From Conversations with C. G. Jung
[Carl Jung on Religion]
The inner man has access to the sense organs of God.
God has a longing for man and it seems there is provision for God to be created in man’s consciousness.
Consciousness is the cradle of the birth of God in man.
A religious life presupposes a conscious connection of the inner and outer worlds and it requires a constant, meticulous attention to all circumstances to the best of our knowledge and our conscience.
We must watch what the gods ordain for us in the outer world, but as well as waiting for developments in the outer world we must listen to the inner world; both worlds are expressions of God.
There is no general prescription for salvation. “If thou knowest what thou doest, thou art blessed.”
I must know what the Church teaches but I must then ask myself what my own law is.
When someone says, in the words of the “Our Father, ” “Thy will be done,” we must find out, if he is capable of taking both the inside and the outside, the ego and the world, into account.
By “Thy Will” one person may mean only what his unconscious dictates, while another may disregard all his thoughts and aspirations and fatalistically accept all that happens in his outer life.
To some people we must say, “You must choose your own way; you must act.”
Others have to learn to refrain from acting.
Few take both into account, which is why Deus et homo is so important.
Imagine a person who only sees two possibilities, two dimensions.
Rest your fingertips on the table.
The person who can only see two dimensions is aware only of the fingertips.
He does not see the curve of the hand above the fingertips combining them into a whole — just as the invisible wholeness of man hovers over and combines all his possibilities.
So it is, that only the individual acts of the person are seen, rather than the whole person with both male and female aspects.
The whole man is standing in eternity and is manifested in time as a manifold: Shiva and Shakti, that is.
The Kingdom of Heaven is a primordial condition like Paradise, but it is later in time and cannot be reached by regressing, only be going forward.
We do not know whether our present order is final.
At another level a new creative solution may be required.
Instead of saying, “God is beyond good and evil,” we can say, “Life is both good and evil.”
God is understood here as all that is beyond our capacity to grasp, beyond all our imagining.
We see things only in contrast: fullness and emptiness, light and shadow.
So in China God was represented by a jade disc with a hole in the centre; the disc rests in a container like the Host in the monstrance.
The hole in the disc is a way of representing God as the unnameable and the unknown.
The Lord’s words, “Blessed are they who know what they do,” seem in direct contradiction to the other words of Christ, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
But life feeds on opposites.
When a little old woman carries wood to the pyre to burn a saint who is thought to be a heretic we might say, “Forgive her, O sancta simpicitas.”
We might also say that only he is blessed who knows what-he is doing.
A priori contradictions will always appear in life.
The words of the Bible and the sayings of Christ are paradox.
We too must be paradox, for only then do we live our lives, only then do we reach completeness and integration of our personalities.
To be whole is to be full of contradictions.
The unity never becomes apparent because the opposites within us operate and mingle in various ways and it is their interaction that makes the whole man.
The complete human being, the hermaphrodite, is never visible.
He is indescribable, always a mystical experience.
That which shows itself is always paradoxical so there is no uniform image of the personality.
Biographies seem so unreal because they attempt to give a consistent picture of someone’ s personality.
The visible image of man is that he is both Christ and the Devil at the same time; the image is truthful only when it is ambiguous and paradoxical.
That is why we can also say that doubt is a higher state than certainty.
He who doubts can see both possibilities.
It is pleasant for us when certainty is attained, but is must not last too long for certainty is not life.
It looks as if God was unconscious.
Anyone who knew the goal would not have taken such a roundabout way with creation.
It took a very long time for the brain to appear on the earth. The dinosaurs give the impression of having completely empty heads; then bumps appeared, then much later horns grew from the head, and much later still the brain was formed.
It seems as if there was an urge to create something.
The least differentiated animals developed the most: only that which is incomplete can perfect itself.
Only an unconscious creative power could have worked so hesitantly which is why I think the creative God was unconscious.
This assumption also accounts for the many prehistoric catastrophes.
It does not imply that creation was accidental but that it seems as if its intention was limited in scope.
The bumps and the horns were the first experiment on the head, then the brain formed inside, then warm blood, fur and feathers appeared, and only at this stage did consciousness become a possibility.
If we assume that God was unconscious how can we explain our belief that everything existed as an idea from the beginning of time ?
The unconscious has its consciousness, it reveals itself. through dreams, for otherwise we could not know anything about it.
God holds all of creation in the unconscious: Paul preached in Athens and said, “God scorned the time when men lived in unbelief, ‘in agnosia’.”
There are several passages in the New Testament that are not correctly translated for us. Metanoen was translated as “do penance” when it should actually have read “change your ways.”
“Change your ways” had moral significance for the needs of that time.
If the Creator knew everything in advance history would seem like a badly running machine, misfiring now and then.
God would be responsible for each catastrophe because it must have arisen from his mistakes.
The assumption of divine prescience or of a personal God makes nonsense of the world.
To understand the God-Creator as absolute potential is to recognize a power which is endowed with meaning in space and time and in causality.
Meaning is, indeed, only a quarter of the whole, but when all four come into coincidence, consciousness comes into being.
If God were almighty how could it have taken 400 million years to reach this point from a time when only fish existed, if creation was not an unconscious search and a groping in the dark?
How could we account for these enormous quantities of fish before new beings could come into existence?
This is my myth about God and his creation.
The four aspects, the quaternity of the Creator- God are space, time, causality and meaning.
Human consciousness is the second creator of the world.
Only through extreme differentiation and distance can consciousness come about.
A God who is a God of a people or a God of everything cannot individuate himself and so cannot really become conscious.
God seems to be unconscious: He does not seem to know men. He tries to see them as He is Himself.
Man is also distinct from the angels because he can receive revelations, be disobedient, grow and change.
God changes too and is therefore especially interested in man.
Christian dogma brought immense advances in religious comprehensions.
God the Father became the Son and His own soul, the Word that became flesh.
Each son of God must awaken this new reality in himself.
But then the conflict appears: I am high, I am also so low , and on my right and left hand hang criminals.
If I can bear this I am crucified and must carry this cross and the world as well. Christ is not the Son of the Imperator; he is an illegitimate child of Nazareth “from where no good ever came.”
I am a son of God when I do the simplest things; but how difficult it is to do what is absolutely unimportant when I feel I am so significant.
It is a beautiful message that one is a child of God but it can have a devilish effect.
Christ’s tragedy could be much more impressively portrayed in our day than as the figure of a preacher wandering through Palestine two thousand years ago, not even needing to support himself.
But how can we in our day have the idea of Christ in ourselves yet have to make a living as a bookkeeper, to meet Miss Meyer and marry her, have children and be obliged to live with them ?
Imagine an evening at “The Corner Tavern” as Mr.
So and so, a glass of beer in front of him, and in his heart the outrageous claim, “I am the son of God.”
How is the darkness to know the light if it does not partake of it?
God deigned to take on the image of man.
We are his eyes and ears, imago Dei in homine.
We must pray, “deliver us from evil,” and not only man but God as well must be redeemed.
In the film “Green Pastures” God the Father says, “I must become a man myself” (to redeem them and myself).
We can avoid the penalty of hybris by making a sacrifice .
Each of us must find in what area his sacrifice must be made.
If we can think of the worst possible sacrifice for us we are close to knowing which we must make.
A sacrifice is doing what we would force others to do.
If we hold back through fear of hybris then we fail in our task and become a homunculus .
The acceptance of the shadow is a sacrifice.
For the man who feels himself to be the God- Creator the acceptance of his compensatory feminine side is also a sacrifice.
The image of the Divine Child characterizes our relation with the Self.
In philosophy God is abstract, an idea, imageless.
But the Divine Child is the incarnation of an idea; it permits us personal access to an idea which we could not easily realize without it.
The most serious question to ask, it seems to me, is what will Christianity have to say in the future?
What is the meaning of an attachment to the cross, what are the four functions?
What does it mean to say “He gave up the ghost” or, “My God , why hast thou forsaken me?”
What does this mean for humanity?
What does it mean to say that man dies yet only the risen still live?
All these questions may become actual during the next two thousand years, in the era of Aquarius.
The more one understands wholeness and through inner experience approaches it, the more one quasi resembles God.
“The Spirit examines everything, even the depths of Divinity.”
This sentence was an editorial error (in the process of veiling the Logia) which should not have been embodied in the Bible.
We must not forget that we are only ants … but that even an ant is an imago Dei.
I do not know whether Karma creates the ego or the ego creates Karma. ~Carl Jung, Ostrowski-Sachs Conversations with Jung, Pages 38-43.