We engaged in a lively discussion today with panel and members on the subject of "What is Depth Psychology?" If we did not arrive at a definitive conclusion, we have certainly begun to redefine what "Depth Psychology" may mean for us in the cataclysmic times in which we find ourselves.
The discussion has begun as we collectively as a group begin to unravel what it means to find "soul" and "meaning' and how to bring it out "to the streets".
There is so much room here for further discussion and conversation; it seems that many of us have been waiting a long time; silenced by the dominant paradigm that has no language for what it means to live from 'depth". Yet, we crave it; we are answering soul's call to re-engage and create community here and now in whatever format it is available to us.
We are in the midst of a Global Renaissance; a rebirth of consciousness. Our old systems are breaking down, dissolving, disintegrating...The new horizons are not yet apparent. We are caught in the betwixt and between, the tension of the opposites and so here we must hang until we can surrender our attachments to what is outworn and tired and no longer sustainable. There is nothing more frightening for humans than to give up our comfort and so we wait until it is ripped away from under us. That is the nature of a Plutonian/Uranian revolution. Pluto as a metaphor for the force of destruction and Uranus as a force of rebirth...
C.G. Jung stated that what we don't bring to consciousness comes to us as fate". These are prophetic words at this time. We are called to awaken and to connect with one another. We cannot proceed alone in a vacuum. The work begins individually in confronting our own inner demons. It is inner work with our own Daimon but now, we many of us are ready to bring it to a collective forum.
A new cycle has begun and the horizon is not yet visible. One thing we are discovering is that this transformational journey on which we find ourselves is both profoundly personal and collective. We must begin to discern where the individual intersects with the collective to make our way forward in consciousness.
I am deeply grateful for this discussion to ALL of you!
Good morning Eva - thank you for sharing, so totally right on point with discerning "the individual intersects with collective." the story I shared of a moment of Leo Buscaglia [Dr. Love - 1A] life fits in here too: so many threads, so many places to share our whispers...us girls today, unlike the Hebrew women in Genesis and "The Red Tent" truth/fiction story that came out about them...have you read that book? We may not be literally "weaving" wool but weaving we are doing...have a great day. Peace + Love Linda
I wrote the following introduction to a book published in 1993. At the time I was ensconced in the importance of birthing the Feminine (Soul). All these years later it seems evident to me that the only solution is to mine one’s personal depths which entails finding one’s personal story and connection to one’s inner truth. If we can suffer this through, then our very beings will project outwardly and create a new world image. However, the work of depth psychology (which in my estimation is the same as before and now and ever shal be) requires a conscious suffering of all that no longer serves. That suffering is a prerequisite for depth psychology and few take the road. I just read last night Jung’s words: “If I ask the value of my life, I can only measure myself against the centuries and then I must say, “Yes it means something. Measured by the ideas of today, it means nothing….In each aeon there are at least a few individuals who understand what man’s real task consist of…first the way of a few will be changed and in a few generations there will be more…”
I hope there will be “more.”
Yes, Eva, this is a cataclysmic time, be also in other centuries. Now, however, more than ever, we are urged to engage in our own depths, which for me means to sometimes endure the agonizing death of the old inner structures so the new can come in. “Bringing it to the streets?” Well, all we need to do is live/BE the reality of our personal transformation.
When I speak of the soul, I speak of the psyche, that place of humanity’s cellular imprint—with its myths, legends, and emotional memories hidden in the dark of the unconscious where we all sleep. And I speak of the birth of this soul as it awakens in the forms of dreams, visions and insights leading us to a new exploration. On these pages is the beginning of my soul exploration to the unknown lands within myself. It is also the story of being led to the forests, lakes and valleys of the Pyrenees where the Matriarchy once flourished. These countries, both inner and outer, are the goddesslands.
I am an ordinary American woman who lives in a world experiencing the loss of its rituals and structures. I have felt the breakdown of this world within myself. I have allowed the shattering of my old structures in the faith that something new would emerge. And something has: a new destiny, as if woven by the dreams of all of us who have made the conscious decision to begin sacrificing what we have known in order to embark on the adventure to something not known. Destinies calling us home - down to our bodies and down to the earth.
I hope others may identify with parts of what I have written and be encouraged to continue their individual explorations. For, as we discover our personal soul stories, so we will connect into the fabric of the larger story. As each of us shares our experiences, so will we gain the strengthening power that will forge our New World.
If we as individuals can find our own inner "altars in the woods," experiment with rituals unique to each of us, and share these rituals in the containment of a new and evolving awareness, we will then someday step into a new temple together as whole human beings. We will be able to look back at the old life and say that we survived the change—in our bodies, on our earth, and with the songs of our souls.
How does a student pass an exam in depth psychology?
"Dear students, today's lesson will be painful."
Re: student of "depth"
June 27, 2015
Good morning All – I had a great sleep and part of my new retired routine is to check the "Home" page of DPA. Not sure I will be able to keep up with this practice everyday. In 2012, I was looking a virtual community network, where my voice and the “depth “ of what matters to me, at this stage of my life, might be shared from my lovingkindness stance across life [since age 19].
I noticed Aleksandar began an individual post on recent scholarly publications, purchasing details, and true to my nature, form and training [content analysis]; I’m grateful he has posted/shared his scholarly publication success with us. This fact took me back to my beginnings, joining DPA, and I jumped right into the fire, as a willing participant in the Book Club and Jung’s TRB.
Specifically, I recall conversation between Aleksandar and myself and his expressed/shared concerns, at that time  about his paper and whether or not it would be published? He even shared and allowed a few of us, who privately asked for the opportunity to catch a glimpse of his work back then.
Then, I remember him announcing within TRB course discussions that he was considering an experiment. I was not sure what kind of an experiment he was referring to [he remains vague], assumed it was a personal journey, and recall the content being about his intention to “descend” into the darkness by will and choice? Past forward to today, and I am actually toying with the idea that perhaps his “experiment” was a pilot, virtual experimental study design [clinical application], to go along with submission and to apply his research paper’s ideas into the DPA Community [perhaps we are his experiment and he considers us darkness]. In his paper he acknowledges his fascination with Jung. Are we his selected 'Jungian virtual reality lab' [subject matter]?
And now, probably because I experience so much difficult trying to go into Level 5 [choice point] conversation [the deepest level of conversation where personal ethics and morals exist], and I see, just read his response to me this morning in "Utopia," I specifically and directly want to know from Aleksandar or the DPA Board – are we virtual research subjects? If so, and I am participating in someone’s current or future research projects, papers [a virtual test subject]; then, and at a minimum, I want to be informed ahead of time and have opportunity to consent or not > Reasonable in virtual land or not?
After all, I am sharing personal and experientially from across my lifespan, especially the sharing of my “rude awakenings/healing journeys that plummeted me in/out of raw existential angst. And if my story, the sharing of my life experience content, as released into the DPA community is going to be used in anyone’s publication, will I be informed, have opportunity to provide or deny consent if that is even an option in virtual community spaces?
Are these reasonable "virtual reality" questions this morning as we venture down the panel discussion road considering DPA future? I do believe Aleksandar’s publication and the journal source are timely and relevant to our panel discussion, so I did a “cut + paste” content analysis of the index of this journals scholarly works. Right off the bat, the “hive” caught my attention, Bonnie:
We Can Make Anything: Should We? (Pages 15-29)
Grounding Machine Ethics within the Natural System (pages 30-49)
Jared Gassen, Nak Young Seong
Fernando da Costa Cardoso, Luís Moniz Pereira
Rafal Rzepka, Kenji Araki
James E. Willis III, Viktoria Alane Strunk
Bridging Two Realms of Machine Ethics (pages 197-224)
Luís Moniz Pereira, Ari Saptawijaya
Self-Referential Complex Systems and Aristotle's Four Causes (pages 239-260)
These are my good morning thoughts of inquiry for today. Peace + Love Linda
Linda, I'm glad that you shared those links, although we don't agree about the nature of violence and coercion in a "better society" and whether or not the ability to talk instead of the ability to do within it (an enormous issue) makes it better. Our opinions aren't random - the same society that has provided your home has destroyed mine.
Pamela Preston has been "experimenting" since I was a child and there were probably many "guinea pigs", i.e. people she interacted with. That chapter isn't a part of any intentional research. I've submitted another similar article that will (probably not - I submitted it months ago) be either published in a journal or self-published on the Web. Anything else similar that will or won't be written depends on demand from other people. The rest of potential "experimental results" belongs to experience and I have no idea how to ask for permission to have an experience.
Good morning Aleksandar - yes, it seemed relevant to share the links here and ask you the questions I did, however, I notice - again- you do not directly answer a question from me with a direct answer, so it is difficult to engage in depth, meaningful [level 5] conversation with you. I do not recall my sharing of my opinion concerning the "nature of violence and coercion" with you or the DPA community in any depth! Concerning "talking or doing" and may I add both talking and doing at the same time, I do not believe we have delved into this one either, never mind what might make things better or not.
I disagree with your last statement in that paragraph and your generalized statement that "the society that provided me with home has destroyed yours." And this remains my primary conflictual issue with you, your "blanket statements, judgements of others and generalizations" like you know what I think, where I came from and how I fell or arose from my ruins [errors] or rose from my experiences [wisdom] - lessons learned from my ancestors plus my accumulated lifelong [real] experiences.
I do not know about "Pamela Preston - experimenting" and your assertion she has "guinea pigs" is brazen and bold, and it certainly is curious that you deflect onto her and avoid answering my specific, direct questions to you concerning my being a part of any of your "experiments." Intuitively, I know you are engaged in some type of "lab" experiment, and most probably on this site, however, I do not know for sure for you deflect and avoid my direct inquiries. One of my ethical principles is I'm a stickler on "informed consent" which has been a bedrock in my service. So, Aleksandar, there we stay - stymied, out and totally lacking in trust, depth conversation [in my opinion], just skimming the superficial surfaces of your mental operations and thought-forms, games [that's how you come across to me]. Frustration and at times, I do not like your judgemental stances, use of defaming characterizations and generalizations - blown out into the wind, lacking substance, i.e. "idiots [in Utopia]."
Concerning your last statement concerning potential - potential for me is about "peak" experiences, and I am fortunate to have experienced the depths of them. My peak experiences have not been the result of any mental operations experiments. I joined and came to DPA to be real, share my experiences within the appropriate context, when able and it appears it may be helpful]; otherwise I am not here to "cloud" the field, rain on anyone's parade, walk in anyone's brain with my muddy shoes, so to speak.
This stance remains the guiding principle gleamed from the wisdom I humbly earned, learned and received from my teachers and experiences that arose out from my own depth experiences, no experiment.
I leave you with words that have comforted the dying I have served and my choice to hear and read stories alongside them [with their consent]. This comes from "Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach, pg.87:
"What are we trying to practice everyday? If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?
And I notice no one in DPA community [I have asked for help] has gone into "Utopia" yet to respond to your last post there. I am hopeful, patiently waiting and in the meantime shall leave it all there - dead in the water and in my opinion, in need of objective help, resuscitation from others.. Have a great day...Peace + Love Linda
Speaking only from my experience -- I would think the first “test” would be to engage in a Jungian
Analysis. Then one may experience the confrontation with one’s own shadow and, by and by, the (in my estimation) most important lesson, to learn about projection. Unless we get the fact that we must contain our own gorilla circus (Von Franz’s term) and take responsibility of our own psyche, instead of hurling our unconscious material onto others, it is a lose-lose situation, as far as individuation goes. Even mentioning the term “depth psychology” does nothing less than connote the task of delving into our own souls. To share the pitfalls with others on the path; to share, even, the treasures that we are given from this mighty work, and most importantly (as Eva suggests) to keep our selves swimming and not sinking, is what I would hope these dialogues would support.
I actually like the image of the guinea pig. There are numerous animals within the psyche. The trick is to identify one’s own archetypes (guinea pigs) as they continually emerge to test us. That is only one indication of how I would define depth psychology.
After having read the “dyad’ on other threads, I quote Linda: “The Board and this panel discussion is looking for personal views, ideas on how depth can be helpful for individuals, the membership body and the globe - not a dyad between two [in this case.” However, the discussion brought to mind how an intense commitment to individuation, as Jung as our model confirms, can be an adventure in confronting our own inner holocausts—with its centuries of invasive terrors and tortures—which I believe the Red Book in some passages conveys. I would also suggest that if one works with victims of abuse and incest one hears war stories constantly.
The utter unconsciousness of individuals in power coupled with unconscious projections (blaming the other side, for one thing) has created the “split” that Jung forewarned. The only recourse in my estimation, would be a fervent rallying by individuals that are aware the only healing of this split is to heal the split within themselves (another way I would define depth psychology). Only the new man projecting his integrated and whole personality to the outside world can effect change. If the world stays intact, and Jung had his doubts about this at the end of his life, then we may see the beginnings of another world midway through this aeon. This is why I believe we need each other during the present time whereas we have few living models and we are in a wilderness blazing an unknown path and the world is a disaster zone.
I apologize for the interruption, Pamela. The rest of the comment where you don't mention Linda and me is great.
Disaster? Where? I don't see any. Whatever.
Good evening Pamela - I'm so appreciative of the gift of your time spent reviewing all the treads, providing excellent analysis, and auspicious suggestions for one to ponder. I heard you and am listenings deeply. I concur we need each other which is why I am here, especially in these times to support, encourage and learn from each other. Sometime, in life dreams do come true and many of my daydreams have been fulfilled beyond imagination.
The potential and possibilities are vast...and I am currently awestruck concerning the holdings, alignments and synchronicity of it all. Of all my virtual travels and experiences since 1991 [dial-up days], I know I am present within an amazing virtual space, community...and friends...so glad I got to experience this in my living years. Dessert for desert experience and this is no mirage nor dream for me!
The old saying...ask and you shall receive! Aleksandar and I are well served with need to digest this full meal deal. Peace + Love Linda
Thanks for your reflections here, Pamela. I think your observation about depth psychology as the "healing of the split within oneself" is paramount—for we are all split, and often through the trauma of our individual histories, whether familial, cultural, political, etc. On one hand, it is almost impossible to believe this is not simply human nature—yet on the other, when we look at the natural world populated by non-human persons, I feel hopeful.
Linda, Thank you for raising this question "are we virtual research subjects". It is my opinion that if a person wants to use her or his own experiences without reference to another person or that person's experience as research, they can feel free to do so. However, if a person wants to share my experience or sets up discussions or enters into discussions with the intent to experiment or do research on the discussion group or its members, then they need to follow standard psychological guidelines for the ethical use of subject/participants. That would include informed consent.
I too enter these discussions with the sincere desire to connect on a deep level and to share the pieces of me pertinent to and that I am willing to share in the discussion. A global forum, such as the Alliance, where the possibility of controlling what others do or how they use what they have gleaned in virtual land, is next to impossible, I also find that at times I do not share as deeply as I would like because some parts I hold sacred and want to expose those parts only where they will also be held as sacred.
I would also say that I believe that depth psychology has become enmeshed within cultures and as such it has many dynamics to it; political, religious, economic, health, welfare, safety, and etc. Most of us get to choose which parts of depth psychology we want to encounter and when and that is each persons right. And, as you pointed out in one of your discussions, you have no interest in certain aspects of the depth discussion and I thank you for knowing your boundaries and for being able to articulate those. Many people would shut down and choose not to disengage and I am glad you chose as you did, as I selfishly, find your wisdom and voice to be needed in our discussions.
This is only me. As other board members find time to share they might have insights I do not have.
June 30, 2015 - Thank you Jesse for taking some of your precious time to provide me with your opinions and the deep insights you hold in regard to your intentions/desire to connect on a deep level, the lack of control in “virtual land” or any other “land” for that matter [leads back to More’s finding: land ownership as a root [core] problem, and the overriding agreement that it is extremely difficult to expose, bear and reveal one’s soul states with the depth of what it is "exactly" we are defining as “sacred” and how we even got to know what that is along the journey of life [in our time]. What brought us to our knees!
I was listening to the radio just before coming to respond back to you and a writer for The Guardian was being interviewed. He was speaking about how we [culture] wants and needs to define ourselves, our societal formation/organization of people, and that everyone believes this is the Nanotechnological Age in accordance with the technological advances of our times.” He spoke sombrely while listing: the Stone Age, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Industrial Age, the Technological Age, the Space Age, and then, he asked himself, “ What will be the current descriptor of our age?”
After reading a lot of feedback, many threads on this matter, searching for the current cultural, dominant and recurrent theme, this Guardian writer stated he was shocked to discover that the descriptor of this age will be - the Age of Loneliness. When asked what could we do, he stated, “Stay connected with your friends for love is what is needed.
With these, his findings and your contribution today, concerning “dynamic cultural enmeshment alongside each persons right to identify one’s passion and boundaries, plus the importance of protection what one holds as sacred; I do believe, secondary to my own experiences, the question, “Who can stand and importance of remaining firmly grounded [whatever, wherever that may be]. I simply call this bottom-line ground based on the core values and morals that reside in my heart in lifelong service of humanity.
And in this moment, right here and right now, if I tie these 3 primary thoughts as delivered by todays airwaves, we have before us: loneliness, the sacred and bottom-line ground. And a familiar song returns to my heart, from just before I entered the helping professions, that bathed my heart and provided me with solace - to this day.