Symbols

The Body and the Blood

When I was a kid, for as long as I can remember, every Friday night, we would go to my grandmother’s house for a family supper. As my mother and one of my aunts were fond of saying, “Every road leads to Mayfair,” the suburb my grandmother’s home was located.  We would go there for what I can only describe as a feast. My grandmother, God rest her soul, would prepare a feast for us every single week, without fail. [...]

An Alchemists’ Lair

I am not an intrepid traveler. I am rather attached to my comforts and routines and usually overwhelmed by the airports and stations and luggage and people and shops. So it was with great trepidation that I set off to Zurich to attend the C.G. Jung Institute Winter Intensive, 2016. I traveled with a group organised by Dr. Leslee Brown that included accommodation and outings. This really worked for me, since I usually hide out in my hotel room [...]

Working with Symbols: manifesting Health, Wholeness and Meaning

In the Jungian system, there are four ways of using symbols in order to create meaning and depth in your life. The first way is as a tool for dialogue with unconscious content and its integration it into consciousness. The second way is to heal experiences of trauma or loss. The third way is to use symbols to imbue your life with meaning and magic. And the final way is to use symbols to resolve conflict and manifest conscious intent. Symbolising unconscious content in [...]

Of Butterflies and other Symbols of Transformation

I have a butterfly in a bottle on my desk. It is not a real butterfly, it is fake. There is a wire attached to it and it is battery operated. When you tap the top of the bottle, the butterfly flutters and flies and flaps its wings. It is absolutely convincingly real. I LOVE it! I am fascinated by it and it is a symbol for me. Perhaps it is the ingenuity of the design, or the fact that it [...]

A Roadmap of the Soul

Although not our natural state, I believe in the possibility of a truly meaningful and fulfilled life. A life lived with a sense of profound excitement and awe; a life where the depth, complexity and beauty of the cosmos live in us. I don’t suggest that suffering is not a reality, or that I have personally reached such an elevated state of consciousness. I suggest rather, that much suffering we do endure is illegitimate and that: a meaningless existence, boredom, lack of purpose, a [...]

The experience machine and Jung’s symbolic attitude

I heard from one of my lecturers at Wits recently about a book called Better never to have been: the harm of coming into existence, written by a local lad, Professor David Benatar, HOD of the philosophy department at the University of Cape Town. As the title suggests Benatar proposes that it is far better never to be born; that one is irreparably harmed by coming into existence. The two arguments that Benatar offers for this view are: 1.By bringing someone [...]