Jung Psychology About Religion & Spirituality

The psychology of Jung about religion and spirituality started in the last century, when the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung lived from 1875 to 1961. This psychologist, who was trained by the famous psychologist Freud, has written a lot about psychology. In 1907, Jung broke with his teacher and continued alone. Jung developed his own theory of psychology with its own terminology. As a pastor’s son, he was particularly interested in religion and spirituality. Jung stated that religion and spirituality are possible ways to connect with the subconscious mind.

The psychology of Jung and Freud

Carl Gustav Jung first worked closely with the psychologist Sigmund Freud. Freud was initially Jung’s teacher. Carl Gustav was about twenty years younger than Freud. Over time, Jung started to get more and more ideas about psychology. In 1907, Jung broke with his teacher Freud. Jung found that Freud’s theories placed too much emphasis on the unhealthy suppression of sexuality. Jung developed a unique insight into psychology, especially where psychology touches the domain of religion and spirituality.

Jung about religion and spirituality

The psychologist Jung has a positive attitude towards religion and spirituality. For him, religion is part of being human. In his eyes, it is an important psychological function. According to Jung, the denial of religion and spirituality comes at the expense of individual people and society.

Jung about the personal and collective unconscious

Jung developed a psychological theory in which he distinguishes between the conscious and the unconscious. According to him, every person has a conscious part and an unconscious part. According to him, the unconscious could be divided into two parts, namely a personal unconscious and a collective unconscious. The personal unconscious includes all forgotten and repressed events in the life of an individual. It is about things that people would rather not think about because they hurt or worry. The collective unconscious is that part of the subconscious that all people have in common. It is impersonal unconscious. It has a universal character and, according to Jung, contains the experiences of earlier generations.

Archetypes and the collective unconscious
In Jung’s theory, collective unconscious archetypes are present. Archetypes are a kind of memory images of specific people with a specific function. We all know these archetypes, also known as primeval images. We come across archetypes in fairy tales, myths and also in modern films. Examples of archetypes are: ‘The Child’, who approached the world young and uninhibited (Harry Potter and Tintin); ‘The Hero’, who overcomes all opposition and ultimately wins (Achilles and Superman); “The Mother,” who cares for what is vulnerable (Mary in the Roman Catholic Church); ‘The Wise Old Man’, who, as a kind of philosopher, brings others on the right path (Parkamentus from the films and books by Harry Potter, Sinterklaas).

The collection of unconscious and religion
According to Jung, religion and religion are ways of dealing with the collective unconscious. Primordial images, the archetypes, we all recognize appear in that unconscious. These primordial images and experiences have settled in our collective unconscious. According to Jung, people can come into contact with these images through religion. The original images can have overwhelming character. Through religion and spirituality, a person can learn to deal better with those images. Many people seek maternal love from Mary, and in the Protestant tradition, the pastor may be the image of the pastor as a wise old man. Religion is often something that you experience together, collectively. Through religion and religion, people can come to terms with the threatening images of the collective unconscious.

Jung and God as an inner experience
According to Jung, it does not matter whether God really exists or not. As a psychologist, Jung sees that God is very important to people as a psychological reality. For Jung, therefore, God is primarily an inner experience. According to Jung, psychologists should therefore not make a statement as to whether God really exists outside the thoughts and feelings of people.

Jung is short on religion and religion
The American religious psychologist Andrew Fuller blames Jung for psychologism. Psychologism is that psychology makes statements about things that actually have nothing to do with psychology. In psychologist, a psychologist makes statements about non-psychological issues or ideas. Fuller believes that Jung lacks religion and spirituality. Religion and religions are more than a psychological experience according to Fuller. According to Fuller, Jung reduces religion and spirituality to psychological processes. As a psychologist, Jung’s religion does appreciate the process positively.

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