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

To understand metaphysically is impossible; it can only be done psychologically I therefore strip things of their metaphysical wrappings in order to make them objects of psychology.

In this way, I can at least get something comprehensible out of them, and can avail myself of it.

Moreover, I learn psychological conditions and processes which before were veiled in symbols and out of reach of my understanding.

In doing this I am also enabled to follow a path similar to the alleged metaphysical one, and can have similar experiences.

Finally, if there should still lurk something metaphysical that cannot be formulated, it would then have the best opportunity of showing itself.

To be specific in this matter, I can say that my admiration for the great Eastern philosophers is as great and as indubitable as my attitude toward their metaphysics is irreverent.

I suspect them of being symbolical psychologists, to whom no greater wrong could be done than to be taken literally.

If it were really metaphysics that they mean, it would be useless to try to understand them.

But if it is psychology, we can not only understand them, but we can profit greatly by them, for then the so-called “metaphysical” comes within the range of experience.

If I accept the fact that a god is absolute and beyond all human experience, he leaves me cold.

I do not affect him, nor does he affect me.

But if I know, on the other hand, that God is a mighty activity in my soul, at once I must concern myself with him; he can then become even unpleasantly important, and in practical ways too, which sounds horribly banal, like everything appearing in the sphere of reality. ~Carl Jung, The Secret of the Golden Flower.