Friday, 16 March 2018
7.00pm-7.45pm Discussion Group
8.00pm Guest Speaker
Archetypes of Nature
People across all cultures and times have engaged in relationship with their natural environment. In many traditional societies, people who live in close contact with the natural world identify with elements of nature using totems to delineate their association with animals, plants and even aspects of the landscape. In this way, they both absorb & express the qualities felt to be inherent in those creatures and places, thereby helping to create and maintain a cultural conversation that includes the natural environment in intimate and meaningful ways.
Conversely, in today’s modern, urban societies, a different relationship to nature is assumed, which expresses the logic upon which the ‘global village' has been built. This is a binary code wherein humans enjoy dominance over nature - rather than in engaging in caring relations with it. Regrettably, the structure of this kind of relationship disengages us from conversation with the elements of nature. In turn, this separation mitigates against the opportunity for us to heal the dire rift that as arisen between the human psyche and the natural world. The mounting ecological crisis is the result.
Dr Geoffrey Berry’s presentation will reflect upon Jung's fascination with the potential for humankind to engage with more-than-human consciousness—a belief that became especially strong following Jung's visit to Taos, New Mexico in January 1925. The import of this encounter upon Jung's ideas will be considered with reference to the work of Native American scholar Vine Deloria Jr, along with Geoff’s own synchronistic encounter some years ago with a Hopi spiritual leader in Second Mesa, Arizona. Added to this rich mix will be insights Geoff has gleaned from long conversations with Australian Aboriginal elders who hold the traditional knowledge of this land. Tonight’s presentation will reveal exciting new possibilities for us modern individuals to engage in a dialogue with nature at an archetypal level.
Sunday, 18 March 2018
Archetypes of Nature Workshop
10.00am - 4.00pm
The Michael Centre 37A Wellington Park Dr WARRANWOOD 3134
When members of traditional societies identify with nature, they relate to specific elements of the ecosystem as their totems.
There are often many levels of this, as individuals relate through their personal set of connections to their position in the clan, their connection to spirit and any number of other arrangements by which a person can know themselves and their ‘place’. Seeing as this is almost a universal phenomenon outside of technologically advanced modern civilization, we can be fairly sure our own forebears, whether they are from Olde Europe or traditional Asia or any other culture, enjoyed some similar set of ideas and practices. Thus, it seems only fair that modern individuals should find their own ways to create such relationships, according to a similar logic and with similar aims in mind: to feel more at home in our minds and bodies and in our hearts and souls. But most importantly, in this era of climate crisis and the devastation of the natural world, we need to know ourselves as part of a specific place.
While modern individuals may live relatively mobile lives, we still need to know that part of our Self is rooted in one place, so that we can practice loyalty to the earth and knowledge of the intimate and subtle ways a place works on our psyche.
In this workshop we will explore totemic connections using a journeying experience that is rooted in connection to specific times and places, specific animals and plants, elements of the earth and the cosmos. Dr Geoff Berry will offer a range of methods for exploring both personal and collective archetypal symbols found in nature, including active imagination, engaging with images that appear in dreams, and an exploration of totemic symbols. Dr Berry will draw on his decades of research, writing and practice of relating to more-than-human nature to show how such deep connections work. We will undertake our own journeys, share our work, and align our everyday self with the voices and spirits that modern urban socialisation has set us apart from.
Dr GEOFFREY BERRY’s PhD explored the way the symbol of light relates to more-than-human qualities such as the timeless and immortal - at the cost of loyalty to embodied life on earth. His MA had explored dreams as personal and mythic underworld journeys. Geoff has been a speaker to the International Assn for Jungian Studies in Arizona and a researcher in the Joseph Campbell archives at the Pacifica Graduate Libraries in Santa Barbara. He now offers ecotherapy consultations and has released the first episode of the ‘ecomythic’ documentary series, City Living, Nature Calling. Geoffrey is the author academic articles on mythology, ecology, symbolism and the human relationship to nature.
See also: http://www.naturecalling.org/about/
or Geoff’s academic site at https://independent.academia.edu/GeoffBerry/CurriculumVitae