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  • the psychological unconscious contains our entire personal history, including early emotional traumas, as well as the collective experience of humanity past and present
  • the ontological unconscious contains the Supernatural Organism and all the human potentialities for spiritual development contained in it
  • can be differentiated as natural energies and the energies of grace

  • IG: 50-51, 60-61, 74, 92-93
  • OMOH: 45, 93-96
  • *OMOH: 34, 95-101
  • BP: 15-16, 24-25
  • MC: 70
  • FG: 15 

Even when we commit ourselves to God consciously, the process of healing the unconscious does not normally get underway until we access the allegorical level of Scripture. The emotional junk of a lifetime is expelled through emotionally charged thoughts during Centering Prayer and completed in the purification of the Night of Spirit.

Related Concepts




We can distinguish two parts of the unconscious; one is the psychological and the other is the ontological. The psychological unconscious contains our entire personal history, especially the emotional traumas that we repressed at an early age. It also contains the invisible energies of our ancestry, the culture and time in which we live, and the influences of our immediate environment.

The ontological unconscious contains all the potentialities for spiritual development that have yet to be activated in us. These potentialities are natural energies and energies of grace. Both have a divine source since God creates and sustains them both. The natural energies are variously called life force, dynamic ground, kundalini, and cosmic energy. If not interfered with, these energies unfold gradually from conception to full maturity and serve as the basis for mental and spiritual development through the brain and nervous system.

The energies of grace are the Supernatural Organism with its specific spiritual powers rooted in the Divine Indwelling. These include the three theological virtues, the four infused moral virtues, the Fruits of the Spirit, and the Seven Gifts of the Spirit. As the predominance of the false self diminishes through contemplative prayer, these symptoms of the True Self begin to appear in our motivation and external activities.


 Reflection: Listening

The ontological unconscious contains potentials that we are not aware of. The psychological unconscious contains the repressed emotions of a lifetime.

Reflection: Reflecting

What is the potential for spiritual development?

Reflection: Responding

Give priority to the potential for development. Notice when emotional junk is being expelled and be grateful.