|Ancient Greece / Modern Psyche 2009|
|Archive - Conferences 2009|
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Ancient Greece / Modern Psyche
Petros M. Nomikos Foundation
“Dawn in her saffron robe rose from the River of Ocean
We would like to invite you to participate in a conference designed to illuminate the influence of ancient Greek thought--mythology, philosophy, art, culture--on our modern psyches. We are bringing together Jungian analysts, archaeologists, and other scholars, for our three-day event on the beautiful island of Santorini, ancient Thera, in Greece. Because of the volcanic eruption around 1627 bce which created the caldera, a huge crater that drops to the sea, the island has been fabled as Plato’s lost kingdom of Atlantis.
Known for its spectacular views at the edge of the caldera, the island’s Bronze Age site of Akrotiri was first excavated in 1967 by the archaeologist Spiro Marinatos. When Marinatos died in 1976, Professor Christos Doumas took over the direction of the ongoing work. The island offers a unique opportunity to concentrate our studies. The Petros M. Nomikos Conference Center, with its stunning location at the top of the hill above the main town of Fira and its up-to-date facilities, is a splendid site for participants and presenters to come together. The Nomikos Conference Center also houses the Thera Wallpainting Exhibition, an in situ full size photographic installation of the Bronze Age site frescoes uncovered and restored thus far.
We are limiting the program to nine presenters to provide ample time for discussion. We want to stimulate dialogue and create an intimacy that honors both the depth and the breadth of our presentations, the modern Greek culture in which we will be hosted, and the fascinating history of the island. To that end, there will be only three presentations a day. Two lectures will be given in the morning, one in the early evening; question and answer session to follow each presentation. Lecturers will be available throughout the days for further discussion.
In the long afternoons, participants may follow the Greek tradition of lunch and naps as well as find time to visit the local attractions, which include the following: the BronzeAge site of Akrotiri; the modern Museum of Prehistoric Thera which houses the artifactsfrom Akrotiri; the older Archaeological Museum; the Roman era town of ancient Thera,wineries (for example, Boutari winery), black sand beaches, and the hot springs of Nea Kamena.
In 1912, Jane Harrison wrote her seminal book: Themis: A Study of the Social Origins of Greek Religion. It is a passionate book, filled with information, insight and wisdom about the Greek religion that preceded the Gods’ ascent to Mount Olympus. This pre-Olympian Greek religion had its origins in the Mother Goddess. Harrison’s text begins with the “Hymn of the Kouretes,” a Cretan text that is placed in the context of initiation rites from tribal groups around the world. It outlines the journey of young men who followed in Baby Zeus’ footsteps to initiatory experiences through bonding together as the kouretes.
Within eyesight of the northern part of Santorini lies the island of Ios where Dr. Singer and his own cohort of recent college graduates, a modern group of would-be Kouretes without knowing it, established a summer residence on an isolated bay forty years ago. While visiting Greece over these many years, Dr. Singer has become a lifelong student of Harrison’s Themis and its implications for the initiatory experience of contemporary young men. Following Jung’s model of individuation and Joseph Henderson’s seminal study of Threshold of Initiation, Dr. Singer will place the “Hymn of the Kouretes,” and its elaboration in Harrison’s book, in the context of modern initiatory experiences of young men.
Thomas Singer, MD is a Jungian analyst and psychiatrist. After studying religion and European literature at Princeton University, he graduated from Yale Medical School and later trained at Dartmouth Medical Center and the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. His writing includes articles on Jungian theory, politics and psychology and he has written and/or edited the following books: Who's the Patient Here? Portraits of the Young Psychotherapist; A Fan's Guide to Baseball Fever: The Official Medical Reference; The Vision Thing: Myth, Politics and Psyche in the World; The Cultural Complex: Contemporary Jungian Perspectives on Psyche and Society; Initiation: The Living Reality of An Archetype.
Dr. Singer's primary area of interest in recent writings has been on the psychology of the collective as it expresses itself in individual and group life. This focus has been through the lens of the Jungian tradition which has often been neglectful and disdainful of the role of group life in individual development. Dr. Singer's interest in the cultural level of the psyche has been deeply influenced by the work of Dr. Joseph Henderson, whose pioneering work on the archetype of initiation forms a significant part of the background for this conference's focus on ancient Greece/modern psyche and for Dr. Singer's personal lifelong interest in Greece.
Virginia Beane Rutter, MA, MS
In the wall paintings from Akrotiri on ancient Thera, a crocus-adorned goddess accepts an offering of precious saffron stigmas while bull horns rise on an altar painted around a door decorated with lilies and spirals. During the 17th century bce volcanic eruption, these frescoes were buried and preserved along with the rest of the town.
Both goddess and god have a strong presence at the site of Akrotiri. The goddess partakes of a Mistress of Nature, the ancient near-eastern Mistress of Animals, and a goddess of healing. The sacred “horns of consecration” and the bull figurines show the god in the form of a bull, the Cretan Dionysos or Zeus. In these wall-paintings, women’s blood mysteries provide the body-embedded archetypal bridge between the parallel activities of crocus gathering and saffron processing by women and the bull games, dances, and sacrifice of the bull done by men. The images prefigure later classical Greek initiation ceremonies, for example, those belonging to the spheres of Artemis and to the Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter and Persephone. Clinical work shows how the modern psyche calls up these images and creates new meaning for individuation.
Virginia Beane Rutter, MA, MS is a Jungian analyst who trained at the C.G. Jung Institutes of Zurich and San Francisco. Her first Master’s degree in Art History, taken at the University of California, Berkeley, together with an early sustaining love of Greece developed into a passion for studying ancient myths and rites of passage through art, archaeology, and psychology. These studies grew out of her intense clinical practice and coalesced around archetypal themes of initiation as they manifest in the unconscious material of women and men today. She is the author of three books including Woman Changing Woman: Feminine Psychology Re-Conceived Through Myth and Experience (lst ed HarperSanFrancisco 1993) to be republished by Spring Journal Books 2009. Her most recent article, “The Archetypal Paradox of Feminine Initiation in Analytic Work,” is a chapter in Initiation: The Living Reality of An Archetype (Routledge London 2007) which she also co-edited with Thomas Kirsch and Thomas Singer.
Stephen Tobriner, PhD
The catastrophic eruption of Thera around 1650 BCE was so vast in magnitude, so ancient, and so lacking in historical documentation, that crucial aspects of its effect on the peoples of the Aegean are rarely considered. Scholars still debate the date of the eruption. Scientific estimates of the magnitude of the physical effects of the ensuing tsunami and ash fall differ. Whether the eruption directly or indirectly caused the collapse of the Minoan civilization is still in question, and whether the myth of Atlantis describes the fate of Thera is uncertain.
Yet, it is possible to find clues which help to uncover how Minoans reacted to the risk and occurrence of geologic disasters, and how their experience affected later peoples who inhabited the Mediterranean basin. Akrotiri, for example, was repaired in seismically resistant wood construction after an earthquake that preceded the final eruption. In addition, the Minoans evidently tried to intervene to prevent disasters-- a human sacrifice was in progress at the temple of Anemospilia on Crete during an eruption of Thera.
Minoans also took practical action in the face of imminent danger; no bodies are found at Akrotiri because the population had already been evacuated. Using evidence from the historical record and inferences from the construction history of the Mediterranean, this paper examines not only how the Minoans reacted to disaster, but the nature of how a geological catastrophe affects human beings living in one place over time.
Stephen Tobriner, PhD is a Professor Emeritus of Architectural History in the Architecture Department at the University of California Berkeley where he taught for thirty-five years. Tobriner’s research has focused on architecture and cities in Sicily and on the history of reconstruction after earthquakes in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. In his book, The Genesis of Noto, an 18th Century Sicilian City (London: Zwemmer Press: and Berkeley: U.C. Press, 1982), republished in Italian as La genesi di Noto, una città italiana del Settecento (Bari: Dedalo, 1989) he studied how a city in Sicily was rebuilt as a Baroque center after the earthquake of 1693. His most recent book, Bracing for Disaster; Earthquake-Resistant Architecture and Engineering in San Francisco, 1838-1933 (Berkeley: The Bancroft Library and Heyday Press, 2006) examines how his home town, San Francisco, California, responded to repeated seismic disasters over time. He has investigated contemporary cities immediately after earthquakes as a member or head of reconnaissance teams sponsored by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the National Science Foundation, and United Nations, and has published widely on engineering and earthquakes. In 2008, he was granted honorary citizenship by the citizens of Noto for his contributions to the history of the city and to the history of Sicily.
Jules Cashford, MA
In Hesiod’s Theogony, Mnemosyne was the Greek Goddess of Memory, one of the twelve Titans born to Gaia and Ouranos, Earth and Heaven - including Kronos (Time), Themis (Law) and Rhea (the Flowing One). Memory, therefore, together with Time and Lawfulness, belongs to the structure of consciousness, the archetypal realm of the Psyche. Uniting with Zeus, Mnemosyne gives birth to the nine Muses, one of whom - Kalliope - gives birth to Orpheus. The Orphic Mysteries were the initation rites of the followers of Orpheus.
In Crete, as well as in South Italy and Rome, eight inscribed tablets of gold were found, worn as amulets around the necks of the deceased. The initiates were enjoined not to drink from the Well-Spring of Lethe, Forgetfulness, but only to drink from the Well-Spring of Mnemosyne. The Orphic Hymn to Mnemosyne ends with an invocation.
‘Blessed Goddess, awaken for the initiates the memory
We shall explore whether Orphic ritual offers a model for other kinds of initiation in modern times, for example, advocating a remembering of the Self in the crisis of moving towards a new state of being. What can we learn from the Orphic practice of linking the initiates to a remembrance of their origin? ‘I am a child of Earth and starry Heaven,’ they were to say when asked who they were - - which, in Jungian terms, would seem designed to open the psyche to the archetypal images of the Collective Unconscious, in Yeats’ terms, the Memory of Nature.
Jules Cashford, MA is a Jungian Analyst from the Association of Jungian Analysts in London. She studied Philosophy at St. Andrews University and Literature at Cambridge, where she was a Supervisor in Tragedy for some years. She now writes and lectures in Mythology. She has translated The Homeric Hymns from the Greek for Penguin Classics, and is the author of The Moon: Myth and Image (Cassell Illustrated, 2003), and co-author of The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image (Penguin, 1993). She wrote two books for younger readers, The Myth of the Minotaur (Barefoot Books, 1993) and The Myth of Isis and Osiris (Barefoot Books, 1995). She has also made two films on the paintings of the Early Northern Renaissance Painter, Jan van Eyck.
Ronald Schenk, Ph.D. LMSW-ACP
Homer’s “Odyssey” is the ur-myth of two central metaphors in Western consciousness, “journey” and “home.” This paper deconstructs the ego-centered notions of the “Odyssey” in terms of the tension between these two tropes. Instead of taking refuge in a sentimental understanding of the myth as a story of yearning, return, and homecoming, Dr. Schenk illuminates Homer's paradox in which neither is what we expect and each becomes an aspect of the other, while an underworld of chaos becomes the common element. Home has the disruptions, uncertainties and violence of the journey; the journey becomes nonlinear, meandering, without beginning or end.
Dr. Schenk will explore the Greek concept of “home” in its original sense, oikos, and show how each stop of Odysseus provides a new revealing of home life. The Greek divinities, Athena and Poseidon, and Hestia and Hermes, make appearances and create tensions of dualities. Polyphemos, the one-eyed Cyclops, a monster is a good "husband" or keeper of the home, but also a devourer. The "stasis" of home life contains the dynamic of Penelope's cyclical weaving and undoing, also a theme in the ventures of Odysseus, and shows the tension between stasis and dynamism as a central psychological motif. Finally, "homecoming" itself is an event of violence and disruption and, in the end, a delusion. We will look at the notions of “home” and “homeland” in American culture.These threads will eventually lead to the deconstruction of the analytic myth of process as journey leading to a singular transcendent goal.
Ronald Schenk, PhD received his Master's Degree in Social Work from Washington University, St. Louis, and initial training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in New Haven. He lived and worked with the Navajo Native Americans before receiving a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Dallas, specializing in Phenomenological Psychology. He trained in Jungian Analysis with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts where he has been a Senior Training Analyst, most recently serving as President. He is currently in private practice in Dallas and Houston, and his interests lie in clinical training, cultural psychology, and post-modernism. He has written three books: The Soul of Beauty: A Psychological Investigation of Appearance, which gives an aesthetic perspective on depth psychology; Dark Light: The Appearance of Death in Everyday Life, a collection of essays on culture and imagination; and The Sunken Quest, The Wasted Fisher, The Pregnant Fish: Post-modern Reflections on Depth Psychology
Betty De Shong Meador, PhD
The First Women Poets—Sappho and Enheduanna
Seventeen hundred years separate the lives of history’s first women poets, Sappho in 8th century bce Greece and Enheduanna in 3rd millennium bce Sumer. Although distant in time, the two express in their writing similar intimate passions of the female experience. Explicitly and implicitly, both convey the centrality of women to each other.
Writing from the emotional centers of their being, they break with their established literary traditions that produced Gilgamesh in Mesopotamia and Homeric epics in Greece. Theirs is the first poetic articulation of subjectivity, of the private inner world of the individual psyche.
Geographically, Sappho’s island of Lesbos absorbed the influence of the highly developed civilizations to the east, and her poetry is full of the rich, sensual imagery of Persia and its antecedents in Mesopotamia. Almost two millennia earlier, Enheduanna wrote with the intimate, delicate voice of a brilliant poet. Both women cajole, confess, and sing praises to a sensual goddess. Sappho begs Aphrodite for her favors, as Enheduanna spills her intimacies to the love goddess Inanna.
Was the inspiration for their kindred themes merely the result of the force of human nature on the lives of two unusual women? Or did threads of the extraordinary Mesopotamian civilization extend even into late Antiquity? Dr. Meador will compare the poetry of these two remarkable women and explore evidence of influence from the Ancient Near East on 8th century bce Greek civilization.
Betty De Shong Meador, PhD, is a Jungian analyst, now retired, member and past president of the San Francisco Society of Jungian Analysts. Her translations of Sumerian poetry appear in three books she has authored. Her essays in Uncursing the Dark, 1992 are woven together with the translation of the Sumerian myth of Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld. Three long poems of the High Priestess Enheduanna, along with Meador’s interpretations, appear in Inanna – Lady of Largest Heart, 2000. The recently published Princess, Priestess, Poet – the Sumerian Temple Hymns of Enheduanna, 2009, completes her translation of all of Enheduanna’s known work.
In addition, Meador has contributed chapters to The Vision Thing, Tom Singer, editor; The Cultural Complex, Singer and Sam Kimbles, editors, and Initiation, Singer, Virginia Beane Rutter, and Thomas Kirsch, editors. A chapter on the Sumerian goddess of writing, Nisaba, will appear in the forthcoming three volume Goddesses in World Religion, edited by Patricia Monaghan.
Meador lives with her husband Mel Kettner in southern California, where together they manage a small vineyard and grow Merlot grapes for a nearby winery.
Betty Sue Flowers, PhD
In the classical Greek pantheon, the goddess Athena embodied a paradoxical nature, skilled in weaving/crafts and fearless in battle, uniting characteristic qualities of both sexes. Looking at Athena from a post-feminist perspective raises a number of questions. What kind of wisdom does Athena represent? What does the story of Athena’s birth have to say about the relationship of women to a patriarchal culture?
What is the significance of Athena’s foster son, Erechtheus, who is sometimes represented as a snake? Would the Athenians have chosen Poseidon’s gift of a spring over Athena’s gift of the olive tree if the water had not been salty? Some say Athena migrated from Libya by way of Crete and that her earlier form was as the goddess Neith, on whose temple was this inscription:
I am all that has been, that is, and that will be.
Does the “veiled goddess” have anything to say to us today?
Betty Sue Flowers, PhD was Kelleher Professor of English and member of the Distinguished Teachers Academy at UT-Austin and a Distinguished Alumnus until her appointment in 2002 as Director of the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum. She is also a poet, editor, and business consultant, with publications ranging from poetry therapy to the economic myth, including two books of poetry and four television tie-in books in collaboration with Bill Moyers. Flowers received her B.A. and M.A. from the UT Austin and Ph.D. from the University of London.
Her most recent publications include (with Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, and Joseph Jaworski): Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future (SoL, 2004; 2nd edition Doubleday); Christina Rossetti: The Complete Poems. (Penguin English Poets Series, London, NY, New Delhi, etc.: Penguin, 2001; 2nd edition 2005); “The Primacy of People in a World of Nations,” The Partnership Principle: New Forms of Governance in the 21st Century, (London 2004)--published in German as “Erst der Mensch—dann der Staat,” Das Prinzip Patrnerschaft: Neue Formen von Governance im 21.Jahrhundert (Munchen/Zurich: 2004) and The American Dream and the Economic Myth (monograph in the Fetzer “American Dream” series).
Richard Trousdell, D.F.A.
Because drama imitates human character in action, it can provide a living link to the past. Despite all the changes that separate us from the classical world, the archetypal human situations and relationships of ancient Greek tragedy are still alive and important to us in our search for wholeness and meaning.
The Libation Bearers of Aeschylus dramatizes an archetypal initiation of two trauma survivors: Electra and Orestes, the cast-off children of a father who sacrificed their sister to win a war, and a mother who murdered their father in revenge. In telling this inter-generational story of family trauma, Aeschylus creates two contrasting character patterns that allow Electra and Orestes to survive their past, but which also place their full humanity in jeopardy—a hero defense strategy that defines and distorts Orestes’ character, and a victim identification strategy that preserves but limits that of Electra. In stories familiar to us from clinical experience, the hero and victim roles act like defensive masks or complexes that protect Orestes and Electra, but also trap them like puppets of their family fate. How they live out that fate, and yet break free of it toward their own individuation, tells an empowering story of how suffering can lead to fuller consciousness. Whether on stage, or in what Joyce McDougall calls “the theaters of the mind,” the Libation Bearers offers us a vivid experience what it means to become more fully human.
Richard Trousdell, DFA is a Jungian Analyst in private practice in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Professor Emeritus of Theater at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama where his doctoral dissertation was on the ethical role of women in Euripidean tragedy. He is also a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute-Boston where he teaches and serves on the Admissions Committee. His acting and directing credits include work at Charleston’s Dock Street Theater, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Edinburgh Festival, and the Dallas Theater Center. His articles have appeared in Yale/Theater, The Drama Review, the Massachusetts Review, and the Jung Journal, Culture and Psyche in which “Tragedy and Transformation; the Oresteia of Aeschylus” recently appeared (Summer, 2008).
Luigi Zoja, PhD
According to ancient Greek myth, centaurs have a dual nature in more than one way. They are part human, part horse and possess wisdom and healing capacities. But they can also be violent, unpredictable and impulsive. They have a terrifying tendency to rape--both in the sense of abducting women and in having forced intercourse with them. Throughout history, rape has been an indicator of a dual aspect of masculine identity as well--creating on the one hand, destroying on the other. In postmodern society, the incidence of rape and gang rape seems on the rise, particularly but not exclusively in endemic guerrilla areas as well as neglected urban areas.
This terrifying aspect of human behavior is not present in animal societies. Animals do not gang-rape and they do not abduct their female counterparts. The horse part of the centaur--its more instinctual side--suggests, therefore, that this is a human projection of a violent masculine potential onto the so-called "animal" side of our nature. It suggests an incapacity in the collective masculine psyche to relate to feminine partners. This seems to be even more present in consumer oriented societies.
This talk will focus on the ancient Greek myths about the centaur in relation to modern issues of a bipolarity in the masculine psyche--which is capable both of fathering in a psychological sense and of regressing to a pre-paternal, more competitive, more animal nature.
Luigi Zoja, PhD is a Former Training Analyst of C.G. Jung Institut - Zurich and Past President of CIPA (Centro Italiano di Psicologia Analitica). He is a former President of IAAP (International Association of Analytical Psychology and taught at the School of Psychiatry of the Faculty of Medicine, State University of Palermo and at the University of Insubria. He has had a clinical practice in Zurich, and private practices in Milan and New York. He has his diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C.G. Jung Institut, Zurich. He lectures in Italy and abroad and is the author of papers and books, published in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, Slovenian, Chinese and Korean. His books in English are Drugs, Addiction and Initiation, 1st ed. Boston: Sigo Press, 1989, 2d ed. Einsiedeln, CH: Daimon, 2000; Growth and Guilt, London and New York: Routledge, 1995; The Father, Routledge, 2001; The Global Nightmare. Jungian Perspectives on September 11, (ed.) Daimon, 2002; Cultivating the Soul, London: Free Association, 2005; Ethics and Analysis, College Station TX: A&M Texas University Press, 2007.
The registration fee for the three day conference is $500. (This does not include cost of transportation, hotels and meals). You may make your check out to Greek Conference, and mail it to Baruch Gould at the address below. Please be sure to include your full name, address, and e-mail address. You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your registration.
In case of cancellation, if received before August 1, 2009, you will receive a full registration refund, less a $50 service fee. Cancellations received after August 1, 2009 will be accepted with one-half the registration fee ($250) refunded. There will be no refunds after August 25, 2009.
We are planning a welcome reception, the evening of September 1, with Greek meze and drinks. If you wish to join us for that reception, there will be a nominal extra cost to be announced later. The conference fee will include water, coffee, and tea throughout the presentations.
For air and hotel reservations, you may contact the travel agent below. Please identify yourself as a participant in the Ancient Greece/Modern Psyche Conference at the Nomikos Center September 2009.
Nikolas Zafiriou at Kivotos of Aegean Travel
The Zafiriou travel agency was recommended to us by the Nomikos Conference Center, so we are passing along the information as a courtesy to help you with your travel plans.
We, the organizers of the conference itself, however, cannot assume any responsibility for problems that may arise with your travel arrangements or your stay in Greece. We strongly suggest that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance for your trip.
Some further information that may be useful: The Nomikos Conference Center is located at the top of the main town of Fira in Santorini. There is a pedestrian road along the wall at the rim of the caldera that goes to the Center. In the opposite direction from the Center, many hotels are perched on the rim. Built into the cliff side, they have spectacular views and wonderful ambience, but they also tend to have steep stone steps down to the rooms, breakfast terrace, or swimming pool. It would be wise, then, especially for people with health issues, to inquire about the location of the hotel. Beautiful, quiet hotels on flat ground are also available. Everything in the town is within walking distance. If you choose to stay outside the town in a hotel or resort, you would need to rent a car or a scooter.
Buses regularly go to and from the downtown bus station to the Akrotiri archaeological site. The museums are in the town itself.
Download Greek Conference PDF by clicking here : Ancient Greece / Modern Psyche or by visiting the Download Documents section through the Main Menu and by selecting Conferences and 2009.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 10 March 2012 19:06|