February 18-19, 2000: John Van Eenwyck

How is it that relationships, which bring us the greatest joy in life, also confront us with the greatest difficulties? Why do so many of us simply give up in the face of the humiliating hurts that relationships engender? Well, acording to Jung, it’s all in the service of our individuation. The more conscious we are of the dynamics at work in relationships, the less turbulent will be their effects on us. In a little-known section of Volume VII of the Collected Works [para 374-406], Jung speaks of the "mana personality." This archetypal element holds the key to understanding why relationships can become problematic. This weekend we shall look at the dynamics of relationship. We shall focus particularly on the anima and animus, those bridge dynamics that connect the ego with the Self.

Lecture: Friday night we’ll review Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair, which can either be read in book form or seen in the movie (currently in release). What can we learn from a man’s encounter with the Self, as facilitated by his anima, which is fixated on a woman with whom he is having an affair?

Workshop: Saturday will begin with a viewing of Nicholas Roeg’s groundbreaking movie Walkabout. We shall then discuss the way in which the animus attempts to open a young woman to world she has never known, how she responds, and how it ends up. We shall then look at the cultures the film brings together, and how they fare in coming to terms with each other. Finally, we shall question why the film was severely cut in its original release, how the director’s cut restores the original intent of the film, and what it means to us today.


John Van Eenwyck, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst practicing in Olympia, WA. He is also an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church of America. He has extensive experience both as a clinical practitioner and a teacher in the mental health field, and has authored numerous articles on a diverse array of topics in psychoanalytical journals. His latest book is entitled: Chaos and Strange Attractors: The Chaotic World of Symbols, published by Inner City Books, Toronto, 1997.

Dynamics of Relationships