Carl Jung Archives — Center for Action and Contemplation
×

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.

Carl Jung: Weekly Summary

Carl Jung

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Week Forty-Seven Summary and Practice

Sunday, November 21—Friday, November 26, 2021

Sunday
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

Monday
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

Tuesday
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

Wednesday
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

Thursday
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

Friday
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 [1], 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.

Reference:

[1] 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.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, Holding it Together (detail), 2016, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: How many ways can I express myself? People ask me “who is your work modeled after?” And they’re all self-portraits because the only story I can really tell is my own. And so they’re all about different journeys I’ve had in my life. —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

Trusting Our Inner Experience

Carl Jung

Trusting Our Inner Experience
Friday, November 26, 2021

Father Richard elaborates on Jung’s teaching on the importance of inner experience as the only pathway to transformation.

Carl Jung wanted to bring externalized religion back to its internal foundations. He saw how religion kept emphasizing the unbridgeable distance between the Creator and creation, God and humanity, inner and outer, the one and the many. In spite of creation’s ecological unity (Genesis 1:9–31), Christianity too often began by emphasizing the problem of separation (“original sin”) instead of beginning with the wonderful unity between creation and Creator.

Except for the experience of many saints and mystics, religion has greatly underemphasized any internal, natural resonance between humans and God. This gives us clergy an almost impossible job! First, we must remind everyone that they are “intrinsically disordered” or sinful—which then allows us to just happen to have the perfect solution. It is like a vacuum cleaner seller first pouring dirt on the floor to show how well this model works. As if the meaning of this beautiful universe could start with a foundational problem!

Christianity rarely emphasized the plausibility or power of inner spiritual experience. Catholics were told to believe the pope, the bishops, and the priests. Protestants were told to believe the Bible. The Catholic version has fallen apart with the pedophilia crisis worldwide; Protestantism’s total reliance on preaching the Bible has been undone by postmodern worldviews. But both Catholics and Protestants made the same initial mistake, I’m sorry to say. It’s all about trusting something outside of ourselves. We gave people answers that were extrinsic to the soul and dismissed anything known from the inside out. “Holiness” largely became a matter of intellect and will, instead of a deep inner trust with an inner dialogue of Love. It made us think that the one with the most willpower wins, and the one who understands things the best is the beloved of God—the opposite of most biblical heroes. We’ve been gazing at our own “performance” instead of searching for the Divine in us and in all things.

We must begin with a foundational “yes” to who we are and to what is (Reality). This is mature religion’s primary function. It creates the bedrock foundation for all effective faith. If we begin with a problem, the whole journey remains largely a negative problem-solving exercise that never ends. We’re left with inherently argumentative and competitive Christianity.

If we begin with the positive, and get the issue of core identity absolutely clear, the rest of the journey—even though it isn’t always easy—is by far more natural, more beautiful, more joyful and all-inclusive. What else should the spiritual journey be? When we start in the basement, most people never believe they can even get to the first floor, and they just opt out. Isn’t this obvious at this point in Christian history? Sadly, we clergy became angry guards instead of joyful guides, policing dogma instead of proclaiming the Great Gift which is perfectly hidden and perfectly revealed at the heart of all creation from the very beginning.

Reference:
Adapted from Richard Rohr, unpublished “Rhine” talk (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2015).

Story from Our Community:
I’ve been following Fr. Richard for at least 10 years and so much of what he says parallels others in the fields of human psychology and spirituality. Fr. Richard’s work has kept me grounded through many challenging times. I am grateful for the work that he’s done and can’t say enough about the impact it has had on my life. —James H.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, Holding it Together (detail), 2016, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: How many ways can I express myself? People ask me “who is your work modeled after?” And they’re all self-portraits because the only story I can really tell is my own. And so they’re all about different journeys I’ve had in my life. —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

Seeking Aliveness

Carl Jung

Seeking Aliveness
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.

Ann Ulanov is a noted Jungian scholar, theologian, and therapist. Here she writes about “aliveness” as the key to transformation:

Aliveness comes down to one thing—consenting to rise, to be dented, impressed, pressed in upon, to rejoin, to open, to ponder, to be where we are in this moment and see what happens, allowing the breath of not knowing to be taken, wanting to see what is there and what is not there. Aliveness springs from our making something of what we experience and receiving what experience makes of us. This is the wonder of the child the New Testament always recommends us to return to, what the philosopher Paul Ricœur calls our “second naiveté”. . . . In such a space we allow ourselves to depend on something greater than ourselves, to take what it gives us and respond to it. . . . [RR: This is the beginning of an actual relationship with God and the movement beyond mere religion.]

Wanting to protect ourselves from psychic pain, we limit our imaginations, our ability to play around with ideas, our bodily sensations. We take someone else’s words instead of fumble for our own. We neglect giving attention to our dreams. We fear to go down into the depths of one relationship and instead substitute ever new ones. We avoid saying the hard truth to one we love. . . . We may sacrifice whole parts of ourselves in order to protect against pain, but then the whole of us loses some of its essential vitality. . . .

This struggle to live all we can in the face of death, illness, loss of relationship, unbearable grief, acts of injustice, is a struggle we share in all our different circumstances of life. . . . In the New Testament words, the pearl of great price [Matthew 13:45–46] is what we sell all we have for the sake of; riches, fame, security do not ensure simple happiness in being, only this precious aliveness. What, then, is that pearl of great price? It is feeling alive and real, vibrantly the aliveness that belongs to each of us. [1]

CAC teacher and author Brian McLaren reflects on the spiritual journey as a quest for aliveness. He writes:

What we all want is pretty simple, really. We want to be alive. To feel alive. Not just to exist but to thrive, to live out loud, walk tall, breathe free. We want to be less lonely, less exhausted, less conflicted or afraid . . . more awake, more grateful, more energized and purposeful. We capture this kind of mindful, overbrimming life in terms like well-being, shalom, blessedness, wholeness, harmony, life to the full, and aliveness. . . .

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. When people say “I’m spiritual,” what they mean, I think, is simple: “I’m seeking aliveness.” [2]

References:
[1] Ann Belford Ulanov, The Unshuttered Heart: Opening to Aliveness/Deadness in the Self (Abingdon Press: 2007), 15–16, 17.

[2] Brian D. McLaren, We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation (Jericho Books: 2014), xv.

Story from Our Community:
I’ve been following Fr. Richard for at least 10 years and so much of what he says parallels others in the fields of human psychology and spirituality. Fr. Richard’s work has kept me grounded through many challenging times. I am grateful for the work that he’s done and can’t say enough about the impact it has had on my life. —James H.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, Holding it Together (detail), 2016, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: How many ways can I express myself? People ask me “who is your work modeled after?” And they’re all self-portraits because the only story I can really tell is my own. And so they’re all about different journeys I’ve had in my life. —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

Shadow Work in the Gospels

Carl Jung

Shadow Work in the Gospels
Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Father Richard describes Jung’s concept of the shadow and how it is present in Jesus’ teachings.

The ego wants to eliminate all humiliating or negative information in order to “look good” at all costs. Jesus calls this self an “actor,” a word he uses fifteen times in Matthew’s Gospel, though it is usually translated from the Greek as “hypocrite.” The ego wants to keep us tied to easy and acceptable levels of knowledge. It does not want us going down into the “personal unconscious” or, in Jung’s term, our “shadow self.” The shadow includes all those things about ourselves that we don’t want to see, are not yet ready to see, and don’t want others to see. We try to hide or deny this shadow, most especially from ourselves.

Jung asks: “How can I be substantial if I fail to cast a shadow?” [1] He makes clear that the unconscious is not bad or evil; it is just hidden from us. Jung describes shadow also as “the source of the highest good: not only dark, but also light; not only bestial, semi-human and demonic, but superhuman, spiritual” [2] and, in Jung’s word, “divine.” That is why we dare not avoid the deep self. Wild beasts and angels reside in the same wilderness, and it takes the Spirit to “drive” us there (see Mark 1:12–13).

The more we are attached to any persona, bad or good, any chosen and preferred self-image, the more shadow self we will have. We absolutely need conflicts, moral failures, defeats to our grandiosity, even seeming enemies. These are necessary mirrors, or we will have no way to ever spot our shadow self. Even if we only catch a glimpse of such shadows, that may offer graced insight and a moment of inner freedom.

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? How dare you say to your sister or brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye’ when all the time there is a log in your own? Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother or sister’s eye” (Matthew 7:4–5).

Note that Jesus does not just praise good moral behavior and criticize immoral behavior, as a lesser teacher might. Instead, he talks about something caught in the eye. He knows that if we see rightly, our actions and behaviors will eventually take care of themselves. God wastes nothing and includes everything. The God of the Bible is best known for transmuting and transforming our shadow selves into our own more perfect good. God brings us—often through failure—from unconsciousness to ever-deeper consciousness and conscience. I doubt if there is any other way. All the rest is mere self-validation.

References:
[1] C. G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul (Harcourt, Brace and Company: 1933), 40.

[2] C. G. Jung, The Practice of Psychotherapy: Essays on the Psychology of the Transference, and Other Subjects, trans. by R. F. C. Hull, 2nd ed. (Princeton University Press: 1976), 192.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality (St. Anthony Messenger Press: 2008), 75–76; and

Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps (Franciscan Media: 2001, 2021), 31–33.

Story from Our Community:
Carl Jung’s beliefs always resonate with me, even his yogic path. As a Westerner with reverence of Eastern philosophy, thank you for these meditations that lift my spirits, help me learn more (the more I learn the more I realize how little I know), and heal my heart a bit more each day. —Stephanie A.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, Holding it Together (detail), 2016, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: How many ways can I express myself? People ask me “who is your work modeled after?” And they’re all self-portraits because the only story I can really tell is my own. And so they’re all about different journeys I’ve had in my life. —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

A Great Story

Carl Jung

A Great Story
Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Father Richard continues to explore how archetypes connect us to the story of God and the universe.

The small self is intrinsically unhappy because it fundamentally lacks reality. To use a philosophical word, its nonbeing means it does not exist “ontologically.” It will thus always be insecure, afraid, and scrambling for significance. With no storyline, no integrating images that define who we are or direct our lives, we just won’t be happy. Carl Jung developed this idea for our generation of Western rationalists, who had thought that myth meant “not true”—when in fact the older meaning of myth is precisely “always and deeply true”!

Jung goes so far as to say that transformation only happens in the presence of story, myth, and image. A great story pulls us inside of a universal story; it lodges in the unconscious where it is inaccessible to the brutalities of our own mind or will, [1] as Thomas Merton observed. From that hidden place we are healed. For Christians, Jesus’ life is the archetypal map of Everyman and Everywoman: divine conception, ordinary life, betrayal, abandonment, rejection, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. It all comes full circle, as we return to where we started, though now transformed. Jung saw this basic pattern repeated in every human life. He called it the Christ Archetype, “an almost perfect map” of the whole journey of human transformation. Jung’s notion of an Archetype or Ruling Image can help us understand the “Universal Stand-In” that Jesus is and was meant to be.

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.” What a message! Like good art, a Cosmic Myth like the Gospel gives a sense of universal belonging and personal participation in Something/Someone much larger than ourselves.

We are finding it is nearly impossible to heal isolated individuals inside of a culture as unhealthy and unhealed as the USA, and inside any version of Christianity that supports exclusion and superiority. Individuals who remain inside of an incoherent and unsafe universe soon fall back into anger, fear, and narcissism. I sadly say this after 46 years of giving retreats, conferences, and initiation rites all over the world. Only people who went on to develop a contemplative mind could finally grow and benefit from the message that they heard.

In the most recent issue of Oneing, Father Richard honors those who make the full journey of integration. These are people who find their own smaller stories within God’s great story, what Richard calls “The Story”:

Those who truly live in The Story have embraced and integrated their personality, shadow, woundedness, family issues, culture, and contextualizing life experiences under The One. . . . This is a truly integral spirituality, a truly catholic worldview, and the unrecognized goal of all monotheistic religions. These, like Jesus, desire “nowhere to rest their head” except in the One and Universal Love. [2]

References:
[1] Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Doubleday and Company: 1966), 142.

[2] Richard Rohr, “Introduction,” “The Cosmic Egg: My Story, Our Story, Other Stories, The Story,” Oneing, vol. 9, no. 2 (CAC Publishing: 2021), 18.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, unpublished “Rhine” talk (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2015).

Story from Our Community:
Carl Jung’s beliefs always resonate with me, even his yogic path. As a Westerner with reverence of Eastern philosophy, thank you for these meditations that lift my spirits, help me learn more (the more I learn the more I realize how little I know), and heal my heart a bit more each day. —Stephanie A.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, Holding it Together (detail), 2016, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: How many ways can I express myself? People ask me “who is your work modeled after?” And they’re all self-portraits because the only story I can really tell is my own. And so they’re all about different journeys I’ve had in my life. —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

The God Archetype

Carl Jung

The God Archetype
Monday, November 22, 2021

Father Richard shares the importance of archetypes for the soul’s encounter with God, which Jung explored in great depth.

Depth psychology tells us that our lives are guided by subconscious, ruling images which Jung calls archetypes. Jungian archetypes include the father, the mother, the eternal child, the hero, the virgin, the wise old man, the trickster, the devil, and the God image. These worldwide archetypes just keep recurring in different ways and form part of what he called “the collective unconscious.” These fundamental patterns show up in dreams and behavior in every culture, fascinate the soul, and appear in symbols and stories that go as far back in time as we can go.

For Jung, the God archetype is the soul’s whole-making function that drives us toward giving ourselves totally to something or someone, and initiates our desire for the absolute. It says to us: “Become who you are. Become all that you are. There is still more of you to be discovered, forgiven, and loved.” 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. I call this deep center of the psyche the True Self, the Christ Self, which has learned to consciously abide in union with the Presence within us (John 14:17).

Jung sees the unconscious as the seat of the “numinous,” where the God archetype lives. The Latin word numen is actually another word for the Divine. Something numinous is an awesome, wondrous experience that pulls you into a transcendent moment. Jung thus offers a foundation for rediscovering the soul and recognizing that soul both as within and yet shared with a much greater reality. God is not just out there! This essential insight overcomes the gap between transcendence and immanence.

Augustine (354–430) said much the same: “God is more intimate to me than I am to myself.” [1] Meister Eckhart (1260–1327) preached: Between God and the soul “there is neither strangeness nor distance.” [2] Yet most people have never been told there is a place to go to that’s called the soul. Soul is the blueprint inside of every living thing that tells it what it is and what it can still become. When we meet anything at that level, we will respect, protect, and love it. Much of religion, I’m sorry to say, doesn’t teach us or give us this essential light. It doesn’t help us understand the deep character of the Incarnation and how God has chosen our soul as God’s enduring dwelling place. We would have done much better to help other Christians discover their souls instead of always trying to “save” them.

References:
[1] Augustine, Confessions, III.6.11.

[2] Meister Eckhart, Induimini Dominum Jesum Christum (Put on the Lord Jesus Christ), Sermon on Romans 13:14.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, unpublished “Rhine” talk (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2015).

Story from Our Community:
The Daily Meditations help me keep the strength to work with my clients. I’m a Jungian and Art therapist and people are so distressed and desperate. More than ever, faith is playing an important role in the therapeutic process. I always thought I was alone in my way, until I started reading the Daily Meditations. Thank you. —Isa C.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, Holding it Together (detail), 2016, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: How many ways can I express myself? People ask me “who is your work modeled after?” And they’re all self-portraits because the only story I can really tell is my own. And so they’re all about different journeys I’ve had in my life. —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021

Inner Authority

Carl Jung

Inner Authority
Sunday, November 21, 2021

Father Richard often credits the Swiss psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) as one of his primary teachers, who greatly influenced his understanding of the human psyche, religion, and theology.

I first read Jung’s work in college, and again and again he would offer concepts that I knew were true. At the time, I didn’t have the education to intellectually justify it; I just knew intuitively that he was largely right. Jung brought together practical theology with very good psychology. He surely is no enemy of religion, as some imagine. When asked at the end of his life if he “believed” in God, Jung replied, “I could not say I believe. I know! I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God.” [1] I’m convinced he is one of the best friends of the contemplative inner life. He suggested the whole problem is that Christianity does not connect with the soul or transform people anymore. He insists on actual “inner, transcendent experience” [2] to anchor individuals to God, and that’s what mystics always emphasize.

One of the things Jung taught was that the human psyche is the mediation point for God. If God wants to speak to us, God usually speaks in words that first feel like our own thoughts. How else could God come to us? We have to be taught how to honor and allow that, how to give it authority, and to recognize that sometimes our thoughts are God’s thoughts. Contemplation helps train such awareness in us. The dualistic or non-contemplative mind cannot imagine how both could be true at the same time. The contemplative mind sees things in wholes and not in divided parts.

In an account written several years before his death, Jung described his early sense that “Nobody could rob me of the conviction that it was enjoined upon me to do what God wanted and not what I wanted. That gave me the strength to go my own way.” [3]

We all must find an inner authority that we can trust that is bigger than our own. This way, we know it’s not only us thinking these thoughts. When we are able to trust God directly, it balances out the almost exclusive reliance on external authority (Scripture for Protestants; Tradition for Catholics). Much of what passes as religion is external to the self, top-down religion, operating from the outside in. Carl Jung wanted to teach people to honor religious symbols, but from the inside out. He wanted people to recognize those numinous voices already in our deepest depths. Without deep contact with one’s in-depth self, Jung believed one could not know God. That’s not just Jungian psychology. Read Teresa of Ávila’s Interior Castle. The first mansion, where we first meet God, is radical honesty about ourselves, warts and all. Similar teachers include Augustine, Thérèse of Lisieux, Lady Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, and Francis of Assisi.

References:
[1] C. G. Jung, quoted in “The Old Wise Man,” Time 65, no. 7 (Feb. 14, 1955), 64.

[2] C. G. Jung, The Undiscovered Self, trans. R. F. C. Hull (Little, Brown and Company: 1958), 24.

[3] C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, ed. Aniela Jaffé, trans. Richard and Clara Winston (Pantheon Books: 1963), 48.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, unpublished “Rhine” talk (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2015).

Story from Our Community:
The Daily Meditations help me keep the strength to work with my clients. I’m a Jungian and Art therapist and people are so distressed and desperate. More than ever, faith is playing an important role in the therapeutic process. I always thought I was alone in my way, until I started reading the Daily Meditations. Thank you. —Isa C.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image credit: Rose B. Simpson, Holding it Together (detail), 2016, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: How many ways can I express myself? People ask me “who is your work modeled after?” And they’re all self-portraits because the only story I can really tell is my own. And so they’re all about different journeys I’ve had in my life. —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021
Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.


Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Nothing Stands Alone. What could happen if we embraced the idea of God as relationship—with ourselves, each other, and the world? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.