The Solutio: Memories, Dreams, Synchroncities

Wealth has always been an important symbol to me. And, to be clear, by “wealth” I don’t mean some nebulous expression of “abundance” in my life. I have often find myself smiling ironically when hearing evangelical preachers telling their congregation that Jesus wants “abundance” for them. No, I don’t mean “abundance”, I mean simply, financial wealth. Like Floyd Money Mayweather, it’s the greenbacks that impress me. I’m not dissing those other good things, like health, longevity, and procreation -albeit [...]

Book Review: The Principle of Individuation by Murray Stein

THE PRINCIPLE OF INDIVIDUATION By Murray Stein, PhD A Brief Synopsis by Byron Gaist, PhD The author of this book, Dr. Murray Stein is a graduate of Yale University (B.A. and M.Div.), the University of Chicago (Ph.D.), and the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich (Diploma). He is a founding member of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts. He has been the president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology (2001-4), and the President of [...]

Confession Quartus: explorations of irony

Prelude This follows a tradition I started in 2018 of writing a personal confession at the end of each year. As such, and as the numerically astute may have already noticed, there is one confession missing.  I confess, I neglected to do this at the end of 2021. I will attempt to remedy this somewhat by not focussing too narrowly on the past year, but rather looking back at my life over the last two-years: 2021 and 2022. This confession is [...]

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 [...]