Journey with Jung

Sulagna Sengupta talks about her second book on Jung and India


Carl Jung in India / Source: Beezone Library


Jungian scholar Sulagna Sengupta spoke about her new book Animus, Psyche and Culture: A Jungian Revision at an event recently. In the book, she talks about her journey with Jungian psychology, a critical part of which was uncovering Jung’s connections with India. The contra-sexual animus finds a special place in Jung’s work in Sengupta’s journey of discovery, manifestation, development, and interaction in the author’s inner world.

Sulagna Sengupta is an author, Jungian Scholar, and cultural historian based in Bengaluru, currently working on a Jungian reading of the Indian epic The Ramayana, at the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex, U.K. Her first book traces Carl Jung’s relationship with India for the first time in an original archivally researched work of history.

During the event at Bangalore International Centre, she explained the concepts of Animus, psyche, and some of Jung’s concepts and her journey in writing the book “Animus, Psyche, and Culture.” Sengupta began her talk by giving a short introduction to Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. She explained Jung’s journey in India and his relationship and analysis of India.

She further talked about the theory of Animus and Anima, two personalities and two worlds of humans. Sengupta presented a picture of a statue representing both feminine and masculine features in one human body to clearly understand animus.

The speaker explained the two sides of human personality, scientific personality and religious personality and talked about Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious being involved in transcultural symbols and myths. She also mentioned the term ‘Depth Psychology’ and its characteristics in Jungian study. “Unconscious being like an iceberg” she quoted Jung’s theory about the Unconscious.

She shared her research journey about Jung and India and summarized her analysis of Jung in India. She displayed a hand-drawn map of Jung’s journey in India to the audience.

She told about three dreams of Carl Jung- Enthroned, unground phallus; the Holy Grail; Vision of cosmos and the Indian subcontinent, crossing the temple threshold and presented her dreams which led her to write the book.

She mentioned that Jung found his patients who never visited India, had dreams related to India and its culture. The picture of Root chakra-Muladhara was shown as an example.

In the last part of the session Dr. Indira Chowdhury, an Oral Historian and writer talked about Jung’s contemporaries mentioned in Sengupta’s book.

The book has been selected as one of the seventy-five unique innovations of Indo-Swiss collaboration in 2023, a year that marks seventy-five years of Indo-Swiss partnership in arts and science.

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