Urgent Message from Mother

“Gather the women” is a message from mother archetype, mother Earth, mother instinct, Mother Goddess, the Sacred Feminine. Suppression of the feminine principle is taking life on the planet to the brink. Terrorism, wars, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, global warming and deterioration of the environment; domestic violence, trafficking of women and girls, and children who are traumatized and dying of preventable diseases are the toxic symptoms. “Gather the Women” is a call from the Sacred Feminine to bring the feminine principle into consciousness and peace into the culture, to be a critical mass, a tipping point–the metaphoric millionth circle.

This is not about replacing patriarchy with matriarchy. Women can be as predominated and as unempathic as men as a gender are thought to be, and there are many men who are nurturing and empathic as women are thought to be. This is an acknowledgment that women as a gender–as a whole, not every woman, but women generally–have a wisdom that is needed to save the world. Compassionate activism can also be an individuation call, a response from within to become involved in the world.

Urgent Message From Mother is Jean Shinoda Bolen’s newest book, to be published in September, just weeks before this lecture.

Grail, Goddesses, Crones, and Circles

In this workshop for men and women, Jean Shinoda Bolen will bring us into the legendary, mythic and spiritual realm of the Sacred Feminine. The Grail and the goddesses are archetypes, symbols with depth and meaning for us all. The three phases of the Moon, the triple goddess, and women as maiden, mother, crone are stages of a women’s life; that can also be aspects of a man’s anima. Cut off from sources of meaning, without the Grail, the inner landscape becomes a wasteland. Listening to Jean tell these stories, we find ourselves re-membering dismembered parts of ourselves.

Through a guided mediation, we will deepen our understanding of the images within us and find the symbols that have meaning for us.
Beginning with the premise that we are spiritual beings on a human path, individuation takes on a soul dimension. The choices we make ripple out beyond us. In circles with a spiritual center, feminism, Jungian psychology, and Morphic Field theory come together to support growth, creativity, and activism.

Separation, Sorrow, and Individuation

Inevitably in the second half of life, we are confronted with separation, sorrow, and loss. Now, as more and more of us age beyond the life expectancies of our parents, we ask what are the later stages of individuation? Ageing brings the inevitable process of letting go. Wise sorrow becomes a surprising companion. In her capacity as teacher, sorrow accompanies the initiate in an ever-expanding grasp of life’s meaning and reality. Not surprisingly, we discover the wisdom of sorrow articulated in ancient Chinese texts, in Jung’s description of inner evolution, and in the poetry of a modern mystic. We will consider the role of sorrow in initiation, ancient and modern.

Separation, Sorrow, and Individuation

The workshop will consider in depth the stages of individuation, with particular emphasis on separation and aloneness as the initiate enters what Joseph Henderson calls “the undefined final stage.” We will follow the path of Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld, a five thousand year old myth from ancient Iraq, a prototype of the journey the seeker must follow. Then, through the poetic words of an ancient initiate and devotee of Inanna, the Sumerian high priestess Enheduanna, we will discover who Inanna becomes after her return to the world above, a model of completion for the seeker to observe.

Jung, Cosmology and the Transformation of the Modern Self

The modern mind has long assumed that there are few things more categorically distant from each other than “cosmos” and “psyche.” What could be more outer than cosmos? What more inner than psyche? Are they not informed by fundamentally different kinds of principles, the one objective, the other subjective?

But developments in many fields, from depth psychology to philosophy of science, now oblige us to recognize that cosmos and psyche are in fact deeply intertwined. Our understanding of the universe affects every aspect of our interior life from our highest spiritual convictions to our most intimate daily experience. Conversely, the deep dispositions of our interior life fully permeate and configure our understanding of the entire cosmos.

The limits of our cosmological imagination define the limits of our existence: Do we live in a disenchanted, mechanistic, purposeless universe as a randomly produced oddity of isolated consciousness, or do we participate in a living cosmos of unfolding meaning and purpose?

On Friday evening, drawing on the insights of Jung and others, we will explore the evolution of the modern world-view and the forging of the modern self, which have affected everything from contemporary religion and psychotherapy to U.S. foreign policy and the global ecological crisis.

Jung, Cosmology and the Transformation of the Modern Self

On Saturday, we will deepen this analysis while also addressing three overlapping topics: the nature of archetypes as that concept has evolved from Plato to Jung and beyond; Jung’s concept of synchronicity, which challenged the disenchanted world view and became a major focus of his own psychospiritual practice; and the categories of “masculine” and “feminine,” taking into account the more complex nature of those terms and of the human psyche than the simple classical polarity suggested.

Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

Finding meaning in the second half of life requires asking larger questions of ourselves, and challenging our values. To ask these questions three things are requisite: that we recover a sense of personal authority, that we strike a better balance between obligation to others and obligation to self, and that we construct a more mature spirituality. How do we recover our lives, grow as persons, and become increasingly at home with the person we are becoming?

Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

We can never be free to create our lives if we are in service to fixed, internalized, and largely unconscious ideas. We will engage questions which stir, sift, and raise consciousness of these deeply ingrained “ideas” which autonomously govern our lives. With increased consciousness comes increased possibility of the recovery of a more authentic journey. (Please bring a pad and pen for journaling).

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