Was Jung a mystic?
Jung was always concerned about being seen as a scientist as well as a psychologist. However, due to his incursions into religious matters, many accused him of mysticism. This might be a compliment, nowadays, but it wasn´t so in the mid 20th century. Mainly for wanting his ideas to be considered by psychologists and scientists of his time, he disliked to be thought of as a mystic.
As his objective was to care for people´s mental health, Jung couldn´t avoid talking about religion, a matter which even though he emphasized that he was not a theologian, he enriched by giving important contributions. Jung said he knew no one in their second half of life who could solve their existential problems without connecting to a higher force, and advised many patients to go back to their religion of origin.
If psychology intends to improve human beings making them more conscious and happier, its aim is necessarily twined together with religions. Jung realized this, and tried to influence the Catholic Church through some priest friends, seeking a renewal that would invert the declining situation by which Christianity was passing, and currently still is.
This was not possible. When Jung wrote “Answer to Job”, the outrage of some friends linked to the Church led to the end of this attempt to get closer. A loss for both the Vatican and all the Christians.
It is interesting to mention the way this work was written. For some time, Jung had been maturing the idea, but had no courage to move on. The heavy criticism given to his book “Aion” convinced him that some highly advanced ideas were misunderstood. With such an emotional subject, a rational judgment cannot be expected. If “Aion” aroused so much criticism, what should be expected of “Answer to Job”?
His resistance to the book was won by the Self, which made him undergo high temperature that only ended when, three days later, the book was ready. It had to be written for him to get rid of the fever. Jung did get rid of the fever, but not from the heavy criticism and disputes with friends such as Father White, his main partner in the struggle to make his ideas deemed by the Vatican.
Jung dreamed about collaborating with Christianity´s development, making it livelier, as he considered that the symbols on which it has been based for two thousand years were worn out and getting each day more worn down.
Roberto Lima Netto believes that our objective in life is to be happy, and that Jungian psychology and spirituality, his main areas of interest, can lead us in the search for happiness. His blog is www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org.
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