The human psyche is the womb of all the arts and sciences.
[C.G. Jung, “Psychology and Literature,” CW 15, par. 133]
All the arts penetrate into the depths of things which are beyond the reach of cognition.
[Paul Tillich, Art and Society, p. 15]
Jung describes the creative process as a living thing implanted in the human psyche. The role of the unconscious in the creative process sheds light on the affect which art has on both the artist and society. The artist views the creative experience as numinous and can be transformed through the interaction with and assimilation of the archetypal images and energies. The affect on society consists in the compensating role of the unconscious towards the reigning conscious attitudes of the time. The Friday lecture will explore the relationship between the creator and the creative process in light of Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious and its denizens—the archetypes. This is a relationship recognized by creators ranging from mathematicians to musicians to multimedia artists.
The unconscious plays a major role in the creative process. The only thing that hinders interaction with the unconscious is ego’s persistence that it be in charge. The unconscious is always ready, willing, able, and constantly trying to engage us. We only need to open the door that our egos insist on keeping tightly shut. In order to maintain the flow of unconscious material our egos must remain as spectators and not become involved in and try to take control of the process.
In the workshop we will use familiar exercises–active imagination, guided imagery, finger paints, and clay play–as means for practice in relaxing ego cramp and breaking down the repression of the unconscious this has caused. Our letting go, which really means ego’s letting go, fosters and stimulates flowing with the unconscious material. All along the way we will be able to observe and learn about the many subterfuges and ruses ego employs to retain its illusion of control over the psyche.