The Creation of Consciousness

Chapter 3: Depth Psychology as the New Dispensation:

Reflections on Jung's Answer to Job

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

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Carl G. Jung wrote a book in his later years with content he felt came straight from the unconscious. He said it was the only book he had written which he could not later improve upon. This book, Answer to Job presented a completely new interpretation of the experience of Job and what it meant about the nature of Yaweh in human consciousness. Jung also thought that individuals who existed within the Judeo-Christian myth could not receive this new dispensation, this new understanding of Yaweh but those who related to the myth out of their own individual Truth could benefit from the exposure of Yahweh and His Truth.

The psyche is real and the Bible which contains very powerful archetypal energies can overwhelm the individual ego and "possess" it under certain circumstances so Jung advised caution when activating the unconscious. Certain individuals have become identified and over inflated with these energies.

The early descriptions of Yaweh in the collective unconscious were of an amoral, unreliable, unpredictable phenomenon. On the one hand He would exhibit kindness, goodness, compassion and on the other He could be brutal, uncaring and bestial. Job had the courage to face the Truth of Yahwehís nature and became conscious of his Dark Side despite the pressure of family and friends. Once Job brought to consciousness the Dark Side of Yaweh He was able to experience through Job His own immorality.

Ezekial had the numinous vision of the transformation of God into an ethical human phenomenon within the collective unconscious when he saw the Four Holy Creatures. This announced the evolution of Yaweh which later became bodily manifested in Jesus Christ. Christ was Godís way of redeeming Himself to Job. Job rose above Yaweh in awareness when he defined Yahwehís true nature. Job brought to consciousness an awareness that Yaweh did not have of Himself and He transformed.

This realization leads to the Truth that all that is bad in an individual originally was created within the being of Yaweh and that is not the fault of the individual but it is the individualís responsibility to recognize and redeem the Dark Side of God so that God may be TRANSFORMED.

Personal Response

The synchronicity of watching David Koreshís inflation and possession by the archetypal energies of the Christian myth and the resultant immolation of himself and his followers was an incredible backdrop to reading this chapter and Answer to Job. To understand what is happening to an individual and to watch the horror simultaneously provide a lesson one is not soon to forget. I was furious for days after reading an Answer to Job. And yet I immediately recognized it as my Truth which until now had been unconscious to me. I believe that God is both good and evil. I use to dwell within the Judeo-Christian myth and did not see this but after practicing yoga and believing God is Everything I can see it now. I understand how individuals who dwell within the myth handle their Dark side and I have experienced the downside of that method. I am beginning to consciously pursue individuation which is a process of bringing the Dark side to consciousness.

It is awesome: the magnitude of the work and the dangers of it. Jung cautions those who do this work of individuation to do it with their heart and soul. Who is it or what is it that differentiates evil from good. Is it not easy to delude oneself? I remember reading once in Elizabeth Haichís book, Initiation that one can distinguish good from evil by oneís deepest conviction. But I see many contradictions in what individuals think is their deepest conviction. The debate on abortion and assisted-suicide are prime examples of the contradiction in peopleís convictions. I recall Cayce saying that what was most important was to identify an ideal for oneself and to live up to that ideal. I find that most helpful.

I believe that I am related to the Judeo-Christian myth. In childhood I dwelt within it but through life experiences and the threat of HELL hanging over my head all the time when I came across information on reincarnation I consumed every book on the subject as dying man at a pool in the desert. I became a yogi. I broke my belief system away from my familyís and dragged my little sister along with me. My Aunt Jean, who has NEVER visited me in my life, came for the evening recently. She is a fundamental Baptist missionary. She dwells within the myth and enjoyed challenging my sonís lack of belief in the devil. Her eyes literally glazed over as she preached that if there was no Satan there would have been no reason for God to send Christ. But I could see that she did not see Satan as Godís creation and entire responsibility. And her methodology consists of wiping out sin by repressing and not acknowledging it. It was another wonderful synchronicity that allowed me to get personal insight into the teachings of Jung and Edinger. It was particularly amusing when she spoke of handing out religious pamphlets in front of a New Age bookstore where they sold voodoo dolls and Ouija boards. My son Ricky turns to me "innocently" and says," Like the one we have in the basement, Mom?" Ricky enjoys stirring things up. My Aunt said sheíd pray for me every day as she hugged me good-bye. I bet sheís praying for me night and day after seeing my bookshelves.

I am planning to study the book Encounters with the Soul: Active Imagination as Developed by C.G. Jung by Hannah because I feel quite intimidated at the moment with opening up to my unconscious more than I have. I would like to read what the routes of the pioneers have been before I venture any further into this new land. I can hypothesize that I will experience gods, goddesses, demons and imbeciles. I want to understand more clearly how I can do this safely and effectively. I donít doubt the ideas presented by Edinger in Chapter 3 but I do doubt my ability to carry out the task. In a way Iíve been doing it for years, but like a mountain climber whose vision of the peak has been continuously clouded when the clouds roll away the doubts of oneís strength creeps in.

I found the comment by Jung that God is everything that crosses his path willfully and recklessly and upsets his life to be a startling revelation. Every career path, husband or major plan Iíve made in life has somehow been derailed. Through using the Wilhelm\Baynes I Ching Iíve always thought of sudden unexpected change as the way God "hooks" me into doing the next phase of my development. Jung would be amused to know that I see Answer to Job fitting his above criteria. It turned me upside down. ("Student 1")

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This little essay by Jung may be as important as any of the major religious scriptures. Mainly, it involves the changes in the view of the God image in the collective unconscious. Jung carefully investigated the story of Job and Yahweh and found a new "dispensation"——a new system. Up until the time of Job, Yahweh represented a powerful personal God who was both good and destructive. In their encounter Job demonstrated patience, humility and service, and therefore was superior to Yahweh. Thus, Yahweh had to be transformed. After the advent of Christ, man had another view and new relation with God. NOW the separation of good and evil (Christ and Satan) left mankind unable to consummate the incarnation of God. Events in the Bible evidence the individuation process unfolding in the collective psyche.

In the new myth, manís relation to God is in the individualís relation to the unconscious. This myth is not centered in law or faith, but in individual experience. Humanizing the primitive energies and uniting the opposites found within promote an awareness of a transpersonal Center——Self. This process relives Jobís encounter with Yahweh. In psychological terms, ego takes responsibility for the negatives of the Self in order that the Self may be transformed. Thus it can be said that man, in individuating, is contributing to the continuing incarnation of God.

Personal Response

At a workshop in Virginia Beach one year, I met a Catholic priest. He was a philosophical man and in a discussion with him, I asked about the power of evil because I could never quite understand where the negative came from if all was of God. He and I had a great conversation and Iím sure he addressed the question. However, it didnít seem to me he had a very definitive answer which I understood.

Chapter 3 of this book gives a perspective that provides an answer this spiritual question. In fact, this chapter is probably the crux of the whole book. God IS everything but God is unconscious! Now I understand the role for humanity: we are to bring to consciousness Godís nature. We can choose to manifest the positive or we can be seduced into expressing the negative. "Seduced" is the perfect word here because to me one is lured into evil by oneís own inner negative desires and intentions, both conscious and unconscious. (An example would be Faust and why he got into all his trouble.)

I believe that because we have not dealt with the power of evil appropriately, our generation is being forced to face it, both collectively and individually. A powerful energy can take hold when motives that are self-serving and hurtful to other pull us into our own dark side.

I find it interesting that the word "psychologyí means science of the soul, yet until Jungís thinking is accepted more fully, psychology will not give credence to manís spiritual needs. Jungís psychology explains true ways to find wholeness and peace. It states in this chapter that Manís relation to God is in the individualís relation to his unconscious. Therefore, to me, each individualís efforts to become who he is meant to become, i.e. to discover the perfect pattern within, is the way to come closer to our potential divinity. That is, individuating is the way for God to incarnate. Itís nice to know that my individuation process has a gradual transformative effect on God--I donít need to invent something! ("Student #2")

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Chapter 3 is perhaps the core of Edingerís study, and the most substantial in its "shock" value, at least for the pious believer still "contained" within an orthodox religious tradition (e.g. like Eli Weisstub and Father Victor White). The chapter is built around Jungís essay Answer to Job, which Edinger claims "lays the groundwork for a new world-view, a new myth for modern man." Jung was more modest, recognizing that his ideas would appeal only to those no longer contained with a religion, i.e. those who sought to understand, who approached religion with a "relatedness" born from their individual numinous experience. Believers afraid to admit their doubts, and unbelievers afraid to admit their spiritual emptiness would both find Jungís work offensive.

The first stumbling block for many people, Jung realized, was his basic premise: that the psyche is real. Only those who go through an analysis, or who put in the time and effort to study Jungís works are likely to understand what he means by this statement.

Edinger then explains the dangers of ego inflation in the "highly numinous archetypal contents" of the Bible for those who have cast off the protections of organized religion and are aware of psychic reality.

Considerable attention is given to Jungís definition of "God" in relation to the unconscious: His/Her paradoxical nature; links to the unconscious, as the carrier of transcendental contents; as a "personification of the collective unconscious in its aspect of center and totality, the Self."

Jung regarded the book of Job as a pivotal book in the Old Testament, reflecting a "vast individuation process unfolding in the collective psyche" of the Hebrew people of that time. Ever since that turning point, Jung claims, humankind has been caught up in a process of divine transformation. Jung realized that this was not new; he was not inventing this idea, for the Gnostic gospels had developed the concept nearly 2,000 years earlier.

The reaction to Answer to Job was incomprehension from both sides: Religious people were shocked at the idea of deus absconditus, that God would have a "dark side," while the psychological community (i.e. Freudians) were stuck in a personalistic and reductive approach that led them into disillusionment.

Jung claimed that the egoís reason to exist was that it was necessary for the realization of the Self. God is justified by man, as the ego takes responsibility for the evil promptings of the Self in order to transform the Self.

In this vein Jung develops the concept of the continuing incarnation, in the form of individuation, that process in which the individual becomes aware of the Self within, lives out of this awareness, encounters and reconciles opposites and tolerates the tension of this conflict. The result? The human being becomes an instrument of God.

Ours, Edinger and Jung claim, is a time when God has been taken out of the containment of religion and is now seen as residing in the unconscious of man. In this way is God now incarnating.

Our new dispensation is no longer the law (as it was for the Jews of the Old Testament) or faith (as it was for Christianity), but experience. We relate to God as we relate to our own unconscious. What it might look like to carry God experientially Edinger describes at the end of chapter 3. (Mehrten)

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When he was 75, in 1951, Carl Jung had a revelation about the Book of Job, that is, about the relationship between mankind and God, which Jung suddenly understood to be the relationship between man's own ego and his archetypal psyche. He wrote Answer to Job, a very controversial, and for many, offensive book. Jung wrote that "God is reality itself," meaning, identical with the psyche, which is reality itself. He comprehended God as a personification of the collective psyche, that is, an archetype of wholeness generally corresponding to the archetypal image of "self." Jung believed that the collective unconscious (the unknown, the irrational, the frightening, the huge, the fantastic, etc.) can present itself to us from the outside or from the inside-- it being the same thing.

In the Book of Job, God addresses Job as an individual, not as a spokesman for Israel. Thus, a God-man relationship is presented. In the unique Biblical tale, God holds council with the devil, makes a bet, and frivolously sends tortures and punishments to the innocent Job. God's behavior is not wise and godly, according to modern interpretation, but strangely childish, mean, jealous, tyrannical-- that is, suspiciously similar to the barbaric mindset of ancient peoples. No matter how outrageous God acts, or how afflicted Job is, or how much his friends seek to unnerve him, he refuses to stoop to God's level or return "an eye for an eye" by blasphemy. According to Jung, Job did not see God as "all good" and mankind as "all bad." Rather, Job recognized God as "not a man," but a phenomenon, an unconscious, irrational force [within Job's psyche] that cannot be judged morally. Because of Job's awareness of this and his subsequent morally high behavior, he becomes superior (or becomes a better example) than the irrational force, God. And because the tyrannical nature of God is seen and known, that nature must change its self-image, because of the new information-- Job's kind, patient, faithful behavior--that is mirrored back! Jung firmly believed that "whoever knows God has an effect on him."

Jung even saw Job as a sacrifice for Yahweh's developing consciousness. He thought of the Old Testament as representing the unfolding individuation process of the collective unconscious, reaching a pivotal point in Job and culminating in Ezekiel, where the vision of wheels is a mandala of the fully conscious Self. By his study of the Bible, Jung saw God as slowly differentiating and "becoming man," a trend culminating in Christ. God descends to becomes more human; mankind rises to become more godlike. Together, they (It) evolves.

Jung reminds us that we do not make up the contents of the collective unconscious, that it has things there of its own, that are not-I. He indicates that an encounter with God, for instance, is a type of psychic event wherein we encounter an objective "other" we certainly did not invent, and cannot identify with. He reminds us that this uninvented "other" is a psychic reality, pointing out that Job did not make the mistake of thinking he was somehow the creator of his own afflictions. Likewise, said Jung, an attitude of "all good from God, all bad from man" is fruitless, for it simply makes man a scapegoat as the dark side of God.

He also had the notion that God's incarnation as Christ was incomplete, because the shadow side of Christ is missing. God had, in effect, split himself in two, as all-good Christ and all-bad Satan. Even Mary's virgin status kept her elevated to the god level. The famous psychiatrist's solution to this was acceptance of the idea of a continuing incarnation of the Divine, as implied in the gospel of John and the words of Paul, concerning the role of the Holy Spirit. Jung sees the Holy Spirit as a sign of the broadening of the incarnation process, with Christ as symbol of the first born of many siblings to follow. Henceforth, God will be carried by the individual-- a Self fully realized. (Cornett)

 

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The Old Testament as a whole represents a vast individuation process unfolding in the collective psyche. The failure of God's attempt to corrupt Job (in the Book of Job) meant that man was moral, and as such, was raised above "a-moral" Yahweh; God now had to catch up to man by incarnating. With the incarnation (New Testament) however, man then became involved in the process of God's transformation (from unconscious amoral God to conscious moral God). The Book of Job marks the transition from the collective to the individual --- God now engages man as an individual who must experience God on his own without the support of identification with a nation or creed. The hallmark of individuation is the differentiation of the individual psyche from its containment in the collective psyche, for the energies of the transpersonal psyche must be mediated and humanized in man.

To "know" is to carry the living conscious experience of transpersonal Self (God). By psychologically understanding the archetypal imagery of Self, we are able to experience it rather than merely identify with it unconsciously. In this way, God continues incarnating in each and every person.

In psychological terms the incarnation of God in man means individuation. To the extent that one becomes aware of the transpersonal self, one can be said to be incarnating the God image.

Yahweh as a psychic reality is a personification of the collective unconscious, especially in its aspect of center and totality, the Self. It expresses itself in dreams and fantasies of an archetypal nature --- in affects, instinct, and intense energy manifestations of all kinds --- in its specific quality of otherness that goes contrary to the desires and expectations of the ego. But the ego has a reason to exist; it is needed for the realization of the Self. The reflecting consciousness of man is necessary to discern the latent meaning of creation. (Viennu)

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