Posts in self help
Book Review of Jung and Sex by Ginette Paris, Ph.D.
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Book Review of Jung and Sex by Ginette Paris, Ph.D.

“Edward Santana, in his brave book Jung and Sex, (Routledge 2017), does something that is long overdue: a critical review of the moralism that has affected the Jungian community. He attacks the bigotry of the psychological establishment when dealing with sexuality, homosexuality, and sexual infidelity.

"This moralism is not so much a problem that comes from Jung’s writing, but rather a cultural trend in psychotherapy. Too many devout Jungians prefer to forget that Jung slept with former patients, had a long-time mistress, and did not believe in the absolute sanctity of sexual fidelity.

"In his own way Santana champions the Jungian perspective, but in a refreshing and more contemporary way. He writes: ‘Neuroses are more commonly experienced today as anxiety or depression, and if we follow Jung’s interpretations, they are also forms of sexual dysfunction and addiction.’

"The analyst’s task is to provide the link to the unconscious aspect of the sexual problem, which is at the same time a cultural problem. Both the person and the culture need therapy. That is the task that Santana gave himself, in a magnificent effort to renew our thinking about the spiritual dimensions of sexuality. The style is jargon-free, pleasant and sharp!”

~ Ginette Paris, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, author of Wisdom of the Psyche: Beyond Neuroscience, Heartbreak: New Approaches to Healing, Pagan Grace, and Pagan Meditations.

Available on Amazon: https://amzn.com/1138919152

Missing Dimension (Late 2018)

As the financial crash of 2008 swept the globe and businesses shrank overnight, I decided to put aside a nearly completed manuscript I had been working on for more than a year. I placed it in a marked box and tossed it into storage where it remained for the next ten years. By complete surprise, late last year I awoke from a mysterious dream that sought to bring this book back to life. I reluctantly dug out the long-forgotten work, dusted off the old pages and found the research I had collected. As I began reviewing it again, I came to realize that I had quite unconsciously laid out on its pages a rough blueprint for my life, much of which had transpired over the unfolding decade. The numinous dream had purposely brought me back to the original spark of this important personal work. 

The Missing Dimension is an examination of the nature of individuation, spirituality, and the dynamics of consciousness in a search for meaning—mostly emerging from a winding personal journey through various clinical treatment settings, the halls of Congress, corporate boardrooms, and from visits to spiritual outposts such as the temple of the Dalai Lama.

Through collected stories and research, this book provides just one spectrum of possibility in our world—through an exploration of how we approach relationships, business, politics, psychology, and spirituality.

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An excerpt from Chapter 2: 

“Ascending to Dharamsala, I felt great relief from the fourteen-hour drive from New Delhi, which included navigating hundreds of narrow blind curves above sheer mountain inclines. I settled into a hotel in the village where, every morning, I watched day break over the glistening white snow-covered Himalayas, as the sound of the Dalai Lama leading monks in their morning chants echoed through the valley below my window. In the evening, from the same window, I watched the lights go out in his home as the sunlight faded across the Kangra Valley below. I stood in enchantment at every turn. Across India there is disease, hunger, begging, pollution, and smells so rotten they turn the stomach. Yet there is the magical chanting of monks, the smell of incense flowing from ancient temples, women in brilliantly colored silks, spices that bring the senses alive, and the unforgettable eyes of the people, large and engaging. It is as difficult as it is life giving. 

“Many mornings and afternoons, I attended the Dalai Lama’s teachings at the temple near his home. Welcoming a few hundred people into the temple square, he sat atop a beautiful platform in the lotus position for hours, his chanting interspersed with teaching and funny stories. His laughter and smile infected the crowds. He could speak for hours about a single word or phrase from ancient texts. I remember thinking, “he seems the humblest person in the world.” It is easy to admire such a simple and joyful man. His positive energy could be felt everywhere in the village. Among the monks I spoke with, I never heard a word of complaint, only gratitude and commitment to their learning. To escape Chinese oppression, many had traveled on foot long distances over the most rugged mountains in the world. Yet they viewed their experiences without personal attachment. I felt their gracious sense of altruism and compassion. 

“Some days I would set off walking out of the village and into the mountains to be alone. While hiking one morning along a deserted road, I saw a monk emerge like a vision from a high trail leading into the forest. He spoke no English and could not tell me where the trail led. But I took a chance, listening to my inner voice, and followed the trail straight up the mountain for forty minutes. After coming through thick brush, I arrived at the top of a small peak. I thought I would find a scenic vista or glacial lake. But instead, I discovered a Tibetan refugee school. Like a dream within a dream, I was suddenly surrounded by the most wonderful, loving children I had ever seen. Standing there amongst the children, I met a smiling monk who taught at the school. In an immediate act of friendship, he kindly led me around the grounds and talked to me about the school. As we walked grounds, I saw children washing their own clothes, cooking meals, and taking care of one another. I cannot explain how profoundly humbled and warmed I was by their instantaneous kindness. I could feel the powerful archetypal energy of the innocents and orphans in the pristine landscapes all around me. The place brought me to tears. It was a blessing.

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“As I walked the trail back to town alone, I felt clarity about my life coming to me. I was learning about them, but finding me. All of a sudden, I began enjoying my own company and feeling moved by the smallest sights. Filled with wonder, and sometimes with fear, I let myself be guided each day by my heart. There was something spiritual about this place, which I find hard to describe. These are compassionate people who lost their homeland. They are refugees who know great loss and suffering, but who choose to practice loving kindness everyday. Spinning prayer wheels, chanting, and meditating, they are constantly focused on being more content and peaceful. I never experienced such harmony in the presence of life’s cruel circumstances. Love and poverty coexist here in miraculous ways. The more I engaged with them, the more I came to realize how much suffering I was placing on myself. But here I found a deep sense of peace, not only from being with the Dalai Lama and the monks, but from rediscovering who I was by surrendering my attachments and listening to the powerful voices within me. 

“The calling to go immediately on this journey was not for an adventure, but rather to reconnect with the flow of life. And, this is the point. It does not matter whether we travel to India or begin a new business or create a masterpiece, the only way we are served in life is by discovering who we are and what we are here to do. Nothing else matters. My calling to go on a journey had nothing to do with the journey itself, the Dalai Lama or India, it was about listening and acting from the intelligence and wisdom within.”

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THE POWER OF THE EROTIC FOR PROFESSIONAL LIFE: TAPPING THE INTELLIGENCE AND WISDOM OF EROS, LONGING, AND DESIRE
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THE POWER OF THE EROTIC FOR PROFESSIONAL LIFE: TAPPING THE INTELLIGENCE AND WISDOM OF EROS, LONGING, AND DESIRE

Many understand the powerful pull of attraction and desire in personal domains, but what is it to live a life that taps into the same kind of passion and longing for one’s work? The Greek god, Eros, is symbolic for one of the most powerful and numinous archetypal forces we can ever experience—one which emerges in every creative act, innovation, and artistic expression known. Eros is not limited to personal domains through sex and love; Eros is much greater and includes the highest expressions of passionate pursuit, driving desire, and a soul-level longing to merge with something other. This salon will bring attention to the ubiquity of Eros and the importance of allowing those creative forces to awaken parts of oneself in professional domains. The event will also celebrate the first anniversary of Jung and Sex, an acclaimed book that reveals C.G. Jung’s spiritual and archetypal contributions to a deeper understanding of human sexuality. Free registration: Click Here to Learn More

Human Stews: Critical Intelligence for Navigating Dysfunctions, Personality Disorders, and Unconscious Conflicts in Teams and Groups
 
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Leaders and innovators must come to grips with the realities of human complexities in the workplace and forge a greater capacity to understand the light and shadow aspects of individuals and groups. Too often dysfunctions and disorders run rampantly, wreaking havoc on individuals, teams, operations, and projects. Few organizations gather the intelligence needed to run conscious high-performing environments.

Businesses and organizations are built and driven by the human psyche and emerge from human relationships, yet too little focus or effort is paid to the conscious and unconscious dynamics that underpin our actions and endeavors. These issues include individuals (and groups) that demonstrate high levels of conflict, contempt, and/or common disorders such as high narcissism, borderline behaviors, and addictions.

Many situations and conflicts that seem too relationally or psychologically complex, go unrecognized or are swept under the rug. However, these create lingering perils and missed opportunities to deepen organizational wisdom and relationships. Join this salon to examine how to explore this difficult territory, from identifying and getting honest about dysfunctions to seizing new approaches for expanding the depth of organizational life. Free registration: Click Here to Learn More

Healing Through Numinous Encounters: A Jungian Approach
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Healing Through Numinous Encounters: A Jungian Approach

C.G. Jung described synchronicity as having an incomprehensible numinous quality, such that the experience has an element of a “third” or “other” being present. For Jung, there were three key elements to these kinds of experiences: acausal connection, meaningful coincidence, and numinosity. Jungian Analyst, Lionel Corbett, explained numinous experiences as having a significant physical component as well:

“The feelings of awe, dread, and amazement that accompany a numinous experience are important not simply because they help us to identify the experience as sacred. These emotions tell us that the experience has been embodied. Emotions are felt in the body as a result of the action of the autonomic nervous system. They make the heart beat faster, make us pale, and produce muscle tension and sweating. Our hair may stand on end, and a variety of hormones may be secreted. A powerful emotional reaction provokes the response of the whole organism.”

The numinous has an incredible healing capacity too, since it has the potential to reconnect us to a greater whole. Numinous experiences, such as prophetic dreams or stunning synchronicity, are an invitation and can signal a transition or important new phase beginning to unearth itself. Within these experiences there is a union of matter and spirit, a connection between something real and something more than real. It is this alchemical marriage of two realities that want to equally create something new from the experience.

According to Jung, any work with unconscious material affects the psyche in a way that can be disorienting, such are the effect these encounters can have on one. Jung, from his own experience, learned that working with unconscious elements re-shapes our entire orientation toward the world:

“Once we give serious consideration to the hypothesis of the unconscious, it follows that our view of the world can be but a provisional one; for if we effect so radical an alteration in the subject of perception and cognition as this dual focus implies, the result must be a world view very different from any known before.” 

On a personal level, these kinds of experiences seem to bolster my regard for the unconscious and the cosmological forces at work. Embracing these encounters creates a larger reality, expands psychic space. Suddenly, “the other” wants to be known, and through its visibility to the individual or group, something of the cosmos has been touched—something of our connectedness to each other and everything else has been realized. These are the riches of a kind of double-sight, to allow us to be addressed by the incomprehensible. When one is truly open, these experiences resonate because there is already something deep within us that recognizes them, whether it be a connection that was once lost or because it offers a sense of harmony, balance, and togetherness. In these precious moments of numinous experience, one is suddenly not alone in the universe.

These raw experiences are true gifts for the psyche and hold the power to re-orient the individual. Though these moments can be quite painful or frightening or mysterious, they often hold treasures beyond our wildest imaginings.

Global News: Hate your job? 5 tips to stay happy and fulfilled at work
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Hate your job? 5 tips to stay happy and fulfilled at work

James Armstrong, Global News : Monday, April 09, 2012 3:23 PM

TORONTO – A new study by Montreal researchers has found that sticking with one job too long can lead to emotional and physical burnout, but according to one psychotherapist, if you are feeling burnt out, there are a number of things that can help. 

Ed Santana, a psychotherapist and career coach in Toronto noted that everyone experiences “malaise in our careers,” but if interpreted correctly, that malaise can be a stepping stone to greater things. 

Global News spoke with Santana about five things that people can do if they find themselves unhappy with their current career choice.

Have a driving vision

According to Santana, a large part of being happy at work is having a dream and setting goals to get yourself there. A lot of people get a job and get complacent, Santana says, and when that happens you need to re-evaluate your dream, and if you have to, change it.

Get support

If you find yourself unhappy at work, use that feeling as information that something is wrong and seek support, according to Santana. Whether it is a colleague, mentor, or a career coach, everyone needs a sounding board, Santana advises. Most importantly, he says, is to not hide or be embarrassed by your feelings. “Come out of the shadows…and realize that we all hit plateaus.”

Take Risks

Don’t stop taking risks – that is some of the advice from Santana, who says many people become complacent when reaching a certain level of success and stop taking the risks that helped bring that success. Santana describes risks as “how we push ourselves to get better.”

Refocus your job

Everyone has parts of their job that they love and others that they hate, according to Santana. When people are feeling unhappy with their current workload, it may be time to refocus what you do.Though it may seem impossible to simply drop the parts of your job that you dislike, Santana suggests that you can refocus your job and over time to make it more enjoyable. 

“The key is to get conscious about what one really feels a passion for doing, then the challenge is to constantly try to get more of the good and less of the bad. In other words, keep pushing to reshape your job to do what you are best at and what truly motivates you. Over time, you might be able to refocus your entire career or worklife,“ he says.

Design long-term goals

Unfortunately we can’t make goals that apply throughout a career, but as Santana suggests, goals should be made and evaluated yearly. Pick a time every year and look at the goals you made the previous year, and ask yourself are you meeting these goals? And if you are, are they helping you move forward?

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