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The Two "Carls" of Psycho/Spiritual Psychology

Dr. Carl G. Jung

Do you recognize the name Carl Gustav Jung? I'd be surprised if you haven't. The Swiss born psychiatrist who purportedly formulated and developed a number of ground-breaking theories on the psyche? Dr. Jung has become quite a party favourite among so called New Age adherents, modern philosophers and esotericists.

There was a day when I too was an avid proponent of his work. For more than fifteen years. In fact, much of his work nestles comfortably at the centre of my graduate studies in Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Onario in the science of religion. His theories contextualized my teachings of the Tarot, dream interpretation, and psychic development in Victoria B.C. and Kitchener/Waterloo Ontario. Spouting Jung can amp the status of any edgey practitioner; edgey with respect to the relationship between human and spirit.

How Original was Jung anyway?

But the more I taught esotericism in Canada, the more I was forced to examine closely those Jungian theories that supported the work. It wasn’t long before doubts started an uncomfortable song in the back of my mind. How original were his ideas really? As I studied and taught esoteric work in greater depth, the more I realized that Dr. Jung was just pretty good at hiding his sources. There wasn’t much that was original or genius in his work at all! His personality theory is a perfect match for the Court Cards in the Tarot deck, and his theories on depth psychology could be found in any number of bodies of work related to spirituality and occult.

Add to this picture the fact that he was respected by the Nazis, and supported by a wealthy wife while blatantly sporting a mistress. There is also emerging evidence that he was favoured by the upper classes, including Christian churches due to his anti-Semitism and sexism. The portrait of this "eminent psychiatrist" was making me feel increasingly uncomfortable. So named, "second generation Jungians" were adding to his body of work, and veering ever more away from his original claims. Feminist Jungians in particular were taking apologetic stances in reaction to his insufferable and obvious sexism. Closer investigation revealed a notable minority or Jewish analysts. Yet Jung's popularity continued to flourish among those who embraced his stance. For example growing numbers of Christian Church organizations were bringing his theories into counseling training programs for clergy.

The brilliant Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, Ph.D.

There have been a number of psychiatrists who have unfortunately drifted into the annals of obscurity far more worthy of intense examination and study than Carl Jung. If you want to read a truly interesting modern day psychologist who delved into a huge body of psychic ability research thoroughly, with an open mind, read Extraordinary Knowing by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, Ph.D. Regretably Elizabeth passed away just shortly after this book was published depriving us of what had promised to be a fascinating and undoubtedly far more extensive exploration of psychic ability and its suppression.

Dr. Carl Wickland and his Medium Spouse, Anna

I'd like to draw especially however, your attention to Dr. Carl Wickland. Dr. Wickland treated patients, conducted rigorous research and wrote two books in the early 20th Century on the presence of spirit possession in cases previously diagnosed with a mental illness.

Dr. Wickland was married to a gifted medium, Anna, and together in the teens and '20's they formed a psychological research non-profit corporation called the National Psychological Institute. Attached to this organization was a sanitarium where from six to ten patients at a time were cared for and brought back to sanity and health.

"After investigations of various psychic media which resulted in convincing, as well as not-so-convincing evidence, I found that Mrs. Wickland, my wife, was an unusually sensitive intermediary through whom spirit Intelligences could directly communicate with the greatest ease." (The Gateway to Understanding, p. 15)

Mrs. Wickland served as the gifted instrument whereby spiritual entities were able to communicate their messages directly. Dr. Wickland would treat these entities through his wife, helping them to understand what happened to them (physical death) and provide some guidance as to how to move forward with their ongoing development now in the spirit world. And leave their now ill human hosts alone to live their lives as they desired.

Why has Dr. Carl Wickland been relegated to obscurity?

If you doubt the efficacy of this material I highly recommend you read both of Dr. Wicklands books and decide for yourself if his work shouldn’t be brought into a more central position among the most influential studies of the psyche. Due to the fact his work has been mysteriously plunged into the annals of obscurity, we remain fifty years behind in our grasp of the eternal aspect of our psyche. Ask yourself especially why Dr. Wickland has been systematically moved out of the limelight and into obscurity. Were his experiments and findings a threat to a status quo? I would suggest certainly this becomes obvious when viewed from the perspective that his work challenges the stances of enormous billion dollar industries including the psychiatric and religious institutions that have vested interests in how we conceptualize mental and spiritual health.

Further I believe it is now at this time in our human growth that this understanding is critical if we intend to honour our commitment to understanding the purpose of human embodiments, the relationship between the earth plane and spirit world, and the fact of eternal life. Knowing why we inhabit a physical universe at all may help us get straight about our priorities and advocate more vigorously for a united and moral world.

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