The Sesame Institute and C G Jung Club London
Soul and Body: Lingering with the Poets on the Margins of Psychology
Saturday 24 May 2014 10 - 4 at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Embassy Theatre, 62-64 Eton Avenue, London NW3 3HY More information
The Club logo is the Alchemist's Furnace flanked on either side by the Sun and Moon. In this furnace of transformation, the material of our primordial nature the Prima Materia lies in the Alchemist's Crucible. It is worked upon by the heat of the 'Secret Fire' that lies between the opposites of Solar and Lunar energies, This suggests that Individuation is symbolically akin to the work of Vulcan (Roman) or Hephaestus (Greek). The metal of the Self is softened through applied heat (affect) and then shaped by the frequent trials and tribulations endured between the opposites of Hammer and the Anvil. Other opposites that carry this tension are Active/Receptive, Yin/Yang, Hot/Cold, Masculine/Feminine, Spirit/Body, Science/Art, Eastern/Western... Jung explorer the theme of polarity in the Collected Works Volume 14: Mysterium Coniunctionis - An Inquiry into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy.
This image of the furnace is taken from the alchemical manuscript called the 'Mutus Liber' printed in 1677. Translated as the 'Mute Book' or 'Silent Book' so called because it is composed of illustrations only, no text is included. It represents a curious mixture of symbolic acts carried out by the Adept and his Soror Mystica under the guise of stage by stage laboratory work. We might see this as the work between the Analyst and the Analysand, or between the Conscious and Unconscious aspects of the Psyche. Jung reproduces a similar image from a later 1702 version in his volume Psychology and Alchemy Volume 12 of the Collected Works.
What can clearly be seen in the original is that there is a deep involvement between the Celestial (Archetypal) realm and the Terrestrial (Personal) realm. This is in sympathy with the Hermetic Axiom 'as Above so Below' from the Emerald Tablet. The Mutus Liber had a profound impact on French esoteric scholars and together with the alchemical works of Jung has revived the serious scholarly study and spiritual interest in the Alchemical Arts. A detailed commentary on the Mutus Liber by Adam McLean an acknowledged artist and scholar of Hermeticism can be obtained from his Alchemy Website.
Thus the work of the club is to act as a furnace to the Crucible of Transformation through holding the tension of Conscious and Unconscious aspects of Psyche. In effect the club promotes the study of the relationship between the Archetypal and the Personal across all cultural forms.