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Psychological Mystics

I share Carl Jung's chief concern that we no longer have a living myth that honors the invisible world and the necessity of our ongoing relationship with it. We have assigned the invisible half of Reality to external deities, devils, and angels while we content ourselves with that which is visible and rational.

Analytical Psychology was birthed, I think, to help us recover our connection to, and relationship with, the invisible aspect of Reality and to deepen our relationships with the visible aspects. It provides both a language and disciplines to honor life in its visible and invisible wholeness.

When we are most alive and vital, we live on the threshold between the visible and invisible, and we move back and forth as necessary. Each night we receive glimpses of what is on the other side of the veil between the two. During the day, as well, the invisible manifests in the events and relationships that we experience.

Analytical Psychology teaches us how to pay attention to the outside and inside, the above and beneath, the visible and invisible, and the beautiful and ugly of all that we encounter. Such careful, responsive attention constitutes a religious or mystical attitude toward life. (Wright, A Mystical Path Less Traveled, p. 109)

In my latest book, I am making the case for a psychological mysticism that preceded, and now replaces, a theological mysticism that has been dependent on theistic and dualistic god-images. Such images are no longer believable nor meaningful (nor necessary) for a growing number of spiritual seekers.

Psychological mysticism expands the meanings of god, religion, and mystic and validates the universality of human experiences of the numinous. Those experiences are primary and ordinary; religious naming, interpretation, and dogma are secondary and historically divisive. Psychological mysticism cuts through centuries of dogmatic theology and speculation about external supernatural, interventionists deities and devils.

"God" was an experience, a mystical experience, long before he became a he and longer still before becoming a team mascot for competing tribes. We were mystics long before the birth of theistic religions and long before monotheistic religions reduced the multitude of mysterious presences and powers to one. Patriarchal and hierarchal religions have overshadowed our original mystical experiences. It is time for mystics to come out of the closets to claim our spiritual birthright. (A Mystical Path Less Traveled, p47-48)

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