A Brief History of Centerpoint
A Jungian Approach to the Inner Journey
CENTERPOINT was conceived and born in the summer of 1971, when my father, The Rev. Elsom Eldridge, and Chandler Brown (Director and Associate Director of the Educational Center in St. Louis, Missouri) discovered a natural harmony between C. G. Jung’s ideas and their innovative approach to education. Convinced that an understanding of the collective unconscious and the individual psyche enriched lives, they made this knowledge accessible by developing a user-friendly format that adapts to individual study and small group interaction. Pioneering in communicating Jung’s insights in ways that welcomed and engaged people from all walks of life, Centerpoint became the forerunner in developing such courses.
Our name CENTERPOINT was taken from a statement by Dr. Esther Harding at a conference called “The Cross as Archetypal Symbol” sponsored by The Educational Center in 1970. She said that while opposites repel, they also attract each other, and … are held together by a tiny point that is the center of the cross. She said of this point:
“It is the individual core in us that cannot resolve a moral problem by conventional standards. It is that weak, yet strong point in us that will not be swayed by the multitude. But in order to find this central core of Selfness one has to undertake the arduous and dangerous responsibility of thinking for oneself.”
Dr. Thomas B. Kirsch, describing the history and impact of our Centerpoint in his book The Jungians, writes in his “After 1970” Chapter:
“…small institutes and study groups … all across the country … formed around a central organization called Centerpoint, which had the endorsement and encouragement of Esther Harding and Edward Edinger. … where Jung and other Jungian authors would be read and discussed. … It is important to note that many thousands of Americans have been introduced to the writings of Jung and Jungians through Centerpoint.”
In time, many of the original Centerpoint study groups seeded larger Jungian programs such as those in Richmond, Portland, Seattle, Houston, Colorado Springs, Chapel Hill and others.
A Google Search found Centerpoint small study groups offered by 33 organizations throughout 20 states and 3 in Canada.
If Centerpoint is new to you, we welcome your interest. We hope you will want to experience the new meanings and values our programs have furnished to so many thousands of people in the past forty years. For more information about our current programs click the links above.
As a participant in Oregon wrote, “Centerpoint has been the contributing factor to my emotional and spiritual growth.”
A Jungian analyst in Illinois said, “Centerpoint is a meeting place where body, soul and spirit receive the impetus to embrace one another.”
“The Centerpoint program is a portal of entry into the ideas of C. G. Jung. When people gather to listen and learn, they invariably find themselves with other kindred souls who are interested in the psyche and are drawn to understand themselves and find meaning. When the inner life calls us through dreams and synchronicities, Jung’s thoughts and concepts are tools that provide insight. Learning what Jung has to teach us through these Centerpoint programs can be a turning point for some and an enrichment for all who participate.”
– Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., author of Crones Don’t Whine, Goddesses in Older Women, and The Tao of Psychology
“We all recall Jung’s observation that the world hangs by the fragile thread of individual consciousness. The fractures in our world will in the end not be healed by politicians but by engaged citizens who have gained the capacity to remove their part of the Shadow from the world’s burden. I am grateful to Centerpoint for supporting this task of personal growth and social healing.”
– James Hollis, Ph.D., author of many books, including Mytholgems, Creating a Life and On This Journey We Call Our Life
“The whole idea of Centerpoint excites me. To my knowledge, it is the only place in which to study Jung on a regular basis outside an academic setting, an institute or in training.”
– Thomas Lavin, Ph.D., founding member of the C. G. Jung Institute in Chicago