Blog

Love me, so that I can love myself: A Western identity crisis

I recently watched a thought provoking TED Talk by Yann Dall’Aglio, a French philosopher. His talk was about the current Western approach to love. There is no doubt that we all want to be loved, not only romantically, but also by family, friends and peers. Yann makes compelling observations about the way this “desire to be loved” has impacted on modern Western society, and that it is not necessarily in a positive way; in fact he reveals a rather disturbing [...]

The rainmaker and the dream of drought

Jung was fond of telling a story of a drought being broken in a village in China by a Taoist rainmaker.[1] I share the story and some further thoughts on it in the light of the current drought and impending day zero in the Cape. There was a great drought where [Richard] Wilhelm lived; for months there had not been a drop of rain and the situation became catastrophic. The Catholics made processions, the Protestants made prayers, and the Chinese burned [...]

“Man and His Symbols” in 2017: A Current Overview

Synopsis written by Shane Eynon Ph.D Publisher: Dell Original publication date:1964 Introduction The key features that one requires in orientating themselves to this particular book is the unique ways that it came to be written. It is a book that stands apart in many respects from the rest of the published works of Carl Gustav Jung. The principle aims of “Man and His Symbols” was to aid the general public in understanding Jung’s work and ideas. It is also the last book worked [...]

Answer to Job, by C. G. Jung: book synopsis

Answer to Job was first published in 1952 in German and was included in Jung’s “Collected Works”, as part of volume 11. It was published in English in 1954. It is regarded as one of Jung’s most controversial works. In Answer to Job, Jung demonstrates his in-depth knowledge of the Bible; however, what makes the book remarkable is the fact that it is a personal and authentic exposition of the subject of human suffering as it relates to the Christian [...]

The desire – drive dissonance and why you can’t always get what you want.

Sigmund Freud[1]and the birth of psychoanalysis gave rise to the idea of a “drive” and “drive theory”, (in German “trieb” and “Triebtheorie”. )[2] A drive, in this sense, is a psychical phenomenon that represents an unconscious motivation or instinct[3] in the subject’s psychology. The two most prominent of these drives for Freud are Eros, the sexual creative drive, and Thanatos, the aggressive and destructive death drive (Toedestrieb).[4] An important feature, maybe the most essential characteristic of a drive, is [...]

The Grand Promise of Transformation

transfəˈmeɪʃ(ə)n, noun, a marked change in form, nature, or appearance. There is a major paradox in the personal growth movement. A critical fault line running down its centre. We are sold and often tempted by promises of transformation, but, critically, what we most want is to be authentic. Do you want to transform? If you do, it is worth thinking about what you trying to change. Your nature? Who you are? How you live in this world? Do you want to be better? Do you desire to change somehow to [...]

Love: an existential guide to healthy relationships

I travelled to Vienna during May to attend an Existential Summit on Love. Presented by the wonderful and charismatic Dr Alfried Längle, it was an insightful and deeply meaningful experience for me. I want to thank Dr. Leslee Brown for organising this very enriching experience. Existential Analysis is a very practical system with a lot of soul. The course contained soulful concepts and ideas as well as practical suggestions on how to implement these concepts in your relationship. In this [...]

A short course in Wrestling an Angel

The mistake is to think of angels as cherubs. They’re not. That was just the romantic imagination of renaissance art. A more accurate perspective of the angel, at least psychologically, is provided by the Old Testament story of Jacob, who wrestled with the Angel of the Lord. To put it plainly, the angel fucked him up. He escaped with his life intact, no mean feat after seeing the face of God[1], but, not without suffering a dislocated hip, resulting [...]

Albedo: dialogue with the soul

What does it mean to enter into a dialogue with your soul? Jungian psychology is unusual in being a psychology for the healthy. Although Jung’s unique and original approach is a highly effective psychotherapeutic method, it goes beyond the narrow focus of medical psychotherapy. Jung and his Magnum Opus[1] provides an extraordinary system of psychological and spiritual growth and transformation. Whilst it is impossible to do justice to the method in a few sentences, or even to clearly state its [...]

The Middle Passage, from Misery to Meaning in Midlife by James Hollis

This book review is by Lynelle Pieterse and will be explored in the bookclub. Follow this link to join the Jungian Bookclub. James Hollis received his Diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, and is the Director of the C.G. Jung Educational Center in Houston, Texas. He is a frequent guest speaker who spends winters in analytic practice and writes during the summers. In his books, he elaborates on the theories of C. G. Jung. Contemplated [...]