Christianity

Christian civilization is now old and worn out for us.  It has lost the powerful élan vital that it had in the first centuries of its rising.  We, the tired Western civilization, pretend that we know all the answer, but we are longing for a new genuine inner experience and are, to a great extent, turning to the East, expecting a renewal from there. 

I refer to other civilizations to illustrate my point because one can observe another society sine ira et studio, that is, dispassionately.  But with our own religious tradition it is the same.  We could say that Christian teaching is a content of our collective consciousness.  If we look more closely, however, we see that it is based on symbols such as the crucified god, the Virgin Mary and so on.   If we think about these, about what they mean and how to link them up with our actual life, we discover that we do not know because they are full of unconsciousness.  We find that precisely those known aspects of our spiritual tradition are completely mysterious to us in many ways and that we can say nothing about them.  So consciousness contains a secret reverse side which is unconsciousness.  TPoPA 221

As soon as you start talking about mythology, you must not take the terms concretely; that’s the mistake of the whole Judeo-Christian tradition.  Read myths as newspaper reports by reporters who were there and it doesn’t work.  Reread them as poems and they become luminous.  MoL 9

Let us see if something can be made of this bit of nonsense by interpreting it, not as history, but as poetry, mythology: not by demythologizing the Bible (as one school of theologians would have it, the book has already been demythologized enough through its interpretation as fact), but my remythologizing it as symbolic of the spirit.  The documents of religion – any religion, all religions – are to be read, not as early editions of the New York Times, but as poetry.

Do we, who belong to the Christian civilization, really know at bottom what it means?  What archetype is behind the Christian civilization?  Could we honestly claim that we know what we mean when we say we believe in a Trinitarian God and in Christ?  Even the greatest theologian has never claimed to do so.  Catholic theologians, for instance, speak of the mystery of each dogma.  Some aspects can be put into words, but the nucleus is absolutely unknown to us.  We would say that there is an archetypal content or an archetype behind it which, by definition, we do not know.  TPoPA 226

If you're not familiar with the Bible and would like to learn its essence, the best introduction in my mind is in these 2 steps:

The Sermon on the Mount    Matthew: 5-7     

study the book of proverbsThe Book of Proverbs - (The Wisdom of Solomon)   

Our religion tends to be ethical in its accent - sin and atonement, right and wrong.  It started with a sin you see.  In other words, moving out of the mythological zone - the garden of paradise, where there is no time, and where men and women don't even know that they're different from each other - the two are just creatures.  And God and man are practically the same.  He walks in the cool of the evening in the garden where we are.  And then they eat the apple of the knowledge of the pairs of opposites, and man and woman then cover their shame.  They're different.  God and man are different.  Man and nature - (nature) is against man.  Bill Moyers 2 12m. 40s

Every natural impulse is sinful unless you've been Baptised, or circumcised in this tradition that we've inherited - for heaven's sakes.    Bill Moyers 2 22:30

We cannot identify with Jesus - we have to imitate Jesus, but to say I am God as Jesus said is for us blasphemy.  However in the Thomas Gospel; Jesus says; He who drinks from my mouth will become as I am and I shall be He.  Wow, that's Buddhism.  We are all manifestations of Buddha consciousness, only don't know it, and the word Buddha means: To Awake.    Bill Moyers 34m

The shift of perspective from the repose of the central Cause to the turbulation of the peripheral effects is represented in the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  They ate of the forbidden fruit, “And the eyes of them both were opened.”44  The bliss of Paradise was closed to them and they beheld the created field from the other side of a transforming veil.  Henceforth they should experience the inevitable as the hard to gain.  1000 faces, 247

What is remarkable about Christianity is that in its system of dogma it anticipates a metamorphosis in the divinity, a process of historic change on the “other side.” … cont’d … MDR 327

   When the Semites moved in as conquerors, then, they dislodged deities to make way for their own, and the Hebrews are the most extreme in turning against the Goddess, who represents the powers of the Earth.  In the Old Testament, the local goddesses of Canaan are called the Abomination, and this hangs on in our Christian tradition.  G 16

One-sided Christian Mind

The Christian attitude of mind, with its one-sided emphasis on the struggle for good, exposes a person to the risk of a certain aggressive pride that comes clearly to the fore in Gauvain, in contrast to which Perceval’s uncertainty strikes modern man as being far more sympathetic and understandable.  TGL 215

The circle of knights around Arthur mirrors the symbol of the Self as it was manifested in the first half of the Christian age, an image in which the light, spiritual, masculine aspect of Logos predominated one-sidedly and whose vital expansion served the civilizing purpose of overcoming pagan and animal primitivity. 

Arthur’s knights, in particular, devoted themselves to this task.  At this stage, the problem of the shadow, of the individual inner opposite, is not yet constellated but is still projected outwardly on to the barbarian opponents who must be overcome.  TGL 216

In the second-century Gospel According to Thomas, for example, the following words are attributed to Jesus, when asked by his disciples, “When will the Kingdom come?”  Jesus said, “It will not come by expectation; they will not say: ‘See, here,’ or: ‘See, there.’  But the Kingdom of the Father is spread upon the earth and men do not see it”  (Logion 113).  TMD 205

   The gods of the Gentiles are devils and in the name of God you must get rid of them.  That rejection of everybody in the world but oneself is what underlies the ferocity of the missionary work of the Christians in the third, fourth, and fifth centuries in Europe.  TMTT 218

This apparently unique life became a sacred symbol because it is the psychological prototype of the only meaningful life, that is, of a life that strives for the individual realization – absolute and unconditional – of its own particular law.  Well may we exclaim with Tertullian: anima naturaliter christiana!