Divine Darkness and Divine Light

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 17, 2017 2:04:51 PM

Jungian Analyst Stanton Marlan presents "Divine Darkness and Divine Light: Alchemical Illumination and the Mystical Play between Knowing and Unknowing." This presentation was given in the summer of 2017 at the conference Ars Alchemica: The Art And Alchemy Of Transformation.

This weekend symposium, hosted by The Retreat at Pacifica Graduate Instiutute drew upon the rich influence of Jung’s alchemical psychology, while expanding it for a new generation of scholars, seekers, and practitioners.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, transformative, C.G. Jung, alchemy, Pacifica Graduate Institute

A New Therapy for Politics?

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 17, 2017 12:32:41 PM

Pacifica was honored to have Andrew Samuels, internationally recognized political commentator and theorist from the perspectives of psychotherapy and depth psychology, present at the October conference Up Against the Wall: Politics, Community Psyche. Dr. Samuels presented "A New Therapy for Politics?" and we are delighted to share that lecture with the Pacifica community.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Pacifica Events, clinical psychology, depth psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, politics

My first days at Pacifica: First year student reflections

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 10, 2017 2:57:14 PM

My Pacifica Experience. A guest post by Mythological Studies student Carol Myers.

Pacifica reached out and hooked me initially, with a presentation by Pacifica Mythological Studies graduate Kwame Scruggs. Last fall, I heard him speak briefly about his work with young men in Akron, Ohio, using myth and drumming. I liked his attitude and the way his head and heart worked, and I thought Pacifica and the Mythological Studies Program had something to do with that. In no time at all, I started the application process. I also attended the Pacifica Experience day in January of 2017. In spite of temperatures in the 30’s and relentless rain, there was a warmth and energy I liked. In particular, I recall the panel of students representing several programs offered at Pacifica. One of the students representing the Mythological Studies Program was Leonora Francesca ; I liked the way she spoke and I liked the way she thought. And I figured Pacifica and the Mythological Studies Program had something to do with that. I also met countless other students in several programs: administrators, teaching faculty, and staff who were marvelous! And I thought Pacifica had a lot to do with that! In addition, of course, I thoroughly explored the website, blog, videos, and catalog, all of which shined with energy, ideas, and creativity in action.

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Posted in: graduate school, Pacifica Graduate Institute, integrative therapy

A Glastonbury Romance

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 10, 2017 2:05:19 PM

After Dr. Evans Lansing Smith (Lans) gave a series of lectures on the Grail Romances at the C.G.Jung Institute in Kusnacht, Switzerland, one of his attendees, Dr. Michael Best, introduced himself and proposed planning a trip that would appeal to the analysts and candidates at the institute, and to students and alumni at Pacifica Graduate Institute. This idea has since materialized, and in July 2018, Lans will lead a group of scholars, adventurers, and historical and myth enthusiasts through an intellectual and stimulating tour of Southwestern England.

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Posted in: Mythology, literature, mythological, storytelling

Psyche and the Sacred

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 8, 2017 4:16:41 PM

Psyche and the Sacred: An Interview with Dr. Lionel Corbett. A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

"You can't define the sacred," insists Pacifica professor and author, Dr. Lionel Corbett. "We can only talk about how we experience it. When C. G . Jung contemplated the sacred, he used the criteria of German theologian, Rudolf Otto, who described the experience of the sacred or the holy as “numinous”—that is, something that is mysterious, tremendous, or fascinating, having a powerful emotional quality beyond the ordinary or the everyday ego."

Corbett, a Jungian analyst who also trained in medicine and psychiatry, offers some stories from Biblical myth that exemplify such qualities of this experience. Rather than attributing such transformational events to the Judeo-Christian God, Corbett attributes them to what Jung calls the “objective psyche” or the “autonomous psyche.”

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Posted in: The Psyche, C.G. Jung, psyche, mythological, sacred

Photography and Writing: Into the Heart of Traditional Cultures in Times of Global Change

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 7, 2017 9:41:44 PM

Photography: Into the Heart of Traditional Cultures in Times of Global Change. An Interview with Writer and Photographer, Michael Benanav, M.A. A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Michael Benanav is a critically-acclaimed writer and photographer who has traveled to a lot of places that are well off the beaten path, often finding himself in remote mountains and landscapes, walking, being in nature, and living quite simply. There, in the wilderness, he often runs into nomads, and he quickly became fascinated by their way of life. Benanav, whose work has appeared in publications like The New York Times, Geographical Magazine, Lonely Planet Guidebooks, and CNN.com, was naturally drawn to spending time with them.

These profoundly archetypal lifestyles inevitably appear in Benanav’s work. In his first book, a travel narrative entitled Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold (2008), he joined one of the last working camel caravans in the world, which runs an ancient salt trading route in the Sahara desert in Mali. Leaving Timbuktu, the route veers 500 miles north into the vast desert to salt mines located “in the middle of nowhere,” hundreds of miles away from any village. There's no electricity, no telephone; not even fresh water, Benanav reports.

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Posted in: Current Affairs, Connecting Cultures, Ecopsychology, art, indigenous psychology


Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Nov 6, 2017 3:45:33 PM

What does action in the world by non-heroes look like? What if we replaced arguing, shaming, and moralizing with storytelling, empathizing, and something inspiring?


In October of 2017 Pacifica Associate Provost Craig Chalquist started a series of free presentations and discussions on what he calls enchantivism: making lasting change by connecting inspiring stories with action in the world.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, Social Justice, leadership

What’s It Like to Come to Class at Pacifica?

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 25, 2017 10:34:50 PM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

On my first day of class I was nervous. Probably all of us were. The catastrophe of 9/11 gave all we did an added poignancy, raising the question of what we were there for in the face of such tragedy and its fallout.

At Pacifica we sit in a circle, which could be daunting at first for the shy, but I was relieved to see a small group of us. That, I came to realize, was the norm at Pacifica.

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Posted in: graduate school, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Immigration, Art, and Healing through Trauma

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 13, 2017 2:37:02 PM

Inner Work, Immigration, and the Healing Process of Psychotherapy: An Interview with Alexandra Rusu, MFT Consortium Stipend Recipient. A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Even at an early age, Alexandra Rusu found herself fascinated by the way people’s bodies seemed to be affected by their emotions. When she was just five years old, she sat in on grownups' conversations so she could listen to their stories, a sure sign her daimon (the inspiring force within that connects us to our calling ) was at work even then. As an immigrant whose family fled the tyranny of Romania’s Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu when she was very young, Alexandra has been profoundly interested in healing and in the archetypal concept of “home.” She also produces stunning paintings which grew out of her own work with a therapist.

Since finding the M.A. Counseling Psychology Program with its emphasis in depth psychology at Pacifica a few years ago, she herself has felt at home in a field that emphasizes soul and the perspective of the soul. "The art of counseling as being a bit like being a midwife of the soul," Rusu offers.

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Posted in: Counseling Psychology, Therapist, Trauma, immigration

The World Is Made of Stories: The Power of Myth and the Study of Mythology

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Oct 11, 2017 1:20:44 PM

A guest post by Dr. Patrick Mahaffey, Associate Chair and Research Coordinator in the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute

We live in a world that is awash in diverse and contentious worldviews. How can we better understand these differences and co-exist in ways that engender peace and harmony rather than strife and conflict? One approach is to appreciate the power of myth. I offer for your consideration five reflections on why the study of myth is one of most enlightening fields of study we can pursue in the contemporary world.

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Posted in: Mythology, narrative, storytelling