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 XX DNA as a male and XY 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, 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.  It is now the most extensively used personality instrument in history.  There is even an MBTI version for children, called the MMTIC (Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children), 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.” 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!” 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”. 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.” Leaders of the 1960’s hippie movement like Timothy Leary were heavily influenced by Jungian teaching. 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”. Dr. Satinover notes that “the ultimate aim…of all Gnostic systems is a mystical vision of the union of good and evil.”
Gnosticism, which is the exalting of esoteric knowledge and experience, is rooted in monism. 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. 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. Dr. Satinover notes that Jung “devoted most of his adult life to a study of alchemy…” 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.
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.” 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…” Jung comments: “…a large part of my life work has revolved around the problem of opposites and especially their alchemical symbolism…” 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.”
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.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.” 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. 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.”
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.” 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.” In the 1950’s, Jung began to use Tarot reading as part of his astrological psychologizing.  Jung was known among his intimate colleagues as the ‘Warlock” (Hexenmeister) of Zurich.
Jung’s family had occult linkage on both sides, from his paternal grandfather’s Freemasonry involvement as Grandmaster of the Swiss Lodge, 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. They ‘used a primitive, homemade Ouija board and a glass that moved over the letters to spell out answers to questions.” Jung eventually wrote up the séances as his 1902 medical dissertation entitled “On the Psychology and Pathology of So-called Occult Phenomena”. 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. James A Herrick notes that Jung’s mother ‘introduced him as a child to Hindu gods, for which he maintained a life-long fascination.’ 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.” 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.’
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). 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’. It may be worth reflecting upon why Jung designated his Bollingen Tower as the Shrine of Philemon. 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.”
Jung’s fascination with the occult (the hidden) was at the root of his painful break in 1913 with his mentor Sigmund Freud. 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.
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.” The famous Ulysses author James Joyce disparagingly referred to Carl Jung as the Reverend Dr. Jung, 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. 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.” 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.’”
When younger, Carl Jung had a life-changing dream of a subterranean phallic god which reappeared “whenever anyone spoke too emphatically about Lord Jesus.” 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.” This “initiation into the realm of darkness” 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…” Jung later confessed to Sigmund Freud that as a boy he had been ‘the victim of a sexual assault.’ 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” of God dropping his dung on the local Cathedral. This vision, said Jung, gave him an intense “experience of divine grace”. 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.”
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.” “For Jung”, says Satinover, “good and evil evolved into two equal, balanced, cosmic principles that belong together in one overarching synthesis.”
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. Jung significantly said: “I would rather be whole than good.” 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.” Jung believed that “the Christ-symbol lacks wholeness in the modern psychological sense, since it does not include the dark side of things…” For Jung, it was regrettable that Christ in his goodness lacked a shadow side, and God the Father, who is the Light, lacked darkness. 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. “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.” 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…”
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.” “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.”
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.” 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.” Being influenced by the Yin-Yang of Taoism, Jung believed that “Everything requires for its existence its opposite, or it fades into nothingness.” 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.” 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.” 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.”
While in India in 1938, Jung says that he “was principally concerned with the question of the psychological nature of evil.” 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.”
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”. “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.” Freud called Jung’s Psychological Types book ‘the work of a snob and a mystic’. 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. 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.
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.” 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.”
Jung was accused of anti-Semitism because the Zentralblatt für Psychotherapie journal, which Jung edited, endorsed Mein Kampf as required reading for all psychoanalysts. His defense was that he was trying to save psychoanalysis from being obliterated by the Nazis as a ‘Jewish science. 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.” 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. 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. 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.”
Two of Jung’s ‘most influential archetypes’ are the anima & animus, described by Jung as “psychological bisexuality”. Jung teaches in PT that every man has a female soul (anima) and every woman has a male soul (animus). 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…” 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. 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.’
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.’ “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.” 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.”
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. 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.” 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” 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.”
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.” 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?
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.” 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…” Gross’ motto was ‘Nichts verdraengen!’ (repress nothing!)
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. This is why Jung held that “Light is followed by shadow, the other side of the Creator.” 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.
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.”
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.
Joseph Campbell, cited by Satinover as a disciple of Jung, is famous for his public TV series on “The Power of Myth”. 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…” 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’. 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.” As a Jungian popularizer, Tillich saw life as “made up of the flow of energy between opposing poles or opposites.”
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.” In speaking of Buddhism and Christianity, Jung taught the now familiar inter-faith dialogue line, that “Both paths are right.” Jung spoke of Jesus, Mani, Buddha, and Lao-Tse as ‘pillars of the spirit’, saying “I could give none preference over the other.” The English Theologian Don Cupitt says that Jung pioneered the multi-faith approach now widespread in the Church.
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.” 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. Postmodern thinking, even among evangelicals, is remarkably subjectivist and fluid, easily leading to a gnostic reconciliation of gender opposites even in the Godhead.
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).
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
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