My Experiences in Europe in the Seventies

That summer (1973) we  took off from London headed for the continent in search of Jung and fun. We went by train from London to Paris and then to Lugano. From there I wrote “Am here in Lugano again—feeling very much at home—staying in a beautiful villa overlooking Lago di Lugano and enjoying Castalia (the Jung –Hesse conference). Among the guests here I have particularly enjoyed

Rabbi Herbert Wiener, whose book 9 and a Half Mystics you must read. He gave a beautiful Sabbath service on Saturday. On Sunday everyone went to mass at the little country church here in Montagnola and visited Hesse’s grave in the church yard afterwards.

Harvey Cox, Prof of Comparative Religions from Harvard is also here. He’s giving a series of lectures on the Bahavagad Gita. I met him some years ago when he lectured at Duke in 1965. He has acquired a beard and hippie clothes since, but is still as brilliant as ever. Then June Singer, the Chicago Jungian who just published her new books The Unholy Bible on Blake and Boundaries of the Soul  on Jung, is here.She will be lecturing this morning.There is one core-key lecture each day. Gene Nameche, the director and a real soul brother gave a talk on Hesse and his grandfather—very moving—last night outside by candlelight. I am scheduled to give the core-key lecture on Jung on Thursday morning.”

After Castalia we travelled on to Munich and Vienna and from thence to Graz (Grüss aus Graz!) and then settled in the Salzkammergut at Strobel am Wolfgangsee, not far from Salzburg. We also went south to Venice and from there into Yugoslavia, visiting  Lubliana and Pirano. 

In mid August I attended the Eranos Conference in Ascona. I wrote home: “Here I am back on my own ground in Europe. I feel very much at home here in Ascona.”

I had no idea then that I would eventually be living there! I found the lectures interesting. I particularly enjoyed Gilbert Durant, Prof.of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Grenoble who had just published a book on The Structural Anthropology of the Imagination. He was a disciple of the great Gaston Bachelard. “We recognized that we were kindred spirits at once and I look forward maintaining contact with him.” Another interesting man was Prof Ernst Benz a Protestant theologian from Marburg. How tortured and obscure the German language can be in  contrast to French clarté-bien  raisonné. Then today—best of all—a Zen Roshi spoke on “The Interior and the Exterior of Zen” with simplicity, sincerity and profundity that (in my mind at least) put all the other scholars to shame. All in all, it was a worthwhile experience.

“I tried to get more information from Frau Jaffe,(from Zurich) Jung’s former secretary and editor of the Jung Letters, but she’s determined not to reveal anything other than what she brings out in print. I think she’s jealous and possessive thinking that she alone has the right to work on Jung.But I had a good talk with Jim Hillman, an analyst also from the Jung Institute, whose work I admire. He encouraged me to continue writing my Jung book, saying he thinks it will be very good to have  a sympathetic outsider’s  perspective on Jung. He’s pretty fed up with the idealizing Zurich cult of Jung himself.”

We returned to London in the fall, and settled in Lambolle Road in the Belsize area  above Swiss Cottage. We loved it there. It was so centrally located.

We decided to stay in London for Christmas in 1973. 

We had spent a lot of money on our travels in the summer and felt the need to conserve our resources. My mother sent me a generous Christmas gift plus the $500 which she sent each month. I bought a nice hi fi music system with it. Meanwhile I submitted a budget to the trust asking them to increase my income from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred a month and begged my mother not to interfere in this. The trust turned me down.

I enrolled in a training program with the British Association of Psychotherapists headed by Marianne Jacoby so as to become a certified Jungian analyst. The program took three years. As part of my training I continued my analysis with Richenda Martin. I was scheduled to have my first patient (under supervision) in the fall. The tuition was $500 per year plus the cost of my analysis. I wrote Tony  some of the reasons why I wanted to become an analyst. One of the most important is that as an analyst I can be financially independent and can live where I want (eventually San Francisco) “I am also finding that thinking of myself becoming a therapist has given me a new perspective in  reading Jung for my book. It makes me less of an outsider and will give me greater confidence and more connections as a person and a writer.”

 I love literature, and began reading my favourite authors from a Jungian perspective. I wrote an essay on Nietzsche, Jung and Hesse which I called “The Daimon of Creativity.” 

I was hired to teach Comparative Sociology at Brunell University and was invited to lecture on Jung to the History of Ideas Seminar at Oxford after Christmas. I also lectured on Fritz Perls at the Tavistock Clinic relating him to Humanistic and Existential Psychology.

Through my work on Scheler and Jung, Mann and Hesse I began to feel that the generation born in 1875 was “my generation,” my specialty. But “in my conversation with my intellectual history colleagues at Oxford I felt quite keenly how far away my own orientation has grown from the taken for granted world of most of my colleagues in history and the social sciences. They would probably call me a romantic or an idealist.

I find that one of the deepest differences between me and them is my religious belief and my commitment to my own personal vision as expressed artistically (symbolically) rather than in purely rational terms. It has been hard for me to accept the consequences of this my own inner truth. As long as I was seeking to fit in to external standards I could not hear and follow my own inner truth. Having begun to do this now, I feel the next step is for me to work out a way of holding on to this and yet being able to live in the world, to be in the world but not of it .”

In May I went to Amsterdam for a Dutch Philosophical Congress, for the session on Max Scheler and to lead a Gestalt Group and also to visit my friend Prof Alvin Gouldner from Washington University days. I found the Dutch more spontaneous than the English and wrote home that  “for me right now doing therapy with people who want their lives to be more fulfilling is much more satisfying than either philosophy or sociology discussions.”

I was getting established in the international growth center circle doing workshops at places like Esalen in Europe. I was scheduled to do a workshop in German in Munich in September. “Sometimes I feel impatient,” I wrote, “in that I’m already being a successful as a Gestalt therapist when I am only an apprentice Jungian analyst.” My writing was progressing slowly, but I found it hard to get back into it after my travels.

In October I began a series of six lectures I gave on the topic “Consciousness in Self and Society” in which I presented my ideas of humanistic sociology to an audience of people interested in humanistic psychology at Quaesitor, a growth center in London. At the same time I began teaching a course  on “Sociology for the Pastoral Ministry” at the Richmond Fellowship.

On October 1st we moved from Lambolle Rd. in Swiss Cottage up into the center of Hampstead to Redington Road. And we were feeling stressed financially. I wrote home: “We are on an absolute minimum expenditure budget now as we are still paying for the fantastic travels of the summer—Norway, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Toronto, Montreal and California! It was expensive, but it was worth it. We both got so much out of it! And now that winter is settling in upon us again we are taking time to digest and  integrate all or experiences and recent acquisitions. Fortunately I took meant photographs and films, so we can  re-live and enjoy our wonderful travels again and again and share them with others less fortunate than we. Thank you again for your hospitality to me and especially to Kathy. You took such good care of her while I was “about my Father’s business” in Canada (I had attended the world congress of sociology in Toronto.)The experience of California has really changed Kathy—as she is the first to admit. There she met ‘real people’—warm and friendly and imaginative—that she had seldom encountered before either in the East or in Europe.”

The new abode on Reddington Road was a delight. “It has great possibilities as an artist’s studio being unusually large with huge high windows  to let in the natural light. Kathy and I have decided to decorate it very very simply making the most of the feeling of vast spaciousness in the living room. In a Zen way I like the idea of keeping everything simple—the walls almost empty—to make room for decorating them with images from my own inner life—from my psyche, as Jung would say.It’s amazing how much most of us externalize our experience ignoring the riches of the inner man within.”

“I am presently selling everything I don’t need—especially books—which I had accumulated in the last few years when I felt so insecure and had projected myself into things that I then bought as if to be building up a “collection of bits of myself.” (I recognize the voice of my analyst in these words). Zen,Christ and Richenda have helped me to recollect that we do not need to lay up riches here on earth where dust corrodes them, but rather to rest in the Sacred Heart and Mind of Our Lord, building the Kingdom of God within our own souls. One really needs so little to live beautifully! And I have accumulated so much excess and unnecessary baggage along the way on my Quest!

So now this autumn as we celebrate the Harvest time, I am consolidating essentials and selling or giving away to the needy everything I do not really need. I feel it is sinful and selfish and psychologically unhealthy to horde things (books) as I have done. It is time to embrace Our Lady Poverty, as St.Francis did.

Speaking of hoarding, I am watching the squirrels outside my window gathering nuts and food to pack away for the winter. They know just what they need. They don’t take too much—just enough. Would that man (I) was so wise instinctively.

“I am so delighted with my study here; I want to describe it to you. I call it ‘the tree house’. You’ll understand why in a moment. The Living Room is very large, as I told you , with very high ceilings and windows to let in the natural light. Well high up near that light trap is my study in the minstrel gallery. I’ve even put a picture of a medieval minstrel on the balcony railing to reinforce the idea. (Unfortunately real live minstrels are hard to find these days!) Anyway, there is a tiny stairway at the far corner of the living room . I crawl up this stairway to my loft, minstrel gallery, firebox, study therapy room (I have a couch here for my patients) and now that I have got a pot of ivy growing up the pole by the staircase ascending  to the gallery and a nice window box of geraniums hanging out in front as in Austria—I call my nook up here ‘the tree house.’”

“To me trees firmly rooted in the ground with their branches reaching up to the stars and heavens are an image of man—rooted in his own inner depths and in the Love of God and reaching out to share God’s love and Grace with his fellow creatures like St Francis whose feast day we recently celebrated. (Oct 4th)”

Now that I have started my own garden apartment I appreciate more your love of gardening of growing and planting, Madole, which you do so well. I feel filled with love and appreciation of you today, Madole. I wish I could give you a big hug and kiss right now. So take this expression of my filial love and admiration for you (a fellow artist and seeker) from afar from your son.

PS Your Butterfly card with the lovely quotations from Blake and St Paul just arrived. Thank you! I look forward to reading your promised letter containing ‘food for thought and action’. My first reaction to your words was one of fear and dread—as I foolishly felt that old fear that you were about to withdraw the $500/mo we count on. But I know you won’t go back on your promise and your stated wish to share some of your wealth with me now before it is taken away in taxes later. You know how I suffered from the push/pull, giving with one hand and taking away with the other that you and Tony did to me with the Big Sur land PLEASE don’t let me down again now that I’ve begun to TRUST YOU and get over my pain and mistrust. Pax Christi!”

 We loved the place on Reddington Road in Hampstead,  but in November, 1974 we were kicked out of that flat after three months because I got too much candle smoke on the ceiling. We had one more flat in Hampstead before we left England, at 32 Ferncroft Ave. We were there for six months.

As usual, I was worried about money. In December 1974 I wrote home that I had not heard from the trust but “appreciate your reassurance that everything will work out so I can continue my training analysis here and  have time to continue writing my book…I want very much to bring it to completion within the next year I would appreciate if you would abstain from commenting on it in your letters, Madole. I am doing the best I can. Prodding is not necessary and only produces a contrary spirit in me. I hope you are enjoying yourself and your own creative work.” After Christmas I wrote Thank you for your generous Christmas present.The money was very welcome indeed.” I was feeling lonely and wrote: “These days we both prefer staying alone together…rather than making further futile efforts to establish contacts here. Am making the best of it knowing that next summer we will be able to return to California for good.” 

 What about my three year training program? I decided to abandon it. I was just too lonely in London, as I had been in Zurich. 

On Dec.28th 1975 I wrote my mother: I love you and hope we will be able to get along better after I return to California next summer. I hope you understand that the resentment you sensed last summer comes from my own inner struggle to free myself from my dependence on the mother imago within. It spills over into my attitude towards you against my will. I know that you do love me and want to be my friend and I am working on my own inner self in order to become more capable of carrying on an adult relationship with you henceforth.

“I appreciate your agreeing to continue depositing $500 per month into my bank account through July. I feel it is a terrible burden that generates resentment in me when you give me the financial support I need with strings attached. It is infantilizing and very destructive for me. That is why I have asked you to give me the money freely, simply because I need it to live here now, because you want me to have it—not to prove to you or to anyone that I can do anything or that I have been ‘a good and faithful servant’ as in the Parable of the Talents (which she loved to quote to me). Of course, I am writing my book and I intend to complete it, but the situation where I am constantly on trial and being called to account for myself must stop now. I feel confident that you understand. I don’t want you to ‘believe in’ me—because then I would have to try to live up to that belief and that produces more resentment and destructive results—no, I simply want you to love me and accept me as I am. As I see it this is the only way for us to be friends with each other. A friend is someone you can be yourself with, because a friend accepts you as you are rather than imposing on you the demand that you be what they think you ought to be. I am not an extension of you, but an autonomous being with my own inner direction just as you are.”

At the end of the year 1975, I wrote a friend, Henry Ramsey, summarizing my progress on the book. I had written seven chapters. The one I was working on at that time I called “World War Within.” Since the chapter dealt with Jung’s inner struggles during the First World War. In the chapter I sought to recount Jung’s inner journey and to show how it formed the basis for his later work. As an historian I sought to place Jung’s inner quest in the context of other related literary, cultural and artistic developments such as Expressionism and phenomenology. I also sought to analyze the sources of Jung’s creativity and the relations between illness, social catastrophe and artistic creativity through a comparison of Jung and Mann and Hesse during this period.

“The question about the psychological sources of creativity interests me very much right now. I have found a great release of my writing block through changing my  pattern of work and allowing myself to roam freely from chapter to chapter in my manuscript, depending on what interests me, as opposed to forcing myself to stick to one chapter until it is finished. By doing this I have changed my inner coding of my activity from ‘work’ to ‘what I want to do.’ Furthermore, by going into my own depression and deadness repeatedly I have begun to discover my own creativity that was hiding behind this deadness. I found the key that opened the door in painting and drawing which I am doing a lot of thee days. I have even drawn pictures of the contents of books I wanted to fall back on to show myself that I really have it inside me now and don’t need to waste my time with endless research! I’m moving along at full steam and hope to have a good first draft of the whole book completed by August.”

I was painting a lot in those days and put up some of my pictures on the walls, particularly the ones with Native American themes. I came to believe that painting and music were modes of expression I could use to let my inferior functions come through. I was blocked when using my intellect alone and having gone as far as I could with that function for the present turned around and dropped down to a more primitive sensuous level and was able to bring into play my sensation and feeling functions. Above all I made progress in my writing when I let my Red Man (Indian) write for me. He is the intuitive one, brother of Raphael What I like best about painting is that I don’t know what is coming next; it just comes along all by itself. 

I am sure that Kathy’s accepting attitude helped. Before I always felt inhibited by the internalized critic-mother, the professional artist. It is important to me now that I can protect my drawings from her corrections and improvements. I will never forget the drawing of Pooh I once made that my mother painted over giving it a better shape and then stuck up as my work. I am at a point now where I can create my own shape structure and form and do not want anyone to ‘improve’ me. I still find the mandala structure of a closed circle inhibiting, and prefer to paint from a central point outward develop freely without having to work within the limits of a closed circle. However I feel OK about the limits of a square or rectangular sheet of paper. I like the feeling of having the full space of the page.

I was getting to know some of the images in my unconscious through my drawings, dreams and fantasies I hoped that in coming to terms with these I could free myself and my mother from the projections I put onto her that distorted our relationship. Writing to my analyst I described the following fantasy: I closed my eyes and saw an owl appear before me. It was grey-blue with large black eyes. I remembered what Jung said about not letting an image get away until you have gotten its message; so I kept the owl before me and watched. Pretty soon I saw my mother step out from behind the owl figure, which I now saw as a large idol, with an altar at its feet. My mother bent down nearby and started digging and planting little plants, My two sons appeared and helped her.I had the sense that they were carrying on their normal activities in Big Sur. Meanwhile I remained in contact with the owl idol and saw myself bowing down before it and asking humbly as if speaking in fear and trembling before a god ‘What can I do to please you? How can I satisfy you?’ the owl god answered: ‘Nothing you do will ever be good enough. You can never please me. This is what you live for, to love, honor and obey me. I have spoken.’

As I mused over this fantasy I had a clear sense of how I still keep myself locked into this punitive system, and how it is I who  hold on to my image of my mother inside me now whereas she has let go and is carrying on her own adult life. I am held in servitude to this demanding inner deity. I hate him/her/it, and yet I fear it and do not break free. The resentment engendered by this delusional system spills over into my relationship with my real mother when I am in contact with her, though I don’t with to hurt her and actually love her and would like to be more loving when I am around her.

On January 30, 1975  I wrote my mother telling her how much I love her and reporting that I had fallen in love with a new “lady”—painting and drawing. “You introduced me to her in my childhood and in our home. Today looking around my empty flat I saw the walls covered with my pictures! Can you imagine? Not other people’s pictures, as I’ve had for so long, but my own!

I take it for granted that I’m no good yet but I feel encouraged that this great French painter, Jean Dennis Maillert, that I met at Maria’s has taken an interest in my painting and even Maria said “You have very good ideas, powerful images, John.” And that’s it .I have the imagination and I have vision. I love to write to photograph to draw and to paint whether in words or music or visual images. My “Portrait of Jung” is coming along marvellously well since I  gave up trying to do a book to satisfy the critics and sociologists and decided instead simply to sing my song no matter what. I write well and I enjoy writing. I know this is my main medium, but I enjoy painting too. I use it as an exercise in contacting and meeting my “lady” creativity la belle dame sans merci.”

Kathy has gone to New York to visit her family and I miss her, but I am getting along well thanks to dear Maria and Richenda and my own internal family and friends such as Plato, Blake, Dante and Jung. I am in good company here in my study…and I have been enjoying getting to know Jean Dennis Maillert. Today I took the plunge and decided to have Jean Dennis do a portrait of me. He is truly a great artist, a famous portraitist in France, here in England in bad shape financially because of family problems. His God was once Degas, then Cocteau and more recently Max Ernst now that Picasso is dead. So he is going to do my portrait. Only a charcoal sketch because that alone costs more than  I can really afford, 250 pounds! As I look at it having your portrait done is like having your horoscope made The value of the ‘chart’ depends upon the artist.”

If the sketch is really outstanding I might later want him to do it in oil, but that costs 1000 pounds so it is out of the question for me now. Even so, his works are going to be shown at the National Gallery in May, and maybe his portrait of John-Raphael may be hung there too. It doesn’t really matter to  me, but it would be fun if it happened.

When the work was finished, I was disappointed. “What I learned is that it its more satisfying and salutary for me to continue to work on my own self-portraits (trees, animals, the Big Sur coastline, whatever I draw) than to have a ‘professional’ do a portrait of me. I put up the portrait yesterday in the living room and studied it. One can study if for a long time. It says a lot, perhaps too much. Unfortunately I don’t think he quite got ‘me’ but then I really would not want him to have “me” anyway. I belong to my Self  now and I will no longer serve any other master. Nietzsche put it all so well in the end of Book one of Zarathustra when he wrote: ‘Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; only when you have all denied me will I return to you. One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil’ 

“Yes I learned a lot from Jean-Dennis. But I find that he and his work rather  ‘overshadow’ me .Therefore tomorrow morning I am putting his portrait of Raphael in the closet to make from for my own creative work.”

“Today I told Richenda that seeing my drawings on the wall I at last could honestly think of myself as an ‘artist’, too. She encouraged me to channel this excitement I now feel about painting back into my writing, and I agreed and am doing that as best I can right now, though I must confess that painting has got me tight in its web and I can well imagine that for a while painting and drawing will be more exciting than writing. But that is a matter that will work itself out.”

It was a cold winter and on Feb 27th 1976 I wrote gratefully that “spring has come—and I hope to stay. The heath where I roam daily—trees having replaced bookstores as my favorite haunts—the heath is resplendent with bright yellows and oranges, blue, magenta, purple and red flowers blossoming up everywhere adding a dash of colour in fields of green grass all around us. It is most beautiful, a most welcome change from the heavy deadening atmosphere of the university tombs where   I spent so many years!”

“Today I went to hear a lecture on intellectual history by a brilliant young man, Martin Jay, who now holds the position Schorske had when he was at Berkeley. He is Schorske’s successor. He is my age and we are on friendly terms, though I only met him recently. Yet I slipped out of his lecture early in order to go back to my beloved trees and squirrels in the heath. I would much rather study the  shapes and forms, structures and colours of trees and plants, to watch the gentle graceful movement of the birds, squirrels and deer and converse with my friends in the  animal kingdom than to listen to or discuss what most intellectuals seem to thrive on. I now marvel that I ever could have been so narrow. Looked at functionally most intellectuals’ conversations and debates hardly differ from the pettiness and meanness of pub gossip or locker room chatter. It is usually just another ego trip.

“Yes Mother, I have changed a great deal during the last year. It was only a few days ago that I became aware how much this change in me is now consolidated. There will be no more turning back. I have finally ‘found myself’. Not for a minute do I doubt that there will be many changes in my life ahead, and I look forward to continual growth and change. To remain too much the same is to grow old….We must learn that through our creative imagination we can enter into everything transforming ourselves, renewing ourselves continually. 

My study of Jung has helped me discover my own center or Self and I have begun to draw on this Self as a guide, as Jung suggested that we do, as Jesus Christ did….All this brings me face to face with a practical dilemma. I seen now that I am a person of strongly artistic temperament and inclination, not a terribly practical person, but a very imaginative and creative person.  Unfortunately, in our society such as it is now constituted such a person like myself is bound to have a difficult time in many ways, particularly in supporting himself. Up to now I have supported myself through teaching, but this year I feel rather like the painter who, to support himself gives painting lessons, but his heart is not in it. He wants to be painting his own pictures, from inside his own soul, not instructing young people who have quite different interests and experience and objectives. So I have pretty much decided not to look for another teaching job for next fall, but simply to return to my home at Anderson Canyon Big Sur and live there very modestly and attempt to get by on my small income I get automatically from the trust. I do not want to be dependent on you for financial support after my return. I appreciate your help now but I want to be financially independent as soon as possible, certainly before the end of next year. So there is the dilemma. I don’t want to take on another teaching job, but I must find some way to support myself, at least until, hopefully, I can live off the royalties from my creative work.”

Meanwhile I wrote and submitted a very scholarly article to a scientific sociology journal, Theory and Society. The article was entitled “From Depth Psychology to Depth  Sociology: Freud, Jung and Levi-Strauss.” In the article I compared and contrasted Jung and Levi-Strauss’s approaches to the interpretation of myths and symbols. I find it interesting looking back on it now how on the one hand I could have been feeling so anti-intellectual and at the same time written the most intellectual paper I ever wrote! I got an enthusiastic letter of acceptance from Prof. Collins who wrote: “Your recent work radiates energy and real imagination. What I found fault with in your Scheler book…was that it did not go beyond history. I sense that the Jung book will be more than Ernest Jones on Freud and more than Mitzman on Durkheim or Weber; that it will be more intellectually and personally a statement to the current world…”

I spent the year in seclusion preferring to commune with my own muse and with my own internal figures than to engage in small talk with the people I was acquainted with in London. At that time I was struck to discover that both Freud and Jung went thorough a similar period of withdrawal, if not several, during their lives, and that these periods were either their most creative ones or led to a creative overflowing afterwards. I felt that this was what is happening to me. 

I was pleased with the understanding I had acquired of  Jung’s character and his relationships with Freud and Hesse. Nevertheless, I felt that I could never know C.G. Jung the way people knew him who were close to him. I felt torn between my conscience as an historian, bound by sticking to the facts, the evidence, however meagre, and the writer or creative artist who can image and create a ‘higher or ‘poetic’ truth that may be more accurate than could be any reconstruction based solely on documentary evidence. Furthermore I had my own ideas, beliefs and values which I wanted to communicate in my writings. “Where do these come in legitimately in my Jung book?” I asked myself. “It is going to be a very personal book. I hope it will be read by people from many walks of life, not just academics. But I will be satisfied if it is as highly regarded as Jones’ Freud or my even as solid as my Max Scheler. In many ways I am finding Jung more difficult to deal with than Scheler.It is not so much that he is a more complex thinker as that I have changed in the intervening decade as I am now aware of so many more dimensions of human experience to pay attention to and to account for in my biographical research.” 

“At the moment I am having a fabulous time pouring through the classical Greek myths and fables and nineteenth century fairy tales and even the works of  great writers like Dostoevsky, and Daudet, Maupassant and Robert Louis Stevenson  as examples of archetypal symbolism… I am also getting a great deal from Zarathustra now that I  have learned how to begin to interpret visionary material.”

In the spring of 1975 I organized my first international transdisciplinary conference. The theme was: “Consciousness in Self and Society.” I invited twenty scholars I knew from London, Paris and Berlin to attend the conference, which was held at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park near Windsor Castle.  In the Call for Papers I posed the following topics for discussion:

“What is the nature of human consciousness? And what are some of the implications of recent discoveries about consciousness for our personal and inter-personal and transpersonal experience?’

“Most conferences have the aim of a meeting of peers of similar professions, attitudes and specializations. We do not have this aim. We propose a dialogue which will be cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural and which will confront directly the individual/social and mind/body dichotomies. Dialogue will address itself to the grounds of common human concern in several areas:

1.the nature of consciousness

2.Work, leisure and creativity

3.Family, Sex Roles, Basic Human needs

4. Transpersonal, Spiritual dimensions of consciousness

“Our intention is to stimulate dialogue with the maximum of participation by conferees. Each day there will be several Lectures presented by specialists to provoke discussion around the theme of the day. In the afternoon we will split into small discussion groups to pursue themes of interest This mini-society experience will be an experiment to foster integration of the substance of each day’s activities. In the evening we will reassemble as a united body to draw things together for the entire community. We hope to use the conference as a source of ideas about human relationships as well as to explore the outer regions of contemporary knowledge about consciousness in self and society. 

The program included the following lectures: John Staude (Brunell University) “The Nature of Human Consciousness,” Zygmunt Bauman. (University of Leeds)  “Emancipatory Consciousness and Society Consciousness, Richard Grathoff, (University of Constance) “Biographical Frames and Social Consciousness, Herminio Martines (Oxford University) “Consciousness of Time and Change in Social Theory” Paul Walton “Consciousness and the Production of Consciousness in the Mass Media” (University of Glasgow), Hans-Peter Dreitzel (Free University of Berlin) “In Search of Authenticity,” Lillemor Johnsen, “Personal Growth, the Body and the Unconscious” (Oslo), John O’Neil,(York University, Toronto) “The Self and Embodiment in Montaigne,” Zev Barbu (University of Sussex) “Consciousness and Imagination: On the Limits of Self-Transcendence,” Fred Blum (London. Society of Analytical Psychology) “The Development of a New Consciousness”, John Crook (University of Sussex) Personal Change and Enlightenment: East and West, Christian Delacampagne (Paris) “The Transpersonal Basis for Society” and Geoffrey Whitfield, (University of Sussex) “Personal Transcendence in Zen, Christianity and Gestalt Therapy”.

The conference was a success. It was attended by about forty people. Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park is a royal hunting lodge and very handsomely appointed. The food was not very good but other than that everything went well and everyone was delighted and thankful to me for arranging the conference. I planned to publish the papers and submitted them to Routledge but they decline to publish them, so I started my own academic journal Consciousness and Culture and published some of the papers in my journal.

After the conference was over we rested up at The Compleat Angler Inn in Marlow on the Thames and then we packed up our things, put them in storage, and flew to California in time to attend my mother’s 40 year retrospective show at the Janus Gallery in Los Angeles.

I have had very good times in London over the years. I loved walking around Hampstead, a writer’s paradise, in the footsteps of D.H. Lawrence and Katharine Mansfield. Plaques on the walls everywhere remind one of the famous people who were there before us. I used to eat at a delightful Italian restaurant in Hampstead and also at San Carlo in Highgate and to go weekly to analysis with Richenda at her flat in Chelsea near the  King’s Road.

But in a letter written from Marlow on April 21st I wrote: “Kathy and I  are delighted to be leaving England at last. We may come back for a visit, but I hope not to ever live here again. I still can’t believe that we really are going to get away for good tomorrow.I’ll only believe it when we are on the plane bound for New York.” I had no idea when I wrote that that fifteen years later I would  return to England and work there for  six years in the nineties!

I had been teaching sociology to priests and nuns at the Richmond fellowship, but decided to give this up at the end of the spring term. Richenda, my analyst,  was away and I ran into difficulties with my supervisor at the British Association for Psychotherapy. My response was to leave.


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