February 13-14, 2004: Bryan Wittine

Lecture and Workshop

The religions and myths of many times and cultures tell us that the human soul’s deepest desire is its longing for God.  Even people who feel disillusioned with traditional religions or disenchanted with spiritual teachers still yearn for something transcendent. 

Whenever we long for the transcendent, however, forces from the deep unconscious also swing into play.  Walking a spiritual path not only evokes states of illumination; it challenges us to face the darkness within ourselves. 

In this lecture and workshop, Dr. Wittine will explore spiritual longing and its shadow. Spiritual longing might overwhelm the ego, cover over wounded parts of the personality, perpetuate our inner critic, lead to a split between "higher" and "lower" self-needs, and derail individuation. We might project our longing onto lovers and teachers, onto food, sex, and drugs, or find it hidden in our grandiosity and desire for power. Dr. Wittine concludes that if we internalize our longing rather than externalizing it onto images, people, and things, it will guide us toward a new experience of God, which recognizes the transcendent in all aspects of life.


Bryan Wittine, PhD is a Jungian analyst in private practice in San Francisco and Mill Valley, California.  He is a member of the faculty at the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco and an adjunct faculty member of the masters program in depth psychology at Sonoma State University.  He has studied with Buddhist and Sufi teachers for over 30 years and has written and lectured extensively on spirituality, narcissism, and depth psychotherapy.

Spiritual Longing and Its Shadow