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An Evening With
“I’ve spent many years alone with the process of unlearning. Have you ever unlearned anything?” C. G. Jung, The Red Book
In Part 2 of this program, we will explore how we can develop intentional somatic awareness in order to unlearn some of our most primal, instinctually and biologically conditioned patterns of attachment. Many of these dependent patterns of object relationships that were essential for survival and thriving as infants, will become self-destructive and even deadly as we struggle to grow to independence. Throughout life, these patterns naturally evolve into immune enhancing and autoimmune defensive adaptations. Some produce loving projections and nourishing object relations, and others produce attachments to the bad object, seed future self-destructive codependent relationships, dissociations, and addictions.
The child’s awakening at birth is charged with duality in the first cry of chaotic inflammatory emotions that interrupt the sleeping, dreaming experience of oneness in the womb. The first breath of air boots up the immune system of the infant. The initial inflammation from the shadow projection of chaos at birth calms when the archetypal instinct to search for nourishment from the breast begins. If one is lucky enough, the flow of mother’s colostrum, the yellowish fluid, “liquid gold,” dense in nutrients and antibodies, soothes the infant. The golden shadow of paradisal oneness is projected within the union of mother and infant.
The shock of birth triggers the fight or flight response of the sympathetic nervous system. The infant now requires an alchemical transformation: a shift to the healing, digestion and procreation supporting, immune enhancing parasympathetic nervous system. The alternation of compensatory dualities - psychic and somatic, diastolic and systolic, of dark and golden shadow - is the beginning of the hero’s object relations odyssey. If we can learn to project this journey inward to develop our somatic awareness, we can make conscious biologically and emotionally nutritious choices for our sustenance. We can then use these choices of clean, nourishing energies to transform our own natural internal psychopharmacology and strengthen our immune system. Through this inoculative process, we prime ourselves to receive nourishment from the unfolding archetypal forces of healing that reveal themselves on the path of individuation.
Please note: after the program ends at 9:00 PM there will be an extended question and answer discussion for those who would like to participate in this option.
Timothy Lyons, LCSW, is a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist in private practice for individuals, couples and families in Capitol Hill, D.C. and Takoma Park, Maryland. He has a certificate for postgraduate studies from the Philadelphia Jung Institute and is a frequent presenter at the Jung Society of Washington. His postgraduate studies also include infant observation and art therapy. Tim’s work is further enhanced by his studies of Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, yogic philosophies, Hatha yoga and Qi Gong. He has also completed teacher training in Trul Khor (Tibetan yoga). His earlier career as architect and editor includes writing for the Washington Post, and lecturing at the Smithsonian Institution.
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