in soul pursuit

in soul pursuit

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Exploring the Sufi Mystical Tradition in the Contemporary World

Three Day Workshops from 10.30am to 4pm (£25 per workshop)

 With Sara Sviri


Wednesday 10th June 2015

at the Rose Window Hermitage, Kilburn, NW6 7XF

(Bookings – phone Julienne on 020 8 451 5255 or

Polarity and Oneness:

How to Live the Mysterium Coniunctionis?

The workshops on 10th and 12th June will hover around the paradox of living within the embrace of the mystery of oneness – a mystery that has bewildered for millennia the hearts and minds of seekers on the paths to the divine. At this workshop, we shall ponder the divine mystery as it reveals itself within us in life: in the fluctuating states and circumstances of our lives; in our unsteady moods vis-a-vis our unceasing longing; in the depth of our aloneness and in the lively association with others. The material for observation and discussion, which I shall present at these two workshops, will be based on the Sufi tradition.


Friday 12th June 2015

at the Rose Window Hermitage, Kilburn, NW67XF

(Bookings – phone Julienne on020 8 451 5255 or email

At the Edge of Knowledge:

The Meeting of the Two Seas.

At this second workshop, will shall look into the limitations and limits of our knowledge and understanding and how to transcend them: what can we say about the mystery of oneness in view of our attachment to our comfort zones, to the familiarity of our notions, feelings, values and belief systems, and to our behavioral patterns. Participants are encouraged to bring materials and observations from any tradition they are familiar with and inspired by and - most importantly - from their own experiences of search, longing, and bewilderment.


Saturday 13th June 2015

at the Association of Jungian Analysts, 7 Eton Avenue, NW3 3EL

(Bookings – phone Sandy on 0207 7948711 or

In Pursuit of the Shadow: Reading Sufi Texts with Jung in Mind

            One of the major problems of monotheistic religions has been how to reconcile God’s infinite goodness with the experiential awareness of the negative, not to say evil, aspects of existence. Struggling with the psychological and theological implications of this problem, Jung came by the understanding of the archetypal shadow. “The shadow”, he writes, “is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality” (Aion, CW 9ii, p. 8). Ideas concerning the ‘shadow’, the other side of the luminous aspect of God and Man, are prevalent also in the Sufi lore. Sufism has tirelessly searched for the mysterium conjunctionis, the ultimate union of the opposites within the divine mystery and the hearts of men and women. Union of opposites entails the union of good and evil, light and shadow. “When light moves into manifestation,” write the 13th-century mystic Ibn al-‘Arabi, “its shadow extends and inhabits the place from which light had separated.” In this day workshop, I shall try to pursue the topic of light and shadow in some Sufi texts. Not a Jungian scholar or analyst myself, I hope that this will open up a fertile discussion bringing together Islamic mystical perspectives with Jungian ones.


Prof. Sara Sviri


Since 2002, Sara Sviri has been affiliated as a distinguished visiting professor to the Department of Arabic and the Department of Comparative Religions at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her fields of study are Islamic mysticism (Sufism), mystical philosophy and psychology, comparative and phenomenological aspects of Islam, the formative period of Islamic mysticism, and related topics. Papers on these topics were published in many academic publications and can be viewed on Her book The Taste of Hidden Things: Images on the Sufi Path was published in 1997 in the USA. In 2008, Tel-Aviv University Press published Sara’s extensive Sufi Anthology in Hebrew. She is currently preparing an Arabic version of this anthology, as well as a monograph on Aspects of the Formative Period of Islamic Mysticism. In 2012, Sara retired from academic teaching and has since been engaged in lecturing and teaching Sufism outside of academiain Israel and elsewhere. Formerly, while residing in England, she was teaching at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London and at the University of Oxford. She also spoke several times to the Guild of Pastoral Psychology as well as to the Analytical Psychology Club.


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