What it Means to Go to War

What are we demanding of young men and women when we send them to war? Have we prepared them for what they will experience on the battlefield? In this keynote address, Karl Marlantes will draw upon his experience as a war veteran to explore the psychological realities of war at the personal and collective levels. Parsifal and other mythic figures in literature will be amplified in the context of core themes in Jungian psychology – archetypes, initiation, and the shadow – with the goal of illuminating the archetypal role of the warrior and what it means to go to war.

The Unseen Wounds of War

Building on the keynote address, Dr. Joseph Bobrow will explore the hidden substrate of trauma that is both a devastating legacy of war and also a sustaining force in the long cycle of violent conflict that stretches from antiquity to the present.  The role of collective dissociation will be addressed in the context of the mass psychology of war.  Constructive engagement between civilians and veterans will be considered as an avenue for deep personal and collective healing.

The Call of Our Ancient Ancestors

In the Red Book, Jung writes: “When something long since passed . . . comes back again in a changed world, it is new. To give birth to the ancient in a new time is creation.” The ancient ancestors are now coming back into the world through dreams, bringing a new energy – a revitalization of the psyche both individually and collectively.  Jung deeply valued the archaic levels of human consciousness and often encouraged his patients to make contact with the “the two-million-year-old” man or woman within.  He believed that “most of our difficulties come from losing contact with our instincts, with the age-old unforgotten wisdom stored up in us”.  This presentation is an exploration of the dreams of modern Western-educated people in which ancient ancestral wisdom makes itself known.  It will include a discussion of “big dreams”, an introduction to the levels of the unconscious as Jung sketched them, and an exploration of archetypal images that belong to this range of being, the wisdom of the primordial psyche.

Wisdom of the Primordial Psyche

This workshop is an opportunity to expand and deepen our exploration of the ancient ancestors at work in the contemporary psyche. We will further examine dreams and the archetypal images that emerge from these deeper levels of psyche.  We will experientially touch into the ranges of the primal psyche through image, sound, guided visualization and dream work. Workshop participants are invited to bring their own dreams relating to this material — to the living reality of our primal ancestors and their ancient wisdom.

“The Sailor Cannot See the North”: The Psychospiritual Dilemma of Our Time

“The sailor cannot see the north / but knows the needle can.”
~ Emily Dickinson

What are the sources of guidance for a thoughtful person in our country amid political fractionation, animosity, divisive ideologies, and numbing distractions—a time in which the individual has an enormous summons to social, psychological, and spiritual integrity?  This presentation will challenge the audience to assume responsibility for a thoughtful, discerned, and experientially verified authority, one which bases itself on respect for others, but also embodies a willingness to show up, to be different, to stand for something real.

The Other Side of Christmas: Incarnation as the Awesome Burden of Opposites

The Incarnation, at the core of the Christian mythos and message, can be celebrated joyfully at Christmas as a union of opposites between human and divine, but one which also ennobles us with the burden of what Jung calls “the divine problem”:  the paradox of divine wrath and love, destruction and renewal.  As Jung puts it, “Christ has shown how everybody will be crucified upon his destiny,” a concept that includes shouldering the opposites in one’s psyche.  At the collective level that cross includes destructive impulses that have become incarnate in the reckless exploitation of the earth for oil and profit.  The threat of global catastrophe from irreversible global warming coexists (paradoxically) with love for the very children and grandchildren who will inherit our planet.

Continuing Incarnation: Love and Creativity

Dr. Dudley will lead participants in an examination of three forms of incarnational love:  its selfless or agape form; love of family; and eros or sexuality.  Our discussion of agape will include love for our species and the planet; love of family will address the child’s burden of living a parent’s unlived life; and eros will include wellsprings of creativity.  Active participation by the audience will be encouraged.

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