Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Jung's Red Book

David Bentley Hart over at First Things has an interesting take on Jung's long-held-secret Red Book, finally released in 2009, and rather a disappointment.

Many of them seem intent on getting Jung to abandon his conventional belief in any real dichotomy between good and evil, and to recognize that God and the devil are just two sides of a single reality; none of them, however, has any great gift for getting to the point.

That has been my impression of occult spirit-guides and prophets in general, and one of the reasons that I was able to drop the last vestiges of occult leanings in 1975 when I became a converted, or at least reviviscent, Christian.  They meander.  They wander.  They get distracted into current events in odd ways. I thought at the time Really, you'd think actual demons would have a little more force, more drive, more punch. Hard to believe these Ouija-voices and astrologers have got even a remote connection to cosmic battles.  They're not not frightening so much as banal.

Reading Lewis The Great Divorce and the "Perelandra" series later, I began to appreciate how both might be true.  I digress.  The Hart essay is fun, and good learning. The phrase "Transcendence without transcendence" is a real gift to discussion about modern spirituality.


Anonymous said...

It's not just devils and ghosts. Wise extraterrestrials also travel across hundreds of light-years in order to deliver messages of astonishing pointlessness.

It was either Frank Drake or Carl Sagan who said that the messages from UFO contactees always disappoint: what they contain that is new is inaccurate, and what they contain that is accurate is not new. The aliens only warn about current concerns (they didn't say anything about the risks of global warming in the 1950s), and they never provide any genuinely new, testable scientific information.

Unknown said...

My wife's reaction to such occult deliverances is to quote Isaiah 8:19, about "wizards who peep and mutter." A description that still holds good.

I also recall a snippet from a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, involving seances. One character, a widow who was told her late husband had shown up at a seance begging for prayer for release from a place of penance and playing a levitating accordion, replied waspishly that her husband never held with anything Popish, and wherever he was, she hoped he had something better to do than play the accordion.