To Our Readers

This Special Issue of Jung Journal: Culture & Psyche is dedicated to two seemingly disparate but deeply connected features: poems about war from Ukraine and presentations about the spiritual psyche. How does war have any connection with spiritual life? The title of this selection of poems, “Too Close to Infinity,” a line taken from one of the poems, suggests a starting point to consider one of the many interconnections. “God is a trauma,” Greg Mogenson wrote (1989). In this issue, we offer our readers a vast field in which to contemplate the question of what spirituality means in the life of the psyche, from the traumatic to the contemplative.

Poetry Editor Frances Hatfield introduces us to four Ukrainians writing extraordinary poetry in the midst of utter catastrophe: “What do we know of war, if most of us have never been devastated by war on our own soil? In the poems offered here, we find an account of the situation in Ukraine that the daily news soundbites and recitations of fact cannot give us. We desperately need to know about the reality of the war in the depths of the psyche in Ukraine, not only because we are, ultimately, part of the anima mundi, and not only because we (in the United States) are its major arms dealer, but also, as becomes clear in reading these poems, because we are not strangers to a war that threatens our democracy, though the threat is not from a foreign power. We need to know, as Ostap Slyvynsky observes, that ‘there is no foodstuff as perishable/as freedom.’”

At the other end of the spectrum from war, our feature articles are based on work originally published in The Spiritual Psyche in Psychotherapy: Mysticism, Intersubjectivity, and Psychoanalysis, edited by Willow Pearson and Helen Marlo (2021). Although the authors presented here have refined and elaborated on themes articulated in the original volume, the papers published here stand on their own, offering not only the sustenance we crave these days but also exciting new work that expands the notion of the spiritual psyche and how it relates to the work we do as analysts.

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