Our theme for this year is:

Jung in the 21st Century

June 21: This will be our last meeting for the year. We will have an informal staged reading of some of the dialogue sections of the Red Book and then the rest of the time will be snacks and socializing. Please bring a snack or drink to share and any ideas for subjects/themes for next year.

June 7: Last session it was a small group and we managed to read from page 239 to page 242—this may be a record! We’ll start this session on p. 242, 1st column, at “[2] We also live in our dreams.”

May 17: Last session we read page 239, the left column only. For this session we’ll start on the right column and we’re going to try really hard to get to page 242 “The Conception of the God.”
Virginia is proposing for our last session of the year on June 21, that we do a staged reading of certain sections of the Red Book that are in dialogue between characters. She’s looking for volunteers to play any of five parts and we’ll perform this probably in the parish hall at St. Paul’s. Be sure to attend on May 17 for more information.

May 3: I’ve missed the last few sessions and am not exactly sure where we’ve gotten to in the readings. You’re on your own!

April 19: I believe we’ll be starting on page 241 at “Murder of the Hero.”

April 5: Last session we started on p. 239 2nd col, 2nd paragraph “But I ask you…” and we ended on p. 240 at “Splitting of the Spirit.” We’ll pick up there for this session.

March 15: We’re still reading in the vicinity of p. 238.

March 1: We’ll get back to our readings—we left off at the bottom of the first column on p. 238. A PDF of pages 238-242 is here: 4Descent_pages.

February 15: We missed the February 1st session due to inclement weather, so refer to Feb 1 for where we’re at.

February 1: Last session we looked at some of the illustrations from the Red Book, specifically the ones on pages 50-55. For Feb. 1 we’ll continue discussing images and symbolism. See the entry for Jan. 18 for a link to the illustrations on pages 50-61 and then also the text that goes with them, “Incantations” (link also below). If you have the Red Book, Jane Purtle recommends you read the two chapters that come before “Incantations” for more information on Izdubar, a figure we  discussed last session, also known as Gilgamesh.

January 18: We’ll look at the illustrations on pages 50-61 (PDF: 5Illustrations_50-61) in the Liber Secundus section of the book. Please excuse the poor quality of the images—maybe this will be motivation for you to go to the library and look at the actual book! Also I’ve put up a PDF (6Incantations) of the translations of the text, titled “Incantations” from pages 284–286. We’re planning to talk about the symbolism used in the illustrations and do some analysis of the artwork.

Jane Purtle has suggested a reading from Memories, Dreams, and Reflections that seems to discuss the section we read on Tuesday from the Red Book (p. 237-238). Here’s a PDF (MDR_176-179) or you can find it in chapter 6 “Confrontation with the Unconscious.” (In Jane’s edition it starts on p. 171, in mine on p. 179.) Jane suggests reading this entire chapter as it is pertinent to our discussion.

For those of you who want to keep reading where we left off in the Liber Primus section of the text, here’s a PDF (4Descent_pages) of pages 238–242.

January 11: A smaller-than-usual number of us met and discussed the illustrations and how the translation was keyed to the artwork. We also read p. 237-238 “Experiences in the Desert,” to the bottom of the first column on p. 238. After some discussion about the readings in general, there was a consensus to take a more intensive look at some of the illustrations for our next session. See below for details.

For December: In our previous session we read through page 234 ending at the paragraph starting “My God is a child . . . ” For the December 7 session we will start there. Here’s a PDF of pages 234–237.
December 21 will be our holiday gathering. Bring a snack or drink to share.

For November: Sorry—I dropped the ball in not posting where we were for the November 2 session. We read the section starting on page 231 titled “Refinding the Soul” and had a really great discussion on soul, the dark night of the soul, and what Jung meant by the “image” of a thing. For November 16, we will start on page 233 with the section titled “Soul and God”—it is in the PDF we read from last session.

For October 18: We had a great discussion last session from the reading of the first section of The Red Book. We’re going to pick up on page 230 (second column, halfway down the page) on the paragraph that starts “I must also speak the ridiculous.” I’m attaching a PDF (5 MB) of the next section here in case we finish the first section and can move on.

October: “The Spirit of the Times—What is it About?”
We’ll read from the first section of The Red Book (“The Way of What is to Come”) and discuss what Jung was talking about when he wrote about “the spirit of the times” vs. “the spirit of the depths.” If you do not have access to the Book, you can download a PDF of the three pages by clicking this link: Red_Book_Way_pages. The file is large (5.2 MB) so dial-up users might have a wait. Please email me at lizlesterdesign@yahoo.com if you have trouble accessing the file.

Here are some links to materials online about this subject if you’d like further study:
• A video of Dr. Murray Stein discussing the this section of The Red Book

If anyone finds other pertinent info online, please email me the link and I will post it here.

• • • • • • • •

The second September session (9-21) and the October sessions (10-5 and 10-19) will continue with study of The Red Book.

Our first session, Tuesday, September 7, will be an open session for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Red Book. A copy of the book will be available for viewing. Join us in the St. Paul’s Library, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. to take a look at and learn about this creation of Jung and his inner world. You do not have to be a regular attending member of the Friends of Jung to see this—FREE and Open to the Public.

8 Responses to “2010-2011”

  1. 1 Jane Purtle November 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    In response to our discussion on 11/9:

    I am still pondering the passage “This life is the way, the long sought-after way to the unfathomable which we call the divine.” “This life” I take to mean the process of individuation. Is that “life” almost entirely an internal process? Jung said in “Memories, Dreams and Reflections,” that his life had been singularly poor in outward happenings and that he understands himself only in the light of inner happenings.
    My experience seems somewhat different. It’s true that I understand myself (to the extent I do) because I have become reflective in the second half of my life. Yet it is external events that “feed” this process. Working on my memoir, I have begun to understand the significance and meaning of the external events of my life. They are, for me, along with my dreams, the richest source of symbolic representation which, as Virginia said, gives us meaning, helps us see significance.

    Jane Purtle

  2. 2 Liz November 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Jane — I like your comments and I agree. We talk so much about our inner work but it is so often the outer events of our life that shape us.

    • 3 c mun November 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm

      It is my belief that we attract and draw to us (Law of Attraction) the outer events in our lives in order to “teach us” what our soul desires. How we react, choose and respond to these outer events with either our ego or soul, determines “the life” that I think Jung speaks of, which leads us either away / or / toward the Divine.

      Through dreams, and attracting life events, thus it appears to me that the soul is working (subconsciously) in the background of “us” at all times. I would say it is our soul “awareness” and soul “discipline” and soul “practice” and soul “life” which will lead us to what Jung states … “the unfathomable which we call the divine.” ~ cindy

  3. 4 c mun November 18, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Valuable thoughts and questions that linger in my mind since Tues meeting. (11/16) Is my soul separate? or me? or a part of me?
    What IS THAT INSIDE that I feel? And where DO my thoughts come from?
    I write poetry. Note that I say write… for the words, inspiration and composition come TO me from somewhere/someone else? ….I just write them down. Hmmm ! And just when I thought I had it all figured out ! Ha- ha !

  4. 5 Jane Purtle December 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    A quote from our discussion on Dec. 14 stood out for me: “Think diligently about the images the ancients have left behind.” What images is Jung referring to? In the edition I have of “Memories, Dreams, Reflections” there is a picture of Jung’s study. Back of his desk are mandalas of Biblical scenes and other images I can’t identify. Perhaps some of the images in the “Red Book” are also meant to illuminate the images from the ancients.

    More discussion about words and their relation to images and symbols might be productive. For example, the quote, “The words that oscillate between nonsense and supreme meaning are the oldest and truest.”

  5. 6 Bonnie Bright January 20, 2011 at 7:32 am


    I wanted to let you know I’ve listed Northwest Arkansas Friends of Jung on the Links page at Depth Psychology Alliance, a new and growing online community for individuals to connect, dialogue, and find information on Jung and Depth Psychology-related topics.

    I’ve also tweeted your home page link on Twitter from the DepthPsychAll twitter account. Please feel free to post (or have your presenters post) any of your events on the Alliance free of charge and invite your members to join if they are interested.

    The site is located at http://www.depthpsychologyalliance.com/

    Many thanks. Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Bonnie Bright
    Founder, Depth Psychology Alliance

    • 7 nwafriendsofjung January 21, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks, Bonnie, for including us on your site!

      Liz Lester

      • 8 Bonnie Bright January 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm

        Hi Liz: Thanks for your note! I was happy to see the post for the “These Women” conference foremost on your home page. Not only is it a great image, but Depth Psychology Alliance is just beginning a partnership with ICC who is hosting that event. I really love how connected we all are without even consciously trying. Something’s afoot in the collective unconscious to get Depth and Jungian psychology out in the world!

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The NWA Friends of Jung meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month in the library at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The Sunday Dream Group meets the 1st and 3rd Sundays from 2–3:30 in the library at St. Paul’s.

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