Tom Singer

This edition of ARAS Connections provides us with some rather vivid contrasts between the new, the old, and the very old.

The New:  Dance on the Waters of Creation is a contribution from Stacy Hassen, the curator of San Francisco ARAS. It features the work of a collaborative team of muralists, Marina Perez-Wong and Elaine Chu of Twin Walls Mural Company. The article presents not only the thrilling newness of the design and imagery of the mural but itself represents a new feature of the San Francisco Jung Journal that is now devoting a byline to the contributions of ARAS. And, equally thrilling is that the mural speaks directly to the emerging spirit of the new San Francisco Jung Institute building which is located in the richly diverse and thriving Mission District. This is in stark contrast to the older Institute building which was located in the stately Pacific Heights area of San Francisco. The location of the new building is a concrete and symbolic expression of the Institute's movement towards more actively embracing diversity and multiculturalism. The mural about which Stacy writes with such enthusiasm is expressive of the goal of the Institute to assume its role as part of the new world’s “dance on the waters of creation.”

The Old:  We are pleased to present another fine film from the McKenzie Oaks film series hosted by the most generous supporter of ARAS, Jungian analyst Robin Jaqua. In contrast to the contemporary spirit of Dance on the Waters of Creation, The Wisdom of the Serpent: A Morning of Conversation with Dr. Joseph. Henderson and Dr. Thomas Kirsch is from a foundational era of our Jungian tradition. It reflects a different time and culture in the United States that will seem dated and perhaps even quaint to some. But, it gives us a glimpse of not only where we come from but of core Jungian ideas that actually remain as alive and potentially transformative today as they were decades ago. Although Joe Henderson had a formal way of presenting himself, this belied the fact that beneath his old world persona, he had an incredibly lively and open mind with a deep connection to the cultural and collective unconscious. Henderson’s knowledge of how the psyche structures and expresses itself carries the wisdom of the depths and is as relevant today as it was when this film was made. And Dr. Henderson’s sidekick in this film, Tom Kirsch, remains one of the most significant figures in the history of Analytical Psychology with his wonderful feeling function and extensive first hand knowledge of the Jungian world. Dr. Kirsch had the unique ability to relate to peoples from around the world in his role as President of the International Association of Analytical Psychology.

And finally, representing the very old, we have a special contribution from Joyce Hoffman, Ph.D. who has researched in depth “Halos in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Art”. In the process, Dr. Hoffman has uncovered the uniqueness of styles and nuanced meanings in different kinds of halos. This is a fine study of iconography. Dr. Hoffman writes: “It’s important to acknowledge that halos in the religious art of Medieval and Renaissance cultures are originally from the natural world of cosmic phenomena. They are, simply put, a member of our cosmic genetics. Humans have been maturing and learning steadily under the guidance of celestial bodies. The sun, stars, moon and planets have molded our environment as well as our art by being ingredients of our archetypal chemistry and memory.”