Article first published online: 4 APR 2013
© 2013, The Society of Analytical Psychology
Journal of Analytical Psychology
Volume 58, Issue 2, pages 159–161, April 2013
How to Cite
(2013), Editorial. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 58: 159–161. doi: 10.1111/1468-5922.12000
- Issue published online: 4 APR 2013
- Article first published online: 4 APR 2013
At this time a year ago the last thing on my mind was any expectation that I would be here now writing an editorial for the Journal, but I feel honoured to have been asked to continue in the Journal's venerable tradition and particularly pleased and excited to do so during a period of international development in the world of Jungian practice and study. It is daunting to step into the role in succession to an editor of Warren Colman's calibre, and reading his final editorial in the previous issue impressed on me again the achievements of his time in office. Warren's own experience in publication gave him great understanding of the birth pains of authorship and I was personally grateful for his willingness and ability to facilitate my efforts as a new and narcissistically vulnerable author. Also under his editorship, whilst remaining true to the clinical and developmental approach in which it is rooted, the Journal has reflected the diversity of subjects towards which Jungian authors and scholars have been directing their thought and study. Warren is indeed a hard act to follow, so perhaps it is unsurprising that two of us have stepped into his shoes. I look forward to working with Linda Carter, the US editor whose experience provides an important link of continuity, with William Meredith-Owen, whose acquaintance I first made at editorial board meetings of the Journal about 15 years ago, and with Pramila Bennett, who tutored me in the ways of the Journal during my years of editing journal and book reviews.
I would like to see the Journal continuing to function in its unique position as the home of Jungian clinical reporting and research, as a showcase for the first publications of newcomers to the Jungian world, a place for dialogue and debate, and for the cross-fertilization of ideas from conference papers. Online access now allows the Journal to offer itself as a training resource in the international forum and can lead in time to richer cultural exchange and input in the clinical thinking it reflects.
To briefly introduce myself: an academic background in ancient Greek and Latin literature and philosophy, followed by some years of interest and engagement in Buddhist practice, left me with a lively sensitivity towards myth, the deep meaning embedded in language, and religious mysticism. It is a biography that explains my determination to find a Jungian analyst. However, my Society of Analytical Psychology analyst turned out to have a strongly developmental approach with no trace of Buddhist or any discernible mystical leanings. So, whilst maintaining a loyalty towards the areas of study that deeply influenced my young adulthood, the foundation for my clinical practice and thought is in the developmental school. Further study into the psychodynamics of organizations at the Tavistock grounded me in psychoanalytic ideas, particularly their Kleinian approach, and this continues to inform my work. More recently, four years working as a shuttle analyst in St Petersburg has opened my eyes to the challenges and opportunities of working across national and cultural boundaries and the continuing significance that Jung's ideas hold for new generations of students and practitioners. There are growing numbers of new Jungians in Russia, as well as in China and the Far East, and I hope the Journal will be theirs too over the coming years.
This issue of the Journal has a characteristically broad spread of papers from the old to the new, from the clinical to the philosophical. Thanks to agreement from the Foundation of the Works of C.G. Jung, we are able to publish Jung's 1943 seminar on the medieval drawings of Opicinus de Canistris, delivered during the Eranos series, alongside which Riccardo Bernardini and his colleagues have provided us with a detailed commentary. Warren Colman reflects on the changes in his analytic practice that have come with years of experience and brings Aristotle's concept of phronesis into his discussion, using links between analysis and the wisdom traditions of religious practice. In a tour de force employing quantum theory and philosophical modelling, Atmanspacher and Fach offer a ‘typology of mind-matter relations embedded in a dual-aspect monist framework as proposed by Pauli and Jung’. Explication and commentary on their endeavour from David Tresan give some welcome help for those of us who are innocent of the complexities of quantum theory to venture into the foothills of this awesome subject. Continuing the discussion of Jung's theory of archetypes, Ritske Rensma writes with detailed consideration of whether Jung believed in the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Finally, in a response to Christian Roesler's paper published in this Journal in April 2012, François Martin-Vallas argues against a logical and univocal definition of archetype, pointing out that Jung lacked the concept of emergence which appeared in scientific theory around the time of his death; Christian Roesler responds with a vigorous rebuttal and restatement of his position.
The Boston conference (www.jungianconferences.com) in early April will coincide with the publication of this issue, and I look forward to meeting, getting to know and joining in debate with some of the valued contributing authors and readers on whose energy and enthusiasm for informed discussion the Journal depends.
It is perhaps only possible to get a fuller insight into the role and value of an editor when one experiences the complex vicissitudes–the setbacks and the satisfactions–that the submission of a paper brings in its wake. At that point of consignment all authors must surely feel that their paper is as good as it can possibly get, and yet they also know–or the uninitiated will soon find out–that the experienced eyes of our valued panel of readers will soon be finding fault, as well as praise. All this feedback–whether questioning the complacent, reining in the overly ambitious or encouraging the emergence of not quite yet realized promise–has to be metabolized and rendered palatable to the anxious author by the presiding editor. I know from my own experience that both Warren and his co-editor Linda Carter have maintained this essential role with patient generosity. I do hope that Susanna and I, in joining Linda in this task, will prove able to maintain such constructive feedback to contributors which is so important a part of the Journal's remit. All this background work continues to be facilitated by the experienced eye of our managing editor, Pramila Bennett, who is also largely responsible for the high production values for which the Journal is justly noted.
Of course Warren Colman, our departing editor, has in addition to all his editorial work, contributed a succession of pellucid papers to the Journal over recent years. Their evolution represents a fine example of the Journal working at its best, providing a central forum for the ongoing development of analytic thought within the Jungian community, whilst keeping the value of clinically grounded work to the fore. These papers are also a testament to the enduring value of good writing: a great paper should be a pleasure to read as well as a source of insight. Clarity and understated elegance, combined with a rigorous eschewal of pretension or mere gesture, are the hallmarks here: values which I trust will also be reflected in the ongoing editorial work of the current team.
Contemporary analytical psychology covers a wide spectrum of clinical attitudes, from the relational intersubjective to the neo-Kleinian. I am not by nature a pluralist, and my rather narrow plough is drawn particularly to the established landmarks (Oedipus et al.) of what nowadays might be regarded as traditional analysis. I particularly enjoy the interweaving of Jungian thought with this landscape, always mindful of that complex relationship between Jung the man and Jung the theoretician. But I am very confident that the breadth of view so characteristic of the Journal will continue to be represented by the editorial team as a whole, and I welcome the ongoing debate that the inevitable tensions generated by this diversity may stir.