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Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group


Psychology and Religion

The difference between the “natural” individuation process, which runs its course unconsciously, and the one which is consciously realized, is tremendous.

In the first case consciousness nowhere intervenes; the end remains as dark as the beginning.

In the second case so much darkness comes to light that the personality is permeated with light, and consciousness necessarily gains in scope and insight.

The encounter between conscious and unconscious has to ensure that the light which shines in the darkness is not only comprehended by the darkness, but comprehends it.

The filiiis solis et lunae is the symbol of the union of opposites as well as the catalyst of their union.

It is the alpha and omega of the process, the mediator and intermedins.

“It has a thousand names,” say the alchemists, meaning that the source from which the individuation process rises and the goal towards which it aims is nameless, ineffable.

It is only through the psyche that we can establish that God acts upon us, but we are unable to distinguish whether these actions emanate from God or from the unconscious.

We cannot tell whether God and the unconscious are two different entities.

Both are border-line concepts for transcendental contents.

But empirically it can be established, with a sufficient degree of probability, that there is in the unconscious an archetype of wholeness which manifests itself spontaneously in dreams, etc., and a tendency, independent of the conscious will, to relate other archetypes to this centre.

Consequently, it does not seem improbable that the archetype of wholeness occupies as such a central position which approximates it to the God-image.

The similarity is further borne out by the peculiar fact that the archetype produces a symbolism which has always characterized and expressed the Deity.

These facts make possible a certain qualification of our above thesis concerning the indistinguishableness of God and the unconscious.

Strictly speaking, the God image does not coincide with the unconscious as such, but with a special content of it, namely the archetype of the self.

It is this archetype from which we can no longer distinguish the God image empirically. We can arbitrarily postulate a difference between these two entities, but that does not help us at all.

On the contrary, it only helps us to separate man from God, and prevents God from becoming man.

Faith is certainly right when it impresses on man’s mind and heart how infinitely far away and inaccessible God is; but it also teaches his nearness, his immediate presence, and it is just this nearness which has to be empirically real if it is not to lose all significance.

Only that which acts upon me do I recognize as real and actual.

But that which has no effect upon me might as well not exist.

The religious need longs for wholeness, and therefore lays hold of the images of wholeness offered by the unconscious, which, independently of the conscious mind, rise up from the depths of our psychic nature. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 756

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