Co-becoming Art Projects

This part of the Plunge is a creative practice that embeds the co-becoming work in some kind of tangible form. This will give expression to each  layer of being that we work with, and could be as simple as writing out some of your work in a beautiful, accessible way.

However, you may wish to explore another media to give expression to the expanding layers – such as making a series of ever-bigger bowls, or an expanding painting, photo collage, weaving, mandala or garden, or visual depiction of your co-becoming stories/song-cycle/poem.

The outcomes of this can then be part of an altar/special place for ongoing contemplation and ritual engagement. This is a way to bring this work into the heart of our lives, to nourish and support both us and our communities of care.

Not long after the vision came for this course, I discovered this commentary on Jung’s Red Book that speaks of the importance of finding a way to integrate visionary learning into physical form.


The Red Book functioned for Jung as a container, a sort of womb in which the original experiences in their overpowering force could be “caught,” contained and absorbed. The careful aesthetic presentation helped tame, form and order the powerful, fascinating and unfamiliar experiences Jung had submitted himself to. The overwhelming and the unlimited were brought into the “cosmos” of the refined writing and the beautiful images. The ineffable was transformed into the limited, individual and concrete shape of a symbolic reality.

It is easy to imagine how much effort and discipline were needed in order not to be carried away by the power of the inner experiences but on the contrary to submit them to the law of the beautiful form; how much patience and humility such a process required! The physical effort that was demanded to achieve a satisfactory representation of the images and to transcribe the texts into calligraphy was an extremely efficient way to practice “presence” and to anchor the real person in the here and now. This probably was what saved Jung from falling into a psychosis and resulted in the beautiful elaboration of The Red Book that we now see.

“I always knew that these experiences contained something precious, and therefore I knew of nothing better than to write them down in a precious, that is to say, costly book and to paint the images that emerged through reliving it all-as well as I could” (p. 360). Through aesthetic embellishment, Jung honored the value of his insights by giving them a substantial container. The uniqueness of the content is mirrored by the costliness of the form and the medium, which are treated like sacramental reality where the numinous is contained by golden receptacles like a chalice, monstrance or tabernacle.

This conveys a third meaning of the pictorial shape he gave to his Red Book: to make the intrinsic and numinous value of the experience become manifest. It corresponded to a religious and feeling-related attitude by acknowledging a sublime presence in these experiences.

With this way of honoring his inner experiences Jung was also instinctively having recourse to an adequate means of protecting himself against a dangerous identification with these contents. The profoundly meaningful and sacred value he bestowed on these experiences endowed them with the status of “given” and not “self-made” thoughts; they were not of ego, they were “other.” This was the only adequate and psychologically beneficial way of dealing with such powerful contents. It conferred the inner experiences a general and lasting significance beyond the present moment.

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