Spring 1993 Season Program

Speaker: June Singer

Gnostic Threads in the Fabric of the Psyche

What in the ancient heretical writings called “Gnosticism” so fascinated C.G. Jung that he wove the strands of Gnostic ideas through his entire philosophy? Who were these people called Gnostics, and why did both Romans and early Christians fear their power? How do the Gnostic myths account for the presence of evil in the world. If we want to gain insight into the meanings of these questions, we must reflect on the curious story of Creation as told by Gnostics. Their inverted version of Genesis I and II can be read as metaphor for the psyche, and its characters can be seen as projections of the human soul with all its manifold potentials. June Singer will explore the importance of Gnosticism for both Jung and also for those who wish to deepen their understanding of Jung’s view of the psyche. This lecture will provide background for the workshop.

The Evolution of the Soul

This workshop will be based on a chapter for June Singer’s newest book, A Gnostic Book of Hours (Harper San Francisco, 1992). On the surface the material is a tale of wonder and romance, but its darker side reveals the abuse and violations of woman as metaphor for the trials of the soul, which is often cast adrift in our contemporary society. Originating in third century Alexandria, Egypt, the gnostic text with which we will work (Exegesis of the Soul) displays an amazing relevance to the problem of evil in contemporary society. We will also see two of the four parts of Passions of the Soul, an outstanding documentary on Jungian psychology made for Dutch television.

June Singer, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst practicing in Palo Alto, California and a member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. She is widely known for her classic work, Boundaries of the Soul, which has introduced many people to the psychology of C.G. Jung. Singer, the author of six books, says that her major writing objective is taking enigmatic and complex material and making it more accessible to the non-specialist reader. This she has done with certain works of Jung, William Blake, and some important Gnostic texts. She received her analyst’s diploma from the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, and was a founder of the Jung Institute of Chicago and of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts.

Speaker: Linda Schierse Leonard

Meeting the Madwoman: An Inner Challenge for the Feminine Spirit

This lecture will be based on material from the newest book, Meeting the Madwoman: An Inner Challenge for Feminine Spirit, published by Bantam Books, 1993. The Madwoman Archetype will be explored through ancient myths and fairy tales, contemporary films and literature, stories and dreams of historical and contemporary women and men.

This lecture will be based on material from the newest book, Meeting the Madwoman: An Inner Challenge for Feminine Spirit, published by Bantam Books, 1993. The Madwoman Archetype will be explored through ancient myths and fairy tales, contemporary films and literature, stories and dreams of historical and contemporary women and men.

Participants in the workshop will be able to discuss dreams and personal experiences relating to the Madwoman archetype. Archetypal patterns of Madwoman energy manifesting in contemporary life in both men and women will be identified and discussed, including Mad Mothers and Mad Daughters, the Caged Bird, the Muse, the Rejected Lover, the Recluse, the Revolutionary, the Bag Lady, and the Visionary.

LINDA SCHIERSE LEONARD, PH.D., is the author of The Wounded Woman: Healing the Father-Daughter Relationship; On The Way to the Wedding: Transforming the Love Relationship; Witness to the Fire: Creativity and the Veil of Addiction; and her newest book, Meeting the Madwoman: An Inner Challenge for Feminine Spirit. She is a Jungian analyst. trained at the C.G. Institute, Zurich, and is a founding member of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts.

Speaker: Thomas Patrick Lavin

Like a Donkey Between Two Bales of Hay: The Puer and Senex at Midlife

What images can Jungian psychology bring to our understanding of the male mid-life crisis? Sometimes a man in a mid-life crisis feels and acts like as ass between two bales of hay. He can’t totally return to or remain in the bliss of adolescence (what Jung called the Puer Aeturnus) and the calm, deep wisdom of the positive Senex (Jung’s Wise Old Man) seems equally far away. Many men at mid-life feel that they are stuck somewhere in the middle between the effervescence of youth and the inner joy of old age. It’s time to grow into becoming a Wise/Fool but there are no cultural road maps.

Fatherhood: A Multi-Imaged Reality

This workshop begins with the premise that there is no one archetypal image of fatherhood. Rather, there are many images of the father which have been mediated by many cultures. Some cultures image the best way of fathering as “Our Father who art in heaven” seen in images like Zeus and Yaweh. Other cultures see the best way of fathering as earth-fathering expressed through images like Hades in ancient Greece and Geb in ancient Egypt.

We will learn that all fathers are not called to initiate their sons and daughters through making them suffer and that contemporary Abrahams may not be asked to sacrifice their Isaacs. We will examine what role, if any, the father plays. Some of us have been called to be both mother and father/earth and sky to our children and to ourselves. We all need to widen and deepen our images of what an inner and outer father we can become. Feminine-gendered persons are welcome.

THOMAS PATRICK LAVIN, PH.D., holds three awards from the United States Army for his work in drug and rehabilitation in Germany and in this country. In addition to his Ph.D. degrees in both Clinical Psychology and in Moral Theology from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, he is a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich. A Senior Analyst and Faculty member of the C.G. Jung Institute, Chicago, Dr. Lavin is in private practice in Wilmette, Illinois.

Speaker: Lionel Corbett

A Psychological Approach to the Problem of Evil

The problem of evil has influenced the dogmatic assertions of all religious traditions, and is also crucial to those of us interested in personal religious experience and a religious approach to the psyche. The specifically psychological, rather than theological, approach to evil relies on Jung’s ideas that the Self has a dark as well as a light side, and that the personal shadow is an incarnation of that aspect of the divine. Using these concepts, this lecture will discuss an intrapsychic approach to evil.

A Psychological Approach to the Problem of Suffering: Its Relation to the Process of Incarnation of Spirit

Understanding the process of the incarnation of the Self into a personal self allows a psychological approach to the problem of suffering, without resource to traditional theological explanations. This lecture will describe a way in which the practitioner may assist his or her client to find personal meaning in suffering, by using individual psychopathology as a form of spiritual practice.

Fairytales as Mirrors of Psychopathology

Fairy tales are like collective dreams which, acting as x-rays of the psyche, reveal the structure and dynamics of personality. Many tales depict gross peculiarities of behavior. This workshop will use a selection of such stories which indicate various aspects of psychopathology.

Suggested reading from Grimm: Clever Elsie, #34; Strong Hans, #166; The Sea Hare, #191; Rapunzel, #12. (The numbers are consistent in all editions, though the titles vary a little).

Dr. Lionel Corbett trained in medicine and psychiatry in England and as a Jungian Analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. His primary interests are: the religious function of the psyche, especially the way in which personal religious experience is relevant to individual psychology; the development of psychotherapy as a spiritual practice; and the interface of Jungian psychology and contemporary psychoanalytic thought. Dr. Corbett is a professor of depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, in Santa Barbara, California, where he teaches depth psychology. He is the author of numerous professional papers and four books: Psyche and the Sacred; The Religious Function of the Psyche; The Sacred Cauldron: Psychotherapy as a Spiritual Practice, and most recently The Soul in Anguish: Psychotherapeutic Approaches to Suffering. He is the co-editor of: Psyche’s Stories; Jung and Aging;  Depth Psychology, Meditations in the Field; and Psychology at the Threshold.

Speaker: Carlos F. Martinez

The Near-Death Experience: An Initiation and Transformation

The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interest upon futilities.” C.G. Jung

This is a personal narrative of a near-death experience. It is an attempt to describe the indescribable and with this paradox in mind, it is a psychological and embodied experience of death and rebirth, of initiation and transformation. At a time when medical technology is saving more lives and prolonging life, when terminal illness is striking more young adults, the issue of death and dying is being forced into our consciousness.

The Near-Death Experience: An Initiation and Transformation

This is a personal narrative of a near-death experience. It is an attempt to describe the indescribable and with this paradox in mind, it is a psychological and embodied experience of death and rebirth, of initiation and transformation. At a time when medical technology is saving more lives and prolonging life, when terminal illness is striking more young adults, the issue of death and dying is being forced into our consciousness.

In the workshop we will look at death and dying from personal, archetypal, and spiritual levels, with the hope of eliciting through our discussion a perspective on death as an opportunity to enrich our lives.

Carlos F. Martinez, M.D. is a Jungian analyst in private practice in San Francisco, a graduate and member analyst of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and member of the Certifying Board. He was born in Mexico City and has an interest in cross-cultural issues from a Jungian perspective.