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Friday, January 15, 2010

Protect your mystery and love your inner idiot

Thomas Moore visits the C. G. Jung Center for Studies in Analytical Psychology of Brunswick, Maine on Friday 7 May and Saturday 8 May, 2010.

Friday 7 May 2010, 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Lecture: The Importance of Not Knowing Yourself:
Protecting the Mystery of Who and What You Are

Orion Performing Arts Center, 50 Republic Ave., Topsham, Maine
Members: $15; Non-members: $20

"Only the shallow know themselves." ~ Oscar Wilde
Understanding yourself is not nearly as important as appreciating how deep, complex, and rich your soul is. Loving your soul, with all of its gaps, leads to self-acceptance and self-forgiveness, doorways to a creative life. We move in the wrong direction when we aim only for self-improvement and believe that one day everything will be perfect, or should be. An alternative is to appreciate the place of failed work, failed relationships, and failed plans, and to cultivate the fool and the ignoramus.

You will never know enough or accomplish all that you feel you need to do. Instead, you can love your foolishness and see the wisdom in your failures. You can appreciate how much you have received from your losses. You can love the mysterious in those with whom you are intimate and give up the need to understand yourself. A soul psychology embraces both the empty and the full. As the spiritual traditions show, connecting with life’s deepest mysteries, in the world and in yourself, is the purpose of religion.
Saturday 8 May, 2010 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Seminar: Imperfect Souls: How to Love Your Inner Idiot
Daggett Lounge, Thorne Hall, Bowdoin College, off College St., Brunswick
Members: $85; Non-members: $95
Register by Friday, April 30, and receive $10 discount.
Pre-registration recommended.

"In quest of learning, every day you acquire something.
In quest of the Tao, every day you lose something."
~ Tao Te Ching, 48
Today people assume that it’s important to acquire and accomplish things, to know as much as possible and to succeed. The soul sometimes works by a different logic. It comes to life with special effect when we are emptied through failure and loss. The key is our attitude toward the imperfect life and how we deal with loss. Spiritual traditions teach the importance of the mysterious and of toning down our need to know so much.

In this workshop participants will reflect on sources like the Tao Te Ching, the Heart Sutra, Cultivating Ignorance and Conversations with an Idiot by Nicolaus Cusanus, and In Praise of Foolishness by Erasmus. We will also consider Samuel Beckett’s empty hat, Oscar Wilde’s empty plate of cucumber sandwiches, René Magritte’s paintings, and various poems and Sufi stories. We will try to see the wisdom in our follies, stupidities, illusions, and failures, and we will learn more about loving the imperfect soul. An increase in this kind of love may inspire more satisfying work and deeper relationships.
Visit the C. G. Jung Center at and click on the Center's Programs tab. Scroll to the appropriate dates to print or email these descriptions.

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