Friday, June 6, 2008

Synchronicity of the First Order

Dear Ginnie, my friend,

You've gone and done it again, aiming me in a direction that will take another big chunk of time ... and I'm excited about it! I've decided to take a class in Jungian psychology. Here's the outline for the course, though I'll be reading (at this time) only two of the three "required" texts by Carl Jung. Dr. James J. Dillon, who taught this class in the fall of 2003 won't be my teacher, of course, as I've never even heard of him and I've missed the semester by almost five years. But he very kindly left his description of the course online, along with his list of texts (I'm skipping the first one for now) and course objectives (I'll pick and choose among these also, as I don't plan to have a "professional practice"). In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'll be doing this course of study on my own, with Carl Jung himself as my teacher. Since the course number is so high (psych 6785), I assume it's a doctoral (or at least master's) level course, so you may call me Dr. Bonnie when I finish. Consider this my first class report:

Synchronicity of the First Order

Yesterday I bought and started reading The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campbell. Going about this in my own inimitable way, I started with Chapter 13. (Hey, this was before I found Dr. Dillon's course outline while googling, so give me a break.) Anyway, I read the chapter about "The Difference Between Eastern and Western Thinking." That will have time to marinate in my noggin before I get to it about two-thirds of the way along in the course schedule.

Since I couldn't find a copy yesterday of Memories, Dreams, Reflections -- Jung's autobiography -- I got a copy today from the big library downtown and started reading. After all, it's the one you said I should read first of these two books. Page one is the beginning of the introduction by Aniela Jaffe, who recorded what Jung said and edited the book for publication. The very last line on the very first page has this sentence: "We began in the spring of 1957." And stamped below that was the date my library acquired this "cop.1" (first copy): JUN 1963.

Oh, what fun! In the spring of 1957, I was finishing my junior year in high school and would graduate in the class of 1958, exactly 50 years ago! Yes, I'm older than dirt, but we elderly grads have planned a sock hop for this fall. The synchronicity is not simply that "June 1963" is 45 years ago, though there's that, but that seeing the date took me back to the birth of my son in June 1963. I'm gonna guess that going through this self-imposed course of study of Jungian analytical psychology will be like birthing something new for me. I have read a bit by and about Carl Jung, but I've never really set out to integrate the big picture into my thinking. So wish me luck, Ginnie (and all of you who run across this posted on my book blog). I'm off and running. Gotta go now and read page TWO of the book.

~~~ Bonnie

Carl Gustav Jung was born on July 26, 1875 in Kesswil, Switzerland. He died on June 6, 1961 at the age of 85 in Zürich, Switzerland.

Link provided by Ginnie to the Jung Society of Atlanta.


Ginnie said...

Hi Bonnie,
Here's a link you may find useful as you follow your journey to study Jung. The Jung Society in Atlanta is a great resource for Speakers, workshops, CDs and tapes. Members have access to a library of 1800 books, but it's a two hour drive or more from your house. CDs can be purchased. I own a number of them and most are excellent. I don't know if this is good news or bad news, but studying Jung will take you into many unexplored areas - all with no end in sight.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Dear Ginnie,
I checked out the link and found in the first sentence ("Today humanity, as never before, is split into two apparently irreconcilable halves") an understanding based on reading Chapter 13 last night. Yes, we have picked sides unintentionally, based on our cultural inclination toward inner (East) and outer (West). Wouldn't it be nice if armies in all the world's conflicts had to study Jung along with me?

Anonymous said...

Jung was so popular back in my college days...I'm looking forward to getting a vicarious refresher course!

Linda Jacobs said...

You go girl! What an ambitious way to spend the summer! It should be very interesting! Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Keep us posted on this fascinating topic. Jung's thinking was breakthrough and a breath of fresh air after Freud.

Anonymous said...

as I don't plan to have a "professional practice"). In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'll be doing this course of study on my own, with Carl Jung himself as my teacher.

Hi Bonnie,
I admire and respect people who involve themselves in intellectual pursuits (spl?) to 'explore unexplored areas'- for the joy of learning. I look foward to reading what you have to say about Jung, his work, and his influences, and influence.
David Mascellani