Lecture: Facing Climate Disruption and Extinction with Jungian and Moral Perspectives
GUILFORD DUDLEY, Ph.D. and MONIKA WIKMAN, Ph.D.
As we continue to pass scientific thresholds of no return, two major psychological issues are emerging. One is our proclivity for self-deception and avoidance — dissociation from a reality staring us in the face like the barrel of a shotgun. Those who do look away from the shotgun as though it were not there can be appreciated with great compassion, since the reality can simply be too much to bear.
The other issue arises in those who face climate disruption and the closely connected species extinction as realities in the present, but they experience despair, bewilderment, grief, and fatigue — fatigue from facing the enormous threat to the planet, but not knowing what to do, how to contribute in ways that are effective. Grieving, though important, is not enough in light of the urgency. The fatigue is heightened by a President and his administration scathingly contemptuous of environmental efforts here and worldwide, and so we have no national support, no tribe.
The moral issue is clear. Our species represents .01% of all life forms, yet we have already caused the extinction of 83% of mammals and 50% of plants. We are just on the verge of discovering unique centers of consciousness in species like whales, dolphins, elephants, and a host of other life forms, yet we are damning them all to extinction, and they are defenseless.
However we see our lives as following Jung into more eros with the natural world, together with pursuing our own individuation and wholeness, it’s hard to imagine those pursuits without relating them to issues of extinction. The moral issue is clear: our species and ours alone is pushing all species on the planet into extinction. We will discuss what it means for psyche to come to grips with such a burden. (For lecture information contact Guil Dudley 505-570-0577.)
Workshop (please take special note of day and place!):
This Sunday workshop (to be held at 1536 Bishops Lodge Road, Tesuque, NM) will continue the discussion begun on Friday night, expand it in new directions, and provide opportunity for deeper group interaction. Workshop contact person is Susan Steffy, 505-469-0430 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guilford Dudley, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst practicing in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. He is a member of the New Mexico Society of Jungian Analysts. Guil has authored two books and is completing a manuscript for a third. Before training to be an analyst, he was Assistant Professor at Temple University and a lecturer at other universities.
Monika Wikman, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst, astrologer and author of Pregnant Darkness: Alchemy and the Rebirth of Consciousness. A graduate of the Jung-von Franz Center for Depth Psychology, in Zurich, she is a member of the NM Society of Jungian Analysts. Interviews with Monika on topics such as the anima mundi and environmental issues of our time, archetypal phenomenon surrounding death, dreams, active imagination, and alchemy can be found at shrinkrapradio.com and SpeakingofJung.com. Her work with the dying led to a research project on Dreams of the Dying at UCSD Medical Center leading to a current manuscript on the Alchemy of Life, Death and the Wedding Veil.