Shadows Along the Spiritual Pathway

Abstract

Contemporary spirituality discourses tend to assume that a canopy of light and love overarches all spiritual pathways. Unfortunately, the dark side of humanity cannot be spirited away so easily, and aberrations of personal spiritual development, interpersonal spiritual relationships and new spiritual movements can often be traced to the denial, repression and return of our dark side. Transpersonal psychology offers a way of approaching, reframing and redeeming the unconscious depths of our psyche, with its metaphors of shadows and daimons on the one hand, and its therapeutic practices for symbolically containing and transcending polarities on the other. In its absence, any spirituality which eulogises holistic growth is likely to engender the reverse effect.

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Acknowledgments

I am grateful to the editor and reviewer for introducing me to the work of Paul Tillich.

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Correspondence to Caroline Humphrey.

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Humphrey, C. Shadows Along the Spiritual Pathway. J Relig Health 54, 2376–2388 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-015-0037-2

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Keywords

  • Spirituality
  • Religion
  • Transpersonal psychology
  • Shadows
  • The daimonic
  • The demonic