Our collective heritage of healing has always embraced me, it held me when I stumbled, and soothed me when I ached, inspiring an unceasing zest for life. I walked its miraculous, joyful, and often thorny path since early childhood, and I would like to start to honour it in my work now more directly. This begins as a scribe’s pilgrimage of sorts, merging what I have learned in the sphere of the elegant, respectable left brain academia with what I have experienced in all the roads that led through the wild, ephemeral mysteries of the right hemisphere. I am one of many, as the integration of the old ways & new discoveries will only increase in the years to come, in a way that will become acceptable in the practice of psychotherapy. And if I can give a few pointers towards a synthesis of paths in this fragmented, unwoven universe – I’m joyful to do just that.
Notes On Alchemical Psychology
The tide seems to be turning, times have been shifting to yet unencountered paradigms. The sense of unease with what we hereto considered to be reality grows with every new virtual persona we develop on our little patch of screen. In my work, and practice, I have come to understand that there is, in fact, very little difference between the occult and the virtual. It’s a messy state of affairs if our psyches endure more daily stimuli than they are able to process, thus giving rise to mental instabilities, overwhelming emotional states, and spiritual uncertainties of a new kind. For better, and sometimes, for worse, the ways we understand our nature and heal our pains are increasingly becoming infused with ancestral ways that endured through the long period of ridicule, suppression, and not infrequently, persecution. An old remedy that has become necessary for the worlds we are now building in thin air. In a strange, but somehow, expected way, we are going back to the spiritual basics, as familiar grounding is scarce, and the rational mind turns out to be more a conman than trickster, after all the attempts at its enlightenment.
Our planetary heritage of storytelling and healing is vast, extraordinary, both geographically specific and culturally fluid, perpetually effective, and experienced by most – but seldom included in the curricula of contemporary psychology. However, when tracing the origins of the science of the psyche, one finds that this tremendous vault of soul investigation is the backbone of all modern psychological theory. At least in Western society, the ancestral magical ways are still mostly accessed in private, or within alternative frameworks, and largely disenfranchised in the public spheres of academia. Half our human experience has been thus invalidated for professional study, and open to considerable misuse in practice. This most curious state of affairs in the profession has its origins in the way it was postulated a century ago by the founder of the science of the soul, Sigmund Freud.
The method of psychoanalysis always had a distinct occult feel to it, something of an exorcist shine, so breaking away from any ties to the supernatural needed to be vehement and permanent for psychology to establish itself as a scientific discipline.
This attitude remained in all schools branching out from this position, transpersonal and archetypal psychology, as well as the psychology of anomalous experiences being exceptions to the norm.
However, in our popular culture, esoteric life has now become not only mainstream, but overwhelmingly present in all segments of society. In the West it has an added intensity to it that, in a way, seems hazardously superficial when unleashing certain aspects of the psyche hereto untapped in the life of an individual.