The Dark Side of God

The Dark Side of God

ladyprariefire-1168208376.jpgJung, in his captivating autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, writes about a dream he had early in his life in which he sees a big turd fall out of heaven and crash through the roof of a church, totally demolishing it. He didn't fully understand the meaning of this crude dream. Later though, he writes about his father, who was a clergyman:
Once I heard him praying. He struggled desperately to keep his faith. I was shaken and outraged at once, because I saw how hopelessly he was entrapped by the Church and its theological thinking. They had blocked all avenues by which he might have reached God directly, and then faithlessly abandoned him. Now I understand the deepest meaning of my earlier experience: God Himself had disavowed theology and the Church founded upon it...
He even noticed the parishioners, even as early as when he took his first communion. He noticed that when people left after the final prayer they were neither depressed nor moved by joy, but had the look on their face, "So that's that!" He realized that they clung desperately to the God of love out of fear of facing the darker side of God. Jung got tired of the religious community:
The phrase meant nothing to me at all, for the habitual church goers struck me as being far less community than the 'worldly' folk. The latter may have been less virtuous, but on the other hand they were much nicer people, with natural emotions, more sociable and cheerful, warmer-hearted and more sincere.
He writes about another theologian:
Whenever there is a reaching down into innermost experience, into the nucleus of personality, most people are overcome by fright, and many run away. Such was the case with this theologian. I am aware of course that theologians are in a more difficult situation than others. On the one hand they are closer to religion, but on the other hand they are more bound by church and dogma. The risk of inner experience, the adventure of the spirit, is in any case alien to most human beings.
I read this book first back in 1989 and wrote notes from it in my journal. They left a lasting impression on me. I know, I feel what Jung means. Ever since then, I've been trying to blaze my own trail, trying to discover how to pastor a community of people that is authentic, courageous, genuine, real, and not afraid of direct experience. The dream-like photograph is a creation of my friend, Amaris, and is titled, "On Guard".

Leave a comment