According to Jung’s theory of psychological types, it is our birthright to differentiate, in the course of individuation, four function-attitudes that together define the wholeness of our mature standpoint. But Jung has postulated a possible eight functions of consciousness. What about the four functions that remain in shadow? How do they operate, and what is their role in our development as human beings? In this lecture, illustrated with clips from popular films, Dr. John Beebe will help us identify the different archetypal characteristics of our shadow functions and will show how they go about their work of challenging, undermining, and defending the ego.
Spring 2004 Season Program
Integrating the Shadow Functions
Just as ego-consciousness is unevenly distributed between different function-attitudes that define our strengths and weaknesses, so too is the unconsciousness of our shadow deployed in weaker and stronger ways. Getting to know the archetypes and psychological types of our shadow helps us to recognize the shadow and make use of its defensive power in a self-enhancing way. Dr. Beebe will demonstrate in dialogue with the participants how this method of analysis can clarify certain difficult personal interactions, dreams, and forms of self-attack and sabotage.
Speaker: Bryan Wittine
Spiritual Longing and Its Shadow
The religions and myths of many times and cultures tell us that the human soul’s deepest desire is its longing for God. Even people who feel disillusioned with traditional religions or disenchanted with spiritual teachers still yearn for something transcendent.
Whenever we long for the transcendent, however, forces from the deep unconscious also swing into play. Walking a spiritual path not only evokes states of illumination; it challenges us to face the darkness within ourselves.
In this lecture and workshop, Dr. Wittine will explore spiritual longing and its shadow. Spiritual longing might overwhelm the ego, cover over wounded parts of the personality, perpetuate our inner critic, lead to a split between “higher” and “lower” self-needs, and derail individuation. We might project our longing onto lovers and teachers, onto food, sex, and drugs, or find it hidden in our grandiosity and desire for power. Dr. Wittine concludes that if we internalize our longing rather than externalizing it onto images, people, and things, it will guide us toward a new experience of God, which recognizes the transcendent in all aspects of life.
The workshop provides a deeper examination of the ideas presented in the Friday night lecture.
Speaker: Lyn Cowan
Images in a Melancholic Eye
Until the mid-19th century, melancholy was imagined as a sacred affliction from the gods, a madness characteristic of genius and the most difficult and complex temperament. At the height of the Renaissance, it was imagined in personified form as a majestic female figure; artists and poets looked to her as their Muse. But, in the twentieth century, melancholy all but disappeared from the professional imagination, to be replaced by the diagnostic categories of depression. Where did Melancholy go? How did she lose her voice? How can we call her into life again, listen to her wisdom, take new creative heart from within her depths? This lecture/slide presentation will use both spoken word and photographs to re-discover Melancholy as Muse.
Images in a Melancholic Voice
The melancholic mood has a distinctive tone which can be heard as clearly in certain kinds of writing as in music. Our discussion will continue themes introduced in the lecture, particularly the idea that melancholy, unlike depression, is a creative matrix, seeing to answer these questions: How can we hear the Muse in our own melancholic moments? What sort of expression does the Muse give us when we try to express something from a melancholy place in the psyche? Why is this important for our psychic health? Participants are asked to bring paper and pen and, if possible, a photograph or snapshot that has personal meaning.
Speaker: Mark Kuras
Jung, Tolkien, and the Fate of Mythopoesis in Post Modernity
In Western Thought, the hero, the mythic expression of ego-development, expands consciousness by subduing the dragon , i.e. the “chaos” sensed by ego-consciousness in the categories of nature, instinct, mother. In this program we will explore the idea that while Jung initially abided by this traditional fantasy of ego-development, there is a persistent dimension in his work that recognized the implications of consciousness becoming encapsulated in the ego-complex; this obliged Jung to accentuate the actions in the psyche that strive toward a post-ego mythology.
Though nowadays consumed as a fashionable expression of a classic hero myth, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings , exposes the perplexing failure of the hero to effect psychic transformation in the contemporary ‘postmodern’ psyche. This incapacity, ironically present as the hero’s triumph, or, in psychological terms the pinnacle of ego-development, signifies, in Tolkien, a threat to “middle earth”, an unprecedented waning of the mythopoeic factor of the psyche. The claim is that the hero, through this deconstruction, presently, leads not, as it once had, into progressive states of originality, but into regressive states of compliance. This is manifest politically as globalization, and in current psychopathology as an “empty” depression, both of which are instinctively felt as a distance from “mother”. I take these to be the abiding concern of Jung’s analytical psychology, and Tolkein’s Trilogy; taken together they inform a radical rereading of the developmental psychology and heroic mythology that dominantly impose upon the current practice of psychotherapy.
In this workshop we will expose the residency of these themes in the tedium of daily life. Participants will bring stuff that seems the least psychologically deep. These contents are those most under the aegis of the hero, and live, in what Tolkien calls “Mordor”. In Jung’s theorization, they would thus attract the most empathy from the psyche. Foreshadowed in this empathic process, is the post-heroic figure needed in each psyche now to live past the ego’s encapsulation of consciousness and in so doing effect the transformations in consciousness necessitated by our postmodern condition.
Speaker: Joan Chodorow
Emotions and the Archetypal Imagination
This lecture will look at the nature of the emotions as they have evolved and continue to develop, from the primal, untransformed depths toward the highest values of human culture. The tendency in recent decades toward deconstruction of values may potentiate a compensatory development as individuals in many walks of life seek a differentiated experience of affects and their symbolic expression, shaped by eternal ideals that appear to be wired into the psyche. Lecture includes slides to illustrate.
Active Imagination and the Living Body
By using the body to access and express the imagination, individuals may discover experiences that bridge the realms of body and psyche, instinct and spirit, affect and image, memory and emergence.
This one-day workshop will introduce movement as a form of active imagination. Sometimes called “authentic movement” or “movement in depth”; we focus attention on bodily sensations, images, and feelings, which are then allowed to develop into spontaneous movement. The mover works with eyes closed, in the presence of a witness, whose task it is to hold and contain the experience of the person moving. Morning and afternoon sessions include lecture, discussion and movement experience, with special attention to the inner experience of the mover, the inner experience of the witness and the dynamics of their relationship. Participants are invited to bring journals and/or art materials.