Volume 1, Number 1                                                                                                                                                           June 1998


by Stephan A. Hoeller


"When the time is ripe the promise is fulfilled and the Son of Man appears on earth as the messianic figure of Jesus Christ.  Jung states that Jesus was more god than man, that in him, human and divine nature were not evenly matched.  Being free from sin particularly, says Jung, distinguishes Jesus from the rest of humanity, since all human beings sin.  Only at one point in his career did Jesus fully experience the lot of humanity, and that was when He was moved to exclaim on the cross:  "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?".. .This was the point in time when God found himself in the position of a human being and thus experienced the forlornness and agony of the human condition.  In all other ways, the Incarnation is an Incarnation of the LIGHT side of the Divine only.

"A fascinating aspect of Jung's myth [in anthropology, "myth" is not used as we use it to mean "a fairy tale"; "myth" is used to describe the story behind any religious experience that belongs to a whole culture of people, i.e., Hindu, Christianity, Islam]  is the assertion that Jesus seems to have been aware of several Gods, according to His recorded statements.  On the one hand, He speaks of His Heavenly Father as a God of kindness and love, and He insists that humans could count on His being such.  On the other hand, He addresses the petition "lead us not into temptation" to someone in the Lord's Prayer.  How can a God of love lead human beings into temptation?  Obviously, IN ADDITION TO THE LOVING FATHER, WE ARE DEALING HERE ALSO WITH A DARKER, MORE TRICKSTERLIKE AND THEREFORE MORE PERILOUS ASPECT OF DIVINE NATURE.  Clearly, Jesus was aware that, although He as an embodiment of Divine Light was in touch with the God of Light, the dark god, or the dark aspect of God, was also in evidence and was in need of being addressed.  This recognition is the point of departure for the further development of Jung's myth.

"The incarnation of Christ increased the Light, but the darkness did not go out of existence; it continued at certain levels of being and was bound to reemerge eventually.  Christianity was designed to be a faith of Light, ushering in an age of Light, inasmuch as the Light aspect of God was thus placed in the forefront of human consciousness.  Thus, soon after the departure of Jesus for higher realms, the DARK side of reality begins to emerge from hiding.  This becomes particularly clear in the Book of Revelation, where the dark side of God reemerges and with it the dark side of life and of Christianity.  Jung implies that in numerous ways this book indicates that the dark God has broken into the universe and consequently into Christian thought once more; the author of Revelation is no longer dealing with the workings of the Messianic Light, but rather with the fury and cruelty of the evil side of God so often encountered in the Old Testament.

"With all of its dark and terrifying imagery, Revelation brings forth an image that Jung considers fascinating and hopeful.  This vision may be found at the beginning of the twelfth chapter.  A woman appears, arrayed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and bearing a crown of twelve stars.  She is about to give birth, and a terrifying red dragon is waiting to devour her child when it is born.  Further strange events take place:  the child is born and is taken up to God's throne, and its destiny is to rule the nations.  The woman flees into the wilderness, where a place has been prepared for her by God.

"Jung notes a great similarity between this image and the one usually appearing in connection with the emergence of the Self, the paradigm of the individuated ego.  The woman is clearly no longer the Virgin Mary, but rather the universal, cosmic woman, THE COUNTERPART OF THE SON OF MAN.  Thus in Jung's mythic vision, the Incarnation is now brought forward into a new and universal phase.  Jung also indicates that the Incarnation did not cease with the ascension as sometimes assumed, but that it is continued in another fashion by way of the work of The Holy Spirit.  This means that, in the continuing progress of the Incarnation, THE DIVINE CAN BE BORN IN EVERY HUMAN BEING; IN SOME SENSE, ALL HUMANS CAN BECOME AN INCARNATION OF THE DIVINE.

"Although Christ represents the all-important PATTERN (archetype) of this, in some sense it can be repeated by all....deity is today striving to come to consciousness IN EVERY HUMAN SOUL....God incarnates in the archetype of earthy womanhood:  God is incarnating in the existential state of humanity...

"...The  new Incarnation is hardly conscious at this time.  The child is caught up to God, and the woman goes into the wilderness for a long period.  Still, the indications are clearly present that the Divine and earthly principles can once again come together in a new synthesis of consciousness, and that God can thus be incarnated in an ordinary human being...

"The Incarnation of God in humanity at large, said Jung, involves the elevation of the feminine principle and its return to Divine or semidivine status.

"Purity may keep the darkness at bay and removed from the ego, but the existential life seemingly advocated by Jesus and endorsed here by Jung LEADS IN DUE COURSE TO THE ENCOUNTER WITH DARKNESS.  This is not to say that we ought to renounce our Christian tradition; the kindness, goodness, and light present there may act as highly useful agents balancing the modern psyche in its attempt to deal with the dark impossibilities of this age....Jung was convinced that moral power was not sufficient to keep evil at bay.  Moral humanity has failed; WHAT IS NEEDED NOW IS WISDOM, the wisdom Job sought in his own predicament.

"The new savior is different from the virtuous male Messiah of old.  THE NEW REDEEMER IS FEMALE AND IS CALLED SOPHIA, OR WISDOM.  By becoming the children of Lady Wisdom, we reenter a condition where the opposites are close together.  We must become aware of what is within us in its light and dark aspects.  We must develop CONSCIOUS resources whereby we might deal with evil possibilities.  TO ACT CONSCIOUSLY IS OUR GREATEST SAVING NECESSITY....

"Jung's Gnostic myth reminds us of the imperative tasks of our lives as contemporary persons:  TO STRIVE WITH ALL OUR MIGHT FOR MORE CONSCIOUSNESS while not abandoning our roots in the spiritual traditions of Western culture and, most significantly, WITHOUT SUCCUMBING TO THE PERILS ATTENDANT UPON TRANSFORMATION, AMONG WHICH MAY BE FOUND THE DEMONIC PRIDE OF THE INFLATED EGO.  Jung's individuated person does not "create his own reality", does not take credit for the operations of transcendence within this realm of Immanence.  As he states in his conclusion to "Answer to Job":  "...the enlightened person remains what he is and is never more than his own limited ego before The One Who dwells within him, whose Form has no knowable boundaries, Who encompasses him on all sides, Fathomless as the abysms of the earth and Vast as the sky".

i bow.