Quote: Carl Jung.. I know God exists

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Comment by Scott Baird on February 17, 2013 at 12:23pm

In the preface to Edinger's book Ego and Archetype, he writes the following: 

"It is only beginning to dawn on the educated world, what a magnificent synthesis of human knowledge has been achieved by C. G. Jung.  Starting as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist he discovered in his patients and in himself the reality of the psyche and the phenomenology of its manifestations at a depth never before observed systematically.  As a result of this experience, he could then recognize the same phenomenology expressed in the culture-products of mankind--myth, religion, philosophy, art and literature.  He has penetrated to the root source of all religion and culture and thus has discovered the basis for a new organic syncretism of human knowledge and experience.  The new viewpoint thus achieved, is so comprehensive and all-embracing that, once grasped, it cannot fail to have revolutionary consequences for man's view of himself and the world.  Pronouncements are not sufficient to convey new levels of consciousness.  The realization of the "reality of the psyche" which makes this new world-view visible, can only be achieved by one individual at a time working laboriously on his own personal development.  This individual opus is called by Jung individuation--a process in which the ego becomes increasingly aware of its origin from and dependence upon the archetypal psyche.  This book is about the process of individuation, its stages, its vicissitudes and its ultimate aim.  I hope it will be a small contribution toward the goal that Jung's work has made eventually certain, namely, the reconciliation of science and religion."

Perhaps Edinger's ebullience is a bit premature with regard to this reconciliation.  Nevertheless, when speaking of working laboriously, his presentation has made Jung's work a lot less so, and I certainly recommend it for anyone looking for an excellent introduction into it.

As for why I thought of this particular work when viewing this much appreciated video-clip, I note the following:

The astronomers have now discovered with some certitude that all of the matter in the universe originated from a single point in space some 13.6 billion years ago.  This suggests that all creation came from nothing, since we cannot conceive of how a point, comprising only one dimension could contain anything at all--"Let there be light," it says in Genesis.  Add to this the rather difficult problem that philosophy has with the association of "mind" with matter; this still unresolved in spite of the seeming psychiatric axiom "behind every twisted thought is a twisted molecule," and you can see that the conviction that substance is the root of reality is a more or less western culture prejudice.   Indeed, Jung himself spends a good deal of time on this problem in his essay "On Psychic Energy" (Coll. Works Vol. 8.)  If you would like to have your own mind given a good work-out, it is most enlightening.  Coming thus far with me then, I must say that since we cannot conceive of how our bodies or minds were created out of nothing, then we must concede that we are incapable of forming anything more than an hypothesis to account for this creation.  Yet, like Wordsworth, I have deep "intimations" that our origin has its roots in the divine, and I have no better word for this than God.  I know there are many others besides Jung who have had a direct experience of this "divine source" and can say with him "I don't believe--I know."  No "professions of faith" will ever substitute for the direct experience of this source that had to be "acculturated" away.  Sadly, some never learn that reconnecting to this divine source of being is "the only game in town."   From 2 Maccabees 7:28:  "I beg you my child, to look at the heaven and earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed."

Comment by Lee Lawrence on February 17, 2013 at 1:51pm

Excellent quote:  "I don't believe--I know."  No "professions of faith" will ever substitute for the direct experience of this source that had to be "acculturated"

Thank you for posting your comments.  

Comment by William John Meegan on March 3, 2014 at 2:35pm

Edinger was a bit premature in his statement

"he (Jung) discovered in his patients and in himself the reality of the psyche and the phenomenology of its manifestations at a depth never before observed systematically."

Antiquity had already known what CG Jung rediscovered and not to admit that is to fall right back into the same old same old of academic snobbery and superiority. 

This direct experience you speak of, I personally experience in June 1978 and it literally cleanses the soul/psyche of its past faults and redirects the psyche with another raison d’être An example of this would be an alcoholic sobering up and beginning life anew; however, I believe there are degrees in what this Transcendent Function produces.  There is an experience where no more than a nanosecond transpires, which literally takes over the life of the mystic to where it is no longer his or her life and is ceased by the archetype of the divine to do its will.  The alcoholic sobering up rarely has the peak experience upon sobering up as Bill Wilson had; however, if the recovering alcoholic continues in his or her quest to know God and him or herself he or she will eventually have other psychic experiences, which lead to the peak experience.  It is DESIRE and sincerity that will determine the course of future psychic experiences.  It is action (study and hard work) not lip-service, which determines the course of these psychic experiences.  And it is such a vision that will make a believer out of the most diehard atheist.

I should state here that it is usually in the beginning of one's quest that one has this peak experience; though, other psychic experiences of a minor nature may have already transpired over previous years. The key point here is that years of knowledge is not a prerequisite for having such an experience.  It is DESIRE and sincerity that are the keys to psychic maturation.

Comment by Scott Baird on March 4, 2014 at 1:21pm

I agree with you that much of what Jung "discovered" was already known in antiquity.  This knowledge was very arcane, however, and it often was written in a terminology that few had, or have, the capacity to understand.  Along with using his immense insight and intuition, what Jung did was interpret much of this arcane wisdom into the language of science.  Therefore, I would not be so hard on our good Dr. Edinger.  Although I never met him, those who knew him well have only spoken well of him.  "Academic snobbery [and] superiority" are not likely to be his attributes, although given the difficulty and arcane nature of what he addressed, I can see that some might make that interpretation.

There is a story recorded in Ginsberg's Legends of the Jews that tells of both the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life.  What it says is that the Tree of Knowledge... is actually a hedgerow that grows around and protects the Tree of Life from easy access.  There are some, having an excess of God's grace, who can simply leap over this hedgerow and gain the benefits of the Tree of Life with little or no effort, while the rest of us are left the arduous task of eating our way through it.  I am happy for you William, pray for me that I am not just "waiting for Godot."  As I'm sure you know, Jung had much to say about achieving this state that Buddhists call samadhi, here is but one instance:

“When a summit of life is reached, when the bud unfolds and from the lesser the greater emerges, then, as Nietzsche says, “One becomes Two,” and the greater figure, which one always was but which remained invisible, appears to the lesser per­sonality with the force of a revelation. He who is truly and hopelessly little will always drag the revelation of the greater down to the level of his littleness, and will never understand that the day of judgment for his littleness has dawned. But the man who is inwardly great will know that the long expected friend of his soul, the immortal one, has now really come, “to lead captivity captive”; that is, to seize hold of him by whom this immortal had always been confined and held prisoner, and to make his life flow into that greater life-a moment of deadliest peril!” Carl Jung (CW 9i: 217)

The peril that Jung speaks of here is that the more common development from the result of "encounter with the self" is madness.  The psycho-wards are full of souls who were just a hairsbreadth away from "awakening" instead.  It is not ego dissolution, as many religions insist, that is the prerequisite for enlightenment, but rather subordination of the ego to the greater whole.  "Only a ripe fruit falls" states another Indian "guru," Osho.  And what he means is that the ego must be exceedingly strong in order to survive this encounter with "divine forces."  The myths are full of incidents where those who are not ready for this encounter are instantly disintegrated by the presence of God--Semele before Zeus, is but one.

With this, I hope you can see that I have both sincerety and desire, and yet--I'm still eating.

Comment by William John Meegan on March 4, 2014 at 5:56pm

Your posts are gifts.  There is no destination for he that rest descends.  The journey is to recognized the divine is all creation: recognize all as an analogy to the psyche interacting with the divine.

Yes, I know that I was graced not to be destroyed by the dynamic psychic forces (whom the gods would destroy they first made mad) in my early years though if it was not for CG Jung writings I would not have known what to do in later years as I experienced other psychic eruptions. 

I like Edinger's works and I was not referring to him in my quip over academic snobbery. 

CG Jung did bring the science of the ancients somewhat to the fore on a scientific basis; however, he could not have known of the highly sophisticated esoteric science that is codified to ancient literature.  Jung's work is an extremely well presented commentary on the ancient system that completely explored the psyche and what Jung called the Transcendent Function; however, the esoteric science goes one step further than Jung and that step is across a vast chasm that Jung never ventured to bridge.  In fact he did not even know it existed. 

The esoteric science I speak of is that chasm (that bridge). If you know the this science actually exist in ancient literature and you actually understanding the grammatical and arithmetical data codified esoterically to the texts you would be completely flabbergasted to the point YOU WOULD LITERALLY BELIEVE YOU WERE THE ONLY SANE MAN ALIVE.  Everybody has drunk the cool-aid but you.  It is like discovering a civilization on earth whom technology is ten thousand years ahead of the rest of the world.

Everybody around you knows nothing of it and yet everybody has a copy of that knowledge in their homes if they would only take the time to study the scriptural text Gematrially: letter by letter, word by word alphanumerically.

You find out quickly enough that the world, as a whole, doesn't want this esoteric science because it is too ego-centric and there is no way of going back upon the track so-to-speak.  The mystic cannot return to blissful ignorance; hence, the main reason for being a hermit or a monk (female = nun).

It may seem that some have it easy. That is not so.  Every mystic claws his way across the desert as thirsty as any other seeker.  It is just that the mystic has more direct experience with God and has received more from Him; however, each new discovery for the mystic is just as difficult as the neophytes first inroads into this knowledge of the divine.

Comment by Lewis Lafontaine on May 15, 2014 at 12:12pm

It may be of interest to note that after Dr. Jung's now famous "I don't believe. I know." comment that due to widespread misunderstanding of his meaning that Dr. Jung wrote a Letter to the Editor of "The Listener" clarifying the intent of his statement which may be read at the link below:


Comment by Scott Baird on May 15, 2014 at 1:45pm

Thanks for the link Lewis.  What I can say about Jung's "clarification" is that for many it will only serve to confuse the issue further.  Certainly, Jung was not endorsing any "dogmatic" conception of God, or claiming that such an entity even exists, whatever any creed may call it.  That would be what he calls a concretization, or the hypostatization of a concept.  For Jung, the archetypal psyche, which (I hesitate to use the term) "exists" outside of space and time, is an empirical fact.  It is this psyche, which contains "the God image" within it, that creates the projection that most people call God--by various and sundry names.  To perceive the reality of this psyche that creates this projection is to know that God exists.

Comment by Scott Baird on May 15, 2014 at 1:48pm

I know that saying to "perceive the reality of the psyche" does not clarify the issue for very many people either.  I will look for an appropriate quote in Jung's works to see if I can find something more cogent.  Lanquage certainly does have its limitations, doesn't it Lewis.

Comment by William John Meegan on May 15, 2014 at 2:40pm

I wish there was a concordance to Jung's writings; because, I do remember reading Jung describing having a kernel of an idea in the first decade of the twentieth century and he spent the next sixty years trying to describe it.  Knowing Jung's adamant penchant for being known as a scientist; rather, than a mystic I can understanding why he would call his vision of God a 'kernel of an idea'.  I do not believe Jung's vision was seeing anthropomorphic being; rather, I think his vision was of an idea, which is something he found he had to unfold like a scroll from heaven.

Jung apparent backtracking in that letter to the editor does not negate his "Freudian Slip' so-to-speak.  He was asked a direct question and he spontaneously answered it.  There is no getting around it.  It is that one statement "I don't believe, I know" that drew me to the writings and teachings of CG Jung.  If he had not said it I would have summarily dismissed him as just another academic beyond my ken.  It is only because of my own experience some three months before I saw the field that he makes this statement in that I was able to grasp what he was talking about.

With a Freudian Slip like that most psychiatrists would have a field day with their patient and wouldn't let him or her backtrack on it but face up to it.  A spontaneous answer is of greater truth than a well thought out answer, as Jung had time to do after the interview.

In modernity as in other times people have always feared to talk about their spiritual visions.  I think we hear much about the saints having such experiences because these vision became so overwhelming that they had to speak to somebody about them.  CG Jung was creative enough that he was able to express himself in his chosen profession.  That is what separated him from many of his insane asylum's patients: he had a venue (psychiatry) to vent his idea, which allowed him to assimilate that KERNEL OF AN IDEA.

The last point I want to make about this is that what ever profession or hobby or obsession and/or addiction that is paramount to the intellect of the individual that receives such a vision it is that venue in which will become his or her dominant goal for life.  Mary Baker Eddy had such a vision after a fatal fall on ice.  Knowing she was about to die she asked for a bible for she studied the bible until she was 45 and after the vision spend the rest of her life founding the Christian Science Church, CG Jung a psychiatrist at the time of his vision ended up founding the school of Analytical Psychology, Bill Wilson a drunk in the hospital detoxing had a vision in his room and he said, "so this is the God of the preachers" and he founded the Alcoholics Anonymous Program, which is worldwide as is Jung's school of Analytical Psychology, as is Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science Church.  Not everybody that has such a vision becomes known but those that do come forward it would seem that whatever mindset they have at the time of their vision becomes the primary venue to vent that vision.

Comment by Lewis Lafontaine on May 15, 2014 at 2:50pm

I wish there was a concordance to Dr. Jung's work as well but I do not know of one although the current "Kindle" version of his "Collected Works" does allow for more comprehensive searches.

I have been working of a directory of Resource Materials and Organizations and Groups dedicated to Dr. Jung's work which may be found at the 'Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group."

I lack the computer skills to know how to make the Excel Format available apart from having to go to Facebook.

Any additions or corrections to this Resource Directory will be greatly appreciated.



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