Book A Workshop
I lecture and teach a variety of workshops that involve a wide-ranging play with ideas, concepts, experiential explorations, questions and group interaction. Following are some of the seminars and lectures I have been doing recently. To book any of the following contact me.
What’s Next? Reviewing and Revisiting Your Life
Periodically, we need to review and revision our lives. Every decade of our life-cycle brings new tasks, goals, pleasures and horizons. When the trauma of divorce, illness, tragedy or sudden good fortune strikes us, or when we gradually become dissatisfied, bored and depressed, it is time to take stock of our past and look for a new vision to guide us toward a more hopeful future. In this workshop you will explore:
Where you are in your life-cycle.
What you have accomplished and experienced thus far.
What’s old, stale, worn-out, boring.
What new, Interesting, exciting, appealing.
What decisions you need to make.
What destructive patterns you repeat.
What debts of gratitude you have not repaid?
What future you foresee for yourself.
What hasn’t happened yet.
What promises and potentials are still unfulfilled?
What your legacy will be.
Your dreams, values, visions.
Your Mythic Journey
Human beings are storytelling animals, myth makers, spinners of tales that give us the only answers we will ever get to the perennial questions: Where did I come from? What is the purpose of my life? For what may I hope? Who are the heroes? What should I do? Am I alone? What is taboo? What is wrong with me? How may I be healed?
The meaning of our lives is found in the stories we tell about ourselves. Carl Jung once said that the most important question anyone can ask is : What myth am I living? In the degree that we remember and retell our stories and create new ones we become the authors, the author/ities, of our own lives. When we forget or pay no attention to our personal histories we begin to live by somebody else’s myths, meanings and values that do not fit the shape of our own spirits, surrender the governance of our lives to some second-hand authority, some official myth maker.
This workshop will explore the myths, scripts, stories, and hidden assumptions that give shape to your life. You will tell about your heroes, enemies, wounds, gifts, fears, and hopes. You will re/member the people, places and pivotal events that informed your life. You will recover childhood dreams and project your fondest hopes into the future. And you will begin to create an outline for writing your autobiography, telling the story of what your life has been about.
Please bring a large journal in which you can draw and write, a box of crayons or colored pencils, and a photograph album containing pictures from various times and places in your life. You may want to read Your Mythic Journey by Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox. Jeremy Tarcher Books.
Corporate Myths and Narratives
Human beings are storytelling, biomythic, animals. At birth we are informed by our DNA, but no sooner are we out of the womb than our parents and society download an elaborate set of paradigms, worldviews, philosophies of life, narratives— into our infantile brains. These cultural scripts and organizing myths provide answers to certain perennial human questions. They give us guidance, understanding of where we have come from and where we are heading, a map of the path of life, and a pantheon of heroes and villains. But they also program us to believe and act in ways that limit our desires, goals and horizons .
Corporations, no less than families, tribes and nations, are shaped by inherited narratives and rituals that remain largely unconscious. Unexamined, they result in the choice of inappropriate goals, poor decisions, high levels of stress, and low levels of creativity and profit. Exploring a corporate myth allows us to evaluate ways in which it is empowering and limiting. It suggests a process by which organizations reinvent themselves by creating a constantly evolving and transforming story that incorporates the highest and best energies of the corporate community, its consumers and the global community;
In this seminar we will examine such questions as:
What is your corporate narrative?
How, when and by whom was the narrative created?
What is your brand story?
Who created it?
How do you promote and protect your brand?
How much of your brand story is window dressing”?
How often do you revisit and revise your corporate narrative and brand story
By what standards do you judge your corporation to be healthy?
Bring a portfolio of stories, advertisements, unmet goals and dreams and a willingness to think about business and corporate life in new ways.
In The Absence Of God: Dwelling In The Presence Of The Sacred
This lecture/workshop offers a provocative critique of the present state of religion and points the way to a new vision of the sacred through the recovery of such elementary emotions as wonder, gratitude, anxiety, joy, grief, reverence, compassion, outrage, hope and humility. It holds out the promise that if we have the courage to wait patiently on the border between agnosticism and faith, forsaking the false certainties promised by the God of traditional religions we may rediscover the G-d of the mystics, the ultimate, unknowable reality that can only be named in the gossamer language of myth and metaphor and poetry.
The Sacred Journey
In this workshop we will explore:
A reverent way of being in the world.
Religion without superstition.
Spirituality without sentimentality.
The endless path of the unfathomable psyche.
Approaches to the unknowable God.
Recovering a Sense of the Sublime.
The Return to Enchantment.
Reclaiming Your Body: Stories that Sicken, Stories that Heal.
Human beings are biomythic animals, storytellers, myth makers, spinners of tales. The stories we tell, our conscious and unconscious myths, inform our minds and bodies, give shape to our lives and predispose us to contract certain diseases. By discovering the somatic aspects of our myths, they way they shape our bodies, form our character armor, structure our use of energy, dis-ease us, we can begin to recover the power to heal ourselves.
In this workshop we will explore some of the following topics:
Personal history. What disease scripts did you get from your family? What did you learn about the body, about sensuality and sexuality, from your parents? What meanings were assigned to special diseases?
Social and political myths. What religious, economic and cultural myths are informing your life and death styles? What price do you pay in health and happiness for living by the myth of competition, success, progress?
Somatic cryptology. How do you decipher the messages of your pain and disease? How do you listen to the voices of your illness?
The art and techniques of self-healing. How do you use creative imagination, memory, visualization, dreams, meditation, touch to change your disease scripts and enter into a more healing relationship with your self?
To increase the ability of participants to listen to the voice of dis-ease, to decypher the message of pain, to discover the unconscious life-scripts that cause conflict, stress and illness.
Session l and 2. An introduction to the theory of human beings as biomythic animals and an extrapolation of the importance of this for medicine and self-healing.
Sessions 3,4 Will be a practical, existential exploration of the body-myths by which we live.
Session 5 will concentrate on the creation of a personal apocothary, a repertoire of healing practices.
Psychotherapy and the Spiritual Journey: Healing the Ego, Healing the Spirit
In this workshop we will explore:
Ways the psyche is in-formed and mis-informed by the stories, scripts and myths that are imposed on us by our families and our culture;
How psychotherapy can aid us in re-membering our “fated” past and free us to create a more satisfying future;
The nature of spirit as the human capacity to transcend the psyche, to go beyond the limits imposed on us by the myths and social conditioning that have in-formed us;
The disciplines necessary for undertaking a spiritual quest; constructing a spiritual bullshit detector;
Mapping the geography of the spirit;
The limits of psychotherapy and psychotherapists;
The nature of spiritual author-ity, companionship and guidance.
Fire in the Belly: Understanding Men
Segment l. Myths and Images of manhood.
A history of heroes and plastic men.
Violent warriors and innocent maidens.
Contemporary types and stereotypes
Segment 2. Re/membering Our Manhood
Life among the giants: Fathers and mothers.
The joys of boyhood
Rites and wrongs of passage.
Work and the tyranny of economics
Making it happen: Doing and being.
The fighting spirit.
Male wounds, male gifts.
Segment 3. The Man/Woman Thing
Listening to each other: Resentments and Repentance
Dealing with men’s fear and demeaning
Overcoming men’s surplus guilt and woman’s
surplus anger and blame
Perils and pleasures of male sexuality. A short
history of the penis
Ending the war between the sexes.
Reinventing love, redefining intimacy.
Segment 4. Virility, Vocation and the Recovery of Passion.
What in the world are we doing?
The spiritual quest.
What can men and women do together?
The new dream: Friendship, family and the
Creating a politics of com/passion
The Warfare System and Beyond
I do a number of different types of lectures and seminars that focus on propaganda, the hostile imagination, the faces of the enemy, the myriad ways in which we think other people to death. I have written about this in Faces of the Enemy, have done a PBS documentary by the same name and have recently issued an expanded edition of the book featuring a chapter on The New Enemy and a DVD with three slide lectures: The Art of Making Enemies, The New Enemy, Beyond Enmity, all of which are subjects on which I am currently lecturing and doing seminars. In all of these lectures and seminars I use political cartoons and propaganda art from many countries and eras to show the recurring images that peoples, tribes and nations have always used when they wish to dehumanize their enemies. Some lecture/seminars on this theme
The Art of Making Enemies
Demystifying the rhetoric of war. Deciphering propaganda. Exploring the psycho pathology of enmity and the archetypes of the hostile imagination, the images used to dehumanize enemies and justify discrimination, warfare, and genocide.
The New Enemy. 9/11 and Beyond
Confronting Islamic terrorists. Why do they hate us? How do they view us? How do they view themselves? How do we view them? How do we view ourselves?
Violence and Black Lace: Our Clandestine Love Affair With Violence
Exploring our cultural fascination with the myth of redemptive violence. Contrary to popular opinion, far from hating violence, we are involved in a perverse love affair with political, personal and symbolic forms of violence because they satisfy certain essential human needs. In short, our mythology of violence is a pseudo-religion that provides us with a dramatic view of life, a world that is understandable and the (illusory) possibility of eliminating evil
Killing for God: Jihad, Holy War
A Power Point lecture illustrating the unholy relationship between religion and warfare: the ways in which warfare is always turned into a crusade, a holy war, a battle against an evil empire and religious institutions cooperate in the process of sanctioning the killing of enemies. It also raises the question of what religious institutions might do to end the habit of using violence as a tool of political policy.
Men, Women and Warfare
A Power Point lecture making use of images of the ways men and women appear in the war and peace propaganda of various nations to examine the relationship of gender to violence. Why is it that war is nearly always a man’s game? What do men pay for being warriors who are expected to kill and women for being exempt from military service? Is the warfare between the sexes a result of male specialization in violence and the female specialization in nurturing? Would we be a more peaceful species if males and females shared the burden of violence more equally?
Taming the Monster: Deconstructing the Warfare System
How might we go beyond the myth and practice of war? Wake up from the nightmare of violence? See through the illusion created by the propaganda of warfare? Create a moral equivalent of war? Who are the individuals and NGO’s that are already creating alternatives to war?