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Rob Lay, MA Counseling 1993


Alumni Spotlight: Rob Lay, MA Counseling 1993

PGIAA proudly features Alumni Profiles toward sharing stories of the Pacifica experience. Our initial offering () derives from an online collection of stories — the now defunct as maintained by current Core Faculty Jennifer Selig, Ph.D. (Depth Psychology, 2004). We welcome these stories, and further stories from all of Pacifica’s degree programs.


 Rob Lay
 | M.A. (Counseling Psychology, 1993 | Ph.D. Depth Psychology, 2006)


Forest Curator


Where do you live?
Paradise, New Zealand (really) most of the time. San Anselmo, California the rest.

What brought you to Pacifica?
I wanted to make better films and tell better stories. I’m a filmmaker and a writer in my day job. That’s why I came to New Zealand in the first place — working on Lord of the Rings back in the day, and, next, The Hobbit.

How has your Pacifica degree served you professionally in your occupation or your vocation?
It led me out of the matrix and into the world.

How has your degree served you personally?
It turned my perspective inside out and helped me to be a better therapist — yes, I consider my part-time psychotherapy practice part of my “personal” life. So, how the latter? Because I came to realize that I really didn’t know anything at all other than what I perceived, that this was real, but only a portion of the Real, and that through the deep empathetic connection to another’s perspective and pain, we both could broaden our grasp of that greater Reality, and that moment of grasping alone, by itself, no more nor less, was worth it all.

What was a particularly meaningful or memorable part of the Pacifica experience for you?
The dissertation process was transformative (and excruciating) and, though it took me six (count ’em) years, I would never have found my forest without it. (Thanks Jennifer S., Helene L., Kenton H., and, of course, Heather!)

What is the title of your dissertation?
Exploring Subjectivity in the Work of Jung, Heidegger, and Corbin Through an Artistic Dialogue of Film.

Would you like to mention any other publications?
A Fork in the Tale (interactive movie a.k.a. full motion video game); Back from the Edge: Ausengate’s South Rib; Carbon Dreaming; Heart of Stone: Failure on the Ptarmigan Traverse; Life Prayer; Perilous Angel (forthcoming); Tree Murmuring and Other Ways of Attuning to a Forest: Confessions of a Heideggarian Woodsman (forthcoming).

What are your areas of interest?
Eco-forestation, adventure running, computer graphics and special effects for film and video, storytelling, mystical practice, film and photo image blogging, semi-automatic weapons, musical composition for guitar and keyboards.


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