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Table of Contents
Issue 6, Fall 2014
The Mythology of Animals
By Joseph P. Muszynski
The Coming Storm: Prophetic Dreams and the Climate Crisis
By Paco Mitchell
God as Intimate Soul
By Paul DeBlassie III
Artemis without Arrows: Aggression Lost and Found
By Betsy Hall
American Cerberus: Meditations on Pit Bulls and the Underworld
By Elizabeth Zinda
Comic Series “Dreams in World Religion”
By Jeremy Taylor, pp. 9, 13, 33, 50
Advertisers and Sponsors Issue 6 (please take a moment to see what our supporters have to offer!)
On the cover
oil on canvas,
102 x 122 cm by Peter Cameron
About this issue
Depth Insights, Issue 6
Depth Insights,”ˆa Media Partner for
Depth Psychology Alliance
Paco Mitchell, with special thanks to Jesse Howard Lash Masterson and Linda Ravenswood
Editorial Selection Committee
Jesse Lash Masterson
Layout and Design
Stephanie Kunzler with Bonnie Bright
Depth Insights is a semi-annual publication. Copyright 2014 by Depth Insights, Depth Psychology Alliance
Online version of Depth Insights scholarly e-zine produced by SpeedyBlogSetup.com and located at www.depthinsights.com/Depth-Insights-scholarly-ezine
Note: Opinions expressed by the authors contained in this issue do not necessarily reflect those of Depth Insights or its editors, publisher, or representative. Copyright of content remains with the authors & artists. Copyright of the eZine & design belongs to Depth Insights™. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher.
Depth psychology is often foremost associated with the study of the unconscious. Henri Ellenberger, in his seminal work, The Discovery of the Unconscious (1970) suggested it might “furnish a key to the exploration of the unconscious mind, and through this, a renewed knowledge of the conscious mind, with a wider application to the understanding of literature, art, religion and culture” (p. 490). How one goes about studying something that is unconscious is always a challenge, of course, and, I find, frequently a joke among friends or family who know depth psychology is my passion but don’t quite grasp what it’s “good for.”
In this issue of Depth Insights, we are graced with an array of topics that each reveal not only portals for accessing the unconscious (the study of myth, contemplation of Jung’s symbolic writings, Jung’s classic Word Association Test, prophetic dreams, and trauma among them) but also engage with a number of themes which call for the use of a depth psychological lens to amplify them (climate change, divinity, exile, violence, and innocence, among them).
Jung was deeply desirous of making depth psychology an aggregate, a culmination even, of many of the sciences of the time. “Psyche is the mother of all our attempts to understand Nature,” Jung wrote (in Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology, Sonu Shamdasani, p. 99). Not to be discounted, however, was Jung’s ultimate willingness to ultimately forego positivism in lieu of opening to that which is unknown and inexplicable. More than anything, for Jung perhaps, was whether “the sciences themselves ultimately rested on psychology” rather than the other way around (Shamdasani, p. 99).
Depth psychology may be viewed as an umbrella that houses many practices and fields of study that lead us to an ever-increasing understanding of ourselves, the world around us, and our relationship to the infinite. In this way, it becomes a vessel in which the study of mythology; symbolism; nature and ecopsychology; indigenous wisdom; dreamwork; shamanism; alchemy; esoteric and divinatory practices including tarot, I-Ching, and astrology, and the exploration of archetypes; among others, all combine to provide powerful insights. Jung’s own forays into the nature of synchronicity (an acausal connecting principle) and his willingness to engage in a descent that is now profoundly documented and widely shared with the publication of The Red Book, point to how we may engage with the many ways the unconscious is reaching out to show us a path toward wholeness, not only for each of us as individuals, but for the culture, the world, and all its inhabitants.
As each passing day seems to bring more dire news of violence, disease, distress, disasters, and ecosystems in decline in a culture that by now has become, for better or worse, globalized to a degree that we are all affected by life’s difficulties in profound ways, a depth psychological lens becomes perhaps more profoundly important than ever before. African Elder, Malidoma Somé, writes
“There is no doubt that, at this time in history, Western civilization is suffering from a great sickness of the soul. The West’s progressive turning away from functioning spiritual values; its total disregard for the environment and the protection of natural resources; the violence of inner cities with their problems of poverty, drugs, and crime; spiraling unemployment and economic disarray; and growing intolerance toward people of color and the values of other cultures—all of these trends, if unchecked, will eventually bring about a terrible self-destruction. In the face of all this global chaos, the only possible hope is self-transformation. Unless we as individuals find new ways of understanding between people, ways that can touch and transform the heart and soul deeply, both indigenous cultures and those in the West will continue to fade away, dismayed that all the wonders of technology, all the many philosophical ‘isms,’ and all the planning of the global corporations will be helpless to reverse this trend” (Of Water and the Spirit, 1994, p. 1).
This issue has benefited profoundly from the efforts of Jesse Howard Lash Masterson, Linda Ravenswood, and Paco Mitchell, who, along with the authors, poets, and artists—those whose work was selected along with those we simply couldn’t fit this time around—have contributed hundreds of hours of effort to make this all happen. It has been, as always, my own reward to have worked with each of them in the process of bringing depth insights to a wide audience, not only the more than 3500 members of the online community of Depth Psychology Alliance for whom Depth Insights was created, but to a broader global community—whether those profoundly interested in depth psychology or those who are just discovering it. Please enjoy this issue!
—Bonnie Bright, Editor