September 20-21, 1996: John Giannini

Lecture: The Historical and Psychological Contexts for Intimate Relations

Intimate relationships are as ancient as life itself. In Genesis II, the awakened Adam, now male, sees Eve and exclaims: “This at last is bone of my bones, and flesh from my flesh!” The woman undoubtedly said the same as the man, given a metaphorical and non-patriarchal understanding of the text. Otherwise, the following would not have occured: “Now both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but the felt no shame in front of each other.” This weekend’s lecture and workshop will consider this event. 

This lecture will consider historical perspectives and developments that have obscured or even prevented intimate relations. They include harsh survivial conditions, the emergence of masculine dominance leading to the eclipse of the importance of the couple in favor of the larger family or tribe, more complex political structures, and religious organizations with their laws and moral codes. Today, however, vast changes, including the emergence of nuclear families born of romantic love and not of family or clan arrangements. Now there is an opportunity and a necessary challenge as never before for a couple to realize intimate relations in both a sensual and spiritual sense. Societal as well as important inner resistance assimilated from our long patriarchal history impede the development of such intimacy. This conflict between our ancient history and our present society may account for the enormous difficulty in and the massive breakdown of the present nuclear family. John Giannini will use Genesis I and II to illustrate a model for itimacy’s separation and surrender. 

Workshop: The Sensuality and Spirituality of Intimate Relationships

In the workshop, we will consider the elements of spirituality and sensuality that make up an intimate relationship. Spirituality is associated with the need for separateness and flights of the spirit, and sensuality with the unity and vulnerability of the soul. We’ll keep in mind as context and guide Genesis I’s separations and Genesis II’s surrenders. 

We will explore the journey towards a sacred relationship-its resistances and failures, its characteristics and its triumphs-mainly through discussion of our lives, our dreams, and dream work with emotionally laden images. Our goal is to provide tools for breaking resistances so as to activate loving powers that strengthen our intimate relationship and/or make them possible for the first time. Bring your stories and dreams. 


John Giannini, M.A.,Mdiv, MBA, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Chicago, and a 1980 graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. He began his own analysis in 1956. He is working on two books: In the Beginning Was the Dream: Jung and Creation Spirituality; and Typology as the Soul’s Four-Fold Archetypal Way; in Jung, the Meyers-Briggs Culture, Brain Research, Child Development, and in the Economics Philosophy of W. Edwards Deming. He lectures widely on Jungian Psychology in relation to individual development and societal issues. 

The Sensuality and Spirituality of Intimate Relationships