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Joachim of Fiore

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Cistercians at work

Cistercians at work via Wikipedia

Joachim of Fiore (c. 1135-1202) was an Italian monk and prophet who apparently in his youth experienced a significant mystical illumination.

He left his office as Abbot of a Cistercian monastery to found his own, more contemplative congregation at Fiore within the Sila Mountains.

Joachim’s theory of history is often cited by depth psychologists and theologians. He viewed history as a sequence of three periods.

The first period is characterized by Mosaic law where The Father presides and inspires “servile obedience and fear.”

The second period is characterized by “grace, filial obedience and faith,” dominated by the Son. Being imperfect, it ends badly. This necessitates the third period of the reign of the Holy Spirit.

The third period of The Holy Spirit was to begin in 1260 and continue to the prophesied end-times, delivering the rule of “Spirit, liberty and love.”

C. G. Jung believed Fiore’s understanding of the Holy Spirit charged the prophet’s life with innovative ideas with numinous purpose. Jung says this was further enhanced by the apparent synchronicity of Fiore living during the onset of the astrological aeon of Pisces “the beginning of the sphere of the ‘antichristian’ fish in Pisces.”¹

The fish is an ancient Christian symbol, dating back to early inscriptions excavated at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Even if the appearance of the ‘antichristian’ fish symbol is somehow synchronistic with Fiore’s understanding of the Holy Spirit, we should recall that synchronicity is an ethically neutral concept, and an alleged phenomenon occurring in the context of good or evil.

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¹ C. G. Jung, Aion in The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, ed. William McGuire et al., trans. R. F. C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX.  Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1954-79, Vol. 9/2, p. 85.

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