Knowing, Carl Jung, Jung’s Red Book


Carl Jung heard a question and watched the interviewer with a twinkle in his eye.

I watch the documentary and wait for Jung’s answer.

The question was — “Do you believe in God?”

I am waiting for the “Yes.”

Instead, Jung –a pastor’s son, shifted in his seat and said, “No, I know God.”

“I know God.” That is what I strive to say daily. Knowing takes me beyond believing, beyond wondering what condition my faith is in today.

“I know God.” That is what I would remember to say, so you and I don’t argue about the existence of our Creator, and instead can just tell — well attempt to tell—about knowing God. I started life with people who knew God, particularly Beppe en Pake (maternal grandmother and grandfather) who showed me how they knew God.

I knew God on Mama’s lap at five years old, when she opened our children’s bible for stories. Each page was shiny white, and opened with a crisp smell that only shiny-paged books had. Every page held an illustration. In one Jesus carried the lost sheep wrapped around his neck, the rest of His flock waited at the top of the hill. The other sheep looked as happy about the lost and found sheep as Jesus did. The Good Shepherd, my first knowing God.

It took only two years to become a 7 year-old cynic. Too many post-World-War-II-baby-boomer-generation moves. The worst part of the moves, leaving Beppe and Pake far behind, left me determined I would have no more belied, no more knowing. But something of faith lingered because I didn’t think there is no God. I thought I don’t believe in you God, you let me down.

Did you ever become a young or old cynic?

The first words which rebuilt my faith, after 8 years of no faith was, “God is either everything, or He  is nothing at all.” I read this all or nothing line in my AA Big Book, because I was 15 years old and trying sobriety. I had to wonder, is sobriety better than drinking with blackouts*. Thirty eight years later I’m still trying sobriety, still steadily, all-in-a-row, staying sober. My sobriety “birthday” is coming up, 4-14-73. What anniversaries of change or faith would you like to tell me about? Jung’s Red Book is now available, his life and times and insights covered all the periods of history I write about.  Have you purchased it? Tell me about your experience.

*blackout – When a person is intoxicated and functioning, but does not remember later what occurred. This seems to occur because the brain is too intoxicated to code memory. This is different from passing out. A blackout is different from passing out.

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