LSD and the Mind of the Universe: An Interview with Christopher M. Bache

Posted by Angela Borda on Apr 19, 2021 5:06:43 PM

Christopher M. Bache, Ph.D. is an accomplished teacher as well as researcher in “the philosophical implications of non-ordinary states of consciousness, particularly psychedelic states.” He will be the keynote speaker of the upcoming Pacifica Conference, “Accessing the ineffable: Depth Psychology, Religious Experience, and the Further Reaches of Consciousness,” on June 19, 2021. Click here for more information. I’m delighted to find out more about his research and the conference.

Angela: The title of the workshop is “Accessing the Ineffable.” And your talk will be on “LSD and the Mind of the Universe: The Challenges and Blessings of an Extreme Psychedelic Journey.” How has LSD helped you to access the ineffable, or as you say in the book, allowed you to journey “into a unified field of consciousness that underlies all physical existence”? How did you first get involved, and are you glad you took the trip?

Chris: Yes, I’m very glad I took this journey, though I also want to say that it was the most demanding undertaking of my life.

I began my psychedelic work in 1979 when I was 30 years old. I was just out of graduate school from Brown University where I had trained as a philosopher of religion, finishing my studies as an atheistically-inclined agnostic. I was looking for where to take my research next when I read Stan Grof’s Realms of the Human Unconscious. I immediately saw the relevance of his work to the core questions I had been trained to pursue as a philosopher–whether life has meaning or purpose, whether human beings survive death, and whether there is a conscious intelligence operating in the universe. I saw that with the advent of psychedelics, the deepest contributions to my discipline would be made by persons writing out of an experiential basis, not just an intellectual basis, and I felt a deep calling to do this work. (My Saturn Return marked a number of seminal transitions in my life: from student to professor, from book learning to experiential learning, from agnosticism to psychedelic initiation.)

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Pacifica Events, soul, depth psychology, meditation, The Retreat at Pacifica

Accessing the Ineffable with Santo Daime: An Interview of William Barnard, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Mar 29, 2021 2:51:16 PM

Professor William Barnard, Ph.D. will be giving a talk on “The Religious Use of Psychedelics: The Santo Daime” in the upcoming Pacifica conference “Accessing the Ineffable: Depth Psychology, Religious Experience, and the Further Reaches of Consciousness” on June 19, 2021. This conference will bring together an eclectic group of scholars to investigate to mysterious elements at the foundation of Jungian depth psychology – “consciousness” and the expansive potentialities of a non-local “unconscious.” For more information on this event, please click here. [https://retreat.pacifica.edu/accessing-the-ineffable/] I was delighted to spend time talking with Bill and learning more about his research and experiences.

Angela: You are a professor of religious studies, and will be presenting a talk on the use of psychedelics in religion, in particular, the Santo Daime, which you describe as “a relatively new religion that emerged out of the Amazon rainforest region of Brazil in the middle of the twentieth century and which now has churches throughout the world; a religion in which a psychedelic brew – ayahuasca – is taken as a sacrament.” For those who are not familiar with ayahuasca, can you tell us the basics of where it comes from, what it is, and how the experience of ingesting would lead people to consider it a sacrament?

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Pacifica Events, soul, depth psychology, meditation, The Retreat at Pacifica

Healing Intergenerational Trauma through Collective Mourning: An Interview with Pacifica’s own Heesun Kim, a Fulbright semi-finalist

Posted by Angela Borda on Mar 24, 2021 3:25:38 PM

Heesun Kim is a bright presence in our Ph.D. program for Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices, where her studies focus “on exploring the critical connections between psychology, spirituality, and holistic healing practices.” She has recently been honored as a semi-finalist in the Fulbright program. 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. Heesun’s proposal is titled “Jeju Shamanism: Healing Intergenerational Trauma through Collective Mourning” and I’m delighted to discuss it with her.

Angela: Heesun, thank you so much for talking with me. You’ve said that your Fulbright project, if accepted, would “focus on how Jeju shamanism addresses intergenerational trauma and collective mourning as a community healing practice.” Please tell us a little bit about Jeju shamanism and how it intersects with your own family history in Korea. Is it a topic you found during your studies at Pacifica or is it something you’ve been aware of for a long while?

Heesun: Thank you for inviting me, Angela. Jeju is a beautiful island located in the southern part of South Korea. Unlike most of the mainland Korean regions, which have nearly lost their shamanic tradition due to rapid industrialization and western influences, Jeju Island still preserves the shamanic tradition through myths, folksongs, and oral traditions in rituals. The island has a tragic history of a massacre between 1948 and 1954; approximately 30,000 civilians were killed when Korean authorities and right-wing vigilantes, with the US military's compliance and oversight, brutally suppressed a popular uprising.  

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Posted in: Connecting Cultures, Pacifica Events, creativity, soul, depth psychology

Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit with Deborah Anne Quibell, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Mar 1, 2021 3:42:00 PM

Deep Creativity: A Video Interview with Deborah Anne Quibell, Ph.D.

By Angela Borda

“Along the creative’s path, the smallest of things demand our gasp, our loving attention, our fixed gaze, and our compassionate noticing. To gasp is to take in or breathe in the world around us. In depth psychological language this is known as the primary, aesthetic response of the heart.” 

— Deborah, Deep Creativity

In the process of writing the book, we realized we were fleshing out new ways of looking at creativity, new lenses informed by our mutual backgrounds in depth psychology. We compiled these lenses into “The Fifteen Principles of Deep Creativity.”

We chose the word principles to suggest our fundamental thoughts, the underpinnings of the union of depth psychology and creativity.

These are themes rather than definitions; these are convictions rather than truths; these are perspectives rather than facts. They are the way we see the creative world and our place within it, and we offer that vision to you. Take a look at what Deborah has to say about Deep Creativity in her videos below.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, creativity, art, soul, depth psychology

Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit with Jennifer Leigh Selig, Ph.D.

Posted by Angela Borda on Feb 4, 2021 4:39:24 PM

Deep Creativity: An Interview with Jennifer Leigh Selig

By Angela Borda

Jennifer is a prolific writer with three screenplays and twenty-two books she has been involved with. Passionate about travel and photography, she is the co-author of Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit and will be co-presenting the Pacifica workshop of the same name with Pacifica scholars Deborah Anne Quibell and Dennis Slattery on March 5–7, 2021. She and Deborah Anne Quibell will also teach a three-month intensive March 8–May 31, 2021. Visit us for more information here. I was delighted to speak with Jennifer, as she is exemplary of Pacifica’s deep-thinking and inquiring spirit.

Angela: What teaching dynamic do you share with Dennis and Deborah and what kind of atmosphere and interaction can participants look forward to between the three of you and with them?

Jennifer: My relationship with Deborah and Dennis is one of the most important and rewarding relationships of my life, and I think that shows up in our teaching dynamics. From the beginning of our collaboration, it was really clear that we respect one another. We each so value what the other two bring—as teachers, as writers, and as human beings. And, there’s a genuine mutual affection for one another, a real love and care for one another that we don’t attempt to hide or to cloak under a veil of professionalism. I think that goes a long way to putting participants at ease, knowing they are in the company of good friends. We learn a lot from our interactions, and we see ourselves as co-learners along with our participants. I look forward to Dennis’ and Deborah’s sessions during the weekend, in the same way I always looked forward to reading their chapters when we were drafting the book. Also, they are both fantastic listeners, so I know that after presenting my sessions, when I open it up to them for discussion, they are going to ask great questions and offer astute comments.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, creativity, art, soul, depth psychology

Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit

Posted by Angela Borda on Jan 25, 2021 3:01:59 PM

An Interview with Dennis Slattery, Ph.D.

by Angela Borda

Dennis Slattery is a beloved professor emeritus of mythology at Pacifica, with over fifty years of teaching experience and 30+ books published, along with seven books of poetry. He is the co-author of Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit and will be co-presenting the Pacifica workshop of the same name with Pacifica scholars Deborah Anne Quibell, Ph.D., and Jennifer Leigh Selig, Ph.D., on March 5–7, 2021. Visit us for more information here. I felt very privileged to discuss Dennis’s work with him, as he is deeply thoughtful about the liminal realm of imagination and creativity within the context of mythology and depth psychology.

Angela: How does mythology intersect with creativity?

Dennis: Intersect is the right verb to use. The last volume of J. Campbell’s four-part Masks of God is entitled “Creative Mythology.” Myths themselves are creative expressions of the individual/communal soul. The call to create is a call to uncover the myth that is our own, and which communes with other souls. Both require a belief in the invisible forces at work in the world. I think that the unconscious is a creative terrain from which many of our inspirations spring.

Creating is a form of mythologizing ourselves further and becoming more conscious of what that feels like. Creative inspiration comes, in part, from the myth within that we are each living out. Creative expressions fuel that growing awareness.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, creativity, art, soul, depth psychology

Upcoming Pacifica Events: Spring 2019

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Jan 31, 2019 11:55:48 AM

Is personal, intellectual, or creative growth one of your goals for this year, or for your life in general? Do you long to connect with others interested in the intersections of art, soul, and depth psychology? Let one of Pacifica’s upcoming events this spring be the catalyst for you to plug into our like-minded community, and get ready to experience and engage in deep, meaningful conversations where you are able to hold space for each other and learn new, exciting ways to explore your creative potential.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, Pacifica News, Santa Barbara, graduate school, creativity, art, vocation, Education, depth psychology, active imagination, Pacifica Students, Pacifica Graduate Institute, resources

Before the Storytelling: An Interview with Craig Chalquist, PhD by Devon Deimler, PhDc

Posted by Krystyna Knight on Jul 23, 2018 12:33:32 PM

Dr. Chalquist will be presenting “Storytelling Nature Myths: A Project of Reenchantment” to the Joseph Campbell Foundation Mythological RoundTable® Group of OPUS on Sunday, August 12th from 5:30-7:30pm at Pacifica’s Ladera Lane campus. This event is free and open to the public. For more info, visit opusarchives.org/events.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, Opus Archives

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

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