THE GUILD PAPERS
Edited by Michael Lee
(editor from 2009 onwards, Robert Wilson)
For fifty years, the Guild has published some of the papers given at its monthly meetings. By the end of 1986, well over 200 titles had been published. This volume of work constitutes a unique collection of studies on the matters of central interest to the Guild, particularly the relationship between psychology and religion, drawing in the main on the works of C. G. Jung and his followers.
But to anyone coming fresh to this field, the scale of this work is formidable. It is difficult to find or to select any paper of special interest. The titles are by no means a simple guide, being beguiling rather than informative, such as "The Archetypal Cat", "The Third Horizon" or "Bees of the Invisible".
The Council of the Guild therefore decided to produce this guide to the Guild papers. The guide presents a series of some thirty short paragraphs or periscopes on the major topics of the Guild's work followed by a list of those papers which deal mainly with that topic. It is a distillation of research carried out by a committee consisting of Michael Anderton, John Costello, Marion Ditchfield, Diana Grace- Jones, Joel Ryce-Menuhin and myself.
The selection of topics and their description is by no means easy. The short descriptive pieces are not intended to be a formal definition, but simply an introductory “nutshell”, allowing Jung or the various authors to speak for themselves in brief quotations. The selection of topics too poses problems. There is no formal classification or taxonomy for this subject upon which to draw. The selection of topics becomes arbitrary but yet shaped by the content of the published papers.
The difficulties in classifying the papers' contents are however more deep-seated. Topics cross boundaries. A single word describing a topic, such as “Father”, is itself symbolic. It describes an irrational and numinous process, eluding strictly rational definition. It deals with experiences beyond purely logical description, comprising both rational and irrational beliefs.
The ideas lack exactitude. Jung wrote: "The language I speak must be ambiguous, must have two meanings in order to be fair to the dual aspect of our psychic nature. I strive quite consciously and deliberately for ambiguity of expression, because it is superior to unequivocality and reflects the nature of life. (C.G. Jung, Letters Vol. 2 — Letter to Zwi Werblowsky, 17.6.1952)"
A statement which is too clear always contains something false. It is the common experience of many that although they do not really understand the ideas of Jung and his successors, they feel deeply moved by them. The words, although they are somehow equivocal, speak to the unconscious and stir much deeper layers than pure reason. This indeed is the purpose of the Guild.
The Guild of Pastoral Psychology wishes to thank the Open Way for the gift which made possible the publication of this Guide.
The Guild of Pastoral Psychology 1987
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