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Intro to Jungian Psychology

Organizing Committee:


A series of classes based on the core concepts of Carl Jung's Depth Psychology. The class will address the archetypes and their basis, the shadow, the anima and animus, the Puer and Senex, and the Self.


  • Shaan K


Hello everyone. It's been more than two years since the class ended, but I am compelled to post something recent that relates to our discussions:

It looks as if there is a new line of inquiry into the dreams and visions of the dying.

Some of the themes in the visions and dreams studied are notably similar to those written about in Von Franz's "On Dreams and Death." The comments section is also worthy of attention; hospital and hospice workers, physicians, and others share their experiences with the dying. Some commenters relay experiences with poltergheist phenomena, premonitory dreams, mysterious whispers and banging in the dark.

Some would call this an invaluable line of inquiry. Who knows what will come of it.

Hope you're all well.

This is extremely late, as in I should have written this months ago--but I wanted to thank you guys for taking the time out to attend our meetings, for your thoughtful participation, and for making the class so enjoyable to put on. I also wanted to thank Karen and The Public School for allowing us to use its resources, its messageboards, and its classroom. I learned a lot in the process of doing the class, and I hope you guys have benefitted in some way from it as well.

I'm organizing another short, monthlong class on Jung that'll probably take place in December or January, and its focus will be on Individuation and Alchemy. This one won't be organized through The Public School---it'll take place Saturday afternoons on... some beach somewhere.

If you're interested in following along as the class shapes up, please bookmark its site:, or just email me at and I'll keep you up to date. 


Tyler Waxman is out of the office until May 12th. I will respond to emails upon my return.

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So our topic for tonight will be individuation, the process by which The Self (symbolized as the alchemical stone in a previous post) becomes the dominant creative principle in one's psyche, which serves to give a sense of wholeness and meaning to one's life.

& just a reminder, tonight's class is meeting at 8PM at Via Cafe, 451 Gin Ling Way. The cafe is situated at the edge of the central plaza, across from the fountain and eerie animatronic kids' rides, and I'll either be downstairs in the main room or upstairs in the mezzanine area. If anyone needs directions, my # is 4159874459.

Before I forget, I wanted to make a note that our next and final class will be held May 8th at 8PM, at Via Cafe, which is about a block away from our usual spot.

We'll finish On Dreams & Death, discuss the work of Ian Stevenson and a few other articles I'll upload shortly, and then that'll be a wrap.



It is a strange thing, if we look at it naively, that in alchemy the end product is something which in the order of nature we look upon as very low, namely a stone, something whose quality is just to be there. A stone neither eats nor sleeps, it just remains there for all eternity. If you kick it, then it stays where you kicked it and does not move. But in alchemy this despised thing is the symbol of the goal. We have to go deep into the mystical language of the East and of alchemy and of certain other Christian mystiques to get an idea of what this means.

If through fighting and meeting the unconscious one has suffered long enough, a kind of objective personality is established; a nucleus forms in the person which is at peace, quiet even in the midst of the greatest life storms, intensely alive but without action and without participation in the conflict. That peace of mind often comes to people when they have suffered long enough; one day something breaks and the face acquires a quiet expression, for something has been born which remains in the centre, outside or beyond the conflict, which does not go on any more as it did.

Naturally, two minutes later it begins again, for the conflict has not been solved, but the experience that one thing is just quietly beyond the conlict remains, and from then on the process becomes different. People no longer search, they know the thing exists, they have experienced it for a moment. Thereafter the opus has a goal, that of finding this moment again and slowly being able to keep it, so that it becomes something constant.

In all the struggles of life there is always that one thing which is beyond the struggle; as Dr. Jung describes it so beautifully in his comment on The Secret of the Golden Flower, it is as though you were standing on the mountain above the thunderstorm. One sees the black clouds and the lightning and the falling rain, but something in one is above it all and one can just look at it. In one way you are in it too, but in another way you are out of it. On a humbler or more minor scale, you have reached it if in a storm of despair or in a destructive dissolving attack of a conflict you can keep a sense of humour for a second-- or perhaps you are swept away once more by a negative animus, and then suddenly say to yourself that you have heard that kind of talk before.

You may not be able to get out of your destructive animus, it may still be too strong, but something in you smiles and says it has heard that silly song before; you would like to laugh at yourself, but pride will not allow that, and you go on with the negative animus and he gets you again. Those are the divine moments when something is clear and moving beyond the opposites and the suffering. Usually they are only brief moments, but if you continue working on yourself long enough, the stone slowly grows and becomes more and more the solid nucleus of the personality which no longer participates in the ape-circus of life.


Alchemy by ML Von Franz

Swan, the next one is tomorrow at 8PM at The Public School (951 Chung King Road, Los Angeles). We usually meet every other Thursday. If you don't have time for the reading don't worry too much about it.

swanquest's picture


I'm late to join. When is the next class?

Thank you!


And for next week, we're going to continue in our reading of On Dreams and Death. If you haven't gotten the book, just email me at and I'll send a PDF of my copy.


Also we'll be discussing our first case study: the life and death of Kim Flint, an engineer in Berkeley.


For Thursday, I wanted to post up a link to an article about Philip K. Dick.

What are some of the similarities between this account and Von Franz's interpretation of "Dispute between a man and His Ba?" 

Also we'll check in on the Red Book, and if there's time we'll go over the first part, Liber Primus.   



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