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Category Archives: Event: Lecture

Lecture: “Archetypal Themes in the Music of the Beatles, Wagner, and Classical Music”

Presented by Ronald Schenk, Jungian Analyst
Friday, May 12, 2017  |  7:00 PM–9:00 PM  | Stub Hall, Luther Seminary, 2329 W Hendon AVE, St. Paul, MN

The music of the Beatles, whose 50th anniversary was recently celebrated, is classified as “pop” which usually connotes temporary popularity.  The appeal of their music, however, has turned out to be anything but limited in time.  In fact, the Beatles revolutionized popular music, creating an opus of a quality and quantity that had not been achieved before their time and which has not been equaled since.  In this light, the songs of the Beatles can be seen to hold archetypal meanings which allow them to reverberate with us decades after their composition.  This workshop will explore the archetypes expressed in ten Beatles songs.  We will also juxtapose each song with a piece of classical music from the genre of opera, which dramatically illustrates the same archetype.  In this way we will see how different styles of music reflect each other, not only across time, but across genres.  When we are listening to the Beatles or to opera, we are hearing each in the other.  Our operatic focus will be on the operas of the 19th Century German composer, Richard Wagner, whose 200th birthday has recently been celebrated. Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” consisting of four operas, is an adaptation of a Norse myth of the gods, their need for power and their decline, resulting in a new cosmic order based on redemption through love. Wagner’s operas and music give us stark mythic images as examples of archetypes at work and play in individual and cultural psyches throughout the world.  The  presentation will utilize clips from Youtube as well as archetypal imagery in slides.

Ronald Schenk, PhD, LCSW, LPC, originally trained in theater in Berkeley and San Francisco and performed in experimental theater in New York and London.  He received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from Washington University, St. Louis, and initial training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in New Haven. He lived and worked with the Navajo Native Americans before receiving a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Dallas, specializing in Phenomenological Psychology.  He trained in Jungian Analysis with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts where he has been a Senior Training Analyst for many years and acted in several administrative capacities, most recently serving as President. He is currently President–elect of the Council of North American Societies of Jungian Analysis.  Ron practices in Dallas and Houston where he teaches with the IRSJA, the Jung Center of Houston, and the Saybrook Institute, his interests being in clinical training, cultural psychology, and post-modernism.
His recent writings appear in several Jungian journals and include essays on terrorism, alchemy, and homelessness.  He has written four books, The Soul of Beauty: A Psychological Investigation of Appearance, an aesthetic perspective on depth psychology; Dark Light: The Appearance of Death in Everyday Life, a collection of essays on culture and imagination including essays on television, ball games, marriage, race, and violence; The Sunken Quest, The Wasted Fisher, The Pregnant Fish: Post-modern Reflections on Depth Psychology, a collection of essays on Jungian analysis; and his most recent work American Soul: A Cultural Narrative, outlining a national mythology.
His current writing focus is on a book integrating approaches to clinical theory and a collection of essays on cultural phenomena such as film, cities, prisons, energy, and work life.  Currently he combines his training in classical singing with his lecture material to create a multi-media event of performance/ presentation consisting of songs, poetry, artistic imagery and psychological observations.