“It took real courage to write this book, in which we are led on a journey to let go of our ‘old time religions’, in order to directly experience the numinous of everyday life.” – Jeffery Kiehl, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst, author of Facing Climate Change
Please share your comments and reaction to Jerry Wright’s lecture, to his book, A Mystical Path Less Traveled, or offer your own personal response to his overall message of Psychological Mysticism as a spiritual journey to our deepest Self.
This Writer’s Corner has been created in an effort to build community, to create a vehicle for dialogue, and to extend and expand our monthly meetings. We encourage you to use it as an opportunity to engage with our community in this reflective space.
I was unable to get Jerry’s e-mail address, and I would very much like to thank him for the presentation. If someone will share that, I will be grateful.
I appreciated the depth of Jerry’s comments. The African imagery was powerful, suggestive of the threshold experience. I had a similar experience on Cumberland Island, not quite Africa, but definitely primeval.
I too missed the email address on the replay. Could you please post it or send it to my email.
Thanks for this way of staying connected to the Jung Society in Atlanta.
Jerry Wright spoke to our Society last night in mythic, soulful language, promoting a more prosaic, mystical approach to our modern every-day. He took us on his recent, mythical, emotionally packed journey to Africa, recalling his own life-altering experiences there as well as Jung’s own powerful journey to Africa while in his 50s; how Jung discovered his own “reason for being,” his own personal myth, on the plains of that emotionally-charged primeval continent. Jerry shared with us his own heart-stopping experiences of awe, of terror, of archetypal energies that overtook him and altered his own psychological, spiritual persona. His new book,
suggesting the need for all of us to reexamine our religious traditions and to journey into what he calls “psychological mysticism,” is available and challenging to traditional, contemporary religion as inherited with the modern church experience.
As an aside, I concur with Jerry’s take on the African Safari as an invitation to experience mystical and life-altering energies that remap our conscious and unconscious embrace of life. I offer here my own African Experience – one that changed my life irrevocably, for the better. The following is a page from my African Journal from January 1998:
January 21, 1998 Mahale, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika Tanzania, Africa
The universe delivered today. It filled our souls with images and sounds and feelings no words can capture. We awoke to the lovely sounds of morning without rain, ate our breakfast, then headed off to explore the mountain forest in search of chimpanzees. Almost immediately, the wonder and awe of a family troop of chimps filled our senses. We sat mesmerized as mothers and babies, grandmother and siblings, male and female chimps lounged, played, ate, wrestled, jumped from trees before us, and groomed one another for two and a half hours. Wordlessly, we sat and encountered, by mere feet – inches at times – our history, our “pan” origins. History stood still for us in wondrous silence, broken only by the challenging sounds of male chimps showing their stuff, the rustle of bending leaves, and our own pounding hearts. (Such a moment would melt the ‘stoniest’ of hearts.)
We saw ourselves as one long movement in a natural chain of life, at play, touching, enjoying the abundance that nature offers, uncomplicated, connected. We looked into their eyes and they looked into ours, wordless communication across the species. It was stunning. We had our fill of photography — the closeness and abundance was so rich, that we soon settled into our own individual souls and quietly absorbed what was happening before our eyes. The images and sounds of our encounter far surpassed our expectation, yet left us silent in our efforts to celebrate the moment. Words fail at a time like this.
Personally, I struggle with the vastness of feeling I experience as we approach the end of our Africa moment. I find myself already stepping into trying to draw meaning and clarity of our time here. We still have two days. I want to soak in every moment until it writes itself permanently on my heart. I want to breathe in every sound, every glance of beauty, every ounce of meaning, until my soul grows quiet. How do you say goodbye to Africa? You might as well cut off that part of yourself deep within that sings, that is overcome by beauty, that looks beneath the obvious. When others complain of inconvenience, of petty problems, or of superficial meaning, we will smile and say to ourselves, “Oh, they haven’t been to Africa.” Or, when we find ourselves able to see importance others cannot see with the naked eye, we’ll smile and say to ourselves, “Ah, I understand. I’ve been to Africa.” Yes, Africa, for me, is not something you leave. Perhaps that’s why today, of all days, was as perfect as it could get.
I have no doubt we each went to bed this night and covetously sorted through the images and feelings we hold from this miracle of days. We sat close enough today to touch a moment few people will ever know. A day like this comes rarely, if at all.
For those who need/want my E-mail address: email@example.com
So appreciate the talk and deeply agree with the material and thoughts Jerry Wright presented to us. I have come from an entirely different personal exploration to arrive at the same perspectives at this point in time.