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Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche, Santorini 2017

ANCIENT GREECE, MODERN PSYCHE
Petros M. Nomikos Foundation
Santorini, Greece

August 31-September 3, 2017
 
We would like to invite you to participate in a third conference designed to illuminate the influence of ancient Greek thought--mythology, philosophy, art, culture--on our modern psyches. We are bringing together Jungian analysts, and other scholars, for our three-day event on the beautiful island of Santorini, ancient Thera, in Greece.  Because of the volcanic eruption around 1627 BCE, which created the caldera, a huge crater that drops to the sea, the island has been fabled as Plato’s lost kingdom of Atlantis. 
 
Known for its spectacular views at the edge of the caldera, the island’s Bronze Age site of Akrotiri was first excavated in 1967 by the archaeologist Spiro Marinatos. When Marinatos died in 1976, Professor Christos Doumas took over the direction of the ongoing work. The island offers a unique opportunity to concentrate our studies. The Petros M. Nomikos Conference Center, with its stunning location at the top of the hill above the main town of Fira and its up-to-date facilities, is a splendid site for participants and presenters to come together. The Nomikos Conference Center previously housed the Thera Wallpainting Exhibition, an in situ full-size photographic installation of the Bronze Age site frescoes uncovered and restored thus far. This exhibition has now been moved to the new Santozeum Museum next to the cable car near the top of Fira. 
 
The conference opening in the early evening of August 31 will include a wine and meze reception at the Nomikos Center. 
 
We are limiting the program to provide ample time for discussion. We want to stimulate dialogue and create an intimacy that honors the depth and the breadth of our presentations, the modern Greek culture in which we will be hosted, and the fascinating history of the island. To that end, there will be a maximum of three presentations a day. Two lectures will be given in the morning, one in the early evening; question and answer session to follow each presentation. Presenters will be available throughout the days for further discussion and the last session on Saturday will be a circle dialogue, and then dance instruction for all of us participants. 
 
In the long afternoons, we follow the Greek tradition of lunch and nap as well as explore the local attractions, which include the following: the Bronze Age site of Akrotiri; the modern Museum of Prehistoric Thera that houses the artifacts from Akrotiri; the older Archaeological Museum; the Roman era town of ancient Thera, wineries, black sand beaches, and the hot springs of Nea Kamena.

MODERATOR
 
Thomas Singer MD (USA)

SPEAKERS

Thomas Singer MD (USA)

Greece:  A Thin Place with a Thick Skin
Greece is a rugged, often harsh landscape and yet the boundary between the present and the eternal can be quite porous.  From ancient Greece to modern psyche, many have stumbled into the gods while wandering through Greece, although such encounters cannot be guaranteed, even by New Age travel agents selling sacred journeys to meet them.  Perhaps no modern author has done a better job of describing such numinous encounters than Henry Miller in his Colossus of Maroussi.  Following in the path of Henry Miller and Nikos Kazantzakis' Zorba the Greek, Tom Singer will tell tales of his forty years visiting modern Greece in which he has discovered that being open to the folly of life can release one into life itself. These anecdotes find their mirrors in ancient stories of falling into the divine through folly.
 
 
Thomas Singer MD is a Jungian analyst and psychiatrist who narrated his mythological tale of building a house on a Greek island at the first Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche conference and moderated the second conference. He will continue his story telling and his moderating at the third conference. After studying religion and European literature at Princeton University, he graduated from Yale Medical School and later trained at Dartmouth Medical Center and the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. His writing includes articles on Jungian theory, politics, and psychology, and his recent books include The Vision Thing: Myth, Politics and Psyche in the World (2000); The Cultural Complex: Contemporary Jungian Perspectives on Psyche and Society (2004), with Samuel L. Kimbles; Initiation: The Living Reality of An Archetype (2007); with Thomas Kirsch and Virginia Beane Rutter; Psyche and the City: A Soul's Guide to the Modern Metropolis (2010), Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche (2011) with Virginia Beane Rutter. His newest books, Placing Psyche: Exploring the Cultural Complexes of Australia (2011) and Listening to Latin America 2012, Europe's Many Souls (2016) explore cultural complexes in a Spring Journal Books Series.
 

Jules Cashford for Virginia Beane Rutter (USA), M.A., M.S.

 

Jules Cashford will present a paper by Virginia Beane Rutter, cofounder of the Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche Conference series.


The Mystery of Dionysos:  Cultivating the Vine of Life 
 
“I keep the law,
I hold the mysteries true,
I am the vine, the branches, you and you.”  H.D.

The ancient Greeks made a distinction between Zoe, infinite, enduring life, and Bios characterized or individual life.  Twice-born Dionysos is the archetype of Zoe, indestructible life. Dismembered and reconstituted, surrounded by women, he is the giver of wine, a healer who also causes madness, an ecstatic lover and “eater of raw flesh.” Psychologically, what does it mean to honor this god of paradox whose essence is eros? How do we draw from the indestructible life stream to vitalize our lives instead of letting the ego be obliterated by Dionysos’ dark side?
 
Dionysos’ strangely masked appearance, heralding both possession and healing, called listeners to join his orgiastic celebrations. For both those who answered the call, and for those who refused, there were intense consequences.
 
When the archetype of Dionysos erupts in the psyche of a woman or man, the individual’s fate is deeply impacted by the encounter that ensues. Jung described the Dionysian psychological quality as “a flood of overpowering universal feelings which bursts forth irresistibly . . . ” Some manifestations of this confrontation in analytic work include possession by love, addiction to drugs or alcohol, or intense transference and the potential for liberation of instinct or eros heretofore unrecognized.
 
The Dionysian mystery ritual of ancient Greece forces us to struggle consciously to give the god his due, and to express his energetic potential without destructiveness.
 
 
Virginia Beane Rutter MA, MS was a Jungian analyst who passed away in March 2016. She trained at the C.G. Jung Institutes of Zurich and San Francisco.  Her first Master’s degree in Art History, taken at the University of California, Berkeley, together with an early sustaining love of Greece developed into a passion for studying ancient myths and rites of passage through art, archaeology, and psychology. These studies grew out of her clinical practice and coalesced around archetypal themes of initiation as they manifest in the unconscious material of women and men today. She is the author of three books including Woman Changing Woman: Feminine Psychology Re-Conceived Through Myth and Experience (HarperSanFrancisco 1993; republished by Spring Journal Books 2009). Her most recent articles are, “The Archetypal Paradox of Feminine Initiation in Analytic Work,” in Initiation: The Living Reality of An Archetype (Routledge London 2007) and “Saffron Blessings and Blood Sacrifice: Transformation Mysteries in Jungian Analysis” in Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche: Archetypes in the Making. (Spring Journal Books, 2011). “The Hero Who Would Not Die: Warrior and Goddess in Ancient Greek and Modern Men” appears in Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche: Archetypes Evolving (Routledge 2014).

Craig E. Stephenson PhD (France)


Getting a Grip on Proteus, the Lost Play of Aeschylus’s Oresteia 
In Aeschylus' tragic trilogy The Oresteia, a succession of three literary dreams propels the mythic action forward. Returning from exile to revenge his father Agaememnon’s death, Orestes plots to kill his mother Clytaemnestra. Hearing the Chorus describe Clytaemestra's dream of a snake (in The Libation Bearers), he claims to apprehend its meaning, and the Chorus agrees with his interpretation of the dream as prophesying his own return. But something is left out of his interpretation, something Orestes only experiences after he murders his mother. Her snake resurrects in a second dream, a hallucinatory nightmare from which Orestes flees in mad terror. Finally, in The Eumenides, this dream of the snake materializes into outer reality for all Athenians to witness, allowing Aeschylus to dramatize a collective response to the third dream's demands.
 
Aeschylus wrote a satyr play entitled Proteus to conclude his Oresteia, but there exist only a few fragments. How might a Jungian reading of the three snake dreams contribute to discussions about this missing fourth piece, which theatre historians suppose was replete with a chorus of satyrs and the appearance of the god Proteus? Can we imagine the last play as dreaming onwards the snake dreams of the trilogy? How does our modern psychological understanding of this ancient Greek classic alter if we locate the lysis of Aeschylus’s snake dreams not at the end of the trilogy but in the lost play?
 
Craig E Stephenson PhD is a graduate of the C. G. Jung Institute Zürich, the Institut für Psychodrama auf der Grundlage der Jungschen Psychologie, Zumikon, and the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex.  His books include Possession: Jung’s Comparative Anatomy of the Psyche (Routledge, 2009/2016), Anteros: A Forgotten Myth (Routledge, 2011), and Jung and Moreno: Essays on the Theatre of Human Nature (Routledge, 2013). For the Philemon Foundation, he edited On Psychological and Visionary Art: Notes from C. G. Jung’s Lecture on Gérard de Nerval’s Aurélia (Princeton, 2015). He lectured at the Bodmer Foundation, Geneva, the Warburg Institute, University of London, and the Taiwan Institute of Psychotherapy, Taipei.

Jules Cashford MA (UK)


Orpheus, His Lyre, and the Orphic Mysteries
 
'Once and for all,
If there is poetry, Orpheus is there.' Rilke
 
Orpheus is the poet whose playing on his lyre enchanted all who heard him - whether they were humans, animals or trees, waves or rocks - all were purified and restored to the 'Arche,' their original participation in the divine, which gave them the freedom to change their natures. In Orpheus’ myths there is a search for what his secret is, asking what is the power in us - that is not our own - which can bring about transformation?
 
This question was also explored through the Orphic Mysteries. Tablets of gold, worn as amulets around the necks of the deceased, warn the initiates not to drink from the Well-spring of Lethe, Forgetfulness, but to drink from the Well-spring of Mnemosyne, Memory. 'I am a child of Earth and Starry Heaven,' they must remember to say.
 
The lineage of Orpheus - his mother the Muse Kalliopeia, She of Beautiful Speech, his grandmother Mnemosyne, Goddess of Memory, and his father Apollo or the Thracian king Oeagrus - invites us to consider anew the ancient affinity between Memory and Imagination, especially that kind of remembering which is also an imagining of the whole. It is implied that if we would be initiated into the Orphic Mysteries we are first to know ourselves as children of the universe. We shall explore this in relation to W.B. Yeats's idea of Imagination always seeking to remake the world in the pattern of the Great Memory.
 
Jules Cashford MA studied Philosophy at St. Andrews and Literature at Cambridge and trained as an analyst with the Association of Jungian Analysts in London. In the last Santorini conference in 2012 she gave a talk on 'The Homeric Hymn to Hermes: How Hermes and Apollo came to love each other.' Her books include The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image (with Anne Baring) (Penguin, 1993), The Moon: Myth and Image (Cassell Illustrated, 2003), The Homeric Hymns, A Translation (Penguin Classics, 2003). The Mysteries of Osiris (Atalanta, 2010), Gaia: From Story of Origin to Universe Story (Gaia Press, 2012), and other booklets on myth and symbolism.  She has made two films on the Early Northern Renaissance painter, Jan van Eyck: The Mystery of Jan van Eyck and The Mystic Lamb, together with an article on the making of them in ARAS, March, 2013. She now writes and lectures on Mythology, and has long had a fascination with the culture and tradition of Greek and Egyptian Mysteries and how their insights may inform our understanding of the psyche. 

Craig San Roque PhD (Australia)

Persephone Underground or The Mystery of the Eleusinian
The Demeter/Persephone Mystery dramas are perhaps the greatest enrapturing festival of ancient Greek culture. These events recurred at Eleusis over 2000 years until eradicated or subsumed during the Early Christian era. What were these rituals about? Can one inquire into the essence of the Mysteries, speculate into the secret of the initiates - an elusive secret that has been successfully kept and protected? We know some of the elements of that recurring collective experience that do include the historic sacred site, the procession and festival events, the drama of Persephone’s disappearance, Demeter’s grief, the return of Persephone, illuminations, initiations and personal dedication to the inner seed of those ceremonial events. 
 
San Roque will reflect on the significance and value of the Demeter Mysteries. He, however, approaches this indirectly in storytelling mode, presenting Persephone Underground, the sequel to the Kore Story as given at the 2012 Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche Conference. Composed for the 2017 conference, Persephone Underground allows for contemplation of the psychological value of the ancient Mystery and its collective message in a time of disordered climactic tensions.
He says, “I believe that this ancient cultural ceremony does have an authentic secret core that still carries value. I believe the secret can be found, absorbed, respected, inherited, and drawn upon to enhance healing practices."
 
Craig San Roque PhD is a Jungian analyst living in Central Australia, where he works as a community psychologist in Aboriginal affairs. At the 2012 Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche Conference he presented Kore Story/Persephone’s Dog, a version of the Demeter/Persephone narrative influenced by Australian sense of place and Greek mythopoetic. Over 30 years Craig has facilitated a spectrum of theatre performance/workshops exploring classical mythological heritage. His publications on psychological and cultural themes include contributions to four books edited by Thomas Singer, et al on complex psycho-cultural themes: The Vision Thing, The Cultural Complex, Psyche and the City, and Placing Psyche. He is co-creator with Josh Santospirito of the evocative graphic novel, The Long Weekend in Alice Springs.
 

Tamar Kron PhD (Israel)


Jocasta: The Destiny of A Mother's "fantasy of Tikkun"
Oedipus’ mother is identified in Jungian writings with the Sphinx, the monstrous great mother who seduces her son-lover only to destroy and devour him. My novel, I, Jocasta, is an attempt to give voice to this denied and rejected mother who dared to disobey the patriarchal oracle.
 
Jocasta, in my narrative, begins her individuation with the wish for a child, that transforms her from a young, obedient, and unaware object to a mature subject fighting for the rights of motherhood. She is empowered by what I call "the fantasy of Tikkun"- repair, in the sense of reconciliation between opposites either in ourselves or in the world. Tikkun in this case involves getting a love-child from an unloving husband, then losing him and trying to heal the wounded mother-son relationship. But, tragically, the healing is concretized. When concealment and denial fail, Jocasta acts at last out of her own free choice; instead of waiting for Oedipus to discover the truth, she chooses to end her life with the sick and dying people of Thebes. 
 
The analyst of our post-modern time has to take into consideration the impact of archetypes not only on the symbolic level, but also in their chthonic-concrete expression. Thus, contemporary families with single mothers, either actually or psychologically, may enact the archetypal relationship of Jocasta and Oedipus. Wounds of rejection, abandonment, and past traumas can arouse "the fantasy of TIkkun" which cannot be realized. The presentation will close with an illustrative clinical case study.
 
 
Tamar Kron PhD is a clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst. She studied clinical psychology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, where she also taught for many years. She is a training analyst with the Israeli Institute for Jungian Psychology and is head of the clinical psychology graduate program in Tel-Aviv College. She initiated a research project on dreams of people living in a state of continuous stress of rocket attacks.
 
Tamar is the author of seven books, including Women in Pink: The motherhood wound in postpartum depression (Am-Oved 1989); The archetypal couple (Contento de-Semrick 2012); and two books on supervision. She also published three novels. Her many articles include (2003) “Can dreams during pregnancy predict postpartum  depression?” Kron T. with Brosh. A. Dreaming  13 (2).  (2003) “Psychotherapists’ dream about their patients.”  Kron T. with Avni N. The Journal of Analytical Psychology. 48 (3) . (2012).  Kron T. with Hareven O. (“Helpless heroes: The dreams of men in the shadow of continuous life-threatening missile attacks” in: Montreal 2010 Proceedings: Facing multiplicity; Psyche, nature, culture.

Luigi Zoja  PhD (Italy)       


Ajax: The Dawn of Paranoid Thinking         
Saint Paul wrote, “I do not do the good that I will, but the evil that I do not will” (Romans 7:19). And Brecht’s Massnahme (The Measures Taken) begins, “We shot him. He wanted to do what is right but has done what is wrong.”

          The central human problem remains the same across millennia: choosing justice but being unconscious and committing injustice. Western history pursues reason but is secretly drawn toward the most destructive madness: paranoia. The main difference after two thousand years  is the addition of industrialized murder.

    What we call the West has been built upon sharp oppositions of polarities. In spite of its depth, the European mind tends to underline the differences and to “solve” them through  splitting and projection.

In his very first play, Sophocles – the most psychological of all tragic authors - depicts in a single work the greatness and the impossibility of this extreme heroic task. Ajax goes wrong not because he makes any one particular mistake but because, in succumbing to paranoia, he becomes obsessed with a simplified idea of the enemy and deaf to human complexity. From the moment when that fixed idea is revealed to him, he believes that he has grasped what is most important in life.

By contrast, he becomes himself – a real character, possessing a personality – the first time he makes a choice instead of performing a heroic duty. The moment is inevitably a fleeting one, for the choice he makes is to die.


Luigi Zoja PhD is  former Training Analyst of the C.G. Jung Institut of Zurich and Past President of CIPA (Centro Italiano di Psicologia Analitica). He is former President of IAAP (International Association of Analytical Psychology).  He has taught at the School of Psychiatry of the Faculty of Medicine, State University of Palermo, and at the University of Insubria (Italy) and was Visiting Professor of the Beijing Normal University and at the University of Macao (China). His clinical practice was in Zurich, then private practice in Milan, in New York and, at present, again in Milan. He holds a Diploma in Analytical Psychology of the C.G. Jung Institut, Zurich. Books in English include: Drugs, Addiction and Initiation, 1st ed. Boston: Sigo Press, 1989, 2d ed. Einsiedeln, CH: Daimon, 2000; Growth and Guilt, London and New York: Routledge, 1995; The Father, Routledge, 2001 (Gradiva Award 2001); The Global Nightmare. Jungian Perspectives on September 11, (ed.) Daimon, 2002; Cultivating the Soul, London: Free Association, 2005; Ethics and Analysis, College Station TX: A&M Texas University Press, 2007 (Gradiva Award 2008); Violence in History, Culture and the Psyche, New Orleans: Spring, 2009.

 

Evangelos Tsempelis (Greece)


Greek Nihilism and the Psychology of Decadence
Evangelos Tsempelis will be tracing the present crisis in Greece in terms of the deep-seated nihilism that plagues his country some eight years after the eruption of a catastrophic financial, political and social crisis. Evangelos' hypothesis is that the deeper causes of the collective state of mind in Greece should be traced in terms of a heritage of a dysfunctional state, a divided body-politic, in conjunction with a Christian Orthodox religious tradition that stands for ten aeons in suspicion of the cosmic world of the west.

Evangelos aims to articulate a particular experience, characteristic of life at the periphery of Europe, whereby key notions, ideas and values that comprise a European core reach here their outer limit. Definitive dualistic terms for the western mind such as private/public, interiority/exteriority, religious/secular and individual/collective distinctions loose their cogency as one travels towards the outer limit of the South East that Greeks inhabit.

In describing the contours of a psychology of decadence, Evangelos does not adopt a familiar argument that castigates a modern Greek forgetfulness of a mythic and heroic past to which one may, alas, ever hope/wish to return. HIs task rather is to describe the modern Greek demise in its own terms as a horrific nihilistic predicament, but also as a still dormant possibility for emancipation and self-constitution to emerge out from the darkness of living in the shadows of denial and mis- recognition.

Evangelos Tsempelis is a psychoanalyst-in-training who lives and practices in Zurich, Switzerland.  He is  a co-founder of Stillpoint Spaces  www.stillpointspaces.com   He has a background in history and international relations, holding degrees from Tufts University and the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, co-founded by Harvard University and Tufts University.  Evangelos is particularly interested in integrating psychoanalytic theory and practice in his personal quest to better understand our time and the suffering associated with it.

Eve Jackson MA (Crete)

Dancing the Dance On

In its origins, dancing is inseparable from rhythm, gesture, music, and ritual.  It both expresses and communicates, and it can be used to induce psychic change in both dancer and observer.  We can see all these functions at work in other species: the bees’ waggle dance, the gorillas’ threat displays, and the mating dances of various birds. Dance, in other words, comes from nature and evolves into – and with – culture. It can bond communities, tell stories, evoke archetypes, and form a rite of passage between psychic states.
 
In ancient Greece, the dancing body was still an element in religious practice: through it the gods were honored or invoked, in stately movements, ritual enactments and ecstatic, semi-improvised dances.  Handed on from generation to generation, some ancient dances have survived into modern Greek culture, now secularized, accompanied by different words and serving other purposes. Intricate rhythms reproduce meters known to us from ancient poetry, and are learned in villages today by children who have only recently mastered walking.
 
Looking at some of these survivals and their relationships to myths and deities, we will focus on one particular dance, believed to have come from Minoan Crete.  Those attending the conference will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of prehistory by learning its simple steps and tracing the path into and out of the labyrinth.    
 
 
Eve Jackson MA is a semi-retired training analyst and member of the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. She worked for many years in private practice in London, and has taught regularly on the IGAP Studies Program over the last twenty years, as well as lecturing throughout the United Kingdom, and at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. She has also been giving Jungian seminars in Athens. She has published three books – two on astrology and one on Jungian psychology, Food and Transformation, Inner City Books 1996, a pamphlet produced by the Guild of Pastoral Psychology, London, Eating and Communion, and a number of articles and book reviews in Harvest, journal of the C. G. Jung Analytical Psychology Club, London. She is also a teacher of taiji and qigong, which she took up soon after starting analysis - the embodiment of psyche is consequently a long-term preoccupation. Her connections with Greece go back over 50 years, beginning with an unforgettable summer visit at the age of 19. Some years later she completed a post-graduate thesis in comparative literature for Oxford University, which involved studying 20th century Greek poetry in Athens. 
 
Conference Fee and Registration:
 
The registration fee for the three-day conference is $600. (This does not include cost of transportation, hotels, and meals). 
 
In case of cancellation, if received before August 1, 2017, you will receive a full registration refund, less a $50 service fee. Cancellations received after August 1, 2017 will be accepted with one-half the registration fee ($300) refunded. There will be no refunds after August 25, 2017.
 

Some further information that may be useful:
 
The Nomikos Center is located at the top of the main town of Fira in Santorini. There is a pedestrian road along the wall at the rim of the caldera that goes to the Center. In the opposite direction from the Center, many hotels are perched on the rim. Built into the cliff side, they have spectacular views and wonderful ambience, but they also tend to have steep stone steps down to the rooms, breakfast terrace, or swimming pool. It would be wise, then, especially for people with health issues, to inquire about the location of the hotel. Beautiful quiet hotels on flat ground are also available. Everything in the town is within walking distance. If you choose to stay outside the town in a hotel or resort, you would need to rent a car or scooter.
 
Buses regularly go to and from the downtown bus station to the Akrotiri archaeological site. Most museums are in the town of Fira.

The papers from the 2009 conference were published by Spring Journal Books: Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche:  Archetypes in the Making.
http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Greece-Modern-Psyche-Virginia/dp/1935528130
        
The papers from the 2012 conference were published by Routledge: Ancient Greece, Modern Psyche:  Archetypes Evolving.
http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Greece-Modern-Psyche-Archetypes/dp/041571432X
 

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT REGISTRATION, COST, TRAVEL, ETC:  PLEASE CONTACT BARUCH GOULD AT   
 
baruchgould@me.com
 
Organized by Virginia Beane Rutter and Thomas Singer
Supported by the Petros M. Nomikos Foundation 
http://www.thera-conferences.gr

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