Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Equus in the moon: A re-membering of the horse-human relationship
by Thompson, Ashley E., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2014, 224; 3686809
Abstract (Summary)

The relationship between horse and human has been one of mystery and deep fascination for ages, inspiring countless myths, works of art, dreams, and an entire other world of equine obsessed humans who center their lives around their horses. This research explores, through imaginal, embodied, narrative, and intuitive inquiry methods, the complexities of this trans-species relationship. The purpose of this embodied autoethnographic inquiry is to inspire a different way of imagining the individuation process as it occurs in the context of the horse-human relationship. Through this transformative process the authentic Self has the opportunity to evolve to a more integrated state of consciousness that is informed by the immersion in a trans-species engagement, which challenges human bias and anthropocentric psychological theory.

Questioning and re-imagining our ways of relating across species lines, the ego becomes the apprentice of an in-between realm that is created when horse and human engage. The integration of such trans-species experiences between horse and human challenges psychological constructs that are centered around individualism and anthropocentrism. A re-visioning of the psychological concept of dream animals, their purpose, symbolism, and autonomy are explored through a discussion of accounts of dreaming with horses, creating an interinforming reality between dreaming and waking worlds, and apprenticing the ego through dreaming experiences. Through the interfaces of horse and human, the body is awakened to a new way of being in the world and the deeply imbedded construct of dualistic modes of experiencing is challenged through the dismemberment of old ways of being. From this place of dismemberment, a new imagining of riding through an exploration of archetypal image and the deconstruction of popular assumption is reached, with careful consideration on behalf of Equus. Taking into consideration the fact that our lives are intricately interwoven with other than human species, this research calls for the integration of a trans-species ethic within depth psychology with the hope of re-conceptualizing the ultimate importance of a more harmonious human-animal relationship.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ciofalo, Nuria
Commitee: Potts, Annie, Selig, Jennifer
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental philosophy, Philosophy, Psychology
Keywords: Autoethnography, Ecopsychology, Horse-human, Jungian theory, Phenomenology, Trans-species psychology
Publication Number: 3686809
ISBN: 978-1-321-63665-9
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