The Muses of Truth and Transformation: Timeless Tales for Troubled Times
October 22 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm PDT
A timeless tale sums up our contemporary conflicts: two women claimed the same newborn baby, so the sage declared, “Cut the baby in two and give each woman half.” The first woman nodded, while the other cried out, “No! Spare the baby, give him to her.” Although most familiar from the Bible, the story is a folktale found in different cultures and offering relevant archetypal insights. Partisans today may act like the first woman, insisting on their position even if it means killing innocent people – think jihadists and lone mass murderers. Politicians are willing to “kill” legislation that does not fit their ideology, even if it splits the body politic. When faced with unyielding opponents, earlier cultures reflected on deadly conflicts and put their insights into metaphorical stories – folktales — and passed them on. Only stories that rang true to people in many cultures survived, leaving us time-tested archetypal wisdom for resolving conflicts. The workshop considers other stories and more applications to reforging personal and cultural narratives about judging truth and resolving conflicts. The process is visible in successful depth therapy, resolutions of life crises, initiation experiences, and reconciliation of difficult disputes.
Allan B. Chinen, M.D., is the author of four books and the psychological and spiritual tasks of aging: In the Ever After, Once Upon a Midlife, Beyond the Hero, and Waking the World. Although retired from private practice to focus on writing, he continues to teach as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, on the voluntary faculty of the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. He Is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Born and raised in Hawaii, he obtained his undergraduate and medical degrees at Stanford University, and completed his psychiatry residency and fellowship at University of California, San Francisco.