The Elephant

THE ebony elephant, standing on the base of a Pan figure, on a table in Daryl Sharp's consultation room.

UPDATE: I was able to upload a short video that I took of the elephant as well as a small figurine that Daryl has which once belonged to the late Jungian analyst Edward F. Edinger. I apologize for the video quality, which is really quite poor, but it is a glimpse inside the consultation room in Mr. Sharp's home. You can watch it here on Vimeo.

If you haven't heard by now, I had the honor of visiting Inner City Books in Toronto on Thursday. The plan was to visit with Daryl Sharp for a bit, then record the first episode of the podcast, face-to-face. I wound up spending 10 hours with him before four people had to practically drag me away at eight o'clock that evening.

There's just too much to tell you in one blog post. I'm going to have to do this installments. Remember, I'm not a writer.

One of the biggest surprises for me was seeing the elephant – the one mentioned in Jungian Psychology Unplugged: My Life as an Elephant – sitting on the table next to me when I first sat down with Daryl.

"The elephant? That's THE elephant!?"

Indeed, it was.

I first met Daryl Sharp in 2002 when the Jung Association of Central Ohio invited him to Columbus to give a two-day presentation on that very book. After his talk, I purchased a copy and held it dear, for on the cover were two elephants, standing lovingly head-to-head. This was a book about Jungian psychology, discussing difficult concepts such as the shadow, projection, complexes, and neurosis. What's with the two elephants snuggling on the cover?

The book opens with Daryl's story of walking in the hills of Zürich, feeling bleak and sorry for himself, when he sees a small dark object in his path. It was a little elephant made of ebony. "On the spot, I fell in love," he remembered. That story, that wonderful story, stuck with me all these years. It's part of what drew me to Daryl. {You can read the rest of it on page 7 of the book.}

And there it was, 41 years later, sitting on the table next to me. I had come all the way from Chicago, and "it," all the way from Zürich. So there we were. Oh, and Daryl too. It was a numinous start to a numinous day.