Jung: Week 1 Summary — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Jung: Week 1 Summary

Jung: Week 1

Summary: Sunday, October 4-Friday, October 9, 2015

When asked at the end of his life if he “believed” in God, Jung said, “I could not say I believe. I know! I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God.” (Sunday)

For Jung, the God archetype is the whole-making function of the soul. It is the inner energy within the soul of all things, saying, “Become who you are. Become all that you are.” (Monday)

When you can see your connection with others before emphasizing your differences, you will be much happier, and it will be a much happier world, too. (Tuesday)

Jung believed that if one did not have deep contact with one’s in-depth self, one could not know God. I would add that knowing a loving God gives you full freedom to love and accept every part of yourself. (Wednesday)

For Christians, the map of Jesus’ life is the map of Everyman and Everywoman: divine conception, ordinary life, betrayal, abandonment, rejection, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. (Thursday)

What appears to be past and future is in fact the same home, the same call, the same Mother, and the same God—but always a larger life on both ends. To live inside of the Divine is to live in deep time, where before and after become one. (Friday)


Practice: Archetypal Story

Jungian analyst and story-teller Clarissa Pinkola Estés writes that “Stories are medicine. . . . They have such power; they do not require that we do, be, act anything—we need only listen. . . . Stories engender the excitement, sadness, questions, longings, and understandings that spontaneously bring the archetype . . . back to the surface. Stories are embedded with instructions which guide us about the complexities of life. Stories enable us to understand the need for and the ways to raise a submerged archetype.” [1]

I invite you to spend some time with Hans Christian Andersen’s familiar tale, “The Ugly Duckling.” Estés calls this a “psychological and spiritual root story. A root story is one that contains a truth so fundamental to human development that without integration of this fact, further progression is shaky, and one cannot entirely prosper psychologically until this point is realized.” [2] The ancient archetype of the orphan, the unusual, the exiled shows us how to find our own home and place of belonging.

You might find an illustrated “children’s” book—though the story is just as relevant for adults—or read Estés’ rendering and interpretation of “The Ugly Duckling” in Women Who Run with the Wolves. As you read, allow yourself to enter fully into the story as the misfit cygnet. Observe the ways in which the duck mother is at different times ambivalent, collapsed, and strong. Recall your own mother and the other women who have mothered you; reflect on how they have formed your inner mother. As Estés explains. “By examining these mothering structures, we can begin to assess whether our own internal mother complex staunchly sustains our unique qualities, or whether it needs a long overdue adjustment.” [3] Allow the strong voice of the “wild and wise” Mother to affirm your unique, beautiful self and its place in the universe.

Gateway to Silence:
God-in-me sees God.

[1] Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype (Ballantine Books: 1992), 15.
[2] Ibid., 178.
[3] Ibid., 186.

For further study:
Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves
C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

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