Carl Gustav Jung's work is highly respected by people of all faiths. He developed techniques for treating psychological disorders, and some of these techniques are used by many Christian outreaches helping people. While researching commentaries on Revelation for a book I was writing, I came across Carl Jung's "Answer to Job," translated by R.F.C. Hull (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1954). In this book, Jung tries to provide God's answer to Job's question about why such destructive things were happening to Job. Surprised to see the attitude Jung had toward God, I thought a short digest of his thoughts would make an interesting article.
Jung starts his "Answer to Job" with a long criticism of God. His first paragraph pictures God as knowing no moderation of emotions, and God suffers because of that (on page 3). God admits being eaten up with rage and jealousy. Jung points out that God's "divine darkness is unveiled in the Book of Job" (on page 3). Jung claims that Revelation's four horsemen (the first four seals) point out the sinister side of God. Jung states that all seven seals are "a veritable orgy of hatred, wrath, vindictiveness, and blind destructive fury" (on page 125). Jung then argues that God is not a fully conscious being (on pages 3 & 33), but rather the unconscious force behind nature. Jung believes Revelation's visions stem from the collective unconscious of humans, a racial memory of primordial events that all humans sometimes glimpse (on page 134). Jung then describes the relationship between Job and God.
Lucifer was one of God's sons who, more so than the others, was inclined to make use of God's omniscience. God was omniscient; but, because of God's state of unconsciousness, God did not take advantage of this omniscience. This consciousness of God, to begin with, was not much more than a primitive awareness that knows no reflection and no morality (on pages 67-8). Lucifer took advantage of God, goading God into treating Job unfairly and immorally. Job, for his part, displayed a greater sense of morality than God did. Jung claims Job showed himself superior to God both intellectually and morally (on pages 14 & 68). God then, to expiate this wrongful treatment of Job--and through Job, all humanity--decided to become human and suffer as Job suffered (on pages 85-91).
Jung views the woman of Rev. 12 (the woman clothed with the sun and standing on the moon) as a pre-Christian, pre-Yahwist image stemming from human collective unconscious. This image portends the birth of a divine child. Jung identifies the woman as "anima mundi" (earth's soul), a peer of primordial cosmic man. She is in a perennial process of birth that has occurred over and over again throughout history. Briefly stated, this indicates that we are part of God. We are becoming more and more aware of the God that is within us (on page 158) through a birthing of what was in the unconscious bursting forth into our consciousness (on page 163). Jung's main theme is God's repressed hostility due to God's unreflexive and amoral interaction with the universe.
These are the main thoughts in "Answer to Job." I indicated page numbers so you can read the original wording. You can view the first four pages of "Answer to Job" on Amazon.com.
Maurice A. Williams
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