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Jung 1938 --The Number 4

A treasure trove. Time magazine's archieves of past articles. Here is some reasoning behind Jung's thinking about the number 4 as representing wholeness. And 'the anima'.

From the article Symbols & Religion

In dreams and in researches he made among theological, philosophical and mystical works, Dr. Jung found the quaternity symbol everywhere. The square, the circle, the mystic squared circle suggest four; the Buddhist mandala-symbol is usually a circular lotus containing a square building with four gates; there are four seasons, four points of the compass, four Evangelists, etc. In the patient's dream of the "world clock" appeared "four little men," just as people in groups of four tended to appear in all his dreams. Only the Christian symbol of the Trinity fails to conform to this system of fours, and Dr. Jung believes that the unconscious mind therefore tends to augment it with a fourth element. This is probably woman—the anima, or earth mother; although Dr. Jung points out that the element of evil, or the devil, is also excluded from the God-symbol, in which it might logically take part.

Gerard

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Re: Jung 1938 --The Number 4

I'm speaking off the top of my head here so I might not get the details all right but I read in a book on Christian Theology by Alister McGrath that the word for Holy Spirit used in the Old Testament is ALWAYS feminine.

But protestant thought has tended toward a patriarchal view of God and this reminds me of a remark I once read by Jung, to the effect that he had fewer Catholic than Protestant patients. I do believe he went on to add that this fact was due, in his opinion, not by Catholic theology, but by Catholic symbology, which tends (trying to be careful here so I hope any Catholics will not be offended) to award a status that at least approaches divinity to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Has anyone read any theories that the "divination of Mary" (I put that in quotation marks because I intend its meaning to be only approximate) is an unconscious reaction to the Hebrew concept of a male God? In the beginning of Answer to Job, Jung makes the point that a monotheistic theology requires that ALL the polar opposites be reconciled in God. So God would be not only beyond good and evil (his point in the Answer to Job intro) but also beyond male and female...

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Re: Jung 1938 --The Number 4

Pryzm,
Great question. As to the "divination of Mary" we can find evidence of this in the Gnostic text Gospel of Mary. Of course these are heretic teachings in the eyes of orthodox-ed Christianity. It is counter to patriarchy, the masculine concept of Western religious thought.

As for an unconscious reaction to the Hebrew concept of a male God, the intuitive mind is attracted to truth and not religious ideology. Humans are feminine first before taking on male/female sexual characteristics. Instead of the masculine being the dominant trait, in actuality it is the feminine that is more prevalent within the unconscious. Patriarchy demeans, hides, even destroys any and all evidence of the power of the feminine. It threatens the power structure of religion.

Catholics have a history of inclusion of symbology in their religious rituals whereas modern Christians do not. In fact there is a serious debate about how Catholic mass is given. Joseph Campbell thought the new mass {priests facing toward the people instead of having priests turn their backs} destructive because the mass has changed its rituals away from the old traditions. He felt it removed the symbolic value the intuitive mind naturally recognized. It may be partially due to the threat of the feminine stature that symbology recognizes and the church does not. Many of the symbols in Christianity is borrowed from pagan mythology and thus has a feminine inclusion that can threaten patriarchy {Gods & Goddesses of Greek Mythology}. Its effect is to suppress the intuitive feminine aspects that are needed for a balanced psyche {as prescribed in Jung's Individuation Process. A grand example of this type thinking can be found in the person of George Bush and his warrior mentality. Bush's mental state is out of balance, without feminine guidance, he is a classical narcissist. Bush is one reason {radical Islam is another} we must be aware and cautious of the extremes. What would the world be like if the 'Divine Feminine' was completely abolished? We are in affect doing just that with patriarchal rule as well as our total disregard for the health of the planet {global warming, destruction of species, oceans, forests}. Scary isn't it?

Gerard

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Re: Jung 1938 --The Number 4

Gerard,

I couldn't agree more! Except for the part about "Humans are feminine first before taking on male/female sexual characteristics," which I didn't know about but I'm sure you're right about that too.

Campbell says something to the effect that Other is equated to the Father in the mind of the infantile (I hope I'm getting that attribution about right; it's in Hero With a Thousand Faces). I am afraid that our current struggles between Islam and what claims to be Christendom are more of the same...

Do you think this patriarchal mindset started (or accelerated) with the Renaissance? It seems to me that the scientific method works so well in the world of (macroscopic) objects that it became the standard by which reality was measured. But the world of (phenomenal) objects is not the inner (noumenal) world, and IMO the same principles (even binary logic) don't apply. Whatever we say about the Big Thing In Here/Out There (I'm pointing at the sky and at my heart right now), its opposite is true in some sense as well (including even that last assertion, but I hope no one will quibble with me on this point about the limitations of language..).

Adoption of the scientific method on a wholesale basis during and after the Renaissance led to a mindset whereby if we couldn't measure a thing, it became safe to conclude it didn't exist (but how wrong that is!). Anyway, adopting this way of thinking, it's very easy to lose touch with one's feminine side, which Campbell describes in Hero as the portal into the mystical realm. The reality of this portal has been so vivid in recent years for me that I can't describe how strongly I agree with Campbell's statement.

In any even, the advent of quantum mechanics

(My undergrad is in Physics and I highly recommend Other Worlds by Paul Davies as an excellent book about some of the philosophical implications of quantum mechanics (http://www.amazon.com/Other-Worlds-Superspace-Universe-Penguin/dp/0140138773/sr=1-12/qid=1161629836/ref=sr_1_12/104-4995378-3623933?ie=UTF8&s=books)

has revealed the inadequacies of a patriarchal mindset by reference to the physical universe (!), but few people seem to realize how quantum mechanics has changed how scientists look at the world, or how well Eastern thinking fits in the paradigm of modern physics.

Btw some readers may not know that the last chapter of Man and His Symbols by Jung et al contains a wonderful discussion of parallels between quantum realities and the unconscious.

I think it's best to think of ourselves as persons first, then as men/women (as biology declares).

Sorry for rambling; hope this makes some sense.
:-)

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Re: Jung 1938 --The Number 4

You really caught my attention on this one. I have many deams have not only been in analysis but my father-in-law (since passed away) was a trained Zurich Jungian Analyst.Many months ago as, as I was still realing from the death of my husband (soul mate)age 54 and wondering how to go on. I dreamt that I was on a stage sitting at a square table was, Carl Jung, My father-in-law (the analyst) my husband and myself. They were talking about all the dreams that I had and how powerful they were. Then Jung spoke to be, and said, " you need to remember the importance of the number 4 in your life." I remember for days hearing over and over Jung's voice. Ironically or not. I apply for a job, that fell into my lap and the company has in part of it's name the word FOUR. I now pay attention to the many times that FOUR seems to appear. And then tonight for the first time I see your article on the number 4... Are there otherthings I should watch for as I still struggle daily with the loss of my husband of 32 years.

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Re: Jung 1938 --The Number 4

Ok I want to apologize to everyone for that incoherent post above. I've made a resolution never to post during busy days from now on. :-)

What I was trying to say is that the so-called scientific method is very conducive to a certain way of thinking that's become common in the West, involving problem decomposition, Aristotelian logic, and a separation of subject from object.

And there are many philosophical implications of quantum mechanics, but possibly the most important is the dissolution of the distinction between subject and object. This is a very important development because without that dissolution, there is no true enlightenment.

The scientific method is very good for dealing with objects as concepts, and for dealing with the macroscopic world where the subject/object dichotomy is an acceptable basis for predicting the behaviour of matter. I would never want to be understood as dismissing its validity.

It's how we use the scientific method that's important. Sometimes we may fail to draw a distinction between reality and our simple pictures of it (objects are NOT equal to our concepts about those objects), but that's not the fault of the method.

It's only when we view someone as "Other" that we can be cruel that person. It's only when we view people of complementary gender as "Other" that our relationships with them will revolve around external factors. And the dissolution of the subject/object dichotomy in my own soul has helped me to experience the deepest bliss I've ever known.

Is that any clearer? I am firmly committed to keeping my resolution about posting on busy days!
:-)

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Re: Jung 1938 --The Number 4

Pryzm,
No need to apologize. I wanted to reply to your last post yesterday but could never found the time to give it my full attention. I enjoy 'deep' discussions. I want to comment more on Jean's post also. Hopefully by Thursday I can devote the required time to thoughtfully answer both posts.

For Jean
The number four to Jung is what 3 is to Christianity. The 'Individuated' person has learned through self analyze and discipline to return to that one thing in life that fulfills life. Joseph Campbell's follow your bliss. Creativity, spirituality. Or that positive thing in life that benefits others and let's you be your true blissful self.

My number is 9. Joseph Campbell talked about the recurrence of the number 432 throughout the centuries in different cultures. Nine is the feminine. Nine is the Goddess. The power of the feminine psyche. I find I have a much more developed intuitive sense for a male {and I'm hetersexual}. Dreamwork requires an intuitive sense which is why I am so attracted to it.

Losing your 'soul mate' has to be tough. I experienced a loss of a very loved person in 2003. I miss her very much, and I still grieve. I guess we have to just carry on. Perhaps that is where the number 4 comes in.

Gerard

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Re: Jung 1938 --The Number 4

Good thing I have the "Collected works" and many Jungs books, left to me by my father-in-law. I may have to get them out for review. Or I'll take the easy route and let my uncon figure this out.Gerad you really hit a nerve,The 'Individuated' person has learned through self analyze and discipline to return to that one thing in life that fulfills life.I'm absorbing. I know that has been my struggle and may be the real value of the number 4- What now will fullfill my life? The 4 keeps repeating, my husband died in 2004, at 54. In reviewing my dream journal tonight, I just put together that just prior to the Jung speaking of 4, that my dream which I feel dealt with my process as a 'Individuated' person do I now only today see that important number appear again.
Here's that dream: My son takes me to a clinic I’m told I need to have test done.
I go into a room with a long narrow bed...A very KIND doctor comes in and says he will do the test...I’m laying on my side and I feel this intense warmth over my back – so intense – that I can see a bright light coming from whatever he is doing, it’s so calming I think WOW I can’t even speak...When he sits me up, he says, “Jean, you have a tumor on the stem of your brain, it needs to be operated on immediately”’ I said, doctor that can’t be true, as I point to the chair in the room, I say but don’t you see my husband over there in the chair he’s already died of cancer...this can’t be happening to me. I tell him I need to make 4 phone calls – he says yes – but don’t do any sudden jerking... I call my analyst. I get his answering machine, I leave a message that I am having brain surgery,I know that when he gets the message he will come. I call my daughter and she appears immediately, I tell her that we have to go home before my surgery so I can get my two blue bathrobes the summer one and the winter one.I call my sister-in-law, and she is shocked that the family has to go thru another trauma.yet I’m not upset.I call my sister and the connection is very garbled...I can’t get her to understand what is happening.
It's been a few months since I had this dream, I no longer see the Analyst, he claimed to be a Jungian but never wanted to do the real work on the prolific amount of dreams, and my stong inner self let me know it was not a good fit. He wanted to discuss my childhood, I wanted help dealing with the loss of my husband and father-in-law in a spread of 7 months, both of whom died in my home, and with the loss of my father-in-law who was my "in-house analyst"! The sister and sister-in-law have "not" been there. The constant that I now just "get" my two adult children and the two blue robes! Sorry for your loss. Have you had to come to grips with all the people who said they would be there...have all gone on with their lives?Hope you can filter thru the rambling - your web site is a treasure! And thank you for you wonderful words of true wisdom.

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Re: Jung 1938 --The Number 4

Jean,
I want to give a detailed response to your posts and thought today would be a good time to do so. But unfortunately although I have some free time I have developed a terrible head cold {too much of my energy put into the social dragon-work}. If you have more to add to what you have already posted please do so. Don't worry about any 'ramblings', any information will be valuable. Perhaps while I am recuperating other Forum contributors can lend their insights.
Thanks for you patience.

Gerard

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