Faculty Voices

The Office of the Chancellor recently asked members of the Pacifica Faculty to share their thoughts regarding “Pacifica in the World.”

From Robert Romanyshyn


Robert Romanyshyn

In his essay, "On the Nature of the Psyche," Jung said the discovery of the unconscious was so revolutionary that its recognition would "radically alter our view of the world." Years later James Hillman wrote that we have had a hundred years of psychotherapy and the world is getting worse. What has happened to the promise of depth psychology?

This past winter I taught a course that reframed that question. Contrasting the world of the late 19th century where depth psychology began with the world of today, we asked if depth psychology was still relevant in a wired world? Not a single student replied in the negative.

Pacifica has been a noble experiment in keeping a place open for the unconscious. But much has changed in the gap between the origins of depth psychology and today. We know now, for example, that at the psychoid level of the unconscious what has been called the unconscious is the consciousness of nature in us. We know now that the therapy room is the fragile web of life that interconnects all of us. In this context we now realize that the most significant consequence of depth psychology is, as Eric Neumann said, an ethical one, "The old ethic is a partial ethic that fails to take into account the tendencies and effects of the unconscious."

For Pacifica to continue its experiment requires a vigilant commitment to its mission to be in service to the soul of the world. In that it offers a new and radical foundation for an ethical and responsible life, depth psychology is not only still relevant, it is also more necessary than ever before.

From Mary Watkins

Pacifica alumni return to campus to train to become facilitators for Alternatives to Violence Workshops in prisons and community centers.
I recently launched an initiative with Pacifica alumni, inviting them to become trained as facilitators for the Alternatives to Violence Project (see http://www.avpcalifornia.org) in order to offer this work in prison and community groups. I would like to encourage you to join us, so that our training groups can bring together members from all the sectors of the Pacifica family.

Last summer I was driving back home from an Alternatives to Violence Training (AVP) for Facilitators at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe, California with Pat Hardy, the coordinator for AVP in California. We were both moved by the men we had met: their stories of their childhoods, their recounting of the events that ended up in their incarceration, their struggle to educate themselves in prison, the racism and violence they were encountering, and their work on their emotional and spiritual development. During our long drive home, Pat shared with me her vision. She quit her job for it and is now actualizing it. She wants to see AVP in every prison in California. She is halfway there. I asked her what she needed to realize her vision fully. She answered: “More facilitators.” AVP exists in many states, and they all have a need for more facilitators. Pacifica Alumni immediately sprung into my mind. I said to her, “Pacifica has several thousand alumni who are psychologically astute and depth oriented. They would be wonderful facilitators for AVP. Perhaps I could help gather together those who are called to be of service to people in prison.”

Whenever alumni come together with faculty, staff, students, and administrators, there is a special magic that happens. Lupe Zuniga and I experienced this in the early days of Pacifica’s Diversity Committee. The sensibilities and values that have brought us together to this place called “Pacifica” are in the air and a feeling of reunion occurs. If we add to this special mix, members of the larger community and places where we can convene to share the bounty of our education and who we have become, I believe an amazing and effective synergy could occur.

To become a facilitator, an individual needs to participate in three 2-3 day (18 hour) trainings and then apprentice in three more. I am proposing that these trainings take place once a quarter at Pacifica, bringing alumni home to Pacifica, and facilitating their engagement with current students, faculty, administrators, and staff, while making creative use of their depth psychological acumen in a common project. Once trained “outside” community facilitators partner with “inside” (inmate) prison facilitators to make these trainings available to inmates. Creating a space to learn how to resolve conflict nonviolently is essential for creating cultures of peace, as well as improving inmates’ own time in prison, to help them gain their release, and to help them to successfully rejoin their families and communities. AVP is in many prisons throughout the United States, but could be enjoyed in many more if there were more facilitators. It is also used in many community and school settings.

If you would like to join with us to support and develop this project, please email me at mwatkins@pacifica.edu to alert me to your interest. Our society needs to increase our understanding of violence and its root causes, and to facilitate the learning of skills that contribute to nonviolence. YOU— Pacifica’s depth psychologists, mythologists, and counselors— can play an important role in addressing these needs. AND we can deeply enjoy each other in the process! As soon as I have an initial list of 25 people who would like to begin, I can schedule the first workshop. Explore the links, and if this is work that calls to you, please email me. (See http://www.avpcalifornia.org)

The sensibilities and values that have brought us together to this place called “Pacifica” are in the air and a feeling of reunion occurs. If we add to this special mix, members of the larger community and places where we can convene to share the bounty of our education and who we have become, I believe an amazing and effective synergy could occur.

Faculty Publications

Here are Recent Books and Writing by Pacifica Faculty

Archetype and Character: Power, Eros, Spirit and Matter Personality Types
by V. Walter Odajnyk
Introducing a new typology based on Power, Eros, Matter and Spirit as the motivations that define human attitudes and behavior, the book outlines eight personality types based on the extraverted and introverted deployment of the four drives and applies these typological categories to Freud, Adler and Jung.

Songlines of the Soul: Pathways to a New Vision for a New Century
by Veronica Goodchild
The title for this book comes from the ancient Aboriginal concept of "song lines"—pathways to another world reached through dreamtime and visionary insight, and encounters with the unknown realm of experience. Veronica Goodchild addresses how dreams, synchronicities, UFO/ET encounters, Crop Circle mysteries, and NDEs all point to the new unfolding vision of reality. She draws on ancient mystery traditions to explore how this metamorphosis is already reflected cross-culturally in Hopi, Aztec, Mayan, Hindu, Tibetan, Maori, Zulu, Dogon, and Egyptian cultures.

“Female Genital Power in Ritual and Politics: Violation and Deployment in Southern Côte d’Ivoire”
By Laura Grillo
This work has been published in the online edition of Current Anthropology. It is a brief sketch of a chapter in the book that Laura will work on at Harvard Divinity School during her post-doctoral fellowship there next year.

"The Goddess and Marija Gimbutas"
by Maureen Murdock
will be published in the Second Edition of the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. The article is based on her research in the Opus Archives.
On June 22, Maureen presented the keynote address at the International Women's Writing Guild Summer Conference at Yale University. It was titled "From Sappho to the Hunger Games: Celebrating Woman's Voice"

Nobody’s Boy: An Old Doctor and a New Science
by Mike Denney
This book tells the story of Mike's lifelong quest—including his transformative studies at Pacifica—to unite spirituality with science in the healing arts.

Cognition: Theory and Practice
by Russell Revlin, Pacifica Board of Trustees
This book provides the link between theory, experimental findings, and ordinary human activity, showing students how the field of cognitive psychology relates to their everyday lives. Engagingly written, it explains why answering a cell phone while driving is as dangerous as closing your eyes for a half-second, while talking with your passenger for a minute can be perfectly safe. It draws heavily on the rapidly accumulating discoveries of human neuroscience and brain imaging.

For more information, please contact the Pacifica Book Store at bookstore@pacifica.edu

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