School of amplification - Golem. Collection of conference reports 2021.
FROM THE EDITORS
about the “School of Amplification” project
The School of Amplification project is a child of coronavirus and self-isolation. We are a group of like-minded people who revived the format of MAAP’s off-site conferences in 2019, and in 2020 were forced to move the off-site conference to an online format. We tried to preserve all the best in the format we created, and careful technical study of the conference architecture allowed us to minimize the inevitable organizational noise, and as a result the conference turned out to be rich and convenient.
Our personal pleasure of being free from organizational problems and comfortably immersing ourselves in the content of talks and workshops inspired us to search for new online forms that could take the best of online opportunities and fill our professional lives with new colors. I think everyone remembers how many new and unexpected projects arose at this time on the Internet; our “School of Amplification” is one of them. We hoped that the conference would become a regular project and, being associated with the beginning of the astrological year in March, would fit into the conference rhythm of the professional community.
What was the idea behind this project? We wanted not only to listen to the reports, but also to get space to discuss them “among our own” - in a group without overlap. We remembered well how we learned in our training and how much valuable we took from discussions in our supervisory groups - namely from colleagues, not from supervisors. Having completed the training, we are left with the need for a professional group in which we would continue to grow and develop our analytical thinking. Discussion of texts and retelling of reports is an important part of understanding the content of the conference; sometimes more discoveries occur in behind-the-scenes conversations with colleagues than in silent listening to reports from the stage. We wanted to organize a space that would work for the active digestion and development of the speakers’ ideas, which would not be an auxiliary, but the main means of generating new meanings.
Therefore, the structure of the conference was as follows: a report on Zoom, a discussion of the report in small groups (students, graduates of basic programs in analytical psychology, candidates and members of the international association), then a general discussion with the speaker. Each of the two days of the conference began with a warm-up dream matrix and ended with a reflective small group with the same composition.
Another important dimension of the project is the content of the discussions. We needed to immerse ourselves in the content of the reports through the personal meanings of the discussion participants, be able to combine the emotionally touching and conceptual in the discussion, use cultural associations and rely on them in understanding individual moments. That is, we wanted to create a space not for intellectual ideas, which often shield listeners from the impact of the material, but a space for living associations and amplifications that would allow the material to be experienced as transformative. Therefore, each group worked with a moderator whose task was to maintain a safe environment for associations and amplifications. We called this structure the “School of Amplification” because in the discussion we all learn, we are all students of this school.
The third feature of this project is its shape. Online gave us the opportunity to talk about analytical psychology with our compatriots living in different countries, and we wanted to preserve this unique opportunity regardless of the epidemic time. Many of the participants are graduates of MAAP's distance programs who need to maintain connections with the community, just as we need to hear from them and learn about their experiences developing analytical psychology in a variety of cultural settings.
Meeting Russian-speaking professional colleagues from other countries was also a great joy for us. Apart from the Israeli schools for Russian-speaking candidates of the IAAP, which were suspended during this period, we have no other opportunity to meet and talk on professionally important topics.
In total, 100 people from 15 countries (Russia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Israel, Spain, Kazakhstan, Canada, Cyprus, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovenia, USA, Ukraine, Switzerland) and 12 cities of Russia (Moscow) took part in the “Amplification School”. , Vladivostok, Voronezh, Goryachiy Klyuch, Domodedovo, Krasnodar, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Perm, Podolsk, St. Petersburg, Saratov). Where else could we meet in such a composition - and especially not for a silent presence in the Zoom windows, but for an active dialogue?
Since this was our first experience of this kind of conference, we took notes of the work of small and large groups in order to be able to reflect further on the structure of the project and its organization. And now that the recordings have been listened to and we are preparing for the second conference of the “School of Amplification”, there are still many thoughts about how to structure the process so that there is enough space for both going deeper into the personal and for generalizations, in order to have time to share thoughts with other groups and hear response from the speaker.
The value of the notes taken goes beyond solving organizational problems. The materials of the group discussions themselves became an important content of the conference, as we initially wanted. We were able to learn from each other, and we want to record this experience in the text. Not only the school's reports, but also the discussions deserve publication and deserve re-reading with attention to personal resonances and reflections.
I thank the group moderators who carefully kept the field of the conference and were able to become midwives for the birth of new meanings.
Olga Kondratova about amplification
I would like to say a few words separately about the concept of “amplification”. It means “expansion,” perhaps awareness of the meanings and meanings of a symbol, which can be dreams, symptoms and other manifestations of the language of the unconscious. Usually we mean by amplification the so-called cultural association - a film, a fairy tale, a book, etc. A certain plot in which you can wander, find something and return enriched to the original.
Jungians are often accused of moving further and further away from the original symbol, eventually forgetting about it. One of the goals of the school is to train the ability to amplify without losing sight of the primary symbol.
The central, original symbol of the first school was the concept of “golem”, from which the following was born: “Inflation: between the divine and the human.” How did this happen? In the process of searching for a name, we started from the myth of magicians who decided to create golems, just as God created man, and in their pride decided that they could do it. But this is also contained in the parable - thanks to Bernard Sartorius, which became central to our school - about the rabbi who created the Golem and forgot to erase the letter on his forehead, that is, he replaced part of the teachings of God.
Thus, in the creation of any golem/Golem there is a desire - conscious or not - of its creator to compete with the Creator, and this is the inflation of the Ego, which is trying to inflate to the limits of the Self, which is in principle impossible. And this process perfectly illustrates the very process of Golem’s growth, when his letter was not erased.
A somewhat different understanding of the concept of amplification is offered by James Hillman in his book Archetypal Psychology. He says that amplification is a method of organizing/shaping context in order to approach from different sides to a position where the meaning becomes as complete and rich as possible.
Hillman illustrates the idea of amplification by how the depth psychologist gets to know his client, through inquiry, history, dreams, relationships, current living, genogram, personal and family mythology, and so on. Only by coming into contact with all this can one “make a deep diagnosis.”
If you look from this position, then our entire first school is an amplification of the “Golem/Golem” image, on which about 100 people worked for two days. And our collection is an attempt to generalize, to see the result as fully as possible.
Thank you for your cooperation, for permission to make notes, for the very opportunity to create this beautiful amplification of the Golem image and, through it, to study one of the most complex concepts of analytical psychology - inflation.
1 - Liya Kinyevskaya, Olga Kondratova, Natalya Pavlikova, Elena Khandurova and me, Elena Purtova.
2 - The moderators were Victoria Nechaeva, Galina Kolpakova, Georgy Safronov, Alla Tretyakova, Nina Khrebtova, Svetlana Eric.
3 - Hillman D. Archetypal psychology. – St. Petersburg: B.S.K. 1996. pp. 27–34.
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