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By Carol S. Pearson

Most people have no idea that the stories inside our heads determine much of what we notice in the world or how we string our observations together to make meanings of them. This suggests that stories that are invisible to us define a good deal of what we experience, so we continue to live these stories as if they were reality when they are not, even when they make us miserable. Understanding this can help us listen to others who see situations differently than we do. We can r

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     “Will you catch me when I fall?”  Those are the words of a refrain from a Danish song by the group Danser med Drenge (Dancing with Boys).  The image helped me recall the old trust games used in group-building back in the day.  Someone stood in the center of a group, crossed their arms across their chests and closed their eyes.   They were to fall backwards, trusting that they would get caught before they hit the ground by their co-workers.  That exercise was used to ‘teach’ trust among peop

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The Souls of White Folk Pt. 5: A Community Discussion on the Archetypal Roots of the Trauma of Racism in America

9142454687?profile=originalRacism, Healing, Redemption, Justice, and Reconciliation  

“Can we talk of integration until there is integration of hearts and minds? Unless you have this, you have only a physical presence, and the walls between us are as high as the mountain range” – Chief Dan George (Nerburn, 1999, p. 76).

"Most of these people will never make the headlines and their names will not appear in Who'

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“My so-called personality is a persona through which soul speaks.”  (Hillman in Re-Visioning Psychology)

James Hillman used to remind us that if you don’t think you’re talking to yourself--that there isn’t a constant stream of chatter in your mind and body (dreams of course carrying the largest cast of characters and their chatter, shouts, murmurs, and demands) --you’re kidding yourself. And part of his message regarding this substantially unconscious inner dialogue was to help us get real about

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Faith At The Center of The Self...

This morning after I completed my yoga practice I opened an ancient mystical text and read the faith is at the center of the self. Yogic philosophy teaches that life is a meditation on the self. We contemplate truth to self the entirety of our life and look to live in accord with our nature. Then we have lived life well.

A colleague wrote, "...our unconscious hopes and dreams, our goals and ends, pull us toward our transformation from fatedness to destiny" (Psychoanalytic Dialogues 25.3 p. 309).

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Butterfly Migration and Axiom of Maria

The topic of my dissertation at Pacifica was on the interweaving of psychological, spiritual, and biological migration.  The work began using a medieval Sufi text on birds, but expanded to include among others, a “bird-like” migrant. I am working on a paper about this topic, and would like to share some of the ideas here.

Numerous authors write about the environmental hazards contributing to the decline of the monarch butterfly.  One of the issues for this species is that it migrates across inter

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My previous posts have discussed various elements that provided me with terrapsychological insight during the early 1990s.  Today I will outline an experience that was more unusual than those I've previously recounted - a relationship with a kind of meditative mandala that seemed to open my consciousness to archetypal dimensions of the region where I live.  And synchronistically, it was this mandala that led to my most successful and influential project as a city planner, which I will discuss be

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Returning from our trip to Mexico, we see that Americans are gawking at – or turning their faces away from – TV images of the protests over the outrageous news from Ferguson. Michael Brown was another (and there have been many since) in a long list of unarmed Black men murdered by the police. Hundreds of grieving families because of our refusal to confront the racist foundations of our society and our continual denial of death.

Mexicans have also been in the streets for months now, protesting the

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Joanna Macy and 'Sustaining the Gaze'

9142449293?profile=originalOne of the many phrases that will stay with me from this week at Women's Future First 2014 Congress is that of Joanna Macy: sustaining the gaze. Even though what we see in the world is frightening and enraging, it is so important we witness (not deny) what mankind has perpetrated upon our planet and to feel, to let ourselves have open hearts to Earth and her many inhabitants.

This conference is focusing on drafting of a Bill of Rights for Water. Joanna addressed three practices that have conseque

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I was intrigued to read Patricia Damery's October 27 blog post describing a recent San Francisco seminar on Jung and Steiner, and their contributions to an evolution of consciousness.  Synchronistically, that relates closely to the topic of my blog for today, picking up on my post of last Saturday.

When I met Robert Sardello of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture in 1991, we had both recently become students of Steiner and valued his thought as a complement to that of Jung.  And for bo

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I'm interested in alliance members' thoughts on the phenomena of ghosts - especially from Jungian and Groffian perspectives that are influenced by Quantum physics (I.e. post classical science). I recall somewhere that some Jungians theorise both an internal collective unconscious AND a kind of objective external imaginal dimension in which matter and mind coalesce ... the psychoid realm perhaps? Apparently Pauli the physicist and Jung discussed such issues and Jung saw the third coniunctio of tr

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Hearing Voices
Our students travel to classes from many different places, studying on campus three days a month. For information on our curriculum, scholarships, and admissions, please see our Admissions Booklet
Thank you, Mary Watkins

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The meeting between lover and beloved is heart to heart, like that between sculptor and model, between hand and stone. When we fall in love we begin to imagine romantically, fiercely, wildly, madly, jealously, with possessive, paranoid intensity. And when we imagine strongly, we begin to fall in love with the images conjured before the heart's eye — as when starting a project, preparing a vacation trip, planning a new house in a different city, swelling with pregnancy. . . . Our imaginations dra

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Letting go of the way we wish things ideally would be can lead
to more human development than the ideals themselves
article by Lawrence H. Staples

There are many worthy arguments for the existence of ideals. These include the role of ideals as an organizing principle around which people with similar values can gather. Like goals, ideals motivate us.

We would have to be blind, however, not to acknowledge their danger. By definition, when ideals are our gui

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Honoring the Ancestors: Part One

Honoring the Thinning Veil, Glastonbury, 2010

Each year the San Francisco Jung Institute celebrates Ancestors’ Day around the time of the Day of the Dead. Analysts, candidates, and interns gather and remember those in our Institute community who have passed the threshold into the Beyond.

This last Sunday we especially honored Donald Sandner, an analyst who passed suddenly on Easter Sunday 1997. In part two, to be posted later this week, I will talk more about Don.

We began the day by watching

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I Am Like A Rose

Dear members, 

Please share with me a favourite piece of poetry or prose that you feel describes the process of individuation.

Recently I discovered this poem and felt an instant YES!



I Am Like A Rose by DH Lawrence

I am myself at last; now I achieve
My very self, I, with the wonder mellow,
Full of fine warmth, I issue forth in clear
And single me, perfected from my fellow.

Here I am all myself. No rose-bush heaving
Its limpid sap to culmination has brought
Itself more sheer and naked out of

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It's All Good, But Some Good is Gooder

     There is a popular trend in the modern new age movement that is inclined to label some things as "spiritual", implying of course that other things are not "spiritual". Many seem to think that the word "spiritual" ought to be understood--believing that things like meditation, yoga, Depak Chopra and an assortment of trendy new age books, gurus and ancient secrets are "spiritual". I haven't really heard anyone clearly define what is not spiritual, but the general unspoken consensus seems to be
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Existentialism and Archetypal Astrology...a Path to the Numinous

This is an excerpt from my new, but yet unpublished book, called "Lifting the Veil; Becoming Your Own Best Astrologer." Although some of the book deals with the grammar of learning how to do this, there's also a section on mid-life passages and the journeys we take from our childhood religious views to new ways of seeing....and in my case it was from Catholicism, to Existentialism, to archetypal astrology. If you are interested in t
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If anyone’s going to kill me, it should happen now. – John F. Kennedy, 1962

At book talks I often ask, When did you lose your innocence?  Common answers include 9-11 and the various political assassinations of the 1960s. Then I ask, When did you lose it again?

The trick question is meant to make people ponder a uniquely American situation. The idea of innocence lies at foundation of our national identity. It is as fundamental to our sense of who think we are as alcohol is to an alcoholic. Life for

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