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October 2021

The 'dark night' of becoming whole: C.G. Jung and the mystic John of the Cross

Journal/Book: Anal Psychol. 2000; 30: Allschwilerstrasse 10, CH-4009 Basel, Switzerland. Karger. 245-272.

Abstract: The author compares Jung's concept of individuation with the mysticism of the Spanish Carmelite John of the Cross. Although different epistemological assumptions, the comparison reveals astonishing parallels. For example, Jung's metaphor of the night sea journey has a parallel in John's images of the 'dark night': the religious experience of finding God helps at the same time to deepen the relation to one's self and to develop new relationships to the other. For both, Jung and John of the Cross, the night symbolizes the painful process of separating (psychologically as well as religiously) from all one-sided fixations as a prerequisite for the uniting of opposites. With respect to the understanding of man's need for becoming whole, the Analytical Psychology and the mysticism of John of the Cross could complement each other; they should try to have a dialogue, although they have different competencies to offer.

Note: Article Benker G, Karmelitenkloster St Elija, Lindenaustr 44, D-99885 Ohrdruf, GERMANY

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