Category Archives: Healing

GOD THE IMAGINATION

There is an age-old imagination that there exists a miraculous substance that enlightens the universe, which is exemplified in the alchemists’ idea of the philosophers’ stone. This imagination does not come from the personal unconscious, but is transpersonal in origin, as it arises out of the collective unconscious of humanity itself. This imagination has a numinous, archetypal quality to it, which is to say it is an expression of something beyond ourselves. This imagination of a substance which liberates the universe is a symbolic out-picturing of a transformative potential that exists within all of us and which is the goal of the alchemical opus.… Read more

The Wounded Healer, Part 2

In my last article, The Wounded Healer, Part I, I contemplated how the wounded healer is one of the major underlying, archetypal processes giving shape to and in-forming events in our world today, both individually and collectively. I point out how our wounding is a numinous event that can potentially introduce and initiate us into a deeper level of our being. Any one of us accessing the healing power hidden in our wound could be, in Jung’s words, “the makeweight that tips the scales,” precipitating an evolutionary quantum leap in human consciousness, which literally can change everything.… Read more

The Wounded Healer, Part 1

One of the deeper, underlying archetypal patterns which is being constellated in the human psyche that is playing itself out collectively on the world stage is the archetype of the “wounded healer.” To quote Kerenyi, a colleague of Jung who elucidated this archetype, the wounded healer refers psychologically to the capacity “to be at home in the darkness of suffering and there to find germs of light and recovery with which, as though by enchantment, to bring forth Asclepius, the sunlike healer.” The archetype of the wounded healer reveals to us that it is only by being willing to face, consciously experience and go through our wound do we receive its blessing.… Read more

THE LIGHT OF DARKNESS

In my previous article “The Sacred Art of Alchemy,” I contemplate how the unconscious part of ourselves becomes the raw material, the prima materia, out of which the alchemical gold, the philosophers’ stone, which is none other than the enlightened mind, is refined and revealed. The art of alchemy has nothing to do with turning base metals into gold, and everything to do with transmuting our lower, primitive, instinctual selves into a more purified state. The goal of the spiritual art of alchemy is to unite the opposites — to integrate the conscious and the unconscious, to unlock the light encoded and imprisoned within the darkness.… Read more

The Sacred Art of Alchemy

Much to his astonishment, C. G. Jung discovered that the ancient art of alchemy was describing, in symbolic language, the journey that all of us must take towards embodying our own intrinsic wholeness, what he called the process of “individuation.” As Jung wrote, “I had very soon seen that analytical psychology [the psychology Jung developed] coincided in a most curious way with alchemy. The experiences of the alchemists, were, in a sense, my experiences, and their world was my world. This was, of course, a momentous discovery.… Read more

WE ARE ALL SHAMANS-IN-TRAINING

In 1981 I spontaneously went into such an ecstatic state that I was hospitalized by what I call the “anti-bliss patrol.” The authorities had become alerted because I was simply unable to restrain my enthusiasm at the “good news” that was beginning to reveal itself to me about the nature of reality. Stepping out of my usual way of trying to control my experience, during that next year I was thrown in mental hospitals a number of times and (mis)diagnosed as having manic-depressive (bi-polar) illness.… Read more