WHAT: Special Study Group: Jung's with Jungian Analyst Robert

WHEN: Starts January 19th: Consists of 20 pre-recorded lectures of 1.5 hours each; an 88-page study guide created by, Robert 's colleague, Jill Fischer; and this written online discussion forum. Runs 40 weeks

WHO: Anyone who is interested in Jung's , Robert . Facilitators: Janet Fortess and Chris Doggett

>>>This Special Study Group starts January 19th, 2013. It is an open written discussion forum based on following the pre-recorded 40-hour audio course* with Robert available from Jung Platform.

This is a central place to which you can come and post questions or comments about the designated module you listened to for the 2-week period and interact with others who are doing the same thing. As such, there is no set "time" it occurs, but rather is ongoing and you can post or respond at your convenience. Janet Fortess and Chris Doggett, students and colleagues of Robert will be providing some structure and be on hand to facilitate the discussion, and Robert himself will also be checking in.

*If you're not following the audio course, you're still welcome to engage here in whatever discussion is emerging--though of course you'll likely get far more out of the process if you are able to listen to the course itself.


1. Listen to an interview with Robert on Shrink Rap Radio with host Dr. David Van Nuys to help you get to know Robert better in preparation for the course.

2. Get your copy of this in- audio course from Jung Platform. The course consists of 20 lectures of approximately 1.5 hours each which occur every two weeks. In each lecture Robert addresses a few pages from the . You can read along in your copy of the .
This course comes with an 88-page study guide designed by Robert 's colleague, Jill Fischer, which contains a synopsis of each lecture. After each session, there are questions to help you test your understanding. After finishing the entire 40-week course and tests, you get a CE certificate and a Certificate of Completion from the Jung Platform University.

(Cost FULL COURSE: Lectures 1 through 20 + 30 CEs + Synopsis / Study Guide - $99). members get additional 25% off using the code" "). The course may also be purchased in two individual parts.

3/ Join the online discussion forum in the Psychology online community (HERE!) starting January 19, 2013, where everyone who follows the audio course from Jung Platform can come together and discuss each particular section. This forum will be facilitated by two professionals, Janet Fortess and Chris Doggett, who have been trained in Embodied Imagination with Robert for three years and Robert will be checking in every two weeks as well. (This forum is open to everyone, regardless of whether you follow the audio course or have the )


Robert , PsyA, is a Jungian psychoanalyst who graduated from the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich in 1977. Since then he was been in private practice in the United States and Australia. Robert founded the Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary and developed a method of working with dreams called Embodied Imagination. He has also written several s, including the worldwide bestseller ‘A Little Course In Dreams’.

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    • After thinking of Pip I was moved to go back and reread Chapter 93 in Moby Dick (The Castaway). WOW! Had Jung read Moby Dick...probably. Or, had they both read another myth that moved them in this manner? Or, had their life experience just led them/us to this place? I noticed in this reading that Melville used the word that's caused me struggle...ABSURD! What fun! 

      By the merest chance the ship itself at last rescued him; but from that hour the little negro went about the deck an idiot; such, at least, they said he was. The sea had jeeringly kept his finite body up, but drowned the infinite of his soul. Not drowned entirely, though. Rather carried down alive to wondrous depths, where strange shapes of the unwarped primal world glided to and fro before his passive eyes; and the miser-merman, Wisdom, revealed his hoarded heaps; and among the joyous, heartless, ever-juvenile eternities, Pip saw the multitudinous, God-omnipresent, coral insects, that out of the firmament of waters heaved the colossal orbs. He saw God's foot upon the treadle of the loom, and spoke it; and therefore his shipmates called him mad. So man's insanity is heaven's sense; and wandering from all mortal reason, man comes at last to that celestial thought, which, to reason, is absurd and frantic; and weal or woe, feels then uncompromised, indifferent as his God. (Moby Dick, chap. 93. New York: Signet, 1961: 396-7.)

      Shamdasani again:

      Unbeknownst to you then, a giant shard that stuck out of the work or phrase you read, was itself but an echo of another work, a work unseen, a work unread, Liber Novus. 

      For me, this Red Book journey is like the journey Melville took me on with Pip. It was and is "a giant shard." And those and other "shards" have bent me and my direction. I like to think of these shards as numinous swerves. And each time I swerve I return to a path heading in a little different direction. And over the years the numinous swerves accumulate, the habits of the brain change, and if one could view the path from above you would see a path that has changed direction substantially over the years. The world is full of shards. You just have to be open to getting cut. I suppose that could be called absurd. I long ago quit searching for an ultimate answer. I just walk along the path waiting for the shards. They always seem to come. Liber Novus is one such shard...just like Pip!

      So man's insanity is heaven's sense; and wandering from all mortal reason, man comes at last to that celestial thought, which, to reason, is absurd and frantic; and weal or woe, feels then uncompromised, indifferent as his God.

      Now that use of the word reason, I can understand. There is no question that reason, in my mind, can be a shackle as well as a tool of freedom.

    • C. G. Jung exemplified the split in men of our times: Mary Mother of God or Mary Magdalen. He kept both in an attempt to respond to the pressure of being a man, small m. The questions to me are more about the women, Emma and Toni. Clearly they accepted with help his position of development as a man, that he needed in the same way men so often do, both. 

      Was the resolution all three agreed to a concretization of his inner split? 

      For the women in his life to have agreed although the best that may have been done with the mess, indicates a model of regression. This is to say not they themselves were regressed since their lives in describing their own work forged ahead. As a model to anyone else, the model states regression. In other words it is up to women to insist that men heal their split between the Mother and the whore. The amount of energy and focus needed to achieve this simply was not on for Jung. He it seems was dealing already at his capacity. 

    • Wasn't Mary Magdalen the one who loved her Lord most? I don't want to enter this discussion. I have no judgment about the life he lived in a time I don't know. Things I did in the 1960s which were obvious to me then make me cringe today. I think there are many female figures in the imaginal world, and the problem is polerisation. Jung, as I keep repeating is a polarity thinker. As Hillman tells us in his article on yellow (Alchemical psychology p.206) 'But definition by opposition restricts the meaning of a phenomenon to that face to which it is opposed.' We may all have our difficulties with Jung's life (I have mine) but the real problem that pops up everywhere is his insistence to define the world through a system of polarity. I believe if there is anything the 21 century needs to grow beyond, it is that kind of thinking and move towards understanding the world in the 20,000 hues of multiplicity. Let's move from black and white to color. Besides that we may each have our own political view on Jung, Emma and Toni.

    • My understanding from several sources is that we may not have had the bounty of the Red Book today if Toni Wolff had not been Jung's guide / companion in the process.  While there's so much focus on her being his mistress, even Emma Jung (who was dedicated enough to work with both of them in analysis with C.A. Meier) acknowledged that Toni was able to accompany Jung in ways that she, a very evolved and understanding woman, couldn't.  Toni had plumbed the depths herself in her analysis with Jung and apparently had knowledge of eastern meditative practices which aided in active imagination.

      Here is an excerpt of Shamdasani’s evocative introduction to the Red Book at the Rubin Museum (link follows):

      Have you ever lost your way in life, have you ever found yourself stuck against a wall where you do not know the way forward?  What did you do, what did you consider, who could you turn to when no one else was there?  How to find the way forward, when all ways led back to nowhere?  These are experiences which many people have, some repeatedly, and some never escape from.  And to engage that in spite of misery and death.  To consider  Liber Novus is to consider a work born out of such a confrontation.  It is not the confrontation itself, but the result it garners.  I’d like you for a moment to consider the first moment  when you heard of Jung.  The first moment when you read the work by Jung or were touched by some statements in one of his works.  I’ll pause for a moment call to mind the image of this recollection.  What happens when a work shakes one to the fundamentals of one’s being, and redirects the course of one’s life?  For many here today, I would surmise that certain works of Jung have had this effect, a shattering brought by internal, perhaps possibly that enable one to find an exit to the way out  of such an impasse that I referred to earlier.  Unbeknownst to you then, a giant shard that stuck out of the work or phrase you read, was itself but an echo of another work, a work unseen, a work unread, Liber Novus.  The works, from 1916 onwards, were the after effects of the creative explosion.  The works themselves were echoes, tremors, heard in the halls of medicine, science and theology.  But of the explosion itself, a nuclear reactor, nothing was known except a few cryptic intertexts and of his patients passing unnoticed in the leaves of Jung’s Collected Works.  You’ve already been affected profoundly by a work which you’ve not read.  And to enter into this work is by force to enter into the recalibration of one’s own life.  To open this book, then, is to enter into a consideration not only of the re-thinking, the reconsideration of Jung’s life, but also that of ours, and the enterprises that have been generated to learn from that.  We stand today on the other side of a threshhold.  The book is open in front of us.  Sonu Shamdasani  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZtvE5qTkDI (more sections available)

    • Thanks a lot for sharing these words

    • Dear Ann, This is exactly the way I have approached the Red Book. I had not heard Sonu's intro, but it is what I tried to do: be affected deeply by a piece of work that forms the basis to all of my thought and has shaped the glasses through which I see life coming in, affected my heart and soul, and developed, with the help of James Hillman, my sense of the absurd. The way I started was as the Fool in the tarot cards, stepping into the Red Book as off a cliff, falling down with Jung ever deeper. For me the outcome has been that I now write fiction, novels about a journey through alchemy like the Lord of the Rings. It will affect each of our imagination differently; we can't follow Jung. We each have to be lost in our own fashion. But what a privilege to travel as a Fellowship, with people like you and many others who are saying things to consider. This is wonderful. thank you. Robbie

    • I think of PIP in Moby Dick when he was alone cast on the ocean. When he was rescued he was thought of as the 'ship idiot." I found him anything but an idiot. Liber Novus smelled a lot like PIP to me.

      I am still struggling with the word absurd. I found very little absurd in my reading. I did find certain things I didn't understand but I never thought them absurd. Most of the dreams I could relate to something I had read in the past. That's what made it so wonderful!

      Robbie, you're a great storyteller. Ann, thanks for the post. It is great.

    • Thank you Ann!

      Beautiful , powerful way to hold the RED BOOK.

      And a perfect way to move into the second session.

      Janet and I will post an introduction to the next session tomorrow, see you then!

  • Do dreams give us permission to engage in questionable behavior?


    I was struck on page 198 of TRB where Jung discusses the dream regarding the gull flying into the window. The interesting thing is Shamdasani writes “In Black Book 2, Jung noted that it was this dream that made him decide to embark on a relationship with a women he had met three years earlier” (Toni Wolff).

    I don’t think I have ever used a dream as an excuse to engage in improper behavior. My ego allows me to engage in plenty of that without the help of my unconscious. :)

    Is Jung using this dream as an excuse to have an affair?

    Am asking myself what would it take for me, dream wise, to listen to my unconscious, analysis the dream material and go out and do X.

    • A great discussion on this point.

      I think when reflecting on this question it's good to remember that Jung tells us not to 'follow' him referring back to Ava's earlier comment

      I am intrigued with the comments relating to going one's own way, expressed in Robert's lecture 1 and in The Red Book on page 231.  

      "May each go his own way."

      "You seek the path?  I warn you away from my own.  It can also be the wrong way for you."

      "There is only one way and that is your own way."

      and my own opinion is that the great mystery where dreams come from probably doesn't  have the same strict and limited 'morals' that we may have and that the process that Jung went through  with the dream of the gull and how that lead, inspired, moved, "made" him embark on that relationship and was not necessarily based on an interpretation or analysis of the dream but a bigger and deeper  engagement with the imaginal world.

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