Saturday, February 23, 2008

End of Quarter 4

I am now halfway done with my M.A. Humanities degree at Pacifica Graduate Institute and figure it's way past time to post synopses of some of the work I've been doing. For the quarter just finished, I did research into cultural misappropriation and drew a mandala representing my process of responding to social justice issues. I also wrote these two final papers:

Finding Grace in the Concrete: Little Marlene Redeemed

Joseph Campbell once observed, “Eternity is in love with the forms of time.” In the strange fairy tale “The Juniper Tree,” concrete objects are crucial to the transcendent experience that redeems a little girl from following in her mother’s overly materialistic footsteps.

Making Room for Domestic Ritual

Because the home is such an integral reflection of the Self and its path to individuation, transition events within a dwelling deserve as much attention as other life events, with rituals of healing, belonging, and celebration. Ritual can also honor domestic space as a collection of rooms where the soul grows, through everyday activities such as family meals. When designing a ritual for home use, begin by framing the purpose of the ritual. Then, find a suitable space and meaningful objects. Call for the participation of whatever deities, spirits, or values are most meaningful to the occasion, in recognition of the unifying story that brings the participants together. As an example, I present the house farewell conducted for my parents before they moved from their home of 51 years into a senior complex.

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