Friday, October 23, 2009

(4) Jungian Prelude

What with all the work and additional academic training, I
began to feel restless in Los Angeles. Most of my analysands
were Hollywood types. Not unexpected, since these folk oft
had the money to indulge in "analysis." But most of my clients
weren't terribly interested in spiritual development, though in
a clandestine manner I injected help in this area when I could.

Anyway, after a long time wrestling with this, I decided it was
time to leave Los Angeles. As much as I loved the warm
climate of Southern California, I felt a strong urge to return
to the East Coast. Maybe illogical, but I chose to practice in
Washington, D.C., where the politicos were even less "spiritual"
than the Hollywood folk. Still, I made do--what with all the angst
prevalent in that city.

As I languished away working with my new clients, to whom I
felt I was placating more than spiritually administering, I made
a discovery. In Washington's National Cathedral, of all places!

An analyst friend persuaded me to tag along to a lecture at
the cathedral, given by Morton Kelsey--an Episcopal priest
and emeritus theologian at the University of Notre Dame. As
he began his speech he made mention that he had also long
served as a counselor, especially in what he termed as a
"healing ministry."

Listening, I felt like dozing off--until Kelsey made mention
something about "touching the face of God through...religious
experience." I suddenly became very alert, because I started
to realize what was missing both in my analysands and in
myself. And to be fair to my analysands, I realized that some
of them occasionally wandered off in their conversations,
trying somehow to relate a sense of the Numinous. In turn,
my response was mainly that it is an archetypal expression.
But I never carried through that it might be a "God" experience
or a religious experience.

Up to this point, all through my years, as I earlier put, I had
remained "unchurched." Frankly, I didn't have much respect
for institutional religion or its enclaves. All this said and done
with my rarely ever setting foot in a church. I began to realize
that this long deep-set opinion of mine was based on very little
direct encounter.

Perhaps this lack of God contact, or Numinous experience,
on my part was hindering my desire to help my analysands
spiritually. After the Kelsey lecture, I decided that I needed to
look down other corridors in this regard.

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