• Dec 6, 2016 from 3:00am to 4:00am
  • Location: Studio, Lambert Campus, Pacifica Graduate Institute
  • Latest Activity: Jun 25, 2021

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 Pacifica is pleased to invite you to the oral defense of Carol Lynn Berzonsky's dissertation in Depth Psychology entitled, "Towards Homo Sapiens Sapiens: Climate Change as a Global Rite of Passage"


Climate change is the single most important challenge of our time. Scientific research indicates that business-as-usual human behavior could lead to severe consequences for people and Earth’s life support systems. Profound transformation in all human systems is required to achieve climate stability at levels preventing catastrophic impacts on human and natural communities. Despite growing calls for fundamental changes to the worldview underlying this anthropogenic crisis, little is known still about how to navigate such a collective transformation. This theoretical study contributes to this discourse on transforming from a life-threatening to a sustainable culture.

Employing the hermeneutic method, it draws on relevant understandings in (eco-)depth psychology (psycho-spiritual transformation), anthropology (rites of passage, particularly, adolescent-to-adulthood initiation), and mythology (Campbell’s hero’s journey) to explore in depth the archetypal death-rebirth transformative process. Combined, these bodies of knowledge reveal a model of transformation that is both theoretically meaningful and pragmatically useful when applied to a collective, epochal transition.

The model presents a framing that gives purpose to the suffering involved in death and rebirth and hope through a vision of renewal. It offers a pragmatic map for navigating the terra incognita of cultural transformation in times of unprecedented climate change, highlighting what to expect and thus how best to respond if true transformation rather than superficial change is envisioned. Finally, it has explanatory power in revealing the mechanisms by which an egocentric, anthropocentric worldview transforms into a soulcentric and ecocentric one.

DATE:Tuesday, December 6, 2016
TIME: 11:00 a.m.
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus

CHAIR: Dr. Elizabeth Perluss
READER: Dr. Joseph Coppin

Please Note: All Oral Defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria

Because of Pacifica’s conditional use permit, which restricts campus parking, all guests of Pacifica must use our complimentary shuttle to and from campus.  Please call 896-1887 or 896-1888 for a shuttle pickup from Best Western.

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