Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Analytische Psychologie
(Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts, Honorary Member)
It is an honor to be allotted time at this Congress to express some personal thoughts. I want to underscore that these ruminations are strictly my own, though they also include what I have pasted together from many individual conversations. I ask you to keep this in mind. I take full responsibility for them. Perhaps they will irritate you; or they may provoke you to make your own reflections on where the IAAP is today in its corporate life and where it is going.
As president of the IAAP for the past three years, I have been standing on the shoulders of the ten former presidents: Luigi Zoja, Verena Kast, Tom Kirsch, Hans Dieckmann, Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig, Gerhard Adler, Joseph Wheelwright, Franz Riklin, Robert Moody, and C.A. Meier. The view has been extraordinary. One can see far with such good elevation and hindsight. I name them to evoke the dimension of our institutional history. I am grateful for these ancestral spirits. The reminder of their leadership strengthened me while serving as president. The advice and good words of those who are still living have been most useful. I must thank particularly my immediate processors, Luigi Zoja, Verena Kast, and Tom Kirsch for their help on several critical occasions during these years. I have also spoken with Hans Dieckmann and Adolph Guggenbuhl-Craig and received their helpful views. All I count as good friends.
In 2005, the IAAP will be fifty years old. This is not a long history by institutional standards, but it is not insignificant either. The IAAP was founded on Jung’s 80th birthday, July 26, 1955, and offered to him as a present. The Minutes of the IAAP’s Founding Meeting read that Dr. C.A. Meier said: “The founding of a Society of Jungian Analysts would be the most appreciated gift for Professor Jung on the occasion of his birthday.” And so it was. Professor Jung accepted the title of Honorary President and was listed as such on the IAAP stationary until his death.
In the half-century that has passed since then, numerous analysts have served in IAAP offices and on Executive Committees, on Program and Organizing Committees for the Congresses, and in key posts such as those of Newsletter editor, Webmaster, and Delegate. As a result of their labors and generous contributions and the cooperation of all the members, the IAAP today is a thriving, vibrant, and dynamic body. It has reached a considerable level of maturity and (if we may use the term in relation to associations such as this one) individuation.
As one approaches fifty, it is good to pause for a time and consider where one has come from, where one is presently, and where one may be headed. It seems a good time to reflect on midlife issues and on the important, even necessary, transformation of attitude and personality that can take place as one passes through this phase of life. Let’s venture a thought experiment. Consider the IAAP “in midlife”.
Taking a brief look around the world today that we as analytical psychologists live and work in, what is most apparent? Luigi Zoja delivered his presidential address three years ago in Cambridge, England, only a couple of weeks before September 11, 2001, now referred to simply as “9/11”. In his prescient address, he questioned the then widely held assumption that the twenty-first century would be one of increasing unity among peoples of the world, an Age of Aquarius in the popular sense. While Europe could be seen as uniting, and globalization as forcing a kind of monoculture on the world’s human diversity, he noted that as much energy is going into division as into unification. Since “9/11” this has become radically more evident, and this IAAP Congress has been dedicated to the “edges of experience” where differences can easily turn into splits and the unknown “other” instantly become the enemy.
After “9/11”, the world looks a good bit different than before, with totalitarian (“unification”?) tendencies threatening to take over even in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”, namely in America, which has always prided itself on honoring the value of political, religious, economic, and other types of freedom. What we experience today in many parts of the world is not exactly a friendly climate for psychotherapy of any type, never mind a kind of analysis like ours that emphasizes the priority of the individual over the collective. This is a type of unification that engenders division and polarization by insisting on uniformity and demanding conformity to group norms. It constellates the opposite, the need for individuality and free expression.
If society at large enters another “dark age”, as some of our colleagues have predicted, will this not threaten the very essence and existence of Jungian psychology? We can notice trends in a totalitarian direction, which have had extremely destructive effects on our collective life, even within our own member groups and training institutes. More than we realize, we are a part of the Zeitgeist, and our forms of governance and our attitudes are subtly shaped by the collective, by its fears and anxieties and importantly by its “defenses of the self”. I have heard from more than a few fellow analysts a deeply felt questioning about the value of Analytical Psychology for shaping and influencing the professional structures we are evolving at this time. The troubling question is: Are we analysts any better at managing power and politics than the less psychologically minded and trained members of other organizations? The evidence is not in our favor. This is sobering. What can we offer the world if we cannot even manage our own comparatively small institutional affairs?
It may be in fact the case that the enemy of individuation has crept into our own collective psyche, and at fifty we must confront a powerful inner figure bent on our destruction. In many IAAP member Groups, it seems, Eros has vanished and a will to power has taken charge. When people lose their vision, Eros flees and Power fills the vacuum. Luigi Zoja concluded his address in Cambridge with this sentence: “Jungian psychology is the main instrument we have acquired for the understanding of the tragic human tendency to division. It should not be allowed to become a factor of division itself” (p. 760). Has it not already done so? The very tools we obtain in training for promoting individuation in our clinical practices are often turned into weapons against our professional rivals and competitors in institutional politics. Individuation has gotten confused with individualism and its profound sense of entitlement and narcissistic thrusts of self-assertion at the expense of the whole.
Is true individuation becoming intolerable? The freedom to explore, to grow, to discover new answers to old questions comes at the high cost of building containers out of earned trust that can withstand great pressures from many directions. Perhaps the price is too high, and as a result groups fragment. Is it possible to tolerate different opinions about governance without demonizing the people who hold them? Are we able to negotiate such differences and find solutions that satisfy no one fully but work for the good of the whole? We do not have a good record. As we grow older, habits become rigid attitudes, and fears mount as the methods that previously worked so well do not function any more. The archetype of renewal fades into oblivion and becomes a dream forgotten. The new young look tragically inferior to their elders, and the future looms as a gloomy prospect in dire need of a parent’s wise direction. Shadows hang heavy in the air and float everywhere, scaring even the bold youth and the courageous pioneer. The anxious need for ego control has trumped faith in the Self, and this steers us directly into splitting and fragmentation.
Let me offer a brief “case history” of the IAAP. The Association was conceived and carried in the psychic womb of Jung’s closest students and colleagues and presented to him as an infant at his 80th birthday party. Jung is the grandfather, therefore, and not the father of the IAAP. The IAAP is a direct descendent of the first generation of the Jungian family, a child of their creative imagination.
At the time of its origin, the IAAP consisted of a group of twenty- three charter members, some of whom represented organized analytical societies like the SAP (London), the Medical Society of Analytical Psychology in New York, the San Francisco and Los Angeles groups, and the Association of Graduates of the Jung Institute in Zurich. Others came from countries where there were as yet no organized groups, only a scattered number of Individual Members (in Germany, Holland, Italy, France, and Israel).
The IAAP was like the child brought into the world in order to keep two people married. The tensions between Zurich and London were great. The idea was to hold Congresses that could offer a forum for exchange of views and perhaps better understanding. The first elected president, Raymond Moody, is quoted in the Minutes as declaring that “One of his chief aims would be to continue to improve relationship between London and Zurich. With that many other things would be improved.” Childhood was a turbulent affair for the IAAP, filled with the noise of arguing parents in continual conflict. Severe ideological tensions and polarizations flared regularly between “Zurich” and “London,” the two symbolic centers of teaching and training at the time. If Zurich was father (Jung), London was mother (Klein). (Michael Fordham actually told me once in a joking way that his real desire had been to be Jung’s favorite daughter!) At times it seemed as though this was an inter-faith marriage; certainly the spouses came from very different cultural and spiritual backgrounds and held widely differing views on psychological theory and practice. The loud voices of these passionately differing spouses filled the air in Congresses and journals in the early years. Sometimes the difference between them was depicted as “symbolic vs. clinical,” sometimes as “classical vs. developmental.” At any rate, two quite different ways of thinking and working emerged, and their proponents competed strenuously and urgently for dominance. The IAAP Congresses were the battleground where the two sides clashed; it was a child around whom they fought. By all accounts, these were exciting times, and Congresses were well attended!
The IAAP did survive the raging arguments of the early years and indeed seemed to thrive and receive strength from this internal debate. A plastic and resilient identity was forged that could contain the warring opposites. A distinctive history, a clear ancestral heritage, and a powerful dynamic thrust into the future were positive outcomes of those formative years. One discovered that the IAAP could contain a great deal of diversity without falling into confusion and vagueness, or splitting apart, or becoming psychically paralyzed. By the time the
IAAP reached young adulthood, the inner warring parents had become mostly just “differences of emphasis” in background and heritage. (Continental philosophy on the one side – with its Kantian epistemology, its Hegelian dialectic, and its phenomenological hermeneutic – had married British empiricism and down-to-earth practicality on the other). The IAAP fashioned itself as a young adult who could live well enough with this dual ancestry. Of course, each side of this parentage also had its own historical complexities, and these fed as well into the IAAP bloodstream. All of this made eventually for a rich degree of cultural diversity and opened the collective psyche for even more variety and novelties to come.
By 1980, the IAAP was twenty-five years old and in pretty good shape, with burgeoning training institutes producing greater and greater numbers of promising new analysts, societies busily forming professional journals, and analysts publishing tons of books and articles. Jungian conferences began to spring up everywhere and were often packed with spellbound audiences. Plans and images for growth in the mental health professions in an increasing number of countries showed great promise of future success. Now came the major challenge of professional persona development. The IAAP member groups had to face their communities and adapt to their cultures. This required taking in some “foreign” elements and methodologies and turning them into a form that could be integrated into Jungian attitudes, methods, ways of thinking and formulating without sacrificing the fundamental connection to one’s own history and ground. The 1980s and 1990s were a period of accommodation, assimilation, and adaptation. Notably, in the papers and books from this period one finds an increasing and ever broader representation of modern psychoanalytic and other perspectives in the Jungian literature and often a rather shy reticence to put forward the original words and vision of Analytical Psychology. This amounted to a new evolution in the Zurich-London polarity. The walls of opposition broke down and a new synthesis took shape in what had formerly been a rather tensely positioned field of “opposites.” Into this mix entered also James Hillman and archetypal psychology with postmodernism, deconstructionism, and phenomenological reductions trailing not far behind. Some members of the IAAP family, finding these developments unacceptable, decisively rejected this emerging amalgam and opted for a return to the original and undiluted vision of Jung and his closest disciples.
At the same time, the ancestor figures were dying one by one. The ‘80s and ‘90s saw the passage of Analytical Psychology from the first generation of analysts and teachers, who had known Jung personally and had trained in Zurich in the tight original circle around him, to a second generation of analysts who had not known “the Mahatma” (as Jo Wheelwright called him) and only had heard about him by way of anecdote and story.
The death of parents is liberating but also potentially destabilizing. One confronts the question of what to do with this novelty of liberation from the formerly watchful and dominating eye of parents and grandparents. One is free to consider new options that had been ruled out of court heretofore. Often the presence of living parents prevents a divorce and family fragmentation. Their passing, at first grieved, is later celebrated as previously suppressed energies rise to the surface and come into play. There is a danger of throwing off the traces and becoming unbound to custom and history. It is a fateful time of choice and individuation.
Without Prof. Jung, Dr. Meier, Dr. von Franz, Gerhard Adler, Jo Wheelwright, James Kirsch, Esther Harding, Erich Neumann, Michael Fordham, Elie Humbert – one could name the whole generation of originative figures – in the foreground, the IAAP was now entrusted in a totally new way with the heritage and future of Analytical Psychology. Whereas the IAAP was a mere child and a minor player in the field of Analytical Psychology in its early years, in comparison to the great ancestral figures of the first generation and such august institutions as the Psychological Club and the C.G. Jung Institüt-Zurich, it now has become the primary adult bearer of the genetic line, whose responsibility it is to hand the heritage on to the next generations, hopefully with added value. This is now the burden borne by the IAAP. It is the most responsible and powerful adult in the worldwide Jungian family today.
In midlife, however, much that was certain earlier is called into question. The dreams and enthusiasms of youth wane and fade. One cannot idealize the past as one once did, nor imagine such a glorious future. A midlifer is realistic about life’s prospects. On the one hand, there is grief for a past that has been lost – the loved ones, the dreams, the alluring anima who by now has turned into the too-well-known wife and mother, the shining animus hero who is now recognized as flawed and fallible and larded with major deficits. On the other hand, there are troubling doubts about the recurring dreams that beckon one to a new future. Midlife is an age of realism, but also one of increasing skepticism, irony, and sometimes even cynicism. The persona that had been constructed at great cost now rings hollow; the anima, though cute, is not convincing; the animus is too green to do the job; the shadow is filling the basement with water that threatens the foundations; and the Self is invisible, silent, a questionable “hypothesis.” In short, one is cut off from the archetypal energies of the collective unconscious.
Crowding into this unpleasant scene, moreover, there is the specter of death. Will our profession survive? We are being squeezed into a position of seeming antique irrelevance by the psychopharmacological industry and by the legions of convinced and articulate practitioners of short-term cognitive therapy. This is “the new generation” that promises to destroy the old and bury us in the back pages of a dusty old history tome. And beyond that, the grim forces of giant government agencies and insurance companies who control the money supply are starving us. Maybe we would do better to take early retirement and at the age of fifty look for a quiet old age in a pensioner’s retreat. Such are the thoughts that worry us in the early hours when sleep fails to protect.
Permit me to change the tone, however, and confess that I remain an optimist, and I think of this as a midlife crisis, not as an old age dying process. Maybe not many will agree with me, but let me make my case.
The ground metaphor for this talk’s theme – the IAAP in midlife – came to me in St. Petersburg, Russia. The penny dropped as I was walking across the Admiralty Bridge and observing this beautiful city’s renewal and ongoing transformation after those grim Soviet times. The Winter Palace, now the Hermitage Museum, sat regally on the banks across the river, gleaming in the sunlight. I had just finished examining the Russian students on the “Route” to Individual Membership in the IAAP, five of whom are now newly minted members. During the days of these examinations (administered with Angela Connolly, and the assistance of Jan Wiener and Catherine Crowther), I had again caught a glimpse of the exciting future for Analytical Psychology in Russia. There is a strong potential future for the IAAP in this rich and diverse culture. Here one senses the excitement of pioneer work. The enthusiasm for Jung’s thought and for the later developments in Analytical Psychology, theoretical and clinical, is infectious. The accomplishments of the Russian students are truly inspiring as well. Working steadily despite the great obstacles all around – language and translation difficulties, lack of teachers continuously on site, geographical and financial limitations of the most severe degree – a group of them has managed in ten years to rise to a level of clinical and theoretical competence that matches that of candidates in many of the privileged first world training centers. To be a part of this gives the IAAP’s aging heart a lift. One walks with a bit more bounce in the step.
Russia is but one country, moreover, where Analytical Psychology is taking hold as a profession for the first time in history. I have witnessed the same development in other Eastern European countries (Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Estonia, Georgia), in Latin America (Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico), in Asia (Singapore, China, India), and in Africa (South Africa, Tunisia). The IAAP is on the verge of a tremendous leap into a global dimension, with incalculable consequences ahead. The frontiers are laid out before us.
Accompanying this, it should be indicated that one of the most remarkable developments during my presidency has been the notable and sad decline of the only Jungian international training institute (Zurich) and the dramatic rise of the Individual Member “Router” program in the IAAP. Previously, at any given time there might have been a half dozen or so people preparing themselves in some part of the world or another to apply for Individual Membership in the IAAP. Since the early 1990s there has been a gradual increase in their number, and as a consequence the Executive Committee has created a structure, with interviews, exams, and advisory relationships with these “Routers,” to insure clinical and intellectual quality. In the last three years, the number of Routers has grown to more than a hundred, many of them coming out of the Developing Groups that the IAAP began recognizing in 1998. While a centrally located international training Institute, once so vital for training analysts, is less a necessity today because the IAAP has recognized so many Groups around the world where training can take place locally, collaterally the IAAP is itself elaborating an international training program in areas of the world where training is not otherwise possible and where people do not have the financial means to travel to a centrally located international training institute. Again, the ball has been handed off to the IAAP, and it now has a new and vital mission with vast potential and opportunity.
Midlife is full of paradox. Stagnation appears to dominate the picture at one moment, because decline is evident and anxiety and doubt take hold in a profound way. At the same time, new opportunities emerge, and since the habits of the past can now be discarded as an excessive burden, there is room for new energy to enter the picture from unforeseen sources.
Let me share another surprising new development that has come about in these past three years. Jung left the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), of which he was perhaps the most important progenitor since he was then considered to be Freud’s “son-in-law” (married to Freud’s daughter, psychoanalysis) and heir apparent, in 1914. He then fathered Analytical Psychology as a “new family” in Zurich. The IAAP is the creation of his second family and therefore a kind of half-cousin of the IPA. The relations between these two related families have been chilly, to say the least. At official levels, there has been no communication whatsoever. To my knowledge, there has not been a single Jungian speaker at an IPA Congress since the break in 1914, certainly not in an official IAAP capacity. The two families of Grandfather Jung have been estranged in the extreme. Then, in 2004, exactly ninety years after Jung’s departure from the IPA, at the invitation of Alain Gibbeault, General Secretary of the IPA, Christian Gaillard and I spoke on a panel at the IPA’s 43rd Congress in New Orleans. We attended officially as Jungians, as IAAP officers, and as representatives of the perspective of Analytical Psychology. The theme of the IPA Congress, incidentally, was “Working at the Frontiers,” a close relative to the theme of the IAAP’s 16th Congress, “Edges of Experience.” There was no conscious collaboration on this matter of themes, of course, but we do live in the same world and share important genetic features, believe it or not!
We are discovering that IAAP and IPA members share more things in common that we had previously realized, and increasingly more reasons exist to hold us together than to separate us. Convergence is in the air at the intellectual and now also at the institutional level. Acknowledging our shared history and points of origin may draw us into closer proximity and better relations. With the first generations now gone on both sides and their influence and painful memories fading, it is possible to put aside the traumas of the past and to contemplate a new future of friendly relations and cooperation. The IAAP has, as you must realize, reciprocated in this Congress with a panel jointly filled by IAAP and IPA members, and further projects of collaboration are in the works.
Another important development in these last three years has been the birth of a new child of the IAAP, the International Association for Jungian Studies (IAJS). This association was founded as the result of an initiative taken by the previous Executive Committee to sponsor an “Academic conference” at Essex University in 2002. Out of this gathering of IAAP members and other Jungian academics from around the world arose the impulse to form an association of Jungian academics, to include anyone who is engaged in the work of teaching Jungian thought at the university undergraduate and graduate levels. Again, the potential for this association and for what it is planning is enormous. The mission of these Jungian academics is critically important for our common future. To reach students in colleges and universities and to present Jungian ideas and perspectives in a serious academic way, to conduct research in this area as well, amounts to an exciting and vital mission. Students are eager to have these perspectives included in their curricula. This gives Jungians an opportunity to cultivate genuine interest in Analytical Psychology at an early stage of professional development. The seeds of the future are sprouting in the schools and universities, and we need to be a part of their formation and attunement to the world that is coming into being.
One final point. An important aspect of later midlife – which involves a process of re-integration that includes previously repressed or neglected aspects of the psyche and the elaboration of a new identity based upon the incorporation of these factors in conscious identity – is reaching back once again to the past and reclaiming it in a fresh and deeper way. In this last year or so, three major works have appeared that can assist with this enterprise: Dierdre Bair’s biography of Jung, Sonu Shamdasani’s book, Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science, and Elizabeth Marton’s film, “Ich hiess Sabina Spielrein.” Each important work in its own way contributes to our understanding of history and makes possible a new appropriation of the past.
What do these studies tell us? First, that Jung was very human and, while a genius, also a social being with many complexities and flaws. This does not come as news to any of us, but the detailing of Jung’s personal life has surprised and illuminated everyone I have talked to who has read this new biography and seen the film. Shamdasani’s book speaks of Analytical Psychology as an intellectual discipline and of its roots in cultural and scientific history. We are the product of centuries and the focused point of a long tradition of thought. Shamdasani has detailed this history in a rich and instructive fashion. The biography and film also tell us of the origins of Analytical Psychology in psychoanalysis and in Freud’s long shadow. This feature can be overlooked in our concerns about Freudocentrism and our need to separate and be individual. We belong to a broad stream of professional, clinical, and intellectual endeavor that courses through the past hundred years. Jung does not stand alone. All three works illuminate our history and expose our roots. Analytical Psychology grows out of the mind of a single Genius – Jung. Jung’s views are formed by a long cultural tradition and by professional interests and concerns – psychology and psychotherapy. And our professional roots are also profoundly located in the history of psychoanalysis.
These works root us in time and space. We are not only of today and of yesterday, or of the New Age or the Aquarian Age. We come from a time and place that antedates those and indeed goes back for thousands of years of cultural history and development, as Jung so often affirmed – to Gnosticism, alchemy, and the whole wisdom tradition. Our taproots reach very far down indeed. And we need to incorporate this historical perspective into our identity as we go forward.
If we recognize that we descend from a person (i.e., Jung) and from a modern cultural and professional movement (i.e., psychotherapy and psychoanalysis) and from a long spiritual tradition (i.e., wisdom philosophy), this makes a difference. This perspective offers guiding reference points as we make our way into, through, and out of the condition that I am calling midlife liminality. It is important to recall our ancestral spirits and to assemble them in our conscious awareness from time to time, especially when chaos threatens to engulf us.
Most of us here in this Congress have passed through midlife and have found that life goes on beyond those turbulent years. In fact, many of us would say that life gets better, not worse, after midlife. We do not lose as much as we gain. A time period stretches out before us that calls for wholeness and for sounding the depths of the psyche, for realizing the great complexity and richness of the Self. In institutional terms, it means fostering more depth and even greater tolerance for diversity and difference. One also feels more strongly a hunger for the spiritual and the cosmic, a desire for the transcendent and for the feeling of meaning in our day-to-day efforts. We do not any longer need to prove ourselves in ego terms, but we also cannot rest on the laurels of past victories and achievements. This is a time for broadening and deepening, for inner dialogue and reflection, for avoiding splitting and acting out. We are ripening. We must now reach for the Self.
On the extraverted side, we see that the world is full of people who are hungry for what we have to offer. We should make it our business to feed them. We know that fifty years of age is not so old. We are still strong and vital. (After all, our older cousin, the IPA, is in its 90s and not doing so badly either.) So, as I hand the baton of the presidency on to Christian Gaillard, my encouraging words of advice to him and to the next Executive Committee are: “Let’s roll!”