Religion against God
Can religion defend us against God? Jung once said: ¨Religion is a system to defend us against the experience of God.¨
How can this be understood? Christian church, for example, owns his mythology to saint Paul, who did not know Jesus personally, but talked to his spirit in a vision on the road to Damascus.
After Jesus death, many of his followers were completely lost. How could God abandon the Messiah? Saint Paul created a myth to explain Jesus death and, consciously our unconsciously, borrowed many other ideas from the mystery religions prevailing at the time, making Christianity acceptable to the non-Jews.
The rise of Christianity can be credited to saint Paul, avoiding the intention of the original apostles to keep it as a Jewish sect. The Christian church owns to Saint Paul its universality.
Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament, was a stern God, that asked to be loved but you better fear. Very few prophets risked a direct confrontation with Yahweh. In the second century, being Jesus a God of love, many risked talking to him. Many prophets claimed direct contact with Jesus through visions, and preached a new mythology. They were fought by the orthodox Christians, and branded as heretics. Today, some are classified as Gnostics, a word that did not exist until the seventeen century.
In a sense, saint Paul was the first Gnostic, since he developed Christianity after a vision. Christianity was accepted as the official religion of the Roman Empire (IV century), and all the so-called Gnostic writing were condemned and almost all destroyed. The Church became powerful and tried to preserve its orthodox mythology. As a result, many mystics were considered heretics and some burned during the Inquisition.
As Jung said: ¨Religion is a system to defend us against the experience of God.¨ No more visions, no more mystics, no more direct talks to Jesus. The monopoly of contacts with God belongs exclusively to the Pope.