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The C. G. Jung Society of Queensland
Newsletter for January - March 2004
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The C.G. Jung Society of Queensland

 

 

 

Newsletter                                                                       January - March 2004, No 38

 

 

 

 

Presidents Letter

 

 

 

Dear Reader,

 

The underworld of Hades was never further from my mind than it was in the minutes and hours prior to the death of my daughter on 22 November last. Maeve (10) and I had been on an overnight cycling and camping trip, just the two of us, on the Sunshine Coast. Maeve was never more full of the joys of life than she had been on that trip. Like Persephone, she spent the trip metaphorically collecting the beautiful flowers of spring, the fruits of the earth. She had climbed trees, splashed in the waves at the beach and danced merrily in the spray of the campsite sprinkler. I, as Demeter, enjoyed the vision and experience of my beautiful daughter happy in herself and growing towards the fullness of a life that, despite inevitable hardships, would surely yield richness and rewards.

 

In an instant, as I repaired a bicycle puncture at a seemingly safe place, she crossed the road and then back into the path of traffic. She was killed immediately. The earth had opened up in that moment. Hades reached out and took her to his underworld. I wailed as Demeter must have. In my heart, I wail still.

 

Yet, through that terrible event and since, the comfort of experiencing life, and now death, through symbolism has been tremendous for both my partner, Robyn, and myself. Maeves death has been surrounded by symbolic events that suggest a certain rightness, a certain timeliness to her death. I count these as great gifts from the Unconscious, from the divine source of our existence.

 

I will mention two.

 

The first is the dream that Maeve related to Robyn on the morning Maeve and I left home for that final trip. Robyn wrote down Maeves dream as she told it.

 

In the dream, Maeve describes being at a railway station with us, her family, and with a bulgy old lady. She lives in a castle that she can collapse into a suitcase and take with her when she travels. The lady packs the castle away.

Maeve told Robyn: Mom, there are two trains. You, Dad and (sister) Tara are going on one train to London to visit the Queen. There is another train, starting from the other side of a fence, underwater. I am going on that train. I am going home.

 

Dreams often obscure their messages. But sometimes the message is direct. Both Robyn and I took great comfort from this as a direct indication that her death fits into a greater plan.

 

In the dream too, Tara is older than Maeve, although in life, Tara is younger. The only way Tara could grow older is through Maeves death. Thus, Maeve will never grow past 10 years while Tara should continue to grow to eventually become older.

 

 

 

 

C.G. Jung Society of Queensland, 74 Camp St., Toowong, Q 4066. Tel: 3371 1285

The second symbolic event occurred moments before her death. As I roughened the tube and applied the glue, Maeve bounced around happily on the grass margin beneath a shady tree where we had stopped. In her joking, Gemini manner, she drew my attention to an unusual occurrence. A bungie cord had gotten stuck. One end had caught onto a heavy pannier lying on the grass beside the bike. The other end had inexplicably gotten caught in the back of the waistband of her shorts. She mimed moving towards the road and being pulled back by the elasticity of the bungie cord. I saw the joke and we enjoyed it together. But the parent in me was only too aware of the real danger. I said: Yes, Maeve, you know what that is. That is a message to you to stay away from the traffic. I turned to inspect the tube. Within the space of a couple of breaths, she had crossed the road (probably caught up in a happy flight of imagination) and back into the traffic to meet her death.

 

How strange that the unusual bungie cord incident should have happened then? I read it as another clear message, this one saying that I should feel no blame about her death. The bungie cord incident had steered me to warn her of the danger. The very incident itself had given her the message. In fact, she herself drew my attention to it. It was as if the universe had given me the opportunity to offer protection and at the same time had said: You have done as much as you could, in the circumstances, to protect her. You should feel no blame. It was her time to die.

 

Many other events, synchronistic and otherwise, have supported us through our pain. For one, we were recently reminded in this newsletter of Jungs conclusion that consciousness continues after death, as there were no indications otherwise in the dreams of those about to die. Maeves dream of a journey home agrees with his conclusion.

 

The myth of Persephone is usually taken to mean a psychological death through her removal to the underworld. In the myth, her mother manages to make a deal that allows Persephone to return to the upper world for some months of the year. In our case, no deal with Hades can ever be made, even with the intervention of Zeus, to bring Maeve back as she was physically, even for a day. However, I suspect that, in time she will return to us in the way we integrate her life and death into our psyches through the grieving process. A family friend wrote to us of grieving the death of her son for five years or so before coming to some new relationship with him or with his spirit, one that has brought new meaning and value into her world. Robyn and I have already embarked on the journeys that will hopefully take us to such a place in the course of time.

 

I would like to mention that Robyn, Tara and I are mostly glad of opportunities to talk about Maeves death and our ongoing journeys. Robyn and I wish to thank the committee and members of the Society who have sent us many wonderful messages and gifts to support us.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Frank

 

 

 

 

Membership renewals

 

It is time to renew your membership for 2004. You can do this at the next monthly meeting or you can use the form on the inside back page of this Newsletter.
Upcoming events at the Jung Society

 

February 2004

A Jungian Film Evening

with Patrick Oliver

 

Thursday February 5

6 pm Annual General Meeting

7:30-9:30 pm Film and discussion

 St Marys Community House,

 Merivale St, Cn of Peel St, South Brisbane

Members and concession: $5; non-members $10

 

 

We shall begin our 2004 season by showing a film on the life of Carl Jung by Laurens van der Post. Patrick Oliver will introduce the film and facilitate a discussion afterwards.

 

Patrick, who has a PhD in Theology from Griffith University, lectures in Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry studies at the Australian Catholic University and offers private spiritual and personal direction. His two published works are The Track Back: The Spirit of Australian Creation and Drinking Deeply: Learning to Listen to the Song of Your Soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C.G.Jung Society of Queensland

Annual General Meeting

 

6 pm February 5, 2004

Just before our February film evening

 

Jung Society events dont just happen on their own.

We have a committee of dedicated people who work to make them happen.

 

A new committee for 2004 will be elected

 

Please come along and support the Society with:

 

-                      your help on the committee

-                      your ideas

-                      your interest

-                      your questions

-                      your voice

-                      your vote

 

 
 
March 2004

Jung and Religious Experience

A Thursday evening lecture and Saturday workshop

 with David Russell

University of Western Sydney

 

 

Thursday March 4, 2004, 7:30 9:30

St. Marys House, Cn Merivale and Peel Sts, South Brisbane

Cost: Members and concession: $5; non-members $10

 

Saturday March 6, 9:30 am 4:00 pm

Hillbrook Anglican School, 45 Hurdcotte St, Enoggera

Cost:  Members and concession - $70; non-members - $80

Please bring lunch to share and an Esky if you have one.

 

When John Freeman interviewed Jung on BBC Television in October 1959, he asked him: Do you now believe in God?   Jung famously replied: Now? Difficult to answer.  I know.  I dont need to believe.  I know.  How might we understand what Jung was saying about faith and experience?

 

It is my contention that when Jung said: I dont need to believe; I know, he was referring to an experiential knowing and not to a cognitive or abstract knowing.  He knows it in his bones!  He was asserting that in his encounters with the divine, or in his preferred language, the numinous, he knew god through his experience, experience derived from his personal life and from the clients whom he met within his clinical practice.  The actual experience was primary; anything else was very secondary.

 

Jung insisted on the primacy of experience rather than belief or faith. He didnt want to be involved in the debates around dogma and creed. Rather, he wanted to honour the religious experience that for him was beyond debate.  He expressed the concern that church dogma has become distanced from actual experience.  I will be adopting the same stance.

 

The Jungian sensibility is that through dis-ease we experience the gods.  I will be echoing this understanding.

 

David Russell is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology, University of Western Sydney.  He was responsible for initiating the Master of Analytical Psychology degree program (an 8-unit postgraduate coursework degree in Jungian studies).  The program is taught in collaboration with practicing Jungian analysts.  David has also supervised numerous Jungian analysts in the successful completion of their PhD degrees.  As an academic and Jungian psychologist he is particularly interested in further developing the links between the psychology of William James and the work of Carl Jung with the aim of having Jungs work more readily accepted in the teaching and research programs of university psychology.

 

To reserve your place at the workshop, please complete this form and send it, together with your cheque, payable to the CG Jung Society of Queensland, to The CG Jung Society of Queensland,

 74 Camp St., Toowong, Q 4066.

For information, please phone Marie on 3371 1285, or Brigitta on 3878 3287

 

 

Reservation for the David Russell workshop, March 6, 2004.

I enclose a cheque for  $70 (members and concession); $80 non-members (circle the applicable amount)

 

Name: ________________________________________________________________________

 

Address: ______________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

Telephone:  (Day)___________________________________ (Evening) _____________________

 

 

 

And coming up

 

We are very excited about the four workshops that will launch the Brisbane-based Jungian training course sponsored by the Jung Society and the Jung Institute. See the enclosed flyer.

 

This year we have a variety of exciting events with both visiting and local speakers.

 

Please mark these in your diary:

 

April 1 evening lecture

            Paul Gibney on The Authority of the Therapist

 

June 3 evening lecture and June 5 Saturday workshop

                        Kris Hines on Women, Men, Love and Redemption

 

July 1 evening lecture and July 3 Saturday workshop

                        Jonathan Marshall, Sydney-based anthropologist,

on Alchemy and the Material Imagination in Transformation

 

September 4 and 5 weekend Journal workshop with Kate Scholl.

 

All evening lectures will be held at St. Marys House from 7:30 to 9:30 pm.

All workshops will be held at Hillbrook Anglican School, 45 Hurdcotte St., Enoggera.

 

Further details will appear in future newsletters.

 

 

Margaret Pope reports on our October to December meetings

 

Damn the Rationalists Full Dream Ahead

Jeff Power

 

Jeffs examination of contemporary Australian culture left a very powerful impression.  The Australian soul is still asleep and needs a story in order to wake up.  Our cultural story has been hijacked by scientific rationalism.  We can observe this by common usage of metaphors of self as machine, such as, I must recharge my batteries.

 

However, the Australian psyche is yearning to be connected to the land and for immortality.  Our national song, Waltzing Matilda is about a lone, yet jolly swagman who yearns for community.  The tree and water represent the indigenous connection.  When the squatter and troopers arrive (rational meets irrational) the swagman suicides and achieves both community and immortality. 

 

Jeff offered a possible way forward with a new Cultural Dreaming that places spirituality at the heart of culture rather than scientific rationalism.  Our culture would then be better able to serve its true purpose of helping us to live life and to face death.

 

Jungian Reflections on the White Migrants Sense of Place in Australia

Sarah Dunk

 

Sarahs talk reached right into the heart.  She also examined contemporary Australian culture and pointed to the need to develop a white fellows dreaming.  As migrants, white Australians have all been displaced and therefore suffer an inner emptiness. How many of us feel we truly belong here?  We need to develop a sense of place in this new land.   In order to do this we need to confront the national shadow, and Sarah explored some unconscious defences in the Australian psyche.

 

The widespread desire to visit the centre of Australia could mirror the desire to visit the centre of self.  Colonisation has caused alienation and rootlessness in white Australians and the idea of terra nullus (denial of indigenous people) can be seen as an unconscious projection of emptiness inside the self.  This fear of our own alienation can then in turn be projected onto refugees.  As migrants, we need to acknowledge our own displacement (settlement on the coast can be seen as psychic yearning for the British Isles).  Excesses in our culture are a further illustration of a compensation for inner emptiness.

 

Sarah concluded we must face our collective shadow, but reminded us we have the means: we have the gills for the dream life in our head we must keep them wet.

 

 

Jung and the Dreaming

Leon Petchkovsky

 

Leons presentation reflected a deep understanding and compassion in relation to indigenous issues.  Who is this Jung? He thinks like Yapa (Aboriginal people).  Leon outlined how Jungian sensibility helps us to relate to Aboriginal people and culture.

 

A number of attitudes and concepts emerged as common themes.  Some of these were:

 

-          interest in dream and myth (the world begins in a mythic dream and nocturnal dreaming brings back material from that world)

-          active imagination (dadirri)

-          ritual as transformation (psychotherapy)

-          distaste for reductionist explanations

-          an appreciation and respect for borderline experience (mainstream label psychopathology, e.g. schizophrenia)

 

Through Jungian approaches, Leon saw the beginning of a cultural psychiatry more appropriate to the needs of indigenous people.  In W.A. Tracy Westerman, an Aboriginal psychologist, has mastered western psychological discourse.  She is achieving excellent results in reducing substance abuse and suicide.

 

Leon has spent many years in Central Australia and his indigenous mentors have given him a skin name, a name binding him in a sacred manner to an Aboriginal family and the land. Finally, Leon shared his fantasy, what if every Australian had a skin name?

 

                                                                                                Margaret Pope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contributions to the Newsletter

 

The Editor welcomes suitable contributions to the Newsletter in the form of, for instance, reviews of Jungian books.  Contributions should be up to 1000 words in length and should be original. All quotations should appear in italics or quotation marks. Quotations from or paraphrases of other works should be referenced. The APA (American Psychological Association) style of referencing is preferred. For further information, contact the Editor of the Newsletter. Until further notice, the Editor is Anne Di Lauro (dilauro@ozemail.com.au)

 

 


 

About the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland

 

The C.G. Jung Society of Queensland is committed to furthering awareness of and reflection upon the writings of the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961). The Society promotes an understanding of Jungs work through the exploration of its psychological and spiritual applications to the individual journey and interpersonal relationships, and by considering the ways in which Jungs writings and ideas can contribute to the healing of modern society.

 

The Society does this through offering monthly presentations, occasional workshops and small groups. Monthly presentations, which are open to both members and non-members, are held at 7:30 pm on the first Thursday of each month, from February to December, at St Marys Church Hall, corner of Merivale and Peel Streets, South Brisbane. The venue is within walking distance of the South Bank bus station and South Brisbane station. Off-street parking is available in the churchyard.

 

Established in 1982, the Society is a non-profit and non-professional association.  The Societys events are attended by people of all ages and all walks of life.

 

Members of the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland are entitled to:

 

(                   reduced admission fee to monthly presentations and workshops

(                   use of our library of Jungian books

(                   our quarterly newsletter

 

Annual membership costs $30 ( $20 concession/student/pension; $45 couples/family; $10 newsletter only)

 

 

 

Membership Application / Renewal form: 2004

 

Date:  ______________

 

Please find enclosed my payment for $ __________________

 

Single membership $30 [  ]  Family/couples $45 [  ]         Student/pension $20 [  ]

Newsletter only$10 [  ]

 

Name: ___________________________________________________________

 

Address: __________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________ Postcode: _____________________

 

Telephone:  Home ____________________  Work: ________________________

 

Occupation: _________________________________________________________

 

                Signed: __________________________________

 

Please return to the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland, 74 Camp St., Toowong, Q 4066

 

 

 

 

 

Bulletin Board

 

 

 

Love and Imagery Workshop

Saturday, 14 February, 9am to 5pm.

 

In our culture, love as a word is used and abused so much that its deeper meanings are almost impossible to convey through the word. Imagery has the capacity to express deep and subtle meanings. Could imagery offer us insights and learnings about love? I hope we will find this to be so as we journey in this workshop, through animal and chakra imagery, to explore times in our lives when love expressed itself crucially, perhaps even unconsciously to our egos. How does love, in its deepest sense, express itself in our lives right now? As usual, openness to what might emerge from within yourself is the ideal way to approach an imagery workshop.

 

$80. All Welcome.  Please book by 7 February.

Brisbane Venue TBA.

Contact: Frank Coughlan     frankacoughlan@bigpond.com     (07) 3356 1127

 

 

 

Dream Group

a series of four evenings of dreamwork using Embodied Dream Imagery

 

Would you like to belong to a dream group?

 Anne Di Lauro will give practical demonstrations of group dreamwork using Embodied Dream Imagery.

Tuesday evenings, 7 pm to 9 pm,  March 2,  9, 16 and 22

Quaker Meeting House, 10 Hampson St., Kelvin Grove

Cost: $20 per evening

For information, contact Anne on 3511 0167 or via e-mail: dilauro@ozemail.com.au

 

 

 

 

Coming in June:

 

Second Australian Animal Imagery Festival, Friday 25 June to Sunday 27 June 2004

 

Camp Bornhoffen, Numinbar Valley, Gold Coast hinterland.

Contact Frank Coughlan
                                    on 3356 1127, e-mail frankacoughlan@bigpond.com
 

 

 

 

Jungian Analysts: Clinical Questions - a 2 day professional development seminar for clinical practitioners under the auspices of the C.G. Jung Institute (Sydney Section) of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Jungian Analysts  

Saturday 26th June and Sunday 27th June 2004, 10am 4.15pm.

The NSW Writers Centre, Rozelle Hospital Grounds , Balmain Rd., (enter opposite Cecily St.), Rozelle.

Cost (inc. light lunch): $280 (GST inc) for both days; $255 (GST inc) for both days, if booked before 30th April

 

This seminar is organised with the cooperation and support of the C.G. Jung Society of NSW: concessionary fees are available for members of the C.G. Jung Societies of Australia.  Contact Jan Blackburn on (02) 9875 4079 for details

 

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