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Symbolism of the Mass

The mystery of the Eucharist transforms the soul of the empirical man, who is only a part of himself, into his totality, symbolically expressed by Christ. In this sense, therefore, we can speak of the Mass as the rite of the individuation process. ~Carl Jung; Psychology and Religion

Let us take as a sample the Catholic Mass. If we study this we must recognize it to be one of the most perfect things we possess. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 119

For the Master the communion means: I give you myself, my flesh, my blood. For the disciple this means: I eat the god, his flesh and blood. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 59-63.

The proper kind of rite is not magically but psychologically efficacious. That is why a well-conducted Mass produces a powerful effect, particularly when the meaning of the ceremony can be followed. But once lost, lost forever! That is the tragedy of Protestantism. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 208-210.

The ringing of the bells in the celebration of the Mass probably comes from the Mithraic cult, where bells were rung at a certain point in the mysteries. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 112

In the Middle Ages Christ was no historical figure but a perpetual presence, as he still is in the Roman Catholic Mass. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture 7th July 1939

Since the relation of the ego to the self is like that of the son to the father, we can say that when the Self calls on us to sacrifice ourselves, it is really carrying out the sacrificial act on itself. ~Carl Jung; “Transformation Symbolism in the Mass.”; CW 11; Par 398.

So long as the self is unconscious, it corresponds to Freud’s superego and is a source of perpetual moral conflict. If, however, it is withdrawn from projection and is no longer identical with public opinion, then one is truly one’s own yea and nay. The self then functions as a union of opposites and thus constitutes the most immediate experience of the Divine that it is psychologically possible to imagine. ~Carl Jung; “Transformation Symbolism in the Mass”; CW 11, par. 396.

Every sacrifice is . . . to a greater or lesser extent a self-sacrifice. The degree to which it is so depends on the significance of the gift. If it is of great value to me and touches my most personal feelings, I can be sure that in giving up my egoistic claim I shall challenge my ego personality to revolt. I can also be sure that the power that suppresses this claim, and thus suppresses me, must be the self. Hence it is the self that causes me to make the sacrifice; nay more, it compels me to make it . The self is the sacrificer, and I am the sacrificed gift, the human sacrifice. ~Carl Jung; “Transformation Symbolism in the Mass”; CW 11, par. 397.

This process of becoming human is represented in dreams and inner images as the putting together of many scattered units, and sometimes as the gradual emergence and clarification of something that was always there. The speculations of alchemy, and also of some Gnostics, revolve around this process. It is likewise expressed in Christian Dogma, and more particularly in the transformation mystery of the Mass. ~Carl Jung; “Transformation Symbolism in the Mass”; CW 11, par. 399.

The ritual act [of the Mass] consecrates both the gift and the givers. It commemorates and represents the Last Supper which our Lord took with His disciples, the whole Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. But from the point of view of the divine, this anthropomorphic action is only the outer shell of husk in which what is really happening is not a human action at all but a divine event. ~Carl Jung; Psychology and Religion.

Therefore the trans-substantiated wine, which becomes the blood of Christ in the Mass, is the anima, that is the soul, of Christ. ~Carl Jung, ETH, Page 189.