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Living a symbolic life: Holding the tension of opposites in a changing world

  • Fri, September 24, 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Online Zoom Webinar


Registration is closed

Living a symbolic life: Holding the tension of opposites in a changing world with local psychoanalyst Mae Stolte

A year ago the Calgary Jung Society held a panel presentation on the impact of the pandemic and our response to it. Now a year later, still having to deal with the reality of the COVID virus, albeit to a lesser extent, we have become more aware of the probability of future pandemics. We have also become very aware of the reality of climate change with its unknown consequences, more aware of the suffering in the past and present of our Indigenous people and more cognizant of the need to address racist attitudes toward people of colour in general in this dominant white society. What does it mean then to “live symbolically” in the midst of this, our changing world?  

In this lecture, we will explore more of what we mean by the symbolic life and the role of the symbol in living with change and uncertainty. In speaking of “the tension of opposites,” we often think immediately of duality, those things that are in conflict and create hostility, the either/or or us/them mentality.  But is this what we mean by “the opposites?”  How does holding the tension of the opposites result in a creative tension?  How does this help us to arrive at a new place, restoring a new centeredness, the “third thing” Jung talks about?  Does it?  We will explore  the dynamic energy of the Feminine  principle that is required to hold this tension both within ourselves and within our communal life, in the midst of being in the in-between, not yet able to see where we are headed. Feminine consciousness, in relationship  with that of the Masculine, will help us to hold to the Centre in a new way. 

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” 

                                                                Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet 



Mae Stolte is a Jungian psychoanalyst in Calgary. She received her Diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich in 1990 and has been in private practice since that time. She has given various lectures, seminars, and workshops on a variety of topics including the basic concepts of Jungian psychology.

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