This edition of ARAS Connections includes two extraordinary contributions from Jungian analysts. The first one is an excerpt from George Elder’s book, The Snake and the Rope: A Jungian View of Hinduism. It is quite amazing that Elder's Chapter 11, "The Divine Dancer” is succinct and expansive at the same time. Shiva as Divine Dancer is both creator and destroyer. Elder writes: "As 'King of Dancers’ Shiva as the paradoxical God is made visible. He is essentially naked as the renouncer of the body’s comfort yet dancing naked as the body’s affirmer.” I hope that the reader will conclude along with me that Elder is quite a dancer himself.
The second contribution is from Sylvester Wojtkowski, a frequent contributor to ARAS Connections. His essays are always highly original, elegantly argued and gorgeously illustrated. “It is not Art! Jung’s Red Book Paintings on the Background of Early Abstraction in Modern Art” is no exception. This is a beautiful paper in every way. Wojtkowski begins his exploration with a stunning juxtaposition of Jung’s paintings from the Red Book with images from the early abstract artists. And it takes almost no imagination to see the remarkable similarities. Jung’s proclamation that his drawings were not art and his distaste for modern art are both taken to task in this stimulating reexamination of Jung’s images themselves as well as his statements about his own images and those of the early abstract painters. Wojtkowski observes: "It seems that both Jung and the early abstract artists were on a similar quest for depiction of the invisible.” It is a rare treat to be able to follow so carefully the emergence of the spiritual in both Jung and the early abstract painters. This paper is already a classic and should be read by every serious student of Jung and every lover of the early abstract painters.