Saturday, July 26, 2014

Soul & Psyche, 3

Greetings, Dear Ones,

I am returning once again to meditating upon David Tacey's The Darkening Spirit,an exploration of Jungian spirituality and religious life.  In chapter four, which Tacey calls, "Jung and the Prophetic Life," I believe he is making a useful distinction, but using misleading terms to identify the two "sides" he seeks to distinguish.

Tacey describes Jung as a prophet, speaking on behalf of a God who no longer comfortably inhabits the narrow confines of institutional Christian life.  He explains, "...what the Church calls God is not a description of his [God's] character, but an interpretation of his nature. As an interpretation, it is relative, not absolute, and thus liable to error and correction."  It is the role of the prophet, both in biblical history and in the present time, to call attention to what Tacey calls "the provisional nature of religious discourse," and to point beyond that provisional interpretation of God to the Divinity that transcends but still speaks to the human condition.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Soul & Psyche, 2

Greetings, Dear Ones,

This post will pick up from the previous one, reflecting on ideas from The Darkening Spirit, by David Tacey.  Tacey's book is an exploration of the ideas of C.G. Jung on religion and spirituality, and promises a proposal for what religion might begin to look like in the future.  I have read the first four chapters, and find much to savor in these pages, some of which I will be chewing on in this blog.

One initial question has to do with why it is even necessary to imagine "what religion might look like in the future?"  Hasn't the Church always been what it is?  A place for worship and service, where some people lead and most people follow, and between the vestry and the choir and Sunday School most people find a place to fit in?  Well, I haven't been active in any institutional churches for about a decade now, but from what I hear from friends in the field, this form of "being Church," while it is still very much alive and well in some corners, is either dwindling in numbers or chronically tied up in controversy in others.  And all the while the voices of modern (and post-modern) atheism are loudly crying that religion is not only the opiate of the masses, but the cause of much of the pain and misery in the world.  In such an environment, how could religion simply keep on as it has?  Bidden or unbidden, change will come.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Soul & Psyche

Greetings, Dear Ones,

This post is the beginning of something a bit new for me -- a series based on a common theme.  It is sometimes useful to return to an idea over time in order to watch it slowly blossom open, and that's what I'm hoping will happen here.  First, some background.

Many years ago I bumped into Joseph Campbell's book, Hero with a Thousand Faces.  I actually did bump into it, on my sister's bedroom floor.  And she loaned it to me, and I read it, and discovered a whole new way of thinking about God and Jesus and salvation and what ails the human race.  And while I don't necessarily think Campbell was right about everything in the book, the encounter with archetypal understandings of psychology, mythology, and religion has forever changed how I think and feel about the realm of faith and religion.