Group Discussion of the Legend of the Grail—with Stephanie Brauer

Have you ever shied away from asking the question that must be asked? Or from inquiring into a wound stifling the path toward transformation? Have you considered the quest you are called to, with its many twists, turns, and tangents? And what could be the essence of the boon that awaits you on this journey? A spiritual vessel, an alchemical stone, a life-sustaining elixir? Or something else entirely?

We will discuss these questions and more as we lightly trod along with Perceval, or Parzifal, on his adventures and missteps in his legendary quest for the Grail, as framed by the research of C.G. Jung’s wife, Emma Jung; their colleague, Marie-Louis von Franz; Dr. Martin Shaw, mythologist; and others.

Projection and Re-Collection in Jungian Psychology: Reflections of the Soul by Marie-Louise von Franz

In our first legacy book written by a woman, one of Jung’s inner circle, we explore what it means to project and then to withdraw one’s projections, individually and collectively. Indeed, projection is rampant in American culture. How is that affecting our psyche?

Now that we have an understanding of how projection operates in life, in ourselves, in others, we will proceed through the next two chapters more rapidly. Von Franz takes up the issue of projection of spirit into matter from the perspectives of religion (chapter 2) and science (chapter 3). She gives us historical examples of the workings of projection, particularly in ancient Greece and early Gnosticism. Then, she describes how the god- image continues to be projected in modern physics.

The Legacy Series Reading Group meets once a month. Drop-ins are welcome.

William James Part II—with Eileen Murphy, MD

Tonight, we continue with William James. Our focus is on Truth. Since the time of Aristotle, Truth has worn many outfits—the Truth of Mystics, the Truth of the Inquisition and of Witch-hunters. There are philosophical truths of Correspondence and of Coherence. With William James, comes the Pragmatic Truth. James also advances another Truth—a spiritual one. He chooses to believe in a Creator God who is kindly disposed towards us human beings. Pragmatism was challenged by philosophers Nietzsche and Foucault who say that Truth is dressed in Power. The trendy styles these days are “truthiness” and “post-truth.” Where might various ideas of Truth lead us? Jung speaks differently of Truth—is it mystical?

Psychogeography: from Landscape to Mindscape—with Gregory Brun

Like psychotherapy, psychogeography inhabits the uncertain border between science and art. It is the exploration of landscape and nature as a mapping of the psyche, in which inner terrain becomes outer terrain and vice versa, and in which the structures of society are experienced by the act of walking the land.

From the wandering of Theseus in the Labyrinth to Guy Debord’s drifting in the streets of Paris and our modern condition, we’ll gather for a discussion about the Real, maps, emotions, soul and subversion.

The Earth has a Soul: Jung on Nature, Technology, Modern Life

The Earth Has a Soul: Jung on Nature, Technology, and Modern Life, gathers writings of Jung, edited by Meredith Sabini. Our discussions are focused by the acute awareness of our deepening planetary crisis, while consulting Jung for such insights as “Nature, psyche, and life appear to me like divinity unfolded—what more could I ask for?” This is a monthly discussion group. Drop-ins are welcome.

William James, Into the Light and Dark—with Eileen Murphy, MD

As professor of psychology at Harvard, William James became the most famous American psychologist and philosopher of his time and is still considered to be among the most insightful and stimulating of American philosophers, as well as one of the three great pragmatists (with Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey). His focus was psychological rather than theological, and his work influenced Jung’s theories of the psychology of religion, the collective unconscious, and the self. In his classic work, The Varieties of Religious Experience, James defines religion as the feelings, acts, and experiences of individuals in their solitude, as they apprehend themselves in relationship to the divine. He distinguishes between “healthy-minded souls” and “sick souls” as two extreme types of religious consciousness, the former characterized by optimistic joy and the latter by morbid pessimism. We have much to discuss on religion here, with James and Jung

Hermes, the Bees, and the Tao—with Dennis Merritt

I posit the fifth century BCE Homeric Hymn to Hermes, the myth of day-old Hermes stealing Apollo’s cattle, as a significant mythological base for Jungian ecopsychology. The Greeks joined the opposing forces of Hermes, associated with nature, animals and the somatic unconscious, with his brother Apollo, god of purity, far-sightedness and knowledge of the structure of the universe. Hermes essential nature is displayed in his wand, a figure 8 with a gap at the top. Hermes is what happens in the gap as opposites of any nature interact, including between the opposites of stability and chaos, the domain of chaos theory with Hermes as its mythic base. Hermes’ bee oracle and his association with transitional spaces can be associated to the Taoist link between the “dark enigma” originating source and the yin-yang symbol as the first to emerge towards the “ten thousand things” of existence in space-time. 

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