Why Pacifica Now? A Meditation & Imagining
“All true things change and only those things that change remain true.” C.G. Jung
by Peter M. Rojcewicz, PhD
Provost and Accreditation Liaison Officer at Pacifica Graduate Institute
People are carefully thinking about educational opportunities during this time of radical uncertainty. They hope to strategically find their way through a world of increasing complexity and rapid, unpredictable change. Grasping the nature, order, and the way of the world has long been a goal sought throughout higher education. Today, however, this question is highly problematized and traditional certitudes of the Academy are hotly contested.
As the present scale and pace of global change is enormous, universities currently experience social pressure to justify their relevance, not only regarding liberal arts and humanities offerings, but also the ostensible importance of entering higher education during a time of record unemployment. How should higher education institutions respond to a world of the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism, neoliberalism, an increasing global mental health crisis, and planetary deterioration in ways that make matriculation a sagacious decision? This post is simultaneously my meditation on existing conditions at Pacifica Graduate Institute and an imagining of where I hope it soon will be.
At Pacifica, graduate education prepares people to grasp the warp and woof of our unique times: paradox, chaos, liminality, asymmetry, emergence, and synchronicity. To that end, we are fashioning our curriculum and pedagogy to support people as they navigate global turbulence and the ugly plight of our current life by offering adaptive psychological skills that include frustration tolerance, cognitive flexibility, resilience, response-ableness, and discernment of the difference between personal agency as a doer and one being done to.