Category Archives: Spiritual Development

How analytical psychology can help you develop your spirituality, faith or relationship with God.

PhD Research into Religious Tolerance

Help wanted!

For the past few years, I have been pursuing some PhD research into the relationship between personality and mythology. The overall aim is to find ways of promoting religious tolerance. It is based on Jung’s analytical psychology and is now in the final stretch.

I would appreciate your help by completing four online questionnaires, which will take about 30 minutes in total. When you have finished, there will be a report in the form of a PDF file, or Ebook, or you can read the results online. There is more information about the research on the page that introduces the questionnaires, at https://research.myers.co. Thank you, in advance.

If you have any questions or comments, please use my contact page (above).

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Does God exist or is God imaginary?

Does God Exist illustration using an optical illusionIn The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins argues that God (probably) does not exist, and he associates belief in God with the childhood practice of having an “imaginary friend” (Dawkins 2006, p. 88). He advocates, as an alternative to belief in God, using science and evidence to develop useful models that replicate how the world works.

Although his argument has some validity, it is underpinned by a Western cultural premise that something is either real/exists or imaginary/unreal.  This is a false dichotomy, created by the tendency in the modern Western mind to think in terms of simple opposites (Corbin 1972, p. 1).  Imagination and reality are not alternatives, but imagination helps to create reality.  This can be illustrated with three practical examples.

Illustration 1: Optical Illusion

In the picture above/right (published by Edward Adelson on a Wikipedia page), squares A and B are opposite colours – one is black the other is white.  Can you see how this reality is created by your imagination?

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Is the Swastika a symbol of evil or of good?

Hindu Swastika

A Jew and a Hindu had very different views when debating the meaning of the Swastika on BBC’s Sunday Morning Live (3rd Nov 2013).  As part of Diwali week (a Hindu festival) the BBC asked David Schneider and Kiran Bali to debate the question: “Can the Swastika be reclaimed as a symbol of peace?”

The BBC followed this up with a half-hour programme: The Story of the Swastika.  The two programmes illustrate some of the fundamental differences between how people think differently in the West and East, and how problems of conflict can be overcome from the perspective of analytical psychology.

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The power of symbols

Crosses at West Kirby Marine Lake

Why do dozens of people stand in near-freezing temperature for an hour, holding two planks of wood, saying very little, and for no reward?  In what has become an annual event at West Kirby, at 10:30am on Good Friday, local churches surrounded the Marine Lake – with the sole aim of holding up a cross for anyone in the vicinity to see.

The symbol of the cross unites more than two billion Christians across the globe.1  But – you might ask – what makes it different to other images that are also recognisable across the world – such as the McDonalds, Apple or BMW logos?

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Jung’s regret over “I don’t need to believe, I know.”


Jung’s most famous televised quote came after he was asked if he believed in God. He replied, “I don’t need to believe, I know” (Jung 1959a, p. 428). His reply caused some furore at the time and, in the decades since, it has been quoted by many – such as Richard Dawkins who cites it as an example of blind faith (Dawkins 2006, p. 51).

Jung immediately regretted his answer – because of it’s controversial, puzzling, or ambiguous nature (Jung 1959b). To understand why, we need to take a look at the context of the interview, and the background of Jung’s attitude towards God.

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