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They Had a Dream (We Have a Dream): C G Jung, Martin Luther King, Jr, and the Evocative Power of Symbols

Jennifer Leigh Selig, PhD

Friday, October 4, 2019  |  1-4:00PM  |  C G Jung Institute of Chicago (53 W Jackson Blvd, Suite 438)

Jung initially rejected the invitation to write Man and His Symbols, whose intention was to make Jungian psychology understandable to a general audience, but a dream convinced him otherwise. In his dream, he speaks to a multitude of enthralled people who understand everything he says. In this presentation on Chapter 1 of Man and His Symbols, “Approaching the Unconscious,” we’ll explore how two years after Jung completed both his chapter and his life, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to a multitude of enthralled people and translated many Jungian concepts into everyday language in his “I Have a Dream” speech. Jung’s chapter is concerned with four major areas—the unconscious, dreams, archetypes, and symbols—all four of which we find illustrated and translated to a general audience in King’s dream speech. We’ll dream the dream forward into the 2020 election and see how leading presidential candidates are working with archetypes and symbols as well, on behalf of the psychological health of the body politic

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On Longing: A Workshop

Jennifer Leigh Selig, PhD

Saturday, October 5, 2019  |  10:00AM-4:00PM  |  At the Center for Change & Healing

So many of us are experiencing a sense that we are lingering in “spaces that are too small and shabby for the grandeur of our spirit” (John O’Donohue). We may have abandoned our true longings, or at best, tucked them away in the security of our journals or explored them freely only in the safety of our therapist’s office. Still, we may be experiencing what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the fierce urgency of now,” the desire toward self-actualization that would have us give way and sway to our deepest dreams and longings. If not now, then when?

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About Jennifer

Ever since Jennifer was a little girl, she was in love with everything about books and dreamed of making her own. This dream came true in 1999 when her first book was published. Since then, she has published dozens of newspaper articles, book reviews, journal articles, essays, and she is either the author, editor, contributor, or publisher of over 20 books, including her latest book Deep Creativity: Seven Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit (published by Shambhala Press, with co-authors Deborah Anne Quibell and Dennis Patrick Slattery).

A Pacifica Graduate Institute alumna, Dr. Selig received her doctorate in Depth Psychology in 2004. She holds a Masters Degree in English with a Multicultural Literature emphasis from California State University, Sacramento, and a B.A. in English from U.C. Davis.   

Dr. Selig launched her own publishing company, Mandorla Books, due in large part to her frustration with the publishing industry when she was seeking a home for her doctoral research on Martin Luther King, Jr. She learned first-hand about some of the more commonly held frustrations of all writers, namely 1) lack of authorial control over and approval of the finished product; 2) loss of rights to one’s own work; and 3) disfavorable royalty structures, often tantamount to giving one’s creative labor away for free. After receiving one more dismaying publishing offer, Dr. Selig self-published what would become Integration: The Psychology and Mythology of Martin Luther King, Jr. and His (Unfinished) Therapy With the Soul of America. For her imprint name, she chose the symbol of the mandorla, the feminine symbol for connection and partnership, two driving forces in her life.

Dr. Selig continues to teach, publish, and write around the world. 

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