On Tuesday December 17, Dr. Chris Miller will bring to the Myth Salon “From First Man to Ad Astra: The Journey to Wholeness Through Film.” He writes that “cinema affords viewers the opportunity to go on a shamanic journey into the world of a given film and to return from that journey transformed. This transformation often takes the form of feelings of individual empowerment or realizations of healing wisdom needed by the collective.” Two recent films facilitate these separate transformations in striking ways. In First Man (2018) viewers travel to the Moon along with Neil Armstrong and in so doing experience in themselves Armstrong’s own agency and adaptability in relation to the tasks and demands of his personal development. In Ad Astra (2019), the audience journeys with astronaut Roy McBride to Neptune so as to save the universe from imminent annihilation. We return from this second journey with a new spiritual attitude characterized by love, beauty, and submission to the divine within and among us. In addition to shamanism, our discussion of these journeys to wholeness will be aided by reference to depth psychology, alchemy, and myth, especially Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. Images and film clips will accompany the presentation. Also, stay tuned for special announcements about at least one movie night to watch one or both films. First Man is now available at no charge on Directv. The digital release date for Ad Astra is set for December 3rd.
Chris Miller, Ph.D., is Adjunct Faculty in the M.A. Counseling Psychology Program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. From 2005 to 2018 he worked at the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles where he has been a frequent lecturer for the institute and The Analytical Psychology Club of Los Angeles. Lectures on such films as Boyhood, Birdman, and The Revenant reflect his ongoing interest in points of convergence between mythology, depth psychology, cinema, and culture. His reviews of these and other films have been published in Psychological Perspectives: A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought. In 2017 he also served as a Joseph Campbell Writers Room Instructor at Studio School in downtown Los Angeles. If you look at Chris Miller’s blogsite www.mythfire.com, you’ll share the excitement we feel that he will be presenting at the December 17 Myth Salon!