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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Read this Foreword about Jung and meditation

Thomas Moore writes the Foreword for the re-issued  Gathering the Light: A Jungian View of Meditation by V. Walter Odajnyk Ph.D. In this piece, Moore references one of his favourite books by Jung:
"If you have read C. G. Jung’s memoir Memories, Dreams, Reflections, you will have eavesdropped on a remarkable man who, perhaps more than any other 20th century person, used many methods, internal and external, to explore his soul. Many readers are surprised to find what they thought was an autobiography to be slight on facts and heavy with internal images and experiences. Jung explored and mapped and named the inhabitants of the inner world with a ferocity of imagination rarely seen."
Moore also writes about Jung's approach to the relationship between psychology and religion:
"When contemporary psychology confronts meditation, it often moves in a reductive direction, like telling us that certain parts of the brain are lighting up when a person enters deep focus. But Jung was not your typical psychologist. He had a vast and detailed interest in religious and spiritual issues and for the most part didn’t reduce the spiritual to the psychological. Or, if he did come close to it on occasion, generally he tried to elevate psychology through an enthusiastic appreciation of religion and opened up the meaning of religious rites and imagery with his own rich brand of psychologizing. As a former member of a Catholic religious order, I found his writings on the Mass and on the Virgin Mary enlightening and enriching."
He includes, "I welcome the re-appearance of this book because generally people focus on the technical aspects of meditating and not so much on the processes and fantasies of the psyche that are involved." Shambhala originally published this book in 1993. Odajnyk is "a Jungian analyst, and serves as a Core Faculty member and is the Research Coordinator for Pacifica Graduate Institute's Mythological Studies Program."

Gathering the Light: A Jungian View of Meditation
by V. Walter Odajnyk
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Fisher King Press (December 2011)
ISBN-10: 1926715551
ISBN-13: 978-1926715551