My work is essentially a “mis-interpretation of Carl Jung”. Harold Bloom writes: “To live, the poet must mis-interpret [the literary] father, by the crucial act of misprision, which is the re-writing of the father.” Carl Jung is my literary father. To become my Self, I have necessarily had to misinterpret him.
If Jung is my literary father, then the Vedas are my spiritual Mother. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says that the Veda is “the breath infinite”. All texts when truly ready are read under the influence of the infinite. Jung himself read mythology under the influence of the Veda, but as a scientist and Doctor backed off from Absolute realization– the eternal and infinite nature of the Self. We might say that Jung mis-interpreted the Veda, as his spiritual mother.
My life is dedicated to knowing the eternal and infinite nature of the Self. The Spiritual Path is essentially the path toward Self-realization. The Spiritual Path is Universal. Symbols of the Self are found in all spiritual traditions. All religions offer myths and symbols aimed at clarifying the difference between that which is finite and that which is infinite. God is infinite, eternal, limitless, changeless, joyful and absolute.
Although I respect and honor all the spiritual traditions, I am most deeply and profoundly influenced by the myths and symbols of Vedanta (the Upanishads). Vedanta realizes that the innermost Self too is infinite, eternal, limitless, changeless, joyful and absolute. Carl Jung was ever so close to this realization.
Mystics, yogis, sages, and sacred poets in their art, poetry and philosophy, realized the infinite and eternal nature of the Self. Their words and images are a legacy to those upon the Spiritual Path. While we can turn the work of the Sages and Jung and for guidance, the Spiritual Path demands our active participation and personal understanding in order to become alive for us. The truth is not academic; it is ours when we realize the eternal within our own hearts.
Carl Jung is of help in my endeavor to illuminate the true nature of the Self, in part because he documented the frequency with which spiritual symbols and archetypes present spontaneously within psychic life. Yet, to read Jung from the perspective of the infinite we have to do a little work. Most of all, we have to strip the more materialistic aims of psychology from the theory, especially insofar as it stresses adaptation over and above spiritual integration. Jung’s work for the most part is true to the psyche, not to the more materialist demands placed upon the psyche.
By focusing on the symbolism and poetic reverie found within myth and ancient spiritual texts, Jung mapped the various symbolic forms which express of the highest spiritual realizations of human beings. Spiritual symbolism provides guidance on the Spiritual Path: urging us forward toward the wholeness and integration inherent in unchanging dimensions of psychic life.
The theories of depth psychology are of great service to those who wish to know the eternal and infinite. The psychology of Jung clarifies and develops insight into the nature of archetypes and symbolism, as well as their relation to the innermost Self. Carl Jung showed that spiritual symbols emerge spontaneously within personal dreams, meditation, visions, and artistic representations.
Personal dreams and artistic representations sometimes offer symbols similar to those found in ancient spiritual texts and art. If we understand that spiritual symbolism emerges equally in dreams, meditation, sacred texts, and art then we may open to the sacred truth as it occurs within our innermost Self. Spiritual symbols can and do help us develop wholeness and integration. The art, poetry and philosophy of the Sages and Yogis is there as an aid for all future travelers upon the Spiritual Path. We can borrow from the symbolic interpretations of the Sages so as to understand our own dreams and imagination. Through reading the spiritual teachings, we can learn the ways that spiritual symbolism guides psychic energy toward the highest potentials of Self-realization.
Spiritual symbols transcend concrete existence, emerging from and call us to the Innermost Self. The spiritual path always entails a move inward, into inner life and spiritual life. Spiritual symbols populate the inner-world, guiding us on the Spiritual Path. We move inward and homeward toward unity with a deep and profound reality. Contemplation of sacred texts and art inspires spiritual reverie and Self-inquiry, encouraging insight into the nature of the Innermost Self.
My hope is that this blog, the Spiritual Path, inspires spiritual reverie and encourages spiritual Seekers to read both the contemporary theory of depth psychology and the ancient spiritual teachings of the Sages.
Read more: Spiritual Teachings on Enlightenment