Part 13, "God Still Speaks to Man"
As an illustration of the "bargain" that the Ego strikes with the Self in the auseinandersetzung, as I described it in my last lecture of this series, consider the following quotation from the Talmud:
"Do God's will as you would do your own will, so that he may do your will as if it were his will; sacrifice your will for the sake of his will, so that he may subjugate the will of others before your own." (Pirke Avoth 2:4)
Now, the question is legitimately raised, "How, to begin with, can we know God's "will" in order to do it?" One difference between Jung and other religious thinkers is that while they typically answer this question by recommending a dependence on outer authority for such guidance (such as gurus, avatars, messiahs, etc.) he urges us to find it by establishing the auseinandersetzung with the Self, or, as both Judaic and Christian Scripture call it, "The Holy Spirit:"
"When the [Holy Spirit] comes he will lead you to the complete truth . . . and he will tell you of the things to come." (John 16:13)
Of this and similar passages from the Gospel, Jung writes:
"The continuing direct operation of the Holy [Spirit] on those who are called to be God's children implies, in fact, a broadening process of incarnation. Christ . . . is the first-born who is succeeded by an ever-increasing number of younger brothers and sisters." (Answer to Job, par. 658)
This seemingly Christian doctrine may seem, at first, alien (and,perhaps, even offensive to Jewish sensibilities), but it should not -- coming as it does from a thoroughly Judaic point of view. For example, according to Rabbi Abraham Cohen:
"Another Rabbinic concept to indicate the nearness of God and His direct influence on man is that of the Ruach Hakodesh (the Holy Spirit). Sometimes it seems to be identical with the Shekhinah as expressing the divine immanence in the world." (Every Man's Talmud: "The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages", p. 45)
According to Jewish Kabbalah, this indwelling presence of God in man, this Ruach Hakodesh (or "Holy Spirit"), often takes expression as a Maggid, or "heavenly mentor," implanted in the souls of those who seek God's direct guidance in knowing "His Will," as our passage from the Talmud calls it. For example, Rabbi Joseph Karo (1488-1575) -- author of the classic Beit Yosef and Shulchan Aruch -- believed himself to be the recipient of such a heavenly mentor who revealed itself to him in order to impart Kabbalistic mysteries. (See, for example, the account by Louis Jacobs, Jewish Mystical Testimonies, pp. 98-122)
This, of course, gives rise to a second question: "Can only great sages and saints, such as R. Joseph Karo, be the recipients of such direct, divine instruction in the Will of God?" To this, Jung replies:
"God . . . wants to become man, and for that purpose he has chosen, through the Holy [Spirit], the creaturely man filled with darkness -- the natural man who is tainted with original sin and who learnt the divine arts from the fallen angels. The guilty man is eminently suitable and is therefore chosen to become the vessel for the continuing incarnation, not the guiltless one who holds himself aloof from the world and refuses to pay his tribute to life, for in him the dark [side of] God would find no room." (Answer to Job, par. 746)
Less elegantly put: it is not necessarily the Saints, Scholars and Pietists in whom God implants His Holy Spirit, but in the fools, ignoramuses and sinners, such as you and I, because it is we, more than they, who can understand the dark side of His suffering and uncertainty. To this end, the Psalms tell us, "It was you [Yahweh] who created my inmost self" (Ps. 138:13) and "I have learned for myself that Yahweh is great" (Ps. 135:5) and -- "In the night my inmost self instructs me" (Ps. 16:7).