Fall 2019 Season Program

Speaker: Jeffrey Raff

Living the Imaginal Life: Dreams, Active Imagination and Synchronicity

The term “Imaginal World,” made popular by the great French writer Henri Corbin, refers to a dimension of life outside the norm, a dimension only perceivable through the imagination. The imagination, however, is not something unreal or ungrounded, a creator of fantasies and illusions. Rather, it is a powerful mode of perception that connects us with a world just as real as our ordinary world of everyday reality. As Robert Johnson has said, the imaginal is not real, it is realer than real. In this lecture I shall discuss the nature of the imaginal, its relationship to Jung and the process of individuation, as well as the transformative nature of imaginal experience. I shall also outline ways in which one can begin to live an imaginal life.

Building on the discussion Friday night, we shall continue our exploration of the theoretical nature of the imaginal and imagination but will concentrate on the experience of several methods for living the imaginal life.  These methods include dreaming, active imagination, as well as working with inner impulses and synchronicities.  There will be opportunity to practice and then discuss our experiences working with these techniques.  We will also discuss ways to live the imaginal life on a daily basis.  The practices used in the workshop are suitable for both those new to Jung and active imagination as well as those more advanced.

Jeffrey Raff, Ph.D., received his B.A. from Bates College, his M.A. in Psychology from the New School for Social Research, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Union Graduate Institute. He attended the C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich from 1972-1976, graduating as a diplomate Jungian Analyst. He has written articles on shamanism, the Kabbalah, and alchemy, as well as four books, Jung and the Alchemical Imagination, Healing the Wounded God, The Wedding of Sophia, and his latest book, The Practice of Ally Work. He is currently in recovery from Guillain-Barré Syndrome and attempting to comprehend the mysteries it brought into his life.

Speaker: Richard Tarnas

Changing of the Gods: Weathering the Storm in an Archetypal Cosmos

In their distinct and brilliant ways, both C. G. Jung and James Hillman broke free of limiting modern assumptions and recognized that psyche was not confined to the human, that it permeated all of nature, the cosmos itself. Both also recognized the extraordinary value of astrology in shining an unexpected light on the archetypal dynamics of human life in synchronistic correlation with planetary movements. Our moment in history clearly represents a threshold of of great consequence, and the current planetary alignments can provide us with valuable insights about the deeper impulses at work in the drama now facing the Earth community. What is the planetary situation now, what are the historical precedents, and how might our contemporary culture be transformed by the recognition that an intimate bond exists between the deep psyche and the cosmos? Join Richard Tarnas for a “state of the world report” on the archetypal context of our national and global moment.

Saturday’s workshop will expand on Friday’s lecture and provide an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the complex archetypal dynamics at work in our time and place them in the larger context of history and humanity’s psychological evolution. There will also be a private advance screening of Episode 1 of Changing of the Gods.Friday Talk: Tarnas – Changing of the Gods

Richard Tarnas, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where he founded the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He is the author of The Passion of the Western Mind, a history of the Western world view from the ancient Greek to the postmodern widely used in universities. His second book, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, received the Book of the Year Prize from the Scientific and Medical Network, and is the basis for the upcoming documentary film Changing of the Gods.

Speaker: Samuel Kimbles

Between the World and Me: Where the Wild Things Live

In this historical moment we unconsciously live out the reality of a split between the psyche (personal) and the sociopolitical world. Emotional suffering is located in the individual and his/her relationships. The social context is rarely acknowledged as major contribution to our psychological health as it is seen as a backdrop. Within such a perspective, we lose the opportunity to create and use the potential space in cultural life for engaging and processing the most pressing problems of our times: racism, sexism, gender, poverty, class social justice and the traumatogenic environment of uncertainty, pain and suffering they create for all of us.

In this talk Sam Kimbles will address a way of thinking and working with the kinds of issues that cut across the artificial divide between inner and outer. Two stories from literature will serve as springboards for this evening’s talk:  Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild things Are and Ta-Nehisi Coates,Between the World and Me will be used to look at destructive attitudes in our culture that reflect issues that challenge us all.

Turning Ghosts into Ancestors through Phantom Narratives

Intergenerational traumas are living memories that express and perpetuate themselves through group unconscious story formation i.e., phantom narratives. They offer us an opportunity to acknowledge, engage, and mourn the unresolved. Specifically, the unprocessed violence, both of the past and as it appears in present day sociopolitical processes. The psychological work of transforming ghosts that haunt our current lives into ancestors (helpful presences) will be our focus for this workshop.

Samuel Kimbles,  Ph. D., is a clinical psychologist, Jungian analyst, and member of the faculty of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, and a clinical professor (VCF) in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. He has served as president of the C. G. Jung Institute. He has lectured and presented papers on topics related to the theory and practical applications of analytical psychology nationally and internationally. He is a clinical consultant and has taught at the San Francisco Jung Institute, colleges and universities as well as trained mental health and analytic professionals. His published work on the cultural complex is a significant contribution to the application of analytical psychology to the study of groups and society. His previous book, The Cultural Complex: Contemporary Jungian Perspectives on Psyche and Society (Singer & Kimbles, eds.), and his most recent book: Phantom Narratives: The Unseen Contributions of Culture to Psyche, explores the themes of psyche in groups and society.

Speaker: Geri Grubbs

The Essence of Kundalini

As we participate in spiritual practices and inner creative work, kundalini energy may rise up the chakras located in the astral spine and awaken us spiritually. When this happens in a contained environment, it slowly merges the north and south poles of our being (feminine and masculine, negative and positive) and creates a greater wholeness in our well-being. In this presentation , we will focus on the meaning of kundalini, its images in creative expressions as in sandplay, and how to use our understanding of kundalini for personal change. We will then experience what kundalini may feel like through guided meditation and sound.

Experiencing the Chakras

The theory of the chakras comes from the Sanskrit tradition of India and the ancient science of kundalini yoga. When participating in meditation, yoga, and other forms of spiritual practices, kundalini often rises up the astral spine and awakens us spiritually. In this workshop, we will explore the psychological, spiritual, and emotional characteristics of each of the seven chakras that are located along the astral spine as we view images of their expressions in sandplay. Along with this, we will experience their unique energy forms through guided meditations and will discuss the symptoms of and reasons behind spiritual emergencies.S

Geri Grubbs, Ph.D., is a 1998 diploma graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute, Zurich, and a training analyst at the C. G. Jung Institute of Seattle. In addition to her analytic work, teaching and lecturing, she is a certified teaching member of the International Society of Sandplay Therapists (ISST/STA). Her many publications include “Bereavement Dreaming and the Individuating Soul,” a book detailing dreams had following the sudden death of a loved one. Spiritual practice is an important part of Geri’s work as an analyst in Washington and Oregon. She is a long-time devotee of Indian guru Paramhansa Yogananda and a certified meditation instructor in the Ananda tradition.