Thursday, February 12, 2015

Jungian Analysts Dennis Merritt and Fred Gustason presenting at Stayer Center Marian University Symposium

Myths and the Modern World
A Six-Part Symposium at the *Stayer Center, Marian University
Presented by Marian University and the Hanwakan Center

Sunday Afternoons 1:00 – 3.30pm, Feb. 15th – Mar. 22nd 2015

Myths orient people to the metaphysical dimension, explain the origins and nature of the cosmos, validate social issues, and, on the psychological plane, address themselves to the innermost depths of the psyche. - Joseph Campbell

Symposium Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Mythic Realm Within and Without
Dennis Merritt

Humans have always understood themselves and their relationship to nature by stories with the Big Stories being the myths and the mythic base of all religions.  Myths emerge from the mytho-poetic dimension of human experience, what Carl Jung called the realm of the archetypes and the collective unconscious.  Myths set the baseline for the values, ethics and patterns of relationships in a culture and the perceptions and responses to nature.  Individuals and cultures get cut off from this foundation by an overly rational and overly scientific worldview, but the connection to nature and the mythic, symbolic realm survives in our dreams.

Celibacy and Soul. Exploring the Depths of Chastity

Review by Dr. Brendon Stewart

Celibacy and Soul. Exploring the Depths of Chastity
Susan J. Pollard

Most Saturday afternoons I spend time waiting to have my groceries checked out at my local friendly supermarket. While waiting I can easily indulge my social research interests by reading and at times skimming through the journals that bring us the latest circumstances detailing various marriage breakdowns and the unabashed sexual arrangements of some celebrity.

What could I make of a book, recently in my hand that was suggesting celibacy and chastity could be imagined as passionate and beautiful? Susan Pollard near to the beginning of her Prelude makes clear that consenting to the way of celibate love is about a sense of rightness for her and she finds herself happy as a celibate. She is quick to say that what she is writing about is not high on the popularity list of erotic tales and yet it is a fascinating and radical choice about how one might choose to live as a sexual person. Yes, a sexual person, for the author, her celibacy is not some strange neurotic twist of body hating, sex fearing timidity, which saw her flee to the convent but rather an aesthetic, sensuous and psychologically deep choice that will tell the story of her love.

Along with being a Sister of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Pollard is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist with a professional practice that takes her into the secular world. The book references Jung often enough especially by way of his emphasis on the Greater Self who is the Other within every person. It is this Other, this Other within, that Pollard is attending to and she writes of the transformative potential of celibate love as she engages this archetypal relationship.