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The 20th century phycologist and philosopher Carl Gustav Jung made a singular contribution to our understanding of the human psyche.
Of particular note and / or particular relevance to our time is:
- his analysis of the subconscious mind – which works in the background, without our notice, to drive our thoughts and actions — and which influences both individual behaviours and collective behaviors (like the German’s embrace of Nazism)
- his analysis of the part that religions plays in our individual and collective lives. While Jung never took a position as to whether or not God, or Gods actually exist, his research led him to believe that men and women are created, genetically, with minds that have a built-in, psychological need for religion, and not just any religion, but one that provides certain dramatical elements that play on and with our emotions.
Raised in Switzerland at a Protestant, Jung started his life with a fear of Catholic clergy and mystisim.
Later in life, after having done his studies and research, he came to respect Catholicism and to denigrate non-evangelical Protestantism.
Jung concluded that our minds are programmed to want and need a religion that has “dramatic” elements — rules and mysticism, veils, sins, virgins, saints, and fire and damnation, of one sort or another.
That being the case, only a religion that offers these things could expect to prosper. It would be like offering a Game of Thrones without the drama, sex and violence. People just won’t tune in, or, if they do, they’ll drop off early into season one.
Jung concluded that 20th century mainstream Protestantism, which exalted the humanist teachings of Christ of love and compassion as the core of the faith, and which embraced science as consistent with those teachings and something to be respected as coming from God, would inevitably fail as a religion for lack of adherents. Marginalized, first off of broadcast and then to cable and then, eventually, cancelled entirely for lack of viewers.
On the other hand, religions and cults presenting themselves as religions (there is a fine line between the two, no?) that incorporate mysticism and/ or play upon the hate and fear and other emotions of our unconscious will proper.
Pour on the elements that play on our hates and fears and you will fill the place of worship.
Pour on the elements that play on our hates and fears a bit more, and reject science and logic as a threat to the religion, and the adherents will spill out of the place or worship to assert their will on the lives of others, in a way that main stream Protestants would point out is fundamentally inconsistent with the teachings of Christ.
Pour them on a lot more and you will have the jihadists for your sect.
Mandatory reading for anyone looking to understand the troubling times we are in why “religions” / “cults” are playing such a big part in them.
- Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (October 12, 1987)
- ISBN-13: 978-0877733690
- ISBN-10: 0877733694
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