian Approaches to Countertransference, Case Illustrations and Conclusions.

In the first section, Sedgwick presents Jung’s and what might be called post-Jungian theories and practices regarding countertransference. He also introduces the concept of the Wounded Healer as a guiding myth for the practice of psychotherapy. In the case illustrations, he courageously discloses his own thoughts and feelings (countertransferences) to two different clients beginning with his initial contact with them and throughout their analysis. He relates these reactions to his own inner wounded healer and the healing process that occurs in the analyst as well as the client. The last section of the book conveys his own synthesis of theoretical, clinical and personal experience into a Countertransference Model. Sedgwick delineates phases of the countertransference work, and addresses additional aspects of it such as typology, the shadow, boundaries and self-disclosure by the analyst/therapist.

The Book Group members found The Wounded Healer to be a good read, and as all current members are psychotherapists (though this is not a membership requirement) discussion often turned to applying the material to our work.

In February, we will begin reading The Inner World of Trauma, Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit by Donald Kalsched, a psychoanalyst and instructor at the C.G. Jung Institute in New York. In this volume, the author discusses the work of the inner self to heal the personal spirit. He interweaves classical Jungian and contemporary psychological theories and shows how myth and archetypal imagery can aid in the healing process.

Anyone interested in joining the Book Group is welcome to contact Luanne Sberna at 802-863-9775, ext. 2. We are currently meeting every third week on Friday afternoons, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. in the Burlington area.
-Luanne Sberna

The Reality of Psyche: The Foundation of Analytical Psychology Part 2

(Editor's note: Part 1 of this essay appeared in the January issue and can be accessed by going to the end of this essay or to the January 2009 "Archives." Also, long citations are differentiated from the body of the text in the following ways: they are set off from the main text and set in smaller italicized font.)

Jung’s theory of the unconscious - its structure, functioning, and purpose – and its relationship to consciousness is a “living” theory; he continued to revise it until his death and actively supported other analysts such as Henderson (1990), von Franz (1980; 1994), and Neumann (1990) in their investigations. Both Henderson’s and von Franz’s elaboration of the geography of the unconscious appropriately fine-tune Jung’s conceptualization of it while also emphasizing the impact of the cultural psyche. Neumann does this also, not with a mapping of the psyche, as the other two have done, but with his lens on the problem of evil in the form and process of shadow projection and on the solution centered on the individual’s engagement with archetypal stages of development.

The reality of psyche is the conceptual and experiential axis around which Jungian psychology is organized; everything else such as archetypes and collective unconscious, the components of psyche, as well as psyche’s teleological or purposeful function, originate from this primary understanding. The reality of psyche means exactly that. It is real and not just a metaphorical construct to be taken up and used when convenient and then set aside when not, as is often the case when a body of specialized knowledge becomes accepted by mainstream culture. Popularization, unfortunately, can result in the over-simplification of a field, leading to its misunderstanding and ultimate debasement. The reality of psyche or psyche as fact is based upon the phenomenologically derived data of the immediate experience of human behavior, both psychic as evinced in the symbolic language of dreams and the symbolic or latent meaning contained in language, and somatic, as evinced by the symbolic expression embodied in physical behavior and in physical symptoms of dis-ease. When we accept the reality of psyche, everything that we say and do takes on a meaning distinctly different from, although integral to, our behavior’s overt function and ordinary expression. Below the surface of the cause and effect transactions common to our everyday life - life lived on the surface - there exists another realm structuring our life course, so that what we say and do, and what we leave unsaid and undone, is indicative of the particular pattern or archetype within which our life takes shape, its meaning potentially available to us when we attend to its unfolding through its archetypal representation, the symbol. When the elements of this transpersonal realm are “reduced to the data of a purely personalistic psychology,” writes Neumann (1954), “the result is an appalling impoverishment of individual [and collective] life” (p. xxiv). This is so because connected to the understanding of psyche as reality and its products or manifestations as psychic realities is the correspondent awareness that psyche has a religious function, purposefully guiding us in a lifelong process toward individuation. Psyche regarded suprapersonally is “a numinous world of transpersonal happenings” (Neumann, 1954, p. xxiv). The religious function of psyche and individuation will be discussed in future essays.

Jungian terminology is familiar ground to most people. Jung (1961) preferred using words already existent when possible, believing that this use of already accepted terms would simplify and thus enhance the accessibility of his psychology. Even when he was forced to create terms for his specialized approach, he attempted to coin words that would convey their meaning. Possibly for these reasons, the elements and processes of psyche which are central to Jungian psychology, such as personal unconscious, collective unconscious, Self, archetype, complex, psychological types, and projection, are all part of common usage within Western culture today. The benefit of their inclusion within the collective lexicon is, of course, that common use suggests accessibility and even acceptance of what once was particular knowledge limited to a specific field. Unfortunately, familiarity does not necessarily or automatically bring understanding. Jung’s psychology is both deceptively simple and confusingly complex. It is a depth psychology that mines the archaeological strata of the mind while also exploring borderline phenomena, the “meaningful coincidences” of mind-matter phenomena that “call into question… the established image and system of depth psychology and the theory of the unconscious” (Neumann, 1989, p. 17). It is also a psychology of breadth in that it crosses the boundaries of disciplines for a synthetic understanding of psyche. It is a many-layered approach to human personality. Jung (1954) calls this layered aspect of his work its “double-valence” of meaning (p. 90), while Conforti (1999) broadens it further by conceptualizing multiple interactional fields of influence. An apt metaphor for analytical psychology is the onion, with the peeling away of each successive layer eventually revealing the onion’s core, which is itself a replication of the onion as a whole. In other words, the psychotherapist helps the patient peel away the layer of his or her personality that is presented at the moment while always being presented with the entirety of the patient’s psyche - everything that makes the patient who he or she is, the past, the present, and what they both point to.

Jungian psychology is not a “nothing but” psychology – “nothing but” being a term Jung (1961) borrowed from William James, a psychologist he much admired and by whom he was greatly influenced, to describe any psychology that reduces psychic phenomena such as symptoms to a primary cause and a general explanation of human behavior (Heisig, 1979; Hoden, 1977; Jung, 1976; 1975; Meier, 2001; Schabad, 1977). This point - that Jung’s psychology is not reductionistic in the sense of seeking a cause and effect relationship which reduces a phenomenon to a fundamental source - is key to understanding his approach to psyche (Brooke, 1991; Jung, 1954). Without this awareness, one will invariably misconstrue the Jungian approach (Brooke, 1991) and equate it with either the positivist-oriented psychologies that are the dominant models for human behavior today or, alternately, classify it as a philosophical and/or religious metaphysical system. Jung’s psychology has been criticized as being one or the other and, at times, as both. These criticisms, coming from two principle directions - religion on the one side and science on the other - have haunted Jungian psychology (as they did James’ psychological study of the religious (Jung, 1976; Perry, 1935) since its inception early in the twentieth century, and continue to do so to this day (Brooke, 1991; Jung, 1976; 1969a; McLynn, 1996; Noll, 1994). Because these criticisms are misrepresentative of the intent of Jung’s psychology, they will be discussed at length here. Two interconnected points need to be made: first, like all systems of ideas - and Jung’s psychology is a system of ideas or theories concerning psyche and psychic phenomenon, albeit an open one – and second, analytical psychology is a metaphysic in that it goes beyond what is directly observed and experienced by speculating or hypothesizing on what these data infer. In this sense, then, analytical psychology is not a purely phenomenological approach, but goes beyond phenomenology to metaphysics (Brenneman, personal communication), and analytical psychology’s reach beyond the physical to what it suggests is as much a part of the other sciences as it is for religion and religious-philosophical systems. As a metaphysic or system of ideas concerning psyche, analytical psychology can be narrowly construed as psychologistic in the Husserlian sense as “a species of view that philosophy is reducible to a factual science, in this case psychology” (Nakhnikian cited, Husserl, 1990, p. x). This understanding, however, misses the intent of Jung’s approach to psyche and psychic material and what takes place in the psychotherapeutic endeavor. Although Hillman (1975) embraces psychologism as being essential to the soul’s coming to knowledge, it was adamantly denied though never sufficiently addressed by Jung.

A major complaint made by the prominent religious scholar, Martin Buber, among others, concerning Jung’s religious oriented psychology is that Jung’s psychology is psychologistic or reductive because it reduces the religious, the unknowable power that moves us (also known as the numinous, sacred, holy or God) to a function of the psyche (Jung, 1976; Wasserstrom, 1999). In this way, Buber contends, God is supplanted by the human psyche (Edinger, 1996; Jung, 1976; 1969a). Jung (1973; 1976) denies this, as do those who worked closely with him (Adler, 1968; Jacobi, 1973). Buber and others rest their assertion of psychologism on the complex system of concepts by which Jung, as a psychologist, attempted to understand psyche by formulating hypothesizes based on the empirical data of patient observations. Jung’s psychological study of psyche does differ from Otto’s (1973) qualitative investigation of the numinous in that he created a typography of personality in which the energetic processes by which psyche functions, for example libido, projection, and archetype, are delineated and named. Similar to Otto, Jung’s (1969a) concern is with the quality and influence of the numinous or transpersonal on the individual as it is experienced through psyche. The two main stumbling blocks seem to be Jung’s identification of libido, the general energetic process by which psyche functions, and projection, a more specific process of mind which can both aid and hinder the growth of consciousness. Jung considered these to be no more than working hypotheses, to be revised or discarded as new information presented itself. Jung's guiding principle of the reality of psyche - psyche as irreducible - further belies this criticism of psychologism.

The claim of psychologism seems to be related to a limited understanding of the concept of projection. In Jungian psychology, projection is a psychological process whereby one unconsciously projects one's affective experience or displaces it outside onto another person or object, who then carries it. That such an action is accepted as occurring is evinced by the number of names given it in our lexicon: scapegoat, dupe, and fall guy all refer to the carriers of projection and the negative consequences of projection, while angel, saint, and treasure refer to its positive valuation. In Jungian psychology, projection is the autonomous psychic process that makes consciousness possible. An affective experience is projected outward, thus making it observable to the individual, who then has the opportunity to introject or “take back the projection” through self-reflection of consciousness. With each projection that is taken back and made conscious through the act of self-reflection, consciousness is enlarged. Self-reflection, in turn, is made possible because of the dialectical relationship that exists between consciousness and the unconscious. Consciousness stands in opposition to the unconscious, both being necessary for the functioning of psyche as a whole. Without the unconscious, there would be no consciousness (Hostie, 1957; Jung, 1963; Neumann, 1954; von Franz, 1986; 1993); we come to know ourselves through our psychic reflection mirrored back to us by way of projection (von Franz, 1975). Projection is simply the name given to this psychodynamic process. As Jung (1969b) notes, “it is only separation, detachment, and agonizing confrontation through opposition [italics added] that produce consciousness and insight” (p. 171). Projection enables us to come to know the world as it is and as it gives itself to us, rather than through the cloud of our assumptions and biases of the natural attitude. Jung (1969b) writes eloquently about his experience of this while on Safari when

from a low hill in the Athi plains of East African I once watched the vast herds of wild animals grazing in soundless stillness, as they had done from time immemorial, touched only by the breath of a primeval world…The entire world round me was still in its primeval state; it did not know that it was. And then, in that one moment in which I came to know, the world sprang into being, without that moment it would never have been. All Nature seeks this goal and finds it fulfilled in man [sic], but only in the most highly developed [differentiated] and most fully conscious man. Every advance, even the smallest, along this path of conscious realization adds that much to the world (pp. 95, 96).

In this passage, Jung is writing not about his just discovering the physical fact of nature – he knows that the world and all that it contains exists – but about his phenomenologically based experience of it. At that particular moment, Jung experienced his surroundings in a new way and as a result came to a new and deeper understanding of what formerly he had taken for granted. What once was accepted because it was there now was known for what it actually was.

What religionists seem to specifically object to in this construction of psyche is the idea that everything is ultimately a projection, and that once a psychic content is no longer projected, there is nothing beyond the subjective ego. Of course this is not what Jung is saying. As a psychologist, Jung’s focus is on the psyche and the way in which it works; his speculations, although based on scientific observation supported by comparative research, are just that, speculative and always open to revision. He is clear on this matter and his psychological perspective throughout his writings. He does not in any way set out to prove God’s objective existence, which would be meaningless, but to “reckon with the existence of a God-image” (Jung, 1969c, p. 278). The archetype of the God-image is the image that humans hold concerning God, it is nothing more nor less than this. Its existence certainly does not preclude the existence of God: in fact, the universal nature of this archetype of God can be seen as evidence of the psychic reality of God. Jung is clear that he knows that God, whatever this means, does exist psychically because it is a universal psychic experience. As Jung moved away from the purely scientific stance of his early clinical work and into the symbolical researches that were to preoccupy him for the remainder of his life, he eventually began equating the archetype of Self with an absolute though “undetermined and undeterminable” guiding principle, thus further alienating religionists as well as scientists (Hostie, 1957; Jung, 1973; 1975; 1976;). This is somewhat surprising since, as Fordham (1994) points out, Jung’s (apparent) hypostasization of psyche “brought the [S]elf into relation with theological speculation about ultimate reality” (p. 10). Fordham (1994) considered this unnecessary and even counterproductive since, as he writes, Jung makes the psyche whose “real nature is obscure enough … an end in itself” rather than allowing “the sense of mystery [that is psyche]…to act as a stimulus to further enquiry” (p. 10). However, based on Jung’s work from mid-life on - his explorations into gnosis, alchemy, and religions and their symbolical significance to the growth of consciousness and individuation - his eventual relating of Self and absolute reality seems a quite natural development. Be that as it may, strictly speaking, the fact that Jung’s investigations into psyche specifically involve the qualities of psychic energy, that is, the archetypes and their symbolic representations, automatically opens his work to a charge of hypostasy no matter what he says or his intent (Brooke, 1991: Heisig, 1979; Hostie, 1957; Goldbrunner, 1956). That said, Fordham’s criticism may stem in part from his developmental perspective which, as mentioned earlier, has a different focus from that of classical analytical psychology (Fordham, 1995; Samuels, 1985).

Some of the confusion regarding Jungian psychology can be laid at Jung’s door, since he is not always clear about his intention, sometimes leaving a particular word’s meaning to be discerned through context or through a comprehensive knowledge of his writings (Heisig, 1979; Hostie, 1957). A good example of this is Jung’s use of “soul,” an ambiguous term at best for philosophers, theologians, and psychologists alike. Jung uses the word soul in two essentially different ways - in its common theological sense as referring to the essential spiritual or divine nature that humans embody, as well as in a psychological sense for a specific function of psyche (anima-animus) that each individual expresses in a way unique to himself or herself (Jung, 1982; 1971). Thus, if the reader does not understand that soul for Jung has at least a dual function, and possesses both a common general meaning as well as a technical one specific to Jungian psychology, Jung’s intention will be lost or misunderstood. This applies also to certain other words such as religion, religious, and God which are used by Jung, not in their normative and delimited sense as referring to organized faith systems and to an anthropomorphic higher being, but in a less restrictive, more all-inclusive way. Edinger (1996), a Jungian interpreter of this “psychology of religion,” as Jung (1969a) sometimes referred to his approach, writes that the Latin word religio or religion has two etymological roots; one is religere, the other is religare. The more ancient of the two, religere means “to take into careful account,” while the other, religare means “to tie oneself back to some prior state of existence” (p. 35). Religion certainly can and does encompass both of these two meanings (Schoeps, 1968), but for Jung its use is limited. Jung’s use of religion, religious, and God is founded on the first root, religere, which refers to an attitude that is “watchful, wary, thoughtful, careful, prudent, expedient and calculated …towards the powers-that-be” (Jung cited, Edinger, 1996, p. 39) - thus the inscription over Jung's door. The difference between the two meanings is significant, with the first in line with Otto’s psychological study of the numinous, while the second is in keeping with Eliade’s (1954) approach of returning to the eternal sacred. Thus, religere is enough different from religare, the etymological form that St. Augustine used, and which is the basis for Western religion, to cause major problems when not analyzed carefully.

Although Jung was a scientist and thus an empiricist in the sense of deriving knowledge through experience, reductionism (as a means to an end) was not his aim, unlike Freud, who with his psychoanalytic approach reduces all neurotic behavior to early unresolved issues of sexuality, or Adler who with his individual psychology reduces neuroses or psychological disturbance to issues of will and power. By fitting psychic data into a fixed theoretical framework, reductionists such as Freud and Adler explain the symptom as the visible manifestation of some traumatic event or developmental crisis rooted in the past. In this causal-mechanistic approach to phenomena, the symptom is reduced to an initial cause which, through a presumed link between the present to the past, points back to how a symptom came to be. This straight-line cause and effect approach, whereby the symptom is reduced to its basic element(s) and first cause, results in a narrow therapeutic focus; that is, it is regressive rather than progressive. This reductive approach is merely tautological in that it admits no possibility other than an individual’s past and so is insufficient and “incapable of leading to the patient's full development” (Hostie, 1957, p. 87).

The question of “why” is answered, such as “why is the patient Mr. Smith depressed?” Freud would conclude that his or her depression (effect) was due to early issues of sexuality (cause) and would treat Mr. Smith psycho-dynamically by regressing him back to the initial fact or fantasy of the sexual trauma. Through a process of abreaction or emotional catharsis, Mr. Smith re-experiences what has been repressed by the unconscious and expressed through the symptom of depression. Mr. Smith’s affective re-living of the trauma along with the therapist’s explanatory interpretation effects a change, that of eradicating the depression. Alternately, a therapist working from the medical approach would likely say that Mr. Smith’s depression was due to a brain chemistry imbalance, and prescribe a drug or suggest certain behavioral changes in order to shift the patient’s sleep pattern from sleeplessness to sleep. Although these two approaches are very different in the theory that guides the treatment - Freud’s psycho-dynamic approach is based on the division of psyche into consciousness and the unconscious, and the medical approach is based on psyche as an epiphenomenon of the brain resulting from neurological functioning - they are similar in their causal standpoint of treating the manifest symptom to effect a cure. Certainly, this outlook has its advantages—such as, in the case of drug treatment, relief from pain and discomfort so that the sufferer can continue functioning in the day to day world. As a medical doctor, Jung understood the usefulness of the reductionistic approach, for example in treating young children whose nascent ego-consciousness requires a more direct approach to working with psyche, and in prescribing drugs when necessary (Hostie, 1957; Jaffe, 1984). However, based on his understanding of psyche, Jung (1969d) believed that any treatment that did not seek understanding of the whole person was a mere band-aid for a “definitely localized, sharply delimited phenomenon” (p. 355) and thus inadequate to addressing psychic suffering and deciphering the symbolic language of psyche.

For Jung, "Why?" is not the essential question. The questions of “what” and “where,” as in what does the symptom mean for the patient, and where is it pointing (both unaddressed in the causal approach) have far more relevance to the issue at hand because they address the immediacy of the present and its implications for the future. What and where concern the present and the future, respectively - both periods of time where change is possible - but the question of why, because it is situated in the past, cannot be changed. The past can be used to understand the present, but can no more change it than one can put an egg back into its broken shell. Yet, reductive psychologies attempt to do just that. Reduction is a basic step in the scientific model that guides the dominant psychologies today (Jung, 1961). Based on his experience, however, Jung knew that the contents of psyche cannot be fitted neatly into an already existent framework. Psychic fact

as a living phenomenon…is always indissolubly bound up with the continuity of the vital process, so that it is always something that on the one side is and on the other is becoming and therefore always creative…Because it is becoming, it also prepares for the future event. Were this not so, intentions, aims, the setting up of goals…would be psychological impossibilities (Jung cited, Jacobi, 1953, p. 17).

Jung required another method to study psyche, one that took into account the reality of psyche as a living phenomenon and only known as such as it presents itself in the immediate moment to a perceiving consciousness. He developed a new technique, a synthetic qualitative descriptive approach that utilizes the hermeneutical phenomenological method for “handl[ing] the class of phenomena, collectively termed ‘primordial’ or ‘archetypal images’” (Fordham, 1995, p. 86) which he had discovered by way of comparative research. Regarding this many-layered approach, Jung (1971) states,

I use constructive and synthetic to designate a method that is the antithesis of the reductive. The constructive method is concerned with the elaboration of the products of the unconscious…it takes the unconscious product as a symbolic expression which anticipates a coming phase of psychological development…We conceive the product of the unconscious…as an expression oriented to a goal or purpose, but characterizing its objective in symbolic language….The aim of the constructive method, therefore, is to elicit from the unconscious product a meaning that relates to the subject’s future attitude…(pp. 422, 423).

The constructive or synthetic method is a “building up” (Jung, 1971, p. 422) of the patient’s associative material (the subjective or manifest level of the patient’s psychic communication) through a process of amplification whereby comparative material from other disciplines is explored for symbolic parallels and the underlying archetypal dynamic (Jung, 1971). The patient’s psychic material expressed symbolically is collated with corresponding material found in history, religion, and mythology, for example, and provides a context from which to understand his or her personality development. Personality development in an adult (which differs from that of a child) basically refers to the extent to which the patient has integrated or needs to integrate into consciousness psychic material from the unconscious (Neumann, 1954) Jung’s synthetic method is a hermeneutical phenomenological encounter with psyche whereby the practitioner uses and, in fact, relies upon all of his or her experience, personal observations and judgement to discern psyche from the initial question that is active within the dialectic of the therapeutic dynamic, for example, through the interpretive process, leading irrevocably to the next step and so on to the conclusion. The conclusion, discernment of meaning rather than explanation, however, is never really an ending since the interpretive endeavor is ongoing. There is no seeking of a definitive explanation or final answer to the patient’s dilemma as in other psychologies. Instead, because psychic phenomena are engaged with phenomenologically, in other words, through the subjective experience of epoche rather than by way of unreflected consciousness and/or externally imposed conditions, they can be seen for what they are and engaged with. In this way, “Nature,” Jung (cited, Hostie, 1957) writes, referring to psyche, is allowed “to answer out of her fullness,” (p. 9). Jung believed that although the religious function of psyche – and the meaning it expressed for the individual - could be discerned symbolically in the full range of human behavior, from the most mundane thoughts, fantasies, dreams and physical actions to the highly complex mental and physical creations of theology, mathematics and art, for example, the reality it revealed could only be known in part, never fully due to the limitations of consciousness. Analytical psychology is a tool that aids in uncovering this reality which is itself an irreducible religious principle guiding and directing the individual’s development throughout life’s course, a process Jung named “individuation” (Jung, 1969c; Fordham, 1994;1995; Sidoli, 1989).


Adler, G. (1968). Studies in analytical psychology. New York: Greenwood Press.

Brooke, R. (1991). Jung and phenomenology. London: Routledge.

Conforti, M. (1999). Field, form and fate. Woodstock, CT: Spring.

Edinger, E. F. (1996). The new god-image: A study of Jung’s key letters concerning the evolution of the western god-image. Wilmette, IL: Chiron.

Eliade, M. (1954). The myth of the eternal return or, cosmos and history (W.R. Trask, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Fordham, M. (1994). Children as individuals. London: Free Association Press.

Fordham, M. (1995). Freud, Jung, Klein – the fenceless field: Essays on psychoanalysis and analytical psychology (R. Hodbell, Ed.). London: Routledge.

Goldbrunner, J. (1956). Individuation: A study of the depth psychology of Carl Gustav Jung (S. Godman, Trans.). New York: Pantheon.

Heisig, J. W. (1979). Imago dei: A study of C.G. Jung’s psychology of religion. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press.
Henderson, J. L. (1990). Shadow and Self: Selected papers in analytical psychology. Wilmette, IL: Chiron.

Hillman, J. (1975). Re-visioning psychology. New York: Harper & Row.

Hoden, J.P. (1977). The hell of initiation. In Wm. McGuire & R.F.C. Hull (Eds.), C.G. Jung speaking: Interviews and encounters (pp. 219-224). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Hostie, R. (1957). Religion and the psychology of Jung (G.R. Lamb, Trans.). London: Sheed and Ward.

Husserl, E. (1990). The idea of phenomenology. (W. P. Alston and G. Nakhnikian, Trans.). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Jacobi, J. (Ed.). (1953). Psychological reflections: An anthology of the writings of C.G. Jung. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Jacobi, J. (1973). The psychology of C.G. Jung: An introduction with illustrations. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Jaffe, A. (1984). Jung’s last years and other essays (R.F.C. Hull & M. Stein, Trans.). Dallas, Tx: Spring.

Jung, C.G. (1954). The development of personality. In (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.) Collected works (Vol. 17, pp. 165-186). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G. (1961). Freud and psychoanalysis. In (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.), Collected Works (Vol. 4, pp. 333-340). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C.G. (1969a). Psychology and religion: West and east. In (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.) Collected works (Vol. 11). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C.G. (1969b). The archetypes of the collective unconscious. In (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.) Collected works (Vol. 9i). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C.G. (1969c). The structure and dynamics of the psyche. In (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.) Collected works (Vol. 8). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C.G. (1969d). The structure and dynamics of the psyche. In (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.) Collected works (Vol. 8). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C.G. (1971). Psychological types. In (R.F.C. Hull & H.G. Baynes, Trans.). In Collected works (Vol. 6). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C.G. (1973). C.G. Jung Letters: Vol. 1, 1906-1950 (G. Adler & A. Jaffe, Eds.) (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C.G. (1975). C.G. Jung Letters: Vol. 2, 1951-1961 (G. Adler & A. Jaffe, Eds.) (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G. (1976). The symbolic life: Miscellaneous writings. In (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.) Collected works (Vol. 18). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C.G. (1982). The practice of psychotherapy. In (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.) Collected works (Vol. 16). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

McLynn, F. (1996). Carl Gustav Jung. New York: St. Martin’s.

Meier, C.A. (Ed.) (2001). Atom and archetype: The Pauli/Jung letters: 1932-1958 (D. Roscoe, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Neumann, E. (1954). The origins and history of consciousness. (R.F.C. Hull, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1949)

Neumann, E. (1989). The place of creation (H. Nagel, E. Rolfe, J. van Heurck, & K. Winston, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Neumann, E. (1990). Depth psychology and a new ethic. (E. Rolfe, Trans.). Boston: Shambhala.

Noll, R. (1994). The Jung cult: Origins of a charismatic movement. New York: Free Press Paperbacks.

Otto, R. (1973). The idea of the holy: An inquiry into the non-rational factor in the idea of the divine and its relation to the rational (J.W. Harvey, Trans.). London: Oxford University Press.

Perry, R. B. (1935). The thought and character of William James: As revealed in unpublished correspondence and notes, together with his published writings. (Vol. II Philosophy and Psychology). Boston: Little, Brown, and Co.

Samuels, A. (1985). Jung and the post-Jungians. NY: Routledge.

Schabad, M. (1977). An eightieth birthday interview. In Wm. McGuire & R.F.C. Hull (Eds.), C.G. Jung speakding: Interviews and encounters (pp. 268-272). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Schoeps, H.J. (1968). The religions of mankind (R. & C. Winston, Trans.). Garden City, NJ: Anchor.

Sidoli, M. (1989). The unfolding self: Separation and individuation. Boston: Sigo.

von Franz, M.-L. (1975). C.G. Jung: His myth in our time (W. Kennedy, Trans.). Boston: Little, Brown and Co.

von Franz, M.-L. (1980). Projection and re-collection in Jungian psychology: Reflections of the soul (W. Kennedy, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

von Franz, M.-L. (1986). On dreams & death (E. X. Kennedy and V.

von Franz, M-L. (1994). Archetypal dimensions of the psyche. Boston: Shambhala.

von Franz, M.-L. (1993). Psychotherapy. Boston: Shambhala.

Wasserstrom, S.M. (1999). Religion after religion: Gershom Scholem, Mircea Eliade, and Henry Corbin at Eranos. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
-Stephanie Buck

The Life Unlived: Parent's Fight for Self and the Profound Effect on Children

Lack of Fulfillment
Jung said, “Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk. Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent. If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” The source of the majority of my clients’ suffering stems from this phenomenon. Most are completely unaware of the basis of the problem; with some exception, the majority of the clients have truly been loved by their parents. However without conscious intention, parents often project what they had hoped to achieve themselves in their nature and lives on to their children, now my adult clients, undermining the children’s unique individuality. As a result, these people grow up with the message firmly implanted, for example, that they must be perfect, good and successful. They do not understand why perfection, goodness or perhaps ongoing success, are often illusive. This is due to the fact these goals are those of the parents and not of the children; thus what is experienced as failure becomes the cause of their anxiety or depression.

Parental messages are transmitted in different ways; some directly, through verbal denigration that can be very clear: “You should have applied yourself more; you’ll never be as good as your brother.” Often, and perhaps even more destructive, the transmission is subtle and indirect, from the tone in the parent’s voice, a slight change in facial expression or body posture, to a total lack of acknowledgement or response as to what the child needs and who he is. Blatant disregard includes neglect, abuse, abandonment, an overt way to destroy the essence of a person.

Unconscious Projection
Parents generally do not intend to wear away at the integrity of the child’s innate personality, but a child always seeks his parents’ validation and draws deeply into his being that which displeases, often taking a huge toll on the child’s sense of safety in understanding who he is, his unique individuality, that he is good enough.

Over time, the child develops a confused sense of himself: on a deeper level, he or she knows that her identity is essentially good, but what the parents convey is that this is insufficient, unacceptable; it is at this point when the complexes can begin to grow and strengthen. As adults often complexes manifest themselves symptomatically in many ways including anxiety attacks that seem to come without provocation, depression that has control over the client, self doubt, repeated failed relationships and the belief that one can never get out from under the weighty blanket of hopelessness. Clients may be, on the unconscious level, aware that they are good and capable, but still fail to achieve satisfaction as sufficient or good enough employee, partner, student, parent.

Unraveling the Labyrinth
I work gently, taking the time to discover the origins of my clients’ pain. It is not unusual for one to be defensive about one’s childhood, unaware of the conflicted struggles with priorities. With little exception, even in abusive homes, I am aware that many parents love their children; it is the parents’ frustration with their own messages of inadequacy and lack of autonomy that they neglect to notice who the individual child is, what that particular child’s abilities and potentialities are and work with these aspects of personality, rather than their projected expectations that are more about the parents than the child.

Children take their parents’ messages and behaviors as absolutes. On a deeper level, there is often a quiet part that recognizes they are good, wishing for and needing validation. For the child, parents cannot be wrong; after all, if the parent doesn’t know what he or she is doing, then there is a fear of annihilation. Thus, the child ultimately forgets the authentic self and sees herself as bad. This takes hold when reinforced. A former client once described her upbringing in this manner: ”One buys a package of flower seeds with an image that depicts what the bloom will look like. When the plant flowers, if it does not look like the image on the package, one does not yank it from the earth. It has its own unique beauty, color, shape. My parents raised us like bonsai trees which are cut, wired and trained to grow as the cultivator intends.” Jung said, “A man's hatred is always concentrated upon that which makes him conscious of his bad qualities.” Although I believe he was addressing the struggle in society, it always comes down to what originates in the family. If the parent projects her failures and insecurities upon the child, the child will introject them as truths, eroding her natural abilities and encouraging confusion in identity as well as self doubt, often resulting in rebellious and defiant even self-sabotaging behavior that can continue across the lifespan. I think this is analogous to what Jung was addressing.

Separation and Individuation
The struggle to separate and individuate is challenging enough. When inhibited, it may well be the commencement of, as Sidoli puts it, “…frustration and tolerance ... for archetypal images of ‘goodness’ and ‘badness’ in the psyche.” Parents must set boundaries and maintain a safe containment of their children; this facilitates the process and teaches their children many things, including emotional self-regulation. Jung identified individuation as a process through which one becomes a psychological individual, as Sidoli references, “a separate indivisible unit.” The parent must then identify that their own fear of inadequacy may not apply to their children. Children need limitations and containment; it affirms that they are loved and are being kept track of because they are loved. But it must be done without negation of who the individual child is, with encouragement of their healthy natural inclinations, capabilities and promise. The attachment between the parent and child then is deepened through mutual respect and responsibility for one another. In this way, the parent/child bond is deeply secured and the child’s individuality ensured; could this not then spread to healthier respect of all people?

-Barbara Darshan



Racing with the Moon, Blue Moon, Fly Me to the Moon, Moonlight Becomes You, Shine On Harvest Moon, Moon River, It’s Only a Paper Moon, Dark Side of the Moon, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, No Moon at All, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Moon Over Miami, Moon Glow, Heartless Moon, How High the Moon……… these are only hints at the impact the Moon has had on human life. By contrast, Jules Cashford’s book, The Moon: Myth and Image, published in 2003 by Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, is a most comprehensive, thoroughly scholarly 400 page tome incorporating scientific facts, astronomy, astrology, etymology, ancient ‘history’, mythology and striking illustrations in an eminently readable text full of stories.

Cashford supposes it very likely that the first humans organized meaning and thought from their experience of the Moon, that it may even have been the first recorded human story as etched on rock and bone in Paleolithic time. The Moon’s story: perpetually changing from crescent to full to dark and back to crescent tells the story of birth, growth, fullness, death and rebirth and this became the human story of time as lived by all people. The author transports us imaginatively back to a time when Moon and Sun were Goddess and God, when the facts of light and dark were charged with numinosity and each phase of the Moon became a metaphor for how to order and make sense of human experience. We know from our study of mythology and anthropology that ancient religions and myths were local but they are all stories of the mysteries of life, death and hoped-for rebirth and Cashford tells many of these tales about how the Moon’s phases became linked symbolically with human life and death.

Of the many fascinating aspects of Moon which Cashford discusses, and one of the most striking for me, is her discourse on time and how early people reckoned it from the Moon. Time took on the qualities of the waxing and waning Moon so New Moons stood for beginnings and the fear of the unknown; Full Moons for fullness and the delight and intoxication of completion; Waning Moons stood for diminishment, Dark Moons for endings and mourning the death of the old and New Moons again for the beginning that always comes back, birth always following death. These notions were considered sacred as was the Moon herself (in Greek the word for New Moon is noumenia). The first calendars were devised by priests as a way of calculating festival days when no work was permitted.

Cashford posits that the ancients had a much more immediate sense of time when each phase of the Moon was valued and worshipped as time for various activities: The New Moon for anything wanted to increase (jingling coins in one’s pocket at the first sight of the New Moon so that wealth would increase); The Full Moon as a time for culmination such as sacred marriages of gods and goddesses, the coronation of royalty, weddings and the best time to give birth; the Waning Moon a time to begin only those things one wants to decrease so as to be in tune with that phase of the Moon; The Dark Moon a time for hiding and casting out devils.

The Moon has always been associated with the sea and with moisture as Cashford says here: “When the thin curve of the Crescent Moon rose as new out of the black night, it appeared to many early people to be a cup which held all the waters of life: rain, dew, the moisture of air and cloud, the water of springs, rivers and seas, the sap of plants and trees, and the blood and milk of animals and human beings.” (p.68) She quotes Oberon, King of the Faeries in A Midsummer Night’s Dream when he speaks of ‘young Cupid’s fiery shaft/Quenched in the chaste beams of the wat’ry moon.’ (p.75) Dew has always been felt to come from the Moon and actually lies thickest on the ground on nights when the Moon is full. Until the 20 th Century in Scotland there was a custom on of gathering dew before sunrise on the morning of Beltane, May 1st and washing one’s face in it, to bring beauty to men and maidens, “healing for sore eyes and a summer of good luck to all”. (p.94) Of course the connection between the Moon and the tide is a fact. There are larger tides at the New and Full Moons when high water is higher than at other times and low water is lower. The Moon’s pull on the oceans that face it causes water to accumulate into a bulge under the Moon.

The associations proliferate: in China the Moon is called ‘the pearl of heaven’ and Dante calls the Moon ‘the eternal pearl’. So wearing pearls is like wearing a healing moon ray and the pearl in the oyster is likened to the child in the mother’s womb thus “setting the woman in the cosmological pattern of Moon, sea, water, fertility and regeneration.” (p.111)

Standing stones in Scotland and elsewhere are aligned to the rising and setting of the Moon. At Callanish in the Hebrides evidence of a potent beer together with drinking vessels has been uncovered leading to the notion that alcohol was used ritualistically in ceremonies within the great henges such as Avebury and Stonehenge.

As to the gender of the Moon, it was nearly always conceived as feminine but even when it was called masculine, according to Neumann, the dependence of consciousness and light was always on the dark, nocturnal side of life, the unconscious. So many aspects of life have traditionally been associated with the Moon: the fertility of women and animals and plants, weaving and spinning, healing, death fate, witches, the Norns, inspiration, ecstacy madness and magic. But sometime in the Bronze and Iron Ages (about 2000 BC), the purely lunar calendar changed into the lunar-solar calendar, the Sun became decidedly masculine and the Moon feminine as an expression of the archetypal change in consciousness and the consequent elevation of the masculine over the feminine in value. The Moon’s moisture was replaced by the Sun’s heat. Marduk violently slayed Tiamat, the universal Mother of All. Thus occurred the re-mythification of these major complementary opposites, masculine and feminine, with so much of the power and influence formerly held by the Moon now accruing to the Sun. This change was likely due to the discovery of agriculture which made the Sun’s light so necessary for food production; in addition the discovery that the Moon’s light is reflected Sunlight and ever increasing knowledge from science which placed the Sun at more and more distance from the Earth which was no longer the center of the universe. The rise of patriarchal religions occurred simultaneously.

It is with books like this that we may re-imagine ourselves not only back to a time when the split from Nature had not occurred, when darkness and introversion were valued, but forward to a hoped-for future where the necessary rebalancing of the values and powers of masculine and feminine lead to more balance, to the celebration of diversity and change, realizing that newness, fullness, and decrease inevitably repeat in the cycle which eternally returns.

Fly to the Moon in this book, itself a paean to Moon. I think you will enjoy the trip.

-Chessie Stevenson

A Fragrance of Roses

This uncanny experience occurred in the early 1990’s when I was about 40 years old and working as a psychotherapist at an outpatient clinic in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was in session with a somewhat atypical client, an elderly woman of Italian descent who had courageously sought help late in life for problems stemming from sexual abuse and harassment which she had experienced in her youth. I say that she was “atypical” because it was unusual for me to have someone significantly older than myself as a client. This was to be a one-time screening interview for a women’s group that a colleague and I were putting together. Although I had been trained in a therapeutic orientation that was dismissive of religion and things “irrational” in general, I had recently had exposure to the transformative power of 12-step programs, and was now asking clients routinely about their religious or spiritual experience as part of the intake process.

I sat in the sparsely furnished office opposite this tall, dignified elder with neatly permed salt-and-pepper hair and began to talk to her about her beliefs. She revealed herself to be a devout Catholic, particularly devoted to the practice of praying to Saint Teresa—that is, Saint Teresa of Lisieux, also known as “the Little Flower”, not to be confused with Saint Teresa of Ávila. My client said, “They say that you can tell when Saint Teresa has been present because she leaves behind her in the air the fragrance of roses.” No sooner had these words left her lips than I was overwhelmed by a scent of roses so intense that it was as if someone had backed up a dump-truck full of rose petals to the office door and unloaded them into the room. In addition, the air between my client and myself was charged with a vibrant, deeply pleasurable energy that seemed to shimmer before my eyes like the “heat waves” that rise from hot asphalt in the summer. I was dumbfounded; terrified, really, and didn’t know what to do. My client continued to talk as if unaware of what I was experiencing, so I tried to maintain my composure and carry on with the session without remarking on what had occurred. The unusual sensations lingered for about a half an hour or so, and then gradually faded.

What happened? My personal religious upbringing was Protestant, in an intellectually-oriented family that was quite openly biased against Catholicism. I had never until that day heard of “the Little Flower” and knew nothing whatsoever about saints or mysticisim. My initial interpretation of what took place was that the strength of my client’s faith was such that she had somehow “channeled” to me something of her own religious experience. I still feel that this is a valid way of making sense of it, though surely only one facet of an event which is ultimately inexplicable.

What happened to me that day contributed to a process of growth which has led me to a greater awareness of the spiritual in my own life and the lives of those I endeavor to help. I now know who the two Saint Teresas are, and read about the lives of Saints on an almost daily basis. I recently came across a definition of “grace” as “the undeserved and unearned favor and love of God.” I will be grateful as long as I live for this exceptional encounter with a woman who unknowingly transmitted a gift of healing to her therapist.

- Emily P. Murphey
Montpelier, VT