Psychologist Carl Jung on Spirituality_Featured_, Spirituality Friday, August 3rd, 2012
“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875, Kesswil, – June 6, 1961, Küsnacht) was a Swiss psychiatrist, influential thinker, and founder of analytical psychology. Jung’s unique and broadly influential approach to psychology has emphasized understanding the psyche through exploring the worlds of dreams, art, mythology, world religion and philosophy. Although he was a theoretical psychologist and practicing clinician for most of his life, much of his life’s work was spent exploring other realms including Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well as literature and the arts.
His most notable contributions include his concept of the psychological archetype, the collective unconscious, and his theory of synchronicity. Jung emphasized the importance of balance and harmony. He cautioned that modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit from integrating spirituality and appreciation of the unconscious realm. Jungian ideas are not typically included in curriculum of most major universities’ psychology departments, but are occasionally explored in humanities departments.
Jung’s work on himself and his patients convinced him that life has a spiritual purpose beyond material goals. Our main task, he believed, is to discover and fulfill our deep innate potential. Based on his study of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Taoism, and other traditions, Jung believed that this journey of transformation, which he called individuation, is at the mystical heart of all religions. It is a journey to meet the self and at the same time to meet the Divine. Unlike Sigmund Freud, Jung thought spiritual experience was essential to our well-being.