Showing posts from September, 2007

Jung and Mother Teresa

What Carl Jung wrote about his father, a pastor in the Swiss Reformed Church, applies to Mother Teresa’s forty-year crisis of faith. In Memories, Dreams, Reflections , Jung wrote that his father “suffered from religious doubts” because he had no direct experience of God. Jung’s attempts at discussion were met by “the same old lifeless theological answers” from his father. Once I heard him praying. He struggled desperately to keep his faith. I was shaken and outraged at once, because I saw how hopelessly he was entrapped by the Church and its theological thinking. They had blocked all avenues by which he might have reached God directly. Jung wrote that there’s nothing to do with religious doctrine “but believe it without hope.” The command to believe something in disagreement with their own experience trapped Jung’s father and Mother Teresa into a hopeless corner. Both doubted the existence of the external deity—the god or set of gods—they were told to worship. Conditioned to regard do

Billy Graham

In response to Time magazine’s story about Billy Graham, a reader wrote: “As a Hindu Indian who has been a naturalized American for many years, I have been deeply concerned by the clout and popularity of Graham. To believe that whoever receives Christ as his Savior goes to heaven is quite acceptable to me. To say Christianity is the only way to God and heaven is outrageous.” This expresses the reason I wrote God Is Not Three Guys in the Sky: Cherishing Christianity without Its Exclusive Claims. I agree completely with Bradford Smith in Meditation who writes that “a new faith is taking shape in our time.” It recognizes “many equally valid forms” of one universal spiritual impulse and knows that the myth and symbol of a particular religion can have “meaning for a particular seeker” but “a common symbolism” cannot be forced on all. I believe this inclusive realization is happening under the surface while exclusive Christian claims triumph on the surface of our society. In God Is Not Three