Fall 1996 Programming

September 20-21, 1996: John Giannini

Lecture: The Historical and Psychological Contexts for Intimate Relations

Intimate relationships are as ancient as life itself. In Genesis II, the awakened Adam, now male, sees Eve and exclaims: “This at last is bone of my bones, and flesh from my flesh!” The woman undoubtedly said the same as the man, given a metaphorical and non-patriarchal understanding of the text. Otherwise, the following would not have occured: “Now both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but the felt no shame in front of each other.” This weekend’s lecture and workshop will consider this event. 

This lecture will consider historical perspectives and developments that have obscured or even prevented intimate relations. They include harsh survivial conditions, the emergence of masculine dominance leading to the eclipse of the importance of the couple in favor of the larger family or tribe, more complex political structures, and religious organizations with their laws and moral codes. Today, however, vast changes, including the emergence of nuclear families born of romantic love and not of family or clan arrangements. Now there is an opportunity and a necessary challenge as never before for a couple to realize intimate relations in both a sensual and spiritual sense. Societal as well as important inner resistance assimilated from our long patriarchal history impede the development of such intimacy. This conflict between our ancient history and our present society may account for the enormous difficulty in and the massive breakdown of the present nuclear family. John Giannini will use Genesis I and II to illustrate a model for itimacy’s separation and surrender. 

Workshop: The Sensuality and Spirituality of Intimate Relationships

In the workshop, we will consider the elements of spirituality and sensuality that make up an intimate relationship. Spirituality is associated with the need for separateness and flights of the spirit, and sensuality with the unity and vulnerability of the soul. We’ll keep in mind as context and guide Genesis I’s separations and Genesis II’s surrenders. 

We will explore the journey towards a sacred relationship-its resistances and failures, its characteristics and its triumphs-mainly through discussion of our lives, our dreams, and dream work with emotionally laden images. Our goal is to provide tools for breaking resistances so as to activate loving powers that strengthen our intimate relationship and/or make them possible for the first time. Bring your stories and dreams. 


John Giannini, M.A.,Mdiv, MBA, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Chicago, and a 1980 graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. He began his own analysis in 1956. He is working on two books: In the Beginning Was the Dream: Jung and Creation Spirituality; and Typology as the Soul’s Four-Fold Archetypal Way; in Jung, the Meyers-Briggs Culture, Brain Research, Child Development, and in the Economics Philosophy of W. Edwards Deming. He lectures widely on Jungian Psychology in relation to individual development and societal issues. 

The Sensuality and Spirituality of Intimate Relationships

October 25-26, 1996: Michael Conforti

Lecture and Workshop: One of Jung’s greatest discoveries was the presence of Self organizing tendencies in the psyche. He realized that, manifested in dreams, symptoms, and in other symbolic form, the psyche continually introduces greater degrees of meaning and complexity into the life process. Jung went on to suggest that much of life presents as an unfolding of these archetypal, ordering processes into matter, which then assumes a recognizable form in both the internal and external world.

In the weekend lecture and workshop, Dr. Conforti will present his own findings on the nature of archetypal influences in order to illustrate the effect that the have in virtually every aspect of the life process. Building on Jung’s original work on the nature of the archetype, on more recent findings in the new sciences (including those of David Bohm, Ervin Laszlo, David Peat and Rupert Sheldrake) and on clinical material, he will show that our basic life interactions, including personal relationships, financial decisions, work situations, and even the terapeutic relationship, are goverened by the influence of these archetypal fields. In learning to recognize the underlying structure of these patterns, we can often infer the nature of the specific archetype constellated.


Michael Conforti, Ph.D.  is a Jungian analyst and founder and Director of the Assisi Conferences. He is a faculty member at the C. G. Jung Institute in Boston and the C.G. Jung Foundation of New York. and he is a Senior Associate faculty member in the Doctoral and Masters’ Programs in Clinical Psychology at Antioch, New England. Dr. Conforti has recently been selected by the Club of Budapest, Hungary, and the University of Potsdam, Germany, to be part of a 20 member international team of physicists, biologists and dynamic systems theorists to examine the role and influence of informational fields. He is the recipient of the 1995 Vision Award, presented by the National Association fo rhte Advancement of Psychoanalysis.



From Psyche to a Picture of the World: Archetypal Dimensions of Self Organization

November 8-9, 1996: Dennis Merritt

Lecture: Seasons of the Soul: Archetypal Patterns in Weather and Climate

“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.”

Mark Twain


Weather and climate have powerful psychological and spiritual effects upon the human psyche. The pathological dimensions of the weather have impressed themselves upon the American conciousness this past year as news reports have given us a sense of the potential effects of global warming. Our attitudes toward weather and climate reveal our relationship to nature and the unconscious. Joseph Campbell pointed out that the most recognizable, universal form of myth and analogy is that of the seasons to the human life cycle. The archetypal and imaginal apsects of these phenomena will be elucidated by an examination of weather and seasonal metaphors, myths, Native American stories, the I Ching, dreams, and Hillman’s presentation of Aphrodite as the World soul, or Anima Mundi. 

Workshop: The Greening of Psychology: Jung’s Contribution to Evolving Environmental Paradigms

Jungian psychology can make an important contribution to environmentalism at the most fundamental-by offering a new psycho-spiritual paradigm that can help change Western culture’s perspective on nature. Joseph Campbell felt that the next world myth was likely to have an environmental orientation. Jungian psychology is ideally situated for the task of exploring possible new paradigms. Jung’s concepts about the psyche and its connection to the natural world were born out of his intimate connection with nature. This connection was put into historical context by his study of alchemy, primal cultures, mythology and the I Ching. Jung’s concepts of synchronicity and the pychoid dimension of archetypes are radical natural paradigms, in contrast to the reigning scientific world view. 

This workshop will begin with an examination of Jung’s life and Big Dreams as presented in his autobiography, to establish Jung’s paradigm of the human connection to nature. Jung felt that a person not connected to the land is neurotic, and he emphasized the cthonic dimension of the psyche. Our attention will then shift to the Greek god, Hermes. The very practice of Jungian Psychology is a hermetic endeavor that, if true to the spirit of Hermes, opens us to a deep connection to the environment. The archetypal life pattern illuminated by Hermes will be examined as a basic Western myth for our relationship to body and nature. These perspectives will be used to illustrate a holisitic approach to nature education by looking at the most succesful form of life on the planet-the insects. Our cultural attitudes toward insects, particularly the pesky ones, to a large extent reflect our attitude toward the unconscious. The psychological significance of insects in dreams and myths will be explored. The importance of animals in dreams and the concept of the spirit animal and animal medicine will also be examined. 


Dennis Merritt Ph.D., holds a doctorate from Berkeley in Insect Pathology and is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institure in Zurich. He is in private practice as a Jungian analyst, Ecopsychologist and Sandplay therapist in Madison, Wisconson. He and his wife have conducted week-long Spirit in the Land Institutes combining scientific, Native American, and depth psychological perspectives on the environment. He is writing a book-The Dairy Farmer’s Guide to the Universe: the Greening of Psychology and Education, and co-editing an book with Chris Merritt-Spirit in the Land: Developing a Sense of Place. 

Seasons of the Soul: Archetypal Patterns in Weather and Climate

December 6-7, 1996: Karlyn May Ward

Lecture and Workshop: What is the importance and significance of sound and music to analytic work? In dialogue with the theories of Jung, Kohut and Bonny, we will explore the use of music as a therapeutic modality, relating it to active imagination and to clinical and symbolic aspects of music and the psychotherapeutic process. The lecture will include music. 

Saturday’s workshop will include an experiential portion; participants will explore their own responses in imagery in response to music. Please wear comfortable clothing. 


Karlyn May Ward, Ph.D. LCSW, is an advanced candidate at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. She is in private practice in El Cerrito, California and on the Adjunct Faculty of Pacific School of Religion (part of the Graduate Theological Union), Berkeley. A musician (singer and organist), she is also a Fellow of The Association for Music and Imagery. 

Psyche and Music