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Re: Self and Jung's View of S...

Sep 09, 1995 01:21 PM
by Geraldjs

Art:< I read Jung to support my particular brand of religiosity,
 You are not alone. You may or may not know, but my wife and I
both attended courses at Liberty University in an attempt to get a Masters in
Counseling. Jung is very popular there, perhaps tying with Adler.

Art:<Over time, while still realizing that Jung appreciated the symbolic in
the Christian system of thought, I discovered that he also had a deep and
pervasive criticism of Christianity which, although hard to catch on to at
first, resulted in a shift of my own understanding of faith and religious
 Yes, he does criticize Protestants, largely because of their
throwing out some of the traditional (and psychologically important, to Jung)
symbolisms retained by Catholics. Interesting that you say this, because one
of my own cricitisms was that I found him to be overly Christian sometimes.
 I didn't like the way he said the East should remain East and the West
should remain West. He was against yoga being practiced in the West, for
example, and thus against one of the three TS objectives. He also criticises
theosophists for "lazy thinking" which I think was true back when he said it
(we have cleaned up our act a lot lately, I think).

Art:<I had modified my revelationally based understanding of religion to a
modern perspective of faith as an experience of inwardly felt trust in a
universal process of transformation that Jung called Individuation. >
The power of faith is truly awesome. And, it doesn't even matter what your
have faith *in* - the power is in the faith itself.

Art:<Self is both the center and the circumference of the psyche. The Self
incorporates all the other archetypes into a paradoxical unity,
transcending any attempt to contain or define it.>
 In this sense the Self comes very close to what theosophy calls
monadic essence or divine monad.

Art:<...the dilemma of exchanging the Self and the God image freely,>
 I think that this dilemma comes about by (1) the insistence of
separating the outer from the inner as if what was outside was objective and
thus "real" while what is inside is "merely" subjective and thus "unreal",
and (2) the insistence of separating man from God. From a mystical view,
they are two ways of looking at the same thing, and so a mystic sees no
dilemma here.

 Art:<...the mystical panentheism of Eckhart ...>
 I love Eckhart. If more Christians were like him I could think of
returning to Christianity.

Art:<In the face of this problem, Christianity, with its central symbol of
death and resurrection, could be the candidate among the monotheisms to break
the impasse and to affirm itself by transcending itself - to die in its
present configuration in order to rise in some form of more inclusive
 This, incidently, would help explain fundamentalism and our friend
Daniel. When I was a teenager in Sunday School, my teacher once said "at
night, the lion roars the loudest just before the dawn." I have never
forgotten this.

Art:< Is the self a symbol of Christ or is Christ a symbol of the self?>
 Am I a man dreaming I am a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming I am
a man?

I want to thank you for your very interesting post. I just completed a good
book by Robert Aziz called C.G. Jung's Psychology of Religion and
Synchronicity (State University of New York Press, 1990). If you haven't
read this, I highly recommend it. I am just now reading Hillman. His ideas
are quite radical, but some are very interesting - such as his saying that
Jung's Self reflects Jung's monotheism, while Hillman himself sees the psyche
as reflecting polytheism. His idea that we are each a collection of others
was taught in Tibetan Buddhism according to Alexandra David-Neel.
 Personally, I see monotheism and polytheism as two views of the same thing.

 Jerry S.

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