MEMOIR LOGO CONCEPT: The aleph and a Sufi mystic inspired my creation and design of the syzygy logo, which I initially based on the symbolism of the yin and yang.
But the concept expanded when I first saw the aleph in Judith Cornell’s
Mandala Healing Kit, My inexplicable attraction to it led me to incorporate it into my logo before I knew what it meant.
I later read that the “Aleph (the first letter of the sacred Hebrew alphabet) embodies the primordial, divine potential of the universe. ... Aleph contains all the universe’s potential and all of its emptiness simultaneously. Aleph represents a dynamic process of movement from unity to diversity and back to unity,” Jennifer Judelsohn, Songs of Creation.
And the mystic poet Rumi inspired me to use the fire and water concept after I read The Question. Here is an excerpt:
“The presence is there in front of me. A fire on the left, a lovely stream on the right.
One group walks toward the fire, into the fire. Another toward the sweet flowing water.
No one knows which are blessed and which are not.
Whoever walks into the fire appears suddenly in the stream.
A head goes under water, and that head pokes out of the fire.”
LOGO ART: Cropped fire and water images from Free Images.
LOTUS LOGO: In spiritual and religious literature, “the lotus is a symbol for the macrocosm and the microcosm, the universe and man. The lotus represents the divinity of the cosmos as well as the divinity of man.
The lotus is the center of the infinite, omnipresent consciousness which connects with the consciousness of the universe. Through the intuition, one of man’s divine gifts, the spiritual student can see the infinite, omnipresent consciousness as the lotus flower within himself.”
LOTUS ART: Courtesy
Homestead, my website service provider. (Temporary art while I design of my own lotus logo.)
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CROSSING THE BRIDGE TO SELF
Dream symbols priceless messages
great vigilance because his patients seemed quite eager to break from their dreams and explore other avenues. Jung found he had to repeatedly say to his patients, “Let’s get back to your dream. What does the dream say?”
Indeed, what does the dream say?
One day, Jung told Freud about a dream he had had in which he was exploring an old house of many rooms that led to a prehistoric tomb containing two skulls and some bones. But Jung said he instantly regretted telling Freud, knowing the associations that Freud would make to the skulls, based on Jung’s fascination with mummified corpses while they were visiting a museum together in 1909. While Jung thought his fascination with mummies and corpses reflected his interests in comparative anatomy and paleontology, Freud preferred to think of Jung’s fascination with the mummies as Jung’s repressed wish that Freud would die sooner rather than later. Reluctant to tell Freud his own thoughts on his own dream, fearing an “almost unbridgeable gap between their mental outlooks”), Jung said he spontaneously lied to Freud, suggesting an association between the human remains to perhaps an unfulfilled death wish of one of his relatives: “This was neither elegant nor morally defensible,” Jung said, “but otherwise I should have risked a fatal row with Freud—and I did not feel up to that for many reasons.”
Jung said it was in this moment, however, that he had had a “sudden and most unexpected insight into the fact that my dream meant myself, my life and my world, my whole reality against a theoretical structure erected by another, strange for reasons and purposes of its own. It was not Freud’s dream. It was mine; and I understood suddenly in a flash what my dream meant.”
Jung became consciously aware that the symbols in his dream not only conveyed meaning, but they conveyed meaning specific to him, and meaning that could only be understood by him. Perhaps this insight, this sudden flash of understanding, was God’s way of speaking to Jung.
Why doesn’t God speak
to us like he used to?
In his conclusion to “Approaching the Unconscious,” Jung draws a picture of modernity where great intellect is worshiped, where man has become subservient to his own creations—despite the brain’s creepy ability to create things that will destroy itself. And in the lauding of its own achievements, knowledge has chased god out of every tree, river, mountain, and animal. It isn’t that God has stopped talking to us, it is that we have stopped listening. Buddhists disregard the unconscious as fantasy, Christians can’t see their unconscious through their Church and Bible, and the conscious intellect thinks it is itself the total psyche.
Jung said we have become so captivated by the goddess of Reason, “our greatest and most tragic illusion,” that we have forgotten the most basic Truth:
“We have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions.”
It is up to us to listen, to learn the language of our individual souls, that is, to hear God we must study and analyze the symbols in our dreams. It is a unique language. No one can teach it to us. ♂ ♀
Some view the unconscious as a trash can, but to Jung it is a fertile bed, out of which dreams “grow up from the dark depths of the mind like a lotus and form a most important part of the subliminal psyche.”
Jung’s Advice to a Patient Influenced Founding of A. A.
Jung indirectly influenced the establishment of Alcoholics Anonymous and its Twelve Step recovery program back in 1930, after treating Rowland Hazard III, an American visiting
from abroad, for chronic alcoholism, with little progress. Jung eventually told Rowland that curing his
alcoholism was beyond known medical
and psychiatric treatment, hinting that
short of a spiritual awakening, Rowland’s
alcoholism was hopeless.
When Rowland returned to America, he
took Jung’s advice seriously, and literally.
He joined an evangelical church, where his
religious experience there provided him what he needed to begin his first period of sobriety. In 1934, when Rowland heard that one of his boyhood friends, Ebby Thatcher, was to be institutionalized because of his drinking, Rowland intervened, pledged Ebby’s sobriety, and led him to the Oxford Group, an evangelical movement at the time, where Ebby began his first period of sobriety. Ebby then related his experience (recounting Jung’s advice to Rowland) to his drinking buddy, Bill Wilson, who also found it difficult to refrain from alcohol. The sobriety of his friend Ebby made an impact on Bill, and he would later base the co-founding of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Step program on Jung’s suggestion, that is, the need for spiritual development to offset the craving of alcohol.
Bill Wilson later wrote to Jung, informing him of this chain of events and thanking Jung for his critical insight, which William said became the cornerstone of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. Jung responded to Wilson that same week. In part, Jung’s letter said, “The reason that I could not tell [Rowland H.] everything was that those days I had to be exceedingly careful of what I said. I had found out that I was misunderstood in every possible way. Thus I was very careful when I talked to Rowland H. But what I really thought about was the result of many experiences with men of his kind. His craving for alcohol was the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God. How could one formulate such an insight in a language that is not misunderstood in our days?”
According to the Big Bunch Group, Bill Wilson treasured that letter from Jung: “Bill kept the Jung letter as a talisman. In time it was copied, read at meetings, reprinted in the Grapevine, but the original stayed in his top desk drawer and, sometimes, even though he knew it by heart, he would open the drawer, look down at the signature and reread a phrase.”
“You see,” Jung had written in the closing of his letter, “alcohol” in Latin is spiritus and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful formula therefore is: spiritus contra spiritum.” Loosely translated: a spiritual experience to counter addiction to the spirits. ♂ ♀
Jung says to hear God, you must first listen, re-learn
the language of your soul
According to Carl G. Jung, the differences between his and Freud’s dream theories were far more reaching than Freud’s wish-fulfillment theory or Freud’s theory that dream symbols represent man’s repressed sexual or biological drives. Even in the last year of his life, Jung wrote, “Nobody can say anything against Freud’s theory of repression and wish fulfillment as apparent causes of dream symbolism.”
Although Jung accepted many of Freud’s premises, such as the existence of the unconscious, certain phenomena began to present themselves to Jung that prompted him to diverge from Freud’s ideas, leading Jung to approach psychology—and dreams—in a whole new way. The following is my own little summarizing twist on just a few basic concepts Jung discussed in “Approaching the Unconscious,” the keynote chapter in his book, Man and His Symbols.
Freud’s trash is another
Jung man’s treasure
Jung and Freud concur, as most of us would, that our dreams often contain elements that did not originate in our personal experience. Freud calls these elements “archaic remnants,” implying they are meaningless, lifeless psychic leftovers from yester yore. But Jung prefers to think of them as “archetypes,” living, valuable links between our current conscious thoughts and our primitive unconscious instincts.
Characteristic of the notion of “archaic remnants” is the idea that the unconscious is an unglorified trash collector, perhaps running around and picking up the litter after the parade. But to Jung, the unconscious might more resemble a rich compost pile layered with all sorts of subliminal urges, impulses, intentions, perceptions, intuitions, feelings, and thoughts, out of which—out of the depths of one’s unconsciousness, out of the “trash can”—brand new ideas can sprout, like a lotus rising out of the depths of muddy water, more like a fascinating float in the parade than an empty cup afterward.
Freud zigzags dreams; Jung circles them
Using dreams as a starting point, Freud employed a technique originated by him, which he called “free association,” whereby patients depart from their dreams in a train of seemingly random thoughts that would eventually arrive at the source of their unconscious problem, or “complex,” that is, repressed information that is likely causing the patient’s psychological disturbance.
supports Freud’s theory
Published in 1906, Jung’s Studies in Word Analysis supported Freud’s theory, demonstrating how a galvanometer, which measured tension in the skin when random words were spoken, provided entry points worthy of psychoanalytical exploration. But when Jung realized that patients could also arrive at their complexes by meditating on a crystal ball or a prayer wheel or a modern painting, he began to think that the word association method was just one of many approaches to the unconscious, and that dreams in particualar must play some other specific role.
Jung said his doubts really began when a colleague relayed a story of how he fell into a daydream on a long train ride—relaxed and immersed in the symbols of a language he didn’t know (written on the railway walls)—and how his unconscious thought process led him to some long-forgotten, disagreeable emotions. Jung said the account opened his eyes to the idea that the route to a patient’s unconscious complex can start from almost any point: from pondering Cyrillic letters or even from a trivial conversation.
Thereafter, rather than follow the zigzag line of associations that lured patients away from their dreams toward staple complexes, Jung began to ponder the structure and content of the dream itself, which culminated in his development of a circular approach to dreams, which required
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I had just turned three years old and was living in a ghetto in Syracuse, New York, when Jung was enjoying his grandkids and great-grandkids in his delightful lakeside home outside of Zurich. He was 83. (See Jung & Me for more on this.)
That spring, John Freeman, famed British editor and master interviewer on Face to Face, conducted an in-depth interview with Jung at Jung’s home at the request of the BBC.
The managing director of Aldus Books, Wolfgang Foges, who had a lifelong interest in psychology, had watched the very enjoyable interview on television with great perplexity. It seemed such a shame that Freud’s psychology was known throughout the Western world, while Jung’s voluminous work, which introduced a whole new school of thought on psychology, was deemed too complex for the mainstream. Foges contacted Freeman and asked him if he would try to persuade Jung to write a book for the general audience.
Freeman said he jumped at the idea, and “set off once more to Zurich, determined that I could convince Jung in the value and importance of such a work.”
But Jung kindly refused. He was 83 after all, and he had already written a ton. Besides, Jung had had a dream.
In the dream, Jung said, “a certain man was trying to get behind me and jump on my back. I knew nothing of this man except that I was aware that he had somehow picked up a remark I had made and had twisted it into a grotesque travesty of my meaning.”
Such misrepresentations angered Jung, but the image of the man trying to jump on his back puzzled him—until he later realized his unconscious had pictorialized an Australian colloquialism, Du kannsl mir auf den Buckle steigen (You can climb on my back!), the American equivalent to “Go jump in a lake!”
Jung interpreted the dream as a reminder to keep his emotions in check. I can only venture to imagine what the prolific Jung might have really been thinking when Freeman presented the request from Foges: “You can go jump in a lake!”
However, following the Freeman interview, Jung enjoyed a different kind of reception. He was quite pleased by all the mail he was receiving—not the abundance he was accustomed to receiving from doctors and psychiatrists from around the world—but mail from all walks of ordinary life, nonprofessionals, “who had been captivated by the commanding presence, the humor, and the modest charm of this very great man, and who had glimpsed in his view of life and human personality something that could be helpful to them.”
Nonetheless, Jung had declined the book offer, and those who knew him best knew he rarely changed his mind. However, Jung’s unconscious would have the final say, that is, through a dream that depicted him, not sitting in the comfort of his study chatting with doctors and psychiatrists, “but standing in a public place and addressing a multitude of people who were listening to him with rapt attention and understanding what he said.”
According to Freeman, shortly after Jung’s dream, Foges appealed to Jung once more to write a book about his new psychology in layman terms. Honoring his dream, Jung accepted. Freeman said the last year of Jung’s life “was devoted almost entirely to this book, and when he died in June 1961, his own section was complete (he finished it, in fact, only some 10 days before his final illness) and his colleagues’ chapters had all been approved by him in draft.”
After Jung’s death, Marie-Louise von Franz, as editor, and John Freeman, as coordinating editor, completed the work Jung had begun, following his instructions to the letter, that we might have a greater understanding and appreciation for “one of the greatest doctors of all time and one of the greatest thinkers of this century.”
While Freeman was flattered that Jung entrusted him with such a task, it was tempered by his knowledge that Jung selected him because he was “of reasonable, but not exceptional. intelligence and without the slightest serious knowledge of psychology.” Such qualifications, Jung expected, would require Freeman to ensure that the complex subjects of the book would be edited with clarity and simplicity.
Possessing only reasonable intelligence myself, and very little knowledge of psychology, I hopefully qualify to at least share my Jungian journey with others, in the hopes of popularizing Jung’s work among non-specialized readers.
In the spirit of John Freeman, I hope as I explore Jung’s psychology and his ideas, that I will not only write clearly and simply, but more importantly, that I never twist Jung’s words. If I should write anything here that seems inaccurate or misleading, I hope you will send me any supporting text you have so that I may correct myself as soon as possible.
In conclusion, I humbly thank you for visiting this site. I am humbled that Source sees fit to expand through me. ♂ ♀