Friday 4 November 2011, 8pm
"PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN
The Historic and Symbolic Pan"
Commencing in seminar format, we filled out the early Greek image of Pan as a fertility figure for small herding, beehives etc. Like Chiron, Pan is a composite mythic animal, with an earthy, goaty lower half and a refined, human upper half, with the rich meanings contained therein.
Pan was exported from his Arcadian homeland in the central Pelopponese to Athens at the time of the Athenian versus Persian battle of Marathon (490BCE). The Athenians believed that Pan, as a symbol behind dramatic and even undignified states of consciousness such as epilepsy, mania, frenzies and nightmare fears, caused extreme “panic” fear among the Persians, whom they vanquished. Caves to Pan were then established on the lower slopes of the Acropolis, as well as annual Games to Pan. His influence spread later across the entire wider Graeco-Roman world.
Pan is decidedly related to the ecstatic, free-flowing, Dionysian side of the Apollonic-Dionysian axis. For a non-member of the Greek pantheon, Pan had a remarkably durable “career”: his rustic pan-pipes came to symbolise the harmony of the celestial spheres; and his freaky image and early sensual reputation as a fertility figure was largely responsible for the construction of the medieval Devil image. Pan's horns are still made today as a hand-sign in the Mediterranean region, to ward off the “evil eye”.
And along with Helen and Orpheus, fluting, dancing and singing Pan, as the personification of festive artistic creativity, was most prolific in the art forms of Romantic period, from the 18th into the 20th centuries. One Australian example is the art nouveau Pan works painted by Sidney Long in the western New South Welsh plains. For DH Lawrence, Pan signified “the deep emotional self”. He was also there for children in JM Barrie's Peter Pan (1911) and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows (1908).
The soundtrack of the 1975 film set on Victoria's most mysterious Hanging Rock featured the panpipes. The still frighteningly awesome, yet now largely benign and rehabilitated, Pan made a major appearance in the award-winning magico-realist Mexican-produced film, Pan's Labyrinth (2006), which was set in the frenzied aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.
James Hillman is the Jungian writer who has written most comprehensively about the Pan archetype. For a figure who was long thought to be behind fearful and panicky emotional states, Hillman in his Essay on Pan (1971) is surprised that more is not made of Pan.
Maxwell Ketels was born in and is at present living in Melbourne. After a spell teaching history, social science, english and geography, he lived in London where he worked as a child counsellor. He has also worked as a trainer as a Commonwealth “servant of the public”, as well as a practitioner and teacher of massage modalities for over 30 years.
Recently he helped to organize and train volunteers for the Parliament of Religions in Melbourne (Dec 2009). For 3 years Maxwell has been Secretary and Librarian for the Carl Jung Society of Melbourne. Maxwell sings tenor in Melbourne symphonic choirs and, as a flautist, he first became interested in the Greek Pan, resulting in two decades of research and writing of a work-in-progress.
At the time of this presentation to the Canberra Jung Society, he is cooking for some weeks at Silver Wattle, the Australian Quaker Centre, out of Bungendore, on the shores of Lake George.
Friday, 14 October, 8pm
"Archetypes and Fairy Tales"
Beginning with the
fathers of the field, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, psychoanalysts have turned
to fairy tales in an effort to understand the human mind. Fairy tales are
inextricably linked to the work of Carl Jung. The “collective unconscious”
that lies at the core of his work, and which is shared by all human beings,
is revealed through archetypes, forms and symbols found in fairy tales.
Fairytales are oral
forms of folk tales with moral and ethical aspects, which teach us how to
behave and how to deal with others in the community. Marie-Louise von Franz
considers fairy tales as the purest and simplest expression of the collective
unconscious of psychic processes. Fairy tales represent the contents of the
collective unconscious, the archetypes, and offer an understanding of the
basic patterns of the human psyche and can guide us through the individuation
We will be
considering the following questions drawing from ancient and contemporary
* Why are we so enthralled by fairy tales?
* Are fairy tales stories for adults or
* How do they differ from myths, legends and
* How do you interpret fairy tales?
* How can that help me with my individuation
Dorothea Wojnar is a psychotherapist
and she is currently training as a Jungian analyst with the C G Jung
Institute of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Jungian analysts. She
has training and experience in Analytical Psychology, Transactional Analysis,
Gestalt therapy, Solution Oriented Psychotherapy, Family therapy, Self
Psychology and Psychodrama. Dorothea has extensive experience as a group
leader and therapist across a range of people and issues, working in both a
public health facility as well as in private practice.
Saturday, 15 October
“A Daytime Workshop on Fairy Tales”
asked to bring their favourite tale - either one they have heard and love or
a fairy tale they have written. We will experience the fairy tales through
enacting them. Participants will have the opportunity to become the
archetypal characters in the fairytale. This can be a powerful experience as
you become, for a short time, the witch or the evil king or the divine child.
Participants will be asked to bring various props that will help them to
become the character in the tale. After de-roling, each actor then speaks within the closed group about what it
felt like to be in that role and how they experienced the other characters.
We will be
interpreting the fairy tale after the enactment within the group. This can
become a profound way of grasping the power of the fairy tale and one which
can leave us with a deeper appreciation of just how the psyche undergoes the
individuation process. This workshop is completely confidential and
participants are asked not to discuss material from the workshop outside the
group. Acting ability is not important, because we will focus on your
developing an ability to experience your own and other’s psyche. Most of us
acted out stories and tales as children - this is similar to that but with
two major differences - we fully become the archetypal character with
intention, and we fully debrief the experience.
Dorothea Wojnar is a psychotherapist
and she is currently training as a Jungian analyst with the C. G .Jung
Institute of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Jungian analysts. She
has training and experience in Analytical Psychology , Transactional Analysis, Gestalt therapy,
Solution Oriented Psychotherapy, Family therapy, Self Psychology and
Psychodrama. Dorothea has extensive experience as a group leader and
therapist across a range of people and issues, working in both a public
health facility as well as in private practice.
Friday 2 September 2011
Dr David Russell
"Childhood Traumatic Anxiety: A Jungian Perspective"
It is hypothesised that two types of anxiety can impinge on a young person at a dependent stage of his/her development. The first is when the psyche is threatened in a manner that needs defending against and we know the consequences of such defensive manoeuvres (ego-defences) in the ordinary depressions and anxieties of adulthood. The other is a much more disintegrating anxiety which affects the psyche at a more primitive level and thus archetypal defences come into play. Hermes-Mercurius with its creative/destructive energy personifies and expresses the contradictory attributes of this ”unthinkable” anxiety.
The felt experience of someone in the grip of the diabolical aspect of Mercurius (dia-bollein, meaning “to tear apart”) is particularly confusing as it creates a somewhat altered state in order to keep consciousness away from unbearable anxiety. In performing this task the more trickster-god aspect of Hermes-Mercurius (the sym-bollein, meaning “to pull together”) is working towards the survival of the whole personality. This experience is understandably confusing for both the one in the experiential conflict of creation/destruction and for family members (and any therapist who might be involved).
Dr David Russell BSc (Hons), PhD Psychology, Registered Psychologist, has completed both his undergraduate and postgraduate work in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney. After a period in private practice he took up an academic position at the University of Western Sydney and subsequently was responsible for co-founding the Master of Analytical Psychology degree (a course-work program in Jungian studies). David is currently in private practice in Darlinghurst where he offers psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Friday 5 August 2011
"Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction"
Caretake this moment.
Immerse yourself in its particulars.
Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed.
Quit the evasions.
Stop giving yourself needless trouble.
It is time to really live;
to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.
You are not some disinterested bystander.
Respect your partnership with providence.
Ask yourself often, How may I perform this particular deed
such that it would be consistent with and acceptable to the divine will?
Heed the answer and get to work.
When your doors are shut and your room is dark you are not alone.
The will of nature is within you as your natural genius is within.
Listen to its importunings.
Follow its directives.
As concerns the art of living, the material is your own life.
No great thing is created suddenly.
There must be time.
Give your best and always be kind.
~ Epictetus ~
Mindfulness comes to us from a variety of contemplative traditions throughout history. It is a way of being fully present and awake in every moment of your life; a way of relating to all of your life as it happens and changes. It is also a practice -- mindfulness meditation -- a systematic way of intentionally attending to your mind, body and life.
Mindfulness invites us to observe and connect with our inner and outer experience in a caring and discerning way - to pay close attention to the present moment, noting our thoughts, feelings and body sensations with an attitude of curiosity and non-judgment.
As we practice and cultivate our capacity for mindful awareness, we can begin to see ourselves and our situations with greater clarity and open to the possibility of being less reactive – of responding in skillful, creative and productive ways, even in challenging circumstances.
At the Canberra Mindfulness Centre we offer the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course which is a comprehensive 8 week program covering the practice of mindfulness meditation, stress physiology, the stress cycle, ways of integrating mindfulness into your daily life and working with difficult thoughts, emotions and behaviours. The program integrates the ancient skills of mindfulness with contemporary Western psychology and neuroscience to support participants in discovering their own potential for learning, growing, healing and transformation – starting from wherever they are now.
In this session Sue will be presenting the experience of mindfulness meditation as well some of the theoretical underpinnings.
Sue Hays BSc MSc MClinPsych, Registered Psychologist specialising in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapist (Self Psychology) has trained in the USA, UK and Australia. She worked in the Mental Health system in the late 80’s before setting up a private practice in 1993, which continues today. She undertook the teacher training for the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program in the USA in 2004 and has been teaching the program in Canberra since that time. Over 500 people have taken the MBSR course here in Canberra. In 2010 she established the Canberra Mindfulness Centre.
Friday 1 July 2011
Desire and the energy of the Erotic
Dr Brendon Stewart recently retired from the position of academic coordinator of the Masters of Analytical Psychology, in the School of Psychology, at the University of Western Sydney (UWS), Australia.
He will talk about his thoughts on matters of Desire and the energy of the Erotic.
The French are glad to die for love.
They delight in fighting duels.
But I prefer a man who lives
and gives expensive jewels.
A kiss on the hand
May be quite continental,
But diamonds are a girl's best friend.
A kiss may be grand
but it won't pay the rental
on your humble flat
or help you at the automat.
Men grow cold
as girls grow old,
and we all lose our charms in the end.
But square-cut or pear-shaped,
these rocks don't lose their shape.
Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
There may come a time
when a hard-boiled employer
thinks you're awful nice,
but get that ice or else no dice.
He's your guy
when stocks are high,
But beware when they start to descend.
It's then that those louses
go back to their spouses.
Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
There is a story of Moses descending Mount Sinai with the tablets of the law under his arms. I’ve got them down to ten he shouts to the assembled Israelites, but adultery’s still in.
It is the law that sadistically prohibits our desires. Freud acknowledges in Civilization and its Discontents that by way of psychoanalysis we may presume that our desires and appreciation of aesthetic beauty derive from the ‘field of sexual feeling’.
Brendon says, I cannot separate the erotic from the aesthetic. It has something to do with a way of life and an appreciation for things of desire; for places and experiences of drifting guiltlessly into the enjoyment of a wide variety of emotional and sexual entanglements, some lasting as long as a glimpse, others for a lifetime. The erotic involves intricacy and digression and is always a meditation on aesthetic well-being. This includes some things to do with religion, sexuality and the allure of a certain forbiddenness. Some places suggest an erotic flavour and sensibility; Berlin, Istanbul, Beirut, Shanghai, Prague, Alexandria, Saigon and things like kasbahs, rooftop terraces, secret gardens, revealing blouses, the way some men run, the pleasure of art rather than an obligation to it and comfortable friends who have been a part of one’s play with pleasure where sex, food and drink have been fellow travelers.
Giving and receiving gifts, this exchange of gifts and the erotic life are also connected; you can have your cake and eat it too. Indeed, with friendships you can’t have your cake unless you eat it too. Friendships don’t happen unless you take on the friendship. In this way the gift of friendship, the gift of anything really is an emanation of Eros. One’s Libido is never lost, when it is exchanged, lovers never waste the erotic. The satisfaction of making love (and here I mean in its widest sense) somehow assures there is plenty to share.
Friday 3 June
Something different this month ...
Something different for our June meeting. Instead of our advertised speaker, we showed an intereasting documentary film titled "Matter of Heart" (1986).
It examines the life and thinking of Carl Gustav Jung. Interviews are done with those who knew him (von Franz, Hannah, Jaffe, Henderson, Wheelwright et al), most of whom were analyzed by him and very often became analysts themselves.
Jung's own words appear on screen, and archive footage of Jung himself is shown. We learn aspects of his private life, including his relationship with his wife, Emma, and his mistress, Toni Wolff. But mostly we learn of his philosophy, sometimes mystical in nature, regarding the collective unconscious, the ego-personality, anima and animus, and more.
Then supper and discussion.
Friday 6 May 2011