For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh, of the eyes, and pride in possessions – is not from the Father but the world.

1 Jn 2:16

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Psychotherapist Carl Jung’s work can speak to us of “the ultimate concern” – life’s meaning, object – the religious nature of existence. He can do so in three distinct stages or steps.

In a time when faith, meaning and purpose are fading from culture and the “everyday,” there are two ways of combating this loss, two ways of fighting for survival and sanity, health and purpose, strength, substance, meaning and community.  One: critique culture and those who pretend to lead.  The second, arm yourself with personal understanding.

Jung helps both for to know how to be is implicitly a deeply cutting and sage education in the abject failure and dehumanization of exclusionary secular culture and its onslaught.

Mind you, Jung is not meant as a substitute for religion and faith, nor for thinking philosophically, metaphysically, or living in the Spirit.  Yet, let it be known that his work followed a religious path in its development for he sought to know what being a healthy human looked like and he recognized that this exercise was a spiritual quest through psychic terrain, and interior journey to wholeness and contentment.

Consistent with the notion of the indwellingness of God in each of us, Jung saw wholeness as an interior journey to self (and, in effect to God and to who God made in you).  Likewise, consistent with the destruction we encounter in post-modern exclusionary secularism, Jung determined in his work that life’s struggle was between fragmentation and wholeness (of the human person, and by implication of culture and community).

Lest one think that Jung’s focus was on the narcissistic nature of ego we see today – it was not.  Rather, Step One concentrated on the actualization of the self as situated in a larger cosmic reality – what is all-consuming and all-encompassing: Ultimate Reality (The Creator God, if you will).

For Dr. Jung – this reality was accessed internally, found internally, its authority was within, known and experienced in the whole self – that divinely created self – in the soul – God within through our creation.

In thinking this way Jung sanctified individual existence, in ways that, frankly, remind me most directly of Jesus the Christ.

So what does this say as a truth that can guide us today, allow us to see and know, act and preserve religion, faith, spiritual existence and experience, health and holiness?

We are to value our self and quest in an interior way, as a means of becoming whole – who God made us to be, and who others, too, are to be – sacred beings. This, of course, requires opposition to exclusionary secularism and its many destructive falsehoods and ways.

All life is individual life, in which alone the ultimate meaning is to be found.

Carl Jung, in Collected Works, Vol. 10, p. 488

God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to us.  The Father loved you in your unique creation precisely in the same manner.  Journey within, and find your place in Creation.

Shalom.

 

 

 

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