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

The fact that religious statements frequently conflict with the observed physical phenomena proves that in contrast to physical perception the spirit is autonomous, and that psychic experience is to a certain extent independent of physical data.

The psyche is an autonomous factor, and religious statements are psychic confessions which in the last resort are based on unconscious, i.e., on transcendental, processes.

These processes are not accessible to physical perception but demonstrate their existence through the confessions of the psyche.

The resultant statements are filtered through the medium of human consciousness: that is to say, they are given visible forms which in their turn are subject to manifold influences from within and without.

That is why whenever we speak of religious contents we move in a world of images that point to something ineffable.

We do not know how clear or unclear these images, metaphors, and concepts are in respect of their transcendental object.

If, for instance, we say “God,” we give expression to an image or verbal concept which has undergone many changes in the course
of time.

We are, however, unable to say with any degree of certainty—unless it be by faith—whether these changes affect only
the images and concepts, or the Unspeakable itself.

After all, we can imagine God as an eternally flowing current of vital energy that endlessly changes shape just as easily as we can imagine him as an eternally unmoved, unchangeable essence.

Our reason is sure only of one thing: that it manipulates images and ideas which are dependent on human imagination and its temporal
and local conditions, and which have therefore changed innumerable times in the course of their long history.

There is no doubt that there is something behind these images that transcends consciousness and operates in such a way that the statements do not vary limitlessly and chaotically, but clearly all .relate to a few basic principles or archetypes. These, like the psyche itself, or like matter, are unknowable as such.

All we can do is to construct models of them which we know to be inadequate, a fact which is confirmed again and again by religious statements. Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 555