1st Edition

Exploring Spirituality from a Post-Jungian Perspective Clinical and Personal Reflections

By Ruth Williams Copyright 2023
    210 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    210 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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, MA (Jungian anfd Post-Jungian Studies), is a Jungian analyst-analytical psychologist, integrative psychotherapist and supervisor based in London, England. She is the author of Jung: The Basics (Routledge 2019). See: 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

    "Williams brings her succinct, integrative style into her explorations of this boundless and vast topic which makes it an accessible and thought-provoking read… Williams does a masterful job of saying more with less which is particularly challenging for a topic as complex and ineffable as diverse perspectives on spirituality.”

    Journal of Analytical Psychology

    "This book skilfully weaves the personal and the clinical … facing both the light and the darkness of the shadow… The author is a sound guide through the dilemmas of life, knowing, conscience and integrity in the face of human finitude …  Significantly, the final chapter is on grace, which Ruth sees as how the wise consciousness communicates with us if we have eyes to see and ears to hear – we need to be open, receptive and humble but also focused in intent and purpose. This searching book will be of particular interest to clinicians, but there is also much to glean for general readers."

    The Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network