The presentation will explore the archetypal journey of the human psyche through an examination of the blues as a musical genre. The genesis, history, and thematic patterns of the blues are examined from an archetypal perspective and various analytic theories – especially the interaction between Erich Neumann’s concept of unitary reality and the blues experience. Mythological and shamanistic parallels are used to provide a deeper understanding of the role of the bluesman, the blues performance, and the innate healing potential of the music. Universal aspects of human experience and transcendence are revealed through the creative medium of the blues.
In our increasingly isolated and technologically engrossed culture there are fewer and fewer opportunities to move into these shared experiences of unitary reality in which the bubble of our individualism is pierced allowing a felt, relational connection to our environment and those around us. The blues encourages movement into a deeper communion with our own emotional life, especially the more difficult emotions that are often shunned in our relentless pursuit of happiness, material acquisition, and activities designed to occupy time rather than expand soul. Often it is by moving into and through sadness that we can be released into an experience of joy. The blues facilitates this process. In this regard the bluesman, by communicating feelings in song that resonate within the listener, serves as a modern day shaman who heals through the ritual of music. The blues originated in experiences of trauma, oppression, and enslavement but now serves to liberate our emotional lives and facilitate a deeper union with our environment and those around us.
The presentation will be augmented by visual images, audio recordings, and video to deepen the audience’s involvement in the themes explored.
Mark Winborn, PhD, NCPsyA is a Jungian Psychoanalyst and Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Winborn is a training and supervising analyst of the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and is also affiliated with the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and the International Association for Analytical Psychology. In 2011 Deep Blues: Human Soundscapes for the Archetypal Journey was published by Fisher King Press. Dr. Winborn maintains a private practice in Memphis, Tennessee where he is also currently the Training Coordinator for the Memphis Jungian Seminar – a training seminar of the IRSJA. His edited book Shared Realities: Participation Mystique and Beyond has an anticipated release date of June 1, 2014.