Category: <span>Blog Posts</span>

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Daniel A. Lindley, Jr., member of the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts. Gus Cwik writes:

Dan and I overlapped in training together.  Dan, and his wife Lucia, were that type of quirky, professorial couple that you just had to love — highly refined, erudite, gourmets, with a true wry sense of humor.  One little know fact about Dan was that he was an avid fireworks creator and afficando.  Here the “ mad professor” worked his magic creating fireworks with the most exquisite explosions — though seemingly so out of character, he brought the same exacting refinement to working with gunpowder as he did to working his teaching, writing, and analysis.  The dinners they provided to many of us at the Institute, lucky enough to be invited, were elegant affairs, with aperitifs, many courses featuring a variety of wines, and digestifs — with jovial conversation to follow in the salon.  One often felt transported to some earlier era.  They will be missed.

Use the link below to read the obituary and more remembrances.

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by Ashok Bedi, MD & Robert BJ Bakala, PhD

In the spring of 2020, America and the world were overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the global racial justice protests. This inspired the co-authors Ashok Bedi, a psychiatrist and a Jungian psychoanalyst, and Robert BJ Jakala, a psychologist, a Jungian therapist, and an avid photographer, to compose a daily blog for 100 days to chronicle their soul response to staying centered in the eye of this storm.

When dealing with a personal or a collective crisis or trauma, the rational mind fails to be a guide. When overwhelmed, a deeper level of archetypal consciousness is activated from the depths of the psyche to help navigate the storm. This is over 2 million years of ancestral wisdom encoded in the limbic system that crystalizes as images with a symbolic instruction as a GPS to help navigate the storm.

The authors’ method captures the archetypal response of the personal and collective psyche. BJ would choose a photograph daily with his initial response to the collective crisis. Ashok would amplify the symbolic meaning of this image from an archetypal lens. Together, they strung a talismanic necklace to guide us into the center of the storm. Join them in celebrating the power of the unconscious to help us survive and master the storm.

Robert “BJ” Jakala, PhD is a Depth Psychologist, Educator, Writer, and Photographer. He is a graduate of Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA. He is also a Registered Nurse who worked at Linda and Stewart Neuropsychiatric Hospital for thirty-three years. He was a Nursing Supervisor for seventeen years and lead Group Psychotherapy on the Adult Service for ten years. He has taught the First Year Nurse Residents Self-Care and Stress Management at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for over twelve years. He is the former Assistant Director of the Men’s Center of Los Angeles for 5 years. He retired from thirty years of Private Practice in Woodland Hills, CA in November. 2017.

Dr. Jakala promotes the idea of transformation and change as a function of image and language in patients, as well as clinicians. He teaches the rewards of deep listening to the images created by language and the value of an image’s experience before words emerge. He aligns with Carl Jung’s ideas regarding a universal consciousness that is often hidden beneath the surface of our ego consciousness. He encourages clinicians to appreciate the collective in order to assist clients become more of themselves.

Ashok Bedi, M.D. is a Jungian psychoanalyst and a board-certified psychiatrist. He is a member of the Royal College of psychiatrists of Great Britain, a diplomat in Psychological Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of England, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is a Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and a training analyst at the Carl G. Jung Institute of Chicago. His books include The Spiritual Paradox of Addiction, Crossing the Healing Zone , Awaken the Slumbering Goddess: The Latent Code of the Hindu Goddess Archetypes, Retire Your Family Karma: Decode Your Family Pattern and Find Your Soul Path and Path to the Soul. He is the liaison for the IAAP for developing Jungian training programs in India and travels annually to India to teach, train the consult with the Jungian Developing groups at several centers in India including Ahmedabad and Mumbai. He leads the annual “A Jungian Encounter with the Soul of India” study group to several centers in India under the auspices of the New York Jung Foundation. His publications and upcoming programs may be previewed at pathtotheosul.com


Links: Dr. Bedi’s Website | Dr. Bedi’s Analytical Practice Website | Dr. Bedi’s Recorded Lectures on the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago Website | Dr. Bedi’s books on Amazon

Bedi, Ashok Blog Posts Community News COVID-19 Pandemic

Ecopsychology Voices is an interview series with some of ecopsychology’s luminaries. Linda Buzzell and Carol Koziol host this series which is sponsored by the Canadian Ecopsychology Network.

Dennis L. Merritt, PhD, is a Jungian psychoanalyst and ecopsychologist in private practice in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Merritt is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich and also holds the following degrees: M.A. Humanistic Psychology-Clinical, Sonoma State University, California, Ph.D. Insect Pathology, University of California-Berkeley, M.S. and B.S. Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over twenty-five years of participation in Lakota Sioux ceremonies have strongly influenced his worldview.

Dr. Merritt is the author of Jung, Hermes, and Ecopsychology: The Dairy Farmer’s Guide to the Universe Volumes 1 – 4.

Links: Dennis Merritt’s Blog | Dennis Merritt’s Practice Website | Dennis Merritt’s Page on the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago Website | Ecopsychology Voices | Canadian Ecopsychology Network

Blog Posts Interviews Merritt, Dennis

My personal physician in Thun recently complained about the many patients he sees who are perfectly healthy but come to him doubled up in pain and complaining about their symptoms. “They are crazy,” he said throwing up his hands in frustration. “Perfectly healthy people, but not able to live with their health! On the other side I have patients who feel as healthy as can be, and I have to tell them they have six months to live because of a recently discovered lymphoma. I’d like to send the healthy ones to the moon! They’re nuts!”

His complaint reminded me of the opening pages in Jung’s 1936 Terry Lectures at Yale University entitled “Psychology and Religion.” There he is telling the audience about the power that a neurosis can have over patients’ lives. For instance, he says, a man imagines he has cancer, but there is no physical evidence of cancer in his body. He then feels at a complete loss and becomes convinced that he is crazy. So he consults Jung, a psychiatrist. “Help me, doctor. I think I’m dying from cancer but this is nonsense, yet I can’t stop it!” What does the psychiatrist Jung do with this imaginary cancer? “I told him that it would be better to take his obsession seriously instead of reviling it as pathological nonsense. But to take it seriously would mean acknowledging it as a sort of diagnostic statement of the fact that, in a psyche which really existed, trouble had arisen in the form of a cancerous growth. ‘But,’ he will surely ask, ‘what could that growth be?’ And I shall answer: ‘I do not know,’ as indeed I do not. Although… it is surely a compensatory or complementary unconscious formation, nothing is yet known about its specific nature or about its content. It is a spontaneous manifestation of the unconscious, based on contents which are not to be found in consciousness… I then inform him… that his dreams will provide us with all the necessary information. We will take them as if they issued from an intelligent, purposive, and, as it were, personal source…. The symptom is like the shoot above ground, yet the main plant is an extended rhizome underground. The rhizome represents the content of a neurosis; it is the matrix of complexes, of symptoms, and of dreams. We have every reason to believe that dreams mirror exactly the underground processes of the psyche. And if we get there, we literally get at the ‘roots’ of the disease.”

The delusional idea of a cancerous growth in a healthy body, then, is a symbol, which can provide a point of entry into the unconscious realm of complexes, processes, and hidden conflicts. And just as a physical cancer will suck the life out of a living organism if it is allowed to grow and remains unchecked, a psychic cancer too will drain a person’s life of psychic energy and produce a state of hopeless stagnation and eventually even psychic death. Symbols have the power to do just that. They collect, hold, and channel psychic energy, for good or ill.

In one sense, this psychic symptom is a metaphor, in that it is borrowing the language of physicality (cancer, illness) and applying it to the psychic domain. This transfer of language from one domain to another is what poets do when they employ metaphors. The psyche is involuntarily acting in a poetic fashion by stating, “I am sick with cancer,” when the person, were he more conscious of his psychic suffering, would say, “I am in profound despair,” or “I have no energy,” or “I am in hopeless conflict and it’s eating me alive!” But this patient cannot say that. He can only say: “I am convinced I have cancer, and I can’t get this irrational idea out of my head!” He is an unwilling poet. He has not chosen this symbol consciously or voluntarily; it has chosen him. He is unfree to dismiss it and unable to interpret it. So he goes to the analyst, and he confesses that he is possessed by a symbol and doesn’t know what it means. Understandably, he is humiliated by the stupid symptom and its unyielding grip on him. Jung says that such morbidity is usually shameful, and the patient is embarrassed to admit this weakness. He is in the grip of a complex, and this psychic factor – powerful, autonomous, and unconscious – is symbolized as a cancer. It must be analyzed and made conscious so that the very real suffering caused by the symptom-symbol can be transformed into psychic suffering. Perhaps other psychic resources can thus also be constellated, which will assist in bringing about the free flow of energy (libido) into more life enhancing tasks and goals.

What is a symbol?

As Jung understands and employs the term symbol, it is different from a metaphor in that what it is communicating or presenting to consciousness is utterly untranslatable into any other terms, at least for the time being. Symbols are opaque and often bring thinking to a standstill. Metaphors are transparent and must be so if they are to do their job. They help us think in creative ways “outside the box.” If a poet writes, for instance, that a bridge leaps (“vaulting the sea”) and addresses it as a “harp” and an “altar,” as the American poet Hart Crane does in his famous poem, “To Brooklyn Bridge,” the reader can with diligence puzzle out a sense of what the poet means to communicate. We know what a bridge is, and we know what “vaulting” signifies and what “altars” and “harps” are, and we can think along with the poet and appreciate what he is getting at with these metaphors. The image all refer to sense data in the material world, and reflection will yield interesting ideas about how they belong together and what this unique concatenation signifies. But if a patient says, “I am convinced that that I have a cancerous tumor in my body but there is no evidence, what does this mean?” the psychotherapist must confess, with Jung, “I have no idea what it means, but we can explore the image. By looking at your life, your history, your dreams and fantasies, we may be able to discover something that at this moment is locked out of consciousness and is analogous to a cancer.” It is an important difference. The link between signifier and signified is totally opaque in the case of symbols; with metaphors, on the contrary, this link is evident even if often very complicated and at first glance puzzling.

Blog Posts Essays Jung's Life Stein, Murray Transformation

All classes and public program events are currently being held online due to COVID-19. Our priority is the health and safety of all our members, and we will continue to monitor the pandemic for the time when it is safe to gather once again. We are hopeful that the vaccines now available will enable us to hold in-person classes and events at the Institute in the Fall, but, given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation, for the time being, all learning will continue online. The decision to return to in-person meetings will be based on CDC public health guidance and legal mandates for educational organizations regulating size of gatherings, social distancing, mask-wearing, cleaning and sanitation, and vaccinations.

Please refer back to our website for updates.

Stephanie Buck, President

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