Saturday, November 16, 2013
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
"In Jungian terms, the heart of the Mass lies in the rich, emotional experiences encountered by the participants. A man-centered liturgy enables the mystery of the Eucharist to transform the soul of empirical man into his totality."
This indeed has of late been my own very rich experience and I have come to this conclusion - the words "a man centred liturgy" in this quote are made to differentiate a Jungian depth psychological approach as opposed to a traditional Church Dogmatic approach represented by the words 'a God centred liturgy'.
I would claim that both approaches amount to the same thing. Both approaches point beyond themselves and the language that they are expressed in, to an unknowable mystery, a mystery we struggle to define or express.
The union of two approaches, our Psyche (an immanent psychological theory) with God (a transcendent theological theory) is a union of opposites that are not to my way of thinking mutually exclusive. Perhaps the bridge is something Jesus is quoted as saying - "The kingdom of heaven is within you" and he said this within the Judaic tradition of the transcendent God. Both approaches become unified if they are held together in paradox creating a greater whole - such as up and down, hot and cold, love and hate, light and dark etc. The union of opposites synthesizes newer and greater meaning. It points towards something beyond the requirement of each element needing its opposite simply to define itself.
To take such an approach would of course bring up a large number of theological problems for many of the traditional conservative churches. One interesting aspect would be how to view Judas Iscariot. I have always been of the opinion that without his betrayal there could have been no redemption - betrayal and redemption, again the union of opposites, again paradox pointing the way to greater meaning - but I will leave that idea for another post.