December 4 and 5, 2009: Morgan Stebbins

Lecture and Workshop

Jung described the process of individuation as the curiosity about and understanding of the autonomous, unconscious psyche.  Curiosity is the trait that allows us to follow the red thread of the otherwise mysterious symbols as they emerge from the impersonal and personal unconscious.  However the unconscious is barred from our direct perception and so appears to us in many ways — in symptoms, in our bodies, in relationships, in emotion, in personal insight, as well as through collective symbols. 

This weekend, we will explore and practice Jung’s most important tools for translating communications from the unconscious.   We will take a new look at amplification as a very precise technique, and add to it the orientational method Jung developed in Volume 12; Psychology and Alchemy. Although we can use these tools to look at any symbolic communication from film to astrophysical theory to psychotic ideation, we will look specifically at dreams.   

Although there are many sources from which to derive Jung’s method, it is only with the publishing of Jung’s seminars that we see his teaching style and the method itself with dramatic clarity.  We are fortunate that Jung’s latest volume, Children’s Dreams, gives us just such clarity. In this work Jung shows us that some dreams reveal the arc of fate contained within the most determinative personal images – determinative not because we had them as children but because we remember them 30 or 40 years later (the dreams in this volume are not the dreams of children but the dreams remembered by adults from their childhood). 

Dream images remembered from childhood are similar to collective symbols in that they come to us without relevant associations.  The seminar will reveal how Jung interpreted these images without the help of surrounding personal material.  Because of the sensitivity of this method, Jung taught it to his inner circle but barred this material from publication for many years because it shows his work in a different light than in many of the other volumes.  It is a great boon to us, however, for here we can observe Jung’s uniquely direct style of teaching as he explains how to decipher the language of dreams and outlines the value of amplification.  

We will introduce this particularly powerful method of symbolic translation during the lecture and then have a chance to practice it in more detail during the workshop.  We will also consider Jung’s radical concept of changing fate, or heimarmene, through psychological development.  

(Please note this workshop will have a half-hour lunch-break. Participants are encouraged to bring brown-bag lunches.)

Morgan Stebbins, M.Div., L.M.S.W., is a Jungian analyst in New York City, where he is Director of Training, supervising analyst, faculty member of the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association (JPA), and a faculty member of the C. G. Jung Foundation, teaching courses comparing the findings of depth psychology with spiritual traditions worldwide, including the Kaballah, Zen Buddhism, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. He is also a contributing author to the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. Alongside studies in South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, he participated on the U.S. Olympics team in Field Hockey and is a nationally competitive bicyclist.

Dreams of Fate; the Fate of Dreams