Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group

Psychology and Religion

[Carl Jung on the celebration of the Mass and Holy Communion.]

Although the Mass itself is a unique phenomenon in the history of comparative religion, its symbolic content would be profoundly alien to man were it not rooted in the human psyche.

But if it is so rooted, then we may expect to find similar patterns of symbolism both in the earlier history of mankind and in the world of pagan thought contemporary with it. . . .

The liturgy of the Mass contains allusions to the “prefigurations” in the Old Testament, and thus indirectly to ancient sacrificial symbolism in general.

It is clear, then, that in Christ’s sacrifice and the Communion one of the deepest chords in the human psyche is struck: human sacrifice and ritual anthropophagy. . . .

I must content myself with mentioning the ritual slaying of the king to promote the fertility of the land and the prosperity of his people, the renewal and revivification of the gods through human sacrifice, and the totem meal, the purpose of which was to reunite the participants with the life of their ancestors.

These hints will suffice to show how the symbols of the Mass penetrate into the deepest layers of the psyche and its history. ~Carl Jung, Transformation Symbolism in the Mass,” Psychology and Religion, CW 11, Para 339.