Julian David is a Jungian analyst, writer and lecturer, who has been practicing for the last forty years. He read History at Jesus College, Oxford, and taught history and religion at Dartington Hall School before training in Jungian psychology at the CG Jung Institute in Zurich. He was a founding member of the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists in London, and the Southern African Association of Jungian Analysts in Cape Town, the latter in conjunction with Laurens Van Der Post. He was Chairman of the C.G. Jung Club in London and editor of its journal, Harvest. He has lectured widely in the UK, South Africa, and America.
Coming from a middle-class Catholic family of exceptional piety, followed by a Benedictine boarding school followed by Oxford, I was an unlikely Jungian analyst; for, Jung was still anathema in all those sections of society. Freud could be absorbed by the culture. He paid tribute to logic, cause and effect and above all the natural evil of the human subconscious. But Jung was doubting of all those things.
After two years in London, trying to find a career in a world not constituted to my liking, I retired into a monastery and spent another two years studying mediaeval philosophy. I felt a need to go the root of the modern world, which I knew was still in religion. In 1958 I emerged and began to teach in schools for excluded boys. Here I learnt the fundamentals of a psychological approach to the world, and it was opportune—for theology was ceasing to be a language in which I could formulate thoughts.
Gradually, over the years, I began to see my real enemy clear. It was the patriarchal world itself, founded firmly in the hypothesis that the Creator God was a man. It mattered not whether one ‘believed’ in this God or not: what was passionately affirmed or denied was the same God, still the One Male God. The absurdity of such a figure, from the point of view of Nature, evaded the attention as if it flew under the level of the culture’s radar. Yet more and more it seemed to have smothered the development of individual consciousness since Greek times, and that ethically we were still no different to the Greeks who had sat on the stone seats of the amphitheatres and failed to understand Sophocles and Euripides who had understood all this. Increasingly it seemed that the urgent task of the moment was to tackle patriarchy at its core, and in all its octopus-like aspects, religious, intellectual and social: for if there was no God there was always logic and evidence-based research to take his place. The churches (though never their founder) were at its centre. The way out was pointed to by Jung, It was the long-despised unconscious of man.
1956-9 – Jesus College, Oxford.
1960-65 teaching at Dartington Hall School 1961 married to Yasmin Wishart.
1962 Moved to Luscombe Farm which would be our life-time home. Started farming sheep.
1968 started course of Comparative Religion with Dartington sixth formers. 1969-1973 directed a project in NW Sicily with school leavers. One of the problems I was the encounter with the extreme patriarchies of Church and Mafia, often in bizarre alliance. The black-and-white attitudes of the crusader were suitable with neither, let alone both together. It was complicated ethical territory, and psychology was ever more necessary. At the same time our first experience of the mythic world was bearing in upon us, for Sicily, even more than Greece, is the land of the gods—who are no more than the unconscious in projection.
Increasingly I was needing to go into analysis myself and get light on aspects of my own behaviour which were worse than irrational. There was no way it could be paid for—at which point (1976) a legacy appeared from a forebear deceased a century earlier which was just enough to do that.
1977-82. Studied at the Jung Institute in Zurich. My family stayed at the farm and I flew back as often as possible. I was permitted, as a concession, to do my supervised work with clients in Devon.
On return to London, I helped to found a new training institute necessary, we felt, because Jung had been largely pushed out of London by other psychologies. Freud and Klein were more in keeping with the official culture, and nominally Jungian trainings conformed to them. Yet there was a deep hunger in the grassroots for Jung, which was not being met. So the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists was founded and for thirty years has done its best to meet this need.
In 1987 an invitation circulated for someone to go to Cape Town and be the founding analyst in a hoped-for Jungian training centre. It was a long-standing ambition of Laurens van der Post that this should happen. It was still the time of the last fragment of the Nazi worldview to survive, which was Apartheid. Sir Laurens had collected funds from well-wishers for a Jungian library and other needs. The liberal community in South Africa was considerable but deeply isolated. I felt that someone should do it. Since the children were almost grown up, I felt that the ‘someone’ could perhaps be me: also a presentiment that it might be an extremely creative period in a life. I met with Laurens; we got on well. Yasmin supported me and in January of ’89 we arrived in Cape Town. It was the last year of Apartheid, and a nasty, paranoid world it was. But when it fell, First and Third worlds would be in intimate proximity with no State to control the issue. The ageless shamanic culture of the tribesmen would be face to face with the most up to date modern medicine: again left to sort it out for themselves. In the ordinary, non-professional Cape Town audiences I found there was a strong appetite for Jung, and a very creative period in my life unfolded out of speaking to them. Many of the lectures I gave during this time were recorded and are available to listen to on this website.
1994 we returned for the majority of the year to Devon, and we spent our winters in South Africa for the next ten years.
2006 I accepted the chairmanship of the C.G.Jung Club in London and the editorship of its annual journal, Harvest. The Club is non-professional but it has monthly lectures, some of which I gave and are available here.
Throughout all these diverse periods of time I worked continuously as an analyst, and always with the unconscious. This meant thousands upon thousands of dreams, to be interwoven with the life-problems and helped to find their voice. It meant also, a training of the heart for myself, for we are all sick and there is no other true therapy.
Without feeling that the ferryman is due yet, I feel that my harvest, such as it is, is largely in, and that it should be available to those who might want to connect with it. That is the purpose of this website.