DEPTH PSYCHOLOGY AND THE BORDER WORK OF RECONCILIATION
In contrast to ego psychology and to developmental schemas that advocate firm ego boundaries, the development of mastery and control, increasing differentiation from others, independence, and autonomy, Jungian psychology counsels us to distrust the ego and decenter ourselves to a more observant place within (the non-ego center). We are directed to approach the borders of our experience, inviting and then engaging dialogically with what has been excluded. As we can see from the example I am foregrounding in this essay, it is where borders become unduly firm and frozen, where walls are built, that projections, disassociations, historical and cultural amnesia, ignorance, and the failure of empathic imagination thrive. Rhetoric and stereotypical thinking follow; rationalizations abound. Paradoxically, walls do not quell fears, they reinscribe them, promoting increased feelings of vulnerability and paranoia. Jungian and archetypal psychologies direct us to a different way of being in borderlands, a way that entails engaging a multiplicity of perspectives by making sure that dialogue is practiced where monologue has prevailed. Dialogue facilitates a withdrawal of projections and stereotypes as well as the development of compassion and empathic imagination. It allows us to see what we have identified with and why. To be involved in such dis-identification is to become more aware, more able to see the other’s point of view. Here psychic hospitality intersects with community hospitality: both require efforts at reconciliation with what has been cast aside into unconsciousness. Through this intersection, those privileged by race, ethnicity, and class can discover ways to counter the soul loss engendered by cultural amnesia, an amnesia about the misappropriation of the labor of poor people of color and the withholding from them of recognition, witness, and hospitality. Work in the borderlands requires stepping out of our comfort zone, into a relationship with what is unfamiliar, allowing it to challenge what we have taken for granted. The work of individuation requires that we clarify where we live within ossifying borders. These are sites of potential creativity. They are places where the regeneration of community, of ecology, and of the Self are one and the same. They are not only within us; they are everywhere around us. The psychological work of individuation can be re-framed as border work, as becoming more skillful at building hybrid spaces of connection. Such border work supplements the downward movement at stake in traditional soul work with a deepening into the depth of “between” spaces. At the borders between the familiar and the unfamiliar, self and other, connective tissue needs to grow from formal and informal efforts at dialogue. Depth psychologically-minded people are needed at the community and intercommunity levels to participate in and help host such work. They are also needed as we attempt to understand the intrapsychic defenses that are mobilized as we try to know ourselves within a wider historical and cultural context. The theme of this issue of the journal is “American Politics and the Soul.” Sadly, the issues I have raised are not limited to America; they re-appear in all communities where the rivers and rivulets of 100 million34 displaced people worldwide struggle to re-establish their lives in this era of unprecedented forced migration. We will need to address the psychology of unbridled greed more effectively, studying its dynamics in colonialism and their present morph in transnational capitalism. From 1994-2004, the number of international migrants doubled; 50% of these are children. Sebastião Salgado, the Brazilian photographer committed to documenting these tragic migrations, says that they are unparalleled in human history, presenting profound challenges to our most basic notions of national, cultural, and community citizenship.35 They are also challenges to the psyche, and much depends on how we respond to them as depth psychologists. NOTES 1. Edward Said, quoted in C. Kaplan, Questions of Travel: Postmodern Discourses of Displacement (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996), p. 119. 2. James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology (New York: Harper & Row, 1975). 3. Mary Watkins, “Depth Psychology and the Liberation of Being,” in Roger Brooke, ed., Pathways into the Jungian World: Phenomenology and Analytical Psychology (London: Routledge, 2000). 4. Mary Watkins, “Seeding Liberation: A Dialogue Between Depth Psychology and Liberation Psychology,” in Dennis Slattery and Lionel Corbett, eds., Depth Psychology: Meditations in the Field (Einsiedeln, SW: Daimon Verlag, 2000); Helene Lorenz and Mary Watkins, “Silenced Knowings, Forgotten Springs: Paths to Healing in the Wake of Colonialism,” Radical Psychology: A Journal of Psychology, Politics, and Radicalism, http://radpsy.york.ca (2000); Helene Lorenz and Mary Watkins, “Individuation, Seeing-Through, and Liberation: Depth Psychology and Culture,” Quadrant, XXXIII; Mary Watkins and Helene Lorenz, Toward Psychologies of Liberation (London/New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); Lawrence Alschuler, The Psychopolitics of Liberation: Political Consciousness from a Jungian Perspective (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006); Geoffrey Nelson and Isaac Prilleltensky, Community Psychology: In Pursuit of Liberation and Well-Being (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005). 5. George Lakoff and Sam Ferguson, “The Framing of Immigration,” (2006), 2-3, www.rockridgeinstitute.org/ research/ rockridge/immigration 6. Over the past six years the delegations I have been part of to the U.S./Mexico border regions of San Diego/Tijuana and Douglas/Ambos Nogales (Arizona/Mexico) have been hosted by three extraordinary organizations committed to public education about the border: the American Friends Service Committee (www.afsc.org/pacificsw/ sandiego.htm), Borderlinks (www.borderlinks.org/), and Global Exchange (www.globalexchange.org). 7. Personal communication with Mike McCoy, Tijuana National Estuarine Research Preserve. 8. Israel Committee Against House Demolition, www.icahd.org/ eng; www.catdestroyshomes.org 9. In 2002, the European Union (EU) ministerial body decided to try to stem the tide of African migration into Europe not by building a wall on their own shore, but inside North Africa. They built a 200mile wall in Morocco to frustrate desperate migrants. Of the 45,000 migrants crossing from Africa to Europe since 2005, at least 3000 have died in the sea. C. Rajah, “Disturbing Similarities: Migration’s Common Features from Africa to Mexico,” The Quarterly Newsletter of Global Exchange, 70 (2007): 6. 10. Christian Ramirez, American Friends Service Committee, talk to human rights delegation from Global Exchange, April 30, 2006. 11. Maria Jimenez, “The Militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border, Part I: Border Communities Respond to Militarization,” www.inmotion magazine.com/mj1.html (1998): 25. 12. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes, is struck by the explosion of hate groups and alarming events around “immigration” issues. For instance, during a Cinco de Mayo celebration in 2006 in a Tucson park an armed anti-immigration extremist, Roy Warden, led demonstrators proclaiming: “Listen up, Mexican invaders. We will not permit you, the ignorant, the savage, the unwashed, to overrun us, as happened in Rome …. Land must be paid for in blood. If any invader tries to take this land from us we will wash this land and nurture our soil with oceans of their blood!” (Southern Poverty Law Center Report, 2006, 36, 2, p. 1). 13. Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 1987), p. 3. 14. Cabranes-Grant, in Joseph Velasco, Director’s Notes for Bordertown and La Barda (The Wall), Ensemble Theater Company, March 12-13, 2004, Santa Barbara, CA. 15. Joseph Velasco, Director’s Notes for Bordertown and La Barda (The Wall), Ensemble Theater Company, March 12-13, 2004, Santa Barbara, CA. 16. Quoted in Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (New York: Continuum, 1989), p. 89. 17.Aurora Levins Morales, Medicine Stories: History, Culture, and the Politics of Integrity (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1998), p. 38. 18. See http://www.nilc.org/immlawpolicy/LocalLaw/tbl_local _enfrcmnt_0704.pdf 19. Jacques Derrida, On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, trans. Mark Dooley & M. Hughes (New York: Routledge, 2001), p. 6. 20. Mishkin, “Activists Lobby for Immigrants,” Yale Daily News, 10/04/06. 21. The “guest” worker proposals before the Senate and Congress bear no relation to hospitality, despite their name. These proposals give all power to employers regarding the coming and going of employees within strict time limits set by the federal government. Workers must accept whatever work conditions they find themselves in or else they must leave the U.S. The “guest” proposals separate families, deny migrants sufficient long-term security to enable them to develop roots in their communities, and mitigate against the dignity of being able to claim basic human rights in the workplace. A child of the bracero program of the 1950s, the guest worker program would more aptly be named the “exploited worker” program. 22. Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle Invites Jacques Derrida to Respond, trans. Rachel Bowlby (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000), p. 25. 23. Ibid., p. 77. 24. Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera, p. 384. 25. Without studying the effect of “free” trade agreements on Mexican farmers, it is difficult to understand the mass migration such housing marks. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) undermined the price of corn in Mexico. The price had been kept steady by the Mexican government as a basic welfare precaution, enabling the poorest to have food provisions. NAFTA required the Mexican government to stop their intervention in prices, while allowing the U.S. government to continue its subsidies to farmers. This resulted in a dumping of U.S. corn on the Mexican market that put thousands of small farmers out of business and contributed to the growing hunger of millions. U.S. policy through NAFTA substantially contributed to the very exodus of Mexicans many now complain about. This fact is little known or remembered when migrants are treated as illegal invaders. “Free” trade turns out to be freer for the few than for the many, disrupting local economies for the sake of unconscionable private profit by the few. Critics have argued standards for “fair” trade, to provide sufficient wages to allow people to work in their home communities. 26. Maria Jimenez, see note 11. 27. W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folks (1903). 28. For some sense of the scope of racist violence, it is estimated that between 1848 and 1928 at least 597 Mexicans were lynched. William Carrigan, “The Lynching of Persons of Mexican Origin or Descent in the United States, 1848 to 1928,” Journal of Social History (Winter 2003). 29. Pat Clark, “Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Seeking Truth, Working for Reconciliation,” One by One Conference, November 14, 2006, Riverdale, NY. See www.greensborotrc.org 30. John Eisler, “Slave Reparations: The Final Passage,” CrabTree Pictures (2004). 31. Fred Wilson, “Mining the Museum,” Baltimore Historical Society. See “Animating democracy: The Artistic Imagination as a Force in Civic Dialogue,” 1999. http://www.artsusa.org/animatingdemocracy/ pdf/full.pdf PSYCHES AND CITIES OF HOSPITALITY 32. Heidrun Friesen and Sandro Mezzadra, “Hospitality and Transnational Migration in Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa,” (2007): 4. http://www.iue.it/RSCAS/Research/ Mediterranean/mrm2007/pdf/WS15_MRM2007.pdf 33. In the community and ecological fieldwork and research portion of the M.A./Ph.D Depth Psychology Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, which I coordinate, we work with the idea that each of us is called to different borderlands based on our life experiences. We invite students to show up at the border(s) given to them. Through engaged fieldwork and research, students learn about the multiple viewpoints that comprise the border region, studying how it became culturally, historically, and archetypally constructed as a border, and attuning themselves to the images, dreams, metaphors, and visions maintaining and mitigating against various kinds of divisions. 34. Exhibition notes, Sebastião Salgado, “Exodus,” Center for Documentary Arts, Salt Lake City, November 2005. 35. Ibid. Mary Watkins, Ph.D., is a core faculty member and the coordinator of community and ecological fieldwork and research in the M.A./Ph.D. Depth Psychology Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is the author of Waking Dreams, Invisible Guests: The Development of Imaginal Dialogues, co-editor of Psychology and the Promotion of Peace, coauthor of Talking With Young Children About Adoption, and co-author (with Helene Lorenz) of the forthcoming Toward Psychologies of Liberation (Palgrave Macmillan). She is a co-founder of Santa Barbara for Immigrant Justice.
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