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Autumn Conference – On the Mystery of Creation of Consciousness: Images from the African Psyche

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Date: Saturday 18th November 2023 Location: online
Start time: 2:00pm End time: 5:40pm Type: Webinar

These two talks aim to amplify the archetypal connections between primordial images and modern ways of thinking in the light of Jungian Psychology and Alchemy.  The first will focus on the creation myths of the Dogon. The second will focus  on the myths of the Eland people of the Kalahari Desert.

Talk One

A Vision of the West African Dogon – Eva Wertenschlag-Birkhäuser

The graffito shows the ancestor Binu when the divine word overcame him like rain. Cultured man with a spiritual life is born, able to work and transform nature.

Eva writes: The creation myth of the Dogon is a vision of early man being transformed into a cultivated being when the divine “word” overcame the ancestors. The myth is therefore performed by the Dogon in their daily work until today, in their rituals and in cultivating the soil. The ”word” must constantly be in circulation otherwise fertility of men and the crops and culture would vanish. The daily hard work of the Dogon is a sacred act.

God is a millet seed himself and the first farmer. By cultivating the soil an alchemical opus is done in the sense of transforming nature into nourishment and rebirth of the “word”. The Jungian approach brings the seemingly alien images near to modern experiences in individuation.

Talk Two 

The Eland People: Dancing with God – Lynne Radomsky Ph.D

Eland: San Bushman rock art

Lynne writes: This journey takes us into the remote region of the Kalahari Desert that borders Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, and the territory of the San Bushman, the first people. Here we enter the realms of the unfathomable mystery of the unitary nature of spirit and matter. The San Bushman people have a differentiated sense of obedience to their basic inner being which manifests as a deep respect for and relatedness to nature, the animal, and spirit.

This lecture will focus on the initiation embodied in the spiritual hunt and healing dance, and the idea of the transformation of the individual through the connection to an inner numinous God-image. This idea is amplified by considering the stages of this initiation in relation to the alchemical stages of the coniunctio as highlighted by Dorn and the psychology of C. G. Jung.

Approximate timing:

14:00 BST (13:00 UTC) – Talk 1 – Eva Wertenschlag-Birkhäuser

15:25 BST (14:25 UTC) – Talk 2 – Lynne Radomsky

16:55 BST (15:55 UTC) – Q & A with both speakers

17:40 BST (16:40 UTC) – Finish

There will be a 20 minute break after each talk.