Psychology and Religion

It is easy for the doctor to show understanding in this respect, you will say.

But people forget that even doctors have moral scruples, and that certain patients’ confessions are hard even for a doctor to swallow.

Yet the patient does not feel himself accepted unless the very worst in him is accepted too.

No one can bring this about by mere words; it comes only through reflection and through the doctor’s attitude towards himself
and his own dark side.

If the doctor wants to guide another, or even accompany him a step of the way, he must feel with that person’s psyche.

He never feels it when he passes judgment.

Whether he puts his judgments into words, or keeps them to himself, makes not the slightest difference.

To take the opposite position, and to agree with the patient offhand, is also of no use, but estranges him as much as condemnation.

Feeling comes only through unprejudiced objectivity.

This sounds almost like a scientific precept, and it could be confused with a purely intellectual, abstract attitude of mind.

But what I mean is something quite different. It is a human quality—a kind of deep respect for the facts, for the man who suffers from them, and for the riddle of such a man’s life.

The truly religious person has this attitude.

He knows that God has brought all sorts of strange and inconceivable things to pass and seeks in the most curious ways to enter a man’s heart.

He therefore senses in everything the unseen presence of the divine will. This is what I mean by “unprejudiced objectivity.”

It is a moral achievement on the part of the doctor, who ought not to let himself be repelled by sickness and corruption.

We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.

I am the oppressor of the person I condemn, not his friend and fellow-sufferer.

I do not in the least mean to say that we must never pass judgment when we desire to help and improve.

But if the doctor wishes to help a human being he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 519