The Soul Stands Ajar: Aesthetic Encounters as Portals to Wonder & Meaning

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Nov 26, 2018 3:18:33 PM

A guest blog post by Mary A. Wood, Ph.D., co-Chair of the M.A. Program in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life at Pacifica Graduate Institute

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” —Emily Dickinson

There are moments in life when time seems to stand still—moments when we find ourselves transfixed, and eventually transformed. These moments can be cosmic in scale, as reflected in the awe that we feel when beholding a rare solar eclipse, or an approaching storm. These moments may also be quite intimate, but no less moving, such as when we witness an animal emerging from hiding or when we hear an exquisite song. We recognize, and always remember these moments because they are announced by bodily sensations; we gasp, our hearts beat faster, and tears often flow.  Our bodies tell us that the ordinary has given way to the extraordinary.  These experiences are best described as “aesthetic,” as we find ourselves living, at least for a few moments, as creatures that are gloriously and achingly alive.

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Posted in: Psychology, depth psychology, archetypes, Spiritual, mythological, soul, transformative, The Psyche, symbolism, sacred, humanities, symbol, art, C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, James Hillman

Conversations on Trauma and Transcendence: A Roundup

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Jun 13, 2018 11:57:53 AM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on interviews conducted by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Ready to immerse yourself in some of the perspectives of trauma and transcendence being presented at Pacifica’s Trauma + Transcendence Conference June 22-24, 2018? We’ve rounded up our Pacifica Post blog posts and audio recordings of scholars and analysts presenting at the Conference who also recently spoke with Bonnie Bright, Ph.D., about their research.

Although registrations for attending the Trauma + Transcendence Conference in person have sold out, you can still gain access to the video livestream of the Conference’s Friday and Saturday events. Enjoy the Conference from the comfort of your home desktop computer or device by watching the livestream presentations in real time. You also have the option to earn continuing education credits by watching the livestream; please add the additional “Continuing Education Credit Fee” when you register. Details: https://retreat.pacifica.edu/trauma-transcendence/

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, Trauma, transformative, Psychology, Spiritual, Pacifica Events, clinical psychology, dreams, psyche

Navigating the Depths: How the Psychoid and Unus Mundus Can Help Us Transcend Trauma

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Jun 5, 2018 6:29:10 PM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an Interview with Ann Belford Ulanov, Ph.D., L.H.D., by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Ann Ulanov here. (approx. 31 minutes)

In the book The Unshuttered Heart: Opening Aliveness/Deadness in the Self, Jungian analyst Ann Belford Ulanov, Ph.D., L.H.D., says, “we can find our depth by being found in the depths.” But what does it mean, "to be found in depths"? For those of us who constantly seek to better understand ourselves and the world around us, or, as Joseph Campbell said, are "seeking an experience of being alive," what are some ways that we might find ourselves in these depths, to gain those profound insights that help us experience being alive? Ann, who is a prolific author and presenter at Pacifica’s upcoming sold-out Trauma and Transcendence conference in June 2018, says that one way we can find our depth in the depths is through our dreams. “You can’t make up the dream,” she says. “The dream makes up you. And some dreams you really get right away, and they tell you something you never knew before, and it’s as if you’re being addressed.”

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, Trauma, transformative, Psychology, Spiritual, Pacifica Events, clinical psychology, dreams, psyche

Spiritual Implications of Psychosis: How a Spiritual Perspective Can Provide Health Benefits to Mind and Body

Posted by Krystyna Knight on May 25, 2018 10:22:00 AM

Spiritual Implications of Psychosis: How a Spiritual Perspective Can Provide Health Benefits to Mind and Body. A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario, based on an interview with Tanya Marie Luhrmann, Ph.D., by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Tanya Luhrmann here. (approx. 34 minutes)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), schizophrenia is defined as “a severe mental disorder, characterized by profound disruptions in thinking, affecting language, perception, and the sense of self. It often includes psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices or delusions. It can impair functioning through the loss of an acquired capability to earn a livelihood, or the disruption of studies.” The condition affects more than 21 million people worldwide. [1]

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, Trauma, transformative, Pacifica Events, Psychology, Spiritual

Normalizing Non-Ordinary Experiences: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Posted by Guest on Apr 30, 2018 10:09:19 AM

Normalizing Non-Ordinary Experiences: An Interdisciplinary Approach. A blog post by Melissa Nazario, based on an interview with Ann Taves, Ph.D. by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Ann Taves here. (approx. 28 minutes)

If you began hallucinating, perhaps seeing or hearing things that no one else could perceive, how would you interpret this unusual experience? Ann Taves, Ph.D., professor of Religious Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara and presenter at Pacifica’s upcoming Trauma and Transcendence conference in June 2018, became interested in this topic back in the mid-80s, when there were a lot of people who were being diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. She had a friend who had been abused as a child and who apparently had multiple personalities, or dissociated identity, as the clinicians now call it. Ann says that because she came from a very rational sort of family, it had never dawned on her that our minds could experience changes like what it does with disorders, and she credits knowing her friend and hearing her talk about her experiences as the point at which, for Ann, the door first opened into the range of what was possible.

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Posted in: Psychology, C.G. Jung, Trauma

Love and Relationships as a Spiritual Path in the 21st Century: A Jungian Perspective

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Apr 18, 2018 12:56:01 PM

Love and Relationships as a Spiritual Path in the 21st Century: A Jungian Perspective.  An Interview with Polly Young-Eisendrath.  A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Listen to the full audio interview with Polly Young-Eisendrath here (approx. 41 mins)

Personal love—that is, love that we feel within—has changed in the 21st century, according to Jungian analyst, Polly Young-Eisendrath. In this day and age, we seek three very specific outcomes in our relationships that have not always been sought in “traditional” relationships. First, we want relationships that take place between equals, which are reciprocal and mutual. Second, we want to choose whomever we want to love and not be bound to traditions or tribes. Finally, we long to be witnessed by another person who really knows, sees, understands, and hears us.

 

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Posted in: depth psychology, relationships, love, C.G. Jung

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

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

Where Politics, Psyche, and Community Converge

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Sep 11, 2017 1:55:50 PM

Where Politics, Psyche, and Community Converge: An Interview with Andrew Samuels
A Guest Post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

U.K.-based psychotherapist and activist, Andrew Samuels has a long history as a consultant to political clients on the presidential and prime ministerial level. While Samuels first published Politics on the Couch in 2001 and The Political Psyche in 2015, his newest book, A New Therapy for Politics? [1] delves ever more deeply into the intersection between psychotherapy and politics and lends a critical eye to his own chosen profession in an effort to bring the two together.

Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung, both pioneers in the field of psychotherapy, wrote about politics over the course of their careers, Samuels points out, but psychotherapists have generally been “magnificently unsuccessful” in creating a significant contribution to the political arena.

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Posted in: The Psyche, clinical psychology, C.G. Jung, Psychotherapy, Therapist

Practical Uses of Mythology

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Aug 21, 2017 10:36:42 AM

A guest post by Craig Chalquist, Ph.D.

What good is the study of myth?

I love this topic so much I could write a book on it. In fact, I have, to be called Myths Among Us: When Timeless Tales Return to Life (World Soul Books, 2017). The book spends 658 pages on the question of what good is mythology, with real-life applications and many stories.

Here I’ll offer some brief examples taken from the life arenas of self-knowledge, work, finance, diversity, and persuasion.

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Posted in: C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, Mythology