The Human Spirit program will impart to the students a broad psychoanalytic education while maintaining a focus on psychoanalytic self psychology.
The program is committed to in–depth familiarity with the finest psychoanalytic thinkers in the meta–theoretical domains, in the practice of the analytic presence and in the tangential interdisciplinary research of psychoanalysis with other intellectual disciplines. Thus, next to acquiring in–depth specialization in psychoanalytic self psychology, they will become ‘citizens of the world’ in psychoanalysis.
The program will conduct the study of the different psychoanalytic schools in the sequential historic development of psychoanalytic thought.
The study of each school will be based on the following three fundamental lines: meta–theory, development and psychopathology, the theory of the analytic presence.
The learning itself will serve as a practice of the empathic stance vis–a–vis each school, thus being an in–depth learning of each theory from its own perspective.
Psychoanalytic Self Psychology: Half of the program’s entire psychoanalytic curriculum will be devoted to the study of the school of self psychology.
Three fundamental lines of the study of the school are: the meta–psychological theory of narcissism and the concept of the self; the development of the self and the becoming of selfhood; the theory of the psychoanalytic presence as a selfobject.
The learning will revolve around the five pillars of the Kohutian corpus: The Analysis of the Self, The Restoration of the Self, How Does Analysis Cure?, Self Psychology and the Humanities, and The Chicago Institute Lectures. These works draw the developmental line of the theory between five stations: first station – empathy; second station – the ‘new narcissism’; third station – the discovery of the selfobject; fourth station – a full conceptualization of the psychoanalytic therapeutic action; fifth station – self psychology and selfobject of culture.
Principles of the Buddhist Curriculum
The buddhist curriculum program will offer broad familiarity with the thought and the practice of Buddhism, with special focus on the Tibetan tradition according to the Gelug heritage. The learning will be accomplished through an integration of traditional teaching and contemporary Western interpretation.
In scope, the study of Buddhism will match the study of psychoanalysis, and will provide an advanced understanding of Tibetan Buddhism along the following three lines: the philosophical thought; the psychological meta–theory; the theory of practicing the cultivation of the transformed mind.
The program is accompanied by daily meditative practice, which will envelop the learning and the presence in the program.
Principles of the Humanities and Arts Curriculum
The studies will enhance familiarity with select aspects in Western, as well as Eastern, thought in the domains of philosophy, science, poetry, literature, art and music. Broadening the intellectual horizons in these cultural channels will provide an additional mode of practicing in the process of mind transformation.
The outline of the program will deploy two complementing courses of seminars in the fields of humanities and the arts. The two study courses will take place in parallel throughout the duration of the program.
The first course of study is structured in relation to the ‘Four Great Genres’ which derive from Aristotelian Poetics – the Tragedy, the Comedy, the Epic and the Lyric – that form a sort of four primordial elements of human expression. This course of study offers seminars that are organized as a sequence, with each seminar treating a different epoch, for the first two years. In the third year this sequence is replaced by two pairs of seminars that treat two themes that arise from this structure – Modernism and the concept of the Self, with each theme being divided into two sub–themes, each to be dealt with in a particular seminar.
The second course of study offers a multitude of different seminars, which cumulatively offer a broad picture. These seminars are not thematically interdependent in the same way, and thus there is no imperative to take them sequentially. This course of study is named ‘Synapses – Transformations of Themes and Forms in Culture’, referring to the way nerve cells transmit information within the body – a transmission that is a complex exchange between matter and energy.