The psyche is primed with an innate, organic wish to connect with something spiritual, something beyond the ordinary—something “numinous,” suggests Dr. Lionel Corbett, who is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, and professor, as well as the author of “Psyche and the Sacred,” among other works.
Corbett’s interest in transpersonal, numinous experiences came from growing up with a strong personal sense of connection to something larger that he could never quite articulate. Our religious traditions have tried to channel that kind of instinctive wish to connect with the sacred through rituals and sacraments, he explains, but that is not the only valid way. Revelation is continuing all the time if we know how to look.
In fact, experiences of the sacred originate deeply in our own subjectivity, and not in some transcendent realm, according to Jung’s view. And these observations can take place for “ordinary, everyday people at any time.
Through small community groups and seminars, Corbett encourages people to explore their own spirituality through a depth psychological lens. Working on our personal shadow material can have a kind of redemptive effect on the collective shadow, he believes, and often individuals who have had a powerful numinous experience haven't realized how important it is to them, or what the implications are, so this exploration is in service to them as well as to the greater whole.
Watch or listen to the interview, “Psyche and the Sacred,” or read a detailed summary article with Dr. Lionel Corbett at http://www.pacificapost.com/psyche-and-the-sacred