Archive for March 20th, 2010
“Je pense, donc je suis” better known as “I think, therefore I am” “Cogito ergo sum” are words that are relatively famous, words spoken by René Decartes in 1637 about the time my ancestors were making their way to New France (Canada). This is the only truth any of us really knows, the fact of our own personal beingness. It is only through an emerging personal consciousness of “self” that the world and “otherness” begins to take shape. As one thinks the relationship to otherness expands and becomes: “I think, therefore I am, therefore you are, therefore God exists.” Without consciousness, there is nothing else.
“Incarnation thus understood becomes an alternate description of what Jung means by “the relativity of God” (Jung, 1921, pp. 242–244; 1954, p. 381). Put succinctly, Jung is contending that only in human consciousness can God become self-conscious and so relativized, at least, in relation to a God conceived as an absolute and transcendent self-sufficient divinity “wholly other” than the human (Jung, 1953, p. 11, n. 6). The “relativity of God,” thus understood, also provides the deepest meaning of human suffering. Relativization implies that divinity must divest itself of its transcendent remove and suffer in historical humanity the resolution of its unresolved eternally conflicted life. It is no wonder that Jung (1954) would write that “God wants to become man but not quite” (p. 456). Even for deity things were less painful in eternal but unconscious bliss. With the realization that the pain of becoming conscious is the same pain in the human and the divine, humanity has to face the fact that its deepest historical meaning and suffering is the redemption of God at the insistence of a God who creates human consciousness as the only locus in which the divine self-contradiction can be perceived and resolved.” (Dourley, “Jung and the Recall of the Gods”, Journal of Jungian Theory and Practice, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2006, pp 47-48)
This is actually quite an understatement for any conscious human (is there any other kind?). It seems the more we become aware, the more we suffer. This is why there is a real belief in the expression “ignorance is bliss.” I have often read the bible as well as a number of other books on religious thought, as well as listening and reading about other stories of creation. In each of these it is consciousness that marks the beginning of relationship, especially the relationship with self. Without consciousness, one “is” without awareness of self. In discovery of self, one then is able to discover others, an act of separation. Before consciousness, there is no separation between self and other, all just is. And this includes whatever it is that we call the Divine. The Divine, God, self and other – all enmeshed without consciousness. Too much here to think about, to wonder about for a small post. Perhaps more deserves to be said later.
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” (Bible, Genesis 1)
The beginning – a darkness, a formless void – unconsciousness. And then there was light – a separation from the darkness – consciousness. The beginning begins with the dawn of consciousness. Think about it for a while. If not, this was not the beginning at all. How do we account for the creation of darkness, what came before consciousness? From whence this entity called God?