Deep Vocation: Living Your 'One Wild and Precious Life'

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Mar 26, 2018 1:53:18 PM

A guest blog post by Jennifer Leigh Selig, Ph.D.

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

--Mary Oliver

I think a lot about how to live a meaningful life.

In childhood and young adulthood, I had some early encounters with accidents and untimely deaths that sensitized me to how easily and how quickly life could be stripped from us. When I was twenty-one, an accident of my own laid me up in bed for three months, and during that time, I contemplated the poet Mary Oliver’s question: what should I do with my one wild and precious life?

Read More

Posted in: Pacifica Events, vocation, soul, symbol, Pacifica Graduate Institute

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Enchantivism

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?

Enchantivism

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.

Read More

Posted in: Pacifica Events, Social Justice, leadership

Embodied Alchemy®: Tending the Vessel

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 23, 2017 10:06:51 PM

A guest post by Tina Stromsted, Ph.D., Dance/Movement Therapist, Jungian Analyst

“What makes alchemy so valuable for psychotherapy is that its images concretize the experiences of transformation that one undergoes in psychotherapy […] Alchemy provides a kind of anatomy of individuation.” ~ Edward Edinger

How do we evoke the light in the dark body? How do we embody the soul spark, bring it to consciousness, and live it more fully in our daily lives?

Read More

Posted in: Pacifica Events, somatic bodywork, alchemy

Pacifica Doctoral Student Harry Grammer named CNN Hero

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 14, 2017 4:02:51 PM

We are excited and honored to announce that Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology Specialization doctoral student Harry Grammer has been named a CNN hero.

Harry is founder and president of New Earth, an Los Angeles based organization "provid[ing] youth with mentor-based creative arts and educational programs including poetry, music production, gardening, and fitness. New Earth currently serves 500 young people per week who are incarcerated in Los Angeles County detention facilities and placement homes and in the Orange County Juvenile Hall.

Upon release from incarceration, young people join our New Earth Arts & Leadership center in Culver City, CA where they receive career training, jobs, a fully accredited High School education program, mentorship, case management, nature expeditions, arts programming and wrap-around services that help them re-enter their communities with all the support and nurturing they need to make a successful transition." [1]

Please enjoy the two videos below, produced by CNN, featuring Harry Grammer.

You can also read more about Harry and his own story of being on probation in his youth, and how he came to found New Earth at pgiaa.org.

Read More

Posted in: Current Affairs, Pacifica Events, Pacifica Students

The Core Complex of a Traumatized Psyche

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 7, 2017 4:50:43 PM

Opening Keynote presentation by Donald Kalsched, Ph.D., Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century
Summary article by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

“The false God changes suffering into violence. The true God changes violence into suffering,” begins Jungian analyst Donald Kalsched, quoting Simone Weil, French philosopher, mystic, and political activist [1], at the “Response at the Radical Edge” conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute. That day, Kalsched was up in the dark hours before dawn reworking his talk, which he gave a new title, “Healthy and Unhealthy: Hatred in the Psyche and In the Country.” He noted that the “false god” is abroad in the country at the moment, and while many in the field of Depth Psychology are working hard on behalf of “the true God” who turns violence into suffering, they are finding it difficult in a culture that supports the “false God” in this scenario.

Paul Russell [2], a respected analyst who taught in Boston, defined “trauma” as an injury to our capacity to feel. When our capacity to feel is injured, we cease to be able to imagine, because imagination depends on emotional literacy. In the process, archetypal aspects attempt to do the feeling for us, notes Kalsched, who has deemed this process the “self-care” system, which, in its attempt to sequester and protect can also end up persecuting us and keeping us from experience in order to preserve our innocence. However, we need to experience: the world actually needs suffering, Kalsched insists, citing poet John Keats along with archetypal psychologist James Hillman who loved to quote him, saying, “The world is a veil of soulmaking.”

Read More

Posted in: The Psyche, Trauma, Pacifica Events

Why alchemical psychology matters to me

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 7, 2017 3:06:51 PM

A guest post by Robert Bosnak

It all started 46 years ago when, after a long and almost fatal illness, I ended up at the 1971 Eranos conference for my honeymoon. After close to a year in the hospital, Western medicine was no longer the ‘be all and end all’ of healing for me. I had experimented with psychedelics (it was the 1960s after all), and my perspective on life exploded. At Eranos, learned people talked about a cosmos alien to anything I had ever heard of and yet it all felt eerily familiar. I walked up to a comparatively young man standing by the open terrace doors during the intermission of a fascinatingly incomprehensible talk in French and said to him: “Dr. Hillman, I have used LSD and I’m trying to make sense of it.” I had his instant attention. I was 23 and he was 45. My children are now around the age he was then.

I started to attend the Jung Institute in Zurich and my wife and I became secretaries to the Eranos Foundation. From then on my fascination with alchemy never left me.

Read More

Posted in: Pacifica Events, alchemy

The Beating Heart of Standing Rock: Walking The Great Mystery With All My Relations

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 7, 2017 1:42:50 PM

A guest post by Joseph Bobrow, Roshi, Ph.D.

From April 2016 to February 2017, tens of thousands of people journeyed to Oceti Sakowin, Seven Fires Camp, in Cannonball, North Dakota in support of the water protectors on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in a momentous gathering of tribes, their allies, and people from all walks of life and all ages, standing in solidarity to put a halt to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and protect the water of 17 million living downstream. They won a major victory when the Army Corps of Engineers denied a key permit to the builders (Energy Transfer Partners) and insisted on a thorough Environmental Impact Study. Soon after Donald Trump took office in January, 2017, he ordered that construction resume without the study [1]. The pipeline sprung leaks even while being tested. Now, it is in full operation.

The impacts from the remarkable community of solidarity and action at Standing Rock did not end when camp was closed, the teepees and communal structures razed, and the holdouts arrested. Other protest camps are springing up around the country, including Camp White Pine in Pennsylvania, where residents are working to stop the Mariner East 2 pipeline, and in Louisiana where a multifaith alliance is organizing a camp to block the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. The ripples from Standing Rock was also felt on July 4, 2017, when tribes gather in Black Hills, SD for “Reclamation of Independence.”

To convey and keep alive the power and joy of Standing Rock, I want to share my experience as part of an action by 524 clergy on November 3, 2016. At Standing Rock multifaith spiritually-informed direct action was the interplay, in a remarkable contemporary context, of the principles of Native spirituality: The Great Mystery (Wakan Tanka, also Great Spirit) and All My Relations (Mitakuye Oyasin).

Read More

Posted in: Trauma, Pacifica Events, Social Justice, community psychology

Disconnected from the suffering of others

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Jul 5, 2017 10:08:08 PM

Keynote presentation by The Truth Telling Project co-founder David Ragland, Ph.D. at Response at the Radical Edge: Depth Psychology for the 21st Century
Summary article by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

When political philosopher Hannah Arendt reported on the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the pivotal organizers of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, for the New Yorker in 1963, she described a disturbing fact. In his defense, Eichmann, who was certified as “normal” by a half a dozen psychiatrists, only insisted that he was doing his job; that it had been his duty to obey his superiors in his daily work by hastening millions of Jews to their deaths on trains bound for concentration camps [1].

Eichmann’s refusal to take responsibility for his actions is illustrative of what Arendt referred to as the “banality of evil.” Her notion of banality suggests that evil exists in everyday life, and by not taking a stance against it, by not making the effort to eradicate it, we become complicit [2].

Read More

Posted in: Trauma, Pacifica Events