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Reply To: Lions, and Tigers, Athena, oh my!” with Professor Mark C.E. Peterson”


Thanks, Larry,

for sharing your experience of Jungian analysis, which is such a useful tool for reflection.

Of course, it’s not an either/or situation; reflection can take many forms (the word-limit placed on MythBlast essays makes it difficult for Professor Peterson to explore every possibility). Transpersonal psychologists are also helpful in providing guidance; within the Twelve Step tradition, many find their sponsor and the collective meetings invaluable aids in reflection (indeed, considering Jung’s influence in the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, no surprise that program fosters deep reflection that can transform one’s life).

For myself, the past three decades I scribble anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 words a month of reflections in my personal journal. It took a lot of work to be able to let go and trust the process to bypass ego, but this has made all the difference for me (amazing the depth of wisdom in one’s own soul, once we learn to step out of our own way). As Campbell notes, the mentor within (what Campbell’s and Jung’s good friend Heinrich Zimmer termed “the regent within”) has much to offer.

But, especially when starting out and facing the Gorgon’s gaze, an outer guide, like your Jungian analyst, is so essential to, as you put it, evade “avoidance and deflection” and help us push through those barriers.