Jungian analyst, Vanessa Prins has been reviewing how type orientations relate to lifelong development. She completes that series of letters with this one on spirituality.
As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions. jgj
In today's modern world, many people are feeling alienated and depleted. The religious institutions that formally animated people's lives with purpose and meaning have lost much of their influential significance.
"Our psyche is profoundly disturbed by the loss of moral and spiritual values that have hitherto kept our life in order." (C.G. Jung C.W. vol 18 par 583)
Jung wrote extensively about religion. He understood religious symbols as important expressions from the collective unconscious.
Although he felt that institutionalized forms of religion were often too one-sided with their focus on the "good" and the exclusion of "evil," he considered religious symbols and experiences to be essential for healing and the growth of spirituality.
Contemporary Jungians often use the term spirituality to refer to a non-institutionalized, individual approach that leads to redemptive wholeness, recognizing that religious experience is woven into the fabric of our being and must be integrated into everyday life.
"What I am advocating is an individual path to spirituality that is grounded in personal experiences and lived by reflecting upon them using a psychological perspective. It exists outside all religious organizations and structures." (M. Stein 2014)
Spirituality is a process of growth and development that depends on the initiative and responsibility of each individual to discover a personal way to spiritual atonement. Each person is different and will be faced with uniquely different challenges. For one person it might be taming aggression; for another it might be learning to engage more aggression--to be less timid.
Heightened awareness and self-examination of one's own life are integral to spiritual growth. That awareness delivers a more transcendent view of the attachments of the ego/persona identity, and a greater acknowledgement of the imperfections of the repressed shadow identity. An integration of those often opposing psychic selves, and psychological types, is the experiential stuff of spiritual growth.
"For the modern person, salvation and atonement no longer come from above, they must come from within." (ibid)