Jung, Active Imagination and The Dead

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Jung, Active Imagination and The Dead

A presentation by Dr Stephani Stephens

Thursday, March 2, 2017 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Venue: The Quaker House, 10 Hampson St, Kelvin Grove
Admission: Members & Concession: $10 • Non-members: $15

Jung had several death dreams and visions featuring the dead. These experiences profoundly influenced Jung’s understanding of the unconscious. During his intense confrontation with the unconscious he had numerous encounters with many figures of the unconscious and yet he distinguished the dead amongst these. In his own words, ‘The conversations with the dead formed a kind of prelude to what I had to communicate to the world about the unconscious’ (Jung, 1961:217). Jung’s model of the psyche emerged as a result of these visionary encounters.

Since the publication of the Red Book a significant amount of material on the dead has come to light and points to the possibility that when Jung referred to ‘the dead’ in his personal material he was, in fact, referring to the literal dead as a separate category of psychic experience.

This discussion aims to introduce material from both Memories, Dreams, Reflections and the Red Book which raises questions about how Jung experienced the dead during these initial encounters with visionary material. I hope also to question some assumptions that have been made previously about visionary encounters within active imagination.

Stephani Stephens earned her PhD from the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK in 2012. Between 2004 and 2013 she served on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Jungian Studies. The topic of the evening’s presentation is based on her doctoral thesis as well as research published in the International Journal of Jungian Studies titled “Active Imagination and the dead”.

Dr Stephens resides in Canberra and teaches Psychology and Latin in the International Baccalaureate program at Canberra Grammar School.