The Value of Research in your Spiritual Work

Courtesy of Wikimedia Research is a significant part of my writing, but also of the spiritual work I do. Recently, I finished reading The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious by Jung (review below). One of the reasons I read his works is because I wanted to understand his perspective on the concepts of archetypes and individuation, but also because I'd seen him referenced by other writers and I wanted to know if their take on is work was accurate. By researching the source I came away with a better understanding of the terms archetype and individuation. In general, I do a lot of research when writing my books and all of that research is driven toward getting a comprehensive understanding of other people's takes on a given subject so that I can see how it informs my own understanding as well as the spiritual work I do.

When it comes to spiritual work, research is important because you can discover a lot that informs your perspective on your spiritual practice. Just settling for what one source has to share can really limit your perspective, whereas uncovering multiple resources can help you critically engage with the practice you are involved in. To uncover those sources, you might ask for recommendations or look at the bibliography of the books you've already read.

Its also useful to find resources outside of the discipline you study in. While those resources may not contribute directly to the discipline, they may provide you alternative perspectives that you can bring to your spiritual work. For instance, reading books on physics and psychology has informed a lot of my spiritual work because the perspectives I've gathered from those works have helped me look at what I'm doing in a different way, as have other perspectives from other sources.

Good research involves not just reading, but actively working with you've learned. In my case, its involved coming up with experiments where I've applied and test what I've learned, as well as modified it. That work has also been part of the research I've done. It allows me to verify what I've read and truly learn it because I've applied it to my life, instead of just reading about it. Good research is a combination of reading and studying and experimentation. Your experimentation may point you in the direction of further research. For instance, in my work with inner alchemy, I've been reading a variety of sources and that has been partially inspired by the ongoing experimentation and the realization that I need to explore additional sources of information to determine what directions to take that experimentation.

How do you integrate research into your spiritual work?

Podcast Interview: Mike Sententia of Magick of Thought shares his unique perspectives and experiments with magical work.

Book Review: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious by Jung

This is a collection of essays by Jung about his work with archetypes and individuation. I highly recommend it if you want to understand the psychological concepts and the context in which those concepts are framed. There's some interesting perspectives that Jung shares on these terms that can help readers understand what they mean and how they apply to states of awareness the person experiences. I also found the case studies and art useful for further demonstrating what the author was sharing in terms of what his patients experienced. If you want to understand archetypes and individuation read this work.