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Jungians believe Traditional Catholics impede "Renewal", by Paul Likoudis

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by Paul Likoudis

Like the Albigensian heresy which it so closely resembles, the Jung Cult in the Catholic Church developed during a time of social crisis. In both 12th- century France and 20th-century America, society was characterized by both pleasure-seeking and an increase in crime. Catholics, in both centuries, were increasingly unsure of what orthodox belief demanded of them.

From roughly A.D. 1000 to 1200, Albigensian bishops and priests predominated in France and Switzerland, and the heresy grew within the Church until it had become the norm. The Albigensians, it must be said, believed that they were practicing a purer faith, and had returned to ancient and apostolic traditions. They rejected transubstantiation and belief in the Real Presence, but their worship services consisted of mimicking the Last Supper.

Often the Albigensians were vegetarians; they practiced contraception and had ritualized euthanasia; adultery was not only sanctioned, but approved (as long as it was contraceptive) as a means of developing holiness. For two centuries, the Albigensian heresy spread, until in some dioceses it had totally supplanted Catholicism. Innumerable Popes, councils, and saints attempted to check the spread of the heresy, but it was only when St. Dominic inspired a military crusade against the Albigensians that their progress was checked, and orthodoxy, ultimately, prevailed -at least for several more centuries, until the eve of the French Revolution when it surged again.

As the Jung Cult in the Church spreads in modern times, traditional Catholics should become aware of how Jungians view the Church and those Catholics they consider "pre-Vatican II," says Mike Cyrus, a Colorado Catholic, a convert, and a former Jungian.

In a telephone interview with The Wanderer, Cyrus explained why the Jung Cult in the Church poses such a threat to the orthodox believer, and also revealed his former links to the movement.

When he was 38, he recalled, and his marriage was falling apart, his wife, a Catholic and a trained Jungian psychologist, urged him to see another Jungian therapist to help him accept his grief. That began an intense three-year period of study of Jung, including some therapy under the direction of June Kounin, a nationally known Jungian analyst.

During that period, Cyrus - who was neither a Catholic nor a practicing Christian-enthusiastically began studying Jung, purchasing his complete works and those of his major disciples, including many Catholic spiritual writers.

"I learned what the Jungian religion really consisted of, what it meant to practice Jungian spirituality and how it is meant to be lived out in life, and the types of basic movements it is linked to," he said.

"When I began, I was told to start a journal recording my dreams and important memories and this led into discussions of my relationship with the divine - Jungians never use the word God -and what that meant to me. In addition to these sessions, I studied Jung intensely, along with mythology and related fields.

"This included listening to Basil Pennington's series of tapes on centering prayer, and reading Richard Rohr, Thomas Keating, and many of their associates."


"As a non-Catholic and not knowing anything about spirituality, this was all very exciting," noted Cyrus. "It was such a new field that it was really thrilling."

Gradually, Cyrus was introduced into the central part of the new mystery religion, and was taught how to discover God in two "ways": communally in prayer that employed Catholic elements and symbols, and personally by use of the active imagination, or conscious dreaming, which, he said, "can be extraordinarily powerful in creating delusions.

"This stuff is serious," he explained. "It is utterly diabolical in creating visions and prophecies, and people who spend hours and hours a day in centering prayer stick with it because they are, so to speak, going places in their minds, and they become addicted to the revelations."

Ironically, it was Pennington who began Cyrus' turning away from Jung and centering prayer. Pennington had written in one of his books that he considered the Maharashi Mahesh Yogi a deeply spiritual man, and Cyrus was repulsed, because he had remembered the Yogi calling for the elimination of the "mentally unfit."

At this time, Cyrus intensified his readings of the Catholic saints, and eventually began reading his way into the Catholic Church. He continued reading Jung until the moment of his Confirmation. Once confirmed, he packed the books away.

In the years since, at his parish in southern Colorado, he has seen many Catholics abandon their faith after becoming involved in Jungian-type spirituality programs. They stayed in the Church, though, determined to change it and bring it up to their new level of awareness.

"They think they're Catholic. They think they are more fully Catholic. They do not think that they are not Catholic. What you have to know is that these spirituality programs are an affirmation of self, and not a covenantal relationship with God or with anyone else-that's why they reject the Church's dogma, that's why they reject everything that indicates a pre- Vatican II spirituality."

They're Different

"As one young man, who thinks homosexuality is okay and Matthew Fox is a good guy, said to me, 'Mike, you and I just have different spiritualities.' This is typical. People can think they can espouse positions at odds with the Church, and yet they say the Church has to change, not them," noted Cyrus.

"They really believe we are the real impediment to the renewal of the Church and the world. We are preventing that. They really believe when they are persecuting orthodox Catholics, they are doing holy work.

"If you are not androgynous, you are not whole; if you have not integrated your 'shadow' or evil side, you are not whole: if you accept the dogmas of the past, they will say to you that you are a naive believer locked into some other culture's mythical story of God," said Cyrus.

"That's why inclusive language is so important to them. The language of the past is sexist, patriarchal, and dysfunctional. It represents a previous culture's understanding of God and the attempt to put that into language. By virtue of the fact that the language came out of a particular culture at a particular time-that makes it exclusionary, that is, not fully reflective of God. That way is not Catholic, not universal, as they see it."

Same Words, Different Meanings

Cyrus then explained for Wanderer readers how Jungians reinterpret or explain key Catholic concepts:

Christ is "the prototypical example of human evolution, a man discovering his own Godhood. 'growing in wisdom' and unsure of who he was as he was growing up. Where he has gone, we will follow, they teach."

The Trinity: "Jungians view the Father, Son, Holy Spirit as a 'surface manifestation' of a 'deeper reality.' God is neither male nor female, but simultaneously both and beyond both, as are men and women. Our human nature is essentially androgynous. They argue the traditional notion of God is flawed-patriarchal in origin and designed to oppress women, and we need to move beyond historically and culturally conditioned notions of God which are limited because they are prescientific."

Creation: "The Jungian understanding of creation is principally pantheistic. All creation is part of God, it comes from 'God stuff.' This helps explain why trees, cycles of the moon and planets, seasons, animals, and even insects are on the same plane of life as 'humankind.' Body-prayer, psycho-drama, mime, and the Jungian approach to liturgy follow from this understanding. Eco-feminism, eco-spirituality, and Gaia worship are also significant subsets of Jungian spirituality."

Liturgy: "Liturgy means 'people's work' and it is made divine by the gathering of God's people to express their celebration of His kingdom in and through their culture and lives. The practical implications for worship of this kind are that almost anything goes. Aztec rituals are on the same plane, for example, as the Roman liturgy. Jungians will often substitute the readings of Teilhard de Chardin for the Gospels. Words may be added, deleted, or altered as they see fit. We can dance, sit, stand, consecrate the Eucharist, and anyone can be the presider of the liturgy. Jungians understand rituals as having great symbolic value. In more esoteric circles, there are rituals for seasons, earth, air, fire, water, cycles of the moon, menstrual cycles, fingernail cuttings, etc. For the Jungians, their understanding of God and liturgy permits what they call 'deep ecumenism,' and they will participate in almost any kind of worship, and incorporate any ritual into Catholic ritual."

Sacraments: "Jungians essentially have two sacraments-baptism and eucharist. Baptism, to them, is a welcoming into community of a new, innocent life, a life having no sin of any kind on it whatsoever. The sacrament depends for its efficacy on the faith of the faith community.

"The eucharistic assembly, or more properly the gathering of the holy, eucharistic people, is likewise a celebration of the community. Some deny the Real Presence in the Roman Catholic sense of the term, and that is why it is so important for them to alter the traditional architectural form of a Catholic church. There is no place for the tabernacle because God is 'with us' and dwells in the community. One Jungian priest, Fr. William McNamara, O.C.D., the founder and director of the Spiritual Life Institute in Crestone, Colo., wrote in Christian Mysticism: 'Jesus didn't institute the sacrament of the eucharist, he entered into the sacramentality of the universe.'

"Marriage as viewed by the Jungians is not a sacrament because of the bigoted, ungodly, unjust way it refuses to recognize the legitimacy of other kinds of couples, e.g., homosexuals or cohabiting. Any loving, committed relationship between two or more people is considered by them moral and life-giving."

Hell: "Most Jungians do not believe in Hell, or if they do, Hell is not permanent. They regard Hell as a medieval superstition and as opposed to their understanding of individuation. "

Heaven: "A state of mind everyone achieves after death."

Original sin: "This notion, they assert, refers generically to our tendency to be selfish, which leads to sexism, racism, homophobia, and anti-community tendencies. "

Sin: "This is known to Jungians as 'missing the mark.' No one can miss the mark indefinitely, because we will all meet our 'higher self' which is God. Those who have what they call a 'pre-Vatican II' notion of sin are retarding the individuation process' and are 'spiritually ill' and in need of therapy. Such people believe the way they do because they have not experienced 'God's higher self' firsthand. The 'pre-Vatican II' mindset is particularly dangerous because those who have it prevent other people from 'individuating' -that is, renewing themselves."

Sacred Tradition: "For the Jungian, all tradition is sacred, just as all ground is holy ground. 'Tradition' is the lived and living experience of the people. Thus, Native American and Wiccan traditions are to be equally valued, since they represent the ways in which humanity is trying to understand God."

Divine Revelation: "This is understood as the living experience of the universe through all religions, peoples, animals, plants, etc., which constitute God's continuing self-revelation. Discerning God's plan for your own life relies mostly on dream work, journaling, active imagination, and personality typing, such as the enneagram, I Ching, tarot cards, and other methods of divination. To the Jungian, everyone is on a journey, and 'maps' such as the enneagram or I Ching are necessary."

Spirituality: "Spirituality is the driving force of the Jungian Church. For a Jungian, spirituality is your personal experience of the divine, whatever it is, together with the actions you take as a result of your experience. A typical Jungian will receive many visions, dreams, prophecies, and omens, and these 'numinous phenomena' are regarded as personally sent by God to them to illumine the way.

"For those more 'advanced' on their 'journey,' traditional Catholics are 'locked in the past,' and must not be allowed to interfere with the work of the 'Spirit.' Although it may appear ruthless to outsiders, actions taken to suppress priests or parishes or individuals loyal to Rome are considered necessary for the long-term 'health' of the community as it is on its way to 'renewal.' These actions must be seen as good for the 'faith community.'

"In this regard, to be a truly spiritual Jungian, one must have an 'enlightened' view of sexuality, because that is necessary to be 'fully alive,' or fully sexual. This is why sex education is so important to the Jungian Church. Jungians see themselves as bringers of an enlightened sexuality, not only properly androgynous, but fully integrated into the spiritual life.

"Therefore, the 'perpetual virginity' of Mary is ludicrous. Likewise, a priest or nun is 'more fully spiritual' if he or she is 'in touch with his or her sexuality.' This also explains why Jungians embrace contraception, homosexuality, and abortion, because these are part of people's 'lived experiences'."

Scripture: For a Jungian, the Scriptures as Catholics received them are just one "story" from one culture. Because it must be understood symbolically, historically, and culturally, it cannot be authoritative. Only those who have a deep understanding of the unconscious are qualified to explain its meaning. "Scripture is no more 'holy' than are other stories. Our own story-'his-story; her-story' -also constitutes divine revelation. Dreams are private Scripture, and thus are more authoritative than the Old or New Testament."

Resurrection: "Jesus rose spiritually from the dead in the hearts and minds of His disciples."

Mass: "The Mass, to Jungians, is the time we celebrate our community and ourselves. We break bread, drink wine, and ritualize our joy. Because the Mass is a humanly developed ritual celebration of community, no one should be excluded or denied participation in the Eucharist."

Worship space: "In addition to reflecting the theological principles underlying all of the previous areas, Jungians regard as critical the need for architecture to be 'open,' as opposed to 'confining,' and centered on the people of God. This is implemented by removing many, if not all, statues of the saints and stations of the cross, and relocating or removing the tabernacle. The distinction between sanctuary space and people space is entirely eliminated. A building is made holy by the gathering of a holy people, not by the 'symbolic presence of the bread. Other symbols, such as eagle feathers, are just as important."

Conscience: "To Jungians, conscience is the source of an individual's understanding of truth, and the primary guide to holiness. In this model, there can be no guiding Magisterium, because this is outside the individual."

The Spiritual Elite

"One of the things I have learned," Cyrus concluded, "is that the Jungian is an extremely proud person, confident of his spiritual superiority and his closeness to God. They claim, invariably, not to be led by mere men (such as those who naively follow the Magisterium), but by the 'Spirit,' and thus form a 'spiritual elite'-a new Cathari as I see it.

"Although professing to be democratic-say, in demanding that Rome or the hierarchy listen to them - Jungians are invariably totalitarian in practice. While professing to be 'open,' they are the most dogmatic, and while claiming to be spiritually pure and close to God, their moral and physical lives are a mess.

"Only they don't see it, because they are on a 'higher plane'."

This article was taken from the January 5, 1995 issue of "The Wanderer," 201 Ohio Street, St. Paul, MN 55107, 612-224-5733. Subscription Price: $35.00 per year; six months $20.00.


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Further Reading:

Refutation of the New Age Movement

Holy Spirit Watch