Fall 2000 Season Program

Speaker: David Rosen

Transforming depression: Healing the soul through creativity, egocide, symbolic death, and new life

This presentation will cover: understanding depression and the quest for meaning, knowing suicide and its creative potential, and egocide and transformation (an innovative Jungian humanistic therapeutic paradigm). Egocide and transformation entails healing depressive and suicidal states through the creative technique of active imagination. In other words, the symbolic death of a destructive ego (and shadow) — ‘the false self’ — and the subsequent creative expressions lead to the birth of the ‘true self.’ Dr. Rosen will also talk about crisis points (such as adolescence, mid-life, divorce and loss of a loved one) and how egocide can help.

This format will allow for the in-depth presentation and discussion of an actual case (a depressed and suicidal patient). Participants will learn how the egocide and transformation model is applied and how it works. The patient, guided by the analyst, symbolically kills (or analyzes to death) negative aspects of the ego and shadow (egocide and shadowcide) and the related depressive and suicidal state is transformed through the creative arts.

Suicide is literally a dead end. Whereas, egocide involves a symbolic death and rebirth experience. Egocide and transformation allows the suffering melancholic individual to live, heal the soul through creativity and find meaning in life.

David Rosen, M.D., trained as a psychiatrist at the Langley Porter Institute in San Francisco and as a Jungian analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. As a Professor of Humanities in Medicine at Texas A & M University, his research interests include analytical psychology, the psychology of religion, depression, suicidology, healing, creativity, and the psychosocial, psychiatric, and human aspects of medicine. Among his eight published books areTransforming Depression: A Jungian Approach Using the Creative Arts, The Tao of Jung: The Way of Integrity and his newest book, The Healing Spirit of Haiku, co-authored with Joel Weishaus in 2004.

Speaker: Marion Woodman

Bone: Dying into life

Marion Woodman is renowned as a chronicler of women’s experience. In her latest work, she combines her trademark insight with a personal lesson in wisdom and strength. On November 7, 1993, Marion Woodman was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Bone is the story, told in journal form, of her illness and healing and the journey to transforming herself.

More than a meditation on illness, Bone offers insights into healing and the role of art and poetry in the soul’s journey toward balance and wholeness. Woodman is extraordinarily honest about the factors she feels led her down the path to cancer, physically and spiritually, over the course of her early life. She also details the harrowing aspects of her journey and how she ultimately returned to health. Filled with art, line drawings, quotations from Rumi, Emily Dickinson, William Blake and others, Bone is a unique and sensitive testament to the human spirit and to the courage of this extraordinary woman.

Marion Woodman, Ph. D. Hon., is a Jungian analyst and a leader in exploring the deeper levels of the feminine. She is the author of many acclaimed books which bridge the fields of analytical psychology and feminine psychology including, Addiction to Perfection and Leaving My Father’s House.

Speaker: Thomas Singer

The vision thing: Myth, politics and psyche in the world

George Bush, the elder, did not have in mind the fundamental interconnectedness of myth, politics and psyche when he inadvertently coined the phrase “the vision thing.” Yet, the very awkwardness of Bush’s phrase points to the inherent tension between the real and the visionary between the conscious and unconscious. Indeed, the “vision thing” problem is at the heart of ongoing paradoxes in our individual and collective lives and in our mythological and political orientations. This lecture will explore the “vision thing” through examples from contemporary American and international political conflicts.

Building on the basic premises of the lecture, this workshop will explore in greater depth the relationships between mythology, politics and psyche. Drawing from several essays in The Vision Thing: Myth, Politics and Psyche in the World, we will explore the complex intermingling of mythological themes, psychological forces and political conflicts in contemporary life. Everywhere we look — be it politics, sports, economics or entertainment — the experience of our individual and collective lives is permeated by the interplay of myth and psyche. The workshop will examine several “case studies” that tease out these relationships. Some of the material includes: the feminine in politics; race relations in America; ethnic conflict in Bosnia and Pol Pot’s Cambodian genocide; the relationship between myth and vision in leadership; the link between Alexander the Great and cyberspace; and the challenge of practicing politics in the economic myth. Even the Wizard of Oz has an honored place in the exploration of The Vision Thing.

Thomas Singer, M.D. is a Jungian analyst, Chair of Extended Education at the C.G. Jung Institute in San Francisco and author. Educated at Princeton University and the Yale Medical School, Dr. Singer’s most recent book, The Vision Thing: Myth, Politics and Psyche in the World (Routledge), is a collection of essays that features an essay by Senator Bill Bradley on the role of vision and myth in leadership. His other books are Who’s The Patient Here? Portraits of the Young Psychotherapist and A Fan’s Guide to Baseball Fever: The Official Medical Reference.

Speaker: Alden Josey

Caves of the soul

The metaphor of the cave that one enters bearing only the modest candle of one’s intention to light the unknown depths and darkness is a very apt image of the exploration of self. With that image in mind, this lecture will retrace a recent pilgrimage to the Dordogne region of southwestern France to explore prehistoric caves and rock shelters of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon humans where painted images suggest early stages of mankind’s differentiation. We will also re-trace the traveling group’s visit to the great Cathedral at Chartres to experience another kind of “cave” made by men above the ground. These sites of exploration offer similar impressions of the perennial search in the deep places of the soul for, and the experience of, a transcendent Other. The lecture will discuss some of these cave sites and show slides of some of the surviving paintings. Using these images we will “go into the caves” together to examine the process of opening oneself to the personal depths of Psyche, to the experience of the mysterium tremendum et fascinans. We will explore the psychological meanings of sacred space and the “thin places” in the world where the ego and Self, the human and the Divine, meet in fruitful exchange.

We will explore more intensively examples of ancient image-making and experiment with our own creative image-making efforts around personal experience of the mysterium. We will also use a fairy tale to examine a more modern expression of the age-old search for the healing connection of ego and Self.

Alden Josey, Ph.D., educated at the University of Illinois and at Cornell University, was awarded a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in l957. He retired in 1985 after a 27 year career in chemical research with the DuPont Company. In 1989 he received his Diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich and is a past Director of Studies at the C.G. Jung Institute of Philadelphia and a Training Analyst of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. He is in private practice in Wilmington, Delaware.

Speaker: Betty De Shong Meador

Inanna: The carved-out ground plan of heaven and earth

The Mesopotamian goddess Inanna wears on her robe “the carved-out ground plan of heaven and earth,” thus declaring herself to be the architect of perceived reality. Her plan, as described by the poet and priestess Enheduanna, encompasses both the beauty, joy and goodness of life as well as sorrow, tragedy, pain, violence and death. Inanna herself embodies paradox and creates for her human subjects all the difficult opposing forces of the outer and inner worlds. From Jung’s psychology we learn that the demanding contradictions that challenge every human being are the whet stones on which we hone our individuality and widen the circumference of our consciousness. We will explore transformative strategy of embracing dark and light, examining this process as a gateway to understanding the Divine Feminine.

Inanna: Warrior, priestess, lover, androgyne

The variety and potency of the images of the Divine Feminine in Mesopotamia suggest that these ancient people had access to energetic expression long since stifled in men and women in the west. Because the divine beings of Mesopotamia are direct precursors of Judaism and Christianity, they are latent in the western psyche as the shadow of an overly exclusive masculine god. We will explore through slide images, text and discussion such shadow figures as the ecstatic priestess, the warrior goddess, the divine life force as sexuality, and the androgyne, all of whom carry a balancing potential for the traditional western individual and offer the possibility of a greatly expanded consciousness.

Betty De Shong Meador is a Jungian analyst, retired member of the San Francisco Jung Institute. She is the author of Uncursing the Dark. Her translations of the devotional poetry of the Sumerian high priestess Enheduanna, the first author of record, appear in her book Inanna – Lady of Largest Heart. Her translation of the forty-two Sumerian Temple Hymns of Enheduanna will appear in the forthcoming On Your Radiant Site. She lives on a ranch in San Diego County where she and her husband grow a prize-winning merlot in their vineyard.