Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Provocative Quote

I think I know what I'll be reading when I finish Josephus. Check out this quote from pages 5 and 6 of The Jung Cult by Richard Noll, an apparently controversial book:

It is indeed paradoxical that Western spirituality in the twentieth century has been so influenced--indeed, awakened--by a man [Nietzsche] who declared the death of God and who defined himself as the Antichrist. Yet, Nietzsche's "hammer" of questions has been taken up time and again in the modern age by spiritual seekers who felt their paths were blocked by the walls of convention and dogma, and who have felt compelled to initiate unconventional acts of personal salvation out of a yearning for new nectar to satiate a very old thirst.

When we survey the spiritual landscape of the Western world a century later we find that there is wide interest in a movement that has its origins among these late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Nietzschean currents. This is the international movement centered on the transcendental ideas and the idealized personality of Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), the Swiss psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and founder of the school of analytical psychology. Jung is best known today as Sigmund Freud's ungrateful disciple, breaking with his master in 1913 to go his own way and establish his own movement. The legend is additionally framed in the context of Jung's advocacy of the essential spiritual nature of human beings over the narrow, sexual view of Freud, who was by his own admission "a godless Jew." Those who read Jung and participate in the activities of the Jungian movement are often individuals seeking to increase their own sense of "spirituality."
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