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The Hermetic Roots of Jung’s Undiscovered Self—with Mervat Nasser, MD, MPhil

July 25 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
Carl Jung                              


Jung is perhaps one of the most Hermetic/Gnostic thinkers of our era.  He wrote about the Nag Hammadi Hermetic scripture, Zosimos’s visions, and the influence that Paracelsus and Goethe had on him. Although Jung is known as a psychodynamic analyst famous for his theories of the archetypes and the collective unconscious, the ‘Jung’ that will be discussed here is the existential one—the psychologist of human potentialities and true becoming.  In The Undiscovered Self (2006) Jung makes a plea to the Self to know (it)Self, as our future depends on resisting being one of the herd and on differentiating our self-values from the collective and mass culture values. This process of ‘Individuation’ can never be achieved without the full knowledge of the Self of its opposing parts. Becoming whole is therefore done through the integration and harmonization of those conflicting and polarised parts. Only then can the Self discover its embedded ‘hermetic’ potentials and pioneer alternative existence.

The human race, for example, shares a common universal form by which we know that a man is a man. Yet all human beings have a distinctly different form, of which no two are entirely alike. – Hermetica

The process of individuation should not be mistaken for cultivating individualistic or narcissistic streaks that separate the individual from the responsibility that one has towards one’s own society or indeed the whole world. Rather, the aims are for the Self to see (it)Self with the ‘eye of the soul,’ to learn what genuinely belongs to it, and to achieve trueness and authenticity.

Mervat Nasser, MD, MPhil, FRCPsych studied at Cairo Medical School and London University. She also studied Moral Philosophy the History of Medicine.  She served as a clinical psychiatrist and university academic in England from 1977-2007. Her clinical practice focused on general adult psychiatry with special interest in the field of culture and mental health. She achieved international stature and reputation through her various publications on the interface between mind and culture.  Her long-standing interest in Egyptology led her to take early retirement in 2007 and return to Egypt to pursue her dream of establishing the New Hermopolis, an integrated model of development combining eco-tourism, desert agriculture, and rural education in arts, culture, and heritage. A modern counterpart to its neighboring “city of Thoth” (Hermopolis, and other historically important sites), this centre is founded on bringing ancient knowledge to light for the renewal of humankind. www.newhermopolis.org.


July 25
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm