Ra’al Ki Victorieux
Was Jung a mystic, a psychologist, a visionary, an enlightened soul? True be said, he created a huge work corpse that aloud us to learn about his thought and relations, and the complexity of his influence. He talks about the social unconscious, the symbols wisdom, archetypes, God, spirit, soul, psychic health, and so on. Ra’al Ki makes a reading of the first three chapters of the book “Jung and the outside world” written by Barry Ulanov. Then, she makes some comments about the reading and invites the audience, if they desire to keep on learning about Jung, to remember the phrase carved in Latin over the door of Jung’s house: Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit, “Invoked or not invoked, the God will be present”.
The first chapter: Jung’s Outside World, talks about the very interesting relations and people influenced by the author, between them: Karl Popper, Otto Rank, Heinz Kohut, Mircea Eliade, James Olney, John Osborne, and many more. Jung is alive in the outside world, a significant figure, a mover and shaker of ideas, in the lives of writers, painters, musicians, theologians, philosophers, scholars of myth and comparative religion, literary theorists, historians, historiographers, etc.
The second chapter: Autobiography. Jung writes in “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”: -“My life is what I have done, my scientific work; the one is inseparable from the other.” The work on the outside reflects the man on the inside, “for commitment to the contents of the unconscious forms the man and produces his transformations.” James Olney in “The Meaning of Autobiography”, finds the “private images” and the “projected career” joined. Olney presents other figures as Yeats, Montaigne, T. S. Eliot, George Fox, Charles Darwin, John Stuart Mill, who are examples of the autobiographical genre; the rigor of the critical examination of oneself, the unquenchable impulse to self-renewal.
I’m going to comment on some quotes from the book.
“Nobody worked harder than Jung to link modern psyche to ancient soul. No one had more respect for metaphors of self.”
I agree and disagree with this statement. There have been lots of spiritual teachers, working in different territories, theosophic society, ascended masters who were humans before, even Shakespeare in his exploration of human drama, lots have worked in our psyche; our mind, our way to think and feel, and the relative health we have it that. If my psyche is healthy enough I live a joyful, happy, and loving life. If my psyche is sick, then I have problems with self-destruction, sabotage, or even suicide. So we need to heal our psyche, but, we’re not that, we’re our higher soul, and that’s a spiritual teaching that has been on earth for millennia. Jung was a professional man of science who was trying to link these two realities of the science of the mind and the psyche and the wisdom of the soul.
Chapter 3, Religion. Jung’s writing’s about religion over the years emboldened some, annoyed others, and perplexed many. Although he did not speak as a believer with an identifiable creed, he clearly took religion seriously and respected it as a fact of pivotal importance.
“I have treated many hundreds of patients, the larger number being Protestants, a smaller number of Jews, and not more than five or six believing Catholics. Among all my patients in the second half of live -that is to say, over thirty five- there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religious of every age have given their followers, and none of them had been really healed who dis not regain his religious outlook.Carl Gustav Jung. Modern Man in Search of a Soul.
“Religion is not concerned to draw a tidy intellectual picture of Reality, for the sufficient reason that religion does not believe that reason comprehends all”.
When you believe in a higher soul and spiritual reality, of course, you don’t believe that the mind can grasp it all. Symbols, dreams, revelations, meditations are tools to be related to that other reality where the mind alone can not reach. The mind is a good slave but a poor master. Science is a virtue, of course, but there’s a roof in the habilities of the mind, there are steps we can only give when we’re empowered by the higher soul. It’s difficult to explain it, cos I’m using my mind and words to explain something that is beyond that. So, even with the plants, flowers, that give us some beauty and joy. Imagine you have never seen a flower in your life, someone is trying to explain to you the beauty, delicacy, softness, of a flower, so they will make a song, a poem, or a painting. It will never be the same as relating yourself with that being; feeling it, being humble, and compromised with it, that you can’t put into words. How can you put your beauty, the beautiful higher self into words? Maybe we’re trapped in the labyrinth of the mind, and there you can’t see the light of your soul. That’s common in people with some psychological or emotional sickness or depression, you lost the contact with the beauty of your higher self. Maybe to witness those artworks who talk about the beauty of it, can help you to heal without words. It reminds me of a story of a monk, he said: “I buy rice to be able to live, and flowers to have something to live for.”
An example of his effective use of Jung is in making a distinction between “a limited certainty” and “certitude which is a more comprehensive truth…” Certitude is provided by what Spinks calls “corroborative probability,” offering a truth very differently established from scientific truth. “It was to this conditions of “certitude” that Jung seemed to have been referring,” he says, “when in a B.B.C. television programe -Face to Face- he was asked by Mr. John Freeman, “Do you believe in God?” To which Jung answered quite simply -“I do not believe, I know”.
The experience of God is beyond knowing.
“In a discussion of the understanding of consciousness in the Upanishads, Eaton quotes Jung: “Consciousness is derived from the Unconscious.”
We’re again in the Complexio Oppositorum, it is said that we were one with all, but to be able to witness itself, we needed to be separated. We needed to be unconscious of our higher soul, separated to start the journey, the way home, the hero journey, to redeem, -if we need redemption-, but being thankful for the separateness, the darkness, and the unconscious, because without that we could not be enlighted, and get to be in a middle way, at the same time recognize in ourselves and in every other being the light and the darkness. Maybe that’s why he talks about the demon: the wild, the natural intelligence, the instinct, the jungle. We have started to get lost in the Minotaur labyrinth that is the mind.
“Speaking of Jung’s provisions for “descend into the darkness,” where we may “meet in strange shapes, all that we have neglected in our one-sided lives,” he acknowledges that Jung “has certainly restated in modern terms a very ancient doctrine and demonstrated the necessity for a reorientation of consciousness if we are to come into possession of our integral humanity.”
We have this beautiful need as humans, no matter how many hours you work in a 3 x 3 cubicle, or how distant you are from nature, you are part of nature, you are united with nature, and you need to acknowledge your humanity united with all. What made you separated? Money, status, race, even aesthetic preferences, some communities like some kind of music, so they feel they are separated from other community who likes another kind of music. Even colors, some people like blue and they feel they are separated from people who like red. Sports; some people like basketball and they feel they are separated from those who like football. Anything can be a pretext, a took, a gun, to separate our selves from others, but if you are willing to understand that we’re all united, and we’re one, is because you have forgiven and embraced all the different parts that make you, the very complex and beautiful you, and you have learned to embrace all those parts of you, you were afraid of. One of the things I love about Jung is that he does not talk about unity in a way as the “law of attraction”, “entrepreneur positive mindset”, who say: “just be happy, smile, think happy thoughts”, but they don’t address the issues that separate us from those “happy thoughts”. If you don’t heal the wound it can become cancer. You need to embrace the wound, and even to be thankful for the teachings that have for you, once you learn to embrace it. Be one with it, and be one whit those who are wounded, or those who have hurt you, cos they are suffering.
“Lebendige Seelsorge, translate for its sense rather than its literal meaning in English as That They May Live.”
This german phrase needs no explanation, it’s a blessing. Please, live.
If you like to learn more about Jung, you can acquire the book. The other chapters are: 4 Eastern Religion. 5 Myth. 6 Literary Theory. 7 The Novel. 8 Poetry. 9 The Other Arts. 10. Philosophy. 11 Complexio Oppositorum. I find this phrase very interesting, it is about finding the middle way in a paradox. Let’s put an example, maybe silly: I’m alive. I’m death. And the middle way could be: The real me, the higher self in me, does not know life, not death, cos is eternal and omnipresent. I see Complexio Oppositorum as an invitation to think in higher realms of truth.