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Teaching Jung$

Kelly Bulkeley and Clodagh Weldon

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735426.001.0001

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The Challenge of Teaching Jung in the University

The Challenge of Teaching Jung in the University

Chapter:
(p.13) 1 The Challenge of Teaching Jung in the University
Source:
Teaching Jung
Author(s):

David Tacey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735426.003.0002

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter opens the book with an analysis of the conflict that may arise between Jung as an object of intellectual inquiry and Jung as an approach to the psyche. Such an imbalance, the chapter argues, not only misrepresents Jung but also leads to disastrous consequences for the learner (for example, an overemphasis on Jung as an approach to the psyche could lead to an inability to engage critically). In exploring the challenges of bringing Jung's ideas into the curriculum of contemporary universities, the chapter identifies four main approaches to teaching Jung (conforming, reforming, transforming, and informing), each with its own distinctive implications for the classroom. Readers will no doubt recognize aspects of these approaches to pedagogy in different chapters throughout the book.

Keywords:   Jung, university, curriculum, pedagogy, psyche, conforming, reforming, transforming, informing, religious studies

Perhaps it would not be too much to say that the most crucial problems of the individual and society turn upon the way the psyche functions in regard to spirit and matter.

Jung, Collected Works 8:251

Jung in the Academy

Intellectual Culture and Experience

When I first tried to explore the exclusion of Jung from the universities in the 1970s, numerous Jungian analysts told me that Jung did not belong in the university and is best not taught there. One of the strongest advocates of this view was Marie-Louise von Franz, who wrote to me that Jung in the university might degenerate into a “head trip.”1 That is, he might become an object of purely intellectual study, and the emotional and psychological process that makes Jung's work meaningful—namely, one's own personal encounter with unconscious contents—would be missing. Effectively, this view maintained that analytical psychology in its clinical practice owned Jung, and that universities could not participate in this ownership, since they could only view Jung externally and superficially and not from the inside.

Searching through the Jungian literature to find explicit statements about the clinical ownership of Jung is a difficult process and yields few results. Mostly this problem is expressed in personal remarks and letters, and not in the public domain. Andrew Samuels, however, can always be relied on to be outspoken about what others do not divulge. In his foreword to Post-Jungian Criticism, Samuels writes: (p.14)

Certain analysts say that academics cannot really feel or suffer complex emotions because of their precocious intellectual development, which vitiates empathy and sensitivity. As this character assassination of the typical academic continues, she or he cannot really understand most of the concepts derived from Jungian psychology, because their provenance, and certainly their utility, are matters on which only practicing clinicians can rule.2

Samuels is an analyst and a clinical professor who is sticking up for academics, whereas I am an academic who wishes to support the analysts. I agree with Samuels that we cannot bracket out Jungian studies from the university curriculum on the grounds that the clinicians have exclusive ownership of this knowledge. However, I fully agree with analysts who object to the purely intellectual and therefore incomplete and inauthentic deployment of Jungian psychology in a university setting.

It seems to me that if Jung is to be used in the university, he should be used correctly, and this means teaching Jung in such a way that the whole self is engaged in this process, not simply the disembodied intellect with its reductive grasp of concepts. I agree with the analyst's typical objection that Jung's ideas are not really concepts to be taught but psychic images to be experienced.3 Jung's psychology is a complex depth psychology in which archetypes are to be understood phenomenologically as elements of human experience or not at all. I agree with Jung that universities have been so preoccupied with a sterile “rationalism and intellectualism” that they have almost forfeited their right to appear as “disseminators of light.”4

Testing Boundaries and Challenging Hegemonies

As a student, I found the Jungian criticism of the universities to be illuminating. It not only explained why Jung had been rejected by university knowledge but also accounted for why so many students find their university studies to be dull and boring, especially the academic study of psychology. A mind-numbing rationalism has conditioned and limited the discipline of psychology, and in this environment, it is understandable that a depth psychology based on experience has found itself confined to exclusive and elite institutes of analytical psychology. I am pleased that these private institutes have kept the candle burning for Jungian psychology and knowledge of archetypes, but surely the time has come to challenge both the hegemony of rationalism in the universities and the hegemony of the institutes in their “ownership” of Jung.

Although formal and expensive clinical analysis must remain a central element of Jungian psychology, I am concerned about several issues: (1) that the encounter with the unconscious has apparently been made synonymous with clinical practice, (2) that the professionalization of Jungian practice has served to strengthen and consolidate this fusion, (3) that Jungians have been unimaginative about finding other methods to impart their work beyond the clinical model, and (4) that this situation frequently boils down to the premise (p.15) that only those who can afford to pay for therapy can embark on the complex journey of individuation. My social conscience rebels against these assumptions, yet it is clear that personal analysis is beneficial, and I have benefited from it myself.

Every year, I teach scores of students who have a desire to discover the life of the unconscious but cannot afford to go into expensive personal analysis. There must be other ways to encounter the unconscious apart from the clinical model, especially if, as Jung often claimed, individuation is a natural process.5 In the past, there were numerous traditional methods to transcend the conscious realm and engage the unconscious, including religious belief and spiritual practice, ritual and dance, artwork and poetry, romance and relationship, music and dreams. In other words, any form of human activity that is creative, intuitive, or open to the nonrational side of experience is a potential site for the encounter with the unconscious. Of course, having that encounter monitored by someone with special knowledge is something that the clinical model has refined to an extraordinary degree with its sensitivity to transference and unconscious contents.

The increasingly rational nature of modern life has had a destructive impact on our traditional forms of transcendence. Typically, the modern person has little or no access to religion or spirituality, to ritual or poetry, and even romance and relationship have become attenuated, commercialized, and clichéd. Many of our nonrational outlets and avenues have been blocked, devalued, or destroyed. The question came to me in the late 1980s: How can I, as a university teacher, help my students approach the unconscious in a creative way?

An Experiment in Teaching

The idea of teaching Jungian psychology to students at my university was not mine. The notion came to me from my colleague in the philosophy department, Robert Farrell, who thought it would be a worthwhile venture for us to join forces and produce such a course. I was based in the English department, but we conducted our teaching experiment in a program called Interdisciplinary Studies. This seemed like an ideal place to teach Jung, whose work and vision encompass at least eight disciplines: psychology, classical studies, mythological studies, comparative religion, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and the history of ideas.

Indeed, one of the reasons Jung is not taught in the modern university is that his work does not fit any specific academic discipline. Staff in psychology are likely to refer to it as religious studies, and lecturers in religious studies are likely to say that it is science and not religion. Philosophers regard the work of Jung as not squarely in the philosophical tradition, and of course, Jung himself often said that his work was not philosophy but empirical science. However, the empirical scientists on campus are likely to point to the highly speculative, intuitive, and philosophical nature of Jung's inquiry. As a doctoral candidate in Jungian studies, I was moved back and forth from English to anthropology, to psychology, and eventually back to English literature. The psychology professor (p.16) referred to Jung as a “literary critic,” and thus I incorporated the work into literary studies.

Jung's solitary confinement to the arts and humanities is, let us hope, temporary. It is an interesting place for him to be, but he cannot be confined to these disciplines. He is more than myth and literature; he is, or represents, an amalgam of mythos and logos, story and science. In truth, he does not belong to the arts faculty or in the science faculty; he belongs to both. He belongs to a university system that does not yet exist, one in which the whole of life is studied and taken seriously. Jung is the scientist and artist of life integration. His thinking is organic, holistic, literary, and scientific. As such, there is no available box or category for him. He is a scholar in the grand style, and his extraordinary breadth makes most academics feel humbled. Academics are often said to know more and more about less and less, but Jung works in reverse: his momentum is centrifugal, encompassing more fields in a desire to understand human reality.

There is always the grave danger, however, that such a colossal intellect, which seemingly fits everywhere, will be said to belong nowhere. Like God in creation, Jung in the academy can almost be said to be felt everywhere and seen nowhere. I think when integrative sciences finally emerge in our universities, which they must with the rise of ecological and organic thinking, we will find that Jung will eventually find his place in a new paradigm of knowledge that will appreciate his synthetic style and encompassing worldview.

Robert Farrell and I called our subject “Jungian psychology,” but there was a protest from the psychology department that we were encroaching on their territory. I responded to this protest with a brief lecture on the etymology of the word psychology, pointing out its true meaning as the logos of the psyche or soul and suggesting to the psychology department that they had left psyche out of the study of human behavior. This protest was dropped, and we were free to develop our own subject, although it was noted that our students were frequently defecting from psychology to interdisciplinary studies. In due course, the psychology department dropped its antagonism and decided to include us in its range of subject choices, so that students majoring in psychology could study Jung as part of their behavioral science degree. We could not be defeated, and so we were incorporated.

As Robert and I designed our subject, we spoke about many things, including the objection of Marie-Louise von Franz: how could we do this so that it did not become a mere head trip that lost the value and intensity of Jung's vision? Obviously, we could not play the role of de facto therapists in the academic setting, and yet we both agreed that this subject would need to be different. Neither of us had the time, energy, or expertise to engage the student's interior process, and yet we agreed that we might be able to teach the subject in such a way that the nonrational dimension of life could be incorporated and assumed into the subject.

Robert Farrell and I have taught the Jung subject for nearly twenty years, and we feel that we have done so with reasonably good results. I am not talking about results in the narrow sense of high grades, but in the deeper and more (p.17) important sense of having encouraged our students to engage the unconscious and to take the nonrational side of their experience seriously. We have concluded that the success or otherwise of this teaching depends on the way Jung is taught and the attitude of the teacher. A Jung subject has to be taught with psychological intelligence, and this may not be the same as intellectual intelligence. If the teacher can be open to the depths of the psyche and receptive to its autonomous and living reality, then a certain “reverence” toward the psyche can be found, which prevents the academic experience from falling into a head trip.

I believe there is a lot of middle ground to be explored between Jung as an object of intellectual inquiry and Jung as an approach to the psyche in therapy. I will later explore four approaches to teaching Jung that demonstrate the range of possible approaches to this academic challenge.

The Religious Factor

The academic teacher of Jung cannot engage the subjective or emotional process of every student. This is not possible, nor is it desirable. But my colleague and I have found that a form of therapy does indeed take place in the classroom when Jung is taught with passion and concern. As soon as the teacher conveys a convincing sense that he or she is open to the depths of the psyche, to its existence and its effects on us, something therapeutic happens in the classroom that is quite uncanny and moving. I have experienced this many times, and such moments are transformative for teachers and students who are open to such experiences. Other students find that such experiences wash over them and do not seem affected. In other words, such students are not ready for an experience of the autonomy of the psyche, and in this case no harm is done; an opportunity has been missed or deferred until later.

There is, of course, a religious dimension to any experience of the autonomy of the psyche. When we acknowledge that we are in the presence of something greater than ourselves, something large and unseen, yet “sees us,”6 we are in the domain of religious or spiritual experience. We shift from being subjects who pursue knowledge for our own ends to being objects of an invisible and autonomous reality. This obviously has to be handled carefully by teachers and students. To call into being, or into academic consideration, a numinous and powerful other, a life that lives us, that holds sway over us, and to which we must listen or adhere, is to cultivate what Jung calls a religious attitude.

The main problem for the teacher is not to identify with the wisdom that is generated by this educational process. The teacher has to watch his or her reactions and make sure that psychological inflation does not occur, that he or she does not become the classroom guru, the arrogant fount of all wisdom. Obviously, there is an inescapable sense of reward and personal elevation in introducing a sense of spirit into students’ lives, but the teacher has to contain this feeling and not allow it to gain the upper hand. As soon as this feeling wins, we lose the educational plot and our integrity is in jeopardy. It is fine to be an instrument of knowledge but not to identify oneself with this knowledge and become grandiose.

(p.18) For their part, students do not use Jung's term religious attitude, which does not seem to resonate with them. They speak instead about “spirituality,” and an invitation into a spiritual view of the world can trigger reactions of various kinds.7 Those students who are rationalistic may reject this invitation out of hand and find it repellent, manipulative, or even antihuman. Those who have a committed religious faith may reject this new approach for opposite reasons and say, “No thanks, I already have my religion, and I don’t need another one.” But the vast majority of my students are secular adults who have had no exposure to formal religion or who had only a rudimentary religious upbringing that they shrugged off at some early stage in their development.

Pedagogical Problems in the Teaching of Jung

Many of these students are eager for a new experience of the numinous and long to feel themselves connected to a sense of a greater other. This creates problems of its own, because Jungian psychology is not a religious faith, but rather an approach to the psyche that advocates a reverential attitude.8 Some students want to turn Jung himself into the religion they do not have or have never had. This approach can severely limit the capacity of the student to think critically. Instead, some adopt Jung as a religious system and use the technical terms as articles of faith, speaking about the archetypes as if they were real objects in time and space, rather than metaphors for processes of the psyche.

Contact with the numinous, with what is infinite and other, is fraught with emotional reactions, resistances, defenses, and enthusiasms. The stability of the ego is relativized and even threatened by the realization that it is not the master of its house. Some students give away their ego authority too readily, and others defend against the other as from a hostile attack. Still others insist that the other is only to be found in heaven or in scriptures sanctified by orthodox religious authority. Some respond to the suggestion that the other can be found within as an outrageous expression of gnosticism or heresy.

I do not see Jung as an “outbreak” of gnosticism that is designed to belittle religious traditions. His psychology provides an existential ground upon which the statements of faith can be tested. If anything, Jung's psychology adds weight and value to the religions, but they tend to respond with resistance because this internal dimension is feared. It is regarded as unorthodox or an acquired taste. The exception is where religious authorities have embraced the mystical substreams of their respective traditions. Jung's psychology is a science of the relations between the human person (the ego) and the God Within (the Self).

The numinous calls for a response, and mostly the educated ego in the West responds through resistance and denial. It is either dismissed as an illusion by rational minds or viewed as a truth greater than literal truth by those who are religious. Either way, presenting a balanced apologetic to students in secular universities can be difficult. How will students respond? What emotions (p.19) will the numinous arouse? How will it affect their present beliefs and attitudes? By the time most academics have reflected on these questions, they have realized that the task is too daunting and it is best not to bother. As one academic said to me, “To teach Jung is to look for trouble.”

Jung writes of the capacity of the unconscious to paralyze our critical faculty and to hold us in its power.9 The same is true for the numinous and for those who speak on its behalf. It is not uncommon for some students to fall helplessly under Jung's spell before they reach a more mature relationship to his ideas.10 But reaching this mature level can be difficult and time-consuming. It is hard to be objective about Jung, if one is responding principally through a complex and not through the mind. It may take some time for the mind to catch up, because the complex works automatically and independently. Therefore, it is not surprising to discover that some students dismiss Jung's work as gobbledygook or mysticism, while others fall under its sway and are unable to take up a critical dialogue with it.

In such cases, fear and fascination of the numinous become difficult pedagogical issues. Do we have the capacity to deal with these responses in the university? Generally not, but if we are able to identify an emotional response as soon as possible, the teacher may have a chance to dialogue with it. In my experience, uncritical adulation is more common than hostile rejection. This can be contained by a sensitive teacher, but other faculty members are likely to point to this problem and announce that the Jung subject produces disciples and followers rather than critical readers. This may increase the academic prejudice that Jungians are part of what Richard Noll calls a “worldwide cult.”11 Jung seems to act as a trigger to what I have called the spirituality complex of the secular West.12

Once the spirituality complex is activated, it asks for objects of belief, and Jung is a likely target for such projections. But after students have become adjusted to the reality of the spirit, they find their way to religious, mythological, or cosmological attitudes and symbols, and Jung is let off the hook. Then Jung can be returned to reality and seen as a scientific investigator of our human depths, rather than a god or idol. In technical terms, Jung acts as a transferential object while we are sorting out our relationship with spirit. Jung activates and arouses our need to believe, which we hardly knew we had before, because this libido was withheld by the secular ego and rendered unconscious.

Teaching Styles

Toward a Taxonomy of Jungian Studies

Over recent years, I have been traveling interstate and overseas to see how other academics are dealing with the challenge of teaching Jung in the university. In every case, the success or otherwise of our efforts seems to be determined (p.20) by our approach to the numinous. If we ignore the numinous, as is sometimes found in academic study, and if we teach only the nuts and bolts of Jung's psychology, we are not teaching him properly.13

But how do we, in the post-Christian West, in a university system governed by secular values, make the numinous convincing, real, and present? How do we handle our personal cynicism toward the unseen dimension? Just as important, how do we educate ourselves to become critical of the numinous, rather than fall for it with unthinking devotion? How can we avoid dualisms and complexes when we step into this realm? How can we teach Jung's work when we do not yet have the cultural and religious forms to understand it? My guess is that new cultural forms are emerging now, and yet they are not widely known. When these new forms arise, and when the numinous can be properly incorporated into our knowledge, Jung will find his natural context and belonging, but until then, he is in danger of being seen as an oddity.

I have discerned four main approaches to the teaching of Jung. Each could be seen to be governed by a particular “god” or archetypal style. I am sure there are more than four and that I have left others out, but this at least will set the ball rolling toward a taxonomy of Jungian studies.

1. Fitting in or Conforming

Ruled by the Father, Senex, or Old Man

2. Updating or Reconstructing

Hermes, the Trickster

3. Soul-Making or Overturning

Dionysus

4. Keeping Pure or Standing Still

Disciple and Acolyte

As with all taxonomic categories, these styles are almost never found in pure form. As one sketches out these archetypal styles, they invariably become somewhat clichéd and stereotypical, but we have to take that into account.

1. Fitting in or Conforming.

Here the desire is to fit Jung into the university system, rather than to challenge the system by advocating new knowledge. Analytical psychology under this influence sets itself the task of conforming to prevailing standards, expectations, and assumptions. The keyword for this approach is respectability.

The aim is to show how respectable Jungian psychology is, if only academic scholars took the time to understand the nature of Jungian thought. If scholars sat and reflected, they would see that the exclusion of Jung from the academy has been based on a misunderstanding. This approach is rational, cool, and collected; it is noncombative and diplomatic. It seeks to demonstrate the validity of Jungian psychology by fitting it alongside other theories and knowledge.

Its aim is to demonstrate that the exclusion of Jung has been based on misconceptions. Jung is not a mystic, but a sound and worthy scientist of the more difficult reaches of mind. These depths are not mystical but accessible to scientific analysis that is properly attuned to deep structures. This approach emphasizes his scientific credentials, his career as a leading-edge psychiatrist, his philosophical education, and his empirical approach to mental illness and social problems.

(p.21) Archetypally, this approach is ruled by the senex or old man, both in its creative aspect (accommodating and including) and its negative aspect (manipulating and controlling). This approach teaches the nuts and bolts of Jung without teaching that the work is ultimately about self-transformation. Students are given information but not the goal of self-transformation, and they rightly complain about the dryness and aridity of this approach when they find out more about the field. This drying-out effect is part of the long-standing opposition that many analysts have to bringing Jung into the academy. Divorced from the mystery dimension of the unconscious, is “knowledge about” Jung useful? Can Jung be understood without the kind of experience we gain from the encounter with the numinous?

Ironically, in our desire to include Jung in the academy, we have to be careful that we are not excluding him all over again. If our pedagogical style is too narrow, we are not including enough of this thinker's work. To use a metaphor from physics, it is as if we are trying to pull in a single particle into the university, only Jung is not a particle, but a wave of vast extension. I was stuck in this rut myself some years ago, so I know all about it.

This is largely an emotional and pedagogical problem of the senex archetype. The senex (in men and women) thinks of itself as being important and in control. It won’t risk the self-disclosure that transformation demands, since this involves the anima or soul, the revealer of the inner life. The more identified the teacher is with the persona, the more unconscious and distant the anima will be. To teach the art of transformation demands that the teacher shows that he or she is vulnerable to the numinous and receptive to the soul. The teacher stands before the sacred not as someone in control, but as someone who receives. If the teacher is not prepared to risk the controlling stance, to let the guard slip, to show vulnerability, there can be no teaching with soul. As Jung once said of Freud, he was not prepared to “risk his authority,” and as a result, he “lost it altogether.”14

The other problem with senex pedagogy is that in its conservative interest in scientific standards, empirical evidence, and rational proof, it fails to see that the academy itself has been radically transformed by postmodern knowledge. Many of the old academic ideals, such as objectivity, precision and exactness in scientific method, have been overturned by postmodern thought and by feminist theory, at least in the social and human sciences, if not in the exact sciences. To some extent, the image of the academy that the senex holds no longer exists. This is because Hermes, the central archetype of the postmodern era, has got into the academy and turned things around.15

2. Updating or Reconstructing.

Hermes governs the second teaching style I have detected, although he can also outwit himself. The emphasis in this approach is on reconstructing Jung in the light of progressive discourses that have taken place in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. If respectability is the keyword for the senex, here the overriding concern is updating.

Hermes is the messenger who moves between worlds. He brings to the Jungian world messages from other knowledges and introduces Jungian concerns to worlds that have never been interested in Jung. His concern is with potential connections and creative dialogues.

(p.22) Hermes, the trickster, adopts the view that an unreconstructed Jung cannot be admitted to the academy. Whatever “Jung” may signify to Jungians, he has to be deconstructed before he can be authentically brought before the university. This style may be paradoxical: it may even side with the established views of the academy and argue against “Jung” in his unreconstructed form. This approach may be embarrassed by unreconstructed Jung and seek to differentiate a “post-Jungian” from an earlier “Jungian” position.

This approach will seek to reread Jung with current views in mind, often sharply critical of the ways in which the classical Jungian work falls short of contemporary values. It critiques the Jungian work, especially in terms of the big three preoccupations of the academy, namely, class, gender, and race. It may seek to revise his metapsychology and his philosophical underpinnings in an effort to bring them into line with contemporary philosophical thought, postmodern theory, and phenomenology. This second approach might employ as its credo “reparation works best in the open,” and it will enjoin scholars and critics of Jung to enter into dialogue with “post-Jungians” in a mutually enriching work of cultural reconstruction.

A major drawback is that with all this fancy footwork and adaptation to contemporary concerns, essential elements are not addressed. What happens to the numinous? Where is the divine? They are often ignored in the move to find meaningful connections between post-Jungian interests and the concerns of race, class, and gender. This approach often says: we will redeem Jung's psychology but not bother about his theology. But this won’t do. Hermes outwits himself at this point. Jung's religious attitude is not an added extra, an optional element we can do without. We cannot just say his religion is a residue of his conservative nature and that as radical post-Jungians, we do not need to be concerned with it.

This problem is linked to larger issues. In the academy, religion is frequently relegated to the right side of political life, since religion is often viewed as the glue that binds society together and that keeps it stable and ordered. The socially progressive Jungian concern for updating, changing, and renewing is forced to engage a basically leftist agenda that is hugely allergic to religious problems.16 But I do not believe that the religious dimension is extraneous to Jung; it is integral to his psychology.

Jung's work seems to call for a religious left that does not yet exist on campus. The religious are often conservative; the politically aware are often very secular. The major exception to this rule is Western Buddhism, which seems to be politically progressive. I know that progressives like to typecast Jung as irredeemably conservative and stuffy, but the implications of his psychology are radical.17

3. Soul-Making or Overturning.

The third approach focuses on the numinous dimension but often has little to say about social and political aspects. Its interest is in the inner life and the cultivation of the soul. An exception to this rule is where Jungian visionaries suddenly decide that the outer world has “soul” and then behave almost as religious converts to political realities.18

(p.23) Soul-making or overturning is iconoclastic and rebellious. It accepts that the work of bringing Jung into the university is a subversive act, that is, a countercultural enterprise. It is not interested in conforming Jung to existing paradigms, but in challenging the models of knowledge that have kept Jung out of the academy in the first place. Its concern is not respectability or updating, but revolutionizing the system.

The third approach likes to employ language that flies in the face of the academy, using terms like soul and spirit that the academy considers obsolete. I know a Jungian teacher who gave a staff seminar on the gods and goddesses of the psyche, and some of his colleagues left the room. The revolutionary approach often decides that the academy “lacks soul,” that it privileges knowledge but “not wisdom,” that it is repressive toward “what counts,” that it avoids an encounter with “ultimate questions.” This approach is what Jung would call “inflated” or what the world calls arrogant. But whether arrogant, inflated, or inspired, it fails to see that the academy has been secular for many years, and if it wants to bring the numinous into the system, it has to be tactful and present an appropriate apologetic for the gods.

Scholars of the third approach frequently scorn what is current and contemporary and often devalue these concerns as merely fashionable. They dislike the contemporary and are in love with antiquity. Their models of how to live are usually premodern, ancient, or primordial. Favored sources of inspiration are the Florentine Renaissance, the Perennial Philosophy, or Medieval Alchemy, which all look like hocus-pocus to the university. The third approach believes that a primordial truth can be found, and this is an inspiration for championing such traditions as alchemy, shamanism, Neoplatonism, metaphysics, and wisdom literature.

Scholars who follow this way have difficult and often lonely careers. They are generally not liked by their colleagues (apart from a few close associates) and develop ill feeling and rivalry in the workplace. They may exacerbate the problem by their repeated criticisms of mainstream knowledges. Because they celebrate soul and spirit, they are often given a high profile by the media, and this rubs salt into the wounds of colleagues, who can be beset by envy. However, such teachers are often highly successful with students, who view them as inspired prophets on campus. They form the Dead Poets Society of the Jungian academic world, but they often get too entangled in the emotional currents and complications of students’ lives. The senex persona is dropped in the name of “soul,” but sometimes propriety and professional boundaries are dropped as well.

4. Keeping Pure or Standing Still.

There is also a purist approach, and this group tries to have as little to do with the intellectual life of the academy as possible. They do not stir the pot like the dynamic soul makers. They hope that if they confine themselves to a Jungian bubble, the rest of the intellectual world will go away. They are suspicious of postmodernity, do not like Derrida or Foucault, ignore the post-Freudians, and try as hard as possible to keep (p.24) themselves pure for Jung. Their job is to inform people about Jung—a kind of informational bureau on campus.

I cannot think of an archetype that governs this approach, but I can think of a stereotype: the disciple or acolyte. This style, as Jung observes,19 is secretly identified with the master and hides this under a mask of subservience to the teachings. Such teachers do not talk about Jung's scientific research, but about his “findings,” as if they are commandments written in stone or brought down from on high. The problem with this approach is that it is not doing Jung any favors. It is keeping him hermetically sealed off from the world, away from the critical debates, making him almost gloriously irrelevant to intellectual life.

Teachers in this mode often behave as converts, and their students are sometimes expected to become Jungians rather than critical readers of Jung. Students rightly complain that this approach is claustrophobic, although it may suit the kind of student who is looking for something to believe in. Teachers in this mode are not always liked by their colleagues, who see them as priests or nuns of a religious sect. Often this style is short-lived, because it is sometimes a phase that people go through, a moment in which they fall in love with the numinous as revealed by Jung. This tendency of the work is savagely, and I think unfairly, attacked by Richard Noll.20

Again, this is largely a religious problem: how to incorporate the numinous in the secular academy. Jung evokes and stirs a spirituality complex; some reject him out of hand as a mystic, and others revere him as a prophet. Converts do not know how to gain the necessary critical distance, since criticism is viewed as a transgression or heresy, signs that our spirituality complex has been activated. If Jungian purists are incapable of genuine criticism, their colleagues will argue that they are indoctrinating students, making them incapable of living politically aware and astute lives. This sets up the conditions for fundamentalism and intolerance, and arguably education should work in the opposite direction.

Diversity and Experimentation

These four approaches cannot be pinned down to particular personalities in the world, but rather represent leanings or biases in the teaching of Jung. The first approach seeks to conform, the second to reform, the third to transform, and the fourth to inform. It is sometimes the case that one academic will experience elements of all four styles and approaches. Basically, they can be reduced to two larger categories: one and four are static styles, while two and three are dynamic. Number one is the static and number two is the dynamic form of adjusting to the academic world, whereas number three is the dynamic and number four the static form of adjusting to the numinous.

Hostility between our camps could be attributed largely to these different styles. The fast-moving trickster finds the disciple or acolyte to be static and uninteresting. The senex finds the trickster to be slippery and deceitful. The soul makers find all other types to be superficial and defensive, and the purists argue that all the others are in danger of losing the plot. Sometimes soul makers push (p.25) the system too far and are in danger of losing their jobs. The university might decide that soul makers are actually troublemakers, and it can get on better without them. Soul makers can reinvent themselves as updaters or reformers, where at least they can hold down their jobs and where passions are cooled by the need to enter into dialogue with contemporary concerns. The acolytes are also nudged onward to new styles, partly due to criticism from others, since the university will not tolerate an exclusive bubble world for very long. A Jungian information booth is arguably best dealt with by Jung clubs and not by universities.

But the field is new and still being born. There will be other styles to discover and more problems to elaborate. We must expect this diversity in Jungian studies and, if possible, hold the tension between conflicting positions. The recent establishment of an International Association for Jungian Studies,21 which specifically focuses on the teaching of Jung in university and college contexts, will do much to provide a forum for valuable discussion and critical reflection on teaching styles, pedagogical issues, and the meaning and purpose of Jung in the university.

In conclusion, we serve Jung best not by turning his work into a fixed ideology, but by playfully deconstructing it for the new era. We have to deconstruct his ideas about the numinous, but we cannot eradicate the numinous to suit the needs of a secular academy. Using one of Jung's key phrases, we have to “dream the myth onward.”22 As we move the work into the academy, we have to avoid the various pitfalls, including getting stuck in the senex and leaving out the soul, getting intoxicated by updating and leaving out the numinous, getting identified with the soul and condemning the world, or getting stuck in a ghetto and ignoring the world. These problems are not unique to Jungians. They are found wherever the numinous raises its head in a secular context.

This chapter is dedicated to Robert Farrell, in recognition of twenty years of exploring the teaching of Jung at La Trobe University, Melbourne.

Notes

(1.) Marie-Louise Von Franz, letter to author, August 22, 1976.

(2.) Andrew Samuels, “Foreword,” in Post-Jungian Criticism: Theory and Practice, ed. James S. Baumlin, Tita French Baumlin, and George H. Jensen (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004), xi–xii.

(3.) Samuels, “Foreword,” xii.

(4.) Jung, Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. Herbert Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1953–1976), 15:86.

(5.) Jung, Collected Works, 7:187.

(6.) Ibid., 9:1.

(7.) David Tacey, The Spirituality Revolution: The Emergence of Contemporary Spirituality (Hove, England: Brunner-Routledge, 2004).

(8.) Mark R.Gundry, Beyond Psyche: Symbol and Transcendence in C. G. Jung (New York: Peter Lang, 2006).

(9.) Jung, Collected Works, 7:262.

(10.) David Tacey, “Jung in the Academy: Devotions and Resistances,” Journal of Analytical Psychology 42.2 (1997): 269–83.

(p.26)

(11.) Richard Noll, The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994), 3.

(12.) Tacey, Spirituality.

(13.) David Tacey, “The Role of the Numinous in the Reception of Jung,” in The Idea of the Numinous: Contemporary Jungian and Psychoanalytic Perspectives, ed. Ann Casement and David Tacey (Hove, England: Brunner-Routledge, 2006).

(14.) C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1961; reprint, London: Fontana Press, 1995), 182.

(15.) Bernie Neville, “The Charm of Hermes: Hillman, Lyotard and the Postmodern Condition,” Journal of Analytical Psychology 37.2 (1992).

(16.) Leigh Eric Schmidt, Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2005).

(17.) David Tacey, How to Read Jung (London: Granta, 2006).

(18.) James Hillman and Michael Ventura, We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy, and the World's Getting Worse (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1993).

(19.) Jung, Collected Works, vol. 7.

(20.) Noll, The Jung Cult, 3.

(21.) International Association of Jungian Studies, a worldwide organization established in 2002 to promote teaching and research in Jungian studies in universities. For further information, consult www.jungianstudies.org.

(22.) Jung, Collected Works, vol. 9, part 1.

References

Bibliography references:

Gundry, Mark R. Beyond Psyche: Symbol and Transcendence in C. G. Jung. New York: Peter Lang, 2006.

Hillman, James, and Michael Ventura. We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy, and the World's Getting Worse. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1993.

Jung, C. G. 1917/1926/1943: “On the Psychology of the Unconscious.” In The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. Herbert Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), Vol. 7, 1953/1966.

Jung, C. G. 1928: “The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious.” In The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. Herbert Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), Vol. 7, 1953/1966.

Jung, C. G. 1930: “Richard Wilhelm: In Memoriam.” In The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. Herbert Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), Vol. 15, 1966.

Jung, C. G. 1934/54: “Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious.” In The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. Herbert Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), Vol. 9, 1, 1959/1968.

Jung, C. G. 1940: “The Psychology of the Child Archetype.” In The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. Herbert Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), Vol. 9, 1, 1959/1968.

Jung, C. G. 1947/1954: “On the Nature of the Psyche.” In The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. Herbert Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press), Vol. 8, 1960/1969.

Jung, C. G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. 1961. Reprint, London: Fontana Press, 1995.

Neville, Bernie. “The Charm of Hermes: Hillman, Lyotard and the Postmodern Condition.” Journal of Analytical Psychology 37.2 (1992): 337–353.

(p.27) Noll, Richard. The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.

Otto, Rudolf. The Idea of the Holy. Ed. John W. Harvey. 1923. Reprint, London: Oxford University Press, 1958.

Samuels, Andrew. “Foreword.” In Post-Jungian Criticism: Theory and Practice, ed. James S. Baumlin, Tita French Baumlin, and George H. Jensen, vii–xv. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004.

Schmidt, Leigh Eric. Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2005.

Tacey, David. “Jung in the Academy: Devotions and Resistances.” Journal of Analytical Psychology 42.2 (1997): 269–283.

Tacey, David. The Spirituality Revolution: The Emergence of Contemporary Spirituality. Hove, England: Brunner-Routledge, 2004.

Tacey, David. How to Read Jung. London: Granta, 2006.

Tacey, David. “The Role of the Numinous in the Reception of Jung.” In The Idea of the Numinous: Contemporary Jungian and Psychoanalytic Perspectives, ed. Ann Casement and David Tacey. Hove, England: Brunner-Routledge, 2006.

Von Franz, Marie-Louise. Letter to author. August 22, 1976. (p.28)

Notes:

(1.) Marie-Louise Von Franz, letter to author, August 22, 1976.

(2.) Andrew Samuels, “Foreword,” in Post-Jungian Criticism: Theory and Practice, ed. James S. Baumlin, Tita French Baumlin, and George H. Jensen (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004), xi–xii.

(3.) Samuels, “Foreword,” xii.

(4.) Jung, Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. Herbert Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1953–1976), 15:86.

(5.) Jung, Collected Works, 7:187.

(6.) Ibid., 9:1.

(7.) David Tacey, The Spirituality Revolution: The Emergence of Contemporary Spirituality (Hove, England: Brunner-Routledge, 2004).

(8.) Mark R.Gundry, Beyond Psyche: Symbol and Transcendence in C. G. Jung (New York: Peter Lang, 2006).

(9.) Jung, Collected Works, 7:262.

(10.) David Tacey, “Jung in the Academy: Devotions and Resistances,” Journal of Analytical Psychology 42.2 (1997): 269–83.

(11.) Richard Noll, The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994), 3.

(12.) Tacey, Spirituality.

(13.) David Tacey, “The Role of the Numinous in the Reception of Jung,” in The Idea of the Numinous: Contemporary Jungian and Psychoanalytic Perspectives, ed. Ann Casement and David Tacey (Hove, England: Brunner-Routledge, 2006).

(14.) C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1961; reprint, London: Fontana Press, 1995), 182.

(15.) Bernie Neville, “The Charm of Hermes: Hillman, Lyotard and the Postmodern Condition,” Journal of Analytical Psychology 37.2 (1992).

(16.) Leigh Eric Schmidt, Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2005).

(17.) David Tacey, How to Read Jung (London: Granta, 2006).

(18.) James Hillman and Michael Ventura, We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy, and the World's Getting Worse (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1993).

(19.) Jung, Collected Works, vol. 7.

(20.) Noll, The Jung Cult, 3.

(21.) International Association of Jungian Studies, a worldwide organization established in 2002 to promote teaching and research in Jungian studies in universities. For further information, consult www.jungianstudies.org.

(22.) Jung, Collected Works, vol. 9, part 1.