Abraxas: Then and Now

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The Asheville Jung Center is very pleased to announce an upcoming webinar about the new book Jung’s Red Book for Our Time: Searching for Soul under Postmodern Conditions Volume 2 hosted by the co-editors Murray Stein and Thomas Arzt. In this webinar they will bring in J. Gary Sparx to speak about his chapter titled Abraxas: Then and Now. The ancient Gnostic god Abraxas has a message for the 20th and 21st centuries. Although violence accompanies the return of Abraxas, the destruction he personifies paradoxically holds the possibility of transformation.

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The Asheville Jung Center is very pleased to announce an upcoming webinar about the new book Jung’s Red Book for Our Time: Searching for Soul under Postmodern Conditions Volume 2 hosted by the co-editors Murray Stein and Thomas Arzt. In this webinar they will bring in J. Gary Sparks to speak about his chapter titled Abraxas: Then and Now. The ancient Gnostic god Abraxas has a message for the 20th and 21st centuries. Although violence accompanies the return of Abraxas, the destruction he personifies paradoxically holds the possibility of transformation.

The god plays a significant role in Jung’s Red Book. Jung further discusses Abraxas in the visions of a female patient 20 years later. An additional 30 years place the name Abraxas on the cover of an LP album by the same name recorded by guitarist Carlos Santana, and the album’s artwork is psychologically important. After nearly another 50 years, a series of three recent dreams of a professional man in the second half of life suggestively portrays the Gnostic god. At each point in the analysis to follow, the dreams show the practical and enduring relevance of Abraxas as he appeared to Jung first in his Red Book and subsequently continued to absorb him throughout his life. Abraxas, and all he portends, would not leave Jung alone over his lifetime, nor will the god excuse himself from our time—as three present-day dreams confirm.

Since its publication in 2009, The Red Book: Liber Novus by C.G. Jung has been a huge success in commercial terms and in gaining general recognition as a significant work of artistic value and of historical interest. The Red Book has been translated into numerous languages; papers and books have been written about it; conferences and seminars have been held to focus on many aspects of its historical and psychological content. Now the time has come to look at it as a work containing immense value for guiding people forward in our time, postmodernity. To that purpose, this webinar series will feature speakers who will address this topic from several different perspectives.

Presenter:

J. Gary Sparks is a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute Zurich (1982), the Pacific School of Religion (1974, M.A., M.Div.), and Bucknell University (1970, B.S.E.E.). He is the author of At the Heart of Matter: Synchronicity and Jung’s Spiritual Testament (2007), Valley of Diamonds: Adventures in Number and Time with Marie-Louise von Franz (2010), and Jung and Arnold Toynbee: The Social Meaning of Inner Work (2017). His interests include the nature of feminine consciousness; the healthy purpose of darkness and despair; developing the creative imagination; the relationship between an individual and society; and the parallels between the new physics and Jungian psychology. An avid national and international lecturer, he has maintained an analytic practice in Indianapolis, Indiana, since 1983. Web pages: www.jgsparks.net and www.jungandpauli.net

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Murray Stein, Ph.D., studied as an undergraduate at Yale University (B.A. in English) and attended graduate student at Yale Divinity School (M.Div.) and the University of Chicago (Ph.D. in Religion and Psychological Studies). He trained as a Jungian psychoanalyst at the C. G. Jung Institute of Zurich. From 1976 to 2003 he was a training analyst at the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago, of which he was a founding member and President from 1980 to 1985. In 1989 he joined the Executive Committee of IAAP as Honorary Secretary for Dr. Thomas Kirsch as President (1989-1995) and served as President of the IAAP from 2001 to 2004. He was president of ISAP Zurich 2008-2012 and is presently a training and supervising analyst there. He resides in Goldiwil (Thun), Switzerland. His special interests are psychotherapy and spirituality, methods of Jungian psychoanalytic treatment, and the individuation process. Major publications: In Midlife, Jung’s Map of the Soul, Minding the Self, Soul: Retrieval and Treatment, Transformation: Emergence of the Self, and Outside, Inside and All Around. www.murraystein.com

Thomas Arzt, Ph.D., was educated in Physics and Mathematics at Giessen University (Germany). Research Assistant at Princeton University (USA) with the special focus on atomic, nuclear and plasma physics. 1988 Training and Certification in Initiatic Therapy at the “Schule für Initiatische Therapie” of Karlfried Graf Dürckheim and Maria Hippus-Gräfin Dürckheim in Todtmoos-Rütte (Black Forest, Germany). 2016 Training Program Continuing Education in Analytical Psychology at ISAP Zurich. Since 1999 President and Managing Director of Strategic Advisors for Transformation GmbH, an international consulting company for simulation technology, complexity management, and “Strategic Foresight under Deep Uncertainty” in Freiburg, Germany. He resides in Lenzkirch (Black Forest), Germany. Major publications: Various publications on Naturphilosophie in the context of Wolfgang Pauli und C. G. Jung: Unus Mundus: Kosmos und Sympathie (ed., 1992), Philosophia Naturalis (ed., 1996), Wolfgang Pauli und der Geist der Materie (ed., 2002). Editor of the German series Studienreihe zur Analytischen Psychologie. www.thomasarzt.de

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