Jung and the Path to Individuation through Indian Spirituality

C. G. Jung was very familiar with the Hindu Upanishads and the profound traditions of Indian spirituality.  He drew upon them for his understanding of core concepts of the psyche, especially the Self within the individuation process.  This lecture will explore the nature of the innermost Self as revealed in the Upanishads and developed through the philosophical teachings of Vedanta. The distinctions between Eastern and Western models of the psyche and human selfhood will be clarified in order to define the ultimate implications of the individuation process against the background of one of humanity’s richest and most differentiated spiritual cultures, followed by an ample opportunity for questions and discussion.

Advaita Vedanta and the Search for Wholeness

According to Advaita (Nondual) Vedanta, it is the superimposition of the Self on the psyche and world that is the root cause of suffering, and as long as the Self remains undifferentiated from these causes, true psychological health cannot be attained. Until the Self is known, one takes the Self to be other than what it is and therefore never truly feels comfortable.  The Vedantic Self, when added to Jung’s model of the psyche, allows for completion of the psyche’s natural quest for wholeness that is sought through the individuation process.  The Vedantic Self can be seen as both the source of and the fulfillment of the religious function of the psyche, in that it fulfills the psyche’s search for union with God.  The workshop will allow participants to explore in depth their personal integration of these themes through meditation and spiritual exercises that will allow experiential understanding of these concepts.  We will also discuss how these insights can be applied to therapeutic practice.

Violence and the Religious Instinct

We would perhaps like to forget that there is an archetypal basis for the disturbing violence that is prominent in today’s world.  This lecture describes how to understand violence from an archetypal perspective and why this task is necessary if we are to bridge the dissociation between conscious and transconscious reality. For most of us, “psychic reality” is still in the realm of ideas, and psychologically, we live in a pre-Copernican world.  In his most seminal works, Jung wrote that violence and destructiveness are inextricable aspects of psychic reality and that violence is always encountered as part of the individuation process.  The hostile and violent impact of the unconscious upon the ego often calls upon us to experience and contain intense emotions of rage and violence. This need not be “bad news” if we remain aware of the larger picture.

Animals in Our Midst

We are surrounded by animals, in our dreams, our psyches, our homes, and in the wild.  As pets or feral creatures, animals inhabit our inner and outer worlds.  Who has not dreamed of animals or encountered animals in life?  We have pets and we have pet ideas.  Our complexes are pets that at times behave and at other times wreak havoc in the house when we aren’t “at home.”  Transpersonal and transconscious psychic dimensions are mirrored to us through animals. This workshop explores the ways that animals play a fundamental, problematic, emotional and humorous role in psychic development.  The speaker will use dreams and experiences with animals to elucidate the idea that for the human psyche an animal is always a symbol and holds the possibility of transformation and connection to the non-personal psychic realm. Animal lovers and non-lovers are equally welcome.

Fragmentation and Containment in a Shrinking World

In this “global age” of limited resources, we struggle for self-survival and species-survival while witnessing the demise of integral cultures and local economies. We observe unprecedented waves of human migration and an alarming escalation of communal warfare. At the same time, we collectively awaken to the interconnections in nature and between people of disparate cultural origins. We witness a rising esprit of global consciousness.

Encounters with the strange and the estranged activate powerful unconscious processes. In individuals and in groups, an unraveling of established structures inevitably unleashes reactionary archetypal forces. We will view the constructive and destructive responses to our changing world as polarities stemming from the outsider archetype, the archetype organizing the dynamics of inclusion, exclusion, and psychic transformation.

Encounters at the Border of Our Belonging

We all need to belong and we all know what it is to exclude and to suffer exclusion. Through dream, memory, visual art and group process we will explore the dynamics of belonging and exclusion and bring related attitudes and behaviors to our conscious attention. We will discover how the body, like dream and fantasy, can awaken us to unconscious individual and group responses to those outside the bounds of our belonging.  Most importantly, we will experience the transformative aspect of the outsider archetype through sacred image and story, opening ourselves to the presence of the Divine in the guise of the stranger.

Jung Embodied: Seeking the Creative Shadow

This experiential weekend will support exploration of the creative potential within the shadow.  Using elements from Marion Woodman’s BodySoul Rhythms approach and “embodied active imagination” with it roots in the work of C. G. Jung, we will endeavor to open to the unlived life.  Informed by their backgrounds in dance, theater, Jungian and Somatic Psychology, the presenters (Tina Stromsted and Meg Wilbur) will also draw from their extensive training and teaching with Marion Woodman.

Friday the presenters will discuss Jung’s concepts of the shadow, particularly in relationship to energies in the body.  Clinical material will illustrate and amplify body/psyche connections.  Saturday offers an opportunity to explore the work experientially, deepening our connection to mind and body.  Such work supports the reawakening of resonant consciousness in our cells, invites the play of imagination, and promotes integration through movement and voice, enhanced by music and art.
Authentic movement is a gentle, natural means to nurture oneself, connect with buried energies, and unfold one’s inner dance. Simple exercises in freeing the voice involve relaxation, breath, and sound to help release one’s authentic voice. These creative processes do not involve performance, and are attuned to the needs of the individual. Come explore “Jung embodied” through these gateways to the unconscious.

Jung Embodied: Seeking the Creative Shadow

The workshop provides a deeper examination of the ideas presented in the Friday night lecture.

Informed by their backgrounds in dance, theater, Jungian and Somatic Psychology, the presenters (Tina Stromsted and Meg Wilbur) will also draw from their extensive training and teaching with Marion Woodman.

What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life

Apart from friends, family, and good work, what matters most in our lives?   What values lead us to a freer, larger life, a more considered course?  Together we will examine the crippling role fear management systems play in our choices, why we are called to choose ambiguity over familiarity, why the world is driven by verbs not nouns, how life is most meaningful in the face of mortality, and how genuine spirituality is a journey not an arrival.  A more considered life asks more of us than may be comfortable, but we are rewarded with a more interesting story.

What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life

Together we will consider the paradoxes that we encounter in the conduct of our brief transit on this earth.  Leading a more conscious life brings us to choices which either enlarge or diminish.   Our time together will bring a more considered reflectivity to our daily lives. Each person should bring pad and pen for personal reflection.  Our objectives will be to:

1. discern how a client’s personal values,philosophy of self and world,  profoundly influences his or her mental health;

2. identify the ubiquity of fear management systems operating  autonomously in clients and our lives;

3. promote a more considered awareness of the de facto “stories” served  by the client, and move toward a more conscious authorship;

4. utilize an inherent desire for an enlarging spirituality to reframe the client’s understanding of self and world; and

5. become more thoughtful oneself around these matters so that one is in a better position to meet a client’s depth and complexity. Non-clinicians are welcome and the discussion will be applicable to non-clinical situations, as well.

Saturday Workshop Participants, for this event we will break for an hour and thirty minute lunch.  The workshop will end at 4 PM.

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