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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Carl Jung on the “Imitation of Christ.”





Are we to understand the "imitation of Christ" in the sense that we should copy his life and, if I may use the expression, ape his
stigmata; or in the deeper sense that we are to live our own proper lives as truly as he lived his in its individual uniqueness?

It is no easy matter to live a life that is modelled on Christ's, but it is unspeakably harder to live one's own life as truly as Christ lived his.

Anyone who did this would run counter to the conditions of his own history, and though he might thus be fulfilling them, he would none the
less be misjudged, derided, tortured, and crucified.

He would be a kind of crazy Bolshevist who deserved the cross.

We therefore prefer the historically sanctioned and sanctified imitation of Christ.

I would never disturb a monk in the practice of this identification, for he deserves our respect.

But neither I nor my patients are monks, and it is my duty as a physician to show my patients how they can live their lives without becoming neurotic.

Neurosis is an inner cleavage—the state of being at war with oneself.

Everything that accentuates this cleavage makes the patient worse, and everything that mitigates it tends to heal him.

What drives people to war with themselves is the suspicion or the knowledge that they consist of two persons in opposition to one
another.

The conflict may be between the sensual and the spiritual man, or between the ego and the shadow.

It is what Faust means when he says: "Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast."

A neurosis is a splitting of personality. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Par 522.