Archetype in Action Organization
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Wake Up Calls!
- Created on 18 May 2015
- Last Updated on 18 May 2015
- Published on 18 May 2015
- Written by Katharine Hayhoe, Director, Climate Science Center at Texas Tech
- Hits: 411
Published on May 5, 2015
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the United States and the world. Over the coming century, it is expected to affect agriculture, energy, health, infrastructure, natural resources, national security and water availability. This assessment, which represents the most up to date and comprehensive overview of climate change impacts on the U.S., provides critical input to planning and policy at the state and national level to reduce the human influence on climate and adapt to future change.
Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D., is director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech, part of the South-Central Climate Science Center. Her research focuses on developing and applying high-resolution climate projections to evaluate the future impacts of climate change on human society and the natural environment.
Hayhoe has published more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and served as lead author on key reports for the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the National Academy of Sciences. Hayhoe is currently serving as lead author for the 2014 Third U.S. National Climate Assessment.
Hayhoe earned a bachelor’s of science in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
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- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Movies, Theatre, TV & Videos
- Created on 17 May 2015
- Last Updated on 18 May 2015
- Published on 17 May 2015
- Written by Skip Conover
- Hits: 373
“Science will take you from A to B but …
Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Seven Word Review:
“Oh Yeah! She passed! Are we ready?”
Ex Machina is an ode to the infantile fantasies of men everywhere, who are unable to imagine themselves in a mature relationship with a mature living woman. It is part of a genre, of which Fifty Shades of Grey is another example. Ever since Hugh Hefner made nude photographs respectable with Playboy, we have been cultivating the objectification of women in polite society. This is the Shadow side of men’s psyches, which imagines that it does not need to share life with a real woman.
The process has been maturing for at least seven decades, but lately it has seemed to progressively darken, with pornographic ideas and images in mainstream theatres, and the darker side of pornography condoning slave farms, where women are trained in submissiveness, and BDSM is the order of the day. Instead of teaching our young men that these Shadow contents exist but should not be manifested in the real world, because of the Puritan head-in-the-sand taboo against discussing sexuality, we have the entire Republican Party of the United States, not to mention our professional sports organizations, literally condoning rape of young women.
And we can see where all of this leads. In other cultures, where these kinds of ideas were carried far too far centuries ago, for a variety of reasons both good and bad, women are simply entirely ignored, thus halving the psychic energy of such nations to advance their interests in world commerce and interactions generally. It’s no wonder American power has surged ahead, because we have started to respect women more in the last century, but the regressive forces of the Republican Party want to bind our feet once again, to give countries that condone honor killings and the like a better chance to compete; or at least, so it seems to me.
The fantasy of America’s immature young men seems to be to earn a billion dollars by some stroke of luck and timing, hide behind NDAs, and then live a wonderful pretend life with beautiful women at their beck and call, without worrying too much about later generations, and no aging allowed.
The vacuous faces of Caleb and Nathan say it all. Neither is interested in having a mature relationship with a real woman. Both want to know whether Nathan’s experiment with Ava can be a substitute for a real woman, without any of the trials and tribulations of real life. Caleb and Nathan seem to think they can escape all of that!
Don’t get me wrong! I loved the movie! It is indeed the masterpiece that Michael Berkowitz suggests in his erudite review. I’m thrilled Hollywood is gradually turning away from bigger and bigger gasoline explosions, and toward an exploration of psychic issues, which really matter for our future.
There are some profound ideas here. Chief among them is the idea that the psyche really matters and means something. Nathan describes its importance in several different ways. He explains to Caleb why Jackson Pollock could not have produced his paintings from his left-brain, and Caleb readily agrees, as if every nerd would understand what Nathan was talking about.
I cannot explain it. For the longest time I saw small pictures of Pollock paintings, and I could not understand what people saw in them. But, when I saw a real one at the Boston Museum of Art one time, I spontaneously burst into tears. From then I know that Jackson Pollock’s psyche communicated directly with my psyche, though I was 10 years old when he died. Mr. Pollock said to me, “That’s what I’m talkin’ about,” and my psyche responded, “I understand completely!”
Later, Nathan describes the black and white woman, who lived in the black and white room. She knew everything about color, but she had never actually experienced it. This is where deciding everything based on rationality falls short. Only the experiential side of life can provide meaning, and you can’t have that without giving the feminine principle its full due.
To understand the significance of the ending of Ex Machina, you need to give credit to this quote from Dr. Carl G. Jung:
“… What most people overlook or seem unable to understand is the fact that I regard the psyche as real.”
¶751, Answer to Job, C.G. Jung
Writer and Director Alex Garland has given us the opportunity to experience this for ourselves. He has pointed to the future and one of the most important next frontiers of human research and endeavor. What is the psyche? What does that little brain mean?
If you doubt me, go see the movie to the end, then stand back and observe your own psyche as it extrapolates out the possibilities opened up by the ending. Once you experience that, you will believe in the psyche, and who knows, you may even get interested in exploring that unexplored universe.
The end is the beginning!
"The World hangs on a thin thread, and that is the psyche of man. Nowadays we are not threatened by elementary catastrophes. There is no such thing as an H-bomb. That is all man's doing. We are the great danger. Psyche is the great danger. What if something goes wrong with the Psyche?
"And so it is demonstrated to us in our days, what the power of the psyche is of man. How important it is to know something about it. But we know NoThing about it.”
Dr. Carl G. Jung, “Face to Face with Carl Jung”
Skip Conover is an international businessman, author and artist. He is a Founder of the Archetype in Action™ Organization. You can follow him and his work on Twitter using @skip_conover or on Pinterest. Skip's latest book is Political Psychology: New Ideas for Activists. He is also the author of Tsunami of Blood.
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Movies, Theatre, TV & Videos
- Created on 16 May 2015
- Last Updated on 16 May 2015
- Published on 16 May 2015
- Written by Michael Berkowitz
- Hits: 575
Caleb is a lucky guy. As the movie Ex Machina begins, he's just won the contest conducted by his employer Bluebook, the world's largest search engine. The prize is for Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) to spend a week at the super secretive mountain retreat of his company's brilliant, prickly CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac), testing Nathan's Artificial Intelligence creation Ava (Alicia Vikander).
Nathan's retreat is a stark modernist palace cum fortress in a remote natural paradise. Since the helicopter is forbidden to land anywhere near Villa Nathan, Caleb is dropped near a stream which he must follow to reach the CEO's stunning outpost. Director Alex Garland's camera cross cuts throughout the film from house to lush surrounding scenery, not so much for relief as for juxtaposition.
The job at hand for Caleb is not so lush -- outside of Nathan's drunken binges. Nathan's charge to Caleb is to test his creation to determine whether her intelligence is actual or simulated... the Turing Test. Can Caleb judge whether Ava's responses are those of a database-bound artificial intelligence or humanoid? Or is Caleb himself an other-than-human creation? But then the question is not only who acts in what fashion, but what does it ultimately mean to act human and where does it lead?
Meanwhile, our own intelligence is tested, as well. The clever score, the spare modernist sets of Nathan's house, the freighted dialogue between the three principals, all signal conflict and danger. But who will carry the threat of dramatic tension -- Nathan the genius, cynical, ego-maniacal creator; Ava the seductive Artificial Intelligence longing to be free; or even Caleb himself, sown with self-doubt and all too human longings. Is it trust or lust that is misplaced. Who to believe and who to betray?
Writing Director Garland unfolds the plot steadily but economically. He gives the principals a strong framework to explore questions of intelligence, creation, freedom, progress and relationship. Caleb and Ava are brought along slowly in the shadow of Oscar Isaac's Nathan. Under-appreciated for his understated performance in A Most Violent Year, Isaac is the fully realized embodiment of the high IQ, flawed street wise savant. Garland's writing, while not equisite, is clear and bold, an advance over his good work in 28 Days.
It should be noted that his grandfather Sir Peter Brian Medawar, 1960 Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine is the acknowledged "Father of Transplantation." Not only do the themes of transplantation echo through the family, but Medawar was characterized by Richard Dawkins as "the wittiest of all scientific writers" and by Stephen Jay Gould as "the cleverest man I have ever known."
But more than his debt to science, Garland clearly owes the Greeks! Aeschylus developed Deus ex Machina, the sometimes improbable intervention of the gods, to resolve dramatic conflict, particularly those lost causes which needed rescue. Euripides used it to a fault. Director Garland uses it to reflect on his all too human creatures, both man and machine, asking us what is intelligence and what is artificial.
Who gets to play god? Will our human qualities, Nathan's self destructive brilliance or Caleb's blinding emotional need, save us or doom us? When god itself is a human construct, we must ask ourselves who then will rescue us?
Previously published at The Huffington Post on May 7, 2015.
Michael Berkowitz has worked on various political and social movements beginning with Civil Rights Movement in the South during the 1960s. He was a senior manager in San Francisco's Planning Department for many years and later worked as an urban planning consultant for eighteen years in China (PRC). A former planning commissioner for the City of Berkeley, he also served as a business agent and organizer for the Service Employees International Union. Berkowitz holds master's degrees in history from Stanford and Yale. He has appeared in four movies . . .though none in a starring role and served as a supernumerary with the San Francisco Opera for 17 years without getting to sing a single note!
- Parent Category: Jungian Topics
- Category: Feminine & Masculine
- Created on 08 May 2015
- Last Updated on 08 May 2015
- Published on 08 May 2015
- Written by Laura Smith
- Hits: 402
People often ask me, “Who is Puella? Or, “What does Puella mean?” I have come to realize that for me there is something so personal about her and also that this topic can offer a larger meaning in our world today.
As an Archetypal Dreamwork Practitioner, I practice a deep presence in working with my own dreams as well as standing with others as we explore their dreams. It is meaningful work, a path for those who seek healing and wholeness. It is heart work.
Puella is the Latin word for “girl”. In Jungian purview she is often viewed as the girl who never grows up, as having a child-like demeanor, and as the feminine component within the male psyche which Carl Jung referred to in his public, professional life as "puella anima". In Archetypal Dreamwork, the girl in a dream is not an archetype per se, because she typically represents the manifestation of the dreamer's soul. I think of her as Puella Aeterna, the Eternal Girl, not in a Jungian sense but as the eternal innocence of the feminine. She is present in both men and women as the essence of vulnerability and innocence in relationship to the Divine. And she is seeking to come into relationship with us. I believe that our very existence hinges on our desire and willingness to accept her, to accept our own divinity as the vulnerable innocent one in relationship to the Divine. Even Dr. Jung acknowledged her powerful presence within his dreams in his personal writing contained within the posthumously published The Red Book (2009).
Sometimes she will bubble up in our life with a burst carefree love and innocence that leaves us filled with desire to know her more. She holds the place of the innocence and creativity, the vulnerable aspect of the soul self in connection with the Divine which always seeks dominion in us. But we do not know this, or we are terrified, or we buy the lie that the feminine represents original sin rather than divine innocence.
The world-side has been violent toward the feminine. Some speak of how we need to return the earth to the feminine, that the masculine energies are destroying the earth. But the feminine always needs the balance of the masculine, just as the masculine needs the balance of the feminine. And it is true that we are out of balance. The world fears the feminine. She is the creator and the destroyer. We have repressed her, stoned her, bound her feet, cut off her hands. We have burned her at the stake. We have defined her as the seductress, the temptress, and we have held her responsible for the moral failings of men. And, when she has spoken, we have often not believed her.
Whenever the girl rises, she is attacked. When Pakistani human rights advocate Malala Yusufzai won the Nobel Prize for her work promoting education for girls under Taliban rule, there was rejoicing by many. There was also an element which sought to suppress her. It is a very big deal when the girl stands up and fights. She is going against many lifetimes of terror and aggression.
There are several myths that speak to the betrayal of the girl. In one, generally referred to as the armless or handless maiden, the girl's father makes a deal with the Devil. He will be made rich for only the price of that which stand behind his mill. The father thinks, what can that be but the apple tree, and agrees. He does not know that his daughter at that moment is there behind the mill. When the Devil comes, he cannot get to the girl because she has the power of essence, which is represented in the story by water. She washes herself and draws a circle around herself and the Devil can't get to her, so he instructs the father to keep the water away. But the Devil is thwarted again when she cries into her hands and they are washed clean. The Devil then instructs the father to cut off her hands. But her tears flow into the wounds and the Devil continues to be thwarted.
Ultimately the girl leaves her home and her father. This story holds true with men, for whom any whiff of femininity is often chopped off at an early age. We experience the betrayal and the trauma and the girl in us goes underground. The Devil does not feel and does not want us to feel either. As long as the girl remains underground, we cannot feel the true pain of what we have lost or how we are betraying each other and our planet.
My partner once had a dream in which there was a young girl, perhaps 3-4 years old, who was coming and she had a message for all the world to hear. She was wise beyond her years. It was strange to many that she was so young. In the dream, many were celebrating her coming and yet there was grave danger to this girl because many were afraid of her. She was scheduled to appear in the west and there was a mass pilgrimage to see her. A great following occurred, but there was also violence and people who used the chaos of her coming to take advantage of others. And there were those who plotted to kill her. But she would not be thwarted. She traveled through the sea and was of the water and carried her message to all parts of the globe.
For my partner, this dream was a moment to feel into her own inner girl. This incredibly wise, shinning girl who has a message for all the world to hear. I loved that she shared this dream with me, as I had accompanied her on the arduous pilgrimage in the dream. And it was true for me, I was on this journey and I wanted to know this girl. We both could feel our desire to find this girl.
She abides and she persists. If we are open, she will come to us and our work is to heed her call and allow her to be born in us. A journey through the dreams will yield encounters with the girl. In my own work, she has often comes as an enigma, a mysterious entity doing unfathomable things that I have been at a loss to understand. I was much more familiar with the boy (a subject for another post!), whose forthright needs and desires and his quick forward moving energy, were much easier for me to understand even though he held the wound of my girl. I could relate to him, his pain and his passion, more easily.
When I first found my girl in the dreams, I found an infant on the ground. She had a gunshot wound to the head and one to the heart. I took her to what I could only describe as God, or a Divine being who laid his hand on her head and she was healed. I encountered her again as a 5-6 year old girl in a basement, shell-shocked, a skittering creature who I felt compassion for but did not know how to love. I brought her up out of the basement and she immediately began to change. She was wild, fierce and challenging. She knew her own sexuality in its innocence and was wise beyond her years. In my dream, she went around the house taking things and putting them in her riotous gypsy clothing. I reprimanded her for stealing, I tried to correct her. My fear and ignorance of her would have me put her back in that basement. So much easier not having to deal with whatever it was that she represented!
She has come as the whale rider figure, a girl of the sea, so primal and yet so innocent. In the dream, she is on a raft in an azure sea. I am floating in the sea and swim over to her. She is bare-chested and has on a loin cloth. She is eating the flesh offerings of a huge sea creature off the tip of her knife. I am in awe of this girl. I am in awe to know that she is me.
She represents everything we seek to repress. She once came to me in a dream with an eye where her mouth should be. Her messages are deeply profound. She could not be more fascinating, terrifying and unpredictable.
We must learn again her language, so that we too can be like Hushpuppy, from the pop culture film Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), and face down the aurochs which haunt us, those demons of the past born of trauma, which have us living in subjugation, fear, betrayal, and violence.
Carl Jung, in The Red Book which discusses his own journey though the dreams, encountered the girl who he came to understand was his soul and he queried , “Who are you, child? My dreams have represented you as a child and as a maiden. I am ignorant of your mysteries. Forgive me if I speak as in a dream, like a drunkard - are you God? Is god a child, a maiden? (p 131).
And says of her, “You took away where I thought to take hold, and you gave me where I did not expect anything and time and again you brought about fate from new and unexpected quarters. Where I sowed, you robbed me of the harvest, and where I did not sow, you give me fruit a hundredfold. And time and again I lost the path and found it again where I would never have foreseen it. You upheld my belief, when I was alone and near despair. At every decisive moment you let me believe in myself. “ (p 132)
And then, “Like a tired wanderer who had sought nothing in the world apart from her, shall I come closer to my soul.” (p 132)
My initial reaction to my own girl is akin to the world's reaction to the girl. She must be put in her place. The girl has largely been lost to both men and women. We are all guilty, both men and women, of locking the girl in the basement. We have to face into how we have done this. We have to stop projecting our fear of the girl out into the world and go inward to exorcise all of the ways in which we have oppressed the girl. We have to feel the pain of the violence that has been done this girl. We have to change the stories, the mythologies that support the oppression of the girl.
In Judeao-Christian mythology, the story opens with the oppression of the feminine through the story of Adam and Eve and the original sin, the fall of man. We took our intuition, our Gnosis and our sensuality, and demonized it. We need to change this story.
In fact, there are many stories we must change about the feminine. Terri Windling, Editor of The Armless Maiden and Other Tales for Childhood's Survivors, offers insight with this poem, reprinted here with her permission:
Brother and Sister
Do you remember, brother
Those days in the wood
When you ran with the deer
Falling bloody on my doorstep at dusk
Stepping from the skin
Grateful to be a man
And do you know, brother
Just how I longed
To wrap myself in the golden hide
Smelling of musk
Blackberries and rain
Tell me that tale
Give me that choice
All you cruel, clever fairies
And I'll choose the wood
Not the prince
Ms. Windling speaks to the call of the wild in each of us and how we long to return to our soul skin.
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, in her seminal work Women Who Run With Wolves, Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, begins that incredible exploration of the feminine with the words, “Wildlife and Wild Women are both endangered species."
The feminine is closely connected to nature and the natural world. Eco-psychology suggests that there is a deep connection between the state of the environment and the psychological well being of the inhabitants of that environment. Nature is chaotic and unpredictable. Nature can appear cruel. Death and destruction are inherent in the cycle of life that manifests in nature, just as birth and life are. We have an aversion to chaos and unpredictability. We have sought to overpower nature, tame her...put her in her place. She has been oppressed, raped, denied her sentient aspects.
The dreams will initiate the descent work. This work is necessary in finding our way back to wholeness, back to our soul. It is not a journey for the faint of heart. Dr. Estés writes “...the maiden represents the heartfelt and formerly sleepy psyche. But a warrior-heroine lies beneath her soft exterior. She has the endurance of the lone wolf. She is able to bear the dirt, grime, betrayal, hurt, loneliness, and exile of the initiate. She is able to wander the underworld and return, enriched, to the topside world.”
The girl is about receptivity. To be receptive means to be open. We must learn to be open to the chaos, open to the unpredictability, open to the possibility of the Gnosis of the girl, who represents the entire range of the felt experience. If we refuse pain, we refuse joy...we cut off the hands. When we put the pain in the basement, we need to understand that we put our joy there too.
To become the girl, we must become open to the full range and richness of our felt experience as humans living on this planet. We must know our connection to our own soul and the soul of the world. When we do, we will no longer be able to continue the violence against our self and we will become willing to make the necessary sacrifices to save girl and perhaps save our planet.
Jung, C. G. (2009). The Red Book Liber Novus, A Reader's Edition. Translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani. New York, London: W.W. Norton Company.
Estés, Clarissa Pinkola (1992). Women Who Run With the Wolves, Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. New York: Ballantine Books, a division of Random House Publishing, Inc.
Windling, Terri (1995) The Armless Maiden and Other Tales for Childhood's Survivors. New York: A Tor Book, Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.
Laura Smith is an Archetypal Dreamwork Practitioner, working with clients nationally and internationally. She lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont with her partner of 18 years raising heritage breed livestock on their 78 acre farm. When she's not wrangling sheep, you can find her painting or writing in her studio, connecting to the healing energy of the earth, or engaged in laughter and general mayhem with her friends and family on various parts of the globe. She regularly blogs about her journey through dreams on the dream blog In Search of Puella and her art work has been has been published in deLuge (2011, 2012), in Collective Magazine (2014), in Still Point Arts Quarterly (2014), in ARAS, The Poetry Portal (2014), and on The Global Question (2015). Find out more about Archetypal Dreamwork with Laura Smith on her website, Archetypal Dreamwork with Laura Smith. .