I usually try to stay home in October since the weather is so good in New England and the leaves are fit for peeping. But this year several offers came long that I couldn’t resist.
First, I’m making my first visit to Findhorn in the highlands of Scotland. I’ve been busy in Scotland in the past few years, for the most part because of my work with gynecologists and obstetricians there. Dr. Clare Willocks has been my contact and friend. This conference at Findhorn, celebrating this famous educational outpost’s 50th anniversary, looks to be exceptional. If you ever want to get to know about Findhorn, the week of September 30th is a perfect time.
Next I go to Dallas, where I lived and worked for ten years, 1976-1985. I’ll be back at SMU, the Plano campus, speaking to students and faculty in the counseling graduate program and giving a public talk. I love to speak to therapists of all sorts and to present my many ideas about how to bring soul and spirit into the counseling process. I’ll also speak to the public about self-therapy and caring for your soul.
The next day I’ll be speaking at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas on “worldly spirituality.” Whenever I speak to a Unitarian community I always re-identify with my model and inspiration, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Although he left that community rather early in his career, he has continued to inspire Unitarians, and I take up his mantle in my own way.
Next, I go to the Osler Symposia in San Diego on October 21st. This is a special gathering of doctors under the leadership of a caring and effective leader, Janice Mancuso. Doctors talk to each other about their experience of being doctors. We had the first symposium last year in Albuquerque, and I was moved and impressed by what happened there. I wish all doctors could spend a few days with Janice and her friends and be refreshed. I will talk about the doctor as a spiritual guide. It’s part of the job, though a part that has been forgotten in recent years with the gradual increase of the science/fact archetype in medicine. All you have to do is look at effective medical practitioners around the globe and at the history of Western medicine to see how soul and spirit have always been part of medical care and healing.
From San Diego I go to Santa Fe to teach my usual course for the New England Educational Institute headed by my friend Dr. Rob Guerette. I’ve been teaching for his organization 18 years now. The class is usually made up of psychiatrists, clergy, social workers, doctors and nurses and counselors of all kinds. I use the same outline every time, but the course is always different. It’s a rich experience, and being in Santa Fe every year is a joy. This year I hope to get out to Georgia O’Keeffe’s house, since she has a significant place in the book I’m writing now.
Let me push into November and include my last event for 2012, a workshop on soul and spirit at Wisdom House in Litchfield, CT, Nov. 9-11. Whenever I give talks, I mention the distinction between soul and spirit I learned from Jung and Hillman, and people always ask for clarification. I notice their interest and so decided to give an entire workshop on the theme. I’m looking forward to working with the staff at Wisdom House who do a great job of creating a warm and intellectually sophisticated atmosphere. While in Litchfield I hope to see two old friends, the painter Thomas McKnight, who puts on canvas the fascinating ideas of Renaissance Italy that I put in my books, and David Rabe, an incredibly gifted writer whose plays always raise the roof on Broadway.
You’ll find all the details for these events on the events page of this website. I hope you’ll seriously consider one of them. As I get older I’m thinking about putting an end to all the travel, so there won’t be many more occasions for you and me to meet, outside of my continuing presence in New Hampshire, New York City and the Isles of the Celts.