"If we take a more living and more Christian perspective we find in ourselves a simple affirmation which is not of ourselves. It simply is. In our being there is a primordial yes that is not our own; it is not at our own disposal; it is not accessible to our inspection and understanding; we do not even fully experience it as real (except in rare and unique ' is something they never advert to at all. It is in fact absolutely unconscious, totally forgotten. Basically, however, my being is not an of Being itself, irrespective of my own choices. "Where do 'I' come in? Simply in uniting the 'yes' of my own freedom with the 'yes' of Being that already is before I have chosen to choose." [Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Image Books, 1968/1989, 266]

Course: Developing Your Own Spirituality, Unit III

Remembering & anticipating, imagining & feeling

JMarieWEB201401JMichael Whelan 2
Starts 6pm Wed March 6
Repeated 10am May 2
In Unit I we focused on some general principles underlying the development of a healthy spirituality. In Unit II we began to focus more on particular concrete facets of spirituality. In Unit III we will continue to do that. We often hear the advice: “Forgive and forget”. Why might this be very bad advice? What is the relationship between the past and the future in shaping the human journey?

What place do images, symbols and rituals have in human thriving? Can we think well without imagination being a crucial part of the process? What part do feelings play in our becoming fully alive? What happens when we do not integrate our feelings into our daily living? What happens when we do integrate our feelings in our daily living?

Participants will be given notes as an aid to an adult conversation. They will also be encouraged to do listening exercises to facilitate the integration of the material in the notes. 

Facilitators/Presenters: Michael Whelan SM PhD and Marie Biddle RSJ MA MTh
Where: Aquinas Academy, Level 5, 141 Harrington Street, The Rocks, Sydney
When: Four Wednesday evenings, 6pm - 8pm, March 6, 13, 20, 27, 2019
Repeated: Four Thursday mornings, 10am - 12noon, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 2019
Cost: $144/person (including notes)

Nobody will be turned away simply because they cannot afford to pay. Offer a donation if you cannot pay the full registration fee.

Week 1: The person as remembering: As remembering beings we are openness to both transcendent and functional possibilities; the past as past is unchangeable, the past as remembered is changeable; we should not try to “forgive and forget” but “remember and forgive”; purification of memory is one of the most important processes in our movement towards freedom.

Week 2: The person as anticipating: As anticipating beings we are openness to both transcendent and functional possibilities; of necessity we are shaped as much by this openness to the future as we are shaped by the experiences of the past – human life formation must be understood in terms of aetiology (causes) and teleology (ends).

Week 3: The person as imagining: As imagining beings we are openness to both transcendent and functional possibilities; we cannot think without also imagining; images tend to be far more powerful in shaping us than do ideas; imagination underpins the effectiveness – or otherwise – of symbol and ritual.

Week 4: The person as feeling: As feeling beings we are openness to both transcendent and functional possibilities; there is always some level of feeling associated with our motivation and behaviour; feelings are a critical part of knowing; feelings are important signals to what is actually happening in us. 

For further information please telephone 02 9247 4651 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please register before the course starts so that notes will be available.

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