The Christian and the Collective Unconscious

“From the unconscious there emanate determining influences…which, independently of tradition, guarantee in every single individual a similarity and even a sameness of experience, and also of the way it is represented imaginatively. One of the main proofs of this is the almost universal parallelism between mythological motifs…” (The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung) [1]

In Genesis 18, when the men spoke with each other about whether or not to hide from Abraham about their intention to destroy Sodom, Abraham was there, observing their every action and listening to every word they were saying [2]. Abraham knew that everything that they have said amongst themselves were for his ears only. Abraham listened in, ever more attentively.

Can it be that Abraham did not know what the men were talking about? Can it be that Abraham do not know the severity of the “sins” of Sodom and Gomorrah? No. Abraham knew. Abraham knew about it all too well [3].

But Abraham was different. He was chosen to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just [4]. And in order to know what is right and just, He must know what is the heart of God and what is God’s definition of evil. He must understand the delicate flow of Creation and how evil produces a cry that rises from the earth to He who is seated on the throne [5; 6]. He must understand what was the causes of wickedness and determine what will be God’s righteous reaction to the outcry [7]. We all know how the story unfolded between Abraham, God, and the fallen cities. But if this exact scenario were to happen in real life, what will our reaction be? If God were to call us when we were least expected to tell us about an impending judgement that will soon befall upon a chosen city or nation, will we disregard His revelation and treat it as nuisance, or will we be attentive to His still small voice [8]?

Identifying the collective unconscious helps us identify traits and patterns in the human society. By tracing patterns in the observable present and contrasting them with similar occurrences in history, we may be able to discern cyclical patterns and be aware of what may or may not happen in the immediate future. In Jungian psychology, when one attains the archetype of The Self, one is able to balance the conscious and the unconscious [9]. In this archetype of wholeness, the person has achieved the completest expression of the fateful combination we call individuality [10]. It is in this archetype where the unconscious — including that of the collective unconscious — is assimilated to the conscious. Coincidentally, this is exactly what Zen Buddhism preaches. In Zen Buddhism, enlightenment is achieved when one sees one’s original mind (or original nature) without the intervention of the intellect [11]. Zen points people to the very nature of one’s own being, and from there, liberates the self from the bondage of the intellect and opens itself to a world of possibilities and understanding. But that’s that. When one achieves the totality-figure that is called, “The Self” [9], one’s understanding of the world remains as that. The rest of humanity remains ignorant about one’s newfound understanding of the universe while the enlightened one became increasingly lonely in a world that no longer understand him. In this state, one can pray for universal enlightenment. But in all honesty, what resources one would need to persuade and bring everyone to totality (assuming that they are mentality fit to do so in the first place)?

The Christian transcends the present reality and views the world from the elevated plane. The Christian does this not by his own will nor intellect, but by the power of He who resides within them [12]. It is He who debates about the future of humanity who took up residence within their hearts [13]. It is He who reminds them about patterns in the observable world and in the invisible. It is He who constantly tells them what is in the very heart of God [14]. It is He who puts the Christian on the added pedestal, setting them apart from the rest of the world.

When Christians fully grasp the Truth about their identity as sons and daughters of God, they will truly be liberated from the bondage of the world. Being children of God meant they are gods in their own rights [15]. And if Jesus Himself acknowledges them to be gods alongside Him while emphasising that this Truth comes from the word of God and that the Scripture cannot be set aside, then they truly must reconsider their identity as Jesus’ equal [16]. True, as Christians, they were not chosen to be God’s very own to be set apart and sent into the world, but they are still undoubtedly a part of God. And this Truth in itself should enable the Christian to rethink one’s position in the world. Not only do they have He who created the universe residing within their hearts, their very identity is a part of He who created the heaven and earth. The totality of the Christian psyche, therefore, is not limited to the completion of the process of individualisation, but the assimilation of the individualised self with the One who created the universe and everything within it.

It is only in Him that we live and move and have our being [17].

It is only in Him that we can be true salt and light of the world.

Are we?


[1] –

[2] – Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” — Genesis 18:17, NIV.

[3] – Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord. — Genesis 13:13, NIV.

[4] – “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” — Genesis 18:19, NIV.

[5] – Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.” — Genesis 18:20-21, NIV.

[6] – The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” — Genesis 4:10, NIV.

[7] – Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” — Genesis 18:23, NIV.

[8] – After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. — 1 Kings 19:12, NIV.

[9] –,%20Volume%208%29.pdf

[10] –

[11] –

[12] – This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. — 1 Corinthians 2:13, NIV.

[13] – You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. — Romans 8:9, NIV.

[14] – I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. — John 15:15, NIV.

[15] – “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ — Psalms 82:6, NIV.

[16] – Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? — John 10:34-36, NIV.

[17] – ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ — Acts 17:28, NIV.

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