CARL JUNG: PSYCHOLOGIST OR SORCERER?
By Marsha West
June 16, 2006
“Many Christian psychology professionals are only average pew warmers, who then practice secular psychology.” -- Pastor Steven J. Cole
Psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung changed the way we think about the human psyche. For those who have never heard of him, he was the foremost pioneer of dream analysis, which is the process of assigning meaning to dreams. In many ancient traditions dreams were considered to be messages from the gods.
Jung’s research asserts the concept of an impersonal or “collective unconscious” (a type of library containing everything ever known) present in each person’s unconscious. The inspiration came to Jung from contacting the spirit realm. Jung claimed that his spirit guide, Philemon (more on “it” later), was a source of information that gave him crucial insights. According to Don Matzat, “Jung theorized that all humanity, past and present, were connected on an unconscious plane. Therefore, deep within each individual was the collective wisdom of the ages, including all religious, mythical content. ? Jung placed a "scientific" footing under occult phenomenaa and mystical experience. Jung was deeply involved in the occult and did his doctoral thesis on parapsychology. He also was interested in Catholic mysticism and conducted seminars on the teachings of Ignatius Loyola.”
The lie detector test and the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) are also based on Jung’s theories. MBTI is a personality and psychological test to see what makes people tick. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Do you mentally live in the now or in the future? Do you plan in advance, or do you move into action without a plan? Take a personality quiz and find out! Several years ago a church I attended gave newcomers the MBTI to identify their spiritual gifts. Knowing an individual’s desires and gifts helped the leadership figure out where they could best serve the church body. It’s pretty much a given to say that in most congregations today, 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. Which means desires and gifts have to be put on the back burner when there’s a shortage of Sunday school teachers. So why take the test in the first place? But I digress.
Carl Jung was a “spiritual thinker” who offered Western culture a way back to religion that places no shame on being human. Spiritual teacher, codependency therapist and author, Robert Burney, agrees with Jung: “We are not sinful, shameful human creatures who have to somehow earn Spirituality. We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience."
If Burney’s assertion is correct, and the human race isn’t sinful, then the Bible is nothing more than myths and fables -- and Jesus was a nut job for declaring He was the Son of God who came into the world to die for the sins of all mankind. Jesus clearly taught that we are sinners, with a capital S, and “fall short of the glory of God.” Sin was the reason Jesus went to the cross. His death was payment for mankind’s sin debt. Thus He threw open the gates of heaven, and all who believe in Him will be reconciled to God. If it’s true that we are merely “Spiritual Beings having a human experience” as Burney claims, the Son of God would have had no reason to leave His throne in heaven and come to Earth. Which is Burney’s whole point! If we’re not sinners, we have no need of a Savior!
But what if Burney and all the other Jungian psychologists have it wrong? If they do, those that never admit their sin and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior are in a real pickle. Basically they have a one-way ticket on the H Train. Once you’re on that train, there’s no getting off, no turning back.
Bear with me for a moment while I share the biblical account of the Fall of Man (and woman, if you must). “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom (emphasis added), she took some and ate it.” Because the fruit was pleasing to the eye Eve gave into temptation. She came, she saw, she ate. Bingo! Her eyes were opened. In one split second Eve went from God-centeredness to self-centeredness. From thereon out everything went downhill. “She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked”(Genesis 3:6). When Adam and Eve deliberately disobeyed God, sin, which is deadlier than the AIDS virus, entered into the world and infected all humankind. And the only sin cure is Jesus Christ!
Burney’s approach to psychology might seem right for unbelievers, but it’s wrong for Bible believing Christians. STOP
Which brings me back to Carl Jung. As I mentioned above, Jung was considered a “spiritual thinker,” albeit his lofty ideas came from Eastern mysticism, not Christianity or Judaism. The man was no ordinary psychologist by any stretch. Actually, he thought of himself as a “spiritist.” According to Elliot Miller, “The movement that Jung initiated is much closer in nature to a neopagan (Aryan) cult than the scientific psychiatric discipline that it has always claimed to be. It is not just religious but a religion.” And a pagan religion at that!
Jung was deeply involved with his mother and two female cousins in hypnotically induced séances. He was also involved in alchemy, fortune telling, and channeling spirits. All are occult practices. To be involved in any of this is to go against God.
Ponder this for a moment. When Carl Jung was three years old a “spirit guide” named Philemon contacted him. The spirit was one of his teachers and tutored him all of his life. Other spirits came to him as well and he made this observation about them: “Philemon and other figures of my fantasies brought home to me the crucial insight that there are things in the psyche which I do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their own life. Philemon represented a force that was not myself. In my fantasies I held conversations with him, and he said things which I had not consciously thought. [?] Psychologically, Philemon represented supeerior insight.” There was no reason for Jung to believe that his visitors were benevolent spirits; nevertheless he chose to believe they were. Could the “forces that were not myself” have been the forces of evil? Absolutely! Scripture tells us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light, which is why John gave this warning: “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I John 4). John calls the devil the “father of lies” and addressed the Gnostics with these harsh words, “You belong to your father, the devil,” he says, “and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
Carl Jung has been called the “Father of Neo-Gnosticism and the New Age Movement” and rightly so. Dr. Satinover comments, "One of the most powerful modern forms of Gnosticism is without question Jungian psychology, both within or without the Church."
Jung’s view of good and evil is worth noting. To quote the Rev. Ed Hird, “Jung believed that ‘the Christ-symbol lacks wholeness in the modern psychological sense, since it does not include the dark side of things...’ For Jung, it was regrettable that Christ in his goodness lacked a shadow side, and God the Father, who is the Light, lacked darkness.”
Further, Jung believed not that good should overcome evil; good should be integrated with evil in order to achieve wholeness. “The homosexual who has the courage to ‘come out’, for example, is welcoming and integrating the darker and 'opposite-sex side of the personality. There can be no moral condemnation when wholeness is achieved.”
The Apostle Paul has something to say about uniting good and evil, (my comments in brackets) “Do not be joined to unbelievers. What do right (good) and wrong (evil) have in common? Can light (good) and darkness (evil) be friends? How can Christ (our standard of goodness) and Satan (pure evil) agree? What does a believer (good) have in common with an unbeliever (evil)?” (1 Cor. 6:14, 15) The answer to Paul’s last question is, in a word, nothing! The Prophet Habakkuk says of God, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” (Habakkuk 1:13).
Unfortunately, Jungianism has influenced not only our popular culture, but Christian teaching as well, in spite of the fact that God expressly forbids practicing sorcery in any way shape or form. (Leviticus 19:26-31; II Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 47:8-11) J. Budziszewski, professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas, says this about Jungianism: "[It] is based on damnable lies about the nature of good, evil, God, and the human soul. Yet these lies are being taught in ostensibly Christian seminaries and promoted by ostensibly Christian psychotherapists. I shuddered when I spoke to a Christian lady who said that her minister had been teaching her to 'gain strength from her dark side.'"
Amazingly, Jung believed that "It is possible for a man to attain totality, to become whole, only with the co-operation of the spirit of darkness..." Jung said that opposites always balance one another and “onesideness, though it lends momentum, is a sign of barbarism." Who knew?
"How can these dangerous teachings be confronted?" asks Budziszewski. His answer is to inform Christians who have never heard of Carl Jung about his New Age teaching. Many years ago when I first heard about Jungianism it was described to me as a kind of psychoanalysis that’s open to "spirituality." (Not knowing what was really behind “spirituality” I started reading “Christian psychology books.”)
The catchword “spirituality” has a whole host of meanings. For Carl Jung spirituality "blended psychological reductionism with gnostic spirituality to produce a modern variant of mystical, pagan polytheism in which the multiple ‘images of the instincts’ (his ‘archetypes’) are worshipped as gods."
The difficulty, says Budziszewski, is that there's a little truth mixed in with Jung's lies. "Through a little twist, he turns the truth that for the time being God tolerates certain evils into the lie that God is beyond good and evil. Through another twist, he turns the truth that we must reckon with what we repress into the lie that we must achieve a reconciliation with what is evil. To dispel this kind of confusion, we need to identify each truth, but show how he distorts it."
For "the wolves of the flock," who fully understand what Jung's ideas mean, and teach them anyway, Budziszewski gives this advice: "Like the Gnostics against whom St. Paul and the early church waged spiritual battle, these people don't need instruction, but rebuke. Christ gave disciplinary authority to the church for a reason (emphasis added). He meant it to be used."
Budziszewski says we face two obstacles to exposing Jung's earlier writings: (1) His writings were composed in a misleading style. (2) His teachings twisted the truth rather than ignoring it. He suggests that Christians respond to this dangerous philosophy in two ways: First, become informed about the deceptive teachings of Jung's psychology. Second, familiarize yourself with the metaphysical concepts and techniques of New Agers.
If someone claims to be a Christian and yet embraces an incompatible, non-Christian pluralistic worldview, he/she has not received the Spirit of God. In Scripture believers are admonished, "give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God" (Leviticus 19:31). How much plainer could God be?
Because of what we know about Carl Jung, it would be wrong for Christians to "seek after" his dangerous worldview. Christians play a part in his twisted religion when they incorporate the theories and therapies that come from dream analysis, 12-step programs, inner healing, and through personality types and tests. Apostle Paul warns, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
I suspect that I’m going to receive a lot of hate mail for daring to express my views on psychology in the Church. I don’t pretend to be an expert on this subject. Far from it. I’m only expressing my personal opinion and the opinion of many other Christians who are opposed to meshing sorcery with Christianity for any reason. And that’s exactly what so-called “Christian psychology” does. It might help some people, but at what cost?
“We must carefully discern the theories and practices of modern psychology before we visit them upon the people of God.” Don Matzat
of Psychology into Christian Theology By Don Matzat
© 2006 Marsha West - All Rights Reserved
are used strictly for NWVs alerts, not for sale
Marsha West is the Founder and Editor of the E-Mail Brigade News Report, an online news report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a freelance writer specializing in Christian worldview. She is a regular contributor to NewsWithViews.com, Alainsnewsletter.com, CapitolHillCoffeeHouse.com, plus her commentaries appear in MichNews.com and bibleteacher.org.
is also designer and webmaster of a Christian apologetics website, On
Solid Rock Resources. She is currently writing a series of children's
books for homeschoolers. Marsha and her husband reside in historic Jacksonville
If Burney’s assertion is correct, and the human race isn’t sinful, then the Bible is nothing more than myths and fables -- and Jesus was a nut job for declaring He was the Son of God who came into the world to die for the sins of all mankind.