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Psychology and Religion: West and East (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 11) 2nd ed. Edition
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I will go over this volume one essay at a time:
The first essay is entitled "Psychology and Religion" and is a very useful, readable, and somewhat generalized overview on Jung's opinions on religion, and its usefulness in preventing neurosis. This essay is an ideal introduction.
Next comes the esaay "A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity". This is a very complex and profound essay, and deals with some of the most perplexing and mysterious concepts in all of theology. Specifically, it attempts to explain the precise nature of the Holy Ghost. It may be hard to relate to this essay unless you have had a numinous religious experience, such as a connection of coincidences with an underlying Biblical message. But Jung does a remarkable job dealing with this complex subject.
Next comes the essay "Transformation Symbolism in the Mass". This is my least favorite essay in this collection. Jung describes in excruciating detail the painstaking procedures involved in carrying out a proper symbolic mass. This wouldn't be so bad if Jung would have actually given us his interpretation of the symbolic significance of the procedures contained within the mass, but he does not do this. Instead, he simply explains in a very boring and dry manner what is to be done in performing the mass, and does not venture an interpretation of what any of this means. This is the only weak essay in this volume, however, and the rest of the book is classic, vintage Jung.Read more ›
Belief vs. Thought:
p. 110 "People who believe and don't think always forget that they continually expose themselves to their own worst enemy: doubt. Wherever belief reigns, doubt lurks in the background. But thinking people welcome doubt: it serves them as a valuable stepping-stone to better knowledge. People who can believe should be a little more tolerant with those of their fellows who are only capable of thinking. Belief has already conquered the summit which thinking tries to win by toilsome climbing. The believer ought not to project his habitual enemy, doubt, upon the thinker, thereby suspecting him of destructive designs...let the believer rejoice that others, too, seek to climb the mountain on whose peak he sits."
p. 449 "Irritability, bad moods, and outbursts of affect are the classic symptoms of chronic virtuousness."
The Statistical Distribution of Human Development In Terms of Years and Historical Periods:
p. 308 "There are people who, psychologically, might be living in the year 5000 B. C., i.e., who can still successfully solve their conflicts as people did seven thousand years ago. There are countless troglodytes and barbarians living in Europe and in all civilized countries, as well as a large number of medieval Christians. On the other hand, there are relatively few who have reached the level of consciousness which is possible in our time.Read more ›