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I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among those in the second half of life - that is to say, over 35 - there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life.      -- C. G. Jung

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Conference Information

 

Date:
 
 Thursday, October 30 - Sunday, November 2, 2014
Location: Stoneville, North Carolina
Transportation Information  |  Rideshare Forum
 

 


 

  Featured Presentations and Presenters    (* indicates Jungian Analyst)

 

Dr. Michael Conforti*


The Art of Spiritual Navigation:
Relating to the Reality of Psyche in an Authentic Spiritual Life.

Matter is spirit moving slowly enough to be seen”   Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We are all like sailors on the sea. Our lives are moved by the eternal rhythms of nature and we are constantly humbled by the mysteries presented to us anew each day. One day, we sail, and find the gentle trade winds at our back; and then -- just as suddenly, the winds are gone, and we are adrift -- awaiting the new arrival of Spirit and motion. And too, on the heels of a beautiful day, come the tumultuous winds and the pelting rains which have us diving for cover. As we are vulnerable, and young in matters of heart and spirit, we must humble ourselves to a far greater force, and a greater wisdom than we can develop on our own. So in bowing to the utter power and majesty of nature, we must learn all we can about these winds -- about la Tempesta -- those mighty storms, and how to navigate to the best of our ability under these varied conditions.

Sail on, we must, and learn, and pray, and submit to the ultimate shapers of life- the archetypes and powers who daily, shape and influence our direction. These may come in the form of a benevolent or malevolent archetypal possession, of a destiny waiting in abeyance for us to join her for the life we have been born to live, and in intimations of Spirit, often presented in some unfamiliar form.

In our time together, we will focus upon those energetic centers within the psyche-- the complexes, possessions, archetypes -- and the call to a spiritual life. By far, these are the most powerful shapers of human life and destiny. Together, we will feel the shape and contours of these unconscious entities and come to know something about their ways and their design, as well as about the patterns they assume in our life. In understanding the import of these patterns, we can more consciously engage, in a dynamic and meaningful way, that unique, individual life we each are meant to live, and how community might support our journey. In this way, we will come to understand how for Jung, psychology was not as much about human dynamics as it was about our relationship to Spirit.

Each of our explorations will focus on a specific aspect of psychic and spiritual life. There will be discussions about a number of the Christian and Judaic Wisdom traditions, including the works of Thomas Merton, Teilhard de Chardin, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Elie Wiesel.  As each addresses our relationship to psyche, each teaches us about an approach to Spirit.

Through an explication of how individuals work with and integrate aspects of the Self and the creative unconscious in the analytic process, we will discover how we can bring these wonderful insights into the nature of Self and God into our own life.

During the course of out time together, we will be privileged to experience four presentations by Dr. Conforti:

I.  The Reality of Psyche, The Presence of Spirit   CE*

It was the brilliance of C. G. Jung who, in the tradition of the elders before him, knew and more importantly, experienced the living reality of psyche and soul. It was from his observations of the utter depth and profundity of psyche that he came to realize the religious function of the psyche.

This opening presentation on the nature of psyche, and the archetypes of the collective unconscious, will include visual images which capture the presence of psyche in matter and its ability to influence and structure both internal and external reality -- archetypes.

II.  The Journey Begins: Coming to know the World of Psyche, Spirit and Soul through our complexes   CE*

We often find angels behind our demons

Since the beginning of time, humanity has sailed through the Scylla and Charybdis in search of meaning. It is this constant interplay between those regressive and redemptive forces which enable us to carve out a truly meaningful life.

While Freud saw the dream as the Royal road to the unconscious, for Jung it was the complex, which brought us into relationship with psyche and allowed us to see the inner drama unfolding within our life.

Building on the work of Dr Conforti’s forthcoming book, Hidden Presence, we will take an in-depth look into the existence of those autonomous spirits and entities within the psyche, which we know as complexes. A central focus of this presentation will be a response to two questions: How can we understand the archetypal and spiritual message embedded within the complex? and How can the forward moving, redemptive aspect of it be revealed?.

III.  Dreams: Experiences of the Ineffable   CE*
Part 1 and Part 2

Speaking of dreams, Jung writes: “The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach”.

It is the utter power of the dream to present us with what is perhaps the deepest life issues we have to face. Not only do dreams bring us face to face with our destiny and spiritual calling, but they allow us to see how our approach to the transcendent may be limited or misguided, while also offering a deeply moving corrective to our orientation to Self and soul. Through the presentation of dreams from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and clinical practice, we will see how the dream is a primary carrier of transcendence and spirit.

IV.  “Thou Shalt Not Steal”--“Thou Shalt not steal- from thyself “  CE*

This unique perspective on this familiar commandant comes from the Hasidic tradition, and offers a profound extension to our understanding of morality and conscience. This perspective is especially relevant for many of us who have now entered the “mid-life and beyond” period of our life. Here psyche and spirit ask us to take a deep look at our life to see if we are living the life we are meant to live and are in relationship to our destiny. Here we have to look into the mirror of our soul to ask if we are doing everything possible to incarnate our gifts and our relationship to Spirit.
 

Dr. Michael Conforti - Read Bio  


 

Loralee Scott-Conforti

Creatives as Cultural Prophets and Healers
in a Time of Trauma and Turbulence

It may not be a coincidence that from the beginning of time, armies were led into battle not by weaponry and generals, but by musicians, and dancers, who were placed out in front of the regimented formations of soldiers. From the ancient Hebrew armies, to the Incas, to the Civil War; musicians and dancers were an integral part of preparing for and entering into battle. Here we see a marching metaphor: that of the artists, musicians and dancers, as precursors to a seismic shift in the collective consciousness of an epoch. Perhaps the ancients understood something which contemporary society has collectively “forgotten:” the power of the creative to usher in profound transformation.

Jung wrote with an almost reverential awe regarding the creative and its tremendous momentum to transform the psyche as well as to accurately predict the compensatory adjustment needing to be made in the collective. In speaking of artists, he wrote: “…like every true prophet, the artist is the unwitting mouthpiece of the psychic secrets of his time.” The Creative ushers us into a domain where we sense a connection to something greater than ourselves. In engaging the creative, we enter the realm of the numinous where time and space no longer exist, where the past, present and future become our current experience, where we intuitively embody a timeless wisdom that acts on us and through us to give birth to a transcendent wisdom needing to be made visible.

On many levels, it is the artists who parallel the role of the Hebrew Prophets as a mouthpiece calling out for needed change in the collective, crying in the streets in an attempt to reconnect a wandering civilization to a transcendent reality. On the same level, we see art and artists fulfilling the role of healer that Christ portrayed in reaching out to the cultural outcasts of society, broken by the injustice of life.
Perhaps it is the role of the artists, to go into the broken places of life, of our own souls, in order to tap into the mystery of the creative which somehow has the power to bring healing into not only our own lives but into the world.

This presentation will explore the role of the prophet and the healer in our engaging with the call of the creative. We will examine the possibility that perhaps we are called, each of us, to be artists. To engage with a creative force which will ask us to surrender to a mystery we can not scientifically explain in order to bring healing and hope to a hurting world.

Loralee Scott-Conforti - read bio
 

  Workshops and Special Events

 

Robert WaggonerRobert Waggoner

Lucid Dreaming As a Path to Personal Growth, Healing and Spiritual Wisdom

On the surface, lucid dreaming seems deceptively simple – a paradoxical state in which you know you are dreaming, while you are dreaming. There, you can fly through space, create fire breathing dragons, and cast spells like Harry Potter, all in the safety of your subconscious mind.

Historically though, experienced lucid dreamers have used lucid dreaming as an expressway to greater self-realization, spiritual wisdom and access to creativity’s source. The Indian Buddhist yogi, Naropa, suggested that the main technique of dream yoga, lucid dreaming, provided serious students one of the six pathways to enlightenment.

Scientifically validated for thirty years, recent neuroscientists have deemed lucid dreaming a “hybrid state of consciousness” since the dreaming brain and portions of the waking/conscious brain show simultaneous activation. In other words, when you are lucid dreaming, your conscious mind and your subconscious mind appear joined in a shared creative collaboration, or a unique, hybrid state of consciousness.

Now lucid dreamers have begun to explore lucid dreaming’s potential to investigate consciousness, the dream state and the psyche. Already, numerous accounts exist of lucid dreamers using this special state for emotional healing and even physical healing. Moreover, some lucid dreamers feel that they have encountered another layer of the Self and a reservoir of unconscious information; two concepts which Carl Jung theorized, but did not have the tool to validate. Could lucid dreaming serve as a revolutionary tool to scientifically validate some of Jung’s ideas, and renew interest in the murky world of the subconscious?

Author, Robert Waggoner, successfully taught himself how to lucid dream in 1975, and since then, has logged more than one thousand lucid dreams. In this workshop, you will learn how to create a stable lucid dream, so you can explore the beauty, creativity and infinite potential within the psyche.

Robert Waggoner  - read bio

 


 

Sherry Cothran, M.DivRev. Sherry Cothran, M.Div

Prophets, Harlots, Witches and Warriors
The Wild Woman Archetype and Ancient Wisdom
 

Jung felt that religions could be systems of healing if utilized well. However, in our day and age, we are repelled by the many ways religions and religious texts have been used to do violence, manipulate and control. Simply, we cannot hear them anymore. We need creative encounters with ancient wisdom, to inspire, once again, a true religious instinct in us all. Mining the fragments of the past, the bones of ancient texts, we can re-construct a healing narrative for ourselves and for the modern world in which we live. Who better to take us there than the wild woman who roams throughout our ancient, religious texts?

The Wild Woman knows the pathways to living water. Her poetry is full of Spirit and truth. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes claims, the very words “Wild” and “Woman” are like a knock on the door of the heart, unlocking the imagination. Through interaction with these texts, one discovers pathways of healing for the soul and new possibility.

Working with the Wild Woman archetype, Rev. Sherry Cothran, M.Div, Vanderbilt Divinity, pastor/preacher and critically acclaimed singer/songwriter, has written a series of songs based on stories of what she affectionately calls the “untamed” women of the Old Testament. Cothran creatively interprets these ancient religious texts for the modern age through the medium of song. Her CD, “Sunland,” explores the Prophets, Harlots, Witches, Warriors and other women who channeled the Spirit of God in a culture where the odds were stacked against them.

In her interactive workshop, you will listen to her performance of the songs, interact with the story through guided small group discussion and learn how to engage in your own form of creative midrash, interpreting the stories for your life and for the modern age.

Sherry Cothran, M.Div.  - read bio

 


 

Tayria WardTayria Ward, Ph.D.

Reviving the Indigenous Mind
 

As a [hu]man now reasons in dreams, so humanity also reasoned for thousands of years when awake.    - Friedrich Nietzsche

Long before the thought structures of the modern mind created the consensual reality we live in, humanity dwelled on Earth in a different orientation within the web of life, in a conscious and respectful relationship with the non-human world and invisible realms. The advancements in our modes of thinking have produced the undeniably brilliant achievements in every field of human endeavor that we enjoy today, but the shadow of these accomplishments is enormous. Domestication of the human mind and senses has led to a distorted idea of who we are. Thomas Berry described the human’s current condition as “a profound cultural pathology.”

There is a cure for our disease. I believe it requires that we remember, revive and reintegrate the modes of perception of our indigenous forebears, who thought more with the heart than with the head. To awaken these and allow them to have their life in the midst of this created world requires a strong commitment to the process. The New Testament suggests that “You have to lose your life to find it;” maybe, as well, we have to lose aspects of our contemporary mindset in order to reclaim the ground of our being.

This workshop will be about remembering. Tayria will share research, along with her stories and experience from having lived eight years alone in the wilderness while conducting retreats committed to this reawakening. And she will invite your own stories, reflections and open dialogue on the matters ahead for us in our necessary rehabilitation and renewal as individuals and as a species.

It is impossible to go directly on from our cultural state of today if we do not receive increments of strength from our primitive roots. These latter, however, we receive only if in a certain sense we go back behind our present stage of culture to give the suppressed primitive in us an opportunity to develop itself. How that is to happen is a question in itself.   -Carl Jung 

Tayria Ward, Ph.D.  - read bio


 

Howard CarterHoward Carter, Ph.D, LMBT

Serendipitous Connections: The Secret of the Golden Flower, C. G. Jung, and Qi Gong
 

Jung’s Commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower and the The Hui Ming Ching describes his breakthrough with such concepts as synchronicity, the collective unconscious, mandalas, and even partial reconciliation with Protestant Christianity. Did these two Taoist texts influence him directly or did he bring latent insights to project upon them? The answer is surely both, but the proportions are unsolvable. The texts and Jung’s ideas can be explored, however, through Qi Gong. Qi Gong (roughly Life Energy Cultivation”) is a 20th-century revival of ancient Chinese healing that uses energy flow, knowledge of meridians , and meditation. Its origins predate the Taoist texts by many centuries.

This workshop will present the concepts mentioned above and offer exercises in meditation, energy flow, and energy perception.

Howard Carter, Ph.D., LMBT  - read bio

 


 

Linda Yael SchillerLinda Yael Schiller, MSW, LICSW

Jung, Kabbalah and the Mystical Realm  CE*

Kabbalah is the study of creation, of the Divine, of the cosmos, and on a personal level is it about the journey of our Soul. It has been said that mystics of all religions often find more in common with each other than they may find with their parent tradition. We find common themes across both eastern and western wisdom traditions of an experiential connection with the Divine, of creation, of parts within unity, and of essential unknowingness. Jung was well aware of this, and his mystical themes trace their arc from Alchemy though Gnosticism, through the Chinese “Golden Flower”, and find their oldest roots in Kabbalah. Knowledge gleaned from the Dead Sea scrolls may point to similar origins of Gnosticsm, Kabbalah, and Islamic Sufi traditions.

This workshop will explore several of the key concepts of Kabbalistic thought, including the Tree of Life, the Sephirot, the Four Worlds, Adam Kadmon (primordial man), the concept of Holy Sparks, and concepts of immanence and transcendence; and their influence on Jung’s work. Based on the works of Reb Zalman Shactor-Shalomi, Reb GershonWinkler (shaman extraordinaire), Dr.Sanford Drob, Dr.Gershom Sholem and others, we will dip our toes into the mystical world of Kabbalah and appreciate this aspect of the depth and breath Jung’s contribution.

Linda Yael Schiller  - read bio

 


 

Patty de LlosaPatty de Llosa

Taming Your Inner Tyrant
 

Do you, too, have an Inner Tyrant? Too often the harsh critic who lives within each of us holds us back from our true potential. But Jungian Active Imagination techniques can help you break free to claim the person you were meant to be. While therapists have described these techniques, de Llosa is the rare client who vividly journaled what was going on in her inner and outer worlds and shares her path to health.

Her dialogues and discoveries bring into conscious awareness the cast of characters who live within all of us and clarify how they may dominate our daily behavior in ways that aren’t always in our best interest. The experiences and exercises she shares in her workshop will resonate with everyone.

This workshop is based on Patty's book, TAMING YOUR INNER TYRANT (A Spiritual Evolution Press 2011). Chapter five cites the work of Dr. Donald Kalsched. Part psychological memoir, part roadmap to healing, TAMING YOUR INNER TYRANT shows how anyone can make use of the tools outlined within to find lasting peace.

Patty de Llosa  - read bio

 


 

Steve Parker and Kornelia GrabinskaSteve Parker, Ph.D. &
Kornelia Grabinska, Ph.D.

Psyche, Spirit and Wilderness   CE*

 

In this dialogue and workshop, Kornelia Grabinska and Steve Parker will focus on Jung's concept of the Psyche, amplified with material surrounding the archetype of the Spirit and the archetype of the Wilderness. This material will include Inuit folktales, Northern myths, dreams, and personal stories from living as Jungians in the wilderness of Alaska for the last thirty years. Participants are encouraged to bring their own dreams and stories of their numinous encounters with spirit and with wilderness.

Steve Parker  - read bio

Kornelia Grabinska - read bio

 


 

Steve ParkerSteve Parker, Ph.D.

In the Spirit of Mary Magdalene  CE*

 

After a severe heart attack, Steve Parker found himself compelled to create paintings that he did not understand. A number of these drawings featured a red egg; he later found himself building a meditation chamber in the shape of an egg, out of red river stones. It was only much later that he came across the story of Mary Magdalene and the Red Egg , where Caesar told Mary Magdalene that Christ could no more have risen from the dead than the egg in her hand could turn red -- and then the egg in her hand turned red.
This talk will be a story -- with many illustrations -- of the spiritual transformation that came about as a result of the heart attack, the images from the unconscious, and the stone work. The guiding image of Mary Magdalene -- a symbol of the Feminine in service to the Self -- will be the basis of the presentation.
The participation part of workshop will include drawing and/or connecting with guiding images from the unconscious.

Steve Parker  - read bio


 

Akal Dev Sharonne and Mark SmithAkal Dev Sharonne
(with musician Mark Smith)

Dances of Universal Peace

The Dances of Universal Peace were the vision of a Sufi master named Samuel Lewis and began as a Sufi practice. Over the years they have come to embrace all the major spiritual traditions of the world. "These movements and songs make up over 400 Dances and include themes of peace (both inner and outer), healing (the Earth, individuals, and the global family), and the celebration of life's great mysteries. Dancers express harmony and community while celebrating the underlying unity of all the spiritual traditions of the Earth." By chanting sacred phrases to the accompaniment of simple movement, participants literally embody the sacred phrase, moving beyond the level of [isolated]... ego and personality... [to bring us more present to]... the Divine essence that resides within each of us. No dance experience is necessary; all movements are taught.

 

Akal Dev Sharonne  - read bio

Mark Smith  - read bio

NOTE: Only programs marked CE* have been authorized by NBCC to receive CE credit. *


Journey Conferences seeks to provide genuine conversation and the sharing of varied experiences in the context of supportive community to aid individual persons and our world in moving toward wholeness. The conference program offerings have been welcomed in consideration of their potential value to this effort. Beyond that, the inclusion of any particular offering or event is not intended to imply any unqualified endorsement by Journey Conferences or its management. We encourage each participant to make their own evaluations.
 

 

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"I cannot define for you what God is. I can only say that my work has proved empirically that the pattern of God exists in every [hu]man, and that this pattern has at its disposal the greatest of all his energies for transformation and transfiguration of his natural being. Not only the meaning of his life but his renewal and his institutions depend on his conscious relationship with this pattern in his collective unconscious." 
   - C. G. Jung in a Letter to Laurens Van der Post shortly before Jung's death. 


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