Friday, July 22, 2011

Vernon, Mark. "Carl Jung, Part 8: Religion and the Search for Meaning." GUARDIAN July 18, 2011.

Jung is often criticised by religious thinkers for his poor theology and perennial philosophy. They are often correct, but they can also miss the main point. Jung was clear that his analytical psychology was not a new religion, neither was he a guru. "Psychology is concerned with the act of seeing and not with the construction of new religious truths," he wrote.
So its role is to provide a language for grappling with what's at stake. "Since the stars have fallen from heaven and our highest symbols have paled, a secret life holds sway in the unconscious. That is why we have a psychology today, and why we speak of the unconscious. All this would be quite superfluous in an age or culture that possessed symbols."

Symbols do die. "Why have the antique gods lost their prestige and their effect upon human souls? It was because the Olympic gods had served their time and a new mystery began: God became man." Which raises the question of whether the Christian dispensation has now served its time too and we await a new mystery. Perhaps we do live on the verge of a new age, of another transformation of humanity. . . .

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