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ARAS Connections
Image and Archetype
• 2011 • Issue 4 •
In This Issue

Welcome by Tom Singer

Give to ARAS! by Ami Ronnberg

Chinese Avant-Garde Art: Body and Spirit Struggle for a New Cultural Identity by Chie Lee

On Articulating Affective States Through Image-Making in Analysis by Mary Dougherty

Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche Conference by Virginia Beane Rutter

Become a Member of ARAS Online!

Calendar of ARAS-Related Events

Participate in the Image/Cultural Complexes Project!

Explore Archetypal Images Weekly on Facebook

We Value Your Ideas

Receive This Newsletter for Free


At their best, the holidays can be a time of gratitude and renewal. For ARAS Online, there are two people in particular to whom I want to express our gratitude. Most simply put, ARAS Online would not exist without the efforts of Jeff Levinsky over the past 11 years. Jeff is going to be leaving ARAS after his wonderful tenure as "ARAS Online Guru". When Jeff first came to consult with National ARAS about the possiblity of building a site to "house" the archive, there was considerable skepticism about whether or not our 17,000 images and 20,000 pages of commentary could be built into a useable and attractive online archive. Jeff's quiet, scholarly approach as to how we could build the site rather quickly melted the concerns. He then went on to fulfill the task in a way that exceeded everyone's expectations. He oversaw every technical aspect of the project in the building of the site. The images were sent to Pennsylvania for scanning and the texts were sent to India to be keyed. Jeff set up rigorous standards for controlling the quality of this work. He designed the software architecture that permits easy movement from image to text to related archetypal themes. He created the time line that permits locating images by culture, historical period, and archetypal theme. He added the animation feature that allows one to pick a particular archetype and view its unfolding over time.  And more than all of this, Jeff's quiet and thoughtful approach to complicated and at times conflicted issues won the confidence of all who worked with him as he guided us through the first decade of ARAS Online. It is not an exaggeration to say that the creation of ARAS Online is due in large part to Jeff's skills, intelligence, and integrity.
The good news of renewal about the changes at ARAS Online is that all along the way, Jeff worked with and trained Allison Tuzo who will be taking over many of his functions and who has learned how to handle just about every aspect of overseeing the smooth working of ARAS Online. ARAS Connections comes together because of Allison's considerable editorial and web design skills and she has learned to monitor all day to day operations of ARAS Online. She functions with the same grace, responsiveness, good will, and intelligence that Jeff exhibited for the past eleven years. ARAS Online and ARAS Connections are in the solid and creative hands of Allison Tuzo and we anticipate a smooth, effortless transition. To both Jeff and Allison, all who work with National ARAS are deeply grateful.
Tom Singer, M.D.
Co-Chair of ARAS Online for National ARAS

Become a Member of ARAS Online!

Become a member of ARAS Online for just $100 ($25 for certain students and candidates) each year, which is tax-deductible. You'll receive free, unlimited use of the entire archive of 17,000 images and 20,000 pages of commentary any time you wish—at home, in your office, or wherever you take your computer.
The entire contents of two magnificent ARAS books: An Encyclopedia of Archetypal Symbolism and The Body are included in the archive. These books cost $300 when purchased on their own.
You can join ARAS Online instantly and search the archive immediately. If you have questions, please call (646) 536-2632 or email

Calendar of ARAS-Related Events

In Chicago:
January 20 and 21, 2012: ARAS: The Book of Symbols with Ami Ronnberg.
In San Francisco:
January 29, 2012: The Friends of the Institute and the San Francisco Library Present: SPECIES EXTINCTION, THE ENVIRONMENT, AND PSYCHE A special screening of the film CALL OF LIFE Guest Speakers, David Ulansey, PhD 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. At the San Francisco Library, Kornet Theater
February 25, 2012: The Future: Analytical Psychology and the World 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM. At the San Francisco Institute. INSTRUCTORS: THOMAS SINGER, MD, & CRAIG SAN ROQUE, PHD

Participate in the Image/Cultural Complexes Project!


The goal of this research project is to engage all our users in an interactive participation with ARAS Online by extending you an invitation to contribute images and commentary on cultural complexes that have captured your imagination. We want to reach out to you to help us explore image, complex, archetype, and culture in a new way. We will include examples contributed by our users in future issues of ARAS Connections.
Please send your submissions to

Explore Archetypal Images each Week


ARAS is now on Facebook! Become a fan by clicking here to join our community and stay updated. We post the latest news on ARAS publications and projects and weekly explorations of symbols and archetypes accompanied by images from ARAS! If you don't have a Facebook account, you can set one up here.
We look forward to connecting with you!

We Value Your Ideas

As our newsletter 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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If you're not already a subscriber and would like to receive subsequent issues of this newsletter by email at no cost, click here or e-mail us at Please invite friends and colleagues who may be interested to join as well. Thanks!
Give to ARAS!
by Ami Ronnberg

We received the following letter from an ARAS Online member and yearly donor, which describes why she gives to ARAS and why it matters in a world beset and overrun with commercial symbols and imagery.

"For some ancient people human heads were the common currency--and it sometimes feels that way today as we lose our bearings under the spell of money's 'black magic' in contemporary life. But when I donate to ARAS it feels like making a deposit straight into psyche's treasury, where the currency of imagination always flourishes. It's a contribution to a better psychic economy, and when it comes to that kind of treasure, even the smallest offering can work a special magic." - Sherry Salman

Please join Sherry and others like her to support ARAS by giving as generously as you can.
With deep appreciation for your interest in ARAS Connections, I bring you great news to share at this holiday season and hope you will celebrate with us some of the year's remarkable achievements. In 2011, ARAS is more vibrant than ever with increased presence online, including this free newsletter, as well as expanding membership online, and the appearance of weekly symbols on Facebook. The most recent ARAS publication The Book of Symbols has been translated into six languages and found readers in many corners of the world. We want to continue to develop new 'rooms' on the ARAS website containing articles on art and society from a Jungian point of view. We hope to make the archive more compatible with iPads and iPhones as a wonderful teaching tool and resource. And most of all we want to continue to improve the archive itself. Your support in these endeavors is needed now more than ever before and we hope you will contribute to this year end appeal. We need your help for ARAS to be able to grow.
Wishing you happy holidays and all the best for the coming year!
Ami Ronnberg

Chinese Avant-Garde Art: Body and Spirit Struggle for a New Cultural Identity
by Chie Lee, President of the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, Introduction by Mary Wells Barron
Chie Lee’s deeply moving paper reminds us in the most profound way that the distance between the work of art and the sensitive viewer is a transitional space of recognition, emotion, awe and healing. With raw beauty she courageously guides us into the depths of Xu Bing’s and Zhang Huan’s art, as she invites us to witness its confluence with her life. The word is embodied and the body is tranformed in their art through hers. We understand in a new way how each expresses who we are.
As she reveals the art of the two contemporary Chinese artists, she opens a window onto culture and soul. Her work, like theirs, springs from the heart. I am reminded that in
The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World James Hillman wrote that Henry Corbin's gift was "to enable us to experience thoughts that come from another language and culture as if they were our own hearts." It is this that Chie Lee gives to us and for it we are most grateful.
Chie Lee is a Jungian analyst in private practice. She trained at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles where she lives and practices her art.

- Mary Wells Barron


To Raise the Water Level in the Fish Pond by Zhang Huan

To understand the relationship between avant-garde art and cultural identity in China, a basic understanding of the historical and cultural contexts is essential. The Cultural Revolution in China did not begin after Mao took power in 1949—it began with the May 4th movement of 1919. After suffering a series of deep national humiliations by the West, the revolution to break down the old culture began. The movement, led by students and intellectuals, proclaimed that if China was to survive in the 20th century with any integrity as a country, the Confucian traditional values had to be rejected. China must openly adopt Western political, economic, and social values in order to modernize and bring about a new China. This was the beginning of the quest for a new cultural and political identity.
Some forty some years later, Mao's Cultural Revolution, which began in the 1960s, took the May 4th movement to its extreme. The Red Guards, most of them teenagers, were unleashed onto the populace and carried out the central propaganda edict of "smashing the Four Olds": old habits, old customs, old culture and old ideas. Mao's Cultural Revolution was catastrophic in the indiscriminate destruction of lives, property, and all manifestations of art and culture. When it ended in the early 1970s, the repressive atmosphere began to lift. I believe that, to this day, the deep wound that was inflicted on the collective psyche from this phase of China's Cultural Revolution was repressed and still remains unacknowledged and therefore unhealed and untransformed.
In the art world of the late 1970s and 1980s, a vast pool of underground creative energy began to surface in China. Art schools were again popular and drew artistically gifted students. A significant source of inspiration for the art students was that for the first time in almost thirty years of isolation from Western culture, art institutes were allowed to subscribe to some Western art magazines and books. Any and all information was hungrily consumed. One artist said, “After a famine, you eat anything” (Kelley, 2008, p.15). The impact was huge and in the following years the art scene would experience bursts of subversive and exuberant creative energy.
In February of 1989, a few months before the student protest at Tien An Men Square and the subsequent brutal crackdown, Chinese artists exploded onto the art world with the first major survey of modern Chinese art in an exhibition named “China/Avant-Garde.” The artwork that was selected departed radically from traditional and acceptable Chinese aesthetics and artistic expressions. Combined with the student protests that erupted in June of 1989, it greatly alarmed the authorities, and a heavy lid was again closed down on artistic expression. Many Chinese artists and intellectuals found themselves navigating on very thin ice between their individual visions and the prevailing sociopolitical values. A number of them left China and emigrated to the United States, Japan, Europe, and Australia.
Read Chinese Avant-Garde Art: Body and Spirit Struggle for a New Cultural Identity by Chie Lee in its entirety.

On Articulating Affective States Through Image-Making in Analysis
A paper given at the 2008 Art and Psyche Conference in San Francisco by Mary Dougherty

Exploring the relationship between image and emotion has long been a central feature of Jungian analysis. Jung states in his autobiography: "To the extent that I managed to translate the emotions into images, that is to say, to find the images which were concealed in the emotion, I was inwardly calmed and reassured. Had I left those images hidden in the emotions, I might have been torn to pieces by them" (Jung 1961, 177). In this presentation, I will attempt to convey my experience of initiating image- making with patients in analysis as a way for them to find the images concealed in their emotions. I will then discuss ways these images, once formed, serve the process of articulating affective states within analysis. In service to this end, I will first explore Jung's use of the terms affect, emotion and feeling.
Jung conceptualized emotion as a positively or negatively charged psychic energy similar to physical energy. His study of emotion was primarily focused on emotional dysfunction closely linked to the experience of trauma. It was understood that when ego consciousness was unable to express the emotion of a traumatic experience, the traumatic emotion was split off into the unconscious where it functioned as a dissociated, autonomous complex (Compaan, 1997, pp. 4 – 7).
Jung came to differentiate between the concepts of emotion and feeling by describing "emotion" as an intense unconscious reaction that has physiological indicators in contrast to "feeling" – a more conscious and less intense reaction that does not have physiological indicators (Compann, 1997, p. 6 quoting Jung, 1935). Jung used the terms affect and emotion interchangeably. However, affect has come to be used to describe the purely physiological unconscious process or state that can be considered the biological or innate component of an emotion. Jungian analyst Louis Stewart underscored that affect is an inherited regulatory system of the psyche and is, therefore, the archetypal root of all emotion and feeling (Compaan, 1997, p. 37 quoting Stewart, 1996, p. 277). Emotion, on the other hand, is used to describe a complex experience based on affect combined with learned experience and memories that can have both unconscious and conscious elements. If affect is biology than emotion is biography. Emotion involves a sense of physiological arousal as well as an impulse toward action and can be triggered in response to external as well as internal stimuli (Ibid. p.29, p. 35 quoting Nathanson (1992). A feeling, in contrast, is a discernable subtle quality of awareness that can be introspectively distilled [out] from the physiological urgency of emotional experience, without an impulse toward action (Fratarolli, 2001, p.189). As James Hillman points out, "we possess our feelings, but we are possessed by our emotions" (Compaan 1997, p. 14 quoting Hillman, 1960). In summary, affect, emotion and feeling are three degrees of emotional experience along a developmental spectrum. Affect is the biological/archetypal root that combines with lived experience to form complex emotion, which in turn can be introspectively distilled into feelings through conscious awareness.
In light of these differentiations, we can return to Jung's quote describing the process of translating emotions into images – of finding the image concealed in emotion. He is, of course, describing the process of releasing internal emotional energy into the image being made. This released emotional energy is no longer just inside him but is also outside of him, now imbedded in the image. Through this process of externalizing internal emotion, his ego is relieved of the internal emotional energy that might have torn him to pieces. In addition his ego gains the perspective from which to consciously perceive and differentiate aspects of the emotion now expressed in the image. This capacity to perceive and to differentiate emotions now imbedded in the image allows the unconscious aspects of the emotion to be transformed into the more conscious experience of feeling. It is this transformation from unconscious emotion to a more conscious feeling that allowed Jung to be calmed and reassured. It is also this transformation of emotions into feelings that informs my incorporation of image-making into verbal analysis.
Read the entire paper.

Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche
September 6,7,8 2012 Conference
Santorini, Greece
by Virginia Beane Rutter

What are the effects of ancient Greek thought, literature, mythology, and storytelling on our modern psyches and lives? What themes and archetypes remain, evolve, and renew in the deep layers of our unconscious and manifest in how we think, feel, and behave today? And how do these resonances appear in dreams, symbols, and actions in psychoanalysis and culture? Our second conference on Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche has a program of speakers including Donald Kalsched, Craig San Roque, Jules Cashford, Richard Trousdell and Robin van Loben Sels who will delve into these questions.

For more information and registration, click here.

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