Class Notes – Session Six*

In Class Six of the Jung Platform’s online series, Alchemical Psychology, presenters Robbie (Robert Bosnak) and Pat (Patricia Berry) begin with a discussion on deriving meaning from matter, or the materials. This is a continuation of the discussion on fueling the fire in alchemy which needs heat to purify and transform the metals, or materials. Knowing … Continue reading

Oh Noah, where art thou?

” “It’s in Genesis,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Tuesday. “Noah is saving the animals; he’s not out there saving innocent babies, he’s saving the animals, he’s saving creation.”  “It was very clear to us that there was an environmental message. To pull that message out of it, we think, would … Continue reading

Break on Through

“I found an island in your arms  Country in your eyes  Arms that chain  Eyes that lie  Break on through to the other side” Jim Morrison Oftentimes it is said that ideas are less important and that action is better; what counts then is what is done or made manifest. The favored status of action, an idea … Continue reading

somewhere down river

Originally posted on broken bats baseball:
I don’t remember when a Greyhound Bus became a philosophy in itself, but it did and soon after, spawned into anthropology, oral history, fashion, a crossroads of American economics, drug smuggling, people smuggling, flashes of evergreens, neon blue toilet swirls, a dream, a mythology swooping passengers beyond time into…

The Final Lap

I’ll be offline for a while. My step-dad Jim, who would have been 86 on April 15, passed away Friday from natural causes. Jim had a difficult life in many ways. His early years were spent in an orphanage until age 9 when he was adopted by a farmer who used him strictly as a … Continue reading

Alchemical Psychology: Why does it matter?

Originally posted on Margaret Mikkelborg:
One of Hillman’s last gifts to us before his death, Alchemical Psychology, is perhaps one of the most important contributions to Jungian thought because it sheds light on the importance of alchemical metaphors for the soul’s journey. For many followers of Jung, myself included, the difficulty of penetrating the alchemical…

The Layers

I heard a beautiful reading of this Stanley Kunitz’ poem by Michael Lerner over at The Layers – Stanley Kunitz I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as … Continue reading

Class Notes – Session Four

In session four of the Jung Platform’s class on James Hillman’s Alchemical Psychology, Pat and Robbie continue the conversation on the nature of the heat and fire in alchemy which can be broken down into four distinct stages. Each stage builds on the previous, increasing both the heat and the ability to withstand the depth … Continue reading

Life Against Death – Part II

A consideration of the aim and purpose of artificial intelligence (AI), provides a fitting introduction to this followup post on Norman O. Brown’s book, Life Against Death. AI seeks to build a model of human intelligence for the purpose of: 1) The thrill and power of creating, fathering and possessing a better than human machine, a … Continue reading

Visions of Johanna – An Alchemical View

When I first started studying Alchemy in the writings of C.G. Jung and much later, James Hillman, I had difficulty finding its relevance in the life of us moderns. Already lacking enough time in the daily grind to leave room for a little reading, writing and relaxation, how does one find the time to devote … Continue reading

Class Notes – Session Three

In the opening of session three of the Jung Platform’s course on James Hillman’s book, Alchemical Psychology, Pat Berry and Robert Bosnak offered some thoughts on the class as they envision it. Robert spoke for the need of slowness in entering into the material. Pat said that not seeing the audience was difficult for her … Continue reading

Life Against Death

My first exposure to the ideas of Norman O. Brown’s was his book Love’s Body which I read back in late 90′s. This classic book remains on my top shelf of insightful and provocative reads. It’s trippy – condensing the entire history of humankind into a Freudian-based mythology in which he sees that the “only contrary to Patriarchy … Continue reading

Becoming the Vessel

In reviewing last week’s session of the Jung Platform’s class on James Hillman’s book, Alchemical Psychology, I want to reflect more on the place and nature of the vessel in the work. Hillman says: “You are the laboratory; you are the vessel and the stuff going through the cooking.  So, too, the fire is an invisible … Continue reading

Remembering Pete Seeger

I was saddened to hear of Pete’s passing today at the age of 94, but grateful, not only for having seen Pete perform, but for his service to the community that enriched so many lives, and particularly for his contribution to help clean up the Hudson river. While still living in New York, I had … Continue reading

Class Notes – Session Two

If you missed it and are interested, you’ll find my notes on Session One here. After the second class on James Hillman’s, Alchemical Psychology, I find myself at odds. Something seems to be missing. The hosts, Patricia Berry and Robert Bosnak, engaged in a wonderful discussion about the nature of the vessel and the use of heat … Continue reading

Who Are You Really Wanderer?

It has been awhile since I posted a WIlliam Stafford poem. Coincindentally, if there is such a thing, I just found out that William’s 100th birthday would have been on January 17, and friends here in Oregon have been hosting events in his honor. For more info go here: Or, you might enjoy reading one … Continue reading

The Unveiling

Perhaps we moderns no longer see ourselves as living under the influence of myths or belief systems. Whatever their source, they no longer serve us because any belief we subscribe to does not necessarily come to us through the culture of our familiars. More than any other period in history, we have become fractionalized as … Continue reading

The Names of God

In reading Henry Corbin’s book, Alone with the Alone, I am being introduced to Sufism in the writings of Ibn Arabi. I can feel its influence seeping into the layers of my being, radiating with joy for yet one more way to understand the nature of myself and the Cosmos. Tom Cheetham says in a … Continue reading

Class Notes – Session One

As many of you know, I recently signed up for the Jung Platform’s course on James Hillman’s book, Alchemical Psychology. This past Thursday was our first session. The online class presents a live conversation between Jungian Analysts Patricia Berry and Robert Bosnak. The audience was given time at the end of the session for questions and comments. I’ve … Continue reading

Alchemical Psychology – the Introduction

In my previous posts on James Hillman’s book, Alchemical Psychology, I wrote briefly about the relationship between the colors of the alchemy and their correlation through the stages of the soul’s journey as one begins a work of a psychological nature. The links to those posts can be found on the Index page of this blog. … Continue reading

The Holy Birthing

If Christmas is about a birthday, and the Holy birthday of the Christ child, what is it that is trying to be born in the repeating of this holiday each year? Why do we celebrate birthdays or Christmas? What does the ritual want with us? What is it that is born, again and again – on … Continue reading

Thank you Dear Readers

To all of my readers a big thank you for a wonderful year of blogging and definitely the best year for me yet here on WP. The friendship, support and inspiration I receive from so many of you through this blogging adventure is more than I ever dreamed possible. Perhaps it is fitting that I … Continue reading

Ta’wil and the Ideas of Henry Corbin

“Ta’wil, the archetypal act of hermeneutics, that primary human activity overseen by Hermes who carries messages between the gods and mortals, is life lived at its highest pitch of intensity. It is the archaic and primordial experience of enacting meaning in the world. It is life lived in the full blaze of reality.” Tom Cheetham … Continue reading

The Jung Platform

I found a wonderful resource for online classes and archived lectures available for purchase that features a diverse group of Jungians. The website is called the Jung Platform and can be found here: They are going to feature an online class on Hillman’s Alchemical Psychology book starting on January 9. Details are here: reading