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Ramsden, R. (2020). Encountering the Other: Jungian Analysts and Traditional Healers in South Africa Part IV: Conclusion. J. Anal. Psychol., 65(1):216-218.

(2020). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 65(1):216-218

Encountering the Other: Jungian Analysts and Traditional Healers in South Africa Part IV: Conclusion

Renee Ramsden

David Barton (2016), in his article ‘C.G. Jung and the indigenous psyche: two encounters’, states:

A true, open dialogue requires many things, including an equal share of power and willingness to exchange ideas without immediately dismissing them. Almost all indigenous knowledge is built upon an ontology that is foreign to the modern psychologist. Entering into a dialogue means entering into the temporary suspension of belief, which is increasingly difficult for those trained in specific modalities, each with their own foundational assumptions. Never mind that our psychological assumptions are the product of a particular cultural experience, growing out of the European Enlightenment and the rationalism of the nineteenth-century Europe and America, or that our models are based primarily on the experience of a narrow class and ethnicity. Overcoming such barriers is exceedingly difficult.

(Barton 2016, p. 81)

On the morning that I returned from handing in my visa application to the Austrian embassy, I heard a discussion on the radio about an environmentalist company making ‘seed bombs’, with which they are intending to address reforesting of certain areas around the world. The speaker informed us that these ‘seed bombs’ are an old technology, dating back 1,000 years. On google I found that ‘Seed bombs are an ancient Japanese practice called Tsuchi Dango, meaning ‘Earth Dumpling’ (because they are made from earth). They were reintroduced in 1938 by the Japanese microbiologist/farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008), author of The One Straw Revolution (1978).

So what has this to do with our story? When Peter, Nomfundo and I started talking about how to approach this project of creating a forum for dialogue between Jungian analysts and traditional healers, we conceived this as a small beginning, a small group of people from both disciplines who could get to know, and thus to trust each other. We believed that only through trust can fruitful discussion emerge.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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