Friday, October 23, 2020

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Archetypal Cosmology and the Metamorphosis of the Gods

Presenter: Keiron Le Grice, Ph.D.

Prometheus Brings Fire To Mankind, Painting by Heinrich Füger, Public Domain

How can we orient ourselves to the great archetypal powers and organizing principles of the universe? How can we understand the epochal shifts in our conception of God and our understanding of the spiritual dimension of life?

This talk describes a new vision of reality—an archetypal cosmology—arising from the intersection of Jungian psychology and perspectives in the new-paradigm sciences, and, with reference to this cosmology, then explains how we can use astrology to track the changing archetypal patterns and themes of individual experience and cultural history. Focusing especially on the archetypal principles associated with Neptune and Pluto, we will consider specifically how astrology can help us to understand the historical evolution of religious and mythic consciousness in our own time, or what Jung described as the “metamorphosis of the gods.”

Keiron Le Grice is a professor of depth psychology in the Jungian and Archetypal Studies specialization at Pacifica Graduate Institute, California, where he teaches courses on archetypes, individuation, alchemy, synchronicity, and the history of depth psychology. He was educated at the University of Leeds, England (B.A. honors, Philosophy and Psychology) and the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco (M.A., Ph.D., Philosophy and Religion). He is the author of five books––The Archetypal Cosmos, Discovering Eris, The Rebirth of the Hero, Archetypal Reflections, and the forthcoming alchemical memoir The Lion Will Become Man. He is also co-editor of Jung on Astrology, a compilation of Jung’s writings on this topic. Keiron’s work has been central to the development of the field of archetypal cosmology. He is the founder and former co- editor of Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, now serving as senior editorial advisor, and in 2016 he co-founded the Institute of Transpersonal and Archetypal Studies (ITAS) with colleagues in the U.S. and the U.K. Keiron lives in Ojai, California.

Friday, November 13, 2020

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Dream Tending:

Tapping into The Innate Intelligence of Dreams

Presenter: Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D.

Dr. Aizenstat will emphasize the "generative" qualities of dreams. Dreams prepare us for what is to come. And, in times of uncertainty and challenge, this support and guidance is invaluable.

Dr. Aizenstat will convey the primary underpinnings of his approach to working with dreams. He will discuss a "tool kit" describing the methods needed to tend personal dreams as well as those of others. Common dream themes like Flying, Falling, the Intruder, Finding Valuables, Water, Animals, Death, Birth, Journey and many others will be explored and explained. He will delineate how to tap into the "innate intelligence" of your dreams, and demonstrate his approach by working with dreams of participants.

Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., has devoted his life to understanding the profound wisdom and healing power that exists within each of us. Through our dreams and imagination, we access limitless creativity, innovation, improved relationships, and ultimately our human potential.

Professor Aizenstat’s Dream Tending methodologies have helped thousands of people to unlock their deep imagination, increase intellectual and emotional bandwidth and to realize personal and professional goals. He asks us to experiment with a worldview that playfully and soulfully sees the world as alive and always dreaming…in an attitude of wonderment, curiosity and presence. This inquiry was a driving force in Dr. Aizenstat’s creation of Pacifica Graduate Institute, a center for the study of the human experience through depth psychology, mythology, and the humanities.

Professor Aizenstat has served as an organizational consultant to leading Tech Companies, Hollywood films, community and educational institutions, and he has lectured extensively on the subject of dreams, the deep imagination, new technologies, and organizational development. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations, where he has spoken. Professor Aizenstat has been mentored by and collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman and Robert Johnson. He has conducted sold-out Dream Tending seminars, workshops and “pop-up” events in the U.S. Asia and Europe.

Friday, February 12, 2021

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Shadow Vows: What we don’t say when we say “I do”

Presenter: Elizabeth Èowyn Nelson, Ph.D.

Photo by Fallon Michael from Pexels

The word “vow” conjures images of two people making promises to one another in marriage, probably the most important and durable commitment of their lives. As the relationship unfolds, the vows can become a relic of the past or a guide to daily life. In either case, accompanying every spoken vow is an unspoken and unconscious shadow vow: what we don’t say when we say “I do.”

The lecture, with author Elizabeth Èowyn Nelson (Psyche’s Knife, 2012), introduces shadow vows and demonstrates their influence on the couple’s thinking and behavior. It also explores how “marriage “is a metaphor for emotionally-committed relationships of all kinds—to professional roles, creative projects, and passionate causes. It is the exceptional person who thinks about vows to their job, that unfinished novel, or their own soul. These other “marriages” are shaped more commonly by unspoken vows, carrying a great deal of shadow. The “marriages” often live uneasily with one another: conflict is inevitable and necessary. Thus attempting to live our vows, both spoken and unspoken, illuminates the rocky and profound aspects of the art of life, “the most distinguished and rarest of all the arts” (Jung, CW 8, para 789).

Elizabeth Èowyn Nelson, faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute since 2003, has been a professional writer and editor for more than 30 years. Dr. Nelson’s books include Psyche’s Knife: Archetypal Explorations of Love and Power (Chiron, 2012) and The Art of Inquiry: A Depth Psychological Perspective (Spring Publications, 2017), coauthored with Joseph Coppin. In addition to teaching and speaking internationally, she coaches aspiring authors across a variety of genres and styles.

Friday, March 19, 2021

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

How Imagination Makes Knowledge Through Art Practice in any Medium:

Jung and Arts-Based Research

Presenter: Susan Rowland, Ph.D.

Jung may have rejected art, but the new research paradigm of Arts-Based Research (ABR) has decided that his The Red Book (2009) is a pioneering text. ABR is the rediscovery and discovery of forms of knowing and new knowledge through art practice. Arts-based research is not art therapy, even though it uses some of the same methods of experiential creative work. Rather, arts-based research is a successor to alchemy as a way of knowing and being that sees no split between art and science. Jungian psychology offers the existing literature on arts-based research a language and further skills on its primary ontology of the psychic image, intuition, embodied knowing and collaboration with the universe. In turn, arts-based research shows that Jungian psychotherapy can be done with the world (not just in the consulting room). For ABR produces artifacts that have their own future life and being. Included in the lecture will be an experiential exercise using dream images and poetry. If possible, do have a recent dream in mind for when we meet.

Susan Rowland Ph.D. teaches Jungian psychology and the arts at Pacifica Graduate Institute where she is co-Chair of the Engaged Humanities MA and faculty on the doctoral program in Jungian and Archetypal Studies. She has published ten books on Jung, creativity, ecology, gender and the arts and her latest is Jungian Arts-Based Research and The Nuclear Enchantment of New Mexico with Joel Weishaus (2020). She was the founding chair of the International Association for Jungian Studies (IAJS). Her own arts-based research practice is writing detective novels.

Friday, April 30, 2021

7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Intimations in the Night:

An Archetypal Perspective on Psyche and Spirit in the Aging Process

Presenter: Michael Conforti, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst

"Normal development involves to a large extent the surrender of creativity in favor of a recognition of generally accepted cultural values and the sacrifice of individuality to an adjustment to the requirements of the collective ... yet the survival and the creative endurance of this sacrifice provides the indispensable basis for the individuation process of the second half of life, which is world embracing in the true sense of the world ..." (Erich Neumann, in Creative Man, page 212) *

When entering the autumn and winter of life, we often experience a profound lack of orientation. So many of our meaningful accomplishments from the first of life now begin to lose their luster, and those aspirations and dreams which set our hearts on fire, are now eclipsed by these new and strange emotions, and desires suddenly emerging from the shadows.

The needs and emotions of this autumn and winter of life speaks to us in a foreign tongue. The fires and passions of youth and the middle years are now reduced to smoldering embers, and with these, the hunger for so much of what we wanted in life quickly fades into the domain of memory. These embers no longer warm our heart and soul. Now the only truly accurate rendering and intimations of this life now calling us, is found in our dreams, our frustrations, symptoms, and those cravings for what Rabbi Heschel calls the "ineffable."

And then there is the role of psyche and soul in this aging process, whereby the voice and needs of The Self now speak louder than the youthful chorus still clamoring for an outdated way of life. In Hemingway’s last major work of fiction, The Old Man and the Sea, we find this dialogue between ego and Self, and those yearnings of our younger self confronting the reality of who we are now as an older person. Through the old man’s journey and reluctant recognition that he now must view his life against the backdrop of a life vastly different from what it once was, he now has to make a number of crucial and life threatening decisions. And it is this old man's refusal to respond to the calling of the ineffable and the consequences of his actions, that actually teaches us a profound lesson about the aging process. Standing face to face with the reality that we have aged, and now face certain limitations, we are challenged to hear those painful lamentations of ego and youth as we move into this later and eventually final stage of life. Now it is imperative to know what it is that we so deeply love and cherish, need to preserve, and then recognize those aspects of life we need to relinquish, as they no longer satisfy the mandates of the Self. Perhaps here we will see how those roaring fires of our earlier years are transformed by the richly grained oak and maple woods whose warmth provides us with a sustained heat. Perhaps now with this new perspective of life’s journey and where we are on this road allows us to finally take that winter house rental overlooking the Aeolian sea.

* I want to thank Loralee Conforti for this Neumann reference

Dr. Michael Conforti is a Jungian analyst and the Founder and Director of The Assisi Institute. He is a faculty member at the C.G. Jung Institute, New York, Jung Institute, Boston, and for many years served as a Senior Associate faculty member in the Doctoral and Master's Programs in Clinical Psychology at Antioch New England.

A pioneer in the field of matter-psyche studies, Dr. Conforti is actively investigating the workings of archetypal fields and the relationship between Jungian psychology and the New Sciences. He has presented his work to a wide range of national and international audiences, including the C.G. Jung Institute - Zurich and Jungian organizations in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Italy, Russia, and Venezuela.

He is the author of Threshold Experiences: The Archetype of Beginnings (2007) and Field, Form and Fate: Patterns in Mind, Nature and Psyche (2002), which have been translated into Italian, Russian and a soon to be released Spanish edition. His articles have appeared in Psychological Perspectives, San Francisco Jung Library Journal, Roundtable Press, World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution, and Spring Journal.