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ARAS/Art and Psyche Online Journal
• 2009 • Issue 3 •

In This Issue

Welcome by Tom Singer

Introduction by Ami Ronnberg, Linda Carter, and Tom Singer

We Value Your Ideas

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Art, Love and Psyche by Penelope Dinsmore

Jung's "Art Complex" by Sylvester Wojtkowski, Ph.D.

The Mandala in Tibetan Buddhism by Martin Brauen

Mandalas at the Rubin Museum of Art by Bruce Parent

Upcoming Events


This is the second edition of the ARAS/Art and Psyche Online Journal and we want to welcome all the new subscribers. We got a huge boost in circulation from Nancy Cater who sent out a flier on our behalf to the Spring Book Publications email list. We received over a 1,000 new subscriptions within the first twenty-four hours. Of course, the fact that the new Journal is free is a real enticement, but it is a wonderful feeling to offer something of great value and real potential at no cost to a broad community. This is the real promise of the Internet come true, although we should all be mindful that this effort is fully underwritten by National ARAS, a non-profit organization. In addition to Nancy Cater, Linda Carter, Stephanie Fariss and others lent considerable effort to our initial effort to get the word out about the new online journal.
We encourage you to contact your friends and colleagues to sign up, which they can easily do by emailing us at Or, you can forward an edition of the journal to them directly and suggest that they sign up themselves.  The journal is not only free; it is good. Furthermore, please feel free to contact any group you know of that might be interested in receiving the online journal free for all its membership - or you can send us their contact information. All sorts of groups come to mind: museum and university groups, art therapist groups, and Jungian and other psychological societies of all sorts.
We would also like to encourage you to consider joining ARAS Online. For example, this edition features an article on the current Mandala exhibit at the Rubin Museum in New York City. The ARAS Online Archive offers a wealth of information and images on the "mandala" as it appears in cultures across the globe and time. A quick search of the archive instantaneously cites 141 separate records.
Best wishes,
Tom Singer, M.D.
Co-Chair of ARAS Online for National ARAS

Welcome to the Second Issue of the ARAS/Art and Psyche Online Journal! We are continuing with our ongoing mission to publish papers presented at the Art and Psyche Conference held in San Francisco in May 2008 and are now featuring two exciting papers. The first comes from 80 year-old San Francisco artist Penelope Dinsmore who offers a psychological tour through her art world, punctuated with vignettes from her life and from her work with Joseph Henderson, a beloved Jungian analyst.  Our next piece is by Jungian analyst Sylvester Wojtkowski called "Jung's 'Art  Complex'".  By looking at the history of Jung's relationship with art, Sylvester prepares the way for contemporary reconsideration of the relationship of analytical psychology and art. With thoughtful quotes from Jung and carefully chosen images, Sylvester weaves an engaging story.
Finally, in anticipation of simultaneous exhibits at the Rubin Museum of Art which include The Red Book of C. G. Jung: Creation of a New Cosmology (October 7, 2009-Januay 25, 2010) and Mandala: The Perfect Circle (August 14, 2009-January 11, 2010), we commissioned two articles.  Martin Brauen, Chief Curator at the Rubin Museum of Art, discusses The Mandala in Tibetan Buddhism and makes links to Jung and his psychological understanding of mandalas.  (One of Jung's mandalas Systema Munditotius (1916), owned by Robert Hinshaw is in the show.)  As further preparation for a trip to the Rubin, Bruce Parent, Jungian analyst, offers his impressions of the show along with some of the history of Jung's work with mandalas, including their relation to typology and alchemy.
Going forward, we hope to include reviews of upcoming programs, shows and lectures that may be of interest to our readers. One such program is the 2009 Philip T. Zabriskie Lecture by Andreas Jung entitled "C. G. Jung's Dream Houses: The Architecture of the Human Psyche," sponsored by the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association. It will be held on Saturday, October 10, 2009 in New York. No tickets are required. More information.
We believe that this project is taking off and we hope that you enjoy the ride.
With all best wishes from the editors Ami Ronnberg, Linda Carter and Tom Singer
We Value Your Ideas

As our journal grows to cover both the ARAS archive and the broad world of art and psyche, we're eager to have your suggestions and thoughts on how to improve it. Please click here to email us or send your comments to  We look forward to your input and will reply to every message.

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Art, Love and Psyche
An excerpt from Art, Love and Psyche, by Penelope Dinsmore

Penelope Dinsmore
"I will remove you from a heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh"

In the beginning there was no love of the kind I now know is possible. It just was not there. There is no blame for that. My parents accepted what they got and did the best they could, living in the wild twenties followed by the depression and World War 2.
My father was a well known Maine artist who was married five times. My mother turned to alcohol for help. Mother's mother was an accomplished painter. I grew up in an aesthetic atmosphere. There was not a great deal of feeling. Dr. Henderson explains this kind of surrounding in his book Cultural Attitudes in Psychological Perspective.
"Marriage is a brutal reality," I remember Jung saying. By 40 I had had three marriages, three divorces and three children. I had traveled from the East to the West coast, living five years in between in Aspen, Colorado where I flew a plane, drove fast cars, had my own ski hill, and no love. I have been married now for thirty-eight years. Love, real love has come slowly, slowly with great difficulty. Art and dreams and Jungian psychology have made this possible. That is my experience. That is what I know.
In sharing these images, done over the past 40 years, I hope to show something of how that work brought with it an experience of a numinous and a sacred mystery I felt within. This then allowed me to eventually accept myself with some compassion, and to love those close to me as I had needed to be loved. It is a struggle still. It always will be for me, but you cannot know heaven until you are quite familiar with hell. Again that is my experience.
Read the entire paper.

Jung's "Art Complex"
An excerpt from Jung's "Art Complex" by Sylvester Wojtkowski, Ph.D.

Noli Me Tagere
Hans Holbein
"That is art," said the woman within Jung.
He replied, "No, it is not art! On the contrary, it is nature"

(Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 1961, p. 186).

On the face of it, Jungian psychology with its emphasis on image seems to be uniquely suited to interact and dialogue with art as a kindred endeavor involved in exploration of and relationship with images and psyche. However as recent assessment suggests this has not been the case. As Francesco Donfrancesco put it poignantly at the 2003 IAAP conference in Cambridge:

Analytical psychology, when not ignoring art, has assumed towards it a generally dismissive attitude of patient and ill-disguised superiority. …Analytical psychology has often colluded with dominant ideology in devaluing the cognitive power of images. ...Progress has been deemed to lie in going beyond images, leaving them behind to arrive at concepts. Reducing artistic output to symptoms of unconscious processes, exercising itself on works of art as "in corpore vile," analytical psychology has belittled them by constraining them to fit the categories it employs, instead of exposing to transformation its own categories and its own language.
(2003, p. 655).

This conference is an important and timely effort to address and correct these matters and prepare ground for change in the relationship of Jungian psychology to art. It is useful to remind ourselves about the essentials so well expressed in our conference motto: "It is as if we did not know, or else continually forgot, that everything of which we are conscious is an image, and that image is psyche" (Jung, 1967/1983, para. 75). Of course we as psychologists are bound to forget it and proceed as if being conscious of the image stayed with us throughout. It is hard to maintain continuous awareness that we experience only through images, in images, and as an image (Hillman, 1975). It is hard to accept that this never-ending, pure exhibit of sensuous, glorious, stimulating, luxurious, disturbing, overflowing overabundance that we call by the mundane term "experience," is there to be perceived and appreciated and not immediately covered by ideas and concepts. I imagine if psychologists were artists it would be easier to maintain this fleeting awareness. Perhaps if psychologists had stayed with the image as the artist does we would preserve it alive longer. How different would our psychological attitude be if we approached the images as an artist does?
Read the entire paper.

The Mandala in Tibetan Buddhism
An excerpt from The Mandala in Tibetan Buddhism by Martin Brauen

The mandala is fundamentally something secret. If you are interested in it in order to acquire reputation, and feel pride in showing what you have worked out to others, you do not have the right attitude. If however your work springs from efforts to offer help to other people, that is the right attitude of mind, which will contribute to the liberation of yourself and others.
-- Khenpo Thubten to the author

This article offers an introduction to the mandala as used by Tibetan Buddhists, and gives a critical perspective on the eminent psychologist C.G. Jung's interpretation of the sacred icon. Both are the topics of exhibitions shown at the Rubin Museum of Art (RMA): Mandala: The Perfect Circle (August 14, 2009 – January 11, 2010) and The Red Book of C.G. Jung: Creation of a New Cosmology (October 7, 2009 – January 25, 2010).
RMA holds one of the world's most important collections of Himalayan art. Paintings, pictorial textiles, and sculpture are drawn from cultures that touch upon the arc of mountains that extends from Afghanistan in the northwest to Myanmar (Burma) in the southeast and includes Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, and Bhutan. The larger Himalayan cultural sphere, determined by significant cultural exchange over millennia, includes Iran, India, China, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. This rich cultural legacy, largely unfamiliar to Western viewers, offers an uncommon opportunity for visual adventure and aesthetic discovery.

Read the entire paper.

Mandalas at the Rubin Museum of Art
A review by Bruce Parent

Rubin Museum of Art

This current exhibit at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York [closing on January 11, 2010] presents a quietly stunning collection of Tibetan mandalas. Martin Brauen's scholarship and understanding of mandalas allows this essay to focus on a parallel consideration of these "visual tools" that were designed to aid an individual's spiritual journey in Tibetan Buddhism. It is a parallel course that begins with the formal qualities of these images and considers them in light of Jung's discovery of the mandala as a "refuge" at a point of deep spiritual crisis in his life.
The Tibetan mandala is a sacred contemplative tool rendered as an architectural "plan view" of a temple, which represents a richly decorative view of deity's palace as if seen from above. Rendered forms of both natural and supernatural forces are arranged in compositional patterns and abstractions that skillfully create tensions among formal elements such as color, order and rhythm. Space references both compositional order and cardinal directions, including the center as a locus of orientation and meaning. The complexity and intensity of the imagery, as well as the disciplined techniques combine to create a series of Tibetan mandalas that echo the Buddha Vairocana's hand gesture, which the Exhibit notes as meaning: "the Union of the perfection of wisdom and skillful means". Thus it is as if the rigorous discipline and creative imaginal work that crafted the mandalas is the visual metaphor for the spiritual path of contemplation that the mandala represents and guides.
Read the entire review.

Upcoming Events

Oct. 1-4 Washington, D.C.: The North American Conference of Jungian Analysts and Candidates Love and Power: Use, Misuse and Paradox More information
Oct. 7 New York City: The Red Book of C.G. Jung: Creation of a New Cosmology opens to the public at the Rubin Museum More information
Oct. 9 New York City: Liber Novus: The Red Book of C.G. Jung, a lecture given by Sonu Shamdasani, editor of the Red Book More information
Oct. 10 New York City: C.G. Jung's Dream Houses: The Architecture of the Human Psyche, a lecture given by Andreas Jung, grandson of C.G. Jung, architect and author of The House of C.G. Jung More information

This newsletter comes to you from ARAS, a non-profit organization, and the Art and Psyche Working Group.   Visit our web site.  Become an ARAS Online member by joining online.  If you do not wish to receive these e-mail newsletters in the future, please reply with the words "Remove Me" in the subject line.  Copyright © 2009 ARAS.  All Rights Reserved.
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