Volume 39, Newsletter #1, September 2013
We will begin the 39th program
year of the C. G. Jung Society of Montreal with reflection on what may be, as I
think about it, perhaps the central theme of Jungian psychology and its most
important challenge and offering to the wider world today: the wounded healer.
reflection will be guided at our opening event on September 27 by two Montreal analysts who have been deeply
involved with this theme: Guy Corneau and Jan Bauer.
images, the unconscious, active imagination and various insights and techniques
are very important, to be sure. But, to take therapy for example, perhaps the
distinguishing mark of a Jungian healer is that he or she is not just a skilled
professional calibrating the prescription that may cure a passive patient, a
Sherlock Holmes diagnosing the patient’s unconscious from a position out of
sight behind a couch, or a guru dispensing divine wisdom. (I am, of course,
indulging in generalization and caricature to make my point.)
of Jungian therapy par excellence is analyst (or other healer) and
patient sitting face to face. It is not an alliance of complete equality; the
relation is still one of therapist and patient, largely subject to the
conventions and ethical norms that govern other therapies. For example, it
would be highly unusual for the patient to comment on the dreams and life
issues of the therapist. But it is nevertheless a mutual relation between two
people both of whom are affected by the alliance and both of whom give to
it and receive from it. Both suffer. Both are wounded.
the analytical encounter too, Jungian psychology at its best offers, through
reading and various activities, an encounter not with a series of dogmas but
with a tradition well acquainted with suffering and wounds.
student of Jungian psychology encounters such mythological, archetypal and
literary wounded personages as the Fisher King, Asclepius, Chiron, Oedipus and
He or she
may also find new insights in contemplating wounded religious figures like the
peacock-eyed Krishna, Job, and the Suffering Servant of Isaiah. And of course
Jesus Christ—who, according to the Gospel of Luke, says, “You will undoubtedly
quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself.’”
history of Jungian psychology is itself the history of therapists and teachers
who have drawn their insights and their ability to heal in large part from
their own neuroses and other illnesses. Jung himself was the first and greatest
of these but others who have drawn healing from their own wounds, sometimes
physical as well as mental, are legion. Their stories have furnished detractors
of Jungian psychology with abundant material for their criticisms and scorn,
but Jungians tend to see these journeys into the underworld as sources of
Montreal analysts who will lead our discussion on September 27 are in this
tradition. Guy Corneau’s encounters with his own wounds, including
life-threatening physical illnesses, have been an important source of his ability
to bring healing to his patients and, in more recent years, readers and
listeners. An important part of Jan Bauer’s study and reflection has been her
focus on alcoholism and in particular Alcoholics Anonymous, with its
tradition—intertwined with Jungian psychology in the early years of both—of a
healing relation between people in the throes of alcoholic dependence and
people who have managed to control it.
session will be in a new venue for our society’s activities, the John Molson
School of Business of Concordia University at 1450 Guy St., right across the
street from the Guy-Concordia Métro station. We expect to be using this new,
attractive and convenient site for most of our activities from now on. As has
been customary for our first event of the new year, this will also be a social
occasion offering a chance to renew old acquaintances and make new ones over
big weekend event of the program year will feature another wounded healer:
Ginette Paris of Montreal and the Pacifica Graduate Institute in California,
whose experiences after a concussion furnished materials for recent
publications and a presentation to our society. This encounter may be less
central to her upcoming presentation, however, although it may not be far below
Dr. Paris, a leading
interpreter of archetypal psychology—the offshoot of Jungian psychology
associated with the late James Hillman and the Pacifica Institute—will be
leading a day-long seminar on Saturday, October 26 on archetypal psychology and how it is applied
in practice. This event will be of particular interest to those in the “helping
Participants will hear about, and participate in exercises
illustrating, the four basic ideas of archetypal psychology: personifying,
pathologizing, psychologizing, and de-humanizing.
Issues of wounding, healing and pathologizing will continue
to characterize our programs for the rest of the fall. Montreal analyst Yvon
Rivière will look at whether there is a future for psychoanalysis in our time
in a lecture on Friday evening, Nov. 22.
Montreal analyst Denis C. Adams will wind up the fall season
with a lecture on Friday, Dec. 6, with the title “Evil Possessions: A Jungian
We are also looking forward to a movie seminar series this
November led by Montreal analyst Ted Fillery and Roman Rogulski. See our
calendar for details; a flyer will follow in newsletter #2.
Let me also remind you of our society’s collection of
Jungian books, which is now housed at the Westmount Public Library and
available for public consultation. You need to be a Westmount resident or
member of the library to borrow books directly, but you can make use of the
Quebec inter-library loan system by asking for the titles you want at the
public library in your own community.
Please remember as well that membership renewals in our
society come due in the fall. See the enclosed calendar for details.
And remember to check out our website at sites.google.com/site/cgjungmontreal.
Volume 38 Newsletter #2, November 2013
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean— neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."
—Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking Glass
The C. G. Jung Society of Montreal promotes study and reflection on the works of C. G. Jung, Eric Neumann, James Hillman, Joseph Campbell and many others as they affect both the general culture—the soul of the world, if you like— and the practice of psychotherapy.
Our society is especially concerned with the social and cultural impact. Our intended audience is the general public. We do not licence therapists. We applaud the efforts of professional organizations such as the Association des psychanalystes jungiens du Québec (APJQ) and, for example, advise people interested in undertaking a Jungian analysis to consult the association, through its website or otherwise.
Still, professional and social concerns do, of course, overlap. Our activities are often of interest to therapists and their patients. We sometimes collaborate with professional groups and their members on particular projects. We have an obvious interest as citizens in the role of psychotherapy in society.
Our society should also have a particular concern, I am increasingly convinced, with making the case that myth and symbol are important for the mental health of individuals and society. We should be doing our modest part to offset the cultural impoverishment associated with such trends as the decline of organized religion and pressure on universities to cater to the job market.
All this is relevant to the upcoming attractions on our schedule.
James Hillman, the founder of archetypal psychology, was concerned about the relevance of psychology to social and cultural problems, to the point of sometimes seeming ambivalent about the value of individual psychotherapy. Yet Ginette Paris, a Montrealer, honorary member of our society,
and member of the core faculty of the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California, which is dedicated to archetypal psychology, has long been a knowledgeable and eloquent advocate of the idea that archetypal psychology can have a valuable place in individual psychotherapy.
In a one-day seminar on Saturday, October 26, she will explore what archetypal psychology is and how it is practiced, with particular reference to theoretical and philosophical commitments including personifying, pathologizing, psychologizing, de-humanizing and “seeing through the myth.” While this seminar will be of benefit to everyone, it is likely to be of particular interest to practicing psychotherapists and will entitle them to continuing education credits. For details, please consult the enclosed flyer or call us at (514) 481-8664.
The relation between Jungian psychology and contemporary culture, particularly movies and TV, will be explored in a series of seminars led by two members of our society’s planning committee—Ted Fillery, a Jungian analyst, and Roman Rogulski, an insurance underwriter and film buff—on four Wednesday evenings, November 6, 13 and 20 and December 4, from 6:30 p.m. These seminars will be at Ted’s office at 1000 Amherst St., Suite 301.
This series will be a rich experience for people familiar with Jung, but will also be valuable for people relatively new to Jung, as an introduction to such concepts as transference, countertransference, animus and anima, transformation and individuation.
Since it is so relevant to what I am discussing here, let me mention that Montreal analyst Yvon Rivière will discuss the question “Is there a future for psychoanalysis in our time?” in a lecture Friday evening, November 22. See the next newsletter for details.
The Ginette Paris and Yvon Rivière events will take place in the attractive new venue for most of our activities, the John Molson School of Business, across from the Guy/Concordia Métro station.
I have used the terms psychotherapist and psychotherapy quite a bit in these notes. I use the term in the same broad sense that ordinary mortals usually would: to refer not only to people who use these terms to identify their practice but psychologists, psychiatrists, Jungian analysts, art therapists, and a range of other therapists with various professional affiliations or none.
The Ordre des psychologues du Québec uses these terms differently.
They tell us that: “Since June 21st, 2012, the title of psychotherapist and the practice of psychotherapy are now reserved in Québec. This means that any person who wants to practice psychotherapy and use the title of psychotherapist and who is neither a doctor nor a psychologist must hold a permit of psychotherapist issued by the Ordre des psychologues du Québec.”
This, it seems to me, purports to extend the regulatory reach of the Québec government and the Ordre des Psychologues over professional practice and language itself far beyond legitimate limits. It is one example of a trend toward attempts at bureaucratic regimentation of life, professional practice and language that is not limited to psychotherapy or to Québec. It should be resisted. Perhaps it would be an acceptable compromise if legislation were to set up a class of accredited and regulated psychotherapists, defined by some appropriate adjective, as we have registered nurses, chartered accountants and professional engineers.
Another concern, which strikes me as similar but seems to put me on the same side as various mental health associations, has to do with a piece of federal legislation called Bill C-54 or the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act, which purports to protect Canadians from individuals who commit violent offences.
According to a note last June from the Schizophrenia Society of Canada, that body, the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the Canadian Psychological Association and other groups have formed a coalition to press for changes in the bill.
“What this bill has done is tell Canadians that they should be afraid of people with a mental illness!” writes Chris Summerville, chief executive officer of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.
“We are concerned that in its present form, Bill C-54 will ... unjustifiably increase the stigma towards people with mental illness. Too many elements of the bill are simply not science or evidence-based.”
Meanwhile if you have not renewed your membership in our non-professional society, please do so.
Volume 39 Newsletter #3, November 2013
How many of you readers remember the cover of the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band?
A great many, I suspect. I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, it is nice to share cherished memories. On the other hand, these shared memories reflect the fact that much of the membership of our society is made up of what is known in some circles as an aging demographic. I would like, in a way, to be able to write that many of you are too young to remember Sgt. Pepper well, but that would probably not be true.
Still, I should recall for those few of you who do not remember the album that the cover features a collage of about sixty people including The Beatles themselves, but also people who they felt had had a significant impact on them, cultural or otherwise. Among them are such people as Frank Sinatra, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Marilyn Monroe, Aleister Crowley, Mae West, W.C. Fields, Bob Dylan, Aldous Huxley, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, Karl Marx, and on and on.
Including Carl Gustav Jung. Ah, those were the days.
Carl Jung and his work have not exactly dropped from
the public eye a little over a half-century after his death in 1961, six years before Sgt. Pepper came out. The recent attention to the publication of his Red Book and the release of David Cronenberg’s movie A Dangerous Method are evidence for that.
But one does not have the feeling of riding a wave in quite the way one did a few decades ago. It would be nice to report that there is a little photo of C. G. Jung on the website of Lady Gaga or Avril Lavigne or Lissie, but I haven’t heard of such a thing.
There are no doubt a number of reasons for the fact that the popular memory of Jung has faded. In academic and clinical circles, the place of psychoanalysis in general— not just Jungian analysis—has faced major challenges, partly because it does not offer the kind of quick fix our society seems to favour. Spiritual and religious approaches in general also face cynicism and hostility in some quarters, of which the “Quebec values” debate is, in part, an example.
Our movement—and the C. G. Jung Society itself—face big challenges as we ponder whether and how we can preserve our legacy and pass it on to another generation.
All this seems particularly relevant (surprise! surprise!) to our next couple of programs.
In a lecture to our society Friday evening, November 22, Montreal analyst Yvon Rivière will focus on the challenge that the frenetic pace of our post-modern life poses to the psychoanalytical method. As the flyer enclosed with this newsletter notes, he will ask whether, in an era of instant gratification and multi-tasking, there is still time for the long-term exploration of the inner world that analysis provides.
While his past lectures to our society have been illuminating, Yvon is especially known to some of us for his sand-play workshops, and it is gratifying to see that his presentation will also explore an approach to psychoanalysis that includes non-verbal communication.
Another Montreal Jungian analyst who has presented successfully to us in the recent past, Denis C. Adams, is convinced that the erosion of the place of religion in our modern society, and more specifically in Quebec with the desertion of churches, is leading to an increasing amount of individualistic faith and self-created religious practices. He will discuss the importance of evil possessions as an archetypal resurgence and the current situation of possessions and exorcisms in the world today, in Canada, and in Montreal.
Dr. Adams is broadly familiar with today’s issues in psychology as a licensed psychologist as well as a Jungian analyst and senior analyst in the analytical training activities of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts.
His presentation on Friday, December 6, “Evil Possessions: A Jungian Reading” will, in part, explore a sociological approach to phenomena associated with modern religious pilgrims and newly converted believers.
Note that these two programs will be in our new venue this year—the John Molson School of Business, across from the Guy-Concordia Métro station. See the enclosed flyers.
That subject leads me to one or two practical challenges our society faces these days—ones with some relation to the frenetic pace of life today and our aging demographic. Firstly, the reasons for moving many of our programs from Dawson College to the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University are complex, but please feel free to let any member of our planning committee,
particularly myself, Mary Harsany, Murray Shugar, Molly Baker, Patricia Coon, Ted Fillery, Susan Meindl, Artemis Papert, or Roman Rogulski, know what you think of the move.
In particular, what do you think of the site of our opening event in September? The event and the reception that preceded it were quite pleasant, but making the arrangements was quite onerous and we would be interested in alternative suggestions.
Our society could use some volunteers to help in dealing with practical matters such as making physical arrangements for programs and looking after financial matters. (The financial state of the society is reasonably good; the problem is just with the task of taking care of it.)
And anyone who has not yet renewed his or her membership for this program year should do so now.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Returning to the subject of shared memories: it is with sadness that we join Lila Stonehewer, who was a key member of our society’s planning committee for many years, in mourning the death of her husband Edward Clark Over on September 14 in his 78th year. We remember Ed as a scholar and dedicated and devoted musician and, so far as we are concerned, a gracious but ever witty and frequent co-host with Lila to members of our committee on many occasions. In his own right he was a sharp and amused observer of the Jungian scene, especially in some of its quirkier aspects. We treasure his memory. Our condolences go out to Lila and Ed’s sons Adam and David, his step- daughters Christine and Judith, as well as his grandchildren Charlotte, Sophie and Stephanie.
Volume 39 Newsletter #4, January 2014
From Tozeur I went on to the oasis of Nefta. I rode off with my dragoman early in the morning, shortly after sunrise. Our mounts were large, swift-footed mules, on which we made rapid progress. As we approached the oasis, a single rider, wholly swathed in white, came toward us. With proud bearing he rode by without offering us any greeting, mounted on a black mule whose harness was banded and studded with silver. He made an impressive, elegant figure. Here was a man who certainly possessed no pocket watch, let alone a wrist watch; for he was obviously and unself-consciously the person he had always been. He lacked that faint note of foolishness which clings to the European. The European is, to be sure, convinced that he is no longer what he was ages ago; but he does not know what he has since become. His watch tells him that since the “Middle Ages” time and its synonym, progress, have crept up on him and irrevocably taken something from him. With lightened baggage he continues his journey, with steadily increasing velocity, toward nebulous goals. He compensates for the loss of gravity and the corresponding sentiment d’incomplétitude by the illusion of his triumphs, such as steamships, railroads, airplanes, and rockets, that rob him of his duration and transport him into another reality of speeds and explosive accelerations.
—C. G. Jung: Memories, Dreams, Reflections, (MDR) Chapter 9: Travels.
This incident took place during a trip by Jung to North Africa in 1920. This passage leads into an account of a dream about a confrontation with an Arab, obviously growing out of this incident, that Jung had just after this encounter, and which I wish I had the space to include here. This passage, as Jung himself indicates, tells us more about Jung and Western culture than it does about non-Western, and in this case, Muslim culture.
I choose this passage from Jung’s autobiography partly because Western and Islamic cultures are again in confrontation in the world—and here in Quebec, in the debate over the Charter of Quebec Values. These confrontations are no doubt fuelled by deficiencies in the attitudes of some Muslims.
But they also reflect a blindness on the part of many of the rest of us that make Jung's attitudes
in 1920 (or in the early 1960s, when MDR was published) seem relatively sensitive, at least by comparison.
I also choose it by way of introduction to the first two events of our society in 2014. These events, like Jung’s encounter in North Africa and the Charter of Quebec values, will not tell us much about Islam but they might say something about our reaction to Islam.
On Thursday, January 23, we will gather in the Westmount Public Library to view a segment from the Stephen Segaller trilogy, "The Wisdom of the Dream." Like the above-cited passage from his autobiography, “Inheritance of Dreams” turns the spotlight on Jung’s encounters with other cultures.
Then, on February 7 and 8, we will return to our new venue at the John Molson School of Business to hear David L. Miller, a perennial favourite of our society, Watson- Ledden Professor of Religion, emeritus, at the University of Syracuse and retired member of the core faculty at the Pacifica Graduate Institute. His topic: “C. G. Jung’s Warning about Faith: The Psychological Danger of Belief.”
The Wisdom of the Dream is a three-part documentary series from 1989 that provides a wonderful introduction to, or review of, Jung’s life and ideas. The films draw on rare interviews and footage of Jung, as well as interviews with prominent psychologists, some of whom knew Jung personally.
We will be watching Part 2: “The Inheritance of Dreams,” which looks at the collective unconscious through myths shared by different world cultures.
The film does not deal with Jung’s encounters with Muslims but does look at his encounter with Africans and with Pueblo Indians in New Mexico, both also discussed in the chapter of MDR where Jung describes his encounter with the mysterious Arab. Along with fascinating cinematographic footage from Jung’s era and our own, there are interviews with eminent Jungians and others, James Hillman among them, about the role of myth in ancient cultures and our own and how the similarities and differences helped to shape Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious. Among those interviewed is the late Michael Edwards, whom some of us remember from his time as a professor of art therapy at
Concordia University. Edwards led workshops for the C. G. Jung Society of Montreal and later became
curator of the picture archive of artwork by patients of Jung in Zürich.
We will be watching these accounts in a world different from Jung’s time and some things may seem a bit dated. This will add another perspective, but I expect we will still agree that Jung’s response to the cultures he experienced was wise, powerful and prophetic.
In the introductory material David Miller has sent us, he comments that it has become apparent since the World Trade Centre trauma of September 11, 2001 that religious belief can be politically dangerous. Dr. Miller adds that it can be psychologically dangerous as well. He refers to a warning about religious belief found in Jung’s recently published Red Book. The passage was probably written a few years before his above-mentioned visits to Africa and America.
I don’t think I am sticking my neck out in predicting that Dr. Miller’s presentations will bring no aid and comfort to anyone who thinks that what the world or Quebec needs at this point is more severe restrictions on religious practice and the “ostentatious symbols” (using that word in its Quebec Charter sense) of devout Muslims and other religionists.
I am not going to try to predict what Dr. Miller will say but I am pretty confident that it is our own views and not those of others that he will be inviting us to question.
Perhaps some of his comments will be along the lines of these from a lecture “A Myth is as Good as a Smile! ...” that he delivered in 1999 at the Pacifica Graduate Institute (and which I found on the website of the Imaginal Institute at www.imaginalinstitute.com):
We now need to know and think through the myths that divide, and understand the mythology that unites ...
We have no choice, for mythology there will be, with its ideology and theology and philosophy, for which many will kill. Our only choice is whether or not to educate our youth and ourselves in that which divides and separates, so that it can be also the weave whereby we begin to imagine and discover the threads which unite and connect. Mythology can be an antidote for literalism, humorlessness, overseriousness, fundamentalism, dogmatism, and hate.
I mentioned James Hillman above. A small group will be meeting Wednesdays, January 15 and 29 and February 12 to discuss his 1999 book The Force of Character: And the Lasting Life. Call (514) 485-0263 for details and to reserve your spot at this salon.
Volume 38, Newsletter #5, April 2013
A Note From the Co-President
“The sailor cannot see the north—but knows the needle can.”
James Hollis, the Zürich-trained Jungian analyst and prolific writer, chose these lines from a letter by the 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson as the theme for the lecture and workshop Friday evening and Saturday, April 19 and 20, that will wind up our 2012-13 program of larger public events.
They could also serve as a theme for the presentations with which Dr. Hollis has richly blessed our society in previous years, as well as his many books from which he has drawn much of his material. Both have left many of us feeling that they have helped us find a sense of direction in a bewildering and often discouraging world.
Let me quote a sample of his wisdom from his website, drawn from one of his recent books.
If we fail to engage in some form of cogent dialogue with the questions which emerge from our depths, then we will live an unconscious, unreflective, accidental life ... Having a more interesting life, a life that disturbs complacency, a life that pulls us out of the comfortable and thereby demands a larger spiritual engagement than we planned or that feels comfortable, is what matters most.
(What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life, 2009)
A selection of books by James Hollis published by Inner City Books of Toronto will be available at the lecture for purchase, along with a selection of other books from surplus items in our society’s collection. Unfortunately, we will not have the title just mentioned, published by Gotham Books.
Dr. Hollis’s contribution to helping bring Jung’s thought more fully to the world have not been confined to speaking and writing. His training in Zürich as a Jungian analyst followed twenty-six years teaching the humanities in various colleges and universities. From 1997 to 2008 he served as Executive Director of the Jung Educational Center of Houston, which offers a range of programs addressing contemporary issues. He lives with his wife Jill, an artist and therapist, and together they have three living children. He is vice president emeritus of the Philemon Foundation, which is
dedicated to the publication of the complete works of Jung (more complete than the Collected Works with which many of us are familiar). Additionally, he is a Professor of Jungian Studies at Saybrook University in San Francisco and he teaches at Pacifica Graduate Institute near Santa Barbara.
Goodness knows there is much around us to give the impression that the world needs this sort of wisdom. Our political institutions, not least here in Quebec, have been rocked by corruption scandals. Many have lost faith in the church as a source of direction. The controversy around university financing that was in full swing as I wrote these notes can only further undermine confidence in universities as centres of culture and reflection.
(May I mention that it sometimes occurs to me that one modest role for a group like the C. G. Jung Society of Montreal might be, through our interest in classical and other mythology, for instance, to keep alive an acquaintance with cultural tradition that educated people had as a matter of course in the days of Freud and Jung?)
I am not just making a plea for rectitude here. Our current difficulty in seeing the north seems to be marked not only by misbehaviour of one kind and another but also by frantic efforts to rectify matters. The “nanny state” comes up with ever more rules and regulations and the media and others strive to single out villains to purge from our society, sometimes with too little regard for due process.
The search for some sort of compass—and the hope that Jung’s ideas and the archetypes may have a part in helping us find one—seem to me to be a theme not only of the coming weekend with James Hollis but of other programs in our schedule. We have just devoted a weekend, with the help of Michael Vannoy Adams of New York, to exploring the contribution of the late James Hillman, one focus of which was how psychology might more effectively help to heal society and not just individuals.
Our spring reading seminar at the Westmount Public Library is looking at one ancient idea given new prominence by the work of James Hillman, that of the anima mundi, the soul of the world, and how its, or her, health may be challenged or strengthened by attention to another ancient archetype, that of the hero.
In these seminars, members of our society moderate discussion of readings from the writings of Jung and other leading thinkers. On Monday, March 18, Roman Rogulski will lead discussion of
writings by Jung, Joseph Campbell, Emma Jung, Marie-Louise von Franz, and Erich Neumann on the hero.
Some of you may have missed this session by the time you read this newsletter, but newcomers are welcome at subsequent sessions, which in this series are several weeks apart. On Monday, April 8, Molly Baker will help us look at some of the ideas of Edward Whitmont, Clarissa Pinkola Estès and Thomas Berry that bear on how we might move to a more sustainable future. On Monday, March 29, we will return to some thoughts of James Hillman with the help of Murray Shugar. And finally, on May 13, Ted Fillery will lead discussion of readings that deal with how we might be creative as individuals in trying to help save the world.
Readings will be available at the Michael Adams event on March 16 or by calling (514) 481-8664. Most of you should have received the flyer for this series a few weeks ago by email or by post, but you can always take a look at our website (a good idea anyway) at http://sites.google.com/site/cgjungmontreal.
The challenges we face as individuals in a broken world will be explored further in the following program year. Details for the year are still being worked out, but the event that opens our season in September will probably be on the theme of the wounded healer.
A little over a year from now, we anticipate a lecture and workshop on the topic of creative depression led by Kathryn Madden. A psychoanalyst of Jungian/psychodynamic focus in private practice in New York City, she teaches at the Pacifica Graduate Institute and is a lecturer at Union Theological Seminary of Columbia University and the editor-in-chief of the journal Quadrant. This will be her first visit with us.
As I think of our yearning for a needle to help us find the north and the contribution our programs may make to satisfying it, I recall two other passages of poetry. One is from W. B. Yeats’ The Second Coming, written in 1919:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
The other is from W. H. Auden’s September 1, 1939:
Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
I hope to see many of you in the next few weeks and wish you an enriching summer ahead. In the meantime, we will be gathering on Friday, April 26 for a soup night to digest some of the ideas discussed at the Hollis event and to socialize in the friendly ambience of some of our members. Call (514) 481-8664 to reserve your seat.
Volume 38, Newsletter #4, February 2013
A Note From the Co-President
As I write these notes in late January, our spring program seems quite topical.
By remarkable coincidence, we are going to be talking about Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama, the Idle No More movement, the casserole movement for free tuition in Quebec, and the Arab Spring.
They may not even be mentioned by name in the discussion. But read on and see whether you think I am pushing things a bit too far.
You won’t find any of these people and movements identified by name in the publicity flyers that accompany this newsletter. They may not be mentioned by name by the speakers or in the readings.
Over four Monday evenings, widely spaced between March 18 and May 13, there will be another in our popular series of reading seminars at the Westmount Public Library. Four members of our society—Roman Rogulski, Molly Baker, Murray Shugar, and Ted Fillery—will lead the discussion of readings by a number of writers under the over-all topic “Who will save the world? The hero and the soul of the world.”
As if a prelude to this wide-ranging series, just a few days before the seminar begins, Michael Vannoy Adams of New York will lead us in a Friday evening lecture and Saturday seminar in consideration of the recently deceased James Hillman, who “re-visioned” some of C. G. Jung’s ideas in an “archetypal” psychology that he saw as, among other things, more in service to the world.
Adams comes to us with an impressive background as a Jungian analyst in New York City, a faculty member at several universities, an author, an admirer and advocate of Hillman, and an active participant in debates over Jung’s intellectual legacy and Hillman’s contributions to that legacy. Those who attended Adams’s lectures and workshops for the C. G. Jung Society of Montreal in 2008 and 2010 can also testify to his winning personality and effectiveness as a presenter and leader of discussions.
At our March event, Michael Adams will provide an opportunity to branch out from Hillman’s, and Jung’s, original ideas to explore our own. Echoing James Hillman, Adams’s intention is to “not live off Jung’s ideas.” In that respect he is perhaps following the spirit of his mentor when
he began to regard the patient as citizen. While not empowering in a political sense, this exercise might well stir the imaginations of those who participate at this two-day event. Perhaps we might even, collectively, discover “sudden ideas.”
Among his many innovations, Hillman put forward a different vision of the archetype of the anima, or soul—one that puts less emphasis than Jung did on the sexual identity of, say, the patient or dreamer. Hillman’s psychology in time directed its attention away from the individual and more towards the world.
This approach to the anima blossomed further as Hillman went on to revive and put his own distinctive stamp on the ancient Platonic notion of the anima mundi—the soul of the world. For him, the soulful characteristics of the world around us—including the so-called inanimate world—were not mere projections of the individual psyche: the world itself was ensouled.
In its way this vision posed a challenge to Jung and to others—like Joseph Campbell—who emphasized the archetypal centrality of the hero and, for Hillman, thereby put too much focus on the ego. (That strikes me as a fair summary, although I don’t know whether Hillman actually made any such comment specifically about Campbell.)
Yet, even people like Jung and Campbell saw the relations between the hero and the feminine as far from antagonistic. One need only think of the mythic heroes of the Round Table and their quest for the Holy Grail, which in Jungian psychology—particularly in the work of Carl Jung’s wife, Emma—was a mythic embodiment of the feminine.
Selections from all the writers I have mentioned and quite a few others will be on the table in our discussions on Mondays, March 18, April 8 and 29 and May 13. Readings from Carl and Emma Jung and Joseph Campbell, among others, will begin our series and we will proceed to explore the works of authors such as Edward Whitmont, Clarissa Pinkola Estès and Thomas Berry, as well as several texts in April from James Hillman.
Have I made my case at all?
You may or may not think that Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau are the best choices for the posts which one holds and to which the other aspires. I admit to favourable biases in both cases, but that is not particularly the point. Do not both of them somehow evoke a hero archetype and carry the dreams of many that see them as saviours? Do both of them not evoke this archetype in a somewhat feminine way, reminiscent of Knights of the Round Table?
You may have reservations about Idle No More, the Quebec red square movement and the Arab Spring. I do. But these recent revolutions of rising expectations do reinforce my impression that there is a world soul—or rather several of them, in these cases in the political sphere—that have minds of their own, so to speak. This does not necessarily mean that the world soul or souls is or are the font of all wisdom. The anima mundi, like the individual anima, can lead us astray if we are not careful.
Still, with particular regard to Idle No More, this movement was seen as having an environmental dimension, particularly with regard to the question of first nations’ rights over proposals affecting bodies of water. It was also a largely feminine movement, in part the work of a cohort of university-educated first nations women that has only recently come into existence.
Whatever you may think of all this, both the reading seminars and the Michael Vannoy Adams weekend are planned in a way intended to encourage dialogue. I hope many of you will turn up and share your views and insights on these and other issues.
Volume 38, Newsletter #3, January 2013
From the Co-President
will begin our 2013 program year with love and death.
Our first program of 2013, on Monday January 21, will be a screening
and discussion of a National Film Board documentary about dying and grief. The
second, on Saturday, February 16, will be a day-long seminar about love and
relationships. Both of these depart from our usual lecture-workshop format but
in ways with which we have experimented successfully before.
Actually, both programmes will be about both love and death.
What I know about Griefwalker, the documentary about Stephen
Jenkinson’s work with dying people, suggests to me that it will follow up in a
remarkable way on points Polly Young-Eisendrath of Vermont made in her lecture
and workshop November 16 and 17 about how love and death intertwine.
Publicity for the movie tells us that it will deal with such themes
as: Where does our culture’s death phobia come from? Is there such a thing as
good dying? How is it that grief could be a skill instead of an affliction? Who
are the dead to us? How can seeing your life’s end be the beginning of your
deep love of being alive?
And my experience with the five presenters in our Love seminar—Jan
Bauer, Nicolas Bornemisza, Ted Fillery, Mary Harsany and Susan Meindl—makes it
plain to me that, whether or not any of them touch on literal grief and death
(which would not surprise me), their presentations will not neglect the dark
side of Eros.
One of Jan Bauer’s books, to take one example, has the title Impossible
Love, Or, Why the Heart Must Go Wrong.
Many of us also had a sampling of her provocative approach in her
lecture to us in December on “The Humble Garage: A Very Modern Archetype Full
of Treasures and Junk.”
I could also mention—especially since the refugee is an important
metaphor for Stephen Jenkinson—that two of our presenters, Nicolas Bornemisza
and Mary Harsany, first came to Quebec, under somewhat different circumstances,
in flight from their native Hungary in the 1950’s. Also, Mary’s doctoral thesis
in psychology was on work with the ageing. One of Nicolas’ many European
admirers comments on a website that he is “originaire de Hongrie et est un
révolutionnaire professionnel. Il a commencé dans le combat, dans la politique,
puis dans l’art et le yoga pour aboutir dans le psycho-spirituel.”
Ted Fillery, who has an analytic practice in Montreal, brings a
vision shaped in part by work as a pastoral counsellor in Toronto at the Sick
Kids Hospital, Casey House Hospice and Queen Street Mental Hospital Centre.
Susan Meindl, in her psychologist’s practice in Westmount, touches on issues of
chronic pain, loss or grief, spirituality and substance abuse, along with
Griefwalker has been described
as “a lyrical, poetic portrait of Stephen Jenkinson’s work with dying people.”
Filmed over twelve years, Griefwalker shows Jenkinson in teaching
sessions with doctors and nurses, in counselling sessions with dying people and
their families, and in conversation with the film’s director, Tim
Wilson—sometimes while paddling a birchbark canoe—on his ideas about how we
live and die.
Jenkinson has master’s degrees from Harvard University (in theology)
and the University of Toronto (in social work). After an apprenticeship to a
musician-storyteller he worked with dying people and their families, with
grieving people and with those unsure how to grieve.
As a program director in a major Canadian hospital, an assistant
professor in a Canadian medical school, an educator and advocate in the helping
professions and a spiritual activist, he has advised palliative care and
hospice organizations. Now he heads a teaching centre called Orphan Wisdom in
the Ottawa Valley. He gave a highly appreciated presentation to the 2010
conference for the International Association of Jungian Analysts here in
Montreal. He is an invited guest at the Jung Institute in Zürich in February
where he will address the subject of “Initiation not Individuation.”
On his website (orphanwisdom.com),
Orphans are not people who have no parents: they are people who
don’t know their parents, who cannot go to
them. Ours is a culture built upon
the ruthless foundation of mass migration, but it is more so now a culture of
people unable to say who their people are. In that way we are, relentlessly,
orphans. Being an orphan culture does not mean that we have no wisdom. But
wisdom is being confused in our time with information. Wisdom is an
achievement, hard earned and faithfully paid
for; it’s not a possession.
Not knowing where you are
from is not the same thing as being from nowhere, but it does mean that there
is work of all kinds to be done. It could be that the only way for successful
refugees to make a culture from their flight is to first be faithful witnesses
to what their ancestry now asks of them, instead of what it might have fated
them to be. Our culture, if a culture it can be called, or all those things we
have instead of a culture, has come to a time of savage despair, it seems ...
We have become a danger to ourselves, and a menace to all who will come after
us and to the world.
Someone who might have had a special appreciation for the sort of
thing Stephen Jenkinson was saying was Audrey Bruné, whose comments from the
audience at lectures made a modest but indelible impression on some of us,
reflecting her deep culture and her commitment to facing the spiritual
challenge of the void that we face today. She probably introduced some of us to
the word “apophatic.” Dr. Bruné died peacefully after a short illness at the
age of 87.
For many years an associate professor of English Literature at
Concordia University. Audrey, in the words of the newspaper obituary, “remained
committed to the adventure of learning to the very end of her life.” I miss
Farther ahead, we’ll be keeping you posted on a special weekend
March 15 and 16, when Michael Vannoy Adams of New York leads us in exploring
the legacy of James Hillman. A month later, April 19 and 20, we will grapple
with the psycho-spiritual dilemma of our time with the help of a perennial
favourite: James Hollis.
This newsletter marks the end of your membership subscription for
2011-12. If you have not yet done so, it is now time to renew.
Volume 38, Newsletter #2, October 2012
A Note From the Co-President
I will start these notes in a way that reminds me of those collections of unintended humour that you see on the Web these days. Because of a conflict in schedules, the lecture on unwelcome change by Polly Young-Eisendrath will take place on Friday evening and Saturday Nov. 16 and 17, a week later than originally scheduled. (Soup night – Nov. 23)
Really, this change is no more than a minor irritation, but be sure to note the change if you marked your appointment book on the basis of our fall calendar. The dates in the flyer in this newsletter are correct. And those who have attended Polly’s past presentations to our society will know that any time to listen to her is a good time.
Her presentations will be a highlight of a fall season in which change and the resistance to change has emerged as a common theme.
Even before Polly visits us, those fortunate enough to participate in our fall reading seminar will have begun discussing ideas of home. Home is often regarded as a haven from change, but our discussions will be in the context of the over-all theme of the four seminars, “Meandering Towards Home,” and that of the recent edition of Spring Journal from which several of the readings are taken: “On Home and the Wanderer.”
The seminars, which will also draw on John Hill’s book At
Home in the World, will take place in their customary home at the Westmount
Public Library Mondays, October 29, November 5 and 19 and December 3. There’s
another schedule change there! And a welcome one for some. The original date
for the last seminar was November 29, but several of our seminar leaders plan
to attend a Leonard Cohen concert that night.
Our focus on change and resistance to change this fall strikes me as both perennial yet contemporary.
To get back to Polly Young-Eisendrath, her discussion of unwelcome change will focus largely on events in our personal lives, like betrayal, illness, loss or bereavement and the lessons that can be learned from them. She will address these from her unique perspective, blending Jungian and Buddhist insights. Both Eastern and Jungian world views have always been about change and the resistance to change, but I think I discern something contemporary in her reference to "unwelcome change."
To make my point, perhaps I can touch on public issues, even though I am not sure that Polly will do so. Not so long ago, some of us were inclined to vague statements suggesting that change is good in itself. One of our anthems was Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”
The times are still a-changin’, of course, but not necessarily in ways we, older and possibly wiser, find congenial. Those who call vaguely for change are not like the people who used to do so. We have recently been through a Quebec election in which one new party, the Coalition Avenir Québec, ran on the slogan “C’est assez, faut que ça change!” They did not do so well as they had hoped, but it is conventional wisdom that the Parti Québécois achieved its modest success partly because many voters wanted some sort of change, not necessarily well defined.
In other political arenas, such people and groups as Stephen Harper and his supporters, the Wildrose Party in Alberta and, in Polly’s country, Mitt Romney and his supporters, seem to see themselves as agents of change. I would agree that they are, but the changes they seem to be after are not necessarily welcome, to me anyway. Still, I guess I would reluctantly concede that the other part of Polly’s title would apply here and there are no doubt lessons to be learned from these folk and their efforts.
“New doors are opened when old ones close,” she writes, “but we can miss the new openings if we are focused only on negativity and loss.”
Jan Bauer of Montreal, another wise favourite of our society, will offer some complementary insights in her lecture Friday evening, December 7, on “The Humble Garage.” The garage, as she reminds us, can be, literally and metaphorically, an incubator of change and growth, whether in the form of computers, cars or neighbourhood rock bands. They can also be repositories of treasures.
But, Jan aptly notes, they can also be repositories of junk.
claimed to have looked over what was for sale at one garage sale and said to
the person in charge, “I think there is a typographical error on your sign. A
letter seems to be missing. This is not a garage sale. It is a garbage sale!”
I cannot resist reporting a comment a tenant in our house passed on to my wife some years ago. He was an antique-picker, who among other things would visit garage sales in search of treasures he could resell to antique stores. He could be testy.
As we pick through our literal and
metaphorical garages, I suspect Polly will tell us we need judgment—and feeling
in the Jungian sense (doigté, to use
a French word I like) to try to avoid mistaking the garbage for treasures. But
also the reverse.
And now, back to the subject of
home. I am happy to report that the book collection of our society, which has
had a precarious and almost inaccessible existence in the homes of a couple of
Jung Society members for the past few years, will now be housed at the
Westmount Public Library.
Officials of the library have proved tough, if generous, bargainers. Members of our society will not have privileged access to the books; they will be able to borrow them directly from the library only if they live in Westmount or buy a library membership. Still, like anyone else, society members can consult the books at the library or borrow the titles through Quebec’s inter-library loan system. We are grateful to the library for this opportunity to keep the collection together and available to the public.
Please renew if you have not done so already
Volume 38, Newsletter #1, August 2012
programs that will open our 2012-13 year at the C. G. Jung Society of Montreal
are topical — in one respect unfortunately so. The year will begin Friday evening, September 21, with a screening
of David Cronenberg’s recent historical film “A Dangerous Method,” a fictionalized account of
the origins of psychoanalysis and especially the relationships between Carl
Jung, Sigmund Freud, and Sabina Spielrein just before World War I. The movie is
based on Christopher Hampton’s 2002 play “The Talking Cure,” of which our society presented
a reading at that time. We have decided to accompany this movie with a discussion between a
Jungian and a Freudian. The Jungian will be Ted Fillery, who practiced
as a Jungian analyst in Toronto from 1996 to 2007 before moving his practice to
Montréal. He is on the planning committee of our society. What little I know of the Freudian, William J. Massicotte, has
greatly whetted my appetite. He is extremely active in the Canadian
Psychoanalytic Society and related organizations and has an important role in
presenting their concerns to the public. He is in private practice in Montreal
and also has been involved with the philosophy departments of both McGill and
Concordia Universities. The philosophy of psychoanalysis is one of his main
interests. The brief but cogent discussion between Ted Fillery and Bill
Massicotte will be moderated by another mental health professional and member
of our planning committee, Susan Meindl, a
licensed psychologist in private practice in Westmount. The connection between psychology and the surrounding
society will be a focus in the presentations to our society
Friday evening and Saturday morning, October 12 and 13 in a lecture and
half-day seminar by John Dourley of Ottawa, of whom I have been a fan for
years. Although he is a Roman Catholic priest as well as a Jungian analyst,
John Dourley shares many of the concerns of those who see religion as
irrelevant at best to today’s world, and at worst a breeder of fanaticisms that
even threaten the survival of humanity. But, as he writes in his book On
Behalf of the Mystical Fool: Jung on the Religious Situation (Routledge,
2010, 262 pps.) he also hopes that religion might be an antidote for fanaticism
and a force for human unity that could enrich human life and even help humanity
survive. He will share some of these ideas on the Friday evening and continue the next
morning to explore the influence on Jung of mystics like Mechthilde of
Magdeburg, Meister Eckhart and Jacob Boehme,
as well as what they have to say to us today. This is a particularly good time for us to be hearing a range of
views like those of Ted Fillery, Bill Massicotte and John Dourley. It suddenly
turns out that this may be a bad time for people practicing a variety of
psychological approaches in Quebec. The guardians of the nanny state in the Quebec government and the
Quebec Order of Psychologists seem to have decided that psychotherapy may
sometimes be a dangerous method indeed. What they have decided
to do about it is of grave concern to leading Jungian analysts in Quebec, among
others.Quebec Justice Minister Jean-Marc Fournier and officers of the Order
announced in June that, under a law known as Bill 21, the practice of many
professions in the field of mental health and human relations in Quebec is
being redefined, and
“psychotherapy” is being reserved to members of a few designated professional
orders. The Association des psychanalystes jungiens du Québec (APJQ) is among those conspicuously absent from the
favoured group. I spoke briefly with Tom Kelly, a leading member of the APJQ and President-Elect of the International Association for
Analytical Psychology (IAAP), at a time when the association was in the
early stages of formulating its response. What follows is a mixture of some of
his ideas and some of mine.The idea of what the government is trying to do in protecting the
public is in some ways laudable and part of a trend in a number of countries.
However, in Tom’s view, the government of Ontario, for one, has moved with more
sensitivity than we are seeing in Quebec.
A Note From the Co-President
In what could be seen as a power grab, the Quebec Order winds up
with the job of approving anyone who wants to practice “psychotherapy.” Its
criteria would be quite different from those used to accredit Jungian analysts.
For example, psychotherapists in training would be required to have
many hours of supervised work with
as aspiring analysts are already required to do by organizations like the APJQ.
But there would be no requirement that the aspiring psychotherapist himself or
herself undergo any psychoanalysis. I presume that
this would be a sine qua non for both
Freudian and Jungian psychoanalytic candidates alike.
Would-be psychoanalysts would also be required to have at least a
bachelor’s degree, and more often a master’s, in the fields of mental health
and human relations. This seems particularly problematic for Jungians. Aspiring
Jungian analysts quite often proceed to grueling
training in psychoanalysis after having earned a first degree in some other
field like the arts, business or the physical sciences.
Tom tells me that the APJQ made representations to the government
when legislation was being considered, but these were ignored.
“The way this has been handled so far does not leave us very optimistic,” he said.
To which I would add that, whatever the effect may be on
psychoanalysts and their clients, the new rules could create lots of work for
I end with a piece of happier official news.
Our warmest congratulations go to Guy Corneau, a pioneer of Jungian
analysis in Quebec, renowned speaker and author and a great friend of our
society, who has just been made a member of the Order of Canada “for his
contributions as a writer, speaker and radio and television host, helping
people to resolve difficulties in their lives.”
Volume 37, Newsletter #5, March 2012
From the Co-President
privileges we enjoy in the C. G. Jung Society of Montreal include bringing
favourite speakers back to town and introducing new ones. Programmes this year
have brought us such outstanding speakers as Guy Corneau, Jan Bauer, Françoise
Cloutier and David Pressault of Montreal, Ginette Paris of Montreal and Santa
Barbara and the several local therapists who took part in our dream smorgasbord
In the last two lecture-workshop weekends of the programme year, we
will introduce two speakers who are new to our society. What I have learned of
them from sources, including a couple of telephone conversations, suggests they
may soon be among our favourites. Friday evening and Saturday, March 23 and 24,
Rosemary Murray-Lachapelle of Gatineau will lecture and lead a half-day workshop
on the fascinating phenomenon of the Black Madonna. Three weeks later, Friday
evening and Saturday, April 13 and 14, Tim Pilgrim of Toronto will present an
approach to a topic that some people might not see at first blush as especially
In addition, a series of four reading seminars beginning
in March will feature discussions moderated by four of our own members of
readings on creativity, a subject addressed by Guy Corneau and Jan Bauer at the
beginning of our programme year.
Born and raised in the Eastern Townships, Tim Pilgrim brings seventeen
years’ experience as a marital and family therapist to his practice as a
Jungian analyst. He also teaches a course on Jung and culture at the University
of Toronto. I would not be surprised if his presentations and those of Rosemary
Murray-Lachapelle prove to be different but complementary ways of rounding the
Christian Trinity into a quaternity.
Rosemary Murray-Lachapelle and Tim Pilgrim are members and officers
of the Ontario Association of Jungian Analysts. Both have strong Quebec
connections; Mrs. Murray-Lachapelle is also a member of the Association of
Jungian Psychoanalysts of Quebec. Both have broad backgrounds outside and
within applied psychology. Both are especially grounded in literature.
The phenomenon of the Black Madonna or Black Virgin has long
fascinated luminaries in the Jungian universe, including C. G. Jung himself,
Erich Neumann and Gilles Quispel. More recently, the British analyst Ean Begg’s
book The Cult of the Black Virgin (Chiron, 2006) has helped to fuel
fascination with the topic. Closer to home, Marie Azzarello, a recent member of
our own Montreal society, devotes considerable attention to the Black Madonna
from the standpoint of her own Roman Catholic spirituality in her 2010 book, Mary
and the Maternal Face of God (Baico Publishing, Ottawa, www.baico.ca).
The term refers to close to five hundred statues and other images of
the Virgin that have been identified in churches and other religious sites in
Europe and elsewhere in which the skin of the Virgin is dark. This is perhaps because
of the material from which it is made, because the image was at some point
charred by fire or for some other reason. (By convention, the tally generally
does not include black Virgins obviously connected with African and black culture.)
Mrs. Murray-Lachapelle has studied psychology, religion and
literature at the University of Toronto, the Université de Strasbourg in France
and Carleton University. She has worked for universities and the federal
government and carried out assignments in West Africa and the Caribbean. Bilingual
in French-English, she has a penchant for languages, including ancient ones
like Old Babylonian and Latin.
She reports that on a recent visit to Venice she found a Black
Virgin in the church of Santa Marie della Salute to still be an object of
popular devotion, despite the decline of Roman Catholic practice in Venice and
elsewhere. She also noted that there is a Black Virgin in the Church of Notre
Dame de Bonsecours in Old Montreal.
Her interest in the Black Madonna stems from a deep interest in the
feminine. She sees its feminine earthiness as a complement to the whiteness of
the Virgin in other Christian lore and is persuaded that the Black Madonna is
rooted in ancient Goddess tradition and predates Christianity.
Tim Pilgrim is also interested in the dark side of the psyche,
although the darkness here is a somewhat different kind than that of the Black
Madonna. His presentation will reflect, among other things, experience with the
world of business—he was in marketing for some years and still has an interest
in a marketing company—and studies in Victorian literature. You might say that
the shadow side of his topic for the weekend, ambition, is failure. The
Saturday workshop will focus in part on a famous Victorian tale of overweening
ambition by Mary Shelley, sister of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Frankenstein:
A Modern Prometheus.
My scanty researches suggest that this novel is, in its way,
Jungian, although it predates Jung. In the introduction to her novel, published
in 1818—about a century before Jung introduced his concept of the archetype—she
it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of the void, but
out of chaos; the materials must, in the first place, be afforded: it can give
form to dark, shapeless substances, but cannot bring into being the substance
itself … Invention consists in the capacity of seizing on the capabilities of a
subject, and in the power of moulding and fashioning ideas suggested to it.
Due to constraints in booking the room at the Westmount Public
Library, our four reading seminars on creativity will be somewhat oddly spaced
in time. They will take place on Thursday evenings, March 22 (the evening
before Rosemary Murray-Lachapelle’s lecture) and March 29 and then, a month
later, on Monday evenings, April 30 and May 7, winding up our season.
Moderators of the four evenings will be Molly Baker, Roman Rogulski, Murray
Shugar, and Ted Fillery. Please see the flyer enclosed in this newsletter for more
details. Reading materials will be available at upcoming lectures.
Looking forward to seeing you at these programmes and next fall.
Volume 37, Newsletter #4, November 2011
A Note From the Co-President
Are you the leaf, the
blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O
How can we know the dancer
from the dance?
(W. B. Yeats: “Among School
The last two lines, have haunted me for years and came back
to me when I started thinking about the fact that, through some play of the
dance of synchronicity, dance will be at least in part the theme of the first
two programs in the calendar year 2012. For us, as for the two figures who will
be in the spotlight of the two programs, and for Yeats, dance will be seen as
both literal—in the body—and as a powerful metaphor and symbol.
Woodman, the iconic Canadian Jungian whose personal visits to us were a
powerful fact in the life of our society in bygone years, will be back with us
virtually on Monday, January 30, through a presentation of a video about her
and her work, Dancing in the Flames. This “return” visit will be
followed by a personal visit on Friday, February 17, by a new, but also
charismatic friend of our society, David Pressault. He has been a figure on the
dance scene in Montreal and elsewhere since the late 1980s. His lecture to us
on Inspiration and the Creative Mind will come partly out of that background
but will also stem from his relatively new role as a Jungian analyst in
Montreal: he is finishing studies in analytical psychology with the Ontario
Association of Jungian Analysts (OAJA) and is already practicing in Montreal
I am not
the dancer in my family, but rather the one with two left feet. My daughter and
her partner have a tango studio in N. D. G., which some of our members know
through a couple of events we have held there and in some cases through their
personal participation. Still, I am looking forward to both of these programs
with keen anticipation.
to its website, Dancing in the Flames, “explores the inspiring life and
many ‘deaths’ of one of the western world’s most important wisdom keepers, and
sends a clarion call to a planet in the midst of ‘a shedding of its outworn skin.”
Renowned as a Jungian analyst and author, the site says, Marion Woodman “is
celebrated for her work on feminine psychology and addiction, but her words and
her wisdom speak to nearly everyone. With insight from our guide, the brilliant
mystic and author Andrew Harvey, Marion explores the mysteries of her soul’s
journey and reveals a series of psychological ‘deaths’ and ‘rebirths’ that have
made her who she is today. From her battle with anorexia, to her revelatory
experiences in India, to her ever-evolving marriage, to her dance with cancer,
Marion has ‘died into life’ and thus is a perfect teacher and mid-wife for this
critical period in our history.”
is free, in conformity with the policies of the Westmount Public Library, where
the presentation will take place. Copies of the DVD will be available at a
discount price and I would urge some of you to consider buying one, both so you
can enjoy it again and again and because this would help us meet our financial
obligation to the producers of the DVD.
would we be without the Web these days? From another website, I learned that
David Pressault began his career as a dancer in 1987 and danced for Montreal,
Toronto and Vancouver-based companies until 2006. His body of work includes
more than twenty creations and three short films that have been presented in
Europe and Canada. Since the creation of his company David Pressault Danse
in 1999, he “has demonstrated a constant evolution and transformation of both
the content and the form of his work.” His latest work Corps Intérieur
was co-produced by long-time partner Danse-Cité and presented in the 2009/2010
season and again by popular demand in the following season. He “has a growing
concern for the precarious condition of contemporary dance and its artists in
Montreal, in Quebec and in Canada. His actions have demonstrated his desire for
the continuing evolution of the art form and a concern for a psychologically
healthier artistic practice of dance.”
he completed a master’s thesis at the Université du Québec à Montréal
titled “Éros et Pouvoir: Regards Jungiens sur les situations
d’abus de pouvoir entre chorégraphes et danseurs contemporains.”
that the Woodman DVD and social event will take place at the Westmount Public
Library on Monday, January 30, a departure in time and place from our usual
program. (See the enclosed flyer for more details.)
Along with Marion Woodman,
another great influence on our society in years gone by was the seminal work of
James Hillman. He affected many of us through his writings, through his
influence on Montrealers, including Ginette Paris—at that time on the faculty
of UQAM—and through a series of presentations at UQAM that she arranged. We
were saddened to learn of his recent death.
newsletter editor and webmaster, Murray Shugar, has invited members and friends
of our society to submit recollections and appreciations of his life and work
for publication in these media, and I pass along that invitation. You can send
comments, if you wish, to email@example.com
Volume 37, Newsletter #3, November 2011
A Note From the Co-President
is a lot of complex intellectual debate going on in the Jungian world these
days and it surely has its place. But I am pleased to report that our own
programs this season will be addressing basic themes like dreams and healing.
Our feet will be soulfully on the ground.
These programs will be grounded in another way. They will mostly
feature people from the Montreal scene.
On November 12 we are trying something new. An all-day Saturday
program will be made up of short presentations by several Montreal therapists describing
different approaches to dreams. Our speakers will include analysts Yvon Rivière
and Ted Fillery, psychologist Susan Meindl, and eclectic dream specialists
Layne Dalfen and Diana Ilnicki, all of Montreal. Please note the venue: the
comfortable York Auditorium of Concordia University. See the flyer for details.
Healing seems to be a leitmotif of our programs these days. Our fall
season opening event featured a stimulating and soulful exchange on creativity
between Montreal analysts Jan Bauer and Guy Corneau. They paid a lot of
attention to its healing power.
Then, as the weather began to get chillier, Françoise Cloutier of
Montreal made use of the Inuit tale of the Skeleton Woman to amplify the
subject of healing through relationship.
Another Montrealer—although she spends much of her time at the
Pacifica Graduate Institute in California—will also be discussing healing and
relationship. Ginette Paris will particularly emphasize healing from the
effects of relationships broken by bereavement and betrayal. She will lecture
Friday night, December 3, and give an all-day workshop the next day. My review
of her book on this subject, Heartbreak: New Approaches to Healing:
Recovering from lost love and mourning, is in this newsletter.
Dr. Paris’s past presentations to our society have endeared her to
us through her accessible and down-to-earth contemporary approach and the
upcoming weekend should be no exception. I suspect that the resemblance of part
of her title, “Love in the City,” to a phrase associated with the actress Sarah
Jessica Parker is no coincidence.
As you receive this newsletter, our reading seminar series at the
Westmount Public Library on “Illness and Healing” will be under way. Members of
our society will be animating discussion on selections from the works of Jung
and leading Jungian and archetypal writers. The sessions begin October 31 and
continue November 7 and continue Mondays,
December 5 and 12. Johnny-come-latelies are welcome; for further information
see our website or call (514) 481-8664.
We expect that a film night in January will focus on healing and the
body in an exciting way. At the time of this writing, we were awaiting
confirmation, so stay tuned.
In February, David Pressault, a Montrealer who plans to practice as
a Jungian analyst in town and has been deeply involved in the local dance
scene, will tell us about how these two spheres can interact. To tantalize you,
his subject will be inspiration!
I close on a sombre note. Some of us mourn the recent deaths of two
Jungian pioneers, both of whom were eclectic and had particular interest in the
interface between spirituality and psychology and in the psychology of
The many friends and admirers of Jean Monbourquette of Ottawa, whose
internationally known writing and talks in French and English focused largely
on the shadow, self-esteem and mourning, are mourning his own death in August
at the age of 77.
His best-known work, How to Love Again: Moving from Grief to Growth,
explores the grieving process. Since it was first published in the early 1990s,
it has sold over one million copies in Canada and around the world.
John Monbourquette, as he was known in English, was a teacher at St.
Paul’s University in Ottawa for more than thirty-five years, a psychologist,
and a Roman Catholic priest in the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Our society,
alas, never managed to develop direct links with him, but some of our members
held him in deep respect and affection.
Mario Jacoby, who met the aging C. G. Jung in Zürich during the
early years of his own career as a Jungian analyst, was a living link with him
for some who encountered Dr. Jacoby in their own studies and work. He died in Zürich
this fall. As a scholar and writer, Dr. Jacoby was especially known for his
efforts to compare and reconcile different schools of depth psychology,
particularly those of Jung and Heinz Kohut.
Mario Jacoby spoke in Montreal at least once some years ago,
sponsored by our French-language counterpart, now unfortunately defunct, the
Cercle C. G. Jung de Montréal. Inner City Books of Toronto has published two of
remember to renew your membership if you have not yet done so.
Volume 37, Newsletter #2, October 2011
From the Co-President
A legend about a young Inuit woman drowned in an
Arctic ocean, who later returns to life and becomes the lover of the fisherman
who has pulled her bones from the icy water, has fascinated Inuit through the
centuries and, in more recent years, many others. The interaction of love, sex,
injustice, terror and awe has touched something in many souls.
encounter this legend on Friday, October 21, when one of our own Jungian
analysts in Montreal, Françoise Cloutier, will explore it in a lecture. No
doubt enthralling in its own right, the evening will also be a fitting prelude
to our fall reading seminar on healing, which will begin October 31.
Cloutier, a good friend of our society, will draw insight about healing and
relating from the tale of “The Skeleton Woman.” That is the title of the Inuit
legend presented by the U.S. analyst and storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estés in
her 1992 best-seller Women Who Run With
people are also drawn to another Inuit legend, or perhaps another version, more
of a creation myth than The Skeleton Women, in which the heroine, known as
Sedna, becomes a sea goddess. (Some people seem to regard the legends as
variants of one legend but Estés seems to see them as distinct but similar in
motif.) The Toronto Jungian analyst Beverly Bond Clarkson told our society
about Sedna some years ago.
the Web, I was struck by the widespread fascination for The Skeleton Woman or
Sedna. Through the miracle of Google, I quickly found myself deluged with
references to websites, blogs, scholarly tomes, YouTube videos, animated
cartoons, other movies, musical compositions, dance, astronomic and
astrological commentary and feminist ritual. I commend the exercise to you as
preparation for the lecture.
gave her name to a dwarf planet
discovered in 2003, with an orbit ranging from about three to about 32 times as
far from the Sun as Neptune.
"Our newly discovered object is
the coldest most distant place known in the Solar System," Mike Brown, one
of the three American discoverers of the planet, wrote on his website, "so
we feel it is appropriate to name it in honor of Sedna,
the Inuit goddess of the sea, who is thought to
live at the bottom of the frigid Arctic Ocean.”
(Thank you, Wikipedia.)
While terrifying frigidity is a key
characteristic of the Skeleton Woman, many have found her a figure of feminine
warmth and love. My blogging endeavours seem to bear out Françoise
Cloutier’s suggestion that this tale is very important to many women on their
journey. I came across more than one blog in
which women reported that they found her to be a source of strength and solace.
Estés sees the two sides of the Skeleton Woman as intertwined, or
perhaps, in a way, the same.
“The archetype of the Life/Death/Life force is grossly misunderstood
throughout many modern cultures” she writes on Page 135 of Women Who Run With the Wolves. “Some no longer understand that Lady
Death is loving and that life will be renewed through her ministrations.”
It is hardly surprising that this theme should attract Françoise Aline
Cloutier, who began moving toward a career as a Jungian analyst after a first
career in information technology. Since opening her practice in Jungian
analysis in 2001, she has made the finding of hope in hopelessness one of the
themes of her career.
The Inuit tale of healing leads us to our reading seminar that begins
October 31 on “Illness and Healing: Healing the Body-Mind/The Way to
Wholeness.” Four members of our Jung
Society—Murray Shugar, Molly Baker, Dawn Duquet and Mary Harsany—will lead discussion of readings from the writings
of Guy Corneau, Marion Woodman
and Edward Whitmont, just to name a few. The sessions will be at 6:30
p.m. on four Mondays: October 31, November 7 and December 5 and 12 in the
Westmount Public Library. See the enclosed flyer.
Also stay tuned for an innovation in our programs on Saturday, November
12 when we will be hosting an all-day smorgasbord of presentations by Montreal
therapists on “Sampling the Dream World.” Our talented speakers will be Yvon Rivière, Ted Fillery, Layne Dalfen, Diann Ilnicki,
and Susan Meindl. See the next newsletter for more details.
On another subject, our society is seeking to cut costs and thereby
keep our various fees from rising, and to “go green,” by making more use of
electronic communications, including email and our website, and thus cutting
down on paper and postage. At least for the time being, the paper newsletter is
not being discontinued entirely, but we would appreciate
word from you about whether you would prefer to
continue to receive the newsletter on paper.
Contact our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would also like to replace the audiotapes of our lectures that we
now offer with something more up-to-date like CDs and add some audiovisual
content to our website. Our technical skills in this department are limited and
we would like to hear from anyone who could lend us a hand.
Also let me mention that notwithstanding our efforts to control costs,
we still depend on fees to put on programs, publicize them and put out the
newsletter. Annual dues are payable in the fall. Please renew if you have not
done so already.
Volume 37, Newsletter #1, August 2011
be the theme with which the C. G. Jung Society will begin our 2011-12 program
year on Friday, September 23. A conversation on that topic with two outstanding
local analysts, Jan Bauer and Guy Corneau, will be the keynote of an evening at
the de Sève Cinema in the downtown Concordia University campus that will also
provide an occasion to renew acquaintances and make new friendships over
plenty to discuss. On the one hand, the word can denote a wellspring of energy
and insight for those of us associated with the Jungian project. On the other,
the word can be used to cover a multitude of mawkish and sentimental sins.
old-timer in our society, may I add that the word creativity has a resonance
for me from the collage workshops under the title “Opening Channels to the
Creative” that the late Edith Wallace led in Montreal over a number of years?
They exemplified both sides of the tension I have just mentioned. On the one
hand, participants in these workshops often found them moving and rewarding and
there were deeply emotional moments. On the other, there was nothing mawkish in
Edith Wallace’s manner or how she conducted the workshops.
how I might stir up discussion on this topic, I turned to the index of a book
on my summer reading list: Volume IV of the Collected English Papers of the
anything-but-mawkish Wolfgang Giegerich. The volume has the general title The
Soul Always Thinks and was published last year by Spring Journal Books of
didn’t let me down. On pages 252 and 253 (well ahead of where my bookmark was
at that time in the summer) are some provocative comments on the “great dream.”
Commenting on a letter Jung wrote to Sir Herbert Read in 1960, Giegerich takes
exception to Jung’s comment that the great dream “consists of the many small
dreams.” Giegerich responds:
What a letdown! A few
sentences earlier Jung had—correctly, I think—still said, “It is the great
dream which has always spoken through the artist as a mouthpiece.” The “great
dream” as conceived in this statement is precisely not the sum of the private “small
dreams,” but a totally other phenomenon: the work of great art, which is
a priori public, belonging to the whole nation, if not humanity, and the
product of the whole man (homo totus), including his wakeful
consciousness and all his intellectual power. Great art and, by the same token,
great thinking, do not come out of “the unconscious” conceived naturalistically
and positivistically as a mysterious anthropological constant and a reservoir
of timeless archetypes, not out of the personality of the individual (his
interior). They come out of the real, concrete historical situation of
each respective time, out of the fundamental truths, the open questions and
deep conflicts of the age that press both for an articulate representation and
an answer. They (the truths, questions and conflicts of the age) are the
source, the prima materia and the real subject of production (“creativity”).
And they are neither individual nor collective but—logical (which takes us into
a wholly other dimension) ... In them and in the great works produced by them,
not in himself, not in his “unconscious,” man has his soul and this is
why the locus of “the whole weight of mankind’s problems” is in those great
works. In them and their succession we find the opus magnum.
… The great artist or
thinker is no more than an alchemical vessel in which the great problems of the
time are the prime matter undergoing their fermenting corruption, distillation,
sublimation and of course articulation.
I don’t know what Jan Bauer and Guy Corneau may think of this
or how much it will bear on whatever they have to say to us on September 23.
What is sure is that neither Jan nor Guy is any stranger to “the fundamental
truths, the open questions and deep conflicts” of our time, as you can see in
part in Murray Shugar’s review in this issue of Guy’s latest book, Revivre.
As you will also see, Guy has much to say on creativity in this book. Jan’s
presentations in Montreal over the years have often focused on what light
Jungian psychology may shed on the issues of the day.
hope these notes will help get some juices flowing in anticipation of our
will introduce an interesting season. Another local analyst well acquainted
with issues of the public world will be our lecturer in October. Now an analyst
in private practice in Montreal, Françoise Cloutier has a master’s degree in
business administration and worked as a senior consultant in information technology before her
passion for symbols and deep respect for the unfolding of the psyche prompted
her to train at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. Her interests include the
sometimes difficult experiences of no hope found in depression, in illnesses
and sometimes in periods of life transition. Her intriguing topic will be “The
November we plan a seminar on dreams that will feature brief presentations by
several Montreal analysts and others. Stay tuned for details. The fall program
will close in December with a presentation by Montreal semi-expatriate Ginette
Paris, who will draw on material from her recent book Heartbreak: Recovery from Lost Love and Mourning brought
out this year by Mill City Press of Minneapolis. The book is probably less
sentimental than you might expect; its cover advises us to “Look at your broken
heart with the curiosity of a naturalist, as you would pay attention to your
pet, to understand what is going on.”
close with a reminder that membership in our society is on an academic-year
basis. Your membership is probably due for renewal.
Volume 36, Newletter #1
A Note From
You may be surprised to be receiving this newsletter now,
during what would usually be the summer lull for our society. We need to tell
you about some historic moments that will soon have an impact on the life of
the Jungian enterprise in Montreal.
On the one hand, Montreal has the honour of being the host
city for the eighteenth congress of the International Association for Jungian
Psychology (IAAP), which will bring Jungian analysts and others from around the
world to our city August 22-27. Another moment is the publication last October,
after more than half a century under wraps, of a sumptuous edition of Jung’s
illustrated journal the Liber Novus, or Red Book. Some of those
dedicated to carrying on Jung’s work consider this a significant turning point
in the ongoing effort to understand Jung and his work.
Inevitably, but in some ways unfortunately, the
international congress is a professional event restricted to Jungian analysts
and certain others. Only a few members of our society are eligible to attend
it. However, organizers of the congress have opened two events to the general public,
including members of the C. G. Jung Society of Montreal. For this we are
grateful to the Montreal Jungian analysts, and most especially Tom Kelly, chair
of the conference program committee.
One session will be devoted to the Red Book. Its
editor, Sonu Shamdasani, will present a talk on Monday evening, August 23 entitled
Novus: From Personal Cosmology to General Psychology.”
The other session also stems largely from a recent
publishing event. On Thursday evening, August 26, a distinguished group of Jungians will present a dramatic reading based
on the correspondence between Jung and the Dominican priest and scholar Victor
White between 1945 and 1950. Among the
performers will be two of the editors of The Jung-White Letters
published in 2007 by Routledge in the Philemon Series. This dialogue is
particularly topical today, when the place of religion is a source of
The Red Book will also be the focus of the event that
will launch the 2010-2011 program year of our own society. Two Jungian analysts
in Montreal — Tom Kelly
and Yvon Rivière — will discuss
this book and present some of its images, in the course of an evening in
Fulford Hall, downtown in the office tower behind Christ Church Cathedral. The
evening will also provide an occasion for socializing.
The enclosed flyers present details of all three of these
events. The two public events will take place at the conference hotel, the
Queen Elizabeth. (It strikes me as fitting, considering the complex
contrasexuality of Jungian thought, that the conference is taking place at an
establishment known in French as Le Reine Elizabeth.)
As we take the opportunity to enjoy these two events in
company with stars from the Jungian firmament, I urge those of our members who
attend to be aware that this will involve some logistical issues. People at the
admission desk will have to sort out members of the general public, including
members of our society, from participants in the congress. (These will have
paid a substantial fee to attend the conference.) Members of the public and of
the Jung Society will be required to pay admission. Please bring your current membership
card to avail yourself of the reduced fee.
I trust that these events will provide a flying start for
our own program year, which will feature another look at the topic of
synchronicity, to which we devoted the latest of our reading seminar series
last fall. Jean-François Vézina, “explorateur de l’inconscient et peintre du
silence,” as he describes himself on his entertaining website and blog at www.jfvezina.net, will discuss this topic (in English) under the title
“Necessary Chances” on Friday evening, October 15, and at a half-day workshop
the next day on synchronicity in movies.
On November 5 and 6, we will follow up on our enormously
successful Ira Progoff intensive workshop of last January with a Level II journaling workshop, again led
by Avis Smalley of Vermont. It is a prerequisite of participating in this
program that one have completed a Level I workshop like ours of last January.
There may be an opportunity for those who missed the January
weekend to attend one in October. At last report, Cedar Park United Church in
Pointe Claire was trying to organize a Level I workshop, probably October 1-2.
For more information, send an email to Graeme Sutherland of the church at email@example.com. You can also
call the church office at (514) 695-3337 or our own number at (514) 481-8664.
It is sometimes suggested that psychotherapy is primarily
for “neurotics,” but from the beginning Jungian psychology has also been
challenged and enriched by the experiences and visions of those with more
debilitating emotional conditions. Some of them too have found Jungian
approaches helpful, perhaps as an adjunct to other types of therapy.
Here in Montreal, we in the C. G. Jung Society of Montreal,
and people in more than one faith community, mourn Marie-Claire Strickland, who
died suddenly in late April at the age of 68, after what her family described
in the newspaper announcement as "a courageous lifelong struggle with
mental health challenges.”
Again quoting from the newspaper obituary, Marie-Claire, née
Charlebois, “was a lifelong learner, an inspirational teacher at
Macdonald-Cartier High School (in Saint-Hubert), and a compassionate friend. We
will remember her active mind, her heartfelt laughter, and her burning desire
to help others.” Indeed. Some of us in the Jung society will particularly
remember her abiding interest in spirituality and her ability to laugh at
Donations in her memory may be made to AMI-Québec, Alliance
for the Mentally Ill, a grass-roots, support and advocacy organization of
families and friends of people with a mental illness; the website is at www.amiquebec.org.
Volume 36, Newletter #2
Note From the Co-President
is connected and the web is holy,” wrote a second-century Roman emperor. In so
doing, Marcus Aurelius, revered as an exemplar of the Platonic ideal of the
philosopher king, provided our society with a motto for the reading seminar we
organized last spring on Jung’s concept of synchronicity.
Our programmes in October will continue
to explore some of the interwoven strands in the complex pattern of Jungian
psychology and of recent developments in the Jungian world. We began this
process late this summer as we lent a helping hand to the gathering of nearly
700 analysts and others from around the world at the XVIIIth congress of the
International Association for Analytical Psychology.
In particular, twelve of our members
participated as volunteers, performing routine services and in exchange
attending sessions of the congress. In reality, this opportunity was out of all
proportion to the services we rendered, and I would like to express our
appreciation to the Montreal analysts, particularly Tom Kelly, for according us
this great privilege. We also want to give Tom our congratulations on his
election as president-elect of the IAAP (which means that, barring unforeseen
circumstances, he is will become the next president).
Our society co-sponsored two events
during the convention that were open to our members and the general public. One
of them was an evening devoted to the much-heralded and long-awaited
publication of The Red Book, Carl Jung’s account of the seminal and
personal exploration of his own unconscious through a pioneering venture in
what has come to be known as active imagination. The other event was a dramatic
reading drawn from the recently published edition of the correspondence between
Jung and the English Dominican priest Victor White between 1945 and 1960,
dealing largely with the problem of evil.
The Red Book also provided the theme for our own social gathering on
September 24, which launched our 2010-11 season. Tom Kelly and Montreal analyst
Yvon Rivière discussed The Red Book at this gathering, which was also
the annual occasion for members and friends of our society to renew
acquaintances, if they had not already done so over the busy summer.
Synchronicity will be the theme of our
first regular lecture-workshop weekend of the fall. Jean-François Vézina, a
clinical psychologist in Quebec City, former president of the Cercle Jung de
Québec in that city, author, communicator, movie buff, and “explorateur de
l’inconscient,” as he puts it on his Web page (which is well worth a visit at http://www.jfvezina.net) has devoted a lot of attention to synchronicity over the
years. “Necessary chances: synchronicity in the encounters that transform us”
will be the topic of his lecture on Friday evening, October 15. It is also the
title of a book he has written.
I had the opportunity to meet him a few
times, all too briefly, alas, at the IAAP Montreal congress and am greatly
looking forward to deepening this acquaintance during that weekend—his first
with our society. His three-hour workshop on Saturday, October 16 will explore
synchronicity further with the help of excerpts from movies. (Please see the
enclosed flyer for details.)
If our reading seminar
series on synchronicity last year probably played a part in our selection of
synchronicity as the topic of the Vézina weekend, these series are also
responsible in part for putting us in touch with the leader of our other
October event. Olga Lipadatova came to the attention of members of our society
largely through her participation in some of our previous seminars. The art workshops
she will lead on four Thursday evenings between October 7 and 28 represent our
society’s continuing concern to balance intellectual and hands-on activity in
our programmes. They will also build on a renewed interest in active
imagination spurred by The Red Book.
The workshops will
take place at her Centre AION at 2902 Lacombe Avenue, near the Université de
Montréal Métro station. As with the Vézina weekend, those seeking more details
on the Lipadatova series can refer to her website at http://arttherapyolipa.com. Please register early by calling (514) 481-8664 as spaces
are limited. Members: $120, non-members: $150.
What goes around
comes around, and plans are already well advanced for our next reading seminar
series on four Monday evenings November 1 and 8 and, after a two-week break,
November 29 and December 6. Members of our society will lead discussions of
readings from Jung and Jungians on “The stranger living within us.” Please see the enclosed flyer for more details.
November events will
also include a Part II Ira Progoff journaling weekend (building on our Progoff
weekend in the previous programme year) November 5 and 6. This is limited to
people who have attended the Introductory Workshop (Part I). (Those who attend the
event at the Cedar Park Church on October 1 & 2 may be interested in
joining us for Part II.) November 26 and 27 there will be a lecture and
workshop on Mary Magdalene with Ingrid Eisermann of Toronto, who will be
visiting our society for the first time. Stay tuned for more details.
Our programmes, we think and hope,
continue to be marked by a rich diversity of material, somehow centering around
what we think of as the Self.
Toronto analyst Daryl Sharp makes a
similar comment in his latest book, published this year by the Toronto
publishing house he heads, Inner City Books, with the title Living Your
Nonsense: Halfway to Dawn with Eros. It’s the latest in a series of books
in which some profound ideas are wrapped up in a light-hearted romp through
Jungian psychology and Sharp’s own autobiography.
I am writing this book, or maybe just typing, but behind it
all is the guiding hand of a guiding centre in my psyche, playing me like a
puppet. I am not master in my own house. I am a renter at best, my ego sharing
space with the panoply of saints and knaves, nobles and villains, with a
landlord more or less indifferent to the lot. I mean to say, we are answerable
to a higher power whether we like it or not. You might call it God, Gnu or what
have you. I call it the Self, because it’s part and parcel of my mental infrastructure
as a Jungian analyst. (p. 30)
It’s a book you may well enjoy.
Please don’t forget to renew your society
membership if you have not yet done so. Our society depends on your support.
Volume 36, Newletter #3
Note From the Co-President
Perhaps synchronicity strikes again. The subject of our next
lecture-workshop weekend, Mary Magdalene, will be topical in a way that we did
not predict when Ingrid Eisermann of Toronto agreed to speak to us on Friday
evening, November 26, and lead a workshop the next day.
In September, long after Ms. Eisermann agreed to lead her
first weekend for our society, Ontario Superior Court Judge Susan Himel
delivered a ruling striking down three important provisions of the Criminal
Code: against communicating for the purpose of prostitution, pimping, and
operating a common bawdy house. It seems certain that we are in for a period of
public debate about prostitution that will strike chords in our individual and
In such a debate, the mythic figure of Mary Magdalene, an
early follower of Christ and, some would say, his first woman apostle, will not
be far in the background. Christian tradition tells us that she was present at
the Crucifixion and among the women who came to Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning.
Some accounts and speculations go farther and tell us, variously, that she was
especially entrusted with Jesus’ teaching and had a conjugal relation with him.
There is also a venerable suggestion that she was a repentant prostitute.
That last suggestion, Mary-Magdalene-as-prostitute, is
exasperating to some students of her life and legend, quite possibly including
As history, the notion that Mary Magdalene was a repentant
prostitute has long been discredited by any reputable scholarship as a canard,
described by feminists as a prize example of the egregious nonsense of which
patriarchy is capable. The notion is based in part on the conflation of her
story with those of other New Testament figures, including the sinful woman who
anoints Jesus in Luke 7: 36-50.
A particularly succulent example can be found in a sermon by
Pope Gregory the Great at the end of the sixth century. He said:
This quotation may also suggest that the idea of Mary
Magdalene as prostitute, while balderdash as history, retains a mythical power
that demands that we face up to fundamental issues of sexuality, including
prostitution, in our Western and Christian heritage.
whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary, we believe to be the
woman from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark. And what did these
seven devils signify, if not all the vices? … It is clear, brothers, that the
woman previously used the unguent to perfume her flesh in forbidden acts. What
she therefore displayed more scandalously, she was now offering to God in a
more praiseworthy manner. She had coveted with earthly eyes, but now through
penitence these are consumed with tears. She displayed her hair to set off her
face, but now her hair dries her tears. She had spoken proud things with her
mouth, but in kissing the Lord’s feet, she now planted her mouth on the
Redeemer’s feet. For every delight, therefore, she had had in herself, she now
immolated herself. She turned the mass of her crimes to virtues, in order to
serve God entirely in penance, for as much as she had wrongly held God in
Having said that, I should add that the particular issue of
prostitution may be somewhat peripheral to our weekend discussion, as it is to
Karen L. King’s book The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First
Woman Apostle (Polebridge Press, 2003), where I found the above quotation
from Pope Gregory on page 151. For those who can lay their hands on a copy, I heartily
recommend it as preparation for our upcoming weekend and as a scholarly
stimulus to spiritual reflection in general.
I expect that Ms. Eisermann’s presentations will acquaint us
with someone who has things to teach us about the feminine, spirituality,
sexuality and their interrelations that are broader and deeper than the
particular issue of prostitution.
Ingrid Eisermann is well qualified to discuss such subjects.
Born in Germany, she immigrated to Canada in 1968 and has taught mathematics at
Memorial University of Newfoundland, done graduate studies in counselling at
Loyola University in Chicago and directed a counselling center in Northern
completing analytical training in 2006, she has had a private practice in North
York, and has worked for family service agencies and done individual and couple
Please remember that our second soup night of the season
will take place on Friday, December 3, a week after Ms. Eisermann’s lecture.
Please call (514) 481-8664 to reserve a seat.
The event that will wind up our fall season, also advertised
in a flyer in this newsletter, represents a change from the fall program
listings in our calendar. Our society has often benefited from the generosity of
Guy Corneau over the years in which he has become one of Quebec’s most
sought-after speakers, and will do so again when he speaks to us about his
struggle with cancer.
We were planning to have him speak to us in February, but
because of other demands on his time this lecture has been moved up to Friday
evening, December 10. We are cancelling the social “Saturnalia” festivity that
we had scheduled for December 11 and will schedule another event in February.
Guy is a graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich and
practiced as an analyst in Montreal, although for some years now he has devoted
himself to presenting his insights to a broader audience, in Quebec and
internationally, in talks and writings, largely in French. Some of us have read
about his experiences or heard his address to the International Association for
Analytical Psychology last summer or elsewhere. This experience is not to be
He will be talking about the deep meaning he found in his
disease on the physical, psychological and spiritual levels. For Guy, cancer
can become a door to joy and internal rebirth, too beautiful an opportunity to
let slip away.
Let me conclude with a request that you take out or renew
your annual membership in our society if you have not already done so. Membership
plays an important part in enabling us to continue to bring you the sort of
profoundly insightful programs that I have just been discussing.
Volume 36, Newletter #4
A Note From the Co-President
We can scarcely be reminded often enough—this is my case,
anyway—that Jungian psychology is not just an intellectual exercise. We had a
vivid reminder of this last September, with the program based on Jung’s Red
Book and its mandalas and other art work.
were several more: in Jean-François Vézina’s presentation in October on the
tricks fate plays on us that Jungians call synchronicity; in Ingrid Eisermann’s
presentations in November on Mary Magdalene and the feminine; and on Guy
Corneau’s in December on his own experience with cancer. Some of us also worked
with images in art workshops with Olga Lipadatova and in a Progoff
all to the good. In important ways, the whole Jungian enterprise is an attempt
to redress the one-sided emphasis in our society on the intellectual, the masculine
and the extraverted. Yet the embodied sometimes seems lacking in our
programming here at the C. G. Jung Society of Montreal. In any case, attendance
at such events tends to be rather weak.
pleased to report, however, that our winter-spring events will be anything but
We will be
starting off 2011 on Thursday, January 20 not with a lecture but with a video.
And what a video! Mysterium: A Poetic Prayer is subtitled Testimonials
on Body/Spirit Coniunctio which only a few of our members—not me,
unfortunately—had a chance to see during last summer’s international congress
of Jungian analysts in Montreal.
filmed and directed by Antonella Adorisio, a Jungian
analyst and teacher in Rome, a dance/movement
psychotherapist, and a teacher in Authentic Movement, this
DVD, distributed by Spring Journal of
New Orleans, seeks to link together matter and spirit, thoughts and emotions,
images and reflections. It offers perspectives from Jungian analysts from
Italy, the United States, Venezuela and India as well as images from around the
world, and testimony from practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism in India and Nepal.
One enthusiast for this DVD is
Michael Conforti, Jungian analyst, founding director of the Assisi Institute
for the Study of Archetypal Patterns in Vermont and a past lecturer to our
grace, wisdom, artistry, and a profound understanding and experience of
psyche,” he writes,
Antonella Adorisio captures
the true confluence of psyche and matter in this magnificent video. In it we
see how it is that spirit enlivens matter and how our relationship with matter
can bring us into the realm of the ineffable, and into the domain of psyche and
February, we are expecting an extraordinary treat for the very few of us who
had the privilege of participating in movement workshops that Erica Lorentz led
for us much earlier in her thirty-year career, when she was based in Vermont. I
am confident that her lecture to us on Friday, February 4 and workshop on active
imagination through movement the next day Saturday, February 5, will be even
more remarkable and a wonderful discovery for each participant, both of our
talented guest and of ourselves.
all-too-lengthy hiatus in Lorentz’s presentations to us was due to the fact
that she moved her base of operations to Houston, where she continued to have
an illustrious career in therapy and teaching. This included acting as movement
co-ordinator for a Techno-Cosmic Mass put together by Matthew Fox, the guru of
some of us at the IAAP Congress in Montreal found that Erica is back! She hung
out her shingle in Brattleboro, Vermont last fall and has settled in with,
among other things, two “incredible” kittens that should be about twenty weeks
old by the time you read this. I can report on the basis of a social encounter
at the Montreal conference that she has more charm and verve than ever.
through some of the information she sent along tells me that the idea of
“witnessing” continues to be important for Erica Lorentz, as it was decades
ago. This can be the witnessing and containing of archetypal energies when they
become embodied and emerge in our lives and also, I recall from her workshops
long ago, a technique in movement workshops. She thinks her work is quite
relevant to issues raised by The Red Book. I also discovered with
surprise that Mary Magdalene, the subject of Ingrid Eisermann’s presentations
in November, is of interest to Erica Lorentz, although she might not touch on Mary Magdalene
in her coming presentations to us.
program will include the first visit to our society by Robert Black of the
Ontario Association of Jungian Analysts. His presentation on Friday evening,
March 11, may involve a different kind of encounter with our personal past: the
topic is “Mythology and Ancestry.” Then, on the Saturday, people whose interest
in mandalas has been whetted by The Red Book (or in other ways) will
have a chance to pursue that interest at a mandala workshop.
weekend presentations of the program year will conclude with a visit by that
perennial favourite, James Hollis, who will lecture and lead a workshop on
Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, on the topic “Stories Told, Stories
Untold, Stories That Tell Us.”
for the spring edition of our ever-popular reading seminars at the Westmount
Public Library, animated by members of the society, will be “The Symbolic
Life.” This is the over-all title of Volume 18 of Jung’s Collected Works;
the reading selections will come from Spring
Journal, Vol. 82, also called Symbolic
conclude with a note of good wishes on behalf of our society to Daryl Sharp,
Toronto analyst and founder of Inner City Books. Daryl has been a great friend
of our society through lectures in past years, books of his own that have been
reviewed a number of times in this newsletter and the great contribution that
Inner City Books has made to the cause down through the years in bringing
writings by Jungian analysts to the public. Colleagues and friends organized a
tribute to him in Toronto in December.