Around what creative vision does our life circle? What madness do we all carry within ourselves? And what do we do with the destructive in us and in life? Our creative transformations depend on coming to terms with the madness and evil we encounter within ourselves. Indeed, our madness shows us the path to creative living.
C.G. Jung worked on his great work Liber Novus, or The Red Book, during his turbulent midlife years and discovered much life he had not lived. Almost inevitably, at some point we find ourselves making the same discovery in our own lives. We may have knowledge of the head, but we know we do not have enough knowledge of the heart.
This lecture and workshop will explore two halves of one whole. Madness and creativity share a kinship. We will explore forms of madness, both personal and collective, drawing on clinical material and examples from Jung's Red Book. Then we will explore personal and collective forms of creativity and find resonances with Jung's fountain of creativity in text and vision. We will explore how surviving turbulent times will require us to examine the choices we have made and the paths we have not taken. Jung’s encounter with the voices of his unlived life, documented in The Red Book in his conversations with the figures of the unconscious, will offer us a guide to approaching the problems we face in our own lives. And we will discuss how to live in relation to life’s chaos, the inevitable gap in our lives that can spur both creativity and the risk of madness.