Monday, April 20, 2009

(1) The Archetype


Immediately I made contact with the Jungian scholar who focused
on the Archetype and God-Imagery. He was very gracious and
queried me on my own specialty of Pneumatology. He made a
number of recommendations that I might follow during this full
year I would spend at the institute. Of course we would meet
periodically, along with attending his presentations. But most
importantly, he believed it would be very personally profitable
for me to undergo at least a limited Jungian analysis with a
licensed practitioner.

Undergoing analysis, mainly dream-work, should give me a
special insight into my own archetypal construct as well as
coming to understand how the Greater Self worked within me.
Need I say I had little idea what might be in store for me. Besides
this, this good scholar suggested I learn more about Symbolism.
There were books, but the institute had a massive film archive
that illustrated Pre-historic, Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Christian
as well as other cultural symbolism. My scholar--having
agreed to become my mentor--noted that learning in more
depth this Symbolism, such would enhance my own theological

And upon my initial leave-taking with my mentor, he provided
me with a very useful reading-list that concentrated on his
specialty of the Archetype and God-Imagery. The institute's
library had some 6,000 specialized books available for its

So what with the lectures and seminars, plus archival film
and books on the various subjects that would provide me
with a more insightful psychological approach into my own
theological work, I felt more than pleased how I might spend
this year. As for my undergoing a dream-work analysis, my
mentor advised a particular practitioner. Almost immediately
I began to settle in. And almost immediately, too, I felt very
comfortable and somehow instinctively knew that I was on
the right track.

Beyond all this I met a number of the institute's students--not
all psychologists, but rather representatives of many professions.
Most interestingly, I made friends with a budding film director
who worked with Warner Bros. Studios. He noted that a number
of good movies actually incorporated myth and psychological
symbolism, albeit well camouflaged. He likened it to so-called
popular music that oft was based on the more complex classical
music of earlier times. Many of us don't really know that our
present day information is oft built upon information come down
through the ages.

Our's was a happy meeting. This young film director lived in
Santa Monica, not too far from my own apartment. Hence a
camaraderie developed. My new found friend introduced me
into his own social circle, mostly concentrated in Santa Monica.
This circle was more artistically oriented, far removed from my
own theological milieu. This new circle of friends included not
only Hollywood artists, screenwriters, and directors, but also
musicians in both clubs and symphonies. Dancers, too!

All I can say is that it was a "hip" crowd. Really different, but what
interested me was that virtually all these people I met were
singularly interested in my work as a theologian. That is not to
say that they were religious or church-goers, but rather they
displayed a keen questioning about what God might mean,
how the universe, our world, and their own life relates to this
Higher Reality that they sensed standing behind all of Everything.

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