posted on Nov, 13 2014 @ 01:00 PM
I'm recommending this book to anyone interested in psychology, metaphysics, and/or spirituality.
I like the writings and thoughts of Carl Jung. He was really outside the box in a lot of ways and open to studying unconventional influences. I also
like the writings of St. Teresa of Avila. (She is my Confirmation saint). So when I saw a book that compared these two powerhouses of the soul and
mind, I just had to get it. This book was able to show how the religious texts of St. Teresa and the psychology texts of Carl Jung were really
related. They both spoke of the same connection with the soul, the mind, and with God.
Some background on Carl Jung and St. Teresa of Avila -
St. Teresa of Avila
Jung saw the human psyche as "by nature religious" and made this religiousness the focus of his explorations. Jung is one of the best known
contemporary contributors to dream analysis and symbolization.
Though he was a practising clinician and considered himself to be a scientist, much of his life's work was spent exploring tangential areas such as
Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, and sociology, as well as literature and the arts. Jung's interest in philosophy and the occult
led many to view him as a mystic, although his ambition was to be seen as a man of science. His influence on popular psychology, the
"psychologization of religion", spirituality and the New Age movement has been immense.
St. Teresa of Avila is a Doctor of the Church and a canonized saint in the Catholic Church. She is best known as a reformer, a mystic, and as a
writer. 'The Interior Castle' and 'The Way of Perfection' are two of her most important writings. These describe the souls path in life and
it's struggle to reach God. As with Jung, there is a heavy use of imagery in the writings.
Both St. Teresa and Carl Jung used imagery to describe a persons inner being. St. Teresa described it as 'the Interior Castle' and Carl Jung
described it as a mandala. The Castle/mandala is a symbol of the self and is the psyches expression of wholeness. Carl Jung spoke on how the inner
world is as large as the cosmos of the outer world. St. Teresa said the human soul is a universe all unto itself. The book discusses Jungs point
that dreams compensate for neglected areas of life and that the imagery in them should be paid attention to. St. Teresa talks about predominant
symbols in life and these symbols being the theme of life. For her it was the cross. Both speak of how water is a symbol for the unconscious and is
life giving for the spirit or psyche.
There is much more in the book, of course. It goes through Teresa's Interior Castle writings and the imagery used and compares it with Jung's
imagery for the psyche, etc. The book is a short and easy read 219 pages. It is written in a way that most anyone can follow. You don't have to
have a degree in psychology and you don't have to be in a canonical order of the Catholic church to understand it. I admit that I've read 'The
Interior Castle' a few times so I have a background with it. That could be useful when reading this book so if someone wants to read that first, it
would enhance what you get out of the 'Spiritual Pilgrims' book.
So for those interested in psychology, metaphysics, and/or spirituality ... I recommend the book.