Reminder - Zoom only for Becca Tarnas weekend: Becca Tarnas is not traveling at the moment, so her events on Friday, December 1st and Saturday, December 2nd, are ZOOM only. Stay home, stay dry, and enjoy these events from your favorite comfortable spot. For reminders on how to connect, from the main menu above choose Programs -> Zoom Events FAQ.

The Burn Wound of Eros

In one subtext of the ancient love story of Psyche and Eros, “narcissism” and the “predatory” underline the romantic attitude of Eros, the god of love. His bride Psyche is entrapped within his magical paradise; she is his prey, his plaything to be used then discarded. As the story reveals, the transformation of narcissism in the romantic begins at the moment when Eros is violently burned – suffering a great loss and wound to his inflation. It is from the “burn wound” and separation of the lovers that Psyche – signifying the male’s psyche/soul/anima – develops resilience, maturity and can ultimately be awakened by a form of love, transcendent of narcissism and no longer bound by the mother complex.

Correspondingly in analysis, one can observe the narcissistic skin seared open, and the shattering of omnipotence in the traumatic encounter with an emerging, transcendent Other. This psychological wounding is a necessary process for recovering emotional life and developing the capacity to love in a man living at the surface of life.

The Burn Wound of Eros

The Saturday workshop begins with a beautiful slide show and retelling of the Tale of Psyche and Eros. The classic story serves as a template that charts the course of the mother-bound man from romantic, narcissistic, predatory, “so-called” love, to the wounding of that standpoint, an awakening of capacities to love and the emergence of what may be described as the “father principle.” Certain themes from the tale will launch us into discussions of parallel myths, biblical stories, tales of courtly love, literature, film, clinical material and theory, and our own imaginal processes. Some of these themes may include : “mother and son/lover”; “lesser coniunctio,” “split feminine”; “predator beneath the lover”; “emergence of the father”; “awakening the sleeping soul through love.”

Both lecture and workshop provide an understanding of the primitive origins and causes of narcissism in men; its effects upon their capacity for intimacy and relationship; and, the difficult commitment needed to transcend the narcissistic option.  Hopefully, the program will also bring a deeper insight  to those wives, mothers, lovers, sisters, and daughters who have suffered and loved these men–in spite of it all.

Living The Unlived Life

This talk explores the essential developmental task in the second half of life – rectifying the loss of abandoned dreams and unrealized potentials to achieve our ultimate life meaning and purpose. What is unlived life?  It consists of those potential aspects of ourselves that have not adequately entered into our experience.  Of course, no one can live out all of life’s possibilities, but there are key aspects of our being that must be brought into life or we cannot realize fulfillment.   We all carry with us a vast inventory of unlived life.  Even if we have achieved major life goals and seemingly have few regrets, there are significant experiences that have been closed to each of us. For everything we choose (or that has been chosen for us), something else remains “unchosen.”

The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of the parents.

– C.G. Jung

Zarathustra goes to the grave with the unfulfilled dreams of his youth.  He speaks to them as if they were ghosts who have betrayed him bitterly.  They struck up a dance and then spoiled the music.  Did the past make his path so weighty?  Did his unlived life impede him and consign him to a life that seems not to pass?

– F. Nietzsche

We can hear the distant drumbeat of unlived life in the mutterings that go on in the back of our heads; “Woulda-coulda-shoulda.”  Or in second-guessing our life choices.  Or those late night longings. The unexpected grief that arises seemingly out of nowhere. A sense that we have somehow missed the mark, or failed to do something we were so sure we were supposed to do. Where did we go wrong, and what is this life that we find ourselves living, so different that what we set out to do?

When brought into consciousness, unlived life can become the fuel that propels us beyond current limitations. By exploring unlived life we learn to rise above fears, regrets, and disappointments, to expand our vision beyond the narrow confines of the ego, and to embrace the full measure of our being.  An enlightened vision is our most profound unlived potential, and bringing it to fruition is the worthy purpose of the second half of life.

The Power of Symbolic Life (Reconciling Life’s Painful Contradictions)

We humans are given the most conflicting job description imaginable.  We must be civilized human beings, and that requires a whole list of “dos and don’ts,” culturally determined virtues.  Simultaneously, we are called to live everything that we truly are, to be whole – this is our duty to the higher Self.

This collision of values makes life confusing and painful.  We all are faced daily with innumerable decisions: some easy and inconsequential, others troublesome and far-reaching.  Apparent contradictions tie us in knots.  It seems that we could not get through life without being divided.  Everything that human beings experience consciously is brought to us in pairs of opposites.

C.G. Jung wrote that the medieval mentality is “either/or,” but if humanity is to survive we must learn to cope with “both/and.”  This change in the prevailing attitude of our culture demands a leap of consciousness from opposition to paradox.  In our spiritual quest, we must be weaned, not from materialism, but from dualistic thinking.

Drawing upon the myth of the twin stars in the Gemini constellation, this workshop explores the unity that exits behind every duality.  The ancient Greek myth of Castor and Pollux has extraordinary wisdom and relevance for us today.  Unified in their childhood, this pair came to be separated, fragmentary, and miserable.  One is mortal, the other divine.  Only after much struggle are they reunited in heavenly embrace.

Dr. Ruhl will present this timeless story as a prototype and navigation point for all humans on the journey into wholeness.  When we allow both sides of any issue to exist in equal dignity and worth, a synthesis is possible, bringing new insight, meaning, and contentment to our lives.  Symbolic life provides the “keys to the Kingdom.” Well-grounded in Jungian psychological concepts, this workshop will provide practical tools to help you:

    • Surrender old limitations
    • Enliven friendships, relationships and career
    • Unlock new life options and hidden talents
    • Seize the “dangerous” opportunities of midlife
    • Master the art of being truly alive in the present moment
    • Revitalize a connection with the higher Self, and thereby achieve peace and purpose in your mature years.

Politics and Psyche

When you treat the individual, you treat the culture.  -C. G. Jung

Psychotherapy is as much a political and social discourse as it is a private one. If we are destroyed as a species, it will be psychology and spirituality that launches the literal or mythic nukes.  If we survive and flourish as a species, it will be a depth, psychologically informed spiritually that generates and narrates that Story of cultural transformation and deepened soul-evolution. And psychotherapy is nothing if it is not simply the witnessing, recording, and transmission of the individual and societal encounters with the living numinal realm of depth human experience [what the Western tradition and Jung has called the imago Dei]. as it involves the numinal, that encounter is always a transpersonal one. there is no secular politics only archetypal/transpersonal politics. we often get so politically lost and ensnarled because we forget this depth background of our societal interactions.

The soul never thinks without an image. –  Aristotle

Therefore, psychotherapy, as a political discipline, witnesses, records, and transmits these on-going experiential communiqués from and dialogues with this numinous/ transformative realm of being.  In some ancient cultures, every citizen was believed to be a vehicle for this living numinal dimension, for this living will and voice of the gods as mediated through human experience. The public sphere, the common marketplace of political interaction and achievement, was the Polis. This Polis was the living organism of Eros, of numinal energy flowing into the public heart and soul of things.

My work is revelation, not revolution.  –  William Butler Yeats

Every life had a Destiny that served an aspect of this living, shaping, creating, numinal core of individual and cultural psyche. A well lived life was a life unfolded in a conscious, loving seeking out of this Destiny and, then, serving it with as much thoughtful, loving, and compassionate dedication as possible. Privately, this service would be to loved ones and vocation; publically, this service would be an engaged political interaction with one’s fellow citizens.

All life is bound to carriers who realize it, and it is simply inconceivable without them. But every carrier is charged with an individual destiny and destination, and the realization of these alone makes sense of life.  –   C. G. Jung

Everyone is politically engaged. Some are simply more aware of and disciplined about that engagement and its attendant social responsibilities. Every act in the public sphere is a political act, an act that builds up more loving and compassionate connection to the living numinous or tears it down. But every act, conscious or unconscious, aware or unaware, is a healing or destructive political act. We are all citizen politicians. We all have a public duty. We all serve the gods in the fervent hopes that the gods will then serve us and our community and lead us to more light and not more darkness.

It may well be prejudice to restrict the psyche to being “inside the body.” Insofar as the psyche is a non-spatial aspect, there may be a psyche “outside-the-body,” a region so utterly different from “my” psychic sphere that no one has to get out of oneself…to get there. –   C. G. Jung

This brief seminar sketches some clinical and cultural examples of these profound experiential psycho-political transcripts that emerge within or penetrate into depth therapy. Using frequent illustrative images from, especially, contemporary cinema and art, Friday’s lecture opens up the outlines of the model and Saturday’s seminar fleshes out that outline in more depth and breadth.

The psychological question now is, How do we house this greater subject that takes up residence in us, radically altering the center from which we live?  How do we accommodate this “tremendous stranger,” or this “mysterious density of being”? How do we, how can we, live in relation to it?

The theological questions ask, Who has taken up residence within and among us? Who is the One?  – Ann Belford Ulanov

Three Guiding exploratory question-themes for this Seminar:

    • What is political about depth therapy or any psychotherapy?
    • How do you access it, where are the entry portals?
    • How do you use political imagery and process found in depth therapy and in awake political interaction for individual and cultural healing and transformation?

Politics and Psyche

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

‘The Way of What is to Come’: Jung’s “Liber Novus” and the Past and Future of Jungian Psychology

In 1913, when psychiatrist C.G. Jung was 38 years old, he began to experience an overwhelming number of waking dreams and visions.  Convinced that this was an opportunity to understand his own psyche as well as that of his patients, Jung began his “confrontation with the unconscious,” which he first documented in a series of small, black books, and later expounded upon, analyzed and illustrated in a large, red leather-bound journal.

At the onset of Jung’s encounter with psyche, he was in a state of disillusionment with scientific rationalism – what he called “the spirit of the times.” In the course of many quixotic encounters with his own soul and with other inner figures, he came to know and appreciate “the spirit of the depths,” a field that makes room for magic, coincidence and the mythological metaphors delivered by dreams.  During this time he developed his principal theories-of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation-that transformed psychotherapy from a practice concerned with treatment of the sick into a means for higher development of the personality.

In this illustrated presentation, Dr. Shamdasani will explain how Jung regained his soul and overcame the contemporary malaise of spiritual alienation, which he ultimately achieved through enabling the rebirth of a new image of God and developing a new worldview in the form of a psychological and theological cosmogony.

Understanding Jung and Jungian Psychology through “Liber Novus”

The years… when I pursued the inner images, were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this.  It began at that time, and the later details hardly matter anymore. My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded  me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me.  That was the stuff and material for more than only one life. Everything later was merely the outer classification, the scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then.  C. G. Jung, 1957.

With the publication of The Red Book, students of Jung have a window into the genesis of Jung’s psychology in a way that none of his published works has revealed.

The Red Book is the nuclear reactor for all Jung’s works. His more well-known concepts, such as the archetypal forms of anima, animus, and shadow, as well as the concept of the collective unconscious, have their roots in this volume. Not only can one see the development of Jung’s theory of individuation in this book, but his own personal process of individuation is shown in literary and symbolic form.

The Red Book provides an unparalleled view of how Jung fused his fantasies with his scholarship to form a science of psychology. In this five-hour seminar, Dr. Shamdasani will trace the steps from Jung’s experimentation with his fantasies and his elaborations and reflections on them, through his attempt to forge general principles, to his confirmation of those principles in his work with his patients, and ultimately, in comparative historical research.   Participants will gain a new understanding of Jung and how his attention to his unconscious process has meaning in our lives today.

Light-Hearted Evening and Annual Meeting: Creativity, “The Red Book”, and Play

OFCGJ members and their guests are invited to our annual meeting.  The keynote speaker for this event will be Portland analyst, Mark Girard, speaking on “CREATIVITY, ‘THE RED BOOK’, AND PLAY.” Play is the essence of creativity.  Drawing upon stories from his own experience as well as concepts from The Red Book, Dr. Girard will playfully share versions of his own Red Book, and suggest ways for the audience to light-heartedly connect with their own inner Red Book, as a way of encouraging the creative process. Friday, May 21st, 7:00 to 9:30 pm, at the First United Methodist Church, Collins Hall, 1838 SW Jefferson, Portland.  Light refreshments will be served.

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