Among the great religious problems of the present is one which has received scant attention, but which is in fact the main
problem of our day: the evolution of the religious spirit.
If we are to discuss it, we must emphasize the difference between East and West in their treatment of the “jewel,” the central symbol.
The West lays stress on the human incarnation, and even on the personality and historicity of Christ, whereas the East says:
“Without beginning, without end, without past, without future.”
The Christian subordinates himself to the superior divine person in expectation of his grace; but the Oriental knows that redemption depends on the work he does on himself.
The Tao grows out of the individual.
The imitatio Christi has this disadvantage: in the long run we worship as a divine example a man who embodied the deepest meaning of life, and then, out of sheer imitation, we forget to make real our own deepest meaning—self-realization.
As a matter of fact, it is not altogether inconvenient to renounce one’s own meaning.
Had Jesus done so, he would probably have become a respectable carpenter and not a religious rebel to whom the same thing would naturally happen today as happened then. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 80