Happiness Academy Online

A Blog about Psychology (Jungian), Spirituality and Happiness, By Roberto Lima Netto.

Where is God? Jung, Meister Eckhart and the Sufis

(Clique para português)

Where is God? Jung, Meister Eckhart and the Sufis

Jung repeatedly claimed that he was not a theologian, but an empirical psychologist. But he also claimed that our psyche has an “authentic religious function”. As a result, he was led to study religion, not from the point of view of theology, but with psychological eyes.

Where is God? Meister Eckhart, (c. 1260 – c. 1327), was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic. Coming into prominence at a time of increased tensions between the Franciscans and Eckhart  Dominican Order of Friars Preachers, he was accused of being an heretic by the Franciscan-led Inquisition and tried at the time of Pope John XXII, but died before the verdict.
Eckhart said that God is closer to us than we can possibly imagine. How close is this? Is he implying that God is inside our psyche?

The Sufis say that there is no God, but the experience of God. Are they saying that we have to experience God? It seems to me that both visions match with Jung’s position.

Jung claims that we have, inside our psyche, many archetypes. One of them is the Self, that he also calls the Image of God. He goes further. The Real God, this transcendent Great Energy that created the universe, is beyond the reach of our mental faculties, and cannot be accessed by normal human beings.
I question if this Great Spirit can be accessed by the mystics. Even if they could, the limitations of human language would not allow them to fully transmit their findings to us.

Back to the title question: Where is God? The God we can access, the God we can talk to, is inside our psyche. It is the Self, the Image of God that lives inside our psyche.

In 1913, Jung passed through a crisis in the middle of his life that led him to talk to some personalities inside of his psyche. The details of these dialogues are registered in the Red Book. The Red Book is so different, so strange, that Jung withhold its publication and only very recently his family allowed its offering to the public. The minimum I can say is that the material presented is shattering.
While writing the Red Book, Jung developed the method of Active imagination that allows us to talk to the various personalities that live inside our psyche. Among these personalities is the Self.

Not being mystics, but simple mortals, Active Imagination may be our way of talking to God. This calls my attention to the Pentecostal renewal movement within Christianity that, like the Gnostics of the first centuries, places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God
I urge you to learn Active Imagination and try it, and I strongly recommend the book Inner Work, by Robert Johnson. It is easy to read. You don’t need a previous knowledge of Jungian Psychology to understand it.

I am Roberto Lima Netto, author of The Jungian Bible, which presents Jung’s concepts to the layman exemplifying them with stories from the Bible. I also wrote The Little Prince for Grownups, The Amazon Shaman, In Search of Happiness and others, offered in Amazon.
You find me at: www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org

Onde está Deus? Jung, Meister Eckhart e os Sufis

Jung repetidamente afirmava que não era um teólogo, mas um psicólogo empírico. Porém, também afirmava que nossa psique tem uma “função religiosa autêntica”. Como resultado, ele teve que estudar as religiões, não do ponto de vista de um teólogo, mas com os olhos de um psicólogo.
Onde está Deus? Meister Eckhart, (c. 1260 -. C 1327), foi um teólogo, filósofo e místico alemão. Chamou a atenção da Inquisição quando a tensão entre os franciscanos e Ordem Dominicana Eckhart dos Frades Pregadores estava no auge, e foi acusado de ser um herege pela Inquisição liderada pelos franciscanos. Foi processado no papado de João XXII, mas morreu antes do julgamento terminar.
Eckhart disse que Deus está mais perto de nós do que podemos imaginar. Mais próximo como? Será que ele está insinuando que Deus está dentro de nossa psique?
Os Sufis – Sufismo é o lado esotérico do Islamismo – dizem que Deus não existe, somente a experiência de Deus.? Parece-me que ambas as visões – Eckhart e Sufi – coincide com a posição de Jung.
Jung afirma que nós temos, dentro de nossa psique, muitos arquétipos. Um deles é o Self, que ele também chama a imagem de Deus. Ele vai mais longe. O Deus Real, esta Energia Transcendente, esta Grande Força que criou o universo está além do alcance de nossas faculdades mentais, e não pode ser acessado por seres humanos normais.
Eu questiono se este Grande Espírito pode ser acessado pelos místicos. Porém, as limitações da linguagem humana não lhes permitiria transmitir todas as suas descobertas para nós.
Voltemos à pergunta do título: Onde está Deus? O Deus que podemos acessar, o Deus com quem podemos falar, está dentro de nossa psique. É o Self, a imagem de Deus que vive dentro de nossa psique.
Em 1912, Jung passou por uma crise no meio de sua vida que o levou a falar com algumas personalidades dentro de sua psique. Os detalhes destes diálogos estão registrados no Livro Vermelho, um livro tão diferente, tão impressionante, que Jung recusou sua publicação, e só muito recentemente sua família permitiu que ele fosse apresentado ao público. O mínimo que posso dizer é que o material é devastador.
Ao escrever o Livro Vermelho, Jung desenvolveu o método de imaginação ativa, que nos permite falar com as várias personalidades que vivem dentro de nossa psique. Entre essas personalidades está o Self, a Imagem de Deus..
Para nós, simples mortais, a imaginação ativa é nossa maneira de falar com Deus. Isso me lembra o movimento de renovação pentecostal dentro do cristianismo, que, a exemplo dos gnósticos, coloca ênfase especial em uma experiência direta e pessoal de Deus.
Acho que você deveria tentar o método da Imaginação Ativa. Se estiver interessado, recomendo a leitura do livro de Robert Johnson – Inner Work (existe tradução portuguesa, mas o título foi mantido em inglês),. É de fácil leitura, e não exige qualquer conhecimento prévio de psicologia junguiana.

I was involved in the business world, as an executive of large companies and university professor since recently. I was the president CSN, the largest steel-mill of Latin America and was responsible for its turn-around. My first encounter with the teachings of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung, one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century, was during my midlife crisis. Reading "Man and his Symbols" at that time, inspired me to go into Jungian analysis and to begin devouring the writings of Jung and his disciples. Since then, I've been studying psychology, especially Jungian psychology and, after reaching my seventies, I decided to become a full time writer, specializing on books on Jungian psychology and psychological thrillers. Every masterpiece of literature can be absorbed through multiple interpretations, and yield powerful insights for our daily lives. My first Jungian book, “The Little Prince for Grown-ups“, in its fourth edition in Brazil, was based on the famous book of Saint-Exupéry. The second, - “The Jungian Bible” - interprets some stories of the Old Testament and world myths. As I get older and, with a bit of luck, wiser, I want to pass on to the younger generations the lessons life has taught me. Jesus Christ taught that it was easier to sell ideas with stories. Following the Master, I published in English "The Amazon Shaman" and "In Search of Happiness", two psychological thrillers around the theme of happiness.

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