Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life: Earn your M.A. while developing your creative practice

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Mar 12, 2019 9:45:50 AM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario based on a webinar presented by Susan Rowland, Ph.D.

“Depth psychology is a psychology of the creative imagination,” says Susan Rowland, Ph.D., Chair of Pacifica’s M.A. program in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life. She explains that while depth psychology originated and continues to be a powerful form of psychotherapy, its devotion to the creative imagination makes it important beyond the consulting room.

Read More

Posted in: Joseph Campbell, archetypes, Psychology, soul, depth psychology, humanities, Pacifica Graduate Institute, sacred, symbolism, Spiritual

Writing Down the Bones, Writing Down the Soul

Posted by Melissa Ruisz Nazario on Dec 11, 2018 11:00:00 AM

A blog post by Melissa Ruisz Nazario  

In the preface to the thirtieth anniversary edition of her seminal book, Writing Down the Bones [1], first published in 1986, Natalie Goldberg explains why she thinks so many people want to write. 

“I don’t think everyone wants to create the great American novel, but we all have a dream of telling our stories–of realizing what we think, feel, and see before we die,” she observes. “Writing is a path to meet ourselves.”

The “bones” Goldberg wants her students to write down is, in her words, “the essential, awake speech of their minds.” She acknowledges this is easier said than done: “But I also know that I can’t just say, okay, write clearly and with great honesty. In class, we try different techniques and methods. Eventually the students hit the mark, come home to what they need to say and how they need to say it.”

Read More

Posted in: Joseph Campbell, archetypes, Psychology, soul, depth psychology, sacred, symbolism, Spiritual

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.

Read More

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

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.”

Read More

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