Happiness Academy Online

A Blog about Psychology (Jungian), Spirituality and Happiness, By Roberto Lima Netto.

Spiritual Growth – Journey through hell

The journey to heaven is only for the strong in heart.

The mystics tell us that our journey of spiritual growth passes through hell before we can reach heaven. Psychotherapists mention that the process of deep analysis is painful, because you have to accept your shadow. Journey through hell is a metaphor for this pain.

You probably know the division of human life into two parts. In the first half of life, our task is to strengthen our ego, creating a space for us in human society. It is our time to get a profession, make money, secure your financial independence, constitute a family, all external objectives. In the second part, you should take care of your soul, a journey to heaven passing through hell.

An old Indian costume preached that, when we arrive at our sixtieth year, we should abandon all material pursuits and take care of our soul with ascetic living and meditation, probably moving to live in an ashram.

In our materialist Western societies, the midlife crises, strong as it may be, does not change the life of many. They continue to pursue earthly objectives: making more money even if they don’t need it anymore, trying to climb the professional ladder, looking for external recognition and buying more and more material goods that they probably do not need.

I always though that the division of life in two halves was a chronological division; we would get to the second part with middle age. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan friar, teaches us in another way; he posits that we divide our life in two parts but that this is not a chronological affair. Some elders can still be living in the first period; they have not grown into adulthood. They are youngsters of sixty or more years, even if their bodies show the aging.

Did you notice that we meet two kinds of old people in life? Ones keep complaining from life – the boring elders – and others give us pleasure to talk to them. Unfortunately, in our Western societies, the majority of our people belongs to the first group. The second group, the sage, is seldom met.

Richard Rohr, a truly Wise Man, characterizes these two types well and gives us guidance to upgrade our life, to grow. He has written several books, and produced some videos that I admire. But his last work – Falling Upwards – is truly fantastic and surpasses all. It is a revelation.

I have many people I admire, but only a few I chose as gurus. They are Jesus, the major one, Carl Jung and Paramahansa Yogananda. After reading Falling Upwards, I’m adding Richard Rohr to my list of truly wise men, in a par with the Dalai Lama. His book is a must, a five star one.

Roberto Lima Netto believes that our objective in life is to be happy, and that Jungian psychology and Spirituality, his main areas of interest, can help us in this search for happiness. He is the author of several books, including “The Little Prince for Grown-ups”  and  “The Jungian Bible”  that can be found in Amazon. His blog is www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org.

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I was involved in the business world, as an executive of large companies and university professor since recently. I was the president CSN, the largest steel-mill of Latin America and was responsible for its turn-around. My first encounter with the teachings of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung, one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century, was during my midlife crisis. Reading "Man and his Symbols" at that time, inspired me to go into Jungian analysis and to begin devouring the writings of Jung and his disciples. Since then, I've been studying psychology, especially Jungian psychology and, after reaching my seventies, I decided to become a full time writer, specializing on books on Jungian psychology and psychological thrillers. Every masterpiece of literature can be absorbed through multiple interpretations, and yield powerful insights for our daily lives. My first Jungian book, “The Little Prince for Grown-ups“, in its fourth edition in Brazil, was based on the famous book of Saint-Exupéry. The second, - “The Jungian Bible” - interprets some stories of the Old Testament and world myths. As I get older and, with a bit of luck, wiser, I want to pass on to the younger generations the lessons life has taught me. Jesus Christ taught that it was easier to sell ideas with stories. Following the Master, I published in English "The Amazon Shaman" and "In Search of Happiness", two psychological thrillers around the theme of happiness.

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