Category: <span>Nature</span>

The First International Conference on Jungian Psychology and Chinese Culture was held in Guangzhou, China in December, 1998. My paper was among the conference papers translated into Chinese and later published in English in Quadrant XXXI (2) Summer 2001. An abridged and slightly revised version is presented here.

Hexagram 42, Increase

For many Westerners an introduction to Chinese culture comes through the use of the I Ching. This profound book, a compendium of wisdom extending back to the roots of one of the planet’s most ancient cultures, has become an important companion for many in the West, including myself. Use of the I Ching challenges the reigning scientific paradigms in Western culture and brings a dimension to the Jungian psychoanalytic process that is sympathetic to the deepest and truest spirit of Jungian psychology.

            In Jungian terms, one could say the I Ching is a book that emerged out of the archetypal depths of the human psyche and the psychoid dimensions of the Self. The origins of dreams and the genesis of hexagrams in response to questions addressed to the I Ching are grounded in the same source. The Chinese ideogram for the sage, “the ear listening to the Inner King,” describes the process and goal of Jungian psychology.

            Scientists are giving ecological perspectives more credibility, where patterns of relationships are central. Psychoneuroimmunology research and the statistical verifications of the power of prayer and belief blur the distinctions between mind and matter. Our outlook on life, the way we perceive the world, and our ability to reflect and see meaning in experiences have been shown to affect our health and physical well-being. Dreams, particular psychological approaches, certain spiritual practices, and the I Ching address these issues at deep and subtle psychogenic levels where mind and matter meet (1).

            Analysts are in a good position to notice synchronistic events because we work with dreams at an archetypal level. Synchronistic events are usually related to archetypal events like birth, death, strong love relationships, and jealousy. Circumstantial evidence that synchronicities occur prompted me to develop an experiment to statistically test the possibility. This was part of my thesis (1983) at the Jung Institute in Zurich entitled “Synchronicity Experiments with the I Ching and Their Relevance to the Theory of Evolution.”

            Synchronicity convinced Jung there was an element of the psyche outside time and space: space and time are relative to the psyche (3). Incorporating the concept of synchronicity into his theoretical system late in his life led Jung to substantially reformulate his concepts of archetypes and the collective unconscious, putting them on a transcendent basis. Jung thought of archetypes as forms of existence without time and space, with the archetype per se being a “just so” ordering principle, an imperceptible structural element giving order to ideas and completely integrated with physical reality (4). Archetypes have a psychoid nature, meaning they have both a psychic and a physical dimension: psychic and physical are two sides of the same coin (5). An analogy in physics would be light, which behaves as a particle and a wave; matter (particles) and field somehow being two sides of the same phenomena…

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with Anthony Stevens, MD

This episode is part one of the series The Archetypal Realities of Everyday Life. It was recorded in 1986.

This seminar examines the ways in which the archetypes of the collective unconscious guide, form, and vitalize our daily existence. We can perceive this archetypal influence subjectively in consciousness and objectively in art and literature.  As Jung wrote: “The impact of an archetype, whether it takes the form of an immediate experience or is expressed through the spoken word, stirs us because it summons up a voice that is stronger than our own”. In this seminar works of art from pre-historic times up to the present are examined to see how they both express for us and evoke in us the fundamental archetypes of the human experience.

NOTE: We do not have the images that were used in this seminar, though we know one of them is Hans Holbein’s painting The Ambassadors (below).

The Ambassadors

Anthony Stevens, MD holds degrees in medicine and psychology from Oxford University and a diploma in psychological medicine from the Royal College of Physicians. A frequent lecturer at the Jung Institutes of London and Zürich, he has also given presentations at the Los Angeles and San Francisco Institutes. Dr. Stevens is author of Jung: A Very Short IntroductionArchetypes: A Natural History of the Self, The Story of Withymead: A Jungian Community for the Healing Arts, and Ariadne’s Clue: A Guide to the Symbols of Humankind.

For the complete series, CLICK HERE.

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© 1986 Anthony Stevens. This podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may share it, but please do not change it, sell it, or transcribe it.
Music by Michael Chapman
Edited and produced by Benjamin Law

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Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Earth with China Galland.

One of the most important features of a pilgrimage is its intimate association with nature through the kaleidoscope of changing weather and landscape that one experiences along the way. Fellow pilgrims, strangers at the start, may feel like old friends by the end of a long journey made sleeping under the stars, walking through rain and sun together. All difficulty and differences are endured in service of one uniting spiritual goal: reaching the shrine and receiving the blessings of the deity therein.

Many contemporary pilgrimages to the Black Madonnas in Europe and Latin America echo the earlier, pre-Christian veneration of the earth as the Great Mother. In India and Nepal, Nature herself is still worshipped. One of the greatest tasks before us today is to understand “what it means ‘earthwise’ to be human in the world today,” as Michael McElroy, atmospheric scientist, told the United Nations.

This presentation explores how the experience of pilgrimage and the growing awareness of the Dark Mother can help us to understand more deeply “what it means ‘earthwise’ to be human in the world today.”

galland_chinaChina Galland is the award-winning author of Women in the Wilderness and Love Cemetery: Unburying the Secret History of Slaves, internationally recognized authority on the Black Madonna, leader of pilgrimages to sacred sites, wilderness guide, public speaker, and professor-in-residence at CARE/Graduate Theological Union. More information can be found at her website chinagalland.com.

Related talks include:
Myths to Grow By
Women’s Spirit: The Fire Within
View from the Self: Archetype of Personal Identity
Orpheus & Eurydice: Journeys Through the Underworld

Creative Commons License
©  China Galland. This podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You may share it, but please do not change it, sell it, or transcribe it.

Episode music is by Michael Chapman

Edited by Ben Law

Archetypes Galland, China Gender & Sexuality Jungianthology Podcast Myth/Fairytale Nature Ritual & Initiation Seminars