Lecture: Gnostic Threads in the Fabric of the Psyche
What in the ancient heretical writings called “Gnosticism” so fascinated C.G. Jung that he wove the strands of Gnostic ideas through his entire philosophy? Who were these people called Gnostics, and why did both Romans and early Christians fear their power? How do the Gnostic myths account for the presence of evil in the world. If we want to gain insight into the meanings of these questions, we must reflect on the curious story of Creation as told by Gnostics. Their inverted version of Genesis I and II can be read as metaphor for the psyche, and its characters can be seen as projections of the human soul with all its manifold potentials. June Singer will explore the importance of Gnosticism for both Jung and also for those who wish to deepen their understanding of Jung’s view of the psyche. This lecture will provide background for the workshop.
Workshop: The Evolution of the Soul
This workshop will be based on a chapter for June Singer’s newest book, A Gnostic Book of Hours (Harper San Francisco, 1992). On the surface the material is a tale of wonder and romance, but its darker side reveals the abuse and violations of woman as metaphor for the trials of the soul, which is often cast adrift in our contemperary society. Originating in third century Alexandria, Egypt, the gnostic text with which we will work (Exegesis of the Soul) displays an amazing relevance to the problem of evil in contemperary society. We will also see two of the four parts of Passions of the Soul, an outstanding documentary on Jungian psychology made for Dutch television.
June Singer, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst practicing in Palo Alto, California and a member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. She is widely known for her classic work, Boundaries of the Soul, which has introduced many people to the psychology of C.G. Jung. Singer, the author of six books, says that her major writing objective is taking enigmatic and complex material and making it more accessible to the non-specialist reader. This she has done with certain works of Jung, William Blake, and some important Gnostic texts. She received her analyst’s diploma from the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, and was a founder of the Jung Institute of Chicago and of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts.