Week Forty-Seven Summary and Practice
Sunday, November 21—Friday, November 26, 2021
Carl Jung suggested the whole problem is that Christianity does not connect with the soul or transform people anymore. He insists on actual inner, transcendent experience to anchor individuals to God, and that’s what mystics always emphasize. —Richard Rohr
In the journey toward psychic wholeness, Jung stresses the necessary role of religion or the God archetype in integrating opposites, including the conscious and the unconscious, the one and the many, good (by embracing it) and evil (by forgiving it), masculine and feminine, the small self and the Big Self. —Richard Rohr
A Great Story Line connects our little lives to the One Great Life, and even better, it forgives and uses the wounded and seemingly “unworthy” parts (1 Corinthians 12:22), which Jung would call the necessary “integration of the negative.” —Richard Rohr
Jesus seems to precede Jung and modern depth psychology by two thousand years when he says, “Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own?” (Matthew 7:4). —Richard Rohr
The quest for aliveness is the best thing about religion, I think. It’s what we’re hoping for when we pray. It’s why we gather, celebrate, eat, abstain, attend, practice, sing, and contemplate. —Brian McLaren
Christianity rarely emphasized the importance, the plausibility, or the power of inner spiritual experience. “Holiness” largely became a matter of intellect and will, instead of an inner trust and any inner dialogue of love. —Richard Rohr
Keeping a Dream Journal
In his podcast Another Name for Every Thing , Richard discusses how Carl Jung helped him to understand that dreams are a way for the unconscious to break through into our conscious life—especially when we remember them! Richard recalls having many revelatory dreams as a young man, and how Jung’s work gave him permission to trust their symbolic power. Here we share a practice inspired by Jung’s emphasis on dreams—keeping a dream journal:
A Dream Journal is a record of dreams and dreamwork kept over a period of time. . . .
A dream journal can be a written record of a life journey—the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual parts of it. In keeping dreams and dreamwork recorded in a journey journal, we add a concrete record of how we value our relationship to our dreams. It becomes a barometer of our journey and our growing relationship to ourselves and to God. . . .
There are a number of benefits that come from keeping a dream journal over a period of time. First, as we review our dreams and dreamwork, we begin to notice a pattern in our attitudes toward life as a journey, and we see where we are being asked to question our values.
Second, we see, in perspective, potentials for a unique and meaningful destiny. Dreams are a manifestation from our inner depths of our own meaning. Watching their pattern over a period of time may reveal the trajectory of our journey and emphasize what we are really meant to do in life.
Third, to help us in the process, the dream journal highlights major transition points in our lives and helps us understand adversities in the light of our larger destiny. In the journal we notice how a number of dreams reflect issues important for us to deal with in making the transitions of our journey.
Fourth, dreams offer us key symbols that we can relate to on our journey, so that we may know where to look for the major energies that are available to us. One of the most productive tasks to do with a dream journal is to go through its pages marking or underlining images, issues, characters, and themes that repeat or that recur in various forms or guises.
Fifth, in working with a dream journal we gain a larger perspective on life, more than any single dream might give us. Looking over a broad scope of dreams and dreamwork in our journal, we become aware of the immense power and scope of the world to which dreams are a gateway for us personally and as members of a believing community. We begin to see the call to holiness and wholeness as an exciting goal toward which our journey is leading us. We strive to bring into balance and harmony more and more aspects of our life and personality that are slowly being revealed, including what we naturally do well, what we don’t do well, what we like and what we don’t like.
Experience a version of this practice through video and sound.
 Richard Rohr, with Brie Stoner and Paul Swanson, “Transformation,” Another Name for Every Thing, season 4, episode 6, July 4, 2020 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2020), audio podcast.
Louis M. Savaray, Patricia H. Berne, Strephon Kaplan Williams, Dreams and Spiritual Growth: A Judeo-Christian Way of Dreamwork (Paulist Press: 1984), 101, 103.
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