(I wrote the following for the Jung Society of Utah blog about the marvelous Andrew Harvey, a gifted mystic, poet, and storyteller. I had the privilege of meeting him while he was in Salt Lake City for a lecture and workshop with the Jung Society of Utah, and he was remarkably kind to me. I still remember our conversation as I was leaving a wonderful dinner with him and some folks from the Jung Society. It was a freezing cold February night as we stood outside on the porch as he called me a “practical visionary” and emphatically told me, “Trust yourself!” (among other things). I have tried to take his advice to heart.)
“As the individual is not just a single, separate being, but by his very existence presupposes a collective relationship, it follows that the process of individuation must lead to more intense and broader collective relationships and not to isolation.”
– C.G. Jung
Carl Jung believed in the importance of both the individual and society. In Jung’s view, society is necessary for human existence and individuality, while individuals “express the subconscious aspirations of the collective of [their] time, giving conscious expression to the needs and aspirations of the society through [their] actions. The individual is indispensable for human accomplishment and for the development of the society.”
How does this idea apply to our world today, and how can we as individuals create positive change within ourselves and society as a whole?
A Force of Compassion in Action
Author, poet, and mystic Andrew Harvey offers an answer to this question though Sacred Activism, which he describes as “a transforming force of compassion-in-action that is born of a fusion of deep spiritual knowledge, courage, love, and passion, with wise radical action in the world.” Through Sacred Activism, concerned individuals can work together to address the economic, political, and spiritual crises the world is currently facing. According to Harvey, “The large-scale practice of Sacred Activism can become an essential force for preserving and healing the planet and its inhabitants.” He envisions “an army of practical visionaries and active mystics who work in every field and in every arena to transform the world.”
Divinity through Shadow
How can individuals become “practical visionaries?” Harvey has spoken of the importance of facing the shadow, both on an individual and collective level, in order to access the compassion and inspiration needed to face the global crises we are confronted with:
“You have to do shadow work and confront your own darkness. If you can do so with trust, humility and surrender, you discover another level of unconditional compassion…When light and shadow are united, we experience a passion of enlightened compassion that longs in every moment to express itself in radical transformative heart-filled, heart-inpired, just action.”
Harvey believes that through integrating our own shadow, we are able to realize the divine within us, and all around us, which empowers us to become effective agents of change:
“When you wake up to the Divine Consciousness within you and your divine identity, you wake up simultaneously to the Divine Consciousness appearing as all other beings… Only from a realization of the divine identity of all things can grow the kind of humility, the kind of tenderness, the kind of wonder, the kind of awe and the kind of respect that are necessary for human beings to live in peace with each other, for human beings to live in balance with their environment, and for human beings really to work with the divine forces of love and knowledge to recreate the world in the image of God.”
Sacred Marriage Weekend: Lecture and Workshop
In February, the Jung Society of Utah will welcome Andrew Harvey for a special Friday evening event and Saturday workshop. In the Friday lecture, Harvey will describe his vision of the Sacred Marriage drawn from Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Sufi sources. He will end his presentation with his vision of Sacred Activism, the most necessary sacred marriage for our time.
In the Saturday workshop, Harvey will share the tools that he believes are most essential to realizing the Sacred Marriage. He will present three sacred practices that enable the practitioner to experience union and unconditional compassion. He then explore the mystery of the shadow on both an individual and global level. The day will end with his vision of love and action, and the five forms of Sacred Service that need to be fused to empower individuals to become agents of change in our chaotic time.
Friday, February 5th: Evening Presentation at Libby Gardner Hall, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday February 6th: Workshop at the Officers Club building, University of Utah Campus, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Purchase tickets here for this transformative weekend with Andrew Harvey.