Spring 2004 Lectures

March 5, 2004


The Return of the King is the final film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Director Peter Jackson portrays Tolkien’s imaginative and rich tale of the final struggle to overcome the evil of Sauron, the Lord of the Rings. Like its predecessors, this film contains many archetypal themes, including: ascendancy of the king, the union of masculine and feminine, the sacrifice and the struggle between good and evil. These films have touched the psyches of millions as seen by their great success and popularity.  Dr. Kiehl and Dr. Foster will explore how the film’s themes relate to the Jungian process of individuation, and will amplify the rich archetypal dimensions of the film in terms of alchemical and mythic symbols. They will also explore what the film has to tell us about the (current) collective situation in our world today.

Jeffrey T. Kiehl is a training candidate in the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. He has an M.A. in Psychology from Regis University and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences. He works in the environmental sciences and has a therapy practice in Boulder, CO.  Stephen J. Foster is also a training candidate in the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. He has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. He is an environmental consultant and an intern at the Boulder Counseling Center.

April 2, 2004


This presentation will apply a multidimensional approach to the Aphrodite/Eros archetype. Utilizing the insights from alchemy, Eastern and Western mythology, gnostic spirituality, astrology, philosophy, the early history of psychoanalysis, and mathematics, Mr. Diehl will explore ways to enhance the erotic life and the path of the heart.

Robert A. Diehl, M.A. is a Jungian and transpersonal-oriented psychotherapist who has practiced in the Denver/Boulder area since 1979.  He has taught at the University of Northern Colorado and the Naropa Institute.  His previous presentation for the Jung Society of Colorado was in 1999 with his wife, Elspeth Pryer Diehl, speaking on “Jungian and Astrological Insights into the Millennium Myth.”

April 23, 2004


In his Terry Lectures at Yale University in 1937, Jung spoke at length about the meaning of religion, describing it as “a careful and scrupulous observation of what Rudolph Otto aptly termed the numinosum.”  Jung stated religion “designates the attitude peculiar to a consiousness which has been changed by experience of the numinosum.”  Jung also observed that healing for his patients who were in the second half of life required a recovery of a “religious outlook.”

Dr. Wright’s presentation will approach the meaning of Jung’s perspectives on religion and what it may mean for the modern person to recover such a religious attitude or outlook.  Dr. Wright will draw upon an ancient image called the thin place, which denotes experiences when the curtain between the physical and spiritual (between visible and invisible) is experienced as “thin” or numinous.  The presentation will address the contemporary loss of the sense of the sacred and will examine ways to cultivate its recovery in everyday life, as well as in psychotherapy and analysis.

A secondary theme of this presentation will be Celtic mythology and spirituality.  The ancient Celts believed that the inhabitants of the invisible world were always close at hand.  They believed that this invisible world became apparent in the thin places and thin times when the veil that usually obscured it was lifted.

Jerry Wright, D.Min., holds degrees in psychology and theology, and did his analytic training with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts.  He is also trained as a pastoral counselor and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  He is particularly interested in the convergence of psychology and spirituality and how the two disciplines inform and assist the individuation process.

May 21, 2004

PASS THE SALT! – by Joe McNair

Once upon a time, the study of our human nature relied upon Mother Nature for her animistic and naturalistic metaphors.  To gain related understanding of ourselves as a part of nature, early alchemists observed the “personalities” of the elements.  It was said in the alchemical text The Golden Tract, “He who works without salt will never raise dead bodies.”  When Jung stumbled onto this world of arcane metaphors, it was unclear to what exactly they referred.  Jung went on to devote the second half of his life to this subject matter.

The alchemists used words such as lead, salt, sulfur, and mercury to refer to the elemental natures within us all.  Today’s psychology may use words like depression, feeling, drive, and consciousness.  Dr. McNair has come to prefer the former terms.  For him, the use of alchemical metaphor had been invaluable in gaining a closer relationship to human nature and in empowering therapeutic work with an “earthy” energy that keeps the “work” very personal.  To that end, Dr. McNair will be discussing these four elements and the realms to which they take us.

Joe McNair, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Woodland Hills, California.  He is a senior training analyst at the Los Angeles Jung Institute, and is an expert in alchemy and Arthurian and Celtic legend.  He trained in Zurich from 1981 to 1987, and in Los Angeles, and co-authored the book Jungian Analysts: Visions and Vulnerablities with Marvin Spiegleman.  He most recently spoke before the Jung Society of Colorado in May, 2002 with his presentation “We All Love Animals.”

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