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Genesis represents the act of becoming conscious as a taboo infringement,


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Psychology and Religion: West and East (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 11)

Genesis represents the act of becoming conscious as a taboo infringement, as though knowledge meant that a sacrosanct barrier had been impiously overstepped.

I think that Genesis is right in so far as every step towards greater consciousness is a kind of Promethean guilt: through knowledge, the gods are as it were robbed of their fire, that is, something that was the property of the unconscious powers is torn out of its natural context and subordinated to the whims of the conscious mind.

The man who has usurped the new knowledge suffers, however, a transformation or enlargement of consciousness, which no longer resembles that of his fellow men.

He has raised himself above the human level of his age (“ye shall become like unto God”), but in so doing has alienated himself from humanity.

The pain of this loneliness is the vengeance of the gods, for never again can he return to mankind.

He is, as the myth says, chained to the lonely cliffs of the Caucasus, forsaken of God and man. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 243

And yet the attainment of consciousness was the most precious fruit of the tree of knowledge, the magical weapon which gave m.an victory over the earth, and which we hope will give him a still greater victory over himself, ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 289

The man who has attained consciousness of the present is solitary.

The “modern” man has at all times been so, for every step towards fuller consciousness removes him further from his original, purely animal participation mystique with the herd, from submersion in a common unconsciousness.

Every step forward means tearing oneself loose from the maternal womb of unconsciousness in which the mass of men dwells. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 150

Before the bar of nature and fate, unconsciousness is never accepted as an excuse; on the contrary there are very severe penalties for it. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 745