Thursday, July 13, 2006

Jung and the Voice of the Soul

I just finished a remarkable, beautiful, and insightful book by Claire Dunne, entitled, Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul (Parabola, NY, 2000). It left me wondering why I didn't learn more about Carl Jung in seminary, as I was taking all my pastoral care classes. Dozens of classes focused on different methodologies, diagnoses, emergencies, death and dying, sexuality, addictions, and more. They talked about what people need in terms of pastoral care (we all need nurture for our spirits) and how we could help facilitate dialog to help others uncover these pieces of themselves seeking integration and wholeness.

That's of course where my experience with writing and my interest in narrative came in--seeking to understand and name (and thereby begin the process of healing by shining light on the observed and formerly rejected pieces) the rejected prodigal in each of us. (This required the willingness for me to do this work with myself first, which has been the story of my last several years.)

I think Carl Jung has something important to offer both to pastoral care and to narrative approaches. He worked throughout his life to welcome out, understand, and communicate in a language of the soul that often set him at odds with a rational and scientific world; but his Persona #1 knew the language well--it was its only true voice.


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