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03.11.2015

Carl Gustav Jung on Christianity

Today, I took a first look at the magnificent Red Book by psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. In an introduction to his person, I found myself astonished by a description of his childhood experience with the church. It reflects my own feelings and intuitions about Christianity to a frightening degree.

Here is the part:

In his childhood, Jung experienced a number of visual hallucinations. He also appears to have had the capacity to evoke images voluntarily. In a seminar in 1935, he recalled a portrait of his maternal grandmother which he would look at as a boy until he “saw” his grandfather descending the stairs.

One sunny day, when Jung was twelve, he was traversing the Muensterplatz in Basel, admiring the sun shining on the newly restored glazed roof tiles of the cathedral. He then felt the approach of a terrible, sinful thought, which he pushed away. He was in a state of anguish for several days. Finally, after convincing himself that it was God who wanted him to think this thought, just as it had been God who wanted Adam and Eve to sin, he let himself contemplate it, and saw God on his throne unleashing an almighty turd on the cathedral. With this, Jung felt a sense of bliss and relief such as he had never experienced before. HE felt that it was an experience of the “direct living God, who stands omnipotent and free above the Bible and the Church.” He felt alone before God and that his real responsibility commenced then. He realized that it was precisely such a direct, immediate experience of the living God, who stands outside Church and Bible, that his father lacked.

This sense of election led to a final disillusionment with the Church on the occasion of his First Communion. He had been led to believe that this would be a great experience. Instead, nothing. He concluded: “For me, it was an absence of God and no religion. Church was a place to which I no longer could go. There was no life there, but death.”

This excerpt touches and moves me deeply and reflects my own beliefs, particularly that Christianity is a belief system of death – as mentioned here – and that God wanted Adam and Eve to sin – a logical consequence of the determinism I believe in. I will elaborate on this in a future article about free will.

How can you look good in front of god if not by being just the way he created you?

Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?

The Matrix

Thanks, Gustav, for one of the moments when it becomes a bit more clear what seems to be driving me mad.

What a magnificent mind at the age of twelve!

While we are at it: Why do the words moral and moron sound so similar?

So far.

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  • thordaddy

    Kindred dispositions separated by incomprehensible environmental chaos cannot then be considered falsification of endurable Truth, but only the coterminous capability of the human soul.

    • That sounds smart. I do not understand a word.

      • thordaddy

        Implicit to your comparative disposition to Carl Jung — a man who existed hundreds of years before you and thus one assumes experienced a radically different environment — was a falsification of Christianity. But the “evolutionary” dogma doesn’t do well in explaining identical dispositions due radical different environments. It would be better to assume that you simply shared an equal distaste for the corrupted imposition of claimed Perfection. Seems natural enough… Not falsifying any Truth though.

        • Not hundreds of years, my friend. He was born 1875 and lived well into the middle of the 20th century. He is, in a way, quite a recent pioneer.

          I can respect your view, although I still do not understand all of it. Seems fair enough.

          Still, I miss the point why one should rely on anyone but himself to find and foster a connection with god. That breeds falsification by principle. Why push a relationship with god on somebody who either may desire a different kind of relationship and / or may not yet be ready for it?

        • Micah Geni

          When you put it that way (understandable)…
          The pretty much same thought has puzzled me too.

  • thordaddy

    If you lived in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, wouid you love or hate chocolate?

    • Hate.

      • Micah Geni

        Call it chocolate, call it women. Economics call it “law of diminishing return”.

  • Smokingjacket

    Adam and Eve had to transgress. The serpent was God’s instrument. The original garden was a place of sterility, boredom and mere undifferentiated eternal existence. Free will in this context was the first necessary act of conscious rebellion against the ennui of this paradise. This was not predetermined by the creator, however, in an existence of plenitude they transgressed, disobeyed,and, took the risk for something unknown to them. This is the beginning of humanity’s mythical journey into the unknown, into the realms of creation, where we’re born, live, and die, until I imagine we’ve nothing more to gain by being here.

    However, this journey has allowed the Godhead itself to acquire knowledge that it could never posses without the creation of humanity. Sin and transgression are integral parts of this creative knowledge that’s required by the Godhead and everything we do in this realm is permitted and forgiven the Godhead. How can it be any other way.

    Jung was right about the Churches been nothing more than empty receptacles of a death God. Their credo is a denial of the vitality and free will which the true God wanted us to explore. The image of the true living God,outside of the Church’s and Bible’s definitions, defecating on the symbols of a counterfeit and dead God is indeed a powerful representation of Jung’s disenchantment with organised belief systems.

    They’ll be another garden and paradise at the other end of this process, in fact, it’s probably already created, that will be a place very different from the original one.

    • A very inspiring comment, thank you. In a sense, your idea feels even superior to my idea that paradise never existed and never will. It will be interesting to ponder about this. That god wanted us to transgress him, yes, that feels very right to me and I have not yet read it formulated in this wonderful and positive way.

      What do you think of my article on the new James Bond movie?

      • Smokingjacket

        Yes, that’s it. He didn’t want to alone. Remember, think of eternity as GOD, no before, no after, always to be, but by yourself in self perfection. However, even the beings created in this perfect state, perhaps angels and other classes of beings eventually bored him as they could never give Him that knowledge that he wanted, needed, desired.

        It’s said in Sufism for example that there was an intense rift which came in being when God created man. Here was something, the original Adam, a being of flesh and blood whom God decided was greater and more deserving of love than them. The angels were essentially God’s slaves, and how can you love a slave freely, especially if they’re programmed to praise their creator endlessly. I believe the Garden of Eden myth relates to the original primordial relationship between the Creator and the Created, which is similar, but in a much lower and static form in artworks.

        • Exactly!

          Incidentally, consider how angry it must make such a perfectly obedient angel to be loved less than an imperfect creature. We know that Lucifer was the most perfect and beautiful being that god created. Maybe the roles are really reversed and the church really praises Lucifer, a perfect being that can not help but uphold that boring order and demand love for its perfection – this perfection being perfect obedience and need for approval. Does that sound like narcissism? Indeed, it does. And we also know that narcissism is a normal developmental stage in humans. Some take quite a while to leave it behind.

          Maybe god was bored with Lucifer – the morning star – and kicked him out of heaven, into hell. Why? To learn his lesson. To learn to be imperfect, spoiled. Great pain is necessary for that. Maybe Lucifer protested against a god that has decided to indulge in imperfection, making him feel superior and like the one who should be the ruler.

          • Smokingjacket

            Incidentally, consider how angry it must make such a perfectly obedient angel to be loved less than an imperfect creature. I would imagine he was very pissed to be dethroned before all his work colleagues. As Milton had him say “Better to rein in Hell than be a slave in Heaven” and to have been loved supremely and unconditionally by your Creator and then to have this replaced by what he saw as an inferior and ugly creature like man must have driven him into a tail spin. Still the myth tells us that to be separated from God’s love is a truly terrible thing, it must be exceptional hard for the one who was the most perfect and beautiful to suffer this. So, I guess we have to have some sympathy for Lucifer after all.

            The problem with Lucifer is that without God he becomes the narcissistic demiurge of our creation. A creature who believes he’s the Creator of the universe, who believes he’s the one true God. His narcissism is so massive he cannot comprehend any other God but I. It seems highly probable, considering the rancorous and illogical behavior of God as depicted as Jehovah or Yahweh in some of the biblical stories that they’re actually not representations of the true God, but rather the narcissistic demiurge called Lucifer. Carl Jung alludes to this fact in his analysis of the Book of Job where God is depicted as a narcissistic, cruel bully of the first order.

            So, perhaps what you say is correct, maybe organised religions worship a God who’s not the real one. Perhaps this false God blocks the influence of the true creator from getting through to us in life, most of the time, or then again, maybe Lucifer is a necessary Evil in our world?

          • to have been loved supremely and unconditionally by your Creator and then to have this replaced by what he saw as an inferior and ugly creature like man must have driven him into a tail spin.

            Does this metaphor remind you of any real life experience? Growing up and, as you grow up, watch your father morph from an omnipotent being to quite a flawed creature that fails to live your life for you the way you want?

            So, perhaps what you say is correct, maybe organised religions worship a God who’s not the real one. Perhaps this false God blocks the influence of the true creator from getting through to us in life, most of the time, or then again, maybe Lucifer is a necessary Evil in our world?

            That makes a lot of sense to me on an intuitive level. Necessary? Yes, I would think so. Obedience and the idea of perfection has its place during the initial years of life. Yet if it persists, it becomes a mental disease. The mind will spring back and forth between the perfect ideal and reality, unable to reconcile both.

          • Smokingjacket

            The metaphor reminds of that experience we all must face. It’s the fear of never being quite good enough to receive the love and respect that we all feel our parents and perhaps even society should pay us. This is an illusion. The truth is that often our elders cannot reciprocate these feelings for a multiplicity of disappointments and failures they experienced in their own lives. Often we have to pay off our parents emotional debts in our own lives.

            In some ways we’re never free, even if we love them, until they are no longer around. It’s an odd paradox of life that makes the death of those most close to us often the greatest catalyst in bringing maturity and balance into our being. I suspect a pact was made between nature and the human psyche that allows us to complete unfinished business in this way.

            “Obedience and the idea of perfection has its place during the initial years of life” We all learn that what we were once obedient to, more often than not, had feet of clay. This can be a great disappointment and can cause disenchantment with the world. However, I can be an opportunity too, when you realize and embrace a messy, fractured, imperfect world. There’s something necessary about this and people who are habitual perfectionist live in denial of this great truth.

            “The mind will spring back and forth between the perfect ideal and reality, unable to reconcile both” Antithesis rather than stasis is the way of our minds. It’s both wonderful and terrible. To know mentally you can do great things, solve equations, invent devices and the joy this can bring, but, yet to be haunted by the raw visceral feelings for physical intimacy with women that will never be interested in you. The craving at times for pure sensual pleasure and yet at other times the complete happiness that’s possible through solitude, mental pursuits, outdoor activities etc. We all live with this discontentment in our souls. That feeling of never being complete in its entirety is common to every human being.

            I’ll talk another time. Good luck for now.

        • Or, since Lucifer wanted to be the most loved by god, god had to make him the most spoiled being, to fulfill his wish.

    • Sam

      Maybe the god of Adam and Eve was not GOD at all but a demon. Maybe the sayings of the the god of the old testament are nothing but a rant by one of Satan’s demons. People often tie together the old and the new testament but why? Jesus didn’t. Others didn’t.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharism

      Here’s what Jesus said to the the Jews in the Gospel of St. John, 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is not truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it. – then answered the Jews — ” (which makes it clear that Christ was addressing the Jews.)

      • From what I read on that Wikipedia article, I still dislike Catharism for identifying the earthly as evil.

        • Sam

          Tom Arrow ,”

          From what I read on that Wikipedia article, I still dislike Catharism for identifying the earthly as evil”

          I have a problem with it myself and have decided that the best plan of action is to assume Wikipedia is wrong and they didn’t say that. That the Jesuits, who were created to kill off the Cathars, just made it up. Since the Cathars are all dead and this is where the saying,”kill them all, God will know his own” came from. The Jesuits are not necessarily the best reference for the Cathars beliefs.

      • Smokingjacket

        Yes, this is very possible. Jung draws a very similar conclusion in his book on Job, which is describes as “pure poison” but the truth is often an unpalatable quality that we struggle and reject at first, but, eventually accept due to it been the most probable explanation of otherwise “incredible” tales.

  • michaelmobius1

    Hi Tom, Just stopped by to check out your site only to find the two of you penetrating deep into the mysteries. Pleasantly surprised so far, but there’s a lot of content here so I’ll probably stop by again when I have more time. keep writing. its good

    • Hey, thanks. I will welcome that.

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