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Entries in Carl Jung (2)

Monday
Sep112017

Jung Institute

“A dream is an unfulfilled wish,” answered a kid with a Ph.D. in Psychoanalysis from the Jung Institute.

“What else did he say?”

“He said, ‘There is no royal road to wisdom. To arrive at the future I must journey into the past. To attain the sanity of oneness with the One, I must risk the whirling madness of the possessed.’”

One year I spent three days at the Jung Institute of Psychoanalytical Study while hitching south toward the Mediterranean and Israel.

In June 1976, I slept on the lawn behind a stonewall at a biological institute on the outskirts of Zurich. Every morning women cleaning glass sang, Get up. Get up. I stashed my sleeping bag and backpack in a garden, walked to the Banhof for a roll and coffee and uphill to the Institute that opened at 11 a.m.

In a fine old brown stone residential castle with turrets and secret unconscious passages the institute offered classes and lectures on Jungian work. Professionals from around the world studied, attended seminars and completed their post-graduate education or audited classes for personal growth.

Between lectures, lawyers, theologians, teachers, philosophy majors and academics, some with a Ph.D. in Life, discussed Jungian thought.

The common thread was how their life, their quest for knowledge and greater insight into the human condition had led them through various disciplines and years of study to the institute. They said something totally incomprehensible was missing from their lives.

The truth is in the mystery.

The only book I pulled at random from a shelf in the Jung library was The Third Eye by T. Lobsang Rampa.

One morning people crowded into a lecture room. Languages filled space waiting for a lecture on the “Symbolism of Fire.” I took a small hourglass out of my pack and turned it upside down. Sand flowed.

“Jung talked about the spiritus contra spiritum, a god of ecstatic vision,” said the speaker. “He talked about the need for ecstasy without the chaos and how the archetypal ecstasy was for a god and soul.”

“Is the female ego in charge of the animus?” said a man.

“Yes. The animus speaks of women with a deep connection. It is a force that can seize you.”

“Is that why there is pain and delight in human relationships?” said a woman.

“Yes. The collective unconscious is too big to live out our personality so we create outer projections saying ‘bear my anima for me.’ This creates the pain and suffering. When there is individuation there is a strong ego personality.”

“Can you please give us an example?”

“Well, war is like a falling in love experience. The shadow, the dark side exists with the bright side and is misunderstood. The shadow is projected in dreams. Veterans carry images of losing, darkness, violence, destruction and evil inside them.”

“What is the healing tendency?”

“One must find meaning. It requires self-honesty. One respects dreams and the unconscious. They play. Fantasy is good, dynamic play. It is about symbolic levels. The collective unconscious is manifested in all cultures. This is why Jung was attracted to Asian symbols. He believed they existed near the bottom of their unconscious in an instinctual life.”

“People in the western cultures are afraid of death. Why?”

“Old age is a value feeling. Unfortunately, in some cultures it is perceived as insulting. It is the archetype of the old fool. It is fuller than the wise man. We create meaning. The imagination is the reality of the psyche combined with pure play. We listen to the wisdom of the dream. Everything we do is from the heart.”

When I was Jung I was Freudened. Ha.

I attended a lecture on the symbolism of fire. Cosmic creation energy...fire or water first in Oriental thought, quality of energy and quantity of substance. Satori fire-power emanating life and consciousness. Fire is spirituality. Yogic symbolism. Applied in India the thunderbolt kills the enemy and brings rain.

Surya is reception and light. Dream analysis symbolism of passions. Negative burning fires of hell.

Dream interpretation changes psychic energy into new conscious arrangement.

Bohme, said ‘then your heart is a dark valley where the devil kindles the heat. Leads to forty questions of the soul.’ In yoga Indian texts the soul essence is energy consciousness. Fire consumes ignorance: source of fire in soul and spirit. The yogic fire meditation is with the noon sun, meditating on physical process, digestion, and identifies with sun and fire to reach experience. Tapas transform energy. Concentrated introversion consciousness.

A Tibetan fire mandala with five colorful flames is a spiritual place. Created as psychic energy with five elements through creation. Fires of transformation creates spiritual regeneration as catharsis. Solar and lung energy and integration through dream interpretation.

Tibetan Book of The Dead = freedom. Fire is a driver, sexual desires. Soft wood and hard wood together create energy. Psychological use of fire, inner psychic fire from the lowest chakra spine sleeping serpent rising, united through to ‘eat the fires of energy’ as the libido is a power of regeneration through consciousness.”

During the lecture a worn copy of the I Ching, the Chinese book of divination translated by Wilhelm fell out of my bag. A female lawyer preparing to unlock the unconscious motivations of incarcerated juveniles saw it.

“Ah,” she said in a German accent. “I see you are reading a great book.’”

“Stumbling through it. I am curious about it.”

“Interesting. Have you heard of Madame Chang?”

“No. Who is she?”

“She’s a Sinologist. She is an authority on the I Ching and gives consultations. She has her office near here. Perhaps you could visit with her.”

“Yes. Thank you.”

I called her up and made an appointment to see what would happen. I arrived at the house, went through the back gate, approached a door and rang a bell. I entered a foyer. I looked up through a long ornate spiral staircase. At the top stood a woman. I climbed and climbed. Madame Chang was slight with close cut brown hair, glasses, about fifty.

“Hello, I’m the fellow who called your secretary asking to see you.”  I offered my hand.

“Yes,” she said taking my hand momentarily and then dropped it. “I was expecting you. I am Miss Chang. Won’t you come in?” She gestured to the open door.

The room was narrow. Along the walls were shelves holding stacks of books. To the left was a table with old Chinese books. One was open to a map. She offered a chair in the middle of the room under a slanting roof. I took a seat and she sat opposite me where she could gaze out the small window into blue sky.

She didn’t say anything for a moment and then looked at me. I felt penetrated as a fraud. Her gray eyes were distant. My first impression after sitting down was that I was in way over my head, that I was after some arcane knowledge and she knew it. Madame Chang sat silent and never said anything forever. She just sat there and let me look around. I realized I was out of my depth.

“I shouldn’t have come,” I said. “I am wasting your time.”

“Why did you come?”

I knew that her wisdom of the book was greater in scope than I’d ever begin to understand. Her vision was far away. I realized my small self.

“I’m not sure,” I blurted frightened by the sound of my voice. “It’s something about the I Ching about finding out the truth.”

“I usually give consultations to groups but am willing to meet with individuals. What is it you wish to know?”

“I came because someone said you could answer questions about the I Ching and I am curious about the book.”

“How many times have you thrown the coins?”

“Once. What should I do?”

“You should just study it. I would advise you to read the hexagrams and see the symbolism in the meanings of the text. See the intentions of the summary. It’s a very powerful book.”

I sat there looking at her and her books. It seemed like forever as my mind whirled around trying to come up with some semi-intelligent conversation. 

“It’s a long walk. Nothing more. It’s a long walk,” she said.

As if in a dream I got up and walked to the door.

“I usually accept contributions,” she said. I fumbled in my pocket, brought out a note and asked for half of it back in change. She returned the balance and showed me out.

“Thank you,” I said. “I appreciate your seeing me.”

I descended the spiral staircase to the ground floor. When I looked up she was standing on the top looking down at me. We waved goodbye.

Out on the street I looked up at the window. It was impossible to see the crease in the roof. There was only sky. I walked down the street as if in hypnosis, bought an apple and sat on a stone sidewalk meditating on our meeting. I opened the Book of Changes to #25, Wu Wang, Innocence, The Unexpected. “The firm comes from without and becomes the ruler within.

“I like it,” said a listener. “Inner directed like Rumi. What else?”

“Well, here’s a cool thing Jung said. ‘I liken the formation of a character to weaving a garment. You know what happens when you make a mistake? The whole pattern is spoiled. Then you have a choice: you can finish the garment, but it will always be botched and ugly, or you can unravel the weave right back to the first mistake and start again. That’s basically what analysis is about. It’s a tedious job. The patient is sometimes scared and hostile. The analyst has to lend patience, honesty and courage.”

A Century is Nothing

Saturday
Feb192011

projections

People crowded into a lecture room. Languages filled space waiting for a lecture on the symbolism of fire.

I found a chair, took a small hourglass out of my pack and turned it upside down. Sand flowed.

“Jung talked about the spiritus contra spiritum, a god of ecstatic vision,” the speaker said. “Jung talked about the need for ecstasy without the chaos and how the archetypal ecstasy was for a god and soul.”

“Is the female ego in charge of the animus?” a man asked.

“Yes. The animus speaks of women with a deep connection. It is a force that can seize you.”

“Is that why there is pain and delight in human relationships?” a woman asked.

“Yes,” the speaker said. “The collective unconscious is too big to live out our personality so we create outer figures, projections saying, bear my anima for me. This creates the pain and suffering. When there is individuation there is a strong ego personality.”

“Can you please give us an example?” someone said.

“Well, war is like a falling in love experience. The shadow, the dark side, exists with the bright side and is misunderstood. The shadow is projected in dreams. In war. Veterans carry images of losing, darkness, violence, destruction and evil inside them.”

“What is the healing tendency?”

“One must find meaning. It requires self honesty. They respect dreams and the unconscious. They play. Fantasy is good, dynamic play. It is about symbolic levels. The collective unconscious is manifested in all cultures. Thank you for your attention."