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The Gnostic Society Library

Remembering Sophia


Lectures presented by Lance S. Owens, MD



About the Seminar...

On 16 January 1916, C. G. Jung transcribed in his Black Book journal an extraordinary myth told to him by Sophia – the Lady of Wisdom. Though it remained hidden for a nearly a century, this vision was foundational to his later work. Near the end of his life, he declared that the vital task waiting our age was the remembrance – the anamnesis – of Sophia. But how do we remember Sophia? Who is she?

In the post-Jungian psychology of Wolfgang Giegerich, we encounter a vision that is fundamentally logo-centric. Giegerich has declared the death of myth and of meaning, and invoked the birth of logical Man as the opus magnum waiting our age. But where is Sophia? Has she, too, been expunged from human life? Is there a place left in psychology for Sophia and Feminine Wisdom? Chagall - Blue Couple

Two thousand years ago, at the beginning of the current epoch, a story of Logos and Sophia became the primal myth for a new age. The story appeared first in Jewish Wisdom literature. Over the next three hundred years, this tale underwent intricate development, and emerged in the first centuries of the current era as the foundational myth of Gnostic psychology.

Though largely discarded by Western Christianity (particularly in its later Protestant reformation), Sophia's story lived on in the image of the Shekhinah within Jewish Kabbalah, and within Alchemy as the experienced image of the Anima mundi.

In the first seminar (five sessions) we examine the origin of Sophia's myth, and the nature of Gnostic "psychology." We will consider the major post-Jungian conceptualizations, placing them in relation to Jung's Gnostic psychology and his vision of a Sophianic anamnesis. It is not the understanding of the "logical life of the soul" (as argued by Giegerich) that confronts our age with an opus magnum. Our task, as suggested by Dr. Jung, is to know the intimate and redemptive relationship of Sophia with Logos.

In the second seminar (five more sessions) we consider the legacy of tradition and the role of history in psychology. We start with a meditation on our living relationship with the dead. This is followed by a review of the remarkable dialogue between James Hillman and Sonu Shamdasani, published in Lament of the Dead: Psychology after Jung's Red Book. Then we move to a consideration of the Sophianic myth and the image of the Demiurge in relations to Jung's conceptualization of Individuation and the Self. The final lecture reflects on Jung's near death visions in 1944, and his experience of the hierosgamos as a bridal chamber mystery—a union of Logos and Sophia.

These seminars were presented to the AEL Forum in January and February 2014. Meetings were held at the Alta Club, Salt Lake City, Utah. Each of the five sessions in both seminar is about 60 to 80 minutes long. (The first few lectures were accompanied by several images drawn from the work of Marc Chagall; some of these appear on this page.)

You are welcome to email question or comments about this material to MD.

A catalog of other presentations by Dr. Owens is available here.

 


Remembering Sophia:

Seminar I — Consciousness, Relationship & Feminine Wisdom

January 2014

Available online in mp3 audio - see below


 

Seminar I Session 1: Remembering Sophia

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The lecture was accompanied by several images - click here to view the slide show.

 

 

Seminar I Session 2: Psychology, Theology and MythologyChagall - Eve Maudite

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Seminar I Session 3: The Story of Sophia - Act Two

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Seminar I Session 4: Kenoma - The EmptyingChagall - Loneliness

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Seminar I Session 5: C. G. Jung's Sophianic Vision

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Remembering Sophia:

Seminar II — Psychology after Jung's Red Book

February 2014

Available online in mp3 audio - see below


 

 

The Red Book, page 169

Seminar II Session 1: Remembering the Dead and Tradition

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Seminar II Session 2: Hillman, Shamdasani and Lament of the Dead

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Seminar II Session 3: Individuation, Self and Demiurge

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Seminar II Session 4: Sex and Sophia

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Seminar II Session 5: Jung's Mysterium Coniunctionis

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