Spiritual Democracy is an idea whose time has come. It is uniquely American, founded upon the Iroquois myth of the Peacemaker, and it found its most eloquent voice in early American poetry. It exists in three stages: 1) political, 2) economic, and 3) religious. Spiritual Democracy is linked to the cosmic science of nineteenth century naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, whose work Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and Emily Dickinson were all well aware of. It is found in the pragmatism of William James and the works of G.G. Jung. Spiritual Democracy is an ideal that involves making the shadow conscious; it is not a condition of peace alone. Spiritual Democracy advocates responsibly living out one’s vocation as a path of sacred action. Today we need to understand the foundation stone of Spiritual Democracy, which is central to the mythos of America, to combat the toxic political climate in which we are living.
Steven Herrmann, PhD, MFT, is a certified Jungian analyst and an analyst member of the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco; a member the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP); International Association for Jungian Studies (IAJS); and California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT). Dr. Herrmann has a private practice in Montclair Oakland, California, where he sees individual adults and couples. He is a depth psychotherapist, poet, writer, presenter, and teacher. He has published over fifty professional papers, book reviews, and essays, as well as several book chapters and seven books that have been well received. Steven’s 2015 book Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward provides the primary text for his talk and workshop.