Through a Jungian Lens

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Principles Are Aspects of God

with 4 comments

While at the family reunion taking photos to be part of the official record of the event, I took time for a few extra photos such as this one and the one from the last post.  As usual, a sunset scene fills a spiritual need for me and reminds me that I am but a small part of something so much larger.  And for me, this spiritual resonance alerts me to something beyond what I can hold within my limited consciousness, something I can only approach and often only obliquely.

It must be my age, but I think often of good and evil.  The problem is that I only think I know what good and evil are.  I am hearing a lot of frantic voices foretelling the end of the world and of rewards and or punishments for those who have either lived good lives or else lived lives filled with sin.  Some people I know believe in a Rapture in which they feel the chosen good people will be taken directly to heaven while the rest of the world will have one final chance to choose goodness over evil.  Others are adamant that on December 21st the world is coming to an end as predicted by the Mayan calendar (actually not predicted, but that is another story).  Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, wars, famine and flood – all these things are waved as proofs of the coming end when and where good shall triumph while evil perishes.  But what is this good and evil?

“When someone speaks of good or evil, it is of what he calls good or evil, or what he feels as good or evil.”  (Jung, CW 10, par 858)

This jumps out at me as I hear about American and Canadians fighting for good with God on their (our) side as they fight the evil Taliban.  I also see how problematical all of this is when I hear of the radical Islamic groups fighting for Allah against the evil American empire.  Good and evil are held as different things by different people.  What I might see as evil, another might see as an act of bravery and holiness, an act that will gain immediate entrance into some version of heaven.

Principles, when reduced to their ultimates, are simply aspects of God.  Good and evil are principles of our ethical judgments, but, reduced to their ontological roots, they are “beginnings,” aspects of God, names for God.  Wherever, therefore, in an excess of affect, in an emotionally excessive situation, I come up against a paradoxical fact or happening, I am in the last resort encountering an aspect of God, which I cannot judge logically and cannot conquer because it is stronger than me – because, in other words, it has a numinous quality . . .” (Jung, CW 10, par 864)

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4 Responses

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  1. Good, evil, judgement, saved, heaven, hell – all of these concepts to think about. As children, we hear them all the time. They’re meant to grow us into good God-fearing people. I have long given up these concepts. And thankfully, have never feared God. Awe, Yes. But no fear.

    “And for me, this spiritual resonance alerts me to something beyond what I can hold within my limited consciousness, something I can only approach and often only obliquely.”

    Your words here are simple. So many of us need to be distracted from being silent and finding that both God and our selves reside in our hearts. Being silent also means to sit with your self and take an accounting. It means that the truth lies in emulating the Godly presence in our hearts.

    Kindness with no judgement is what I try to hold in my thoughts and heart every moment. Not an easy commitment. But shedding the good, evil, judgement concepts allows us to connect with the humanity in each and every one of us on a more subtle level. Precious gift. What lies beyond our shared humanity? How can I know, and maybe that isn’t as important as we tend to think. Today, right now – learn kindness for its own sake.

    pauladevi

    August 5, 2010 at 8:42 am

    • Thank you, Paula, for your words which bring so much more to this post. I look forward to more comments in the future.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 6, 2010 at 7:49 am

  2. I haven’t ever commended you on how well you can bring up Jungian quotes. Do you have some sort of search engine for his works?

    Urspo

    August 5, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    • I read. Sometimes I read directly, other times I read books others write who refer back to Jung’s works which chases me back to the original. Since I have read so many books, I can always find something for a particular theme, somewhere. There is a bit, not much, to find through Internet searches. That little often directs me back to a book I have. And when it doesn’t, I disregard the quote unless it is referenced. Stand alone quotes are held as suspect by me.

      When I am writing my posts, I sometimes have two or three books on the table for reference. I take this work here seriously and don’t want to mislead anyone.

      Robert G. Longpré

      August 6, 2010 at 7:40 am


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