Moments of Complexity: An Interview with Dr. Joseph Cambray, CEO-President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. Part I of II

Posted by Angela Borda on May 24, 2022 12:58:29 PM

Joseph Cambray, Ph.D., has been the President and CEO of Pacifica for 5 years, and previous to that served as Provost. He will be leading the Pacifica Workshop Fielding the Unconscious: The Origins and Evolution of Field Theory on June 7, 14, and 21, 2022. As always, I am delighted to be speaking with him about his research and teaching.

Angela: In your upcoming June seminar, you will begin with the origins of the field concept in depth psychology, starting in the 19th century, from William James to Freud to C.G. Jung. In particular, you discuss the symbolic elements of the unconscious that Jung included in his clinical encounters. I will admit that I don’t know what field theory is. For any readers who might also be wondering, can you give us a quick introduction to the concepts of field theory, and the importance of Jung’s focus on the unconscious and symbolism as it relates to the emergence of depth psychology as a field?

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Posted in: The Psyche, graduate school, Pacifica Graduate Institute, world issues, The Retreat at Pacifica, unconscious

The Numinous Anima Mundi: Healing the Climate Crisis Within

Posted by Angela Borda on May 17, 2022 3:49:20 PM

The Numinous Anima Mundi: Healing the Climate Crisis Within: An Interview with Jeffrey Kiehl

At no other point in the history of humanity has ecological survival been so imminently threatened by climate crises. On June 3, Pacifica presents a half-day workshop, entitled Climate, Cosmology & Consciousness: From Chaos to Cosmos of three leading scholars and environmental activists for an emerging and inspired vision of a possible path forward as we shift from crisis to consciousness and chaos to cosmos. Of these, Jeffrey Kiehl will speak on “Climate Chaos and the Soul of the World.” I’m delighted to be speaking with him about his upcoming presentation.

“Our psyche is set up in accord with the structure of the universe, and what happens in the macrocosm likewise happens in the infinitesimal and most subjective reaches of the psyche.” ~ C.G. Jung

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Posted in: Ecopsychology, graduate school, Pacifica Graduate Institute, world issues, The Retreat at Pacifica

Pacifica Among “Top Producing Institutions” of Fulbright U.S. Students

Posted by Angela Borda on Apr 25, 2022 11:09:38 AM

Pacifica is honored to be included on the 2021-2022 Fulbright Program “Top Producing Institutions” of Fulbright U.S. Students, as announced in The Chronicle of Higher Education on February 27, 2022. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken congratulated Pacifica, saying, “This achievement is a testament to your institution’s deep commitment to international exchange and to building lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

So what are the Fulbright Awards and why are they significant? Our Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Peter M. Rojcewicz, explains, “The Fulbright Student Program is a network of some 140 nations dedicated to trans-national exchange that seeks advancement of cultural competency through academic and professional pursuit of graduate degrees, fieldwork, research, and teaching abroad. Fulbright students live with and learn from different peoples of the world, sharing daily tasks through direct interactions in classrooms, community sites, and homes of their hosts. They slowly grasp the standards various peoples use to perceive, predict, judge, and act upon their values. Learning through cultural dialog often triggers shifts in students’ world views from egocentric and ethnocentric to world-centric perspectives of planetary people.” It is also worth noting that many alumni of the program have gone on to become winners of the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize, as well as serving as heads of state.

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Posted in: graduate school, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Fulbright

Strands of Prayer: The Archetypal Artist

Posted by Angela Borda on Apr 5, 2022 12:41:14 PM

Mary Antonia Wood is the Chair of the M.A. in Depth Psychology and Creativity with Emphasis in the Arts and Humanities at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and has published The Archetypal Artist: Reimagining Creativity and the Call to Create, a book that addresses the confluence of Jungian and archetypal psychologies, the artist, the shaman, and creativity itself. I’m delighted to speak with her about her new book.

Angela: The Archetypal Artist does not shy away from the big questions, Mary! You begin the first chapter asking “What is the soul?” And more specifically, the type of soul work facilitated by the shaman, including the cave painters of Lascaux and Les Trois-Frères, the archetypal ancestors of the artist. In your estimation, what is the relationship between creativity and the soul?

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Posted in: creativity, humanities, storytelling, Engaged Humanities

Pacifica Statement on the Situation in Ukraine

Posted by Guest on Mar 4, 2022 4:08:04 PM

Dear Pacifica Community,

On behalf of Pacifica Graduate Institute, I express deep sadness and profound concern for the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Ukraine's people want to decide their own destiny. The tremendous suffering being inflicted on the Ukrainian people is unwarranted, unacceptable, and wholly undeserved. We stand and join much of the world community in deploring the senseless suffering of this unjust war, echoing the international community’s calls for de-escalation and an immediate resolution of hostilities.

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The Sacred Well Murders: An Interview with Susan Rowland, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Mar 2, 2022 4:09:00 PM

Susan Rowland, core faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and author of The Sleuth and the Goddess in Women’s Detective Fiction, among other works of academic writing and fiction, has just had a new book published by Chiron Publications, The Sacred Well Murders. “A simple job turns deadly when Mary Wandwalker, novice detective, is hired to chaperone a young American, Rhiannon, to the Oxford University Summer School on the ancient Celts. Worried by a rhetoric of blood sacrifice, Mary and her operatives, Caroline, and Anna, attend a sacrifice at a sacred well. They discover that those who fail to individuate their gods become possessed by them.” I was delighted to speak with Susan about her new novel, which is available on amazon here.

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Posted in: humanities, collective trauma, storytelling

Shifting from Hero to Elder and Role to Soul: An Interview with Connie Zweig, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Oct 26, 2021 4:02:16 PM

Connie Zweig, Ph.D., an alumna of Pacifica, well-known for her books on the Shadow, has just published The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul. She will be hosting Pacifica’s symposium on The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul, November 12-14, 2021.

You can find information and registration here.

Angela: I’m delighted to be speaking with you today, Connie. You’re a published author with several books to your credit, among then, Meeting the Shadow and Romancing the Shadow, and Meeting the Shadow of Spirituality. From this, I take it that the shadow is central to your work. People often refer to “shadow work” as examining those parts of ourselves that we aren’t comfortable with or wish to hide. What is the shadow to you, and how does it relate to Depth Psychology?

Connie: Carl Jung coined the term “shadow” to refer to our personal unconscious. One of his many gifts was the insight that anything at all can be repressed into the shadow. For Freud, there was only dark or negative material in the unconscious. But for Jung, anything could be banished into the shadow, including our early aptitudes and gifts. So, the shadow is like a darkroom that contains our dormant images, thoughts, and fantasies. Shadow work is the process that brings them back to life. And we know now that the mind and body are functionally identical, so the shadow is not some corner in the mind that we can’t see. The shadow material is in our cells, our muscles, nerves. That shapes our responses to life, and it colors our experiences of our circumstances at every moment.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, The Retreat at Pacifica

Letter from the President - Natural Disasters

Posted by Guest on Sep 10, 2021 11:53:52 AM

Dear Pacifica Community,

For the past several weeks we have witnessed with growing alarm and deep sadness the impact of another major hurricane (Ida) with its ancillary storms, tornadoes, and flooding in a large swath from New Orleans through the Mid-Atlantic States, into the Northeast with tremendous damage and loss of life. Pacifica has staff, faculty, students, and alumni who the storms have, in some cases, severely affected. We are most grateful to our Alumni Association for offering psychological assistance and support through its Care Line. The Care Line is open 24/7 and can be reached by phone at 805-679-6163 or by email: AlumniRelations@pacifica.edu. But even with this compassionate offering, communications have been rendered much more difficult by the storms with power outages.

At the same time, we in the west, especially in northern California and Oregon, have experienced severe droughts, followed by horrendous fires. There is a collective, felt sense of being out of balance in/with nature. Though natural disasters recur on a regular basis, the frequency and intensity of these events in the 21st century seem to be escalating well beyond the “normal” of previous years.

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Heart Medicine: An Interview with Radhule Weininger

Posted by Angela Borda on Sep 9, 2021 3:06:22 PM

Radhule is an author, mindfulness meditation teacher, and psychologist with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, with a new book out, Heart Medicine: How to Stop Painful Patterns and Find Peace and Freedom. Since 1997 she has taught at Pacifica Graduate School as adjunct professor. I’m delighted to learn more about her work and life’s mission.

Angela: To begin, can you acquaint us with your connection to and work at Pacifica? At what point in your career did you decide to teach at Pacifica?

Radhule: My American story began, when I moved in 1985 from Germany to the U.S., shortly after I graduated from medical school. However, my true love belonged to psychology and the healing of the soul. In 1990, I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and, after licensing, had psychotherapy offices in San Francisco and Berkley. I focused my training in San Francisco on psychodynamic and Jungian psychology. After I moved in 1994 from Berkley to Santa Barbara, it was a natural fit for me to start teaching at Pacifica.

For the last several years I have taught a class in the Depth Program on a topic I most love: the integration between Jungian and Buddhist psychology and practice. I began to study Buddhist practice when I stayed in a Buddhist monastery in Sri Lanka in 1980. Over the past 41 years, I have deepened my studies, meditation practice, and Dharma teaching. Those two strands of wisdom, Buddhist and Western psychology, flow together naturally and organically in my clinical practice.

Angela: Your first book, Heartwork: The Path of Self-Compassion, presents ten practices for opening the heart. Does your new book, Heart Medicine, flow from the first and are they to be worked with together?

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Posted in: Trauma, depth psychology, meditation, interview

Sol in Motion: A Discussion with Poet, Activist, and Pacifica Graduate Student, Charles Williams

Posted by Angela Borda on Jul 13, 2021 2:37:58 PM

Angela: Thank you for speaking with me today, Charles. I’m intrigued by the diversity of your professional and personal pursuits. You are a capoeira instructor, a poet or spoken word artist, a counselor, and a graduate student. Let me first start with your time at Pacifica. What drew you to the school and what has your experience in the Depth Psychology, Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices Specialization been like so far? Do you know what you’ll be focusing on for your dissertation?

Charles: For my dissertation, I’m doing a phenomenological study about Capoeira Angola. The intention is to produce a description of the multiple ways Capoeira Angola can heal its practitioners from trauma experienced in their lifetime.

When we talk about Capoeira Angola, we’re talking about the mother of Capoeira, as it was birthed in Africa and took shape in Brazil. Some Capoeira teachers believe it may have come from a ritual dance in Angola. I tie in the past because Capoeira Angola is an affect response to trauma, for those who were enslaved and captured, a way to recapture their personhood, their identity and hold onto their culture, their beliefs. Present day, regardless of where practitioners are from, that story still exists for liberation. If we hold onto trauma, we can become victims. The metaphors and archetypes of Capoeira tie into depth psychology. To add to that, you have this collective of people who are with you as a support system. In Capoeira, Angola there is no hierarchical system, no creation of division, everyone is equally important, whether you just started or have been practicing for years. The idea is for all of us to win. You only lose if you lose your cool.

Initially I went to visit Brazil in 2010 because I was interested in pursuing a Ph.D. at UCLA in their "World Arts and Culture" program, and wanted to focus on how the spiritual aspects of capoeira can affect people in their daily lives. When I returned after being there for a month, I realized that spirituality is an individual pursuit. Therefore, with my interest in psychology and spirituality I began to wonder if there was such a thing as spiritual psychology. My counselor at the University of Santa Monica told me about Pacifica, a spirit-based program. I wanted to continue my studies in that vein, where space would be held for a spiritual approach. I already had my own counseling practice, and I wanted to bring in other modalities of healing. After some contemplation, I decided to go with DPT. I want to be the best I can be for me and those I work with.

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Posted in: creativity, depth psychology, individuation, interview, poetry