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Self Portrait With Ghost: The Art of Lament and Redemption, Presented in Partnership with Braden & Associates

  • The First Unitarian Church of Cleveland 21600 Shaker Boulevard Shaker Heights, OH, 44122 United States (map)

Cost: $25 for members | $30 for non-members

CEUs: 2 CEUs are available for Friday's lecture (an additional $10)

Lecture Description:

"Let us build the bond of community so that the living and the dead image will become one and the past will live on in the present…" -C.G. Jung 

"Often I have such a great longing for myself. I know that the path ahead still
stretches far; but in my best dreams I see the day when I shall stand and greet myself." -Rainer Maria Rilke


When you lose three children, your home and your country, how do you go on? If you are Emma Hoffman, a gifted painter in the impressionist tradition, you paint. Those paintings continue to speak of the redemptive power of art to Hoffman’s granddaughter, Naomi Ruth Lowinsky. Years ago, when she was in analytic training at the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, Lowinsky had a dream in which she was told, "On your way to Jung’s house, you must first stop at your grandmother’s house and gather some of her paintings.” Lowinsky was the first child born in the New World to a family of German-Jewish refugees from the Shoah. She had a special tie with her only surviving grandparent, whom she knew as Oma. Oma taught her that making art can be a way to transmute grief and bear the unbearable.

A series of paintings, self portraits, portraits of family, landscapes and interior scenes of the houses she lived in reflects her lamentations, her wandering and her search for redemption. Lowinsky understood her dream to mean that she had to follow the path of her own creativity. She did not know then that the dream would turn out to be literally true as well. She would need to put her art — her poetry — at the service of her grandmother’s paintings. Her grandmother’s spirit would demand it. Her opus would need to intersect with her Oma’s, and together they’d make their way to Jung’s house. 

This presentation is the result of an ongoing dialogue between Hoffman and Lowinsky’s art. She will weave together Emma Hoffman’s story and paintings, her poetry and prose and her reflections on Jung’s Red Book as an example of the “art of lament and redemption,” a form she calls Jungian memoir.

Lecture Goals:

1. Understand the psychology of the refugee

2.  Understand the psychology of Jews who fled the Nazis and their descendants

3. Contemplate the experience of grief

4. Consider the uses of creative process in healing trauma


Speak, Muse: A Day with the Sister from Below

Date: 5/18/13

Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: $85 for members | $95 for non-members

CEUs: 4.5 CEUs are available for Saturday's workshop (an additional $25)

Event Location: The First Unitarian Church of Cleveland
(21600 Shaker Blvd., Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122)

Workshop Description:

In this writing workshop, Naomi Ruth Lowinsky will introduce her muse, the shape-shifting Sister from Below, and invite her to inspire your writing practice. With the Sister’s help, Lowinsky will facilitate an imaginative encounter with the stuff of your inner and outer life — your own Jungian memoir.

The Sister from Below is a fierce inner figure. She emerges out of reverie, dream, a fleeting memory or a difficult emotion as the moment of inspiration — the muse. This Sister is not about the ordinary business of life: work, shopping or making dinner. She speaks from other realms. If you'll allow, she'll whisper in your ear, lead your thoughts astray, fill you with strange yearnings, get you hot and bothered, send you off on some wild-goose-chase of a daydream and eat up hours of your time. She's a siren, a seductress, a shape-shifter... Why listen to such a troublemaker? Because she is essential to the creative process: She holds the keys to the doors of our imaginations and deeper life—the evolution of soul.

Open to those who write and those who want to. Bring pen and notebook.

Workshop Goals:

1. Have direct experience of the creative process

2. Have direct experience of active imagination

3. Deepen self knowledge about inner experience 

4. Deepen psychological understanding of writers and other artists

About Lowinsky:
Naomi Ruth Lowinsky, Ph.D., lives at the confluence of the River Psyche and the Deep River of poetry. Her memoir, The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way, tells stories of her pushy muse. She is the co-editor of the new collection Marked by Fire: Stories of the Jungian Way. She is a Jungian analyst and the author of four books of poetry, including the forthcoming Faust Woman Poems. Lowinsky is the winner of the Obama Millennium Award, and her poetry and prose have been widely published. She is a member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and has led a writing circle there, called Deep River, for years.