Skip to toolbar

IAJS Seminars

IAJS membership includes access to the global discussion list. Various seminars are conducted throughout each year. The seminars run for a particular lenght of time and at the end of this time they are collated by a member of the executive committee, or a member is co-opted to conduct the collation. On completion, they are uploaded here in PDF format for the benefit of all people interested in Jungian Studies.

The seminars are introduced below, the More… link at the end of each introduction downloads the full seminar in PDF format.


This archive has been prepared by Elizabeth Brodersen

IAJS
Discussion Seminar with George Hogenson –  Introduction by Warren Colman

NB: To
access and download two papers by George Hogenson which will form the basis for
the discussion, please go to  the following links:

It’s a great pleasure for me to introduce George Hogenson who will be leading a seminar for the IAJS list on the theme of ‘emergence’.  He has been well known in the Jungian world long before he became an analyst as the author of Jung’s Struggle with Freud (1983), an impressive and scholarly work that analysed Jung’s break from Freud in terms of the creation of a different mythological understanding of time, death and authority.  At that time, George was a philosophy PhD and a teacher of political philosophy, specialising in the field of international peace and security. 

From this strong academic background, George became interested in pursuing the practice of psychotherapy as well as its theory and qualified as a Jungian analyst in Chicago in 1998.   In 2001, George gave a plenary presentation at the IAAP Congress in Cambridge, England, debating with Anthony Stevens on the nature and origins of archetypes.  This was my first introduction both to George and to the dynamic systems theory he proposed as a way of reconceptualising archetypal theory and challenging Stevens’ use of evolutionary psychology as a way of bolstering the classical ‘blueprint’ model of archetypes as a priori structures. George’s presentation of a short video from the field of robotics, illustrating the principles of self-organisation was a revelation to me:  I well remember the feeling that I was seeing a vision of the future, an entirely new way of thinking that had the potential to revision and revitalise analytical psychology. 

In the decade since then, George has amply fulfilled that initial promise with a series of ground-breaking, seminal papers, most of which have been published in the Journal of Analytical Psychology.  The field that has come to be known as ‘emergence theory’ has grown and developed and is represented in the work of many other Jungian writers, such as Joe Cambray, Jean Knox, John Merchant, Patricia Skar, Hester Solomon, Margaret Wilkinson, Beverley Zabriskie – and myself. These new ideas are not easily grasped and challenge some of the shibboleths of Jungian thought, notably the idea of innate a priori eternal structures that are the universal basis of psychic life.  Like all new ideas, some people find them a threat: the JAP has provided a forum for robust debates with defenders of evolutionary psychology such as Alan Maloney (2003) and more recently, Erik Goodwyn (2010). 

These critics seem to feel that the idea that archetypes are emergent properties of developmental processes challenges the existence of archetypes per se whereas what is primarily at issue is not the existence of archetypes but how they come into being and how the idea of archetypes can be aligned with advances in scientific thinking in the half a century since Jung’s original work.  Furthermore, while the mainly British writers such as Knox are primarily interested in the influence of early emotional development on adult psychopathology, writers such as Hogenson and Cambray have a much broader and more traditionally ‘Jungian’ canvass, especially involving a reconceptualising of synchronicity, one of Jung’s most radical and inspiring ideas.

 More…


This archive has been prepared by Maryanne Barone-Chapman

September – October 2010 – The Executive Committee is pleased to launch the first seminar in the Jungian Psychology Series with David Tacey’s paper, ‘Toward A New Animism: Jung, Hillman and Analytical Psychology.’  From David some points to consider:

The ecological crisis of the contemporary world has urged upon us anew kind of animism, in which the things of the world are alive, animated, spirited, mainly because the body of the world is experiencing pain, pathological symptoms and suffering; the psyche of the world or anima mundi is being discovered in the same way in which psyche was first discovered in suffering individuals.
Hillman’s work draws out contradictions in Jung’s theorizing, and privileges Jung’s post-Cartesian vision and its affirmation of an new kind of animism, which is easily mistaken as pre-modern animism, and hence as regressive.
Hillman’s ‘archetypal psychology’ is an attempt to re-appropriate what had been left out of ‘Jungian’ or ‘analytical psychology’, but what he re-appropriates seems so foreign to established views that it is treated as alien and disruptive.

This paper raises several issues that may be found at the end of the paper after references. More…


This archive has been prepared by John Izod and Scott Feaster

November – December 2008 – Like everyone, I am cognizant of the boundary that separates clinical from academic work. But my métier allows me to offer a third by way of bridging the clinical and academic divide: the complete, entire, and subjective pleasure of film.

In “The Inner World of Trauma” (1996) Donald Kalsched writes that therapy provides a place for individuals whose self-care systems have broken down to play. By play he means co-creating with the therapist childhood’s lost “transitional object”. The T.V. series, “Brideshead Revisited” (BBC, 1992), allows the spectator to experience a transitional object first hand. When he arrives at Oxford, Sebastian Flyte carries with him a large teddy bear, named Aloysius.  For the Anglo-Catholic Sebastian Aloysius refers to the wealthy Renaissance Italian youth who died young and still a virgin, the patron saint of students. The ten week T.V. series stopped most social intercourse in the United States on Sunday evenings for ten weeks. What viewers could not resist was Sebastian’s transitional object, which he carried to Oxford and then put back on the shelf (alas) when he made his first great friend, Charles Ryder.

Ideally, the lost transitional object in Jungian analysis is recreated for the traumatized individual through the transference. In his essay “The Psychology of the Transference”, (1946), Jung explicates the transference in the following way:

The unrelated human being lacks wholeness, for he can achieve wholeness only though the soul, and the soul cannot exist without its other side, which is always found in a ‘You.’ Wholeness is a combination of I and You, and these show themselves to be parts of a transcendent unity whose nature can only be grasped symbolically, as in the symbols of the rotundum, the rose, the wheel, or the coniunctio of Solis et Lunae. (16: 244-245).

In Jung’s words, the classic transitional object is a “transcendent unity”, bridging subjective fantasy and reality in the Eros of the consulting room. While some film art may be called by us “good” or “bad”, the concept of a film as a “transcendent unity” better accounts for the feeling of the spectator’s film going experience.

Take the example Clint Eastwood’s romantic love story, “The Bridges of Madison County” (1995). One can resist the love story. One can project one’s anxiety about the shadow upon the film. One’s projections come out as critical judgments and opinions. By contrast, if the spectator can sustain the images of Eros that we see in “Bridges of Madison County”, he or she may experience a “transcendent unity”.

The first flashback of the story depicts how Francesca meets the “National Geographic” reporter, Robert Kincaid, who stops to ask directions on a day that her husband and teenage children are away at the Iowa State Fair. Her separation from her family is the psychological situation, analogous to the archetypal situation with which a fairy tale or myth begins, by which her character must be interpreted.

Francesca’s character is revealed by how she first greets Robert on her front porch:

Robert: I have the distinct feeling I’m lost.
Francesca: Are you supposed to be in Iowa?
Robert: Yeah.
Francesca: Well then you’re not that lost.

The lines suggest that Robert is lost physically, but that it is the spirit that has gone out of Francesca’s life. A G. I. wife who came to Iowa from Italy, Francesca has lost the meaning of Eros not as just biological sex but as spiritual connection. And the soul of this connection is evoked for the spectator by the art of the film.

Because she can show him better than tell him the way to Rossman Bridge, Francesca accompanies Robert there. While Robert sets up his camera to configure the next day’s photo shoot (extravert sensation), Francesca stays on the bridge, reflecting on the experience (introvert intuition). Eastwood as auteur evokes her psychological situation by the diegetical (coming from the story) sounds. A fly buzzes around her face. She swats it. Otherwise silence, as Francesca walks to the shade of the bridge.

I read the bridge as a symbol of Francesca’s need not to follow collective norms. But what is more important than my interpretation of the bridge is that I admit that my interpretation is subjective.  The only “advice” I can give my colleagues as we embark on this seminar on a popular art form is to admit, lest we lose the pleasure, that how we read symbols is a matter of subjective opinion. More…
 
Cheers,
Scott


This archive has been prepared and selected by Steve Myers

John Dourley: Jung, Thomism and others

To all,

It is good to dialogue with what should be called pre-Jungians on the list. In this recent discussion of Aquinas, Barth and Anselm I would agree with thinkers like Jung and Tillich who identify Aquinas and his introduction of Aristotle into Western religious thinking as the beginning of the process that tore the western mind from its roots in the unconscious beginning in the 13th century and continuing into our time.

I have previously posted on Anselm and both Jung’s and Tillich’s understanding of him. The latter two moderns realize that the truth of Anslem’s argument is the unmediated psychological experience of the absolute as an element of humanity’s natural experience of the its own depths. Writes Tillich on the ontological argument, “The arguments for the existence of God neither are arguments nor are they proof of the existence of God. They are expression of the question of God which is implicit in human finitude.” ST I, p. 205 Tillich goes on to base this question on the human experience of the infinite within the finitude of human consciousness. This experience bases a universal quest for God, understood as an existential questing after the essentially human, “the essential self”, which Tillich grounds in the divine in ST III, p. 235.. This idea goes back to Plato. Though Jung had never read Tillich he understood Tillich’s point and writes in almo
st identical language and with an identical meaning, “The ontological argument in neither argument nor proof but merely the psychological demonstration of the fact that there is a class of men for whom a definite ideal has efficacy and reality -a reality that even rivals the world of perception.” CW 6, par 81, p. 41. Obviously Jung considered himself a member of “this class of men.” However preJungiains are not familiar with the idea that the only “proof” for God’s existence is the experience of God which Jung elevates to the psychological level in the footsteps of Schleiermacher’s 19th century experience of God as the “feeling of absolute dependence”, and Tillich’s 20th century understanding of the universal experience of God as “ultimate concern”. In this Tillich professes continuity with Schleiermacher. Both of these thinkers and Jung reject the reductionism of Barthian fundamentalism which would deny to humanity the experience of divinity as a depth experience of itself. PreJungians have missed a paradigm shift that now would rest the reality of God not on hoary proofs for “God’s existence” -discounted in Western philosophy since Kant’s first critique -but on humanity’s unmediated experience of its native depth and ground. Such experience is the substance of the “religious impulse” foreign to preJungians given their entrapment in mind. On Tillich’s and Jung’s contribution to the contemporary understanding and appreciation of religion I have recently published with Routledge, Tillich, Jung and the Recovery of Religion. I doubt if the recovery documented there would be helpful to the preJungian in part because even Tillich, the acknowledged greatest of the twentieth century’s philosophical theologians, could, in the end, no longer affirm Christianity as “the final revelation” and came to see this position and all similar ones as profoundly provincial. In the end he saw the future of religious studies to rest on the examination of the symbols of all the religions as expression of immanental powers endemic to humanity.

On particulars, Aquinas had little place in living western philosophy until he was forced on the Catholic Church and its theologians by Leo XIII, in 1879, basically as a negative response to German idealism and romanticism and other positions dealing with human experience beyond the solely rational as the basis of humanity’s residual sense of divinity. Aquinas’ theology and philosophy is attractive to those devoid of such experience, as he himself was till his enlightenment shortly before his death. The Thomistic mind is drawn rather by rational proofs which appeal only to the severed consciousness of the mind uprooted from the unconscious. These proofs are only efficacious in shoring up a non-experiential faith in some particular tradition or in winning debating points at cocktail parties against “atheists”. Rome imposed Thomism on the Catholic “philosophical mind?” because Thomism is also suited to ecclesial control due to its objectivity which can be used to base the authority of the Inquisition in possession of the “objective ” Christian doctrine revealed to the mind as something of a bonus after it had exhausted itself proving the existence of God and some of his more sterling qualities, indeed, any quality that did not imply in itself an imperfection. Imposed on the Catholic mind in 1879, in the context of a century long flight from the Enlightenment as it culminated in the French Revolution, Thomism has left little trace to¬day. No serious philosopher working with the ongoing Western process would take the work of Maritain, Gilson, and currently Lonergan and his transcendental Thomism as having much to offer though the latter’s indebtedness to Kant gives it some credence. In fact Thomism would be taught only in conservative centers of Catholic indoctrination or in philosophical and theological museums in courses on the history of philosophical and theological thought (hopefully now surpassed).

Yet it was this imposition which effected so deeply the mind of Victor White and much of the still reigning Catholic imagination. The tradition was proven incompatible with Jung’s understanding of the psyche over the course of a fifteen year dialogue between the two men. In the end ;Jung affirms that he had seen others come to the crossroads leading to humanity’s spiritual future and drew back from it in death. I though I was the only one who suspected that Jung had killed White by so challenging his Thomistic simplicities but my speculation on that matter has since been reinforced by C. Weldon, The Story of Jung’s White Raven, U of Scranton Press, 2008 p. 233. Actually Jung fought the fight he fought with White twice. The first round was with Martin Buber. Jung exposed Buber’s religious poetry as a facade behind which the traditional and wholly transcendent Yaweh continued to lurk. It takes more than capitalizing the archaic version of the second person singular to move into a real relationship with ultimacy. The substance of this paragraph and the preceding paragraph are treated at greater length in “The Jung-White dialogue and why it couldn’t work and wont go away’, JAP, vol. 52, no. 3, June, 2007, 273-295. Regardless of what side one takes up in the White/Jung dialogue it cannot be denied the Jung felt that Thomism had nothing to contribute to his understanding of the psyche in theory or in practice. This consensus should preside over the current interest in the Jung/White letters.

Barth’s sophisticated fundamentalism is no where better expressed than in his manifesto The Epistle to the Romans. Here he argues that there are many “religions”, i.e., human attempts to reach God analogous to satisfying the belly with food and drink but only one “revelation”, God’s definitive address to humanity. I will leave it to the reader’s imagination to guess what tradition carried this one-sided breakthrough. Barth did go on to write on The Humanity of God but it is a limpid qualification of Romans whose religious arrogance could hardly be undone in a lifetime. It is encouraging that Barth and his 19th century predecessor, Kierkegaard, are both now clearly identified as Christian fundamentalists with very little to offer the contemporary other than the reinforcement of Christian fundamentalism. As for Barth’s Church Dogmatics I would think it to be little more than a sustained profession of faith in the maintenance of Christian dogma which Jung rightly describes as “sacrosanct unintelligibility” and “preposterous nonsense”. CW 11, par. 170, p. 109, 110.

I am not in a position to judge the philosophical or theological capacities of first year students at the University of Aberdeen but if their academic stars are Aristotle through Aquinas, Barth’s fundamentalism and Anselm’s argument taken literally to prove the existence of an objective God then they should be spared Carl Jung and above all stay away from theologians like Paul Tillich skilled in philosophy and imbued with the ability to think out of the profundities of life rather than trumpe the “kerygma” of simple faith. More…

The best to all.
John Dourley.


May 20, 2008 – Various collected posts on the concept of individuation.

Dear Joel and All,

What I find difficult to swallow about Perry’s work is that he seems to have a very naive trust in the unconscious to always find a way through.  It is the worst side of Jungian psychology, in my view, in that it falsely romanticises and idealises the unconscious, always assuming that it will set things right.  I find this in far too much Jungian writing, and I always find it objectionable and unacceptable.  The unconscious is reified as a God, and to trust in God is seen as the way forward.  I take this to be the result of misplaced religious projections, and possibly some Jungians want to make a relig
ion out of psychology, rather than view it as psychology within its own due limits.

I don’t find this same imbalance in Jung.  On the contrary, he is always saying that the ego has to take responsibility, and cannot trust to the unconscious with a kind of blind faith.  Therefore: where do some analysts and therapists get their blind trust in the unconscious from?  Certainly, it’s not from Jung himself.  It’s as if a kind of Rousseauian fantasy operates in some Jungians – the notion that, if left to its own devices, the unconscious will lead to a social utopia or panacea.  I find it dangerously one-sided and disturbed, a kind of false philosophy.

One would have thought that the “realism” that ought to develop within clinical contexts would temper or rule out such idealisations, and yet they seem to continue to thrive in some Jungian quarters, especially in the popular Jungian material that is sold into the mass market.   On my desk now is a Jungian book of this kind, and on the back cover it asks readers to trust in the unconscious to find the way through.  Perhaps this is a formula for commercial success, but also for human disaster. More…

Best wishes, 
David


Feb 15, 2009,

Dear All, Is there anyone who can direct me to the volume in the CW where I suspect the following quote from Jung may be found – “The Gods have become diseases.” ????

Best wishes,
Maryann

On 15/2/09 20:26, “Daniel Anderson” <danielmelanderson@gmail.com> wrote:

Dear Maryann,
 
13 CW ¶54.  It’s one of Hillman’s favorite quotes of Jung.
 
Best wishes,
Dan

On Feb 15, 2009, at 8:33 PM, Maryann Barone-Chapman wrote:
 
Thanks for this Dan.  Why do you think Hillman is so attached to this quote? More…

Best wishes,
Maryann


 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: