As I told my analyst friend in later discussions, still not sure
about my faith, I was definitely positive that I would not be
*mindless* examining over how I felt. God or the Spirit
would somehow have to make sense to me. I had tried to
be a reasonable man, and I expected at least a semblance
of Reason when it came to accepting any given faith system.
My friend tried not to laugh, but he did. He couldn't vouch
that any given faith system would be reasonable; but if we
seriously broached God and the Spirit, we surely would find
the element of Reason. If we have the potential for Reason,
than our Creator--who made us--possesses the same. And
what might seem Mystery now, when we approach God or
the Spirit, will surely come to light as we attain ever greater
I had to admit that my friend was right--at least I hoped so--
because I had decided to turn a corner and move into this
Mystery we call God or Spirit. Hence my education continued,
far beyond spiritual development theories, cognitive studies,
and even the archetypal world of Jungian Analytical Psychology.
But where to begin? Again my friend came to the rescue.
He knew of a special program, then connected with the
cathedral, called the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.
It was a two-year program that focused on producing spiritual
guides. It was Christian-oriented, yet it also made allowance
for religious pluralism and spiritual direction in other traditions.
Anyway, I felt it was worth a trip over to the institute, talking with
folk there, and grabbing an information brochure and application
form on my way out. The next "residency," as Shalem called it,
began in the coming Fall--which gave me about four months to
think about whether I wanted to get into this program.
I decided that it would be worth my while. The program would
be demanding, but time-wise it wouldn't eat into my analytic
practice too much. On the other hand I was trepidatious about
applying--in that I was "unchurched." Regardless, I mailed
my application and soon was called in for an interview.
As it turned out, my professional background was my saving
grace. And probably my focus on spiritual development helped
as well. Maybe a minor miracle, but in the end I was accepted
into the Shalem Institute's program.