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The C. G. Jung Society of Queensland
Newsletter for January to March 2007
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The C.G. Jung Society of Queensland

 

 

 

Newsletter                                                                       Jan - March 2007, No 50

 

 

President’s Letter

 

 

Five Years

 

 

Dear Reader,

 

This letter will be my final one for the year and for the five-year period during which I gladly served as President of our Society. I will not nominate for the committee in 2007 as Robyn, Tara and I will travel overseas from April to early September. It feels like the right time for me to step aside and to let another member bring new and fresh energy to the position. I intend to continue as an active member on my return from overseas.

 

This letter gives me the opportunity to reflect on the past year as well as on the changes that have happened during the five years.

 

I think that the Society’s activities evolved in several ways over these years, not only through my efforts but through the joint work of the committees. Fundamentally, our job is to create events, usually talks and workshops, promoting the ideas of Carl Jung and showing some ways, both established and experimental, in which those ideas have influenced our world. I came at a time when the finances of the committee were very healthy.

 

We began to consider inviting Jungian analysts from Sydney and elsewhere to come to Brisbane to present workshops and talks. Our intent was to increase the number of presentations by traditionally-trained Jungians while continuing to present the work of local therapists and others operating from a Jungian perspective. The contact with Sydney Jungians quickly led to a major project exploring the possibility of a Jungian course for therapists and counsellors in general here in Brisbane. The initial experimental series of weekend workshops was well-received by the participants. Although it has not evolved further, it was clear that there is a hunger among professional counsellors for Jungian content to inform and enhance their practice.

 

At the same time, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Jungian Analysts began moving towards offering another full training to become a Jungian analyst. That course is now under way. While I am delighted to see this traditional form of Jungian training on offer, I hope that, in the future, ANZSJA might offer other forms of professional development for those who have neither the time nor the money to complete, over several years, the training necessary to become a Jungian analyst but who are nevertheless prepared to commit to some other form of extensive training or professional development in Jungian therapy. I am aware that there are many obstacles to a development like this but it seems that a great desire for such a training exists and that it would offer a great opportunity for the expansion of Jungian psychology into professional circles and thus into the world in general. A number of Jung Institutes in the United States already offer such courses.

 

Another development in our presentations over the years was our ability to take advantage of international Jungian speakers visiting Australia. Among these were, in 2006, Ruth Amman, President of the International Association of Sandplay Therapists and Jonathan Young, curator of the Joseph Campbell Archives. International speakers based in Australia included David Tacey, who visited for the second time, and Robert Bosnak, now living in Sydney, who led a weekend workshop on Embodied Dreamwork.

 

Robert Bosnak was responsible for another of our most exciting events, the live internet link-up (including Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne Jung Societies) with James Hillman on the occasion of his 80th birthday earlier this year. We presented the dvd version of the event at our December meeting. Despite the poor quality of sound and film due to the internet limitations, the content of what James Hillman had to say was well worth listening to for a second time. The dvd, including a transcript, is available from our library.

 

Although we sing the praises of our international speakers and Jungian analysts, our program has always included excellent presentations from our own members. This year, they included Mignon Halford, Patrick Oliver (past president), Brendan McMahon, Eric Miles and Heather Price.

 

A further significant development in recent years has been the establishment of a new Jung Society in Byron Bay. We have jointly run events with the Byron Bay Jung Society at Coolangatta on two occasions, both with great success.

 

I am delighted to have been a part of all these developments as well as many more which I do not have the space to mention here. In all, I must thank very sincerely all the committee members with whom I have worked over the years. Although there have been inevitable arguments over which speakers to invite etc., our common interest in Jung was always a strong force for creativity and helped us to organise events for the society that satisfied both ourselves and our members. Getting the balance right is always a challenge. I feel that the Society has grown in its ability to provide in each year an interesting and varied range of talks, workshops and other events. I am delighted to have been a part of that growth in these past five years.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

 

Frank Coughlan

President

frankacoughlan@bigpond.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you

 

On Behalf of the Members, Frank, thank you for all that you have contributed to the Society in the time that you have been our President. You have presided over the work of the Committee and the Society with unflagging warmth, presence, energy, good will and readiness to take risks and stretch our horizons.  Your hand at the tiller will be much missed.

 

Thank you also to everyone who has contributed to the success of the Society in 2006, particularly those who help at events with setting up the room and cleaning up afterwards. Your help is very much appreciated.

 

Anne Di Lauro, Membership Secretary & Newsletter Editor


Upcoming events at the Jung Society

 

February 2007

The Scribble, the Circle, and the Mandala:

 the evolution of the psyche in young children's drawing

A presentation by Robyn Brady

 

 

Thursday 1 February 2007, 7:30 pm

St Mary’s Parish House, Cn Merviale and Peel Sts, South Brisbane

Members and concession $5; Non-members $10

 

Preceded at 6 pm by the Annual General Meeting

 

 

Children's drawing development in its early stages follows a fairly universal pattern which reflects the organisation of the developing human mind and pysche. Those 'in the know' talk of the construction of the first circle as a more pivotal, defining moment in the development of the child than the much celebrated 'first steps'.

 

 In this illustrated talk, Paediatrician and children's art enthusiast Robyn Brady takes us on a journey with the emerging child's psyche and helps familiarise us with the symbolic language and stages of young (under 7years) children's art.

 

 

 

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE C.G.JUNG SOCIETY OF QUEENSLAND

6 pm Thursday 1 February, 2007, St. Mary’s Parish House, Cn. Merivale and Peel Sts, S. Brisbane

 

          Report on the year’s activities and financial report

          Adoption of the revised version of the Constitution

In 2006 the Committee worked on updating the Society’s Constitution. With this issue of the Newsletter, financial members will receive a copy of the Society’s present Constitution together with a copy of the proposed revision. Changes to the Constitution must be approved by the membership at a General Meeting of the Society.

          Election of a new Committee for 2007

The Committee does the work necessary for the Society to function – organising speakers and advertising events, keeping a record of the membership, looking after the Society’s finances, etc. At the beginning of each year, all positions - President, Membership Secretary, Committee Secretary, Treasurer, Newsletter editor, Publicity officer and Librarian – become vacant.

          Feedback and suggestions from members

 

It is time to renew your membership for 2007.

Please use the enclosed form.

 

March 2007

 

T h e  J o u r n e y  o f  t h e  Q u e e r  ‘I’ :

A gay man recovers his innate spiritual gift from the ashes of shame

 A presentation by Victor Marsh

 

 

Thursday 1 March, 2007

7:30 – 9:30 pm

St. Mary’s House, Cn Merivale and Peel Sts, South Brisbane

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

 

 



The motto over the doorway to Jung’s house in Küsnacht was in Latin: ‘Vocatus atque non vocatus, deus aderit’ (whether invoked or not invoked, the god will be present).  Yet, for a sissy boy growing up in redneck West Australia during the 1950s, the teachings of the Church would have him banished from the Kingdom as an abomination (Hebrew ‘toevah’).  Psychological medicine isn’t much help either, treating him – or his condition – as a pathology (as a teenager, he reads von Krafft-Ebing). 

How does he find his way back from exile in the harsh badlands of shame?  He experiments tentatively with sex, tries drugs, engages with politics in a famous theatre group, chants Hare Krishna, practises yoga, stands on his head atop a mountain, and reads his way through the spiritual bookstores of several cities, all without re-locating his home zone.


Homosexuality is often represented as mutually opposed to spirituality, especially as constructed by conservative religious discourse.  But who is a homosexual when he is not having sex?  Throughout my life I have been blessed (or cursed) with an urge to reconnect with something that I felt I had lost.  My journey has been punctuated by moments of synchronous intrusion into mundane awareness by certain events which shifted me into what you might call ‘altered states’.  These include dreams, interactions with the natural world, and spontaneous shafts of insight from some other, out-of-the ordinary frame of reference.                                       

There was no reinforcement from the culture of my upbringing – neither from family, nor church, nor education – to assist me in interpreting the meaning of these moments, but many of them lingered with me as luminous talismans which have only slowly given up their significance when recollected in quiet retrospect (and usually not through rational analysis.)

Relieved when I found that Christianity was not the only game in town, my curiosity (some would say, after reading my memoir, my desperation) led me in other directions.  In a kind of reverse colonisation, I turned ‘East’ to seek out practical technologies of introspection, namely meditation and other supporting tools, to turn within and examine the roots of personal identity.  This inner work has been carried out within the context of a guru-student relationship, a bond which was forged in 1972 and continues to this day. 

I will read excerpts from my memoir 'The Boy in the Yellow Dress' (a work in progress) to develop certain principles which I feel might be of general interest.

Victor is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland.  Previously he has worked in television ('Beyond 2000', 'Young Talent Time'), theatre (the Pram Factory Theatre in Carlton), and spent a decade of rigorous but blissful life as a modern-day monk, teaching meditation in a dozen or so countries on behalf of his guru.


Children’s Art: The Scribble Years

Robyn Brady


This article appeared originally in http://planetcreature.blogspot.com/

 

Those who have seen After Maeve or planetcreature.com, know that I am passionate about children's art. For example, at one of Maeve's early birthday parties I showed a retrospective of Maeve's drawings during the pre-represententational years (the various stages of scribbling, as per Rhoda Kellogg[1]), which absolutely no-one appreciated…

Children's drawing development in its early stages follows a fairly universal pattern which reflects the organisation of the human mind and pysche. Those 'in the know' talk of the formation of the first circle as a more pivotal, defining moment in the development of the child than the celebrated 'first steps'.

The circle progresses to a mandala (combinations of circle and square or cross), variations on a circle, e.g. with radiations, like a sun, and then becomes humanoid. Here I am showing the first humanoid mandala which I ever saw of Maeve's. It appeared in the middle of 1996 while I worked half-time in a very busy and chaotic general emergency department; I took it to work and stared at it from time to time as a source of wonder, delight and 'order' amidst the carnage. You can, once you think about it, recognise three central facial features (2 eyes and a nose?), and 4 limb appendages.

It is essential to understand as a core principle that early childhood drawings do not represent what children see. They represent how they conceive of the world. (One could argue, as Goethe did, that even as adults 'we see what we know', and therefore children are actually drawing what they see, but they do not perceive the world in a photographic or an objective fashion organised around perspective, etc). In the child's completely unicentric view of the world, pictorial output is defined almost solely by the meaning of something in their mind, and in the toddler and young child, the primary meaning-space is occupied by the face and the enfolding body of the primary care-giver. In a later portrait of which a detail is shown on the planetcreature site, one recognises the experience of a central being inhabiting the leg-space of the central care-giver (as I see it, the symbolic containment of the experience is drawn, not necessarily Robyn's or Frank's actual legs).

I guess one of my missions in life is to help adults (parents and otherwise) to try to comprehend the experience of the child's mind, so that they can avoid creating unnecessary damage, through ignorance rather than malice, at early stages, particularly when the memory structures of the child's mind are pre-verbal and therefore less able to be easily accessed and cognitively manipulated.

One of the best ways to try to enter a young child's experience of the world is to sit with them as they draw, and to try to experience their pictures in a symbolic way. Kellog (1) (who collected about a million drawings from children around the world) was fascinated even by such aspects as the different ways in which young children orient their scribbles in relation to the paper border, and described 9 or so different layout styles, which must relate to very early, probably universal, mental constructions of space. I have been intrigued to discover resonances with these core layouts in the compositions of the Great Masters, and, for example, the photographs of Ansel Adams.

Experiencing children's drawing does not exactly mean understanding what they mean: this is impossible, imprudent, disrespectful, and patronising (!!!) although the more often you enter a child's world as co-observer, the more closely one can begin to sense the world as they see it. That means it is important not to ask what something IS, or to say what you think something might represent. A young child is not drawing rationally, they are drawing out of their inner sense of being, with the delight of creation, of making their mark on the world. You could as well ask them what their spontaneous dance IS or means. Experiencing just means watching without judging, and where possible without intrusion, and simply observing, immersing yourself in their style of drawing (exuberant, concentrated etc), use of space, attention to detail, joy in their own production etc. If you must interact, the technique I have settled upon is to 'sing' the drawing with them: to retrace with my hand the lines they have drawn with the sort of energy and focus I saw them use in different areas, echoing this focus and emotional rhythm with mouth noises like blowing or clicking.

Children crave attention, but the best attention we can give them is the sense of being felt, being comprehended, without judgement. Channelling their productions can come later, and as for modelling, well we are doing that by our own behaviour every minute.

Dreaming in China

Anne Di Lauro

 

In Cao Xi, on the outskirts of the city of Shaoguan, some 220 km north of Guangzhou, China, the Buddhist temple and monastery of Nan Hua is laid out on the tree-covered slopes of Bao Lin Mountain. The setting is idyllic. Its many buildings, courtyards, walks and gardens are neat and well kept.  The architecture is in turns colourful and grand, austere, intimate. Monks walk singly or in small groups to their occupations. Some have mobile phones. At the door to the kitchen and dining area used by the teachers are baskets of vegetables, while seaweed is laid out to dry on the pavement. In discreet courtyards, clothes are hanging on the verandas. In the gardens, music emerges from a hidden source.

 

Through passages, archways and stairs one arrives in the courtyard of the hall where the 1300 year-old embalmed body of Hui Neng is seated. Hui Neng (638-713) was the Sixth Patriarch of the Chan (Zen) sect in China and considered to be the founder of Zen. His teachings are found in The Sutra of Hui Neng (1).

 

It is the end of October, a holiday, and visitors to the monastery are paying their respects by burning candles and incense. Some kneel on a low wooden stool before the door. A smell of burning cooking oil is in the air.  This year the Double Ninth Festival, the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, falls on 30 October. According to the I Ching, that ancient Chinese text that is at the heart of traditional Chinese wisdom, nine is a yang (masculine) number, so 9/9 is a day of double yang and therefore a day of potential danger - traditionally a day to climb a mountain (in order to escape danger), to drink chrysanthemum wine or tea, to burn paper money or paper clothes to keep the dead warm through the winter months, and in modern China, a day to honour the aged.

 

Now it is evening, and a small group makes its way quietly through the monastery to the hall of Hui Neng to begin the evening’s activity. The group comprises eleven foreigners, practitioners of Jungian analyst Robert Bosnak’s Embodied Imagination method of dream work, and some 20 Chinese psychology students and their professor, Shen Heyong. It is thanks to Professor Shen that we have the incredible privilege of entering this sacred space to meditate and to do dream work. Professor of Analytical Psychology at South China Normal University in Guangzhou and President of the Chinese Institute of Analytical Psychology, he also teaches psychology at the Buddhist Training College at the Nan Hua monastery.  Trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in San Francisco, he is the only Chinese Jungian Analyst in China.

 

For five mornings we gather in a lecture hall in the monastery dominated by a mural depicting Hui Neng, and for five evenings we sit on the floor in the sombre light of the small hall where Hui Neng sits, and we do dream work. The life of the monastery drifts evocatively through the window. There is chanting in the main temple. A gong sounds.

 

We have each incubated a dream about the experience of being in the presence of Hui Neng; then we have brought our dream to the group. There are dreams of rising, dreams of descending, dreams of water, dreams of beautiful clothes, dreams of singing, dreams of aging.

 

Dream incubation for healing originated, as far as I know, in the West, in ancient Greece. As I reflect upon the notion of incubating a dream here in China, I think of Jung’s Foreword to his friend Richard Wilhelm’s translation of the I Ching (2), in which he distinguishes between the Western notion of causality and the Chinese notion of “coincidence of events in space and time as meaning something more than mere chance, namely, a peculiar interdependence of objective events among themselves as well as with the subjective (psychic) states of the observer or observers.” (p. xxiv) which Jung called synchronicity.  And I wonder whether our incubated dreams could be regarded as having been “caused” by the incubation process or whether they are the result of synchronicity.  My own dream feels more like the latter.

 

My dream begins in a place that looks like a laundry where I am carefully emptying water that remains in a hose after it was disconnected from the tap, into a bucket. I then place a hollow walking stick into the bucket, and the liquid rises inside it. I empty the liquid from the walking stick into a hole in the bonnet of a car. Shen points out that my dream has echoes of an episode described in the Sutra of Hui Neng, in which Hui Neng, on the grounds of this very monastery, strikes a rock with his walking stick to bring forth a spring of fresh water with which to wash his clothes! The spring is still there, marked by a carved relief showing Hui Neng with his walking stick, and it is the only time while I am in China that I dare to taste water that is not bottled.

 

I am still perplexed about the “meaning” of this dream, yet I have a sense of having touched something that cannot be explained in words, through the image and through the strongly felt embodiment of rising energy in the walking stick. This seems to be a frequent experience of dreamers who work on their dreams using the Embodied Imagination method. In the study I carried out in 2003 – a phenomenological study of three dream work sessions using EI led by Robert Bosnak and Jill Fischer – each dreamer touched on a sense of the numinous through an image or an activity into which they were drawn as if by some compulsion.

 

Words are inadequate to describe these experiences, of having received a nod from the gods. In doing the dream work, we experience the numinous directly, without passing through words, just as Chan Buddhism teaches enlightenment as being the direct experiencing of the mind (or, as Professor Shen taught us, “Heart”, which, he says, is a better translation than “Mind”.)

 

In his Foreword to D.T. Suzuki’s “Introduction to Zen Buddhism” (3) Jung likens the Buddhist notion of spiritual enlightenment (satori in Zen) to his own notion of individuation and the achievement of wholeness. What is mysterious in both cases, however, is how enlightenment / wholeness happens. One can tell stories about it but there is no logical explanation. Both involve going beyond the ego, or making the ego disappear: “The goal [of psychotherapy] is transformation; not indeed a predetermined, but rather an indeterminable, change, the only criterion of which is the disappearance of I-ness.”  While he believes that a direct transmission of Zen to the Western mind is neither commendable nor possible, Jung comments that “The psychotherapist, however, who is seriously concerned with the question of the aims of his therapy cannot be unmoved when he sees what ultimate result an oriental method of spiritual “healing” – i.e. “making whole” – is striving for.” (p xxxvi).

 

In his Commentary on “The Secret of the Golden Flower” (4), Jung describes a process he has observed in his patients: rather than do violence to one side or other of their natures, they “outgrew” the problem by reaching a new level of consciousness. He asks: “What did these people do in order to bring about the development that set them free?  As far as I could see, they did nothing (wu wei) but let things happen.” (p.16) Jung here is referring to one of the basic principles of Taoist thought: wu wei. Translated in the Commentary, as “action through non-action”, it is a concept that can be explained in many ways, for example, not imposing one’s own intention, or letting nature take its course. And this brings me back to the Embodied Imagination method of dream work, an important part of which involves wu wei. The dreamer embodies the images and emotions of the dream, then does nothing but simply allow the embodied states to “cook”. The dream works on the dreamer, in a mysterious way.

 

Late in the evening we return to our hotel a few kilometres from the monastery. One of the students offers us chrysanthemum tea. It is delicious.

 

References

 

1. The Sutra of Hui Neng: Sutra spoken by the 6th Patriarch on the High Seat of “The Treasure of the Law”. Nan Hua Temple, 1997.

2. I Ching or Book of Changes: the Richard Wilhelm translation rendered into English by Cary F. Baynes. With a Forword by C.G. Jung. Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983.

3. Suzuki, D.T. An Introduction to Zen Buddhism. Foreword by Carl Jung. New York, Grove Press, 1964.

4. Jung, C.G. Commentary on “The Secret of the Golden Flower”. In Jung, C.G. Collected Works, vol 13, p. 1-56. Princeton University Press, 1983.

 


 

 

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 Jung’s work through the exploration of its psychological and spiritual applications to the individual journey and interpersonal relationships, and by considering the ways in which Jung’s writings and ideas can contribute to the healing of modern society.

 

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

 

Established in 1982, the Society is a non-profit and non-professional association.  The Society’s 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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C.G. Jung Society of Queensland - Committee for 2006

 

President                               Frank Coughlan                  3356 1127            frankacoughlan@bigpond.com

 

Membership Secretary      Anne Di Lauro                      3511 0167            dilauro@ozemail.com.au

 

Committee Secretary         Monica Sharwood              3847 3077            monicasharwood@optusnet.com.au

 

Treasurer                              Brendan McMahon            0402 583 701       klarex@powerup.com.au

 

Assistant Treasurer             Janeil Smith                         5531 8340            s4087905@student.uq.edu.au

 

Librarian                                                Marie Sinclair                      3371 1285            mbs03@bigpond.net.au

 

Newsletter editor                 Anne Di Lauro                      3511 0167            dilauro@ozemail.com.au

 

Committee member           Josephine Combe              5564 0051            josephinejo@bigpond.com

 

Committee member           Danielle Montgomery                                         danimontgomery12@hotmail.com.au

 

Committee member           Krystyna Soler                      3372 2379            ksoler@bigpond.net.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

cgjungqld.tripod.com



 

 

Images:

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Mandala as illustration to 'The Journey of the Queer "I"'

robyn_maeve2.jpg
Rhoda Kellog's 'the various stages of scribbling'

china_walkingstick2.jpg
Hui Neng with his walking stick, Nan Hua Monastery