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Facing Mortality: Fear of the Unknown
April 8-15, 2019
Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Ireland

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. —Joseph Campbell

When we were young, we believed that we would live forever and concerned ourselves only with the here and now. As older adults, we sometimes find it difficult to live in the present, for fear of what lies ahead. Worries about finances, retirement, loss of loved ones, illness, and diminished mental or physical faculties may permeate our psyches every day. To compensate for our feelings of helplessness, we might push ourselves into more and more activities—some of them meaningless. We might even start compulsively compiling “bucket lists” in the fear that it might be too late to experience everything we have wanted to do in our lives—when we could be focusing more on meaning than on matter.

A man who lives fully is prepared to die anytime —Mark Twain

The uncertainty of dealing with serious illness and death creates an existential anxiety in most of us. Many of us have a tendency to march through life in denial of the ephemeral aspects of our lives. We may lose sight of the tasks and soul-work that are a necessary part of our individuation as we age.

The question of what happens after death has been pondered since the dawn of civilization. Is there a soul journey after we die? Is there life after death? In most cultures and religions, this question is central to the belief system; indeed, the mystery of what happens after we die intrigues us all. In this regard, it is important that we not see death as a disease but rather as a part of the life cycle. No vitamins, exercise classes, elixirs, or plastic surgery can keep us from leaving this planet when it is our time.

As we grow older, we need to connect to our inner life—the part that provides meaning and feeds one’s soul. For, in Jung’s words, “life that is senselessly wasted and misdirected means death, too. This may account for the unnatural intensification of the fear of death in our time, when life has lost its deeper meaning for so many people, forcing them to exchange the life-preserving rhythm of the eons for the dread ticking of the clock.”

During the course of our weeklong Seminar, through a combination of presentations and experiential workshops, we will explore the fear of the unknown, the taboo topic of death and dying, and how different civilizations envision life after death.

Lough Erne Resort | nyjungcenter.org

 

Welcome to Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

Location
County Fermanagh, a largely rural county in the southwest of Northern Ireland, is known for its numerous lakes, including Lough (Irish for lake) Erne, with its 154 islands and countless coves and inlets. Fermanagh is rich in remnants of its long history — from stone carved tombs to early Christian relics and through a successon of ruling dynasties and clans.

The delightful town of Enniskillen, medieval seat of the Maguire clan, is situated on one of the Lough Erne islands and is a short drive from our seminar site. The town features many old-style pubs, restaurants, interesting shops, and rows of picturesque red brick Georgian flats.

An optional luncheon cruise provides an opportunity to see more of the spectacular lakeland scenery.

Accommodations & Seminar Site
Our home for the week will be the Lough Erne Resort (photo above), a five-star, deluxe hotel nestled on a 600-acre peninsula with spectacular views of the Fermanagh Lakelands. Renowned for its magnificent setting that frames the natural beauty of the entire region, the resort is considered one of the finest hotels in Ireland. Chosen as the location for the 2013 G-8 conference, the resort combines warm, friendly, and excellent service with luxurious facilities, including a state-of-the-art health club, world-class Thai-inspired spa, and indoor swimming pool. With many rooms overlooking the lake, its spacious, well-appointed accommodations are a tasteful blend of old-world heritage with contemporary facilities in the style of an Irish country estate.

Meals
Meals are wonderful times to get to know one another and interact with presenters. Gourmet meals and outstanding Irish service await us. Each day begins with a hearty, full Irish breakfast, complemented by a wide selection of fresh fruit, local Irish cheeses, and freshly baked breads. Our breaks feature freshly brewed coffee, traditional Irish and herbal teas, and just-baked scones.

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday, we will lunch together at the elegant Lough Erne Resort, where we will also enjoy festive gourmet opening and closing dinners. For meals on our own, several restaurants are on site and in nearby Enniskillen, which boasts a multitude of restaurants, pubs, and cafés.

Program in Brief

Monday, April 8

Arrival at the Lough Erne Resort. Check in with time to relax and enjoy the hotel’s amenities.
4:00 p.m. Orientation and an opportunity to get to know one another
7:30 p.m. Welcoming dinner (included)

Tuesday, April 9

7:00 a.m. Full Irish breakfast served daily
9:15 a.m. Aryeh Maidenbaum and Diana Rubin, Brief remarks
9:30 a.m. Lionel Corbett, Facing Mortality: Spiritual and Psychological Approach
11:00 a.m. Break for coffee, tea, and scones
11:30 a.m. Marlene Frantz, Beauty and Devastation: Holding the Tension of the Opposites
1:00 p.m. Break for lunch (included)
2:30 p.m. Workshops I

Allan Guggenbühl, The Dark Side of Empathy
Manisha Roy, Death as a Taboo Topic in Modern Societies
Dennis Slattery, Imagining Our Mortality: Where We Feel Our Vulnerabilities and Limits
Cydny Rothe, Missives from the Borderland: Sharing Stories from the Living’s Observation of the Dying

Evening Free; dinner on our own

Wednesday, April 10

9:30 a.m. Cydny Rothe, Musings on Death: Observing the Dying and the Making of Meaning
11:00 a.m. Break for coffee, tea, and scones
11:30 a.m. Workshops II

Dennis Slattery, Giving Form to Where We Sense the Unknown in Our Lives
Lionel Corbett, Death, Acceptance, and Resistance:
The Challenge of Completion

Marlene Frantz, What Lies Beneath: A Dream Workshop
Manisha Roy, Death as a Taboo Topic in Modern Societies

1:00 p.m. Break for lunch (included)
2:30 p.m. Workshops III

Lyn and Mathew Mather, Spirals of Life, Brushes with Death
Marlene Frantz, Exploring the Unknown through Active Imagination
Allan Guggenbühl, Mythodrama: The Fascination and Power of Stories
Cydny Rothe, Missives from the Borderland: Sharing Stories from the Living’s Observation of the Dying

Evening: Free; dinner on our own

Thursday, April 11

9:30 a.m. Manisha Roy, The Ultimate Inevitable: Cross-Cultural and Psychological Observations
11:00 a.m. Break for coffee, tea, and scones
11:30 a.m. Workshops IV

Lionel Corbett, Death, Acceptance, and Resistance: The Challenge of Completion
Lyn and Mathew Mather, Remembering: Threads of Golden and Silver Light
Diana Rubin, Dealing with Mortality: A Workshop for Women
Dennis Slattery, Imagining Our Mortality: Where We Feel Our Vulnerabilities

Afternoon: Free, OR reserve your place for lunch and cruise on Lough Erne (optional)**
8:00 p.m. Michael Gibbons, Borderlands, a Contested Landscape: An Exploration of 7,000 Years of the Archaeology and History of the Connaught-Ulster Frontier

Friday, April 12

Free day to rest, enjoy the hotel’s spa and surroundings, OR, for those who have reserved their place in advance, full-day outing to Sligo and area.

Saturday, April 13

9:30 a.m. Dennis Slattery, Imagining the Unknown: An Opportunity for Discovery
11:00 a.m. Break for coffee, tea, and scones
11:30 a.m. Workshops V

Lionel Corbett, Grief and Creativity: A Jungian Approach
Lyn and Mathew Mather, Spirals of Life, Brushes with Death
Cydny Rothe, Imagining and Composing Your Own Funeral
Manisha Roy, How Can We Face the Fear of Death? Coping Mechanisms We Can Learn from Other Cultures

1:00 p.m. Break for lunch (included)
2:30 p.m. Workshops VI

Allan Guggenbühl, The Dark Side of Empathy
Aryeh Maidenbaum, Dealing with Mortality: A Workshop for Men
Lyn and Mathew Mather, Remembering: Threads of Golden and Silver Light
Marlene Frantz, What Lies Beneath: A Dream Workshop

Evening: Free; dinner on our own

Sunday, April 14

9:30 a.m. Allan Guggenbühl, Mortality, or Understanding What We Will Never Understand
11:00 a.m. Break for coffee, tea, and scones
11:30 a.m. Faculty panel and participant discussion; Seminar closure
Afternoon: Free to relax, and/or enjoy wandering about Enniskillen, OR reserve your place for lunch and cruise on Lough Erne (optional)**
7:30 p.m. Festive closing dinner (included)

Monday, April 15

Departures for Dublin airport and Radisson Dublin Airport hotel

*Please note: Daily schedule subject to change
**Optional lunch and cruise on Lough Erne: Space limited; space reserved based on dates that participants return forms—to be sent along with additional information and workshop choices prior to start of Seminar

Meals included: Full breakfast daily; all breaks for coffee and tea; lunches on April 9, 10, and 13; welcoming and farewell dinners on April 8 and 14

Field Trip to the Iveragh Peninsula

Optional Friday Outing
Guided by archaeologist Michael Gibbons, we will spend a full day visiting a range of wonderful sites, including the world-famous Carrowmore Passage Tombs and Deerpark Court Tomb; Queen Maeve’s Tomb (optional 30-minute hike to summit); the ancient middens on the shore of Ballysadare Bay; Drumcliff early monastic site; and an important Holy Well at Tobernalt.

Optional Trip to Carrowmore

 

Faculty

Lionel Corbett, MD, trained in psychiatry in England and as a Jungian analyst at the Jung Institute of Chicago. His primary interests are in the religious function of the psyche and in the development of psychotherapy as a spiritual practice. Dr Corbett is a core faculty member of Pacifica Graduate Institute and the author of Psyche and the Sacred: Spirituality Beyond Religion; The Religious Function of the Psyche; and The Sacred Cauldron: Psychotherapy as a Spiritual Practice; “Jungian Contributions to Development in Later Life”; and “Jung and Aging.”.

 

 

 

Marlene Frantz is a Jungian analyst and an artist. Her private practice in Santa Monica, California, includes individual and group work as well as supervision. A certified group psychotherapist, Ms. Frantz has lectured on creativity, grief, and equine therapy and has led workshops on the creative process, dreams, and rebuilding one’s life after loss. She has contributed articles and been a featured artist in Psychological Perspectives, the journal of the Los Angeles Jung Institute.

 

Michael Gibbons, one of Ireland’s most respected archaeologists, is highly acclaimed for his ongoing fieldwork in Connemara. A popular presenter, he has lectured worldwide, including at Oxford, Cambridge, the National Geographic Society, and the Smithsonian. Author of Connemara: Visions of Iar Chonnacht, as well as numerous articles and reports, he is a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland, the Croagh Patrick archaeological research team, and the Heritage Council of Ireland.

 

Allan Guggenbühl, PhD, psychologist and Jungian analyst in Zürich, is a professor at the University of Education of the State of Zürich, editor of the Jungian journal Gorgo, and director of the Institute for Conflict Management in Bern. He earned a PhD from the University of Zürich in education and psychology and a diploma in analytical psychology from the Jung Institute in Zürich. Well known for his innovative methods of Mythodrama, Dr. Guggenbuhl’s publications include, among others,  Men, Power, and Myths: The Quest for Male Identity; and The Incredible Fascination of Violence.

 

Aryeh Maidenbaum, PhD, Director of the New York Center for Jungian Studies, is a Jungian analyst in private practice in New York City. Among his publications are the articles “The Search for Spirit in Jungian Psychology,” “Sounds of Silence,” and “Psychological Types, Job Change, and Personal Growth,” and the collection of essays Jung and the Shadow of Anti-Semitism. Moderator of an important conference on aging at the Library of Congress, Dr. Maidenbaum was also a faculty member at NYU for 18 years where he taught courses in Jungian psychology, and was a contributing author of Current Theories of Psychoanalysis.

 

Lyn Mather, MA, is an artist and a Jungian-oriented art therapist whose practice emphasizes active imagination, dream interpretation and eco-arts. She regularly facilitates workshops themed on the imaginal, the mythopoetic, and the symbolic. With her husband Mathew, she co-pioneered a certificate course on Jungian psychology with art therapy. A current project is “Art and Psyche Ireland,” a networking platform that focuses on the role of the emergent unconscious, the creative imagination, and process work.

 

Mathew Mather, PhD, is a graduate of the University of Essex, a lecturer at Limerick School of Art and Design, and course director of the Certificate in Jungian Psychology with Art Therapy. Dr. Mather regularly presents at international conferences, is a guest lecturer at ISAP-Zurich, and is interested in dream interpretation, synchronicity, art, alchemy, and astrology. He is the author of The Alchemical Mercurius: Esoteric Symbol of Jung’s Life and Works.

 

Cydny Urbina Rothe, MSW, is a Jungian analyst in Los Angeles with a practice that spans over 40 years. Losing her father at age 15 fostered lifetime sensitivity to the imminence of death as well as a passionate interest in the moments around dying. She has lectured and led workshops on the body in psychotherapy, films through a Jungian lens, racism from her perspective as a person of mixed ethnicity, and death.

 

Manisha Roy, PhD, is an anthropologist and Jungian analyst on the faculty of the Jung Institute of Boston. In private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Roy, who writes in English and in Bengali, is the author of eight books and coeditor of three as well as having written more than fifty articles. Her publications include novels, a collection of short stories, and memoirs (including My Four Homes, in English).

 

Diana Rubin, LCSW, in private practice in New York City and the Hudson Valley, specializes in working with creative and performing artists. For many years a staff psychotherapist at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health’s Institute for the Performing Artist, she has organized and led Jungian seminars and study tours for more than 20 years, and lectures and leads workshops on a variety of topics related to Jung, creativity, and the arts.

 

Dennis Patrick Slattery, PhD, has been teaching for 44 years, including the last 20 in the Mythological Studies program at Pacifica Graduate Institute in California where he holds the rank of distinguished professor. He is the author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor, of 22 books, including five volumes of poetry and one novel. He has also authored over 200 articles and book reviews. His most recent book is Bridge Work: Essays on Mythology, Literature and Psychology and he has recently completed editing the forthcoming Our Daily Breach: Exploring One’s Personal Myth Through Melville’s Moby-Dick.