Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jung: Answer to Job

At Fritz’s suggestion, I am reading Jung’s Answer to Job, a fascinating and unsettling explanation of God’s brutality to Job (and refusal to be bound by his own covenant and commandments) as a feature of his own insecurity, and his unconsciousness of self, and his animal (inhuman) nature.

I can see how this worked itself out later (not much later) in the notion of God finding it necessary to be reborn as a human in order to understand humans, but it revolts me a bit to think of worshiping a God who needs humans so much, to whom their high opinion matters so much, that he would find it necessary to do this. It seems to lead us straight into Mormon theology, if no worse: that gods are no better than humans. (Of course, I am influenced by spending this week attending the Ring at the Met, in which humans are far superior to gods and nobody’s very nice.)

If the alternative is to believe in a rollicking Zeus who just doesn't take humans (or their good opinion) very seriously, I prefer that. It makes for a finer natural world and keeps humans in their place. Or do we worship consciousness wherever it occurs, and disdain nature that exists (and, for five billion years, existed) without it? (I'm not sure I really believe in either one, Yahweh or Zeus, as more than a figment of our imaginations.)

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