I've been doing a lot of research into depth psychology lately, studying the work of Carl Jung and specifically a man named Robert L Moore. Dr. Moore has done loads of research (indeed, dedicating his entire life) to post-Jungian thought and establishing many teachings around the nature of the human psyche and the transformations it goes through. What I hope to share with you today are some of the gems that have been so far extracted from my studies. Of further interest of mine is translating the scientific and rational explanations of psychology and bridging them into the mystical and magical suggestions found in Yoga and Tantra. Here we go.
A word that we will talk about today is "numinous". Moore uses this to explain the inner dimension of a person which is where they go to access an energy supply beneath what he calls "the little 's' self" (the ego). What Moore and other depth psychologists, such as Jung, propose is that beneath the human psyche and the ego structure are "deep structures" which are the archetypes which correspond to patterns of energy. To simplify this, you can look at this way. Emotions like anger or feelings like courage were not things that YOU as an individual invented in your lifetime. These feelings and emotions are shared transpersonally and have existed since long before we came on the scene. What Moore and others have suggested is that there is an architecture that is beneath the individual psyche and it is this underlying architecture that provides the scaffolding upon which we hang out individuality. Furthermore, if we can learn about these underlying structures and align with them properly, thereby "constellating" the ego in such a way that it sources energy from the archetypes, we can access the types of energy that we need to move through our life effectively, happily and productively. The example I'd like to use here is in thinking about courage. If we have ever noticed a time in our life where courage would have been helpful to assist us in moving forward with something important, then we have identified a need for the type of energy known as "courage". This energy is important for specific tasks, no? While courage is not always needed, it may be required at different times for different experiences, and our ability to access it effectively and as needed is important to our forward momentum and development.
Connection to the Numinous is a bit like being able to connect up to the Source of All energy. Being able to turn within and plug into whatever particular frequency of energy that we need to accomplish our goal is a spiritual competency that can and should be developed in a healthy human psyche. The Numinous is that mysterious inner dimension of our being where we go when the answers are not found in the outer world. More so, this "inner dimension of being" is sort of the place where the blueprints are found. The blueprints for what, you may ask? Well, as we used the example of courage above, we are all hard-wired for different emotional, psychological and energetic states. As we mentioned, no one invented anger, but we get to USE anger to accomplish certain tasks (or destroy things). If we get to know anger, or understand the "blueprint of anger", or constellate this energy supply properly and in a healthy manner, then we can access it when and as needed. Same thing with courage. If we are someone who feels like we are lacking courage at moments where it is needed, then perhaps we can develop in our spiritual practice the ability to plug into the place where courage is sourced.
We ALL have blueprints for successful evolution embedded within the very biology of our bodies. Moore and other depth psychologists have suggested that the human psyche and the archetypal patterns of energy which I am referring to here have their basis in these instinctual and intuitive biological systems. This is very important to note. We are not aimlessly wandering around on this planet trying to invent solutions to problems that we created. We are intelligently put together by an intelligent Creator and we can access this intelligence for better or worse. Sometimes humans have accessed this intelligence to do horrible things. Sometimes they have accessed it to do incredibly humanitarian and altruistic things. What we'd like to do, and what I'd like to suggest, is that we learn about these energies and align with them in an effort to bring goodness to this planet.
Which is exactly why the sciences of Yoga and Tantra make sense and fit into this picture. These spiritual systems are all clearly devised & methodological ways that an individual is to learn how to access the Numinous & how to get energy to flow through their being effectively. What's more is that these systems give a worldview and a perspective about life that support this energy flow to do positive things. It is fascinating to think about how similarly in terms of depth psychology the Tantrikas were viewing the nature of the mind and human psyche. In Jungian therapy the idea is to notice where an individual has fragmented and lost their connection to the Numinous so that they can source the energy that they need to live their life satisfactorily. In Tantra, this whole concept is seen and experienced through ritual and worship. The yogi practices aligning themselves with their archetypal energy (depicted often as a deity) and allowing this energy to flow into them. All of the practices and methods found in these early spiritual systems are ways to basically format the human psyche in a productive way.
There is more that can be shared here but I find it fascinating to reflect on these things. We are all a little F*'d up and discovering ways to become a little less F*'d up is up my alley. Call it whatever you want. I certainly would love to discover how to source the energy needed to do what I need to do in this life, with happiness, with compassion, with ease, and with grace. It feels true that this can be found within me, and if I call it the Numinous, or God, or Hanuman, great. At the end of the day I am just asking for help, and so far, I think that my sincerity is working.
My hope is that you will find this information useful in your quest.
More to come.
Our immersion in April is going to spend good time on the archetypes of transformation, on transformational psychology, on the ritual/initiatory process, and on understanding how the mythic concept of Kundalini fits into this picture. Hope to see you there.