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Numinosum

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By jaguar1637 2946 days ago

What is Numinosum ?

The great psychiatrist/psychologist Carl Jung writes extensively on this subject, and it was the subject of symbolism that inspired him to divorce himself and his work analytical psychology from the more internally constrained Freudian psychology.    

Jung would describe ritual as a psychic container for transformation of the self. He believed that man expressed his most important and fundamental psychological conditions in ritual and that if the appropriate rituals were not provided, people spontaneously and unconsciously devised rituals to safegaurd the stability of their personality. The ritual itself does not affect the transformation, it merely contains it. If I am going to get all weird and loopy on you let me go one step further and teach you a Jungian term Numinosum that I believe describes my Four-Species experience. In 1937 Jung wrote of the numinosum: a dynamic agency or effect not caused by an arbitrary act of will. On the contrary, it seizes and controls the human subject, who is always rather its victim than its creator. The numinosum what-ever its cause may be - is an experience of the subject independent of his will..... The numinosum is either a quality belonging to a visible object or the influence of an invisible presence that causes a peculiar alteration of CONSCIOUSNESS (CW 11, para.6). 

Jung differentiated  between signs and symbols, saying that a sign was always linked to the conscious thought. Whereas symbols stood for more than their obvious and immediate meaning hinting at something not yet known but produced spontaneously by the unconscious. 

In conclusion we all encounter symbolic rituals during our every day life, in many different forms, they are there to help transform our mundane lives and inspire us as we connect through our collective unconscious. Our challenge is to not only look for the symbols but somehow understand their message.