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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 [...]

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 [...]

The Secret of the Golden Flower

I want to share a story with you about The Secret of the Golden Flower.[1] How I came across it, the journey it took me on and something of what I learnt along the way. The story begins Lü Yán, also known as Lü Dongbin (796 CE-1016 CE) was a Tang Dynasty Chinese scholar and poet who has been elevated to the status of an immortal in the Chinese cultural sphere, worshipped especially by the Taoists. Lü is one of the [...]

Confession Tertius

Reflections and confessions in the aftermath of the year 2020 This will be the third in a sequence of annual confessions I began in 2018. The motivation for these is to connect and form common cause with the students entering the Nigredo Stage of the Magnum Opus Programme that commences each year in January, to conduct my own psychic housekeeping, and to take a moment to pause and reflect on the virtue and vices of the year I have lived [...]

The Black Books 1913-1932. Notebooks of Transformation

A Summary and Review by Shane Eynon, PhD Author: Carl Gustav Jung Original title:  The Black Books 1913-1932. Notebooks of Transformation Translator: Martin Liebscher, John Peck, Sonu Shamdasani Publisher:  Philemon Foundation and W. W. Norton & Co. Publication date: 2020 Pages 1648 ISBN   9780393088649 The Black Books (Jung, 2020) have been promoted primarily as the source material for the Red Book (Jung, 2009) in the material used by the publisher (Philemon Foundation, 2020).  The text of The Red Book draws on material from The Black Books between 1913 and 1916. Approximately fifty [...]

Emma Jung on Anima and Animus

Emma Jung wrote two papers on the Anima an Animus. Personally, I think she has been overlooked as a significant contributor to Jungian Theory. I decided to write a post about her papers to capture as concisely as possible her valuable perspective. Anima and Animus: Personal and Archetypal The Anima and Animus is on one hand rooted in the individual consciousness and on the other in the collective unconscious, and as such are bridges between the personal and impersonal, the conscious [...]

Problems, dilemmas, predicaments: a Jungian approach

As long as one is alive, sane and living in the world you can be sure of having to face and negotiate problems. Much like death and taxes, problems come with the territory. To quote the Bard, To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles, And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep No more; and by a [...]