How do the things excluded by Christianity live in the unconscious?
There is only an indirect method of approach to this problem, for something that is unconscious cannot be directly observed.
- The exclusion of Nature. (a) Nature when it is in the unconscious shows itself in the form of certain peculiar relationships of a primitive character with perhaps a magic significance. For example, certain people feel themselves under the necessity to risk their lives in climbing certain mountains.
The mountain seems to have a peculiar mane, it is almost a divine personage worthy to have a human sacrifice, and a particular grace is obtained by risking one’s life there. This can never be explained rationally.
In Switzerland, the mountains are replacing the Church as the object which calls forth a non-personal spirit and devotion. The mountain-tops are particular churches which call forth emotions which the climbers cannot understand, but which may be really transforming. This is a sort of nature cult. Here you may expect the working of nature demons. When a primitive says Tree, he means the noumen of the tree. When primitive nature is in an unconscious state, one may expect these things to be alive. So we should expect nature demons in our lifetime. In the last fifty years, such demons have been manifested in spiritistic seances with its table turning, and with objects talking to each other. These are manifestations of nature demons.
The more the immediate relation to nature is repressed the more do such things appear. e.g. Christian Science really works by the magic of immediate relationships. Here the natural demons are not personified, they are non-personal nature spirits.
(b) At a later state we get nature gods. This is particularly important because it was at this stage that the religious development of the Germanic peoples was cut down. Christianity cut down the old trees and inoculated the new faith. Here is a sore spot, a trauma. If we make a regression, it is likely to be to this phase where each man has his own kabir or his own god. In the war each nation had its own god; it is only one stage further to a point where each man says, “My god says:” This is one of the risks of individuation, where each person has his own god. True we must have an individual experience of god, and it will begin on a very low level. It will be a sort of individual poly-demonism.
(c) The emphasis on the nature of our own body. This produces the hygienic and eugenic attitude to life. This is also a god. Also the emphasis falls on everything physical. The attention is concentrated on the value of the personal, i.e., on money which becomes a god. In so far as you give up money for an idea is the idea more god than money. The strongest value in man is his god, and we serve him with conviction and with fear and trembling.
The service of the body is no great that we must say that there is a lot of god in the physical body, perhaps greater than in spirit. In all the strongest value, the greatest psychological value or fact that is god. The thing you cannot sacrifice is stronger than you; that is god. If that is so, you must acknowledge it, for that makes all the difference between a morel and an immoral attitude to life.