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January 21-22, 2005: Steven M. Joseph


In a time of cultural fragmentation and danger, many of us yearn for wisdom and practical guidance that can help us live meaningful lives. Such wisdom and direction must speak directly to our inner lives as individuals at least as much as to our outer conduct in the world and our relations with others. Contemporary and traditional depth psychologies aim at facilitating essential processes of inner transformation and renewal.

On Friday evening, we will explore "horizontal" and "vertical"transformations, using two symbolic images: that of an inner psychic "law" and its liberating transgression, and that of the psyche as an "oil lamp" which transforms itself by consuming itself.

On Saturday, we will look at an all-encompassing "circumambulatory" transformation, as depicted in an important set of Renaissance alchemical illustrations.

All three of these image systems function much like dream images which can facilitate a dialogue in depth between consciousness and the unconscious. These systems belong to psychological and spiritual lineages, which promote practical ways of working on oneself aimed at fundamental inner transformation. We will discuss them in light of the seminal insights of C. G. Jung.


Steven M. Joseph, M.D., is a Jungian analyst and Board certified psychiatrist practicing in Albany, California (near Berkeley), and in Tucson, Arizona. He is an analyst member and training analyst of the C.G. Jung Institute, San Francisco, and the immediate past editor of The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal. He has written and taught on Jungian analytical psychology and traditional sacred psychology, as well as on clinical Jungian analysis in relation to other psychoanalytic schools. He is a longtime student and teacher in the Jewish esoteric traditions of Kabbalah and Hasidim.

Symbolic Images and Energies of Inner Transformation
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