Born of Love: Two Books Celebrating the Work of Michael Eigen

VIRTUAL INTERACTIVE SEMINAR
with Drs. Michael Eigen, Loray Daws, and Robin Bagai

November 18, 2023 (Saturday), 12-3pm EDT/EST
[Virtual room opens at 11:30am EDT/EST]
Attendance is FREE, but RSVP is required (see the form below)

Registration form

This conference is a celebration of Michael Eigen’s contributions to psychology and psychoanalysis over many decades. It will feature Dr. Eigen talking about his work in addition to introducing Drs. Loray Daws and Robin Bagai who will speak about their respective books honoring his work: Loray Daws’s Michael Eigen: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, 2023) and Robin Bagai’s Commentaries on the Work of Michael Eigen: Oblivion and Wisdom, Madness and Music (Routledge, 2023).

Below, is more information about the books that inspired this conference. 

Loray Daws: Michael Eigen: A Commentary Introduction. (Routledge, 2023) 

This insightful book critically reviews and presents an accessible introduction to the life and work of one of the most celebrated modern psychoanalysts, Michael Eigen.

With work spanning over five decades, countless articles, and thirty published book volumes, Daws explores Eigen’s main works through key themes and concepts such as working with our psychotic core, psychic deadness, primary affects, and the need for spirituality for practicing psychoanalysts. The book covers Eigen’s early life and formative clinical years, explores his re-reading of Freud, Jung, and Lacan, and lastly covers Eigen’s Seoul seminars, the impact of trauma, the importance of faith and the use of Kabbalah as a framework for analysis.

This book will not only engage the first-time Eigen reader but will also be of much interest to the experienced psychologist and psychoanalyst already familiar with Eigen’s work.

CRITICS’ REVIEWS

“Loray Daws’s Introduction to the Work of Michael Eigen gives the reader a wide aperture into the spirit and soul of Eigen with his many colors and voices: poet, psychotherapist, Tzadik, orphic visionary, and breather of psychic life. More than simply an introduction, Daws’s work on Eigen’s oeuvre is both a profound academic resource and an extension of the wisdom tradition they both share. One finds emotional and spiritual truths quoted from a vast array of Eigen’s work as part of an arc and trajectory that expresses deep love for how we touch each other’s insides.” — Robin Bagai, Psy.D., Author of “Michael Eigen and Evolution of Psyche”

“Loray Daws has a developing international reputation as a scholar- practitioner whose interests cover the full range of psychoanalytic praxis and theory. In this volume, which without hyperbole can be describes as brilliant, Daws provides the first introductory text to one of the most significant figures in contemporary psychoanalysis. He is the right person to have done this and there is no doubt that he is up to the task.

The core concerns of Eigen are articulated with singular clarity. At the same time the experienced Eigen reader is opened to dimensions and nuances which they may not have previously realized. While clearly basing Eigen’s work in Elkin-Winnicott-Bion field, Daws also locates it a broader psychoanalytic context (for example Bollas, Balint) thereby helping the reader sense where Eigen fits in. The writing is both emotionally in touch and intellectually rigorous. This is a palpably alive book which reveals the sheer fecundity of Eigen’s work.” — Stephen Bloch, Jungian PsychoanalystEditor of “Living Moments: On the Work of Michael Eigen” and “Music and Psyche”

“Over the past forty years, Michael Eigen’s voluminous and evocative writing – intriguing, profoundly moving, and challenging – connects us with the fundamental psychic realities of psychoanalytic treatment and human sensibilities, pain, suffering and faith. It is a living process emerging from the very act of experiencing, feeling, and sharing. Loray Daws’ Introduction to Michael Eigen offers us a thoughtful, telling, and engaging exploration of the most essential themes of Eigen’s writing. The reader is in for a thorough and enriching journey into Eigen’s unique psychoanalytic world.” — Ofra Eshel, faculty, training and supervising analyst of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society, honorary member of the New Center for Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles

FOREWORD
to the Book by Dr. Loray Daws

by Dr.  Michael Eigen

I am deeply moved that Loray Daws has read my work so thoroughly and translated it into an introduction that may touch many individuals and possibly help bring them closer to themselves. It is an intimate work involved in what James Hillman (1997) might call soul creation (his term was “soul-making”). Daws touches and opens daily adventures of psychic transformations that often play a subterranean role in psychic growth over a lifetime. I should say psychic growth and its vicissitudes because deformations and setbacks can play a vital part in renewal.

My own work has long emphasized complexities of self-other and mind-body relations. Daws not only brings out relational nuances in my work but adds to them. It is as if he uses my work like an artist might use his palette to open further dimensions of experience, life colors calling for use and care. The reader can expect to dip into my work then suddenly find him or herself in unanticipated depths joining psychic hungers, longings, and hopes. The reading itself will be an opening of wells within, a stimulus for the reader’s contact with the depths. There will be much opportunity for didactic learning, but my sense is there is also a deeper value for fertile meetings of author, reader, and the work itself engaged in spontaneous interweaving.

I’ve often written about the evolutionary task of becoming partners with our capacities rather than merely succumbing to a control-mastery model. We need both our curiosity and exploratory drives as well as an ability to be still and experience ourselves at rest in quietude. The Biblical God appears with thunder and lightning but also a still, small voice, inaudible and invisible yet ineffably moving, opening soul dimensions. All our capacities potentially have something to give us and through us others. I hope you will find in this work a vehicle for this receiving – giving that you will further in your own way, a replenishing that can go on all life long.

Reference: Hillman, James. (1997).  Re-Visioning Psychology. William Morrow.


Robin Bagai: Commentaries on the Work of Michael Eigen: Oblivion and Wisdom, Madness and Music. (Routledge, 2023)

Commentaries on the Work of Michael Eigen is an accessible and engaging introduction to this ground-breaking psychoanalytic sage. Through exploration of Eigen’s two key texts, The Psychotic Core and Emotional Storm, the author addresses universal human concerns of madness and the difficulties of our emotional life.

In conversational style, the book mirrors Eigen’s chapter-by-chapter approach, focusing on and amplifying important aspects of each work. Bagai follows threads of several key themes from psychoanalysis, philosophy, literature, religious thought, and the humanities, and chapters include discussion of relevant theory from Freud, Jung, Klein, Winnicott, Bion, Buber, and Levinas, among others. Rather than a comprehensive or systematic exegesis of Eigen’s work, Bagai’s commentary expands nodal aspects, illuminating and probing seminal themes and ideas. Through clinical case examples, the author explores intertwining of mind and body, self and the other using an array of carefully selected quotes from Eigen’s kaleidoscopic vision.

Commentaries on the Work of Michael Eigen will be essential reading for psychotherapists and psychoanalysts, as well as anyone seeking a greater understanding of Eigen’s work.

CRITICS’ REVIEWS

“Much like Edward Edinger with C. G. Jung’s work, Robin Bagai’s commentaries on Michael Eigen’s books offer distillation, amplification, and expansion of themes that are both contemporary and timeless. I admire his deep understanding of Eigen’s work and the rich and enriching way he is able to convey it. In this volume, clinical cases from Eigen’s two books intertwine with universal human concerns of madness, emotional life, ethics, and creativity. With Bagai’s care and illumination, Eigen’s intricacies come alive again through a kindred voice, one that is both a carrier and guardian of spirit and psyche.”
— Ofra Eshel, faculty, training and supervising analyst, Israel Psychoanalytic Society; head of Independent Psychoanalysis— Radical Breakthroughs postgraduate track, Tel Aviv University; author, The Emergence of Analytic Oneness: Into the Heart of Psychoanalysis

“Robin Bagai’s commentary and introduction to Eigen’s major texts reveal an approach that is heartfelt and sincere. Bagai provides a mooring at the same time as he liberates perspectives into some of Eigen’s most intense and demanding passages. In many places Eigen describes psychological work as a ‘digesting and opening’ experience. In Bagai’s hands we see this injunction in practice. His writing and own way with words demonstrates how this is to be done. With a palpable affection for Michael Eigen and an intelligent highlighting of key themes, Robin Bagai has done a great service for another generation of Eigen readers. His hermeneutic can be understood as an example of Lectio Divina – the reading of texts in a participatory manner which transforms the reader.”
— Stephen Bloch, Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist; founding member, South African Association of Jungian Analysts; training analyst, Cape Town, South Africa; co-editor (with Loray Daws) of Living Moments: Essays in Honor of Michael Eigen; and (with Paul Ashton) Music and Psyche: Contemporary Psychoanalytic Perspectives

“Robin Bagai is a great teacher, organized and clear, able to make Eigen’s writing accessible and both clinically and personally relevant. Psychosis can be frightening and confusing and it is wonderful to have a guide. Eigen’s Psychotic Core is based on his experience reaching to the depths with many psychotic patients. Sometimes we encounter darkness in Eigen’s writing, sometimes beauty, both in our own inner life and with our patients. Robin Bagai invites us to journey into the unknown and to find parts of ourselves still hidden. He reminds us that the beginning of learning to be a therapist may be like a musician playing scales. Only later do we learn that true psychic growth is ongoing, the psyche is vast.

Both Eigen and Bagai believe in a certain kind of faith, not a particular theory but rather belief that psychic growth can develop slowly from ‘regular relational contact over time.’ This type of faith is ‘grounded in openness to the unknown with curiosity and respect for what arises rather than holding on to expectation or agenda.’

Bagai’s book is filled with respect for Eigen and will be a trustworthy companion as you read Eigen’s first book, The Psychotic Core, and then his turbulent Emotional Storm. Neither Eigen nor Bagai’s commentary will disappoint.”
— JoAnn Culbert-Koehn, Jungian psychoanalyst; past President, C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles

“Eigen’s work is oxygen for the soul.” — Mark Epstein MD; author of The Zen of Therapy: Uncovering a Hidden Kindness in Life

SHORT BIOS OF THE PRESENTERS:

Robin Bagai, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in Portland, Oregon, who has been practicing psychoanalytic psychotherapy for over 35 years. His work has been published in two edited collections: The Spiritual Psyche in Psychotherapy: Mysticism, Intersubjectivity, and Psychoanalysis; and Healing, Rebirth, and The Work of Michael Eigen (both Routledge). Dr. Bagai has been leading in-person and international seminars on over a dozen of Michael Eigen’s books since 2014.

Loray Daws is a registered Clinical Psychologist in South Africa and British Columbia, Canada. He is currently in private practice and serves as Senior Faculty Member at the International Masterson Institute in New York and specializes in psychoanalysis and daseinsanalysis. He is the editor of 4 books in psychoanalysis and existential analysis.

Michael Eigen is a psychologist and psychoanalyst. He is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis at New York University (adjunct), and a Senior Member of the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. He is the author of a number of books, including Toxic Nourishment; The Psychoanalytic Mystic; The Psychotic Core; The Sensitive Self; Feeling Matters; The Birth of Experience; and Flames from the Unconscious: Trauma, Madness, and Faith.

For more information about the conference, please write to mindmendmedia@gmail.com or to inna.rozentsvit@gmail.com

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If you would like to order the books, here is some information:

For Dr. Loray Daws book, Michael Eigen: A Contemporary Introduction, follow the link here: https://www.routledge.com/Michael-Eigen-A-Contemporary-Introduction/Daws/p/book/9780367433901

For Dr. Robin Bagai’s book, Commentaries on the Work of Michael Eigen: Oblivion and Wisdom, Madness and Music, follow the link here: https://www.routledge.com/Commentaries-on-the-Work-of-Michael-Eigen-Oblivion-and-Wisdom-Madness/Bagai/p/book/9781032190716

For Willa Schneberg’s poetry book, The Naked Room (2023, Broadstone Books), follow this link: https://www.broadstonebooks.com/shop/p/the-naked-room-poetry-by-willa-schneberg

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