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"What does living in a pandemic require of us?

Through the tumultuous events of summer I have had the sense that our study in the Jung Group needs to adapt to the immediate needs of our times, hence I was unable to set a study-programme ahead of time.

You will see that my February Jung letter leaves us open to respond to the real and present dangers that surround us. In this March meeting, the first for 2020, I invite discussion based around Albert Camus "The Plague", which is available on audiobook if your library is already closed. We will also be returning to the Rainmaker story.

Please become acquainted with this literature as you are able. You will see immediate parallels with our current pandemic, but what do you soo if you look deeper? Can you relate to "The Plague" and the "Rainmaker" together?

If you prefer to read a scholarly review of "The Plague", here it is. Written by Tony Judt this review appeared in the New York Review of Books in November 2001.

Our discussion will hover around how we might respond to the covid-19 pandemic. Psychological contagion is as dangerous as physical contagion - something to think about.

Human responses to life-threatening epidemics are as old as the illnesses themselves, and each time they have emerged, they have offered vital insight into the fundamental questions life asks of us. What does life mean? How do we relate to our mortality? What is our true purpose? What roles ought duty, love, self-preservation, and the pursuit of happiness play in our lives? How should we conduct ourselves?

Furthermore, how do we avoid being "contaminated' on a physical, psychological and spiritual level. Camus was concerned with "moral contagion". how does this apply to us now?

The story of the Rainmaker as told by Robert Johnson

Dr. Jung said, “If anyone understands the story of the Rainmaker and its implications, he will understand my philosophy perfectly.”

He told Barbara Hannah (an early follower of Jung) that she never was to speak in public without telling it. Since the story was so important to Dr. Jung, I have based the following material on it, a story so simple and so short and so to the point that it is difficult to comprehend.

The story is this:

A Chinese village has been besieged by drought and if rain does not come soon, the village will be in desperate straits, suffer famine and probably death. The local people have done all they know how to do. They finally decide to summon a great rainmaker from a distance. (Have you ever noticed that wise people always live someplace else and have to be brought great distances for their services?)

When he arrived and saw the plight of the village, he said, “Build me a straw hut. Give me food and water for five days, and leave me alone.” This they quickly did. The rainmaker went into the straw hut and at the end of four days it rained just in time to save the crops.

The people of the village dragged the poor rainmaker blinking into the light and gave him his fee, showered gifts on him, and poured out their affection on the good man for saving their village and saving their lives.

Somebody took him aside and said, “How did you do it? How do you make it rain?” And he said, “Oh, but you must understand. I felt such discord inside myself, when I came into your village that I spent that time getting things straight inside myself. I hadn’t ever gotten to the rainmaking ceremonies.”

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