Technology and soul: living at the turning point
A presentation by Dr. Glen Slater
Friday, June 3, 2011 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Venue: The Quaker House, 10 Hampson St, Kelvin Grove
Admission: Members & Concession: $10 • Non-members: $15
Today, we stand on the threshold of reengineering our essential being. Technology brings many gifts, but constant innovation and change have a psychological cost. We can become disoriented or distracted and lose sight of our inner compass. Finding our direction in these liquid times is a challenge that’s only going to deepen.
For large numbers of people cyberspace has already begun to replace everyday life. Devices designed to further the adaptation of mind and body to the computer world are already in the works. Chip implants beneath our skin will soon be commonplace. Around these innovations lies a sea of developments in psychotropic medication, genetic engineering, plastic surgery and robotics, all aiming to transform the very fabric of our existence.
What impact will these changes will make on the psyche? Uncovering the shadow side of this ‘ultimate makeover’ seems critical. As simply turning back may not be an option, how then are we to respond?
Jung was wary of technology. He once said, “civilized man . . . is in danger of losing all contact with the world of instinct,” adding that this loss “is largely responsible for the pathological condition of contemporary culture.” In this lecture Jung’s understanding of instinctual life and psychological wellbeing will be discussed in light of current and impending technologies. We’ll try to find our psychological feet in the face of this tinkering with Nature.
Glen Slater, PhD has a background in religious studies and clinical psychology. For the past 15 years he has taught Jungian and archetypal psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California (www.pacifica.edu) as well as more recently at Antioch University in Seattle. He edited and introduced the third volume of James Hillman’s Uniform Edition, Senex and Puer, as well as a volume of essays on mythology and psychology, Varieties of Mythic Experience. He is a regular contributor to Spring journal, where he also edits the film review section. Originally from Australia, he now lives on Bainbridge Island outside Seattle and is writing a book on depth psychology and new technologies.