Karl Jung · Psychotherapy · Various Belief Systems - Dialogues · What does the Future Hold for Humanity?

The future of religion – two viewpoints

An article on religion and the future of religion….. and a “response” taken from C.G.Jung’s “Memories, Dreams and Reflections”….. first the BBC article (both are a bit of a read


My personal thoughts:
i am neither of the hard core camp of “God is a myth made by man” nor am i a believer in the hard core camp of “There is some hard and fast cast in stone truth”…… this excerpt from C. G. Jung states the situation i see, so clearly that i would be silly to add any of my own comments to it….. 🙂

CG Jung Memories, Dreams, Reflections P. 340-341

“The need for mythic statements is satisfied when we frame a view of the world which adequately explains the meaning of human existence in the cosmos, a view which springs from our psychic wholeness, from the co-operation between conscious and unconscious. Meaninglessness inhibits fullness of life and is therefore equivalent to illness. Meaning makes a great many things endurable – perhaps everything. No science will ever replace myth, and a myth cannot be made out of any science. For it is not that “God” is a myth, but that myth is the revelation of a divine life in man, It is not we who invent myth, rather it speaks to us as a Word of God. The Word of God comes to us, and we have no way of distinguishing whether and to what extent it is different from God. There is nothing about this Word that could not be considered known and human, except for the manner in which it confronts us spontaneously and places obligations upon us. It is not affected by the arbitrary operation of our will. We cannot explain an inspiration. Our chief feeling about it is that it is not the result of our own ratiocinations, but that it came to us from elsewhere. And if we happen to have a precognitive dream, how can we possibly ascribe it to our own powers? After all, often we do not even know, until some time afterward, that the dream represented foreknowledge, or knowledge of something that happened at a distance.
The Word happens to us; with God as a complexio oppositorum, all things are possible, in the fullest meaning of the phrase. Truth and delusion, good and evil, are equally possible. Myth is or can be equivocal, like the oracle of Delphi or like a dream. We cannot and ought not to repudiate reason; but equally we must cling to the hope that instinct will hasten to our aid-in which case God is supporting us against God, as Job long ago understood. Everything through which the “other will” is expressed proceeds form man – his thinking, his words, his images, and even his limitations. Consequently he has the tendency to refer everything to himself, when he begins to think in clumsy psychological terms, and decides that everything proceeds out of his intention and out of himself. Yet all the while he is fatally handicapped by the weakness of his consciousness and the corresponding fear of the unconscious. Therefore he is utterly unable to separate what he has carefully reason out from what has spontaneously flowed to him from another source. He has no objectivity toward himself and cannot yet regard himself as a phenomenon, which he finds in existence and with which, for better of for worse, he is identical. At first everything is trust up[on him, everything happens to him, and it is only by great effort that he finally succeeds in conquering and holding for himself an area of relative freedom. Only when he has won his way to this achievement, and then only, is he in a position to recognize that he is confronting his instinctive foundations, given him from the beginning, which he cannot make disappear, however much he would like to. His beginnings are not by any means mere pasts; they live with him as the constant substratum of his existence, and his consciousness is as much molded by them as by the physical world around him. These facts assail man from without and form within with overwhelming force. He has summed them up under the idea of divinity, has described their effects with the aid of myth, and has interpreted this myth as the “Word of God”, that is. As the inspiration and revelation of the human form the “other side.””

CG Jung Memories, Dreams, Reflections P. 340-341

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