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C.G. JUNG AND THE SIOUX TRADITIONS: Seminar with Ted Bickford

C.G. JUNG AND THE SIOUX TRADITIONS - Seminar with Ted Bickford

Fridays: Nov.15 and Nov. 22, 8-10 PM
Members $8 /Nonmembers $10

The remarkable correspondences between traditional Native American belief systems and Jung’s psychology are examined in C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions by Vine DeLauria, Jr. The book is available at the Center. Please read and join us in a discussion about Jung’s term Collective Unconscious and the Universe/Worldview of the First Peoples.
“What has happened to Western civilization to move it away from a more unmediated natural life and into the callous, restrictive perspectives it presently takes as natural?”

“What has happened to one part of the human species, civilized humanity, that we have been forced to take a long detour to arrive at a place that is naturally available to all of us?”

Questions such as these, taken from Vine Deloria, Jr.’s book, C.G. Jung and the Sioux Traditions, will shadow our study of this most important work. Each of them could as easily have come from Jung himself. As posed by Deloria they point to the remarkable correspondence between traditional Native American belief systems and Jung’s psychology, a relationship that Deloria explores at length. Both the traditions and the psychology have to do with the full range of ancient, life giving, cultural memories and habits of thought. As represented in indigenous cultures, many were condemned as “pagan” and somehow felt to be threatening to Christianity and colonial powers that, therefore, sought to eradicate them. Altogether, they equate to a lost consciousness, long absent in European based cultures and severely impaired in Native American societies by the invasion of Europeans. This is what Jung called the Collective Unconscious, a lost consciousness with the deepest cultural roots that have no fixed date in time.

For students of Jung, Deloria’s book is a critique of his psychology by a preeminent intellectual from a cultural perspective completely different from familiar Western and Eastern epistemologies. It is a one of a kind look at Analytical Psychology’s actual relation to the cosmologies that formed the basis of Jung’s theories, Deloria’s Oglala Sioux traditions and those of other similar indigenous societies that Jung called “primitive“. One can imagine this being the book that Jung would have most wanted to read and Deloria the scholar he would have most wanted to speak with and question.

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