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THE NOSTOI: Leaving Home, Finding Home, and the Mystery of Belonging, A Course With Mark Napack

  • Tuesday, April 07, 2020
  • Tuesday, May 12, 2020
  • 5 sessions
  • Tuesday, April 07, 2020, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Tuesday, May 05, 2020, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 7:30 PM 9:30 PM (EDT)
  • Jung Society Library, 5200 Cathedral Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016
  • 9


  • Members who are Seniors over 65 and Full-Time Students



Five Tuesdays

April 7, 21, 28, May 5, 12

Home is where we start from, as poet T. S. Eliot and psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott observed. But leaving and losing home is part of the human journey. This inevitable loss, whether it be traumatic or normally developmental, results in the quest of the nostoi, the Greek word designating the return home. Looked at across the range of human experience, the search for home is a universal pattern and reflects an archetypal need for belonging.

In this course, we shall explore different nostoi, for there are various ways of returning home and various meanings to home itself. It can be a return back to something one had or a return forward to something completely new--or even both. Furthermore, home can be a physical home, a relational home, or a psychological-spiritual home--or even all three.

In order to accomplish our own individual nostos, we shall look at works old and new, written and filmed. We shall look at works from two contemporary Jungian analysts, two classical writers at the origin of the Western psyche, one Medieval visionary, and two literary modernists. To help us see what this journey may look like on the outside in contemporary guise, we shall watch scenes from a film that Jungian analyst Donald Kalsched has said may be the best he has seen on the healing of trauma in terms of homecoming. Class format will be presentation, reflection, and discussion. Suggested readings will be heavily excerpted and manageable.

Suggested readings:

John Hill, At Home in the World: Sounds and Symmetries of Belonging.

Donald Kalsched, Trauma and the Soul (chapter 8).

Homer, The Odyssey (excerpt).

Virgil, The Aeneid (excerpt).

Dante, Paradiso (excerpt).

James Joyce, Ulysses (excerpt).

T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets.


Kay PollakAs It Is in Heaven (scenes).

Mark Napack, M.A., S.T.L., M.S., studied archetypal patterns in comparative literature at Columbia University, after which he applied Jungian theory to the redemption motif in medieval theology for his thesis at Fordham University.  He further studied Jung, psychology, and the history of religion at Loyola and Catholic Universities.  A long-time graduate and college instructor, Mark has presented at international conferences and his work has appeared in scholarly journals and books in English and French. Mark Napack, LCPC, is also a Jungian-informed psychotherapist in North Bethesda, MD.


5200 Cathedral Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016


Wednesday 10-12

Please contact natalia@jung.org 
to schedule a visit

The Jung Society of Washington is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, a nonprofit educational institution. Our IRS form 990 is available upon request. Although many of the Jung Society's programs involve analytical psychology and allied subjects, these offerings are intended, and should be viewed, as a source of information and education, and not as therapy. The Jung Society does not offer psychoanalytical or other mental health services.
Images of mandalas throughout this site were created by Carl Jung's patients between the years 1926 and 1945.
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