Spring 2008 Season Program

Speaker: Pittman McGehee

The Incalculable Paradoxes of Love

In Friday night’s lecture, we will encounter what Jung called, in his later years, “the incalculable paradoxes of love.” Our single word “love” fails to adequately capture and express the powerful, often contradictory feelings that drive behavior and animate one’s soul. We will turn to the three Greek words for love (eros, philia, and agape) and explore the psychological distinctions they express. We will look at both the inter-personal and intra-psychic dynamics of love, as well as its light and dark sides. Finally, we will address the healing and wounding nature of this greatest of paradoxes.

The Incalculable Paradoxes of Love

Saturday’s workshop will be a continuation of the lecture themes of love, exploring more deeply, through discussion and exercises, our personal experiences and reflections upon them.

Pittman McGehee, M.Div., D.Div., studied at the Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained an Episcopal Priest in 1969, formerly serving as Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Houston. He is currently a Diplomate Jungian Analyst and the director of the Institute for the Advancement of Psychology and Spirituality, as well as the Carolyn Fay adjunct lecturer in Analytical Psychology at the University of Houston. He is widely known as a lecturer and educator in the field of psychology and religion, as well as a published poet and essayist.

Speaker: Nomi Kluger-Nash

The Feminine Principle in the Kabbalah: Shades of Darkness and Light

Dr. Nash has taken much delight in this image of the Shekinah, the feminine presence of God in Judaism, known as the Divine Presence (literally “indwelling”), that accompanied the joyous recognition of the power of the feminine principle. Such joy however was popularly accompanied by a naïve glorification of “her,” which twisted the dark side of the feminine into light, overlooking and casting out the realities of evil and the difficult path that leads to transformation through the hard work of integrating the shadow. In accord with Jung, the ancient Kabbalists painted a far more varied and intricate portrait of the feminine aspect of God, both light and dark – a spectrum of potencies ranging from creation to destruction, from loving sexual union to demonic possession.

The Feminine Principle in the Kabbalah: Shades of Darkness and Light

Although focusing on the feminine aspects, Dr. Nash will keep faith with the Kabbalists by showing their masculine counterparts, for the feminine and masculine aspects should not be split apart; splitting being the original sin in Kabbalah. The healing power of bringing about a loving union between the sexes and facing the evil that exists in Creation and in our own shadows (carefully so as not to be caught up in them), redeems the darkness in Creation, which emerges as an ongoing dialogue with God in which humanity plays its important part. Through a focus on the forces of unsentimental spiritual/sexual love and its inherent dangers, the seminar will draw parallels to Jung’s concepts of individuation, ego-Self dialogue, animus and anima, spirit/matter unity and ultimately the coniunctio. The Friday night lecture will illustrate the Sephirot Tree, sometimes called the Tree of Life, and the myths surrounding it, while the Saturday seminar will be a continuation of these stories interspersed with our own daily-nightly lives, including accounts of dreams and whatever manifestations of the unconscious the participants deem appropriate.

NOMI KLUGER NASH, PH.D., has been a Jungian psychologist since 1979, after careers in other fields of theatre and politics, finally fulfilling her promise to herself made at the age of 16 to be an analytical psychologist “when I grow up” … which growing up process is still in the making. She divides her times between her two homes in Michigan and Jerusalem where she writes and teaches and has a small private practice.

Speaker: Jacqueline West

Frida Kahlo and an Exploration of Character Structures

The intense and compelling paintings of Frida Kahlo provide us with a rich context to begin an exploration of archetypal and developmental aspects of character structures.

Accompanied by numerous images of both Frida and her paintings, on Friday night Dr. West will address how Frida’s life and work may be seen as a remarkably courageous attempt to wrestle with the chaos of borderline experience. By embracing her own individuality, however cruel was her experience of it, Frida endure extraordinarily challenging encounters with the gods. Dr. West will suggest that she emerged for these encounters with a strengthened ego, along with access to more developed defenses.

Frida Kahlo and an Exploration of Character Structures

In the Saturday workshop, we will look at how Frida Kahlo’s basic relational pattern may be seen as a portrait of one of three identifiable relational patterns that inform our character structures. Dr. West will describe each of these structures and their underlying archetypal landscapes through various fairytales, myths and other artists’ works, again, accompanied by numerous images. Following the essential Jungian premise that we transform through deeply meeting ourselves, we will employ these perspectives on character to reflect upon ourselves individually, as well as upon the state of our world at this time.

Jacqueline J. West, Ph.D. is a Jungian Analyst practicing in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a member and Training Analyst in the New Mexico Society of Jungian Analysts as well as in the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. She has served as both President and Training Director of the New Mexico Society and also as President of the Council of North American Societies of Jungian Analysts (CNASJA). She is co-author, along with Jungian Analyst Nancy Dougherty, of The Matrix and Meaning of Character: An Archetypal and Developmental Perspective — Searching for the Wellsprings of Spirit. She lectures widely on the dynamics of archetypally inspired character structures and their interplay with art and politics.

Speaker: Puanani Harvey

The Unveiling of What Is Hidden

In the ninth volume of his Collected Works, Archtypes and the Collective Unconscious, Jung selected Khidr from the 18th sutra of the Koran as an Image of the Guide in the psychological process of rebirth and transformation. His Eranos colleague, Henri Corbin, philosopher and Iranologist, respected Khidr as a Threshold Figure, an Awakener into the Imaginal World. By way of amplification, Corbin brought to the Western world the work of the 13th century Islamic mystic, Ibn Arabi, who was first initiated by his experience with Khidr. In his wealth of writings, Ibn Arabi highlighted the existence of an organ of perception that perceives a very precise order of reality, the mundus imaginalis. In the Friday evening lecture, we will explore the writings of Ibn Arabi, the organ of perception and the realm of Khidr.

The Unveiling of What Is Hidden

During the Saturday workshop, we will continue exploration and discussion of the Presence in the Psyche of Threshold Guides such as Jung’s Philemon, Ibn Arabi’s Khidr, and the meeting of Rumi and Shams. Via guided exercises and personal writings, we will engage in the practice of Active Imagination. With respect for the sanctity and intimacy of these practices, we will discuss and share our experiences of the mundus imaginalis. Participants are urged to bring writing or drawing materials.

Puanani Harvey, Ph.D., is a practicing Junian analyst in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she has served as both Training Director and President of the New Mexico Society of Jungian Analysts.

Speaker: Richard Tarnas

Synchronicity and Its Implications

Jung’s concept of synchronicity represents one of the most strenuous efforts of the 20th century to construct a bridge across the chasm between mind and matter, self and world, psyche and cosmos. In popular culture, the concept has been surprisingly widely embraced. The term and the phenomena it describes played no small role in the way many individuals make sense of their lives. In the face of the disenchanted modern worldview, the search for a ground of purpose and meaning that transcends human subjectivity has become an urgent spiritual priority. For many today, synchronicities are directly relevant to the search. The concept has also had a unique impact on the intellectual world, from religious studies to physics. In tonight’s lecture, Dr. Tarnas will summarize the origin and history of the concept in Jung’s work, discuss the experiential dimension of synchronistic events, and address their larger metaphysical and perhaps evolutionary implications.

Art, Culture, and the Planetary Archetypes

As Jung recognized, astrology provides profound insight into the deep patterns of human experience and of our cultural history, but such insight depends on a capacity for rich archetypal perception, something that involves not only thinking but also the emotions, the imagination, the aesthetic intuition, the body, the whole being. Because music and the arts engage all these dimensions, this workshop will use representative works of music and the other arts with the powerful lens of archetypal astrology to explore and illuminate the deeper character of major cultural figures and historical eras. The workshop’s aim is to provide information that those new to astrology can immediately integrate into their lives, and that advanced students can use to deepen their grasp of the range and subtlety of archetypal astrological analysis. Above all, our time together will be devoted to getting to know more profoundly the planetary gods. Our focus will be on increasing our direct understanding and experience – intellectual, imaginative, aesthetic, emotional, and somatic – of these archetypal powers of the world soul, the Anima Mundi.

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.