Monday, April 20, 2009

(4) The Spirit

This Center was affiliated with the overall Claremont Graduate
University. It was founded on the basis of Charles Hartshorne's
Process Philosophy. Eventually adherents of the Center for
Process Studies also developed what is called Process Theology.
Having discovered the new thinking involved at this Center, I saw
that it offered (at least for me) new lines of approach when it came
to the concept of the Spirit. The focus seemed more in line with
Natural Theology, about looking towards our contemporary
knowledge-base--especially when it came to new cosmological
developments as well as more exploratory efforts in the field
of Psychology.

When I wasn't lecturing, I more and more attended programs
and conferences at the Center for Process Studies. The Center
seemed on the cutting-edge of progressive theology--and, like
when I attended the Oxford debates long ago, I felt my intellectual
horizon expanding by leaps and bounds!

During this period, I made friends with a small cadre of academics
who represented a goodly number of professional fields. And I
especially connected with scholars who were probing the
theological insights emerging from Jungian analytical psychology.
Jung, himself, had engaged major theologians in his own day;
and now, it would seem, Jungians were carrying on his work--
trying to understand the connections between the Archetype
(or the archetypal constellations circulating within our minds)
and our propensity towards God-Imagery.

These connections between Psychology and Theology thoroughly
excited me. And I started to wonder how I might approach this
connection in relation to how the Spirit might work and move, and
take "divine action," within our minds. Fortunately for me, one day
I was discussing this interest with some of my Claremont friends
at the Center for Process Studies. They told me that there was a
wonderful scholar, who actually specialized in this connection,
who taught at the C.G. Jung Institute in Los Angeles.

After some thought I wondered if it were possible to somehow
manage to move more into this field of what was called "Analytical
Psychology." I didn't want to jeopardize my teaching position,
but I sorely longed to make a move into Psychology as well--and
especially study with the Jungian scholar who had made such
insightful inroads when it came to the Archetype and God-Imagery.

After making some inquiries, after considering my academic
background, the Jung Institute agreed to accept me as a
"continuing education" student, specifically enrolling in courses
and seminars that would give me more of a psychological
background especially applicable to theological perspectives.
And since I was not a regular student, not bound towards
becoming a licensed psychologist, I had my pick of these offerings.
Hence, I decided to focus as much as possible studying with the
Jungian scholar who specialized in God-Imagery and the

Consequently, talking to my Dean at Claremont, I was kindly
allowed a full year off from my academic duties. I could rack-up
the training towards a research grant that both the Claremont
School of Religion and the Center for Process Studies would
provide. I could hardly believe it, in that this grant would allow
me the best of both worlds! In this case, one foot still academically
connected with Claremont and the other foot studying at the
Jung Institute.

On the other hand, I was in for a major life change--including a new
address. Since the Jung Institute was near the Pacific coast, I felt it a
near impossibility commuting between Claremont and the institute.
So I decided to move temporarily to Santa Monica, along the coast
and not too far away from the Jung Institute.

In more ways than one, it would seem that I had moved into a totally
new lifestyle.

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