Welcome to the world of Toni Wolff, Emma Jung, and Carl Jung! OUT OF THE SHADOWS is a play in two acts which dramatizes the relationship between two key women in Jung’s life, while also portraying Jung himself, as seen through their eyes. The entire work is 68 pages, so you may well choose to read it at one sitting. For book club purposes, I suggest at least reading the First Act in the first week (p. 1-31).
How does one approach the art of reading a play? Unlike a novel, the narrative is created in stage directions and dialog only. But this is a golden opportunity for the reader to ignite his/her own imagination.
You can direct your own production, inside the limitless resources of your own mind. For example, the opening scene takes place in a garden. You can draw on every garden you have even tilled, or watered, or imagined. The garden on Jung’s estate can become an archetypal garden, as Toni Wolff steps into it, “in the moist summer of 1910”.
To jump-start your imagination, you may want to view the first seven minutes of the original production on You Tube by visiting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tlfer2gtWI
It can also be fun and rewarding to read the dialog out loud, or, ideally, with another person playing the other part. The original production of OUT OF THE SHADOWS employed classical music in transitions from one scene to another. Imagining the resonant tones of Finzi, Shostakovitch, Ravel, or your own favorite composer, could enhance the reading. Better still, play classical music as you read the play.
You can also simply pour yourself a cup of tea, curl up in your favorite chair, and fire up your mind’s image-making, emotion-making, capacity. Whatever approach you use, be aware of your own responses as you read the play. How do you respond to the characters? Do you identify with them? Do you judge them? You may want to keep a running journal as you read, to record your feelings, thoughts, or questions. Be aware of the following themes, which will open our discussion:
Good morning Elizabeth - Ripley's Believe It or Not, I am still patiently waiting for my book to arrive from Amazon and surprised it has not arrived to date. Looks like snail mail or the dog sled metaphors are occuring for me for some reason, so....I remain unable to respond to your great questions concerning the play, however, I can speculate upon questions concerning the rutpure of the feminine.
In very real-world terms, Emma & Toni's triad with Jung presents and resurrects the Mother and Hetaira types that they all live out for 4 decades of polyamory, no different than women experienced in ancient Greek culture. Therefore and as all were involved, engaged and pursued the mythology and relational potentials drawn from ancient time; I view all of their actions of engagement as an intentional, consentual act of digression into that collectiive unconscious, brought forth - in their here and now, for they all did obtain first hand and real life experience to identify, define, and name some of his best-known concepts - anima, animus, persona and the 4 aspects of the feminine psyche - Amazon, the Mother, the Hetaira (Courtesan), and the Medial (or mediumistic) Woman out of their shared experiences together.
As I still do not have the play, I settled for going on-line to find out more and was struck by how well integrated Toni was as constant companion in all aspects of Carl life plus their family life, with the exception of lunch that was kept exclusive for family-of-origin members only (interesting). Obviously, Carl was in need of Toni who remained his major intellectual muze in the service/advancement of Jungian Psychology until his interest/Toni's disinterest in Alchemy lead to her replacement with Marie-Louise von Franz. Toni in viewed as his major inner companion for at least 20 years of his journey through his own inner journey, their complex and collective unconscious and all major works.
I read that he was unable to attend her funeral, but Emma attended and I found the caption on her towmbstone intriguing - Chinese characters arranged vertically "Toni Wolff Lotus Nun Mysterious."
I am a fortunate woman indeed to have known and healed aspects of the Amazon, Mother and Medial woman I could identify within and without and it is lovely to be at my age and stage of development and have been able to do that. The images, memories, day dreams of my inner life - all contributed trememdously for without same, I would not have the unity of the femine I have achieved and enjoy to date Regards Linda
A metaphor comes to mind. That rough diamond, dug from the earth, endures many hours of strong friction from a hard object to achieve its bright beauty. Similarly, that rough psyche endures a lifetime of friction to achieve a glimmer of that brilliant clarity.
In her play, Elizabeth shows us two exceptional women who, after decades together, achieve a grace and strength of purpose, thought, passion, loyalty, integrity and what is best described as a mature richness together. Would the success of depth psychology as an enterprise have been achieved without them? I think not.
Toni may have died knowing her relations with Emma were one of her highest acheivements. Emma may have died knowing she had achieved integrity in her relations with Toni. For both, this clarity was achieved at the cost of many years of pain.
Their learning, over decades, is gracefully and beautifully represented in Elizabeth's play.
Jung, from most accounts, was a much more stubborn learner. All his life, he was burdened with a strong sense of entitlement in relation to women. He seems never to have fully confronted this shadow aspect of his cultural conditioning.
In essence, depth psychology embraces loyalty to Self, integrity with others, a passionate embrace of one's creativity and the gaining of energy from the embrace of the opposites, to springboard the psyche to a higher way of seeing and being.
In her play, Elizabeth has shown us this essence. I hope men read it and have the courage to confront their conditioning in a world that still embraces patriarchy as its basic world view. That view is long past its' use by date. Elizabeth has had the courage to show us another way. It is not only a woman's way, although that has been said often enough. It is the way depth psychology, through all its rich discoveries, has shown us.
It is the way of Psyche.
Good evening. I enjoyed reading Dr. Linda Thompson's offering - doing her own research on Toni and Emma as she waits for the book to arrive. We do owe Toni for her conception of the Mother - Amazon - Medial Woman - Hetaira. I find it is a lifelong process to integrate each of these, especially the shadow of each archetypal energy, as it emerges, often unbidden, into our lives. And the offering of Lado Shay is an honor. She is an analyst and author whose novel PSYCHE, illuminates the story of Sabina Spielrein (Blue Star Print Group, Australia). Ms. Shay brings to life the human story of this brilliant woman whose work was seminal in shaping depth psychology. I commend her work to women and men who are eager to embrace the complexity and wonder of the human psyche in all her dimensions. -- Elizabeth
Good morning, book club members and followers of this dialog, I feel compelled to add another thought to Lado Shay's astute perception that Jung never seems to have confronted the shadow aspect of his cultural conditioning with regard to entitlement of women. Research seems to bear this out, but he also held the opposite position, ie, the idealizing of women, especially in his early infatuation period with both Sabrina Speilrein and Toni Wolff. He adored the feminine, and embodied a great deal of "anima perspective" in the formulation of Analytical Psychology. Hence so many women were drawn to him and his work - great thinkers from Marie Louise Von Franz to Jean Shinoda Bolen. Jung, in his brilliance, embodied light and darkness in so many dimensions of his life. His relationship with the Feminine, archetypal and flesh-and-blood, no exception.
Best to all, Elizabeth
Good evening Elizabeth and fellow book club members - today, I received my copy of the book and it was definately worth the much anticipated wait. As I shared before, I am in a huge career/life transition -transcendence and these are my first opportunity for experiences with interactive, on-line professional association, the groups, book club, play, etc.- and my initiation and fall harvest is rich indeed!
Elizabeth your playwright story of Emma and Toni absolutely captured my attention, I was unable to put the book down until I completed my reading of the dialogues/travelogues. For me, your work presents as a prospectus. Initially, the title was familiar to previous work of Dr. Richard Carnes (Out of the Shadow - recovery from sexual addiction), and I find this fact synergistically fascinating in light of sexual content disclosures gleamed. I am in deep contemplation for the profound and complex, individual and polyamorous relations within the cultural norms and world climate pre/post WW2. Mind-boggling.
The metaphorical dialogue shared with us reaches the highest level of conversation - intimacy, that tranformed me back to selected, significant time frames in all of their lives. Bravo Elizabeth - that is the ultimate goal, compliment one can achieve and depth psychology at it's best.
I have just closed one door on an exceptional 46 year career path and this door that opened into DPA is fabulous, however, I am novel to your language/archetypes. A good testing ground for the collective unconscious, so I will venture a novice idea and Ares comes to mind.
Thank you all for this privilege to participate in this experience with you all. Regards Linda
Dear Linda, I am deeply touched by what you have shared, and oh my - spot on: intimacy, to touch the heart and soul of others is certainly the goal of my work and life. I am thrilled and honored that you received the voices of the characters and are making your own personal alchemy into the bargain. Many blessings to you, Linda, and to all of you in the book club and beyond.
Good morning Elizabeth and fellow book club members - tis a glorious fall day in the little hamlet we live and lovingkindness is flowing 'out of the shadow' and I noticed an error in the above, other authors first name - he is Dr. Partick Carnes. In awe. Regards Linda
Dear Book Blub members and DPA participants, Thirty days hath September, and I am feel a sense of loss at the closing of the discussion for OUT OF THE SHADOWS. I am also feeling gratitude and celebration for the time of igniting our imaginations and the nourishment of our on-line depth psychology community. I will leave you with thoughts of the healing of the archetypal feminine that is the ongoing work evoked in OUT OF THE SHADOWS. Conscious healing of the wounds in our selves can lead to increased openness and confidence in relationships. I wish for all of you continued exploration of the depths within, and an increase in wholeness and joy, in all things.
Good morning Elizabeth - the closing of discussions for Out of the Shadows - Book Club experience shall always remain a memorable event for me as this was my return visit to the topic of Man, Myth & Magic (initial PhD studies 1990's). In my last email I stated I was 'thinking Ares' and still have no conscious idea why. As this is our last communication day, I went into Wikipedia and looked up this 4 letter word - Ares, and was blown out of the water concerning this son of Zeus & Hera. Concerning comtemporary healing of the archetypal femine evoked in me, all I know today is historically I traversed a meager 6 generations concerning healing of my own family tree work and in comparison to ancient times, the gods and the archetypes, I remain a novice. I look forward to my continued explorations with the support from DPA members who are far more knowledgeable than I with special thanks to our founder, Bonnie.
Thank you Elizabeth for leading us with encouragement to continue exploring our collective depths towards healing. Many blessings to you and I shall not forget this, my first Jungian Psychology book club experience. I remain laughing out loud at myself for joining with no text until the last week. Most important for me was how engaging and wonderful this first group experience was and that speaks volumes about you and my fellow participants. Can I say that in my eyes and from a Jungian perspective and my current thinking - the gods have looked favorably upon you in this work. I bid you farwell until our next on-line, perhaps your next - book club experience.
Thank you so much, Linda! Blessings and a deep, joyous and meaningful autumn to all!
Elizabeth --and all. I echo Linda's thoughts which were put so beautifully about how this month has been much about exploring the collective depths toward healing. I haven't participated as much as I would have liked as I was traveling most of the month, but have followed the very juicy parlance as often as I could with much pleasure. I think the discussion has lent itself to some very human themes and addressed them in a remarkably depth psychological way. I also offer up my deep thanks to Elizabeth--and to all of you who participated in making the month such a wonderful success.