A Personal Note, a New Jungian Book on Breast Cancer, and Access to a Special Article

The word “community” is built on the prefix com which means "with, together, in conjunction.” The second part of the word derives from munire, meaning "to fortify, strengthen, or defend". While I know you’re used to receiving notices from me that inform you of upcoming events or resources and information related to depth psychology, today I am I reaching out to you on a more rare personal note in the context of a community that can help fortify each other not only through learning and networking, but in so many ways we have yet to explore.

Some of you may already know Alice Arnold, who is a member of Depth Alliance and an amazing woman in her own right. Alice is an accomplished attorney who has spent most of her career helping kids who get caught in the crossfire when homes are broken and families deal with trauma of various sorts. Alice is also single mom who has raised two great boys while facing many of the challenges that those among us who are parents are familiar with.

I know Alice personally because she was in my cohort in the depth psychology graduate program at Pacifica where we became dear friends. I saw her every month for three days during the three years we went through the program together, and we had the luck to attend a weeklong conference in Assisi, Italy one wonderful summer. I can attest to Alice's warm spirit, quick wit, and absolute willingness to help others at every turn. I have known her to be profoundly interested in shamanism, and the capacity for healing through numinous experience and the soul-body connection.

Alice and I have stayed in touch through the years, and I was devastated to learn a few months ago that, on the threshold of her fiftieth birthday, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. It is a disease which has touched the lives of so many of us who have personally been ill or know someone close who has been affected.

Alice is one of the strongest people I’ve ever met. I’ve seen her overcome challenges with a remarkable attitude and incredible faith, wrought in part by her understanding of depth psychology, traits which she must now rely on as she has undergone surgery, is currently going through chemotherapy, and faces radiation treatments to come. Just this week when I spoke to her by phone, I was once again so touched by her incredible perspective on what she is going through.

No matter how much attitude and strength she has, Alice still has some serious (and mounting) bills related to her treatment. She is complementing the medical care she is receiving with alternative health care to full healing and wellness, that is not covered by insurance. As well, she has been unable to continue her work in family law while she dedicates herself to healing. Therefore, to help with finances in this very difficult time, she has set up a fundraiser page where she is able to tell a bit of her story and accept donations.

I know many of us are struggling financially, but this is such a powerful opportunity to give something back in a very simple but meaningful way. If you feel moved to contribute something to Alice’s financial need, even just a few dollars, you can do so here: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/healing-from-breast-can...

Also, if you are someone who has been touched by this disease and would like a Jungian perspective, I have recently learned of a new book, Breast Cancer: A Soul Journey written by a breast cancer survivor. Patricia Greer, MA, PhD. Patricia is a psychotherapist and Jungian analyst whose own journey with cancer began 26 years ago. I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but a press release from the publisher, Chiron, explains that in the book, Greer “works with metaphors and meanings related to the illness ‘in the hope that it may offer examples for other women who want to reflect on their experiences and find insights and lessons that may be gained from viewing cancer as a teacher.’”

If anyone has read the book, I’d love to hear about it. And, if enough Alliance members are interested in the topic, I will try to schedule Patricia Greer for an interview or webinar. Please email me at info@depthpsychalliance.com if you would be interested.

If you're interested, and in return for your generosity, I'd also like to offer you a copy of an article I wrote a couple of years ago on the potential complicity of both light pollution and hormones in our water supplies in the decline of frog populations and the rise in rates of breast cancer, among other types of cancer. "When the Moon Fades and Frogs Don't Sing" explores how two of the most ancient archetypal symbols of the feminine and of transformation, the moon and the frog, are in danger of disappearing due to human-made ecological threats.

Thanks to each of you for the work you do in the world, whatever it is, and for being willing to support and care about each other in so many ways. If we—who are aware of the underlying connectedness of all things in much the way Jung was—are able to manifest that in small ways, it will serve us all well as the need in the outside world grows.

Again, the link to contribute to Alice’s medical fundraiser is http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/healing-from-breast-can...

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Thank you so much, Esther. And you bring a good point; there is much suffering in the world and, while not everyone can donate financially every time, small thoughtful things like "bumping" an issue to greater visibility so those who can donate at this time is equally an important contribution. I honor the way you followed through on the impulse to help--and yes! Alice is truly beautiful, as is your wonderful gesture. 

I've been very touched by all of you who responded to this call; some of you have reached out to me personally, or posted words on the donation page about the value of this community. I feel incredibly touched and humbled by the way each individual here is contributing to greater consciousness and love in their own way. Thank you all, for being who you are!


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