There is a close association between the sexual instinct and the striving for wholeness. With the exception of religious longing nothing challenges modern man more consciously and personally than sex.
– C.G. Jung, CW10, par. 653
Jung repeatedly emphasized the role that sexuality plays in the individuation process, claiming that a disturbed sexuality was at the core of many complexes that hindered a person’s ability to individuate or develop. He also recognized the difficulties of addressing sexual phenomena because it often brings with it forbidding moral dictates and shadow material that can challenge one’s beliefs and ideas about oneself. But avoiding issues of sexuality means that we may be missing the opportunity of inviting and deepening the vital energy it brings for us at any age.
In the Jungian community we typically move to interpret the symbolic value of sex and to embrace the spiritual meaning of this instinctual experience. The spiritual aspect is of course an invaluable component, and yes, we want to go there. But we may miss or lose the soul’s longing, pleasure and suffering if we cannot first explore the intensely fulfilling bodily sensations, passions, behavior and emotional communications contained in its ageless expression – in our objective reality, in fantasies and our dreams.
This presentation will attempt to open a discussion about the instinctual aspects of sex, to examine personal and collective attitudes toward sex, to invite a deeper reflection of everyone’s personal biases and experiences with sex and to increase an understanding of the potential role sexual phenomena plays in individuation. The aim of the presentation and workshop is to address the positive, pleasurable, life-giving expressions of sex and not its negative, destructive, or abusive experiences.
Using the archetypal backdrop of the myth of Eros and Psyche and their daughter Pleasure, this workshop will continue the focus on the expression and experience of sex in our internal and external realities: its instinctual, animal nature, its desire for life as well as its relation to death; its aggressive play of dominance and submission; its confrontation with collective ideals or values; its insistence on a journey to the Underworld and its conception and birth of Pleasure.
The archetypal motifs found in this myth have a personal effect that we can all feel and experience in our lives. Helpful examples, film clips, participant’s experiences and group discussions will help flesh out the vital significance that sex has in our lives.
Jacqueline Wright, Ed.D.
, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. In addition to her private practice, Jacqueline is a senior training analyst in the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and on the core faculty of the Memphis-Atlanta and New Orleans training seminars. She lectures and conducts workshops on topics related to Jungian psychology and is particularly interested in subjects related to love, relationships and sexuality.
Marilyn Marshall, LPC
is a Jungian analyst in private practice in New Orleans. She is a senior training analyst in the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and the Coordinator of the New Orleans Jungian Seminars. Marilyn facilitates dream groups in New Orleans and Baton Rouge and presents lectures and workshops on Jung’s Analytical Psychology. Her articles A Close-Up of the Kiss
and Hurricane Katrina: The Tequila, the Kleenex, and the Ivy
were published in Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture, vol. 73, Cinema and Psyche, 2005 and vol. 88, Environmental Disasters and Collective Trauma, 2012, respectively.
C.G. Jung’s theory of psychological type offers us tremendous insight, yet people who are identical in type may still approach the world with very different attitudes and assumptions. How we make sense of the world involves emotional investments and intellectual frameworks that tie to, but also go beyond, type.
Joseph Henderson, a co-author, with Jung, of Man and His Symbols, worked on this problem in his book, Cultural Attitudes in Psychological Perspective. Henderson observed that different people apply different cultural values as they engage with the world around them. He called these the social attitude, the religious attitude, the philosophical attitude, the aesthetic attitude, and, a relative latecomer, the psychological attitude.
Using illustrative clips from recent and classic films, John Beebe will lead us in exploring these orientations toward what is offered already by our culture. Participants will take away a new way of observing and understanding themselves and others.
In this workshop, we’ll look at our cultural attitudes in depth and explore how they impact our lives and relationships. We’ll also look at the interplay between psychological type and cultural attitudes.
Dr. Beebe will lead us in investigating the implications of the cultural attitudes for therapy. We’ll also consider whether it is possible or desirable to try to develop the attitudes that we do not naturally prefer and ask whether we should be working in parenting or therapy to foster the development of the cultural attitudes.
John Beebe, M.D.
, a past president of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, is a psychiatrist who specializes in psychotherapy. He is the author of Integrity in Depth
and Energies and Patterns in Psychological Type: The Reservoir of Consciousness.
He is co-author, with Virginia Apperson, of The Presence of the Feminine in Film,
and co-editor, with Ernst Falzeder, of The Question of Psychological Types.
A Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, he has written about psychological types for numerous books and journals. Beebe’s eight-function, eight-archetype model of type is widely studied and applied in the field. In addition, he has spearheaded a Jungian typological approach to the analysis of film.
We are living in a time of heightened border awareness as our old securities of containment and simple divisions of collective tribe and individual ego are forced open by new challenges. Walls don’t work well in the world of internet and drones, nuclear, biological, and informational contaminations, offshore banking, and moving populations of refugees.
In this fluid, open and expanding world, simple divisions don’t work well even in psychology. Beyond the tidy, binary separation into conscious and unconscious factors, we have become attuned to the rich plurality of complexes or ‘self-states’ operative in every interchange between people. We are also becoming accustomed to working with the reality of open and interpenetrating borders between our various complexes and their field effects on the neurology and coherence of others in our immediate and global environment.
So we are increasingly aware of the impossibility of neat borders and must attend to the multiple effects of subtle neurological pulsations, of mirror neurons, hemispheric attunements, bodily sensations, emotional flavors and field dynamics that are alive across the threshold between us as we sit in the multi-dimensional flow that is rich but also often fearful. Such open consciousness forces us to levels of complexity and integration that psychologists began to explore more than a century ago. Jung beautifully understood then the values of seeking images for orientation.
In our current globalizing crisis, which stirs anxiety, I have been gripped by an image that comes from an era where similarly vast, cultural shifts were underway and managed by figures representing the qualities needed to survive. For me the ancient, shamanic herdsman, Hermes, god of paths and open boundaries, has become a marker from which to expand towards such complexity. His early stories, more emotional and cosmic than the ones from Hellenic Greece or medieval alchemy, shape a presence that can orient consciousness in a world with wide open borders. They also connect to tales of boundary-making from Neolithic, Northern Europe, when the Goddess of the vast earth and sky was divided into tribal lands, and shamanic elders sang the moving clans back to themselves.
In the Friday evening talk, I will present Hermes as an early herdsman and shamanic deity, showing pictures and telling stories of his origins and qualities, which are important for our own time. He represents the threshold where energies and forms interweave, where consciousness rises from and opens back into the fluid matrix of psyche to bring perception of multifaceted order, creativity, and healing.
Saturday morning we will explore his functions as open boundary-marker to wonder about the values we need to find for ourselves and those we are meeting in the ever-widening, contemporary world. In the late morning session, we will look at Hermes’ functions around which to explore dreams. We can share some of our own that may be dreaming us on to a security beyond collective walls and inevitable longing for tribal identities. Please bring your thoughts, feelings, and, perhaps, a dream to share. We will have paper and crayons.
Sylvia Brinton Perera, MA, LP
, lives, practices, writes and teaches in New York and Vermont. She has served for decades on the Board and faculty of the CGJung Institute of NY, and also teaches internationally. Her publications include: Descent to the Goddess
; The Scapegoat Complex
; Dreams, A Portal to the Source
(with E. Christopher Whitmont); Celtic Queen Maeve and Addiction
; The Irish Bull God
; and many clinical articles.
According to C. G. Jung, patients who come to us for healing often have…
….a story that is not told, and which as a rule no one knows of. To my mind, therapy only really begins after the investigation of that wholly personal story. It is the patient’s secret, the rock against which he is shattered. If I know his secret story, I have a key to the treatment…but how to gain that knowledge? In most cases exploration of the conscious material is insufficient. Sometimes [projective techniques] can open the way, so can the interpretation of dreams, or long and patient human contact with the individual (Jung, 1963:117).
Another avenue through which we can “open the way” to our untold stories is through film. Not only do contemporary films give a vivid portrait of the shattering caused by trauma, but they also point the way towards healing, and in this way, set the stage for enhanced personal and clinical understanding. We might even say that films are themselves part of the solution to the problem of trauma in our time, aiding in the creation of moving and meaningful stories out of the shattering experiences that otherwise leave us fragmented and lost.
Friday Evening Film and Discussion: As It Is In Heaven, a Swedish film by Kay Pollak, 2005.
Early developmental trauma always involves an injury to the capacity to feel. And when this happens, the window to life closes. Overwhelmingly painful feelings that were part of the trauma are dissociated and become part of the untold story that must finally be opened and the original pain re-experienced. As It Is In Heaven is a moving film about the traumatic closing—and then re-opening–of the protagonists (Daniel’s) capacity to feel. Through his conscious suffering, a window to life re-opens. We will see the film together and discuss its implications for the understanding and healing of trauma.
When trauma strikes the developing psyche of a child, a sacred core of the self retreats into the unconscious where it is surrounded by powerful forces that constitute a “system” of defenses. This Self-Care System and its inner “powers” frequently appears in dreams during the psychotherapy of trauma-survivors. Dr. Kalsched will tell some clinical stories, accompanied by the patient’s dreams, that illustrate these appearances and then illustrate his discussion with clips from several contemporary films. Among the films from which vignettes will be chosen are Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Golden Compass, Birdman, and Equus.
Donald Kalsched, Ph.D.
, is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist who practices in Santa Fe New Mexico. He is a member of the C. G. Jung Institute of Santa Fe, a senior faculty member and supervisor with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and lectures nationally and internationally on the subject of trauma and its treatment. His celebrated book The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit
(Routledge 1996) explores the interface between contemporary psychoanalytic theory and Jungian thought as it relates to practical clinical work with the survivors of early childhood trauma. His new book, Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption
(Routledge, 2013) explores the “spiritual” dimensions of clinical work with trauma-survivors. He and his wife Robin live in Santa Fe, during the winter, and summer in Newfoundland, Canada.
Mark your Calendars!
Here are are scheduled speakers and topics for our next season. In July we’ll post details on the Fall lectures and workshops, as well as membership and program registration information.
||Active Imagination and the Romantic Poets
||In-Between Times: Something Gone, Something Not Yet
||The Creative Self: Dreams, Secrets and Wishes
||Dreaming Animals: Individuation in a Jungian Analysis
||A Jungian Take on Climate Change
Healing the Split with Our Animate World
||Jung’s Red Book for our Times
||Jutta Von Buchholtz
||The Healing Power of Fairytales
||Understanding the World Dream