Lecture Archive: Fall 2007

September 7th, 2007 at 7 p.m.

Seabiscuit: The Little Horse That Could, And Did, And Still Does
a lecture by Lyn Cowan
The word “hero” is so broadly used in our day that it begins to lose its mythic sense. But the mythic Hero – larger than life and required to accomplish impossible tasks at great risk, bringing hope and redemption to lesser mortals – stands in an important relationship to the Self. Implied in the Hero’s grand mission are ideas of personal responsibility and vocation, two themes we meet frequently in Jung’s theory of individuation but do not often examine. This presentation, illustrated with film clips from the feature film, Seabiscuit, will invite conversation about the collective psychological phenomenon that was a horse named Seabiscuit, a true mythic Hero, and the human partners who engaged with him in a mutual process of transformation.

Lyn Cowan, Ph.D., has been a Jungian analyst since 1980, Director of Training for the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts for six years and is a past president of the Society. She lectures internationally and has authored three books: Portrait of the Blue Lady: The Character of Melancholy,Tracking the White Rabbit: A Subversive View of Modern Culture, and Masochism: A Jungian View. Her passion for horseracing began when she was 11 and continues unabated.

October 5th, 2007 at 7 p.m

Tibetan Buddhism and Sandplay a lecture by Grace Foster-Pollard
In Spectrum of Ecstasy, Ngakchang Rinpoche writes, “The elements [earth, fire, water, wind and space] are a fivefold symmetry of symbolism that permeates a reality. They enable us to view the entirety of our perceptual experience [inner and outer]…” As our cognitive framework is informed by these primordial energies, our consciousness is expanded.

Jung understood the mirroring relationship of energies within the body and in the phenomenal world. He writes in his commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower, “It [psyche] is built on the premise that the cosmos and man, in the last analysis, obey the same laws; that man is a microcosm and is not separated from the macrocosm by any fixed barriers. The very same laws rule for the one as for the other, and from one level into the other. The psyche and the cosmos are to each like the inner world and the outer world. Therefore, man participates by nature in all cosmic events and is inwardly as well as outwardly interwoven with them.”

The lecture will explore the Tibetan wisdom energies, their inner and outer manifestations, and will then look at how these energies can manifest in the images of a sandplayer.

Grace Foster-Pollard, Ph.D. candidate, is a teaching and consulting member of the International Society for Sandplay Therapists in the tradition of Dora Kalff, and founding president of the Colorado Sandplay Association. She has studied and practiced Tibetan Buddhism for 30 years and is a meditation instructor as well as a brush calligrapher. Grace has taught internationally on the topic of Buddhist wisdom energies and sandplay therapy. Her clinical experience as a contemplative psychotherapist includes working with children, families, and individuals.

November 2nd, 2007 at 7 p.m

Reading Jung for the Past, Present, and Future a lecture by Sandra Lee Dixon
A creative genius like Jung can be depended on for fascinating reading. Yet the intellectual, political, and cultural worlds have changed since Jung’s star began to rise in the world of psychology and psychiatry over a century ago. This lecture will take up questions about how people now can approach Jung, coming to considered views of his writings and ideas. What debts to the past must we recognize as we encounter Jung? Knowing how his ideas about the psyche urged us to look to the future, how shall we teach and work with Jung for those future generations who will be even more distinct from early 20th century than we are today? And for the present, what fruitful trains of thought develop from reading Jung in our own time and place? How can we enter thoughtfully and creatively into the design of the individual and collective psyche that Jung lays out for us? Turning to the intellectual and therapeutic contexts of today, how can we draw Jung’s ideas into conversation with other modes of thought to enrich our lives and a globalizing world?

Sandra Lee Dixon is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Denver, where she has taught for 15 years. Regarding the past, she first read Jung as a sophomore psychology major. For the future, she intends to keep Jung on the reading list for her course, “Psychology of Religion.” At present, she is enjoying this opportunity to deepen her research and her reflections on Jung.

December 7th, 2007 at 7 p.m.

Home for the Holidays: Exploring the Christ Archetype a lecture by Sharon Coggan
As we enter the holiday season, we have the opportunity to celebrate this time of year as well as to explore its deeper meaning. With so many holidays clustering around the Winter Solstice, as Jungians we recognize the operation of an archetype. Indeed, it does not take much digging to tap into an ancient and numinous archetypal pattern whose centerpiece is the promise of resurrection and eternal life. This pattern seen today in the story of Christ, is a carrier of important archetypal material for collective consciousness.

Dr. Coggan’s lecture will open this story and trace the archetype of the dying and rising god through history. Citing cross-cultural evidence, Dr. Coggan will ground the Christ archetype in the mythological pattern of sacrifice and resurrection. The journey will begin in the Paleolithic era with the most archaic gods of the human imagination, moving through the Neolithic era and on into the current day. As Jung has pointed out, older models of the deity retained the dark Shadow side, while today Christ has been severed from a meaningful expression of that dark, savage side.

Exploring the archetypal patterns related to this season will enhance and deepen our collective enjoyment of the holidays, as we connect anew with the profound mystery of death and rebirth.

Sharon L. Coggan, Ph.D., teaches at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, where she is Director of the Religious Studies Program. She has a B.A. from the University of Denver, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, an M.A. in Religious Studies from StanfordUniversity, and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University. She is currently writing a book on archetypal themes in early Christianity and Greek religion. Dr. Coggan has studied world religions and mythologies for over 35 years.