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40th Annual Jungian Conference

Individuation, Impermanence,  and Imperfection  

Special Guest Speaker
Jerry M. Ruhl, PhD 

Sunday,  March 29th,  2015
10:00 AM  ~  5:00 PM

link to audio file

Individuation is Carl Jung's term for finding meaning and purpose in life.  How do you know when you are on the right path?  Why do big ideas about achievement and enlightenment just get in the way?  When can you trust your inner guide and when must you apply discipline and ethics to curb the urgings of your instincts?


Jung believed we find meaning in life through the struggle with confounding oppositions.  The struggle between opposing forces or tendencies has its roots in philosophy, but it was Jung who gave it a starring role in the drama of consciousness.  Opposites such as good/evil, love/hate, inner/outer, underlie his psychology.  


He also believed there is a destination, a possible goal for life beyond maximizing pleasure, pursuing power and material goods, or even achieving our conscious goals.  He called this the way of individuation, a natural process that involves finding one's uniqueness, meaning, and wholeness.  When interfered with we become ill, trapped in a backwater of the personality.  Jungian-oriented psychotherapy aims at restoring the free flow of energy from our unconscious instincts to conscious life.


In this context, we will also explore the concept of Wabi-Sabi which grew out of a Zen perspective.  This view sees the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete, of things modest and humble.  Wabi-Sabi requires a great attention to living in harmony with nature and experiencing the divine in the simple and ordinary.


This presentation is designed to help us embrace irregularity, simplicity, and the integrity of natural objects and processes.  Lecture, discussion, and practical exercises will help you cultivate appreciation for what is impermanent, imperfect, and unfinished in life.


Suggested Reading:  Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers  by Leonard Koren


Jerry M. Ruhl, PhD is a clinical psychologist living in Houston, Texas. Dr. Ruhl is executive director of The Jung Center of Houston and a faculty member of the Saybrook University Graduate Studies Program in Jungian Studies.  He is the co-author of three books with Robert A. Johnson, including Contentment: A Way to True Happiness, published by HarperCollins.  Dr. Ruhl sees patients in private practice, facilitates dream groups, and presents seminars around the nation.

Link to Jerry Ruhl and Robert Johnson's website

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