An Analytical Psychology Club Event:
“He Who Rides The Tiger…”
December 4 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pmPrepaid Cost: $30 – $35
Presented by J. Gordon Nelson, Ph.D.
“He who rides the tiger…,” an image of enlightenment in some Asian countries, is also another name for the Buddha. “Riding the tiger” implies not only our vulnerability and that we had better not fall off, but also the goal of life. In psychology, we call this the process of individuation. Without being on top of the instinctual animal that we are, we would be a creature solely of the power drive. Without the possibility of falling off that devouring yet gorgeous animal-in-us, our consciousness would know no bounds. Then the inflation of the spirit or mind in us could become dogmatic and all-consuming, eventually destroying us, and perhaps, the world we live in.
We will look at this dynamic from the standpoint of four historically and culturally significant individuals that intertwine with Jung’s program in his Collected Works. They are: St. Augustine of Hippo—on the experience of having a soul; Martin Luther—on the courage to face and unify the opposites; Thomas Merton—on the path and method of inner discovery; and Mother Theresa—on the humility of the ethical action required by the self. Jung finds each symbolic of a critical juncture in life that is essential and initiatory, and that also carries a shadow to our conscious individuation, i.e. riding the tiger.
J. Gordon Nelson, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and educational psychologist in Santa Monica. He has taught the complete C. G. Jung Collected Works Reading Program many times, as well as many individual training courses on Jung, here and at other professional psychology graduate schools. He is a former president of the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, and chair of its review committee.