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Jesus and Jung

Discussion of Christianity and other religious systems. How can we explain our faith to Christians? How can you merge your faith in Jesus with your belief in the metaphysical?

Jesus and Jung

Postby Soul » Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:06 pm

I'm posting in this subforum in the hope that I can find some Christians (or some former Christians, such as I am) who would like to discuss the experience of Jesus Christ from a Jungian perspective. I'm interested in exploring archetypes further, as indicators of the emerging "self" and the process of individuation. I'm especially interested in the relationship between psychology and spirituality, and (as it can illuminate) the relationship between the Human and the Divine.

I recently read a book written by a psychologist, Donald Capps (who is a self-identifying Christian), who examined the personality type of Jesus (the literary character in the canonical gospels). The author admits that examining Jesus' psychologically seems to be a taboo in orthodox Christianity, especially among fundamentalists and evangelicals. He concludes that Jesus displays a "melancholic utopian" personality type. Fifty percent or more of the book deals with the cultural, religious, socio-political, and family-of-origin issues surrounding Jesus' character.

Personality type is quite a complex aspect of one's being. I believe that one's personality type, as well as one's sense of "self" (the "I"), is an emergent aspect (or entity) of one's internal processes and external influences -- as well as the integrating of the internal and external elements. The Apostle Paul discusses at length in his epistles (the canonical ones) how the "Spirit of Christ" restores the full essence of the Human Being -- even a Divine essence. That is, Christ perfects the person. And this perfection is a process, performed by the Spirit of Christ inwardly, and it is manifest outwardly. (Paul Tillich, noted German-American philosopher-theologian bases a great deal of his views on this concept of Christ restoring the original Divine essence to Humanity. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, noted Jesuit priest and scientist and philosopher, calls this perfection -- of Humanity and all things -- in Christ, the "Omega Point.")

I'm interested in exploring further Jung's concept of Christ being the representation or model of the ultimate self, the fully integrated self, which Jung called the "Aion." Jung called this process of maturation and integration into a whole individual person, "Individuation." I find it very much like the process that Paul describes of the believer being perfected in Christ and being recreated in the image (nature and character) of Christ.

However, I do tend to look beyond what I see as Jung's concept of this process. I am considering the idea that Christ is a metaphor for the evolving sense of self in human consciousness, leading beyond religion to a Humanistic view of self -- even a spiritual Humanism. And I do see Pagan spirituality being able to facilitate this personal evolutionary experience.

I'm interested in dialoguing with other people who have journeyed through Christianity and evolved beyond it (not merely rejected it and sort of aborted their experience with it). That is, people who have, or did have, the experience of cultivating a "relationship" with Christ, beyond mere outward religious practice and socio-cultural identification with Christian religion. I'm interested in how other people's experience of Christ evolved.

I would like to hear from people, "Christo-Pagans" or people who self-identify with what that term means, even if they don't use the term. That is, people who have progressed in their spiritual journey to where they can integrate Paganism with their sense of Christ. Or people whose Pagan experience helped them eventually evolve beyond the conventional concept of Christ. Perhaps you can view Christ in the sense of Jung's Aion concept; or in the sense of Paul's Christology, wherein Christ is the perfection of the Human Being; or some other non-traditional or unconventional view such as flourishes among the New Age, metaphysical, and Pagan environments.

I look forward to the responses. :)

Thanks, and Peace.

Blessed Be,
Soul
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Jesus and Jung

Postby RosieMoonflower » Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:46 pm

Hello Soul, my new friend! I was raised in Christianity and now am exploring all faiths and how they apply to me. My current focuses are gnostic Christianity, esoteric Christianity, and Kabbalah. I honestly don't know anything about Jung. But, I did enjoy a documentary on netflix called "Who was Jesus" as it examined Jesus's environment he grew up and drew assumption about what he could have been like. I believe this documentary was the first I heard of the gnostic texts and the gospel of Thomas. I also have spent some time exploring angels and archangels and their elemental correspondences, but would LOVE to learn more, hence the Kabbalah exploration, and possibly other mystic Jewish/Hebrew texts. I would love to follow your thread and hopefully contribute to the discussion. Thanks for posting!

Rosie <3
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Re: Jesus and Jung

Postby RosieMoonflower » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:02 am

I checked and the documentary I mentioned is no longer on netflix it looks like. It is available for purchase and is incredibly cheap. And it may rotate back into netflix. It was called "Who was Jesus?" And it was 3 part documentary. Also, I don't know if this will interest you, but this was my reading before bed last night: http://www.hermes-press.com/esoteric_christianity.htm
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Re: Jesus and Jung

Postby Soul » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:15 pm

Rosie wrote:Hello Soul, my new friend! I was raised in Christianity and now am exploring all faiths and how they apply to me. My current focuses are gnostic Christianity, esoteric Christianity, and Kabbalah. I honestly don't know anything about Jung. But, I did enjoy a documentary on netflix called "Who was Jesus" as it examined Jesus's environment he grew up and drew assumption about what he could have been like. I believe this documentary was the first I heard of the gnostic texts and the gospel of Thomas. I also have spent some time exploring angels and archangels and their elemental correspondences, but would LOVE to learn more, hence the Kabbalah exploration, and possibly other mystic Jewish/Hebrew texts. I would love to follow your thread and hopefully contribute to the discussion. Thanks for posting!

Rosie <3


Hi, Rosie. Thanks for your friendly reply. If you would like to read up on Carl Jung, please do. You can start with Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung
If you would, especially consider Jung's ideas of the archetypes, collective unconcscious, and individuation.
You might also read about Joseph Campbell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell
And note his ideas about The Power of Myth and the Hero's Journey, which is a journey to discover one's authentic self. I would like to discuss these ideas (and others) with a view that the story of Jesus Christ serves as a metaphor for every person's quest to discover true self and emerge as an integrated, whole, individual self. Then I would like to compare how Paganism serves this personal journey in a real and practical way.
Here is a link to an online pdf file of an article about Jung's Aion.
http://www.jungatlanta.com/articles/fal ... f-self.pdf
It's a brief article. There are others online, some are lengthy. I don't know whether the text of Jung's book on the Aion is available online as a free .pdf. But this short article and others can give you an idea about the synergy between spirituality and psychoanalysis.

Anything at all you would like to comment on or discuss about viewing Jesus Christ in a Jungian way, I would be interested. I'm very interested in dialoguing with Pagans who view Jesus Christ positively -- distinguished and apart from institutional Christian religion -- and who see Christ as facilitating their Pagan experience and path.

Peace and Blessed Be, :)
Soul
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Re: Jesus and Jung

Postby Mythologized » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:52 am

Thank you for the welcome, Soul. I assume this is the post that you mentioned for me to look at? -
I am briefly aware of Jung and his work, but I cannot say I relate to this per say. Though I was raised Catholic, I was never fond of it, nor felt any connection to Christ. I believe all religions and beliefs are somehow connected... I'm thinking how to word it so I might add on later. As I do believe in entities/deities, I hope to find a connection to the right one for me. Why do I say specifically Henotheism though?
''While the henotheist may worship any within the pantheon, depending on circumstances, although he or she will usually worship only one throughout their life (barring some sort of conversion). In some belief systems, the choice of the supreme deity within a henotheistic framework may be determined by cultural, geographical, historical or political reasons.'' -
I have a strong sense that my ancestry plays a role. Also, I want a stronger and more intimate relationship with whoever was to choose me. Does that make sense at all?
I'm sorry I cannot be of any help along the lines of sharing the particular view as it come to Christianity.
Forever fueled by my passion for curiosity ...
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