Psychological Mystics (Part Two)
Updated: Mar 11
From the depth psychological perspective, all of our thinking, imagining, and writing about gods, goddesses, and religions over the centuries are subjective efforts to understand ourselves and our place in the cosmos. All theology is an outgrowth of psychological self-understanding, or lack thereof. The mysteries that we have assigned to deities and devils mirror the mystery we are to ourselves as we experience the numinous natural world. That world is also our own flesh and blood. She is our Mother. Furthermore, the more we learn about the natural world through the hard and soft sciences, the more we learn about who we are and what role we may play in the great drama in which we find ourselves.
Unfortunately, we now speak reflexively of God as some a priori theistic being or entity rather than a name we have assigned to our unknown selves and our unacknowledged potentials. Our psychological mystical task is to come home to ourselves, and to reclaim both the creative and destructive capacities we erroneously exported to external deities and devils. Only then will we be able to exercise those capacities responsibly. Only then will our species survive and thrive.
Each of us is a savior and a destroyer. Until we accept those contradictions and live a conscious crucifixion, we will crucify each other and our Earth home. The whole of the human enterprise is this: It is an experiment to accept both our angelic and demonic nature, individually and collectively, and to live responsibly our social contract assigned by Nature. Our major religions remain committed to external, theistic gods and the splitting of opposites. They keep aiding and abetting our inner destroyer while waiting for an external intervenor or savior. Our daily news, therefore, is a voyeuristic viewing of what is going on in our individual and collective hearts or psyches. ... We are watching our inner darkness playing out on our streets, in the halls of Congress, and in wars and simmering global conflicts. It is in the darkness of our inner selves where the battles are waging and where they will be won or lost.
Our salvation begins when we abandon the notion that it will come from beyond, and when we free ourselves from the religious delusions of our own making. We have lived with those delusions far too long.
It may be that Analytical Psychology was birthed to rescue us from delusional religion and escapist theology. If so, it can only point us toward the source of our salvation. We have to access the courage to engage the twin tasks of expanding our consciousness and our compassion. (Wright, A Mystical Path Less Traveled, pp. 111-113.)