As we head into autumn, I’m thankful the summer was mild and early fall is lovely. But the weather has been anything but kind to other parts of the country. Fortunately, David’s and my family members in Texas and Florida seem to have survived Hurricanes Harvey and Irma relatively unscathed. However, we mourn those who died in these and other disasters (Hurricane Maria, the Mexican earthquakes) and urge donations to the Red Cross or other legitimate organizations dedicated to providing both immediate and long-term relief to people who have lost loved ones, homes, jobs, and businesses. Similarly, we are thankful that our many good friends in Santa Barbara and elsewhere in California who have been enduring a season of extreme heat and numerous forest fires are in good shape – though others haven’t fared as well.
We hope the worst is over for this year, but we cannot be sure. We are inspired by the compassionate response we’ve come to expect from Americans when disaster strikes, and hope that the data that tells us that climate change made the recent weather events so extreme serve as a wake-up call to our current government. We also feel for the 800,000 young people who face possible deportation as a result of President Trump’s scheduled cessation of the DACA program. The ups and downs on this are very painful for them to experience, so we hope the Congress will pass legislation that provides them permanent refuge and a path to citizenship—and quickly.
David and I tremendously enjoyed participating in this summer’s Jung on the Hudson seminar and spending time with Aryeh Maidenbaum and Diana Rubin of the New York Center for Jungian Studies, which organizes the seminar. Preparing for my presentation led me to new insights into and ideas about the seminar topic, “Brothers and Sisters: Myth and Reality,” that I explored in a recent blog. This summer I’ve also been hard at work writing some new supporting materials for the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator (PMAI) and making progress on a book on how we can reunify as a nation. Both of these are exciting projects, which means I wake up with ideas, jump up, get some coffee, and head to the computer in my pajamas, sometimes until David reminds me to stand up, have breakfast, and take a shower. Of course, we’ve also had grand times with friends and family this summer.
Next month I will attend the opening of the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality in Boulder, CO, and I’m also looking forward to a pair of workshops I will offer early next year in Santa Barbara and Sarasota. In recent months I posted another blog on my website that I loved writing based on the movie Arrival and hosted a couple of extremely interesting guest blogs that I encourage you to read. Details on all of these follow.
La Casa de Maria
I’m delighted that I’ll be returning to La Casa de Maria, the beautiful and tranquil retreat center in Santa Barbara, for another three-day workshop, from Friday, February 9th, to Sunday, February 11th, 2018. The topic this time is “Been There, Done That: Reflecting on Stories Lived and Living You Now.” It explores how at various stages of our lives we have lived different stories. You may have experienced a Love story in romance or parenting, a Sage story in school, or a Warrior story if you have needed to fight for yourself. Living such stories has given you gifts. In the workshop, dialogue, movement, and introspection will help participants gain clarity regarding what a current story is asking of them, or how to respond to a new story that is beckoning them. I’m thrilled that once again I’ll be joined by my good friend Gabi Baryshe-Crosbie, who will lead the movement exercises that will be key to experiencing these stories in your body. You can read about the workshop on the Events page of my website, and registration information is on La Casa de Maria’s website.
C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota
I’m scheduled to offer a lecture and workshop for the C.G. Jung Society of Sarasota on Friday, February 23rd, and Saturday, February 24th, 2018. Not only are they great folks, but also the location is a great winter destination. The topic of the lecture will be “Archetypal Narrative Intelligence Case Study: The USA in Analysis,” and will focus on how the principles of archetypal psychology can help our currently divided country come together again so that we can better thrive as individuals and groups in today’s challenging global context. Saturday’s workshop, entitled “My Story, Your Story, Our Story: Narrative Intelligence in Individuation,” will help participants increase their ability to observe and name archetypal narratives in themselves, others, and the systems of which they are a part, as well unconscious messages in dreams. Due to Hurricane Irma, the Sarasota Jung Society has not yet been able to publish its 2018 schedule, but you can keep an eye on its webpage and on the Events page of my website for further information. I trust they will be up and running in time for all this to happen smoothly.
In conducting research for my presentation on sisters and brothers at the Jung on the Hudson Seminar, I found that very little has been written about this important topic. Even family system literature focuses more on parents and addressing children’s problems, which, of course, are very important concerns. I decided to explore how our sibling relationships affect the stories we live because those stories shape who we become. As part of that exploration, I conducted a small, informal survey of friends and relatives that revealed the profound impact these relationships have on our adult lives and the narratives we tell ourselves and live into. I explored this topic in greater depth in a blog I posted on my website last month entitled “Brothers and Sisters: Friends or Foes? Oh, My!”
Next month, I will be participating in the grand opening of the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality, a new nonprofit educational institution created by Matthew Fox and a distinguished group of scholars and administrators. I’ve been a friend and follower of Matt’s for many years, and received my Doctorate of Ministry degree from Wisdom University, which he originally founded as the University of Creation Spirituality. The new Institute, located in Boulder, CO, will be offering certificates, master’s, and doctorate degrees “melding interfaith wisdom, cosmology and creativity to a community of engaged learners by internationally known teachers, as well as emerging new voices in science, social activism and spiritual leadership.” The opening gala will be held on Saturday, October 21st, at the Boulderado Hotel. While I’m there, I’ll be taking a course on Mary Magdalene. For more information, click here.
In the Blogosphere
Since my last newsletter, I have posted another blog in addition to the one on siblings and have hosted two terrific guest blogs on my website. In May, after presenting in the nine-part webinar series “Seeing Red at the Movies,” sponsored by the Assisi Institute: The International Center for the Study of Archetypal Patterns, I wrote a blog on Arrival, which was a nominee for the Academy Award for best picture of 2016. In the blog, entitled “Arrival: How the Feminine Saves the World,” I discussed how the film offers an example of 21st century thinking that can help us deal with our globally interdependent world, where time has accelerated, learning challenges are constant, and it is difficult to keep up with the pace of change and not feel overwhelmed. Most of all, it is about the courage to face the unknown, whether, as in the film, it is terrifying-looking visitors from another planet or having a child that might die.
Leslie Shore, a former broadcast and print journalist who lectures on issues that relate to cross-cultural communications at the university level, focusing on Japanese and Chinese traditions, contributed a guest blog in July inviting us to “Meet the Japanese Wonder Woman,” an exploration of the female heroes of the films of the master animator Hayao Miyazaki. Shore notes that, “Overtly, these heroines are strong, smart, adventurous, communal, and compassionate. Covertly, they are soulful, anima-rich figures that integrate shadow and light on a profoundly mythic level, for they signal the emerging consciousness of a post-patriarchal world.”
When we look, what do we really see? In a September guest blog, “See-Through Isn’t Just for Lingerie: How to See Into Essence,” Leigh Melander, a mythology expert and widely published author, ponders the ways we perceive the world, both physically and metaphorically, with all their limits and possibilities. “In American culture,” she observes, “we like to think of ourselves as rational creatures. We want straight clarity, and are often uncomfortable with opacity of any sort. We want to see only those things that stand obviously in front of us, even if they are not really there. We can miss the essence of ideas, of who we are, of what matters, so quickly when we do this.”
Your comments on these and other blogs are welcomed and encouraged. Also, if you have an idea for a blog that you might like to submit, please send me an email with a brief summary and I will let you know whether it is suitable for my website and, if so, what guidelines you should follow in preparing it.
In addition to my blogsite, you can find many of my blogs on those of Psychology Today and the Depth Psychology Alliance, and you are invited to make comments on the former and on the latter if you are a member. The easiest way to know when a new blog goes up on my website or any of the others on which I post is to follow me on Facebook at Carol S. Pearson, PhD and Twitter @carolspearson. Posts and tweets will let you know the topic and how to access it. I also invite you to follow me on Instagram at carolspearsonphd. Just click on one of the buttons on the right to connect, and let me know what is going on with you.
As always, please feel free to forward this newsletter to others who might be interested.
Carol S. Pearson