Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mary Fries, Psyche and Dimension: Ontology of Space, Time, Matter, and Consciousness

(This presentation was a part of CIIS Multiversity February 2008)

Out of the depths of the psyche emerges the ego, the differentiating differentiation of a resonant unity. As this discerning character endeavors to rationalize experience, we abstract conceptual maps in order to coordinate our activities, thus coalescing out of the prehensive wholeness dimensional coordinates of perceptive vanishing points, the space, time, mass, and energy of "observer" and "observed." Physical science, then, the modern pinnacle of conscious abstraction, finds the boundary of its viability in light, the conversion factor of space and time and of matter and energy as well as the very medium of our primary mode of perception, vision. That cosmological schemata are invariably bound to perceptive abstraction marks a universal archetype of reality. This paradox of the observational dialectic of a unified cosmos is so fundamental that it not only appears in spiritual and philosophical inquiry as well as in physical science but is, I argue, the core paradox of manifestation. Oneness can only be said to exist in separation, for to observe oneness presupposes an observer of at least provisional separation from the oneness, and yet, we observe the unity of reality physically, theoretically, and experientially. Reality, in being both unified and separative, manifests. The spatiotemporal-limitations of human form predispose our understanding of reality to generalizations, which recurrently hinder our scientific, spiritual, and philosophical progress. My inquiry addresses the questions: What insights do we overlook in positing dimension as primary to psyche? And what implications does the apparent quantization of dimension have for deeper understanding of the role of psyche in the cosmos?

Mary presented an earlier version of this talk, entitled “Overcoming Discontinuity and Dualism in Modern Cosmology” at the Quantum Mind Conference at the University of Salzburg, in Salzburg, Austria in July of 2007.

Mary Fries came to CIIS in 2005 with a B.S. in Mathematics from Mary Baldwin College and has completed her coursework for an M.A. in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program. Throughout her time here, she has served as the Communications Coordinator for Student Alliance with whom she planned events, facilitated meetings and hiring processes, established organizational guidelines and procedures, and coordinated funding for student projects and campus groups. Mary's work background also includes both teaching and website design and database management. In addition to creating websites for Student Alliance (, the PCC department (, and Species Alliance (, a non-profit organization that birthed out of PCC and that is committed to raising awareness about biodiversity issues, she has taught high school mathematics, directed children's theatre productions and camps, and worked at a Montessori school. Her intellectual interests lie at the intersections of philosophy and mathematical physics. Mary now works in the Dean of Students Office as the Student Affairs Manager and has coordinated this Multiversity Conference.

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Lise Dyckman, Trends in Scholarly Publishing

(This presentation was a part of CIIS Multiversity Feb. 2008)

Based on experience with CIIS’ Library, and that of colleagues and presenters at 2007 conferences of the Society of Scholarly Publishers, California Association of Research Libraries, and the American Library Association, I”ll share some recent developments in this rapidly changing, topsy-turvy market. I’ll pose – and hopefully propose some answers – for questions that affect us all, as consumers and producers of scholarship, like: Do personal websites or electronic-only journals count in a scholar’s publication record? What about Google Scholar and/or social networking tools – are they really useful for finding relevant information outside my core discipline, or is that just hype? As a scholar, should I care about copyrights to my own work – and how can I navigate around the barriers of other people’s copyright? Where does all that money spent on subscriptions actually go?

Lise Dyckman has worked in many different types of libraries – for Ivy League colleges & universities, for non-profit organizations, for graduate medical education, and in a pre-internet “internet startup” corporation - before coming to CIIS as Library Director. She has authored several articles in library journals (most recently, “Fear of failure and fear of finishing: a case study on the emotional aspects of dissertation proposal research, with thoughts on library instruction and graduate student retention”, in Currents and Convergence: Navigating the rivers of change (2005)); contributed a chapter to Library instruction revised: bibliographic instruction comes of age, Haworth Press (1995); and co-edited Bobst and beyond: a guide to library resources in New York City, NYU Press (1994). Her professional activities include serving on the board of the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (CA), various sections of the Association for College & Research Libraries and of the national American Library Association; and as a board member of the ALA’s Freedom to Read Foundation (the group which successfully argued against the Communications Decency Act before the U.S. Supreme Court). Before she went back to school for a graduate Library & Information Science degree, she got an MA in Museum Curatorship, and produced social history exhibits and programs.

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Judson Davis, The World Mountain: Eternal Symbol of the Heights of Human Spiritual Aspiration

(This presentation was part of CIIS Multiversity, Feb. 2008)

The World Mountain motif has found expression in a diverse and far-reaching array of religious and cultural traditions throughout the history of humanity. At the heart of its symbolic representation lies a deeply felt sense of the soul of nature, with the mountain serving as both a living manifestation of the sacred on Earth as well as an archetypal representation of humanity's deepest developmental stages and ultimate realization of the divine. This presentation will explore the temporal and eternal aspects of this fascinating phenomenon, and will demonstrate the intriguing similarities between such seemingly diverse cultures as ancient Egypt, Meso-America, the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, and various indigenous peoples.

Judson Davis is a second year doctoral student in East-West Psychology specializing in Spiritual Counseling and Transpersonal Psychology. He has traveled extensively throughout the world, an on-going exploratory process that includes a previous four-year stay in East Asia. He has taught on the college level in both Japan and California, and has produced documentary films dealing with an array of subjects. His present pursuits involve an ever-deepening exploration of human consciousness and spirituality, which serves as the basis for his continuing work in the areas of teaching, counseling, and artistic expression.

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Fernando Castrillion: Digital Teleologies, Imperial Threshold Machinic Assemblages and the Colonization of the Cosmos

the full title of this presentation is:
Digital Teleologies, Imperial Threshold Machinic Assemblages and the Colonization of the Cosmos: A Post-Structuralist Interpretation of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey

(This presentation was a part of CIIS Multiversity, Feb. 2008)

This presentation highlights how our increasing interaction with digital machines is impacting our psyches and our cultures, and demonstrates the enormous impact of the digital sphere on our human subjectivity and our relationship with nature. It is posited that the increasing digitization of our psyches has adverse effects on nature and our relationship to the ecosphere. Furthermore, it is argued that a more harmonious relationship with the earth can serve to heal many of the ills that result from the digitization of our psyches. This kind of analysis can serve both CIIS and the global community by specifying ecologically sustainable practices that can be put into place and identifying ecologically unsustainable practices that should be avoided. Hence, the work has great resonance with the current rise in environmental consciousness and helps promote harmonious human-nature relationships, which is perhaps the most difficult task facing humanity at this point.

Fernando gave two guest lectures at Roosevelt University in Chicago under this same title that were based on his dissertation research on US federal artificial intelligence, massive database analysis projects, and the “digitization of the psyche,” in October, 2007.

Fernando Castrillon earned a Masters in Sociology from the University of California. He is currently completing a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and is also a Candidate in Training at the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis in Berkeley, California. He is adjunct lead faculty in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department at CIIS as well as a Pre-doctoral Clinical Psychology Intern at a San Francisco Department of Public Health Clinic. His clinical, teaching, and research interests include the production of subjectivity (both human and more-than-human), ecopsychology, radical psychoanalysis, post-structuralist social/cultural theory, Schizoanalysis, liberatory politics, cosmology, entheogens, the impact of hyper-velocity technological change on human psychology and intersubjectivity, the psychology of human-machine interaction, the intersection of critical social theory and psychology, contemporary approaches to the treatment of psychosis, community mental health, xenopsychology, violent political movements, war, terrorism, and revolution. His dissertation, entitled "Digitizing the Psyche: Human/Nature in the Age of Intelligent Machines," examines the psychological and intersubjective consequences of the hyper-digitization of contemporary Western culture. He is currently co-editing, with Doug Vakoch, an ecopsychology anthology titled "Ecologies of the Psyche: Transdisciplinary Migrations of Critical Ecopsychology."

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Sonia Brewer, CIIS Community Process Group

(This presentation was a part of CIIS Multiversity, Feb. 2008)

The CIIS Community Process Group offers professionally-facilitated, experientially-oriented community forums that bring together students, faculty, and staff who are interested in actively exploring ways to relate with transparency and authenticity in a diverse community context. We strive to make room for various and competing views, tensions, feelings, styles of communication, and modes of inquiry and exploration, while encouraging an awareness of unconscious biases and power relationships. We provide opportunities to engage in personal and communal explorations of what the CIIS commitment to the ideal of diversity really means to us as a community. This brief introductory workshop will provide participants with a taste of the Community Process Groupwork. Using techniques derived from a variety of disciplines, including Freedom through Voice work, Theatre of the Oppressed, and Processwork, participants will explore embodied ways of relating in community without dismissing conflict or differences.

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Leo Bellina, Integral Education after Abu Ghraib: Participatory Education and Practices of Citizenship

(This presentation was part of the CIIS' Multiversity, Feb. 2008)

The title of this presentation paraphrases an essay title by Henri Giroux, in which the author examines the role of higher education in making possible critical, engaged citizenship that is able to challenge the increasing normalization of violence against “the other” within and outside of the US. The presentation relates this urgent challenge of higher education with the results of last year’s student-research, in which participants re-envisioned practices of “integral governance” at CIIS as attentive to equity and diversity, and therefore productive of skills to live, work, imagine, and build alliances in the world of difference/diversity we already live in today.

Leo Bellina was hired as an institutional researcher by the Center for Teaching and Learning (Assessment) to ensure the contribution of student voice to the Integral Education essay for WASC. The research was conducted in the spring of 2007, as Participatory Action Research in collaboration with campus groups working against oppression. Before relocating to San Francisco, Leo Bellina worked as a somatic psychotherapist and integrative health counselor in private practice and in NGO contexts on issues of state and sexual violence against immigrant girls and women. She has been an educator on diversity issues in Europe and the US, teaching in schools, psychotherapy trainings and conferences, and for the Naropa University community in Boulder, Colorado.

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Lucia Birnbaum: The Future Has an Ancient Heart: Transformational Legacy of DNA and Maternal Energies

(This paper is the keynote for 2008 Multiversity - see the full schedule here)

The paper aims to transform students' notions of race and gender and urges them to consider the difference between dominant and submerged beliefs, as well as the hopeful legacy of the memory transmitted through our mothers in the DNA on primordial African migration paths in Europe (and everywhere), of our original harmonious universe and original communities of caring and sharing.

Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum received her doctorate in conventional history of the U. S. and Europe from the University of California at Berkeley. She was an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State. In 1968, she was fired for supporting students’ just demands for a black studies department and for opposing the imperial war in Vietnam. Thereafter as an independent scholar and a professor at CIIS, she has been guided by dual perspectives of women's spirituality, and African origins and transformative legacy. Her published works include Liberazione della donna, (Feminism in Italy) (1986, 1988), Black Madonnas. Feminism, religion and politics in Italy (1994, 1997, 2000), and Dark mother: African origins and godmothers (2000, 2004, 2007).

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Multiversity 2008 - CIIS conference of student (and others') research

This week is the third annual Multiversity conference at CIIS. This started as a one-day event in 2006, grew to a weekend in 2007, and now spans four days (!). Here's the schedule of talks. We'll post to this blog abstracts of the presentations as they are given; links to the actual texts / files / etc. will be provided if the author chooses to make these available. Please feel free to use the comments feature of this blog to start a dialogue with these presenters.

Tuesday Feb. 26, 2008
3:15-4:45 Keynote Speaker: Lucia Birnbaum, WSE Professor
The Future Has an Ancient Heart: Transformational Legacy of DNA and Maternal Energies on Migration Paths out of Africa into Europe and the Rest of the World

5:15-5:45 Dunya Nuaimi, WSE MA
The Publishing Process: Notes from the Editorial Side

5:45-6:45 Mary Louise Stone, WSE MA
Building Community: Strategies from the Andes

6:45-7:00 Lise Dyckman, Library Director
Trends in Scholarly Publishing

7:15-7:45 Adam Hudson, SCA PhD
Bridging Communities/Building Communities: Politicizing a Depoliticized Culture

7:45-8:15 David Nicol, PCC PhD
Subtle Activism and the Gaiafield Project: Applying Spiritual Power for Global Transformation

Wednesday Feb. 27, 2008
5:15-5:45 Sarah Noyes, TLD MA
When the Ideals of CIIS Meet “Anarchy”: A Tale of a Rejected Workshop

5:45-6:45 Judson Davis, EWP PhD
The World Mountain: Eternal Symbol of the Heights of Human Spiritual Aspiration

7:15-8:15 Fernando Castrillon, PsyD
Digital Teleologies, Imperial Threshold Machinic Assemblages, and the Colonization of the Cosmos: A Post-Structuralist Interpretation of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008
11:45-12:15 Catherine Sancimino, PsyD
Intensive Intervention for Autistic Disorder in Children Ages 0-3

12:15-1:15 Leo Bellina, SCA MA
Integral Education after Abu Ghraib: Participatory Education and Practices of Citizenship

2:00-3:30 Sonya Brewer, SOM MA
CIIS Community Process Group

3:45-4:30 Surinder Gill, TLC PhD
My Sikh Mother and I: The Way We Are in America

4:45-6:15 Kirk Templeton, ACS PhD
Avicenna, Aquinas, and the Active Intellect

6:45-7:15 Sinem Yilanci, WSE MA
Women’s Theater Form in Turkey

7:15-8:15 Annette Williams, WSE PhD
Dreaming the Ancestors among Indigenous Africans and Diaspora Descendents

Fri. Feb. 29, 2008
11:45-12:15 Mary Fries, PCC MA
Psyche and Dimension: Ontology of Space, Time, Matter, and Consciousness

12:15-12:45 Sarah Noyes, TLD MA
Women and Ethical Leadership

1:00-2:00 Gal Szekley, ICP MA
Radical Acceptance: Between Buddhism and Psychotherapy

2:00-2:30 Karen Villanueva, WSE PhD
Iconic Symbolism and Cultural Appropriation: The Fish Goddess and Jesus Christ

3:00-3:30 Bisola Marignay, SCA MA
Today’s Abolition Movement

3:30-4:00 Caifang (Jeremy) Zhu, EWP PhD
C.G. Jung on the Nature and Interpretation of Dreams: A Developmental Delineation

4:15-5:00 David Treleaven, EWP PhD
Falling in Love with Jung: Relationship as a Path to Individuation

6:00-6:30 Nandi Hetenyi, PsyD
Rethinking Self Esteem: Deconstruction of Self-Esteem using Buddhist Psychology and Teachings of No Self

6:30-8:00 Eric Shaw, ACS PhD
Yoga in America: The Marketing of Hinduism by Multiculturalists East and West

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