Friday, October 23, 2009

(1) Imaginal Realm

Returning home, reading more books about Reincarnation,
I was steadily building-up my library. In the midst of all this
activity, I began to wonder whether Carl Jung believed in
reincarnation. Maybe, maybe not, upon examination. I think
he fiddled with the idea, but never came down concretely on
the subject.

Jung, himself, made no declaration one way or the other about
reincarnation, but surely he must have inwardly wondered to
himself. In his autobiography he talks of a special connection
he had to an 18th century man, who was possibly a remote
ancestor. That man was Wolfgang von Goethe, a polymath
whose interests spanned the spectrum. He was brilliant as a
philosopher, a scientist, a poet, a humanist, etc. Goethe was
one of *the* luminaries of the 18th century.

As a Jungian analyst, I took note that some analysts as well
as other psychiatrists were employing new techniques that
related to reincarnation. Of course early on there were
accounts of past life experiences by clients under hypnosis,
but now analysts were appealing to a person's imagination
when it came to a past-life. Amazingly, these imaginations
spawned a multitude of past lives amongst the analysand

Utilizing this scenario some psychologists and psychiatrists
detected symptoms emerging easier via the past-life approach,
regardless of proof or no proof. That seemed not to matter,
since these analysts were only employing this approach as
yet another tool to probe into the psyche.

Perhaps this approach was acceptable by some, but I certainly
was not enthused by this kind of past-life employment. It
didn't matter, I suppose, since I no longer was engaged in
analytic practice. Nonetheless, I wondered how I might work
into the "idea" of reincarnation when it came to my practice as
a spiritual counselor. Most of the places in Santa Fe where I
contracted would be amenable to the idea of reincarnation,
though likely my connection with the monastery probably
would disallow such there.

I, myself, having what I believed to be a past-life vision,
considered strongly the possibility of reincarnation. And
thinking about the old gentleman at the Cayce Institute, how
his soul was happy due to his belief, I felt that somehow--if
I were to be a true Priest for the Psyche--that I had to introduce
reincarnation as a possibility, in some sort of context.

Finding the "context" proved a challenge, however. But
Providence provided a way. My year's sabbatical had come
to an end, and I was back working with the monastery in my
usual capacity as a visiting Jungian. At one of the retreats,
a Catholic theologian had flown in from New York. He was
also going to be a presenter.

We hit it off, so feeling at ease with this fellow I talked some
about the topic of reincarnation, how I had made inquiries,
had studied it. Much to my surprise, the theologian didn't
seem adverse towards the subject--though he agreed that
it wouldn't be a good idea talking openly about it in the
monastery. We both smiled.

More importantly he talked about something he called the
"Imaginal Realm." Not knowing it at the time, but this small
introduction took me into yet another possibility in terms of
my spiritual presentations.

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