Condolences and Tributes for Fernand Schaub
26 September 1952 – 28 October 2019
We were fortunate enough to have Fernard run multiple seminars and workshops for our Gauteng Group.
We also shared some out-of-town trips with him which included many fascinating campfire chats and compelling storytelling. Fernand was a wise and captivating teacher and always facilitated open and stimulating conversations around the topics that he presented. We always enjoyed his eccentric manner combined with the quality content and practical experience that he brought.
He was an enjoyable person to relate to with a great sense of humour, a thorough knowledge of Jung and related matters, and his Facebook posts were always significant and noteworthy to read. Some of our members had prolonged supervision with him and attest to his astuteness and insight into the analytical process and humanity in general.
Will miss him
Above my desk where I am sitting writing right now, hangs one of my prized possessions. It is a framed print on papyrus from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, showing the ancient ceremony of the “Weighing of the Heart”. The heart of a deceased is weighed against a feather. The feather symbolizes the goddess Maat, who stands for the principles of Truth, Justice, Balance, Order, Compassion, Harmony, and Reciprocity. A heart who epitomized these seven values in its lifetime is judged to be light enough to be allowed to enter the hereafter.
I just found it there in my office one day, because Fernand put it there, at the time when he was packing up for Bulgaria. I asked him about it, but he just smiled and said that I should have it. And that was that. For me, this little event is a picture of the life of Fernand Schaub.
Firstly, there is of course his generosity, because he not only gave away pictures, he also gave away other things. To SAAJA he gave his time and his energy. For years he was the liaison between the Cape Town based society and the Jung group in Johannesburg. When he returned to Cape Town he served on a few committees, he maintained the SAAJA Facebook page, he served on the communications working group, he helped with the very successful film evenings, he taught seminars. He gave his love and he gave his feelings to his colleagues and his friends and his analysands.
Secondly, the enigmatic way in which he decided the picture should come to me, felt like some sort of intuitively driven mandate. As if there was some unknown force in the ether which instructed him to do it. I think Fernand often followed these unseen forces in the ether; he was in touch with a faraway drummer which compelled him to follow certain paths. And he did so, with courage and conviction and enthusiasm. I suspect it was this force which directed him to move to Bulgaria, because he described that country as a place where one was always close to the spiritual realm. He must really have been at home there.
Finally, there is of course the content of the picture, a ritualistic weighing of the heart to test its sense of Compassion, Truth, Justice, Balance, Reciprocity, Harmony and Order. I have little doubt that Fernand Schaub’s heart was found to be much, much lighter than a feather.
Condolences to Fernand’s loved ones for this loss.
He was my friend. He was my friend for 32 years. Our relationship was defined from the start as a friendship, and it grew over the years into a kinship which we often referred to as brother and sister. We witnessed each other’s lives, and we could always count on each other’s support.
I met him in 86, the year before Vera Buhrmann invited applications for the first Jungian training, which started in 87. He had newly arrived in Cape Town, and went around to psychologists to introduce himself to the Cape Town psychology community, so this is how we met. In that first meeting, our friendship was forged. We discovered our mutual interest in Jung, and soon after, we met to discuss the potential of starting therapeutic groups. This never happened, but instead, we started sharing rooms, and sharing our practice for the next eight years, until my son was born, and I needed to practice from home. The early years of our friendship was marked by our both being in analysis, and going
through our training together. We entered analysis together, with Julian, in 1988. We shared and witnessed each other’s struggles, and we went through the painful transformations that analysis entails. We supported each other with our work, and our writing.
But we also discovered that we had many other things in common, such as our love of hiking, partying, poetry, and sculpting. His daughter, Bianca, speaks of him as having many different sides. I knew him as the playful and creative puer, full of humour and laughter, with a real zest for life, and as the serious, grounded, deeply thoughtful and caring man, who became the analyst that many of you have experienced, and been transformed by. I witnessed him as the devoted father to his daughter, and experienced him as a truly loyal, trustworthy friend, who always had my back. We maintained our friendships through many partings.
On the eve of his departure to Bulgaria, we had a farewell supper together and this is some excerpts of what I said to him then:
‘A mysterious attraction to Bulgarian culture, already present in the early years of our meeting, had taken root in you, and the call became too strong to ignore. And so here we are, saying goodbye again. This goodbye is painful to me, as you know. I resisted it, and tried to change your mind. But I cannot stand in the way of your fate.
At our SAAJA farewell, Fred named some of your qualities that make you a valued SAAJA member. I want to recall them, as these are qualities that describe you as I know you: he said you are loyal, committed and reliable. I will add to this the sensitivity and self-reflection that brings consciousness, and the kindness that is evidence of the capacity for deep and sustained love. You are also courageous and creative, and I know, with all these qualities and gifts, your journey forward will be blessed. I wish you many blessings, love and creative living in Bulgaria.’
Ester Haumann this morning reminded me of an email he wrote to her about his Bulgarian experience. I want to share a short excerpt from this:
‘So, I am learning and discovering continuously, which is and feels exciting and confronts aspects of myself personally and as a psychotherapist/analyst by necessity and aids further growing and expanding consciousness.
I have attempted to give you a tiny bit of a taste, fragments, moments of my experiential life here so far. It is nigh impossible to truly describe the complexity and depth to which I am learning, experiencing and growing. One thing I feel certain about, – I feel really good to be here in Bulgaria, in this very southeastern region of Europe, the Balkans, and the gateway between East and West.’
The mystery of his attraction to Bulgaria to a large extent had to do with his respect for the feminine, and the great goddess, which he found expressed in the way of life in Bulgaria.
It is good to know that he felt good about his choice in going to Bulgaria, as this was the place he chose to also leave this earth. I want to end my tribute with some excerpts from Rumi:
HOW SHOULD THE SOUL not take wings
when from the Glory of God
It hears a sweet, kindly call:
“Why are you here, soul? Arise!”
You have escaped from the cage nowyour
wings are spread in the air.
From this world of separation
to union, a world beyond worlds!
Go well, my friend.
What very sad news! My deepest condolences to Fernand’s family and close friends.
My heartfelt condolences to Fernand’s family and to all who were close to him.
It is very sad … and a great loss. It seems just the other day that we took leave of Fernand. After that he continued to be an active and concerned presence in SAAJA, although he was making a new life in Bulgaria. My deep condolences to his family, friends and also to those who were in analysis or supervision with him.
I am very sad to hear of Fernand’s passing. He presented 2 seminars to us on Ethics earlier this year and on both occasions struck me as someone who feels/felt deeply about life and humanity. His input in our training programme was invaluable.
Heartfelt condolences to his family and everyone whose life he touched.
What shocking and sad news. I did not know Ferdie well but always sensed his deep connection to analytical psychology..and to SAAJA…even from a distance. My thoughts are with his family.
Fernand was an artist and because he knew of my interest in art, before he left for Bulgaria, he gave me one of his beautiful soap stone carvings, plus several beautiful art books and other art memorabilia. I was very touched by his gesture and treasure the carving he gave me.
Fernand was part of our initial Jung and Film group and I always appreciated the interesting perspectives he offered on all the films we discussed.
My heartfelt condolences to all Fernand’s loved ones at this time of grieving, and especially to Renee Ramsden who had been Fernand’s close friend and colleague for many years.
You were such a treasure for our “developing” group, acting as friend, liaison with SAAJA, therapist, tutor and classically a Jungian, whatever that actually means.
I have thought of you often and hope you had not too much suffering to endure.
My first real encounter with Jung was a lecture by Fernand on The Fisher King in a stately old house in Houghton. That lecture hooked me to Jungian Psychology and changed the course of my life forever. That was in the 90’s. In the years that followed knowing Fernand enriched my life, both personally and as a psychologist, in so many ways. From totally disorganized drumming evenings under a full moon, long meaningful discussions over lunch on anything from expressions of the soul in art, personal failings and modern-day mythology, supervision on tough ethical challenges to just being with friends.
Fernand was the most unique human being I have ever known. Just one small example: I never saw him wearing shoes and socks, like most people do; he wore either sandals and socks or shoes without socks – not sure what he did during the Bulgarian winters! When I asked him why he was going to Bulgaria, his answer was: “Its such a mystical place”, which must have been perfect for his last years on earth.
We will miss you as friend, colleague, supervisor, teacher, writer and most of all, one of the last truly wise old wizards. On the subject of death, Fernand once said:
“Well, in the end we are all going the same way”
Your voice and your wisdom will be missed.
Ek is so jammer om die hartseer nuus te hoor dat Fernand oorlede is – hy was werklik ‘n besonderse mens en wyse leermeester.
My innige simpatie en meegevoel aan sy familie, vriende, kliënte en kollegas wat ‘n pad met hom gestap het.
My condolences to family, friends and colleagues of Fernand; such a gentle man, and generous, whose contributions to discussions after Jung & Film screenings took us further than we thought, and whose firm opinions contributed much to the refurbishing of the Library. Rest in peace.
I am so terribly sorry to hear. Thank you for letting us know.