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Title: Individuation and Mystical Union
Subtitle: Jung and Eckhart
Author(s): JAMES, Mark
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 15    Date: 2005   
Pages: 91-108
DOI: 10.2143/SIS.15.0.2003470

Abstract :
Jung believed that the Christian faith had lost its ability to bring people to experience God in their lives. In writing on Christianity, Carl Jung often quoted Meister Eckhart sympathetically. In Eckhart, Jung believed he had found an ally in bringing people to profound inner transformation. This study explores Jung’s theory of individuation and Eckhart’s understanding of union with God through detachment, birth of the Son in the soul and breakthrough into God’s ground.
Both the process of individuation – as a life-long process of maturation characterised by a person’s willingness to engage with the material and images that emerge from the unconscious – and Eckhart’s path of detachment point to the transcendent within the human person. In comparing and contrasting some of their themes – like Self and ground, libido and desire, images of the transcendent, evil, the feminine and wholeness – it becomes clearer how Jung and Eckhart can assist in the dialogue between spirituality and psychology. When held in creative tension, when placed in dialogue with each other, Jung and Eckhart’s approaches to the transcendent can complement each other.

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