Janus in Zürich:

Dr. Steve Buser and I have been treated to an extraordinary five days in Zürich, Switzerland. The collage above was created from two photos captured while on a long bicycle ride around parts of Lake Zürich.  It is a piece of public sculpture we could easily have missed. I felt a sort of undulation through as the statue and I encountered each other that is difficult to describe. In this scene of participation mystique other characters began to appear. Recall that Jung explains this idea of participation mystique as follows:

Participation mystique “denotes a peculiar kind of psychological connection with objects, and consists in the fact that the subject cannot clearly distinguish himself from the object but is bound to it by a direct relationship which amounts to partial identity.” (Jung 1921: para 781).

Janus, the Roman god representing beginnings, transitions, passageways, and endings was awakened by this sculpture.  Such two-faced images call forth the complementarity revealed throughout nature.  Whether we consider the night and the day, the unconscious and the unconscious, the feminine and masculine, we encounter repeated reminders that life frequently arrives as a pair of apparent opposites.  Quite often when it seems otherwise, when one polarity has overtaken the other, we ill eventually be required to acknowledge the hidden other.  Such requirements may be seen in the interior landscape in such phenomena as the inferior function that Jung, von Franz and others describe.  In the outer life, the symbol of the yin-yang reminds us that at any moment whatever has overtaken its opposite may reverse since within each extreme manifestation exists the seed of its opposite. Transformation is the theme of Chiron Publications’s most recent release Paths to Transformation by Zürich trained analyst Kate Burns. Our encounter with the public statue quietly tucked away between Seestrasse and the shoreline of Lake Zürich also called forth Michaelangelo’s unfinished sculpture.  As if the stone awaited the arrival of a human being guided by Techne, the goddess ruling over such artisans skills.  In those encounters between a stone, perhaps the very embodiment of lifelessness, through the skillful hands of the sculptor, emerges something that seems very alive.  The figure depicted in public statue struck me as ambivalent, unsure whether to fully emerge into the solar consciousness or perhaps better to retreat into the lunar realms.  It was indeed lucky that the encounter with this statue occurred in the afternoon when the sun was beginning its descent into the western sky so that the front of the statue was brightly illuminated whereas the back of the statue was in the shadows.   I wish to issue an invitation that may be better characterized as a challenge.  We are living in times of great crisis as we witness the heating of the planet from the exaggerated, almost urgent use of fossil fuels.  One of the most fundamental resources we share, water, is being despoiled, harnessed for hydroelectric power, and simply squandered.  One of the tragic consequences of these crises is the biodiversity of our planet is rapidly declining such that a gestalt favoring monoculture over biodiversity asserts itself in our individual and collective psyches.  For instance, our expectations have shaped to desire a uniform appearing tomato at our grocer’s shelves.  But do we pause to consider that the desire for a uniform appearing tomato is a manufactured expectation whose downstream effect is profoundly unstable.   Any gardner knows that a tomato plant produces different sizes and shapes of tomato. Of course, a tomato’s genome can be manipulated to improve its yield of uniformly shaped tomatoes.  But we may ask ourselves what has actually been improved and at what cost?  As a variety of tomato that yields uniform appearing fruit succeeds in the market (note the intentional double entendre), we are apt to find more growers shifting to this variety.  This shift will happen at the expense of a varied, diverse cultivation of tomatoes that produce different sizes, shapes and colors.  One might imagine an individual act of rebellion playing out in day-to-day decisions when we arrive at the grocer’s stand.  Imagine thoughtfully and mindfully choosing the irregular, misshapen fruit.  I have often wondered why the god Hephaestus, creator of so many beautiful things must himself be deformed or misshapen.  For me it serves as a reminder that perhaps choosing the ugly tomato or the oddly shaped zucchini is a first step in participating in the creation of something quite beautiful, a biodiverse ecosystem.   The Challenge  Consider any of the big themes or cries of our time like energy, water resources, the loss of biodiversity.  Listen and seek out the deep symbols that lie beneath the surface.  Beware of seizing hold of the first symbol you identify since it may be a deeper symbol awaits the persistent inquirer.  Two valuable resources that can serve as references are Jungian Symbolic Psychology (Byington), Chiron Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology,  and The Herder Dictionary of Symbols. Once you find the symbol(s) see how you might communicate that deep symbol to others.  Finally suppose you succeed in communicating something about the symbol you have excavated.   The challenge becomes how to let this work inform your day-to-day decisions.  Here I mean to encourage choosing the ugly tomato, the walk to the store that leaves the automobile behind, the decision to reclaim rainwater, reduce waste, reuse materials, and the countless other small decisions we make every day.  When our psychological work is then made flesh and dwells among us through the small and large choices we make concerning how we live not only may we find ourselves in a drama of participation mystique with the objects of our world, but we will have brought the fire of inspiration imparted to us by the gods into the manifest world.  Like the statue that Steve and I encountered that seemed to maintain an encampment in the hidden unconscious realm simultaneously with the evident, conscious realm, when we accept the challenge we may find it difficult to distinguish inner and outer, manifest and latent, implicate and explicate order.   ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish to acknowledge that the source of most of the ideas contained in this blog is Frau Brigitte Egger, who has done very original work in psychecology.  Notice the ordering of the root words psyche and ecology.  Brigitte confirmed for me that this is an intentional ordering of the words that connotes that it is first the work of inner transformation that equips us to go into the world as agents of change.  I urge anyone interested in these subjects to visit her website at www.psychecology.ch .  Frau Egger has agreed to present a webinar for the Asheville Jung Center on Water in early 2015.

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COALESCING OF AN ENANTIODROMIA

Collective Values In the Cadillac-Ford Ad War

Len Cruz

  Recent advertisements by Cadillac and Ford caught my attention partly because when advertisers begin waging ad wars like these, there are reasons to conclude that tow distinct polarities have coalesced in our collective unconscious.[i]  Apple exploiting dystopian view alluding to Orwell’s work reminded me of the iconic 1984 advertisement.  The collective roots of that phenomenally successful commercial suggest that there has been a coalescence of collective worldview.  The iconic Apple advertisement only aired twice involved the tension between conformity and Apple’s effort to save humanity from such a droll, lifeless existence that would enslave us to Microsoft, IBM and the PC the evidence suggests that there’s been a collective coalescence.[ii]   The tension highlighted in the Cadillac and Ford advertisements points to a newly appearing enantiodromia  in our collective experience of why we work.  What has coalesced in these vignettes are two very different collections of values that are in tension.  Here are a few examples of things that may contribute to the formation of such a dichotomy.
  • Conflicting reports about the catastrophic effect of global warming and reports that global warming is a myth.
  • Environmentalist groups sounding the alarm about Colony Collapse Disorder[iii] and while others seek to debunk such claims as junk science.[iv]
  • Environmental despair[v] [vi] is a real phenomenon.
  • In a chapter titled “Extreme Economics “ in Rebecca D. Costa’s The Watchmen’s Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse[vii]  some of the underpinnings of the vignette portrayed by the actor in the Cadillac commercial are examined.
  • Both advertisements use drastically different approaches to highlight differences.  Below are a few examples that jumped out at me.
    • Cadillac
      • Acoustic guitar plays in the background.
      • Lighting and opening scene is colorful and bright.
      • Protagonist is a white, confident, almost Aryan appearing male.
      • Actor is dismissive about countries that place value on leisure.
      • Listen to the overt claims of American Exceptionalism.
      • The Moral: you work hard, create your own luck, believe anything is possible (anything refers to what the individual can achieve for himself).
      • The commercial ends with the actor wearing a very crisp grey suit getting into a grey electric Cadillac, the symbol of this worldview.  Does the grey suggest we should be comfortable with the grey scale blurring of issues wherein the Art of Selfishness can be mitigated by an electric luxury vehicle?
  • Ford
    • Music has a slightly mechanical, industrial sound.
    • Opening scene is brown, black and white. (Stark.)
    • The protagonist is a tall, African-American, upbeat woman with a big afro that evoked some mixture of Angela Davis and Erykah Badu.
    • Real Activist[viii] points toward countries who stroll to their maket to buy locally grown food.
    • Listen to the openness to learning from other countries who value sustainable practices; there is a distinct absence of American Exceptionalism.
    • The Motto: work hard, anything is possible, you try to make the world a better place, you try!
    • The commercial ends with a white vehicle with the protagonist now dressed more colorfully but not in a way that distinguishes her from the masses.  Does the choice of a white vehicle seek to make the issue that clean and simple?
  Charles Caleb Colton wrote, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”  Ford flattered the creators of the Cadillac commercial by copying it so carefully.  But before we are ensnared by the cleverness and the appeal of Ford’s message we should consider that both advertisements exploit a coalescing set of values that have been newly minted in our collective unconscious.   BEWARE if you watch both advertisements and find yourself aligning more with the Cadillac or the Ford advertisement.  From a Jungian perspective, the it is useful to remember what is meant by enantiodromia.  

Enantiodromia: the tendency of one pole of an experience to change into its opposite (term coined by Greek philosopher Heraclitus). See compensation. For Jung, all life and energy are a play of opposites. To avoid falling into enantiodromia one must value both opposites (see transcendent function).[ix]

Keep in mind that both advertisements share the same objective, to entice the viewer to buy their vehicle.  Both advertisements are tapping a collective realm, a Weltanschuuang where the implications may be almost beyond our capacity to fathom.  The advertisements succeed because they capture some essential features of a coalescing enatiodromia.  The Cadillac commercial epitomizes the values that have been glorified lately by politicians and pundits claiming to be believers in Ayn Rand’s philosophy.  In contrast, the Ford commercial epitomizes a perspective implied in popular books like 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth.[x]   Here are two questions I want to pose to readers in hopes of fostering discussion.
    1. Are there actually two coalescing Weltanschuuang revealed in these two commercials?
    2. If there is an enantiodromia being exploited in these advertisements, how might the transcendent function guide us in cultivating a conjunction oppositorum. 
  If you’ve read this blog then at the very least, watch the two advertisements. Visit http://www.businessinsider.sg/ford-destroys-cadillacs-rich-guy-ad-2014-3/#.UzV4_K69LCS


[i] Taube, Aaron. “Advertising.” Business Insider. N.p., 29 Mar. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <http://www.businessinsider.sg/ford-destroys-cadillacs-rich-guy-ad-2014-3/#.UzgUthYTHzL>.
[ii] “1984 (advertisement).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Mar. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_%28advertisement%29>.
[iii] “Vanishing Bees.” Colony Collapse Disorder. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <http://www.nrdc.org/wildlife/animals/bees.asp>.
[iv] “Colony Collapse Disorder: Cause – All Natural!” JunkSciencecom. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <http://junkscience.com/2012/01/10/colony-collapse-disorder-cause-all-natural/>.
[v] Worthy, Kenneth. “The Green Mind.” Despair, Courage, & Hope in an Age of Environmental Turmoil. N.p., 9 Nov. 2013. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-green-mind/201311/despair-courage-hope-in-age-environmental-turmoil>.
[vi] Roszak, Theodore, Mary E. Gomes, Allen D. Kanner, Lester R. Brown, and James Hillman. “Working Through Environmental Despair.” Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1995. 240-62. Print.
[vii] Costa, Rebecca D., and Edward O. Wilson. The Watchman’s Rattle: A Radical New Theory of Collapse. New York, NY: Vanguard, 2010. 137-68. Print.
[viii] Pasho Murray is the founder of Detroit Dirt that seeks to convert waste into compost that is sold to people building urban gardens.  See http://craftedincarhartt.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/detroit-dirt/
[ix] Chalquist, Craig, “A Glossary of Jungian Terms”. Web 3.30.2104 <”http://www.terrapsych.com/jungdefs.html>.
[x] John, Javna, Javna Sophie, and Javna Jesse. 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth. Berkeley, CA: Earthworks, 1989. Print.

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Lifting the Veil: A Book Review

LIFTING THE VEIL

Paperback: 160 pages Publisher: Fisher King Press; First edition (June 1, 2012) Language: English ISBN-10: 1926715756 Purchase Lifting the Veil     Lifting the Veil is an ambitious effort to describe “how cultural wounds and archetypal defenses of the group spirit, be they Middle East or of the Western powers, add to the spirit of the age in which we live”[1]. Jane Kamerling and Fred Gustafson explore the veil that has served as a powerful symbolic attractor throughout Islamic history.  The veil and headscarf (hijab) is a symbol for the tensions between the Middle East and the West, for a symbol for movements advancing the rights of women, and symbol that relates to the urgent need to recover lost parts of the feminine principle.  In the course of their thoughtful examination, many veils are lifted, and the idea of cultural complexes is extended from an individual psychology to the culture at large. This domain of the cultural complex has remained veiled, according to Dr. Thomas Singer who writes the introduction, since C. G. Jung met with such disastrous results in his explorations of the outer, collective roots of the rise Nazism.   The historical and cultural significance of the veil is carefully presented in Lifting the Veil.  When the authors eventually reach out to Sheherazade, a hero figure who uses storytelling to heal and recover the repressed feminine, a solid foundation has already been laid for the claim: “… Allah has raised up your daughter [Shahrazad] to be the salvation of my people”.[2]   Many Westerners are caught in a struggle, unable to move beyond a collective ignorance about Islam.  They are ensnared by certain cultural complexes that are mistaken for representatives of all of Islam. Sadly, there are many Muslims who adhere to a form of Islam (submission) and jihad (struggle) that focuses almost exclusively on outer mastery, the rejection of any vestiges of colonialism, and retribution for offenses committed by the West.  Kamerling and Gustafson offer evidence that the abdication of the interior dimension of submission and struggle goes hand-in-hand with repression of the feminine.  Lifting the Veil argues that the tension and conflict between Middle East and West also derives from repression of the feminine principle.   Most Christian Americans would not want others to think that Westboro Baptist Church[3] speaks for all Christians.  The West then also needs to understand that Islam is not a monolithic religion represented by the ultra-conservative Wahhabism that the Saudi royal family disseminated across the Muslim world, in part to appease clerics.   “The veil powerfully holds the polarity of attitudes and beliefs and invites the projections of the psychological complexes in both Western and Islamic societies.   These negative shadow projections fuel external and internal conflict between and within each culture, the veil is not just a female garment to hide, protect, or humble Muslim women, but the curtain behind which resides the feminine principle, repressed East and West.”[4]   When Jungian theory is applied to whole cultures, as if a culture is a person, concepts such as ego, persona, shadow, anima/animus, repressed feminine, and complexes take on new meanings.   Jung warned of the dangers inherent in extremism where the complementarity of opposites becomes lost such that the unconscious must then offer some compensation.[5]  Lifting the Veil devotes thirty-two of its one hundred sixty pages to Sheherazade.  Sheherazade is introduced as both an adept, manipulative temptress and a storyteller whose tales are placed like stones on a golden path of awakening and integration.  It is the feminine principle that carries the functions of relationship, it is the feminine principle that gathers and cherishes the stories of life, and it is the feminine principle reanimates stories and thereby elevates stories so that they become templates by which we can guide our lives.   According to Fatima Mernissi in her 1987 book, Beyond the Veil, Arab-Muslim nationalists in the post-colonial periods like Qasim Amin “…considered the liberation of women as a condition sine qua non for the liberation of Arab-Muslim society from the humiliating hegemony of the West.”[6]   This modern day feminist observed that women can stir fitna (chaos stirred by sexual disorder) and this accounts for some of the demonizing of women’s sexuality.  While earlier Islamic voices like Imam Ghazali (1050-1111) “… recommends foreplay, primarily in the interest of the woman, as a duty of the believer”, women are still seen as a “dangerous distraction”.[7] Mernissi notes that “While Muslim exploitation of the female [feminine principle] is cloaked under veils and hidden behind walls, Western exploitation has had the bad taste of being bare and over-exposed.”  She goes on to assert, “The entire Muslim social structure can be seen as an attack on, and a defenses against, the disruptive power of female sexuality.”[8]  In Lifting the Veil, Kamerling and Gustafson, like Mernissi, recognize that throwing off the veil for some women is an act of self-determination but it is also an act of self-determination for some women when they don the veil.      Transcending and integrating the tensions between anima and animus is akin to what certain Sufi masters encourage.  Hear the words of The Shaykh of Shaykhs Abu Maydam al-Maydam al-Maheibi Shu’ayb, “Gatheredness (jam’) is what makes your separation drop and annihilates your indication. Arrival (wusul) is the absorption of your attributes and the disappearance of your qualities.” “The one who still has a residue of his nafs (the small self) remaining for him, has not reached pure freedom.”[9]   Lifting the Veil can be read as a succinct scholarly synopsis of the history of Islam.  It can also be read as a treatise on the repressed feminine.  However, it should also be read as a re-visioning of Sheherazade, a prototypical figure in the feminine psychology Islam.  The stories she told “were not neat”.[10]  Kamerling and Gustafson maintain that “Locking away or placing a veil over life not only leads to an extreme fundamentalistic and myopic ay of living, it proves to be psychologically and spiritually disastrous. …  A person [or culture] trapped in this dilemma becomes unbearable to self and others.”[11]   The head-scarf is likely to remain a touchstone that will frame the tension between secularism and Islam.  Re-introducing Sheherazade and portraying her as the feminine principle that can “think as well as remember stories that unite all people”[12] presents the reader with a challenge.  It is the task of each one of us to recover the stories of the past and live those stories “in service to life”.  At one point the authors quote from the Koran Sura XIII line 11 Verily never Will God change the condition Of a people until they Change it themselves.       There is a rich, deep, coextensive history and tradition between the People of the Book and Muslims.  They share a common, almighty God. Jews, Christians, and Muslims are each a called people.  A recent book by Peter Todd, Individuation of God, states “It is in this sense [garnering power and controlling energy resources] that religious fundamentalism can be seen as a collective manifestation of the collective Jungian shadow archetype.[13]   Permit yourself to imagine what might emerge if each of these called people were to take on something from one another’s religious practices or traditions.  Suppose that Jews were to devote themselves to the idea of building the Kingdom of God here and now and that across the world they engaged in regular, ritualized prayer five times per day.  And also suppose Christians recovered some elements of the Arianism discarded at the Council of Nicea and gave more public emphasis to the traditional monotheistic view of God and less on God’s Trinitarian nature.  Also imagine Christians began to pray five times each day.  And finally, imagine Muslims being very mindful of their is common heritage and common prophets with Jews and Christians without surrendering a foundational belief, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah (Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger).  And of course they too would pray five times per day.  Now consider if two thirds of the world’s population lifted the veil of separateness and difference and sought common ground and engaged in prayer five times each day.  Into such an imaginary world, introduce storytellers.  Lots and lots of storytellers, sharing tales that heal, that serve as templates for how to live and how to wake up.   Lifting the Veil is a critically important book that speaks to our times.  It continues the recent interest in cultural complexes that offers hope for the human race.  Jane Kamerling and Fred Guststason are to be commended for taking on such a charged topic respectfully and with the depth that seasoned Jungian Analysts can bring to such a project.  All of us can hope that when enough veils are lifted and projections recovered perhaps we can dwell in the love of which Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī writes:   ملت عشق از همه دین‌ها جداست — عاشقان را ملت و مذهب خداست The nation of Love has a different religion of all religions — For lovers, God alone is their religion. Len Cruz   NOTE:  The Asheville Jung Center will host a live conference on May 31, 2013 at 8:00 PM titled Lifting the Veil: Recovering the Feminine  that will also be available for later viewing by streaming video.  To register go to http://ashevillejungcenter.org/webinars/w11/
 

[1] Kamerling, J and Gustafson, D. Lifting the Veil, Carmel, CA, Fisher King Press, 2012, Page 127.
[2] Lane, EW and Poole ES.  the Thousand and One Nights: Commonly Called, in England, The Arabian Nights’ Etertainments, Chatto and Windus, 1839.  Available from http://www.books.goolge.com as a free book.
[3] See Wikipedia entry from 5/26/2013 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church
[4] Kamerling, J and Gustafson, D. Lifting the Veil, Carmel, CA, Fisher King Press, 2012, Page 3.
[5] Jung, C G. Psychological Types. CW 6, Princeton, NJ: Bollingen Series, Princeton University Press, 1971, Page 709.
[6] Mernissi, F. Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society. Indianapolis, IN, Indiana University Press, 1987, Page 13.
[7] ibid. Page 40.
[8] ibid. Page 45.
[9] Self-Knowledge. Norwich England, Diwan Press,1978 page 16.
[10] Kamerling, J and Gustafson, D. Lifting the Veil, Carmel, CA, Fisher King Press, 2012, Page 105.
[11] ibid
[12] Kamerling, J and Gustafson, D. Lifting the Veil, Carmel, CA, Fisher King Press, 2012, Page 170.
[13] Todd, P.  Individuation of God. Willimette, IL, Chiron Publications, 2012,Page 21 . 

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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  CLICK HERE TO ORDER A COPY OF THIS BOOK

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Maya

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

MayaWe 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. http://jironet.com/index.php/news/most-recent-post/item/asheville-seminar. Click here for more information on our seminar “How the End of the World Grips Our Soul.”

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Mayan Structure

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. Mayan Structure

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Ancient Mayan Tomb

Recent Discovery of Ancient Mayan Tomb Holds New Clues

Ancient Mayan TombWill 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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Art and Psyche in the City

New York, New York JULY 19-22, 2012 An International Conference Organized by the Art and Psyche Working Group Sponsored by the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association, the International Association for Analytical Psychology and the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism Cosponsored and Hosted by New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development: Department of Applied Psychology and Department of Art and Art Professions   The Art and Psyche Working Group is pleased to announce a conference on the creative collaboration between depth psychology and the arts in the context of a city. Traditional plenaries, workshops and breakouts will feature presentations by painters, musicians, poets, actors, photographers, psychotherapists, analysts and expressive arts therapists. Ten minute sparks of images and ideas will flash throughout the conference. The Arts Paths offer designed tours of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, the Rubin Museum of Art, the Morgan Library and Museum, the Asia Society Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and its Watson Library, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. There will be walking tours of the Masonic temple and the High Line, viewings of subway station murals in The Arts For Transit program, and selected art and psyche videos at NYU. Maps of galleries and subway art will be provided. The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism (ARAS) and the Kristine Mann Library (KML) will offer open houses for those interested in the arts, symbolism and psychology. The Thursday night public program with the award-winning poet Mark Doty on Walt Whitman, and Donald Sosin on his score for the film Manhatta, will include a panel with composer Jorge Martin and photographer Deborah O’Grady. A Saturday night Dream-Over, an overnight spent at the Rubin Museum, will be offered. Program, registration and hotel information can be found at http://www.cvent.com/d/3cqkt6 or contact us at artandpsyche@nyu.edu.

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Bias, Trayvon Martin, and Undercurrents in American Society

Bias, Trayvon Martin, and Undercurrents in American Society

Len Cruz, MD

“Every man has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone but only his friends. He has other matters in his mind which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But there are other things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.”  Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

 

The daughter of a friend of mine sent this photo from her mobile phone. It was a bumper sticker seen on an SUV in Raleigh, NC. My friend’s daughter, an African-American woman, is a graduate of a very prestigious North Carolina university and her younger sister is completing her sophomore year at Columbia University with plans to study abroad at the London School of Economics next year. Here is evidence of the deep undercurrents of of racial tension that persist in the United States of America.  These are undercurrents that can immediately redefine the conversation and put aside the many accomplishments of our sitting President and reduce the discourse to a racial slur.

A tinderbox seems on the verge of igniting with the shooting of an African-American teenager by a man engaged in some sort of neighborhood watch.  When the President said “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon” it stirred even more fervent discourse with some accusing him of a making a divisive remark.  But in other parts of the world, the remark was a moment of humanity http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-03-25/us/31236101_1_obama-first-president-obama-civil-rights .

A Florida law initially provided a cover for George Zimmerman, the man who pulled the trigger. The law that is referred to as “Stand Your Ground” is allegedly the basis upon which the Sanford Police did not arrest Zimmerman who claimed he shot in self-defense.

According to Mother Jones, the provision of the Florida law that “…allows Florida residents to use deadly force against a threat without attempting to back down from the situation. (More stringent self-defense laws state that gun owners have “a duty to retreat” before resorting to killing.)” (http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/what-happened-trayvon-martin-explained)

Here is where things become murky. I recommend you take a few minutes and visit a site available on the WEB where you can complete the “Implicit Bias Test” (https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/Study?tid=-1) The Project Implicit site offers the following definition of an implicit stereotype, “An implicit stereotype is a stereotype that is powerful enough to operate without conscious control.” This provides a useful framework for exploring Trayvon Martin’s tragic death.

It would be helpful if all interested stakeholders would suspend judgment about the events of February 26, 2012. Meanwhile, there are lessons we can contemplate about unacknowledged stereotypes and the perils of crafting a statutory defense based on perceived threat. Most of us are likely to discover we have implicit bias in various areas. Jung’s use of word association tests were pioneering and continue to provide insights into bias.

As the drama in Sanford, Florida, unfolds, there are resonances of unconscious bias and aspects of shadow that are both individually and collectively provoked. I have gone back to watch the DVD from the Asheville Jung Center’s conference “Symbols and Individuation in Global Politics: The Case of Barack Obama” (null) The second DVD AJC #14 with Dr. Tom Singer provided a timely exploration of some of themes evoked by Trayvon Martin’s death and the reactions to it.

Dostoyevsky’s quote calls us all to the high call of pushing past our unacknowledged secrets that reside in the personal and collective unconscious and that populate the archetype of our shadow.

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First Webinar on the Film “A Dangerous Method” Wednesday (2/8/12) by Daniel Ross

I am looking forward to our seminar and discussion tomorrow night.  The blog has served, for the last several weeks, as an extraordinary guide through this amazing story of Carl Jung, Sabina Spielrein and Sigmund Freud which the film depicts.  I will be pulling from the blog ideas, insights, approaches and hopefully some of the passion that lies therein.  If you have contributed to the blog and are particpating in the seminar you will have an opportunity to delve deeper into the material through discussion.  Your ideas are likely to be reflected throughout the seminar as I believe the blog represents some very honest and knowledgeable points of view.  Whether you are scholar or an avid fan of Jung and his story, you are likely to connect with the material and your unique point of view is welcome. Whether you liked the film or not, there is a rich history behind the story with many archetypal themes.  As Lance Owens reminds us, this story, these relationships between Jung and Freud and Spielrein during the period of 1904-1910 were crucial for Jung’s transformative experiences reflected in the Red Book.  And it was Sabina who “…helped him find his soul” (Owens).  Brian Skea who is also well versed in this history has published on the subject of Sabina and her role in the history.  There has been clarification on the historical inaccuracies of the film by David Thompson and others as well as the inroduction of new material such as the film , “The Soul Keeper” that I had not heard about until it was introduced by Thompson.  An exploration of the feminine represented in the film was amplified by Len Cruz as well as other contributors to the blog such as Nina Patterson, Gail Gray and Cliff Bostock who all provide a unique perspective from his or her own clinical background. The archetypal themes amplified by such myths as Persephone/Kore/Hades as well as Chiron and Aesclepius, the wounded healers,  as well Siegfried and the heroic stance will be discussed.  We will explore the origins, from this primal story, of  some of Jung’s concepts of the nature of the psyche and the role of the collective unconscious including anima/animus and shadow.  Cronenberg’s stance toward Freud and Jung, as reflected in our blog,  paints a picture of Freud being more based in the body and instinct and Jung moving toward the spiritual.  From Cronenberg’s other films we learn that he is interested in what lies instinctually in our nature (The Fly, History of Violence) so it makes sense he would be more interested in Freud. From a clinical standpoint what is the perception of the public toward this film and what does this film mean for our clinical work, if anything?  Does this enlighten the public or mislead them?   We welcome you to the blog and to our seminar tomorrow.  We look forward to the discussion.

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