Jungian and Catholic?
Part I

Chapter 1: The Jungian-Christian Dialogue


The Church has a tremendous need for a psychology like Jung's, and the widespread interest on the part of Christians in his psychology can be taken as a recognition of this fact. But interest is only the first stage of a Jungian-Christian dialogue. Christians have been taking a serious interest in Jung's psychology for more than forty years and still something seems to hold back this dialogue from flourishing. This failure of communication can no longer be attributed to the recent origins of Jung's psychology, or the intrinsic difficulties that exist in understanding it, or even to the recalcitrance of Christians too traditionally minded to change their perspective. While all these factors play a role, they are dwarfed by a fundamental misunderstanding between Jung's psychology and Christianity that has prevented this dialogue from succeeding. Therefore it becomes imperative that we try to understand the nature of this impasse less we fall victim to it.

The decades of debates that make up the history of the interaction between Jung's psychology and Christianity have almost blindly yielded some results of great importance by revealing the existence of certain more or less pure positions. In fact, the emergence of these positions was in a certain sense inevitable. There is a texture to the things of the mind. There are certain possible positions in a debate, and given enough time they will appear, and they will allow us to see what is at stake and even point towards a solution.

The first of these pure positions is the identification of Christianity with Jung's psychology. Christianity becomes but one instance - albeit a privileged one for Western man - of the basic process of individuation and the manifestation of the archetypes. This is the impression left by Edward Edinger's The Christian Archetype: Jungian Commentary on the Life of Christ, or Morton Kelsey's Encounter with God: A Theology of Christian Experience. Kelsey, for example, speaks of Jung as a theologian who dealt with the divine-human encounter (p. 38) and gives two identical diagrams. In the first (p. 111) the parts of the diagram are labeled the self, the psyche, destructive tendencies, etc. In the second (p. 154) the labels change so the self is now the Holy Spirit, the psyche becomes the soul, and destructive tendencies evil, leaving the reader with the impression that they are two different ways of talking about the same thing.

But impressions can be misleading, so it is worthwhile to examine this process of identification more carefully by looking at the work of John Dourley, a Catholic priest and Jungian analyst. Here we are faced with not simply a Jungian analyst trying to understand Christianity from his own perspective, or even a Christian who somewhat naively uses Jung's psychology to put meaning back into Christianity, but with a more conscious and deliberate taking of position. This can be seen in Dourley's The Illness That We Are: A Jungian Critique of Christianity. If Jung places the "location of the genesis of religious experience" within the human psyche, then Dourley sees this kind of religious epistemology as a challenge to Christianity.

"The possibility of a deity-engendering faculty within the psyche is understandably a threat to a Christianity still largely committed to living under the burden of its religious projections understood for the most part literally and historically." (p. 9)

If gods and goddesses must spring from the fecundity of the psyche, then does this not relativize the whole idea of Christian revelation?

"The idea that the experience of the divine is due to archetypal activity native to the psyche certainly modifies, if it does not render entirely premature and adolescent, claims to absolute and exhaustive revelations which have somehow drained the consciousness of its ability to express its religious energies in future revelations. Such a final Word would seem to block rather than stimulate further and fuller statements from the unconscious." (p. 10)

This kind of epistemology leads to the conclusion that Christianity and other religions are but partial and complete reflections of what Jung's psychology knows more directly and completely. In fact, they are not only incomplete but dangerous, for they take their revelation as some sort of absolute and impose it, often by force, on others, or enshrine this revelation in an institution that then lords it over believers.

"Rather than seeing the institutions they serve as necessarily diverse representatives of unconscious energies seeking to express themselves more fully through religious diversity, institutional theologies either deny this myth-making capacity of humanity or exempt their genesis from it in favor of a purely transcendental and supernatural ancestry." (p. 24-25)

It is Jung's psychology which becomes the means by which we can uncover in various philosophies and theologies the extent in which they embody archetypal realities. Then they can be understood "as ancillae psychologiae", the handmaids of theology, "as mutually mitigating and complementary aspects of an unconscious wealth seeking fuller expression than is yet possible through any one particular system.

"From this position Jung's thought has within it the norm for differentiating between philosophical and theological standpoints that would be helpful to conscious human development, and those that would be helpful or even entail ultimately the negation of any development, through the destruction of humanity itself. The norm would be based on the question of whether or not the patterns of thought in question, be they religious, philosophical or social, lead consciousness beyond itself to the energies within the psyche that work toward its balanced revitalization and emphatic extension." (p. 38-39)

Dourley is aware that he is pioneering a new religious epistemology that entails a radical critique of Christianity, and in doing so he sees himself following in Jung's footsteps, especially as Jung shows himself in his correspondence where he "gives some of the strongest indications that he was fully aware of the profound philosophical and metaphysical implications in his understanding of the psyche, a side of his thought he tends to disclaim in his published work-perhaps to avoid offending the "scientific community, as well as the more perceptive among the theologians" (p. 45)

John Dourley shows little of this reticence. God becomes "a psychic resource in which the opposites remain undifferentiated" (p. 55), and theologians should "cease battling for the perseverance of their lesser faiths" and work for a "more encompassing faith." (p. 80)

In this encompassing faith the two natures and one person of Christ become an understanding that "psychic maturity resides in the discovery of one's native divinity. (p. 80) And if we admitted that psychological, spiritual and revelatory experiences come from a common source we would be "comfortable with the idea that religious and psychological experience are organically one." (p. 85) If theology doesn't admit this it "should not pretend, in their dialogue with developmental psychology, that they have anything to contribute to or derive from various movements concerned with human potential." (p. 86) In short, individuation is identical to growth in the experience of God. Revelation would not be closed but each of us would have our own personal covenant and a "new testament would be struck every time the individual was led by the Self into dialogue with it, in the interests of its (the Self's) more conscious incarnation." (p. 96)

The resurrection "would be nothing less than the transformation of consciousness that attaches to the process of becoming whole in the here and now of everyday life" (p. 98), rather than something in the "realm of extraordinary geriatrics"! (p. 98)

In Love, Celibacy and the Inner Marriage, Dourley takes up these themes, again insisting that Jung, despite his disclaimers, had a metaphysical agenda.

"He certainly seems to enter the field of epistemology and ontology when he claims so repeatedly that all that one can know must be known through the psyche, including the reality of God" (p. 19) And Jung's remarks about the sacrosanct unintelligibility of dogma and following Nietzsche that philosophy and theology are the "ancillae psychologiae" stir Dourley to bring this metaphysics out in the open. The voice of the unconscious becomes the voice of God (p. 21) and psychological maturity must be called mysticism. Dourley cites Jung to the effect that the mystic has had "a particularly vivid experience of the processes of the collective unconscious." (p. 45) A "latent" or "surreptitious" metaphysics in Jung must attain its full stature and its implications for Christianity realized, even though it undermines "current religious configurations of transcendental monotheisms." (p. 58) Jung's psychology really is a "metapsychology." (p. 94) In it the old religious language must be recast. Following Jung's Answer to Job Dourley formulates it: "In the beginning God had a nervous breakdown." (p. 96) Its cause was due to God's inability to hold together the opposites of his "profoundly unconscious life". Therefore human consciousness had to be created to solve the divine problem.

The validity of this basic position which solves the tension between Christianity and Jung's psychology by having Jungian psychology swallow Christianity, will be examined later. For now we must be content with how emphatically and unequivocally Dourley anchors one of our pure positions.

If Dourley, for what must be called metaphysical reasons, would radically remake Christianity, the exponent of our other basic position, Raymond Hostie, would use his understanding of metaphysics to keep this devouring Jungian psychology at bay and far from the sacred precincts of Christianity. Hostie's Religion and the Psychology of Jung was based on a chronological study of the development of Jung's thought as well as some personal contact with him. Jung, who was ever eager though somewhat apprehensive to make contact with theologians, especially a contact with the added spice of being with one of those Jesuits, the bogeymen of his childhood, welcomed Hostie's interest. (Letters, Vol. 1, p. 503, note 10) But he strongly disapproved of the final result. "Unfortunately I am unable to thank you for sending me your book", he wrote, "...you criticize me as though I were a philosopher. But you know very well that I am an empiricist... I have no doctrine and no philosophical system, but have presented new facts which you studiously ignore." (Letters, April 25, 1955, p. 244)

Now on the surface this complaint is hard to understand, for Fr. Hostie had devoted a long and careful chapter to "the empirical method in analytical psychology" and while Jung reproached him for being like those men who did not want to look through Galileo's telescope at the new worlds he had discovered, Hostie had written:

"Only those who study Jung's empirical materia according to the method that he himself inaugurated can appreciate the accuracy of this description and be in a position to make any criticism of it that is not irrelevant to its subject because unaware of its method." (p.20)

So whatever Hostie's personal experience of Jung's psychology may have been, he certainly was not unaware of the method Jung was employing and of his basic ideas. But Hostie wanted to go further and discover the fundamental attitude that lay behind all these conceptions, and he finds that Jung is driven by a desire for synthesis and for establishing the complementarity of opposites "rooted in opposition between introversion and extraversion". (p. 87) But behind this fundamental attitude is a still more fundamental one that Jung never explicitly realized, which forms a "philosophical sub-structure" to his work. This sub-structure Hostie sees illustrated in Jung's Psychological Types when Jung treats of the problem of universals as an expression of the difference between introversion and extraversion. "With a single magnanimous - and rash – gesture Jung cheerfully throws away absolute truth and knowledge of the object in itself, consoling himself with the - in his eyes -highly comforting thought that the object is at any rate psychically real and true in so far as its union with the subject is concerned.

"Jung thus imagines that with a turn of the hand he can solve one of the thorniest problems in the whole of philosophy." (p. 92)

Jung's desire for synthesis and complementarity leads him to reduce the opposing views to a "common denominator which does not exist at the level of the dispute." ( p. 92) Jung's praise of religion is most "impressive people who have no psychological background." (p. 94) And Jung's concept of psychic energy allowed him to unify the views of Freud and Adler, but it was an abstract conception that "meant inevitably that all Jung's other particular postulates were abstract in character." (p. 94) For example, archetypes are potentialities of representation and the self a limiting concept and Jung's digression on the symbols of the archetypes and the self" do nothing towards giving any content to these absolute abstractions." (p. 94-95) Jung has not been able to achieve any genuine synthesis and his efforts in this direction "have been found most impressive by people whose contact with analytical psychology is of a somewhat superficial kind." (p. 95)

How can Jung speak of the unknowability of the thing in itself and then turn around and speak of its manifestations? "This same kind of oscillation between two extreme - almost contradictory - points of view enables Jung to chop and change about in a way that rouses his opponents to fury. First he volatizes his archetypes and presents them as pure "possibilities" of representations, or significant centres with no content of their own, then he concretizes them to the extent of making them "the motive forces behind oniric activity" and "sources and regulators of unconscious activity." First he describes the self as a pure limiting concept, then he stuffs it with the whole of psychic life as the supreme reality, directly apprehended." (p. 98)

Jung is guilty of superimposing a Kantian belief in the unknowability on the objective world upon a realistic view of the world. And "If Jung really wants to achieve a harmony between the various opposing view-points that he has enumerated he should go back either to Aristotle or to phenomenology." (p. 99) Jung's attempts at synthesis have not led to any coherent philosophy. (p. 101) And he has never examined his own assumptions. "They are borrowed for the most part from "common sense", with a thin veneer taken from Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche." (p. 106) His empiricism yields abstract realities like psychic energy, the archetypes and the self, and he "succumbs to the temptation to turn these abstract realities into concrete "entities" or "essences"." (p. 106)

And Hostie concludes this scathing attack with regrets that "Jung has not seen fit to reconsider the shaky philosophical assumptions on which his fundamental position rests. He could have done this either through an Aristotelian hylomorphism or by way of metaphysical phenomenology, to which he is certainly no stranger.

"It is equally regrettable that none of the critics who have tried to go at all deeply into his work has so far pursued this course, with the possible exception, in one or two respects, of Boss." (p. 108)

Again we will put off for the moment considering the validity of Hostie's objections and only note that he has firmly anchored the opposite end of the spectrum from Dourley. If John Dourley would transform Christianity into Jungian categories, Hostie, having exposed what he considers the extreme weakness of the foundation of Jung's psychology, cannot be expected to find a positive role for it in the Church.

Now that we have seen these two extremes it is relatively easy to locate other intermediate positions. There is, for example, a considerable literature of convergence which accents the positive correspondences between Jung's psychology and Christianity without being unaware of there being divergences lurking in the background. We can see this approach in John Welch's, Spiritual Pilgrims: Carl Jung and Teresa of Avila or Mary Wolff-Salin's, No Other Light: Points of Convergence in Psychology and Spirituality. This spirit of convergence grows, I think, out of a genuine appreciation of the need the Church has for Jung's psychology, and an unwillingness to keep it at arm’s length because of the difficulties that such an integration poses.

Another class of literature, more Jungian in orientation, pursues somewhat the same goal. Without wavering in its adherence to Jung, it is willing to confront some of the most obvious and pressing difficulties posed by Jung's formulations. Here, for example, we see John Sanford being critical of Jung's views on evil in his, "The Problem of Evil in Christianity and Analytical Psychology", or Wallace Clift touching on the same issue in his, Jung and Christianity: The Challenge of Reconciliation.

We can summarize this spectrum of opinion as follows:

1. Thorough-going attempts to reinterpret Christianity in the light of Jung's psychology. (Dourley)

2. A less conscious identification of Jungian psychology and Christianity whether from the Jungian or Christian side that has roughly the same effect. (Edinger, Kelsey)

3. A basically Jungian appreciation of Christianity which balks at the most outstanding difficulties of the Jung-Christian dialogue. (Sanford, Cliff)

4. A Christian literature of convergence, not accenting but not unaware of problems. (Welch, Wolff-Salin)

5. A Christian rejection of Jung's psychology as flawed in itself and destructive to Christianity. (Hostie)

This wide range of opinion can be further illustrated by the articles collected in Carl Jung and Christian Spirituality. But is there any way to reconcile such diverse judgments on Jung's work? Let's look again at the two ends of the spectrum represented by Dourley and Hostie, and try to see how far apart, in fact, they actually are.

One of the real merits of Hostie's book was to point out that there was a philosophical sub-structure to Jung's work. But he became so taken up with this discovery that he allowed it to distract him from his own appreciation of Jung's empirical method. Jung is no philosopher, as he asserted many times, including in his letter to Hostie. But all of us have, consciously or unconsciously, attitudes on questions that, were they considered formally and for themselves, would be properly philosophical. For example, we make assertions about our ability to know whether we do it in words or simply by our conduct. So Jung could not escape having an implicit philosophy. But this is very different from asserting that this philosophy has invalidated the basic notions of Jungian psychology. Let's take the idea of introversion and extraversion which Hostie finds at the root of Jung's complementarity of opposites. This complementarity proceeds, according to Hostie, "not only from scientific considerations but from a more fundamental attitude still." (p. 90) And this attitude for Hostie is of a philosophical nature, so he takes Jung to task for his treatment of the problem of universals. But in concentrating on this philosophical sub-structure he fails to grasp the strength of Jung's empirical formulations. This strength lies not in remarks about Freud or Adler, or Jung's commentary on the problem of universals, but upon the facts upon which the hypothesis of introversion and extraversion is based, and these facts, known long before Jung, but receiving a new and better formulation by him, have continued to be amplified and confirmed from the time of the publication of Psychological Types. We can read Jung's reflections on universals in this book in two different registers. In the first we read him philosophically, which is unrewarding unless we do it with an eye to discovering the implicit philosophy that forms an aura to Jung's properly psychological work. Or we can read his remarks psychologically, as he intended them to be read, and then they are simply illustrations of the pervasive effects brought about by the basic attitudes of introversion and extraversion. But what Hostie wants to do is to take the implicit philosophy that is in Jung's remarks, make it explicit and then turn it on Jung's psychological formulations to prove their invalidity. Therefore, he chides Jung for not bothering to refute Aristotle's and St. Thomas' solutions and for boldly giving his own as if Jung cared at all formally and explicitly for the philosophical debate, which I don't think he did. What he cared about was the hypothesis of introversion and extraversion, which from a psychological point of view is fundamental to his psychology. Without denying the important implications of Jung's philosophical substructures, especially when it comes to his understanding of religion, it is vital to carefully distinguish this substructure from his psychological work. If we imagine that his implicit philosophical positions governed his psychological formulations instead of the empirical material itself, then we will lose contact with the living reality at the heart of Jung's psychology and reduce it to some theoretical or academic or philosophical conception which it is not.

Hostie loses sight of Jung's empirical method and finds Jung at once asserting the unknowability of the object and its role in validating the objective value of the symbol. Jung looks at objects as existing in themselves outside of us, yet he asserts we can only know psychic images and not the things themselves. The archetypes are pure possibilities, yet are the sources behind the images. The self is a pure limiting concept, but is the supreme reality of the life of the psyche. If Jung asserts these things hasn't Hostie therefore demonstrated the defectiveness of his psychology? Not at all. The archetypes and the self are not philosophical realities but rather they emerge as hypotheses out of an attentive examination of the empirical material itself. If we drag Jung onto the field of philosophy and recommend he turn to Aristotle or phenomenology in order to attain a coherent philosophy, we are no longer seeing Jung the psychologist and we lose contact with his important discoveries. Hostie is correct in seeing a philosophical substructure to Jung's work that Jung never really came to terms with, but he is wrong in imagining that this substructure destroys Jung's psychological foundations. If we take up Jung's empirical point of view and not a philosophical one, these apparent contradictions resolve themselves. Jung is not directly concerned with the epistemological problem of the knowability of things in themselves. He has an implicit realism like scientists in general, despite his Kantian formulations. He has focused his attention on the psychic image, and the image leads him to the conception of the archetype, but there is no way as a psychologist that he can answer the question of what the nature of the archetype is. He may have more or less conscious philosophical opinions about this and the knowability of this archetype, but as an empirical psychologist he is governed by what the images say. From this perspective, the archetype is purely formal and the self is empty. Jung is not saying that the self is empty in itself. He is saying that from a strictly empirical viewpoint we cannot speak about the inner structure of the self but only of its manifestations. In the same way, he lives and acts out an implicit realism in his scientific work, despite his philosophical formulations. From this empirical point of view what is known are psychic images and their archetypical sources are unknown in themselves, even unknowable, yet the images point to the fact that they exist as the sources of the images. So when Jung writes to Hostie, "I have no doctrine and no philosophical system, but have presented new facts which you studiously ignore", he is on target. Victor White, in a review of Hostie's book, points to the same misunderstanding.

"It seems, not withstanding his own previous assurances to the contrary, impossible for him to suppose that Jung is not, after all, a philosopher propounding philosophical solutions to philosophical problems. And of course he has no difficulty in showing that Jung is a very poor philosopher, and his solutions are philosophical failures. Reading Jung's psychological statements as attempts at philosophical synthesis he logically enough charges him with "psychologism", not noticing that it is he himself who has unaccountably lapsed into "philosophism"." (p. 60)

Hostie is wrong because he is "reading ontology or epistemology into purely psychological description." (p. 61) But Hostie's work does sensitize us to Jung's latent philosophical positions. Hostie's "criticism at this point", writes Fr. White, "seems fully warranted and deserves serious attention. It should be clear that the assertion that empirical knowledge is the only valid human knowledge, and that any other (e.g. by deduction) is "downright impossible", is itself non-empirical and incapable of empirical verification." (p. 63)

It is both strange and revealing to see John Dourley arrive at the same problem of an implicit or latent metaphysics from a completely different point of view. But Dourley seems content enough to follow a procedure diametrically opposed to Hostie's. He will recognize this "surreptitious" metaphysics and give it full rights as a genuine philosophy, thereby opening himself to the full force of Hostie's objections. This "Jungian philosophy" becomes the instrument by which the deficiencies of Christianity can be exposed and remedied. As a philosophy, Jung's psychology is no longer one distinctive way of knowing man and his relationship to God, but acts as if it is the only way to know these realities. Once Jung's empirical method is erected into an epistemology, then from this epistemology inexorably flows the radical reinterpretation of Christianity that Dourley proposes. Then it is presumptuous for Christianity to lay claim to a distinctive revelation. Instead it has gropingly grasped the archetypes and the process of individuation, but mistakenly elevated these insights into metaphysical entities. The point is not that God is better described as a quaternity than a trinity. No. To call God a quaternity in this fashion is to say that a revelation of God as Trinity or anything else is not possible at all, and what the Christians call God is no more that a deficient experience of the totality of the psyche that is explained more adequately by Jung's psychology. If Hostie would drag Jung into the fields of philosophy and then attempt to destroy him, Dourley would also create a Jungian philosophy and destroy Christianity with it. But in either case they misunderstand the fundamental fact that an empirical psychology is one thing and philosophy is quite another. So it is not possible to agree with either one of them.

John Dourley has something important to say. Terrible crimes are committed in the name of religion and Jung's psychology can be a great help in reducing sectarian strife. It can help us see a whole infrastructure of poorly integrated elements of the psyche which instead of being dealt with directly and in a psychological way are pro~jected outward and fuel religious hatred. But this does not mean that religion in itself is the cause of this hatred.

Nor will the creation of a Jungian philosophy or religion ever be successful because it will either violate Jung's empirical method or it will cling to this empirical method and deny that any other way of knowing is possible and therefore refashion philosophy and religion after the pattern of analytical psychology. In short, it will be a pseudo-philosophy. It is this last alternative that Dourley has chosen and in doing so he can find some justification in Jung's own position which has been carefully pointed out by Murray Stein in his Jung's Treatment of Christianity. But even though Jung did wrap his psychology in philosophical presuppositions, we can neither consider his psychology invalid because of it nor consider his philosophical presuppositions valid without examination as if they too are justified on the basis of his empirical method.

The hope of a genuine Jungian-Christian dialogue lies not in replacing Christianity with Jung's psychology or considering Jung's psychology a threat to Christianity, but in what can be called a thoroughly interactive approach. In such an approach we accept Jung's psychology for what it is while removing the philosophical presuppositions that hinder it, and at the same time we accept Christian philosophy and theology as equally distinctive and legitimate ways of knowing, while we are careful to purify them of any prejudices they may have against psychology.

After I had written the short orientation and this chapter, in fact this whole book, I read an intricate essay by Murray Stein, "C.G. Jung, Psychologist and Theologian" (in Jung and Christianity in Dialogue) which immediately caught my attention, for it started off: "Writing in 1973, James Heisig began his important article "Jung and Theology: A Bibliographical Essay" by remarking: "It would, I think, be fair to characterize the present state of scholarly relations between Jungian psychology and theology as chaotic." After noting the great increase in literature since that time Stein continues: "Yet few serious attempts... have been made to sort out the patterns of engagement between Jungian psychology and theological approaches." (p. 3) And this is the task that he sets for himself in his essay under the headings of three tenets that give rise to four genres of literature.

The tenets are:

(1) All words, including words about God, whatever their objective dimension, have a subjective dimension and say something about the psyche.

(2) Therefore the psychologist is in the position "to make critical-constructive observations about the completeness of doctrines about God." (p. 18)

(3) Words about the psyche are words about God "because of a correspondence that exists between the structures of subjectivity and those of objectivity." (p. 8)

The first principle is well known from the constant use that Jung made of it. "It turns everything into psychology" as Stein puts it. (p. 6) Jung constantly interprets religious texts in the light of his basic psychological principles and it is certainly in the province of the psychologist to do so.

The second tenet lets the psychologist have "a privileged position that allows for evaluating the relative adequacy or incompleteness of theological statements about God." (p. 9) There is no need to quarrel with this statement, either, as long as we qualify adequacy "as psychologically adequate or inadequate." (p. 10) But this principle will become a problem if this adequacy is no longer the judgment of a psychologist doing psychology, but is somehow extended to become a quasi- philosophical position. Stein - in reference to the work of Robert Duran who takes up something similar to what I am calling an interactive approach - will go on and state that Jung would not agree "that the human mind can have any knowledge of... psyche-transcending realities or speak words about them that have no subjective referent." (p. 13) And further: "Beyond the 'far reaches of the psyche,' the psychologist must keep silence. Jung, the psychologist, would not go beyond this boundary of the psyche: all experience and all words about experience are and must always remain psychological." (p. 13)

Here we are faced with a position akin to that of John Dourley and it suffers from the same difficulties. The psychologist has every right to look at religious doctrines from his distinctive point of view, but when this perspective becomes unconsciously allied to a philosophical position, then we are headed for difficulties. Murray Stein is well aware that his first tenet rests on Jung's "understanding of the Kantian view that the human mind cannot know things as they are in themselves but is always limited by its own categories of understanding and perception. The psyche cannot leap outside of the psyche, as Jung was fond of asserting." (p. 7) But he apparently does not distinguish the two very different interpretations that can be given to this statement. In the first, it says nothing more than that the psychologist's object is the psychic image and not things in themselves. In the second, it means that only the psychic image can be known and therefore philosophers and theologians only believe they know "psyche-transcending realities."

The first interpretation is simply a way of talking about Jung's methodology. The second makes this method the only way of knowing and asserts that philosophy and theology do not really know the objects they purport to. This second interpretation is a philosophical position and if it is going to be advanced it ought to be advanced as such and not slide unconsciously into the discussion.

In actual fact I don't think that Murray Stein or John Dourley are any more interested in being philosophers than was Jung himself. Instead, they want to freely exercise their psychological gifts even when it is a question of religion. But a legitimate interpretation of religion should not become an unconscious epistemological critique of it.

That Stein really does not have philosophy in mind should become clear when we look at his third tenet that reads: "a close scrutiny of the structure(s) of subjectivity reveals structure(s) of objectivity." (p. 14) If this were a properly philosophical proposition then how could we account for its very non-Kantian flavor and reconcile it with the "psyche cannot leap outside the psyche"9 But philosophy is not what is at stake here, nor is there any intention to grant any objectivity to philosophy and theology. Instead, the psychologist has the only legitimate way of knowing and will use it to fill the void left by the demise of philosophy and theology: "since the self's objective referent is God" and "the experience of the self equals the experience of God" (p. 15) then "if the psychologist is in a position to establish the fundamental structures of subjectivity, the psychologist is in a position to offer theologically substantive and constructive reflection" and can create a "psychologically based natural theology." (p. 17) In short, the psychologist, having shown the fundamental flaws in philosophy and theology which is the presumption to know psyche-transcending objects, will now erect a new philosophy and theology on the firm foundation of the psychological method. But such a newly created philosophy and theology will be no philosophy or theology at all, for the method of psychology generates psychology and not something else. What I think is taking place here is that Jungian psychology, aware, at least implicitly, of its inherent realism and the metaphysical and theological questions that arise in the analytical situation, is trying to establish contact with philosophy and theology. But since it has inadvertently declared them null and void it cannot look for any outside philosophical or theological partners, but strives to recreate a philosophy and theology from within. Unfortunately, the end result is not a genuine partner in dialogue with its own distinctive point of view, but a pseudo-philosophy and pseudo-theology made over in the image and likeness of Jungian psychology.





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Chapter 2