Why and how I became interested in Jung
When Richard Barwell asked me to write a short piece on why/how I became interested in Jung the why and the how was not something that I had really given a lot of thought to. My youthful budding interest seemed to blossom organically.
I had read a couple of short works on the Undiscovered Self and Synchronicity in my mid- twenties that held some fascination for me at the time. In my late twenties I trained with the Cambridgeshire Consultancy in Counselling. At this time, I commenced personal therapy with a Jungian analyst. This was in 1992 and increased my interest in Jung’s own experience of the psyche.
Coincidentally at the time I became aware of a local group forming called the Cambridge Jungian Circle. My first attendance at a Circle plenary was on the 15th January 1993. Here is a section of the dream I had that night following the meeting.
I am on a journey with my therapist and he relates a myth about the place which we are travelling to. There are others with us in a group and all of the group members are going to try to find the site physically. I become aware of feeling that I am drifting off. I am still in the group, but I go into myself, or out of myself, and I rise up and see a vision of the sacred site. Within a protective natural ring of pyramids there is a plateau with a black and white marble mandala on the surface. In the centre there is a large black stone which is so black that it gives off light. It hums a low resonance and it pulses. There are hooded figures walking outside the circle. I know that to have been there physically may have put me in danger. The palace could have become a prison and I may have had to stay there as one of the hooded figures. I could have become a skeleton or turned to stone had I not approached the site in the correct way. The stone has a symbol that appears to me on it. The squaring of the circle. It is an incredible sight which has both light and dark potential.
I am then back conscious in the group and my therapist tells us that the site may be reached with a psychoactive substance.
One of the associations that I connected to the dream was from T S Elliot’s Wasteland, a poem I had studied in my youth.
‘Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains’
I have been recording and working with my dreams ever since.
A perennial flowering.
Please tell us what brought you to Jung and what you find valuable about his ideas.