Posts

The Crucible of Complexes

According to Carl Gustav Jung, “The more “complexes” a man has, the more he is possessed.” We all have complexes, there is no getting away from that. A complex, you may be wondering, is a set of repeated patterns of normally highly charged emotional states associated with the past. Memories, impulses, or desires, organised around a common theme, that may be repressed, which give rise to a complex being constellated, and the behaviour of the person to being one of “acting out.”...

The Daimon

I recently listened to a fantastic Ted Talk by author Elizabeth Gilbert that spoke on the benefits of mystical thinking in creative work. Gilbert adopts the ancient Greek belief that creativity comes to us from a ‘daimon’, a disembodied intelligence with numinous imperative that seeks to inspire and assist us in our work. According to Gilbert, it is through our partnership with these supernatural beings that ideas are born into the world. She recommends this as a beneficial mode of...

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 The...

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 done...

Two Dreams: an archetypal analysis

This is an excerpt of a recent analysis and discussion Stephen Farah, HOD at the Centre, had with some of the Centre’s senior students about two dreams that were shared on Magnum Opus. The dreams are shared anonymously with the permission of the students concerned. Both dreams are remarkable examples of what we learn about dreams through an archetypal analysis.

Anima and Animus: Desire and Prohibition

Speaking frankly, I think it is accurate to say the Jungian discourse on the anima and animus is currently in a state of some disarray. By saying that, I am not claiming that no one has or is working on its remedy. Respected scholars in the field, and just to name a few I have some personal association with, such as Polly-Young Eisendrath, John Beebe, Susan Rowland, and Andrew Samuels, among many others, have written on it. Each in their...

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 seven...

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 and...

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 thin...

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 refined...