Lecture 12 - Red Book Study Group

A lot in this session, more on The Second Night, then into the Third Night and three images 109, 11, 113.

More questions for me in this one than profound understandings ...

As Robbie starts with more about the Second Night

“Who are the Dead?”

That is a question that I have given Jung’s/Robbie’s talking about the Dead as those who are incomplete, who are unfulfilled with intense cravings and longings, they are in a limbo seeking their cravings by us and through us like vampires.   

I really like the idea of addictions being the Dead coming to us to get what they are still craving and to not act on the temptation they provide us ... but to turn towards them and feel their cravings and recognize those feelings as the longings of generations past, human history and have compassion for their cravings, for their unredeemed, unfulfilled natures.  

I was talking to Janet and wondering “Are all the dead in this limbo?  What about in the indigenous cultures they honor and speak to the Dead/the Ancestors to help us here, the place of the living?”

But then I started thinking about my own addictions, cravings, longings (I have a few).

I thought of my sex addictions, cravings.  When I thought of turing to the Dead, the ancestors who may want sex, I realized maybe it was like the past generations of repressed, oppressed, tortured, murdered, gas chambers, burned gay people who were never allowed to be fulfilled.  I even thought of the possibility of my father, who I think may have been gay.  So I think of the possibility of the Dead coming to me and wanting “sex” through me may be something other than just sex, maybe it is the desire for relationship that they were never allowed, or allowed themselves. WOW! So in a way turning towards them and their “cravings”/ to “open the door to the Dead”, with compassion and understanding for what they weren’t allowed.  Be in dialogue with them and perhaps in honor of them talk to them about it and try to more more towards relationship in my own life (Which I have never had) 

Well just turning towards the Dead in this way for me made me think of them not as horrible vampire types, but human beings that are unfulfilled with great love and understanding for them.  And possibly in understanding them in this way and being in relationship with them as well as honoring them through my own working with myself and relationship can actually help them is some way.  As well as me being in relationship with not only cute living guys here but relationship with the Other worlds, with the Ancestors which is something I want very much.

Well there’s a chunk for you :)

Of course there is still the psychotic core, the unconscious core of the RED BOOK as Jung encounters the madman on the ship.  The identification with the Creator of the new god in the post-Christian world.

I’ll leave it to you guys to start on that one!!


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  • Good morning all - I am up early with the birds, pondering all the flood waters we have experienced up in Canada this past month plus the runaway train disaster in Quebec.  So many people displaced, forced away from their routines places - typical business, home, and family life of things.  Many lives in upheavals - up in the air, some will come back home to nest once again and some but a memory of the whispers of love, never forgotten.

    Is this your offering opening Lecture 13 Janet - beautiful!  

    Ric maybe you could submit your opening picture offering for perhaps we are into a running log - like the wild geese and waters.  Peace + love Linda


    The topic is words, words, words!  So it’s funny to write encouraging us to “use our words” to share what we’re experiencing in the RB lectures.  As chaos and madness are embraced Soul speaks: ”  Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and  philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical…Life itself has no rules…What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.”  Well, this strikes me as the primal genesis of all religious, philosophical, and yes, psychological, endeavor—to be a balm in the face of mystery and chaos.  Can I insert a moment of silent emptiness here instead of more words?

    Thanks to Chris, Lauren, Ric, Linda for your posts—how creatively each of you receives the impulse from the RB lectures to share something of value to you.  Donna, it would be great to hear how meeting the real “animal” of the Red Book in the flesh has informed your dreams and /or your listening to the Red Book lectures.

    In Lecture 12, Robbie speaks of the psychotic core of the Red Book as Jung trying to be the parent of the new god.  After Robbie’s comment about the book, The Jung Cult, I browsed it and came upon this:

    Jung wrote in a 1910 letter to Freud

    “I imagine a far finer and more comprehensive task [for psychoanalysis] than alliance with an ethical fraternity.  I think we must give it time to infiltrate into people from many centers, to revivify among intellectuals feeling for symbol and myth, ever so gently to transform Christ back into the soothsaying god of the vine, which he was and in this way absorb those ecstatic instinctual forces of Christianity for one purpose of making the cult and the sacred myth what they once were—a drunken feast of joy where man regained the ethos and holiness of an animal. That was the beauty and purpose of classical religion, and from which God knows temporary what biological needs has turned into a Misery Institute.  Yet what infinite rapture and wantonness lie dormant in our religion, waiting to be led back to their true destination!  A genuine and proper ethical development cannot abandon Christianity but must grow up within it, must bring to fruition its hymn of love, the agony and ecstasy over the dying and resurgent god, the mystic power of the wine, the awesome anthropophagy of the Last Supper—only this ethical development can serve the vital forces of religion.”

    Well, Jung was 35 when he wrote this and it’s several years before the Red Book. I can see how cult bashers would see the above as fodder for their fire.  Interesting info re history of cult as pejorative:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult

     Sounds like the passionate statement of a young man to me. Why stop with Dionysus?  Why not Inanna (the Summarian deity with poems like “plow my vulva” who goes to the underworld and is killed and hung on a meathook) or Nut (who swallows and gives birth to the sun each day) or Hathor (the Egyptian solar goddess known for her passion and compassion) or any of a myriad of Gods and Goddesses who embody the holiness of the animal?  The non rational is not the same as the irrational. Perhaps this is another way of speaking of the collapse of dualism that Lauren refers to in her last post.  For me, Mind and mind are not separate or dual. Working with embodied imagination, I practice tracing my way back from mind to/into Mind and feeling for that unity.

    Another version of the animal:


    Wild Geese

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
           love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.

    Mary Oliver  from Dream Work   Atlantic Monthly Press


    Best to you all,



    In modern English, a cult is a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its common interest…

    Oh Chris, I am so moved by the depth and intimacy of your work with the Red Book. Bravo! It is beautiful to witness the powerful healing journey that you (and all of us) have embarked on with Jung/Robbie as guides. Your deep honest sharing inspired me go back to what I had written from somewhat of an intellectual perspective (see below) and further unearth my personal and collective history to intimately meet the ancestors that clamor for another chance at life through me (to be posted shortly.)

    Thank you Ric and Linda for your beautiful elaboration and further deepening of this discussion...my contemplation/engagement to my inner world/ this outer material is well fertilized.

    I am so grateful for Jung’s observations and that the Red Book lectures allow us to communicate with him with such aliveness. I do not feel so alone in how I experience the world. The dead are real; our world is overpopulated not just with living human beings, but with souls from the whole of human history who are not at peace.

    Jung advised that we lovingly engage the dead at night and keep our day job. We must live the day and “not speak of the mysteries.” Otherwise we will scare off the living.  Jung wrote a hundred years ago as he rode the edge of a paradigm shift in which (he realized) the rational mind was no longer the center of the universe. Jung had to carefully navigate between the rational and intuitive minds, between the night realm of spirits and his day job in order to not be seen as completely mad.  However, I think we have arrived at another great paradigm shift in which this dualism is no longer sustainable. The phenomenon of Vampire/Zombie books, movies and television shows (our collective dream machine), along with the more serious findings of modern physics, metaphysics and philosophy indicates that the underworld has invaded our waking sense of reality.  The “mysteries” have become part of mainstream media and more of us are having these types of conversations out of the closet. I see the chaos throughout the world as a creative process in which the dualistic perspective between life and death, spirit and matter is merging into greater complexity and coexistence. 

    And Yeah! How absolutely exquisite to witness the birth of greater complexity and coexistence in a breakthrough legal ruling on behalf of our LGBTQI brothers and sisters. Love rules!


  • Hi Ric - thanks again for generously providing a symbolic representation to help with the content of particular Lecture material.

    The lotus is the national flower of India where the lotus blossom is believed representative of true law and the causality of the spiritual life.  This ancient divine symbol/text of Lotus Sutra (formulated 100 BC - 200AD) is one example of divine beauty, unfolding pedals suggest expansion of soul.  The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise.

    Most deities of Asian religions are depicted as seated on a lotus flower, as if floating above the mudded waters of attachment and desire.  The lotus blossom is widely regarded as the most important, influential (Mahayana) sutras (sacred scriptures of Buddhism) and symbolically represents purity of body, speech and mind.

    According to the text of Lotus Sutra when the blossom falls away and the lotus is attained; illustrates the discarding of the manifestation and the establishing of the source for "all the teachings of the Buddhas are like this to save living beings, all are true and none are false."

    Rooted/nourished by the sludge and arising from the depths of the water below; a solitary, beautiful flower emerges, above attachment and desire and graces swampy lands/fields - ground.  Regards Linda



  • Ric,

    Lesbian Gay Transgendered Queer Intersex

    Here is an article explaining the US Supreme Courts decisions yesterday


    Yes, Sunday is Gay Pride Day / Parade in San Francisco

  • What a beautiful day!! The day after I was connecting with the LGBTQI Dead/Ancestors with love and compassion we have the Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Prop 8!!  I am bringing them with me to the celebrations tonight and this weekend of PRIDE in San Francisco so they can participate in the love and the joy and the acknowledgement, with me and through me!!

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