Gertrude Stein’s famously oblique statement referring to the absence of place, goal or however one might interpret “there there” is generally regarded as an expression of an early modernist attitude. This sense of abstraction and its emptiness parallels most experimental art of the late 19th early 20th century. This emptiness typified the growing secularization and abstractness of modernity. Stein’s statement portrayed not only her own period, but was prescient in describing ours. We live now in a period of technological abstraction never before equaled.
Are we lost? C.G. Jung’s goal, in an entirely different field around the same time as Gertrude Stein, was to restore “meaning for modern man.” James Hillman’s Archetypal Psychology built upon and differentiated itself from Jung’s. In Re-Visioning Psychology, Hillman proposed perspectives of caring for the psyche. He called this process and its goal soul-making and claimed it rested upon not concepts or scientific methods but a “poetic basis of mind.”
This talk will address soul-making and its implications for us now in what Dr. Berry notes as the post post-modern period. How did we get to this place? What kinds of insights and methods might this period enable for our thinking and actions? How might we address our sense of meaninglessness, flatness, emptiness, depression, anxiety? How might we get beneath popular culture and its superficialities? How can we tap into more creative levels while participating in life as it currently is?
Describe how Archetypal Psychology’s “soul-making” differs from the usual thinking of conventional psychology.
Explain a way in which Archetypal Psychology’s “soul-making” differs from Jung’s psychological method.
Differentiate a post post-modern attitude from a post-modern one.
Patricia Berry, Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst trained in Zurich, Switzerland. She is the author of Echo’s Subtle Body: A Contribution to Archetypal Psychology and editor of Fathers and Mothers. Recent publications include “Image in Motion,” “Psychopoetics and Jung,” “A Little Light” and “Rules of Thumb.” She lectures internationally and has served as president of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and of the New England Society of Jungian Analysts. She was James Hillman’s companion and wife for 21 years (1968–1991).