Message from Monique Gibeau, President of the Calgary Jung Society

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.

 – Carl Jung

As any change must begin somewhere, it is the single individual who will experience it and carry it through. The change must indeed begin with an individual; it might be any one of us. Nobody can afford to look round and to wait for somebody else to do what he is loath to do himself.

– Carl Jung

Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.

– Carl Jung

Welcome to the 2020-2021 programming year for the Calgary Jung Society. I couldn’t decide on just one quote from our maestro Carl Jung and so have included reflections about the importance of choice and perhaps in making a commitment towards love, not fear. We move forward carefully during these last months of 2020, faced with the challenge of uniting, as we do our best to counter the many faces of separation. 

We do believe that after months of self-isolation, that our members are more than eager for contact, for casual small group conversation, for clarity, for an understanding at a deeper level of what is happening in our society, and for understanding their part in doing their own work whilst balancing their responsibility to community. 

The Society’s Board of Directors has been greatly bolstered by improved technologies and is therefore able to offer a hybrid of on-line and in-person programming (we hope to offer in-person in the late spring of 2021). And we are anticipating that you have become somewhat familiar with online socializing!  It is our goal to offer you opportunities for online casual coffee shop-type conversations, book club chats, lectures, and weekend workshops focused on new ways of expression. 

Panel Discussion

Let me guide you through some of our program highlights this fall. Membership registration is now underway and with membership, join us on Friday, September 25, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. for a most engaging panel discussion on… the topic of the hour, likely the topic of the decade, COVID 19! Our panelists are our local esteemed Jungian analysts, Mae Stolte, Peggy Voth, and Dr. Chris Wilkes. Their topic is “The COVID-19 Pandemic: What is it doing with us and what are we doing with it?”

Many of the aspects of our everyday lives are in flux and we don’t/can’t know what our lives will look like down the road. Jung in his famous BBC interview, Face to Face, prophetically said, “the world hangs by a thin thread, and that thin thread is the Psyche.  But what if something goes wrong with the Psyche?”

In this panel presentation, Mae Stolte will address the dynamic impact of the pandemic on our psyches – our experience both individually and collectively of disruption, disconnection, and dislocation, the tension of opposites it has set up, and the ego’s need to surrender in order to further our inner growth and understanding. Peggy Voth will elaborate on the myth of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. A deity of polarities, Inanna introduces cosmic disorder and civil unrest as well as the possibility of developing one’s individuality. Dr. Chris Wilkes will speak to the reality of the Undiscovered Self, that independent centre outside of the ego that is capable of giving resilience in this Pandemic.  To do so means facing our fear of the duality of the Psyche, the capacity for good and evil in every individual.

All of you have your own first-hand experience of the Pandemic and we welcome this discussion with you. A link to this event like all other lectures and workshops will be sent to you once you have registered. 

Book Club

The book club will meet once a month through to May on Thursdays, beginning October 15 and will be hosted by Monique Gibeau. There are limited spots (8) but we will gather a waiting list and if we can form a second group, we will. The registration fee for the group with Monique includes a copy of the book, which she will arrange to get to you. This is not a discussion that is limited to women. Men, your exploration of this fairy tale will be of benefit too!

The book? It is a 1983 publication written by Ann and Barry Ulanov called Cinderella and her sisters: The envied and the envying. How does one respond to envying and being envied? Through the familiar story of Cinderella, the authors explore the psychological and theological aspects of envy and goodness. With registration, you will receive a more detailed outline of which chapters to read for the session, as well as guidelines for the type of format we will use.

Core Concepts 1: Introduction to the Core Concepts of Jungian Psychology

On Tuesday, October 27, followed by four consecutive Tuesdays to the end of November, local Jungian analyst Mae Stolte will lead a 5-week seminar intended to help you understand some of the basic concepts that underlie Jungian psychology and are part of an approach to understanding ourselves. 

In this seminar/workshop, participants will not only explore how Jung developed these ideas but also look at how these concepts can be useful when applied to our everyday experience. What does it look like when our ‘shadow’ is activated?  How do we know when we are in a complex? Some of the concepts to be explored are conscious/unconscious; ego and Self; shadow/persona/complex; symbol, archetype and instinct; anima/animus; and dreams. This seminar is an introduction and no previous reading or study is required in order to participate. A reading list will be provided. If you have attended previous classes in Core Concepts and need a refresher, this is also for you! Core Concepts 2 will be offered in March 2021.

Registration is limited to 12 people to provide opportunity for fruitful discussion.

Lecture and Workshop: Understanding Anxiety

New York City Jungian Analyst and former Calgarian Craig Stephenson will present a lecture on Friday, October 30, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. entitled “W. H. Auden’s Uses of Jung’s Typology to Understand Anxiety.” During 1939-1945, English poet W. H. Auden wrote his last book-length poem, The Age of Anxiety, and through it, Auden used Jung’s psychological typology to explore the problems of identity and integrity in times of social upheaval. This lecture will examine how Auden employs Jung’s critical psychology of type to understand the effects of anxiety on the individual and collective psyche, as well as the noxious attractions of fascism. 

On Saturday, October 31, from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Craig will lead a three-hour session called, “A group reading of Raina Telgemeier’s Guts: Applying Jungian concepts to a narrative about anxiety.” Guts is a graphic novel readily available on Amazon (there’s a link below) but very likely it is available at any of Calgary’s local bookstores. Participants should purchase a copy before the workshop. You will read the graphic novel aloud together as a group, taking parts, to bring her narrative into the present. Then together, you will employ Telgemeier’s portrayal of anxiety as a case narrative, examining her adult insights into the suffering of her younger self and registering the group’s responses. Finally, participants will apply Jungian concepts to the narrative to evaluate how analytical psychology might contribute additional insights to the case.  

Lecture: Jung’s Model of Aging

Join Jungian analyst Dr. Karen Evers-Fahey on Friday November 27, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. as she talks about “Jung’s Model of Ageing: Individuation After Age 70.” Dr. Evers-Fahey wants to change this analytical focus on end of life for older adults, not as a time of preparation for death, but instead to talk about life and the new possibilities after 70. This phase is not a further continuation of the second half of life but a distinct third ‘half,’ a new phase of individuation with its own distinct purpose.

Jung said, “The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.” Indeed, Jung is well known for his theory of adult development and his work on individuation in the second half of life. With this lecture, Dr. Evers-Fahey proposes a third phase of life after the first phase (building up a life structure) and second phase (developing a relationship with the inner world). This third phase is especially relevant now as many of us can expect today to live well past the 20th century life expectancy of 65 years old. 

Workshop: Aspects of the Ego

Following Karen’s lecture on Friday is an opportunity to engage with her in a seminar on Saturday, November 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Her topic is “Aspects of the ego: development, ego in dreams, ego and individuation” and she will explore Jung’s theory of ego development, working with the ego in dreams, and with the ego and the transcendent function. This seminar will be interactive. Not only will it benefit interested lay persons, but also practising therapists.

Annual General Meeting and TBA

Save the date of Friday January 22, 2021 for the Society’s Annual General Meeting and a yet undetermined interesting and enticing event! We anticipate that the January annual general meeting will most likely be held online via the Zoom platform at 7:00 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to account for the activities of the Calgary Jung Society Board of Directors over the past year and to invite our members to become part of this group of volunteers. Positions on the Board are open every year. The AGM is typically about a half hour in length. Stay tuned!

A Send-off

That’s it for now. We hope that you will be able to join us for these events and for the spring line-up in 2021 that includes lectures and workshops with John Hoedl, Jane Smith-Eviemark, and Susan Tiberghien! Mae Stolte will offer a follow up to Core Concepts 1 with Core Concepts 2 in March and although we had an interrupted dream seminar this past spring, we hope to resume meetings in May. Of course, we are always thinking of pop-up events! Thank you for your attention, your patience, and your enthusiasm in keeping alive and vibrant our Society mission and vision, which is to educate a community of people who have an interest in Jungian thought and its current application to spiritual life (soul), life in general, and to community. 

Indeed, let us continue to be a caring community as we explore deep concepts of soul with like-minded individuals, in a safe and trusting environment. 

Blessings on the journey. 

Monique

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