C.G. Jung as Artisan: Cross Connections with India, Considerations in Times of Crisis is a richly illustrated, carefully interwoven tapestry of cosmological cycles with depths of travelling, trade, and commercial significance through geographical history and politics, and the spread of philosophical, religious, and scientific ideas, personally engaged. The author’s life-long engagement with aspects of India started with her birth there in pre-Independence days. Jung’s short but extensive 1937–38 journey to India was on behalf of the Silver Jubilee of the Indian Science Congress Association in conjunction with the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Travel as alchemical and psychological exploration is epitomized in the difficult passage through the Isthmus of Suez and the later Suez Canal — ancient and contemporary mercurial transitional pivot between ‘East’ and ‘West’, with Alexandrian highlights. This was crucial to Jung’s transitioning opus, and the rebirth of the child of perpetual emergence, a potential harmony of unity and multiplicity, the core of the personality, the jewel in the lotus.
India’s fabulous cloth creations, coupled with thousands of years of flourishing skills of natural dyeing, have a complex place in ‘global’ trade. Loss of this pre-industrial natural alchemy leaves the world of ‘fashion’ and its fabrications as second only to the oil industry as global polluters. An archived business card indicted that Jung had visited “cloth merchants and manufacturers” in the South India city of Madurai when he and his travel companion had branched off on their own enquiries. Further tiny clues in Jung’s biography, freshly discovered, provide threads of fabric’s significance woven in the matrix of Jung’s life and depth psychology. They further thread us across time and space to a particular contemporary group of Indian and Canadian artisans, the “good ship Maiwa”, inspired by Gandhi’s Kadhi politics, living ancient skills engaging eco-ethics and economy — Sophia’s wisdom of the sensual, living a sustainable alchemy, an experiential knowing, a quick silver of the practice of healing and creating beauty.
Physicist Wolfgang Pauli, deeply inspired by his travel to India, highlighted for Jung the significance of symbol laden primary number and its Euclidean geometry for what the “unknown woman” wants to say — ancient and contemporary, wholehearted and particular, scientific and religious, causal progress and acausal contexts — that Jung began to illuminate at the end of the Second World War. Here it is further embroidered through the tenfold geometric tetractys of the 2nd or 3rd century Axiom of Maria, — the prophetess, the Jewess, still a potential spirit guide towards non-denominational conversations. The overall direction of this book is to prepare ground for an expanded sense of Self through which to consider Depth Psychology in its grounded and dancing aesthetic contribution to global, practical, and political well-being, resonating in some of the earliest Indian art and design. Jung recognized that the future of psychology lies not so much in ‘therapy’ but in a unified knowledge of Nature’s ordering, and humankind’s place within it, a re- honouring of the Lord of the Dance who subdues ignorance.