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Drunkenness or sobriety?

And much as Wine has play’d the Infidel, And robb’d me of my Robe of Honour—well, I often wonder what the Vintners buy One half so precious as the Goods they sell… The Grape that can with Logic absolute The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute: The subtle Alchemist that in a Trice Life’s leaden Metal into Gold transmute. I stopped drinking – alcohol that is, in case my meaning wasn’t immediately explicit, the good stuff, here in the fairest Cape our vintners cultivate the Lord’s own grapes, about [...]

Mysterium Oceanus: part 2

Individuation and Humpback Whales Armed with a newfound confidence in exploring the ocean[1] that I have always both loved and been terrified of and this newfound passion for scuba diving, we signed up to do the ‘Sardine Run’ on the Eastern Cape Wild Coast. It is precisely here that things with respect to this aspiration of “becoming myself” grew more interesting.  It’s a long and rather winding story, and it is quite challenging to characterise the mix between my inner [...]

Crime Scene South Africa: on the edge of chaos

[This is a duplicate of a post first published by the author on Facebook in 2019.] I recently came across a Facebook post from an acquaintance, Amanda Patterson, which read ‘South Africa is basically one big crime scene.’ It went on to list the ‘most dangerous places to live in 2019’, South Africa, disappointingly, came in second place. So close! Brazil topped the list. Still, I think 2020 could be our year. You can hear the rule of law and [...]

Mysterium Oceanus: part 1

The problem with individuation, as described in the work of C. G. Jung, beyond its maddeningly enigmatic character, is that it is a somewhat grand aspiration. It is a lofty idealised notion conceived in the reified atmosphere of Küsnacht on the shores of Lake Zurich in Switzerland. Having had occasion to visit Jung’s residence there I can confirm that it has about it a decidedly Olympian aegis. This idea of “individuation” birthed in such elevated Apollonian climate, was further [...]

Four Steps to Transformation in Jungian Psychology and Gnostic Alchemy

I have been doing some research into the Mysterium for our upcoming Jungian Mystery School this year on the theme of the Unus Mundus. This combined with some prior research I have done on the “Four Stages of Transformation”1 has allowed me to map the corresponding stages of the Mysterium Coniunctionis2 onto the four stages of depth psychology that Jung describes in an earlier text and onto the four stages of the Magnum Opus, i.e., the four stages of [...]

FOUR ARCHETYPES Mother, Rebirth, Spirit, Trickster

By C.G. Jung Published by Routledge, 2003 “The hallmarks of spirit are, firstly, the principle of spontaneous movement and activity; secondly, the spontaneous capacity to produce images independently of sense perception; and thirdly, the autonomous and sovereign manipulation of these images.” (pp. 107-108, CW9 par. 393) When Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961) passed away aged 86, he left a prolific legacy of profound psychological writings which even in recent years have been gradually released to the public, such as the recent [...]

Systema munditotius: a Master Symbol

The question, “who am I?” lies at the heart of psychological and spiritual practice. It is the origin of self-inquiry. In Jungian psychology it is both the foundation stone and telos of individuation, the art of becoming oneself. The idea that there is indeed an answer to the question of one’s true nature is axiomatic to self-reflection and inquiry. Albeit that the answer is frequently maddeningly elusive and may lead the subject to either abandon the search or to [...]

Jung’s Red Book for our Time: Searching for Soul in the 21st Century

This past weekend I had the extraordinary privilege of attending the Jung’s Red Book for our Time: Searching for Soul in the 21st Century symposium held at Eranos and Monte Verità in Ascona (Switzerland).[1] This short post is intended to capture what stood out for me at the conference and an attempt at some type of synthesis from the various related but also quite diverse papers. This is not intended as a journalistic account as it is too fragmentary [...]