free as wind
A Newsletter from the Center for Sacred Psychology * Vol. 1, September 1995
Children's Corner    |    Warrior's Hoop    |    Elder's Circle

    Welcome to the first newsletter for the Center for Sacred Psychology. Many people have asked me what Sacred Psychology is.  This newsletter is my attempt to unravel that mystery. Some of you already know the roots of this vision in my own experience in Nature.  For the rest of you, I can only tell you that I have been taught that we are all cells of a living Earth, known to many as Gaia.  Sacred Psychology honors all life, recognizing that we are all connected. Therefore, it must be inclusive.  A Sacred Psychology honors the mystery that is not seen as the greater reality.  Most who come to me for therapy know that "there must be something more."  Or, as Joseph Campbell described, "you have climbed the ladder of success and found it up against the wrong wall."
It is high time we realized that it is pointless to praise the light and preach it if nobody can see it. It is much more needful to teach people the art of seeing.
                              - Carl Jung

    I have learned to listen to all ways.  I do not have to accept these teachings as my path.  Clarity and discrimination are essential for psychospiritual transformation.  But fear has no place to take hold.  As the Christian tradition would offer, "Where God is there is no fear."  I have learned to call this the "affirmation of diversity."

    The roots of Sacred Psychology are grounded in the wisdom literature of human history as maps for

understanding our experience of Mystery.  Our speakers will offer teachings from the ancients, and from contemporaries such as Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and so many others.  The thread is the recognition that there is no split between Inner Nature and Outer Nature.  At this point in history there are many who teach us how to see beyond our wounds, both personal and collective. Sacred Psychology is one such bridge.  It is a vehicle that honors and reframes the mystery of our experience, that is, enables each of us to open our spiritual eyes and ears that we might truly experience who we are and how to live joyfully, connected deeply to ourselves and the Earth that is our home.

    In Psychology and Alchemy, Jung wrote the following: "With a truly tragic delusion these theologians fail to see that it is not a matter of proving the existence of the light, but of blind people who do not know that their eyes could see.  It is high time we realized that it is pointless to praise the light and preach it if nobody can see it.  "These words of Jung address the role of psychology in my vision.  Encounter with Psyche, the Greek word that encompasses body, mind, and spirit, is an essential task if one is to live joyfully.   The challenge for a sacred psychology is to recontextualize those traumas as essential teachings from which to learn how to see.  A psychology that does not include the sacred cannot provide a reasonable understanding of this adventure we call life.

    Sacred psychology is not hierarchical or linear.  Nothing in Nature grows in a straight line.  Feminist psychology has challenged this model, offering an image of a garden as more useful than climbing a spiritual ladder.  The Greek word for therapy, often translated as healing, also means "tending a garden."

    At a conference on Conscious Aging, I heard the Nigerian Grandfather Olatunji speak of the differences between his culture and ours.   In my practice I see the fruits of what he described as a sick society.  I am inundated by the media with the bewilderment of our political leaders.  Fortunately, I have encountered those who see more clearly through the veil to the heart of reality.   Reb Salmon Schachter-Shalomi taught me that the Earth is not dying, rather, She is in labor.   We know that giving birth is not risk free.   I would offer this Center for Sacred Psychology as

You know a society is sick when the youth are violent, there are no elders, and the adults are bewildered.
                  - Babatunde Olatunji

a birthing place that is carefully tended.   As we become who we already are, we will teach others how to see.   As they do the same, that Child that is being born will guide us into the new millennia.   I am excited by the prospects of a world that can care for own.

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