Explaining Mysticism’s Dark Night of the Soul

In their book, Buddhism and Jungian Psychology, analysts J. Marvin Spiegelman and Mokusen Miyuki (who is also a Buddhist priest), mention the danger of "stagnation" following the integration of unconscious contents. This sounds a lot like the stage on the journey to enlightenment the mystics have famously called "the dark night of the soul." It…

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A Day in the Life of a Hermit Writer

I suffer from manic-depressive illness. In the early nineties, I was newly diagnosed and recovering from a complete nervous breakdown. A few years earlier, realizing I had a terrible problem, but not knowing its true nature, I had taken refuge in a shack near a 10,000-acre tree farm that bordered the British Columbia wilderness. All…

The Zen Man

In her Diary of Vowels, Jungian analyst Helen M. Luke describes a type of person she refers to as “the Zen man.” According to Luke, "He is ... one who does everything with his whole heart, with complete commitment and devotion – or, in Jung's words, one who lives his hypothesis to the bitter end,…