Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 18: The Symbolic Life: Miscellaneous Writings
Surrender to God is a formidable adventure, and as “simple” as any situation over which man has no control.
He who can risk himself wholly to it ﬁnds himself directly in the hands of God, and is there confronted with a situation which makes “simple faith” a vital necessity; in other words, the situation becomes so full of risk or overtly dangerous that the deepest instincts are aroused.
An experience of this kind is always numinous, for it unites all aspects of totality. All this is wonderfully ex- pressed in Christian religious symbolism: the divine will incarnate in Christ urges towards the fatal issue, the catastrophe followed by the fact or hope of resurrection, while Christian faith insists on the deadly danger of the adventure; but the Churches assure us that God protects us against all
danger and especially against the fatality of our character. Instead of taking up our cross, we are told to cast it on Christ.
He will take on the burden of our anguish and we can enjoy our “simple faith” at Caux.
We take ﬂight into the Christian collectivity where we can forget even the will of God, for in society we lose the feeling of personal responsibility and can swim with the current.
One feels safe in the multitude, and the Church does everything to reassure us against the fear of God, as if it did not believe that He could
bring about a serious situation.
On the other hand psychology is painted as black as possible, because it teaches, in full agreement with the Christian creed, that no man can ascend unless he has ﬁrst descended.
A professor of theology once accused me publicly that “in ﬂagrant contradiction to the words of Christ” I had criticized as childish the man who remains an infant retaining his early beliefs.
I had to remind him of the fact that Christ never said “remain children” but “become like children.”
This is one small example of the way in which Christian experience is falsiﬁed; it is prettied up, its sombre aspects are denied, its dangers are hidden.
But the action of the Holy Spirit does not meet us in the atmosphere of a normal, bourgeois (or proletarian!), sheltered, regular life,
but only in the insecurity outside the human economy, in the inﬁnite spaces where one is alone with the providentia Dei.
We must never forget that Christ was an innovator and revolutionary, executed with criminals. The reformers and great religious geniuses were heretics.
It is there that you ﬁnd the footprints of the Holy Spirit, and no one asks for him or receives him without having to pay a high price.
The price is so high that no one today would dare to suggest that he possesses or is possessed by the Holy Spirit, or he would be too close to the psychiatric clinic.
The danger of making oneself ridiculous is too real, not to mention the risk of oﬀending our real god: respectability.
There one even becomes very strict, and it would not be at all allowable for God and his Spirit to permit themselves to give advice or orders as in the Old Testament.
Certainly everyone would lay his irregularities to the account of the unconscious.
One would say : God is faithful, he does not forsake us, God does not lie, he will keep his word, and so on. We know it isn’t true, but we go on repeating these lies ad inﬁnitum.
It is quite understandable that we should seek to hold the truth at arm’s length, because it seems impossible to give oneself up to a God who doesn’t even respect his own laws when he falls victim to one of his ﬁts of rage or forgets his solemn oath.
When I allow myself to mention these well-attested facts the theologians accuse me of blasphemy, unwilling as they are to admit the ambivalence
of the divine nature, the demonic character of the God of the Bible and even of the Christian God.
Why was that cruel immolation of the Son necessary if the anger of the “deus ultionum” is not hard to appease?
One doesn’t notice much of the Father’s goodness and love during the tragic end of his Son. Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 1539