Psychology and Religion

It may not be quite clear why I call certain dogmas “immediate experiences,” since in itself a dogma is the very thing that precludes immediate experience.

Yet the Christian images I have mentioned are not peculiar to Christianity alone (although in Christianity they have undergone a development and intensification of meaning not be found in any other religion).

They occur just as often in pagan religions, and besides that they can reappear spontaneously in all sorts of variations as psychic phenomena, just as in the remote past they originated in visions, dreams, or trances. Ideas like these are never invented.

They came into being before man had learned to use his mind purposively. Before man learned to produce thoughts, thoughts came to him. HE DID NOT THINK-HE PERCEIVED HIS MIND FUNCTIONING. Dogma is like a dream, reflecting the spontaneous and autonomous activity of the objective psyche, the unconscious.

Such and expression of the unconscious is a much more efficient means of defense against further immediate experiences than any scientific theory.

The theory has to disregard the emotional values of the experience. The dogma, on the other hand is extremely eloquent in just this respect. One scientific theory is soon superseded by another.

Dogma lasts for untold centuries.

The suffering God-Man may be at least five thousand years old and the Trinity is probably even older. Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion, Page 46, Paragraph 81.