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  • GilChrist Retreat Center
  • Retreat
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Southwest Michigan
  • Spiritual Formation

In the throes of his Red Book period, Jung wrote an essay on what he called the Transcendent Function (1916) in which he laid out the workings of the unconscious, the transformative energy in symbols, and the means of accessing such energy -- namely the dream. Using real life examples drawn from his newly published book, “My Journey to Ironman: Endurance Sports as a Means of Individuation,” Dr. Sibilla will guide us through this seminal essay, drawing from examples from his book while also weaving in complimentary teachings from the East including Buddhist koans to make manifest the magic inherent in our dreams. For instance, participants will explore the symbols and images from his dreams and how those were manifest in his athletic activities as well as in his training to become a Jungian Analyst and thus, will be afforded a front row seat to the workings of the unconscious in one individual. Participants are encouraged to bring their own dreams to share if they wish in an effort to also explore their symbols and images.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will become more familiar with Jung’s notion of the Transcendent Function and the role it plays in mediating the relationship between the unconscious and conscious.

Participants will become more familiar with the use of the dream as a means of individuation.

Participants will become more familiar with the role of symbols, their life-transforming energy, and the role they play in individuation.

Participants will become more familiar with Jung’s notion of individuation and the role of long distance endurance sports as a means of facilitating individuation.

Reading List:

Sibilla, W. (2020).  "My Journey to Ironman: Endurance Sports as a Means of Individuation."  Analytical Psychology Press.

About the Facilitator

Warren Sibilla earned the title of Jungian Psychoanalyst after completing his training at the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago. His clinical practice, in addition to Analysis, is focused on forensic psychology serving as a court-appointed expert in various roles. He is the Director of Training for Chicago’s Analyst Training Program. He has completed marathons, ultra-marathons, Ironman triathlons, ultra-distance triathlons, and now in Spartan and DekaFit. Finally, he loves his role as dog foster parent.

Registration and Lodging Details

Contact Dr. Sibilla’s office at 574-232-4453 or for retreat registration and to secure with a deposit -- space is limited.

Participants should check into their cabins on Friday afternoon as there may be a large group gathering on Friday evening. This is a silent contemplative retreat and all participants are required to maintain silence outside of the large group gatherings. The large group gatherings are a time when participants are invited out of silence for teaching, sharing, and conversation as a group. A silent communal dinner will take place on Saturday evening. Other than Saturday evening, participants are responsible for their own meals. Each guest space at GilChrist is equipped with a complete kitchen. See the complete GilChrist FAQ for more information about the facility.

Note: all participants are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


GilChrist retreat center logo with white pine sprig

GilChrist is the public retreat center of the Fetzer Institute. We support the Institute’s mission of helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world by preserving a contemplative environment for healing self, society, and the natural world. We warmly welcome both groups and individuals and people of all faiths and affiliations.


GilChrist Retreat Center

Three Rivers , MI 56265 Day Rd