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In this year’s conference Monika Wikman and Tom Elsner will explore with us the experience of liminal states with reference to working with the somatic unconscious and growing the subtle body; and as a symbolic death central to the transformation of consciousness.
Monika writes ‘the alchemical waters of the unconscious are portrayed as coming from below and above and our work is in the liminal space between. In his Zarathustra lectures Jung speaks about the ‘somatic unconscious’ as a subtle body in relationship with the physical body. He makes the important distinction between the psychic unconscious and the somatic unconscious. The healing intermediary realm of the subtle body happens as we learn to work with the somatic unconscious as well as the psychic unconscious; and create the living waters from above and below to help the psyche come into her fullness.’
In her first lecture, she will draw on the symbolism of the alchemical fugitive stag to illuminate this process.
And in her second lecture, she will enable us to utilise active imagination to create an ‘alchemical laboratory’ in which to explore growing the subtle body.
Tom will explore liminal states of symbolic death and rebirth as they appear in ancient medieval alchemy, Romantic poetry and Jungian psychology. He writes: ‘There is a little known spiritual/psychological tradition of iniatory death and rebirth that runs like a golden thread throughout alchemy, Romanticism and depth psychology.’
In his first lecture he will explore the imagery of figurative death as a liminal state, a state of being at a transformational threshold as it appears within these three traditions. Examples will be offered from dreams and personal life.
His second lecture will explore the question: ‘What can individuals hope to contribute to the problem of war, the possible elimination of the human in the face of cyber-physical systems, the disintegration of meaning, the pandemic, and other crises that confront us all in the modern world?’ This lecure will build on the first and apply liminal imagery of symbolic death as a transformation process to contemporary collective issues, particularly the evolution of Western solar/patriarchal consciousness through a return of the repressed lunar/matriarchal consciousness of the past.Image: ‘Eclipse’ by Tom Elsner
Speaker: Monika Wikman
Speaker: Tom Elsner
Thomas Elsner, JD, MA, is a certified Jungian analyst practicing in Santa Barbara, California, and a graduate of the Jung–Von Franz Center for Depth Psychology in Zurich. A core faculty member and highly respected lecturer at Pacifica Graduate Institute for many years where he taught courses on depth psychology and alchemy, Thomas has lectured and led workshops nationally and internationally. A recipient of the distinguished annual Fay Lecture series in analytical psychology, his book on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner will be published in summer of 2023.