Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.
“In the middle of the road of my life I awoke in a dark wood, where the true way was wholly lost.”
(Dante Alighieri: The Divine Comedy)
In this workshop we take up four essential disciplines of the journey toward wholeness. The first is a lesson that often does not come until midlife or beyond, and that is the capacity to embrace mystery and darkness, what the poet John Keats called “negative capability.” There is wisdom in learning how to be creatively and wholly lost. The second is closely related and it is the ability to sustain a discipline of prayer through what the mystics call “the dark night of the soul.” The third is learning the disciplines of love and following its transformations through to maturity. Finally, individuation is the discipline of allowing and welcoming the ongoing transformations of Self. As we relax ever more deeply into faith, we learn to trust the creative and dynamic work of God within.
The Midlife Passage: Awakening in a dark wood
- Awakening in darkness; the wisdom of being lost.
- Intro and overview of the tasks and transformations of midlife
- Intro to Jung, the Ego-Self axis (Pride vs. Dignity; Humiliation vs. Humility)
- Persona, Shadow, Transitional Self, Transcendent Self
Prayer: Ego must diminish so that Soul may rise.
- Dark Night of the Soul, Absence/Presence, Darkness/Light.
- Transitional Self and the Transformation of the God-image
- The use of scripture in prayer (using Romans 8 and Ps. 139 as examples)
Relationships: As the Soul matures, so does Love.
- Falling in love (projections of Soul)
- Difficulties in love (projections of Shadow)
- Maturing in love (withdrawal of projections)
- Dying in love (Relationship as Spiritual Journey)
Individuation: On becoming Self
- The Differentiated Self
- The Dynamic Self
- The Generative Self
- Individuation as Incarnation