Symbol Paper - Rearing Cobra (Part 1/7)

Updated: 7 hours ago

This is a seven-part paper in the blog series 'What's it like to train as an Analyst? in which I explore the experience of training from a personal perspective.

[Parts 1, 2 and 3 of Rearing Cobra is available as open access. Parts 4, 5, 6 and 7 will be released to #JungianBitsofInformation members only]

A review of Rearing Cobra

Rearing Cobra is inspired by a life-changing encounter with a rearing cobra as an ultimate synchronicity that definitively convinced him of the reality of a lively unconscious that speaks to us through symbols, and to him especially through the symbol of the serpent. Then suddenly the meaningful purpose of his life was revealed to him: to become an analyst. He movingly unfolds the traumatic experiences in his childhood to which he reacted with an urge to befriend, hunt and master snakes - which appears as a spontaneous auto-initiation, as well as a re-enactment of a creation myth. After years of depression, lack of meaning and boredom, Jungian psychology finally helped him find meaning in his traumatic experiences and realize that "becoming a wounded healer had always been his destiny in life".

Nicholas presents a unique testimony to the creative and healing power of a symbol: he shows how the dialogue between symbolic experiences and their conscious symbolic interpretation form a "process directing an individual to a specific goal or outcome" and can bring true healing and joy. With great honesty and passion he circumambulates his experiences, synchronicities, dreams and active imaginations, and enriches them by reflections on the transforming nature of the symbol and by the main features of the snake symbolism - especially African -, which contribute to deepen his individuation journey.

An outline of my Symbol Paper 'Rearing Cobra'

I travelled to India for 5 weeks during the Christmas and New Year period of 2015/16 where I realised that I wanted to become a Jungian Analyst.

It was a sudden, unexpected 'encounter' with a rearing Cobra on a street in Jaipur which was so personally meaningful to me, it fundamentally altered the direction of my life. I have just completed my 4th semester of training as a Jungian Analyst at the ISAPZurich. A Symbol Paper is a pre-requisite to taking the Propadeuticum Exams, commencing a three-month placement in a psychatric clinic and working with clients under supervision. My Symbol Paper is entitled 'Rearing Cobra' in which I explore, from a Jungian analytical psychology perspective - what is meant by a symbol, the symbolism of the snake or serpent in history, culture, mythology and the significance of the rearing Cobra in my personal life. Rearing Cobra is a deeply personal story about how I came to train as a Jungian Analyst. It was a confrontation with my unconscious over a number of years that radically transformed my life. It is not a unique story. In fact, many people before me have gone through a transformation and achieved so much more. However, I hope to show you the process of transformation via the unconscious in a way which helps you or others to follow your/their instinct and ultimately, become who they truly are.

India was a memorable experience. I captured so many photos during my travel to New Delhi, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Jaipur, Jodphur, Udaipur, Mount Abu, Chattra Sagar and Agra. Here are a collection of some of my favourite photos from these wonderful places. This is part 1/7 of the paper. The remaining parts of the paper will be published over the coming weeks. I hope you enjoy the story.

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