Wednesday, April 22, 2009

(1) The Transpersonal


My year at the Jung Institute was one of my best. Living nearby
in Santa Monica, too, enriched my life. I made some really
interesting friends, mainly artistic types as well as serious
psychologists. I remained in contact with a good number of
these folk after I returned to Claremont and my teaching position.

Having found my focus, in that I was going to link the Mind and
the Spirit by integrating theological and psychological theories,
I decided that my first book project would be about the "Archetype."
This meant not only delving into Jungian theory about such, but
also studying new concepts presented by James Hillman's
Archetypal School.

Mainly I tried to show the connections between God and the
Archetype, thus moving steadily into our various images of God.
This involved a historical approach that illustrated the slow
but connected conceptual relationships that Western cultures
held about the "Imago Dei." It was a Continuum of Archetypal
Thought about God, about the Logos-Pneuma as presented via
myths and legends on into higher level theological thought and
imagery embedded in Religion.

However, I added an ingredient of risk writing my initial book by
employing more understandable layman's language. I took in
account my new friends, most who were not traditionally religious
nor theologically trained. I figured there were thousands upon
thousands of souls who were *really* interested in God, but for
whatever reason no longer accepted the mostly archaic or arcane
explanations that seemed prevalent but oft did not satisfy.

Happily the times were changing. We academics were not
forced as much to write dry, over-seriously scholarly tomes as
we were in the Past. I managed to present my work in such a
way that major publishing houses picked-up my books over the
years. This meant exposure to a much larger readership than
I normally would have had if I went the route of strictly academic

Consequently, I started gaining an acknowledged reputation
after the success of the small batch of books that I wrote about
the Spirit, the Mind, and the Archetype. Even my Department
Chair was pleased!

But one cannot stand still in Academe. I felt that I had pretty
much exhausted my approach to the Archetype, so I started to
reconnoiter other psychological schools--and discovered the
Transpersonal that encompassed yet another psychological
and integrative approach that also boasted a fairly long history.

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