At the center of Jung’s psychology is the majesty of the image and symbol. His statement that “image is psyche” captures the complex worlds of Spirit, Soul and Psyche. This week we will look at Jung’s sense of creativity and the suggestion that self- creation can be as important as the work of the poet.We will examine Jung’s own struggle with his Spiritualism and Christianity and how this battle took him deep into his psyche and mythology. The week is about finding soul but we will also explore ways to live with a suffering soul during a soulless time. We will also look for meaning in “Bearskin, a fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm,” about a good soldier who becomes lost after returning from war. Psychologically this is about shadow work and navigating our purgatory.
We will conclude the week with an examination of Jung’s early warnings about information and media overload and how he seemed to predict the large and growing Shadow of Technology.
Monday, July 9
Registration, Welcome and Orientation
10:00 am – 12:30 pm, & 1:30 – 4:00 pm
The Spirit of Creativity
“But what can a man ‘create’ if he doesn’t appear to be a poet? … If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself.” C.G. Jung, CW 11, p. 906
Jung said that there are five innate tendencies (instincts) and the creative impulse is one of them. Creativity is the instinct most akin to the gods, whatever cosmology. Seemingly out of nothing, something is brought forth. In this workshop, we will examine the archetype of creativity: how the gods created and how like them our own creativity is. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and tap into their own creative spirits.
Instructor: Julie Bondanza, PhD
Tuesday, July 10
10:00 am – 12:30 pm, & 1:30 – 4:00 pm
Spiritualism as a Significant Influence in the Origin of Jungian Psychology
In C.G. Jung’s early life he participated in family séances, wrote his doctoral dissertation in search of a medical answer to mediumistic behavior, kept aware of parapsychological research during his career and attended séances well into his fifties. His maternal Spiritualistic influences and his paternal Christian history were a constant struggle for Jung during his life time. Additionally, his religious experiences mediated through the collective unconscious were factors that contributed to Jung’s ongoing search to understand the intersection of spirituality and science. In his quest to unite the spiritual and the scientific, Jung leaned on his experiences with Spiritualism and his mythic life with the dead. This workshop will discuss how the origin of Jungian psychology was influenced by Jung’s exposure to Spiritualism, his descent into the psyche, and his mythic life with the dead.
Instructor: Jane Selinske, EdD, LCSW, NCPsyA-LP, MT-BC
Wednesday, July 11
10:00 am – 12:30 pm & 1:30 – 4:00 pm
Dwelling Imaginally in Soulless Times
“What’s madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance?”
Theodore Roethke, In a Dark Time
“Economics are the method: the object is to change the soul”.
Margaret Thatcher’s interview for Sunday Times, May 3, 1981
We are living in times of great disruption: political passions are aflame, internal upheavals have brought nations to the brink of chaos, and the very foundations of our Weltanschauung are shattered… [One] cannot avoid coming to grips with contemporary history, even if one’s very soul shrinks from the political uproar, the lying propaganda, and the jarring speeches of demagogues… [One] has duties as a citizen ….and an obligation to humanity. (C.G. Jung CW10, pp. 177-178.)
From the Preface to the “Essays on the Contemporary Events,” 1946
What we hold close in our imaginal world are not just images and ideas but living bits of soul; when they are spoken, a bit of soul is carried with them. When we tell our tales, we give away our souls.
James Hillman, Myth of Analysis, 186
As screens of our pixelated devices shine ever more brightly, the world is getting darker. As the dazzling cool spirit of digital inventions gains more power, the world is getting warmer. As politics become ever more polarized, the world is getting more terrifying. Jung’s words written in 1946 in reflection on the horrors in Europe during the previous decade resound strangely familiar. When neoliberal politicians implement programs whose aim is to change human soul1 , not only Jungian psychoanalysts, but all citizens need to worry.
How are we to orient ourselves in this confusing world? “And no one knows, ” as Friedrich Hölderlin already noted 200 years ago in his analysis of destitute times. However, whatever we approach we need to approach it with Eros: “Eros…might well be the first condition of all cognition and the quintessence of divinity itself.” [C.G. Jung, MDR, 353] In his Zarathustra Seminars 1934-1939, Jung wrestled with Nietzsche’s challenge of modernity in the background of the rise of the fascism and Nazism in Europe. In his reflection Jung provided the most definite critique of socio-political conditions of the time and the soul’s struggle with it.
I conceive this seminar as a collaborative endeavor. I will provide a set of Jungian poetic ideas and helpful stories that I find inspirational to explore these contemporary issues and we together engage in Conversation. I conceive this conversation, in its etymological Latin sense, as con-versare, to turn together with. So we will be turning around the subject of Dwelling Imaginally in the Soulless World. This turning together is for the sake of conversation, as the third of the many different voices that will contribute to it. Perhaps in this conversing we will contribute a bit or two to the soul-making.
1: One of the favorite expressions of Joseph Stalin “engineer of human soul.” A version of it has been embraced by ideologists of neo-liberalism since 1970’s.
Instructor: Sylvester Wojtkowski, PhD
Thursday, July 12
10:00am – 12:30 pm, & 1:30 – 4:00 pm
Bearskin: A Fairy Tale from the Brothers Grimm:
A Story about the Value and Meaning of Purgatory as a Place of Healing and Rebirth
Bearskin is a very old story, and as recent as today’s news. It is a fairy tale about a good soldier, one who knows the art and craft of war making. When the war ends he is discharged. His only provision is his gun. He is ill prepared for civilian life, since fighting wars is all he knows. His hard-bitten brothers refuse to help him out. “You are of no use to us,” they say. “Go and make a living for yourself.” Lost in a state of deep despair with no companions except the dark shadows from the war, this soldier, the hero of our story, wanders into a circle of trees within a laid-waste land. Here he teeters on the brink of chaos and near starvation.
Often, as is the case with our hero, in the hour of greatest need, when hope wanes and all seems lost, the god comes. A paraclete, a divine helper, appears. For Odysseus, the paraclete is Athene. For Faust it is Mephistopheles. For Dante it is Virgil. For St. Niklaus von der Flue, a 15h Century Swiss saint, Christ appears to him in a vision, first as a pilgrim carrying a coat. Later in the vision, this pilgrim transforms into Christ wearing a bearskin over his trousers and coat. In the case of our hero, the god appears as a stately man wearing a green coat, and with a cloven hoof for a foot. He makes an offer of help that involves the wearing of a bear’s skin over the helper’s green coat for a purgatorial period of seven years.
Why Bearskin? From a Jungian perspective, Bearskin helps us visualize and understand the psychological structures that shape the process Jung called individuation. These psychological structures include purgation and deep shadow work. In Bearskin we have a rich, full description of psychological purgatory, its value and meaning, its cost, and its promise. Purgatory is deep shadow work— an extended involutional state of intense introversion when one encounters and integrates dark places in one’s soul, body, and even one’s social world. In order to sustain ourselves and endure we need a map—Psyche’s road map—such as Jung describes: leaving the “collective,” entering involutional, purgatorial states for incubation (sometimes called the wilderness or wasteland), encountering the dark face of the mystery (the instinctive god within), transubstantiation, transformation, and integration on the level of the psyche (the treasure hard to attain), and the “return”.
During our seminar we will move slowly through Bearskin, and amplify the images as we go along. We will describe some ancient purgatorial rites and rituals, see how this fairy tale follows the pattern of cleansing, healing and rebirth well known to ancient peoples and indigenous societies, and draw on C. G. Jung’s descriptions of such states he described in his methodology. Such rites of passage were practiced in the great healing centers in ancient Greece, in shamanic based cultures such as those described by Black Elk, Oglala Lakota holy man of the 20th Century, by European alchemists during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and they are visible in the visions of St. Niklaus of Switzerland. Today we may find these same archetypal images arising in our dreams during analysis, as Psyche and Self encourage the soul toward individuation and wholeness.
Instructor: Bonnie L. Damron, PhD, LCSW
Student Dinner 5:00 – 7:00 pm:
Friday July 13
10:00am – 12:30 pm, & 1:30 – 4:00 pm
The Spirit in the Net: Jung’s reflections on the effects of media and technology on the psyche
Information overload, crazy-busy, and 24/7 connectivity are ubiquitous subjects in today’s media, yet “Generalized Media Disorder” is not yet entered in the official Diagnosis Manual. Jung was sensitive to the technological transformations happening around him, yet his voice is rarely heard outside of Jungian circles in discussions related to the subject of the psychological effects of electronic media technologies. In “The Effect of Technology on the Human Psyche,” he addresses his concerns, which he admits are “not at all easy to answer,” and in a recorded message sent to the Analytical Psychology Club of NY in 1952, he expressed his uneasiness about committing spoken words to tape. We will listen to Jung and discuss his thoughts on the effects of media on our behavior patterns and personality.
Instructor: Royce Froehlich, PhD, MDiv, LCSW-R