Going into the ‘Great Deep’

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Going into the ‘Great Deep’

A presentation by Marie Makinson

Thursday, October 2, 2008 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Venue: St Mary’s Parish House, Cn Merviale and Peel St
Admission: Members & Concession: $10 • Non-members: $15


The notion of the ‘collective unconscious’ has been increasingly challenged by some contemporary Jungians. Following on with her “foundations of Jungian thought” series, Marie Makinson takes a fresh look at this cornerstone of Jung’s ideas.

In 1936 Jung wrote an article for an English medical journal in which he tried to clarify and contain his daring and controversial idea regarding an impersonal, universally given and autonomous area of the deep psyche. His exasperation is palpable as he proceeds to tie the idea firstly to ‘scientifically’ sanctioned notions about the instincts and then to the work of others in such fields as comparative religion and mythological studies. As a preamble to this article he writes:

“Probably none of my empirical concepts has met with so much misunderstanding as the idea of the collective unconscious.”

Now, as then, the controversy and perhaps the misunderstandings prevail. For Jung the key word in the above was empirical. He was attempting to name a manifest psychic content of emotionally charged images and ideas encountered repeatedly in his own work. The events unfolding in Europe at the time of writing the article would no doubt have added to the urgency of his argument that we should not overlook the tremendous powers that lay hidden in the psyche.

In this talk Marie will attempt to clarify what Jung has said about the collective unconscious and the way the idea is linked with his other major concepts. She will also include some material from her own work as well as some from contemporary Jungian writers to demonstrate the vibrancy and relevance of the ideas in practice and how they continue to develop today.

Marie Makinson is a Jungian analyst working in private practice in Lismore NSW. Marie trained at The Guild of Analytical Psychology and Spirituality in London and considers her work to be in the classical Jungian tradition. Before training, she practiced for more than twenty years as a massage therapist and this, and a lively personal and family connection to the arts, are other important influences on her work. Marie’s current practice also incorporates sandplay therapy as developed by Jungian Dora Kalff.