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37th Annual Jungian Conference


The Soul Aroused at the End of Life:  Embracing Life's Final Mystery 

Special Guest Speaker
Charles Garfield, PhD 


link to audio file

Saturday,  May 5th,  2012
10:00 AM  ~  5:00 PM



"Seen in correct psychological perspective, death is not an end but a goal, and life's inclination toward death begins as soon as the meridian is past."

~ C.G. Jung, commentary on The Secret of the Golden Flower  

C.G. Jung believed that a spirit of humility and submission, essential in preparing ourselves to live fully, is also required if we are to prepare ourselves for death.  He advised that it was neither normal nor healthy to shrink away from death and thereby rob life's second half of its purpose.  In this conference we will explore our heightened sense of mortality in life's second half, a time when the ego's sovereignty must be transcended to allow transforming insights to surface.

The way we hold dying and death influences our capacity to live fully.  Can anyone truthfully claim to have come to terms with death?  If so, what insights and experiences have been reported as central to conscious acceptance of death?  How can insights that emerge while dying illuminate our work with all patients and our own lives?  We will discuss the notion that death is not the essential tragedy - more tragic than death is a life unlived.


Using Jung's writings on the soul and death in his Collected Works, volumes 8 and 14, as well as clinical experience with dying patients, we will discuss:

  • the soul's return to its source as a joyous event, a wedding, a Mysterium Coniunctionis

  • the descent into the unconscious and the dreams of the dying 

  • the difference between an appropriate death and an appropriated death

  • recent approaches to conscious dying and end of life counseling

There will also be time for discussion of personal perspectives and clinical examples from our own work.

Charles Garfield, PhD was an at-large Board member at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco from 2001-2007.  He is a Clinical Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry; University of California Medical School; Visiting Scholar, Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley; Founder, Shanti and Shanti National Training Institute; founding faculty, Metta Institute's End of Life Counseling program; and a mathematician on the Apollo Eleven first lunar landing.  Dr. Garfield has published ten books, including,  Sometimes My Heart Goes Numb: Love and Caregiving in a Time of AIDS;  Psychosocial Care of the Dying Patient;  and  Stress and Survival: The Emotional Realities of Life Threatening Illness.

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