Izdubar Headshot

Jung, Izdubar, and Enantiodromion

By Dr. Curtiss Hoffman A Response to “Liber Secundus: Individuation as Integration”, an excerpt by Dr. Murray Stein from AJC #10: Carl Jung’s Red Book On the topic of Izdubar, back in 1914, when Akkadian (the language of the Gilgamesh Epic) was only beginning to be well known to scholars, and the much older Sumerian language was poorly understood, the three cuneiform signs which make up the name “Gilgamesh” were all misread as “IZ.DU.BAR”.  It was not until R. Campbell Thompson’s authoritative edition of 1922 that the name was recognized as Gilgamesh.  I go into great detail on this subject in the next Asheville Jung Center Webinar on February 28th titled, “Cross-Cultural Symbolism in C.G. Jung’s Red Book: An Anthropological Exploration”. The first sign is not to be pronounced at all; it is what Assyriologists call a “determinative” – a sign which announces that a certain type of noun is to follow.  There are determinatives for gods, for male and female humans, for birds, for fish, for items made of copper, and – in this case – items made of wood.  (Actually, the original form of the sign was an erect phallus!  Compare the Egyptian djed pillar which replaced the phallus of Osiris when he became king of the underworld.)  The second sign is to be pronounced “BILGA” or “GILGA” and has the primary meaning of “grandfather” or “ancestor”. The third sign is a kind of a visual pun.  It is the sign for goat (MASH) but it is understood to be a gloss for the word for hero (MESH).  So what we have in this name is a heroic progenitor or ancestor, who is – somehow – also made of wood.  Then again, given Gilgamesh’s reputation with the young women of Uruk, perhaps the original reading of the determinative is not inappropriate!  Jung was aware of the change of the reading of the name – in his library there is a copy of J.V. Pritchard’s classic Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, which contains a good translation of the entire epic. While we are on the subject of Jung’s library, in addition to the bust of Voltaire in the study he also had a Neanderthal skull (a model, I think) in the library.  So we have a strong contrast between the urbane, witty, erudite Voltaire and the Neanderthal, who likely reflects Jung’s concept of the “million year-old man”. The encounter between Jung and Gilgamesh/Izdubar itself carries a mythological valance.  Readers who are familiar with Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival may well recognize in it the two encounters between East and West in that epic.  In the first, the unprepared Anfortas, riding from the Grail Castle (of which more in my webinar) in the West encounters in battle the unprepared (and unnamed) eastern knight whose goal is the Grail.  Their collision – symbolic of the alchemical massa confusa – results in disaster for both of them:  the eastern knight is killed, and Anfortas is rendered impotent by a spear thrust through his groin, as a result of which his land goes waste.  In the second, the well-prepared Parzival, riding in search of the Grail Castle, but also in search of his lady-love, encounters in battle a man who turns out to be his half-brother from the East, who fights for love and gems.  In this case, neither can prevail in battle, and they declare a truce, during which they discover that they share the same father.  And the Easterner’s complexion – under European misconceptions of heredity of the day – is a mixture of white and black.  The result of their encounter is the healing of the Waste Land.  So Jung encountering Gilgamesh and each warning the other about going too far in the other’s direction – partakes of this alchemical meeting of the pairs of opposites – a theme which was to occupy much of Jung’s later thought.  He called it enantiodromion:  the running together of the opposites. It is true that Jung in his later writings inveighed against the appropriation by Europeans (and I suppose, by extension, Americans also) of the trappings of Eastern religions and argued instead that we should acknowledge and affirm the spiritual poverty of post-Reformation Christianity.  The metaphor he uses is of a beggar stumbling into a ornate Eastern palace and claiming it as his own.   But now, in the 21st Century, at a time when easterners have increasingly appropriated western materialism, perhaps it is no longer so inappropriate for westerners to seek eastern spirituality!  Or, perhaps, if we do explore that ornate palace, we will find that it is not so unfamiliar and exotic as we at first thought.  As Novalis wrote, “Where are we going?  Always home!” Don’t miss this Thursday night Webinar on February 28! Reserve your seat, sign on live (or recorded), and speak directly with the Dr. Hoffman during this 2 hour Webinar.  This is the fourth installment of our Red Book series titled “Cross-Cultural Symbolism in C.G. Jung’s Red Book: An Anthropological Exploration”.

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Liber Secundus: Individuation as Integration

An excerpt by Murray Stein, Ph.D. from AJC10: Carl Jung’s Red Book

[Join us in our 4th Seminar on Carl Jung’s Redbook, Presented this time by Curtis Hoffman]

The first part of Carl Jung’s Red Book was more about separation, in the second part Jung begins integrating several important things.  You could also refer to the section as a holy illness and the constellation or the birth of the wounded healer because Jung has to accept his holy illness, his craziness if you will, his own psychic reality.

On the first day, it says erste tag, this is the 8th of January 1914, chapter eight, Jung is traveling to the east.  He traveled to the north, where he met death.  Now, he is going to the east.  As he goes to the east he comes upon a figure, a mythological figure named Izdubar the mighty.  This is where Jung paints his first big picture in The Red Book, I do not care much for the picture but it is quite an impressive figure.  He is a giant of a figure, Izdubar the mighty, there you see him.  Izdubar comes from the east, he is a figure of the east and Sonu Shamdashani writes something in a footnote about him, that he is related to Gilgamesh and so on.  He is a mythological figure and he is wounded.  He comes from the land of faith and belief and he has been wounded by reports that he has gotten that in the west.

He wants to go to the west, in the west there is a very different attitude towards religion and faith, very skeptical, very scientific, and Jung comes from the west to the east and they confront each other.  Izdubar represents the mythological man, mythological attitude, an early sort of pre-enlightenment, pre-Christian even or eastern religious, people who to this day go to India.  They say it is a very spiritual place, it is so different from the west, from Europe or North America.  Izdubar comes from the east, or rather from the Middle East, comes this way for his meeting with Jung.  Jung wants to go to the east and Izdubar says, “don’t go to the east, it will blind you, the sun is too bright for you there.” So he warns Jung not to go to the east and Jung is sorry for him because he has been wounded by science, he says, “in the west we no longer have faith, we no longer have religion, God is dead.  Nietzsche announced it years ago and what we have now is science and science wounds religion.  If you come to the west, it will destroy you, they will take you apart, they will analyze you to pieces, they will reduce you to rubble.  You can’t go to the west.” And so, they are stuck there and Izdubar is wounded, Jung feels sorry for him but he is too big to pick up.  What is he going to do with him?  How can he heal him?  That becomes the problem and the question.

So Jung comes upon an ingenious idea.  He says, “I am going to treat Izdubar as a fantasy.  I am going to say he is just a fantasy, and then I can take this big figure and I am going to put him in a tiny shell, an eggshell, put him in my pocket and go back home, go back to the west.  And, as long as I have got him in my pocket nobody will see him, they can’t attack him, and I will just carry this mythological attitude home and hold it secretly and that will offer it protection.  And then, while it is there I will try to heal it.”

So he does that, he puts him in an egg, goes home with him, and then when he gets home, having made religion a private affair, hidden it away in his pocket, this is the solution.  This is how you can be religious in the atheistic, scientific, enlightenment west.  You can be secretly, you can be secretly religious.  Keep it in your pocket, do not tell anybody about it.  And so when he gets home with it he realizes it’s still is not healed, it is in the egg and he has to breathe life into it, he has to bring it back to life.  So, there is this section called the incantations which was inserted later where he does these prayers and incantations to bring Izdubar back, to heal him, bring him back to life and here you see Jung as spiritual healer at work, breathing life into this figure Izdubar, and he is successful, he is immensely successful.  He opens the egg in chapter eleven, and Izdubar comes out of the egg, healed and well like a reborn son, and he rises up and he returns to where he came from, to the east where the sun rises.

So he is a healed mythological man but he leaves Jung behind and now there is a separation again.  Jung then realized that he could not go to the east for religion.  He writes about this later, he says, “It is a mistake to try to mimic eastern religions.  We have to stay true to our own history, to our own path, that is not the way for us.”  It certainly was not for him although he learned a lot about eastern religions and he even traveled to India and so on.  Jung was not in favor of leaving your own belief, whatever that is, and in the west it is Christianity, Judaism, whatever your tradition happens to be, but rather to go with it, to try to elaborate or carry it further, but not to leave it behind or go after something else and tried to mimic the people of the east.  So Izdubar returns, retreats, and Jung have realized he cannot regress to being a mythological person, taking on mythological meanings and living in a phony mythology.  It would not work, he was too honest.  He was scientific, he was enlightenment man.  He had a statue of Voltaire in his study, you know, the arch enlightenment figure for another reason, which I will tell you later, so mythological man, heal it and leave it be.

Let us know your thoughts on Liber Secundus by commenting below.  Stay tuned for Dr. Curtiss Hoffman’s blog response to this excerpt by Dr. Murray Stein.

For more insight into Carl Jung’s Red Book you may attend our Webinar on Thursday, February 28th titled, “Cross-Cultural Symbolism in C.G. Jung’s Red Book: An Anthropological Exploration.”  You may also find many other exciting information on our Red Book page.

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Red Book Boat

Poll: Source of Jung’s Red Book

Thank you for participating in our poll! For more captivating conversation about Jung’s Red Book please join us on February 28th for the next installment in our Red Book series titled Cross-Cultural Symbolism in C.G. Jung’s Red Book: An Anthropological Exploration.Dr. Curtiss Hoffman brings his scholarly expertise as an anthropologist to thoroughly examine cross-cultural elements In this incredible text.

Click Here for more information



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Individuation of God

The Individuation of God: Book Review By Leonard Cruz

The Individuation of God: Integrating Science and Religion Peter B Todd

A book review

By Leonard Cruz, M.D. , M.E.

Erit in omnibus in Omnia Deus (God may become all in and through all)

The Phenomenon of Man

Pierre Telihard de Chardin

Click Here for Peter Todd’s interview with Dr. Rachael Kohn

Quantum mechanics, depth psychology, and mysticism are blended in Peter Todd’s scholarship as he searches for a Third-Millennium Theology.  Todd effectively strikes a blow to the The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins’s enormously popular 2006 book by highlighting that the God Dawkins seeks to dismantle, a God infused with classical Newtonian and neo-Darwinian ideas, has already been silenced and annihilated.  Todd correctly points out that Dawkins completely ignores revolutionary ideas emerging from quantum mechanics high priests such as David Bohm (The Undivided Universe), Erwin Schrödinger (What is Life?), and evolutionary biologists like McFadden, Al-Khalilili (A Quantum Mechanical Model of Adaptive Mutation) who propose a quantum mechanical model of evolution.  One consequence of Todd’s frequent reference to Dawkins is that it may unintentionally promote The God Delusion.

During the twentieth century, under the banner of process theology, various explorations of God’s attribute of being mutable were undertaken.  The Individuation of God is at once a psychologically well-informed work and another contribution to process theology.  Readers who are familiar with certain bedrock ideas from quantum mechanics will undoubtedly appreciate Todd’s grasp more than those for whom ideas like quantum entanglement, or emergent phenomenon are entirely new concepts.  It may be helpful to explain some concepts and Wikipedia provides some succinct explanations with suitable references (retrieved 2/3/2013 )

Quantum entanglement is a form of quantum superposition. When a measurement is made and it causes one member of such a pair to take on a definite value (e.g., clockwise spin), the other member of this entangled pair will at any subsequent time[6] be found to have taken the appropriately correlated value (e.g., counterclockwise spin). Thus, there is a correlation between the results of measurements performed on entangled pairs, and this correlation is observed even though the entangled pair may have been separated by arbitrarily large distances.[7]In Quantum entanglement, part of the transfer happens instantaneously. [8]

Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems.

The negentropy, also negative entropy,[1] of a living system is the entropy that it exports to keep its own entropy low; it lies at the intersection of entropy and life.  (It is a measure of a systems tendency to move toward or sustain complexity and order.)

Todd suggests that God and man are in an entangled state such that both God’s and man’s individuation are inextricably bound and reliant on one another for completion.  This will strike many Christians as antithetical and heretical, but it may provide process theologians a solid scientific basis for their claims.

The book’s first chapter, “The Case against God” summarizes the case Dawkins prosecutes against God in which he contends that belief in a personal god constitutes a delusion.  In “Religious Fundamentalism as a Shadow”, Todd notes that fundamentalism and the literalism it espouses is “One major challenge to the survival of humanity…” . (p 21) The third chapter, “Mind and Directed Evolution” introduces the most revolutionary claims.  Insofar as the quality of mind is revealed even at the quantum level, Todd explains that biosystems may be viewed as quantum computers. As such,  they are capable of evaluating infinite probability states, and through natural selection, efficiently choosing evolutionary changes that are  useful for survival.  If for example, the mutation of the HIV retrovirus involves something other than random events, then humankind’s collective conscious response may be understood as a “metaphorical quantum entanglement between the developed and developing worlds…that transcends the confines of nationalism and economic self-interest…” (p48).

In the chapter titled “Consciousness as an Organizing Principle” the author decries spiritual materialism, secularism, and the religion of the state for their ability to support a “God of insects” (p82), wherein spirit and numinosity is repressed and no individuality exists like with beehives or ant colonies.  This conception of God has menacing effects upon the planet and its resources.  In the totalitarian states especially, “…no individuality exists … the individuation process is repressed so that personal self-identity is subsumed to a mindless devotion to the state …”.  Depth psychology, theology, and the numinous qualities of archetypal symbols illuminate how man’s conception of God can evolve beyond a transitional object.

The last two chapters, “Myth, Symbol, and Transformation” and “A Third-Millennium Theology” challenge conventional understanding of time’s arrow and reintroduce the numinous in an effort to propose a theology for our current millennium.  Todd is not suggesting a third-millennium theology as some completed endpoint.   However, he seems to be mindful of the simultaneous threats of thermonuclear warfare, chemical  & biological weapons, natural resource depletion, and global warming.  These are more dangerous if humanity remains fixed in the mindset of religious fundamentalism, classical Newtonian mechanics, or neo-Darwinian orthodoxy.

            The Individuation of God inquires about time and the illusion of time’s arrow.  Todd invokes Schrödinger’s reference to the “tyranny of Chronos” in considering the indestructibility of the mind.  The Greek New Testament uses two words for time, Chronos (Χρόνος) and Kairos (καιρός).  Kairos is the indeterminate time, often discovered in the liminal realm, when something special happens.  It can be thought of as the emergent moment, the eternal now, or the realm where the illusion of time’s arrow is transcended.

In the end, The Individuation of God  is a valiant and well-informed effort to integrate modern science, psychology, and theology.  The Individuation of God successfully interweaves an expansive list of sources.  In the last chapter His Holiness the Dalai Lama is quoted, “If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change.” (p141).  And from Einstein’s essay, “The World as I See It” he quotes, “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.”  We arrive at some intriguing conclusions that “Without psyche there would be no theory to explain the outlines and patterns discovered by science.” (p150)  In the course of God becoming fully human through the incarnation, arises a corollary and possibility, that humanity is becoming divine.  This is in perfect alliance with Jung’s notion of Christ as a symbol of the coniunctio, for Christ reconciles opposites.

The evolution of God and the evolution of man cannot be separated.  There is a trajectory of humanity’s conception of God that began with a mythopoetic, animistic experience of the divine. This trajectory later traverses the epochs in which omnipotent, often patriarchal Olympian or Old Testament deities reigned with ferocity and aloofness.  And this arrives at a “…three-hundred-year-old schism between science and religion” (p160) that yielded a demythologized, annihilated god.  Peter Todd’s third millennium theology, may provide a path of return to the Garden of Eden.  This third millennium theology is characterized by a deep appreciation for the entangled state of our inner and outer life, of I and Thou, and of the physical and the numinous.  This theology brings man’s evolving notion of God full circle where it is once more infused with myths and symbols.  In this regard, depth psychology and Jung’s seemingly unfathomable explorations continue to enrich us.

At times it may appear at times that Todd too often refers to ideas previously mentioned, but this is necessary since many topics are likely to be unfamiliar.  The frequent invocation of Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion, makes The Individuation of God, appear to be a disputation of Dawkins.  This is a small shortcoming, of this book but The Individuation of God deserves to stand alone with Dawkins relegated to a footnote and bibliographic reference.

– Len Cruz, MD


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Tune In on 12-12-12; Save the World

What if it was up to you to save the planet. John Lennon captured it in his song, IMAGINE. Now a group of like-minded individuals is seeking to gather people across the planet to join in a 30 minute meditation at 9:30 PM EST. The Asheville Jung Center along with innerQuest Psychiatry & Psychotherapy’s recent Webinar “The End of the World” , a huge success, was an initiation into the Mayan Prophecy and also prepares the way for those wishing to attune on 12.12.12 in preparation for 12.21.12.

The Web is overflowing with various initiatory rites and teachings designed to prepare humanity for great changes and transitions. Some sites like Pleiadian Message 2012 – A Wake Up Call For the Family of Light informs us that humanity is an experiment and we have all been prepared to receive the wisdom from extraterrestrial beings.  This Youtube video explains that we will be seeing with the eyes of Horus and we are ushering in a new age. Google images generates a plethora of images intended to unify humanity.

IMAGINE if vast numbers of persons join together on 12.12.12 to share a common intention to bring peace, to share love, to awaken to our higher nature, to transcend differences of belief, culture, and national origin. Be among the millions planning to join forces and tune to a similar frequency on the evening of 12.12.12.

Click Here for the Meditation Video for 12-12-12.

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Comments from “How the End of the World Grips Our Soul” Seminar Participants

We would like to thank all of those who joined our very intriguing seminar on November 29th about the impending end of the world controversy. Nancy Swift Ferlotti, Murray Stein, and Karen Jironet all gave wonderful presentations and insight into the Maya and their culture. We invite all those who attended to leave comments and exchange ideas in our interactive forum below.

Please also leave comments at presenter Karen Jironet’s website at the link below.

Click here for more information on our seminar “How the End of the World Grips Our Soul.”

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What Do You Think of the Maya’s End of World Prophecy?

Thank you for taking part in our End of World Poll
Please stay tuned as we will analyze the results.

Click Here for our End of the World Seminar Information

Please use the comment section below to add to your response.


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Recent Discovery of Ancient Mayan Tomb Holds New Clues

Will the discovery of the oldest Mayan tomb reveal more clues to the prophecies of the Mayan Calendar? A recent Archeological find will almost certainly add to our understanding of the demise of the Olmec civilization and the rise of the Mayan civilization but there may be other clues sepulchered within.

Retalhuleu Region, Guatemala

Archeologists recently announced the discovery of the oldest Mayan tomb. Located in Western Guatemala, the tomb offers clues about the decline of the Olmec culture and the early ascendancy of the Mayan civilization. Using a miniature, sophisticated remote control camera, archeologists are exploring the interior of the tomb. As the date prophesied by the Mayan calendar’s end approaches in December, curiosity around this recent discovery may surge. The Asheville Jung Center along with innerQuest presents “The End of the World” conference that will explore the interior landscape of the Maya Prohecy.

The prospect that the world will end in December is capturing increasing attention. The cover story for the current issue of Archeology examines the Maya Sense of Time. Dr. Richard Tarnas, professor of philosophy and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and author of “The Passion of the Western Mind” and” Cosmos and Psyche”, integrated depth astrology and depth psychology in a recent conference. ” In our times, it happens that the major alignment or dynamic aspect that is shaping the underlying Gestalt of the collective psyche is the Uranus – Pluto alignment, a square between Uranus and Pluto.” This dynamic alignment is associated with great upheaval, change, sudden awakening, and breakthroughs. His presentation at the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco can be viewed on the WEB at http://ashevillejungcenter.org/webinars/w7/.

People are looking for clues that can help decipher the meaning and implications of the Mayan prophecies. The impression that the world may come to some cataclysmic end is deeply etched into the human psyche and appears as a recurring motif. The Asheville Jung Center is at the leading edge of exploring the significance of the Mayan Prophecy. “There is an aspect of the primitive part of our brain that fears the abyss; this finds expression in sacred literature and in various myths and rituals of ancient cultures, and the failure to acknowledge this notion of annihilation may result in acting out these themes in aberrant ways.” says Dr. Steven Buser, co-founder of the Asheville Jung Center. Dr. Len Cruz, also of the Asheville Jung Center, offered several examples of aberrant patterns evident in current events ”…the denial of the evidence concerning environmental degradation, the paralysis in dealing with the impending fiscal crisis in the US and elsewhere, and the psychic numbing as described by the psychiatrist, Robert J. Lifton in association with the threat of nuclear destruction that was initially identified in survivors of Hiroshima.”

The Asheville Jung Center will host a worldwide conference “The End of the World” on November 29, 2012 (viewable on the WEB) that brings together Jungian psychoanalysts from Zurich, the Netherlands, and Los Angeles including Nancy Furlotti, MA who has extensively studied the Mayan Calendar will be among the presenters.

ABOUT The Asheville Jung Center (AJC) – AJC provides exceptional quality programming in the area of Jungian Psychology. Using state-of-the-art technology, AJC links Universities, Analytic Institutes, Jungian Study Groups, and individuals from around the world. http://ashevillejungcenter.org

Click here for more information on our “End of the World” Seminar

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Psyche and Society: The Work of the Unconscious

12th Annual Conference of Research in Jung and Analytical Psychology Jungian Society for Scholarly Studies Wednesday, July 24-Saturday, July 27, 2013 Chicago, IL Deadline for Proposals: November 30, 2012 The title of this conference, Psyche and Society: the work of the unconscious grows out of the themes and concerns of the 11th annual conference of JSSS (Affect and Action). During the conference the diverse nature of Jungian scholarship was explored and celebrated. One of the challenges which emerged was how the scholarly and felt concerns which emerged when considering social issues from a psychological perspective could be both contained and utilized. What is our psychological and intellectual responsibility here? Indeed is it sensible to separate these two aspects of our lives? One of the distinctive qualities of analytical psychology is the way in which it holds together the individual and the collective, the personal response and the social responsibility.

We have to realize, quite dispassionately, that whatever we fight about in the outside world is also a battle in our inner selves. In the end we have to admit that mankind is not just an accumulation of individuals utterly different from one another, but possesses such a high degree of psychological collectivity that in comparison the individual appears merely as a slight variant. How shall we judge this matter fairly if we cannot admit that it is also our own problem? Anyone who can admit this will first seek the solution in himself.  This, in fact, is the way all the great solutions begin. (CW18: 927 Marginal Notes on Wittels: “Die Sexualle Not,” 1910)

As we seek solutions in a spirit of enquiry and curiosity and as we find ourselves reflected in our world, JSSS invites proposals for presentation, performance, and conversation at this conference. We invite responses that explore the individual and collective aspects of psyche and society and their various relationships: personally, in families, as communities, in relation to culture, to nature and the arts, politics and science. This conference offers an opportunity for interdisciplinary reflection, investigation and rumination as together we seek to clarify and understand the current state of our world and its affective influence upon us. Research that addresses the following questions will be particularly welcome:
  • What do psyche and society say to us regarding: nature, eco-systems, climate, space, animals and human bodies?
  • How might our reflections on psyche and society shed new light on: politics, cultural change, economics, education, international relations, conflict and war?
  • How does psyche and society influence our response and understanding of: race, gender, identity, nation, history and spirituality?
  • How does an awareness of the interaction between psyche and society help to understand cultural media? And other forms of cultural expression?
  • What responses are open and sustainable to individuals and communities in the face of such concerns?
The Program Committee welcomes submissions for research papers (single, joint or multi-authored), round tables (works in progress), panels, workshops, poster sessions and artistic presentations which explore the conference theme. You are invited to submit a 500-word (max) proposal. This should include an abstract of 50 words that can be published in the conference program. Please note, that the academic organizing committee may exercise its prerogative to reallocate presentation formats other than those originally applied for. On a separate cover page, include the following information with your proposal:
  • Full name (including title if applicable)
  • Full mailing address and email address
  • Contact telephone numbers with international dialing code
  • Institution (professional body or university) including position or membership
  • If a candidate or trainee in a clinical training program, indicate which training body
Indicate your preferred presentation from the list below:
  • Paper (20 minute presentation; discussion time will be built in to schedule)
  • Creative Practice (film, dance, visual arts, music, performance, etc.)
  • Poster (a short presentation of 5-10 minutes given in front of a visual display of your research)
  • Panel (general theme/issue with 3+ presenters)
  • Round-table (15 minute presentation with 15 minutes discussion in small groups)
  • Workshop (interactive to be led by you for 30 minutes or more)
  • Other (Please specify)
Please indicate any technical needs such as PowerPoint, DVD, CD player, flipchart, overhead projector, etc. Please email your proposal to the following email address: psycheandsociety@gmail.com by midnight on November 30, 2012 Pacific Standard Time.

Submissions will be acknowledged and a reply will be sent to you by February 01, 2013. Further details of the conference including a booking brochure will be posted on the website as soon as possible: http://www.thejungiansociety.org.

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Depth Psychology Alliance Interview with Barry Spector

Bonnie Bright and the Depth Psychology Alliance have blessed us again.  Bonnie’s interview with Barry Spector is extraordinary, timely,  and should not be missed.  It can be downloaded or listened to at this LINK. Spector’s mythopoetic  voice and message was a sort of chimera blending a trumpet rallying me to battle and a didgeridoo calling me to a deeper, interior exploration. Visit his blog at http://madnessatthegates.posterous.com/  for more. Citing an Inca greeting Inlakesh (uncertain of the spelling) “You are the other me” the listener is invited to imagine culture in which this greeting would have been exchanged.  In such a culture the other is not perceived as a threat but as someone who could bring something to our lives. Spector quotes the Nigerian poet, Ben Okri, “To be born in this world, in this modern world, is to be entering the world with an inextinguishable sense of exile.” It reminded me of another Okri quote, “Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.” The interview was also a wonderful segue to remind readers of the upcoming Webinar originating from The C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco on Saturday, October 27, 2012 titled “The Citizen’s Dilemma in Divisive Times: Four Voices” Barry and Maya Spector have arranged for the 15th annual Day of the Dead Ritual on November 3, 2012 in El Cerrito, CA. During the interview, Bonnie and Barry explore the means by which we can bring the notion of mythological thinking into the world?  Spector observes that our modern leaders have been unable to give us a perspective with which to examine the madness of our times.  He speaks of the importance of recovering  the ability to think in mythological terms, in terms of metaphor and nuance.  Their conversation reminds us of the pervasive experience of alienation in modern times. Spector cites Joseph Campbell who defined four essential functions of the myth: 1st are Cosmic functions that connects everyone to the cosmic mysteries 2nd are those that connects from the mystic to to the cosmological, it connects everyone to the great cycles, the initiation mysteries 3rd are the functions at the pedagogical level myths teach everyone to live a moral life within the definitions of a culture 4th for us moderns, we have a sociological function that helps align us with power functions of the state. According to Spector, Campbell pointed out that in modern life we don’t have myths that connect us to those cosmological levels.  Maybe especially America, the function of myth that we observe is the sociological function that connects us to the intentions of the state.  That means “nationalism” in Spector’s view.   The sociological functions of myth tend to keep us from connecting to our history and our own emotional lives that are just below the surface.   Spector also points to what he describes as the Myth of American Innocence, a 400 year series of narrative that he suggests “ justify American capitalism, racism, imperialism”  “by blaming its victims”.  In the course of this, it removes “… all guilt and responsibility from its perpetrators and beneficiaries” and thereby “manufactures consent”.  This myth proposes that “the individual is a blank slate who is free to become anything he or she wants to be”.  He explains how this contributes how this notion undergirds the collective sense that “America has a divine purpose to bring freedom to the rest of the world”.   We are indebted to Bonnie Bright for offering this interview and to Barry Spector for sharing his expertise and unique perspective.  Before we tune in to watch the last Presidential Debate tomorrow night and certainly as the remaining days leading up to November 6th unfold, I hope readers will consider listening to this interview. ANNOUNCEMENT: Enrollment is open for the Webinar from The C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco Saturday, October 27, 2012 from 1:00-7:00 PM EST. “The Citizen’s Dilemma in Divisive Times: Four Voices” brings together four voices as the explore the undercurrents shaping this historical moment.  Continuing Education Credit (up to 5 hours) is available and the Asheville Jung Center is pleased to host this conference sponsored by innerQuest Psychiatry & Counseling.   Leonard Cruz, MD

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