C.G. Jung Society, Seattle

PROJECT MNEMOSYNE celebrates our 40th anniversary and our unique library

The Seattle Jung Society has one of the most unique libraries in America. In addition to our extensive library of books collected over 40 years, we house hundreds of audio and video tapes of lecturers and workshop presenters the Society has hosted over the decades.

Mnemosyne (?-mos? i-n?)

The Greek Goddess of memory.
This Titan, patron of literature and the arts, mated with Zeus and gave birth to The Nine Muses. This image is a Pre-Raphaelite interpretation of the Goddess of Memory by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1881.

In our collection of “memories” are lectures by the Society's speakers over the years, speakers such as Joseph Campbell, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Lionel Corbett, Anne de Vore, Gilda Frantz, James Hollis, Janet Dallet, Linda Leonard, Terrill Gibson, Phil Cousineau, Sonu Shamdasani, John Radecki, Bette Joram, Allan Chinen, Louise Bode, Stanley Krippner, and many other Jungian scholars, some nationally known and many from the Pacific Northwest. The library's lending collection includes approximately 700 audio lectures and 90 videos. About two-thirds of these lectures were hosted by the Jung Society, Seattle.

Through Project Mnemosyne, the Society is converting these decades of memories - words of wisdom from Jungian scholars, speakers and workshop presenters - from magnetic audiocassette and VHS tapes to digital media that can easily be shared electronically. Project Mnemosyne will conserve the repository of knowledge in the Jung Society's library, which in its current form is in danger of degrading beyond use.

Now, with up-to-date technologies, we can make these substantive lectures available to a world that is hungry for the wisdom of depth psychology.

Charles Morrison, a Society member who volunteers on first Saturdays in our library, called the Society's audio-video library an Explorer's Club for the Psyche. The Explorer's Club concept was inspired by Claire Douglas' 2001 Visions Seminar which Charles listened to on tape in which Douglas tells the story of how one of Jung’s analysands, Christina Morgan, catalyzed the development of Jung’s concept of Active Imagination.

Jung could be viewed as having returned from having mapped an unknown continent where Morgan and he had traveled together and he was sitting in some explorer’s club of the psyche, regaling fellow enthusiasts with stories of the incredible sights he’d seen, riches he’d found and amazing similarities he discovered across time space and culture.

In a paper called "Incline Your Ear," published in 2009, Morrison wrote:

The efforts of our volunteer library staff have created Seattle’s own “Explorer’s Club” In our collection, we hear the experience of people who have been inspired by, wrestled with, and massaged Jungian thought deeply into their own lives. We have lecture material which had yet to make it into book form (Murray Stein’s and Robert Moore’s lectures are examples), and are a fertile ground where we can observe creative ideas in the process of growth.

Morrison described the influence of these lectures on him as going from Crazy to Calm in 60 Seconds:

I have discovered that listening to these lectures has a deeply meditative effect. When I first moved to Seattle from rural Hawaii, the traffic drove me nearly insane. Every morning and evening in an hour long stop-and-go traffic jam? You’ve got to be kidding! Where was the morning meditation? Where was chat with a friend over a cup of herbal tea? In the first weeks of commuting I preserved my sanity only by becoming a witness to the rapidity with which I lost whatever pretense to spiritual enlightenment I imagined I possessed.

For the mere price of a used cassette player and rechargeable batteries plugged into the CD outlet on my car radio, my battle with “those ‘other people’ incapable of even driving their car across the bridge” transformed into an exploration of the depths of the psyche with new mentors as my guides. And again on the evening return trip, I actually found myself feeling "Ah! A traffic jam! Wonderful! I can finish this morning’s lecture!"

Morrison noted, "Perhaps the only obstacle preventing people from diving into our collection of audio gems are the sheer number of cassettes and the inability to browse a cassette tape the way you can leaf through the pages of a book."

Copies of Morrison's paper includes a short inventory of our audio collection. Contact the office for an electronic copy.

When you think of the resources sitting on the shelves of the Jung Society of Seattle's unique library, and contemplate all the energy the speakers put into developing the lecture or workshop, and the time it took to get the speakers to the Society's stage. Then think of the powerful ideas presented in those lectures, and you can see how Project Mnemosyne will release a bounty of precious knowledge to the wider community through online digital technologies.

Project Mnemosyne is being coordinated by volunteers, but the digitization work will be done professionally. We are now testing vendors to identify who can produce the best quality product - a clear recording for the listener's best experience.

Project Mnemosyne is an avenue for Society members and community members to help bring Jung's light into "the darkness of mere being" for the benefit of so many who have not had the opportunity to benefit from his ideas.

This project helped to motivate the Society enable online donations. You can also send your support by mailing a check to the office, of course.


Donations for Project Mnemosyne are tax deductible, as are all donations to the C.G. Jung Society, Seattle, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Thank you so much for your participation!

Contact the Jung Society office, or email Kelly at office@jungseattle.org for more information.

C.G. Jung Society, Seattle home page

Updated: 27 October 2013