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Carl Jung The effect of the collective expression of an unconscious attitude.

465d2 catacomb

Carl Jung’s Cornwall Lecture

About the effect of the collective expression of an unconscious attitude.

When an unconditioned attitude is expressed collectively as a religion, it must necessarily be formulated; this means that it must be given a form, which in turn means the establishment of an institution.

As soon as this happens, the spirit goes because the Church is a form, that is a body; the spirit becomes flesh. But it can be a living body, yet this is no longer the spiritual life of the origins.

From the time of Constantine the Great, the Church swallowed the spirit.

Thus when the Church appeared it was the second death of Christ, not the birth of the Church.

Throughout the ages in many individuals the spirit was born again, but they were heretics and mystics.

The real thing was carried in them but always in opposition to the Church.

The psychological life that had given birth to the Church was in opposition to the ruling power of the state.

The power came from the invasion of the unconscious.

Christ was a flame and kindled the fire in the dry wood, until the greater part of the world was aflame.

Then came the Church which took on a form and became an institution and the Church was no longer a fire.

The first centuries were characterized by many dissentions, heresies, etc., within the frame of the Church.

This was the motive for the Shepherd of Hermes.

The power of this book was due to the fact that the unconscious of the people was seeking a form.

The religious spirit is actually flame, compare the Flames of Fire at Pentecost. In the actual world this means destruction.

As soon as the spirit causes a clinging together of those who have experienced it, they form an institution and the spirit dies.

The flame dies out. The body, or institution, is alive too but it is no longer the fire of the original religious phenomenon.

People vary very much in their relation to these problems; some prefer the settled thing, while others, the revolutionaries, prefer the fire.

But to the Old Man in us it is painful to walk into the fire. He seeks an institution because of its regularity and safety.

The revolutionaries will find a sword not peace. They must go out and fight; they are on fire; but they repel, even each other.

This explosive form is shown in early Christianity. It will also happen in analysis. It is sad; but it works, for the members are scattered and so the now spirit is disseminated abroad. This is necessary for the beginning of any kind of movement.

In the beginning of the Christian movement, the Community Meal played a very important part.

It was around this economic necessity that the institution began to be formed.

The community meal arose from the Insurance Brotherhoods of Rome.

These were cooperative societies for eating; had a clerk-cook, and they were under patron Herea [spelling?]of which probably Christ was one. The clerk-cook became Priest and still had charge of preparing the Host and Wine and the care of the cooperative money. ~Carl Jung, Cornwall Seminar, Pages 18-19.