Exploring Spirituality from a Post-Jungian Perspective
Clinical and Personal Reflections
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Derived from Ruth Williams’ more than 40-year immersion in spiritual practice, as well as her clinical experience as a Jungian analyst, this thought-provoking volume explores the nature of spiritual paths and trajectories in practical ways, incorporating personal anecdote and ground-breaking academic research and providing a window into how Jungian practitioners work with soul and spirit.
Williams explores the nature of being a human using the Yiddish idea of a person being a ‘mensch,’ which means being a decent human being, having humanity and living ethically with integrity. The idea of ‘grace’ is the thread that runs through the book—the mystery that binds things together and makes life meaningful, purposeful, potentially joyful and spiritually fulfilling. Williams sees ‘grace’ as being that which underpins and lies behind synchronicity and divinatory practices and as a force by which we can learn to be guided.
Rooted in clinical work, Exploring Spirituality from a Post-Jungian Perspective is fascinating reading for Jungian analysts, therapists and academics, as well as for general readers interested in a spiritual journey, both personally and for clinical purposes.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part One: Spiritual Perspective; 1: Overview; 2: Spiritual Attitude; 3: Gaia, Ecology and Animals; Part Two: Dilemmas; 4: How the Heart Knows; 5: Suicide; 6: Ethics and Integrity; 7: Peace, Clarity, Joy, Kindness, and a Clear Conscience; 8: What is the Goal of Life?; Part Three: Puzzles; 9: Pre-destination: Why Do Things Go Wrong? Destiny or Fate?; 10: Mantic Practices and Synchronicity: Tarot, I Ching, Astrology; Part Four: The Ineffable; 11: Soul and Spirit in Analysis; 12: Spiritualism, Ghosts, and the Paranormal; 13: Grace; Appendix 1: Transcript of Meeting with Dr Terence Palmer
Ruth Williams is a Jungian Analyst, Professional Member and Supervising Analyst with the Association of Jungian Analysts in London, UK. She has been in clinical practice for 25 years. Her website can be found at www.ruthwilliams.org.uk.
I am overjoyed to find in Exploring Spirituality from a Post-Jungian Perspective: Clinical and Personal Reflections a uniquely welcoming voice and distilled wisdom. Whatever our religious or secular background, this book invites us to celebrate being human by becoming spiritual. Williams writes with the accessibility and experiential depth to include everyone with a questing spirit, whether familiar with Jungian psychology or not. Superbly grounded in the personal, this book is a deep dive into dimensions of being often labelled religious, mystical, esoteric, paranormal, or transpersonal. It shows us how to live more fulfilled lives in this troubled twenty first century. Buy it!
Susan Rowland (PhD), Core Faculty, Pacifica Graduate Institute
This important work captures the essence of a spiritual approach to the unconscious: continually grounding experience by reality testing, watching what your Shadow is doing, and having a sense of humour. Ruth explains this with clarity, vision and, above all, warmth of heart.
Dr Dale Mathers, IAAP member
'Ruth Williams has a feel for what matters, and in this set of engaging reflections on what spirituality means, or might mean, in the contemporary world, she homes in on a range of challenging but vital topics: ecological responsibility, the purpose of life, destiny, the ineffable, and many more. As a psychotherapist, Williams is far from unfamiliar with the darker side of life; but she also attends to the struggles involved in facing the light. Through a deft choice of anecdotes and vignettes drawn from spiritual traditions, popular culture, and above all her own personal and professional experience, she champions the pursuit of one’s individual path. And her vivid, personable style helps to make all the addressed issues emotionally as well as intellectually accessible. Exuding courage and generosity, this book should be helpful to a wide readership.’
Professor Roderick Main, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex