I happened to read a few days ago the excellent article ‘Carl G. Jung, Beloved Shaman and Light in Dark Times’ by Carol/Silk, on her great blog ‘Silk Road Visions’.
As always with Carol’s posts, this one again was very informative while also a most pleasant read. I learned a lot about Jung that I don’t remember having ever read anywhere else before about him. And to see him presented as both a psychoanalyst and a shaman provided me with a most interesting new point of view about him.
That article somehow set me thinking again about our present science of Psychology, for strangely, I felt I myself had a contribution to make on that topic, but it wasn’t clear yet to me what it was. Then in the following night it became clear and started formulating itself within me, so the next morning I began writing it down. This post of mine is the result of that inner process over the last few days.
So, what is at this point what I have to say on the science of Psychology?
I am not at all a specialist of Psychoanalysis in any form nor according to any well-known theories: certainly not those by Freud,
whose insistence that sex was explaining everything didn’t go down well with me at all; and Jung’s archetypes in my eyes explained away also too many important aspects of the human being that were definitely requiring some different explanation.
I realize clearly now how Jung has had to hide some of the conclusions his research work had made him come to secretly, like his belief in reincarnation. Not able then to openly explain through reincarnation the cases that should have been so explained, he had to resort to overuse of some other explanations that were not really the correct ones for those cases. One can see how much distortion such a vast ‘cover up’, as we would say now, must have introduced in his entire body of work and in his overall professed conclusions.
Still, I must say I always liked and trusted the man much more than I ever liked or trusted Freud because, even without mentioning his disconcerting and obviously wrong obsession with sex, Freud seemed to me so eager to present a monolithic appearance to the world, he soon was hardly able to question any more his own theories; while at least Jung seemed to me much more humble, and eager above all to find the real truth, however different it might prove to be from his theories – this is real mental honesty, and I respect that.
That these theories are presently the more or less accepted way we see ourselves as human beings and understand our deepest motivations, doesn’t necessarily mean that all these terms and categories and labels are anything else than that: theories. But at least they are based on observations correct enough for even the lay person to recognize some truth and validity in them.
Yet those theories, if definitely helpful to some extent on the way to something better, are only partly reliable at best.
This is why personally I never was attracted to psychology books: whenever I went through any, I always got the uneasy feeling that all this was not yet the complete, real truth, but hardly some sketchy approximation of it acquired by mental effort only in most cases, and so, based merely on bits and pieces of observations out of which anyway,
as our present ‘Science’ has a deliberately materialistic approach, tons of other observations had been systematically filtered out so as not to risk arriving at conclusions contradicting that pre-imposed materialistic dogma.
So I stopped trying to study Psychology since long. Probably I have been wrong. Probably in the meantime psychologists have dared more and more to bypass the vetoes and are including more and more truthfully all their observations in their work and publications, even at the risk of condemnation by their main stream peers. Jung himself, it is indeed to be noted, had the immense courage to do that at least to a great extent, daring after a while to state conclusions that challenged the views of the very Master he had originally followed: at the time the most highly considered psychologist, Sigmund Freud.
Still, because of those restrictions Materialism obviously imposed on all those researchers if they wanted any scientific recognition, Psychology books even by Jung were giving me a constricting and unsatisfactory feeling, so I soon stopped reading them too.
In fact, the only book I have ever been able to fully go through (and even read again) from Jung is his remarkable autobiography, ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’. I would say it is an often very weird, but totally fascinating and valuable read. At least there he has allowed himself to speak freely, and the result is quite something else than what his other books are like!…
It is indeed the kind of inner exploration a shaman does, of those rather obscure or only dimly lit regions and spaces of the subconscious layer in our being. It is a most courageous exploration, I would add, especially when one doesn’t have yet any real light to shine upon what is going on in there, and when much of it seems to be of a quite threatening nature for the individual consciousness trying to find its way through those unknown realms.
I remember when I was reading that autobiographical book by Carl Jung, around thirty-five years back, I kept thinking, ‘Oh gosh, this poor man is going to go crazy with all these chaotic experiences, he doesn’t even have one good, real spiritual experience to comfort and protect him through all this, and help him understand what all this is, and why it is there, and what to do with it!…
It was just the time when I myself was on the contrary in the midst of the most wonderful experiences with the Divine Love that is there for us all at the deep centre of our being as well as in the universal corresponding central layer, diffusing from there as the underlying Reality behind and within All There is. Reading Jung’s ordeals made me feel all the more grateful and relieved that I didn’t have to do the same as he had to do – or at least not in the same unprotected and solitary way. I was even really happy to be reading his book only after, and not before I had had my major soul experiences, for otherwise, seeing which kinds of experiences he had been having, I would have grown very afraid of going within at all myself.
True, I am not very brave, and not very strong either – except through the now nearly permanent contact I carefully keep with that luminous and loving Reality in myself and everything else. But what I want precisely to point out, for the benefit of other people like me who are not quite brave and strong enough to stand on their own through the most terrible inner adventures, is that there is another, easier way, which can be explored first.
It is very good that nowadays an intensifying resurgence is happening of many shamanic ways still surviving in the most ancient cultures on the planet. The only problem is that as usual people go from one extreme to the other, and don’t see any more the necessity of spirituality as well – this is one of the most detrimental and dangerous tendancies of this Mental Power that, after having been our main tool for so long, is now the main obstacle to the further development of our consciousness.
But in reality the Way of the Shaman and the Way of the Mystic need not negate and fight each other at all: they are actually complementary.
The way of the Shaman gives us a key, yes, the key to our true relationship with the Earth, with the 4 Directions, with the animals and plants around us, with Mother Nature in general in this Physical Dimension we inhabit during our lifetimes here. It puts us in contact also with some aspects of ourselves that we don’t know what to do with, and so keep buried as much as possible. This key is absolutely necessary to the completeness of our life and of our being.
But it is not the Central Key, the key that opens for us the central dimension of our being, the Central Core of Love that connects and keeps together everything else in ourselves and in All There Is.
The Way of the Shaman is essentially the Way of the Warrior, the Way of Power. Yet the ultimate Power is actually Love, true Love, which has within it also Power, but Power made true again, transformed by that Love, back into the benevolent and protective Power it should always be. Only the fusion of the two back into One can give us the real thing that we all need, because it is the very Essence of our secret Divine Nature.
So let’s go for the Way of the Shaman, yes, but perhaps only after we have taken the Way of the Mystic, which will give us the Light and Love that alone can victoriously face the assaults of Power, before it finally surrenders to what it recognizes at last as its own true face.
Then all the troubleseome portions and fragments of our Total Self can be truly healed and can find their respective place and role in the Divine Wholeness of our being, in a way no psychoanalysis as presently practiced could ever achieve. To truly help their patients, psychoanalysts should absolutely have also at least some personal experience of Spirituality – which is not the same thing as having psychic powers like ESP etc. Otherwise their understanding of their patients will be mostly guess work only, at best inspired if they have developed their intuition, but in many cases completely off the mark, because of their lack of experience of the true spiritual dimension in their own being, and then inevitably in the being of others as well.
So, all our gratitude to this great Pioneer who went already as far as was then humanly possible in that direction. He has indeed been as much a Light as he could in those Dark Times.
But it is quite possible that this adventurous and courageous soul that was Goethe at another point in time, and Carl Jung in the first half of the Twentieth Century (aware of his ‘Goethe’ incarnation too), is already back here with us somewhere, pursuing his – or her – passion: the full understanding of what a human being is.
And perhaps he or she is among those who (see my previous post ‘What We All Are Really Doing Here’) now openly say at last the most helpful and liberating truth a human being can hear:
‘We are not human beings having spiritual experiences, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.’
Finally based on this central true fact, Psychology will become a really interesting and helpful Science: the Spiritual Science of Psychology…