Man’s consciousness was created to the end that it may (1) recognize its descent from a higher unity; (2) pay due and careful regard to this source; (3) execute its commands intelligently and responsibly; and (4) thereby afford the psyche as a whole the optimum degree of life and development.  (Emphasis added.)

Carl Jung, M.D.

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These words of Jung are a paraphrase of Ignatius Loyola, his thoughts applied to Jung’s understanding of the purpose, function and importance of human psyche (soul) in a person’s full and complete development.

Jung recognized the significance and depth of the human’s psyche by seeing its manifestation in personal behavior and the repetitive and essential elements of cultures at large: myth (or story, narrative), religion, philosophy, art and literature.

He knew the psyche to be the sum of human knowledge and experience gained throughout the ages, the repository of what had been learned from human experience throughout time.  He knew that religion and culture reflected this collected history, this psyche, and that a healthy culture and human had to reflect this repository of truth.

Jung knew, as well, that the individual human person alone had to access these truths in the course of their individual existence in order to secure full development.

To the degree that culture and religion (and its companions: art, literature, philosophy) reflected the immutable truths of the psyche, a person could acquire and retain generation to generation this wholeness, this health and stability. Conversely, to the extent that a culture and religion did not do so – the people and the culture manufactured illness, was out of balance and in extreme cases disintegrated and died.

Writing in the middle of the last century Romano Guardini observes that mass man absorbed in collectivism no longer retained the primacy of individual human experience and no longer “individuated” as Jung had recorded.  We became, in this, less-healthy as individuals and as a culture – dramatically so.

The human being in mass culture lost its the capacity to acquire human fullness and healthy development.

Looking at both Jung and Guardini (among others), one can see how destructive the American Left has been in the last 80 years.

It has operated out of ignorance to reduce or destroy many of society’s critical mediating institutions or practices (religion, marriage, family, individual liberty and responsibility, community, the decentralization of power, etc.) and, in the daily recitation of present-day calamities, we see the product of their handiwork.

What might be done?

Nothing short of a restitution of mediating institutions (religion, marriage, family, etc.) will suffice as fundamental correctives.  To do this public institutions that are wrongly messaged (media and entertainment, politics and ill-conceived political views and voices, the myth of the omnipotent central state and its policies, etc.) and common destructive practices (drug use, single-parent families, failed public education and high rates of secondary school dropouts, etc.) must be altered.

A healthy person and culture must conform to truth.  The psyche is a good baseline for health.  Preserving the place of religion in culture is an essential to good individual health, and a society’s health and longevity as well.

Shalom.

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