In this presentation, we will make our way through the third and final section of the Red Book, Scrutinies, which C.G. Jung wrote in late 1917, describing his inner experiences during the first half of the Great War, from 19 April 1914 to 1 June 1916. It begins with a trenchant confrontation with himself, and then his entering into solitude. It contains dialogues with his inner teacher Philemon and with his soul. Needing in his restlessness to give shape to what he was experiencing within, he painted his first Mandala – called Systema Munditotius (the System of the Whole World), wholly unconscious of what it meant.
It shows, using Gnostic terminology, the vertical and horizontal opposites in the inner and outer worlds, and became an illustration of the world view of the “Seven Sermons to the Dead”, which follow. Its teachings were given by Philemon to the dead who had “returned from Jerusalem because they did not find what they sought” and could not cross over to the Beyond. Philemon touches on spiritual and psychological issues of Western people in these sermons – such as the death of God; polytheism; spirituality, sexuality and community; and presents a vision of the human being as the gateway between the outer and inner worlds, through which the procession of the Gods passes.
After the seventh sermon, the dead find peace and are able to cross over – “heaviness fell from them and they ascended like smoke above the shepherd’s fire”. Jung saw these sermons as a prelude to what he subsequently communicated to the world in his later writings.
It is fitting that Scrutinies ends in the garden of Philemon, where Christ (the Blue Shade) and Satan (the Worm) are encountered, for the garden is a contained place where people work closely with nature. Indeed, one of the meanings of the Greek verb “therapeuo” is to cultivate a garden, so it becomes symbolically a place of the care of soul, the therapeutic work of cultivating one’s inner life and working on one’s nature.
Terence McBride is a Jungian analyst/analytical psychologist working in private practice in Sydney for 37 years. He studied at the C.G. Jung Institute Zurich for six and a half years, obtaining the post-graduate diploma in analytical psychology (1979) before returning to Sydney. He was elected president of the C.G Jung Society of Sydney (1981), a position he held until 1993. He has given lectures, seminars and workshops throughout Australia on various aspects of Jungian depth psychology and spiritual traditions and has written extensively.
His delight is in working with the psyche (the realm of inner experience) at various levels, with the tools that he has obtained from the psychology of C.G. Jung – ways of working with dreams, active imagination, meditation and sandplay. In this way individual guidance can be found for the life path suited to each person with the goal of wholeness, embracing all aspects of being human: physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual and spiritual. Thus life acquires a depth and becomes an adventure lived in dialogue with the Self (Jung’s term for the regulating centre of psychic life).
Date: 14th October 2016
Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Venue: Mitchell Theatre Level 1 Sydney Mechanics' School
of Arts, 280 Pitt St, Sydney
Cost: Members $15 Non-Members $25 Non-Member
Preferred payment by Cash or Cheque. No need to book.
Just pay at the door. Everybody welcome.
*Psychotherapists and other practitioners can obtain credit for Professional Development hours recognised by CAPA, PACFA and ACA for this presentation.