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As Jung recognized, the healing we seek always comes from a higher wisdom, not simply by human calculation. One must somehow touch the numinous, be touched by the sacred. How can we access that healing, that wholeness, that holiness, in our age of turmoil and disenchantment? Where are the sources through which we might experience the power of deep transformation? Is our historical moment itself a crucible of transformation?
To help shine a light on this critical question, we need to glimpse the larger context of today’s psychological and spiritual search: the historical background of our current moment and the evolution of our cultural world view that influences the life and psyche of every individual today. Is there, as Jung perceived, a changing of the gods now taking place in our civilization—a great shift in the underlying principles and assumptions that unconsciously inform our existential quest for deeper meaning and purpose in life?
Richard Tarnas is a professor of psychology and cultural history at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he founded the graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He teaches courses in the history of ideas, archetypal studies, depth psychology, and religious evolution. He frequently lectures on archetypal studies and depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, and was formerly the director of programs and education at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He is the author of The Passion of the Western Mind, a history of the Western world view from the ancient Greek to the postmodern widely used in universities. His second book, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, received the Book of the Year Prize from the Scientific and Medical Network, and is the basis for the upcoming documentary series The Changing of the Gods. He is a past president of the International Transpersonal Association and served on the Board of Governors for the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco.
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