Visiting Scholars Lecture Series: 2001
Richard Stein, M.D. The Trickster and Mercurius
To understand Mercurius, we begin with the trickster archetype, which is found in all cultures of the world, and represents the early stirrings of instinctual life, which in humans lead to the impulse for individuality. The androgynous trickster figure, Mercurius, is the central personification of the raw material of the unconscious (prima materia), the process of transformation, and the final goal of a transformed consciousness. Among other things, he is the cultural shadow of the Judeo-Christian tradition, with its polar split between good and evil. Mercurius is both and neither. As in the Grimms fairy tale, "The Spirit in the Bottle," he is potentially lethal when released from the depths of the psyche; psychosis and suicide are real possibilities. The integration of such an experience is essential to developing a symbolic attitude.
Richard Stein, M.D. is a Jungian analyst in private practice in San Francisco and a member of the training faculty at the C. G. Jung Institute. In addition to his clinical practice, teaching, and writing, he is an interested practitioner of Vipassana meditation from the Theravada Buddhist tradition.
Dianne Jenett, Ph.D. The Goddess Within: Shakti & Eros in Kerala, India
In Kerala, India, many rituals express the Goddess as woman and woman as Goddess. Ancient but still living traditional practices bring the shakti, or power of the goddess, through men and women´s bodies in behalf of the community. Dr. Jenett discusses her work on women´s rituals in Kerala, India, where she has interviewed women about their relationship with the goddess and produced video documentation of community rituals.
Dianne Jenett, Ph.D., is a teacher, researcher, and community organizer whose scholarship is centered in rituals in South India, where she spends each spring doing research and participating in community celebrations for the Goddess, and where she also leads educational trips.
Kimmy Johnson, M.A. On the Path of the Ancestors
To stand again in a place of right cultural relationships with one another, we must first recover who we are. To live in consciousness that embraces all beings, we must remember our ancestors. Within our ancestral traditions, sometimes only a few generations back, often far in the mists of prehistory, we find seeds of right relationship with ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world.
We come together in a circle of remembrance, to honor our traditions, our ancestors and the ancestors of this land. Our ancestors are present in this time, in us. Some recall a piece of the story from a family history that draws them in. Or there may be a song or a myth that has particular power. Ancestors may already call in voices of the wind, singing of the stars, the resonance of a stone. Each of us will seek footprints that mark the trail. For a few hours, you are invited to be present for these relationships, to follow these footprints.
Kimmy K. Johnson, M.A., teaches at John F. Kennedy University.