Vocation as psyche’s call

A Presentation by Suzanne Cremen Davidson

Friday May 6 7.30-9.30

The Quaker House, 10 Hampson Street
Kelvin Grove (park on Prospect Terrace)
Members and Concession: $10, Non-members $15

"What is it that inexorably tips the scales in favor of the extra-ordinary? It is what is commonly called vocation: an irrational factor that destines a man to emancipate himself from the herd and from its well-worn paths." C.G. Jung CW17, par 299.

How do we hear the work we are called to do? Today, many people suffer from the absence or frustration of a true vocation - a calling which provokes one's genius and inspires one's heart. Despite the value of mainstream career counselling approaches, they are limited in supporting the person who desires to discern and live a more soul-centred calling, one which arises from a deeper place in the psyche than the conscious ego.

This presentation explores what Jung and others in the depth psychological tradition, including James Hillman and Joseph Campbell, had to say about vocation and calling. Suzanne shows how a depth psychological approach, which values the creative unconscious or autonomous psyche as a source of wisdom and knowledge, can inform and deepen contemporary approaches to career development and vocational guidance. We’ll look at the New Zealand film Whale Rider (2002) to illustrate how vocational calls from soul (psyché) may arise, including via ancestral patterns, amor fati (love of one’s fate) and attunement to synchronicity.

This lecture extends the scope of contemporary Jungian research by showing how engagement with film at the Jungian level of symbol can support the reimagining of work in a post-postmodern framework that includes collaboration with the deep psyche. The nexus between Jung’s concept of individuation and the call to vocation (both individual and collective) is developed: both conceived as a response to the anima mundi (world soul), with radical implications for our work and our planet.

Suzanne Cremen Davidson is the founding director of the Life Artistry Centre for Archetype, Imagination and Vocation www.lifeartistry.com.au. She is a doctoral candidate at La Trobe University (Melbourne) and holds two Masters Degrees from the Pacifica Graduate Institute (Santa Barbara, USA) in Jungian and Archetypal Studies, and Engaged Humanities and Mythology, as well as degrees in Law and Arts from UNSW. Suzanne has served on the board of Pacifica’s Alumni Association and co-teaches a course in the Jungian and archetypal studies MA/PhD program there. She has presented at international conferences, published in journals and co-edited "Depth Psychological Research Methods: Multiple and Engaged Approaches" (2013). Suzanne has served as past-president of the Queensland Jung Society, a founding board member of the National Interfaith Association of Australia, and co-founder of scholarly publishing house eContent Management (acquired by Routledge in 2014). Her background includes conference and program design, publishing, career coaching and organisational development, and the law.