Jung and the magical rule over destiny. Interview with Roberto Cecchetti

We interview the philosopher analyst Roberto Cecchetti about the course on Jungian orientation practices that he will hold in March for the Sulfur Society. 

di Lorenzo Pennacchi

I'm the one sitting on the stone,
or am I the stone on which he sits?

So Carl Gustav Jung he wondered in Memories, dreams and reflections, one of his most autobiographical texts. But who is Jung today? On the one hand, a much cited and even abused character in corporate realities, which pursue commercial targets through alleged archetypes and psychological types. On the other hand, an author who is constantly rediscovered and is found with a pleasant surprise even in unexpected contexts. Just think of it The secret fire, the spiritual pursuit of J.R.R. Tolkien conducted by Stratford Caldecott, an appendix is ​​devoted to the relationship between the mission of the Ring and the therapeutic journey of the Self. Thus Jungian thought is studied from multiple perspectives, as an instrument of orientation and inner transformation. In this period of intellectual ferment, The Sulfur Society, study center on esotericism and the occult, is planning a four-stage path entitled Carl Gustav Jung: the way to fulfillment and the magical dominion over destiny. The course it will begin on March 3 and will be held by Roberto Cecchetti. Graduated in philosophy and psychology, he is a philosopher analyst and has already been hosted by the Society in two recent ones occasions. Cecchetti is also the author of numerous individual and collective publications. The rhythm of desire (Mimesis, 2019) is entirely dedicated to his relationship with Jung and his followers. To find out a little more about it, we had the opportunity to ask him a few questions directly.   

Hi Roberto, thank you for your availability. Tell us a little about your path, when did you get close to Jung?

Thanks Lorenzo, it's a real pleasure to talk back here AXIS world. There are two decisive encounters in my path. The first with Elémire Zolla, the famous connoisseur of secrets, expert in traditions and history of religions, a fine linguist with inspired and prophetic prose. The second with Carl Gustav Jung, who passes through the founder of philosophical analysis in Italy, Romano Madera. For me he was a true teacher: he was the one who showed me the importance and greatness of Jungian teaching. I was a philosophy student at the time and began reading Jung's texts from a philosophical and theoretical perspective. Initially I was not so interested in the clinical and therapeutic aspect, but then the fact that to become a philosopher analyst it was necessary to undertake an individual analysis, made me understand that the theory must always be accompanied and, so to speak, filled with a true practical experience. I remember a dinner where I sat next to Romano. I confided to him that I was studying the libido theme in Jung and that it seemed to me something similar to the concept of Tapas, the magical and creative warmth known in the Indian tradition. Without thinking for a minute, Romano said to me: "You have to write a book!", And so I did.

The course program can be consulted on the event page. In the first introductory lesson, which aspects will you focus on most?

I think Jung is one of those thinkers who are quoted very often, but also read little or nothing. So it often comes decontextualized, used inappropriately, and his thinking ends up being misunderstood or distorted. In the first lesson I would like to briefly review some decisive points reported in the famous volume Memories, dreams, reflections, also for the importance that that text assumes in a biographical perspective, to then clarify some key concepts of Jungian thought, such as those of the personal and collective unconscious, of the archetype, of the complex ... I would like to start from clarity of definitions in short. I believe that in a moment of great disorientation and somewhat superficial skepticism it is useful to have clear and safe concepts in mind, this is also a orientation practice. I did not mention casually Memories, dreams, reflections: in this text Jung puts his own life at the center, creating bridges between biography and theory.

In the second meeting you will talk about Symbols of transformation, to which you devoted an entire chapter in your last book, while the third will focus on Red Book. How are these two works essential for understanding Jungian thinking?

Many ask me from which book to begin to approach Jung's immense work. In fact the first book, through which we try to deal with a thinker about whom we know almost nothing, is often decisive. At stake is the future relationship with the author himself, whose first pages begin to be leafed through with chaste attention. So I, once again, try to answer starting from my personal experience, but my road may not necessarily be yours too, to quote Jung. For me Symbols of transformation it is the decisive text to fully understand Jungian thought for various reasons, which I will deepen in the course. Suffice it to think that Jung continued to work on this work for forty years! In the course then certainly could not miss the Red Book, because it is the book of Jung's most intimate experiences and at the same time it shows us a way for transformation in a time like ours. 

On the last day you will introduce two great Jungian followers: James Hillman and Erich Neumann. From what perspectives will you do it? 

Erich Neumann is the author who carries out the master's work in a masterly way, in works such as History of the origins of consciousness or the famous The great mother, but also in minor works in which he deals with the rite and the symbol from the perspective of depth psychology. We are in the groove traced by Symbols of transformation. He is an author to be recovered because he provides us with essential tools for understand the development of consciousness and at the same time the evils of our time, both on an individual and social level. As for Hillman, his greatness is well known. What I will try to convey in the course is his very particular way of connect the alchemical experience in a therapeutic context, in the consulting room. The analyst's gaze must be attentive to nuances, details, colors, transmutations: it must be as artistic as possible.

Ultimately, who is the course aimed at? 

The course is intended everyone, you don't need any specific skills to follow. In any case, I will try to focus on more esoteric aspects which are often overlooked or considered secondary, while they are useful for fully understanding Jung's thought and work. I believe that the course can also be a valid opportunity for those who work daily in the world of care, as a psychologist or psychotherapist, and who perhaps, despite having understood the importance of analytical psychology and depth psychology, has never had the opportunity to deepen these experiences. 

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