For New Members

The Maine Jung Center is a supportive community devoted to personal growth and the pursuit of a meaningful life through study of the work of C. G. Jung.

When many of us attended our first programs here, we can remember being a bit confused or intimidated by some of the “jargon”. These days, we do our best to use plain language, and foster a community where all are comfortable asking questions . . . but since there is still some unique terminology, we hope these paragraphs may put you more at ease.

Jung’s work alone fills 18 volumes and many others have clarified and expanded on his theories. As a whole this represents a large and rich body of work that can at first seem overwhelming, not unlike being lost in an enchanted forest. However, there is comfort in knowing that you’re not alone as you make your way.

A familiarity with a few of Jung’s fundamental concepts at the outset can make a Maine Jung Center membership more rewarding. One concept that sets Jung’s psychology apart from that of other theorists is the concept of the collective unconscious. According to Jung the collective unconscious is a deep structure of the unconscious mind that contains archetypes and is shared by all human beings.

Archetypes can be thought of as unconscious dispositions, a form that is activated and filled in by experience. For example the Mother archetype that we all share in our psyches is differentiated by our experience of our own mothers.

Another important concept is individuation. Individuation is a lifelong process of becoming whole, fully integrated, and your true self. This process is guided by an organizing archetype: the Self. The Self guides us toward experiences that activate our own unique combination and expression of the archetypes that are available to all of us in the collective unconscious.

Since these psychic structures are unconscious and involve complexity that is beyond a literal explanation or understanding we can know and relate to them only through symbols. To Jung, symbols transcend the opposites of our experienced world and join together our inner and outer experience.

At the Maine Jung Center we use Jungian concepts to enrich our process of individuation through the study of symbolic representations of our inner world as it is reflected in the world’s religions, sciences, fairy tales, mythology, music, and the written and visual arts.


Please see below for some helpful resources to get you started:

  • New Member Booklet – This short booklet will provide you with some helpful information about the history of our Center, our offerings, as well as some of the benefits of your membership.
  • New Member Orientation – Every year we host a New Member Orientation on the first Friday of September, where new members will be introduced to the Center and the benefits that come along with membership, shown an informative video, and provided plenty time for questions. This is designed to be an engaging and interactive event. All new members will receive an email invitation to this orientation. We hope you will join us!
  • Mission Statement – Here you can read our full mission statement, revised and amplified in 1996, 8 years after our founding in 1988. Our mission is long-lived and more important than ever. We hope you will find that it resonates with you as well.
  • About our Benefactress – The Center exists as we know it today thanks to the incredible generosity of Mildred Harris (in honor of whom we host a free annual lecture in the fall). Read more about her as well as a more detailed account of our founding story here.
  • Presenting at the Center – All members are welcome at any time to submit a proposal to present at the Center, whether it be a talk, a discussion group, a film screening, a course, or something else. Additionally, if you would like to recommend a presenter who may be a good fit at our Center, we are always happy to receive your suggestions!
  • Volunteer with the Center – Visit our Volunteer page to learn more about how our Center runs, and some of the ways you can get involved. As an almost entirely volunteer-run organization, we rely on the efforts and imagination of our members to keep our Center alive, vibrant, and relevant. As a program docent/host, you are also able to attend programs free of charge!
  • Resources – On our Resources page, you will find a number of helpful references to other Jungian organizations, societies, centers, institutes, associations, podcasts, and more!

Some videos of and about Jung:


And lastly, if you ever have any questions, concerns, or would like to deepen the conversation, please do reach out to us at info@mainejungcenter.org and we will be happy to talk more.

Joy Vaughan, Surfacing