Andrew Harvey and Sacred Activism

Andrew Harvey and Sacred Activism

(I wrote the following for the Jung Society of Utah blog about the marvelous Andrew Harvey, a gifted mystic, poet, and storyteller. I had the privilege of meeting him while he was in Salt Lake City for a lecture and workshop with the Jung Society of Utah, and he was remarkably kind to me. I still remember our conversation as I was leaving a wonderful dinner with him and some folks from the Jung Society. It was a freezing cold February night as we stood outside on the porch as he called me a “practical visionary” and emphatically told me, “Trust yourself!” (among other things). I have tried to take his advice to heart.)

“As the individual is not just a single, separate being, but by his very existence presupposes a collective relationship, it follows that the process of individuation must lead to more intense and broader collective relationships and not to isolation.”
– C.G. Jung

Carl Jung believed in the importance of both the individual and society. In Jung’s view, society is necessary for human existence and individuality, while individuals “express the subconscious aspirations of the collective of [their] time, giving conscious expression to the needs and aspirations of the society through [their] actions. The individual is indispensable for human accomplishment and for the development of the society.”

How does this idea apply to our world today, and how can we as individuals create positive change within ourselves and society as a whole?

A Force of Compassion in Action

The Jung Society of Utah will welcome Andrew Harvey to Salt Lake City in February.
The Jung Society of Utah will welcome Andrew Harvey to Salt Lake City Feb. 5th and 6th.

Author, poet, and mystic Andrew Harvey offers an answer to this question though Sacred Activism, which he describes as “a transforming force of compassion-in-action that is born of a fusion of deep spiritual knowledge, courage, love, and passion, with wise radical action in the world.” Through Sacred Activism, concerned individuals can work together to address the economic, political, and spiritual crises the world is currently facing. According to Harvey, “The large-scale practice of Sacred Activism can become an essential force for preserving and healing the planet and its inhabitants.” He envisions “an army of practical visionaries and active mystics who work in every field and in every arena to transform the world.”

Divinity through Shadow

How can individuals become “practical visionaries?” Harvey has spoken of the importance of facing the shadow, both on an individual and collective level, in order to access the compassion and inspiration needed to face the global crises we are confronted with:

“You have to do shadow work and confront your own darkness. If you can do so with trust, humility and surrender, you discover another level of unconditional compassion…When light and shadow are united, we experience a passion of enlightened compassion that longs in every moment to express itself in radical transformative heart-filled, heart-inpired, just action.”

Harvey believes that through integrating our own shadow, we are able to realize the divine within us, and all around us, which empowers us to become effective agents of change:

balance“When you wake up to the Divine Consciousness within you and your divine identity, you wake up simultaneously to the Divine Consciousness appearing as all other beings… Only from a realization of the divine identity of all things can grow the kind of humility, the kind of tenderness, the kind of wonder, the kind of awe and the kind of respect that are necessary for human beings to live in peace with each other, for human beings to live in balance with their environment, and for human beings really to work with the divine forces of love and knowledge to recreate the world in the image of God.”

Sacred Marriage Weekend: Lecture and Workshop

In February, the Jung Society of Utah will welcome Andrew Harvey for a special Friday evening event and Saturday workshop. In the Friday lecture, Harvey will describe his vision of the Sacred Marriage drawn from Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Sufi sources. He will end his presentation with his vision of Sacred Activism, the most necessary sacred marriage for our time.

In the Saturday workshop, Harvey will share the tools that he believes are most essential to realizing the Sacred Marriage. He will present three sacred practices that enable the practitioner to experience union and unconditional compassion. He then explore the mystery of the shadow on both an individual and global level. The day will end with his vision of love and action, and the five forms of Sacred Service that need to be fused to empower individuals to become agents of change in our chaotic time.

Friday, February 5th: Evening Presentation at Libby Gardner Hall, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Saturday February 6th: Workshop at the Officers Club building, University of Utah Campus, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Purchase tickets here for this transformative weekend with Andrew Harvey.

Addiction: A Jungian Perspective

Addiction: A Jungian Perspective

(I wrote the following post for the Jung Society of Utah blog. The free workshop on addiction at beautiful Cirque Lodge in Orem, UT was a wonderful and highly informative event.)

“[Addiction is] the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness.”
– C.G. Jung

Carl Jung was highly influential in the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Jung intuited that those suffering from addiction were actually in search of the numinous, or a spiritual experience associated with the divine. Jung shared this insight in a letter to Bill W., one of the founders of AA.

A “Hopeless” Case

Rowland H. (recoveredalcoholic.blogspot.com).
Rowland H. (Image from recoveredalcoholic. blogspot.com).

In 1926, Jung treated an American patient named Rowland H. for alcoholism. However, Rowland relapsed soon after leaving Zurich. He returned to seek Jung’s help. Jung told Rowland that neither medicine nor psychiatry had a cure for alcoholism, but explained, “Exceptions to cases such as yours have been occurring since early times. Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences.” Jung described such experiences as “huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.” However, Jung cautioned that these experiences are “comparatively rare.”

Many years later, Jung received a letter from Bill W., explaining that Rowland had joined a religious movement called the Oxford Groups, and there he found “a conversion experience that released him for the time being from his compulsion to drink.” Rowland carried this message of inner change to his friend, Ebby T., who then carried it to Bill, who co-founded AA. In his letter to Jung, Bill wrote, “This astonishing chain of events actually started long ago in your consulting room, and it was directly founded upon your own humility and deep perception.”

“Spiritus Contra Spiritum”

Jung treated many alcoholic patients at the Burghölzli Psychiatric Hospital in Zurich (Image from Wikimedia).
Jung treated many alcoholic patients at the Burghölzli Psychiatric Hospital in Zurich (Image from Wikimedia).

In his reply to Bill W., Jung wrote, “You see, “alcohol” in Latin is “spiritus” and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful formula therefore is: spiritus contra spiritum.” Jung believed it is necessary to replace the addictive substance with a transcendent experience that the individual finds more satisfying. He explained that this type of experience “can only happen to you when you walk on a path which leads you to higher understanding. You might be led to that goal by an act of grace or through a personal and honest contact with friends, or through a higher education of the mind beyond the confines of mere rationalism.”

Psychologist James Hillman phrased it more simply: “You don’t really want the alcohol. If you can find out what you really want, if you can find your true desire, then you’ve got the answer to your addiction.”

Would you like to learn more about addiction and recovery? Attend a FREE workshop at Cirque Lodge on Saturday, November 14, 2015. In this workshop, we will explore the roots of Jung’s influence and the practical application of these insights in addiction treatment today.

The presenters will be: Burton Fullmer CMHC, CPW, Beverly Roesch, LCSW, SUDC and Machiel Klerk, LMFT

Read about the presenters HERE.

All mental health professionals are eligible to receive three (3) complimentary CEs.

Details

When: Saturday November 14th, 2015
Time: 10:00 am-1:00 pm
Where: Cirque Lodge Orem, 777 N. Palisade Drive, Orem, Utah 84097

THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. NO NEED TO RESERVE A SPOT. SIGN IN WHEN YOU ARRIVE.

This event is sponsored by Trace Minerals Research.

Utah Shakespeare Festival – Cedar City, UT

bard

My sister and I recently attended the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, UT. Though the drive from Salt Lake City is kind of a drag, the festival is worth the long hours in the car.

This year's plays
This year’s plays

After arriving in Cedar City, we stopped at the Pastry Pub to get a snack. This charming restaurant is located a few blocks away from the festival and they serve amazing chai shakes.

pastrypub-out
The Pastry Pub
pastrypub-in1
Inside The Pastry Pub

We walked around the festival grounds and enjoyed looking at the various statues of Shakespearean characters. We also checked out the information near the ticket windows about Shakespeare’s history cycle. It was being presented as part of the festival’s “Complete the Canon” project.

juliet1
Juliet
juliet2
Juliet, up close
King Lear
King Lear
Fallstaff
Fallstaff
Titania
Titania

A fun part of the festival experience is a visit to the Sweet Shop, where we were looking forward to ordering an Irish jacket potato and vegetable and cheese pasty, along with one of the famous fruit tarts. However, the menu has changed, and overall, it’s a bit of a disappointment. Pasties are no longer available, and baked potatoes can only be ordered as part of a Greenshow picnic meal, rather than ala carte. The tarts tasted different this year as well—the dough seemed saltier and tougher.

The Sweet Shop
The Sweet Shop
Now serving Diet Mountain Dew, Shakespeare's favorite!
Now serving Diet Mountain Dew, Shakespeare’s favorite!

sweetshop2

A highlight of the evening is the play orientation with festival founder Fred C. Adams. He always provides interesting historical contexts and insights into the evening’s plays. At the time Shakespeare was writing “The Tempest”, reports describing the “new world” were coming back to England from the Jamestown colony, which provided inspiration for the bard’s final play.

Greenshow dancers
Greenshow dancers

We also attended the Greenshow, a 40-minute song and dance program on the green and the courtyard surrounding the Adams Shakespearean Theatre. As always, it was very crowded. During this time, there were other people in period costumes throughout the courtyard, including “wenches” (both female and male) selling tarts and other treats, and a performer doing period woodworking.

Old-timey woodworking
Old-timey woodworking

The play itself was wonderful. I love “The Tempest”, and Henry Woronicz was wonderful as Prospero. The entire cast did a wonderful job, and the set design and special effects were top notch. Some excellent and detailed reviews of the play can be found here.

theatersign

Before the show (no photography is allowed during the play)
Before the show (no photography is allowed during the play)
An exterior view of the theater
An exterior view of the theater

After the play, we headed to Marie’s French Bakery & Bistro which was open till midnight (what a great idea!). The man working there greeted us with a friendly “Bon soir,” and was pleased when we responded properly (by repeating the same thing back to him). I ordered a key lime tart and a chocolate éclair, both of which were excellent. The prices were reasonable, and we’ll definitely stop there again the next time we’re in town to see a play.

tickets

festival

Millcreek Venture Out – Salt Lake City, UT

Millcreek Venture Out is a fun event held every Friday evening during the summer (June through August) in the East Millcreek neighborhood of Salt Lake City, UT.

I visited this evening at around 7:00 pm, mostly for the Farmers Market where I got some pesticide-free tomatoes, and a bag of apricots. The apricots came from a fruit share program operated by Green Urban Lunchbox. They’re a non-profit program “that focuses on issues pertaining to urban agriculture, sustainability and food security.” Their mobile greenhouse was pretty cool.

The Farmers Market also featured arts and crafts, food vendors (I highly recommend the Nutella crepes), henna tattoos, a petting zoo (with cute baby goats!), and live music. A different movie is shown every week at dusk.

The complete schedule can be found here. If you’re in the area, it’s worth checking out.