Guest Post: Forever Jung with Priscilla Hobbs

Priscilla Hobbs shares a few thoughts about her lecture this Friday, February 8th, titled Forever Jung. The lecture is at the UU Church at 7:30. Dr. Hobbs will also be teaching a class beginning next Wednesday that will explore this notion of “Forever Jung” deeper. Hope to see you there!

Joseph Campbell writes at the beginning of The Hero With a Thousand Faces that psychoanalysis is the best language for interpreting myth. Indeed, the very young language of psychoanalysis seems to be the best language for interpreting our world, specifically the language of Jung’s version of psychoanalysis. But why is this?

For one thing, Jung based his language not only on ancient concepts, but he selected his concepts based on his observations of his own world, which included interviews with patients and travels around the world. He analyzed himself and maintained a dialogue with a select community.

But he and Campbell share an attribute that seems out of place in our modern world: both were part of a generation–we’ll use the conventional label “The Modernists”– that was looking to find a new sense of order to their world. The Modernists left their mark on history by trying to break all of the rules of the Established Way of Doing Things from the previous centuries and, from the destruction, construct a New Established Way of Doing Things. This included trying to find a Unified Theory that could explain everything in a somewhat simple manner. As such, myths were reduced to archetypes, a “monomyth” was identified, and our ticks and “hang ups” were labeled as diagnoses and neuroses.

Jung’s version of psychoanalysis is recognized as a language for the second half of life, and Campbell’s theories are applicable to all ages–provided one heeds the call to follow one’s Bliss. As a Post-Modernist, I instantly resist the idea that Jung is only for older people, and I resist the idea that there can be such a thing as a Unified Theory of Everything. I was raised to embrace diversity, to celebrate our differences, and to recognize that the differences in myths and experiences are what makes the human experience so, well, cool.

So why did I title this lecture “Forever Jung?” Aside from the fact that I was secretly hoping to get a popular Rod Stewart song stuck in your head, I want to look at this language of Jung and see just how it can be applied to our current world. Or maybe our current world is the way it is because of Jung’s language?

The Fall 2012 Event Schedule is here!

Click here for the Events schedule!

2012 has been a year of transition for the Jung Society. Long-time Board Member and Past President Mark Sebesta stepped down. He is greatly missed. Current President Priscilla Hobbs is stepping down, but will remain in the fringes, and is passing the hat to Jo Todd, who is full of energy and is eager to bring new life into the JSA!

The Library has moved and is now housed in the New Life Institute. The library is not yet fully settled for borrowing, but we hope to have it open and running soon.

The JSA is recruiting for its new Friends of Jung volunteer group. Visit the Friends of Jung page for details on getting involved.

Finally, we are changing our dues structure. Visit the Getting Involved page for more information. Note that we have been having some trouble with Paypal lately, and that link is currently not working.

Classes and lectures are held at various locations; please read event descriptions thoroughly. The JSA office is located at 12593 Research Blvd Suite 302, Austin, TX 78759.  The United Unitarian Church is located at 4700 Grover Lane, Austin, TX, 78756. Please register for classes by calling the number indicated for each class. The Jung Society highly recommends that you check the Jung Society website regularly for updates on lectures, classes, and workshops.

Journey Conference

We received the following e-mail from the Journey Conference. Some of the events they are planning sound fascinating! Please visit our Community page for information and a link to this exciting conference.

Dear Friend on the Journey,

Our 2012 program is almost in place now, so I want you to see what’s new.   Pre-Conference — we added  a Pre-Conference Seminar and provided more information about the special Wednesday evening with Andrew Harvey entitled:

The Rumi Renaissance – Rumi’s Soulful Message for Our Time with Andrew Harvey accompanied by John V. Berdy.

If you haven’t yet signed up for The Pre-Conference Events, you may want to now. If you are already registered for a The Moving Toward Wholeness Conference,  we’ll even proide your $20.00 discount by taking it off your Pre-Conference registration for a qualifying event — so long as you note it on the form.

If you are a therapist in need of the required Ethics course for your recertification, you might be as excited as we are to know that Michael Kahn will come from Oregon to share the highly acclaimed seminar:

Reel Therapy: Ethical & Professional Issues for Therapists with Michael Kahn, LPC, JD

And everyone,  remember, even If you can’t make the Pre-Conference Events until Thursday afternoon, you can still sign up for the Featured Pre-Conference Short Seminar:

Individual and Political Implications for Our Times From Jung’s Experiences in the Red Book with Monika Wikman, Ph.D. Jungian Analyst Only  $25 (and it’s FREE for those registered for a qualifying Pre-conference Event!)

You’ll find all the details at

The two remaining workshops for the (main) Moving Toward Wholeness Conference about which we haven’t yet told you are:

Discovering the Language of Intuition with Claudia J. LeMarquand, MA, LPC


The Centerpoint Experience with Peggy Anne Sugars, M.P.H. Ed and Elsom Eldridge Jr., Ed.M.

You’ll  want to check these out along with each Presenter’s impressive biographical information at:

Jung & Aging Symposium

We received the following e-mail from Michael Carbine, Outreach Coordinator for the Jung Society of Washington:

On March 28, 2012,the Jung Society of Washington co-hosted a symposium with the Library of Congress entitled Jung and Aging: Bringing to Life the Possibilities and Potentials forVibrant Aging. The symposium washeld at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and was underwritten by AARP Foundation.


Copies of the Proceedings summarizing the symposium discussion are now available for freedownloading on the Society’s website at

A Midsummer’s Update

The summer is ticking by, and the Board of Directors is busy preparing an exciting event schedule for the Fall 2012 semester. There are also some BIG changes in store for the Jung Society of Austin:

  • Mark Sebesta, long time JSA member and past president, recently stepped down from the Board of Directors. His presence is noted and he will be missed. Thank you, Mark, for the many years of work and support you have dedicated to the Jung Society. We wish you success on your endeavors.
  • Current president, Priscilla Hobbs, is preparing to pass the presidential hat this year. She will stay on the Board in a newly created Past President position. The Board is preparing Jo Todd to fill her shoes.
  • The Board really needs some volunteers, and several of you have spoken. Rather than vote everyone onto the Board, which could become a logistical nightmare, we are working on creating a Friends of Jung group that will work with the Board to help streamline communications, programming, and membership updates. If you are interested in being considered for this exciting group, please send an inquiry note using the membership form on the Getting Involved page. As we develop the program, we will post more information about how to become a Friend of Jung on the FoJ page.
  • We are working on tidying up our membership database and implementing what may seem like new membership policies, but–really–they’re old policies. We will begin enforcing annual membership dues benefits beginning in January 2013. In the meantime, why not go ahead and see if your membership is current and take the time to update your dues and information for 2012? Making sure we have current information for you will help streamline the process going forward.
  • And on that note, we have added a PayPal button on the website so you can now join or renew your dues with a credit/debit card! We will continue to accept membership with cash or check as we have in the past. Please see the Getting Involved page for more information.
  • We had success with the trial run of the new Roundtable program this past spring and would like to make the Roundtables a permanent features for the JSA. if you are interested in presenting, please visit the Proposing an Event page.

June Event! Round Table Discussion-The Body Experience

The Body Experience Round Table will highlight the body’s response from a physiological and psychological perspective. This open, shared discussion hopes to explore this broad topic through the lens of several theoretical orientations. You will be invited to contribute your perspective to the topic and enrich the group’s overall understanding on the effect of the body on psychological process and healing. Some questions that may assist us in exploring the topic may include for example: 1) How does the nervous system respond to psychological processes? 2) How might the body’s wisdom be understood by observing animal behavior? 3) What archetypal dimensions of the body aid in self-understanding? 4) What mythological dimensions might be utilized in understanding the human condition? 5) What are other potential ways to bring the body more fully into healing and integration?

When: June 15th, 2012, 7:30-9:30pm
Where: First United Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Ave.
Cost: $10 Suggested Donation

About Michelle: Michelle John, PhD, LPC is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice specializing in individual & couples therapy using Somatic Experience™ as well as psychodynamic-oriented, creative therapeutic approaches to the client process. Dr. John received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute focusing her dissertation on Trauma and Cultural Breakdown in Athabascan Society. She currently serves on the JSA Board of Directors.

April Event! Round Table Discussion-Myth and Archetype

Friday April 27th 7:30 to 9:30 pm
First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover, Austin, TX

Priscilla Hobbs, current JSA president, will lead a discussion on Myth and Archetype. Myths and archetypes have shaped the human experiences for centuries, sharing common attributes yet manifesting in different ways across cultures. This discussion hopes to explore these broad topics throughout the ages, their meaning, and their effect on all of us. This is an open discussion and you will all be invited to contribute and discuss the topic.

Priscilla Hobbs is a doctoral candidate at Pacifica Graduate Institute in the Mythological Studies program. Her dissertation concentrates on the relationship between Disneyland and American mythology. Priscilla teaches Humanities at Austin Community College where she utilizes the myths of the past to teach students the myths of today. She is the founder of the Austin Joseph Campbell Foundation Mythological RoundTable and is the current president of Austin’s Jung Society. Her special interests surround exploring the new myths emerging in popular culture and how these myths can be used to decipher the changes in global culture. Though she has been studying myth her entire life, the most valuable lesson Priscilla has learned is that cats named after deities will absorb their attributes, as her kitten, Tangaroa, reminds her daily.

The address for the church is 4700 Grover Avenue. $10 donation to the Jung Society appreciated. We hope to see you there!

Ron Schenk is Coming to Austin

Jungian Analyst, Ron Schenk, is coming to Austin to share his perspectives on Depth Psychology. This special event includes a Friday night lecture and a Saturday performance. We hope to see you there.
Friday night, March 23rd
“Finance and Myth in American and Islamic Banking”
First United Unitarian Church
$12 members, $15 non-members, $8 students
CEUs available upon request.
Jung held that every collective body has its own “soul” or core element best expressed in the form of myth. In the aftermath of the American financial “meltdown” of 2008, this lecture will look at aspects of the irrational acts which took place in American banking, fostered by political and economic stimulation and connect them with a mythic narrative which underlies many aspects of American life.  At the same time we will interface this exploration with an elaboration of myths which underlie Islamic culture and show how these narratives give rise to an entirely different approach to banking practices.  Presentation enhanced with PowerPoint images.
Saturday afternoon, March 24th
“Liminal Space: A Performance/Presentation”
First United Unitarian Church Sanctuary
This event is a new form of presentation which combines song, poetry and art with psychological commentary to explore an archetypal theme, “liminality.” The intention is the merger of concepts usually held as distinct from each other such as “performance” and “lecture,” or “education” and “art.” The word, “liminal” refers to any object, situation or way of thinking that takes on the aspect of threshold, in-between space, “twilight zone,” or boundary or border crossing. The separate areas of liminal space to be explored are water ways, borderlands, cityscapes, seduction, and nightworld. Music comes from classical, jazz, show tune, traditional and popular genres, poetry from Shakespeare, Eliot and Frost, and art from a wide spectrum of art history displayed through powerpoint. Calling upon his training in voice, Jungian analyst Ron Schenk will read and sing accompanied by Linda Irwin on piano.
SPECIAL OFFER: Admission to both events can be purchased Friday nght for $30.
Ronald Schenk, PhD, LCSW, LPC, is a Jungian analyst, author and teacher in Dallas and Houston. His current writing focus is on American soul.  Recently he has combined his training in classical singing with his lecture material to create a multi-media event of performance/ presentation consisting of songs, poetry, artistic imagery and psychological observations.

Mandalas Revisited

By popular demand, Dennis Paddie, a friend of the artist Geoffrey Graham whose mandalas are currently hanging in the gallery of the Unitarian Church, will reprise his lecture about mandalas and Geoffrey on Sunday, February 26th at 1:00pm. Donations appreciated. We hope to see you there.

Keeping Austin Soulful