religion or creed

(15) Religion or Creed

The Undiscovered Self” by C.G. Jung, explores religion or creed, how religion and the State, in the form of absolutist sources of knowledge, can come to dominate thought and separate us from ourselves.

“The purpose of dialogue and critical inquiry is not, as is commonly thought, to ascertain Truth. The purpose is to instill humility in each of us as we are faced with the reality that none of our stories, none of our judgments, none of our ideological systems, are capable of holding the whole of an individual person, let alone the whole of society, civilization or world. Reflective dialogue moves us away from the absolutist tendency of our psychological need to feel right, towards a concern for the multi-leveled or layered existence of each person.” 

The Undiscovered Self” by C.G. Jung
religion or creed

Religion or Creed

While the definition of religion can be debated, Jung is here using it in the sense of what is modernly referred to as “spirituality,” or a sense of the transcendent. Jung is focused on the draw from individualism to collectivism, from individual conscience to State-sanctioned dictates. While the line between the individual and the group is often hazy at best, there is room on that line for how to consider one’s morality and application of ethics.

Where do you begin on that question? Do you start with yourself and wonder how, if everyone acted the way you did, the broader society would look? Does intent matter and how does it work in connection with the perception of others? When confronted with criticism or condemnation, do you retreat to the authority of a system or the sanctity of the individual? 

These questions are not meant to have a clear or final answer. They are questions that we revisit over and over as our lives continue to unfold.