Reading Jung Through Indigenous Eyes – Jeanne Lacourt lecture

Carl Jung traveled around the world to places like Kenya, Uganda, Morocco, India and  New Mexico, where he encountered and observed cultures and religions that were very different from his own Swiss Protestant background. He was intrigued by native people’s languages, gestures, behaviors, dreams, and they way they expressed their emotions. He felt it was important in the development of our consciousness to experience worldviews and “national peculiarities” that differ from our own.

Jungian analyst Jeanne Lacourt, PhD, will be visiting with the Jung Society of Atlanta on August 21, 2021. She will present an online lecture titled We think with our Hearts: Reading Jung Through Indigenous Eyes. Dr Lacourt will talk about how Jung’s encounters with indigenous peoples, such as the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, impacted his work, ideas, and theories. What can we learn today about Jung’s ideas of “the primitive”? Could Jung have gotten some things about indigenous people wrong? Dr Lacourt invites us to take the perspective of the indigenous people in order to gain a better understanding of their world and their psyches.

Dr Lacourt is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Minnesota. She is also professor of American Indian Studies at St Cloud State University and serves on the faculty of the Minnesota Seminar on Jungian Studies. She is a Native American from the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.

Join us for this two-hour lecture and earn two CEs.

Details and registration. 

July is Minority Mental Health Month

The enormous challenges of the past year, particularly the COVID-19 outbreak and racial justice protests, highlighted what people in minority communities have long known: that there is an urgent need for mental health services in our communities, and that we must dismantle barriers that prevent folks from accessing these resources. Barriers include cultural stigma, racial biases and disparities, mistrust in medical personnel and programs, economic hardship and socio-political factors, all of which lead to high levels of undiagnosed and untreated mental illnesses in communities of color. These in turn result in increased hospitalizations and ER visits, loss of income, legal involvement, poor quality of life, and preventable deaths.

Positive Growth, Inc. (PGI) is a non-profit in Clarkston, GA, that has been working since 1994 to overcome these barriers by making mental health accessible to a wide range of people, from individuals and families in our local neighborhoods to refugees from many countries across the globe. Part of PGI’s mission is to facilitate and encourage conversations about mental health.

Minority Mental Health Virtual Symposium, July 30th, 2021

Positive Growth invites you to its 4th Minority Mental Health Symposium on July 30th, a virtual forum where workshops and discussions on mental health in our minority communities will be presented. Topics include: trauma and the brain, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), the Community Resilience Model (CRM), cultural competence and humility, suicide prevention, and parenting. We will also provide resources for mental health and social programs.

Come join in our conversations, where I will be a panelist in a discussion about the mental health issues that impact our communities. Three free CEUs are available. I hope to see you there!

Registration.

 

Photo by Conner Baker on Unsplash

“Once upon a time….”

Remember how these words enchanted you as a child? If you’re lucky enough to still be connected with your inner child, they probably still do. Fairy tales inform, delight, guide, and inspire us. They come in various forms but are universal and present in all cultures. Jungian analyst James Hollis describes humans as homo narrans; we are natural story tellers and love to share our ideas and life experiences through stories. Hollis goes as far as to say: “The purpose of life is to realize your life is an interesting story.”

Jung Society lecture, 7/17/21 with Steve Buser, MD

Join us at the Jung Society of Atlanta on Saturday July 17th for a virtual lecture with psychiatrist Steve Buser, who will guide us through an exploration of the first three volumes of Marie-Louise von Franz’s recently released 28-volume magnum opus, The Collected Works of Marie-Louise von Franz. Von Franz was a highly respected early student of psychiatrist Carl Jung and is considered the foremost authority on fairy tales. Dr Buser will discuss fairy tale motifs, archetypal symbols, and the socio-cultural, magical, and transformational power of fairy tales.

Details and registration.

 

 

Photo by Molly Triplett on Unsplash

Lionel Corbett — A New Myth of God: Jung’s Notion of the Self, Compared to the Judeo-Christian God-image

The notion of “God” as a concept and an experience varies from one person, culture, religion, and philosophy to the next.

In this webinar, Lionel Corbett, MD, psychiatrist and Jungian Analyst, will explore how Jung’s concept of the “Self” corresponds to an inner God-image within our psyche. He will compare this Self to the traditional Judeo-Christian understanding of God, and provide insights about how we can use Jung’s symbolic approach to connect with this God-image, and to become conscious of problems that may arise when this process is clouded by our complexes and projections.

Dr Corbett is the author of several books, including: Psyche and the sacred: The religious function of the psyche, and Understanding Evil: A guide for psychotherapists. You can support the Jung Society and independent bookstores by buying Dr Corbett’s books from our Bookshop page .

Join us at the Jung Society of Atlanta for this event on Saturday May 15, 2021, from 7:30 – 10 pm. Two CEUs for LPCs, LMFTs, and LMSWs are available. Details and registration below.

Events

Kathleen Wiley — Embodiment in a Virtual World: Body Consciousness as the Ground of Being

If you’re like many of us, the past year has been more sedentary, isolating, and inward bound than we could ever have imagined. We have been cooped up in our houses working from home, homeschooling the kids, baking, reading, binge watching Netflix. Our connections with others outside our immediate families have shrunk, and have been mostly online. Only now, after more people are getting vaccinated, are we slowly expanding our pods and venturing to more in-person interactions.

Let’s check in with our bodies. We may notice the subtle and not-so-subtle physical changes we are going through as we log in and sit in front of our computers all day. Our relationships with others may have shifted since we started doing virtual meetings, telehealth sessions, Zoom and WhatsApp gatherings. What are some things we have learned about our coworkers, our friends and family, ourselves, and our bodies through our virtual interactions?

Jungian Analyst Kathleen Wiley will be discussing how we can fully experience our body consciousness as we contemplate the lessons from the past year as inhabitants of our virtual worlds. Join the Jung Society of Atlanta on Saturday April 17th at 7:30 pm for this two-hour lecture.

Details and registration.

Things Fall Apart

This month’s speaker at the Jung Society of Atlanta is Jungian Analyst Susan Olson, who will be presenting a lecture titled When Things Fall Apart – Holding our Center in a Broken World. She will be sharing with us a Jungian perspective on how to develop the psychological attitude required to hold our center as the world around us falls to pieces, a timely message for these extraordinary times.

Click here for details and tickets.

The African Trilogy

It got me thinking about one of my favorite books from high school, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, which is part one of the African Trilogy that includes Arrow of God and No Longer at Ease. I remember growing up with these books and seeing them, and others from writers like Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Meja Mwangi, and Alex Haley, in our family bookcase (my father was and still is an avid reader), but I never got to read them until I was in high school. Come to think of it, I don’t know anyone from my generation who didn’t read Things Fall Apart as a “set book” in high school in Kenya. It was also in high school that I got to know of other authors in the “African Writers Series”, including Francis Imbuga, Ali Mazrui, and Shaaban Robert (remember Kusadikika?). 

Recently, I was thrilled to learn from my friend’s daughter that American high schoolers today are reading Achebe in their African literature classes. It is inspiring that so many generations across the world continue to enjoy Achebe’s storytelling, just like I did decades ago. Here is what some of my favorite people have said about Achebe’s work:

Toni Morrison: “His courage and generosity are made manifest in the work”.
Nelson Mandela: “The writer in whose company the prison walls fell down”.
President Barack Obama: “A true classic of world literature….A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.”

Reading Achebe’s masterpiece in Form 1 was for me pure joy, and made for some memorable memories from my high school days (shout out to Mrs Linge and Mrs Gathenji). We took turns to read aloud, discussed the story and characters, laughed at their foibles, memorized and recited parts of the book that we loved, and learned Igbo phrases and proverbs. A class favorite was: “The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said it would praise itself if no one else did”, which I translate as permission for me to highlight my own achievements, whether or not the world acknowledges them.

Achebe’s title for his novel was inspired by W.B. Yeats’s poem The Second Coming:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…

In the novel, Achebe describes the fate that befalls our tragic hero, Okonkwo, and his community in Umuofia, as they reckon with the forces of colonialism that descend upon them, creating and exacerbating divisions among the people, testing their values, identity, traditions, and their vision for their future. Achebe writes that although Okwonkwo was young, “he was clearly cut out for great things….As the elders said, if a child washed his hands, he could eat with kings.” (Achebe, 1958, p. 9).

African ownership

What I love about Achebe’s writing is his ownership and command of language and use of African expressions in such a natural and vivid style that he takes us right into the village with Okonkwo, sitting with the elders, eating kola nut, watching the wrestling matches, gossiping with the wives, contemplating the fate of the people.

Lately I’ve been feeling inspired by the novels of my youth, which keep showing up unexpectedly in my conversations and readings. So I decided to buy Achebe’s African Trilogy and reread it. I can’t wait to immerse myself in Achebe’s masterful writing and rediscover the words and stories that delighted me so many years ago. (And brush up on my Igbo proverbs.)

 

References:

Achebe, Chinua. (1958). Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann.

W. B. Yeats’s poem The Second Coming from the Poetry Foundation. 

Jung’s Black Books are here!

The Jung Society of Atlanta is honored to host a lecture on C. G. Jung’s Black Books on January 31, by renowned Jungian scholar, Sonu Shamdasani, PhD, Professor of Jung History at the School of European Languages, Culture and Society (German) at University College London.

Jung’s Red Book

Jung’s eagerly anticipated Red Book created much buzz and excitement when it was published in 2009. Many people in Jungian communities around the world rushed to buy their copies of this exquisite book. I remember spending around $300 for my copy, my largest book expense ever. I opened the red hardcover and jacket, marveling at the book’s size and Jung’s spectacular calligraphy and paintings. The Red Book is the largest book I own, more suited for display at a museum than in a bookcase in my house; we had to shift the height of the shelves to place it in its new home on the bottom shelf.

Our Jungian community here had an informal group to discuss the rich imagery and writings from Jung’s masterpiece, a collection of experiences, reflections, and paintings that Jung recorded during his “confrontation with the unconscious” that happened after his traumatic break with Freud. This was the period Jung described himself as suffering from his “creative illness”. He was terrified that he might “do a schizophrenia” and go over the edge like Nietzsche, whom he admired. One of the ways he coped with these powerful forces in his unconscious was to acknowledge their wisdom and record their insights in The Red Book.

We plunged into The Red Book and were inspired by Jung’s reflections, stories, dreams, and artwork. We laughed and cried as we broke bread and drank wine together, sharing experiences from our own encounters with our unconscious. Later, in February 2012, the Jung Society of Atlanta hosted an exhibition at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art by Vicente de Moura, C.G. Jung Institute archivist and Jungian analyst, where we got a chance to see mandalas of Jung’s patients that were reminiscent of some of his own mandala paintings from the Red Book.

Jung’s Black Books

Now, we get to experience Jung’s Black Books, published last year, which provide deeper insights into the evolution of Jung’s intimate thoughts, creative process, and visionary ideas that formed the basis of his analytical psychology. Much of the material we have enjoyed in Jung’s Red Book was first captured and drafted in his Black Books.

We invite you to a stimulating and informative event with Professor Shamdasani. Be ready to be inspired by the rich and creative mind of one of the great thinkers of the 20th century.

Lecture (via Zoom) on Sunday, 1/31/2021, 2-4pm – Tickets and information 

Buy your copy of Professor Shamdasani’s books at the Jung Society of Atlanta’s Bookshop affiliate site to help benefit independent bookstores and our organization.

 

Image from Carl Jung’s own paintings in his Red Book

Renee LeStrange, PhD – “There’s No Place Like Home”: Finding Home in Self and World (Zoom lecture)

What does “home” mean to you? Where do you most feel at home? What happens when that place you call home fails you? How has our relationship to home shifted during these months of lock down, and what new roles do our homes play for us?

Join us at the C. G. Jung Society of Atlanta December 5, 2020, for an evening with Renee LeStrange, PhD, where she will talk about the archetype of home and engage with these questions. CEUs available.

Click here for details and registration.

Jeffrey T. Kiehl, PhD – Listening to Jung in These Troubling Times (Zoom Meeting)

Join us at the C.G. Jung Society of Atlanta for a webinar on Saturday 11/14/2020 at 7:30 pm for an evening with Jungian analyst Jeffrey Kiehl.

Dr Kiehl will be talking about the anxieties and challenges we are currently facing during these intense times with COVID-19, climate change, and destruction of our natural environment. He will offer words of wisdom and hope from depth psychology and point us towards ways in which we can navigate these troubled waters, and what psychological attitudes we can adopt to carry us forward into the future, whatever it may bring.

Details and registration on the Jung Society website.

 

Fanny Brewster on the Racial Complex

The turbulence and intensity of our present times calls for a deep reflection into the contents of America’s racial shadow. How do we hold the tension of the opposites between the racial tension and injustices that what we see around us, and the vision of wholeness and harmony that we aspire to in this collective experience as Americans?

We invite you to the Jung Society of Atlanta on September 19th, 2020, for a virtual lecture with Dr Fanny Brewster, Jungian analyst and Professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is the author of, among other books, The Racial Complex: a Jungian Perspective on Culture and Race, and Archetypal Grief: Slavery’s Legacy of Intergenerational Child Loss.

Dr Brewster will be talking about our racial complex and racial shadow, and will help us explore ideas on how to consciously engage the archetypal forces in our collective unconscious that contribute to the trauma, grief, and pain of racism in America. 

Click HERE for event details and registration. Two CEUs available.