“If our religion is based on salvation, our chief emotions will be fear and trembling. If our religion is based on wonder, our chief emotion will be gratitude.” ~C.G. Jung
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Ghosts and spirits have haunted the Western psyche since its beginning. Jung's writings demonstrate that Greek, Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance literature and theology are rich in examples of the ambivalent roles spirits of the dead have played in human experience. The same theme emerges throughout human history: the living struggle to make peace with the dead. In the words of Robert Romanyshyn, Ph.D. (2002), "the dead who haunt our dreams in search of release are like the ghosts who haunt our symptoms in search of their stories."
Nobody on their deathbed says "I wish I'd spent more time at the office." Take off your masks. Live, the time is now.
MOYERS: But aren’t many visionaries and even leaders and heroes close to the edge of neuroticism?
CAMPBELL: Yes, they are. Tête à Tête
MOYERS: How do you explain that?
CAMPBELL: They’ve moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience. Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you’ve got to work out your life for yourself. Either you can take it or you can’t. You don’t have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience – that is the hero’s deed.
CAMPBELL: The reference of the metaphor in religious traditions is to something transcendent that is not literally any thing. If you think that the metaphor is itself the reference, it would be like going to a restaurant, asking for the menu, seeing beefsteak written there, and starting to eat the menu.... (Click title for more)
"Religious experience is absolute. It is indisputable. You can only say that you have never had such an experience. No matter what the world thinks about religious experience, the one who has it possesses the great treasure of a thing that has provided him with a source of life, meaning and beauty and that has given a new splendor to the world and to mankind." Carl G. Jung
THE RELIGIOUS MAMMAL
Mark Vernon: Jung thought psychology could offer a language for grappling with moral ambiguities in an age of spiritual crisis
In 1959, two years before his death, Jung was interviewed for the BBC television programme Face to Face. The presenter, John Freeman, asked the elderly sage if he now believed in God. "Now?" Jung replied, paused and smiled. "Difficult to answer. I know. I don't need to believe, I know."
What did he mean? Perhaps several things.
He had spent much of the second half of his life exploring what it is to live during a period of spiritual crisis. It is manifest in the widespread search for meaning – a peculiar characteristic of the modern age: our medieval and ancient forebears showed few signs of it, if anything suffering from an excess of meaning. The crisis stems from the cultural convulsion triggered by the decline of religion in Europe. "Are we not plunging continually," Nietzsche has the "madman" ask when he announces ... (click title to continue)
The biblical story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis Chapters 2-3) is foundational to our Western culture and has influenced the upbringing and psychology of all of us, whether we realize it or not. Mythologists as well as many biblical scholars recognize the story as being in the genre of myth, which makes it appropriate to analyze it from the perspective of depth psychology, among other approaches.
Indeed, as Joseph Campbell concluded, “This story yields its meaning only to a psychological interpretation” (2001, p. 50). Further, Carl Jung (CW 9.2, para. 230) had already written that “cosmogonic myths are, at bottom, symbols for the coming of consciousness.” But the literature about the Eden story taking such a psychological approach is scant, largely due to traditional and problematic gaps and tensions between academic disciplines....
Carl Jung speaks of the human soul’s “longing to attain rebirth through a return to the womb, and to become immortal like the sun” (CW5, para. 312). In biblical terms rebirth is associated with entrance into Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the holy city, as image of the holy mother.
Jung says, “the Old Testament treats the cities of Jerusalem, Babylon, etc. just as if they were women” (para 303). While Jerusalem is an image of the holy mother, Babylon is the unholy mother. In Jung’s words: “Babylon is the symbol of the Terrible Mother” (Jung, para 315).
From a Kleinian perspective, the infant splits the mother image into two primitive forms: a ‘bad and persecuting’ form and a ‘loving and gratifying’ form. These two representations are internalized and become part of the psychic world.... (Click title for more)
The wisdom of women consists not only in their individual contributions but also in their association with men in the nurture and well-being of life in all its forms: cosmological, social, economic, familial, and personal. This wisdom flourished throughout the Neolithic period of Western civilization. Now, after surviving in a suppressed condition throughout the patriarchal history of modern Europe and America, the wisdom of women is re-asserting itself in all phases of human activity.
In this paper, I will explore the history of shamanism along with the origins of the word shaman. I will identify varying definitions of what it means to be a shaman and explain some of the different roles that a shaman may carry out. I will identify how some shamans have lost their roles through the development of political/social stratification. I will also examine how it is that one becomes a shaman and have a small dialogue with regard to schizophrenia. To begin, we will delve into some of the history of shamanism along with a derivation of the word ‘shaman.’
History of Shamanism
Shamanism has been part of history for quite some time, but that does not necessarily mean that there is agreement within the academic community as to when shamanism began. According to Walsh (1996), “Paleolithic art from Europe dated to over 17,000 [years] ago and from South Africa dated to 25,000 years ago appear to show shamanic practices” (p. 96). However, the earliest known archaeological record of a shaman excavation was from a burial site in... (Click title for more)
Carl Jung’s ideas and writings about God, religion, Christ, Christianity, and the Christian Church are some of his most challenging, controversial, and fruitful. His approach was to take ancient “thought forms that have become historically fixed, try to melt them down again and pour them into moulds of immediate experience.” (CW:11:par.148) Jung’s own experience of the numinosum (holy) was a lifelong passion and most of his major written works in the last third of his life were devoted to some aspect of religious experience and religious symbols, with particular attention to the symbols of the Christian myth.
In Aion (Collected Works, Vol. 9,ll) Jung addresses Christianity’s central figure, Christ, and unpacks the meaning of Christ as a symbol of the Self. At the request of many of his readers who asked for a more comprehensive treatment of the Christ/Self relationship, and apparently inspired by a dream during a temporary illness, Jung worked on the project for several years...