Spirit and Psyche ~ Complementary Paradigms

Abstract: Depth psychology cannot compensate for the loss of spiritual tradition, nor can God make his abode in the psyche. Today, spiritual symbols are often misinterpreted in psychological terms. To remedy this, psychological theory must be developed to accommodate spiritual transcendence as complementary to psychology’s worldly perspective. The path of worldly withdrawal and spiritual contemplation is equally important as the psychological integration of the unconscious and cultural expression. The article discusses various spiritual traditions and takes a critical look at the Hermetic tradition. The nature of faith is discussed.

Keywords: religiosity, faith, Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, metaphorical unconscious, mysticism, Wasteland, animism, synchronicity, Baining people, Pseudo-Dionysius, Kirpal Singh, Carl Jung.

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Mats Winther

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Exactly. I was waiting for Mats to say something about it, but...

Those who aren't affected by formal education or working experience (for instance with mental patients with suicidal or (self)destructive tendencies - hence I'm inevitably different than someone who deals with screams and mental pain on a daily basis) are interested in something else than other people. I am an engineer and as such more interested in how stuff works, hence more likely to make an (right or wrong) assumption that Jung should still be acknowledged as an important system theorist. And his colleagues cannot care less about it. As far as I'm concerned, Jung (since he is, again, the central figure of this discussion) was pushing just enough in the spiritual realm. He wasn't just psychologizing, just as religious people/agnostics among quantum physicists aren't just physicalizing. He has discovered (something resembling) the spiritual realm behind or beyond the psyche. He or anyone else for that matter wasn't able to please everyone. For instance, if a nun decides to be silent, her decision to behave like other nuns didn't just happen in a vacuum. Serbian is my terrestrial language and Christianity (combined with other stuff, including atheistic childhood) is my spiritual language. That's who I am and it's in no way better, deeper, or more complete than anything else. And Jung's psychologizing has also become a piece of me.


agreed in principle. I would reword your last sentence, "And Jung's psychologizing has also become a piece of me." to... Something inside of me both consciously and unconsciously  appropriated elements of Jung's thought to use in the assembly of my own psychological construct.

          With that said i would like to clarify my thought on the outtake of an element of Jung's dream.... My tendency to get carried away with my thoughts obfuscated the essence of my limited  contribution to mats dream interpretation. It was an epiphany of the fool/archetype that filled Jung with the feeling of idiocy. Who else but a fool would inspire a man to posit a completely individual solution to the human predicament aka sponsor the purposive blossoming of individuality. And it would be the archetype of individuality and Jung's identification with it that prevented him from bowing his head completely to the ground before the manifestation of the self that confronted him in the dream. If one is going to reunite with the self shouldn't one do so with his head held high as a unique individual consciousness.  Is this what the dream is communicating to Jung...Isn't this what the neoplatonists were aiming at... an individual reintegration with the self. The culmination of the original process set off by our individuation from the neoplatonic Self. 


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