Depth Psych
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Depth Psych
Pioneered by William James, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Gustav Jung, Depth Psychology is the study of how we dialogue with the Unconscious via symbols, dreams, myth, art, nature. By paying attention to the messages that show up from beyond our conscious egos, we can be guided to greater understanding, transformation, and integration with the world around us, inner and outer. Join the conversation in community at www.DepthPsychologyAlliance.com
Curated by Bonnie Bright
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How One Becomes a Shaman: A Brief Overview of Shamanism, Part 2

How One Becomes a Shaman: A Brief Overview of Shamanism, Part 2 | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

How One Becomes a Shaman

Given the seemingly differing opinions on the history of shamanism and the definition of a shaman, there seems to be substantially more agreement on the process by which one must undergo to become a shaman. According to Merchant (2006):

 

The ‘call of the spirits’ to the shamanic vocation is experienced as a serious and disturbing psychological phenomenon early in life (often at adolescence) and this initiatory illness is interpreted as a (mostly unsolicited) calling, which is not only experienced as a destiny/fate but is articulated in these cultures as an election by the spirits. A strenuous and difficult initiation follows, involving altered states of consciousness, dismemberment imagery and death/rebirth phenomena. (p. 133-4)

 

The candidate is not fully recognized by their cultural group as a shaman until they are able to demonstrate their abilities of mastery over the spirits and communicate with them to acquire information for the purposes of healing (Merchant, 2006). Metzner (1998), like Merchant (2006), referred to a process where the shaman-to-be has visions in which they see themselves being dismembered...(Click title for more)

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Yoga and Jung's Psychology

Yoga and Jung's Psychology | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Mankind is at the beginning of a new era in regards to the possibilities of self-realization. This is greatly influenced not only by scientific advances in all fields, but also because of the gentle penetration of our perceptions by Eastern ways of looking at the universe, including individual development.

 

Yoga, an Eastern system defined by author Jess Stearn (1965) as: Union. From Sanskrit root yuj, meaning to join. A controlled effort toward self-integration so that the individual spirit may merge with the Universal Spirit in a spirit of oneness. (P. 343) has a great deal to add to Western psychology.

 

Carl Jung was one of the first theorists to attempt to understand the yoga way and bring it into awareness in our culture. Much of yoga can best be explained in Jungian terms, though parts of it differ from his theories. This paper looks at the two systems and their practices.

 

The first, Kundalini Yoga, encompasses... (click title for more)

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Inner Depths: The Purpose of Psychological Symptoms

Inner Depths: The Purpose of Psychological Symptoms | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Symptoms tell us that we can never take back into our ownership the events caused by the little people of the psyche. —James Hillman

 

Depth psychology recognizes two qualities of psychological symptoms. First, symptoms are autonomous; they show up not through any decision by the conscious ego but by way of unconscious forces deep within psyche. Symptoms present of their own accord, and, when the conscious ego becomes aware of them, the ego formulates the question, "What's wrong?"—thereby beginning what is hoped to be a long and fruitful dialogue with the unconscious.


Second, psychological symptoms have a purposive nature: they reveal the unconscious's drive toward some end, some purpose, that may not be immediately apparent to the conscious mind. As June Singer (1994) wrote:

Looking at a symptom in this way corresponds to Jung's "purposive view" of... (Click title for more)

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The Power of the Feminine - Marion Woodman

The Power of the Feminine - Marion Woodman | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

We've invented the wheel, cracked the code of DNA—so what's next for humankind? Marion Woodman, a pioneering Jungian analyst and the author of ten books, believes that individuals and societies were meant to grow. And our best chance for growth, she thinks, is to bring the feminine into our culture. The following is taken from an interview O conducted with Woodman:

When I say the feminine, I don't mean gender. I mean the feminine principle that is living—or suppressed—in both men and women. The feminine principle attempts to relate. Instead of breaking things off into parts, it says, Where are we alike? How can we connect? Where is the love? Can you listen to me? Can you really hear what I am saying? Can you see me? Do you care whether you see me or not? 

Now, these are very serious questions. And the feminine is difficult to talk about because so few people have...(Click title for more)

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Paulette Turcotte's comment, August 2, 2013 1:37 AM
yes, so vital today. We forget where our strength lies.
Elizabeth Martinez's curator insight, August 2, 2013 3:15 PM

The Feminine Movement

Aladin Fazel's curator insight, August 14, 2013 7:15 AM

every human has a part inside: Man has a part of Woman, and Woman has a part of Man; it's very useful to take part in both!! 

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Being Jungian in Today's World

Being Jungian in Today's World | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

When a local editor recently asked to write something about Jungian psychology, she opined that Jungian thought had become popular in various segments of our community, but notably not among psychologists. I had to agree with her. Best-selling books Care of the Soul and Women Who Run with the Wolves are both based on Jung's work, and Jungian analysts Robert Moore and James Hillman have been key figures in the men's movement.


I encounter Jungian terms in popular songs, movies, literature, and comic strips all the time. Even Madison Avenue has incorporated Jung. In one commercial, a beer-drinker joked that appreciation of Budweiser s finer qualities is stored in the collective unconscious. Nevertheless, I continue to hear the same story from university students: Jung is barely mentioned in most psychology departments...

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Jane Brody's curator insight, November 3, 2013 12:33 PM

While Jung is neglected in psychology departments, he is vital for artists.  Whether his writings pass the limited view of psychology, they are an essential touchstone for artists of all kind because they attempt to merge the mundane with the luminous.

 

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C.G. Jung —In the Heart of Darkness

C.G. Jung —In the Heart of Darkness | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

In 1925 Carl Jung traveled in East Africa. Although he had imagined initially he was involved in a scientific inquiry into "primitive psychology" (the Bugishu Psychological Expedition), he was later to admit that in all honesty his true intent was to pose to himself "the rather embarrassing question: What is going to happen to Jung the psychologist in the wilds of Africa?" (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 272).

 

During his stay in Africa, Jung had only one dream with a black person in it. In the dream he was with an "American Negro," who had been his barber in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he had visited the U.S. twelve years previous. The barber held to Jung’s head a red-hot iron in an attempt to render his hair nappy. He awoke with terror. Jung took this dream to be a dire warning from the unconscious that he was in danger of being engulfed by primitivity. "At that time I was obviously all too close to ‘going black.’"

 

It is far too simple a distraction to use this essay here to piss on the clay feet of the great man. Throughout Jung’s memoirs, one is impressed by the subtlety and complexity of his mind and the depth of his psychological insight – except when he writes about... (click title for more)

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Carl Jung and America

Carl Jung and America | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud came to America in 1909 to lecture and receive honorary degrees at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.  As the ship entered the harbor, Freud is reported to have said to Jung: “If they only knew what we were bringing them!”  Jung answered: “Well, we will see in a moment what Americans do with it.”  It was Freud’s only visit to America, but the first of six for Jung. 

 

At Clark University Jung spoke about his word association tests—experiments which offered concrete evidence for Freud’s idea of the unconscious.  During the month he was in America, Jung had a whirlwind time, visiting Boston, Niagara Falls, the Adirondacks, and New York City.  He was fascinated with the diversity of American culture and its technical sophistication.  The day he sailed for home, he wrote to his wife: “. . . the unconscious has a lot of work to do, putting in order all the things America has churned up in us.” 

 

While traveling to America Jung and Freud submitted their dreams to each other for analysis.  They also talked psychology and it was while traveling together that their relationship began to come apart.  From their first meeting two years earlier in ...

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Carl Jung on Dreams: The Significance of Myths

Carl Jung on Dreams: The Significance of Myths | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
Carl Jung on Dreams: Jung believed the value of myths was highly significant within the dream state in that these tales arose from the collective unconscious.

 

Myth: a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people.


Jung believed the value of myths was highly significant within the dream state in that these tales arose from the collective unconscious. In Jung’s opinion, myths of old, when understood metaphorically, are actually reflections of the current day human psyche. Joseph Campbell (dream analyst) probably articulated this best when he said, “Myths are public dreams. Dreams are private myths.”


Comprehension of myths, metaphors, and Jung’s archetypes, allow the dreamer to delve into dreams to decode them. The dreamer... (click title for more)

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Eva Rider's curator insight, June 19, 2013 3:50 PM

 Jung on Dreams, myth and metaphor..

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Lessons of Jung's Encounter with Native Americans

Lessons of Jung's Encounter with Native Americans | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

In Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1973) Jung described his encounter with Native Americans he met in New Mexico in 1925.  This event, though brief, had a profound effect on Jung, and he referred to it many times in his writings. He commented that his experience in New Mexico made him aware of his imprisonment "in the cultural consciousness of the white man" (Jung, 1973, p. 247).


At the Taos pueblo, Jung spoke for the first time with a non-white, a Hopi elder named Antonio Mirabal (also known as Ochwiay Biano and Mountain Lake), who said that whites were always uneasy and restless: "We do not understand them. We think that they are mad" (Jung, 1973, p. 248). Jung asked him why he thought the whites were mad, and the reply was " 'They say that they think with their heads . . . . We think here,' he said, indicating his heart" (p. 248). Impressed, Jung said he realized that Mountain Lake had unveiled a significant truth about... (click title for more)

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The Mystery of Chance

The Mystery of Chance | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

At some time or another it's happened to all of us. There's that certain number that pops up wherever you go. Hotel rooms, airline terminals, street addresses -- its haunting presence cannot be escaped. Or, you're in your car, absently humming a song. You turn on the radio. A sudden chill prickles your spine. That same song is now pouring from the speaker.

Coincidence, you tell yourself. Or is it?

 

For most mainstream scientists, experiences like this, however strange and recurrent, are nothing but lawful expressions of chance, a creation -- not of the divine or mystical -- but of simply that which is possible. Ignorance of natural law, they argue, causes us to fall prey to superstitious thinking, inventing supernatural causes where none exist. In fact, say these statistical law-abiding rationalists, the occasional manifestation of the rare and improbable in daily life is not only permissible, but... (click title for more)

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Carl Jung: the child and the Golden Egg

Carl Jung: the child and the Golden Egg | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
"The phenomenology of the "child's" birth always points back to an original psychological state of non-recognition, i.e., of darkness or twilight, of non-differentiation between subject and object,...

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Eva Rider's curator insight, June 6, 2013 7:01 PM

The original image for "participation mystique"...the undifferentiated state of bliss in the womb and in the "garden of eden" where all is innocence and where is all is possibility.

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Depth Psychology Poetry and Art, Depth Insights Issue 4

Depth Psychology Poetry and Art, Depth Insights Issue 4 | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Special thanks to Jane Johnston for the cover art, a ritual Mandala entitled “Surrender.” Jane writes:

 

Jung observed mandalas, or sacred circles, depicted in art worldwide are representations of the self, and that drawing these circles assist in the containment and integration of life events.

 

Engaging in a deep inquiry requires a large container, and a year long meditation of painting a sacred mandala while holding a particular question is challenging, surprising, healing, truthful, connective and transformational. This form of self inquiry disrupts binaries, deepens self-awareness, and knowledge of the relationships between all things is gained allowing for a more realized wholeness.

 

The mandala is structured in such as way as to allow the painter access into progressively deeper levels of awareness, consciously moving through personal obstacles/defences. Both the inner and the outer world is engaged... (click title for more

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What Carl Jung Means to Me

What Carl Jung Means to Me | Depth Psych | Scoop.it
Carl Gustav Jung was the most famous Psychologist of the 20th Century.

 

[I]“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”[/I] Dr. Carl Gustav Jung[I] [/I]

 

Carl Gustav Jung was the most famous Psychologist of the 20th Century.  Additionally, the powers of politics, art, religion, and many other disciplines have used and abused his [I]oeuvre [/I]for their own purposes ever since his famous split from Sigmund Freud’s iconoclastic orthodoxy.  Over the past quarter century, I have been drawn back to his work again and again.  I could say that I know not why, but that would be a falsehood.  

 

If you ask anyone, who thinks of themselves as a “Jungian” in whatever context, you will get a different answer about his significance.  Jung would probably be the first to tell you that Jungian Psychology is only the psychology of one man, Carl Jung himself--no one else.  One of the points of his prodigious scholarship over nearly seven decades was to show that.. (click title for more)

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Roles of a Shaman: A Brief Overview of Shamanism, Part 3

Roles of a Shaman: A Brief Overview of Shamanism, Part 3 | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The various roles in which a shaman undertakes are closely related to the cultures that one is likely to find shamanism (Walsh, 1989). This is because a shaman plays many roles for their culture. The cultures in which we are likely to find shamans are “simple nomadic hunting and gathering societies” (p. 8).


In these kinds of cultures, people do not generally rely on agriculture and have very little political organization or social class. As such, the shaman is left to play many roles: “medicine man, healer, ritualist, keeper of cultural myths, medium, and master of spirits” (p. 8). Krippner (2000) stated similar roles that shamans play: “Shamans were probably humanity’s original specialists, combining the roles of healers, storytellers, weather forecasters, performing artists, ritualists, and magicians” (p. 98).


Krippner (2002) added “shamans appear to have been humankind’s first psychotherapists [and] first physicians” (p. 970). References to shamans as physicians can be seen more than once in the literature. Shortly, we will liken a shaman to a ‘general practitioner... (click title for more)

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The Red Book of Carl G. Jung: Its Origins and Influence — Online Exhibition at Library of Congress

The Red Book of Carl G. Jung: Its Origins and Influence — Online Exhibition at Library of Congress | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Online Exhibition at the Library of Conggress -- June 17–September 25, 2010

Features the preeminent psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung’s famous Red Book, which records the creation of the seminal theories that Jung developed after his 1913 split with Sigmund Freud, and explores its place in Jung’s work through related items from the Library’s collections.

 

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Depth Psychology and Giftedness: Bringing Soul to the Field of Talent Development and Giftedness

Depth Psychology and Giftedness: Bringing Soul to the Field of Talent Development and Giftedness | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

When we as educators seek to educate with soul in mind, a radical spark is struck. Hillman (1983) pointed out “by definition, education must lead out” (p. 179). He suggested that educators lead the child out by leading the child in, by focusing on the imagination in the child’s fantasies. He urges the education of the imagination.


Hillman (1975), in Re-visioning Psychology, was most pointed and succinct in his description of soul. He asks psychology to return to the deepest root of its own meaning, the psyche of psychology. As educators, the depths bring us to reconsider the deepest root of the meaning of teaching, our own educare, in the Platonic sense. As noted above, to lead out from makes the most sense when we speak of it with soul in mind.


From soul’s perspective, the individual comes with the task of perceiving and bringing into the world that which only he or she can bring, even unto what the Greeks called mediation, in the sense of embodying prophetic capacity. Joan of Arc, Ghandi, Krishnamurti, those who Simonton (1995) called the eminent, who Nietzsche (Heidegger, 1990) calls the great man, have a place in soul’s classroom. The cosmos can be known as the immensely creative, ongoing work of art that it is. With soul comes a realization that creating, directing, and maintaining programs of talent development... (Click title for more)

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Michael Goodman's comment, August 7, 2013 12:04 PM
Thank you Bonnie for the wonderful pieces you cultivate and share.
Scott Harris's curator insight, August 10, 2013 10:41 PM

For all you Platonists out there.  Hillman is the best on Daimon [Gk. - demigod] translated to [L.] "genius."  Hillman:

 

All the names given to the quality of Genius over the years, indicate an “other,” who is the protector of our reason for being. It is this Thorn, this Mad Spot, which can be best understood when seen archetypally. The word gift also means poison. Where the poison is, you will also find the Genius. .... Where the Daimon/Genius/Thorn/Mad Spot intervenes is where education, being led out, is being requested. Those who worked best with her honored the pain of her question and worked with her to help her find her way through. Those who made light of her suffering, pointing to underachievement, were bent to remove the problem. They only found more trouble."

Susan Scott's comment, August 28, 2013 8:12 AM
Thank you Bonnie.
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C.G. Jung: His Role in Depth Psychology

C.G. Jung: His Role in Depth Psychology | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The theories of Swiss-born Carl Gustav Jung (known as C.G. to his peers) developed during the infancy of the emerging field known as psychology, established him as a pioneer and one of the founding fathers of depth psychology. The broader field of psychology was essentially born in 1879 when German physician and philosopher, Wilhelm Wundt, set up the first laboratory that carried out psychological research.

The next few years marked the award of the first doctorate in psychology, the first title “professor of psychology, and the establishment of the American Psychological Association in 1892 (Zimbardo, 2001). In 1890, American philosopher William James, published Principles of Psychology, which marked an important transition from a mentalphilosophy to a scientific psychology. A few years later, in 1896, a Viennese medical doctor trained in neurology, Sigmund Freud, introduced the term “psychoanalysis” to define the practice of “talk therapy.”

In 1900, the same year that Jung graduated from the University of Basel with his M.D. degree, Freud published his groundbreaking work, The Interpretation of Dreams...

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50 Shades of Carl Jung

50 Shades of Carl Jung | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

In September 1912 the New York Times ran an article featuring an interview with Carl Jung. The article was entitled: America Facing Its Most Tragic Moment. Carl Jung was quoted as saying:

 

"American wives have thrown themselves into social activity because they are not happy with their husbands. Neither the men nor the women know this……Eliminate prudery and America may become the greatest country the world has ever known……American women rule the home because American men have not yet learn to love them ..…. You believe for instance that American marriages are the happiest in the world. I say they are the most tragic..."

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Maxwell Purrington's comment, July 10, 2013 6:01 AM
Here is a link to the entire article in the New York Times: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F60A16F93A5E13738DDDA00A94D1405B828DF1D3
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The New Jung Scholarship: Shot in the Dark? Or a Genuine Renaissance? | The New Existentialists

The New Jung Scholarship: Shot in the Dark? Or a Genuine Renaissance? | The New Existentialists | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

One doubts that the Collected Works of Carl Jung have ever been on display at a book exhibit during the annual meetings of the American Psychological Association, while Freud’s books have always and still continue to appear all over the place in that venue. We may attribute this to the failure of reductionistic laboratory empiricism in its entire history to grasp the reality of the unconscious, Freud being as much as they reluctantly have been abe to take.

 

Times may be changing, however. PsyCritiques, the weekly on-line APA journal of book reviews in psychology, has been inviting APA members to review books on Jung and his ideas with greater frequency.  My last book review for them was a critique of John Dourley’s Jung and the Religious Question, an in-depth look at Jung’s take on the role of spiritual experience in the process of individuation.

 

Dourley is an ordained priest and also a practicing Jungian analyst. Recently, they have asked me to review John Ryan Haule’s Jung for the Twenty-First century, a two-volume study. Volume one is a thoroughly original interpretation of Jung’s psychology in the context of modern developments in brain science, anthropology,  sociology, and biology. Volume two is a review of scientific studies on shamanism, meditation, and parapsychology, showing the relevance of Jung’s work for what lies at the borderline of mainstream science.

 

One can only conjecture as to the change in attitude...

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Who is Marie-Louise von Franz?

Who is Marie-Louise von Franz? | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Marie-Louise von Franz was renowned on several counts.  She was a first-rate and compassionate analyst.  She was the closest colleague of C.G. Jung, with whom she worked for over 30 years, and contributed a great deal to his major works, particularly his monumental studies on psychology and alchemy.  She was also the author of a number of books including a whole collection on the psychology of fairy tales, and was a leading authority in this field.

 

What is exceptional about her books on fairy tales is their readability.  She possessed few theoretical formulations, and her direct and colloquial style of English (not her mother tongue) makes her writing easily accessible and as fascinating to read ... (click title for more)

 

 

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Some Archetypes from C.G. Jung

Some Archetypes from C.G. Jung | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Jung Dream Interpretation is based on the Carl Jung theory of the collective unconscious. Jung provided description of seven separate characters and themes commonly occurring in dreams.

 

The main Carl Jung theory that his dream interpretation was built on, was that of the "collective unconscious." Jung believed this to be a collection of symbols that were shared by every human being but retained at the unconscious level. The symbols of the collective unconscious are provided to humans via the process of dreaming across generations and cultures.

Jung provided description of seven separate characters and themes commonly occurring in dreams throughout time as being major central to the collective unconscious:

 

The Seven Characters

 

1. The Persona – This archetype is symbolic of the dreamer whilst in dream mode. In other words, a projection...

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C.G. Jung & the Father Complex

C.G. Jung & the Father Complex | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Father complex. A group of feeling-toned ideas associated with the experience and image of father. (See also Logos.)

In men, a positive father-complex very often produces a certain credulity with regard to authority and a distinct willingness to bow down before all spiritual dogmas and values; while in women, it induces the liveliest spiritual aspirations and interests. In dreams, it is always the father-figure from whom the decisive convictions, prohibitions, and wise counsels emanate.["The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales," CW 9i, par. 396.]

Jung's comments on the father complex were rarely more than asides in writing about something else. In general, the father complex in a man manifests...

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Reconnecting with the Sacred: Finding "Home"

Reconnecting with the Sacred: Finding "Home" | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

Watching what’s going on on our planet each day, I am continually struck by the suffering and grief that seems to be inherent in the human condition. It occurs to me that part of the problem is that western culture places so much value on individualism, independence, and getting ahead, venerating community and interdependence less.


As a result, many of us generally live lives of separation, disconnected in various ways from a larger kinship of our fellow human beings, unable to perceive how intrinsic each of us and every single aspect of earth and nature is to each other. It often seems to take a tragedy to bring us together in community, force us to meet our neighbors, or realize a felt sense of being part of something larger than our individual selves living our everyday lives.


Due to our overwhelming self-centeredness (a term I use not to mean arrogance so much as the unconscious evolutionary tendency to create our lives to revolve around what’s important to “me”: my life, my schedule.... (click title for more)

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Renee Baribeau's curator insight, June 14, 2013 12:01 PM

How to we bridge our separation? An important question to ask during these times of rapid dissemenation of information.

 

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The Soul of the Soldier: An Archetypal Inquiry into the Rhetoric of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

The Soul of the Soldier: An Archetypal Inquiry into the Rhetoric of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Depth Psych | Scoop.it

The United States of America has been in an uninterrupted state of war for almost 250 years (Marsella, 2011). 250 years of violence and loss… In these brutal battles, the soul of the soldier also becomes a casualty. The veterans who return home are haunted by memories of terror and bloodshed. For them a new fight begins on this ground−a fight for dignity, honor, and health−as they face the cold-blooded diagnosis and rhetoric of psychopathology.

 

The fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) (2000) strives for “brevity of criteria sets, clarity of language, and explicit statements of the constructs embodied in the diagnostic criteria” (p. xxiii). Yet in the name of brevity, clarity, and explicitness, this thick book betrays the depths of archetypal experiences. It avoids all possible contradiction, necessary tension, and expressive complexities that belong to psyche’s ways of being and its pathologies. With its codes and bullet points, the DSM-IV classifies and categorizes... (click title for more)

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Ecopsychology Nature Meets Psyche in the Ecological Self

What happened to our innocent "wide open" connection with the natural world -- that unedited desire to plunge into the falls? Many people are beginning to ask this question, and the answers, that some are arriving at, point to an exciting new understanding of psychological healing. The psychological pain experienced by many may be due to a perceived, and profoundly felt, alienation from the natural world. If so, healing may come about from a reunion of psyche and nature.

 

In 1992 two books came out that began to unsettle the community of modern psychotherapy practitioners and their clients: James Hillman and Michael Ventura's We've Had 100 Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse and Theodore Roszak's The Voice of the Earth. Both of these books called into question the modern practice of psychotherapy in the face of the continued decline of the natural world. Both authors assert that the suffering an individual experiences is linked to more than their personal story, it is connected to the suffering of the earth and the nurturing systems that sustain us. This extends the realm of human experience to include the world around us and brings the possibilities for... (click title for more)

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