Five Thursdays, beginning September 8th (9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29 and 10/6)
Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. . . . If it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected and is liable to burst forth suddenly in a moment of unawareness. -C.G. Jung
Blood is the liquid spirit of life, the seat of the soul; one signs a contract with the devil with blood. . . . You see, the spirit in the blood is of course the unconscious spirit: wherever the spirit is in the blood the unconscious begins to stir. -C.G. Jung
Jung realized that “individuation cannot occur without the body.” The longer the blacker and denser manifestations of the shadow are denied, the greater the chance that the denseness may evolve into physical disease. How can we become more conscious of our contracts with the devil in terms of our blood, our defenses, self-destructive lifestyles, and self-medications that become part of our negative conditioning and identity? We can become over identified with our blood, our genes, our race, our culture to the extent we are ready to go to war.
The Internet, drugs, and food products are often designed for consumption with the built-in intention that the more that consumers remain unconscious of their own self-destruction, the greater the profit. As a result, the task of becoming self- aware is becoming increasingly difficult. Unfortunately wellbeing is not addictive and so many self-destructive behaviors and substances are. Learning how to dissolve this conditioning of the body can help us discover our inner teacher. If we can ask what the ultimate meaningful purpose of these blockages are, at any stage of their development, we can create a great opportunity for transformation and reclaiming energy for individuation.
In this course we will examine the essential role of the body as “mandala of the divine” and how the “will of the soul” is mirrored in the “will” of the body in the individuation process. As Jung put it, “If man does this consciously and intentionally, he avoids all the unhappy consequences of repressed individuation.”
We will dialogue about the consequences of repressed individuation of the body, which can wake us up to the necessity of physical healing, boosting the immune system for both the body and the psyche, and ultimately lead us to self-realization. We will consider recent developments in neuroscience and cancer and spontaneous remissions, as well as examine concepts such as the somatic unconscious and the subtle body, in order to gain greater insight into healing and the prevention of disease. We will look at methods of inner work and the use of integrative medicine for healing, using our own body as an experimental alchemical laboratory so that we can forearm ourselves or deal with a disease that does occur in a way that brings us to consciousness.
Tim Lyons, LICSW, is a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist in private practice in Capitol Hill and Silver Spring. He has studied Tibetan Buddhism and yoga for many years, and has given lectures and classes on Jung and Eastern Spirituality at the Jung Society of Washington. He is also an architect, has written for the Washington Post, and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution.