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Life Arts    H4'ed 3/15/15

Getting Our Bearings from Jung

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No doubt many American adults who have shifted their view on this issue -- from opposing same-sex marriage to supporting it -- are Christians or at least come from a Christian cultural and religious background.

No doubt this dramatic shift involves withdrawing unconscious projections on to homosexuals.

Granted, this dramatic shift does not signal the emergence of the new age quite yet.

But it does signal a shift in attitudes about certain aspects of old-fashioned Christian sexual morality.

No doubt the Christian right will fight to resist any significant changes in old-fashioned Christian sexual morality, as many on the Christian right have been fighting against same-sex marriage.

No doubt liberals and progressives should expect the Christian right to fight against changes in old-fashioned Christian sexual morality.

No doubt liberals and progressives need to be on guard against making unconscious projections on to the Christian right.

No doubt the emergence of the new age in Western culture will depend on revisioning and revising old-fashioned Christian sexuality morality as taught by the institutional Christian churches.

No doubt the Christian churches have grassroots reach -- the kind of grassroots reach that will be needed for bottom-up change to emerge in Western culture and produce the critical mass of people to help bring the new age in Western culture into existence.

No doubt Jung envisioned the Age of Aquarius as superseding the Age of Christianity as he knew it -- with its baggage of old-fashioned Christian sexual morality.

Nevertheless, in my estimate, the old Christ myth could become a living myth again in Christianity in Jung's envisioned Age of Aquarius, provided that a critical mass of Christians shed the baggage of old-fashioned Christian sexual morality.

In terms of the Christian myth, the centuries old baggage of Christian sexual morality grows out of the unio mentalis and the nigredo rooted in the suffering and death by crucifixion of the historical Jesus.

But the unio mystica (a.k.a. the unio mundus) involves individual Christian mystics coming to life with the resurrected Christ.

In this view, the old-fashioned Christian sexual morality grew out of the one-sided cultivation of an anti-body spirituality that involved the cultivation of shadow contents, which resulted in unconscious projections of the shadow on to other people.

But for the dialogue that Pope Francis repeatedly urges people to engage in to be genuine dialogue, the participants in the dialogue will have to stop making unconscious projections of shadow images on to the other.

For Pope Francis and other Christians to stop making unconscious projections on to others, they will have to integrate their own personal shadow contents into ego-consciousness.

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)
 

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