The events of September 11 and the war on terrorism have focused our attention on America’s future in a renewed and pressing way. Given our extroverted orientation, much of our focus is on the “other,” on the enemy outside of us. However, our domestic and internal spiritual condition is also in need of serious attention, and is inextricably linked with our foreign policy. The same psychological attitudes influence both domestic and international (inner and outer) spheres. As Jung concluded in 1930, the central, archetypal force shaping American attitudes is a powerful “Heroic Ideal” or aspiration toward greatness. Today, this heroic ideal is in a state of upheaval. We are suffering, albeit unconsciously, from a heroic-identity crisis: What does it mean to be a heroic or great people? It is imperative to our future as a nation and civilization that we begin to examine this and to understand ourselves. This talk will focus on the archetypal underpinnings of our national character and their relevance to the events of our day and the future of America.
9/11/01 Commentaries from New York Jungians
Kristine Mann Library of the Analytical Psychology Club at the C. G. Jung Center of New York
September 11: articles in response
International Association for Analytical Psychology
September 11th: Piercing Our Unconscious
Jerome S. Bernstein, C. G. Jung Page
The Archetypal Dimension of the New York Terrorist Tragedies of 911
Bedi Ashok, M.D., C. G. Jung Page
Mythos and Terrorism: A Response to the Events of September 11
Barry Mills, M.D., Forensic Psychiatrist, C. G. Jung Page
Borrowing a notion from the Elgonyi natives of central Africa, Jung designated “big” dreams as those transcending individual concerns. Such dreams comment on the human condition, history and the evolution of consciousness, or social problems of great magnitude. Now, big dreams in response to September 11 offer seminal insights on our current plight. This workshop will be an exploration of big dreams and how to work with them so as to extract their wisdom and integrate their value into our individual, everyday lives. Participants are encouraged to bring dreams of this kind to the workshop.
Michael Gellert, M.A., L.C.S.W.
, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Santa Monica, California. He holds Master’s degrees in religious studies and social work. He studied with Marshall McLuhan at the University of Toronto, and undertook Zen training with the Zen master Koun Yamada in Japan. He has worked and traveled extensively in Asia. Formerly, he was Director of Training at the C.G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles, a mental health consultant to the University of Southern California and Time, and manager of an employee assistance program for District Council 37, the labor union for employees of the City of New York. He was a humanities professor at Vanier College, Montreal, and taught religious studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York and psychology at the College of New Rochelle. He is the author of Modern Mysticism: Jung, Zen and the Still Good Hand of God
and The Fate of America: An Inquiry into National Character
This presentation features a lesser-known side of Jung – practical, down-to-earth, and deeply concerned over the loss of connection with Nature. Jung emphasizes that Nature includes spirit as well as matter. Efforts to “conquer Nature” have left matter without its nature spirits and humans without a natural spiritual life. A pioneer in exploring the psyche’s evolution, Jung discovered its primordial foundation, which he named “natural man.”
Interwoven with dreams and stories from Jung’s travels and his life at Bollingen, this program showcases his challenging observations and prophetic predictions about technology and modern life. Following the tradition of the Taoist rainmaker whom he admired, Jung speaks as a culture shaman who shares our malaise and knows that restoring our own living connection with Nature contributes to healing the whole.
Article in Resurgence Journal (Jan/Feb. 2000):
Soul and Nature: For C. G. Jung, Mind, Nature and Humanity are Part of a Seamless Continuum
Saturday, participants will hear about the specific environmental consultations Jung gave: how the natural self is left behind when technology develops too rapidly; how our primateness needs to be considered in city planning and education; how cultivating a plot of ground and enjoying dreams help ancient instincts come back to life; and where banished nature spirits now abide. Using active imagination, art materials, spontaneous writing, and handouts of selected passages, we will explore how Jung’s ideas impact us and might guide us toward aligning our lives with Nature’s sacred laws.
Our task is not to return to Nature a la Rousseau but to find the natural man again. C. G. Jung
Meredith Sabini, M.A., Ph.D.
, is a licensed psychologist who practiced Jungian psychotherapy from 1977 to 1997 and now directs Depth Psychology Programs in Berkeley, which offers continuing education seminars on dreams, ethics, and self-care. A published poet, essayist, and associate editor at Psychological Perspectives, Dr. Sabini has contributions in The Sacred Heritage: The Influence of Shamanism on Analytical Psychology
, and is the author of The Earth Has a Soul: The Nature Writings of C.G. Jung
. She has been engaged in a long apprenticeship to matter and to the nature spirits on a wilderness property; essays chronicling her experience of ecological conversion are used in ecopsychology courses.
Drawing on literature from the Song of Songs and The Gospel of Mary to contemporary works, on images from Isis to the present, and on music from Hildegard of Bingen to contemporary composers such as Francis Poulenc and Arvo Pärt, we will explore the figure of this long-repressed but powerful archetype of transformation. For this lecture and workshop, the dark, hidden, but positive feminine will be accessed through the figure of Mary Magdalene, long associated with the Black Madonna. We will trace her origins through her predecessors, and her characteristics through examining image, music, and literature.
In this participatory workshop, we will continue to explore the archetype of the dark feminine through image, music, and literature. This is an image of the feminine that is other than “the mother.” What can we understand about her characteristics through examining our own individual responses to literature, music, and image? And what might she mean to men as well as to women? Participants will enjoy the introverted time to explore the personal meaning of each image and each piece of music. Then discussion will allow the group to come to some assessment of the characteristics of the transformational dark feminine archetype, and an understanding of why in our time she is so important to each of us, and to all of us collectively.
Karlyn M. Ward, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., B.C.D.
, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Mill Valley, California. Her analytic training was done at the C.G. Jung Institute in San Francisco where she is presently a member analyst. She is a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the Pacific School of Religion, part of the Graduate Theological Union, a consortium of some 28 schools of religion in Berkeley, California. There she teachers "Introduction to Jungian Thought" and "A Psychology of Suffering: Jung’s Answer to Job." A musician, she is trained in the Bonny Method of using music as a form of active imagination, and is a Fellow in the Association for Music and Imagery. Her book, Sounding the Depths: Psyche and Music
, is in process. She has given numerous seminars on music and psyche, and on redeeming the dark feminine. These seminars have been held at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, elsewhere in the Bay area, in Orange County, in Portland, in Zürich at the C.G. Jung Institute, and most recently in the south of France, in Provence
In his memoir Jung writes, “The meaning of my existence is that life has addressed a question to me…or conversely, I myself am a question.” The depth of meaning which we find along the way is in large measure a matter of which questions we are living, consciously or unconsciously. In this presentation we will consider the character of those questions which, more consciously engaged, add to the richness of the journey and enlarge the individual. Among the questions addressed this weekend, the one we focus on this evening is, “By what spiritual points of reference do I live my life?”
We will address other questions in the workshop, including “What is my Shadow, and how do I bring it to consciousness?” Please bring pad and pen and be prepared for personal reflection.
James Hollis, Ph. D.
is a Jungian Analyst in private practice in Washington, D. C. where he is also Executive Director of the Jung Society of Washington. He is also the author of fourteen books including his most recent book, Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey