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Gold, C. (2020). Taki Caldis 1957-2020. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 28(1):129-130.
(2020). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 28(1):129-130
Taki Caldis 1957-2020
Taki was travelling through Southeast Asia when he died unexpectedly in a motorbike accident that could have happened anywhere, anytime. He had stopped for a few days on a small, peaceful island in the Philippines to rest after climbing mountains in Nepal and diving the depths of the ocean in Malaysia. He had wandered through villages in many countries enjoying the wonders of the world while researching possible locations for a volunteer placement.
I met Taki 20 years ago in Vancouver at an analytic conference. A few years later we began analytic training and became inseparable. We were in each other's houses and in constant debate. We embarked on many trips, including back to South Africa, where he grew up and on to safaris. Over the years, we travelled near and far, discovering the vastness of the outer world and the limits of our own capacity for thought.
Psychoanalytically, Taki was somewhat of a secret scholar in that he knew more than he let on. He was well read—in fact, voraciously so—and a truly well-rounded, educated man, but he refused to ever claim possession of knowledge. It would be typical, in one of our seminars during training or in one of the many study groups we attended together, for Taki to wonder aloud and question what we read or what someone said, in an attempt to fairly but rigorously determine the basis on which any statement was made.
Clinically, Taki was a humanist. His personal philosophy and values determined his way of working with patients, as it did his way of being in life. He was extremely informed in many areas—politics, economics, philosophy, culture, and the arts—but was always humble about his attributes and accomplishments. Anyone who spent time with him experienced his inclusiveness and equanimous interest in all ways of being.
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