Fonda's Notes on Jung's Answer to Job

Taken from The Portable Jung. Joseph Campbell, ed. R.F.C. Hull translator.
Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1976. pp. 519-650.


(1954 first published)
The central problem of this book is something that has preoccupied Jung for years previous to writing the book - something that had fermented for several years until it was ready to be written. The most immediate reason for this book, says Jung, appears in Aion especially in regard to the problems of Christ as a symbolic figure and of the antagonism Christ-Antichrist, represented in the traditional zodiacal symbol of the two fishes.

In connection to the discussions on the doctrine of redemption, Jung criticizes the notion of private and primary good. Psychologically, he claims, whenever there is what we call the good it is balanced by the presence of the bad or evil. In this we find Jung's doctrine of psychological compensation.

Other issues Jung mentions in this note is that early Christianity was monotheistic--it united opposites in one god. Later Christianity, he notes, became dualistic, "inasmuch as it splits off one half of the opposites, personified in Satan...." This is the crucial question over the doctrine of redemption. It is important as if Christianity claims that it is a monotheism, it is unavoidable to assume that the opposites are contained in god. But there is the problem of Job. And it is the task of this book to point out the evolution of this problem through the centuries.

In this survey, Jung places emphasis on the means by which god was symbolized. He wonders how such symbols should be understood. It is here that a complex paradox appear when one encounters the story of Job: Job expected help from God against God. This fact presupposes, in Jung's opinion, a similar conception of the opposites in God.


Jung begins by pointing out the differences between what is considered to be a physical fact and religious belief. He notes that most of the problem rests upon the requirement for material existence of such facts. If, he suggests, we replace the notion of a physical fact with that of a psychic truth then we have a more amiable situation. Psychic facts are what could be called facts based upon faith and religious statements are of this order--i.e., they refer without exception to things which cannot be established as physical facts--otherwise they would fall in the domain of natural sciences. Thus the emphasis is not placed on the physical actuality of a thing but upon its meaning value.

The fact that religious statements often conflict with observed physical phenomena proves that, in contrast to physical perception, the psyche is autonomous and that psychic experience is to a certain extent independent of physical data. Thus he writes: "The psyche is an autonomous factor, and religious statements are psychic confessions which in the last resort are based on unconscious, i.e., on transcendental, processes." These are not visible to the physical senses but still influence human consciousness. Thus whenever we speak of religious contents we move into a world of image, metaphor, and imagination. Thus ideas of god and the like manipulate human images and ideas which are dependent upon the human imagination and its temporal and spatial locations and cannot helped being manipulated and altered several times over the course of human history. To Jung all of these images relate to a few basic principles or archetypes. And archetypes are unknowable--we can only know their manifestations in culture.

So when we move into this realm of the metaphysical, we must keep in mind that we are entering the world of images and imagination and that none of our reflection will actually touch upon, as Jung calls it, "the essence of the Unknowable." Still he reminds us that we must also remember that the archetypes exist on an emotional foundation which is unassailable by reason (shades of James), i.e., we are dealing with psychic facts which logic can overlook but not eliminate. We are considering statements of the soul which are as natural as they are common, as common as they are religious and so on.

Statements of the soul can be anything, conscious or unconscious, that relate the individual to the world in a meaningful way as well as pointing the individual beyond the here and now--the telic function. Statements of the soul are spontaneous phenomena which are not subject to our will, and, by this, we are justified is ascribing to them a certain degree of autonomy. Thus they can be described as both objective and subjective phenomena. To objectify them, however, is to loose sight of their autonomy; while to consider them from the opposite view is to admit that they have a kind of free will and consciousness.

In this we find two means of dealing with soul statements and, indeed, all phenomena. We can consider them as being outside of the self or inside of the self. We can consider what kind of affect we have upon it and what kind of affect it has upon us. This, Jung claims, brings about an unavoidable dualism which may create a certain degree of confusion. (literalism vs. metaphors)

In the following we will be dealing with certain religious traditions and ideas. Since we will be dealing with what is call the numinous (sacred...), our emotions will be challenged as much as will our intellects. Hence, Just as Jung cannot write in an objective manner, so can we not read the material objectively. Rather, he insists, we must allow our emotional subjectivity to speak if we want to understand what it is that we feel when we look at the material. Jung goes on to note that he is not writing as a biblical scholar, but as a layman and a doctor who has had the opportunity to look into the psychic live of many individuals. Thus what is expressed in this text is primarily Jung's own personal viewpoint, but he says that he speaks in the name of many people who have had similar experiences.


The book of Job is a landmark of a long historical development of a divine drama. At the time it was written there was already many testimonies of the contradictory nature of Yhwh--a picture of a god who knew no moderation in his emotions and suffered for this, i.e., that god was jealous, wrathful, etc. To Jung such a psychic condition is possible only where there is no conscious reflection at all or it is very feeble. This is a condition that Jung calls amoral.

The concern is not about how the people of the Old Testament felt about their god, rather it is the way in which modern Christianity comes to terms of the divine blackness that is represented by the Book of Job. Jung again notes that his thesis is a subjective reaction to the material and not a objective exegesis which ever tries to be fair. Through this, he says, he hope to act as a voice for many who may feel as he does and thus give expression to the emotions that arise as a result of the spectral of divine savagery and ruthlessness. Such representation of God's behaviour, Jung notes, does not result with human sympathy but with resentment which Jung compares to the healing of a wound. Just as there is a connection between wound and weapon, so is there, he notes, a connection between the affect and the violence that caused it.

Hence the Book of Job provides a paradigm for a certain experience of God which has significance today.


Jung begins the book with a statement that Job makes to Yhwh: This statement indicates the terror that Job feels in the face of his god. It is a statement that reflects his knowledge that he is confronted with a supernatural being who is very easy to provoke. He also withholds all moral statements as to his situation and how such a god should act.

Job praises Yhwh's justice in an attempt to allow him to protest that he is innocent. Yet his doubts cause him to wonder how a man could be just before God? This is a being who is all knowable. Yet Job knows he is not guilty and still he suffers punishment of the guilt as met out by God. Job, nonetheless, is unshaken in his faith of God's justice--he believes that he will be vindicated. From this, Jung points out, it is apparent that Job, in spite of his doubt whether human can be just in front of god, still finds it difficult to give up the idea that God can be met on the basis of justice and morality. That is because he cannot give up the notion of divine justice, he cannot recognize that divine arbitrariness breaks the law. Thus Job clearly sees that God is at odds with himself--he is both persecutor and helper in one. Yhwh is not split but in antinomy--a totality of inner opposites--thus Yhwh also acts as an advocate against himself when Job puts forth his complaint.

This paradoxical situation in terms of god is something that has been there since time immemorial. His moods and attacks have been known since the creation; he has also been known to be the defender of morality. It is because of this we can say that god has a distinct personality. It is a personality that demanded a personal relation between God and humans. In fact, Jung notes that God needed humans as much as humans needed him--both as a species and individually.

In light of this close personal relationship, it is only expected that there be a covenant between god and his chosen, which extended to certain individuals--e.g., David. (Quote from the 89th Psalm 532f) In this covenant God claimed that he will not break his word, yet we know he did so--and several times. To modern, Christian individuals, Jung notes, this lackluster performance would be devastating as we expect that god is superior to us. Still we cannot judge an archaic god by modern ethics as the people of ancient times saw things differently. Their ways of life were such that such an inconsistent god was not unduly perturbing. In such a way of life it is difficult to imagine the human complaining about god's inconsistencies in keeping his agreements because the human was well aware of what would happen to him if he had broken his oath. Because anything else would put him in risk of his life, Jung notes, the human must recourse to reason. "In this way," Jung writes, "without knowing it or wanting it, he shows himself superior to his divine partner both intellectually and morally." God fails to notice that he is being humoured, just as little as he understands why he is continually praised as just. He demands praise and praise is necessary to keep him happy.

Jung pauses to make a summary psychological statement about the character of god (534). God is such an individual who believes that he exists only through his relation to an object. Jung claims that such dependence is absolute when the subject lacks self-reflection and thus no insight into himself. If god was truly conscious, and act as we might expect a human to, then he would put an end to the imbalance of justice--he would act morally. "But," Jung suggests, "he is too unconscious to be moral." Jung means that just as god is justice he is also its opposite (compensation) and it is in this way that he was conceived of being unified. But from our perspective his contradictory qualities tend to fall apart. E.g., god regrets having created humans, yet his omniscience must have told him all along what would happen.


Since God's omniscience looks into all hearts the individual of Job's time could not be too conscious of his moral superiority over god. And since something only exists if there is a consciousness that apprehends it, god needs humanity to be conscious, even as he unconsciously would take it away from us. In such a tension-filled situation it is understandable that there are violent outbursts of temper. The result is that god unconsciously wants to become conscious.

Jung follows in the next paragraph by noting that at the time of the writing of Job, the Jewish people had forgotten the influences of the gods and goddesses previous to Yhwh. It is through the condensation of the varying aspects of these antecedent divinities into the personality of Yhwh that all the contradictory personality characteristics entered the picture.

Jung goes on to note that the special tie that had developed by Yhwh's choice of the Jews as his special people placed a great burden upon them. He thinks that it is understandable that the Jews would attempt to get out from the obligations they had to god. But god felt it vitally important to maintain the relation to his indispensable object. So god proposed a contract to Noah and his descendants--one that promised advantages to both parties.

Still the contract fell to pieces with David--an event which left a large literary deposits in the scriptures. Jung felt that the later readers could not have helped but notice the fatal breach of the contract (the flood) and this must surely have influenced the author of the book of Job.

This book relates the story of a pious and faithful man who suffered at the hands of god who, in turn, had let one of his sons (Satan) install a doubt in his mind. Yhwh's suspiciousness was touched off by the mere though of a doubt and this was enough to infuriate him and induce the same double-faced behaviour that he showed in the Garden of Eden when he pointed out the tree of knowledge and forbade his children to eat of it. In this way he contributed to the fall, which he apparently never intended. In Job's case, we seen that, although Yhwh is confident of Job's faithfulness (something he could have assured himself by merely consulting his omniscience), he makes the wager with Satan to the damnation of Job.

Jung questions that from a point of view of human behaviour, Yhwh's actions are so revolting that there must be some kind of unconscious motivation behind it. What is it that God the almighty has against Job the puny? Well, Jung believes it must be based upon an unconscious recognition on God's part of Job's moral and conscious superiority, and by this he is reminded of his impotence. Hence we have behaviour that is motivated by jealousy or, more properly, an envy. Thus we have a reason why Yhwh was so willing to listen to Satan's insinuations.

Immediately afterwards Job is robbed of his family, possessions, peace of mind and health. Still, it is important to note that Job the events in Job occur in quick succession and it is further complicated by the fact that Yhwh shows absolutely not compunction, remorse or compassion--only a brutal ruthlessness. Any plea that God acted unconsciously is invalidated in that he flagrantly disregards three of the commandments that he himself outlined--murder, thievery, and false witness. Why there should be a sudden end to the suffering is unclear, but Jung wants us to look to the background of the events. It is possible, he thinks, that something may come up out of the background which compensates Job for his undeserved suffering. This is something to which Yhwh, Jung says, could hardly remain indifferent.--even if he is merely unconscious of it. What happens is contrary to Yhwh's intentions: the guiltless Job "has secretly been lifted up to a superior knowledge of God which God himself did not possess."

Job realizes God's inner antinomy (contradiction between two apparently recognizable laws), and in light of this discovery attains a divine numinosity--i.e., starts to become divine himself. Job by demanding that his case be heard set himself up as an obstacle which forced God to reveal his true nature. By issuing this demand, with no hope of even a hearing, Job was relieved of god's punishment. Yhwh never gives Job any explanation or does he ever punish his son for forcing the situation which lead to Job's revelation of God's limitation. Instead he further projects his fears and limitations onto Job by stating: "who is this that darkens the counsel by word without insight?"
This statement, in light of the above, makes us ask who is darkening what counsel. The only dark thing is God's bet with Satan. It is not Job who has darkened anything and least of all a counsel. From this point of view Yhwh's attitude appears to be more illogical and incomprehensible. The only thing that Job can be blamed for is his eternal optimism in believing that he can appeal to divine justice. In this he is wrong: god does not want to be just, he "merely flaunts might over right." Job cannot see this because he thinks that God is a moral being.

Jung thus finds the answer to God's demand: it is Yhwh himself that darken his own counsel and who has no insight. He blames Job for what he does himself. Man is not to have any opinion and certainly no insight that Yhwh himself lacks. Jung notes that Yhwh takes the next 71 verses to proclaim his world creating powers, etc. while his victim has absolutely no need to be impressed by god's abilities. God, with his omniscience could easily have seen that Job has maintained his faith and thus how incongruous his efforts are. Jung next makes a statement which is the crux of the rest of the book

Altogether, he [Yhwh] pays no attention to Job's real situation that one suspects him of having an ulterior motive which is more important to his: Job is no more that the outward occasion for an inward process of dialectic in God.

This is the dialectic that help to raise God's consciousness. It is not remorse for his deeds, it not through the realization of the incongruity of his actions, rather it is through the obscure intimation of something that questions his omnipotence--that Yhwh let himself be bamboozled or manipulated by Satan (this is not a fully conscious realization Jung says).

During this verbal assault, Job comes to the realization that everything is being spoken of except his rights, yet he ultimately submits himself to God's will. Jung feel that the most exacting tyrant should have been happy with this, but Yhwh does not notice this submission. God behaves as if he has elevated Job to the position of a powerful opponent, one who is better worth challenging. Yhwh projects onto Job a skeptics face which is hateful to him because it is his own (Shadow). In this situation, humanity, stripped of all protection and whose nothingness is thrust into his face at every opportunity, evidently is considered to be so dangerous that Yhwh must use his heaviest bombs to keep them down. Job is thus challenged as if he were a god himself. But in the metaphysics of the age of Job there is no other God except Satan who can influence or affect God. As a worthy opponent Satan is indeed a threat, but because of his close relation (son) to god his complicity must remain hidden--even to god himself (denial). In Satan's stead god's miserable servant must suffer the consequences as the thing that god must fight in order to remain unconscious.

Jung cautions us that the staging of this imaginary duel, the impressive performance are not sufficient to understand just what is going on (it is reductionistic). There is another factor which appears, one not hidden from omniscience: this new factor is something that has never appeared in the world before--i.e., without knowing or wanting it, a man is elevated by his moral behaviour above the heavens from which he gains a position of advantage over god and behold him.

Jung questions whether Job was able to understand what he has seen. It is through this position that Job comes to realize that a covenant with God is not as he expected. Because God is not human, and sometimes something less than human, there is no confluent basis for legal contracts. Yhwh's unconsciousness becomes apparent (and is found in animal symbolism of which only one of the four animal countenance has a human face). It is this animal aspect (unconsciousness) which humanity comes to abhor as the behaviour of an unconscious being cannot be judged morally (even today in our legal system this thought is found).

Eventually Yhwh calmed down (as a result of Jobs continual submissive behaviour) still he is nervous of Job's friends--they too has shown consciousness. We may wonder what this has to do with the impending realization that would have occurred if it were not for God's forgetting to consult his omniscience.

Jung then takes up the question as to the moral wrong that Job suffered. First, it may be that humanity is so lowly that anything God does to it cannot be immoral? But this would contradict God's need of worshippers. What we see represented is a classic case of ambivalence--god tramples on humanity whenever he sees fit (the expression of hatred) and yet is absolutely dependent upon these same creatures statements of love (the expression of love). In this situation we see that there is indeed a relationship between humanity and divinity, but this is not a relationship of trust as we modern people understand it. It is more likely a relationship of trust that is indicative of an absolute monarch and his or her subjects. The monarch is above the law while the subjects are subjected to the same laws. By claiming that he is an amoral being, god places himself on par, as it were, with the natural forces of nature.

For Job this could be morally satisfying to hear, because in this declaration man is set up as a judge over god. We are not sure whether Job is aware of this, but we do know from the commentaries on Job that there is a belief that some kind of fate rules over Yhwh, causing him to blatantly give himself away. By humiliating Job, god raises him up and pronounces judgment upon himself.

Jung concludes this chapter of his book by noting that the author of Job ended the book just after Job's last prostrations at the feet of the demiurge. This, Jung claims, leaves the reader with only one impression. Yet an unusual metaphysical scandal, as Jung puts it, remains to be worked out. There are devastating consequences to this scandal and nobody had the saving formal that would rescue the monotheistic conception of god from disaster. In this scandal Yhwh's true nature has been revealed, and somebody or something has noted this fact. It matters not, Jung notes, whether this realization is available to the consciousness or remains unconscious--either way it will emerge to cause a far reaching transformation of the conception of a monotheistic god.


Before going ahead with the argument as we left off at the end of the last section, Jung proposes that we turn back to the time when the Book of Job was written.

Dating is uncertain: generally assumed to have been written between 6th-3rd centuries B.C. It is from the Greek scriptures, however, we find an idea which may have come from Jewish thought (job earlier) or from Asia Minor via Alexandria (Later date). This idea is that of Sophia who is said to be a co-eternal and more or less hypostaticized (assumed to be real) spirit of a feminine nature who existed before creation. (Read p. 551)

Sophia, shares characteristics with several aspects of divinity: 1) Johannian logos, 2) the Hebrew Chochma. Another source is the Wisdom of Jesus the Ecclesiasticus (200 B.C.). Here sophia says of herself:.

Sophia describes herself as Logos--the word of god. As Rauch, the spirit of god she rests on a throne and abides over earth. As the cosmogenic pneuma she pervades over the heavens and earth and all creatures and is the logos of John. Jung goes on to enumerate further characteristics of Sophia, of which the most important is the connection she has with Ishtar, trees and the attribute of wisdom. Her association to trees is listed to some extent on page 553. Further along Jung makes several other associations with Sophia and Wisdom, spirit, creatrix, etc.

It is the notion of wisdom, Jung points out, that touches on the sore sport. Jung says in order to understand the significance of this we must discover the relationship between the Book of Job and the change that occurs in the statue of God about the same time. That is, its relation to the appearance of Sophia. First of all, Jung points out, that Yhwh's treatment of Job is a projection of his own inadequacies--i.e., it is the projection of his own tendencies to unfaithfulness onto a scapegoat. Thus there is reason to assume that God is about to loosen his matrimonial ties to Israel but hides this intention from himself--keeps this information repressed and unconscious.

At the same time as this is happening, it is rumoured, Yhwh remembers a feminine being who is no less agreeable to him than man. This feminine being is said to be a friend and playmate from the beginning of the world, the first born of all of God's creatures (reversal in attempt to maintain God's supremacy). Jung notes that there must be some kind of dire necessity to this remembrance--the "just" God can no longer go on as he has been committing injustices by his whim, and the omniscient can no longer act like an unconscious human being. Thus Jung writes:

Self-reflection becomes an imperative necessity, and for this wisdom is needed. Yahweh has to remember his absolute knowledge; for, if Job gains knowledge of God, then God must also learn to know for himself....The failed attempt to corrupt Job has changed Yahweh's nature.

Jung then goes on to reconstruct what happened after this change. He begins with Genesis before the fall. We are all familiar with the reversal of natural activities hen Adam, with the help of God, creates Eve in a way similar to the creation of Adam in that there is divinity stamped upon the material--which leads to the succession of Adam's descendants to become the chosen of Israel. Immediately following this Jung looks at Cain and compares him to a miniature of Satan--murderous and a liar--who is condemned to suffer for his sins of progressiveness, on the one hand, and for his moral inferiority, on the other hand.

If Adam is a copy of God, then Cain, Adam's son, is certainly a copy of Satan, God's son. It is in this, and in the creation of Monday--the separation of the heavens and earth (God did not call Monday Good according to Jung)--that an unavoidable dualism was created. This is a dualism that refused to comply to fit smoothly into the concept of monotheism, because it points to a metaphysical disunity. This is a split that has to be patched up, denied and concealed for centuries. It made itself felt from the very beginning in paradise. Instead of leaving humanity as the most intelligent and thus the lord of the world, God allowed the creation of the snake, who proved to be much more intelligent and conscious than man (the Goddess) as well as being created before him. Jung speculates that it was not God who did this, but more likely is the result of Satan in his guise as a trickster. Jung also notes that another legend attributes the snake to Lilith, who is said to be the first woman created but was a cast out of paradise because she did not bend to the wills of God and Adam. Lilith, Jung notes, is paralleled to Sophia--as the first playmate of man she is a representation of the first playmate of God.

The whole point of this excursion in to biblical mythology is bring to our awareness that both the fall and the situation between Cain and Able are not shining examples of God's successes. "One must draw this conclusion," Jung writes, "because Yahweh himself did not appear informed in advance of the above mentioned incidents. Here as later there is reason to suspect that no conclusions were ever drawn from Omniscience: Yahweh did not consult his total knowledge and was accordingly surprised by the result." This is a phenomena that we find in humans as well--wherever humans cannot deny themselves the pleasure of their emotions.

From this point of view, Jung think we are in a better position to understand what happened to Job. It is through the division of the cosmos into two distinct parts and their being covered with the mantel of patriarchal control, Satan beings to set thing awry and this gives rise to complications of the creator's plans. While unconscious creatures function well on their own--animals, for instance--things are constantly going wrong with man.

Following a particularly evolutionary model, Jung notes that at first humans are merely a little more conscious than animals. But Satan takes and interest and as a result of his experiments and evolves into a fuller consciousness and into technology. The result is that God notices what has been going on and is forced to involve himself in his own creation. Thus divine interventions become a compelling necessity, but they only meet with temporary success-- creation remained as tainted as before.

The astonishing thing is that Yahweh finds the blame in Humanity and not in his trickster son. This placed Humanity in a situation, Jung claims, that forced the broadening of consciousness and the attempt to acquire some degree of wisdom. Yet, Jung continues, it is clear that Yhwh has lost sight of his original co-existence with Sophia and her place has been taken over by the covenants with his chosen, who were thus forced into a feminine role. Something which reflects the secondary role of women in the Hebrew culture--women were considered to be those that brought on the fall and Eve is blamed for the deeds of the serpent. Thus, Jung points out, Perfection becomes to be seem as something which belongs to the masculine sphere, while completeness is something that belongs to the feminine. At this point, Jung betrays his own misogyny with an pejorative statement about women:

And it is a fact [sic] that, even today a man can stand a relative state of perfection much better and for a longer period of time than a woman, while as a rule it does not even agree with women and may even be dangerous to them.

For all the androcentrism that this statement exposes, it is necessary to understand Jung's argument, and indeed his psychology, to concede the notion of complementaries - i.e., that one thing is compensated by another which is related but not the same. I do not mean that we must accept his view, I merely want to point out that it is necessary to concede this point in order to continue with the argument.

Thus Jung finds it necessary to consider that completeness is not sufficient without perfection and vice versa. Thus at the bottom of Yhwh's marriage to Israel is an attempt to reach perfection. But this attempt to perfection is with out "Eros-of relationship to values. But God has no Eros, he has no relationship to humanity but only a purpose that humanity must help him fulfill. Still this does not prevent him from being jealous and mistrustful like any other husband.

Hence the faithfulness of his people becomes more important to him the more he forgets wisdom. And humanity also slips again and again and this does little to appease Yhwh's jealousy and suspicions, hence Satan's insinuations meet a receptive ear when he speaks about his doubts of Job's faithfulness. Here, as Jung puts it, Yhwh forgets Sophia's wisdom and love for humanity more than ever. "Even Job," he writes, "longs for the Wisdom which is nowhere to be found."

Job's plight is the climax of this forgetfulness on Yhwh's part. He thus epitomizes a thought that has been maturing in humanity at about that time--a dangerous thought Jung says as it makes demands upon God and humanity both. That is, humanity needs wisdom and it is with Job that there is a radical change taking place. Job stands up to God for his rights until he is browbeaten and compelled to give way to the might of God. Yet in this moment, Job sees god's face and the unconscious split in his nature. Thus it is in these last few centuries before Christ that humanity compensated for Yhwh's attitude and neglect of wisdom through sophia. AS Jung writes:

Taking a highly personified form that is clear proof of her autonomy, Wisdom reveals herself to men [sic] as a friendly helper and advocate against Yahweh, and shows them the bright side, the kind, just, and amiable aspect of their God.

From this Jung concludes that a momentous change is imminent:

God desires to regenerate himself in the mystery of the heavenly nuptials...and to become man.
And the reason for this is found in the encounter with Job--interactive relationship?


This time the change that is to occur is not to be found in the world; rather it is God who intends to change his own nature. Thus humanity is not to be destroyed but saved. In this decision we can see the influence of Sophia and it demands that no new humans are to be created but a God-man. This second Adam, as Jung calls him, is not to be created by the hand of god but from Human Woman. this time the priority falls on the second eve in both a temporal and material sense. Her independence from the male is shown in emphasized by her virginity; she is distinguished from all others by her immaculate conception--thus freeing her of original sin. Thus it is evident, says Jung, that she belongs to the time before the fall and this posits a new beginning. As the bride of god she is also an incarnation of her prototype--Sophia. Jung speculates that these characteristics which separate Mary from the rest of humanity function also to remove her from the influence of Satan. This, thinks Jung, is preeminent evidence that in this task God consulted his omniscience (can we really say "consulted"--it sound like an unattached thing that one goes to for information--like a dictionary or encyclopedia). In this way, Jung notes, Mary is elevated to the status of Goddess--at least in a psychological sense for it was not until the 1840's that she was finally assumed into heaven.


Jung continues to speculate along the lines of the parallels between Cain, Able Adam and God. He makes the statement that Able is the pre-figuration of the "God-Man." That is, as an imperfect prototype of God's son who is about to be begotten by Mary. This new son will be, on the one hand, mortal and capable of suffering and, on the other hand, unlike Adam in that he will not be a mere copy of God. Jung goes on to point out the archetypal persuasiveness of this myththeme and suggests that what is happening not only happened at one moment in time but also continues to happen where ever there are people interacting.

If God is everything, and indeed everything is a part of God as he breathed life into creation and thus installed a part of himself into everything, We must ask the question "Why the Incarnation?" If God is in everything and if he must enter into creation a second time, there must be something wrong to warrant such activities. Since creation has been corrupted by the influence of Satan we might think that God would merely have to call his wayward son into account and thus rid the world of the root of evil. Thus he would not need to go through the incarnation and all the unforeseeable details that followed it.

We should make it clear what is meant when we say that God has made himself into man. This is an universe shattering transformation: "It means more or less what Creation meant in the beginning, namely an objectification of God." God is no longer satisfied by being in nature; he becomes more specific and becomes man. God become a man, says Jung, is simply God become concrete. And this is representative of another stage in the process through which God becomes conscious.


Thus the real reason for the incarnation as an historical event is found in the history of God. First, as we know Yhwh has a disinclination to take his omniscience into account as a counterbalance to his omnipotence. This is seen in his relation to Satan: it appears that he is completely uninformed about his son's activities. Jung speculates that God is perhaps so entranced by his creation that he forgets entirely about his omniscience. It is only the farsighted preparations for the coming of Christ that shows us that omniscience has a noticeable effect on Yhwh's actions. After the story of Job we have no more notices of new covenants but rather a period of proverbs and the like. To Jung this is representative of when there is the fermentation of unconscious ideas which are beginning to irrupt into consciousness. In all of this, he says, we can see the discerning hand of Sophia. In fact if we consider all of his actions previous to the reemergence of Sophia, we can come to one conclusion: that previous to this time all of God actions are accompanied by an inferior consciousness. His consciousness does not seem to be more than a primitive consciousness--he seems to act blindly, without conscious inclusion of the subject. Thus his thinking seems to be of a unconscious type--i.e., not including rational reflection but the type of thinking which is characteristic of dreams, intuitions and so on.

It is obvious that Yhwh did not become conscious of the amorality of his treatments of Job; yet his omniscience still brought him to some kind of a conscious understanding as a result of the relations with Job. Thus it is Job who helps God along the way to consciousness, but we must also recognize that Satan had a hand in this also- -if it were not for his prompting God would never began the whole exercise.

The victory of the oppressed is obvious: Job stand above his creator and is morally higher than is God. This points to some kind of internalized yet unconscious knowledge that God has and this is what requires God to begin to reflect upon himself--here Sophia steps into the picture. It is through Sophia that God decides to become man. In doing so he raises himself above his earlier more primitive level of consciousness by indirectly acknowledging that Job is morally superior to him and this requires that God has some catching up to do. Yhwh must become a human precisely because he did humanity a wrong. As the guardian of justice he recognizes that he must restore justice to humanity and because his creature has surpassed him he must regenerate himself.

Jung speculates that the figure of God's incarnation is something in between Adam and Able. Adam in that he is a creation of the father, Able in that he is not directly created by God. But there is one disadvantage in choosing able as part of the model--he meat with an early death through violence. This motif of the young dying god is something that is characteristic of many religious traditions--Dionysus, Horus and Set, Dumuziel and Innana. To sum up: The immediate cause of the incarnation lies in Job's elevation, and the purpose is the differentiation of Yhwh's consciousness.


We must note that the notion of a saviour of humanity is something that has precedence in mythological lore and in particular in Judaic thought. Hence the birth of Christ is prefigured with all sorts of signs which are usually attendant upon the birth of a hero. These signs include: the annunciation, the diving generation of a virgin, the correspondence of the birth at the conjunction of the stars into the age of Pisces--starting a new era, the recognition of the birth of a king, the persecution of the new-born, his flight and concealment and his lowly status at birth.

Jung points out that it is unfair to consider the life of Christ as either human or dive separate from the other. These aspects of Jesus' life are so intertwined that any attempt to do so does violence to the other aspect which is essential to his being either human or divine. Still we can make some observations as to Christ's character: he stands out particularly in his love for humanity--a feature already implies in the relationship of Mary to Sophia and especially in the genesis of the "holy Ghost" whose feminine nature is personified by Sophia--symbolized by the Dove (Jung sees the dove the symbol of the Goddess of Love but there is a more ancient association with death.) Furthermore, the love goddess is often the mother of the dying god.

At any rate Jung once more points out the close proximity of myth and reality and notes that Christ's life is archetypal in that the impossibilities that appear in his life are characteristic of juxtaposition of the divine and the human in one form. Thus Yhwh's intention to become a man, which resulted from his collision with Job, is fulfilled in Christ's life and suffering.


What Happens to Satan in these proceedings? Jung points out that Christ witnessed Satan fall from the heavens like lightening. In such a vision a metaphysical event takes on an element of temporality and as far as we can tell it also marks the final separation of Yhwh and his dark son. Thus the punishment of Satan which we missed in the story of Job is witnessed by Jesus. Furthermore we cannot say that Satan has a hand in Christ's death because Yhwh had already chosen his form in the Dying God as reparation for the injustices performed against Job--and the breaking of the covenant. Also, God by choosing to become a Human elevates the status of his creation. As a result of the neutralization of Satan, God identifies with his Good, light aspect; yet he has not lost his wrath--he only employs it with justice. Thus cases like Job are apparently no longer to be expected.


It is through Christ's sacrifice for humanity that the new relationship between God and Humanity is formed. Christ is the first born of a new race, so to speak. Jung suggests that it is through participation in the sacrament of communion, for example, every believer shares in the blood kinship between Christ and his father. This represents a profound change in the status of humans and is a direct result of Christ's work of redemption. It is Christ's death which cleanses humans from the consequences of sin and reconciles humanity with god and delivers us from his divine wrath and eternal damnation. Yet because he gave humanity a modicum of consciousness and free will, Humans are susceptible to falling into error--something which Yhwh seems to forget. How can humanity, far removed from its instincts and hence their state of being in nature, be expected to not make mistakes, let alone avoid the influence of Satan who had been cast down to earth by God's own hands. Just a God cannot contain himself while under the influence of Satan , how can he expect humanity to fare any better?


Jung in this section points out two important factors which result in the incarnation. First is that humanity is permitted to see, understand and partake in god's contrary nature and the deliverance of god from his unconsciousness. It is not the belief that god sent Christ to redeem humanity, as some would have it, but the fact that this all occurs in god's attempt to make reparation for his mistreatment of humanity. This second view is one which Jung feels is more functional. Hence what happens is that humanity is delivered from a fear of God rather than from their sins.


Jung begins this section by noting the fact that to a reflective consciousness the fear of God is no less extant. From this Jung asks the question whether Christ can still be interpreted in our day and age, or should we be satisfied with the historical interpretation. Still he notes there is one thing which cannot be denied: Christ is a highly numinous figure. And the interpretation of him as god and as the son of god fits into this observation. The old view is one that sees the existence, suffering and death as the means of saving humanity from the wrath of God. What this means, as Jung has pointed out, all god is doing is saving humanity from himself. This allows an understanding the wisdom should come out of one's fear of God and that the notion of God as goodness, unjust and so on should be recognized as a genuine experience. Thus both love of God and fear of God are justified.

But, as Jung points out, a more differentiated consciousness must find it difficult to love, as a kind figure, a God, whom on account of his unpredictable wrath, injustice and cruelty, it has every reason to fear. Thus the dealings with Job, on the one hand, elevated humanity and, on the other hand, disturbed god the unconscious. This sets in motion a flow from the unconscious to the conscious, and unconscious breaks through in the form of dreams, visions and revelations, e.g., the visions of Ezekiel. Jung points out that such dreams are archetypal and are not to be taken as if they were pathological. "They are a symptom," Jung writes, "of the split which already existed between conscious and unconscious." In their representations of the quaternity, Jung finds the essential content to be the expression of an unconscious content--namely the idea of a higher human by whom Yhwh was morally defeated and who he was later to become.

It is in Ezekiel's visions that there is the hint that Yhwh was drawing closer to humanity. This is something that Job experienced but probably did not understand consciously. This disturbance of the unconsciousness is said to have lasted several centuries. Jung points out several examples of these disturbances. For instance in 165 B.C. Daniel had a vision in which the "son of Man" was given the task of rejuvenating the father. Again in the book of Enoch there is an account of the advance of the sons of Gods into the world of the human--the fall of the angles who fell in love with the daughters of man and had children with them. Between the angles and the humans we born of race of Giants and this was accompanied by the angles bringing the arts and sciences to humanity. These are extraordinary elements in the evolution of humanity's consciousness.

The invasion of the human world by the sons of God had serious consequences which makes God's caution before entering into the world of humanity all the more understandable. The Giants begin to slaughter humanity and it is only through the protestations of four archangels that God sees the crisis. This results in the flood and the developing of a new covenant with Noah and his descendants.

In contrast the preparations for his incarnation suggests that God learned something from his previous behaviours--undoubtedly his recollection of Sophia aided his increase in consciousness. Jung points out that the notion of the quaternity finds is first best expression in the book of Enoch--the underworld, for instance, is divided into four parts, three of which are dark places and the fourth is a bright place for the righteous.

To Jung such statements brings us into the psychological realm--i.e., mandala symbolism--which finds expression in a variety of different sources. What this image relates is an understanding of the essential differentiation of the God-image--the four faces of God. This quaternity is said to have a particular spiritual nature and thus is expressed by angles with wings; the splitting of the quaternity into a higher and a lower one (the righteous and the place for Satan) is also an expression of a metaphysical spilt which has already occurred. The father wants to become the son, the god wants to become the human, the unconscious wants to become conscious. That Ezekiel's unconscious was excited by this event is shown through his visions. To call Ezekiel the son of man, to Jung, is suggestive of the possibility that both Ezekiel and Enoch are not only the recipients of divine revelation but is at the same time a participant in the divine drama, as if he were at least one of the son's of God himself. He is in a sense baptized in the divine quaternity.

Jung believes that Enoch appears so caught up in the divine drama, that we might suppose that he had some kind of special understanding of the coming Incarnation. This is evident by the fact that revelation includes Ezekiel and Enoch in the divine drama and in fact Enoch is wafted up into the heavens and takes a seat there. It is in this that the notion that the son of man is righteous is emphasized again and again. It is interesting to note that this is emphasized so much. It is only where an injustice has been committed that the notion of righteousness makes any sense, says Jung. Only god can dispense justice and precisely in respect to him is there the possibility that he may forget his justice. In this case the righteous son would intercede on humanity's behalf. To Jung this stresses the fact the previous to this injustice was paramount and that only in the son is the era of law and order established. Thus we find this to be Enoch's unconscious answer to Job--that both god an humanity wants to escape from god's wrath and blind injustice.


Here Jung takes up the story of Jesus. He begins by noting that Jesus was at first a Jewish reformer and a prophet of an exclusively good god. By preserving humanity from a loss of communion with God and from getting lost in mere consciousness and rationality, Jesus, Jung thinks, shows himself to be a saviour. Thus he keeps us from the dissociation of consciousness and unconsciousness which would be the down fall of us all. Thus Jesus, it is sad, translated the existing tradition into his own personal reality. He announces that both he and his father loves humanity and that Jesus himself was sent to earth as a ransom to pay the debt God incurred by breaking the covenant. But it is odd that a god who is love itself would demand such a sacrifice as the death of his own son in order to show his good will. This suggests that the god of love is so unforgiving that he can only be appeased by human sacrifice. This is incongruity which modern people can no longer swallow, for we must be blind not the see the amorality of it all.

Thus Christ proves to be a mediator in two ways: he helps humanity against god and soothes the fear that we feel towards the being of god. Thus he is the mediator between the polar opposites of human and divine, which are so difficult to unite. Thus the focus of the divine-drama is shifts to the mediation represented by Christ. He shares in both realities, and for this reason he has always been represented by symbols of totality because he was understood as the means of uniting opposites. Thus the quaternity of Christ is similar to the representations of Enoch and Ezekiel except that Christ, by his descent and extraordinary birth, is a hero and a half-god in the classical sense. Since he is virginally born , he has no inclination to sin. Thus Christ stands more on he divine level than on the human. He is the incarnation of god's will and thus does not stand in the middle because sin cannot touch him.

Although it is generally assumed that Christ's death broke the curse of original sin and finally placated god, Christ is not so sure about this himself. He assures his followers that he will be with them, but this seems not to satisfy him. Thus he tells us that he will send another--a paraclete--who will assist them. But there is another dimension to this paraclete: This spirit of truth and wisdom is the Holy Ghost by whom Christ was begotten. This is the spirit that will henceforward make its abode in humanity. What this means is that god will be begotten in the creaturely human. This implies a further and tremendous change of status for humanity. This puts humanity in the position of being the mediator between themselves and God. Thus we become the unifier of the human and the divine.

This future arrival of the holy ghost in humanity amounts to the continual incarnation of god. Still we participate in the darkness of this work--i.e., in Christ's death--which is a cause of anxiety. That is, the closer the bond between humans and god, the closer is evil in humanity. On the basis of this belief, Jung suggests, came the notion of the antichrist. Even if this is the last thing we might expect to be the result of the god of love's work, it is a consequence of the metaphysics of the situation and a product of human psychological behaviour. That is, there is once more a projection of God's evil side upon humanity. God thus, by sending his consciousness to earth in the incarnation of Christ, seems to remain unconscious. He incarnates himself only in his "light" aspect and thus dissociates himself from his dark side. In Jungian terms: what is needed is an encounter with the shadow.

In terms of organizational aspects the notion of the Holy Ghost, as Jung points out, is extremely useful. Since the Holy Ghost is not subject to any rules, the continuity of the church had to be strongly emphasized. For this reason there is a de-emphasis on the notion of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost as no more individualistic digressions can be tolerated. If one claims that the Holy Ghost encouraged them to voice dissident opinions thus becomes a heretic, whose persecution and elimination pleases Satan. On the other hand we must realize that there was and is a fear that if every individual were allowed to follow their intuitions the result would be a Babylonian confusion of tongues. In other words, the monotheistic nature of Christianity would become even less secure than it is now (?).

Thus the task of the Holy Ghost was seen to be one of reminding individuals of the teachings of Christ and to lead them into the light. Paul is a good example of such activity--he received his gospel not from the disciples but from revelation. His unconscious provided him the revelatory ecstasies. Thus the Holy Ghost is said to show itself through its own activity and through effects which not only confirm what we know but go beyond them. In this passage, I see Jung equating the Holy Ghost with the unconscious. The idea that revelation coming from the unconscious is not necessarily contentious, rather it is the assumption that it is the Christian god. That is there is an inherent political agenda attached to such a figure providing such revelation. It brings about the imposition of Christian morality, Christian world views and Christian expectations.

The expectation of the anti Christ is a far reaching revelation-- that is, Satan in spite of his fall is still the prince of this world. Thus he still maintains considerable power and influence for all of the presence of God in this world. Jung considers that this situation is critical. Evil is not fettered, even if its days are numbered. Since god does not use his powers against evil, it can only be assumed that he has no knowledge of his dark side. Naturally this could not remain hidden long from Humanity's spirit of truth which had taken up residence in us. Thus the Holy Ghost caused a disturbance in the human unconscious and produced, at the beginning of the Christian era, a new revelation which resulted in numerous interpretations.


This revelation is that of St. John. Jung claims that is hard to imagine a more suitable personality for this revelation than John. John made all sorts of statements about the good attributes of god, a number of which Jung points out, yet he also warns about false prophets and the antichrist. Thus his conscious mind is orthodox, yet his unconscious reeks with evil foreboding. To Jung, John is too sure of the situation and thus runs the risk of dissociation. Thus revelation would work as personal myth, by compensating from the one-sidedness of individual consciousness.

To Jung the Apocalypse conforms to these conditions. At this point Jung digresses into numerous examples of John's letters, writings and visions to illustrate his point. (609-611 the seven seals 610f) Jung declares that these events all witness to the compensation that appears as a result of John's conscious attempts to close off the dark side of himself and God. As such things are repressed the continue to work under the surface of consciousness and then burst into consciousness as a revelation (delusion, hallucination). "From this," writes Jung, "grew up a terrifying picture that blatantly contradicts all ideas of Christian humility, tolerance, love of your neighbour and enemies, and makes nonsense of a loving father in heaven and a rescuer of mankind [sic]." This is the opening of the sixth seal.

Jung continues to speculate on the parallels between classical mythology and the revelation of the seventh seal. In this is taken into account a vision of a sun woman who contains in her darkness the sun of masculine consciousness, which as a child reaches out of the unconscious and as an old man sinks back into it. Thus she also is a symbol of wholeness, and may be seen to be the mother of a second messiah--the unconsciousness out of which he was born and into which he returned. Thus he is a duplicate of the Christ but in the negative aspect. This vision of a second coming, Jung suggests, is a result of the unconscious. But the unconscious does not work in the same way as does the conscious. It does not think abstractly or apart from the subject: the person of the vision is always drawn into the process and included in it. Hence Jung suggests that John is so engrossed in the archetype of the divine son that it enters into his unconscious.

The parallelism, which has remained latent in John for so long, thus burst into consciousness in the form of a vision. To Jung it is the use of pagan mythological material that makes this vision authentic--pagan ideas remained in circulation or unconscious. Thus this negative image of Christ no longer bears any real resemblance to Christ, but may, in fact, have more of the human John in it through the inclusion of the dark side. In this way the revelation is indicative of an coming into consciousness of the unconscious resulting with the further development of the self (evolutionary theory).

But John's problem, Jung notes, was not a personal one. It is not a question of his personal unconsciousness or an outburst of ill humour, but of visions which came out of the depths of the so called "collective unconscious." This problem expresses itself in far too many collective and archetypal forms for us to reduce it to a merely personal situation. As a Christian, Jung continues

John was seized by a collective, archetypal process, and he must therefore be explained first and foremost in that light. He certainly had his personal psychology, into which we...have some insight.

The mere fact that John had visions suggests that there was some sort of tension between the conscious and the unconscious. What he saw was the dark side which god split off from himself when he incarnated and it was something that could hardly be understood as belonging to god. To Jung, "it is the spirit of God itself, which blows through the weak mortal frame and again demands man's [sic] fear of the unfathomable Godhead." [my emphasis]


Jung continues with the exposition of John's revelations in this section. He notes that the negative feelings seem to be inexhaustible and that humanity's consciousness, faced with this darkness, becomes terrified and understandably looks for a refuge. Thus he weaves in his revelation a vision of the lamb on mount Zion where there are a number of men. These figures are said to be male virgins, who are said to be undefiled by women. Here we find further evidences of misogyny in early Christian culture--that is there is an assumption that women defile men as the myth claims that the fall is Eve's fault.

At any rate, the vision no longer includes any mention of God's love for humanity, rather it depicts an unparalleled blood-bath in which the seven angles of the seven seals participate. Their task is the destruction of the whore of Babylon who is the equivalent of the sun-woman Sophia with a reversal in character. That is Sophia is no longer seen as a creation of God but something that is independent and thus may represent a feminine threat to the masculine monotheistic world view. If the elected male virgins maintain the status of separation from women as a way of honouring the Sophia created by god, then the destruction of Babylon represents not only the end of fornication but also the eradication of all of life's joy's and pleasures. This eradication seems to me to concentrate on the physical--usually identified with women--and thus may symbolize further attempts to eradicate a female centred society or religion.

Although there are many interpretations available to the symbols of Babylon and Jerusalem, Jung is predominantly interested in the psychological interpretations. Thus he claims to have no interest in their possible connections to historical events. Yet his interpretation as we shall see represents a particular political or philosophical interpretation which has its basis in historical events.

Jung continues by looking at the psychological meaning of the destruction of beauty and pleasure. To Jung such destruction and the erection of unspeakable suffering as a substitute cannot help but cause melancholy. But John exclaims: "Rejoice over her, thou heathen, ye holy apostles and prophets, for God hath avenged you on her [Babylon]." From this we can see the how far this vindictiveness and lust for destruction can go.

Christ is said to be leading this horde of destruction and kills the beast and false prophet--presumable John's shadow side. This is the point at which Satan is cast down into the pit of hell for a thousand years, and Christ is said to then rule for that same time period. After which Satan must be let loose for a period. Later Satan, it is said, will be cast into a lake of brimstone and this marks the end of the first creation.

At this point the marriage of the lamb with his bride is to take place. The bride is the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven (the colonization of north America)--the kingdom of God. This final vision, Jung points out, is generally interpreted as referring to the relationship of Christ to his church, and has the meaning of a uniting symbol and is thus a representation of perfection and wholeness. (See pp. 623-624)


The book of revelation, Jung says, is so personal and so archetypal that both aspects must be considered at the same time. Modern interests would turn first to the man John himself. It is possible that John the author of the epistles is the same as the author of the apocalypse and the psychological evidence seems to support this. First of all the revelation came to a Christian who, as the lading light of the community, had to lead an exemplary life and demonstrate the Christian virtues of faith, humility, patience, devotion, self-sacrifice, denial of worldly desires, etc.

With all of this, it appears obvious that John was attempting to live up to an ideal and this could only be accomplished through the repression of a variety of objectionable thoughts, habits, desires and behaviours. Thus it would not be surprising that John would be susceptible to irritability, bad moods, and outbursts of affects--all symptoms of the chronic virtuous. Thus it is not surprising to find such an individual unconsciously coming up with all kinds of violent fantasies or revelations.

The appearance of such unconscious fantasies follows along the lines of Jung's notion of a psychological law of compensation. Jung says that he has seen many Christian deceive themselves about their real psychical condition, but has seen nothing which resembles the brutality of the impact of the opposites that appear in John's case, except in the case of severe psychosis. But there is no grounds for seeing John as such. His visions are not considered to be confused enough to warrant he suspicion of psychosis. It is not necessary that John be unbalance--it is sufficient that he be a religiously passionate person with an other-wise well ordered psyche. But he must have an intensive relationship with God which opens him up to an invasion from the unconscious which far transcends anything personal.

Hence Jung sees the purpose of these visions is to open his eyes to the immensity of god and not to tell John how much of his shadow lies under the surface of consciousness. Thus just as John loved god and did his best to love his fellows, his knowledge of god struck him. "For this reason he felt his gospel of love to be one-sided, and he supplemented it with the gospel of fear: God can be loved but must be feared." With this John saw well into the Christian aeon anticipating the alchemists, later Christian mystics, the atom bomb. To Jung he outlined the whole age of Pisces and its darkness. The whole point is the vision that god is both creation and destruction, love and hate, etc.


The placement of the book of revelation at the end of the New Testament is thus appropriate--it anticipates the future of the Christian aeon. But even if we can recognize that John had come to recognize the double aspect of God we have no way of seeing how he may have come to terms with this double aspect. It is possible, Jung notes, that he even may not have been aware of any contrast. It is amazing how little people reflect upon numinous objects and attempt to come to terms with them and how difficult such as task is once it is begun. The numinosity of the object makes it difficult to handle intellectually, since our emotions are always involved. It is one of the least places to expect to find 'objectivity.' If one believes, then doubt is disagreeable and is something one fears. For this reason we prefer not to analyze objects of belief. On the other hand, if one has no religious convictions, one does not like to admit the feeling of deficit, but pats oneself on the back in congratulation for one's liberal mindedness.

From this point of view it is hardly possible to admit the numinosity of a religious object, and yet this very numinosity is just as great a hindrance to critical thought because the possibility arises that one's faith in agnosticism of religion could be shaken. Both agnosticism and religionism are based upon reason, but the are not of the same order--this is not to say that one is better than the other, just that they are different. To the agnostic their 'reason' (in the Cartesian sense) is the supreme thing which is above question; while for those with faith their supreme reason is given by such things as virgin birth, the Christ, etc. which are not to be questioned as well--such phenomena are psychically objectively real. So Jung concludes this section with the statement: "From now on we shall have to consider religious statements in their totality."


In this section, Jung turns back to the question of coming to terms with the paradoxical idea of god which is revealed by the apocalypse. He says that Evangelical Christianity has no need to bother with it, because it has as an essential doctrine an idea of god that, unlike Yhwh, coincides with the epitome of supreme good. Jung believes that this conception of god would have been quite different if John of the Episticles had spoke to John of the Revelation. Still for modern people the case is otherwise. We have experienced things so unheard of and so staggering (WW I, WW II, the A-bomb, etc.) that the question of whether such things are reconcilable with the notion of a good god. It is no longer a problem for theologians, Jung says, but has become a universal religious nightmare--such that a lay person such as Jung may contribute to the solution.

Jung goes on to make a statement about the Answer to Job. He believes that he has set forth inescapable conclusions that must be reached if one were to analyze the western tradition with common sense. If we are confronted with a paradoxical idea of God, he continues, and if as a religious person we consider the full extent of the problem, we would find ourselves in the position of the John of the Revelation. Still this John and the possible identity of him with the John who wrote the letters, brings out the acuteness of the contradiction: what is the relationship of this man to God? How did he endure the intolerable contradiction in the nature of this deity? Jung suggests that we may find some clue in the vision of the Sun Woman.

First, Jung points out that the paradoxical nature of God has an effect on humanity: it splits us into opposites and delivers us over to a seemingly insoluble conflict. Psychologically, what happens in such situations of conflict the unconscious in any number of ways (dreams, faery tales, myths, etc.) throws out sings of the union of opposites as symbolized by a variety of means--the child-hero, squaring the circle, etc. This is precisely the type of figure we find in the vision of the Sun Woman, whose whole story is a reiteration of the birth of Christ.

To Jung this is a motif that appears again in the dreams of modern humans and it always has to do with the bring together the darkness with the light. This union of opposites is a problem that the revelation set out, that alchemists have tried to resolve for seven centuries and that confronts modern people. For modernity the problem is no longer projected onto physical material but has become a problem of acute psychological acumen. Thus the psychologist has more to say about this problem than does the theologian, who is caught in archaic forms of speech and understanding. And the clinical psychologist is often forced enter into the realm of the religious to enter into the question.

Finally, after all these tedious apologetical remarks, Jung enters the discussion. He notes that since John the Apocalypist had his vision the conflict into which Christianity must enter is that of god's desire to become human. This is probably why John experienced a vision of a second birth of a son from the mother Sophia--a divine birth that is characterized by the union of opposites which is said to be the essence of the individuation process. This is, to Jung, effect of Christianity on early Christians. It is symbolized in the life of Christ where god and the human are represented in a single entity. But still as a result of the relationship of fear with Yhwh and in spite of John's revelation what eventually happens is that the created is placed in opposition to the creator and the absurd result is that either a positively cosmic or daemonic grandeur is attributed to humanity. The terrible destructive will that breaks out in John revelations are an indicator of what may happen when humanity is placed in opposition to the god of goodness--it burdens us with the dark side of god, which in Job is still in its right place. But in either case the human is identified with evil and the result is that we must set our face against goodness or try to reach the perfection of god.

Yhwh's decision, Jung says, to become a man is a symbol of the development that had to supplant the understanding of the god-image that came to Job. Thus god is said to act out the unconscious and forces humanity to harmonized and unite the opposing forces to which our minds are exposed from the unconscious. "The unconscious wants both: to divide and to unite." (para 740) The unconscious want to enter into the light of the conscious but at the same time it continually thwarts itself, because it would rather remain unconscious (repressed?). In other words, God wants to become human, but not quite. The conflict is so great, Jung notes, that the incarnation can only be bought by a self-sacrifice offered to the wrath of god's dark side.

In this respect we can see the Christ figure as the prototype which is continually transferred to the created by the holy ghost. This is the result of the desire God has of becoming human. For the modern human, whose conduct cannot be compared to that of the early Christian, all manner of both good and evil can break into consciousness. Still as sheer will of destruction as was found in John cannot be expected to be found in modern Humans (provided the individual is not an exceptional case, which John probably was). That is, as a result of the spiritual development of the reformation and the onset of the natural sciences, there is already a considerable admixture of darkness in us, so that, when compared to the purity of the early saints, we do not show up in a favourable light. Although our comparative darkness does not help us it mitigates the forces of evil as we are more susceptible to them. So Jung concludes: just as the early Christian needed more blackness to compensate for the over abundance of light, so does modern humanity need more light to compensate the darkness. For this, Jung thinks, we need all the Christian virtues and we need the wisdom of Sophia, in order to transcend consciousness and the one sidedness that tells us that only the good resides outside of us. For Jung this problem of opposites was resolved in the Book of Revelation by the sacred marriage of god and his church, for modernity this union of opposites is symbolized by the recent assumption of Mary: "Mary as the bride is united with the son in the heavenly bridal chamber, and, as Sophia, with the Godhead."

This dogma of Mary's assumption is, to Jung, timely. First, it is a symbolical fulfillment of John's vision. Second, it contains the allusion to the marriage of god at the end of time, and, third, it repeats the Old Testament's remembrance of Sophia. These three references tell of the incarnation of God, says Jung. The second and the third tell of the Incarnation in Christ, but the first tells of the Incarnation in the creaturely human.


Thus everything depends upon the human: "immense power of destruction is given to the human and the question is whether we can handle it and temper our will with the spirit of wisdom and love. Jung believes that we will be unable to this by ourselves and thus require an advocate in heaven who will assist in the healing of the fragmented human. Psychologically, the individuated self stands for the goal of life which is a spontaneous production by the unconscious. The dynamic of this process, Jung continues, is instinct which ensures that everything that belongs to an individual's life shall enter into it, whether we are conscious of it or not. Of course there is a great deal of difference in whether we know what we are living out, whether we understand what we are doing, and whether we accept the responsibility for our actions. But still, as noted previously, the unconscious both strives to enter the light of consciousness and yet shuns its glare.

Thus the conscious realization of what is hidden confronts us with an insoluble conflict--at least as it appears to the conscious mind. But the images that arise out of the unconscious show a confrontation of opposites and the goal then must be their successful reconciliation (individuation). It is the task of the conscious mind to understand these images, says Jung. And even if we do not become conscious of this, the individuation process will continue on its own but we then become the victim of its forces and are dragged along the road to goal which we might go to upright were we merely conscious and reflective of the process. Hence, To Jung, all that matters is whether humans can climb up to a higher moral order, a higher plane of consciousness. But Jung believes that we cannot do this without help unless we become better acquainted with our own natures.

Through the Apocalypse we can see that God is not only to be loved, he is also to be feared. He fills us with evil as well as with good. Because God wants to become man, the unification with his antinomy (the resolution of contradiction) must take place in the human. This gives humanity a new responsibility, we can no longer hide behind our nothingness, for we no have the powers of god--the atom bomb--and have the ability to destroy the world. Since we have received this god-like power, we must become conscious and self reflective--we cannot act as the wrathful unconscious Yhwh as we find in the Old Testament.


In this section Jung takes up a discussion of the psychological root to the assumption of Mary. First of all he notes the dramatic increase of visions of Mary that were taking place at the time are an indicator of what was brewing in the unconscious of the west at the time. Jung point to the fact that most of these visions were coming to children--individual who Jung consistently considered to be in more intimate connection with their collective unconscious. It is also said that the Pope at the time also had several visitations by the mother of god just previous to his declaration of the assumption. This is all representative of a longing in the masses for an intercessor and mediatrix who could take her place as the "Queen of Heaven" and the Bride of god (marriage in the patriarchal sense). For a thousand years this was taken for granted to be the case--Sophia was there in the beginning--yet it too nearly two thousand years (1950) for this to become part of the official dogma of the church. Again the desire on the part of god to become human is found in ancient Egyptian lore. This was envision as being possible through birth from a human mother as well.

The motive of this popular movement of Mary, Jung claims, consists not in the birth of a new god, but in the continuing incarnation of god which began in Christ. This is not a rational turn of events for the Catholic dogma as it has some contradiction to official ideology. Still is shows that the Catholic church is in touch, as it were, with the signs of the times--something which the Protestant church seems to ignore by ignoring or secularizing Mary. Thus, to Jung, the Protestant church is out of touch with the archetypal happenings of the psyche of the individual and the masses, and with the symbols which are intended to compensate the truly apocalyptic world situation today. "It seems to have succumbed to a species of rationalistic historicism," writes Jung, "and to have lost any understanding of the Holy Ghost who works in the hidden places of the soul. I can therefore neither understand nor admit a further revelation of the divine drama."

From this point Jung makes more apologetic statements that this is the perspective offered by a layman, who does not ignore the events of the psyche or imagine that they disappear into thin air by being explained. It is not a question whether or not god exists objectively it is sufficient that he exists psychically (c.f.: James' pragmatism). "It does not matter that a physically impossible fact is asserted, because all religious assertions are physical impossibilities." Hence religious statements do deal with the reality of the psyche and not with the reality of physics.

Jung goes on to confront Protestantism's failure to pay attention to the signs of the times--which, he says, obviously point to the equality of women. This is an equality, he thinks, which must be legitimated in the figure of a divine woman (still she is a woman under patriarchy, her one to god's three, etc.)--the bride of Christ.

Just as the person of Christ cannot be replaced by an organization, so the bride cannot be replaced by the church. The feminine, like the masculine, demands an equally personal representation.

Still the Assumption does not mean dogmatically that Mary has attained the status of goddess--rather she is the mistress of heaven and may be considered to be functionally on par with Christ and god (tokenism). To Jung what is most important is that her assumption satisfies the need of the archetype. It expresses a renewed hope for the fulfillment of the yearning for peace which resides deep in the soul. It is the resolution of opposites.

Jung continues to make sweeping generalizations as to the nature of the character of the catholic and Protestant churches which come to light as a result of the assumption. First he sees the Protestant church as more rationalistic than the catholic--for ignoring the stirings of the unconscious. Second, in relation to the first, Jung stereotypes rationality with gender. That is, hew equated the more highly rationalistic Protestant church with the masculine and the more feeling oriented Catholic church with the feminine. In fact he refers to the two streams of Christianity as a brother-sister pair--the Protestant church is obviously given the fraternal association. Still, in light of Jung's need to see the world and all events in a dialectical relationship, such generalizations are understandable as the one compensates for the other. Hence he believes that Protestants should come to some understanding of what is being represented by the Assumption and what it is about the assumption that causes Protestant distaste. In other words, Jung suggests that no one should remain impervious to his or her age and the spirit of the time which it represents.

To Jung the psychological meaning of the assumption is that it points to the sacred marriage in heaven and the foretells of the birth of the divine child who will appear as the empirical human. Insofar as this is allowed to proceed on its own it means nothing more than the acorn becomes the oak. But if the individuation process is to take place, the conscious must confront the unconscious and a balance between opposites must be found. Since this is not possible through logic, symbols must be used to make the irrational union of opposites possible. Such symbols are produced spontaneously by the unconscious and are amplified by the conscious mind. The central symbol of this process is the self which is humanity's totality and consists of both that which is unconscious and conscious.

Jung enters into a discussion of the difference between a natural, unconscious individuation process and one that is consciously realized. In the former, consciousness in no way intervenes in the process and in the end is as much in the dark as before. In the latter case so much darkness comes to light that there personality is permeated with it and consciousness necessarily gains in scope and insights as a result of it. It is the marriage of light and darkness, suggests Jung, which is both the symbol of the union of opposites as well as the catalyst of their union.

Making a seemingly theological statements, Jung then claims: "it is only through the psyche that we can establish that God acts upon us, but we are able to distinguish whether these actions emanate from God or from the unconscious." We cannot tell if the two are different entities as both are border-line concepts for transcendental contents. But it can be empirically established, Jung thinks, that there is in the unconsciousness an archetype of wholeness which manifests itself spontaneously in dream, etc., and a tendency to relate other archetypes to this centre independently of conscious will. Thus it is not surprising that the archetype of wholeness occupies such a central position that associates it to the god-image. This is born out by the fact, says Jung, that the archetype produces a symbolism which has always characterized the Deity. These fact qualify the assertion that the deity and unconscious coincide--or rather that the god-image coincides with the archetype of the self found in the unconscious.

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Copyright 1996 Marc Fonda. All Rights Reserved.
Last updated: December 8, 1996.