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An Ongoing Series

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Third

This will be the third in the series of reflections on hierarchy in relation to the practice of Jungian analysis. It will probably be the last. It is clear that exchange will need to come in another form. Most of the people I am in close association with are introverts and intuitives. Finding out how to click on the word at the end of each post that says "comments" - and then leave one - is a challenge. I completely understand this; if I didn't have this website, I would be in the same predicament!

With the exception of Coyote, who has left very inspiring commentary on the post before this one, other people's comments have gone unheard. At this point, I would like to share just a few exerpts with you.

From one colleague:

I don't know that I have much hope about institutions, including Jungian trainings, being able to retain the fresh inspiration that gave them their original impetus.

Someone else

...likens the current trend in Jungian institutional life to the decay of the Christian movement, passing over into an institution that was no longer about spiritual life at all, and sometimes has hurt more than it helped. I think his point of view is that these movements inevitably rise and fall. And meanwhile, out in the world, what is real is continually re-born in new forms. Institutions cannot contain the spirit, which is a good as well as a bad thing.

Many of my colleagues, in my view, have been extremely philosophical about certain things, in a good way. With another colleague, I commended her ability to be as objective as she was about different experiences, to which she wrote:

This group of analysts was much more unconscious, and much less willing to look at their unconscious, than I would ever have imagined. At first it was a shock. And then I just realized that they are who they are. It was like a reality check, a wake up call. To see through my own projections and expectations and just see regular unconscious human beings, no different than anyone else, even with all their "training" or "self-inquiry" or "depth work." So my attitude is not really a "high road;" I just don't have my projections or expectations any more.

Your [Cedrus']statement:

"It seems to me that it is a matter of heeding the call for true and deep compassion for other human beings and that if we are to become greater souls on this planet, embodied beings of spirit, we will need to extend ourselves in whatever way we can to this task."

really sums up the core of what we as analysts need to be attuning to. So few, I think, really come to this. It's sad because the potential good from what Jung brought is so enormous yet his followers haven't managed to really take the teachings and truly apply them.

And yet another colleague writes:

I no longer look to the Jung community for succor, outside of my deep personal friendships with individual analysts. But if I look to the collective, like you I find no nurture and I see the collective really as just another institutional glob. I just don't expect anything else anymore. I therefore do not participate in training. Just do my thing and work with our local
group to keep us going as professionals with a face in the therapy world.

On a radio program recently, someone (I'm sorry not to have made note of the reference) said that hierarchy needs and feeds on poverty and ignorance. I feel this is very true. In reference to our subject at hand, I feel that the poverty and ignorance we experience within this hierarchy is the inability to be open in the heart, and the inability to truly embody the creative impulse.

Revitalization requires tremendous courage and considerable wisdom, especially in light of the pressures to maintain the status quo for the sake of security and stability. The ability to revitalize also requires the courage to have an open heart. It requires that we encourage open-hearted exchange. My experience has shown me, and others as well, that there is a tremendous armoring of the heart in these trainings. Eros is spoken of and reflected on, but it is rarely embodied.

Virtually nowhere in the official Jungian training programs have I encountered a call for this way of learning, for the need to embody this kind of openness, openly, with each other. It is not part of our group as Jungians. It gets relegated to "the hour."

Of course there are exceptions. There are always exceptions. And for those, I am grateful.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps some of what is demonstrated in the painful fragmentation and seemingly inevitable disappointments with Jungian institutions or collectives is evidence of a transfomation of consciousness. Jean Gebser(writing in 1949 and 1953) called this type of mutation, 'Integral Consciousness'. See J. Gebser (1985)THE EVER-PRESENT ORIGIN. Gebser intimates a consciousness that is transparent, aperspectival, atemporal, even four dimensional. A way of 'being in truth' that seeks links and acknowledges many positions. A movement beyond rational contained duality to mucky arational mutuality. The chaos that becomes creation. A tribal way of being together that births clarity and intensity out of 'participation mystique'. Dare we suffer this difficult labour and give birth to such simplicity? Dare my 'subtle body' touch yours? Isn't this integral consciousness a rebirth of the tribal field, the interactive field? Surely it is broader and grander and more creative (and potentially destructive) than the dyad of analyst and analysand. Surely it is active 'outside the hour'!

4:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I would agree that there is a sense of transformation afoot. A transformation needed. It always takes the Trickster, Mercurius, Coyote, The-One-Who-Holds-Feet-To-The-Fire to get the inertia to move in the direction of movement, rather than stay in stagnation.

This is not a personal story, though many of us are personally involved. It is a much larger story, the nature of which you outline in your comments above, including your reference to Integral Consciousness.

Again, I do not consider this my personal story alone, but I am living it out in my personal life. I think merely that my personal life is taking place in a much greater field, the keynote of which is Change.

Some people hear, understand and respond to that call. Others are committed to preserving the status quo.

11:17 AM  

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