Thursday, May 1, 2014

What Sex Always Used to Be

So this morning's post Neo-Gnostic Gnon-sense: Carl Jung and Christopher West doesn't really prove what I was hoping it would - that West's quotation of pseudo-Augustine came to West directly from Carl Jung.  The indirect connection, however, is clear: the translation of pseudo-Augustine comes to West (according to him) from Bishop Sheen, who got it from Jung, who got it from his disciple Marie-Louise von Franz.  In fact, every reference to this quotation on the internet (in books and posts) has its origin in Jung's citation of pseudo-Augustine, with the same "interpolated phrase" (actually a phrase inserted out of place, lacking the preceding ellipsis) tacked on by von Franz.  Jung cites this quotation a lot, as it is probably the only thing by Augustine or even presumed to be by Augustine, that fits Jung's agenda.

And what is Jung's agenda?

It is simply making Sex what it Always Used to Be.

In other words, into the strange and overwhelming thing that we humans are more than happy to assign occult significance to.  This has always been the case.  Read even Wikipedia's entry on hieros gamos, the holy marriage.

Hieros gamos or Hierogamy (Greek ἱερὸς γάμοςἱερογαμία "holy marriage") refers to a sexual ritual that plays out a marriage between a god and a goddess, especially when enacted in a symbolic ritual where human participants represent the deities.
The notion of hieros gamos does not presuppose actual performance in ritual, but is also used in purely symbolic or mythological context, notably in alchemy and hence in Jungian psychology.

The occult spiritualization of sex sounds weird to us.  For it includes ...

  • Temple prostitution
  • Incestuous royal brother-sister unions
  • Official communal rites of intercourse
  • Alchemy and witchcraft using sex as a symbol for something preternatural

But weird as all this sounds, this is the norm in human history.  Indulging in sex not only tends toward perversion and violence (Sodom and Gomorrah are not alone in this regard), but this same spiritualization of sex always occurs: spiritualization toward a dark spirit.

The Jews - as ordained by God - were the first to try to turn away from this, and even they struggled to distinguish themselves from this very modern notion of sex that surrounded them in those very ancient times.  2,000 years of the Christian era have produced a culture in which John Paul II can write of the sacramentality of marriage, and can reaffirm what Christians have long known, even if we don't always get it quite right: sex, both in its physical and spiritual aspects, is part of the context of a sacrament - of an incarnational system of grace - in which one man is joined to one woman making babies and a family until one of them dies - and that, after this, Eros is included in the virginal and pure union of Christ with His sanctified bride, the Church.

But, historically and culturally speaking, that notion of sex - sex exorcised of its demons - is the exception, not the rule.

The world looks more like Sodom and Gomorrah, more like the dark and hidden place where unspeakable things are done to appease gods who are even more lustful and perverse than we are, more like Jung's contrived and self-indulgent alchemical vision, than like the clear bright sane and normal thing the Body of Jesus Christ has brought us.

If the pop-Theology of the Body crowd is taking us toward Jung's vision of sex as the hieros gamos, they are taking us backwards, not forwards.  They are taking us into a dark and dismal mire into which we long found ourselves trapped.

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