Christian apologists say that Job’s suffering points to the mysterious ways of God and highlights the need for faithful obedience in the absence of human understanding. Critics say that it depicts God as an immature, cruel tyrant. For instance, the Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung and some Jungians say that God “makes a bet” with Satan. In the story, Satan contends that Job will not remain faithful if God allows Satan to torment him.
In Jung’s Answer to Job, a short commentary about the Job’s plight, Jung says the Biblical story reveals a dark, non-integrated aspect of God. Why would a perfect God, Jung argues, allow a blameless servant to be persecuted by the devil? When Job challenges God, asking why he suffers, God answers not on Job’s terms but by completely overwhelming him. God asks if Job is able to create the stars, the oceans and a sea monster.
Jung sees this as indicating God’s immaturity. For Jung, God projects his own dark side onto Job. While this dynamic may occur in many people, to Jewish and Christian believers it’s misguided to suggest that God would behave this way (See Isaiah 55:8-9). As God implies to Job, could an allegedly immature consciousness create all of creation?
Biblical scholars debate whether the story of Job refers to an actual person or if it’s just a folktale outlining the general human problem of why do bad things happen to good people? The author of the book is not mentioned. Some traditional rabbis and early Christian theologians believed the author was Moses. Today, some scholars believe that parts of Job were written by at least one additional author.
But to return to Jung, he seems to overlook the folktale aspect by treating Job as a real person. Jung’s writings about Job have also been criticized by Fr. Victor White. White says that Jung confuses a narrative image of God with the actual God. In Jungian terms, White says Jung confuses the God-image (archetypal image) with God (archetype).
Indeed, it seems that Jung analyzes God from the perspective of his own, man-made psychological theories. In reducing God to Jung’s all too human ideas, might Jung, himself, exhibit the psychological mechanism of projection? Theological critics of Jung would certainly say that his commentary on Job suffers from presumption—that is, intellectual arrogance.
Regarding the problem of evil, many theologians would maintain that God’s ways are usually way over our heads. Along these lines, we could hypothesize that God permits evil to torment Job for a greater good which, Job, Satan and Jung couldn’t hope to understand.
Jung’s (questionable) analysis aside, the story of Job has parallels in other cultures, most notably the ancient Egyptian Protests of the Eloquent Peasant.
- Lessons from Job. (katherineannesmith.wordpress.com)
- Jung-jung (knittedart.wordpress.com)
- “Why Do the Righteous Suffer?”: Wisdom From the Book of Job (thomaslovesjesus.wordpress.com)
- Putting Satan in his place (reassuringquotes.wordpress.com)
- Nuanced Media is Proud to Present the Southern Arizona Friends of Jung Website (prweb.com)
- Murray Stein and Brigitte Egger Discuss the Power of Water and the Vital Impact it has on Earth. The Asheville Jung Center will host “Elixir of Life” on April 4th (prweb.com)
- A Love Affair With Carl Jung (jeanraffa.wordpress.com)
- Do you relate to the greatest story of suffering yet, faith? His name was job…Read on (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
- When I was back there in seminary school… (mclark.wordpress.com)
Cupid ((Latin Cupido, “desire”) comes under many guises. As the Roman god of Love, he’s the son of Venus.
The 2nd century Latin writer Apuleus portrays him in The Golden Ass as the lover of Psyche. But the timeless tale of Cupid and Pscyhe goes back at least to the 4th century BCE, where its depicted in Greek art.
Depth psychologists have much to say about the relationship between Cupid and Psyche. In Jungian archetypal psychology Psyche is taken as the cold, somewhat icy soul in need of a “shattering” or “melting” from the warm, sensitive Cupid. Cupid, on the other hand, risks utter destruction unless Psyche’s gaze is tempered with love.
In the language of symbols, the successful union of Cupid and Psyche represents a fruitful togetherness, not unlike the Yin and the Yang, love and knowledge or affection and wisdom.
In art Cupid is usually depicted naked. He’s often winged with bow and arrow, wearing a boyish or cherub-like countenance.
In folklore, Cupid, like the Indian kama, afflicts human beings with a proverbial “dart to the heart.” His marks invariably fall in love or become filled with desire for another person. His chief mythic parallel is the Greek god Eros.
- Cupid and Psyche in Clay (janestreetclayworks.com)
- Cute carbon Cupid is this year’s tiniest valentine (mnn.com)
- Flower Delivery Express Provides Cupid The Right Arrow On Valentine’s Day (prnewswire.com)
- Love Symbols of the Regency (regencyredingote.wordpress.com)
- February 2013 Writing Contest Finalists (mistressofthedarkpath.wordpress.com)
- Digital Cupid Reveals Your True Valentine (adrants.com)
- Photos: Cupid’s Undie Run (photos.denverpost.com)
- Cupid’s Corner at Longview (longviewcurrent.org)
- Cupids Undie Run (fox2now.com)
Juan Eduardo Cirlot (1916-73) was a Spanish poet, painter and student of symbology.
He studied in a Jesuit school but cites his main interests as Dadaism, Sufism, Kabbala and Asian studies. His Dictionary of Symbols is a classic in its field, employing many of the ideas forwarded by the Swiss psychiatrist C. G. Jung.
- DADAism (andreaabagnale.wordpress.com)
Causality is the belief that a second event is the consequence of a first event. This is usually described as a relationship between a cause (first event) and an effect (second event).¹ Not everyone sees causality as a belief. But from a mature philosophical perspective, that’s exactly what it is.
The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle saw causality in terms of four interrelated causes or explanatory factors:
- The material cause: The raw material used to make an object (e.g. wood)
- The formal cause: What the object will be (e.g. a chair)
- The efficient cause: How the object is created (builder)
- The final cause: The object’s function or purpose (it is used for sitting)
This teleological perspective is based on Aristotle’s belief that a valid distinction can be made between a thing’s essence and its observable form.²
Perhaps in keeping with Aristotle’s idea of a “formal cause,” Michelangelo said that, when sculpting, he simply removed the stone that hid the figure already existing within.
The idea of one event causing another event has been critically examined. The philosopher David Hume suggested that the idea of causality is nothing more than an expectation based on past experience and human limitations.
Hume’s critique of the belief in cause and effect challenges our conventional way of seeing. All we can be sure of, says Hume, is that certain events occur one after another in a given region and for a certain duration.
In billiards, for instance, the white ball appears to cause the motion of other balls when impacting them on the gaming table. But here’s the radical part. Hume says that all we can truly know is that, in the past, the first ball impacted and the other balls moved. We cannot prove that the first ball’s impact will always be followed by movement of the other balls. And for Hume, there is no rational way to demonstrate a causal connection:
Reason can never shew us the connexion of one object with another, tho’ aided by experience, and the observation of their constant conjunction in all past instances. When the mind, therefore, passes from the idea or impression of one object to the idea or belief of another, it is not determin’d by reason, but by certain principles, which associate together the ideas of these objects, and unite them in the imagination.³
Put differently, from prior experience we build up a series of expectations and habitual ways of interpreting observations. Hume calls these “ideas.” But ideas they simply are. Although we expect the billiard balls to move, we have no way of proving or knowing that they always will.
At first, this may seem absurd. But Hume’s critique of causality had a profound effect on one of the most important thinkers in the history of Western philosophy, Immanuel Kant. Mortimer Adler says “…Kant tells us that David Hume awakened him from his dogmatic slumbers.”4
In addition, developments in subatomic physics, especially concerning particle reaction chambers, have challenged many longstanding assumptions about causality. On a quantum level of reality, contemporary physicists claim that observations of subatomic particles support the ideas of probability and simultaneity instead of linear causality.5
¹ Wikipedia gives a standard definition that most would accept: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causality
³ David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (1896 ed.), SECTION VI.: Of the inference from the impression to the idea, paragraph 278.
4 Adler, Mortimer J. (1996). Ten Philosophical Mistakes. Simon & Schuster. p. 94, cited at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critique_of_Pure_Reason#cite_note-2
5 Some argue, however, that it’s invalid to compare quantum and macroscopic levels of reality because subatomic particles exist in an entirely different arena, and behave in different ways than the larger aggregate objects which they make up.
On the Web:
- The Problem of Induction (plato.stanford.edu)
- David Hume and the Theatre of the Mind (exploringphilosophy.wordpress.com)
- Quantum causal relations: A causes B causes A (eurekalert.org)
- Causation Warps Our Perception of Time (psychologicalscience.org)
- David Hume’s final moments (person) (everything2.com)
Dracula is Irishman Bram Stoker’s novel about a blood-sucking vampire, Jonathan Harker, who lives in a Transylvanian castle.
Written in 1897, Dracula was the most successful of a number of tales about vampirism. Its creepy violence and, especially in the 1958 film, masked sexuality have been said to represent the repressed subconscious currents of Victorian England.
Cliff Burns adds:
I had to re-read the novel some years back because I was adapting a student stage production. Terrible book–totally lacking dramatic surges. A blandly composed series of letters and diary entries. I thought Stoker’s JEWEL OF THE SEVEN STARS (think I’ve got that title right, it’s been a few years) was a far superior effort. To my mind, the best “Dracula” onscreen was the one played by Jack Palance, working from a Richard Matheson script. 1973? That sounds about right. Hard to find but worth the effort…²
- Dracula: Chapter One (word2live.wordpress.com)
- Dracula’s Denture Cookies (neatorama.com)
- Final Submission – Fantasy And Science Fiction – Dracula By Bram Stoker (copywriterspro.wordpress.com)
- Alice, Dracula and Frankenstein (riotthill.wordpress.com)
- Dracula Was Irish Not Transylvanian, Says Genealogist Fiona Fitzsimons (eogn.com)
- Dracula by Bram Stoker (cer90cer.wordpress.com)
- Bram Stoker’s Dracula (catharinasheely.com)
- Any One Book: Dracula by Bram Stoker (anyonething.wordpress.com)
- A Short History of Vampire Movies – Part I the 1920′s (mrmovietimes.com)
Deva is a Pali and Sankrit term denoting a ‘heavenly being’ or ‘shining one.’
In Hinduism the devas may refer to
- The absolute (Brahman) in the form of a personal god
- Mortal beings inhabiting a realm higher than the human sphere
- A name attached to human beings who have realized God and attained enlightenment
Regarding the third instance, whether or not individuals actually attain perfection or merely become subsumed by the power of a deva is a point of debate sparked by the traditional Catholic view of discernment along with C. G. Jung‘s archetypal psychology. Catholic mystics would probably see anyone claiming to be perfect as a victim of a Satanic influence, whereas C. G. Jung would likely frame the issue in terms of the ego over-identifying with an archetyapl power.
In the New Age movement the word deva is adapted to refer to nature spirits, spiritual forces behind visible creation, or spiritual forces behind a species—i.e. a group soul.
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- From the Rig Veda to the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras – Vijaya Rajiva (bharatabharati.wordpress.com)
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- Review: Spinner of Lies (crimsonbastards.com)
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- A Question of Beliefs (agapestin.wordpress.com)
The term folklore was coined in 1846 by W. J. Thomas to replace the previous notion of popular antiquities. Difficult to define, folklore is now understood as the knowledge, customs, beliefs, rituals and orally transmitted information of a given culture.
According to professor T. Henighan,1 the Freudian child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim makes a distinction between folklore and fairy tales. Fairy tales are a type of folk tale in which:
- The names of heroes and heroines are absent or ordinary
- Supernatural but not divine beings are mentioned
- Positive outcomes are the norm
- Childhood and adolescence figure prominently
- The actual content (i.e. Oedipal material) is obscured through elaborate symbolism
Some suggest that the definition of folklore must also include the academic study of folkloric data, because by studying folkloric content from of a different set of cultural assumptions (those held by an academic), the original content is necessarily interpreted and altered.
Folklore is often associated with the marginalised or popular dimension of a given culture, in contrast to the written stories of orthodox religious organizations. Some scholars limit folklore to so-called primitive cultures, while others extend the concept to apply to modern social formations—e.g. the destructive folkloric beliefs and practices of the Nazis (i.e. Aryans as the ‘master race’).
The line dividing primitive folklore and contemporary belief is blurred and cannot always be easily discerned. The psychologist C. G. Jung discusses this in connection with the Nazis and their disturbing beliefs and practices. For Jung, this exemplified an entire race engulfed by the destructive power of an archetype, in this case, the Wotan archetype.
- folklore & fantasy (modflowers.wordpress.com)
- Fairy Ring Folklore (socyberty.com)
- Tom Mould on Folklore and Personal Revelation (bycommonconsent.com)
In Christian theology felix culpa (Latin: happy fault) is a term referring to original sin. While sin is regarded as detestable, the belief that it compelled God to bring Jesus into the world for salvation makes it, for believing Christians, a happy fault. In like manner, the cross, once a symbol of horror and persecution in ancient Rome, now has a holy and magnificent meaning for believing Christians.
Christianity’s ability to turn negatives into positives is consistent with its overall theology, where evil is said to be permitted by God for a greater good. In Jungian depth psychology this is similar but not identical to the idea of enatiodromia ( “things turning into their opposite”), a dynamic implied by the surviving fragments of the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus.
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- the book (3quarksdaily.com)
- Marilynne Robinson, ‘The Book of Books: What Literature Owes the Bible’ (cruciality.wordpress.com)
- DAILY REVIEW: The Book of Books: What Literature Owes the Bible (nytimes.com)
Faeries are said to be supernatural beings that can appear and disappear at will. Usually smaller than human beings, Faeries may be helpful or malicious.
They are generally portrayed as living underwater (e.g. mermaids), underground (e.g. gnomes), in a magical forest region or in some far away land.
Some faeries enter into physical, enchanted or possibly mystical love and ethereal sex relations with human beings.
Various legends and theories try to account for their origin. Some say that fairies derive from animistic beliefs in which objects are said to contain spirits. Others see fairies as emerging from a belief in spirits of the dead residing in the underworld. The Celts, especially, saw Faeries as beings who fled from invading humans, taking refuge in the underworld.
Fairies have also been suggested to derive from the Furies of Greek and Roman myth.
Christians have seen Faeries as the unbaptized. Taking many forms worldwide, the actual term faery – indistinguishable from fairy – comes from “fay-erie”, originally an enchanted land.
In Victorian England there’s a rich body of faerie art and literature—this unique style of Victorian art is still popular today, cropping up in illustrated books, relaxation cd’s and many new age and holistic health products. And a more updated Faerie look appears in a good deal of fantasy fiction and movies.
Some scholars say the term “fairy tale” is misleading because the beings involved are often not fairies, per se. Meanwhile, the psychiatrist Carl Jung and Jungians like Marie-Louse Von Franz believe that the mythic structure of these stories reflects the archetypal nature of the individuation process—that is, the quest for ‘wholeness’ as Jung sees it.
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- Day 33- Faerie(s) of your choice (thepurplebroom.wordpress.com)
- Faery Gold Part 3 (eldrum.wordpress.com)
- About Animal Faeries (ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com)
- Can You Save the Faeries? (insanityreignssupreme.wordpress.com)
- That Other Side of Frilly Wings (bookchomperreviews.wordpress.com)
- Faerie Appeal for the Trees and Woodlands (thenewcamelot.wordpress.com)
- Kindle Daily Deal! Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception (Gathering of Faerie) by Maggie Stiefvater for $0.99! (randomizeme.net)
- Fairies pick out furniture. (thepaintedcottagehome.com)
- Faeries Exist (thescentofwater.typepad.com)