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Guilt and Individuation - Always Pay!


“A wise man will know it is the part of prudence to face every claimant and pay
every just demand on your time, your talents, or your heart. Always pay.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson[1]


by Lawrence H. Staples

The Jungian model for psychological growth and development is called individuation. It is the process by which we achieve our unique potential as an individual. All psychological growth is difficult and often painful. The Jungian way, however, is especially so because it requires us to sin and bear guilt. The path is strewn with guilt mines. We must step on many of them to complete our journey. The guilt that lies along this path creates a formidable deterrent.

Individuation describes a person’s “process of personal growth, of becoming himself, whole, indivisible, and distinct. Key attributes that describe the process of individuation emphasize: (1) the goal of the process is the development of the personality; (2) it presupposes and includes collective relationships (i.e., it does not occur in a state of isolation); and (3) it involves a degree of opposition to social norms that have no validity. The more an individuating person’s life has previously been shaped by the collective norm, the greater is his individual immorality.”[2]

Jung, of course, clearly saw the conflict between his developmental concept of individuation and collective mores. He knew that we couldn’t individuate without sinning and incurring guilt. He explains the consequences in a brief passage:

Individuation and collectivity is a pair of opposites, two divergent destinies. They are related to one another by guilt... Individuation cuts one off from personal conformity and hence from collectivity... It means stepping over into solitude, into the cloister of the inner self… Since the breaking of personal conformity means the destruction of an aesthetic and moral ideal, the first step in individuation is a tragic guilt... The accumulation of guilt demands expiation.... Every [further]step in individuation creates new guilt and necessitates new expiation.[3]

Jung was clear and emphatic that there is a high and demanding price of guilt to be paid when one gives up conventional life and travels the path of individuation. We cannot grow without suffering guilt. It’s a path that requires courage.

But Jung also offered ideas as to how this guilt might be redeemed:

[The individuating person].... must offer a ransom in place of himself, that is, he must bring forth values, which are an equivalent substitute for his absence in the collective, personal sphere. Without this production of values, final individuation is immoral and- more than that-suicidal....
Not only has society a right, it also has a duty to condemn the individuant if he fails to create equivalent values, for he is a deserter.... Individuation remains a pose so long as no values are created.
The individual is obliged by the collective demands to purchase his individuation at the cost of an equivalent work for the benefit of society.[4] Only by accomplishing an equivalent is one exempt from the conventional, collective path. A person [who individuates] must accept the contempt of society until such time as he has accomplished his equivalent.[5]

Jung’s way is essentially the Promethean Way where “sin” eventually leads to something good for humanity. In order to accomplish our equivalent, we have to turn inward to the unconscious. We have to search there for what needs to be developed within ourselves in order to become the complete persons we are called to be. Only then do we have the capacity to give back the most we are capable of giving.

A similar idea is presented in Plato’s The Republic, in the allegory of the cave, where the philosopher king goes away to the cave, the symbolic equivalent of the unconscious, and returns to give his society the wisdom and the fundamental forms underlying life that he found there. An analogy are the vision quests of the shaman and medicine men of the Native Americans and other primitive tribal societies, who enter the world of the unconscious and bring back knowledge and skills that benefit their people. In Greek mythology, Prometheus went far away to where the gods lived, stole fire, and brought it back. He offended the gods and incurred guilt and punishment for his deed. But his guilty deed brought great benefit to mankind.


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Learn more about Guilt and Individuation in Guilt with a Twist: The Promethean Way by Lawrence H. Staples and The Guilt Cure by Nancy Carter Pennington and Lawrence H. Staples.

Download a free PDF sample of Guilt with a Twist
Download a free PDF sample of The Guilt Cure

[1] Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed similar ideas in his essay, “Compensation.” He writes, “A wise man will know it is the part of prudence to face every claimant and pay every just demand on your time, your talents, or your heart. Always pay.”(Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Essays, New York, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1883)
[2] A Critical Dictionary of Jungian Analysis, Andrew Samuels, Bani Shorter, and Fred Plaut, Routledge& Kegan Paul, London and New York, p. 76.
[3] Jung, C.G., Collected Works, vol. 18, pars. 1094–1099. 
[4] Emerson, “Compensation.” 
[5] Jung, C.G., Collected Works, vol. 18, pars. 1094–1099.

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Do We Need More Psychology?

Dennis L. Merritt, Ph.D.

In the famous 1957 BBC interview, C.G. Jung proclaimed, “We need more psychology, the human psyche must be studied! Humans are the source of all coming evil.”

Psychology is positioned to usher in a holistic approach to the study of the human psyche, our relationship to the environment, and a truly interdisciplinary educational system. As Jung pointed out, all we know and experience comes out of the psyche and all our systems, including science, have an archetypal base. The Dairy Farmer's Guide to the Universe: Jung and Ecopsychology series explores paradigms that can be appreciated and utilized within the academic community, paradigms that offer several perspectives on the mind/body connection, humans and nature, science and the arts.

Jung, the first psychiatrist to speak of biophilia, believed that a person not connected to the land was neurotic. Carl Sagan and other prominent scientists united with church leaders to proclaim that unless we develop a sense of the sacred in the land, all will be lost. James Hillman in his books The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World and We’ve had 100 Years of Psychotherapy and The World is Getting Worse challenges psychologists to ask themselves if they are part of the problem or part of the solution vis-à-vis our relationship with the environment.

Does our philosophical base and our psychological theories and practices encompass a regard for the most basic reality - the accelerating rate of destruction of the very fabric of life’s existence? Dennis Merritt's Jung and Ecopsychology series explores how Jungian theory and practice can provide a 21st century model for understanding the human psyche in relation to nature and how it can help establish a truly interdisciplinary educational system that cultivates and develops our connection to the land and creates a sustainable lifestyle.


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A significant contribution to evolving paradigms being explored by the new as well 
as by the traditional areas of psychology.

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Jung, Individuation, and Shamanism

9142443472?profile=originalAccording to historian and philosopher Mircea Eliade, shamanism has been around for millennia, practically as long as humans have existed. In recent decades, the archetype of shamanism has experienced a rebirth. With growing consciousness, more and more individuals are recognizing spontaneously and consistently what our indigenous ancestors knew: that there is a divine intelligence at work in the universe, a life force of love and light, of which, by nature and birthright, we are an integral part.

Anne Baring (2007), psychologist and author, notes that C.G. Jung himself commented on the capacity of humans to respond to this greater force, saying:

The archetypal image of the wise man, the saviour or redeemer, lies buried and dormant in man's unconscious since the dawn of culture; it is awakened whenever the times are out of joint and a human society is committed to a serious error...These primordial images are … called into being by the waywardness of the general outlook. When conscious life is characterised by one-sidedness and by a false attitude, they are activated…"instinctively" … in the dreams of individuals and the visions of artists and seers. (Read a great post on Alchemy and the Hermetic Tradition: Mircea Eliade and Carl Jung here by Alliance member Cerena Ceaser here).
In her article, "Sacred Plants and the Goddess", Susana Valadez quotes the late Mazatec shamaness, Maria Sabina, who says, "There is a world beyond ours, a world that is far away, nearby, and invisible. And this is where God lives, where the dead live, the spirits and the saints, a world where everything is known. That world talks. It has a language of its own."
By contrast, modern humankind in western consumer-based societies seems destined to live our lives in a sterile box, limited on all sides by... (Click here to read the full post)
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an in-depth review by Joe Madia, New Mystics

Enemy, Cripple, Beggar is a treasure for our times. Vital and applicable to both lay people and experts, the book flows seamlessly and spirally from scholarship, to textual interpretation, to case studies, and the analysis of dreams. Shalit draws on an impressive breadth of scholarship and myths/fairy tales, looking at both history (e.g., the Crusades or Masada) and story.

The book first discusses the key aspects of the Hero, considering Byron, the work of Robert Graves and Robert Bosnak, the Bible, and Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, among many other sources.

I take as my starting point the condition of mythlessness in the modern world, as expressed by Jung and reinforced by Campbell and how it is limiting our vision and ability to cure an ailing world rife with war and economic/environmental woes.

If ever we needed to consider the role of the Hero, it is now.

Consider the mistaken mythologizing of the death and wounding, respectively, of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch. While both are certainly heroes, the government’s and media’s manipulation of their circumstances (used to try and justify an unjustifiable war) bring to mind David Mamet’s Wag the Dog, the 1997 film adaptation of Larry Beinhart's novel, American Hero.

The people love their heroes and their construction for societal consumption by the government and the media has become no less than a High Art.

Shalit says, on p. 24: “In society, the hero may be the messenger of hope who lights the torch of democracy. Sometimes it is amazing how, at the right moment in history, the heroism of a nation, spurting forth through layers of oppression, creates dramatic changes and overthrows worn-out regimes.”

Might this apply to U.S. president-elect Barak Obama? Many people think so, and many more find themselves hoping so. Then again, there are many who see him as the shadow, using the term antichrist, and finding similarities between he and Nicolae Carpathia in the Left Behind series. [This review was written in Nov 2008.]

If ever we needed to consider the role of the Hero, it is now.

Consider the current fascination with Superheroes in the age of CGI and comic book cinema. Just last night I watched Christopher Nolan’s record-shattering The Dark Knight, which takes as its thesis the complicated interrelationship of the hero and the shadow. Given the death of Heath Ledger, who played the Joker, the notions of the Hero are expanded to the realm of the Artist and his or her relationship with Pain.

When Shalit writes, on p. 95, “…life thrives in the shadow; in our detested weaknesses, complex inferiorities and repressed instincts there is more life and inspiration than in the well-adjusted compliance of the persona,” I think that his words bring Ledger’s death into sharp relief. As an acting teacher who works almost exclusively with teens, many of which see Ledger’s “dying for his art” as a form of heroism (an interpretation with which I disagree; it discounts the necessity of craft in preventing such tragedies), I think it is more important than ever to examine carefully the Hero’s role and relationship to the shadow.

The shadow is Jung’s term for the unconscious, the “thing a person has no wish to be” (p. ix). His early experience of his own shadow is, to me, some of the most compelling and useful text in his Memories, Dreams, and Reflections.

The hero must go into the shadow (the forest, the depth of the sea, the desert, the cave­—Plato’s or the Celtic Bard’s) to retrieve his soul. The shadow is a place of misery, calling to mind Schopenhauer’s ideas about life being mostly pain and sorrow and Campbell’s advice to “follow your bliss” [sat chit ananda].

Much of what Shalit centers on as aspects of the Hero are present in the shaman, who also has “one foot in divinity, one in the world of mortals” (p. 33). The journey into the netherworld (often to retrieve or heal the soul), the returning with precious gifts of knowledge, the responsibility of re-integration into the community (see Mircea Eliade’s comprehensive works on shamanism), all parallel the hero’s journey. The modes of the vision quest and the alchemical transformation are, further, symbolically manifested in the landscape of the fairy tale.

Pursuing this idea, Shalit, in the tradition of Robert Bly’s Iron Johnir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0306813769 or Bruno Bettelheim’s Uses of Enchantmentir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0307739635, ably presents and dissects a number of fairy tales, myths, and Biblical stories in the course of the book.

“Nixie of the Millpond” is presented without commentary. The myth of Perseus, however, is told with commentary from a wide variety of sources mixed in. It would be valuable to watch Clash of the Titans (1981) after reading this section, as it brings Shalit’s analysis visually to life. Page 47 lists eight traits of the hero myth to guide the interpretation. I would add a ninth—the use of magical items (such as Athena’s shield, Hermes’ sword, and the three gifts of the Stygian nymphs, all of which are given to Perseus to defeat the Medusa).

I have used these same basic elements of the hero myth for the past decade in my theatre workshops with youth and in my books on using drama in the classroom.

If our youth are to break the limiting conventions of societal and governmental structures that have put the planet and its inhabitants in a place of crisis, they—and those who guide and educate them—must understand the Hero and Shadow both.

On p. 65 Shalit writes, “Collective consciousness constitutes a threat by its demand on compliance with rules, roles and regulations.” The mythological fighting of dragons and monsters by the Hero is most clearly articulated to me by Joseph Campbell, when, in various books and interviews, he talked about Nietzsche describing the cycle of life as beginning as a camel loaded down with the requirements of parents and society. The camel then goes into the desert (one of the hero landscapes I mentioned earlier) to become the lion, who must slay the dragon whose scales all say "Thou Shalt." This dragonslaying, certainly a noble and necessary undertaking, situates the Hero as the classic warrior, akin to Michael the Archangel and St. George, but when the fighting is done, the warrior must put down the sword. Whether we speak of the Vulcans comprising the Bush administration (as author James Mann terms them) or an abused child who grows up to wage ongoing battles even on a landscape of peace in a more stable family situation, this is a notion well worth focusing on. I think of the Roman general Cincinnatus, who moved back and forth between sword and plow and the dwarves of the novels of Dan Parkinson, who switch the hammer from one hand to the other as necessary in times of peace and war.

The hero struggling with the shadow often projects onto a demonized Other because, as Shalit reminds us, “Since shadows easily lend themselves to projection [see pgs. 97–101 for the three types identified by Jung], they are discovered so much more easily in the other than oneself” (p. 84). This is, of course, the source of most of the ugliness in the history of Humankind.

The Biblical explorations/interpretations presented are a high point of the book (see, for example, p. 63 on the Virgin Mary) and begin in earnest with the section on the shadow. The etymology of both biblical and mythological names given throughout add much to the discussion.

Shalit uses Oscar Wilde’s “doppelganger novel,” Picture of Dorian Grayir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1936594390ir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1411415930, to explore the notion of shadow in terms of our duality, as Dorian is projecting his shadow onto the canvas. Duality—war/peace, animus/anima, masculine/feminine, dark/light—is prevalent throughout the book.

The second half of the book deals with the Enemy, Cripple, and Beggar of the title. The Enemy (the projection onto the Other that is really the shadow in oneself) is explored through such Biblical figures as Amalek, Samson, Jacob, and the key figures in the trial of Jesus. The section on the Fathers and the Collective Consciousness, dealing with Caiaphas, the Sanhedrin, Barabbas, and Judas, is fascinating reading. The connection of the father and the son resounds on many levels, including the relationship of Jesus/Judas as being nearly inseparable.

The Cripple (one’s weaknesses and inner wounds) is explored through mythological/fictional figures such as Hephaestus, Ptah, Oedipus, Quasimodo, and the child in Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Cripple.” There are case studies here that serve many of the same functions as the analyses of the myths and fairy tales, and will appeal to those interested in the dynamics of Jungian analysis. Certain aspects of the second case study reminded me of Don Juan DeMarco (1995), the film starring Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp, especially considering that love (Eros) is the means to heal the Cripple, as articulated so well in this book.

The final section deals with the Beggar (the “door that leads to the passageway of the Self,” p. 225), which is the Inner Voice or Daemon. Shalit deals here with the notions of alchemy that so fascinated Jung. I was intrigued by the story of King Solomon as the wandering beggar and Shalit’s exploration of the life of the prophet Elijah.

In closing, I want to mention the cover art, a painting titled “Emerging” by Susan Bostrom-Wong, an artist and Jungian analyst. Shalit asks the reader to examine the images embedded in the human figure. It is well worth the time to do so. Like the book itself, the longer you look, the more you will see.

I urge educators, artists, and those in search of new paths toward a life well-lived to buy this book. I know that one of my own heroes, Joseph Campbell, certainly would.


Enemy, Cripple, Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path is currently on sale for $15 at the Fisher King Press Online Bookstore, or phone Fisher King Press Toll Free at 1-800-228-9316 in Canada and the US, and for international orders phone +1-831-238-7799 or skype: fisher_king_press. 


Enemy, Cripple, & Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path 

ir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=bil&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0977607674This review of Erel Shalit’s Enemy, Cripple, Beggarir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=0977607674: Shadows in the Hero’s Path was written by Joey Madia of New Mystics. New Mystics is an online Arts community founded in 2002 by Joey Madia, playwright, poet, novelist, actor, director, artist, musician, and teacher who promotes the work of a group of cutting edge writers and artists. To learn more about New Mystics, Joey Madia, and his most recent publication Jester-Knight visit www.newmystics.com.


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9781926715025.jpgOn Sale now for $10 at the Fisher King Press Online Bookstore.

The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship
A Practical Guide for Creating the Loving Relationships We Want
by Bud & Massimilla Harris

Product Description
Millions of books on relationships have been printed in the last ten years. Why do we need another one? We need The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship for the same reasons that over four and a half million readers wanted Spencer Johnson's Who Moved My Cheese in a market that already had over 12,000 titles in print on the subject of change. Following Johnson's methods of teaching to a broad, modern audience, our book presents the profound principles that form a loving relationship in an easily accessible manner. Using a deceptively simple approach, it will help people shift their attitudes and give them the skills to create a loving, long-lasting partnership.

There are so many titles in print on change because it is an ongoing challenge for most of us. So are relationships. With more than six decades of experience working with couples, we knew we had vital information, lessons, and insights to share, but we insisted that the book be short, engaging, and easy to read. A helpful book does not have to be dense to be packed with wisdom, skills, and ideas that can open the door to a new era of fulfilling relationships.

We have brought complex material and common sense into a format that is carefully constructed to achieve results by being communicative and consistent, enjoyable and hopeful. Unlike the textbook appearance of most self-help books that include psychological jargon, case examples and exercises, The Art of Love: The Craft of Relationship uses stories and dialogue to teach profound insights and valuable skills. It sticks to people talking in a way the reader can identify with and understand. It brings hope because the reader who is experiencing stress in a relationship can see that other people, like them, are, too. And, that learning a few basic skills can bring lasting change and renew love.

The best news is that our book will be useful to many people because it will give them a new way to look at their relationship and the skills to handle problem after problem in a way that builds love and trust. Our mission is to appeal strongly to those who are considering a relationship, seeking to renew one, or are looking for a way to understand a partner and a process for dealing with problems in love, romance, sex, intimacy and living together.

About the Author
Massimilla and Bud Harris are diplomates of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. They are practicing Jungian analysts in Asheville, NC., and lecture extensively. Bud Harris is also the author of several publications including Resurrecting the Unicorn: Masculinity in the 21st Century, The Father Quest: Rediscovering an Elemental Force, Sacred Selfishness: A Guide to Living a Life of Substance, and The Fire and the Rose: The Wedding of Spirituality and Sexuality.

Product Details
Paperback: 140 pages
Publisher: Fisher King Press; First edition (May 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1926715020
ISBN-13: 978-1926715025
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Reality of the Psyche

by Deldon Anne McNeely

In 1965, Jolande Jacobi, Jung’s colleague, wrote The Way of Individuation, now a classic. We can use it as a source for delving into questions that speak to us a half-century later. During that half-century the blooming of modernism, post-modernism, and post-post-modern thought raised questions and nuances that color and complicate our images of individuation as presented by Jacobi.

Jung saw himself as a scientific observer of human behavior, not a philosopher who speculated about truth. Still, he was influenced by his own philosophical orientation, as we all are whether we know it or not. We are products of the dominant philosophies of our century, our society, our family, our education. Before adopting anyone’s opinions as our own, we should consider what influenced them. Jung wrote:
Although I owe not a little to philosophy, and have benefited by the rigorous discipline of its methods of thought, I nevertheless feel in its presence that holy dread which is inborn in every observer of facts. (“Foreword to Mehlich, ‘Fichte’s Psychology and Its Relation to the Present,’” CW 18, par. 1730.)
Many of us approach philosophy with holy dread. Its depth threatens to drown us in a confusion of ideas. Jung tried to limit himself to observable facts rather than philosophical speculations. He discussed the concept of individuation in many places throughout his writings, but always guarded against being specific about a process that was meant to serve the particular truth of each individual. So his descriptions of the Self as both the initiator of growth and the endpoint, or we can say, the motivator as well as the goal of individuation, also were vague enough to leave much to speculation.

In order to grasp Jung’s intentions, we have to accept his image of himself as an empiricist—one who deals with observable facts, rather than a metaphysician—one who deals with unseen, non-physical subjects. He insisted that he was not talking about supernatural phenomena, the nature of God, or religion. Nor did he claim to be a theologian. If he spoke of God, it was the image of God found in the minds of his subjects of observation. He spoke of the “reality of the psyche.” What does that mean?

From the beginning of time humans have described their images of the literal or observable world and also of imaginal or spiritual worlds. Though a spiritual world can never be proven by reason, the human psyche persists in imaging and conceiving of a world beyond its concrete experience. Many think of that world as infinite, despite the fact that we have no way of conceiving of infinity through experience. We can only understand infinity by its absence from our experience, through our imagination. This consistent experience of trusting something beyond the senses, of transcending mere physical experience in our imagination, despite the absence of “actual” confirmation, is what Jung called the “reality of the psyche.”

If you have a “mathematical mind,” you are attracted to certain abstract notions, like the notion of infinity, or principles of ordering of numbers by formula. Mathematics is founded on a belief in the regularity of truth. As mathematics becomes advanced, it works in a world of symbols whose meanings are obscure to non-mathematicians, but are real enough to be discovered, repeated, and related in some deep way to the working of the material world. This is the “reality of numbers.”

For a physicist, reality is more than meets the senses. We live in a world of such complexity, only available to us through the imagination. The typical illustration of this complexity of ordinary objects from the standpoint of subatomic particles in constant motion is often presented as considering a physical object as resembling “a bowl of jello.” (Bartusiak, Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony, p. 146.)

Similarly, if you have a “psychological mind,” you are attracted to abstract notions of the landscape of the psyche/soul. “Psychology” from the Greek, means “the study of soul.” Yet these days, some scientists may not tolerate the use of the word “soul” as the subject of psychology, and the more acceptable word is “mind.” But we cannot refer to “mind” in the same way psychologists did years ago when the “mind” was considered fairly well differentiated from the body. Neither can we limit “mind” to brain substance. Now we think of “mind” as a complex function that includes networks of information from inside (nerve messages, chemicals carried in the bloodstream, et cetera) and outside of the body (visual and auditory sources of information, stimuli, conditioning, et cetera).

To further complicate the study of mind, the subject, the mind, is also the student! This creates weird loops, paradoxes, and resonances within the being of the psychologist that can be dizzying! Looking at ourselves, we look into a hall of mirrors.

We are tantalized by trying to find the “I” that does the looking. We call that “I” the ego, but we come to see that the ego is not the only “eye” in the psyche. Depth psychology sees that the ego revolves around a point that is both in it and around it. The ego revolves around the Self as the earth revolves around the sun. How can that be understood?

We can observe ourselves and our mirror-minds and souls through many lenses. From the lens of particle physics we explore the elements of consciousness at the microscopic level, dissecting and stimulating the brain. This is a valuable and necessary investigation in understanding our world, but it has no practical application for a parent, a baseball player, or a therapist at this stage of knowledge. There is no way we can apply what we learn about brain cells from the microscope, no matter how interesting, to living life in the moment.

We can explore consciousness through a larger lens which studies how the brain and bodily systems produce our abstract concepts, such as a consistent sense of self. This research we can apply on an individual basis to help us understand our behavior, but it is generally out of our hands as far as helping us make decisions or accepting responsibility. For example, we may see how the brain’s amygdala communicates with its prefrontal cortex, and how that affects our decision-making processes. That may be helpful in understanding the effect of a brain injury or drug incident, but that is not especially useful in an urgent instant of decision making.

A wider lens looks at the interactions of that self with society and its place in the human system. Here we begin to assert an aspect of freedom of choice. As creatures that have an impact on other creatures, we make decisions that can be examined and judged. We may have limited choices of behavior—not total free will, but we have some choice.

An even wider lens, the lens of depth psychology, attempts to abstract farther into human consciousness as it affects and is affected by movement in the universe that reaches beyond our present day human society, into history, culture, and religion.

In the words of Jung:
All our knowledge consists of stuff of the psyche—which, because it alone is immediate, is superlatively real. Here, then, is a reality to which the psychologist can appeal—namely psychic reality…Psychic contents are derived from the “material” environment; as when I picture the car I want to buy. Others, no less real, seem to come from a “spiritual” source which appears to be very different from the physical environment, such as wondering about the state of the soul of my dead father. My fear of a ghost is a psychic image just as real to me as my fear of fire. We don’t try to account for our fear of either one by physical arguments, but we experience each of them as real… Unless we accept the reality of the psyche we try to explain our experiences in a way that does violence to many of them—those (experiences) expressed through superstition, religion, and philosophy. Truth that appeals to the testimony of the senses may satisfy reason, but it offers nothing that stirs our feelings and expresses them by giving a meaning to human life. (“Basic Postulates of Analytical Psychology,” CW 8, par. 680-686.)
We human beings have been portraying ourselves repeatedly in literature and myth as part animal, part angel; or as occupying the space between heaven and earth. From ancient to contemporary times, human thought has gravitated between what appears to be a duality: physical reality (phenomena, representations, matter) and an other-worldly reality of “forms” (noumena, ideals, essences, universals). The earliest philosophers, like Plato, could speak authoritatively of the soul, of immortality, infinity, of a world of “forms” or ideals. From them we learned to speak about “eternal truths”—the value of honesty, loyalty, bravery, justice—that they are in the mind; they cannot be demonstrated to result from logical facts. They are abstractions, but they are real values.

A famous lesson in the abstract value of honesty is Plato’s story of the Ring of Gyges, a ring that renders one invisible and leads its owner to utter selfishness. Gyges, a poor shepherd, unexpectedly comes upon the ring on a corpse and steals it. Realizing that it makes him invisible, he uses its power to take whatever he wants. He steals the king’s gold and even his wife, and becomes king. Plato uses this to illustrate “egoism,” a form of moral skepticism. Yet we recognize that another attitude is possible, an attitude that considers that Gyges could have chosen not to use his powers dishonestly. Perhaps he would not have achieved much, but he might have chosen to be honest. The story prompts us to reflect on the human tendency to pursue selfish goals rather than look at a more abstract value. An extreme of skepticism would be to say dismissively, “Honesty is just an abstract concept in the mind. It does not otherwise exist.”

If no one could see you, would you do good? Why, or why not?

Immanuel Kant concluded his Critique of Practical Reason (1788) with these memorable words: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”

Becoming: An Introduction to Jung's Concept of Individuationir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=bil&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1926715128The previous article is from Deldon Anne McNeely's recently published book, Becoming. In chapter four of Becoming: An Introduction to Jung's Concept of Individuationir?t=wwwmalcolmclc-20&l=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969&o=1&a=1926715128, McNeely takes you on a whirlwind tour, skimming through centuries of the history of philosophy as it broadly relates to psychology. Fasten your seatbelts if you choose to look into this historical context of Analytical Psychology.
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9142474253?profile=originalA common and compelling component of both shamanism and Jungian or depth psychology is that each seeks to treat soul loss by retrieving and reintegrating vital essence that is missing. This must occur through direct experience; therefore, the underworld journey to retrieve the soul is one of necessity and initiation.

Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung believed symptoms of soul loss, such as disorientation, lack of focus, or feelings of powerlessness, exist because a portion of psychic energy that is normally available to the ego has vanished into the unconscious; becoming lost to the underworld. However, Jung realized when there is a depletion of libido, that life energy is not irrevocably gone; it continues to exist in the unconscious, awaiting the opportunity to resurface. The energy, equally powerful in the underworld as in our conscious life, continues to be busy as it manifests in images and symbols, the language of soul (Ryan, 2002).

The solution, Jung insisted, is for us to descend into the unconscious to engage with the missing libido through symbolic thought. This is what the shaman does when he or she journeys to other realms to...

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Organization

q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=1771690380&Format=_SL250_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=fkr-20Just Published by Fisher King Press

Jungian Child Analysis

Jungian Child Analysis brings together ten certified Child and Adolescent Analysts (IAAP) to discuss how healing with children occurs within the analytical framework. While the majority of Jung’s corpus centered on the collective aspects of the adult psyche, one can find in Jung’s earliest work clinical observations and ideas that reflect an uncanny prescience of the psychological research that would later emerge regarding the self and the mother-infant relationship. This book discusses and illustrates in very practical ways how one uses an analytical attitude and works with the symbolic: this includes illustrations of analytical play therapy, dream analysis, sandplay, work with special populations and work with the parents and families of the child. Not only will the book capture your interest and further your development in working with children and adolescents, but also will enhance your work with adults.

Jungian Child Analysis, edited by Audrey Punnett; foreword by Wanda Grosso; contributors include Margo M. Leahy, Liza J. Ravitz, Brian Feldman, Lauren Cunningham, Patricia L. Speier, Maria Ellen Chiaia, Audrey Punnett, Susan Williams, Robert Tyminski, and Steve Zemmelman.

Contents:
Preface – Wanda Grosso
Introduction – Audrey Punnett

Chapter 1 – Margo M. Leahy
Jung and the Post-Jungians on the Theory of Jungian Child Analysis

Chapter 2 – Liza J. Ravitz
Child Analysis and the Multilayered Psyche

Chapter 3 – Brian Feldman
The Aesthetic and Spiritual Life of the Infant: Towards a Jungian View of Infant Development

Chapter 4 – Lauren Cunningham
Play, Creation and the Numinous

Chapter 5 – Patricia L. Speier
The Portal of Play Through a Jungian Frame

Chapter 6 – Maria Ellen Chiaia
The Importance of Being: Silence in Child Analysis

Chapter 7 – Audrey Punnett
Children’s Dreams

Chapter 8 – Susan Williams
Awakening to Inter-subjectivity: Working with Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Chapter 9 – Robert Tyminski
Males Coming to Terms with Sexuality in Later Adolescence

Chapter 10 – Steve Zemmelman
Working with Parents in Child Analysis and Psychotherapy: An Integrated Approach


9781771690386.jpg

Editor: Audrey Punnett
Paperback: 250 pages
Condition: New
Edition: First
Index, Bibliography
Publisher: Fisher King Press (May 21, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1771690380
ISBN-13: 978-1771690386
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Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including Jungian Psychological Perspectives and a growing list of Cutting-Edge alternative titles. www.fisherkingpress.com
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9142461487?profile=originalAs a child, James Newell, who has played music with some of the great names in the blues world, suffered a life-changing injury after falling through a pane of glass. Both the trauma of a hospital stay where his parents were not allowed to visit him, and the physical damage he suffered to his arm, inspired him to turn to music for healing—and especially to playing drums—at a very young age.

As he grew older, James also found solace in studying topics that were spiritual in nature, and in learning about depth and Jungian psychologies. He noticed that he experienced more healing, balance, and groundedness when engaged in one of these three past-times. At 15, James’ life took another dramatic turn: he recognized the need to remove himself from a dysfunctional situation, and so he jumped at the opportunity to leave home and join a band.

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Listening to James’ story, I am struck by the juxtaposition of the young 15-year-old boy who didn’t finish high school and the man who is now a scholar, teaching core tenets of Jungian and depth psychologies online where these same ideas that influenced him so profoundly long ago might now land with others around the globe who are seeking inspiration, understanding, healing, and help.

While on the road, James, who had been strongly encouraged by his father—and by certain individuals he met in the field of music—to read, discovered and began studying Sigmund Freud as young as age 16 or 17. James’ grandmother also had a strong influence on him to study world religions and to have a spiritual sense, so at the same age he began reading Freud, he also consumed the New Testament and ancient texts including the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita—connected to Hindu scripture—as well as the words of Buddha.

In one of Freud’s works, James recalls, Freud suggested that if someone were interested in religion, they should read the work of Freud’s colleague, C.G. Jung. James got his hands on a copy of The Portable Jung, which he highly recommends for anyone interested in Jung’s work, as well as Jung’s “Two Essays on Analytical Psychology” which encapsulate some of Jung’s best thinking on the topic, James explains. In our conversation, James proceeded to make several excellent recommendations for studying Jungian psychology. One, in particular, is to delve into the writings of Esther Harding, a colleague of Jung’s who was first to write about the goddess from a Jungian or depth psychological standpoint.

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Turning to James’ stunning music, which James shared during our recorded conversation together, he describes his passion for songs from Hafiz, a Persian Sufi poet. Much of the poetry of Hafiz is about love, James notes, but it is the love of the Beloved, or the Divine with whom one becomes “intoxicated.” It correlates nicely with Jungian psychology because it is also about a dialogue with the unconscious. I found myself deeply moved as we listened to a few short excerpts together from James’ CD, The Songs of Hafiz. I am reminded of traveling in Turkey and watching Sufi dancers, who, as they dance with one arm upturned to the heavens, and one arm lowered toward earth, are said to be channeling the divine from above to below.

Among other topics, James and I discussed the difference between religion and spirituality, and the role of introversion and extraversion in both; how to know when an archetypal field is at play; and why music may be viewed as a symbol of the numinous.

Jungian psychology calls us to spiritual endeavors, James insists, and being able to discern touchstones provided by Jung who was willing to forge a path into the unconscious can not only help guide us, but also prevent us from getting lost or overwhelmed.

Dr. James Newell is leading an 8-week online college-level course, “An Introduction to Jungian Psychology,” which debuts with a free bonus intro class on September 24, 2016.

James R. Newell, Ph.D., MTS, (Depth Psychology Alliance Boardmember) earned his Ph.D. in History and Critical Theories of Religion from Vanderbilt University (2007), and holds a master's degree in pastoral counseling and theology from the Vanderbilt University Divinity School (2001). In addition to offering private counseling and coaching, James teaches online religious studies courses for Central Michigan University, Excelsior College, and Thomas Edison State College. James has spent much of his working life as a professional musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with interests in jazz, blues, folk, world, and devotional music. Since his youth, James has worked with a variety of blues greats including John Lee Hooker, James Cotton, Jr. Wells, Hubert Sumlin, Big Joe Turner, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and others

James' most recent recorded effort is The Songs of Hafiz. With this CD, James has broken new artistic ground by setting to music the poetry of 14th century Persian Sufi poet Hafiz of Shiraz. James has taken the classic images of Persian ghazal poetry and set them to an eclectic blend of world, folk and blues melodies.

James has also produced the video, An Introduction to Depth Psychology, for Depth Psychology Alliance. This brief introductory video traces the origins of depth psychology and examines some of its core tenets, leaving us with an open door to wonder about the future of depth psychology, its relevance for individuals and for our culture, and what might be the spiritual and practical implications of its trajectory.

Bonnie Bright, Ph.D., is the founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, a free online community for everyone interested in depth psychologies. She also founded DepthList.com, a free-to-search database of Jungian and depth psychology-oriented practitioners, and she is the creator and executive editor of Depth Insights, a semi-annual scholarly journal. Bonnie regularly produces audio and video interviews on depth psychological topics. She has completed 2-year certifications in Archetypal Pattern Analysis via the Assisi Institute and in Technologies of the Sacred with West African elder Malidoma Somé, and she has trained extensively in Holotropic Breathwork™ and the Enneagram.

WATCH the video interview: James Newell in Conversation with Bonnie Bright

LEARN MORE OR REGISTER for the free Jung 101 class or the 8-week course

Find music from James at www.TheSongsofHafiz.com

Learn more about James at www.SymbolsofTransformation.com or www.JamesRNewell.com

 

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9142451883?profile=originalC.G. Jung was a strong proponent of balancing rational thought with non-cerebral intelligence, insisting that consciousness inherently resides in the body and in the natural world around us. In fact, he was quite taken by Austrian Nobel prize-winning ethologist Karl von Frisch’s notion of how bees communicated navigational information to their sister bees so that they could forage the best pollen around the hive. Frisch’s research suggested the “waggle dance” performed by bees was both intelligent and purposeful, demonstrating an organizational impulse that stemmed from the “bottom up”—that is, situated on an intelligence that existed a priori in nature (Cambray, 2009).

Jung’s corresponding work on the concept of synchronicity made great strides in resolving the split between mind and body, the characteristic human form of the larger, more cosmic rift between psyche and nature. Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to mean “meaningful coincidence” after determining that seemingly causally unrelated events, which appeared to be unconnected, had a priori connection to one another, occasionally manifesting in conjunction with one another, bringing meaning (C. G. Jung, 1960/1985). The existence of synchronicity meant that irrational or anomalous phenomena we tend to disregard from a causal perspective actually are part of a larger pattern imbued with meaning (Pauli, Meier, Enz, Fierz, & Jung, 2001).

Jung determined that the psychological and physical features we perceive in the world are dual aspects of one underlying reality (Pauli et al., 2001). He came to view mind and matter as a continuum, with psyche located on one end and the physiological instinct on the other, and the archetype serving as the bridge between them (C. G. Jung, 1947/1985, p. 216), though he ultimately expressed a desire to do away with a theory of psychophysical parallelism altogether in lieu of a unitary reality known as the unus mundus, a union of spirit, soul and body (C. G. Jung, 1958/1978a, p. 452).

Pointing to ways in which inanimate objects seem to “collaborate” with the unconscious by forming symbolic patterns, Jung even cited instances where clocks stop at the moment of their owner’s passing, or where items break within a home where someone is going through a powerful emotional crisis.

The evidence for an enduring connection between the outer world and the inner, embedded within a larger reality, seemed to grow clearer for Jung, particularly later in his life. “Since psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one another and ultimately rest on irrepresentable, transcendental factors,” he (1947/1985) went on to say, “it is not only possible but fairly probable, even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing” (p. 215).

Each of us has likely had some experience of synchronicity in our lives, where things in what we consider the “outer” world seem to be engaging, responding, or interacting with what’s going on in our inner emotional or psychic life. If you begin to pay attention, you’ll notice these kinds of experiences everywhere you go. Could it be because there really is no separation?....

 

References

Cambray, J. (2009). Synchronicity: Nature and psyche in an interconnected universe (1st ed.). College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press.

Pauli, W., Meier, C. A., Enz, C. P., Fierz, M., & Jung, C. G. (2001). Atom and archetype: The Pauli/Jung letters, 1932-1958. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G. (1978a). A psychological view of conscience. In H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler & W. McGuire (Eds.), The collected works of C. G. Jung (R. F. C. Hull, Trans.) (2nd ed., Vol. 10, pp. 437-455). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1958)

Jung, C. G. (1985). On the nature of the psyche. In H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler & W. McGuire (Eds.), The collected works of C. G. Jung (R. F. C. Hull, Trans.) (2nd ed., Vol. 8, pp. 159-234). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1947)

Jung, C. G. (1985). Synchronicity: An acausal connecting principle. In H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler & W. McGuire (Eds.), The collected works of C. G. Jung (R. F. C. Hull, Trans.) (2nd ed., Vol. 8, pp. 417-519). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1960)

 

 

Bonnie Bright is the principle and founder of Depth Psychology Alliance, a free online community for everyone interested in Jungian and depth psychologies, Depth Insights, a media production company that offers a scholarly ezine, radio podcasts, and educational webinars, and Depth Psychology List, a free-to-search database of Jungian and depth psychology-oriented practitioners. She holds M.A. degrees in Psychology from Sonoma State University and in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA, where she also recently completed her PhD. She finished a 2 1/2 year training with African elder Malidoma Some´in Technologies of the Sacred, graduated from a 2-year certificate program in Archetypal Pattern Analysis via Assisi Institute, and has trained extensively in the Enneagram and in Holotropic Breathwork.

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The Center of Being

In my first blog, I related the events surrounding a transformative dream I had which evoked a powerful feeling tone, its effect rippling out through my life. A series of events the previous day, coupled with reading an S.T. Coleridge poem upon cracking open the first Jung volume I had yet to read, seemingly led to my experience of this dream, replete with a mysterious archetypal projection.

I amplified the image, researched the content to the extent that I was able, but only much later did I make the Coleridge connection.

[from the previous blog]:

‘I searched for this information about “worlds within worlds”. At the time, I didn’t catch any meaningful references through the search engine of my browser. Every time I ran across references to entering worlds, all the obvious stuff, I looked closer. I thought that it seemed familiar but never found anything relating to it.’

Recently, I re-watched Joseph Campbell’s Mythos, season 1, episode 1, Psyche and Symbol. Cupping his hands, he explains that, ‘the elementary idea (read: archetype) is held within the the folk aspect, (local, provincial and popular).’

Joseph goes on to say that the old Sanskrit term for a trail left by an animal is “marga” and has been used in the context of the human, following the path of the Archetypes to the place within, the heart. 

‘At post mid-life, the folk system leaves you, and the path of the marga (archetypes) leads you within, to the heart, or the center of being.’

I finished the Collected Works this week, before watching the episode of Mythos, tonight. Remembering that Campbell’s insistence on the importance of Jungian theory had excited my impulse to read him, I feel that something has come full circle, and that I finally understand the cryptic words of this being with whom I spoke, just a few years ago in a dream.

The meaning of these words to me is that I had an extremely concretistic, or literalistic sense of reality. My freedom was constrained and I was trapped by my ‘weltanschauung’, or point of view. In the years since, I have entered a new world with a much wider perspective, and yes, I was at the halfway point in life.

Synchronistically, the timing is exact. I experienced some number coincidences today, and I had the thought of constellating contents of the unconscious, which just might show themselves in such phenomena, not thinking that the resolution of a mystery was at hand. Perhaps there was no ‘cryptomnesia’, but that I had not yet understood or explored completely enough the meaning of the words, “worlds within worlds”, spoken from within my own center of being.

He looked at his own Soul

with a Telescope. What seemed

all irregular, he saw and

shewed (showed) to be beautiful

Constellations; and he added

to the Consciousness hidden

worlds within worlds.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge- Notebooks

 

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C.G. Jung was a strong proponent of balancing rational thought with non-cerebral intelligence, insisting that consciousness inherently resides in the body and in the natural world around us. In fact, he was quite taken by Austrian Nobel prize-winning ethologist Karl von Frisch’s notion of how bees communicated navigational information to their sister bees so that they could forage the best pollen around the hive. Frisch’s research suggested the “waggle dance” performed by bees was both intelligent and purposeful, demonstrating an organizational impulse that stemmed from the “bottom up”—that is, situated on an intelligence that existed a priori in nature (Cambray, 2009).

Jung’s corresponding work on the concept of synchronicity made great strides in resolving the split between mind and body, the characteristic human form of the larger, more cosmic rift between psyche and nature. Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to mean “meaningful coincidence” after determining that seemingly causally unrelated events, which appeared to be unconnected, had a priori connection to one another, occasionally manifesting in conjunction with one another, bringing meaning (C. G. Jung, 1960/1985). The existence of synchronicity meant that irrational or anomalous phenomena we tend to disregard from a causal perspective actually are part of a larger pattern imbued with meaning (Pauli, Meier, Enz, Fierz, & Jung, 2001).

Jung determined that the psychological and physical features we perceive in the world are dual aspects of one underlying reality (Pauli et al., 2001). He came to view mind and matter as a continuum, with psyche located on one end and the physiological instinct on the other, and the archetype serving as the bridge between them (C. G. Jung, 1947/1985, p. 216), though he ultimately expressed a desire to do away with a theory of psychophysical parallelism altogether in lieu of a unitary reality known as the unus mundus, a union of spirit, soul and body (C. G. Jung, 1958/1978a, p. 452).

Pointing to ways in which inanimate objects seem to “collaborate” with the unconscious by forming symbolic patterns, Jung even cited instances where clocks stop at the moment of their owner’s passing, or where items break within a home where someone is going through a powerful emotional crisis.

The evidence for an enduring connection between the outer world and the inner, embedded within a larger reality, seemed to grow clearer for Jung, particularly later in his life. “Since psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one another and ultimately rest on irrepresentable, transcendental factors,” he (1947/1985) went on to say, “it is not only possible but fairly probable, even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing” (p. 215).

Each of us has likely had some experience of synchronicity in our lives, where things in what we consider the “outer” world seem to be engaging, responding, or interacting with what’s going on in our inner emotional or psychic life. If you begin to pay attention, you’ll notice these kinds of experiences everywhere you go. Could it be because there really is no separation?....

 References

Cambray, J. (2009). Synchronicity: Nature and psyche in an interconnected universe (1st ed.). College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press.

Pauli, W., Meier, C. A., Enz, C. P., Fierz, M., & Jung, C. G. (2001). Atom and archetype: The Pauli/Jung letters, 1932-1958. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. G. (1978a). A psychological view of conscience. In H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler & W. McGuire (Eds.), The collected works of C. G. Jung(R. F. C. Hull, Trans.) (2nd ed., Vol. 10, pp. 437-455). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1958)

Jung, C. G. (1985). On the nature of the psyche. In H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler & W. McGuire (Eds.), The collected works of C. G. Jung (R. F. C. Hull, Trans.) (2nd ed., Vol. 8, pp. 159-234). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1947)

Jung, C. G. (1985). Synchronicity: An acausal connecting principle. In H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler & W. McGuire (Eds.), The collected works of C. G. Jung (R. F. C. Hull, Trans.) (2nd ed., Vol. 8, pp. 417-519). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (Original work published 1960)

Blog originally posted on Depth Psychology List at http://www.depthpsychologylist.com/Depth-Psychology-Practitioners-Blog/3242608

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"Easter Island Monolith comes to Baltimore"
Sarah Doherty, an artist in Baltimore, created and installed a large replica of one of the monoliths
erected on Easter Island. Shown above is a picture I took of her and her work on the day of its installation.

Undamaged Side of Easter Island Monolith
Here is another shot of the monolith, with an interesting mural juxtaposed in the background.

Here is a quote from Carl Jung on why people create "stone idols with human features":

“Very early in history men began trying to express what they felt to be the soul or spirit of a rock by working it into a recognizable form. In many cases, the form was a more or less definite approximation to the human figure – for instance, the ancient menhirs with their crude outlines of faces, or the hermae that developed out of boundary stones in ancient Greece, or the many primitive stone idols with human features. The animation of stone must be explained as the projection of a more or less distinct content of the unconscious into the stone .” Carl Jung in "Man and his Symbols"

It's my opinion that whatever thoughts and feelings were present in the collective unconscious of the members of the community that erected these monoliths are unknown to us modern people. But the aesthetic beauty of the statues of the Greco-Roman era we can relate to and appreciate. I don't think that the same can be asserted about these Easter Island monoliths and of the people that created them. The expression of the black man in the background mural, who appears to be gazing at and reacting to the presence of this monolith, seems to be conveying my assertion or observation. As a point of interest, the mural on that wall was painted on AFTER the Easter Island monolith was installed in this vacant lot.

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A quote from Carl Jung on the subject of "masks":

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The persona, for Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, was the social face the individual presented to the world—"a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual".

One wonders what Jung would have thought about the masks created by these veterans (see link below) as their intent in creating them was to reveal, rather than to conceal, aspects of their true nature as individuals.

Powerful Photos Depict Veterans Who Use Art Therapy To Heal

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Organization

9781926715551.jpg
by Dennis Patrick Slattery

As I finish reading Walter Odajnyk's Gathering the Light, I see a very synthetic imagination at work to bring the reader closer to what unites rather than separates Eastern and Western thought on meditation, the mystical and the means to unite the two ways the soul may engage spirit. At the same time, his book offers a short course on C.G. Jung's ground-breaking thought on the soul inhabiting all things of the world. Lost in our ADD-oriented culture is the art and practice of meditation, not just on matters of the spirit but on the everyday matters we contend with, often on the fly, fast and loose, with little due regard for consequences. Perhaps the president of the United States should include on his board of advisors a resident meditator; that person's task would be to slow down the processes that can have as their consequences war, ignoring the most in need, loss of a sense of fair play, justice denied and oversights that can diminish the earth's richness. Is this a spiritual book? Yes and no. Its wide range and depth of perception on the spiritual body can be appropriated on a number of levels to coax the reader into living a fuller and more deeply attended life.

Remembering V. Walter Odajnyk
April 10, 1938 - May 22, 2013
Walter Odajnyk was a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich and a member of the C.G. Jung Study Center of Southern California as well as a core faculty member of Pacifica Graduate Institute. He is the author of Jung and Politics: The Political and Social Ideas of C.G. Jung; Gathering the Light: A Jungian View of Meditation, and Archetype and Character: Power, Eros, Spirit and Matter Personality Types. Grateful to be the publisher of Gathering the Light: A Jungian View of Meditation, Fisher King Press plans to keep Walter Odajnyk's light shining for years to come.

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Organization
Letting go of the way we wish things ideally would be can lead
to more human development than the ideals themselves
.
article by Lawrence H. Staples


There are many worthy arguments for the existence of ideals. These include the role of ideals as an organizing principle around which people with similar values can gather. Like goals, ideals motivate us.

We would have to be blind, however, not to acknowledge their danger. By definition, when ideals are our guide, we strive for perfection that does not exist in the real world. We strive for something that in the long run will frustrate us and depress us because we will fall short. We will experience failure. Goals are different. Having realistically attainable goals can serve us well.

Real development often requires the sacrifice of high ideals; it often demands that we get real. Letting go of the way we wish things ideally would be can lead to more human development than the ideals themselves. We can’t give up or fail to meet ideals, however, without incurring guilt. I asked a patient what he thought it would take to really satisfy his self-righteous mother, who admired preachers. He said: “In my case I probably would have to become Jesus.” It made me think that Jesus probably is the unconscious model for the goals of achievement for many children. If the child is not to become the savior of the world, he simply is not special enough. It is a terrible burden to feel that one can please or save a parent only by achieving such heights. Failing one’s parents is like failing God, and failing either one brings guilt. Letting go of the need to be a savior can be a daunting task. Once children become aware of the burden they are saddled with, they feel anger—that the goals they are encouraged to attain are for their parents, not for themselves.

At a point in his life, Jung himself became aware that he harbored a similar ideal about the need to be Jesus. He wrote, “Only after I had written 25 pages … it began to dawn on me that Christ—not the man but the divine being—was my secret goal. It came to me as a shock, as I felt utterly unequal to such a task.”(1) The task could become even more problematic if one raises the question as to whether the model is to be the gentler, kinder Christ of the first four Gospels of the New Testament or the harsher model of Revelation.

Rarely is someone able to give voice to, as the person in the previous paragraph and Jung did, the need to be a Jesus or the Virgin Mary if they are to have a worthy life; usually such an impossible ideal is unconscious. The demand to be something more than life-size was laid upon them, by a parent’s soaring expectations, stated or implied. A person’s need to help or save on a grand scale may also come from a compulsion to be recognized or loved by a parent who never responded to them as a child, or as an adult. People seldom become conscious of such an outrageous burden on their lives unless or until the unconscious is stimulated by a dream, by therapy, or by creative output.

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The need to be Jesus can lead to guilt, disillusionment, and dissatisfaction. The need to avoid the painful guilt of failing to achieve ideals often interferes in very practical ways with career development because they can never be satisfied with ordinary jobs. The shortfall from this ideal is predictable. This unconscious need to be great is often expressed by patients as dissatisfaction with their jobs, or as feelings that their work is meaningless or soulless. Sometimes the complaint is stronger; they feel that they are prostituting themselves. They may feel the same about their colleagues and bosses, who think only of profit. They say they want to do something that helps people or helps the environment or helps bring social justice. They often believe there is a job out there that will permit them to use their talents for some greater good or noble purpose.


The longer I live the more I am convinced that if we want to help, we should do what we are good at. What we are good at is usually what interests us most, whether it is selling, typing, mathematics, or myriad other talents and activities. Everyone doing what he is best at is the best way to contribute the most to society. During my days in business, I remember offering a good promotion to a competent secretary, and her turning it down. She said she liked what she was doing and that her current job was what she was good at. She did not like the idea of supervising others. At my then tender age, I was astonished that anyone would turn down such an offer. But she had a commonsense wisdom that protected her.

I need to emphasize here that the guilt that makes us feel we are prostituting ourselves is complex. Its interpretation requires great care. It’s a guilt that can cut two ways. It can protect our soul if we are, in fact, “selling out.” It can tell us we are trying to do something that is not right for us. We need to listen carefully to this feeling and take it seriously. On the other hand, the guilt we are feeling may be based upon parental needs that have little to do with us, and much to do with them. These assault the core of our being. If the feeling of guilt is serving our parents’ ambitions, and we misinterpret it, we may ruin the world of work for ourselves. We may feel constantly dissatisfied with our jobs.

People who need to achieve great things, even save the world, hate to hear suggestions that there may not be the one unique job they were destined to have. Such a thought makes them feel they may be consigned to the hell of a meaningless job. This whole business is made all the more tricky by the evidence that some do feel called to a task. The call may begin as a faint and distant voice that grows increasingly clear. In my experience, the call usually becomes sufficiently insistent to be heard and acknowledged. Asked for or not, such calls need to be taken very seriously.

To discover the truth about ourselves, we have to pay careful attention to our feelings and do the analytical work necessary to differentiate them. We have to find out what belongs to us and what belongs to our parents and other authority figures. Sometimes a dream will help, like the one cited earlier where the King/Son was repeating words said by the Queen/Mother. Finding what is really right for us can be long and exhausting work.

Jesus, in fact, is a source of guilt for many people. One of the great, subtle causes of guilt is Christ’s admonition to love. The admonition itself can cause guilt, when people have negative or unloving thoughts about friends, family, colleagues, even strangers. To avoid guilt we must pretend to love one another and to appear to be happy with each other, even when we actually are not. Who can possibly live a life without negative or unloving thoughts? A similar admonition is seen in the fairy tale, Cinderella. Cinderella’s dying mother tells Cinderella to be good and pious. Kathrin Asper, a Jungian Analyst in Zurich, has suggested that this admonition is the source of Cinderella’s depression and would be a source of depression for any child.(2) Such an admonition, whether uttered by God or by a parent, loads a child with an unbearable burden. It sets an impossible standard that ensures failure, and failure spawns guilt.

Many of my patients give voice to an insidious, guilt-inducing ideal. Even while voicing it they are unaware of the impact such an ideal has on their happiness. This is the American Dream, the ideal that if I am honest, competent, and work hard I will get what I want and need. Much anger and depression results from the failure of this ideal to materialize. They are so convinced of this moralistic formula that they do not seriously consider the numerous other variables including pure luck. A more devastating side of the belief that I will get what I need if I am honest, competent, and work hard is coming to believe that not getting what I need and want in life is evidence itself that something is wrong with me, that I am damaged goods.

We can feel guilty, when a dream or ideal does not come true and we think we have done all we were told we had to do to make it happen. In the real world, it seems to be more complicated. And, ultimately, as angry as we are for not getting what we want after doing so much, we still feel guilty that there must be something that we did not do or that there is something wrong with us.

Still another guilt provoking ideal is the belief that I am not worthwhile unless I totally engage in worthwhile activities. This ideal suggests that we should be super strong and to a large degree subordinate our animal, instinctual needs to our intellectual and spiritual needs. It is actually a Christian ideal that a patient, who had been in Opus Dei, said was clearly embraced by this Catholic lay organization. For example, I had a woman patient (as well as many men patients) who worked 12-hour days, 6 to 7 days per week. When she came home after these exhausting hours, she would drink, eat chocolate or potato chips, watch television, or read “trash.” She often felt guilty about these “inferior” after work activities because they did not meet her definition of what was worthwhile. Play was not even in her lexicon of worthwhile activities. For brief periods, her guilt would lead her to try to write poetry, read spiritual and classical books, or study subjects related to her profession. It is as if there was a wish to be an automaton without animal and instinctual needs. Her definition of worthwhile things also manifested as a kind of asceticism, in which she paid minimal attention to her needs for nice furnishings, clothes, and vacations. She had a harsh critic inside her, who “cut her no slack” even after incredibly long hours at work. Her “harsh critic” is masculine. In a woman it is the negative animus, the unconscious masculine side of herself. In a man it is the negative father complex. It is ruthless. It has no pity or maternal caring. It could care less if we work ourselves to death. It cares only for “right” performance.

The problem is we remain human and find we cannot work at that pace without something to relax us. And because we work such long hours we do not have enough time to relax in healthy ways. Eventually, we slip into easier and quicker ways to relax, such as eating junk food, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, having sex in a variety of ways, gambling, or similar activities that make us feel good quickly without much work. Until we suffer from these unhealthy ways to relax, we do not even consider working less. It often takes much suffering to overcome the resistance to the change that is essential to a cure. Remember the fast relief that the first sip of a martini can bring? Martinis are just one of a host of potentially destructive possibilities that may tempt us if we cannot balance work with play. It is as if we have been “lashed to the mast” by our guilt. We feel guilty for being human and wanting things that do not fit our definition of what is worthwhile. Sometimes we must get physically sick before we can change this work habit. Such a change can be a positive development.

The irony of guilt spawning ideals would not be complete without two examples of undeserved guilt. Guilt can afflict women who are consciously liberated enough to successfully pursue careers. They may suffer guilt from feeling that they do not spend enough time with their children. This feeling of guilt is especially common in women whose own mothers were stay-at-home moms. They feel the guilt even when they consciously reject their mother’s way of life. Consciously they know that they can have careers and be as good or better mothers than some of those women who stay at home. Their feeling of guilt does not seem valid intellectually, but that does not keep the feelings entirely at bay.

For example, a 44-year-old patient was an accomplished professor and devoted to her work. She had never married or had children, and after returning from holidays with her parents, she found that she was especially depressed. She told of holidays spent at home after finishing her education. With much regret and feelings of failure she recounted that the holiday would have been more fun for everyone if there had been children to share it with them. Her parents filled the air with this message, nuanced with subtle hints that she had let her parents down by not marrying and having children. But they never approached the subject directly. For one thing, an open demand for children would expose them to the inconsistency of their push for children with the pressure they had imposed on their daughter to achieve in school and get her Ph.D. When she was in school, they had even discouraged her from getting involved with men.

During holidays her parents did not openly express their disappointment at her not having children. Rather, they made quiet and innocent-seeming (but poisonous) comments about their friends and how much joy they had experienced with their grandchildren. They made these comments in such a way that she did not have a target to strike back at or an opportunity to point out her parents’ huge inconsistencies. The comments made her feel anxious because of the sense of failure they implied. Subsequently, she felt rage that eventually led to depression.

Stashed behind her depression, however, she found guilt at her failure to meet a collective ideal. The guilt implied that she was bad, that her worth was diminished, and that is depressing if we cannot get it into proper focus. Many women, who cannot or do not have children, are assaulted by this ideal. The failure to achieve it undermines their sense of self-worth, despite the fact that they may have achieved far more than women with many children. This ideal can be of such importance in a woman’s unconscious (until psychological work brings it to awareness) that the measure of her worth, no matter how much she attains in other venues of life, is trumped by her failure to marry and have children. For many women this ideal becomes the sine qua non of happiness and fulfillment.

In some ways this ideal results in an odd sense of values. This happens to be an ideal that the vast majority of women actually attain, no matter what their physical appearance, social standing, or intelligence. Human worth is measured by a standard that almost all humans and animals meet without any special training. Earning a Ph.D. would seem to distinguish a human more from animals than having children, but nevertheless, this failure to meet the ideal causes most women to feel unsuccessful, at least to some degree. Some women do accomplish it all—a truly amazing feat of drive and strength.

Interestingly, however, married women with children seem to need antidepressants about as much as single women without children. This suggests that the hope for happiness and fulfillment that the ideal holds remains more of a hope than a reality. The truth is that the duality of life doubles everything and makes all achievements a mixed blessing, whether it is children or career or both.

Returning specifically to the ideal of having children, ultimately, women, married or single, must let themselves off the hook. A completely impersonal, powerful instinctive force of nature that supports survival of the species wires them all. Nature puts the urge there and is indifferent about a woman’s happiness or unhappiness while serving the instinct. The instinct serves continuation of the species. The problem arises when its expression becomes an ideal and the main measure of our worth. This is a much too limited view of what comprises our worth. Men, too, can feel unfulfilled at the failure to serve this instinct.

Sometimes I think that the power of this instinct makes it impossible for a woman to win. I often wonder if there is a way for a woman to do it “right,” if there is a way to do it and avoid guilt entirely. It is as if there is a kind of conflict within the creative instinct itself, a collision between different ways of expressing it. The creative instinct can be acknowledged via the production of children and it can be honored with the making of art, music, or science. It seems, however, that the energy and devotion required to honor one side of the archetype of creation must be stolen from the other side. A woman gifted with maternal or artistic gifts could well ask herself, “Is it better to be a Marie Curie (3) or to give birth to one?” Or she can ask if she can do both. Even both does not necessarily resolve the problem. She may feel that relative to her standards her child-rearing activities dilute her scientific or artistic production and her scientific or artistic activities water down her child rearing. The Promethean dilemma is apparent in this conflict: I must steal something from one side or the other to deliver something of value. There seems to be no way to resolve this conflict unless the ideals are somehow modified. Ultimately, I think a woman simply has to bear guilt to grow and get what she wants and needs in life. She has to bear guilt whether her wish is to be just a mother, just a career woman or both.

1 Jung, C.G., 1973, Letters, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, vol. 1, pp. 479ff.
2 Asper, Kathrin, lecture presented at C.G. Jung Institute-Zurich, 11 June 1990. Also see her book, The Abandoned Child, New York, Fromm International Publishing, 1993.
3 Nobel prize for physics 1903, for chemistry 1911

This article by Lawrence H. Staples is from his book Guilt with a Twist: The Promethean Way © 2008. For permission to reproduce/repost this article, contact Fisher King Press.


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Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including 
Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, Poetry, 
and a growing list of alternative titles.
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Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond, edited by Mark Winborn, brings together Jungian analysts and psychoanalysts from across the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Jung’s concept of participation mystique is used as a starting point for an in depth exploration of ‘shared realities’ in the analytic setting and beyond. The clinical, narrative, and theoretical discussions move through such related areas as: projective identification, negative coniunctio, reverie, intersubjectivity, the interactive field, phenomenology, neuroscience, the transferential chimera, shamanism, shared reality of place, borderland consciousness, and mystical participation. This unique collection of essays bridges theoretical orientations and includes some of the most original analytic writers of our time.

"Jung's use of the concept participation mystique has always struck me as among his most original ideas and I could vaguely intuit its relevance to many contemporary developments in psychoanalysis, from projective identification to intersubjectivity to the mysteries of transitional space. Now, thanks to the extraordinary essays in this book, one no longer has to "intuit" this relevance. It is spelled out in beautiful detail by writers with expertise in many facets of our field. The breadth of these essays is truly extraordinary. Reading them has enriched both my personal and professional life. I highly recommend this book."  -- Donald Kalsched, Ph.D. author of The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit (Routledge, 1996) and Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption (Routledge, 2013).
* * * * *
"The concept of 'participation mystique' is one that is often considered a somewhat arcane notion disparagingly equated with an unconscious, undifferentiated or 'primitive' dynamic. This collection of outstanding articles from Jungian analysts of different theoretical perspectives and analysts from different schools of depth psychology redeems this concept and locates it as central to depth work, regardless of one’s theoretical orientation. What may seem like an ethereal notion becomes grounded when explored from the perspective of the clinical, the experiential and the theoretical. Linking participation mystique to the more clinical concepts of projective identification, unitary reality, empathy, the intersubjective field and the neurosciences and locating this dynamic in the field of the transference and counter-transference, brings this concept to life in a refreshingly clear and related manner. In addition, each author does so in a very personal manner.  "This book provides the reader with a wonderful example of amplification of participation mystique, linking many diverse threads and fibers to form an image, which, while it reveals its depth and usefulness, nevertheless maintains its sense of mystery. This book is a true delight for anyone intrigued by those “moments of meeting”, moments of awe, when the ineffable becomes manifest, when we feel the shiver down our spine, be it in our work or in a moment of grace as we sit quietly in nature. Shared Realities offers nourishment for the clinician, for the intellect and, most importantly, for the soul. I highly recommend it!  -- Tom Kelly - President, International Association for Analytical Psychology and Past-President, Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts.

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Fisher King Press publishes an eclectic mix of worthy books including 
Jungian Psychological Perspectives, Cutting-Edge Fiction, Poetry, 
and a growing list of alternative titles. 
Read more…

Review: Platko's In the Tracks of the Unseen

Some topics are so controversial we cannot discuss them. Jane Davenport Platko’s In the Tracks of the Unseen: Memoirs of a Jungian Analyst brings one of those topics into full view: when the doctor and patient fall in love.

While we psychoanalysts and psychotherapists have thorough discussions as to why these kinds of relationships are problematic, we seldom have open discussions about what happens when they seem to work. Those who have entered such relationships rightfully fear judgement.

I will be honest. I have a bias. Having barely survived the 1970’s in psychology after early experiences with therapists and teachers who did not know the power of the tool of the transference, I developed a healthy respect of the need for “boundaries,” as we put it in the talk of our trade. As a result, I often have had a hair trigger reaction when these boundaries are transgressed. For the most part, I think my stance has merit.

But Platko’s story demonstrates it is not so simple. What happens when the analytic vessel cannot contain the feeling within a transference format, when the Self has something different in mind? Are there times the therapeutic meeting is a springboard into the soul connection of friendship or romantic love and this is not exploitive of the patient?

With great integrity, honesty, and courage, Platko lays out her vulnerabilities and history, antecedents to both a friendship with her first analyst and then marriage to a man who had been her patient. Her decisions are not impulsive. In fact, she deeply and openly suffers them with her then current analyst and with her then husband.

In the preface she quotes Jung, “My story is my truth.” This story is Platko’s truth, and one can only feel compassion, awe and concern for a woman reveals herself so openly in order for us to understand the decisions she has made. There will be judgement!

When I began reading In the Tracks of the Unseen, I did not want to put it down. Platko is a good storyteller, and I have not read a book like it. It is well written, albeit disturbing, submerging the reader in the rawness of human attachment and the lonely quest of a woman who followed her heart. This is an important book in that it questions some suppositions of the last decades, taking the structure of love in analytical relationships down to the studs. There are no answers here, only a kind of solutio. Perhaps it is only now that we can follow “the tracks of the unseen,” to a larger playing field that may redefine ethics and the challenges of the human connection in the vessel of analytic work.

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In honor of what would have been Jung's 138th birthday, July 26, I'm sharing an excerpt from my essay on Jung's role in Depth Psychology, "Occupy Psyche: Deconstructing the Jungian Shadow in Depth Psychology," published in Occupy Psyche: Jungian and Archetypal Perspectives on a Movement (2012, Eds. Jordan Shapiro and Roxanne Partridge).

 
The essay takes a look at how Jungian psychology relates to depth psychology and examines the influence of the larger-than-life persona of Jung on many of us who feel profoundly impacted by his work. 
 
It also cautions us, by the way, to regard the shadow cast by the legend Jung has truly become and to ground ourselves in remembering his humanity and not idealizing him. 
 
Read on...

The theories of Swiss-born Carl Gustav Jung (known as C.G. to his peers) developed during the infancy of the emerging field known as psychology, established him as a pioneer and one of the founding fathers of depth psychology. The broader field of psychology was essentially born in 1879 when German physician and philosopher, Wilhelm Wundt, set up the first laboratory that carried out psychological research. The next few years marked the award of the first doctorate in psychology, the first title “professor of psychology, and the establishment of the American Psychological Association in 1892 (Zimbardo, 2001). In 1890, American philosopher William James, published Principles of Psychology, which marked an important transition from a mental philosophy to a scientific psychology. A few years later, in 1896, a Viennese medical doctor trained in neurology, Sigmund Freud, introduced the term “psychoanalysis” to define the practice of “talk therapy"...

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Working with Dreams: Depth Psychology Techniques of Carl Gustav Jung and James Hillman

Dream work is ancient, it’s long tradition evidenced in the temples of Asclepius in Greece where individuals went to be healed through their dreams. Dreams have been an important aspect of many spiritual traditions, and even Freud considered the study of dreams to be his most important work. There are many methods of dream analysis. When working with dreams, it can be helpful to intentionally assess them from various aspects, including mythical, archetypal, alchemical, and collective, and to pay attention to which resonate most strongly emotionally and elicit even a physical response in order to begin to understand what insights are being gifted through your unconscious.

In The Dream and the Underworld, archetypal psychologist and post-Jungian James Hillman prefers to allow the dream and dream symbols to remain what they are, and not to analyze and interpret them but to simply interact with them and see what comes about. However, Hillman’s method of seeing focuses far more on an artistic view than from a therapeutic or results-oriented standpoint. As such, when it comes to dreams and symbols, he stays with the process and activity itself instead of seeking an outcome or solution. He values the description over interpretation, the animating and making a thing come alive rather than suffocating it with a contrived explanation from outside the dream. He thrives on visiting the dream in its own realm of power, the underworld, and in honoring it by allowing it to be its own entity there instead of trying to make it come alive in our ordinary world of thinking.

Hillman’s goal, as was Jung’s, is to get ever closer to the characters and activity in the dream realm, but as opposed to Jung who then turned to amplification in order to find meaning and interpretation at the level of the waking ego, Hillman chooses not to bring the dream... (click here to read full post)

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