Here are the talks and workshops that happened at the Monterey Friends of CG Jung.
Opposites Attract, Like Repels: The Metaphor of the Field in Electromagnetism and Analysis—with Peter Holland, MD
There has been a shift in emphasis in contemporary analytic theory from the mind of the analysand, and the analyst, to what goes on between them. The term that best represents the notion of ‘in between’ is the field. There is an echo of an older use of the term in physics. The physical field was invented to bridge an antimony concerning the source of movement, or change: is it material, or immaterial? When bodies attract, as in gravity, or magnetism, is there action at a distance, or is the space between them completely filled with matter that conveys the force? In early modern Europe, action at a distance was rejected as associated with an older, magical world view. The perspective that was lost was that of an anima mundi, with cosmos mirroring psyche.
Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence—with Brian George
Brian George’s debut collection of personal essays invites the reader on a journey beyond the normal categories of space, time, and narrative structure, toward a further shore of multidimensional and more-than- human experience. These are “essays” in the sense
of attempts or explorations of a subject which is too vast, and too profound, yet also, paradoxically, too familiar (to some deepest part of us) to be exhausted by any one expression or approach.
As George puts it, “The book is not quite a collection of essays, or the fragments of an autobiography, or a record of inter-dimensional journeys, or a work of metaphysics, or a sociopolitical critique, or an attempt to formulate a contemporary mythology—although it has elements of all of these.” One way to read Masks of Origin that juxtaposes—in one panoramic sweep, all of these elements—is to view it as a meditation upon destiny, or more simply, as a probing of the pattern that gives form to one life. I would argue that we each possess a ‘preexistent story,’ whose end we intuit, but whose details we must discover step by step. The magnetic field of our destiny comes first, and it functions as a kind of DNA, around which the body of our experience must grow.”
Group Discussion of the Legend of the Grail—with Stephanie Brauer
Have you ever shied away from asking the question that must be asked? Or from inquiring into a wound stifling the path toward transformation? Have you considered the quest you are called to, with its many twists, turns, and tangents? And what could be the essence of the boon that awaits you on this journey? A spiritual vessel, an alchemical stone, a life-sustaining elixir? Or something else entirely?
We will discuss these questions and more as we lightly trod along with Perceval, or Parzifal, on his adventures and missteps in his legendary quest for the Grail, as framed by the research of C.G. Jung’s wife, Emma Jung; their colleague, Marie-Louis von Franz; Dr. Martin Shaw, mythologist; and others.
Projection and Re-Collection in Jungian Psychology: Reflections of the Soul by Marie-Louise von Franz
In our first legacy book written by a woman, one of Jung’s inner circle, we explore what it means to project and then to withdraw one’s projections, individually and collectively. Indeed, projection is rampant in American culture. How is that affecting our psyche?
Now that we have an understanding of how projection operates in life, in ourselves, in others, we will proceed through the next two chapters more rapidly. Von Franz takes up the issue of projection of spirit into matter from the perspectives of religion (chapter 2) and science (chapter 3). She gives us historical examples of the workings of projection, particularly in ancient Greece and early Gnosticism. Then, she describes how the god- image continues to be projected in modern physics.
The Legacy Series Reading Group meets once a month. Drop-ins are welcome.
William James Part II—with Eileen Murphy, MD
Tonight, we continue with William James. Our focus is on Truth. Since the time of Aristotle, Truth has worn many outfits—the Truth of Mystics, the Truth of the Inquisition and of Witch-hunters. There are philosophical truths of Correspondence and of Coherence. With William James, comes the Pragmatic Truth. James also advances another Truth—a spiritual one. He chooses to believe in a Creator God who is kindly disposed towards us human beings. Pragmatism was challenged by philosophers Nietzsche and Foucault who say that Truth is dressed in Power. The trendy styles these days are “truthiness” and “post-truth.” Where might various ideas of Truth lead us? Jung speaks differently of Truth—is it mystical?