Who's at the Door? Intrusions, Eruptions, Psyche and Soul Saturday April 11th at 1:30pm-3pm EDT
“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy
It is the stranger who knocks on the door. Its terrifying features are proportionate to the degree to which its meaning has been exiled, and we are frightened because we know that its entrance and effects on our life will create a psychic dis-equilibrium. So we wash our hands, lock the doors and do whatever is possible to keep these contents far away from our life- or so goes the illusion. The stranger, this creative unconscious, will not be silenced or muted by conscious intent. Ultimately the unconscious will have its say, because The Self understands that we cannot live a meaningful life with such vital aspects of Psyche in exile.
We need to know the stranger at the door, and are often surprised to learn its identity. From myth, fairy tale and opera we hear of these life altering encounters with Self. In Puccini's La Boheme, we come to know a very different face of this stranger. Not the face of greed, or unconscious guilt, or the ravages of the violence we have done to others; instead here we are asked to see the consequences of the life we live.
In the final scene we find Rodolfo and Mimi, two estranged and forlorn lovers, whose capricious and frivolous behaviors have kept them from living out the deep love they have towards one another. In the final scene, Mimi has returned, but as we soon learn, not to live, but to die near the one she adores. Suddenly face to face with the reality of what they have refused to live, Mimi declares to Rodolfo that: Mimì ...I have many things I want to tell you, well only one, but it's huge as the ocean, as deep and infinite as the sea... (She puts her arms around Rodolfo's neck) You are my entire life, you are my love! Rodolfo Ah, Mimì, my beautiful Mimì!
Mimì (She let's herself fall into his arms) Do you still find me beautiful? Rodolfo As lovely as the dawn.
Mimì You are wrong in your comparison You should say: lovely as the sunset. "They always call me Mimi, I know not why!... ". Rodolfo (touching and affectionate) Back in its nest now, the Swallow is gaily chirping. (taking Mimì's bonnet out from where it has rested on his heart, he holds it out to her) Mimì I feel so much better... I'd like to have a look around. (with a sweet smile) Ah, how lovely it is here! I feel life returning here... (sitting up a little and embracing Rodolfo again) No! you won't leave me any more! Rodolfo Heavenly lips, still you speak to me! Mimì I am so cold... How will I ever be able to get my hands warm? She coughs Rodolfo (He takes Mimì's hands in his to warm them)... (Reaching her hand towards Rodolfo)... (Rodolfo bursts into tears) Mimì You're crying? I'm fine... Why are you crying like this? (She puts her hands in the muff and gracefully tilts her head... as she goes drifts off to sleep) Rodolfo I'm here... my love,... always with you! My hands... in the warm... and... to sleep...
Silence............ Shortly afterwards shes gone. Their terror is in knowing that they will never be able to allow this love the future it could have had, or to experience the joys that such a union would bring. This is the union of two individuals in love, and the tortured love story of a life estranged from Psyche and Soul. Now we are asked to face the truth of the life we are living in relationship with others, and to our own soul. And to now recognize the painful reality of how our traumas and fears have constrained our life, while also asking what is needed to move beyond the contours of our possessions.
It is fitting that this Assisi presentation occurs during the Easter and Passover celebrations. Each speaks to renewal and to a freedom which requires a confrontation with a greater truth, and the breaking of an archetypal possession which keep us in slavish obedience to the contours of the spell. In keeping with the redemptive spirit of this spring equinox, we will look to the film Moonstruck to see how the tragedy of Rodolfo and Mimi can be averted and transformed.
We hope you will join us for this event. Though the live event is in English, after the talk, recordings will be available in English, Spanish, Russian and Italian.
Dr. Michael Conforti is a Jungian analyst and the Founder and Director of The Assisi Institute, and teaches at The C.G. Jung Institutes in Boston and New York. A pioneer in the field of matter-psyche studies, Dr. Conforti is actively investigating the workings of archetypal fields and the relationship between Jungian psychology and the New Sciences. He has presented his work to a wide range of national and international audiences, including the C.G. Jung Institute - Zurich and Jungian organizations in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and Venezuela. He is the author of Threshold Experiences: The Archetype of Beginnings (2007) and Field, Form and Fate: Patterns in Mind, Nature and Psyche (2002). His books have translated into Italian, Russian and a Spanish edition is nearing completion. His articles have appeared in Psychological Perspectives, San Francisco Jung Library Journal, Roundtable Press, World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution, and Spring Journal. Dr. Conforti maintains a private practice in Mystic, CT and consults with individuals and corporations around the world. He provides his insights as a sought-after consultant to businesses, government institutions, and the film industry. He has served as script consultant on the films Pride and Glory and Elvis Anabelle and is currently working on a script for a new TV series. He has also been asked to consult on the application of field theory to the understanding and resolution of international border disputes. He was selected by The Club of Budapest and the University of Potsdam to be part of a 20 member international team of physicists, biologists, and dynamical systems theorists to examine the role and influence of informational fields. He is a recipient of the Vision Award presented by the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.