Thursday, August 15 — Wednesday, August 21
AUGUST WISDOM SCHOOL: HEALING OF MEMORIES
Led by Cynthia Bourgeault and Ward Bauman
Note: This retreat runs form Thursday through Wednesday.
THIS RETREAT IS FULL. Please contact Susan at [email protected] to be placed on the waiting list.
“The difficulty is that memories can lead us to either healing and empathy or hostility and violence,” writes Carmelite prioress Constance Fitzgerald in her groundbreaking essay, “From Impasse to Prophetic Hope.” She sees our present society as caught on the horns of a dilemma between “the injunction to remember” atrocities so that they will not be repeated, and “individuals and tribes. . . bound to the past, to memory, in debilitating and destructive ways.”
From a wisdom perspective, we remember from the “vertical axis”: from a vision of identity that is not limited to chronological history and thus is not dependent on it for one’s deepest sense of identity. How do we remember in ways that direct us to respond compassionately to victims and acknowledge the responsibilities of justice without touching off new cycles of victimhood and violence? This is the question under consideration for our August Wisdom School with Cynthia Bourgeault and Ward Bauman.
In addition to Fitzgerald’s essay, the retreat will take as its core text Miroslav Volf’s book The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World, a book rooted in the author’s nightmarish experiences in the former Yugoslavia. We will approach the question from a variety of angles: the relationship between memory and selfhood, the “purification of memory” as a dark night passage, the unspotted trap of identification, the use of sacred memory to confer religious identity– and what happens when the memories clash. Above all, we will work toward a new vision of “alchemical forgetting” as the basis of lasting reconciliation.