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
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MaƂgorzata 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.”