Perhaps this will come as a surprise to some, but probably not to regular followers of my blog (in particular if they can read Swedish). In my opinion the initiate of a hermetic initiatic school has much more to gain from taking regular traditional psychotherapy or psychoanalysis than he or she does from transpersonal therapy, such as psychosyntheis. Why? Because (and not counting the fact that the former kind of therapists often have a more solid education and clinical training) we need to access that dark, unconscious and repressed aspects of ourselves – the complexes to use the terminology of Jung and Freud.
Thus, as initiates we shouldn’t write off either Freud or Jung as important in the understanding of the human soul to quickly. I agree that they are limiting (especially Freud) when it comes to transpersonal experiences. But no school of therapy is better than psychoanalysis or analytical psychology, or modern psychodynamic therapy, in probing and giving initiates keys to unravel their subconscious strata, and create psychological healing at that.
I happen to have experience of psychosynthesis, both in training and my own therapy as part of that course (although quite limited). I have all the more experience and solid study of psychoanalysis / psychodynamic therapy both in training and in self-therapy. Based on that I must inform you that I have been given a lot more tools and assistance in my search for self-knowledge through my traditional psychotherapeutic training and therapy, compared to what I managed to gather through my psychosynthesis (transpersonal therapy) course.
What the Hermetic schools lack in training and theory is that part of the psyche or aspect of the work in gaining self-knowledge of what in esoteric psychology is referred to as the subconscious; it does however provide us with a map to experience the terrains of the superconscious. Thus while being in an initiatic school I would say that a psychotherapy that lays its emphasis on the subconscious / unconscious is very beneficient in this respect, as it complements the traditional training of an initiate in a most optimal way.
Now, some of you will either think or say that regular meditation and mindfulness techiques, such as found in Eastern traditions, is much more efficient than regular Western psychotherapy. I beg to differ; in my opinion you need the significant other (that is the therapist or initiator) to gain self-knowledge. Regardie understood this very well, especially when it came to dealing with transferential and projective issues, which I find wholly lacking in the transpersonal schools in the way of tools and theory.
However I also believe that Jung in a way simplified truth in several instances. In his system there seems to be nothing beyond our Divnie Genius of the Hermetic school, which should be the equivalent of the Self in Jungian terms, our personal God (spark) so to speak. Here I beg to differ with him. How I see it today the Jungian Self (which I equate with the Higher and Divine Genius) is but an emissary of the true God beyond. Jung also make the archetypes, as I interpret him, almost as aspects of the individual Self (the archetype of the archetypes). Thus, using his model the other archetypes, such as the Mother and Father archetypes, attach to the Self. This aspect of the analytical psychology of Jung may also be understood in light of the Holy Qabalah. May I propose the following cross-reference:
The strictly Jungian archetypes compose the Sephiroth of the Assiatic Tree of Life in 10 aspects. Here the Jungian Self corresponds to Kether, or Yechidah of Man. The other archetypes are represented by the other 8 Sephiroth which follows, the 10th sphere representing our personal psyche and the “personal unconscious”. The Holy Qabalah teaches us that all the other 9 Sephiroth are contained in a latent and united form in Kether, that they emanate and thus are hanging as pendants from Kether. This clearly is reminicent of how Jung explains the Self in relation to the archetypes, although he uses a more circular model to explain it.
These archetypes that belong to Assiah are actually the reflection of the True Archetypes of Atziluth (the Archetypal World of the Qabalah). Thus the Higher Self in Assiah (the human world of action) is a reflection of Kether in Atziluth, the true Yechidah of the Greater World. However the Kether of Assiah has gone through lots of stages of descent and involution to reach its final destination which originated in Kether of Atziluth. In fact it emanates or grows out from Malkuth of Yetzirah (the world of formation and of angelical choirs), the feet of that mighty angel which overshadows each man. Thus, man’s Yechidah (that is Kether in Assiah) is but an incarnated emanation of the Yetziratic Angel (our Microcosmic Angel).
Theurgy goes way beyond this. So in this respect the school of analytical psychology don’t give you the keys to everything, but nevertheless it is a good starter to gain self-knowledge about your Assiatic self, that is the 10 Sephiroth of Assiah, while Freud’s theories limits itself even further down to Malkuth of Assiah, or even the infernal Qlippotic regions below, the dwelling place of the Red Dragon. But traditional Freudian teachiques, or schools that are based on his theories, are very good at gaining knowledge of that Mighty Dragon, I must add.
Note: This short essay has been duly amended in 2014-01-16.