Newsletter 11 from Geneva Bellevue, December 1, 2019
In this 85th year of my life I keep reflecting about the oneness of creation. About bringing together night and day, darkness and light, different cultures, the human family. I see around me so much division. How to move from chaos to cosmos, from injustice to a creative peaceful world
I have been reading about this one world, the inner world of philosophers, mystics, poets over the centuries. Today
there is a meeting of science and ancient wisdom in the supposition of a field of interconnection pervading all levels
of reality. We are back to Indra's net of jewels, spun over the God's palace, where if one jewel sparkles, all of the
jewels sparkle. A contemporary metaphor for the nature of our univer.
This research nourished the webinars, "Narratives of the Unconscious," I gave in October for the International Women's Writing Guild. Also the seminar I gave to Jungians and writers, "Active Imagination and Writing" in November. And will nourish my workshop "From Darkness to Light, The Alchemy of Writing" this month for the Geneva Writers Group. I am grateful for these opportunities.
And my two online master classes, Journaling to the Soul and Seeing Beauty with Words, for Jung Society of Washington remain available. Bulletin boards are included in both courses for discussion and questions. I will try to answer!
The 20th Anniversary Edition of Circling to the Center was published this fall by Chiron, with the subtitle, Invitation
to Silent Prayer and with an Afterword which updates my spiritual journey. The chapters treat experiences of both
light and darkness in my life. In the Afterword, I include the abuse of one of our daughters by the parish vicar, a
tragedy she recalled only after many years. How Rome refused a trial. My path took a turn and opened to all
faiths and to a oneness with nature.
The pastel on the cover is by friend Karen McDermott. Meister Eckhart wrote that to lead a good life, we could begin "like a man who draws a circle. Let him get the center in the right place and keep it so, then the circumference will be good."
This is my Christmas wish for all of us. May we get the center in the right place. May we find oneness so that there be less division and conflict around us. Lets remember Etty Hillesum who wrote one year before her death at Auschwitz in 1943, "the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in the world."
Newsletter 10 from Geneva, Bellevue, August 2019
Orhan Pamuk writes, "As we hold words in our hands, like stones, sensing the ways in which each is connected to the others…patiently and hopefully we create new worlds." Creating new worlds with our words. May we do so!
Since my last newsletter December 2018, I've been to the States three times. Sometimes living here in Switzerland the land of Trump seems more than an ocean away. But back to our words and creating new worlds.
In the spring, workshops for the Geneva Writers Group, the American Library in Paris, and the Jung Societies in the States kept me focused on "The Alchemy of Writing", finding our stories in the dark and bringing them to the light. I also participated in the International Women's Writing Guild Retreat outside Boston. In the summer I returned for my 30th (yes, !!) stimulating IWWG Summer Conference at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. Photos are from the Geneva Press Club, the Jung Library in Washington, then from IWWG at Boston and Allentown.
At home I prepared a new online course, "Seeing Beauty with Words, Awakening the Soul", for the Washington Jung Society. It is launched today! www.jungmasterclass.com/p/seeingbeauty. An hour and a half class that can be yours for life!! My first course, "Journaling to the Soul", is also available. On my walk this morning, a butterfly caught my eye. They're rare here. It was a bit of synchronicity, remembering that the word 'soul' in ancient Greek, psyche, means also butterfly. It was awakening my soul! I caught it twice, from white flours to red flowers.
To close I am very happy to announce that the 20th Anniversary Edition of Circling to the Center will be published by Chiron Publications October 1 with a new subtitle Invitation to Silent Prayer and an Afterword which I wrote to update my spiritual journey to where I am today. I am adding a photo of Writing Toward Wholeness, published also by Chiron in 2018. And lastly, with husband Pierre-Yves and first great grandchild Holly.
With all good wishes as we create new worlds with our words, Susan
(Please don't hesitate to ask to be removed from this list, thank you.)
Newsletter 9 from Geneva Bellevue, December 12, 2018
Holiday time! We'll need to look still harder this year to find ways to restore justice and peace in the New Year. In this terrible time of fake news and hostility, we return to Nineteen Eighty Four and Orwell. "Words such as honour, justice, morality, internationalism, democracy, science and religion had simply ceased to exist." (349)
Salmon Rushdie replies, "It is for us—writers, thinkers, journalists, philosophers—to undertake the task of rebuilding our readers' belief in reality, their faith in the truth. And to do it with new language, from the ground up." (New Yorker, May 31, 2018)
This lets me give a reminder about my new book, Writing Toward Wholeness, Lessons Inspired by C.G. Jung, about finding ways toward the oneness that unites us: journaling, active imagination, dreamwork, seeing beauty, alchemy, practicing zen. It's available at Chiron Publications, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.
Here is the cover with a mandala from the ceiling in a chapel in Geneva. Next to it is a mandala C.G. Jung drew of a magnolia blossom, titled, Window to Eternity, included in The Red Book. I add two more mandalas from my journal, one of a single leaf that I saw suspended on a bare branch this autumn, another of our first great grandchild, Holly, born September 5, who came into my imagination as an angel.
Since my last newsletter, there was the annual International Women's Writing Guild Summer Conference in July, in Allentown PA, www.iwwg.org. A great week! Join us July 13-20, 2019. Then in September I gave a workshop "Words Matter", for the Geneva Writers' Group, www.genevawritersgroup.org. Again all are welcome! And in November a seminar, "Wholeness, An Invitation", to a group of writers and Jungians.
Below are photos of the IWWG Conference and the GWG workshop. I could not resist two very recent photos of Holly, now three months old, with his great grandparents.
And something new, the Jung Society of Washington DC launched my online course, "Journaling to the Soul, Keeping Your Own Red Books"—an hour and a half class. www.jungmasterclass.com/p/journaling-to-the-soul.
To close this newsletter I think back to Clarissa Pinkola Estes' Letter to a Young Activist after 9/11, "One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times."
With warm greetings for the holidays, Susan www.susantiberghien.com
(Please don't hesitate to let me know if you wish to be removed from this list, thanks.)