Letters of C. G. Jung: Volume 2, 1951-1961

Christ. . . took himself with exemplary seriousness and lived his life to the bitter end, regardless of human convention and in opposition to his own lawful tradition, as the worst heretic in the eyes of the Jews and a madman in the eyes of his family.

But we?

We imitate Christ and hope he will deliver us from our own fate.

Like little Iambs we follow the shepherd, naturally to good pastures.

No talk at all of uniting our Above and Below!

On the contrary Christ and his cross deliver us from our conflict, which we simply leave alone. . . . Instead of bearing ourselves, i.e., our own cross, ourselves, we load Christ with our unresolved conflicts.

We “place ourselves under his cross,” but by golly not under our own. . . . The cross of Christ was borne by himself and was his.

To put oneself under somebody else’s cross, which has already been carried by him, is certainly easier than to carry your own cross amid the mockery and contempt of the world.

That way you remain nicely ensconced in tradition and are praised as devout.

This is well-organized Pharisaism and highly un-Christian.

Whoever imitates Christ and has the cheek to want to take Christ’s cross on himself when he can’t even carry his own has in my view not yet learnt the ABC of the Christian message.

Have your congregation understood that they must close their eyes to the traditional teachings and go through the darkness of their own souls and set aside everything in order to become that which every individual bears in himself as his individual task, and that no one can take this burden from him?

We continually pray that “this cup may pass from us” and not harm us.

Even Christ did so, but without success. . . . We might. . . discover, among other things, that in every feature Christ’s life is a prototype of individuation and hence cannot be imitated: one can only live one’s own
life totally in the same way with all the consequences this entails. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 76-77.