Friday, June 24, 2011

A religion of wonder

Artist: William Blake

Here's something Carl Jung said that gives me pause:
If our religion is based on salvation, our chief emotions will be fear and trembling. If our religion is based on wonder, our chief emotion will be gratitude.
Mind you, there are different connotations to that word "salvation" and I could wish Jung had picked another word or set of words actually. I think what he meant was "avoiding hell". But I certainly do get his point about wonder. And, with that bit, I certainly agree.
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3 comments:

  1. Of course salvation and wonder are not the only things religion can be based upon. I was raised to believe that the purpose of believing was to go to heaven instead of hell. I've come to think of that approach to religion as selfish and little more than a notion that God is blackmailing us into "belief in doctrines and that we will respond by paying into the protection racket God runs." Which leads to to ask, "Why would God care about our doctrines?" But my religion isn't based on wonder either, although I wouldn't mind if I could spend a good part of eternity in wonderment and participating in things wonderful. I would say my religion is based on a conviction that this universe isn't worth much unless even the poorest, the most limited, those most demeaned, dismissed, used and abused will share equally in the blessings God has to offer in a reality, of what ever sort, that is much bigger and more fulfilling than life on this earth; that all will exist forever in an eternity that makes the difficulties of this mortal life seem as a long ago bee sting to someone who wakes every morning with joy and anticipation of what is to come.

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  2. What citation can you provide for this quotation attributed to Dr. Jung:

    If our religion is based on salvation, our chief emotions will be fear and trembling. If our religion is based on wonder, our chief emotion will be gratitude.

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  3. Here's one:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=22Wp65TgCPsC&pg=PT31&lpg=PT31&dq=%22If+our+religion+is+based+on+salvation,+our+chief+emotions+will+be+fear+and+trembling.+If+our+religion+is+based+on+wonder,+our+chief+emotion+will+be+gratitude.%22&source=bl&ots=b0-PQgMiga&sig=9cw0tI51P5uGEGusI9VHDzrGTBg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Fkl5VNOpAZPhgwTcooSgCg&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22If%20our%20religion%20is%20based%20on%20salvation%2C%20our%20chief%20emotions%20will%20be%20fear%20and%20trembling.%20If%20our%20religion%20is%20based%20on%20wonder%2C%20our%20chief%20emotion%20will%20be%20gratitude.%22&f=false

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