Ruminations on ‘God’

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On God

‘Theology takes Gods literally and we do not. In archetypal psychology Gods are imagined. They are formulated ambiguously, as metaphors for modes of experience…. They are the lords of the soul’s realms of being…. The soul cannot be, except in one of their patterns. All psychic reality is governed by one or another archetypal fantasy, given sanction by a God. I cannot but be in them.’ – James Hillman, from Re-Visioning Psychology When we truly hear the above quote from James Hillman, we ‘see’ that we cannot speak of soul without attending to the meaning of ‘God’. It means Psychology inevitably dances intimately with Theology. […]

On the inside of God’s face

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archetypes

‘Religious experience is absolute; it cannot be disputed. You can only say that you have never had such an experience, whereupon your opponent will reply: “Sorry, I have.” And there your discussion will come to an end.’ – Carl Gustav Jung, from Psychology and Religion Archetypal Psychology The psychology infusing the culture from where these pages are written is called Archetypal Psychology. Therefore, a central question is, ‘what are archetypes?’ Some say they are really no less than ‘the gods’ or different aspects of God. Others emphasise that they are ‘patterns for life and death from which all that exist are born’. That they pre-exist […]

Longing from a vanishing world

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the message

‘We must allow ourselves to be disappointed, which means the surrendering of me-ness, my achievement. We would like to watch ourselves attain enlightenment … with miracles and earthquakes occurring and gods and angels singing and so forth. This never happens. The attainment of enlightenment from ego’s point of view is extreme death. It is the ultimate and final disappointment. Treading the spiritual path is painful. It is a constant unmasking, peeling off of layer after layer of masks.’ – Chogyam Trungpa, from The Myth of Freedom Blessed evening It was a beautiful autumn evening. We were sitting outside on the patio under the trees in […]