The Creation of Consciousness

Chapter 1: The New Myth

Here are some of the summaries and personal responses from members of the Association of Learners

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Societies depend on a central living myth to provide its members with a meaningful existence. Modern societies are floundering, in part, because of the lack of a central myth. The individuals in those societies are left in a back wash of the personal desires with no transcendent goals or purpose. This loss of a transpersonal meaning to life causes societies and individuals great distress.

A new hope is dawning just as during the sunrise the horizon becomes lighter long before your see the sun. A ray of light shown through the consciousness of Carl Jung. He was the first to identify that modern societies lacked a myth and the first to see a new one being created collectively by many societies all over the world. Jung made this discovery of mythlessness within himself. He spent a lifetime discovering his myth and set a new pattern for human consciousness. His own inner work set a new course for humanity and this raises his life to a transpersonal level.

Jung’s own inner work ran parallel to the external expression of world events most significantly during the World Wars. His unconscious revealed itself with struggle and illness. He sought out other cultural myths and was envious of the security the myth provided its people. He began to see glimmers of his own myth in 1925 while visiting the Pueblo Indians. He began to understand that God wanted to experience His own creation and was doing so through man. Man’s involvement in this was to allow God to experience His own unconscious through man allowing His individual unconscious images expression. This process Jung called the creation of consciousness .

The realm of the psyche is connected to the individual egos of man. It has its own independent reality not controlled by the ego but psychic images are made available to the ego for recognition and expression. The ego’s job is to allow the psychic contents to come into expression in the ego’s reality and to take responsibility for the contents of its awareness. Jung coined the term "process of individuation" for this work and held that it created consciousness. The fundamental objective is coming to terms with the opposites within the psyche, the me and the not me.

Personal Response:

Carl Jung’s work attracted me in my early twenties. I read many of his books but not until I read Edinger’s text and Jung’s Answer to Job did I understand that the psyche is REAL. It is real in that it has independent entities and archetypes that can be personified and interacted with like any other type of individual. I also understand now how completely I rejected the dark side, the opposite side of God. These were profound realizations for me. They shook my belief system to its roots and ironically gave me a sense of relief. This information answered many questions for me. Like a puzzle that has been put together by two people each taking half and going into separate rooms completing their half and then bringing the puzzle together, I have clearly been missing half of the picture in my spiritual quest and Edinger just brought me the other half of the puzzle.

First I contemplated my experiences of my own psyche and the experiences of others that I read. I recognized the beauty of the truth that these aspects of my psyche that I interact with in dreams, meditation and active imagination are energy entities. They present themselves to my consciousness in forms I can relate to from my earthly experience. I recall many incidences of receiving information, guidance and fun from these entities. In my dreams they helped me: during my divorce, while I was pregnant, when I was making the decision to remarry. In meditation one particular entity has given me unconditional acceptance and guidance on improving my character. My experience of psychic entities in active imagination is limited to the exercises in this course; they seemed real and knowing they were real made the experiences more profound. I concur with Jung and Edinger’s conclusion from my own experience.

As for facing the Dark Side of God it was a relief to read that it takes a god to bring together the opposites within me. I experienced symbols and beings in active meditation and dreams that personify the Dark Side: a being who ate me, digested me and expelled me into a toilet, a gremlin who sprayed urine on me and David Koresh’s mother, an evil woman, tried to kill me in a dream. My approach with them as suggested by Watkins in Waking Dreams was to observe and interact if possible. I experience the positive, Christ-like forces of God in dreams, meditation and active imagination. I do not know how to reconcile these opposites with my ego. Like the Philosopher’s Stone, the inner god may take my mixture of Dark horror and Love and make it into Divine Gold. I don’t understand how this is done but I believe Jung and Edinger that it is possible. I have not experienced a union of opposites within myself.

Throughout my life, guilt about inner thoughts and fantasies as well as my negative behaviors diminished my self-esteem. I felt judged by God. Suddenly realizing that God created the potential for all of the negative as well as the positive disoriented me. I was livid with God for giving me the job of redeeming the negativity He created. I was also angry with Him for allowing me to suffer the guilt. Thinking this omniscient, omnipotent Creator is unconscious of tendencies within Himself was extraordinarily frightening and I felt thrown into an abyss of chaos and uncertainty. I believe Jung and Edinger’s premise that God is evolving but this knowledge creates difficult feelings of uncertainty and danger.

I experienced that the psychic entities were independent and real apart from my ego. I also know only too well about the opposite tendencies within myself. I do not fully understand the individuation process but I believe it is possible from reading the experience of others. This reading inspires me to learn how to fully participate in the process of individuation. ("Student 1")

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Every human society needs a viable myth in order to give meaning to its existence. The current state of Western civilization indicates that our old myth (Judeo/Christian) is dying. A new myth is emerging from the work of Carl Jung.

Following years of study, introspection and psychoanalytic work, Jung introduced the idea that the purpose of human life is the creation of consciousness. An additional feature in his philosophy is that, although all-powerful, all-knowing and divine, God is unconscious. Only through man can God become aware of His creation.

Jung’s theory is founded on a principal of "opposition." That is, all opposites, although of God, must be united in man’s consciousness. The union of opposites in man’s psyche is the goal. As man blends and harmonizes these opposites, in awareness, psychic contents become actualized and consciousness is produced. This process is called individuation. By making conscious that which is unconscious man develops his wholeness as well as having God incarnate in him.

In the new system, the sum total of an individual’s consciousness during his lifetime becomes a permanent addition to the collective unconscious. In other words, each individual is participating in creation. It could be said, thus, that because of this participation, man has immortality.

Personal Response

Release from a "mythless condition" started for me in 1980 when I enrolled in a meditation technique workshop. As I practiced meditation, I noticed changes in myself and in my life. Somehow I seemed smarter, more relaxed and more confident. Life was more comfortable--appreciation for life’s richness grew. I began an intellectual and spiritual quest that still continues. Previously, I could not accept the literal interpretations of the Bible yet I longed for something to give my life a deeper meaning. Materially and emotionally I had everything, yet something was missing.

Carl Jung proposed a new myth explaining the purpose and motivations of human life. He said it would take 600 years to filter into the mass consciousness. He said that the old myth was dying and society was in a mythless condition. I totally agree that greed and other primitive emotions (crime, substance abuse, pornography, etc.) are indicative of great spiritual malaise. However, I disagree with Jung when he says it will take 600 years. Merely looking at the number of self-improvement workshops, seminars, classes, magazines and study in the area of human potential, not to mention interest in astrology and Tarot, indicates that mankind is indeed on the brink of an Aquarian Age. As in my case, it appears that many people are indeed looking for a fuller meaning to their lives. There are signs everywhere that there is a restlessness and longing in spite of the freedom and wealth in our country. I believe Carl Jung’s new myth is well on its way into awareness and acceptance.

As I meditated and cleared away superficial masks I had worn, a new personality, hidden previously, seemed to emerge. Different motivations and goals were revealed and I began to want answers to spiritual and philosophical questions (Who am I? Why am I here? What/Who is God?, etc.) Jung’s symbolic interpretation of the Bible and Greek myths to describe the human psyche answers these questions (and much more!) My quest coincided with the hero’s quest depicted in the great legends. (I am not finished yet, and as I move along, more questions to be answered continually pop up.) Jung’s idea of individuation, as well as Edgar Cayce’s admonition to "know thyself" point to ways that enable our original potential wholeness to unfold.

Jung uses the term "psychic substance" and Cayce said, "Thoughts are things." I have witnessed the reality of these ideas. In a weekly study group, seven members make healing requests which are stated in an affirmative manner. Consistently, we note positive results and timely conclusions to situations and problems. What we believe (or verbalize or feel) indeed manifests--psychic substance has an objective reality in time. ("Student 2")

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In chapter 1, Edinger introduces most of the key ideas of the book, in particular the concept of the "new myth." He considers the role myths play in cultures, and how ours is a time of growing "mythlessness," giving rise to loss of meaning, despair and growing anarchy. Ours is also a time of kairos, the right moment for a mythic and cultural metamorphosis

While the old myth is losing its force, a new myth has been developed, with Carl Jung playing a pivotal role. Jung postulated that man is coming to recognize himself as being indispensable for the completion of creation, and that the purpose of human life is to create consciousness.

Where man once served God with obedience (under the old dispensation of the law), and later with faith (under the second dispensation), we are moving to a new dispensation, in which man serves God by experiencing and reconciling the opposites that are part of the essence of Divinity.

Edinger suggests that consciousness is relational, arising from setting of two-ness, through the struggle of holding the tension of opposites, which has been symbolized historically in the crucifixion. He provides examples through Western history of esoteric traditions that have recognized this dialectical nature of enlightenment, e.g. the alchemists, Gnostics, Manicheans, Kabbalists.

Two archetypal figures that represent carriers of consciousness are Jesus and Buddha, a pair of opposites that themselves reflect the duality that gives rise to consciousness. Jesus approached the issue of consciousness from the ego’s standpoint, and accepted bondage to matter. Buddha came from the Self’s standpoint, and transcended the world. Taken together they permit the emergence of a separate third thing, which Edinger implies will be a new world religion that will unite the current diversity of religions.

Edinger stresses the permanence of the achievement of consciousness: Individual efforts to become conscious help to enlarge humanity’s soul and benefit all people. This accomplishment of one individual is deposited in the collective, and no "authentic consciousness" achieved by one is lost.

Likewise, just as no achievement of consciousness is lost, so no experience in life is meaningless: Edinger claims that everything that happens helps to increase consciousness. Every person has importance, too, as the "vessel to serve as the carrier" of consciousness. (Mehrten)

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Dr. Carl Jung had several unique beliefs and/or discoveries about our psyches and our cultural age, including the ideas that (1) modern man has no cohesive myth, and is therefore threatened with internal and external anarchy; (2) a new myth, requiring some 600 years of growth, is in the making; (3) the new myth is recognition that man (conscious knowing) and God (unconscious being) are co-creative aspects of existence, completing, complementing and affecting one another; (4) humans create objective reality from unconscious existence through the fact or act of being conscious; (5) the basic function of humankind is the creation of consciousness, which is a light in the "darkness" of mere being; (6) the fully realized Self, a creative synthesis of the seeming opposites God/man, dark/light, heaven/earth (etc.) is formed in the crucible of the ego; (7) the synthesis of opposites or successful union can amount to an incarnation of the Divine, or conversely, the rise of man to a state of godliness.

Consciousness is psychic substance [potential entities] connected to an ego [conscious awareness]. It is during the process of individuation that one endures the battle between opposites or the "I" and "not-I," which, resolved, creates more consciousness. The alchemical Philosopher's Stone represents this mediation and creation process of the union of opposites, ideally resulting in formation or discovery of the true Self, which is conscious of wholeness. Christ and the Buddha can be seen as emblems of the opposites of ego (Christ, consciousness as agony) and Self (Buddha, consciousness as bliss). In another example, the Holy Spirit might be seen as a new force resulting from the clash or transformation of Father and Son.

Incidents of personal transformation are introduced into the collective consciousness to affect everyone and everything (whether conscious or not). These perhaps facilitate ascension, translation, and resurrection. Dreams about this process may use images of weddings, harvests, apocalyptic events, or other portrayals of the ego's role as Holy Grail-- a carrier of consciousness-- in the "divine conflict." (Cornett)

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The unconscious is composed of complexes (personal) and archetypes (transpersonal) that must be joined to the ego in order to become conscious. Otherwise, these psychic contents will continue to exist in the unconscious as "potential" entities that are never substantiated, never actualized through the creation of consciousness.

Consciousness is created as the result of the encounter of opposites; opposites can be understood as two contrary directional movements that are first experienced as painful and paralysing conflicts (as ego and unconscious, I and not-I, subject and object) in the vessel of the ego. The creation of consciousness is the creative resolution of this conflict of "twoness". It occurs as the ego holds the tension of the conflict in awareness and eventually experiences (identifies with) both sides of the opposites simultaneously. Consciousness is an experiential feat that occurs at the level of being, and not at the level of intellect.

The ultimate purpose of each individual life is to create more and more consciousness, the sum total of which is deposited as a permanent addition to the collective archetypal psyche. Contents of the archetypal psyche, being transpersonal and unconscious, must subsequently be raised anew to the level of consciousness and carried within each and every individual ego.

God and man have a particular relationship in this process of consciousness creation (will be seen in chapter 2). God (or God- image or Self) is the unconscious pole of the dichotomy and as such, is unconscious of His attributes and of His creation. Human consciousness is alone capable of raising God's creation from the world of non-being by endowing it with the quality of objective existence through the process of consciousness creation. As a result, God becomes aware of His creation. This is the service that man renders to God. It is also the essence of the new myth proposed by Carl Jung: that man is indispensable to God for the completion and perfection of His creation, that man is the 2nd creator of the world. The assumption is that existence is real only when it is conscious to somebody. (Viennue)

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