Now in her mid-eighties Gilda Frantz’s shares with us what she has learned from life and from being a Jungian analyst. She has written a feeling, intuitive wise woman’s shorter version of her own Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Personal insights links essays on subjects drawn from her life and work, there is poignancy and an affirmation of indomitable spirit in her musings. She knows first hand about difficult childhoods, early widowhood, aging, death of a beloved grandchild, and closeness to the end of life. She knows about suffering and the creativity and soul growth that can go hand in hand. These are themes in her own life and in her observations of others. Sea Glass is an apt metaphor for this book—to discover why requires reading it.
—Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. author of Goddesses in Everywoman, Goddesses in Older Women, and Close to the Bone.
You could be listening to the storyteller by the fire, or to your favorite aunt at the kitchen table—the one who always makes you laugh—so vital and engaging is the narrative voice in Sea Glass. In fact, you are reading the gathered writings of Gilda Frantz, a beloved Jungian elder in the classical tradition. Frantz is on intimate terms with the gods and their myths. She has personal experience of alchemy, individuation, dreams, and the creative process, all of which she describes in accessible and lively language. Sea Glass sparkles with gems, including Frantz’ interview with the film director Fellini and her amplification of the story of Pinocchio. Like the sea glass for which she names her book, Frantz has had a difficult life, been thrown about on waves of fortune, battered on the rocks of childhood poverty, parental divorce, early widowhood, and the death of a son and granddaughter. Her wit and wisdom has been polished to a fine glow. She is eloquent in her reflections on the meaning of suffering. Sea Glass is most luminous when addressing the toughest topics—loneliness, grief, abandonment, aging, and death. It is a comfort and an inspiration—strong medicine for the soul.
—Naomi Ruth Lowinsky, Author of The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way and The Motherline: Every Woman's Journey to Find Her Female Roots
Sea Glass: A Jungian Analyst’s Exploration of Suffering and Individuation explores experiences many of us encounter in the course of a lifetime, including those of early childhood. As we mature we can begin to become aware that suffering, when made conscious, can lead us on a path toward higher consciousness, toward the experience of wholeness or individuation. The examples related in this book are told as a storyteller might and include the all-too-human experiences of loneliness, loss, shame, abandonment, aging, disenfranchisement, working with dreams, dealing with the opposites, striving to find one’s creativity, and relationship issues.
Part 1 - Archetypal Suffering
The Greyhound Path to Individuation
Growing Up Poor in Los Angeles
Birth’s Cruel Secret: “I Am My Own Lost Mother to My Own Sad Child”
On the Meaning of Loneliness
Image and Imagination; Wounding and Healing
Part 2 - Mysterious Workings of the Psyche
Dreams and Sudden Death
Creativity and Inspiration: An interview with Stephen Martin
Part 3 - Nature
Carrying the Opposites within Oneself
Part 4 - Psychological and Spiritual Development
The Flowering Wood: An Exploration of Individuation and the Integration of the Feminine Principle
Relativity and Relationship
Reflections on Disenfranchisement
Part 5 - Aging
Being Ageless: The Very Soul of Beauty
Body and Soul
Jung, Aging, and Individuation
Part 6 - Our Jungian Ancestors
I’ll See You in My Dreams
About the Author
Gilda Frantz is the co-editor-in-chief of Psychological Perspectives, a journal of Jungian thought of interest to anyone in search of self-understanding. She is one of the original editors of this journal, founded in 1970. For three years she served as president of the C. G. Jung Institute in Los Angeles. Mrs. Frantz is a Director Emerita of the board of the Philemon Foundation, having served throughout the publication period of Jung’s Red Book. She practices in Santa Monica, California.