Spirituality and Psychoanalysis

Saturday, March 5th, 2011, Written by jackrosenberger

Many people make the mistake of equating spirituality and religion.  Although they certainly can be related, they are not necessarily to be reduced to each other.  Much will be made of this distinction later.

Suffice it to say that at least on one level, spirituality is a way of knowing the  self.  It is a way trying to know the self completely, in all its light and darkness.  Spirituality is the attempt to know what kind of person one is and of what one is capable – both good and bad, transcendent and despicable.

In the same way, analysis attempts to assist a person in the process of getting to know oneself.  It has been found by many that in order to know the living self in the present, it is necessary to know intimately one’s roots and origins.

The past is often very much not in some metaphysical past that we make up, but living in the present. And it  determines our choices without our even knowing how little true freedom we enjoy.  In this way analysis, like spirituality, is the journey from pre-determination to genuine liberty.  Thus, the path of psychoanalysis, seen from this angle, must be an inherently spiritual one.

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