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Psychological Discontent – Rewilding the Human Imagination

November 21 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Virtual Event Virtual Event
Psychological Discontent - Rewilding the Human Imagination

Presenter: Ian McCallum
Venue: Online via Zoom
Time: Tuesday evening, 21 November 19:30 SAST (GMT +2)
Fee: ZAR150. Booking essential.

About the Lecture

I think I could turn and live with the animals …
they show their relations to me and I accept them,
they bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession.
I wonder where they get those tokens,
Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?

– Walt Whitman (Song of Myself) –

C.G. Jung in a talk with students in 1958, had this to say about his work with patients: “Together the patient and I address ourselves to the 2,000,000-man that is in all of us. In the last analysis, most of our difficulties come from losing contact with our instincts, with the age-old unforgotten wisdom in us.”

What are the “tokens” that we have dropped, if not the traits of wildness and why have we so negligently dropped them? What are the forgotten instincts if not a negation of the ancient laws of survival? And what is the cost of this loss of connection to our wild origins if not a sense of alienation, a loss of a sense of belonging … a pervasive psychological discontent? Sometimes crippled by the social masks we are expected or forced to wear, we have forgotten that our wild shadow comes along with our masks. Finally, what do we need to do to address this discontent?

During his presentation, Ian McCallum will suggest that we learn to become conscious of our social masks, to understand why and when we need them and when we don’t; to treat our wild shadow not as an enemy but an ally; to rediscover the significance of human co-existence and dependence on a biosphere of which we are a part. That our sanity, let alone our identity, is dependent on it.

Who and what would we be without the elements, animals, forests, oceans, rivers and landscapes in our lives? We can learn a lot about ourselves from the wild, if we are prepared to listen, to watch, to be still and to wait. It is to learn the art of deep attention, that our very existence is woven into the fabric of Nature… that a deeper sense of Self that we long for and pursue, is an Ecological Self.

To be willing to undertake this task, to re-member our dropped tokens, to reconnect with forgotten instincts and to honour that 2 million-year-old-man in all of us, is to rewild our imaginations. Viewed from a biological and poetic perspective, we will explore the neglected wild values in ourselves, how to embody them and how to protect them…fiercely!

About the Presenter

Ian McCallum is a psychiatrist, analytical psychologist, and a foundation member of SAAJA. He holds positions at Nelson Mandela University Graduate School of Business and the University of Cape Town. His interests encompass evolutionary biology, conservation psychology, and environmental ethics. McCallum is also an author and poet, known for works like “Wild Gifts” and “Untamed.” He co-authored the award-winning ‘UNTAMED’ exhibition at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and received the Wild Literary Award at the World Wilderness Congress in Mexico 2009. He’s a co-founder of the International League of Conservation Writers, a specialist wilderness guide, trustee of the Cape Leopard Trust, and founding partner of safari organization Invent Africa.

BOOKING INFORMATION | Advance Booking Essential
Bookings close at 12:00 noon SAST on Monday, 20 November 2023. The Zoom link will be distributed at 14:00 SAST on the day of the event. We invite students to contact us for a 50% discount to all our events.
In the event of tickets being sold out or sales closed, a recording of the lecture will be available for purchase. For more information, contact SAAJA at +27 21 689 6090 or email saaja@mweb.co.za


+27 (0)21 689 6090
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