Jung Blog

Visionary Moments: Descent into Darkness…Finding the Light

by Juliette Jones, appearing in Natural Awakenings, March 2017

Reflections on Dr. Richard Tarnus

Growing up in the nuclear age has precipitated momentous internal glimpses into the dark side of the human psyche. An early experience in grade school planted a seed that awakened me to forces which, at the time, were beginning to cast a dark shadow on the planet and now threaten our entire future, causing a recent forward adjustment to the so-called “Doomsday Clock.”

You may remember an educational classroom publication known as The Weekly Reader which covered news-based current events for younger grade levels. Each week, the teacher passed out these miniature newspapers, and we sat at our desks quietly reading. One such day, I happened upon a short article, written in an innocuous tone, that dealt with the subject of fallout shelters. Apparently, they had become popular enough to warrant mention in the context of a “normal” social phenomenon.

In one stunning moment, I realized that to bring such a phenomenon into being, the consciousness of this human race must suffer from a deep, dark distortion of perception. I was overcome by a thought that some collective disconnectedness had conceived and activated nuclear warfare, opening a Pandora’s Box from which terrible consequences would emerge.

This intuition came early in life and permanently shifted the axis of my sheltered worldview. At the time, it rocked me into a deeply depressed and fearful state, which I processed throughout my teen years, and laid the ground work for deep and continuous exploration of my personal psyche.

Not long ago, a program hosted by the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota featured Dr. Richard Tarnus, an expert in depth psychology and acclaimed author the book Cosmos and Psyche. His impressive credits and connections are too numerous to list here, but he is one of the psycho-spiritual pioneers and prophets of our age. Much of the material that follows is reiterated from the wellspring of ideas that he graciously presented.

At present, humanity is undergoing an unparalleled evolutionary crisis, greater than anything our species has ever faced. The tensions of opposites in society are proliferating through every aspect of living with great force, and have affected the cultural zeitgeist of peoples and nations, as well as the morphic field of our planetary psyche.

In the world of form, we are witnessing mass extinction of species, global warming, misuse of resources, burgeoning pollution, political and moral crises and overpopulation. At the same time, spiritual faith abides largely in darkness. Although the media makes every effort to suppress these truths, the majority of real science is shouting the alarm.

“Faith is something that can only grow in darkness.”~Bruno Barnhart

In light of the vast 15-billion-year evolutionary history of the cosmos, our time is what the ancient Greeks would identify as a Kairos moment––a moment of change intended for a special work, a time when heroes and heroic communities must act to transform worldview. This is a great turning when the dark forces of the unconscious are rising and may clear the way for manifestation of authentic spiritual realization. A tremendous shift can occur with potential for a healing crisis.

Psyche (soul) is the intermediary connection between spirit and matter.

This moment was not of our conscious choosing, but has been brought about through expression of the human unconscious which has been transforming. The primal, innermost human consciousness is not separate from the cosmos, but exists as one with the cosmos––linked to nature, trees, earth and sky. The planet, itself has a psyche, and that psyche “ensouls” the entire natural world. Carl Jung named it the Anima Mundi.

In this dark hour, our Western culture has forgotten that we humans are not the only source of consciousness in the universe, and this forgetfulness is not just a psychic problem but a practical problem as well. In our material culture, humans have not just separated from their tribe, but from their intrinsic connection between all living things, the planet and the cosmos. All aspects of the current crisis reflect this same mistake.

Is the world experiencing a rite of passage?

In the Western world, there are no initiatory rites. However, in a collective sense, our present condition bears a great resemblance to initiatory rites of passage that still take place on an individual level in cultures that understand the human connection to the anima mundi. These rites involve frightening confrontations with darkness, death and aloneness, initiating the individual psyche to the great mysteries of life, death and rebirth, and catalyzing immense transformation.

Dr. Tarnus related a story about the initiation of a Native American shaman who, as a boy, was taken by sled far out onto the ice and placed alone, crouched in a small hut, upon an animal skin. For thirty days, he was left by himself and twice given only a small amount of food and water.

During this time, he faced frightening encounters with darkness, death and aloneness. Gradually, he experienced a transformative realization which granted him a larger, deeper perspective of the whole––a discovery of a vast horizon which he never knew existed. He found, in the depths, the voice of nature speaking in a motherly tone and granting him assurance there was absolutely nothing to fear from the universe. This realization was so powerful that he took his transformed view back to the general community to manifest his true purpose as a wise teacher and healer. This speaks to the universal nature of shamanic descent.

Rites of initiation reveal an undiscovered destruction and renewal principle. Perhaps, at this time, the human and planetary psyche are on the same trajectory. Perhaps we are under a grace and passing through an initiation rite that could lead to a better integration of our purpose on this planet.

The examination of consciousness­­––of our deepest wounds and the terrible suffering we have caused on this earth––is the soul’s most powerful remedy for the ills of civilization. Everything is at stake. We must change to survive, and the coming generation must take note if we are not to destroy ourselves with science and technology.

We need a life of meaning, purpose and a sense of joy in participating in a community of being.”~Rick Tarnus

Find what you love to work on, be part of the collective action of a heroic spiritual community, and carry different values from the mainstream––open to the multiple meanings of the whole. Our personal journeys are embedded in life itself, as is the soul of this entire human journey. We are marvelous instruments of the whole, each an aspect of the universe becoming conscious. Our deepest value is not in our separateness or superiority but in the sense that we are wonderful instruments of something greater than ourselves.

 

 

 

 

The Lessons of Grief & Loss


Grief1

Processing grief and the loss of loved ones…

Facing the aging process and our mortality

Join noted authors Elaine Mansfield and Jean Benedict Raffa, Ed.D. as they explore the ways the conscious interaction between our inner and outer worlds can transform suffering and loss into an initiation with our deepest Self.

During a special lecture and workshop hosted by the C. G. Jung Society of Sarasota, taking place on March 11-12, 2016, Mansfield and Raffa will serve as our guides into the realms of dreams, active imagination, and ancient myths—where we will learn how to grow through the process of Self-discovery in times of grief, sorrow, and depression.

Lecture—The Lessons of Mortality and Grief: Loss as an Initiation into Self
Friday, March 11, 7-9 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church, Sarasota, FL

In the lecture, inspiring examples will deepen our understanding of dreams and imagination as guides in our healing processes.

“Our dreams contain wisdom and guidance from the unconscious; they come in service to health and wholeness. Working creatively with them eases our suffering, bringing comfort, pleasure, and trust,” says Raffa. “Dreamwork has been my primary spiritual practice for over 27 years,” she adds. “Through them I reconnected with the truths of my soul, found my voice, and gained the courage to follow my passions for self-discovery and writing. There is no better teacher than the Self.”

“Dreams brought meaning and spiritual uplift when my life was falling apart and my husband’s health was failing,” explains Mansfield. “They often balanced my ego position and opened me to a wider and deeper perspective. Dreams also guided me through grief, providing images that connected me to soul and helped me survive and thrive with a sense of purpose. They lifted me and balanced the downward pull of sorrow.”

The lecture also will include an inspiring 30-minute video about David Blum’s inner journey. He discovered that painting images from his dreams and exploring them with active imagination helped him and his wife cope with illness and prepare for his death.

Workshop—Journey Into the Underworld: Ancient Myth as Contemporary Guide
Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church, Sarasota

Ancient myth will be addressed in the workshop through readings, discussion, ritual, and creative exercises, including a seven-step journey of descent and return.

“When my husband died, I was guided by the 5000-year-old stories of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna,” says Mansfield. “This mythological wisdom gave me an inner map for being with my husband’s dying process and learning from the grief that followed his death. I understood I was being initiated into a deeper part of myself and the deeper mysteries of life. Since we all face loss, I know Inanna’s stories will give others the support they’ve given me.”

In the workshop, participants will delve into the story of Inanna, the Sumerian queen of heaven and earth, which can provide guidance for our psychological descents such as: grief after a loss of someone or something we love, depression, or facing our own mortality.

“Most of us are familiar with hero myths from the patriarchal era, but few of us know about descent myths,” says Raffa. “Their themes are loss, suffering, death, and rebirth with resultant deepened self-knowledge, wisdom, compassion, trust, and love.

“During mid-life my ego was brutally assaulted by unconscious instinctual forces within my psyche,” Raffa adds.  “I had no idea my ordeal would be life-serving. But, with the help of Inanna’s myth, I eventually emerged with the elixir of a revitalized life-force and the gold of affirming self-knowledge.”

Elaine MansfieldElaine Mansfield has been a student of Jung, mythology, dreams, and meditation since 1970. She has worked with Marion Woodman, Robert Bosnak, and other Jungian teachers. Since the death of her husband, Elaine has focused on the inner journey of grief as an initiation and has become a hospice bereavement group leader. Her insights are explained in her book Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief and a TEDx talk: “Good Grief! What I Learned from Loss.”

jean raffa-1Jean Benedict Raffa, Ed.D., began an in-depth study of Jungian Psychology, mythology, and her own dreams after a lengthy and life-transforming spiritual descent. Her books: The Bridge to Wholeness, Dream Theatres of the Soul, and Healing the Sacred Divide, are outgrowths of this ongoing inner work. A former television producer and college professor, she continues to give speeches and workshops. Her blog “Matrignosis” focuses on Jungian psychology, self-discovery, and the search for spiritual meaning.

To register for this lecture and/or workshop, visit our events page.

Sponsored by: NAgreen

Join Us for the Classic Film Salon

Film Reel Image
Join the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota for this season’s Classic Cinema Salon on Tuesday, February 9 and Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Each month the Society sponsors a psychological film and follows it with an engaging discussion and interpretation to explore the themes “behind the scenes.” This program is free and open to the public. The films will be shown at Argosy University from 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Barbara Shocket via email at: ebhocket@aol.com.

Where Do You Draw the Line Between Possible and Impossible?

By Linda Albert

When I was seven years old, my mother took me out of ballet, telling me I was the clumsiest girl in the class. I loved ballet, had learned all the positions for my feet (flawlessly, from my point of view), and knew all the French designations by heart. For years, I smoldered inwardly at the injustice of my mother’s action. Still, I believed her, quickly becoming the first person at the party to spill the peanuts and the last one in class to be picked for any athletic team. Clearly, in those days, and for longer in my life than I would have wished, I often allowed others to draw the lines for me between possible and impossible.

In fact, it took me until the age of 53 to challenge my notions of physical ability by heeding the opportunity to join a group of professional colleagues in a week-long Outward Bound Adventure in the Boundary Waters of Upper Minnesota. I had spent the preceding 53 years doing everything I could to cover-up my shameful clumsiness and to remain as physically safe as possible. After signing up for the trip and with no positive experience to back me up, the only thing I could do to keep myself from coming unglued was to fill the very specific clothing list with color coordinated items from secondhand and thrift stores, and pray that I wouldn’t kill or maim myself, ending my life prematurely or having to live forever with the consequences. Naturally, my mother thought I had lost my mind but, in this case, she wasn’t the only one. Most of my friends thought I was crazy, and so did I. Still, I knew I had to do it.

Gradually, in my adult life, I had begun to take risks in new or wider areas. But they were usually risks in which potential success still had an edge. Possibility began to overtake impossibility as I found I could either succeed or, even more important, fail, but live to tell the tale. Before the days of professional realtor training, I studied and obtained a state real estate license when at first I wasn’t even sure how to find my way downtown to the review class, much less calculate commissions, or navigate around previously unknown parts of town. I became a theater director where my talents would be judged by strangers and reviewed in print. An opportunity came my way to join a professional communication consulting firm where I was invited to take on the challenge of creating Listening Training. One step ahead of my adult students at first, I ran around the country between assignments, attending every kind of course and workshop I could find in order to become expert in a field in which I’d happily found my niche, but at first felt like an imposter.

I learned that fear of failure was a huge barrier to success and that failure itself was sometimes painful, but also a productive teacher, and often more valuable in helping me to dare something else I might have previously considered impossible than all the successes and praise in the world. It made me tougher. It made me more flexible and limber. It gave me confidence in my ability to survive.

Of course, some risks—some possibilities are born of ignorance. If I had known how hard it was to sustain a marriage, raise four children, delve into my psyche in hopes of greater growth, buy tech stocks before the crash, or enter the dating world again a few years after my husband of 52 years had died, I might never have gone into those enterprises with such alacrity. I’m glad I didn’t know better because, if I had, I would have missed much of the joy and sweetness of my life along with the struggles that have and continue to nourish and hone me.

One thing I’ve learned for certain. You have to put yourself out there in order to invite possibility into your life.

There is a story about a man who had lived a long and God-fearing life. Nearing the end of it, he began to pray to win the lottery. He wanted to know his family would have financial security when he was gone. Every night he prayed, but every day somebody else was the winner. Finally, in deep prayer, he asked God why, having been such a humble servant, his prayer was not being answered. Out of the deep silence came a voice. “Meet me halfway,” it boomed. “Buy a ticket.”

When I was studying for a Master Certification in Neuro-Linguistics, during a segment on limiting beliefs, I stood up and told this story to my classmates. Some weeks later, one of them, the Vice President of a hospital, told me she was approached by a member of a Guild asking her to buy a raffle ticket. At first she refused due to the theory that she never won anything so why waste her money. Then she remembered the story I told and, considering the cause to be a good one, she shelled out $25 for one ticket. The grand prize was a trip for two to Paris. Amazingly, she won it. Meet me halfway, buy a ticket! Neither of us will ever forget the power of that message.

How many times I have put myself out there, met the world and possibility halfway and won, is incalculable now. How many times have I kept my energy hidden away, inadvertently making the possible impossible? I only hope that now, as I age and the world of limitations comes calling (this time in an inevitable alignment with the finite nature of life), I may have the wisdom to recognize that some new kind of possibility continues to remain around the next corner—if only I have the courage to meet it half way.

Linda Albert has lectured, designed, and taught workshops nationally for over three decades. A communication and life coach with a Master Certification in Neuro-Linguistics, Linda holds Archetypal Pattern Analyst and Dream Translator certifications from the Assisi Institute, which is led by Jungian analyst Michael Conforti, Ph.D. Her academic thesis was titled To Everything there is a Season: The Archetype of Aging. An internationally published award-winning writer, poet, and former theater director, she resides in Sarasota, FL. Visit her online at www.lindaalbert.net.

C. G. Jung Society of Sarasota Sept./Oct. 2015

 

C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota Sept./Oct., 2015 Newsletter

THE C. G. JUNG SOCIETY OF SARASOTA

 

September/October 2015 Newsletter

We are about to start our new season.  Now is the time to renew your membership!  Mark your calendar for transformative lectures and workshops. Barbara Shocket and David Eisner have created the Classic Cinema Salon (monthly meeting on a selected Tuesday) in addition to leading the Jungian Analysis of Mythopoetic Literature group. Irene Moksha will facilitate the Dream Group.  Click here for a sneak peak at our brand new brochure graciously designed by Lisa Cedrone from Dragonfly Nation.

To renew or to become a member: you can access a membership form online or download and print the membership PDF here and mail to P.O. Box 50611, Sarasota, FL 34232-0305.

Memberships offer reduced prices to our events and support for the C. G. Jung Society of Sarasota and its mission.  Memberships are also tax deductible.  Our membership is valid from November 1, 2015 to October 31, 2016.

Become a Member of the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota

Small Groups:

BRING A DREAM, facilitated by Irene Moksha on Tuesdays from 7:15 to 8:45 PM. Participants in the Dream Groups are asked to keep a dream journal and be willing to share their dreams with the group.  We will work with dreams in much the same way we understand C.G. Jung did, looking for symbols which will lead us to understanding the messages from our psyche in order to help us in the process of individuation.

Contact Irene Moksha for more information and location.

JUNGIAN ANALYSIS OF MYTHOPOETIC LITERATURE

Facilitated by Barbara Shocket, M.S., LMHC& David Eisner, Psy.D., NCPsyA.
What are the evolving relationships between archetypes and the personal unconscious? Ancient Greek and Roman drama provide a rich resource for exploring this question by focusing on formative psychological battles, both intrapsychic and interpersonal. Themes of vengeance, justice, love, and betrayal still resonate today on multiple levels of self and society. Our dynamic reading and ongoing study group continues with a reading of Six Tragedies by Seneca, translated by Emily Wilson.
Contact Barbara 
Shocket: 941.350.8495 or email ebhocket@aol.com for more information.

Group meets at Argosy University, 5250 17th St, Sarasota, FL 34235 

Annual Meeting Thursday, November 5, 2015 from 5 to 7PM  
Following a brief meeting to answer questions about this year’s programs and the election of board members, hors d’oeuvres will be served and attendees will have a chance to meet, mingle, and share with new and current members. We urge all current members and potential members to attend.
The Community Foundation of Sarasota – 2635 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34237

We have a brand new facebook page! Like us!
CLASSIC FILM SALON
Tuesday, September 22 – 3 to 5PM
What happens when good and evil meet in a Southwest Desert Inn?
Let’s see this psychological thriller, explore its archetypal themes and symbolism, and share our observations.
This is a free program, open to the community, in conjunction with the ongoing Jung Society study group in Mythopoetic Literature
For further information, contact Barbara Shocket, ebhocket@aol.com or David Eisner, deisnerfl@aol.com

Schedule of lectures and workshops:
Linda Albert 
Lecture: Fri., Nov. 20, 7 – 9PM 
The Many-Sided Archetype of Aging: Inevitable, Eternal, and Evolving.
Workshop: Sat., Nov. 21, 10AM – 4PM 
Living Longer, Living Wisely, Living Deeply, Bringing the Archetype to Life: Techniques and Practices
James Hollis, Ph.D
Lecture: Fri., Jan. 29, 7 – 9PM Relationships: the Psychodynamics of Self and Other
Workshop: Sat., Jan. 30, 10AM â€“ 4PM Relationships: the Psychodynamics of Self and Other
Lucie Magnus, M.A., LPC
Lecture: Fri., Feb. 19, 7 – 9PM  The Alchemy of Eros: Lust and Longing, Love and Loss
Workshop: Sat., Feb. 20, 10AM – 4PM Beyond the Belle: An Explanation and Exploration of Toni Wolff’s Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche
Elaine Mansfield and Jean Raffa, Ed.D
Lecture: Fri., Mar. 11, 7 – 9 PM 
The Lessons of Mortality and Grief: Loss as an Initiation into Self
Workshop: Sat., Mar.12, 10AM – 4PM
Journey into the Underworld: Ancient Myth as Contemporary Guide
Bob Waxman

Lecture: Fri., Apr.1, 7 – 9PM
Jung’s Fascination with the Paranormal and Mysticism
Workshop: Sat., Apr. 2, 10AM – 4PM Jungian Concepts Related to the Paranormal and Mysticism

Board Directory 

Phyllis K. Jensen, Psy.D – President
Stu Mathewson – Treasurer
Urte Tuerpe – 1st Vice President
Cindy Evans – Secretary

Candace Boyd – Board Member
Frances Doyle – President Emeritus

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The C. G. Jung Society of Sarasota is a not for profit 501(C)(3) established in 1995 for the purpose of promoting the study of C. G. Jung’s methods and theories of psychology.  We exist through donations, grants and sponsorship.  Let us know if you are interested in becoming a donor, a sponsor, or are aware of specific grants we can pursue by emailing us.

 

Magida Diouri Appointed the New Executive Director of the C. G. Jung Society of Sarasota

The C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota announces the appointment of Magida Diouri as its new Executive Director.  Magida Diouri graduated from the University of Kentucky.  She was the SFS’ artistic director for a number of years.  Since leaving the Film Society she stayed very active in the film industry, as a representative for a European film distributor, through film festivals and film markets – Cannes Film Festival, Toronto, AFM.  She worked with the Sarasota Film Festival as programmer, selecting and scheduling films from submissions and various film festivals, Cannes, Toronto and Sundance.  Through her company, Broken Rules, LC, she created the Fabulous Independent Film Festival, Sarasota first independent LGBT film fest, it just successfully celebrated its third anniversary.

Please contact Magida Diouri at 941.284.3059 or CGJung.E.D@gmail.com