Wings of Desire: The Making Present of Archetypes, Psyche and Soul in Our Lives January 18th - 20th, 2019 Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort Tucson, AZ
Wim Wenders, Wings of Desire is an epic film portraying an angel’s desire to experience what it means to be truly human. Dissatisfied with the "gift of immortality," he now longs for the tender touch of one who loves him so deeply, to see in the eyes of an old man and old woman, the reflection of the life they have lived, and to feel the joys and sadness that inevitably come with being engaged in the world. Perhaps, it is this ability to bring the transcendent into human experience and to feel so deeply the contours of one’s life, that stirred the Gods envy for humanity. This film speaks of the need to experience the spiritual and archetypal in a human way, and allowing it to live and breathe within our daily life. However, for many of us, the archetypal remains a distant and untouchable reality which never quite makes its way into our life. While archetypes can never be fully known or touched, we can learn to sense their presence in our life, and to understand something of their meaning in our dreams. We find this encounter between the transcendent/archetypal and the human in the opening of Wings of Desire, as we hear "Der Filmstar, a former angel, who is now human, speaking with Damiel, the angel longing to be human: Der Filmstar to Damiel: I can’t see you, but I know you are here. I feel it. You’ve been hanging around since I got here. I wish I could see your face and to look into your eyes. To tell you how good it is to be here. To touch something…To smoke, to have a cup of coffee. If we do it together, it would be fantastic.
We can hear this communication as the individual speaking to the elusive Psyche. Here the person knows of its presence, yet struggles to more fully touch and engage with it.
Since the beginning of time, humanity has sought to make manifest the transcendent. Perhaps the "greatest story ever told" speaks to this need, to this process and to what is possible when one forges a human relationship to the archetypal. Makoto Fujimura, the great Japanese-American artist, echoed this theme when commenting that perhaps the most profound experience of Jesus' humanity was when he cried. Here psyche and soul, spirit and matter, conjoin into an intricately textured reality, allowing us to feel and to see beyond the veil of everyday life. Here, where this other world is felt, touched and lived, we share in the experiences of all those sages, and dreamers, who with" Souls on Fire"*, sought to bring the reality of spirit and psyche into their life. This is the domain of C.G. Jung, von Franz, Hillman, Marion Woodman, and Elie Wiesel. Each sought to find expression of the sacred in the world. For Jung and the early Jungians, their study of alchemy provided a fitting portrait of inherent processes occurring within the Psyche. For Wiesel, it was his lifelong study of the Talmud which spoke to the living reality of spirit in life. Now, while each of these pioneers have passed, their work and enduring spirit remains, encouraging us to live each day in relationship to the messages of the Self, and to continue finding ways to bring these into our life. Our dreams often provide intimations of our unrecognized gifts, and destiny. It is the lyrical nature of dreams that capture this issue through the presentation of a deeply touching and emotional image of that person-that part of us, who while unseen and forgotten for so many years, has never left our side, and remains patiently waiting for our return. So too, our dreams ask us to face our greatest conflicts, misdeeds, and transgressions, and if faced, carries the hope of redemption. Psyche speaks in a symbolic language, in parables, in a tongue distinctly different from everyday communications. Here, like the angel’s longing for the human experience, our work is to enter this domain of the archetypal and, to learn its languages, its ways and understanding of the inner and outer world. It was von Franz who suggested that to know something of the innate nature of a symbol, we need to climb into the skin of the image. This was the work of Jung and those pioneers of Psyche who sought a lasting relationship to the creative unconscious, and perhaps this can become an even more vital and enduring part of our life as well. In this three day seminar, we will take an in depth look at the presence of images in our dreams, the relationship between image and archetype, and will work to cultivate a rich appreciation of the innate nature of the images appearing in our dreams. As this time in the Sonoran desert offers a wonderful respite for all and especially for those of us coming from northern climes, this is a great time to invite your family and friends to join you at the resort and share meals with you and the group, while enjoying this time in Arizona.
* Out of respect for the very personal and private nature of dreams, we will not be working with any dreams of participants during this seminar.
*Souls on Fire is the Title of a book written by Elie Wiesel.