Janus in Zürich:

Dr. Steve Buser and I have been treated to an extraordinary five days in Zürich, Switzerland. The collage above was created from two photos captured while on a long bicycle ride around parts of Lake Zürich.  It is a piece of public sculpture we could easily have missed. I felt a sort of undulation through as the statue and I encountered each other that is difficult to describe. In this scene of participation mystique other characters began to appear. Recall that Jung explains this idea of participation mystique as follows:

Participation mystique “denotes a peculiar kind of psychological connection with objects, and consists in the fact that the subject cannot clearly distinguish himself from the object but is bound to it by a direct relationship which amounts to partial identity.” (Jung 1921: para 781).

Janus, the Roman god representing beginnings, transitions, passageways, and endings was awakened by this sculpture.  Such two-faced images call forth the complementarity revealed throughout nature.  Whether we consider the night and the day, the unconscious and the unconscious, the feminine and masculine, we encounter repeated reminders that life frequently arrives as a pair of apparent opposites.  Quite often when it seems otherwise, when one polarity has overtaken the other, we ill eventually be required to acknowledge the hidden other.  Such requirements may be seen in the interior landscape in such phenomena as the inferior function that Jung, von Franz and others describe.  In the outer life, the symbol of the yin-yang reminds us that at any moment whatever has overtaken its opposite may reverse since within each extreme manifestation exists the seed of its opposite. Transformation is the theme of Chiron Publications’s most recent release Paths to Transformation by Zürich trained analyst Kate Burns. Our encounter with the public statue quietly tucked away between Seestrasse and the shoreline of Lake Zürich also called forth Michaelangelo’s unfinished sculpture.  As if the stone awaited the arrival of a human being guided by Techne, the goddess ruling over such artisans skills.  In those encounters between a stone, perhaps the very embodiment of lifelessness, through the skillful hands of the sculptor, emerges something that seems very alive.  The figure depicted in public statue struck me as ambivalent, unsure whether to fully emerge into the solar consciousness or perhaps better to retreat into the lunar realms.  It was indeed lucky that the encounter with this statue occurred in the afternoon when the sun was beginning its descent into the western sky so that the front of the statue was brightly illuminated whereas the back of the statue was in the shadows.   I wish to issue an invitation that may be better characterized as a challenge.  We are living in times of great crisis as we witness the heating of the planet from the exaggerated, almost urgent use of fossil fuels.  One of the most fundamental resources we share, water, is being despoiled, harnessed for hydroelectric power, and simply squandered.  One of the tragic consequences of these crises is the biodiversity of our planet is rapidly declining such that a gestalt favoring monoculture over biodiversity asserts itself in our individual and collective psyches.  For instance, our expectations have shaped to desire a uniform appearing tomato at our grocer’s shelves.  But do we pause to consider that the desire for a uniform appearing tomato is a manufactured expectation whose downstream effect is profoundly unstable.   Any gardner knows that a tomato plant produces different sizes and shapes of tomato. Of course, a tomato’s genome can be manipulated to improve its yield of uniformly shaped tomatoes.  But we may ask ourselves what has actually been improved and at what cost?  As a variety of tomato that yields uniform appearing fruit succeeds in the market (note the intentional double entendre), we are apt to find more growers shifting to this variety.  This shift will happen at the expense of a varied, diverse cultivation of tomatoes that produce different sizes, shapes and colors.  One might imagine an individual act of rebellion playing out in day-to-day decisions when we arrive at the grocer’s stand.  Imagine thoughtfully and mindfully choosing the irregular, misshapen fruit.  I have often wondered why the god Hephaestus, creator of so many beautiful things must himself be deformed or misshapen.  For me it serves as a reminder that perhaps choosing the ugly tomato or the oddly shaped zucchini is a first step in participating in the creation of something quite beautiful, a biodiverse ecosystem.   The Challenge  Consider any of the big themes or cries of our time like energy, water resources, the loss of biodiversity.  Listen and seek out the deep symbols that lie beneath the surface.  Beware of seizing hold of the first symbol you identify since it may be a deeper symbol awaits the persistent inquirer.  Two valuable resources that can serve as references are Jungian Symbolic Psychology (Byington), Chiron Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology,  and The Herder Dictionary of Symbols. Once you find the symbol(s) see how you might communicate that deep symbol to others.  Finally suppose you succeed in communicating something about the symbol you have excavated.   The challenge becomes how to let this work inform your day-to-day decisions.  Here I mean to encourage choosing the ugly tomato, the walk to the store that leaves the automobile behind, the decision to reclaim rainwater, reduce waste, reuse materials, and the countless other small decisions we make every day.  When our psychological work is then made flesh and dwells among us through the small and large choices we make concerning how we live not only may we find ourselves in a drama of participation mystique with the objects of our world, but we will have brought the fire of inspiration imparted to us by the gods into the manifest world.  Like the statue that Steve and I encountered that seemed to maintain an encampment in the hidden unconscious realm simultaneously with the evident, conscious realm, when we accept the challenge we may find it difficult to distinguish inner and outer, manifest and latent, implicate and explicate order.   ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish to acknowledge that the source of most of the ideas contained in this blog is Frau Brigitte Egger, who has done very original work in psychecology.  Notice the ordering of the root words psyche and ecology.  Brigitte confirmed for me that this is an intentional ordering of the words that connotes that it is first the work of inner transformation that equips us to go into the world as agents of change.  I urge anyone interested in these subjects to visit her website at www.psychecology.ch .  Frau Egger has agreed to present a webinar for the Asheville Jung Center on Water in early 2015.

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Mother Father

Mother-Daughter Relationships: Thoughts for Mother’s Day

Mother Father“The mother – daughter relationship is one of the most vital of all human relationships, resolving itself into the relationship each woman has not only to her mother, but also to her own feminine psyche. The mother, or the mother image, is at least a determining factor, if not the determining factor, in a woman’s relationship to herself as a woman – and particularly to her instinctive side. This inner attitude is reflected me a relationship both to her mother and in turn to her daughter. But most important is the inner relationship – the relationship between the mother and daughter within her.”

(Excerpted from “The Mother-Daughter Relationship” by Mary Briner. Mother Father, Chiron Publications, 1990.)

The Asheville Jung Center is offering a free chapter from the book Mother Father (Chiron Publications, 1990) as a belated Mother’s Day gift.  This extraordinary collection of essays edited by Henry A. Wilmer (Understandable Jung, Practical Jung) boasts contributors that include Robert Bly, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Mary Catherine Bateson, Jerome Kagan, Murray Stein (The Principle of Individuation, Minding the Self, Jung’s Treatment of Christianity).

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Mother Father (CONTENTS)

Preface Henry A. Wilmer, III
Acknowledgment and Introduction Harry A. Wilmer, III


Father and Son Robert Bly
On Being Born, On Caring, and on Dying Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
My Mother and My Father Mary Catherine Bateson
Powerful Women: Mother, Great Grandmother Betty Sue Flowers
The Power and Limitations of Parents Jerome Kagan


The Eternal Woman: The Worship of Mary in Art Elizabeth Silverthorne
Mother and Daughter Relationships Mary Briner
The Myth of the Hero John Silber
Jung: Father and Son – One View Murray Stein
Jung: Father and Son – Another View Harry A. Wilmer, III
  With Mother’s Day just passing over the weekend, consider this an invitation to explore some of the facets of the mother-daughter relationship. Mary Briner proposes that the mother-daughter relationship determines a woman’s relationship to herself and three factors are involved.  There is a feminine structure with which a woman is born.  Secondly, there is a cultural and historical pattern into which every woman is born.  Finally, the mother-daughter relationship, “colors, or even distorts,…” the first two factors.  Briner goes on to explain: “We have no goddesses who reveal themselves to us and differentiate women’s nature.  So each one of us, has to experiment, seeking our own path.” (p. 110) Briner explores the challenge facing every woman whereby she must avoid becoming imprisoned by men’s anima projections.  Marie-Louise von Franz provided brilliant insights into this perilous realm in The Feminine in Fairy Tales where she writes “… the anima of the man will have many characteristics of his mother.”  She goes on to explain, “…women are influenced by the man’s anima projections.” This past weekend Mother’s Day was celebrated in North America.  This day can serve to remind us of the many dimensions of  meaning of the word mother.    An etymologic search of the Latin root, mater, reminds us of the variegated and textured meanings of mother.  Deriving from mater are words like mother and motherland (source), matrix (womb), matriculate (register), matter, matrimony and matron. 


Mother DaughterFor women, contemplation of mother echoes between two domains.  Every woman has a mother who gave her life; a woman’s mother dwells in one domain.  A woman’s daughter dwells in the other domain.  Whether or not a woman ever gives birth to a daughter, a daughter relationship can develop.  Childless women and the women with sons can develop daughter relationships with other women. For some women the absence of an actual daughter or daughter surrogate can fashion a daughter image. Many years ago a patient I was treating embarked on a series of dialogues with a figure that first appeared in a dream.  The figure sometimes appeared as an elfin creature that was fully woman but dwarfed in her appearance.  Her drawing rendered the figure as a sort of alchemical homunculus.  Over time, the figure underwent a metamorphosis.  In the course of her therapy, the figure, who remained nameless, went on to resemble a fecund and slightly pregnant appearing woman, a provisional Demeter-like figure and finally a figure she eventually named Pythia, after the Delphic priestess.   This interior feminine figure’s ontogeny paralleled my patient’s efforts in therapy to first resolve her highly conflicted relationship with her mother and subsequently her  increasingly challenging relationship to her teenage daughter. The nature of a woman’s relationship with her mother may shape the relationship a woman will have with her instincts, her own interior feminine and her relationship with her daughters.  Mother’s Day is set aside for the purpose of honoring mothers.  Like many exoteric rituals, Mother’s Day belies much deeper, esoteric mysteries. The Asheville Jung Center offers a chapter from Mother Father in hopes of arousing interest in further explorations for Mother’s Day.  Please encourage others to enroll for a copy of this chapter. If there is enough of a response, the Asheville Jung Center will arrange to release a chapter related to fathers before Father’s Day.

Len Cruz

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Confessions of a Reluctant Jungian

Further Reflections on “Rilke: Poetry and Alchemy

Len Cruz

If I Ain’t Jungian

(Adapted by Len Cruz with permission from If I Ain’t African by Glenis Redmond.  Her poem is printed below.)

If I ain’t Jungian

someone tell my soul

to stop sounding an ancient meditation bell.

If I ain’t Jungian

someone tell that woman in me

to stop whispering incantations in my ear.

If I ain’t Jungian

someone tell my eyes

to stop looking into the deep

from whence I emerged

Someone speak to my ordered way

of life and tell it to

quit welcoming disruptions.

If I ain’t Jungian

How come I know the way home

to Ithaca’s unreachable shores?

Feel it in my loins.

If I ain’t Jungian

how come my spirit

calls from deep unto deep.

How come every time I find myself breaking apart

I free fall into the next moment.

I I ain’t Jungian

how come I know things I’m not supposed to know

about ancient cultures and the stories

rooted in my deepest parts.

If I ain’t Jungian

someone tell the gods

to stop calling on me,

Apollo, Belenos, Ra,

Selene, Yemaya, Máni!

Tell me why I get dizzy

every time I

see the sun and moon together in the sky.

If I ain’t Jungian

how come I detect spiritus mundi 

everywhere I go:

Hear it in my heartbeat

hear it high

hear it low.

If I ain’t Jungian

someone tell my soul

to suspend its ceaseless arising.

Someone tell their gods

to call another name.

Someone take this bell

out of my depths.

Someone give my intuition

a flatter world to apprehend.

If I ain’t Jungian

someone tell my hands

to speak to my arms

to speak to my shoulders

to press a message on my Orphean breast

to compose a song of life

to gently hum that melody in my ear.

If I ain’t Jungian

If I ain’t Jungian

If I ain’t Jungian


Tell my eyes

‘cause if I ain’t Jungian

I ain’t waking, and,

God knows,

I ain’t AWAKE.

  On November 9, 2013 the Asheville Jung Center broadcast a conference, Rilke: Poetry and Alchemy presented by Dr. Daniel Polikoff. Polikoff is the author of In the Image of Orpheus: RILKE A Soul History Chiron 2011).  It seemed fitting to start this blog with a poem.  The next live Asheville Jung Center webinar Introduction to Alchemy is scheduled for November 23, 2013 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM.
Nearly thirty years ago, toward the end of my residency, I devoted myself to the task of reading through almost all of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung. Perhaps this reflected a bit of reaction against the strictly Freudian atmosphere that pervaded my residency program, but I believe it has even more to do with my 27 year-old Self recognizing something in Jung whereby deep called unto deep. Decades passed before Dr. Steve Buser and I found ourselves devoting considerable time and energy  to the creation of the Asheville Jung Center. I attended our conferences, I wrote the occasional blog hoping to generate discussion and subtly noticed myself becoming more transparent with my affection for Analytical Psychology. However, I continued to feel considerable ambivalence until I attended the IAAP Congress 2014 in Copenhagen for Chiron Publication’s launch of Hauntings: Dispelling the Ghosts Who Haunt Our Lives by James Hollis. At the IAAP Congress I felt like I had come home to a place where I had alighted in my youth. Perhaps I was too unseasoned and unprepared for my first visit to the shores of that continent called the Self. For years I have sought to avoid over-identifying with any school of psychology or approach to therapy, including Analytical Psychology.  Copenhagen kindled a new phase in that elusive return to my own Ithaca. My daily practice as a psychiatrist involves a great deal of psychotherapy with individuals and couples, but it also involves prescribing medications for symptom relief (even suppression).  I am endlessly searching for the right balance between sensitive listening to symptoms for their deeper meaning and efforts to bring relief as quickly as possible. That tension seldom resolves and I suspect the ambivalence pours out in the poem If I Ain’t Jungian. I hope the poem also speaks to those Jungian-oriented clinicians who practice modern psychiatry or those who work in settings where the tension between listening and extinguishing symptoms is commonplace. But even those who do not live with such ambivalence and tension may find something in the lines of If I Ain’t Jungian.  For many people, their first encounter with Jung’s work hits them like something new but also profoundly familiar. Because we carry within us a collective history whose archetypal patterns can be detected in myth, story, historical sweeps and religious themes across many cultures and many epochs we can locate ourselves in a vast drama. The call to find our own way in the world, guided by large motifs is always burnished by our personal unconscious.  This is one of the many reasons that the Self is like a compass for our journey. There was a time that Pythia’s consultation interpreted through the Delphic Oracles tilted mostly in the direction of listening rather than extinguishing symptom. Currently, there seems to be a much greater emphasis on controlling symptoms and rigorously monitoring the quality of those efforts.   I suspect the same was true in Jung’s time. Then as now, the deepest ways of understanding psychotherapy still required that a balance be struck between listening for latent meaning in a symptom and the sometimes urgent appearing summons to provide relief to the sufferer. The world makes its demands on a clinician while the soul also makes its demands.  During these uncertain times in American healthcare there is a great deal of chatter about improving quality, delivering efficiency, and extending care.  But there is conspicuously little attention given to the larger project of extracting meaning from our circumstances.  There is is a dearth of conversation about how collective unconscious elements exert substantial influence over unfolding events in the world.  But I see reasons to remain hopeful.  In the modest sized community in Western North Carolina where I practice I saw that there is a workshop titled Narrative Medicine: Honoring the Stories of Illness organized by Professor Laura Hope-Gill of Lenoir Rhyne University. In the intervening years since residency the mantle of the Jungian world shifted.  In 1985 there were just two categories in the Jungian world, analysts and all others interested in Jung.  I do not recall there being places like Pacifica Graduate Institute, Saybrook University, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and many others programs (here is a list) when I left residency.  Back then it was audacious to append Jungian to one’s bio unless you were analytically trained.  That unspoken tradition seems to have gone by the wayside.  I still remain convinced that there is no substitute for analytic training.  However, through the Asheville Jung Center and Chiron Publications I find myself in an unexpected position to expand the base of individuals becoming familiar with the important things Jung and his successors have discovered and continue to discover. The publication of the The Red Book may eventually be seen as a watershed moment for the Jungian tradition.  In a few short years it has captured the attention of countless people who might never have been drawn to C. G. Jung and analytical Psychology.  The Red Book’s evocative images have generated enormous interest were featured at this year’s Venice Biennale Art Festival.   In the midst of such enormous change since the early days of my residency training I become aware that there is no room left in my life  for the reluctant Jungianin my life. So If I Ain’t Jungian, what am I. Len Cruz, MD More about Glenis Redmond
If I Aint Jungian is adapted from a poem If I Ain’t African by, Glennis Redmond, a passionate African-American poet, educator, and counselor with an interest in Jung. She has won numerous awards including The Carrie McCray Literary Award in Poetry, a study fellowship from Vermont Writing Center, study scholarships to the Atlantic Center for the Arts and a week of study with Natalie Goldberg. Glenis is the 1997 and the 1998 Southeast Regional Individual Poetry Slam Champion. She placed in the Top 10 in 1996 and 1997 for the National Individual Slam Championship.  See many of her books at  http://tiny.cc/5f6n6w 
If I Ain’t African
by Glenis Redmond If I ain’t African someone tell my heart to stop beating like a djembe drum.   If I ain’t African someone tell my hair to stop curling up like the continent it is from.   If I ain’t African someone tell my lips to stop singing a Yoruban song. Someone speak to my hips, tell them their sway is all wrong.   If I ain’t African how come I know the way home along the Ivory Coast? Feel it in my breast of bones.   If I ain’t African how come my feet do this African dance? How come every time I’m in New Orleans or Charleston I fall into a trance?   If I ain’t African how come I know things I’m not supposed to know about the middle passage-slavery feel it deep down in my soul?   If I ain’t African someone tell their gods to stop calling on me, Obatala, Ellegba, Elleggua, Oshun, Ogun!   Tell me why I faint every time there is a full moon.   If I ain’t African how come I hear Africa Africa Africa everywhere I go? Hear it in my heartbeat hear it high hear it low.   If I ain’t African someone tell my soul to lose it’s violet flame. Someone tell their gods to call another name. Someone take this drumbeat out of my heart.   Someone give my tongue a new mouth to part.   If I ain’t African someone tell my feet to speak to my knees to send word to my hips to press a message on to my breast to sing a song to my lips to whisper in my ear,   If I ain’t African If I ain’t African If I ain’t African   PLEASE   tell my eyes ‘cause if I ain’t African, I ain’t livin’, and God knows, I ain’t   ALIVE!  

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Lifting the Veil: A Book Review


Paperback: 160 pages Publisher: Fisher King Press; First edition (June 1, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 1926715756 Purchase Lifting the Veil     Lifting the Veil is an ambitious effort to describe “how cultural wounds and archetypal defenses of the group spirit, be they Middle East or of the Western powers, add to the spirit of the age in which we live”[1]. Jane Kamerling and Fred Gustafson explore the veil that has served as a powerful symbolic attractor throughout Islamic history.  The veil and headscarf (hijab) is a symbol for the tensions between the Middle East and the West, for a symbol for movements advancing the rights of women, and symbol that relates to the urgent need to recover lost parts of the feminine principle.  In the course of their thoughtful examination, many veils are lifted, and the idea of cultural complexes is extended from an individual psychology to the culture at large. This domain of the cultural complex has remained veiled, according to Dr. Thomas Singer who writes the introduction, since C. G. Jung met with such disastrous results in his explorations of the outer, collective roots of the rise Nazism.   The historical and cultural significance of the veil is carefully presented in Lifting the Veil.  When the authors eventually reach out to Sheherazade, a hero figure who uses storytelling to heal and recover the repressed feminine, a solid foundation has already been laid for the claim: “… Allah has raised up your daughter [Shahrazad] to be the salvation of my people”.[2]   Many Westerners are caught in a struggle, unable to move beyond a collective ignorance about Islam.  They are ensnared by certain cultural complexes that are mistaken for representatives of all of Islam. Sadly, there are many Muslims who adhere to a form of Islam (submission) and jihad (struggle) that focuses almost exclusively on outer mastery, the rejection of any vestiges of colonialism, and retribution for offenses committed by the West.  Kamerling and Gustafson offer evidence that the abdication of the interior dimension of submission and struggle goes hand-in-hand with repression of the feminine.  Lifting the Veil argues that the tension and conflict between Middle East and West also derives from repression of the feminine principle.   Most Christian Americans would not want others to think that Westboro Baptist Church[3] speaks for all Christians.  The West then also needs to understand that Islam is not a monolithic religion represented by the ultra-conservative Wahhabism that the Saudi royal family disseminated across the Muslim world, in part to appease clerics.   “The veil powerfully holds the polarity of attitudes and beliefs and invites the projections of the psychological complexes in both Western and Islamic societies.   These negative shadow projections fuel external and internal conflict between and within each culture, the veil is not just a female garment to hide, protect, or humble Muslim women, but the curtain behind which resides the feminine principle, repressed East and West.”[4]   When Jungian theory is applied to whole cultures, as if a culture is a person, concepts such as ego, persona, shadow, anima/animus, repressed feminine, and complexes take on new meanings.   Jung warned of the dangers inherent in extremism where the complementarity of opposites becomes lost such that the unconscious must then offer some compensation.[5]  Lifting the Veil devotes thirty-two of its one hundred sixty pages to Sheherazade.  Sheherazade is introduced as both an adept, manipulative temptress and a storyteller whose tales are placed like stones on a golden path of awakening and integration.  It is the feminine principle that carries the functions of relationship, it is the feminine principle that gathers and cherishes the stories of life, and it is the feminine principle reanimates stories and thereby elevates stories so that they become templates by which we can guide our lives.   According to Fatima Mernissi in her 1987 book, Beyond the Veil, Arab-Muslim nationalists in the post-colonial periods like Qasim Amin “…considered the liberation of women as a condition sine qua non for the liberation of Arab-Muslim society from the humiliating hegemony of the West.”[6]   This modern day feminist observed that women can stir fitna (chaos stirred by sexual disorder) and this accounts for some of the demonizing of women’s sexuality.  While earlier Islamic voices like Imam Ghazali (1050-1111) “… recommends foreplay, primarily in the interest of the woman, as a duty of the believer”, women are still seen as a “dangerous distraction”.[7] Mernissi notes that “While Muslim exploitation of the female [feminine principle] is cloaked under veils and hidden behind walls, Western exploitation has had the bad taste of being bare and over-exposed.”  She goes on to assert, “The entire Muslim social structure can be seen as an attack on, and a defenses against, the disruptive power of female sexuality.”[8]  In Lifting the Veil, Kamerling and Gustafson, like Mernissi, recognize that throwing off the veil for some women is an act of self-determination but it is also an act of self-determination for some women when they don the veil.      Transcending and integrating the tensions between anima and animus is akin to what certain Sufi masters encourage.  Hear the words of The Shaykh of Shaykhs Abu Maydam al-Maydam al-Maheibi Shu’ayb, “Gatheredness (jam’) is what makes your separation drop and annihilates your indication. Arrival (wusul) is the absorption of your attributes and the disappearance of your qualities.” “The one who still has a residue of his nafs (the small self) remaining for him, has not reached pure freedom.”[9]   Lifting the Veil can be read as a succinct scholarly synopsis of the history of Islam.  It can also be read as a treatise on the repressed feminine.  However, it should also be read as a re-visioning of Sheherazade, a prototypical figure in the feminine psychology Islam.  The stories she told “were not neat”.[10]  Kamerling and Gustafson maintain that “Locking away or placing a veil over life not only leads to an extreme fundamentalistic and myopic ay of living, it proves to be psychologically and spiritually disastrous. …  A person [or culture] trapped in this dilemma becomes unbearable to self and others.”[11]   The head-scarf is likely to remain a touchstone that will frame the tension between secularism and Islam.  Re-introducing Sheherazade and portraying her as the feminine principle that can “think as well as remember stories that unite all people”[12] presents the reader with a challenge.  It is the task of each one of us to recover the stories of the past and live those stories “in service to life”.  At one point the authors quote from the Koran Sura XIII line 11 Verily never Will God change the condition Of a people until they Change it themselves.       There is a rich, deep, coextensive history and tradition between the People of the Book and Muslims.  They share a common, almighty God. Jews, Christians, and Muslims are each a called people.  A recent book by Peter Todd, Individuation of God, states “It is in this sense [garnering power and controlling energy resources] that religious fundamentalism can be seen as a collective manifestation of the collective Jungian shadow archetype.[13]   Permit yourself to imagine what might emerge if each of these called people were to take on something from one another’s religious practices or traditions.  Suppose that Jews were to devote themselves to the idea of building the Kingdom of God here and now and that across the world they engaged in regular, ritualized prayer five times per day.  And also suppose Christians recovered some elements of the Arianism discarded at the Council of Nicea and gave more public emphasis to the traditional monotheistic view of God and less on God’s Trinitarian nature.  Also imagine Christians began to pray five times each day.  And finally, imagine Muslims being very mindful of their is common heritage and common prophets with Jews and Christians without surrendering a foundational belief, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah (Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger).  And of course they too would pray five times per day.  Now consider if two thirds of the world’s population lifted the veil of separateness and difference and sought common ground and engaged in prayer five times each day.  Into such an imaginary world, introduce storytellers.  Lots and lots of storytellers, sharing tales that heal, that serve as templates for how to live and how to wake up.   Lifting the Veil is a critically important book that speaks to our times.  It continues the recent interest in cultural complexes that offers hope for the human race.  Jane Kamerling and Fred Guststason are to be commended for taking on such a charged topic respectfully and with the depth that seasoned Jungian Analysts can bring to such a project.  All of us can hope that when enough veils are lifted and projections recovered perhaps we can dwell in the love of which Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī writes:   ملت عشق از همه دین‌ها جداست — عاشقان را ملت و مذهب خداست The nation of Love has a different religion of all religions — For lovers, God alone is their religion. Len Cruz   NOTE:  The Asheville Jung Center will host a live conference on May 31, 2013 at 8:00 PM titled Lifting the Veil: Recovering the Feminine  that will also be available for later viewing by streaming video.  To register go to http://ashevillejungcenter.org/webinars/w11/

[1] Kamerling, J and Gustafson, D. Lifting the Veil, Carmel, CA, Fisher King Press, 2012, Page 127.
[2] Lane, EW and Poole ES.  the Thousand and One Nights: Commonly Called, in England, The Arabian Nights’ Etertainments, Chatto and Windus, 1839.  Available from http://www.books.goolge.com as a free book.
[3] See Wikipedia entry from 5/26/2013 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church
[4] Kamerling, J and Gustafson, D. Lifting the Veil, Carmel, CA, Fisher King Press, 2012, Page 3.
[5] Jung, C G. Psychological Types. CW 6, Princeton, NJ: Bollingen Series, Princeton University Press, 1971, Page 709.
[6] Mernissi, F. Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society. Indianapolis, IN, Indiana University Press, 1987, Page 13.
[7] ibid. Page 40.
[8] ibid. Page 45.
[9] Self-Knowledge. Norwich England, Diwan Press,1978 page 16.
[10] Kamerling, J and Gustafson, D. Lifting the Veil, Carmel, CA, Fisher King Press, 2012, Page 105.
[11] ibid
[12] Kamerling, J and Gustafson, D. Lifting the Veil, Carmel, CA, Fisher King Press, 2012, Page 170.
[13] Todd, P.  Individuation of God. Willimette, IL, Chiron Publications, 2012,Page 21 . 

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9/11 and Building Bridges

It’s been 11 years since 9-11 and in that period of time it seems there has been little progress made toward bridging the enormous divides that existed and possibly contributed to the iconic images the world recorded on that fateful Tuesday.  If some of those responsible for flying airplanes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center imagined they were redressing a wrong committed when infidels occupied holy lands to Muslims in the first Gulf War, their dramatic action led to an even larger presence of Westerners throughout the Middle East.   Westerners watched the carnage of 9-11 and the United States briefly received the heartfelt empathy from people around the world but within months our military might was acting with a sort of collective bravado that made President Bush’s  premature declaration of victory not only wrong but absurd. Coming September 20, 2012 “Bridging West and East: C. G. Jung and richard Wilhelm, a Fateful Relationship” Within 7 years of 9-11 the world witnessed the United States of America elect its first Black President, surely a sign of hope that differences were being overcome.  However, bridging the divide between Islam and the West, between the poor and the rich, or even between blacks and whites in America has proven difficult.  Eleven years after the world witnessed nearly 3000 people consumed in a blaze fueled by hatred as much as unspent jet fuel, the lessons that might have been learned go unrecognized. Jung and analytical psychology have had answers to some of these most vexing problems.  That the psyche may dichotomize the world of its impressions, that enantiodromia is as fundamental a feature of psychological function as the wave/particle duality is a fundamental feature of an electron, and that there are paths that allow a person to transcend such dichotomies are well established after nearly a century of Analytical Psychology.  In fact, those avenues explored by Jung to contend with the divides of our psychological life have much earlier roots.  When Richard Wilhelm set out as a Christian Missionary to China he left behind the conventional practice of Western Missionaries that begins and ends in the goal of conversion.  Instead, he entered his mission field with deep respect and reverence for a culture and its people with thousands of  years of collective history.  While he served he also listened and opened himself to the wisdom that was before him.  Because of that attitude, he was able to notice the jewel of the The Secret of the Golden Flower when he came upon it.  He applied himself to translating it into German and thereby broadened that avenue by which Westerners might seek to reconcile apparent opposites.   Eleven years has been accompanied by dramatic changes.  Here are some examples of things the world witnessed since the collapse of two towering and iconic images of Western capitalism.
  • Countless lives lost through war, terror, starvation, treatable diseases, senseless gun violence, and downstream health effects of environmental degradation.
  • Countless efforts by poor, disenfranchised people around the world to secure basic human rights including the Arab spring, Chinese dissidents, striking South African mine workers, self-immolation by Tibetan Buddhist monks, an indigenous leader delivers a petition with 600,000 signatures to the Brazilian government demanding that construction of a $10 billion dam be halted (Ireo Kayapo), Occupy WalL Street protesters seeking to diminish economic inequalities, women seeking inclusion and seeking basic safety and protection, and much more.
  • Repeated instances of threatened economic uncertainty related to a hyperfocus upon principles that are becoming enshrined despite conflicting evidence.  When taken to extremes, these ideas contribute to uncertainty and dramatic reversals.  They include: the invisible hand made famous by Adam Smith’s infrequent invocation, free trade, globalization, deregulation, high frequency trading (H.F.T.), procurement of natural resources (like rare earth elements), ECB and debtor nations like Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal),  and more.
  •  Developing shifts in power from West to East, from North to south, from mature industrialized to emerging , industrializing nations.
  • Countless threats of tipping points being reached in terms of environmental degradation like: the accumulation of toxins in the Pacific garbage patch, global warming accelerating the melting of Arctic ice, Colony Collapse Disorder that is threatening bee populations, food and water supply shortages, debris from the Japanese tsunami washing ashore in the US introducing potentially invasive species, and loss of biodiversity.
  • Introduction of potentially disruptive technology like: introduction of genetically modified foods, genomic research (including gene therapy), adoption of WiFi, adoption of Bluetooth standards, the public offering of Google (2004), Facebook is launched (2004), adoption of LED lighting, the opening of GPS (approx. 2004), Twitter is launched (2006)the first release of the iPhone (2007), introduction of the Kindle e-ink reader (2007), the release of the first iPad (2010), wider use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), expansion of deep water oil drilling,
Bridges to connect the vast differences between Islam and the West or the East and the West.  There is a tinderbox full of volatile issues that can easily be ignited.  On September 20, 2012 The Asheville Jung Center, in conjunction with ISAPZurich,  will be presenting “Bridging West and East: C. G. Jung and Richard Wilhelm, a Fateful Relationship”.    Dr. Murray Stein, along with Bettina Wilhelm (Richard Wilhelm’s granddaughter, and Shiuya Sara Liuh , a Training Candidate at ISAPZurich, will present the conference.   Richard Wilhelm translated the I Ching and The Secret of the Golden Flower , two books that had profound effect upon C. G. Jung.   The polarization between nation states, between cultures, and even between factions with different cultures has become more exaggerated since the collapse of the Twin Towers 11 years ago.  Richard Wilhelm devoted himself to bridging the chasm between the cultures of the East and West.  Perhaps one way we can honor  the 11th anniversary of 9-11 is to rededicate ourselves to building bridges that transcend the polarizations that continue to reassert themselves.  Let us allow the streams from many different  traditions to merge into a mighty river whose force can wash away any residue of fear and animosity arising from the illusions about our human condition.  Many readers of the AJC are People of the Book.  The following words are offered as a sort of meditation, you are invited to approach it as a sort of lectio divina. “You must be free from the pairs of opposites.  Poise your mind in tranquility.” (Bhagavad Gita) “And thus have We willed you to be a community of the middle way, so that [with your lives] you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind,” (Qur’an al-Baqarah2:143) “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6) Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the outside as the inside, and the upper as the lower, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male is not male and the female not female, and when you make eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then shall you enter [the kingdom]. The Gospel of Thomas (Nag Hammadi Coptic Text) ““Nothing can exist without its opposite; the two were one in the beginning and will be one again in the end.” (C. G. Jung)   “When yang has reached its greatest strength, the dark power of yin is born within its depths. For night begins at midday when yang breaks up and begins to change to yin.” (Commentary by C. G. Jung in the Secret of the Golden Flower)   “Thus one can no longer maintain the division between the observer and the observed. (in quantum theory) Rather, observer and observed are merging and interpenetrating aspects of one whole reality… (Wholeness and the Implicate Order 1981, p.9 )   “There were two brothers, the Black Knight and the White Knight, and they set off on a quest, each on his own, one going north and the other one south.  After many years they met in a dark wood, and did not know each other. They immediately assumed that they were enemies until, when both were lying bleeding to death on the grass, they undid their helmets and recognized that they were brothers.” (Journey Inward, Journey Outward 1968, p.2)   Len Cruz

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Neuroscience, Complexity, Chaos, Fractal Geometry, Self-Organization, Emergence, and Jung are explored in the Asheville Jung Center conference “Jung and Neuroscience”. Seven years ago, I enrolled in a college math class at UNC Asheville. I had been unable to crack the code and learn Fractal Geometry on my own (click on this link for a fascinating page on Fractals).  Twice each week for an entire semester I scheduled myself out of my office and trekked to the campus of my in order to immerse myself in the study of this quirky field of mathematics.   A short list of some of the topics the course covered (and some images that illustrate the topic) provide a good segue to at least one of the presenters for the Asheville Jung Center’s conference “Jung and Neuroscience”.   Attractor (a set towards which a variable evolves in a dynamical system)   Fractal Dimension (a measure of detail in a pattern [strictly speaking, a fractal pattern] that changes with the scale at which it is measured Self-similar sets (sets that look the same up close and from far away) Stable Attractors (points of equilibrium into which systems settle until disrupted) Strange Attractors (points in a system where the graphic display of equations bifurcate)   Chaotic Attractors (in chaos theory an attractor that displays marked sensitivity to initial conditions)   Julia Sets  (consists of values such that an arbitrarily small perturbation can cause drastic changes in the sequence of iterated function values and thereby the graph) Self Organizing System (denotes a system of synergistically cooperative elements whose patterns of global behavior are distributed (i.e., no single element coordinates the activity) and self-limiting in nature) DNA self replicates and self assembles (electron microscope on the right)   Birds Flocking   Social self orgainizing in international drug routes     Consider several broad phenomena we all engage in our work as therapists.
  • There are motifs that seem to recur in some people’s lives whose particular manifestations evolve depending in the phase of the person’s life.
  • Consciousness arises as a complex, emergent phenomenon out of the prima materia of an organ weighing about 3 lbs, the physical body that sustains it, and the soical/interpersonal milieu in which these dynamical systems are nurtured.
  • When we sleep, self-organizing phenomenon emerge using the stuff of our daily lives.  The intricacy of such phenomena seem to demonstrate exquisite sensitivity to the set of initial conditions (think about Chaos Theory).
  • Therapy and analysis involves two complex systems interacting.  The language of transference and countertransference could be overlaid upon certain ideas related to dynamical systems.
  • The nodes of electronic communication that permit a conference like “Jung and Neuroscience” to weave together a half dozen presenters and hundreds of attendees from dozens of countries.
  One of today’s presenters, Dr. David Kahn who is speaking at the International Association for the Study of Dreams in Sonoma, CA, holds a PhD from Yale and has looked at self-organizing systems.   There is an eerie beauty to the images and ideas mentioned above.  I find myself contemplating the ageless ideas proposed by Hermes Trismegistus, ideas like “As above, so below”.  That is for me the linguistic representation of self similarity.  What does it mean to propose that God made man in His own image?  What do we find so intriguing in movies like “Sliding Doors” or “Crash” in which we recognize the power of certain initial conditions.   “Jung and Neuroscience” is an exploration of the interface between the burgeoning field of neuroscience and the field of Jungian psychology.  It is too easy to approach these as though they are divergent paths but we are likely to be better served to make our approach like the particle physicists have done when contending with light’s dual, complementary nature as both a wave and a particle.   The mathematics that undergirds the fields of dynamical systems, fractal geometry, and chaotic theory emerged from the work of Henri Poincaré, a  late 19th century mathematician.  With the advent of modern computing capacity that permitted “iterative” functions to be calculated ( and plotted) after hundreds or thousands of cycles.  (an iterative function takes the output or solutions of a system of equations and uses them as the inputs for the next cycle of computation.)   The beauty and elegance of the images appearing above can be produced because of the insights Poincaré introduced and the ability to use today’s computational capacity to graphically display the results of thousands of iterative calculations.   Poincaré’s Recurrence Theorem is one of the many intriguing things he posited.  He stated that certain systems (nonlinear dynamical systems) will, after a sufficiently long time, return to a state very close to its initial conditions.  The notion that a system of equations can “forget” for very long times yet somehow return to its initial conditions, is a profoundly attractive idea.  This evokes reminiscences of a sphinx like journey of exodus and return.   Dr. Murray Stein quoted from CW 10 para 318 in his effort to characterize the lunar mind “It is not our ego-consciousness reflecting on itself, rather it turns its attention to the objective actuality of the dream as a communication or message from the unconscious, unitary soul of humanity.  It reflects not on the ego but on the self, it recollects that that self, alien to the ego which was ours from the beginning, the trunk from which the go grew.”  The lunar mind knows things that the solar mind does not know or does not yet know, or that have not been taken into consideration.  Our solar mind can be fast but in its speed it may miss certain vital dimensions.  The solar mind and the lunar mind conceived as strange attractors of the dynamical system that comprises our psyche.  Consider the idea of personal and collective unconscious as strange attractors of the dynamical system we know as unus mundus.     Dr. Margaret Wilkinson explores the rich metaphoric realm of the dream.  Dream analysis is a co-constructive process.  As implicit speaks to implicit in the analysis, dreams are a shared, emergent process.  Emergent phenomenon, the appearance of patterns that arise from relatively simple interactions, cannot be predicted from the simple rules of interactions.  Just as analysis, a process that at some level involves simple rules (appointments, rituals like engaging dreams, active imagination, etc) produces unpredictable results.   In part, the dream may function in part to assemble dissociated self states that are disconnected.  The voice of these self states can be discerned in the dream and its images.  Through metaphor, unconscious states of the mind are exposed to conscious.  Dr. Wilkinson’s comments about the dream images being organized around affective patterns, these patterns that are born of our personal experience provide the elements from which we assemble and organize our selves.   There is  no destination to these musings.  Instead, I hope this blog serves as an invitation to the reader to further exploration.  I intentionally posted this blog during the Asheville Jung Center’s conference “Jung and Neuroscience”.  There was an aspect of this post that was experimental, testing if my hypothesis about how the small amount of information I have about Dr. Kahn might have presaged some of his contributions.  If these ideas do not emerge during the conference, so be it.   There is something about posting these reflections and the possibility that they might resonate with or evoke in another some useful effect that redeems anew the countless hours I offered to the project of learning fractal geometry.  The cycles of life, the iterations involved in remembering my fractal geometry class, the sharing of these thoughts as a blog resemble an iterative function.  First I enrolled and completed a class in fractal geometry as a way of answering a deep call within.  Anticipating the “Jung and Neuroscience” conference, I take the results of that class from seven years ago and plug it back in like entering results of an iterative equation back into the original equation again and again.  The posting of this blog like the plotting of solutions to an iterative function, is a display of the working and reworking of psychic material.  My sense about such processes and the emergent results is that given enough time, the process of my psychic unfolding might eventually prove consistent with Poincaré’s Recurrence Theorem so that I may find myself returning to something very close to my original state.   By Len Cruz, MD   “The psychic is a phenomenal world which can be reduced neither to the brain or metaphysics.”      Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW 14, par. 667

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