When Christianity was strong in the West, the concept of God answered both the need for external physical protection and the interior need for something to account for that sense of the numinous most of us sense now and then. That is, God was, at the same time powerfully immanent in the cosmos and the comforting “God within our bosoms.” One could say that God was continuous across a boundary of objective outer and subjective inner life. People quite naturally felt a greater kinship with the world – or even the cosmos, if one included the crude conceptualization of the heavens extant at the time. Everything, including the human race was part of God’s Creation. The concept of the individual was not particularly well-developed.
God once provided both physical security and inner comfort. Now our needs are divided between the state and psychology. (Photo: public domain)
Many people who work with, or are simply aware of, the unconscious see this portion of the mind in a reverential way. Jungian psychologist Helen M. Luke called it the “mystery within.” This inner mystery is thought to harbour all sorts of powers, some wonderful, some potentially dangerous. For Luke, one wonderful power was dreams. All her life she assiduously recorded and analyzed her dreams, and used them as a guide. Reading her journals and diaries, we acquire the distinct impression that her dream life meant more to her than her waking one. Luke also venerated the unconscious powers of creation that inspired her writing.
The sense of the numinous generated by the unconscious mind can lead us on a great quest for self-discovery and lifelong self-realization. (Photo: Wikimedia)