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Stephens, B.D. (2002). Patterns at play: My response to respondents. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(3):498-502.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(3):498-502

Patterns at play: My response to respondents

Barbara D. Stephens, Ph.D.

When I was a child I was intrigued with the kaleidoscope - tiny pieces of coloured glass which tumbled across invisible mirrors reflecting endless patterns of different symmetrical shapes. At times most of the glass pieces seemed to disappear. I saw only sparse, lace-thin patterns with muted colour.Elegant in their simplicity. At other times complex patterns of vibrant colour filled every bit of viewing space. The entire process was magical. The same cardboard tube, the same pieces of coloured glass, but a flick of the wrist made all the difference. I recalled my hours of kaleidoscope play as Iread through the thoughtful and energetic responses of my colleagues. The flick of their intellectual wrist produced three very different ‘thought patterns’ reflecting the diversity within our Jungian tribes.

I want to stay with the image of the kaleidoscope and muse on each response as I viewed it chronologically. By and large I will try to avoid debate since it would runcounter to the intent of the article which was to demonstrate how the unfolding ‘disputations’ between Buber and Jung highlighted both the content and manner of interaction of contemporary ‘disputations’/‘Holy Wars’ in the Jungian community (Stephens 2001). In it Iurged that we shift our locus of theoretical discussion about a concept like the ‘religious function of the psyche’, which I consider central toanalytical psychology, toward a more dialogical form of address which treatsdescriptive clinical work as our ‘sacred texts’ and creates apossible opening for new mutual experience-based conceptualizations.

Warren Colman's ‘pattern’ was the first to appear in the kaleidoscope. It bears the mark of his perspective as a clinician, pointing out a narcissistic legacy in Jung and his theoretical work, which renders any attempt at dialogue difficult at best.

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