The Shadow Side of Technology

An upcoming lecture on the shadow of technology by Jungian analyst Doug Tyler, PhD, reminds me of a recent experience:

One morning on my drive to work, I noticed my phone wasn’t in its regular position on my dashboard. A dreadful panic gripped me. Heart racing, I fumbled through my purse, work bag, pockets, passenger seat, frantically looking for it. At the lights just before the ramp onto the highway, as I was plotting an illegal turn to head back home, I found the culprit lying calmly on the floor near my feet. A gush of tearful relief and gratitude overwhelmed me: My phone is with me. All will be well today.

Technology dependent

It’s hard not to notice how increasingly dependent on our technology we have become today. We hear people swear they never leave home without their phones, laptops or tablets. Our electronic devices connect us to our work/school and social lives, literally open doors (and garages) for us, guide us to our destinations, keep our homes safe, monitor our heart rates, confirm or reschedule our appointments, store our codes and passwords, track our to-do lists, update us on world events and stock market trends, store our random notes and ideas. They facilitate connection with our family, friends, and clients. They hold our documents, photos, treasured memories, and secrets.

Connection through technology

When I first came to the US about twenty years ago, I had to buy a “calling card” from a gas station and enter a long series of numbers over again from a landline phone in order to reach my parents in Kenya. Often the lines were busy and it took ages to get connected. When we finally did, the line was full of static. Sometimes, after we got the greetings out of the way, my $10 would be up and the line would go dead. That was then. Now I have apps on my phone that will connect me instantly on a free and clear line to friends and family around the world. Sometimes my dad will say, “You sound like you’re just next door.” The wonders of technology.

Technology serves us in so many ways. Yet in other ways, it can hold us hostage to crazy demands, data storage panic, social media stress, and overstuffed schedules.

Jung Society of Atlanta hybrid lecture Saturday August 27, 2022

Doug Tyler, PhDJoin us in person or online at a Jung Society of Atlanta event, where Jungian Analyst Doug Tyler, PhD, will explore the unconscious shadow elements of our modern technology in his lecture The Blinding Shadow: Technology, Social Media and Soul Loss. How can we engage more consciously with our technology in ways that serve us both individually and collectively? Come explore with us. Two CEUs available. (Make sure your electronic device is charged and updated for a better online experience.)

Registration details.

 

 

 

Photo on the left by Obi – @pixel6propix on Unsplash

Sam Kimbles, PhD – Zoom Lecture: “Working with the Unseen that Exists in Plain Sight”

The Jung Society of Atlanta is pleased to announce that Sam Kimbles, PhD, will be presenting a two-hour Zoom lecture on Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 7:30-9:30 pm ET.

Dr. Kimbles is a clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst with a private practice in Santa Rosa, CA. He is also a member of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco (where he has served as president), and a clinical professor (VCF) in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, where he has worked with medical professionals in helping them develop their awareness of cross-cultural attitudes in medicine, and the ability to connect with their patients with deeper relatedness and consciousness.

This lecture is open to mental health professionals, artists, writers, musicians, students and all who are interested in understanding the underlying unconscious cultural attitudes that impact our lives and society.

Dr Kimbles is known for his writings and explorations on “cultural complexes” and “phantom narratives”, which are parts of our collective and cultural unconscious that we experience in our society today, especially in the ideas that incense and divide us, whether they are racial, political, social, or environmental.  His approach includes not just an understanding of the unconscious and its complexes, but also the awareness and acknowledgement of a cultural unconscious and its cultural complexes. 

Two CEUs are available for LPCs, LMFTs and LCSWs.

Details and registration.

 

Understanding our dreams

Have you ever awakened from a dream and wondered what it all meant? Was it just random brain activity, or could there be a valuable nugget to take away and use in real life? And then there’s recurring dreams and nightmares. You may notice similar images, motifs, and characters showing up in your dreams and nightmares month after month, even year after year. What is the unconscious psyche trying to tell you? 

Dreams can be downright weird and unfathomable. But with an expert guide, they can be insightful and affirming, revealing important information about our complexes, our shadow, our Self, and how we relate to our inner and outer worlds. 

Dream Event at the Jung Society of Atlanta: April 22 and 23, 2022

Join us at the Jung Society of Atlanta for a lively hybrid lecture and workshop (both in person and on Zoom) titled: Another Whom We Do Not Know: Dreams as the Voice of the Inner Companion. The events will be on Friday April 22nd (lecture) and Saturday April 23rd (workshop) with Lisa Marchiano, LCSW, Jungian analyst and co-host of the superb podcast This Jungian Life.  If you’re interested in dream interpretation (and all things Jungian), this podcast will satisfy. The three Jungian analysts and co-hosts interpret a dream from a listener of the podcast in each episode.

This is our first in-person program since the pandemic, and it feels auspicious that Lisa is facilitating this event as we mark our exit from this strange dream-like/nightmarish pandemic. Lisa will be sharing with us the Jungian method of understanding dreams and using them for our personal growth and individuation process. Come listen to what messages Psyche has for you.

Two CEUs available for the Friday lecture; 5 CEUs for the Saturday workshop.

Details and registration.

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 Jungian 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”.
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