Sunday, January 25, 2015

Neumann at Eranos

Official launch of
The Jung-Neumann Letters
An International Conference in Celebration of a Creative Relationship

Kibbutz Shefayim, April 24-26, 2015, Conference Website Trailer
Follow updates on FaceBook

Dr. Riccardo Bernardini will present

Neumann at Eranos

Copyright Eranos Foundation Archives, Ascona
The ancient Greek word, “Eranos,” means a “banquet,” held thanks to the contributions liberally offered by the table companions. Eranos was a project of Olga-Fröbe Kapteyn’s (1881–1962), which came into being at Ascona-Moscia, Switzerland, in 1933—a “place of encounter and experience” or a “free space for the spirit,” where Eastern and Western philosophies could meet. Eranos has brought together some of the most influential scholars of the 20th century. This pioneering endeavor of annual interdisciplinary Conferences (Tagungen) has been properly recognized as “one of the most creative cultural experiences in the modern Western world” and “one of the richest centers of intellectual and spiritual interchange known to our century.” Its influence has been documented in a number of fields of knowledge, ranging from psychology to the history of religions, from philosophy to Eastern studies, from theology to anthropology, from biology to physics.

Jung’s influence, in particular, was decisive for the development of Eranos. Thanks to him, the Conferences could be profitably directed towards the study of the archetypes, the basic patterns of the psychic life, whose “archaic” and “primitive” side seems to keep its features despite the evolutionary processes that take place over time. The Eranos gatherings were characterized in the years of Jung’s presence in Ascona mostly as a meeting and convergence of different paths of research, which had been conducted independently up until that point. Gradually, this encounter became an original and fertile interdisciplinary crossroad, above all in authors like Erich Neumann, Marie-Louise von Franz, and James Hillman. Neumann, in particular, was the first analytical psychologist to speak at Eranos after Jung. Eranos represented a real trait d’union between Jung and his pupil. Between 1948 and 1960, Neumann lectured at Eranos thirteen times, on topics as “The Mystic Man,” “The Moon and the Matriarchal Consciousness,” “The Psychological Meaning of Rite,” and “Art and Time,” among others. A further contribution of his appeared in a special Yearbook, published at the occasion of Jung’s seventieth birthday (1950). Neumann’s Eranos lectures can be seen as a theoretical and clinical attempt to develop a post-Jungian psychology.

In 1950, Neumann wrote to Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn, recalling his encounter with the Eranos Archive: “When I came back to Europe in 1947 for the first time after the World War and having being away for eleven years, I was sure that, after all that had happened to me, Europe would seem alien and disturbing. There was one place, however, where I found my initial foothold—a ground for myself, my way of life, my work—and that was in the Eranos Archive … For some years now I have been coming to Switzerland and to Europe, but strangely enough—or is it in fact so strange?—in truth, it is always to Ascona and to Eranos that I come.”

This presentation will retrace the steps of Neumann’s participation at Eranos from three main viewpoints: Neumann’s encounter with the Eranos and its Archive for Research in Symbolism; the meaning of Eranos for Neumann’s work and the meaning of Neumann’s work for Eranos; and, through some excerpts from the still unpublished Erich Neumann–Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn correspondence, his profound relationship with the Eranos’s founder. Thanks also to several unpublished photographs of Neumann at Eranos as well as to some sequences from the mostly unknown movie, belonging to the Eranos Archives, we will thus try to understand what Neumann meant when, for testifying the role that the Ascona gatherings played in his life and work, he described Eranos as “… inconspicuous and off the beaten track, and yet a navel of the world, a small link in the Golden Chain.”

Dr. Bernardini is Scientific Secretary of the Eranos Foundation, and has served as Adjunct Professor at Turin University. Among his written and edited books are Jung at Eranos, The Complex Psychology Project (2011), The Jung–Corbin Correspondence (2013), and Carl Gustav Jung’s The Solar Myths and Opicinus de Canistris. Notes of the Seminar Given at Eranos in 1943 (edited with Gian Piero Quaglino and Augusto Romano, 2014). He serves as Co-Editor of the Eranos Yearbooks series, together with Fabio Merlini, and of SpringA Journal of Archetype and Culture.

Don’t miss this historical event!

Analytical Psychology in Exile: 
The Correspondence of C.G. Jung and Erich Neumann,
edited and with an introduction by Martin Liebscher,
will be published in the Philemon Series by Princeton University Press.

Conference attendees will be the very first to purchase and receive copies of the Correspondence,
at a special, large discount by Princeton University Press.

The Jung Neumann Letters Conference
International Advisory Board

Erel Shalit • Murray Stein • Batya Brosh • John Beebe • Riccardo Bernardini
Jerome Bernstein • Ann Casement • Angela Connolly • Tom Kirsch • Patricia Michan
Joerg Rasche • Nancy Swift Furlotti • Luigi Zoja • Liliana Wahba

No comments: