Friday, October 23, 2009


Welcome to the "Sun Priest," a small fiction about a
Jungian Analyst and Spiritual Counselor who wanders
into the experiential world of paranormal phenomena.

Go to the very last post, which is the Introduction--and
work your way forward.

(3) Sincerely Soul

All in all everything about us, body and soul, about our world,
about our universe remains a Mystery. But we wouldn't be
doing our duty towards Soul if we didn't try to understand better
our situation, our condition. It's just that now we are standing
on the cusp of new ways towards understanding this Mystery.

And surely it must be difficult, standing on this cusp. Old
explanations are fading, and New explanations are not yet
readily discernible, Yet we must start probing into this ever
present Unknown that keeps attracting us.

Me? Well, I have to smile at myself. Thinking back so long
ago, pondering, sitting in the pews of Duke Chapel, talking
to my theologian friend, who told me about Jung, about the
"Priest for the Psyche," I couldn't deny that in a strange
roundabout way that is what I had become!

On the other hand, somehow I felt that we souls were
strangely moving beyond faith systems, containers as Jung
called them, crawling slowly out of the small boxes we had
for so long placed ourselves, out into a much larger horizon,
where our minds, our souls, were under a new and constant

In the end, maybe there will no longer be a need for priests.
Even a "Priest for the Psyche" will probably become passe'.
In time maybe each living soul will come to know who they
are, what they must become, all on their own. And they will
assume Responsibility as an Eternal Soul.

(2) Sincerely Soul

As for the evolutionary development of our soul, our Soul
Center, well I sensed that was the whole purpose of all this.
We have life after life to attain our purpose and meaning--the
completion of our Soul Center. And what might this involve?
I could only guess.

My guess revolved around our given personality, in a given
lifetime, the need to become more conscious about who it
was meant to be. And we are all *different.* Some of us are
soldiers, some athletes, some scholars, some nourishers, etc.
We are indeed "playing in the fields of the Lord." Each life-
time is involved in the Game, and the more we come "to know
ourself," the better we can capitalize on this situation.

I felt that there was a definite Freedom involved in all this soul
pursuit. Just looking around, one could see that there were all
different levels of "soul." Some souls had to face the struggle of
their circumstances, their luck. Other souls were born into a
comfortable environment, wherein they seemingly had better
opportunities. I could not even begin to venture a guess why
the milieux differed for all sorts of soul, but it was obvious.

Just as obvious, these different levels of soul development
displayed everything from soul poverty to soul enrichment.
And there sometimes seems a loss (or near loss) of soul. I
remembered something that Carl Jung once said. When a
young psychiatrist, he had worked in a mental hospital--and
upon occasion he saw patients who had no "light" in their
eyes. He felt that they had lost their soul, somehow. If
one encounters the death of another person, up close, one
can see the light go out in their eyes. The soul had fled the

As to "body and soul," I left that up to my audience(s) to
ponder over. Even armed with all the material I had gathered
about this paranormal phenomena, I couldn't even begin to
figure why our souls reside in matter, in the physical world.
I wouldn't even dare to wonder when souls first decided or
chose to enter the human (or humanoid) body. Than, too,
there's all the evolving intelligence becoming noticeable in
other living forms of the Earth. Indeed, there's the idea of
the Collective Consciousness or the Noosphere--and so forth!
What of "soul" within these different kinds of conditions?

(1) Sincerely Soul

It took some time working through a presentation package
that included material from my studies on OBEs, NDEs,
past-life visions, and Reincarnation. My presentation was
about the "soul." Not only would I talk about various
religio-spiritual aspects of the soul, but also blend or factor
in the paranormal phenomena of the soul, bringing into
focus the evolution of the soul.

Other than the monastery, where I did not bring-up this
paranormal material (out of deference to the monks' faith
system), I found an enthusiastic audience everywhere else
I worked as a presenter--not only in Santa Fe, but up in
Taos and down south in Albuquerque. Indeed, people
really listened-up when I talked about these recent Psi studies!

Labeling my new presentation "Sincerely Soul," I tried to steer
away from the usual punishment-pleasure approaches when
it came to our soul destination--such as Heaven or Hell, or
Karmic Return. I saw the possibilities in a different way that
involved soul development unto Enlightenment.

Jungians are adept when it comes to symbols or imagery,
so I provided such when it came to my idea of a Soul-Center.

Prefacing my speeches, I always forewarned that this
paranormal phenomena--especially Reincarnation--was
not yet writ in concrete. However, reputable researchers
are moving into these various paranormal areas. (And
maybe some day they won't be "para" areas anymore!)

Warned, I noted that all my audiences were intensely alert.
I can only guess that they were soul-starved, in that most
religious focus had been on an avatar or "Imago Dei" in
terms of ritual and worship. Somehow the soul seemed to
get the short end of the stick, so to speak. And this was
sad, because people--at least the ones I encountered--were
definitely concerned about the essence of their being,
wondering the *what and why* of their soul.

I gave what I felt was an honest explanation of my own
*sense*of soul. Even if there was no proof, from my studies
I had put my faith in our soul being really significant in the
universe. And it all boiled down to consciousness

I believed that our personality's soul was part of a greater
entity, which I called our "Soul Center." Like a tree ever
sprouting new branches, our Soul Center constantly was
putting forth new shoots, or new personalities, if you will.
And I honestly could not tell myself, or anyone else, how
our Soul Center came to be--but I felt that it existed.

(4) Imaginal Realm

Following this conference, upon return home, I decided
to reconnoiter into all of the plentiful information available
about the Near Death Experience (NDE) and the Out-of-Body
Experience (OBE). I felt more inclined, now that I knew
that these "paranormal" occurrences boasted of a bit more
solid acceptance by scientists.

OBEs were actually under consideration by governments,
mainly by clandestine units. I remember one of my
analysands making mention that he had such an experience
when he was young. He noted that one night while dozing
off, he suddenly knew that he was floating outside of his
body. Scared silly, he instinctively knew that he was going
to die if he didn't get back into his body. Flailing about,
with seemingly no body, he did manage to return to his body.
Anyway, he told me that all through this experience he was
fully conscious of himself.

The poor fellow was so disturbed by this OBE that he went
to his local physician. The doctor said that he must have
stopped breathing while asleep--and said no more. My
analysand sadly said that no doubt his doctor put a "black
mark" on his medical record. Sadly, too, I did the same,
which at the time reflected my ignorance and perhaps
bigotry at the time.

As for NDEs, well they have been well publicized all over
the world. I found the more interesting studies of such
put out by M.D. cardiologists. Of course some of these
"scientific" studies regarding NDEs tried to explain them
away by noting that certain physiological conditions
stressed by the onset of death could cause the symptoms
described in the NDE.

Putting down all these studies, I began to wonder that
maybe we psychologists and physicians are *not* listening
to our patients! We have been denying their experience,
even though they tell us over and over that they are not
imagining such, that the experience is incredibly real to
them. We oft demand proof without ever giving it a
chance to emerge.

Anyway, I started toying with the idea about how I might
somehow connect the OBE and the NDE with past-life
visions, on into the concept of Reincarnation. Essentially
I was trying to fit all this so-called paranormal experience
into a package that might connect with soul development.

(3) Imaginal Realm

And as luck would have it, I wangled an invitation to a
fascinating conference regarding survival after death.
A friend of a friend had heard that a famous institute
out in California had invited a sterling array of presenters
to discuss such a possibility. So off I went, enjoying
immensely the striking scenery of this facility looking
out on the Pacific.

But more seriously my attention was on the speakers.
They represented a number of academic disciplines--from
Psychiatry to Neurobehavioral Sciences, Religious Studies,
History of Science, Physics, and Process Philosophy. And
what really grabbed me was that these presenters came
from prestigious universities and research institutions!

Their talks covered a ballpark of background information
on survival after death, ranging from ancient theories to
modern theories, moving on into issues of mind and
matter covered by Neuroscience, considered in Quantum
Physics. The philosophical or religious implications were
also discussed, especially how such studies might
eventually help people generally not to be so frightened
by Death.

Still there were no definitive answers forthcoming during
this conference. Nonetheless, I was impressed that the
more responsible academic community was getting
involved when it came to this issue of survival after death.
They were bringing in a whole new investigation into this
business, if you will

(2) Imaginal Realm

As a Jungian analyst I was aware of the so-called imaginal
bridge that connects our consciousness with our Unconscious.
The whole gist of Jungian psychology was about this
connection. Our Unconscious contains all those ingredients
of our personality that have not yet been made conscious.

And those "ingredients" aren't necessarily rational, as is
our sense of consciousness--hopefully. Indeed, the whole
business of Jung's Individuation Process is about becoming
more conscious of who we are! And that involves probing our
Unconscious via dreamwork, symbolic understanding, and
active imagination. Our Unconscious messages utilize
symbols and imagery, which are a code or a language that
we need learn in order to bring them into our consciousness!

But gleaning through available information, I realized that
philosophers and theologians long ago were moving into
what is called the "Imaginal Realm." And more recently,
even scientists are playing in its waters--so to speak.

The late philosopher-theologian Henri Corbin pretty much
coined the "Imaginal Realm" as an explanation about how
the Imagination plays a special role in the human and divine
orders. A professor at the Sorbonne, he was a strong believer
in the Holy Spirit as a "single coherent" that spans all religions
and spiritualities. And the Imaginal Realm is the connection
between our human soul and the Holy Spirit. For Corbin
this link, or relationship, provided the means for evolutionary
soul development--and he believed that *prayer* was the
supreme form of creative imagination!

Well! With this, I realized that I was moving into a new
territory beyond just a Jungian explanation. Nevertheless,
I could now move from the perspective of Depth Psychology
on into a more spiritual elucidation when it came to an
understanding of the Imaginal Realm.

Beyond even a spiritual approach, some physicists are
beginning to take the idea of the Imaginal Realm more
seriously! Some wonder if this is the "Super Dimension" that
they consider a virtual realm that can manifest itself--via our
consciousness--into the physical world. Physicists can harken
back to certain interpretations of quantum physics that refer
to a "subreality" that under-girds the physical world. Perhaps
this might be what some call the "5th Dimension"--that
sometimes is popularly used to refer to unexplored or
unknown aspects of the universe? I underline the word
"popular," however. Because this approach has nothing
to do with the mathematical concept of a Fifth Dimension
in addition to our now known Four Dimensions of Reality.