The Paradox Theme in Jung and Esoteric Traditions

Paradox was a favourite theme of C.G. Jung and he expands on this in chapters II & III of the Mysterium Coniunctionis, with references elsewhere. This theme is central to all esoteric systems east and west; a reconciliation of opposites, taking a balanced view and so on.

In the world one is expected to take sides. Finding unity or balance is essentially a mental exercise seeing that good/evil, fullness/emptiness, reality/unreality are complementary sides of the same coin which only Woman and Man have the capacity to understand. Comprehending paradox may necessitate an excursion into the ‘unconscious’ – that is higher consciousness – to uncover and rediscover Knowledge lost or suppressed, dormant, or buried from time immemorial.


This presentation is an introduction to the vast wealth of knowledge available, the bulk of which is hidden in libraries and monasteries around the world but may be found through personal investigation into the dark depths of mind.

Keith Fowler’s personal Interest and main pursuit is Tantra, strictly an enquiry into Life the Universe and Everything without limitation, one of its basic tenets being Sarvam aham vibhu, ‘everything “I” far extending.’ In context, every individual has unlimited, cosmic potential, but lives within the confines of ordinary life. C.G. Jung rediscovered the parallel to eastern teaching through Active Imagination & alchemy, and the process of Individuation, that is of becoming an ‘individual’ self-reliant, self-confident, independent, exercising free will, not simply running with the herd; in short, to be in the world, but not of it.

Kieth travelled in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, from England and then in Australia between 1966-1973. This paved the way for inner exploration. Along with his partner Ann, he joined the School of Philosophy in Yorkshire (Leeds) in 1974 and remained there for 15 years where he was introduced to meditation. They returned to Australia in January 1997 where he continued his studies into the feminine path of enquiry of Tantra systems – a personal path – and principally an investigation into the Mind itself: thought, Desire, expansion of Consciousness, and the inner play of energies – Shakti. This little known or understood avenue of investigation into the Unknown runs parallel to C.G. Jung’s study of the unconscious, anima, and Active Imagination.

Introduction: The Nature of the Psyche according to Jung

Admission: The committee would like to invite the pioneering guests of this first event at our new Venue to attend without an entry fee. We recognise that a change of venue will at first be strange and this is both our incentive to the Way-Showers and our gift to the new era.

Jung’s psychology, which he eventually called Analytical Psychology, appeals to those of us who want to feel a sense of greater meaning in our lives and who seek to heal from the damage inflicted on us by the materialism of modern life. To understand Jung’s psychology, we must first understand how he conceptualised the nature of the psyche.

Although Jung shared with Freud a recognition of the role of the unconscious and initially supported and promoted Freud’s psychoanalytic theories, he gradually distinguished himself from Freud in the way he conceptualised the nature of the psyche – particularly when he introduced the idea of the Collective Unconscious

Jung developed his theories over his lifetime, based on his own observations of his patients and their dreams and on his own scholarship – reading widely and deeply in areas such as religion and archaeology. He was a prolific writer and his theories are found in his lectures, essays and letters published in the 20 volumes of his collected works and in additional publications. Jungian scholars and practitioners spend decades studying and commenting on Jung’s works. Those who come after him – often referred to as Post-Jungians – have modified and expanded on some of his ideas, but there are certain concepts that remain the backbone of Jung’s thinking.

Why should we be interested in Jung’s ideas on the nature of the psyche?

Because they can be applied in many aspects of our daily lives, helping us to live better with ourselves and our communities. In this talk we shall look at the nature of the psyche according to Jung and illustrate some of the concepts with examples from everyday life.


Anne Di Lauro has been studying Jung for nearly 40 years, both overseas and in Australia. Initially trained as a librarian, and having an interest in children’s literature, she first became interested in Jung’s theories while reading the works of Marie-Louise von Franz on fairy tales. She is a past president of the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland and has given a number of lectures to this society on subjects as diverse as Individuation and the Hero’s Journey in Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio, Dreamwork using Robert Bosnak’s Embodied Imagination, a brief history of Alchemy, the work of James Hillman, the work of Marie-Louise von Franz and Jung’s association with Wolfgang Pauli. She is particularly interested in promoting awareness of living in psychological harmony with the natural world and contributed a chapter to the book “Depth Psychology, Disorder and Climate Change” (edited by Jonathan Marshall, 2009). She recently retired from her practice as a psychotherapist working from a Jungian perspective.

Transforming Complexes as Pathways to Vocation

"Our torments also may, in length of time, become our elements"
  — John Milton, Paradise Lost

Could your sensitivities, wounds and preoccupations – your complexes – hold the missing key to the treasure of your vocation?

A complex is an impulse, pattern of behaviour, recurring mode of imagination, obsessive thought or particular fantasy which keeps you in its grip. According to Jung, the via regia to the unconscious was not, as Freud thought, the dream, but “the complex, which is the architect of dreams and of symptoms” although the complex is “more like a rough and uncommonly devious footpath” than a royal road (CW8, para. 210). We all have complexes, but when a complex remains autonomous and untransformed, it can easily chain a person to unfulfilling work or inhibit the pursuit of an authentic calling.

Drawing on fascinating stories from interviews with individuals, in this lecture Suzanne explores how a more conscious understanding of one’s complexes can be revelatory for the discovery, choice and conduct of one’s vocation. Complexes may stem from personal wounds (often originating in childhood); the collective wounds of the individual’s culture; or the traumas and patterns of previous generations. A Jungian approach suggests that the complex be treated not merely as a historical wound but that it has a teleological function, whereby the psyche leads the individual towards new horizons and an unfolding vocational direction infused with passion and commitment.

Dr. Suzanne Cremen serves as adjunct faculty at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA and is the founding director of the Life Artistry Centre for Archetype, Imagination and Vocation in Melbourne.

She holds two Masters degrees from Pacifica and her PhD thesis was on a depth psychological approach to vocation and career development. Her background includes working as a lawyer, conference producer, screenwriter, publisher and career counsellor for adults in midlife. Dr Cremen has presented and chaired on the applications of archetypal psychology at major international conferences, including in New York and Québec. She is a past president and honorary life member of the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland.

The Deep Psychology of Money

"Since money is an archetypal psychic reality, it will always be inherently problematic because psychic realities are complex, complicated…. Money is devilishly divine."
  — James Hillman

Who amongst us does not think (or fret) about money? Complexes around money affect all of us, rich or poor, in one way or another, and they are often constellated in the context of our working lives. Yet money remains one of the most neglected issues psychologically. The thorny subject of money is often overlooked in Jungian psychology, including in writings on vocation and the exhortation to follow one’s true calling.

This unique lecture–workshop draws on the writing and lived experiences of C.G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, James Hillman, Thomas Moore and others, as well as contemporary case-studies of men and women, to present fascinating depth psychological and mythological insights into the origins and nature of money.

Money is not just a rational medium of exchange. It can fill us with compelling desire, anxiety, envy, and greed. We will explore the paradoxical nature of money, as both a motivator and a complex. In a contemplative and safe space, we will reflect on our personal, family, gendered and cultural money histories and experiences, with a view to discerning their teleology, or larger purpose. There will be time to journal, contemplate new questions and ideas, and engage in reflective conversations. At the core of our various money complexes – to hoard, to posture, to gift, to consume – bubble the energies of various archetypes. We will consider how money, like sex, serves a conduit of the imagination and a main projection carrier for the soul.

Dr. Suzanne Cremen serves as adjunct faculty at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA and is the founding director of the Life Artistry Centre for Archetype, Imagination and Vocation in Melbourne.

She holds two Masters degrees from Pacifica and her PhD thesis was on a depth psychological approach to vocation and career development. Her background includes working as a lawyer, conference producer, screenwriter, publisher and career counsellor for adults in midlife. Dr Cremen has presented and chaired on the applications of archetypal psychology at major international conferences, including in New York and Québec. She is a past president and honorary life member of the C.G. Jung Society of Queensland

Levelling the Hero Part Two: Re-imagining Anima

"Muse,
When, in the night, I wait for her, impatient,
Life seems to me, as hanging by a thread.
What just means liberty, or youth, or approbation,
When compared with the gentle piper’s tread?
And she came in, threw out the mantle’s edges,
Declined to me with a sincere heed.
I say to her, “Did you dictate the Pages Of Hell to Dante?”
She answers, “Yes, I did."
  — Anna Akhmatova 1924

In part one of ‘Levelling the Hero’ we considered the vivid, creative, spiritual streams, flowing into and out of the hub of early twentieth century Zurich, birthplace of Analytical (Jungian) Psychology. Imagination and the creative arts were at the centre of this birth just as they are at the centre of Analytical Psychology. This was absolutely confirmed by the publication of ‘The Red Book’ in 2009, the end result of Jung’s engagement in ‘active imagination’ and the foundation for his later concepts. We looked at the work of some relatively unknown women artists working with similar and related ideas whose genius and creative vision gave form to numinous material moving into consciousness from the deepest levels of psyche.
Ceramic by Melinda Monks

  Ceramic by Melinda MonksIn part two we will consider the contribution and position of women who worked closely with Jung on the project of analytical psychology. We will explore and perhaps challenge the ideas that coalesced around ‘Anima’ and that of woman as ‘Muse.’ The poem (above) by Anna Akhmatova written in 1924 suggests that the female ‘Muse’ is a guiding figure for creative women too. My work confirms this… so, what does this imply for Jungian concepts about the contra-sexual image and it’s relationship with the unconscious? Hopefully we shall have another good discussion.

Marie Makinson is a former president of the CG Jung Society of Queensland. She believes that Analytical Psychology offers a unique approach to understanding the nature of the psyche and developing a conscious relationship to it. The work of Analytical Psychology is carried out with patience and humility, building a sacred space in which the psyche can communicate through the language of symbols. The role of the ego in the work is is that of holding an attitude of curious, caring awareness. The processes of analytical psychology illuminate our individual human gifts and enhances our potential for shaping our collective future.

Marie is a senior Jungian Analyst trained in London with GAP and a member of ANZSJA and IAAP. She works as an Analyst and Jungian Sandplay Therapist in private practice in Red Hill in Brisbane.

Dancing In The Flames

"Powerful and insightful, this documentary provides a close up look at the life of renowned Jungian Analyst and author, Marion Woodman. With honesty and her trademark wit, Woodman shares the mysteries of her own soul’s journey and reveals a series of psychological “deaths” and “Rebirths” that made her one of the wisest and most authentic women of the twentieth century. Featuring stunning animation from Academy Award winning artist, Faith Hubley, and dialogue and insight from author and mystic, Andrew Harvey. Marion weaves her inner and outer lives together and transmits the core truth of what it is to be human.

This is no ordinary film, but a rare, powerful, and moving story about the dramatic evolution of an individual soul beautifully captured on film. Yet the deeper story is not about one individual alone. What makes this timely film so compelling is the underlying archetypal message about living, dying, and transformation, a challenge we all need to confront in the new millennium."
  — Polly Armstrong, The Journal of the C.G.Jung Foundation

Marion Woodman who died in 2018, was a most beloved Jungian Analyst, writer and mythopoetic voice for her generation. She brought the ‘Dark Feminine’ into consciousness and helped many people who were trapped irrevocably in addictive behaviours and body-denying lives. She made her work out of acknowledging the need to own our bodies intimately, within the psychological lives we live.

“As consciousness develops, the body will act as a donkey for only so long,” (Ms. Woodman wrote in one of her books.) “Men as much as women need to know that their soul is grounded in their own loving matter: ‘This is who I am. Every cell in my body tells me this is of value to me – not to my persona, to me.’”

Her own illness (cancer) moved her out of her own conventional pathway and into an exploration of her inner life.

“We each are thrown into our own fire and the room in the Ashoka Hotel [India] was mine. There was no one to phone, no one to visit, nothing to do. All escapes were cut off. I had to move into my own silence and find out who was in there.”

She also embraced the greater realities of our collective lives today…

“But I also believe that there is a new global culture being called for—and that means that every country is going to have to surrender its selfish nationalism and open up to a global community. The earth has moved from tribe to group to country – and now even these systems are too small. We are moving towards global community, and in the process narrow [nationalistic] loyalties will have to be surrendered to the larger whole”

Her work was and continues to be an unfolding of some of the richest within the field of Jungian studies.

There will be a short panel discussion following the film if time permits.