Psyche and the Sacred: Spirituality Beyond Religion

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Lionel Corbett describes an approach to spirituality based on personal experience of the sacred rather than on pre-existing religious dogmas. Using many examples from Corbett's psychotherapy practice and other personal accounts, the book describes various portals through which the sacred may appear: in dreams, visions, the natural world, through the body, in relationships, in our psychopathology, and in our creative work. Using the language and insights of depth psychology, he describes the intimate relationship between spiritual experience and the psychology of the individual, revealing the seamless continuity and intermingling of the personal and transpersonal dimensions of the psyche. Corbett also discusses the problems of evil and suffering from a psychological rather than theological perspective, and suggests some of the reasons that traditional religious institutions fail to address adequately these problems. Based largely on Jung's writing on religion, b!ut also drawing from contemporary psychoanalyticheory, Corbett describes an approach to spirituality that is gradually emerging alongside the western monotheistic tradition. For those seeking alternative forms of spirituality beyond the Judeo-Christian tradition, this volume will be a useful guide on the journey.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Spring Journal, Inc (April 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882670345
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882670345
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Customer Reviews

Spirituality without institutions/places/dogma

62 people found this helpful.
 on October 20, 2007
By Stephen Stoker
I reviewed Dr Corbett’s other book, “The Religious Functions of the Psyche” and also gave it 5 stars.

Spirituality beyond Religion

5 people found this helpful.
 on February 27, 2012
By Roberto Lima Netto
The centuries have eroded the brilliance of Christian symbols. The Christian dogmas dominated Western civilization for so many years; now cannot satisfy the Occidental man anymore. Since the Renaissance, with the growth of rationalism, the Christian church has been losing its command over modern man’s life. To many, traditional religion is empty, and does not point to a real emotional connection to the divine. The symbols of Christianity are fading, and, as Jung said, “Once the gods have left the temples, they never return.”

For those who have a "not quite" relationship to the …

 on June 23, 2016
By Sammie
For those who have a “not quite” relationship to the church due to it not answering many of their questions regarding religion, this book offers a new and less rigid and more individualistic look at religious experiences.

good read

One person found this helpful.
 on February 19, 2015
By JR Crombez, Ph.D.
good read

A Guide to Discoveirng a Spiritiualtiy that Work for YOU!

14 people found this helpful.
 on August 1, 2007
By Joanna
Corbet teaches at Pacifica and is a great teacher and a great interpreter of Jungian thought. This is a terrific book about the need for developing a personal spirituality

Another great work by Lionel Corbett

28 people found this helpful.
 on March 22, 2011
By Ross James Browne
Preface: This review is written by a theologian. I realize there are atheist and secular interpretations of this book. My goal is to point out some of Corbett’s insights about the Spirit and the psyche which can be of much use to theologians – especially in terms of understanding what the Holy Spirit really is. A more secular interpretation of this book would likely emphasize the way in which religious ideas can stem naturally from the human psyche – thus casting doubt on the supernatural origins of religious energy. Both interpretations are valid. But the theologian would likely emphasize the similarity between the Holy Spirit and Corbett’s large “Self”, the supposed source of this natural human religious energy. I cannot emphasize enough how valuable Corbett’s insights are for the theologian, even if his intent was to describe what he viewed as a secular or natural psychological phenomenon. I choose to use Corbett’s insights to shed light on the inner workings of the Holy Spirt, while bearing in mind that this is a subjective interpretation of this book which goes off-label in terms of the author’s intent.

Your Personal Sacred is the Real Religion

One person found this helpful.
 on May 19, 2014
By Eleanor Cowan
Lionel Corbett, M.D., a teacher of depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, California, states that psychology is, in fact, the basis of our spirituality and sets out to provide incontrovertible proof. He points to our spiritual future:

not just for psychologically minded

18 people found this helpful.
 on October 18, 2008
By Vivian
Lionel corbett is a leading voice in the field. acknowledging that our psychology is a totality of all that influences the human experience. consciously addresses the numinous, which has been the focus of man’s experience, yet rarely acknowledged in our “scientifically minded” culture.

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