One of the most profound and intimate experiences is to be wounded and unable to forgive. The inability to forgive may not be something that is simply chosen. Something very powerful continues to say ‘no’, even if one would like to say ‘yes’, to forgive the other, believing that it will make things easier, lighter and better from now on. In certain cases even after one has said ‘yes’ and meant ‘yes’, the ‘no’ insists.
To be refused forgiveness is also profound. Something in the other remains inaccessible, unattainable. And the past that one shares with the other—or with the other in oneself—is unclosed, like an incurable wound.
In this one day workshop we will explore ways to re-imagine apology and forgiveness in our own lives and those of others, as well as in relation to the dead. We will do so through an encounter with philosophical and literary texts as well as through music and somatic practice. This workshop will encourage you to think about apology and forgiveness not as a means to bring things back to the way they were before, or otherwise as a means of moving on from wrongdoing and trauma, but as an experience which may bring something new into the world, into the order of what is otherwise possible or imaginable. As such, they presuppose vulnerability and risk, which we must undergo without any kind of assurance.
At the conclusion of the workshop, you can expect to have an appreciation of the complexities of what such an experience of apology or forgiveness may entail, as well as a map of poetic ways to welcome the other into your lives as a catalyst for change.
Peter Banki, Ph.D is the author of The Forgiveness To Come: the Holocaust and the Hyper-Ethical. He is also founder and director of the Sydney Festival of Death and Dying and the Sydney Festival of Really Good Sex in 2015.