A woman and her symbols

Do you read through a book differently as time goes? As you change? Doesn’t the book magically change with you? Secretly, while on the shelf, its ink shifting and the story rewriting itself?

This is the 4th time I read this book. It’s Jung’s most accessible text and it contains most of the staples of his humongous heritage to the world.

The 1st time I read it, I was a fresh Psychology student in Sofia, must have been 2001, and I was overtaken with Freud. All I cared about was to see how Jung’s approach was different. And hopefully to diss it. It fascinated me with its wisdom and entrance into the unconscious through Indigenous people’s stories and ritual and its reliance on synchronicity … and magic. Hmm, I needed firm science. Green Psychology students similarly identify with the science ingrained complex of inferiority comparing itself with all other solid sciences. Logic. Stats. Predictions. Diagnosis. Treatment. Bam!

The 2nd time I read it was when I was in the US. I craved to soak into the depths of my soul as I was living in a particularly surface-oriented environment. I remember how much I enjoyed it and it saddened me that I had only my husband there to talk Dreamwork with.

The 3rd time was during my Doctorate in Australia. The lens was again quite different. I was submerged in women studies and for 4 years had refused to open a book by a man. That’s how much I felt for the silences in science, the outrageous omission of female writers wherever I cast my eyes on. Literature, history, science and research ALL not only white-washed but incredibly middle-aged white man-washed. So going back to my Psychoanalytic passion I had to find my Sheroes – Julia Kristeva, Rozsika Parker, Jessica Benjamin, Klein, Horny, Deutch, Allice Miller, Nancy Chodorow, Raphael-Leff…

Jung HAD to be exceptional to win me over all that women-power. Could he? I was sceptical and so very protective of the escriture feminine (this is Julia Kristeva’s term on women writing). Well, he co-wrote this book with some of his best students – Marie Lous von Franz, Anelia Jaffé! Yes, exceptional women and analysts.

I read it today with yet another eye, another ear, a richer soul and heart. I see how we all belong to the big table. Gender melts in between the pages but never stops to matter.

I’d like to think I have grown, changed and evolved and I am able to discern, pick, examine and KNOW from a much deeper place all the things that matter to me. I select mindfully and curate what goes in my mind…the nourishment I feed it with.

I would definitely add a WOMEN and her symbols to that title but I am still enthralled by the simplicity and truth-telling of this text. I am also grateful that much like in life, looking at the same old things with a fresh perspective offers an endless river of joy, re-appreciation and love. Much like loving someone for over 2 decades. Doing Dreamwork together again…

So, do you read through a book differently as time goes? As you change? Doesn’t the book magically change with you? Secretly while on the shelf its ink shifting and the story rewriting itself?

Isn’t each book a projection of us, an exact representation of our current state?

And of course… it has to be a Person and Their symbols, I know… I know…



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