The Gospel according to C. J. Jung
I’ve written a series of articles that transform scholarly articles into the stories they imply. This is an example.
No person owns a sacred story, because a story is sacred only if it is the story of Everyperson. Though the story of Lord Yahweh, the Holy Antinomy, sounds like a story told by Jews and Christians, although it takes language from the holy books of Genesis, Job, Proverbs, Ezekiel, John, and Revelation, we find corresponding testimonies in ancient Egyptian records (83). The theme of this story is prefigured the world over: God is everywhere in the process of becoming conscious, just as we humans are. This is the story of us, because it is the story of him.
This is the story of God and our grandfather Job—how they suffered and how the pain that people inflict is hard to bear, how the pain that God inflicts is harder still. In times of darkness do not tell tales of divine light. Rather tell the sacred story of the divine darkness; tell of God’s own suffering.
Lord Yahweh was legally and respectably wed to Lady Israel. The story of their marriage contract was told far and wide. The sun danced to hear their tale, but when night came, the story began with another beginning. When night came, storytellers told of Lord Yahweh’s rolling in the cosmic meadows of the Milky Way with Miss Sophia.
Before Lord Yahweh’s marriage, he had an intimate playmate in whom he delighted. Miss Sophia was “the first-born of all God’s creatures, a stainless reflection of his glory and a master workman, nearer and dearer to his heart than the late descendants of the protoplasm, the original man…” (64). God’s mistress was called by many names and consorted with men and gods everywhere. She was called Sophia, Logos, Chochma, Shakti, Sapientia Dei, Ruach, Pneuma, Jerusalem, Wisdom, Spirit of God, Mirror of God (56-62). She was a part of his very being.
Lord Yahweh loved Sophia long before he loved Lady Israel, for the former had accompanied him as he built the earth. Sophia was his delight all day long, and she alone always called him back to his true self. “Long before the marriage with Israel Yahweh had relations with Sophia,” (68) and they never really forgot one another.
When Lord Yahweh went to work building himself a project called “the world,” he did not consult his full, omniscient knowledge. He failed to consult that part of himself which was Sophia. She was his Wisdom. God ignored his own Wisdom temporarily and so was surprised by the result of his creation (69).
Yahweh’s first son was named Satan. Satan was a trickster, a cosmic practical joker, whom the Lord was never able fully to discipline. Yahweh was excessively indulgent with his first son and the result was Satan’s fouling up the works of the world-machine. We humans are comforted to know that the Lord, like us, did not care to face the results that were to ensue from his actions. When he began creating, he forgot Sophia who had been so much a part of himself that be began to make himself a people with whom he would covenant, promising faithfulness on his part in exchange for perfection on their part. Had he inquired of Sophia, he would not have demanded so much in trying to repair his blunder.
When the Lord began to make himself a man, he was completely uninformed about his perverse son’s intentions. “We can only explain this on the assumption that Yahweh was so fascinated by his successive acts of creation, so taken up with them, that he forgot about his omniscience altogether,” (84-85). Furthermore, the Lord’s creative acts issued from self-alienation, from his own inner instability (130). He showed all of the symptoms of desiring to become man, because he created man in his own image. God breathed his very essence into the cosmos he created.
As soon as the Lord had built him an Adam, a First Man, Satan tricked Adam into consorting with Lilith, who gave birth to a horde of demons (67). Adam, like his father Lord Yahweh, had two women, Lilith and Eve, but unlike Yahweh’s mistress, Lilith was a devilish whore. Lilith was Satan in a deceitful, tempting disguise. The snake which was in Eden before Adam and Eve was but Satan wearing a mask.
Adam created Eve from his own rib. In this he mirrored the Lord who had created the earth. Adam, who was originally one, made himself two (65), and the separation was painful. Now Lord Yahweh and his second son, Adam, were both self-alienated, double-faced, and the Lord, scarcely conscious of what he was doing, “pointed out a tree to the First Parents and at the same time forbade them to eat of it,” (38). As if this were not enough to insure that they would in fact eat of it, Yahweh’s first son, Satan, disguised as a talking snake, urged them to eat the fruit.
Eve first fell for the snake’s trick, but Adam had already consorted with the demon-princess, Lilith (68), so the blame lay on both, and “Yahweh banished Adam and Eve, whom he had created as images of his masculine essence and its feminine emanation, to the extra-paradisaical world, the limbo of ‘shards’,” (73). We people have learned to fear Lord Yahweh since that day, because we know that he invariably seeks to blame us for the evil in the world and never thinks of blaming himself or his own son, the father of all tricksters (70). People too prefer blaming others.
Adam and Eve generated a son, but unlike God, they did not make Cain in their own image. Rather they made Cain in the image of God’s first son, Satan (66). “Mysteriously following the same pattern, Adam’s first son, like Satan, was an evildoer and murderer before the Lord, so the prologue in heaven was repeated on earth,” (65). God protected Cain and made excuses for him just as he had done for Satan.
Adam had a second son, Abel, but Cain killed Abel. Perhaps Lord Yahweh had a second son between Satan and Adam, and maybe he too was killed like Abel, hence we would not know about him. “Perhaps this prototype was another son of God of a more conservative nature than Satan, no rolling stone with a fondness for new and black-hearted thoughts, but one who was bound to the Father in childlike love, who harbored no other thoughts except those that enjoyed paternal approval, and who dwelt in the inner circle of the heavenly economy,” (65). Abel, despite his short, dramatic life, was destined to become the model for young gods who become men, the most famous of whom was Jesus, the brother of Horus, Adonis, and Attis (89).
Things were already in a state of mortal corruption on earth when, to make matters worse, two hundred angels under the leadership of Samiazaz invaded the earth. These sons of God fell in love with the daughters of men and together they gave birth to giants. Azazel, one of the angels, taught people the arts and sciences and thereby inflated their pride to gigantic proportions (119-120). Lord Yahweh did not seem to know a thing about the invasion. Only later did four archangels by accident hear the weeping and wailing of men on earth and report to the Lord (121). Giants were eating all the acquisitions of men and were gobbling each other; men were in turn eating beasts. Yahweh was not yet very conscious of the need for justice. Surely it was a good sign that the four archangels heard, since they were really the four faces, the four emanations, of Lord Yahweh. Yahweh’s unconscious was aware of the problem, even if his day-consciousness was not (123). We are just like him.
When Lord Yahweh saw, by way of the angels of his dreams, that his sons were quarreling, he flew into an awful rage. We say that Yahweh is not an evil god; he just has two sides to him (33). And his dark side poured down rain—so much that everything, even the fish, drowned. Only Noah and all the people and animals in his boat we saved.
After the water had subsided, the Lord decided to make a contract with Noah, his children, and the animals that were saved. He wanted to tie them all to himself. Noah agreed, since he knew that Yahweh had a short memory and needed something to remind him of his deal. As a reminder to himself that he had contracted with men, Yahweh set the rainbow in the sky. That way he would not forget and in his fury to destroy the earth again (37). The temptation to kill everything he had made was strong, so it seemed to be a good idea to build a warning device that would go off when Lord Yahweh’s dark side threatened to break the dam of his bright, conscious side. This is how we are too.
Yahweh had intended to wed Israel from the beginning. He was betrothed to her and us on the very day he created Adam, but the marriage contract was not formalized until after the engagement period which extended from the Creation to the Flood.
When the marriage contract had been formalized, Yahweh continued to act like a male. He treated Lady Israel, whom he had married with a rainbow ring, as a mere female inferior. He watched her faithfulness with extreme jealousy (63). Yahweh seemed to have forgotten his first love, Sophia, or Wisdom as she was sometimes called, and as a result of this loss of himself, forced the chosen people, Lady Israel, into a mere female role (71). He demanded the perfection from her that he could not find in himself. Although she was complete, she was not perfect, and though he was perfect, he was not complete. He needed her to complete himself. Not content with dual roles, he demanded perfection from Israel. His perfectionist intentions almost obliterated compassionate love. In the place of compassion was a purpose; this he imposed on Lady Israel. Yahweh had become unsure of his own faithfulness (63-64).
And the more Yahweh forgot Wisdom the more demanding he became, and the more important faithfulness felt to him. In fact, he projected his own tendency to unfaithfulness upon Lady Israel, the scapegoat. And there was reason to suspect that he was about to loosen his matrimonial ties with Israel but hid this intention from himself. This vaguely suspected unfaithfulness caused him, with the encouragement of Satan, to search out people, and people are not always faithful. Like us he naturally picked on the most faithful of the lot, who was forthwith subjected to a grueling test.
Until the time of our great grandfather Job, God’s “jealous and irritable nature, prying mistrustfully into the faithless hearts of men and exploring their secret thoughts, compelled a personal relationship between himself and man, who could not help but feel personally called by him,” (29). But God could not live up to his own contract. “If Yahweh, as we would expect of a sensible human being, were really conscious of himself, he would, in view of the true facts of the case, at least have put an end to the panegyrics on his justice. But he is too unconscious to be moral. Morality presupposes consciousness,” (33).
But Lord Yahweh was no more able to be moral than we are. He made a cheap bet with his arrogant son Satan. He allowed himself to be conned into an astounding toleration of Satan’s immoral trick. He let Satan kill Job’s children, ruin his flocks, cover his body with boils, and turn his friends against him. The Lord violated at least three of the commandments which he himself gave at Mt. Sinai (40). He forced Job to concede to his power when Job had already willingly done so. I ask you, “Is it worth the lion’s while to terrify a mouse?” (46). In so treating Job the Lord showed that Job was his moral superior (48), for Job became aware of God’s dark, demonic side before Yahweh himself did. Job’s self-discipline far outshone Yahweh’s whimsy. “Anyone can see how he unwittingly raises Job by humiliating him in the dust. By so doing he pronounces judgment on himself and gives man the moral satisfaction whose absence we found so painful in the Book of Job,” (54). Job revealed God’s dual nature to him; Job was God’s therapist. If God needed one, who are we to say we do not?
Job’s contest with the Lord ended in a false victory for Yahweh. God was jolted toward consciousness; he began to remember. God was forced to see his own injustice. Self-reflection began, and he remembered Wisdom, Sophia, his first love.
“The approach of Sophia betokens a new creation. But this time it is not the world that is to be changed; rather it is God who intends to change his own nature. Humans are not to be destroyed as before but saved. In this decision we can discern the ‘philanthropic’ influence of Sophia: no new human beings are to be created, but only one, the God-man. For this reason a contrary procedure must be employed. The Second Adam shall not, like the first, proceed directly from the hand of the Creator, but shall be born of a human woman,” (75).
God, seeing himself as he really was, decided to become man. Having seen his own amorality, he chose to become moral, but he only substituted one extreme for another (124), since he chose to become exclusively good. He now wanted to overcome his dark side completely. Since Sophia made her appearance as the friendly helper of Lady Israel and all humankind, both God and people loved her. She bodied forth the kind, just, and amiable aspect of her Lord Yahweh (73). She brought God to self-reflection and thus to the decision to become man.
Job had revealed to God his amorality. Sophia had shown her Lord the way to morality, and now Ezekiel witnessed in a vision the humanizing of God. He saw Yahweh drawing closer to humankind. In a vision he saw Lord Yahweh in the form of a son of man. When the Lord did something, he did it all the way; he went to extremes. Not only did he become man, he became a “higher man,” (118) a perfect man—something no man was ever able to do. He had decided to become the perfectly righteous one to offset the injustices of his former days (127-128).
This time Lord Yahweh would not make the same mistake he had made when he created the Second Adam; he would become the Second Adam, the higher man, the Christ. But he knew this was risky business. His first son, Satan the trickster, was still around to pervert the deed. The Lord decided to make the Second Eve his mother instead of his wife. Mary the virgin was to be this Second Eve. She who was a faithful daughter of God would now become the mother of God (76). Mary, who was to give birth to God, was conceived immaculately without the taint of original sin. Not only was she born without original sin, Christ was born from her womb without the aid of a male. Mary, like Sophia (in fact, some say she was Sophia), helped God to realize himself. God the male once again made overt his inability to exist independently of woman.
By making Mary a goddess, Lord Yahweh protected himself against the tricks of Satan (77). When God was born as Christ, he was born as a god, not as a tainted man. God tricked himself. He had set out to become human but became only Christ, a godman (78).
Like mother, like son. Mary was Sophia in the flesh, and Jesus was the Logos in the flesh. Both were Wisdom incarnate.
God became his own Son. Lord Yahweh had two eternal sons; both were failures, but Christ was good, and Satan was bad. When Christ was born, Satan stirred up King Herod to slay all the innocent children in search of Christ. Furthermore, he inspired Judas to betray Christ. Lord Yahweh, by becoming Christ, seemed finally to have separated himself from his dark son, Satan, who was seen falling from heaven. When God was born as Christ, Satan was banished to the earth—a strange deed when we think that it was precisely to the earth that God had just come. It would have been much simpler if Yahweh had just eliminated Satan, instead of ignoring and banishing him. Probably he was not able to do so because Satan was his own son, flesh of his flesh—rather spirit of his spirit.
God could not simply destroy Satan, the son of his dark side, consequently he was unable fully to become the son of light, Christ. On one occasion Christ had to remind God not to lead him into temptation; he knew that the Lord still had destructive inclinations (99). Christ announced the glad tidings that Lord Yahweh had been humanized, only to receive the nasty shock of finding that Yahweh loved men on the condition that Christ allow himself to be sacrificed. Despite his own will to the contrary, the Lord had two sides, neither of which could be denied. “…God wants to become man, but not quite. The conflict in his nature is so great that the incarnation can only be bought by an expiatory self-sacrifice offered up to the wrath of God’s dark side,” (178). God’s dark side demands payment from his light side.
God’s son died on a cross crying, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This is the answer to Job (94): God himself suffered what Job suffered. He suffered at his own hands. Christ’s death was a reparation for the wrong done to Job (98) who is the great grandfather of all us people who suffer. Lord Yahweh simultaneously inflicted the suffering and underwent the suffering. So it is that today we think of the conjunction of opposites when we see the cross. In the cross we see the conflict which is basic both to God and to man (110-111).
The incarnation was a terrifying process of dissociation for Lord Yahweh (138). He had tried to deny his dark side which he had so powerfully embodied before his bout with Job and found that he could not do it. The incarnation had to continue by virtue of the Holy Spirit, whom God sent after Christ’s death. The Holy Spirit came to bring the truth about God to men; he came to reveal both sides of the Lord’s true nature. Also, he came that we might become gods (136). After all, God himself had not been too successful in becoming human. Before he died, Christ said the Holy Spirit would come so that people would be able to do greater things than he could do. The Holy Spirit is none other than God in his desire to become wholly man rather than just the light, moral side of man (179). Since the Holy Spirit came to inhabit us human beings, we are living in the new age with all its dangers. We sometimes become overinflated with a sense of our own importance (202). It is difficult to live with the knowledge that after the incarnation of God in Christ, a broader incarnational process caused us all to become younger brothers and sisters of God. We are all the incarnations of Lord Yahweh.
The Lord’s humanization continued, and the Holy Spirit entered John. It was John, following the truth of the Holy Spirit, who first found out that Satan, Christ’s brother, had not passively accepted God’s becoming a man. John knew that the manifestation of God’s light side in Christ must be followed by a manifestation of his dark side. One called “Antichrist” was on his way, and the Antichrist was a havoc-wreaking son of God, Satan (137). Satan, wearing a mask as he always does, is coming disguised as Christ, and he will reign over us all for a thousand years before Lord Yahweh intervenes. Despite Satan’s banishment, he still, even to this day, holds power over the earth. God is still afraid to maximize his forces against Satan (140), but he promised John that one day he would do so.
John was a person like you and me and Job. He too believed that “God is light and that in him is no darkness at all,” (142). John, like Jesus Christ and Job, was a bit too sure about the love and kindness of God. Because of his arrogance in being so sure, the Holy Spirit of Truth erupted one day from his unconscious.
John’s mistake was to have believed so obsessively in the light side of God. Therefore, the Holy Spirit in a revelation showed John the Christ who slays, and the Yahweh who takes vengeance. The Spirit showed to John the terrible side of Sophia. John saw the Whore of Babylon (160); he saw the terrible, fierce side of Yahweh, and thus it is that you and I must never forget that “God can be loved but must be feared,” (168). Neither side of the Lord can be forgotten.
There was a hopeful sign, though, in John’s dream. He saw a divine child being born (151, 177). This divine child is a sign that God still wants to become man. He wants to be born again at the maturity of the world, but this time he will not be born as a baby. He will come again on the clouds, as a full and whole human being (181). Until Lord Yahweh does become this full and whole human being, we humans must live in hope and fear. When Lord Yahweh becomes one with himself, we can become one with ourselves.
That the process of self-realization and individuation has continued in the divine life we know from the vision of Meister Eckart, who in the Middle Ages, saw God, still unhappy that he had not yet been fully born into the human soul (179).
Lord Yahweh has had a hard life. He has struggled with himself in a courageous effort to attain self-awareness. Even if he does not always remember to be kind and to keep Satan under control, he does remember to give us periodic signs of his continuing battle with himself.
In the year 1950, a time many of us can remember, he proved that he had come one step closer to becoming fully human. He allowed Mary bodily to ascend into heaven. That he allowed both the feminine and the bodily to rejoin him is a cause for rejoicing. The event was witnessed imaginatively by children all over the world, as well as the Pope (188). Sophia, whom the Lord forgot the moment he went to work creating the world, rejoined the Lord in heaven. In the form of Mary she is now there with Lord Yahweh reminding him to be kind to us who are weak and subject to divine attacks, as well as attacks from Satan. If Lord Yahweh will treat a woman kindly, and even recognize the feminine in himself, he will treat us kindly too. As long as the Lord has marital bliss with his lady love, he will be kind to his sons and daughters. And that is why we tell this story as a prayer to remind Lord Yahweh, lest he forget how hard it is for us mere people to live between him and his son Satan and how demanding it is for us to be regarded as substitutes for Sophia.
Let us pray that the Lord continue to love himself, because only if he loves himself will he love us.