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Exploring our deepest secrets has the potential to generate precognitive and synchronistic revelations that may lead to numinous experiences. As Jung stated: “[T]he fact is that the approach to the numinous is the real therapy, and inasmuch as you attain to the numinous experience, you are released from the curse of pathology.” How we might use psychotherapy as a container to embody the healing energy of these experiences is the goal of tonight’s discussion.
The numinous is the experience of a higher dimension of human existence, an archetype of our own deepest nature. Paradoxically, the source of its power is its mystery. This most profound level of consciousness generates an initiation into the numinous world that can help us dissolve the mundane alienating conceptions that we may have about ourselves. Then, as Jung noted, “even the very disease takes on a numinous character.” Secrets hold seeds of our greatest potentials in the same way that a dragon hoards a treasure. But the dragon cannot utilize the riches; it just guards them. It takes a hero to slay the dragon, to actually unlock the premonitory energy and higher purpose of the secret, in order to be nourished by its liberated riches.
We are bound to our secrets through collective, cultural, and religious taboos. Our inner voices whisper, or demand, that we are not to be seen, fearing that we will be shunned or damned. The old adage “We are only as sick as our secrets” applies especially to the intergenerational family secrets that are tied up with procreation and death, physical and sexual abuse, passion and addiction. Some pain-identity secrets involve low self-esteem, which may bind us to chronic dissatisfaction, neuroses, compulsions, and phobias. Shameful object-relations secrets include codependence, affairs and unrequited love, non-conforming gender orientations, and their resulting unlived lives. There are secrets that we are aware we are keeping, and those that we are not aware of, which may emerge within the psychotherapeutic container.
The more we become familiar with the secrets of our inner reality, the more we can become aware of manifestations of precognition and synchronicity. These exciting dynamics can optimize the therapeutic alliance. The numinous then becomes the catalyst that motivates our individuation and fulfills our unique potentials.
Timothy Lyons, LCSW, is a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist in private practice for individuals, couples and families in Capitol Hill, D.C. and Takoma Park, Maryland. He has a certificate for postgraduate studies from the Philadelphia Jung Institute and is a frequent presenter at the Jung Society of Washington. His postgraduate studies also include infant observation and art therapy. Tim’s work is further enhanced by his studies of Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, yogic philosophies, Hatha yoga and Qi Gong. He has also completed teacher training in Trul Khor (Tibetan yoga). His earlier career as architect and editor includes writing for the Washington Post, and lecturing at the Smithsonian Institution.
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