Edhird's Blog

Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit

Carl Jung and the Gnostic Reconciliation of Gender Opposites


By the Rev. Dr.  Ed Hird

Have you noticed that some are teaching, even in our school systems in North America, that being male and female are just interchangeable social constructs? Does undergoing genital surgery and taking hormones really change one’s gender, as many are suggesting? Can a man ever become a woman, or a woman become a man? Is not one’s XY DNA as a male and XX DNA as a female essentially unchangeable? No one should be bullied over their perceived gender identity. Likewise no one should be bullied and coercively silenced if they raise thoughtful questions about what it means to be male or female, particularly from a historic Judeo-Christian perspective.

What if I told you that the current gender confusion particularly in the younger generation goes back to Dr. Carl Jung’s mixing up of gender opposites? Leanne Payne wrote an unforgettable book in 1995 entitled ‘Crisis in Masculinity’. We live in an age where equality is equated with sameness, where men and women are deeply confused about their gender identity, about what really is authentic male and authentic female. I believe that this gnostic Reconciliation of gender opposites, this gender-blending about authentic maleness and femaleness, is the direct result of our culture’s unconsciously embracing of the Jungian agenda.

A good friend’s mother said that she cried at her daughter’s birth.  This caused my friend to dislike her mother and try to act like a boy, in order to be accepted. After being sexually abused as a teenager, she had even more difficulty in accepting and celebrating her gender identity. Through reading Leanne Payne’s books and going to her School of Pastoral Care, her mother repented to her in tears, resulting in reconciliation between my friend and her mother. As a result, my friend has been able to accept and celebrate her gender identity as a woman, even ministering to others who have felt the same gender rejection from their parents.

I, like many North Americans, used to be very naïve about the impact of Carl Jung on our culture.  In 1991, I had the wonderful privilege of attending the Episcopal Renewal Ministries(ERM) Leadership Training Institute (LTI) in Evergreen, Colorado. Following that, I encouraged Anglican Renewal Ministries Canada to endorse the LTI approach, including the use of the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator). However, as I later listened to tapes by Leanne Payne and Dr. Jeffrey Satinover[1], I rethought the Jungian nature of the MBTI, writing a report entitled Carl Jung, Neo-gnosticism, and the MBTI. After much prayer and reflection, ARM Canada decided unanimously in November 1997 to no longer use the MBTI in the Clergy and Lay Leadership Training Institutes.

Over two and a half million people are ‘initiated’ each year into the MBTI process. [2] It is now the most extensively used personality instrument in history. [3] There is even an MBTI version for children, called the MMTIC (Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children)[4], and a simplified adult MBTI-like tool for the general public, known as the Keirsey-Bates Indicator. Rev. Robert Innes, of St. John’s College, Durham identifies “the two indicators most widely used by Christian groups – Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram.”[5] One of the key questions is whether the MBTI is an integral part of Jungian neo-gnosticism or alternately a detachable benevolent portion of Jung’s philosophy in an otherwise questionable context. To use a visual picture, is the MBTI the ‘marijuana’, the low-level entry drug that potentially opens the door to the more hard-core Jungian involvement, or is it just a harmless sugar tablet?

Researching the roots of the MBTI showed me Jung’s far-reaching influence in our culture, particularly in the area of gender confusion. In 1946, Jung said: “Biographies should show people in their undershirts…This way of looking at people is better than false hero worship!”[6] In this essay, we are looking at Carl Jung in his undershirt. Stripped down, we see aspects of Jung and his work which some good church people refuse to acknowledge. You could call this article my search for the historical Jung, looking past the Jung Myth for the real Jungian undershirt. Carl Jung is described by Merill Berger, a Jungian psychologist, as “the psychologist of the 21st century”.[7] Dr. Satinover says “The moral relativism that released upon us the sexual revolution is rooted in an outlook of which (Jung) is the most brilliant contemporary expositor.”[8] Leaders of the 1960’s hippie movement like Timothy Leary were heavily influenced by Jungian teaching[9]. One could say without overstatement that Carl Jung is the Father of Neo-Gnosticism & the New Age Movement. That is why Satinover comments that “One of the most powerful modern forms of Gnosticism is without question Jungian psychology, both within or without the Church”.[10] Dr. Satinover notes that “the ultimate aim…of all Gnostic systems is a mystical vision of the union of good and evil.”[11]

Gnosticism, which is the exalting of esoteric knowledge and experience, is rooted in monism[12]. Monism, the claim that all is one, is the major competing worldview to Judeo-Christian Monotheism. Monotheism of course holds that there is one God. Carl Jung advocated monism, a philosophy that treats all differences as ‘maya’, as illusion.[13] The monistic worldview in Hinduism and the New Age sees the earth and ourselves as the Lord God Almighty. It holds that all is God, including light and darkness, good and evil, right and wrong. Jung’s monism was the core of his advocacy of the reconciliation of opposites, including gender opposites of male and female.

Jung held that our ‘central problem was of course the coniunctio’, the alchemical symbol for the union of opposites.[14] Dr. Satinover notes that Jung “devoted most of his adult life to a study of alchemy…”[15] Alchemy is the search for the Philosopher’s Stone that transmutes lead into gold, a search which Jung resymbolized as psychic and psychological transmutation and wholeness.[16]

In 1929, Jung wrote a commentary on the Secret of the Golden Flower, which he said was “not only a Taoist text concerned with Chinese Yoga, but is also an alchemical treatise.”[17] He comments that “…it was the text of the Golden Flower that first put me on the right track. For in medieval alchemy we have the long-sought connecting link between Gnosis (i.e. of the Gnostics) and the processes of the collective unconscious that can be observed in modern man…”[18] Jung comments: “…a large part of my life work has revolved around the problem of opposites and especially their alchemical symbolism…”[19] Tracy Cuotto comments that “Alchemy involves the uniting of opposites…the fusion of male and female, good and evil, life and death — whose union eventually creates the perfected and completed, ideal personality called Self.”[20]

Many people are not aware that Jung collected one of the largest amassing of spiritualistic writings found on the European continent. Jung wrote the first introduction to Zen Buddhism and the first western commentary on the Tibetan Book of the Dead.[21]Dr. Richard Noll comments that “the divinatory methods of the I Ching, used often by Jung in the 1920s and 1930s, were a part of the initial training program of the C.G. Jung Institute of Zurich in 1948, and its use is widely advocated today in Jungian Analytic-Training Institutes throughout the world.”[22] Jung was also a strong promoter of the occultic mandala, a circular picture with a sun or star usually at the centre. Sun worship, as personified in the mandala, is perhaps the key to fully understanding Jung.[23] Jung taught that the mandala [Sanskrit for ‘circle’] was “the simplest model of a concept of wholeness, and one which spontaneously arises in the mind as a representation of the struggle and reconciliation of opposites.”[24]

During the hippie movement of the 1960’s, the Rock Opera Hair boldly proclaimed the alleged dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Once again Carl Jung foreshadowed this emphasis in a 1940 letter to his former assistant, Godwin Baynes: “1940 is the year when we approach the meridian of the first star in Aquarius. It is the premonitory earthquake of the New Age.”[25] In a letter written by Jung to Sigmund Freud, he said: “My evenings are taken up very largely with astrology. I made horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth…I dare say that we shall one day discover in astrology a good deal of knowledge which has been intuitively projected into the heavens.”[26] In the 1950’s, Jung began to use Tarot reading as part of his astrological psychologizing. [27] Jung was known among his intimate colleagues as the ‘Warlock” (Hexenmeister) of Zurich.[28]

Jung’s family had occult linkage on both sides, from his paternal grandfather’s Freemasonry[29] involvement as Grandmaster of the Swiss Lodge[30], and his maternal family’s long-term involvement with séances and ghosts. Jung was heavily involved for many years with his mother and two female cousins in hypnotically induced séances.[31] They ‘used a primitive, homemade Ouija board and a glass that moved over the letters to spell out answers to questions.”[32] Jung eventually wrote up the séances as his 1902 medical dissertation entitled “On the Psychology and Pathology of So-called Occult Phenomena”.[33] His Preiswerk relatives were outraged that they were ‘shamefully’ included, and blamed Carl Jung for the inability of several of his cousins to find husbands.[34] James A Herrick notes that Jung’s mother ‘introduced him as a child to Hindu gods, for which he maintained a life-long fascination.’[35] After the death of three babies in a row before Carl Jung’s birth, his mother “Emilie withdrew, taking refuge in the private interior visions of the spirits.”[36] Emilie often had to be hospitalized, leaving Carl Jung with the feeling of the feminine as ‘natural unreliability, one can never rely on it’ and the term ‘father’ as ‘reliability and powerlessness.’[37]

Jung’s maternal Grandfather Samuel Preiswerk, a Basel pastor, had weekly séances attempting to contact his deceased first wife in the presence of his second wife, (Jung’s grandmother) and his daughter (Jung’s mother).[38] Jung acquired a spirit guide and guru named ‘Philemon’ [who was described by Jung as ‘an old man with the horns of a bull…and the wings of a fisher’]. Before being Philemon, this creature appeared to Jung as ‘Elijah’, and then finally mutated to ‘Ka’, an Egyptian earth-soul that ‘came from below’.[39] It may be worth reflecting upon why Jung designated his Bollingen Tower as the Shrine of Philemon.[40] Carl Jung commented: “Philemon represented a force which was not myself. In my fantasies I held conversations with him, and he said things which I had not consciously thought. For I observed clearly that it was he who spoke, not I. . . . Psychologically, Philemon represented superior insight. He was a mysterious figure to me. At times he seemed to me quite real, as if he were a living personality. I went walking up and down the garden with him, and to me he was what the Indians call a guru.”[41]

Jung’s fascination with the occult (the hidden) was at the root of his painful break in 1913 with his mentor Sigmund Freud.[42] Freud saw everything through the lens of sexual obsessions, and described the occult as ‘a sea of black mud’ which he feared would compromise the respectability of psychoanalysis.[43]

Jung’s “family was steeped in religion – he had eight uncles in the clergy as well as his maternal grandfather and his earliest playgrounds were churches and graveyards.”[44] The famous Ulysses author James Joyce disparagingly referred to Carl Jung as the Reverend Dr. Jung[45], hinting that Jungianism was really a religion. Carl Jung’s pastor-father loved theological school reflections, but deeply disliked rural congregational life and was losing his faith.[46] The famous Liberal German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher had converted and baptized Carl Jung’s grandfather. Carl Jung was deeply aware of and damaged by his father’s spiritual emptiness, saying “What he said sounded stale and hollow, like a tale told by someone who knows it only by hearsay and cannot quite believe it himself.”[47] Carl Jung’s first and only time of taking Holy Communion was a devastating experience for him: “Slowly I came to understand that this communion had been a fatal experience for me. It had proved hollow; more than that, it had proved to be a total loss. I knew that I would never again be able to participate in this ceremony. ‘Why, that is not religion at all,’ I thought. ‘It is the absence of God; the church is a place I should not go to. It is not life which is there, but death.’”[48]

When younger, Carl Jung had a life-changing dream of a subterranean phallic god which reappeared “whenever anyone spoke too emphatically about Lord Jesus.”[49] Jung commented that “…the ‘man-eater’ in general was symbolized by the phallus, so that the dark Lord Jesus, the Jesuit and the phallus were identical.”[50] This “initiation into the realm of darkness”[51] radically shaped Jung’s approach to Jesus: “Lord Jesus never became quite real for me, never quite acceptable, never quite lovable, for again and again I would think of his underground counterpart…Lord Jesus seemed to me in some ways a god of death…Secretly, his love and kindness, which I always heard praised, appeared doubtful to me…”[52] Jung later confessed to Sigmund Freud that as a boy he had been ‘the victim of a sexual assault.’[53] To what degree, I wonder, was Jung’s ‘revelation’ of the phallus god a fruit of childhood sexual abuse? The next major ‘spiritual breakthrough’ in his life was what Jung described as a “blasphemous vision”[54] of God dropping his dung on the local Cathedral. This vision, said Jung, gave him an intense “experience of divine grace”.[55] These early experiences birthed what many see as a new religion, clothed in a psychological undershirt. Dr Richard Noll notes that “in his December 1913 vision, Jung assumed the stance of the crucified Christ and then was transformed into the lion-headed god.”[56]

How serious, you may wonder, is the Jungian Reconciliation of Good and Evil? Leanne Payne says of Dr. Jeffrey Satinover that “like (C.S.) Lewis, he knows that this synthesis or reconciliation is the greatest threat facing not only Christendom but all mankind today.”[57] “For Jung”, says Satinover, “good and evil evolved into two equal, balanced, cosmic principles that belong together in one overarching synthesis.”[58]

Jung believed that the “dark side” of human nature needed to be “integrated” into a single, overarching “wholeness” in order to form a less strict and difficult definition of goodness.[59] Jung significantly said: “I would rather be whole than good.”[60] Wholeness for Jung is really the gnostic reconciliation of opposites.

“If Christ means anything to me,” said Jung, “it is only as a symbol…I do not find the historical Jesus edifying at all, merely interesting because controversial.”[61] Jung believed that “the Christ-symbol lacks wholeness in the modern psychological sense, since it does not include the dark side of things…”[62] For Jung, it was regrettable that Christ in his goodness lacked a shadow side, and God the Father, who is the Light, lacked darkness.[63] Jung sought a solution to this dilemma in the Holy Spirit who allegedly united the split in the moral opposites symbolized by Christ and Satan.[64] “Looked at from a quaternary standpoint”, writes Jung, “the Holy Ghost is a reconciliation of opposites and hence the answer to the suffering in the Godhead which Christ personifies.”[65] Jung believed that Satan and Jesus, as spiritual opposites, were gnostically reconciled through the Holy Spirit. “It is possible”, said Jung, “for a man to attain totality, to become whole, only with the co-operation of the spirit of darkness…”[66]

After experiencing Goethe’s Faust, Jung came to believe in the ‘universal power’ of evil and “its mysterious role it played in delivering man from darkness and suffering.”[67] “Most of all”, said Jung, “(Faust) awakened in me the problem of opposites, of good and evil, of mind and matter, of light and darkness.”[68]

In post-modern culture, the Judeo-Christian worldview is often dismissed as too narrow-minded and dogmatic. Jung saw the reconciliation of opposites as a sign of great cultural sophistication: “(Chinese philosophy) never failed to acknowledge the polarity and paradoxity (sic) of all life. The opposites always balanced one another – a sign of high culture. One-sidedness, though it lends momentum, is a sign of barbarism.”[69] It would not be too far off to describe Jung as a gnostic Taoist. “The book on types (PT)”, says Jung, “yielded the view that every judgment made by an individual is conditioned by his personality type and that every point of view is necessarily relative. This raised the question of the unity which must compensate this diversity, and it led me directly to the Chinese concept of Tao.”[70] Being influenced by the Yin-Yang of Taoism, Jung believed that “Everything requires for its existence its opposite, or it fades into nothingness.”[71] The Batman movie ‘Dark Knight’ has a very Jungian moment where the Joker says to Batman: “I don’t want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, NO! No. You… you… complete me.”[72] George Lucas’ ‘dark side of the Force’ in the Star Wars series is another epic Jungian moment that conditions post-moderns to see spirituality as a reconciliation of light and darkness.

In the book Psychological Types, Jung comments that “Yoga is a method by which the libido is systematically ‘drawn in’ and thereby released from the bondage of opposites.”[73] Jung entitled an entire section in PT: “Concerning the Brahmanic Conception of the Reconciling Symbol”. Jung notes: “Brahman therefore must signify the irrational union of the opposites – hence their final overcoming…These quotations show that Brahman is the reconciliation and dissolution of the opposites – hence standing beyond them as an irrational factor.”[74]

While in India in 1938, Jung says that he “was principally concerned with the question of the psychological nature of evil.”[75] He was “impressed again and again by the fact that these people were able to integrate so-called ‘evil’ without ‘losing face’…To the oriental, good and evil are meaningfully contained in nature, and are merely varying degrees of the same thing. I saw that Indian spirituality contains as much of evil as of good…one does not really believe in evil, and one does not really believe in good.”[76]

In a comment reminiscent of our post-modern relativistic culture, Jung said of Hindu thought: “Good or evil are then regarded at most as my good or my evil, as whatever seems to me good or evil”.[77] “We must beware”, said Jung, “of thinking of good and evil as absolute opposites…The criterion of ethical action can no longer consist in the simple view that good has the force of a categorical imperative, while so -called evil can resolutely be shunned. Recognition of the reality of evil necessarily relativizes the good, and the evil likewise, converting both into halves of a paradoxical whole.”

“This work Psychological Types (1921), said Jung, “sprung originally from my need to define the way in which my outlook differs from Freud’s and Adler’s. In attempting to answer this question, I came across the problem of types, for it is one’s psychological type which from the outset determines and limits a person’s judgment.”[78] Freud called Jung’s Psychological Types book ‘the work of a snob and a mystic’.[79] Jung was deeply traumatized by his split with Freud, and used the Psychological Types book to rationalize the Jung/Freud split. Jung saw himself as the so-called introvert, focusing on thinking, in contrast to Freud who was allegedly the extrovert, focused on feeling.[80] Many are unaware that the terms ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ were invented by Carl Jung, and mean far more conceptually than simply being outgoing or shy.[81]

Dr. Gordon Lawrence, a strong Jungian/MBTI supporter, teaches that “In Jung’s theory, the two kinds of perception – sensing and intuition – are polar opposites of each other. Similarly, thinking judgment and feeling judgment are polar opposites.”[82] It seems to me that the setting up of the psychological polar opposites in PT functions as a useful prelude for gnostic reconciliation of all opposites. The MBTI helps condition our minds into thinking about the existence of polar opposites, and their alleged barriers to perfect wholeness. To accept the eight polarities within the MBTI predisposes one to embrace Jung’s teaching that the psyche “cannot set up any absolute truths, for its own polarity determines the relativity of its statements.”[83]

Jung was accused of anti-Semitism because the Zentralblatt für Psychotherapie journal, which Jung edited, endorsed Mein Kampf as required reading for all psychoanalysts.[84] His defense was that he was trying to save psychoanalysis from being obliterated by the Nazis as a ‘Jewish science.[85] In 1936, Jung said of Hitler: “[Hitler] is a medium, German policy is not made; it is revealed through Hitler. He is the mouthpiece of the Gods of old… He is the Sybil, the Delphic oracle.”[86] The influence of Germanic anti-Semitism on Jungianism can now be seen in a secret quota clause designed to limit Jewish membership to 10% in the Analytical Psychology Club of Zurich. Jung’s secret Jewish quota was in effect from 1916 to 1950, and only came to public light in 1989.[87] While it would be a mistake to paint Jung as an outright Nazi sympathizer, there was much confusion, almost a gnostic reconciliation of good and evil, in how Jung responded to Hitler’s Germany.[88] The Rev Charles Raven, Director of SPREAD, comments that “Jung’s confused response to Nazi Germany and anti-Semitism contrasts sharply with the clear-sightedness of Karl Barth and the Confessing Church expressed in the Barmen Declaration in 1933. This helps to underline the way that Jungian psychology saps the ability to recognise and resist evil.”[89]

Two of Jung’s ‘most influential archetypes’ are the anima & animus, described by Jung as “psychological bisexuality”.[90] Jung teaches in PT that every man has a female soul (anima) and every woman has a male soul (animus).[91] Noll comments that “Jung’s first encounter with the feminine entity he later called the anima seems to have begun with his use of mediumistic techniques…”[92] Based on the recently discovered personal diary of Sabina Spielrein, John Kerr claims that Jung’s so-called anima “the woman within” which he spoke to, was none other than his idealized image of his former mistress, patient, and fellow therapist, Sabina Spielrein.[93] After breaking with both Spielrein and Freud, Jung felt his own soul vanish as if it had flown away to the land of the dead. Shortly after, while his children were plagued by nightmares and the house was seemingly haunted, Jung heard a chorus of spirits cry out demanding: ‘We have come back from Jerusalem where we have not found what we sought.’[94]

Jung’s next mistress Toni Wolff also started as Jung’s patient and became a Jungian analyst. Toni Wolff was hugely influential in the forming of Jungian Psychology. Jungian Analyst Dr. C.A. Maier holds that ‘when it comes to psychological types, (Toni Wolff) played a very important role there.’[95] “In this unfamiliar, terrifying underground of the collective unconscious, (Toni Wolff) was Jung’s guide to such an extent that she lived with him…She reflected his anima in a way that Mrs Jung didn’t.”[96] Baroness Vera von der Heydt comments that “It was (Toni Wolff) who introduced him to all the Eastern things, Eastern spirituality, Eastern philosophy and so on.”[97]

Part of the gender-bending and gender-blending of our post-modern culture is rooted in Jung’s androgynous teaching about the so-called anima and animus.[98] In the Jungian ‘Matter of the Heart’ video series, Dr Joseph (Jane) Wheelwright comments: “This is built into the heart of Jung’s whole psychology that one should develop one’s contrasexual components, as Margaret Mead so quaintly phrases it. Jung prefers to talk about the anima and the animus…All of us who are really committed and involved in the Jungian world are very busy trying to develop our animuses or our animas….This androgynous, or almost androgynous, state of being, is the way that one hopes to be before they throw the switch.”[99] Dr Richard Noll comments about Jung’s pansexual practices: “Emma Jung did not choose polygamy freely. The situation was presented to her by her husband. At best, she freely chose to adapt to it”[100] In a letter to Freud dated January 30, 1910, Jung wrote: “The prerequisite for a good marriage, it seems to me, is the license to be unfaithful.”[101]

Jung’s sexual views were profoundly influenced by the German physician and psychoanalyst Otto Gross (1877-1920). Otto Gross advocated the “life-enhancing value of eroticism which is so great that it must remain free from extraneous considerations in laws, and above all, from any integration into everyday life…. Husbands and wives should not begrudge each other whatever erotic stimuli may present themselves. Jealousy is something mean. Just as one has several people for friends, one can also have sexual union with several people at any given period and be ‘faithful’ to each one…. Free love will save the world.”[102] As a child of the 1960’s and ‘70’s, I cannot read Otto Gross without thinking of Haight-Ashbury. Is it merely a co-incidence that Timothy Leary was psychoanalyzed by Joseph Henderson, a California Jungian analyst, before he birthed the hippie/drug movement?[103]

Otto Gross and Jung sometimes psychoanalyzed each other for up to twelve hours non-stop. Speaking of Gross’ sexual/religious orgies, Jung commented: “The existence of a phallic or orgiastic cult does not indicate a particularly lascivious life any more than the ascetic symbolism of Christianity means an especially moral life.”[104] Jung’s patient/mistress Sabina Spielrein comments: “I sat there waiting in great depression. Now he [Jung] arrives, beaming with great pleasure, and tells me with strong emotion about Gross, about the great insight he had just received [i.e. about polygamy]; he no longer wants to suppress his feelings about me…”[105] Gross’ motto was ‘Nichts verdraengen!’ (repress nothing!)[106]

After being haunted by ghosts, Jung wrote his Seven Sermons to the Dead book in 1917. In these seven messages, Jung ‘reveals’, in agreement with the 2nd century Gnostic writer Basilides, that the True and Ultimate God is Abraxas, who combines Jesus and Satan, good and evil all in one.[107] This is why Jung held that “Light is followed by shadow, the other side of the Creator.”[108] Richard and Linda Nathan, long-term ex-Jungians, commented that “In true Gnostic fashion, Jung shared the Seven Sermons to the Dead book with close friends but hid it from the public.[109]

You may be asking yourself: “How much influence does Jungianism actually have on the Church and postmodern culture? The answer is that there is an enormous and sometimes subtle influence. “Jung’s direct and indirect impact on mainstream Christianity – and thus on Western culture,” says Dr. Satinover, “has been incalculable. It is no exaggeration to say that the theological positions of most mainstream denominations in their approach to pastoral care, as well as in their doctrines and liturgy – have become more or less identical with Jung’s psychological/symbolic theology.”[110]

There are key individuals promoting the Jungian gospel to the Church, such as Morton Kelsey, John Sanford (not John & Paula Sandford), Thomas Moore, Joseph Campbell, and Bishop John Spong. Thomas Moore, a former Roman Catholic monk, became widely popular through his best-seller: Care of the Soul. John Sanford, the son of the late Agnes Sanford, is an Episcopal Priest and Jungian analyst, with several books promoting the Jungian way. Morton Kelsey is another Episcopal Priest who has subtly woven the Jungian gospel through virtually every one of his books, especially those aimed for the Charismatic renewal constituency. Satinover describes Kelsey as having “made a career of such compromise”, noting that Kelsey has now proceeded in his latest book Sacrament of Sexuality to approve of the normalization of homosexuality.[111]

Joseph Campbell, cited by Satinover as a disciple of Jung, is famous for his public TV series on “The Power of Myth”.[112] Bishop John Spong, who has written two books (Resurrection: Myth or Reality & The Easter Moment) denying the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, gives Joseph Campbell credit for shaping his views on Jesus’ resurrection. “I was touched by Campbell’s ability to seek the truth of myths while refusing to literalize the rational explanation of those myths…Campbell allowed me to appreciate such timeless themes as virgin births, incarnations, physical resurrections, and cosmic ascensions…Slowly, ever so slowly, but equally ever so surely, a separation began to occur for me between the experience captured for us Christians in the word Easter and the interpretation of that experience found in both the Christian Scriptures and the developing Christian traditions…”[113] Few people have realized that Bishop Spong’s spiritual grandfather is none other than Carl Jung.

While in theological school, I became aware of the strong influence of Dr. Paul Tillich on many modern clergy. In recently reading C.G. Jung & Paul Tillich [written by John Dourley, a Jungian analyst & Roman priest from Ottawa], I came to realize that Tillich and Jung are ‘theological twins’. In a tribute given at a Memorial for Jung’s death, Tillich gave to Jung’s thought the status of an ontology because its depth and universality constituted a ‘doctrine of being’.[114] It turns out that Tillich is heavily in debt in Jung for his view of God as the supposed “Ground of Being”. As well, both Tillich and Jung, says Dourley, “understand the self to be that centering force within the psyche which brings together the opposites or polarities, whose dynamic interplay makes up life itself.”[115] As a Jungian popularizer, Tillich saw life as “made up of the flow of energy between opposing poles or opposites.”[116]

So many current theological emphases in today’s church can be traced directly back to Carl Jung. For example, with the loss of confidence in the Missionary imperative, many mainline church administrators today sound remarkably like Jung when he said: “What we from our point of view call colonization, missions to the heathen, spread of civilization, etc, has another face – the face of a bird of prey seeking with cruel intentness for distant quarry – a face worthy of a race of pirates and highwaymen.”[117] In speaking of Buddhism and Christianity, Jung taught the now familiar inter-faith dialogue line, that “Both paths are right.”[118] Jung spoke of Jesus, Mani, Buddha, and Lao-Tse as ‘pillars of the spirit’, saying “I could give none preference over the other.”[119] The English Theologian Don Cupitt says that Jung pioneered the multi-faith approach now widespread in the Church.[120]

In light of the current controversies around “Mother Goddess” hymnbooks, it is interesting to read in the MBTI source book Psychological Types about the “Gnostic prototype, viz, Sophia, an immensely significant symbol for the Gnosis.”[121] You are probably well aware that in the best-selling book The Shack, God the Father is portrayed as an Aunt Jemima/Oprah Winfrey blend named Elouisa, and the Holy Spirit becomes Sarayu, an eclectic woman of Asian descent. While I personally enjoyed reading much of the popular Shack novel, I have unresolved concerns about how The Shack may be used, even unintentionally, to deconstruct people’s classical understandings of the Trinity and replace it with mother/father god/dess worship.[122] Postmodern thinking, even among evangelicals, is remarkably subjectivist and fluid, easily leading to a gnostic reconciliation of gender opposites even in the Godhead.[123]

I have another friend who watched her mother being raped in the back seat of their car. This so traumatized her that she rejected her female gender identity, deciding to become the gentleman that the male rapist should have been.  Just before her scheduled gender reassignment surgery, my friend had a powerful encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ that enabled her to cancel her surgery and accept her female gender identity, that she was fearfully and wonderfully made as a woman.  She has gone on to help hundreds of other people struggling with sexual and gender confusion.

My challenge to those reading this is to seek the Lord about where God may be calling you to renounce any false gods, any secret idolatry, any gnostic reconciliation of opposites, particularly in the area of Jungianism and the New Age. May we never forget the warning of the prophet Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:29)[124].

You may not like your DNA gender. You may have sadly been bullied over your gender ambivalence. Some of you reading this may have even been sexually abused. What if you chose to radically embrace rather than reject your God-given gender? What if God did not make a mistake in the XX male or XY female DNA that he gave you? What would it take for you to thank God for how he has made you?

What might happen if we stood up and affirmed the authentic male and authentic female in an age of Jungian-inspired gender confusion? Will you join me?

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-previously presented and published at the Think Tank Conference in San Diego, California

-award-winning author of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada


[1] Dr. Jeffrey Satinover’s critique of Jungianism came with unique credibility, given his background as an eminent Jungian scholar, analyst, and past President of the C.G. Jung Foundation.
[2] Isabel Briggs Myers with Peter B. Myers, Gifts Differing, Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Press, Inc., 1980,p. xvii. Many charismatics have a soft spot for this book, because it quotes portions of scripture from Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. The actual link, however, between those bible passages, and the Jung/Myers-Briggs theories is rather questionable.
In an October 29th, 1996 letter from Rev. Fred Goodwin, Rector of National Ministries for ERM, Fred Goodwin commented: “I would suggest that in light of your concerns, you drop the MBTI and use some of the material out on small group ministry and discipling instead—which we find are desperate needs for leadership training in the church.”
[3] Ibid., p.210; also Dr. Gordon Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes, p. xi; A book Prayer & Temperament written by Msgr. Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey in 1984 has been very effective in winning Roman Catholics and Anglicans to the MBTI. The book claims that the MBTI designations will make you either oriented to Ignatian prayer (if you are SJ), Augustinian prayer (if you are NF), Franciscan prayer(if you are SP), or Thomistic prayer(if you are NT). In the MBTI, the four sets of types are Extravert(E) & Introvert(I), Sensate(S) & Intuitive(N), Thinking(T) & Feeling(F), and Judging(J) & Perceiving(P). None of these 8 innocuous-sounding type names mean what they sound like. Instead each of the 8 type names has unique and mysterious, perhaps even occultic, definitions given by Jung himself in a massive section at the back of Psychological Types.
[4] Dr. Gordon Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes, Gainesville, FL: Center for Applications of Psychological Types, 1979, p. 222
[5] Robert Innes, Personality Indicators and The Spiritual Life, Grove Books Ltd., Cambridge, 1996, p.3; The Enneagram is significantly occultic in nature and origin, coming from Sufi, numerology, and Arica New-Age sources. George Gurideff, Oscar Ichazo of Esalen Institute, and Claudio Naranjo are the prominent New Agers who have popularized it, and then introduced it, through Fr. Bob Oschs SJ, into the Christian Church. For more information, I recommend Robert Innes’ booklet and Mitchell Pacwa SJ article’s “Tell Me Who I Am, O Ennegram” Christian Research Journal, Fall 1991, pp. 14ff. My article on ‘George Gurdjieff and the Enigmatic Enneagram’ can be read at http://www3.telus.net/st_simons/arm04.htm
[6] CG Jung, 1946 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJhblm4KUmo
[7] Merill Berger & Stephen Segaller, The Wisdom of the Dreams, C.G. Jung Foundation, New York, NY, Shamballa Publications, Front Cover
[8] Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, Baker Book House Co., 1996, p. 238 “Because of his great influence in propagating gnostic philosophy and morals in churches & synagogues, Jung deserves a closer look. The moral relativism that released upon us the sexual revolution is rooted in an outlook of which (Jung) is the most brilliant contemporary expositor.”
[9] Robert Greenfield, Timothy Leary: a Biography, Harcourt Books, 2006, p. 86; Robert C Fuller, Stairways to Heaven: drugs in religious history, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 2000, p. 126, “That is why Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and mystics like Allan Watts or Aldous Huxley were important to the spiritual underground; they were purveyors of the alternate myths and pathways to spiritual experience.”
[10] Jeffrey Satinover, The Empty Self, p. 27. Jung has “blended psychological reductionism with gnostic spirituality to produce a modern variant of mystical, pagan polytheism in which the multiple ‘images of the instincts’ (his ‘archetypes’) are worshipped as gods”, Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, p. 238: Carl Jung “explicitly identified depth psychology, especially his own, as heir to the apostolic tradition, especially in what he considered its superior handling of the problem of evil.”
[11] Jeffrey Satinover, The Empty Self, p. 23 Jung claimed that “In the ancient world, the Gnostics, whose arguments were very much influenced by psychic experience, tackled the problem of evil on a broader basis than the Church Fathers.” “Whatever the system, and however the different stages are purportedly marked, the ultimate aim, the innermost circle of all Gnostic systems, is a mystical vision of the union of good and evil.”
[12] Monism: “a view that there is only one kind of ultimate substance b: the view that reality is one unitary organic whole with no independent parts” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/monism
[13] Walter Shelburne, Mythos and Logos in the Thought of Carl Jung, 1988, Sunny Press, Albany, New York, p. 18
[14] Bair, Ibid., p. 526
[15] Ibid., p. 27, Ft. 28
[16] Carl Jung & Aniela Jaffe, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, translated from the German by Richard & Clara Winston, Vintage Books-Random House, 1961/1989, p. 205 “The possibility of a comparison with alchemy, and the uninterrupted intellectual chain back to Gnosticism, gave substance to my psychology.”
[17] Carl Jung, Psychology & the East, London & New York: Ark Paper Back, 1978/1986, p. 3
[18] Ibid., p. 6
[19] MDR, p. 233
[20] “Psychology, Astrology and Carl Jung”, Metamorphosis Newsletter, August 2004, by Tracy Cuotto, http://consciousevolution.com/metamorphosis/0408/jung0408.htm
[21] Jeffrey Satinover, The Empty Self, p. 28 Dr. James Hillman, the former director for the Jungian Institute in Zurich, commented, “(Jung) wrote the first introduction to Zen Buddhism, he…brought in (Greek Mythology), the gods and the goddesses, the myths,…he was interested in astrology…” The Wisdom of the Dreams: Carl Gustav Jung: a Stephen Segaller Video, Vol. 3, “ A World of Dreams”. Jung also wrote the first western commentary on the Tibetan Book of the Dead.( Psychology & the East, p. 60)
[22] Dr. Richard Noll, The Jung Cult.: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1994, p. 333
[23] Noll, The Jung Cult, p. 137
[24] MDR, p. 335
[25] Merill Berger & Stephen Segaller, The Wisdom of the Dreams, p. 162; Jung & Jaffe, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 340; In Jung’s book Aion, he holds that “…the appearance of Christ coincided with the beginning of a new aeon, the age of the Fishes. A sychronicity exists between the life of Christ and the objective astronomical event, the entrance of the spring equinox into the sign of Pisces.” p. 221
[26] Richard Webster, Why Freud Was Wrong: Sin, Science, & Psychoanalysis, Basic Books: Harper Collins, 1995, p. 385. Jung comments: “For instance, it appears that the signs of the zodiac are character pictures, in other words, libido symbols which depict the typical qualities of the libido at a given moment…”
[27] Bair, ibid., p. 549 “Both Hanni and Gret used several different sets of cards when they taught (Jung) how to consult the Tarot, before they settled on the Grimaud cards of Antoine Court de Gebelin, the Ancien Tarot de Marseilles. Jung thought it was the only deck that possessed the properties and fulfilled the requirements of metaphor that he gleaned from within the alchemical texts.”
[28] The Gnostic Jung and The Seven Sermons to the Dead By Stephan A. Hoeller, A Quest book, The Theosophical Publishing House , 1982. p. xiii
http://books.google.ca/books?id=XDSSXDezdBMC&pg=PR13&lpg=PR13&dq=Hexenmeister+of+Zurich&source=web&ots=aXYRkrGcqp&sig=z1rtge0YGGQdgYNNEoxQFugI2i8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result ; Carl G. Jung: Man of Science or Modern Shaman?, By Richard and Linda Nathan http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/nathan/jung.htm
[29] Dr George Puritch, a Prayer Ministry leader, commented recently to me: “I have felt for a long time that many of the false beliefs within the church had their foundations in the occultism of Free Masonry. Your research that Jung’s grandfather was a Grand Master of the Lodge reveals the roots of his deep occultism, not to mention his occultic roots on his mother’s side.” All the occultic practices of Masonry as described by Ankerberg and Weldon (1990. The Secret Teachings of the Masonic. A Christian Perspective. Moody Press Chicago) are revealed in Jung’s philosophies, the relativism of good and evil, the denial of the deity of Jesus, universalism, worship of the dead, deification of man, etc.”
[30] Jung & Jaffe, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p.232
[31] John Kerr, A Most Dangerous Method: the Story of Jung, Freud, & Sabina Spielrein, New York, Alfred Knopf Books, 1993, p. 50 & 54
[32] Deirdre Bair, Jung: a Biography, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, p. 46
[33] John Kerr, ibid., p. 50 & 54; The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, by John Michael, Llewellyn Worldwide Publisher, p. 250
[34] Bair, ibid., p. 64 “Later generations held Jung’s dissertation directly responsible for the fact that many of the younger Preiswerk daughters in Helly’s generation did not marry.”
[35] James A Herrick, The Making of a New Spirituality, Intervarsity Press, 204, p. 191; Campbell, Portable Jung, p. viii; Deirdre Bair, Jung: a Biography, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 2003, p. 18
[36] Bair, ibid., p. 18
[37] Bair, ibid., p. 21
[38] “Session 11: Jung and Pagan Psychology”, Temple of the Sacred Spiral, http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/palette/187/session11.html
[39] Satinover, The Empty Self, p. 37; The spirit guide Philemon/Elijah later mutated into Salome, who addressed Jung in a self-directed trance vision as Christ. Jung ‘saw’ himself assume the posture of a victim of crucifixion, with a snake coiled around him, and his face transformed into that of a lion from the Mithraic mystery religion.(C.G. Jung, Analytical Psychology :Princeton University Press, 1989:, p. 96, 98)
[40] Jung & Jaffe, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p.223. “Shrine of Philemon: Repentance of Faust” was the inscription carved in stone by Jung over the entrance of the Bollingen Tower, where he lived and wrote.
[41] MDR, p. 183
[42] The final straw was when Jung published Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (translated as Psychology of the Unconscious.) http://everything2.com/title/Carl%20Jung
[43] Alex Owen, The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern, University of Chicago Press, 2004, p. 143
[44] “Session 11: Jung and Pagan Psychology”, Temple of the Sacred Spiral, http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/palette/187/session11.html
[45] Bair, ibid., p. 407
[46] Joel Ryce-Menuhin, Jung and the Monotheisms, Routledge Publisher, p. 183
[47] MDR, p. 42-43
[48] Ibid, p. 55
[49] Ibid., p. 12
[50] Ibid., p. 12
[51] Ibid., p. 15
[52] Ibid., p. 13
[53] Bair, ibid, p. 70
[54] MDR, Ibid., p. 58. Jung concluded from this ‘Cathedral’ experience that “God Himself can…condemn a person to blasphemy” Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 74
[55] Ibid., p. 55
[56] Dr Richard Noll, The Aryan Christ, Random House,1997, p.138.
[57] Satinover, The Empty Self, p. 3; Dr. Satinover sees the temptation facing our generation that”…on a theological plane, we succumb to the dangerous fantasy that Good and Evil will be reunited in a higher oneness.” Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, p. 238
[58] Satinover, Ibid., p 240. “…This relativization of good and evil by their reconciliation is the heart of the ancient doctrines of gnosticism, which also located spirituality, hence morality, within man himself. Hence ‘the union of opposites’.” Keirsey & Bates, authors of Please Understand Me, and creators of the more popularized Keirsey-Bates adaptation of the MBTI, teach openly in their book on the Jungian “shadow…It’s as if, in being attracted to our opposite, we grope around for that rejected, abandoned, or unlived half of ourselves…(p.68)”
[59] Satinover, Ibid., p. 240
[60]http://www.trans4mind.com/jamesharveystout/jung.htm ; Spirituality and Psychological Health By Richard H. Cox, Betty Ervin-Cox, Louis Hoffman, COSSP Press, p. 199
[61] Bair, ibid., p. 526; Carl G Jung to Adolf Keller, CL-2, March 20th, 1951, p. 10
[62] Jung, Aion, Collected Works, p. 41
[63] John P. Dourley, C.G. Jung & Paul Tillich: The Psyche as Sacrament, Inner City Books, 1981, p. 63 “(Jung) also feels that it is questionable in that (the Christ symbol) contains no trace of the shadow side of life.” Fr. Dourley, a Jungian analyst, also comments on p. 63 about Jung’s “criticism of the Christian conception of a God in who there is no darkness.”
[64] Dourley, C.G. Jung & Paul Tillich, p. 70
[65] Carl Jung, ‘A Psychological Approach to The Trinity’, CW11, para. 260 “Thus for Jung, says John Dourley, the Spirit unites the exclusively spiritual reality of Christ with that which is identified with the devil, including ‘the dark world of nature-bound man’, the chthonic side of nature excluded by Christianity from the Christ image.” para. 263; In a similar vein, Jung saw the alchemical figure of Mercurius as a compensation for the one-sideness of the symbol of Christ. Carl Jung, ‘The Spirit Mercurius’, Alchemical Studies, CW13, para. 295. Jung comments, “As early as 1944, in Psychology and Alchemy, I had been able to demonstrate the parallelism between the Christ figure and the central concept of the alchemists, the lapis or stone.” MDR, p.210
[66] C.G. Jung, ‘The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairy Tales, CW9, para. 453
[67] MDR, Ibid., p. 60
[68] MDR, Ibid., p. 235
[69] Jung, Psychology & The East, p. 11
[70] Jung, MDR p. 207; Carl Jung, Psychology & the East, p. 15 “The wise Chinese would say in the words of the I Ching: ‘When Yang has reached its greatest strength, the dark power of yin is born within its depths, for night begins at midday when yang breaks up and begins to change into yin.”
[71] Jung, Psychology & the East, p. 184
[72] Dark Knight movie, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0468569/quotes
[73] Jung, Psychological Types, p. 149-50 “The Indian (Brahman-Atman teaching) conception teaches liberation from the opposites, by which every sort of affective style and emotional hold to the object is understood…”
[74] Jung, Psychological Types, p. 245-46
[75] MDR, p. 275
[76] Ibid., p. 275
[77] Ibid., p. 275
[78] Berger & Segaller, Wisdom of the Dreams; p. 103, MDR, p. 207
[79] Bair, Ibid., p. 286
[80] Bair, ibid., p. 286
[81] The Old Wise Man, By HP-Time.com, Monday, Feb. 14, 1955 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,807036-3,00.html ; “According to Carl Jung, introversion and extraversion refer to the direction of psychic energy. If a person’s energy usually flows outwards, he or she is an extravert, while if this energy normally flows inwards, this person is an introvert.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introvert
[82] Lawrence, People Types & Tiger Stripes, p. 113
[83] MDR, Ibid., p.350
[85] “Carl Jung”, Crystalinks, http://www.crystalinks.com/jung.html
[86] C.G Jung Speaking, Interviews and Encounters, Princeton University Press, 1977, p. 93
[87] Noll, Ibid., p. 259
[88] Dr. Richard Noll, The Aryan Christ: the secret life of Carl Jung, Random House, 1997
[89] SPREAD, http://www.anglicanspread.org/
[90] Ibid., p. 391; Henri F. Ellenberger makes a strong case that Jung borrowed his matriarchy and anima/animus theories from Bachofen, an academic likened by some to the scientific credibility of Erik Von Daniken of The Chariots of the Gods and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of TM and its Yogic Flying. (Ellenberger, The Discovery of the Unconscious, Penguin Press, 1970, pp. 218-223); Philip Davis, “The Swiss Maharishi”, Touchstone Issue 92, Spring 1996, p.13); Richard Noll, The Jung Cult, p. 188-90
[91] Jung, Psychological Types, p. 595
[92] Noll, The Jung Cult, p. 202-203; Philip Davis comments: “Jung’s therapeutic technique of ‘active imagination’ is now revealed as a sanitized version of the sort of trance employed by spiritualistic mediums and Theosophical travelers, with whom Jung was personally familiar.” (Philip Davis,”The Swiss Maharishi”, Touchstone Issue 92, Spring 1996, p.14)
[93] John Kerr, A Most Dangerous Method, p. 12; 49;191; 498 “…there (the Russian-born Spielrein) remained (in almost complete obscurity) until the publication of the Freud/Jung correspondence in 1974.”; p. 502;503: After the collapse of the Spielrein affair, John Kerr notes that “Jung’s condition had so deteriorated that his wife allowed Toni Wolff openly to become his mistress, and a sometime member of the household, simply because she was the only person who could calm him down.”; p. 507- Jung’s stone bear carving in his Bollingen Tower specifically symbolized the anima . Curiously the inscription said: “Russia gets the ball rolling”
[94] Kerr, Ibid., p. 503; MDR, p.190
[95] Carl Jung- Matters of the Heart Video – Part 6, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3nKlA-Z-P0
[96] Matters of the Heart Video – Part 6, ibid.
[97] Matters of the Heart Video – Part 6, ibid.
[98] Matters of the Heart Video, Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJhblm4KUmo
[99] Dr Joseph Wheelwright, San Francisco Jungian Analyst, Matters of the Heart Video, Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJhblm4KUmo
[100] Dr. Richard Noll, The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung, New York: Random House, 1997, p, 96; “The Erring Christ”, by the Richard Kew, Touchstone Magazine, July /August 1998, http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=11-04-052-b
[101] Sigmund Freud/Carl Jung Letters, edited by William McGuire, 1974, p. 289
[102] “The Jung Cult . . .” by Paul Likoudis, The Wanderer Magazine, December 29, 1994, St. Paul, MN http://www.ewtn.org/library/NEWAGE/JUNGCUL1.TXT
[103] Robert Greenfield, Timothy Leary: a Biography, Harcourt Books, 2006, p. 86
[104] Likoudis, ibid., http://www.ewtn.org/library/NEWAGE/JUNGCUL1.TXT ; Carl Jung, Transformations and Symbols of the Libido, Collected Works of CG Jung, Volume 5
[105] Seduction of Unreason, by Richard Wolin, Princeton University Press, 2004 p. 79; Wolin notes that ‘Gross met an untimely if foreseeable end on the streets of Berlin where he was discovered starving and homeless in 1920’, p. 78.
[106] Frank, Links wo das Herz ist, p. 49; Bair, ibid., p. 136; Gross’ motto reminds me of the 1960’s slogan ‘if it feels good, do it.’
[107] MDR, p. 378
[108] MDR, p. 328
[109] “Carl G Jung: Man of Science or Modern Shaman?”, by Richard and Linda Nathan, 2008, http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/nathan/jung.htm When a famous Jewish theologian, Martin Buber, happened upon it, he accused Jung of being a modern Gnostic. Jung vehemently denied it, claiming the book was only a “youthful frivolity,” but in other places he called it central to all his later work.”
[110] Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, p.240. Satinover dryly comments that “in the United States, the Episcopal Church has more or less become a branch of Jungian psychology, theologically and liturgically.” (Empty Self ,p. 27, Footnote. 27)
[111] Satinover, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, p. 241
[112] Satinover, The Empty Self, p. 9; Joseph Campbell in fact worked personally with Jung and published through the Jungian-controlled Bollingen Foundation , ( Philip Davis, “The Swiss Maharishi”, Touchstone Issue 92, Spring 1996, p.11)
[113] The Right Reverend John Spong, Resurrection: Reality or Myth, Harper, 1994, p. xi. His parallel book is The Easter Moment.
[114] A Memorial Meeting : New York, Analytical Psychology Club, 1962, p. 31
[115] Dourley, C.G. Jung & Paul Tillich, p. 17
[116] Dourley, Ibid., p. 48 The persistent modern emphasis on the so-called ‘inner child’ makes a lot more sense when seen as a spin-off from Jung’s teaching that the symbol of the child is “that final goal that reconciles the opposites.” (Dourley, p. 83)
[117] Ibid., p. 248; www.thejungiansociety.org/Jung%20Society/Conferences/Conference-2004/Colonial-Postcolonial-Context.html
[118] Ibid., p. 279
[119] Dourley, C.G. Jung & Paul Tillich, p. 65
[120] The Wisdom of the Dream, p. 99
[121] Carl Jung, Psychological Types: or the Psychology of Individuation, Princeton University Press, 1921/1971, p. 290. Dr. Jeffrey Satinover memorably comments as a former Jungian that ‘Goddess worship’ is not the cure for misogyny, but it is its precondition, whether overtly or unconsciously. (The Empty Self, p. 9); Marija Bimbutas, the late professor of archeology at UCLA, included Jung and more than a half dozen of his noted disciples in the bibliographies to her books on the alleged matriarchies of the Balkans:The Language of the Goddess(1989)and The Civilization of the Goddess(1991),(Philip Davis,”The Swiss Maharishi”, Touchstone Issue 92, Spring 1996, p.13)
[122] Ed Hird, Battle for the Soul of Canada, 2006, p. 44, “It is not by accident that virtually every new-age fad, including the DaVinci Code deception, sooner or later draws people into mother/father god/dess worship and sexual immorality. I have found that idolatry and immorality are identical twins that always hang out together, especially around god/desses… I know of Anglican Cathedrals in Canada that both endorse the pan-sexual agenda and twist Jesus’ own words to pray “Our Father/Mother in Heaven, Hallowed be Your Name”. As Jesus clearly taught us, God’s name is Father, and He likes His name.”
[123] In the key Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials, section 1 says: “The Triune God: There is one God, self-revealed as three persons, “of one substance, power and eternity,” the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. For the sake of the Gospel, we decline proposals to modify or marginalize these names and we affirm their rightful place in prayer, liturgy, and hymnody.” For those wishing to study further on the mother/father god/dess issue, I commend ‘Speaking the Christian God’ edited by Alvin F. Kimel, Dr. Donald Bloesch ‘The Battle for the Trinity’ and John W Miller’s ‘Biblical Faith and Fathering: why we call God ‘Father'”. http://www.anglicanessentials.ca/pdf/montreal_declaration_aec.pdf
[124] The Apostle Paul cautioned: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

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Author: edhird

I was the Rector of St. Simon's Church North Vancouver, B.C for 31 years, from 1987 to 2018. Ordained in 1980, I have also served at St. Philip's Vancouver and St. Matthew's Abbotsford. My wife Janice and I have three sons James, Mark, and Andrew. I was Past President and Chaplain for Alpha Canada. While serving as the National Chair for Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada, I was one of three co-signers of the Montreal Declaration of Anglican Essentials For the past 31 years, I have been privileged to write over 500 articles as a columnist on spiritual issues for local North Vancouver newspapers. In the last number of years, I have had the opportunity to speak at conferences and retreats in Honduras, Rwanda, Uganda, Washington State, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Ontario. My book For Better, For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship, coauthored with Janice Hird, can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Better-Worse-Discovering-lasting-relationship/dp/0978202236/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1535555614&sr=8-1 My sequel Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit, with a foreword by Dr JI Packer, is online with Amazon.com in both paperback http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/097820221X/ref=redir_mdp_mobile and ebook form http://tiny.cc/tanhmx . In Canada, Amazon.ca has it available in paperback http://tiny.cc/dknhmx and ebook http://tiny.cc/wmhmmx . It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook ), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook). Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form. Nook gives a sample of the book to read online: http://tiny.cc/vj3bmx . Indigo also offers the Kobo ebook version: http://tiny.cc/kreonx . You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook: http://tiny.cc/1ukiox The book 'Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit' focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus' healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how North Americans can embrace a holistically healthy life. In order to obtain a signed copy in North America of the prequel book 'Battle for the Soul of Canada', Blue Sky, or God's Firestarters, please send a $25 etransfer to ed_hird@telus.net . Cheques are also acceptable.

8 thoughts on “Carl Jung and the Gnostic Reconciliation of Gender Opposites

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  5. Dear Mr. Hind,
    I came across your blog about CG Jung quite by accident and I have to say, I found it very misleading. So much so that I feel called upon to respond.

    Not that anything you have to say about Jung’s personal life and ideas can be contested. I myself had a great trauma with Jung. My parents were fascinated by him and when, after years of abuse and neglect, I broke down, my father was convinced only a Jungian could save me. What followed was a quite abusive analysis with an analyst who had remarkably littel real psychological understanding. There were some boundary violations as well and on the whole it was a very damaging experience.

    It took me years to excise Jungian ideas from my system and I probably haven’t entirely succeeded today. So I have some slight sympathy for someone who once admired these ideas and is now rethinking them.

    However, I think it a bit much to make Jung a sort of miniature anti-christ, responsible for the fall of western society into moral and gender confusion. I doubt strongly that he was the spiritual father of the sixties. He was hardly known in the US in the 60’s.When I broke down a decade or so later, there was exactly one analyst in our whole state. Nor did one find a great many established clinical practitioners with much interest in his ideas. Jung was hardly mentioned in most college psychology curricula. The going mode at the time was behaviorism and humanistic clinical psychology. Jung was practically unheard of except for a very small minority of male academics. Even the hippies I knew didn’t read Jung or if they tried, they found him obtuse and obscure and not worth wading through. They read people like Allen Watts and a host of popular psychologists, such as the ones critiqued in the book psychobabble, who were simpler, more direct and much more approachable.

    I think what Christians don’t want to look at is that the 60’s were actually the result of a failure of Christianity, at least for the youth of the white middle-class. They turned to esoterics and Eastern religions because the morality of the church was primarily focused on sexuality— and did very little to address the extreme social problems of the society, begining with racism. I mean, how do you talk about Christianity when you’ve got a white church and a black church ansd supposedly Christian members of the KKK. . Meanwhile nepalm was raining down on the Vietnamese, the US was amassing weapons of mass anihilation so that people were wondering if there was going to be a tomorrow. And Silent Spring made people aware of the massive destruction of the environment. And most people only saw their future as selling something for some company they had no interest in, in order to buy things that had no real meaning. The general feeling of the 60’s youth was: if the this is the society that our moral ideas create, there must be something deeply flawed with our moral ideas. The trouble was, their experience of church was not that different from Jung’s. On a broad collective level, people found it a place with no life.

    if you want a particularly good characterization of how empty the church was perceived to be in that era, try watching Bergman’s Winter Light. One of the more poignant scenes is a fisherman who is completely traumatized by the atom bomb and has such terrrible anxiety about a nuclear war that he can’t function. The wife seeks out the minister to give him some sort of perspective but the minister is caught in his own personal crisis and has nothing to say. The fisherman later commits suicide. As a cultural icon I think the movie communicated very well the perception of a church that was so self absorbed with its own agenda that it abandons people, since it cannot really address their concerns. And what is really more pressing than mass destruction?I think it was the vacuum of meaning that the church failed to fill that caused people to start reading tarot cards and doing acid, —and it wasn’t because of Jung I don’t think .

    People were feeling that if this is the sort of society our religion and moral ideas help to create, we need to find some new ones. Perhaps if the church had spent less time demonizing abortions and homsexuality and spent a little more time talking about Greed, Miltarism, Racism, Consumerism and the like, perhaps if it had been less preachy and condemning and more openly loving people wouldn’t have turned to Allen Watts and esoterics. . But instead, a major portion of the church spent its time polarizing the nation into a „moral majority“ and everyone else, who were convinced the moral majority was neither—as the bumper sticker put it. And what was particularly outrageuos about this moral majority was it’s tone– it’s vitriol, its self-righteousness, it’s demonizing of the other, so that you got people holding up banners with things like „God hates Gays

    One of the things I think Jung was trying to touch on with what you call his gnosticism, is the fact that things can turn into their own opposite. We as creatures liike to think well of ourselves and particularly like to think we are good people with the „right ideas“ . It seems to be a genetic necessity. So we don’t look easily at the sides of ourselves that contradict our happy picture of who we are. Now it seems to me that someone who is filled with so much negative feeling that he has to hold up a poster saying „God hates Gays „ stands in major contradiction to a loving, forgiving God who commands his followers not to judge. I think part of what Jung wanted, and I don’t think he succeeded, was to find a way to connect ourselves to the side of ourselves we don’t want to see, so we can stop being evil in the name of good—because we refuse to examine the contradictions in our own behavior.The Christian obsession with homosexuality reveals yet one more shadow side or contradiction in terms. Christ came to free us from the law he says. What matters is the spirit. Well, it doesn’t to people with a homosexual obsession—and there are many in the Anglican church who think this is the issue of our era. They mostly look for the specific few verses on which they can base their condemnation and are incredibly legalistic about it. What matters for them is the form not the content. The idea of two penises presents the problem . It doesn’t matter if the people involved have a loving monogamous relationship that mirrors a successful hetero-sexual one. It’s not the content that matters. It’s not the spirit. It is just the law and the form. And I say this as an ex Anglican.

    Now to the gender issue: Sociology says that gender is a social construct and that makes sense to me. What is considered male and female in a society depends on the society. A gender identity is a social identity. Male and Female are social concepts not metaphysical ones and they are only roughly linked to biology. Generally they are used to divide the existing work in the society among its members. Gender identity is by nature somewhat fluid. For instance in many societies there are a variety of female and male roles. But sometimes circumstances force members to change roles. So for instance in parts of the Middle East if a parent dies young and there are no sons to head the family, one of the daughters becomes a son. Since only men can head the family, she becomes a man. She dresses like a man and has all the privileges of a man. There is a little ceremony where she is recognized by the village as a man. If the gender roles in that society were a little less strict, she could naturally have fulfilled the same function as a woman. But because the idea of what a man does and what a woman does doesn’t allow for that, she has to become a man. There is a nomad society in Finland where the man does nothing but hunt and look after the reindeer herds. This takes a lot of physical strength. In this society there is no other male role. A man without the necessary physical strength has to become a woman. He dresses like a woman and has to become a „wife.“ because there is no other option. When we talk about what is „feminine“ and „masculine“, we are talking about qualities that justify and reflect our traditional division of labor. Jung was right that the personality has a lot more potential than our notions of gender identity. A man who cries is not a man „exercising his feminine side“ he’s just a man crying. Men can cry as well as women. It is considered feminine based on our social concepts. Our social concepts of gender identity have been shown to be very restrictive and descriminatory and their usefulness has been questioned since before the French revolution.

    The horrible thing that most of the fundamentalists in my previous church called „secular humanism,“ which is supposed to be cause of our downfall and which they also for some odd reason think arose in the 60’s actually began in the middle ages as the static view of society that the Catholic church had proferred began to crumble with increased trade and differentiation in the society. With merchants and cities and the invention of new tools, people began to see their environment not as a metaphysical given but as something they could control and change. They began to see themselves as actors who could cause things to happen. The metaphysical justfication of the social order began to seem less self evident and ideas began to arise as to how one could become the best possible human actor and arrange society for the greatest benefit of its members.. With some development these ideas became manifest in revolutionary movements and the idea of „fraternity, liberty and equality.“

    „Liberty ,equality , fraternity were values that called into question the imposed heirarchical social identities of the middle-ages. They were also ideas that aspired to universality just as the Church dogma has aspired. But if you can call social hierarchies into question and do it on the basis of universal principles like those of the French revolution, why not gender roles? And actually feminists of the18th century did just that. Slowly the achievements of women in male dominated fields caused the biological justification of gender roles to crumble. Something else major happened: just as in the case of the daughter who becomes a son, there was an exceptional situation which caused Western societies to reverse their gender rules. That was 2 world wars. The main rule at the time was, the man works outside the home and gets a job contract; the woman works inside and gets a marriage contract. With the men on the front there was no one to mind the factories. So the women were sent in. And with that the social division of labor broke down. Since gender identities exist primarily to divide up the social labor, if the division of labor based on gender identities breaks down, they don’t make sense anymore and have to be redefined. The gender confusion that you think Jung invented happened as a result of capitalistic society wanting to cash in on cheap labor after the wars. Now a social political economy exists where it is imposible to resurrect the old division of labor and it is very hard to resurrect the 1950’s gender identity. None of this has to do with gnosticism. The „masculine“ and „feminine“ as Jung defines them make about as much sense in today’s social context as Chivalry did in the early modern era.

    The feudal household wasn’t the driving factor in society anymore so the whole concept of the „noble“ and the values that went with it was increasingly called into question.Today’s confusion is the result of there being no single commonly agreed upon definition of what women and men should do their lives because the old gender-based division of labor doesn’t exist in today’s economic context. So gender definitions also don’t make as much sense. You need a different male identity to be a house husband than to be manager—and today a man can chose to be a house husband and a woman can choose to be a manager. The confusion is a result of a social transition not a contamination with gnostic ideas.
    I think you are giving Jung far more importance than he deserves, actually.


    • Interesting to hear about your family’s heavy Jungian involvement and how you worked to attempt to free yourself from it. While most hippies would not have read Jung, the leaders of the movement were significantly affected directly or indirectly by his core Jungian concepts. I would find it helpful if you responded to the article itself.


  6. 1. Deirdre Bair’s “Biograpahy” is fraught with misrepresentations and outright falisifcations as documented by Sonu Shamdasani.



    2. Dr. Jung did have a relationship with Toni Wolff but she most assuredly was not a “Mistress.” Here is what Carl Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff had to say:

    A marriage is more likely to succeed if the woman follows her own star and remains conscious of her wholeness than if she constantly concerns herself with her husband’s star and his wholeness. ~ Carl Jung, Conversations with C.G. Jung, Page 51.

    I shall always be grateful to Toni for doing for my husband what I or anyone else could not have done at a most critical time.” Laurens Van Der Post Jung: The Story of our Time; Page 177.

    3. An excellent source for the relationship between Carl Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff may be found in: ~C. G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff – A Collection of Remembrance

    For example: It might be said of her [Toni Wolff] that she was “Virgin” as defined for us by Esther Harding , meaning simply an unmarried woman who, since she belonged to no man, belonged to herself and to God in a special way.~ Sallie Nichols, ~C. G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff – A Collection of Remembrances, Pages 47-51.

    4. There is no concrete historical evidence that Dr. Jung had a sexual relationship with Sabina Sprielrein and most assuredly not with any other woman other than gossip and innuendo.

    5. Dr. Jung was a professed Christian:

    To be exact, I must say that, although I profess myself a Christian, I am at the same time convinced that the chaotic contemporary situation shows that present-day Christianity is not the final truth. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 631-632

    6. MBTI has swerved somewhat away from Dr. Jung’s original intent:

    The classification of individuals [By Type] means nothing at all. It is only the instrumentality, or what I call “practical psychology,” used to explain, for instance, the husband to a wife, or vice versa. ~Carl Jung, Evans Conversations, Page 23.

    7. Richard Noll’s work has been largely discredited as may be confirmed here:



  7. Ed,

    I am fully grateful that, being a simple farm boy, and having studied at a conservative Bible College that was–and still is–faithful to the basic teachings of the Word of God, I escaped all this Jungian philosophy that scares me just to get close to it! For he was a person who influenced so many, and not for good. Certainly he brought no one closer to salvation in Christ, and delivery from those weird psychological rabbit trails he followed! I was introduced to his teachings slightly, but had neither the time nor the inclination to study him or try to understand his deviousness and danger to society and even to the church. For instance, his thoughts below which I copied from your excellent paper:

    “If Christ means anything to me,” said Jung, “it is only as a symbol…I do not find the historical Jesus edifying at all, merely interesting because controversial.”[61] Jung believed that “the Christ-symbol lacks wholeness in the modern psychological sense, since it does not include the dark side of things…”[62] For Jung, it was regrettable that Christ in his goodness lacked a shadow side, and God the Father, who is the Light, lacked darkness.[63] Jung sought a solution to this dilemma in the Holy Spirit who allegedly united the split in the moral opposites symbolized by Christ and Satan.[64] “Looked at from a quaternary standpoint”, writes Jung, “the Holy Ghost is a reconciliation of opposites and hence the answer to the suffering in the Godhead which Christ personifies.”[65] Jung believed that Satan and Jesus, as spiritual opposites, were gnostically reconciled through the Holy Spirit. “It is possible”, said Jung, “for a man to attain totality, to become whole, only with the co-operation of the spirit of darkness…”[66] Certainly nothing here close to the plain truths of the existence and personalities of the three persons of the Trinity I found explained in Scripture!

    Then later he mentions about promiscuous people something like “people could have several mistresses and still be faithful”! I am so glad I never fell into following him and that kind of morality, which is like we have more than ever today, a morality that is no morality, and having rejected a Holy God and His standards, folks now have no standards at all, and whatever devious morality I have is just as valid as whatever you may come up with!

    I have been at a half-dozen meetings discussing this new SOGI 123 sexual agenda for our schools. The one I was at in Mission last week, seeking to explain the program to parents, etc. stated that it was set up to stop “bullying” and to help HGBTQ kids be more accepted in schools, and that they had no “agenda” beyond that! Having read their material, I stood up and told them that they were not telling the truth–that their own statements and program of material from Grade 1 to Grade 12, showed that they had an agenda, and a complete one of sexual engineering of our children into a program that is already bringing disaster and difficulty to hundreds of children, through a program that has been clinically proven to bring confusion and an increase in psychological problems and even suicidal tendencies to children.

    It took you more than a night or two to put your paper on Jung together! But I have read it now, and am grateful that, in studying him, you were not e4nticed away from your foundation in biblical truth–which is where so many err today! Ed, may God continue to bless and direct your life and ministry to His praise and glory! We are in difficult days, close to the “end times” and need more than ever to stay true to–and very close to–the Word of God in its perfection and beauty!

    I think in our day one of the most important scriptures to look to as our guide is Philippians 2:1-16. The watershed of our spiritual life is based on verse 5 and what follows: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus..” –a mind of humility, esteeming others better and of more importance than oneself, (vs 3 and 4) to the point of laying down His life as a servant, being willing to die in my place, that I might have forgiveness, and in justice, be reconciled to God.

    When I was in Africa, as you know, the African compounds are next to one another. Nothing hidden to anyone next door! When a boy was negligent in some way, sometimes a father, in anger, would grab a stick, or switch, from the woodpile, and begin to give the boy a licking! Even neighbors would come to intervene, to see no great damage was done to the boy, but the boy might run from home and hide with neighbors for a while, afraid to come home. Before too long, someone comes to intercede for the boy, and tells the father the boy is sorry for his action, and begs forgiveness, and asks permission to come home. The father relents, and gives permission for the boy to come home.
    The Africans had a great term for it, meaning, “bringing back into the home.” This is what Jesus has done for us, bringing us back “home” and “back into fellowship with the Father!” What a wonderful story!

    Philippians 2 though asks of us to “Let this same mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” It means for us to open our minds to being like Jesus, to use Him as our example in caring for others, even considering them “better than ourselves.” It is turning our minds over to goodness, rather than to evil desires and thinking. That is where Jung–and our modern society–fails. A young person lets his mind turn to pornography, to thoughts of stealing, then to actions of theft, then to a thoughts of big money, and becomes a drug dealer, for example, then in fear he thinks he needs to buy a gun, and then with the gun shoots someone who wants to take over his territory–and he ends his life in prison!

    Do we see the progression? Mother said to think kind thoughts. ie, “Let your mind” (like Christ) go in that good direction! But instead you let your mind gradually turn to evil, not realizing the Evil One has put these thoughts into your mind, and you “let” your mind take the trail down the other side of the mountain, that leads to destruction! The “letting” our mind go in the right direction is a conscious decision–I will go this way, and live well–or I will let my mind follow the tempting path, and it leads increasingly–as satan desires–into more and more evil, and to final everlasting separation from God. Jesus is our marvelous example–leaving the glory and majesty of Heaven, first to become a man, then to becoming a servant, then to giving his life for our redemption. Therefore God highly exalted Him, and seated him at God’s right hand! In God’s economy, humility and living for others–even sacrificing our lives and desires for others–leads to God’s raising us up to give us a place of honor in Heaven one day!

    Carl Jung never had thoughts so marvelous as this!

    Allan MacLeod


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