Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Seven Dangers of Becoming Interested in Jung’s Ideas by Daryl Sharp

From a talk by Daryl Sharp, publisher of Inner City Books


Jung’s ideas are apparently alive and kicking, so let me describe some of the dangers of becoming interested in them:

Danger # 1: First and foremost, there is the danger of intellectual appreciation that does nothing to enhance consciousness. The pursuit of information becomes more important than understanding your own experience. No one’s life can be explained by a theory, and no one has ever become conscious simply by believing in one.

Danger # 2: Second, there is the danger of applying Jung’s ideas to others and ignoring their relevance to oneself. For instance, it is relatively easy to see complexes at work in other people; it’s a life’s work to understand how and when they become active in oneself.

Danger # 3: Third, there is the constant danger of inflation. Reading Jung can be a heady experience. At last we see the light! Now we have the answers! Alas, the next time we fall in love or have a fight with our boss, we see that we are still prisoners of our own psychology.

Danger # 4: A fourth danger in getting hooked on Jung is to assume that what is true or right for oneself must also be healing and life-enhancing for everyone else. This is simple a particular manifestation of projection and the messiah complex. Jungian psychology saved my life but I do realize that others may find their truth in other ways. I like the poet Rilke’s comment:  “Basically, it’s none of our business how somebody else manages to grow, if only we’re on the trail of the law of our own growth.”

Danger # 5: A fifth danger is not discriminating between Jung’s work and how it used or interpreted by others. For instance, Jung’s model of typology is the basis for several popular type tests that are widely used in ways Jung specifically warned against.

Danger # 6: A sixth danger is to imagine that Jungian psychology is only about neurosis, personal conflicts and relationship problems. There is also a spiritual dimension, the aspect that has been called soul-making. Soul happens when you ponder alone in the still of the night. Soul is what you are, as opposed to what you seem to be. Analytical psychology is not a religion, but the human longing for consciousness, together with the search for meaning, is essentially a religious activity.

Danger # 7: The seventh and final point on my list is the danger of lumping Jungian psychology in with the so-called New Age Movement. New Age is a convenient label invented by the media. It encompasses a potpourri of individual disciplines involved in the development of mind, spirit, and body. For the most part, New Age pursuits are about self-improvement – by which is meant becoming a better person – or esoteric techniques that promise deliverance from the woes of this world. To this end the New Age journals tout the use of pendulums, crystals, flower therapy and special kinds of food. Such concerns have nothing to do with psychology. The New Age Movement has also spawned a huge market for group experience. In the sixties and seventies there were Encounter Groups and not much else. Now there are groups for just about everything. I don’t doubt that the value in people sharing their traumatic experiences with others who have suffered in similar ways. That’s catharsis, and it has a place. But it’s not depth psychology. If there is any common denominator among those involved in New Age activities, it seems to be the search for a transformative experience. There’s nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, people tend to mistake temporarily heightened awareness for rebirth, when they are merely inflated with an overdose of previously unconscious material. I don’t think I’m against the development of mind, spirit or body – I just take issue with some of the means to that end. I do acknowledge that what is written in New Age journals may lead some people to depth psychology in general, and to Jung in particular. However, in my experience this is more likely to happen in reaction to what they read, not because of it, especially if they are looking for more than facile answers to their problems.

THE ANTIDOTE to most of these dangers lies in the experience of personal analysis. You can appreciate the scope of Jung’s work, you can read everything he ever wrote, but the real opportunity offered by analytical psychology today only becomes manifest when you’re in analysis. That’s when Jung’s potentially healing message stops being merely an interesting idea and becomes an experiential reality.

***





Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Alchemy Recommended Reading List


Who were the alchemists and why is alchemy relevant to our lives today?

Carl G. Jung discovered that the images and processes he encountered in the old alchemy texts mirrored in symbolic form his theories of psychoanalysis and the unconscious. He saw in alchemy a metaphor for the process of individuation – the transformation of the personality and the search for wholeness. Most of Jung’s alchemical analysis of the psyche is described in three major volumes of his Collected WorksAlchemical Studies, Psychology and Alchemy and his final volume Mysterium Coniunctionis.

Explore the symbolism and process of individuation through:

Alchemy : An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology by Marie-Louise von Franz – This book explores the secret goal of alchemy, the transformation of the personality and the search for wholeness and is an invaluable resource for interpreting images in modern dreams and for understanding relationships.

Aurora Consurgens : On the Problem of Opposites in Alchemy by Marie-Louise von Franz - This rare medieval alchemical treatise is scattered throughout with insights relevant to the process of individuation in modern men and women. The penetrating commentary shows how a classical Jungian approach can unlock the meaning of this psychologically significant text. Originally published in 1966 as a companion volume to Jung’s major work, Mysterium Coniunctionis.

The Mysterium Lectures : A Journey through Jung’s Mysterium Coiunctionis by Edward F. Edinger A comprehensive study illuminating the depth and scope of Jung’s magnum opus and its relevance to everyday life. Here is a treasury of material for understanding and amplifying modern dreams and other unconscious contents.

The Mystery of the Coniunctio : Alchemical Image of Individuation by Edward F. Edinger - Two concise essays on the union of opposites: “Introduction to Jung’s Mysterium Coniunctionis” and “A Psychological Interpretation of the Rosarium Pictures”—the alchemical drawings on which Jung based one of his major works, The Psychology of the Transference.




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

FREE EBOOK - JUNG LEXICON : A primer of Terms and Concepts by Daryl Sharp




Carl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961)

Swiss psychologist and founder of Analytical Psychology, Jung brought us a rich framework through which we can explore our psyches, showing us how to look within at the most mysterious thing in the universe, ourselves. This is a journey to wholeness, to realizing our own individuality and to living a life rich in meaning and symbolism.

The Jung Lexicon was designed for those seeking an understanding of the relevant terms and concepts as they were used by Jung himself and includes choice extracts from Jung’s Collected Works. It is a comprehensive overview of the basic principles of Jungian psychology with each term informed by a close reading of Jung’s major writings. It is a valuable guide on the journey into Jungian language and ideas.

The Jung Lexicon is now available as a free eBook, through the graciousness and generosity of its author, Jungian analyst, Daryl Sharp, publisher and general editor of Inner City Books.

Download your free copy today and begin an exciting new adventure!


Monday, December 7, 2015

BOOK REVIEW - DESCENT TO THE GODDESS: A Way of Initiation for Women

Initiation by the Dark Goddess
Descent to the Goddess: A Way of Initiation for Women, Sylvia Perera, Inner City Books, 1981.

Unlike the Sumerian Goddess Inanna, I did not descend willingly. In 2006, my husband Vic Mansfield was diagnosed with incurable lymphoma. He died in 2008. I watched his struggle, eased his suffering when I could, witnessed and held when I couldn’t, and walked with him to the threshold of death. By the end, he and I were naked and stripped, like Inanna when she enters the Great Below.

A few years earlier, I had studied the myth of Inanna and read Sylvia Perera’s Descent to the Goddess with my women’s mythology class. I also met Perera in a workshop around that time. I did not know my life would soon be headed for an initiation into the Dark Feminine.

In 2015, I return to Descent to the Goddess as I prepare to co-lead a lecture/workshop weekend at C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota, FL with Jungian teacher and author Jean Raffa in March 2016. None of us want to descend, but all of us must. We are mortal. We lose what we love and counted on. Harsh experience taught me the importance of this myth as a guide. Descent to the Goddess and Perera’s unique revelations helped me understand, endure, and emerge.

If you don’t know the story of Inanna’s descent, you’ll find it in Perera’s book or at this link.

***

Inanna (~3500 BC) is Queen of Heaven and Earth in Ancient Sumeria or Mesopotamia. She is a fully realized goddess, wise like Athena, courageous and wild like Artemis, and erotic like Aphrodite. Her many powers includes warfare and seduction, agriculture and the arts of civilization. Like Aphrodite, she is associated with the planet Venus.

Inanna risks everything to descend to the Great Below or kur, the realm of her sister Ereshkigal, the Goddess of Death. In Perera’s words, Inanna “abandoned heaven, abandoned earth—to the Netherwords she descended” (pg. 9) to attend the funeral of her sister’s husband. Inanna approaches the entry to the Underworld in full queenly regalia, but in case she does not return, she leaves instructions with her trusted female advisor Ninshubar. We all need such a friend.

Ereshkigal is enraged by Inanna’s arrival at her door. The Dark Goddess gives permission—with conditions. The Goddess of Heaven and Earth is stripped of every garment and power as she descends through seven gates. She enters the Great Below “naked and bowed low.” “She descends, submits, and dies,” Perera writes. “This openness to being acted upon is the essence of the experience of the human soul faced with the transpersonal.” (P. 13)

Ereshkigal greets Inanna with the Eye of Wrath and the Eye of Death. Inanna is helpless, passive, and stuck. For three days, she is a hanging corpse. Many of us know these places where all is lost.

According to Perera, an initiation into Ereshkigal’s Eye of Wrath breaks our identification with destructive animus ideals and helps women defend their feminine core. This ruthless power is cold and inhuman, not the related feminine that reassures and comforts. This Dark Feminine forces us to surrender to the reality of life and death as it is, not as we wish it to be.

Perera helps me understand how transformation happens to both Goddesses in this myth. Ereshkigal dwells in unconscious realms, stuck in the agony of grief but also giving birth. When Inanna enters, Ereshkigal’s nakedness is revealed and witnessed. At first, there is deathly statis, the one we experience in deep depression or grief. Only a power stronger than ruthlessness and death can move the situation.

Ninshubur remembers her promise. Responding to Ninshubur’s plea, Enki, the God of Wisdom and Culture and, according to Perera, patron of therapists, fashions two tiny mourners from dirt. These “insignificant” creatures slip unnoticed through the gates. They have one skill: empathy. As Ereshkigal cries out in pain, they mirror her agony. They weep for her and repeat her anguished words in a call and response. They relate to her and witness her suffering. Ereshkigal, the Unloved and Despised, responds by giving the mourners what they want: the body of Inanna. The mourners sprinkle the corpse with the food and water of life. Compassion has opened the way to generosity, rebirth, and a path for a return to Life and Light.

Inanna returns from her initiations demonic, possessed by the shadow side. There is more work to be done and a price to be paid for her release before the initiation is complete, but Inanna now possesses the Eye of Death and the Eye of Wrath. She is empowered by the Dark Feminine and can make the necessary sacrifice.

 It is our human lot to descend many times in a life. We are tested by illness, depression, sorrow, madness, suffering, and loss. Perera shows us how Inanna’s descent brings consciousness and new wisdom and teaches us to honor the wisdom of the Dark.

Inanna’s story brings light to “…the lonely grief-rage of powerlessness and unassuaged loss and longing, a hellish place where all we know to do is useless…. We can only endure, barely conscious, barely surviving the pain and powerlessness, suspended out of life, stuck, until and if, some act of grace with some new wisdom arrives.” (Descent to the Goddess, p. 36)

The feminine opposites touch as Light enters the Great Below and Consciousness of Death enters the Great Above. Inanna is not whole until she knows both Life and Death. Neither are we.

“Holy Ereshkigal! Sweet is your praise.” (P. 10)

***

Elaine Mansfield’s memoir Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief (2014) won the 2015 Gold Medal IPPY Award (Independent Publisher’s Book Awards) in the category Aging, Death, and Dying. Elaine has been a student of Carl Jung since 1970 and has studied mythology for thirty years. She writes for hospice, facilitates bereavement support groups, and gives workshops and presentations. She also writes a weekly blog about the adventures and lessons of life and loss. To learn more about Elaine’s work, please visit her website. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Vic Mansfield (1941-2008) was the author of Synchronicity, Science, and Soul-Making, as well as two other books.



Friday, December 4, 2015

THE WOODMAN BUNDLE


 Addiction to Perfection : The Still Unravished Bride: Through case studies, dreams, and myths, Woodman explores the hidden causes of compulsion in the lives of men and women, the search for an illusory ideal of perfection.  At the root of these addictive and compulsive behaviours, Woodman sees a hunger for spiritual fulfilment, the need to experience a sacred connection to a higher energy. Through discussions of parenthood, creativity, and body image, Woodman shows that freedom from addiction can be found by discovering the wisdom and power of the feminine principle and shows us how to embrace the feminine in us, how to let go of perfection and live with authenticity, passion and wholeness.  This is the limited edition deluxe leather bound edition.

Conscious Femininity : Marion Woodman’s books have sold over  a million copies, with 20 editions in 10 languages. Those already familiar with her will value the deep passion that animates these candid discussions. For those who haven’t yet discovered her, this is an excellent place to start. Contents:
·         Anorexia, Bulimia and Addiction - The Tarrytown Letter (1985/86)
·         Worshiping Illusions - Parabola (1987)
·         The Object in Analysis - Provincial Essays (1987)
·         On Addiction and Spirituality - Family Secrets (1987)
·         Healing Through Metaphor - Common Ground (1988)
·         A Conversation with Marion Woodman - Heartwood (1988)
·         Addiction to Perfection - Yoga Journal (1988)
·         The Conscious Feminine - Common Boundary (1989)
·         Marion Woodman in Perspective - Hans Werner (1990)
·         The Goddess Energy Is Trying To Save Us - Venture Inward (1990)
·         Journey to Conscious Femininity - East West (1990)
·         A Meeting with Marion Woodman - San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal (1992)
·         In Her Own Voice - Common Boundary (1992)

The Pregnant Virgin : A Process of Psychological Transformation :  The Pregnant Virgin gives birth to herself and this book is about transformation and how to retrieve lost consciousness and the deep feminine in both men and woman. Blending art, literature, religion and extensive case material Woodman takes us back and forth between the child losing consciousness and the adult becoming conscious in order to discover how to awaken the archetype of the Self because as Jung said, “only what is truly oneself has the power to heal.”

$95.00 if purchased separately. Spoil yourself or someone you love this Christmas and get all three for only $60.00 – The Woodman Bundle
Offer available until the 31st December 2015


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

BOOK REVIEW - ADDICTION TO PERFECTION: The Still Unravished Bride

I read ‘the’ most incredible book over the holidays. I say incredible with a caveat… it was very challenging and difficult for me to read – as in it actually affected me emotionally. It picked at my scabs. It pricked me where my skin is the thinnest. It led to a full scale breakdown on the beach.
This book is Addiction to Perfection : The Still Unravished Bride, by Marion Woodman.
In her book, Woodman examines our addiction to routine, and why this is not necessarily the answer to happiness that so many ‘self-help’ books and podcasts adamantly declare it is without any doubts. She also offers a different way of looking at sex, redefines ‘virginity’ (I LOVED this), and discusses at length the woman’s relationship to her body and to herself.
Before I continue, I wanted to share her definition of virginity. I love this because it puts the power back in the woman, and takes the emphasis away from sex and towards enlightenment.
“The woman who is a virgin, one-in-herself, does what she does – not because of any desire to please, not to be liked, or to be approved, even by herself; not because of any desire to gain power over another, to catch his interest or love, but because what she does is true.”
Masculine vs Feminine Energy
Finally (the most important part of the book for me), she challenges our preoccupation with masculine energy – the energy that drives our Western culture today. She suggests that we need a balance of masculine (goal-oriented) and feminine (living in the ‘now’) energies in order to live the balanced lives we crave.
As I read her descriptions, I realized that I was dominant in masculine energy – always on the go, I rarely take a moment to care for my body and to embrace the feminine side of who I am. Since reading this book, I’ve started challenging myself in this area. I’ve incorporated gentle caresses of the body I once despised – mine – in the morning through the deliberate and relatively sensual application of lotion. This is fairly vulnerable for me to share, but this ritual has been fairly transformative for me. The ritual has helped me to love my body, and to accept it as an important part of who I am – this female body that I’ve spent so much of my life fighting against.
Perfection
Of course, the other topic she talks about is Perfection.
“Driven to do our best at school, on the job, in our relationships – in every corner of our lives – we try to make ourselves into works of art. Working so hard to create our own perfection we forget that we are human beings.”

Works of art. That one really hit me hard. That’s precisely what I’ve been trying to do in my life, and it doesn’t work because – as she said – I’m human. We’re all human. We cannot be perfect.
In the book, Marion included several case studies of women that she’d personally worked with. She shared their journal entries. She shared their dreams. It was an unsettling experience. I realized how alike in our insecurities and fears we all are.
i didn’t know who I was
i was too terrified to know
for i somehow felt
that what i was, at my core
was intrinsically evil
i could not find fault with anyone
i saw them… i told them they were perfect
because i had to be perfect
when i looked into the mirror
the terror was that no one would be looking back
the soul was not there
i was an empty shell
Transformation
Finally, Marion talked about transformation: How to embrace the feminine in us, how to let go of perfection, and how to learn more about ourselves by living with authenticity, passion and daring presence. How? With a desire for change – a desire that will manifest as a slap in the face that will leave you careening, tripping, and probably crying as you find your way towards a new way of being.
“When the possibility of radical transformation presents itself, it brings with it considerable fear. Once the door is opened, the bird who has lived in a cage all its life shrinks back from freedom and the terrors of the unknown.”

Basically, if you want to embrace the challenge… it’s probably going to suck for awhile. That’s where I was coming from when I wrote my breakdown blog post a few weeks ago, That’s what I’ve experienced in my own breakdowns to breakthroughs at least.
Conclusion
Yes, this book was absolutely incredible. I would highly recommend it to those who are ready! I’ll conclude this review with the following quote:
“To be true to the soul is to value the soul, to express it as uniquely as possible. It is loving from inside, rather than accepting a foreign standard that does not take our essence into consideration.”

Christine Bissonnette
Christine is a writer, actor and spoken word poet. Follow her reviews and personal stories at www.the-positivity-project.com and her conversations with creatives at www.creativelifestyleblog.


Friday, November 27, 2015

THE EDINGER BUNDLE

An American Jungian: In honor of Edward F Edinger : Edward F. Edinger was such a significant presence in the worldwide Jungian community that this volume can only begin to assess his greatness as an interpreter of Jung’s work and his dedication to the significance of Analytical psychology—but it well illustrates his worth. This extraordinary compilation brings together essays and reviews by Dr. Edinger together with appreciations by others of his work and interviews with him. None of it has previously been published in book form. Contents include:
  • Bibliography of Edinger books and electronic media
  • An American Jungian: Transcript of the acclaimed video, "A Conversation with Edinger," by Lawrence W. Jaffe
  • A Guide to the Writings of Edward F. Edinger, by Robin Robertson
  • Edinger Essays and Reviews:
    • An Outline of Analytical Psychology
    • Paracelsus and the Age of Aquarius
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson: Naturalist of the Soul
    • Individuation: A Myth for Modern Man
    • The Question of a Jungian Community
    • Archetypal Patterns in Schizophrenia -- Tributes to M. Esther Harding, Eleanor Bertine, Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz
    • The Psyche and Global Unrest

The Creation of Consciousness : Jung’s Myth for Modern Man : This seminal work, proposes a new world view based on the creative collaboration between the scientific pursuit of knowledge and the religious search for meaning. Contents include:
·         The New Myth
·         The Meaning of Consciousness
·         Depth Psychology as the New Dispensation : Reflections upon Jung’s Answer to Job
·         The Transformation of God

The Mystery of the Coniunctio : Alchemical Image of Individuation : Edinger puts a human face on the union of opposites in two concise essays: "Introduction to Jung's Mysterium Coniunctionis" and "A Psychological Interpretation of the Rosarium Pictures"--the alchemical drawings on which Jung based one of his major works, The Psychology of the Transference. This book takes a look at how the arcane practices and images of alchemy arise in modern dreams and are parallels for the psychological process of individuation.


$85 if purchased separately. Spoil yourself this year and get all three for only $60 -  The Edinger Bundle

Thursday, November 12, 2015

BOOK REVIEW Alchemy : An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology Marie-Louise von Franz


There are some psychology books that are not only books to be read, they are spaces in which a transformative meeting takes place.  Alchemy is one of these books. For me this meeting was special, as I was not only the reader of the book, but also translated it, into Polish for release as a Polish edition.
Sometimes I joke that I could write a book trying to explain areas in which meeting with Alchemy was a transformative experience for me, both as a psychoanalyst and a translator, and as we are here only for a short review, let me emphasize just a few.

For the contemporary psychologist, even a Jungian analyst like me, to get together with Marie-Louise von Franz deeply into an alchemical symbolism, as she presents the Arabic, Greek, and early Christian one, is a challenging task. The thing that is being challenged is our taken for granted view of the world, as defined by conceptualized knowledge of Western culture and evidence-based approaches. In the series of lectures from C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich presented in Alchemy von Franz takes us out of a narrow, one-sided approach, but in doing this she doesn’t leave us out in the nothingness without help - she reminds us why we are undertaking the journey and provides necessary tools for such a journey:

You may say why dig up these heavy old texts with all their complications, but don't forget that that is the root of the good ideas and the prejudices of our civilization. If we don't discuss these basic prejudices of our civilization, we shall never contact other civilizations. We must know what prejudices we have, though we may still keep them, saying that we like them, but one can think differently, opinions do differ. Such broadness of mind is necessary if one wishes to analyse people objectively and not be the propagandist of one trend; an analyst should be broadminded and see what the inner nature of the analysand constellates as a healing process, wherever it leads. That at least is our conviction.
p. 56


Meeting with alchemy together with von Franz brings then an important insight - we need to keep the connection between the matter and the spirit - among others between the psychological theory and the unconscious - alive, otherwise we ourselves may become stuck in dogma, regulation, and red tape, with their well defined concepts and one hundred percent sure truths, as has happened many times before in the history of our civilization. In the analysis of the presented alchemical texts we can see the functioning of compensatory unconscious energy, which balances the one-sidedness of attitudes, and brings psychological renewal.

For that reason the conflict is eternal and must be sustained; the one-sidedness of consciousness must be continually confronted with the paradox. This means that whenever a truth has been experienced as such and has been kept for a while alive in one's own psyche, one has to make a right about turn, for that truth is no longer valid. As Jung says, every psychological truth is only a half truth and that also is only a half truth! The analyst himself has always to keep up with his own unconscious, to be consciously ready to throw over everything hitherto attained, which would correspond to a constant double attitude.
p. 149

The above two quotations illustrate well the rhythm and the tone of the book. As next to all the knowledge we receive, and discoveries we make, we also meet the author very strongly - and what a personality she is! Engaged, brave in thinking, always present in the emerging discussions, direct in addressing difficult issues, which maybe sometimes we’d rather skip. I found myself thinking about Marie-Louise von Franz as of a very strong woman, at the same time remembering her working in the garden, as described In Memoriam, a personal reminiscence by Daryl Sharp written after von Franz's death. As a translator sometimes I struggled with her strong personality, sometimes I felt led by her, until finally I felt that we had traveled through the book together, where gradually the space in between languages emerged.

For me personally, during the work on the book, the most transformative part was the translation of the last three chapters which speak about the psychological meaning of Aurora Consurgens. I realized with surprise, that entering deeply into presented texts attributed to St Thomas Aquinas corresponded with Marie-Louise von Franz commentary changed something in my relationship to the symbolism of Christianity. If I were to describe it in one sentence I would say that it brought it back to me, created the space where the individual relationship to well known Biblical fragments and symbols could be re-experienced, as if they are listened to for the very first time.

This ability - to hold the knowledge and yet listen to what we hear as if it was spoken for the very first time is an important one in every true discovery, and in an everyday psychologist’s work. Probably it is the most difficult where we approach contents from collective consciousness, parts of our everyday cultural reality, which seem to describe the world, as it is. Alchemy reminds us, that the world was not always as it is now in our eyes, even more, it takes us into the journey where we can imagine how it was experienced by the minds and imagination of the people centuries away from us. Then the challenging question appears just in front of our established definitions about limitations of our points of view and knowledge. And only then the true adventure begins.

 Malgorzata Kalinowska
——————————————-
Małgorzata Kalinowska is a Jungian analyst working in a private practice in Poland. She is also the Editor-In-Chief of e-jungian.com, a Jungian online magazine. Her main areas of interest are the transcultural aspect of development of analytical psychology and the relationships between trauma and culture. She writes and publishes on those subjects and translates books on analytical psychology into Polish. Her blog can be found at psychoterapiajung.pl and at e-jungian.com Follow her on facebook  and twitter.

Friday, November 6, 2015

BOOK REVIEW - POCKET JUNG


Pocket Jung by Daryl Sharp
Jung’s work has for many years provided me with rich wisdom, insight and personal growth. In many ways my reading journey has been a lonely one and as I read Jung’s work I have longed to discuss individual paragraphs with a Jungian Analyst; I have wondered how they would interpret a particular piece, what insights they would add to my understanding and how their technical knowledge would add to my appreciation of Jung’s work.  I have longed for a collection of Jung’s quotes, chosen by someone who has made Jung’s work their life study and then I imagined how great it would be if each quote were followed by an explanation of the meaning of the quote.  Well it seems day dreams do come true - POCKET JUNG : Pithy Excerpts from the work of C.G. Jung, with informed Commentaries by Daryl Sharp will be released soon!  Imagine my surprise when I read Sharp saying in Chapter 1:  

“No one is waiting for my take on this essay or on any others in Jung’s Collected Works. But I continue to grapple with them, ponder and lose sleep…“

Well, Daryl Sharp I, for one, have been waiting.

POCKET JUNG is filled with thought provoking quotes from Jung’s Collected Works. Each quote is followed by Sharp’s insights, thoughts and personal musings – an interweaving of Logos and Sharp’s own whimsical Eros commentaries.  This transforms the intellectual understanding of Jung’s work into an intimate journey with a close friend, the difference between understanding what Jung meant and a lived journey.

While this book is a great introduction to Jung’s key concepts, it is also a great store house of Jung quotations:

The book begins with a quote from The Undiscovered Self, Sharp’s first encounter with Jung’s work and what he describes as:

 “a wake-up call, an epiphany of sorts, for its essential message was that the visible, everyday world is not all there is, and the hidden side of ourselves, the unconscious of which we know very little, has a greater say in our attitudes and behaviour patterns than most of us realize.”  

The undiscovered self, what a wonderful place to begin a Jungian journey! In this chapter Sharp shares with the reader his own journey towards discovery of the self, towards individuation – a journey that is highly entertaining to read whilst clearly showing the value of following one’s own path.  I laughed when reading that Sharp’s astrological birth-mates include Richard Nixon and Marie-Louise von Franz and Sharp does come across in this book as both the trickster and the sage. This chapter gave me pause for reflection about my own life, about my own courage or lack thereof in following my desires and the consequences of these actions but then my astrological birth-mates are the Dali Lama and George Bush.

Aptly, since Sharp is a gifted writer, chapter two’s quote is from On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry and Sharp and Jung take us into the creative world of writer and artists. While Jung and Sharp were musing about James Joyce, I was musing about Sharp  -  as he says:

“Don’t forget there are compensatory forces at work in the unconscious.” 

And for me the greatest value of sharing in Sharp’s personal journey through the work of Jung was the warmth and honesty with which Sharp shares his inner world.

Chapter three takes a look at the realm of relationship problems - and who among us has not experienced these? This chapter offers much of Jung’s sage advice which if truth be told my inner romantic squirms against.

Chapter four deals with my favourite subject, the symbolic life and I was immediately captivated by the opening paragraph:

“What is the “symbolic life”? What is meant by “symbolic thinking”? Why is it important and how do you do it? These are momentous questions with no simple answers. Daily life is permeated with symbolic happenings that most of us tend to take literally because we know no better. How are we to learn and who is there to teach us, the difference?”

I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter and found myself laughing out loud, enchanted and rereading bits over and over again. Ah, the art of soul-making! Transcending the mundane, finding the meaning and magic of our own individual journey, living the symbolic life, for me this is the greatest gift of Jung’s work.

Chapter five deals with Jung’s concept of Typology, the four functions of feeling, thinking, sensation and intuition - concepts which can be dry and difficult to understand but which Sharp brings alive. If you haven’t already read Sharp’s Personality Types : Jung’s Model of Typology then do yourself a favour and download this free eBook now. It will change your relationships with yourself and others forever. http://www.innercitybooks.net/pdf/books/personalitytypes.pdf

Chapter six unpacks projections, which naturally leads to the next chapter, Jung’s concept of the shadow – the inferior being in us all, our uncivilized desires and emotions, our dark side, the unconscious aspects of our personality which are usually hidden and repressed.

Chapter eight takes us into the world of alchemy which Jung saw as providing a metaphor for the process of individuation. Here Sharp provides an easy to understand overview of the alchemical process and the stages we must travel in transformation of the personality and the search for wholeness.

Chapter nine takes us into Jung’s thoughts on Yoga and then chapter ten explores two types of thinking – direct thinking and fantasy thinking and Jung’s Symbols of Transformation leading us into Jung’s concept of anima/animus, the inner feminine and masculine and into the final chapter in the book Jung’s concept of the transcendent function.

This is a book to linger over, to savour, to enjoy and now has a home on my night stand as every night I dip into a passage and slowly discover myself.

POCKET JUNG will be released for sale mid-December 2015 but if you are as impatient as I am and just need to have this book for the Christmas holidays, you can buy the eBook from the Inner City Books webpage today!


I leave you with Sharp’s own words:  “Now read on and savor some of the best of C.G. Jung.”

Friday, October 23, 2015

Recommended Reading List on Love, Intimacy and Relationships



Explore love, intimacy and relationships through a Jungian lens:

Another Piece of my Heart : with Badger McGee, Sett in His Eros Ways by Daryl SharpAnother Piece of My Heart is playful and thought-provoking, as befits the author’s style in integrating Logos and Eros while differentiating between the two. Sometimes bawdy and whimsical, often laugh-out-loud absurd, and always mercurial—it is deceptively easy reading, a page-turner bound to keep one up into the wee hours. All in all, it will stir the heart and mind of cognoscenti and new readers alike. Sharp’s prose is wry, sardonic, candid and resonates on many levels. With Badger McGee and Bo Peep in his basement and El Jay in his bed, this book by Daryl Sharp—still the Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett of the Jungian literary community—will amuse and edify those who thought Jungian psychology was only for intellectuals and the elite. 


Eros : Melodies of Love by Daryl Sharp - In this final volume of his Badger Trilogy, Sharp pushes the boundaries of “subjective non-fiction” about as far as they can go. Still, true to his other books in the “Jungian romance” genre (which he created), he continues to explore the psychological aspects of relationship. Eros: Melodies of Love is informative, often playful or romantic, and always fun to read. Through his alter-egos Daemon or Badger McGee, Sharp deftly interweaves a colorful quilt of Logos and Eros, full of compassion, good humor and Jungian wisdom. Not for nothing has he been called the Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett of the Jungian literary community, and this latest volume underlines it. Open it anywhere and be engrossed. This is a warm and thoughtful book with big ideas. Readers familiar with Sharp’s other writings will be delighted anew. Those who chance on this book will be moved to read his other works, which all highlight the task of living intentionally, psychologically conscious. 

Eros Naturally by Daryl Sharp - Eros, Naturally is a romp with gravitas. It is another “Jungian romance” by the author who created the genre, starting with Chicken Little: The Inside Story (1993) and continuing through over a dozen more tomes. No other writer has so adroitly interwoven Logos and Eros, thinking and feeling. In this new book, Sharp’s approach to psychic well-being, his “Jungian romances,” will interest more people in self-discovery than any of the many academic tomes on the subject. 

Eros and Pathos by Aldo Carotenuto - Why do we fear love? How do we invite betrayal? What can we learn about ourselves from eroticism, abandonment, solitude? What unconscious drives are at work in seduction and jealousy? Are love, suffering and creativity connected?

Getting to know you : The Inside Out of Relationships by Daryl Sharp - A lively discussion about relationships based on the ideas in Jung’s essay, “Marriage As a Psychological Relationship.”  This book presents complex material illustrated with everyday examples and some inescapable truths emerge, such as that successful relationships depend on becoming conscious of one’s personal psychology.

The Eden Project : In Search of the Magical Other by James Hollis - A timely and thought-provoking corrective to the generalized fantasies about relationships that permeate Western culture. Here is a challenge to greater personal responsibility, a call for individual growth as opposed to the search for rescue by others.

The Living Room Mysteries : Patterns of Male Intimacy, Book 2 by Graham JacksonA companion volume to The Secret Lore of Gardening, this book explores gay typology, with emphasis on the complex psychological dynamics underlying relationships between “blue” men and “red” men.

The Love Drama of C.G. Jung : As Revealed in His Life and In His Red Book by Maria Helena Mandacuru Guerra - The Red Book was always a true legend in the Jungian movement. It was thought to reveal the great secrets of the master’s life. Few people had seen it, but their description of it and the Jung family’s resistance to publishing it, turned it into a true mystery. Indeed, Jung’s amours have been almost as much of a mystery as the Red Book. I hope the reader has the same pleasure that I had in following the Eros-thread from his wife Emma through his patient Sabina Spielrein to his muse Tony Wolff, and so to the creation of the Red Book as uncovered by Maria Helena in this exciting and unique account of how Jung came to develop the concepts of anima, shadow, Self and individuation.

The Talking Cure : Psychotherapy, Past, Present and Future by Anthony Stevens – The Taking Cure is an immensely readable and entertaining overview that describes how the major schools of psychodynamic theory grew out of the psychology of their charismatic founders and have subsequently turned into exclusive and mutually hostile rival “sects.” The author argues that the best hope for the future lies in research to determine the positive therapeutic ingredients that all methods have in common. This combined, with the kind of undogmatic, open-minded humanity advocated by C.G. Jung could lead to the adoption of a new paradigm capable of transcending the differences between them – a paradigm adopted by a new breed of “evolutionary psychotherapists.”

The Secret Lore of Gardening : Patterns of Male Intimacy by Graham Jackson - An archetypal perspective on the psychological bond between “green” and “yellow” men, with affinities to earth and sky, matter and spirit, respectively, showing how the fruits of their symbolic gardening can be a deeply rooted affirmation of life. Literature, film and case material.

The Sacred Prostitute : Eternal Aspects of the Feminine by Nancy Qualls-Corbett - The disconnection between spirituality and passionate love leaves a broad sense of dissatisfaction and boredom in relationships. The author illustrates how our vitality and capacity for joy depend on restoring the soul of the sacred prostitute to its rightful place in consciousness.

The Use of Dreams in Coupling Counselling: A Jungian Perspective by Rene Nell - Psychotherapists of many different schools use dreams in individual therapy, but very few use them in counseling couples. Indeed, marriage and family therapists often have no experience in this area because dream interpretation is seldom included in their training. In this book, with the help of numerous examples, Dr. Nell explains the efficacy of dream interpretation when working with couples, individually and in groups, in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional disturbances.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dream Interpretation Recommended Reading List


Jung sees the dream as the steady endeavor of the unconscious to create the best possible equilibrium in the psyche. It is in the world of dreaming that the unconscious expresses itself, providing us with insight into the way in which we are operating in the world, providing us with insight into our feelings, our recurring patterns, our one-sidedness and providing new possibilities and opportunities where consciously we see none. It is through working with our dreams that we explore ourselves, come to know ourselves better and find meaning.

Explore your dream world through:

Animal Guides in Life, Myth & Dreams by Neil Russack - Russack’s moving narrative of his and others’ experience of animals—dogs, waterbirds, deer, whales, geese, frogs, elephants, dolphins, horses, boar, octopuses, unicorns and many more—teases out their psychological significance through the deft use of mythology, poetry, dreams and case material.

Awakening Woman : Dreams & Individuation by Nancy-Qualla-Corbett - In this unique collaborative work by an analyst and her analysand, a woman in midlife learns to understand her dreams, visions and emotions, and especially the kinship between sexuality and spirituality, thus acquiring an authentic sense of self.

Jungian Dream Interpretation : A Handbook of Theory & Practice by James A. Hall – A comprehensive guide to an understanding of dreams in light of the basic principles of analytical psychology. This book pays particular attention to common motifs, the role of complexes, and the goal and purpose of dreams.

The Dream Story by Donald Broadribb – This is a solid workbook for those seeking an understanding of dreams in the context of everyday life. The author provides a rare weave of theory and application, drawing on various schools of psychology and tracking recurring symbols in a series of dreams, whilst providing numerous examples.

 - A comprehensive study illuminating the depth and scope of Jung's magnum opus and its relevance to everyday life. Contains a treasury of material for understanding and amplifying modern dreams and other unconscious contents.

The Use of Dreams in Coupling Counselling: A Jungian Perspective by Rene Nell - Psychotherapists of many different schools use dreams in individual therapy, but very few use them in counseling couples. Indeed, marriage and family therapists often have no experience in this area because dream interpretation is seldom included in their training. In this book, with the help of numerous examples, Dr. Nell explains the efficacy of dream interpretation when working with couples, individually and in groups, in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional disturbances.

Visions in the Night : Jungian & Ancient Dream Interpretation by Joel Covitz - Thousands of years before Freud and Jung, “visions in the night” were an important source of divine guidance, and the role of dream interpreter was an established profession. The author examines ancient, medieval and modern literature for insights that illuminate a Jungian approach to the value of dreamwork in the analytic process. Includes case material. 2nd Edition, revised.