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Trail Markers: I Know

The launching of this website and blog coincides with the release by Chiron Publications of my latest book A Mystical Path Less Traveled: A Jungian Psychological Perspective. The book proposes a psychological mysticism that preceded, and now replaces, a theological mysticism that has been dependent on theistic images of the divine that are no longer meaningful to many people – or necessary.

The following is one of the many poems in the book described as “Trail Markers” along the mystical path. This particular poem titled “I Know” provides glimpses into my current psychological perspectives on religion/spirituality, and on those numinous experiences we have named gods, goddesses, and God over the span of human history:

I Know

Having taken leave of the

back porch of the Church

and my ancestral religious tribe

To scout out their possible futures

and my uncertain one

My scouting report is dire

reminiscent of the Old one:

There is a new land just over the horizon

though not the one Promised

giants nevertheless

Ancient psychic fears and prejudices

hidden beneath wishful god-talk

ignored for centuries

We must stare them down

eye to eye

the flesh-eating monsters

Standing in the Way ahead

for our sacred species

and our holy humus.

Scouting reports to the faithful

evoke challenging questions about faith

Do you still believe in God?

Have you lost your faith?

Carefully consulting my deep-down knowing

birthed from rock-solid conviction

revised by divine doubts

My response echoes Jung

facing the same question near his end

I do not need to believe

I know!

What did he know

that mystic in psychological garb

What do I know

What do you know?

I know that I am

though I do not know where I was before

nor where or how I will be after

I know that life is full of mysteries

those we have named gods

no less so

That soul is as real as brain

the invisible as real as visible

That I am apprehended

by un-comprehended powers and presences

Who entangle me in the net

of unknowing.

I know that I am being sought

though I do not see my pursuers

nor clearly their intent

That I am also the one seeking

the seekers

A mutual game of hide and seek

forever playing out

in the meadows of my mind.

I know that faith and trust are twins

often confused with beliefs

that have other parentage

That beliefs breed mistrust of those

who believe differently

or not at all

That guarded beliefs

shrink the imaginative soul

While trust releases

the religious prisoners

That beliefs can change and must

lest religious word-idols

slay us all.

I know that faith is delicate and hardy

like the first cry announcing our arrival

on this spinning top

and our final sigh at the end

The trust of breath and gravity

our first and last

faith-filled acts.

I know that we create our gods

from numinous experiences

not of our making

That we create gods

who in turn create us

and save us

hopefully from ourselves

That devils are created likewise

from dark shadowlands

projected onto the faces

of those we fear or hate.

I know that all religious dogma

is necessary subjective fiction

always needing a revised sequel

That all sacred texts are human words

about the gods we create

That our god-naming and religion-making

are necessary industries

to employ the human imagination.

I know that our visible earth

is more precious

than a hoped-for heaven

That our at-one-ment with all

more precious than

atonement for a few

And if there is something like salvation

it will be for all

or none.

I know that I know very little

in the larger scheme of things

That I remain a final puzzle to myself

and others

Prompting the conclusion to this trust-filled litany

But, then, what do I know?

And you?

(Jerry R. Wright, A Mystical Path Less Traveled, pp. 88-92)

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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 Re


And beautiful website, Sheri!

Sheri Kling
Sheri Kling
Feb 25, 2021
Replying to

Thank you Susan!


Great website, Jerry! Kudos to you and to Sheri Kling!

Thank you for creating a space to promote dialogue about matters of heart and soul that we have in common—matters that really matter.

You've started us off with a Trailmarker that offers opportunity for wondering and wandering in the deep and your concluding questions, But, then, what do I know? And you?

bring to mind one of my favorite quotes by John Ciardi ...

A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea.

May the landscape grow ever greener!

Sheri Kling
Sheri Kling
Feb 24, 2021
Replying to

Thank you Susan! I love the quote from Ciardi!


Sheri Kling
Sheri Kling
Feb 24, 2021

A beautiful poem, Jerry!

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