Through a Jungian Lens

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Journeys of Transformation

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On the trail towards Grassi Lakes south of Canmore.

I have been reading various blogs about the Camino de Santiago with interest as someday I hope to make this journey a part of my journey. In one blog at About.Com, Damian Corrigan writes:

The Camino de Santiago, a 800km trek across northern Spain, is described by anyone who has taken it, considered taking it or met anyone who has taken it, as a Life Changing Experience (© anyone who has ever taken, considered taking or met anyone who has taken the Camino de Santiago). It is said that the combination of long-periods of solitude, combined with the diverse people that you meet, in such a beautiful setting as the Spanish countryside, will Change your Life. – Damian Corrigan

Tackling a steep part of the trail to get above the water falls. Reminds me of the steep steps on the Great Wall of China.

Well, having the idea of making this pilgrimage has been on my mind for a long time. Curiously it re-surfaced with the shift into midlife for me. I had been running for quite a while, road-running, taking part in marathons and other shorter races, when my feet gave out on me – heel spurs. What a time to “grounded,” so-to-speak. The dream of the camino was dismissed and I turned to a more sedentary heroic journey via Jungian psychology. This is a journey of the human psyche that is called individuation. I have been committed to this journey of transformation of the psyche hoping for miracles for almost twenty years.

At some point along the way, I came to realise that I was only doing things in half measures as I had discounted spirituality, an aspect of my integral self that had been present form very early childhood until life got in the way. Twenty-four years ago I was re-awakened to the spiritual centre within me as I sat in a cathedral in Avignon, France for Easter. With the shift to the psychological, I had found that meditation served as a healing balm. I then followed the idea of meditation to reach Buddhism.

Today, I have it all – time (retired), a bit of money (pension), a relatively fit body, a spiritual centre and a desire to walk in search of self-awareness. It appears that I have been on a pilgrim’s journey for a long, long time but not really aware that I was on that journey. The pilgrim’s journey begins when one takes the first step towards healing the soul, the heart.

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