Chancellor’s Comments

As I travel internationally throughout the country, meeting and speaking with alumni, students, affiliated institutions, as well as many who know little about the promise of Depth Psychology, I see ever more vividly the “Call for Soul.”  Folks in the academy as well as corporate life hunger for another way of seeing—another way of perceiving the world and their place in it. In our tradition, following the archetypal work of James Hillman, we see soul as “a perspective rather than a substance, a view point towards things. [It is] reflective; it mediates events and makes differences.”  

Each of us came to Pacifica because of our desire to make a difference—to have impact on our personal life and in the world. We gather as a tribe, learning from one another, listening deeply, and knowing that the way we see opens the way for the “new.”  Our gift of bringing the eyes of the blood soul, the intelligence of the deep psyche, burns brightly in each of us, and lives at the heart of the Pacifica mission. This is our advocacy.

With a planet in peril, a political system in paralysis, and institutions that are codified with archaic ways of “doing business,” we are called to action. It is our calling to perceive things differently—to “see” with imagination, and act with conviction.

The Office of the Chancellor was established by Pacifica’s Board of Trustees to support and promote an answer to what is being asked of us now—an impactful advocacy on behalf of a calling…an archetypal activism. Here are some of the ways we are furthering that end:

Wherever I go, I am taken by the many acts of kindness people offer to one another. While at a recent conference in New Orleans, I witnessed a waitress reaching out—taking time away from her tables—to support a young man who was obviously feeling quite down. “Oh my,” she offered, putting her hand on his shoulder, “some days are harder than others. But, I know you’re doing the best you can right now, and that’s what matters. Your spirit runs deep, and you’re going to be just fine.”  Acts of compassion like this take place again and again. It’s the care of the soul manifesting itself thousands of times over without sensationalism or the need for public recognition.

I also hear painful tales of concern. A single mom at an Alumni event in San Diego said, “The economy is bad. I’m really worried about my kids. What will they do?”  In the Midwest, an old-timer working at the train station said, “The temperature just seems to keep rising.  It’s been over a hundred for weeks now. When will this drought end, or will it?” He wondered, “Is this the beginning of the end?”

Young people, with new degrees in hand, but no job in sight; well-trained middle-aged folks, who are unemployed, or under-employed; those who have been successful in achieving material wealth, but talk of something missing in their lives and their fear of the future…these stories are all too familiar to us now.  

Today more than ever, what lives here at Pacifica—through her faculty, staff, alums and students—makes a difference. Bringing forward a psyche-centered way of seeing, and acting on behalf of what we hold dear truly fulfills our fate of tending soul in and of the world.  

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