Page Level Ad

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Carl Jung: people assume that I am talking about God himself.

To Mary Louise Ainsworth

Dear Miss Ainsworth, 23 December 1959

I have read your friendly letter with interest,!

I have been particularly interested in what you say about the book of Job, i.e., the divine omniscience.

While reading this little book you must be constantly aware of the fact that whatever I say in it does not refer to God himself, but rather to the idea or opinion man makes of God.

When I use the term "the omniscience of God" it means: this is what man says about God and not that God is omniscient.

Man always uses that knowledge he finds in himself to characterize his metaphysical figures.

Thus you could make an analogy between the obliviousness of the human being and a similar state of his God.

But this is not permissible in so far as man himself has made the dogmatic statement that God's omniscience is absolute and not subject to man's shortcomings.

Thus God's omniscience means really a perfect presence of mind, and then only it becomes a blatant contradiction that He does not consult it or seems to be unaware of it.

In this sense "God" is very paradoxical and I call my reader's attention to such and other contradictions to wake him up, so that he gets aware of the insufficiency of his representations and indirectly of the need to revise them.

This is the point which is regularly misunderstood: people assume that I am talking about God himself.

In reality I am talking about human representations.

So if anybody should talk to you about my Job, you had better refer him to this passage.

With my best wishes for Xmas and the New Year,

I remain,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 526-527