An introduction to Spiritual Psychology:
the Background, Relation to Depth Psychology, and Spiritual Psychology as a Psychology of Becoming,
The course begins with a reflection on the word “psychology’ as a particular way of listening to the inner life as ‘psyche-logos’ , the ‘word of the soul’. Then, learners are alerted that this form of spiritual psychology is also intimately related with a soul-sense of the world and, particularly, of the earth as spiritual-earth — something developed in other courses.
The ‘method’ of Spiritual Psychology is phenomenology, meaning that it is not a theory, but a way of coming to notice the inner world, to track it, and to relate the inner world of soul and spirit to our connections with others, the world, and the earth. An extensive example is given.
Spiritual Psychology as a creative synthesis of the depth psychology of C. G. Jung and the Archetypal psychology of James Hillman is presented. Then, the ‘myths’ that stand behind psychoanalysis (The Oedipus Myth), and behind the depth psychology of C. G. Jung and James Hillman (Eros and Psyche) are presented. The ‘myth’ backing Spiritual Psychology (The Grail myth) is then explored.
These broad explorations begin to open up the phenomena and experience of Spiritual Psychology. Phenomena such as ‘longing’ and ‘sorrow’ and how to get in touch with these elemental soul-spirit experiences are developed. The inner experience of Heart Presence is described as a fundamental aspect of Spiritual Psychology, as well as radical receptivity, vulnerability, and the activity of love, centered in soul and spirit rather than emotion. At the same time, love here is not presented as disembodied. Four forms of love are described.
These themes set the scene for Foundations of Spiritual Psychology II, which deepens into the development of Heart Awareness, a spiritual psychology of dreams and dreaming and a new way of approaching the tending of dreams, and
the introduction of image-based meditation method.