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The C. G. Jung Society of Queensland
Newsletter January - March 2008
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The C.G. Jung Society of Queensland

 

 

 

Newsletter                                                                             Jan - March 2008, No 54

 

 

President’s Letter

 

 

Dear Readers,

 

Jungian Psychology and Planet Earth

 

 

A

s I begin to write this first letter of the New Year, Australia has been applauded in Bali for having ratified the Kyoto Protocol, thus undertaking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  We begin the year with hopes and expectations vibrating in the air that governments will act urgently to halt the damage we are heedlessly inflicting on this planet we call Earth before it is too late.

 

In our thinking, sensate world, measurements and statistics are used to justify a situation in which the health of the environment is weighed against the doctrine of economic growth, with the scales heavily weighted by greed towards the latter.

 

As part of the western Judeo-Christian mindset, we have set out to master the environment, sheltering ourselves from the elements with air conditioning, defying distance with air travel using non-renewable fuels, waging war on illness, insects and weeds with poisons, and shutting ourselves away from the natural world in virtual reality. And yes, in many ways these are wonderful and noble achievements that demonstrate our success as a species. But there is an invisible presence “that dares not speak its name”. And if it could speak its name on the floor of parliament, in international environment and climate change bodies, in government reports, I believe we would be an even more successful species.

 

That mute presence is called grief – unacknowledged grief in the face of environmental damage; for we humans are rooted in the environment, in nature, not only physically but also psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

I was first awakened to my own grief in the face of pollution about 20 years ago when I was exploring an area in the south of France that I had just moved to. As I crossed a footbridge over a small river about a kilometre inland from the sea, I stood and looked down at a couple of water birds poking amongst slimy weeds in water that looked heavy and lifeless. I was overcome with sadness at this sight. I remember feeling not only grief and anger at that time but also a powerlessness to change anything.

 

I feel the same sick feeling when I walk beside Enoggera Creek, near where I live now, left stagnant by the lack of water, exacerbated by the raising of the dam wall at Enoggera Reservoir after the floods of 1974.

 

Recently I have come to understand this grief as being of spiritual origin. I feel this wound to nature as a wound to my soul.

 

From the perspective of Jungian psychology, the natural world is indivisible from the human soul. Jungian therapist and thinker Thomas Moore wrote in the journal Resurgence:

 

 “What reason could be more compelling for honouring the natural world than to know that it is the prime source of our spirituality?”

 

Our emotional / spiritual response to nature is archetypal, as witnessed by creative expression across cultures and ages - poetry, music and art - that fuses nature and soul.

 

In his Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung made frequent mention of his closeness to nature. For example, in describing his two personalities, Jung wrote of personality No. 2:

 

The other was grown up – old, in fact -  sceptical, mistrustful, remote from the world of men, but close to nature, the earth, the sun, the moon, the weather, all living creatures, and above all close to the night, to dreams, and to whatever “God” worked directly in him. I put “God” in quotation marks here. For nature seemed, like myself, to have been set aside by God as non-divine, although created by Him as an expression of Himself. Nothing could persuade me that “in the image of God” applied only to man. In fact it seemed to me that the high mountains, the rivers, lakes, trees, flowers and animals far better exemplified the essence of God than men with their ridiculous clothes, their meanness, vanity, mendacity and abhorrent egotism – all qualities with which I was only too familiar from myself, that is, from Personality No. 1, the schoolboy of 1890. (p. 62)

 

The yearning of the soul finds its expression particularly in poetry. There is scarcely a poet who does not turn to the outside world as metaphor for what is happening in the soul.  The following passage from William Wordsworth’s Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey expresses, as Jung does, that nature is infused with the presence of the divine:

 

                                  … And I have felt

A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of elevated thoughts: a sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused,

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

And the round ocean and the living air,

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:

A motion and a spirit, that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still

A lover of the meadows and the woods,

And mountains; and of all that we behold

From this green earth; of all the mighty world

Of eye, and ear – both what they half create,

And what perceive; well pleased to recognise

In nature and the language of the sense

The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,

The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul

Of all my moral being.

(lines 93 – 111)

 

 

An exciting book published by the Sierra Club in 1995 - Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind - seeks to broaden the boundaries of psychology to include the world, and to bring the insights of psychology into environmental questions.

 

In his foreword to this collection of contributions by 26 psychotherapists and environmental thinkers, James Hillman asks:

 

 When some cancers are hypothesized to begin in people suffering recent loss, what loss? Is it only personal? Or does a personal loss open the gates to that less conscious but overwhelming loss – the slow disappearance of the natural world, a loss endemic to our entire civilization? (p. xxi)

 

He makes this plea:

 

 Psychology, so dedicated to awakening human consciousness, needs to wake itself up to one of the most ancient human truths: we cannot be studied or cured apart from the planet. (p. xxii)

 

In his contribution entitled Jungian Psychology and the World Unconscious, Stephen Aizenstat describes a new movement in Depth Psychology, comprising James Hillman, Robert Sardello and others, to expand the study of psychic reality to include all phenomena, a realm of psyche that he calls the “world unconscious” – “a deeper and wider dimension of the psyche than that of the personal or the collective unconscious.” (p. 95). He suggests four areas in which Depth Psychology can play a role:

 

1) Developing an eco-centric, rather than an egocentric body of psychological knowledge;

2) Using phenomenological research methods to explore the voices of others who share the Earth through the study of dreams, visions and affective states;

3) Advocating for a psychotherapy that takes into account that suffering in the world is reflected in human beings;

4) Seeing physiological illness as also connected with our damaged relationship to nature.

 

In her contribution, entitled Working through Environmental Despair, Joanna Macy speaks of the distress we feel in connection with the larger whole of which we are a part, our pain for the world. Yet at the same time we lead a double life. On one level we live our lives within our own orbits. On the other there lurks an anguishing awareness which we repress. In her workshops designed to allow participants to work through their repressed emotional responses to ecological disaster, to bring empowerment out of despair, she uncovers the fears that inhibit us from acting – fear of pain, fear of failure, fear of guilt.

 

As we Jungians listen to our dreams, our symptoms, our imaginings, let us not be deaf to the voice of the “world unconscious”.

 

 

May your hopes for 2008 be fulfilled,

 

Anne Di Lauro

 

 

 

 

References:

 

Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. London, Fontana Press, 1993.

 

Moore, Thomas. Natural Spirituality. In: Resurgence, no. 186, Feb. 1998.

 

Roszak, Theodore, Gomes, Mary E. and Kanner, Allen D.  Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. San Francisco, Sierra Club, 1995.

 

Worsdsworth, William. Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798. In: The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Revised.  New York, Norton, 1975, p. 577.

 

H A V E  Y O U R  S A Y

 

ALL MEMBERS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE

 

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

 

6 pm Thursday 7 February, 2008, St. Mary’s Parish House, Cn. Merivale and Peel Sts, S. Brisbane

 

(followed at 7:30 by a talk by Kaye Gersch)

 

 

          Report on the year’s activities and financial report

 

New                Proposal to raise the annual membership fee by $5.

 

The annual membership fee has not been raised for many years. In order for the Society to continue to be able to break even over a year of operations, the Executive Committee proposes a modest rise of $5 bringing the membership fee to $35 per year ($25 concession, $50 for couples and families; $12 for newsletter only). This rise will still leave us in the position of having amongst the lowest membership fees of all the Jung Societies in Australia.

 

          Election of a new Committee for 2008

 

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 fall vacant:

 

 President

 Membership Secretary

 Committee Secretary

 Treasurer

 Newsletter editor

 Publicity officer

 Librarian.

 We also need an auditor.

 

          Feedback and suggestions from members

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is time to renew your membership for 2008.

You can renew at the next meeting or use the form on page 7.


 

Upcoming events at the Jung Society

 

February 2008

“Amor Fati” – to Love one’s Fate

A presentation by Kaye Gersch

 

 

Thursday 7 February 2008, 7:30 – 9:30 pm

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

Members and concession $5; Non-members $10

 

Preceded at 6pm by the Annual general Meeting

  

“The Fates lead the willing

But drag the unwilling.” (Cleanthes)

 

What does it mean to love our fate, as Jung concludes that we must? Is looking nostalgically at the past, to the good old days, or to what we used to be able to achieve when we were young, what Jung had in mind? How much does living consciously (whatever that might mean) change or direct our Fate?

 

Even Eckhart Tolle, in “The Power of NOW”, invites his readers to 'a pain-free existence by living fully in the present.’  Being fully present, accepting this moment, implies a willingness on our part to be with the Fates, rather than against them.  This is close to what we, following Jung, explore in this challenging idea of Amor Fati.  (Of course, Jung has a lot more to say about suffering, especially in relation to the discovery of meaning, which he also relates to Fate).

 

We will also pursue the enigmatic statement, “That which we do not approach consciously comes to us as Fate” (Jung, CW)

 

Kaye has been living in Cairns for the past 10 years (having come from Perth), where she practices as an Analytic Psychotherapist.  Her training is eclectic, being both Jungian and Freudian.  Her Master's thesis was entitled "Mysticism, Psychosis and Gnosis" and this year she takes up her PhD studies on the similar subject of feminine mysticism.   Kaye's original career was as a musician, and she particularly enjoys harpsichord. She performs with various ensembles.  Other interests include gardening, bush walking and writing - especially fiction and poetry.  A few decades ago she practiced as a Naturopath specializing in Homoeopathy, which led her to read and appreciate Jung.  Kaye is the mother of two daughters, one of whom died at the age of 14.  This death compelled her to seek depth analysis, with Dr Sally Kester. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fates

John Strudwick

- A Golden Thread

 

March 2008

 

Living in two worlds:

Communication between a white healer and her black counterparts

 

A presentation by Dr Robert Schweitzer

 

 

 

Thursday 6 March, 2008, 7:30 – 9:30 pm

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

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

 

 

 

Jung first wrote about the notion of "archaic man" in 1933, in which he compares conceptions of contemporary human experience with that of "primitive man".   His ideas were based, in part, upon his own experience of visiting Africa and his observations of what he termed "the psychic reality" of the people he met.  The proposed presentation will involve an interview between a research colleague I worked with over many years in Southern Africa, Dr Vera Buhrmann, and Mario Schiess. During this interview, Dr Buhrmann, who was a practising Jungian analyst, shares her insights in relation to the work of indigenous healers in a particular region in Southern Africa. These experiences have a direct relationship with Jung's earlier writings. The presentation includes the role of dreams, ritual, therapeutic practice and the idea of being "called".  Many of these concepts continue to have salience in our own work with clients. I will discuss the interview within a didactic format.

 

 

Robert Schweitzer is currently Associate Professor in Psychology at the Queensland University of Technology where he runs the clinical program.  He spent many years researching indigenous healing in Southern Africa and is currently researching healing in people from African backgrounds who have entered Australia as refugees.  In addition, he continues to work as a therapist in private practice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Advertisement

 

Patrick Burnett

Jungian Analysis and Psychotherapy

Member: ANZSJA, I.A.A.P, PACFA,

Supervising analyst C.G. Jung Institute (ANZSJA)

 

Confidential psychotherapy and clinical supervision

 

NOW AVAILABLE AT ROBINA ON TUESDAYS

 

Phone 0439945042

http://www.anzsja.org.au/

 

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Bulletin Board

 

Creative Painting workshops with the Archetypes of Light and Dark

 

For 6 weeks beginning on Monday 11 February, 2008 from 10 am to 12:30 pm

at the Uniting Church Hall, Kadumba St, Yeronga (corner of Kingsley Pde).

Jung wrote that the extreme open conflict between light and dark is the real world problem … However the self is absolutely paradoxical and represents a synthesis. We explore the opposites in our lives by using the radiant third way of Light and Shade and Colour.

Cost $25 per session or early bird price for 6 sessions in advance - $110.

Ring Pamela Bouma on 3392 7173

 

 

♣♣

 

 

C.G. Jung Society of Queensland

Membership Application / Renewal

 

New member [   ]   Renewing member [   ]         Date:  _______________________________

 

Please find enclosed my payment for $ __________________ (2008 rates subject to approval at the AGM on 7/2/08)

 

Single membership $35 [   ] Family / couple $50 [   ]        Full-time Student / pension $25 [   ]

Newsletter only $12 [   ]

 

Name: _______________________________________________________________________

 

Address: _____________________________________________________________________

 

____________________________________ __________ Postcode: _____________________

 

Telephone:  Home _______________________________ Work: ________________________

 

E-mail: _____________________________________________________________

 

Occupation: _________________________________________________________

 

                Signed: __________________________________

 

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


 

 

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

             New service: advertising of members’ workshops, if deemed appropriate by the editor,

                 to the Society’s membership by e-mail

 

New membership fee: Subject to approval at the AGM on 7 February 2008, annual membership costs for 2008 will be $35 ($25 concession/student/pension; $50 couples/family; $12 newsletter only)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C.G. Jung Society of Queensland - Committee for 2007

 

President                               Anne Di Lauro                      3511 0167            dilauro@ozemail.com.au

Membership Secretary      Ghislaine Salter                   3379 7122            gdsalter@iprimus.com.au

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

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

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

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

Committee member           Stuart  Douglas                                                    stuart.douglas@bigpond.com

Committee member           Esther Kelly                                                           e.kelly@griffith.edu.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

http://cgjungqld.tripod.com