Courses in the Via Investigativa


_The Afterlife Journey of the Soul: Where do we go after we leave the physical plane? Carl Jung and wide variety of spiritual traditions are clear that the soul‟s journey does not end at death. Drawing on Jung‟s thought and his own near death experience, plus classics like The Tibetan Book of the Dead and several channeled works, we examine multiple descriptions of the afterlife. Also considered is Jung‟s stress on our having a sense of what to expect after we die.

_Alchemy: Most people think of the precursor of modern chemistry when they hear the word “alchemy,” but this course is true to Jungian philosophy in recognizing alchemy as the study of soul growth and patterns of change and transformation. Jung‟s “Psychology of the Transference” and von Franz‟s Alchemy are the major vehicles used to take students deep into the subject, supplemented by other essays by Jung and Edward Edinger‟s Anatomy of the Psyche.

_Arcana Mundi: A study of the history of magic and the occult from ancient Greece to modern occultists like Aleister Crowley and Alice A. Bailey‟s Arcane School. The course includes examination of demonology, divination, miracles and the changing attitudes toward arcana over the last 2000 years.

_Archetypal Astrology: Pioneered by the Jungian analyst and astrologer Liz Greene and her Centre for Psychological Astrology, archetypal astrology uses the powerful symbolism of astrology to identify and explicate the archetypes active in individual lives. This course trains advanced students of astrology to think archetypally by exposing them to the myths, legends and basic principles of the archetypal world. Pre-requisite: Astrology II, or its equivalent.

_Archetypal Psychology: The version of psychology associated with Jungian psychotherapy is often labeled “archetypal,” in recognition of Jung‟s stress on the archetypal world and the myths and legends that reflect it. In this course students learn how to approach the study of the soul through myths and how to interpret their own soul journey through the lens of archetypes. Readings include essays by Jung, Hillman, von Franz, Edinger and other Jungians.

_Astrology I: A basic course for the novice with no prior training in astrology. The major components of the natal chart—the zodiac, planets, signs, houses and aspects—are identified and interpreted in depth. In addition, students will learn to use computer programs to erect their own and others‟ natal charts.

_Astrology II: This intermediate course considers a variety of topics essential to the practice of general astrology, including transits, progressions, solar returns, synastry and theories of chart comparison, psychological astrology and the Jungian concept of the inner city, in a format that stresses the integration of data into a coherent and meaningful delineation of a natal chart and its unfoldment over time. Pre-requisite: Astrology I, or its equivalent.

_Brother Sun and Sister Moon–The Ecological Consciousness of St. Francis: In a famous essay in the 1960‟s Lynn White Jr. identified St. Francis as a possible model for Western Civilization to use to rethink its attitudes toward the natural world. The environmental radicalism of St. Francis is the focus of this course, which draws parallels between his thought and the beliefs of Native Americans and Chinese Taoists, toward the formulation of a global ecological ethic that all people might support. Readings include White‟s essay, McGaa‟s Nature’s Way, and selections from Taoist philosophy.

_The Creation of Consciousness: An advanced course that offers an in-depth examination of 4 key documents that explore the basis of what Jung called the “new dispensation”—the Biblical book of Job, Jung‟s “Answer to Job,” William Blake‟s illustrations of the Book of Job, and Edward Edinger‟s The Creation of Consciousness—toward explicating Jung‟s image of God and fostering an understanding of how we, as individuals, are meant to be carriers of the numinosum and co-creators with the Divine. Ideally students will have taken the Introduction to Jung and Esoteric Christianity or New Dispensation courses prior to taking this course.

_The Dark Night of the Soul: One cause of depression in American society may be our culture‟s denial of the shadow side of life. America is afraid of grief, depression and the dark emotions represented by the shadow. We repress, demonize and project these emotions on to other people and other nations. If the shadow aspects of the self are not acknowledged and depression ensues, the return to wholeness may be through the archetype of the dark night of the soul. This archetypal experience can bring the realization of inner peace, a state of grace and a deep knowing that we are always connected to the Cosmos. This course provides space for students to examine the shadow emotions, experiences and body-mind states, in order to achieve a more highly developed sense of integration and individuation. Some of the topics discussed include : depression; the shadow; grief; our parents‟ wounds and our children‟s wounds; the archetypes of death and rebirth; shamanic initiation and rituals; processing unfinished business; principles for spiritual guidance; day journaling and dream journaling.

_The Dreaming Brain: By reviewing the theories and structures of dreams from neuroscience and Jungian theory, we examine how the brain encodes implicit memory and learning, what functions in the brain are “awake” and active during dreaming and what functions in the mind they correlate with. Also included is a review of Jung‟s theory of the symbolic meaning of dreams, how complexes and archetypes appear in dreams, and the general nature of the unconscious. Participants actively work with actual dreams through Jungian analysis techniques of amplification, association and active imagination, as well as considering the relevance of brain functions and learning to dream analysis. We also perform embodied enactments of participants‟ dreams.

_Esoteric Christianity: Drawing on both the orthodox canon and Gnostic texts, this course examines the “more interior” (Greek esoteros) form of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Multiple exercises assist and encourage students to perceive the deeper layers of meaning in both Old and New Testament texts, and to discover the “hidden wisdom in the Holy Gospel.”

_Esoteric Ethics: Moral conduct, duty, judgment, moral principles, the formation of standards of right and wrong and applications in practical reality form the core content of the usual course in ethics. In this course, we examine these topics from the viewpoint of esoteric wisdom and Jungian depth psychology, considering such themes as the expansion of the ethical community, the more rigorous obligations of higher consciousness and psychic etiquette.

_The Evolution of Western Consciousness: Getting us in touch with our psychic roots, this course traces the historical phenomenology of the Western psyche. Its goal is to explicate the sources of our modern consciousness. To do so it melds ancient Hebraic, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Egyptian and Roman elements with pre-historic animism, shamanism, mystery cults, medieval and Renaissance thought. Drawing on the pioneering work on archetypal psycho-history by Jung and his followers, we develop a portrait of the Western collective unconscious as it has become manifest over the last 4,000 years, and then extend this vision into the future by considering the hypotheses of Jean Gebser‟s emerging “aperspectival” consciousness.

_Fairy Tales and Their Deeper Meaning: There is a lot more to Snow White and Cinderella than the Disney cartoons would suggest. This course explores the depth of wisdom in the archetypes, symbols, characters and plots of seemingly simple stories drawn from many different cultures. A major source is the work of Marie-Louise von Franz.

_Field theory: Cutting edge science is confirming the ancient belief in the reality of fields of subtle energy that affect living systems in seemingly inexplicable ways. Jung did much to encourage the reexamination of ancient thinking about energy fields, and this course examines both Jung‟s theories and the contemporary scientific discoveries that are elaborating, refining and extending Jung‟s insights.

_Frontier Science: The focus of this course is on those contemporary sciences that lie beyond the conventional paradigm, e.g. consciousness research, psi phenomena, energy healing etc. The reality of scientific anomalies and the challenge they present are considered, along with the theory and practice of participatory methodologies. The course also examines how intrepid researchers like Beverly Rubik and the staff of the Institute of Noetic Sciences are creating an “extended” science that is more accurate in its view of reality.

_The History of Spirituality: Distinct from religion and related movements like occultism and spiritualism, spirituality has evolved over the last four millennia, from the animism and participation mystique of our Neolithic ancestors to the growing global phenomenon that is emerging in our contemporary world. This course examines this evolution, with a focus on changing images of the Divine, the rise of women‟s spirituality, the movement to reclaim the Goddess and attempts to integrate spirituality with quantum cosmology.

_Introduction to Esoterica: A survey of the hidden (Greek: esoteros) aspects of the world‟s religions and wisdom traditions, with attention given to common themes and points of agreement. An excellent first course for those interested in more advanced courses in mysticism, shamanism and religion.

_Introduction to Jung: A basic overview of Jung, the man, his thought and his legacy to psychology and our world. As a primer on Jungiana, this course introduces key concepts in Jung‟s thought, e.g. the shadow, the anima/animus, archetypes, the 4 functions, the 2 orientations, the personality types, the collective unconscious, the complex, compensation, enantiodromia, imagoes, individuation, introjection, libido, the night sea journey, the levels of the unconscious, projection, identification, the psyche, the Self, the self-regulation of the psyche, the meaning and value of symbols, the temenos, synchronicity, and the transcendent function. In addition, the course describes the major stages in the individuation process (like the mortificatio, the transitio, the coniunctio), and offers a portrait of the process of Jungian analysis. In the experiential component, participants gain hands-on practice doing dream interpretation, identifying their personality type and discovering their unique set of activated archetypes. Highly recommended for all who plan to take courses in alchemy, archetypal psychology, field theory, the psychonaut‟s journey, Jungian dream theory and practice, the Mysterium Coniunctionis and the psychology of dreaming.

_Introduction to Spiritual Alchemy. Western alchemy is a spiritual art of transformation. On the one hand, it is an art of uniting the opposites in human nature (masculine/feminine, light/darkness, the bounded/the unbounded, consciousness/unconsciousness). On the other hand, it is a method for turning lower, base or crude energies into higher, precious and refined personal power. It has been aptly described as “Western yoga.” Alchemy advises paying careful attention to that which is alien, other, and foreign (the contra-sexual) and that which is discarded, uninvited, and unwelcome (the shadow). In the troubling side of our relationships and the rejected parts of ourselves the transformative principle, the androgynous Mercury, the trickster god of change, is to be discovered. According to Jung, “unconscious projection” can lead to the release of Mercury. With the right kind of conscious attention, these difficult places of relatedness and feeling can become sites of personal and spiritual transformation. This course is structured around the stages of the alchemical process: the nigredo, the albedo, the rubedo, the coniunctio, and finally, the transmutio. A selection of short readings will be drawn from Jung and Jungian analysts.

_Introduction to the Spiritual Sciences I: A foundational course that offers an overview of the curriculum, this course is highly recommended for all new students. Providing an orientation to the Center and its five-path curriculum, the course considers basic questions, like “What is meant by spiritual science?” and “What are the spiritual sciences?” We identify the key resources available to students of the spiritual sciences, from the wisdom of the world‟s religions to more modern contributors, like Alice A. Bailey, Edgar Cayce, Rudolf Steiner and G.I. Gurdjieff. Participants are introduced to the variety of practices that support the inner life and provide insights into their “inner city” and personal daimon. The course also describes the Center‟s understanding of creativity, and explains why creativity is so central to spiritual growth. Finally the course provides an introduction to the multitude of practical skills that foster the process of individuation.

_Introduction to the Spiritual Sciences II: This intermediate-level workshop covers 4 topics: Gaia and the rise of a planetary consciousness; cosmology in its multiple forms; esoterica (an overview of Gnosticism, arcana, mysticism, wisdom traditions and secret societies); and the spiritual journey, including the path of individuation and the experience of the psychonaut. Like the more basic Introduction to the Spiritual Sciences I, this course offers students exposure to a variety of spiritual sciences.

_Introduction to Spiritual Philosophy: An exploration of some of the fundamental issues considered in conventional philosophy (e.g. the nature of truth, existence, the purpose of life, metaphysics) but with a wider range of planes of investigation. Consideration of subjects like ethics, aesthetics, mind, theurgy, and epistemology is much deeper, more complex and more aware of the holistic nature of human beings than in the usual academic introduction to philosophy.

_Jung and Native Wisdom Traditions: In his global travels Jung made a point to visit native peoples, always with a keen eye and ear for their beliefs and worldviews. This course looks both ways as it explores Jung‟s appreciation for the wisdom of native mythologies as well as Native writers‟ understanding of Jung and his thought. We will pay particular attention to Vine Deloria‟s assessment of the parallels between Jung‟s ideas and the traditions of the Lakota Sioux.

_Jung and the New Science: Carl Jung always considered himself a scientist in the tradition of true empiricism. In this, as in so many ways, he was many decades ahead of his time. Only now, in the early decades of the 21st century, is mainstream science beginning to resonate to Jung‟s work and explore the new paradigms and revisionings of science that will revolutionize the “knowledge base” of Western culture. In this course students compare the old and emerging paradigms of science in light of Jung‟s theories and insights into the nature of the psyche and reality.

_Jung and the Platonic Tradition: A long-time student of philosophy, Jung was well acquainted with the heritage of Western civilization within which he worked and wrote. From the pre-Socratics to the Nominalist controversy in the Middle Ages and Kant‟s Critiques, the Western tradition informed Jung‟s philosophy in many ways. Particularly is this true for Plato and the long line of thinkers who drew their inspiration from him. Just what “the Platonic tradition” means, how it influenced Jung‟s thought, and why it is important for us, as students of Jung, are the major themes of the course.

_Jungian Dream Theory & Practice: An advanced-level course in Jung‟s concept of the dream, his techniques and theories on doing dream interpretation, and the forms that dream work takes within the analytic temenos. Readings from Jung and later dream specialists like James Hall, Mary Ann Mattoon, C.A. Meier, Robert Bosnak and Jeremy Taylor form the core of the intellectual section of the course; students‟ own dreams are grist for the practicum part, in which the class applies Jungian principles to handle their dreams.

_Jungian Parenting: This student-generated course applies Jung‟s thought and techniques to consider what constitutes good parenting and how parents might practice conscious parenting, reperceive individual children and resolve difficulties with “problem children.” Using an experiential and practical format, the course provides participants with actionable information they can use within their personal family dynamic.

_Medical Astrology: A short introduction to the complex subject of interpreting the astrological chart for its insights into health and physical conditions. Integrating the pioneering work of Max Heindel and Reinhold Ebertin with more recent studies, this workshop offers the advanced student of astrology a variety of techniques for identifying the deeper spiritual issues behind physical and mental problems. Pre-requisite: Astrology I, II and III, or their equivalent.

_Men‟s Lives in the 21st Century: America is experiencing a crisis in masculine character and leadership. Although the symptoms are many and varied, a lack of inner awareness and soul loss lies buried deeply at the root of this crisis. American men have lost their notion of wisdom and the sacred underpinnings necessary for healthy relationships and for contributions to the well-being of society. This workshop addresses how the corporatization of America is directly linked to this loss of cultural wisdom and the ensuing pathology and depression. Men‟s work now must be to reclaim their collective souls and to establish mature and generative forms of masculine identity. While this workshop focuses on men and their lives, women are encouraged to attend, to provide their valuable insights and wisdom. Topics to be discussed include : what men have and don‟t have; what men need; relationships; work, livelihood and money; men‟s violence; men‟s depression; men‟s healing; white male privilege—fact or fantasy?

_Mysterium Coniunctionis: A very advanced course devoted to Edward Edinger‟s dissection and analysis of Jung‟s master work. The class proceeds chapter-by-chapter through the Mysterium, with Edinger‟s commentary as guide. Pre-requisite: Introduction to Jung; Alchemy; and Archetypal Psychology. Suggested: Gnosticism; Cabala; Symbols.

_Mythology: An exploration of the meaning of mythology and the evolution of mythical thought from an interdisciplinary standpoint. Consideration will be given to mythology as an explanation of the way the world is ordered and how human beings respond to that order. The course will examine the relevance of myths in our daily lives, and the archetypal underpinnings of myth.

_The New Dispensation: Carl Jung recognized that a new form of spiritual expression was arising in anticipation of the Age of Aquarius—a form rooted in the psychologically conscious individual. Jung felt that such new spiritual developments grew out of older religions (the old “dispensations”), and this course draws on the wisdom contained in the New Testament and the life of Jesus to describe the form of this “new dispensation.”

_Numerology: An introductory workshop in the ancient art of numbers, their vibrations and meanings. The course begins with a review of ancient number theory, including Pythagoras, then considers the concept of number in Sufism and cabala, later mystical traditions and modern practice. Students learn how to use numbers to gain self-awareness and insight into their own lives and those of their friends and family.

_Original Christianity: Few Christians are aware of how Christianity evolved in its first 100 years. This course works with the very earliest of Christian writings to focus on the core of Christian thought. Particular attention will be given to several letters of the apostle Paul, as well as recent discoveries that shed new light on the genesis of the Christian religion. The human side of how Christianity developed will also be examined.

_Paradigms and Learning: This workshop considers learning styles and learning differences and the continuous changes and expectations involved in learning. Discussion centers around learning styles, environment and patterns, beginning with a self-assessment of each participant‟s personal learning style. The workshop will review the definition and role of paradigms in learning, along with the impact of personality types on the process of learning. Examples of different learning styles will be presented and students will identify the paradigm and paradigm shifts in each example.

_The Perennial Philosophy: Regardless of time or place, century or culture, humans have adhered to certain beliefs, attitudes and concepts; these form what has been called the “perennial” (undying, ever-reviving) philosophy. This course examines the central themes of this crucial tradition, through the classic study by Aldous Huxley.

_The Psychology of Dreaming: This 9-session workshop explores the methods, experiences and applications of dream work. It covers historical and cultural perspectives along with the psychological theories underpinning the scientific study of dreams and individuals‟ personal work with dreams. The format includes discussion of the readings, dream sharing and dream interpretation. We consider the value of dreams, the history of dream theory and the scientific research on dreaming, as well as a variety of techniques for incubating and interpreting dreams. Each session will combine theory with “hands-on” activities working with the students‟ dreams, so participants gain personal experience working in the unconscious. The goals are: to help participants become aware of the reality of the psyche; to give participants multiple opportunities to get to know their “Inner Friend,” while they learn a variety of techniques to work with and interpret their dreams. Readings include a packet of excerpts from several books as well as a tips and techniques pamphlet.

_The Psychonaut‟s Journey: Astronauts venture into outer space. Psychonauts venture into inner space. Both journeys require courage, determination and training. Just what this training consists of, how to get into it and stay with it, what to expect along the way, and what sort of destination awaits—these are the themes covered in this course. Pre-requisite: Introduction to Dreamwork, Introduction to Meditation. Ideal, but not required as a pre-requisite: at least 6 months of Jungian analysis.

_Seth and Jung on the Nature of Personal Reality: Jane Roberts channeled the entity Seth whose philosophy bears a close resemblance to Jung‟s thought. In this student-generated course the focus is on a comparison of Seth‟s views and Jung‟s sense of personal reality, using Jung‟s The Undiscovered Self and Seth‟s The Nature of Personal Reality.

_Treasures of the World‟s Religions: This 9-week course surveys all the religions of the world to identify the major truths and gifts each contributes to global civilization. Contrasting aspects of the various exoteric expressions of religion and comparison of the commonalities in their respective esoteric forms will be highlighted. We will also study the mythical, ethical and cultic aspects of religion, as well as considering the new emerging form of spiritual expression.

_The Western Wisdom Tradition: This course offers an overview of the major contributors to the wisdom literature of the West, from the ancient Egyptians, the pre-Socratics, the medieval cabalists and mystics like Eckhart and Baal Shem Tov, the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons, to the spiritualist movement of the 19th century and the resurgence of interest in this tradition in the last 50 years.

_The Wisdom Traditions of the Non-Western World: An overview of the wisdom literatures of Taoism, the Hindu Vedas, the Buddhist canon, and the oral traditions of Native Americans, Australian aborigines, and African tribes form the basis of this survey course. A helpful prior course (but not required as a pre-requisite) is The Western Wisdom Tradition.

_The XY Factor: The Dance of Feminine and Masculine Energies Within Us All: When we have access to the full spectrum of energies, wisdom and resources within us, we thrive and so do our relationships—with ourselves, with others and with the planet. This course is structured as a virtual tele- class in which we explore what the healthy expressions of masculine and feminine energies look like, what ideas and beliefs about gender might hold us back from taping into the power of this innate duo, and how we can strengthen and develop our full range of expression.