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The Apocalypse of the Reluctant Gnostics by Stuart Douglas

Consequently, the defining feature of Jungian Gnostic soteriology, one that does not have the same degree of emphasis in the Gnostic texts, is the need for a growth in consciousness in this life.

According to the Gnostics we are, metaphorically, nothing more than a bunch of drunken, somnambulist zombies who have fallen prey to the veil of ignorance spun by the archons that keeps us imprisoned in the world of matter.

Jung, no stranger to bluntness himself, was somewhat more circumspect in regard to our fallen state, and noted that humanity’s worst sin was unconsciousness.

Therefore, the key to salvation in Jung’s Gnostic vision, which would directly influence his psychology, is to become more conscious.

In Gnostic systems, the archons that keep humanity imprisoned are not so much to be seen as evil—although their effects are very much evil—rather they are to be seen as being ignorant, and of a very limited, unfeeling, robotic consciousness.

As a result, the key to achieving salvation is not so much overcoming evil, but about becoming more conscious, and this pursuit of increasing consciousness is certainly the direction taken by the soteriological aspects of Jung’s gnosis.

However, whereas for the Gnostics, gnosis was a means to an end, and that end was escape, for Jung, gnosis, in terms of expanded consciousness, was both the means and the end itself in many ways.

For the Gnostics the return to the Pleroma involved a dissolution of the opposites back to their original, non-differentiated state.

However, for Jung, this dissolution posed a great danger and was the sin of unconsciousness, and a retreat back into nothingness and non-existence, in other words, death.

As has been noted above, in Jung’s view, life is dependent on differentiation.

No differentiation, no life, and without life there can be no growth in consciousness.

Consciousness demands the differentiation of opposites, and growth in consciousness demands the reconciliation and integration of the opposites.

Differentiation of the opposites is what saves humanity from unconsciousness.

Yet, in Jung’s view all of humanity’s problems result from the splitting of opposites in the psyche, both the personal psyche, and the collective psyche.

Reconciliation and integration of the differentiated opposites is what saves. ~Stuart Douglas, Apocalypse of the Reluctant Prophet, Page 126