Reflections on the 25th Anniversary,
Dominic Callahan, Ph.D., Past President, CJSSF
It is a privilege to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Center for Jungian Studies of South Florida. Ours is a community where the common denominator is a often a long history of having felt different elsewhere; where that which did not fit or was not valued becomes, when approached with courage, consciousness and patience, the material of value and the means by which one does fit. We are a family that knows the darkness waiting within family, a tribe that is wary of how the tribal can control as easily as it comforts, a group dedicated to the thoughts of one man who himself lamented the prospect of blind followers, a group of individuals who possess insights that they know could literally change the world for the better yet who also know these same insights must manifest one person at a time.
Being a part of this community has allowed me to see subjects usually ignored or judged given careful consideration. Subjects such as pornography, domestic violence, the trauma of 9/11, addiction, predation in human relationships, obsessive love and betrayal,, the elections, our compulsive relationship with money, trauma in childhood, and so many more. The understanding that is granted by depth psychology is unlike any other and this is why I find it so nourishing to attend, to contribute, and to learn. We seek to understand how to take true responsibility for ourselves, how to insure that our perspective is not yet another platform but a place where the growing virulence of the opposites in our time can, for a civilizing moment, be contained and consciously held long enough for their often hidden common ground to be discovered and their fear of one another lessened. We are a group where the Tea Party’s anger with a lack of accountability can be sifted out of their seemingly reactionary and implacable stances, where the shrill voices against gun control can be heard as an anguished distrust of authority, where pornography can be seen as one of the places Aphrodite has taken up a government in exile, where the drama of that gathered around Elian Gonzalez can be heard as the resurfacing of the eternal story of the Divine Child, where betrayal can be seen as an often necessary antidote to naiveté, where the cutting of one’s skin and the proliferation of tattoos can be thought of as essential efforts in the search for initiation and transformation, where addiction can be thought of as a disfigured search for religious experience, where the desire for love can be thought of, as Jim Hollis aptly titles it, an Eden project, destined to be disappointed yet, when handled by someone as discerning as himself, a disillusionment gentled by wisdom and real guidance for finding a partner where the bond will last. We seek to not add to the projections and unexamined prejudice, to not add to the noise but, rather, to increase the clarity, the honesty, the usefulness of the discussion by insuring that we have done the hard work of becoming aware of our own shadow. We are an asset of the highest value to a world that finds less and less to agree on and where fear so quickly colonizes reflection. To be with all of you tonight is an honor and a blessing. I thank all of the people who give so much to this group, people such as Ann Lynch, Brenda Astor, Fred Fleischer, and all of the other Board Members here tonight. This community shelters me, inspires me, and gives me hope for our future. Thank you and please keep attending, keep giving us feedback, and help us all dream onward the dream of a world slowly transformed by the new ethic of personal consciousness and a deeper connection to all that is living.