Part 8, "Archetype and Ego"

In an essay I published some 13 years ago ("A Commentary on the Book of Job") in Dor L'Dor: Journal of the World Jewish Bible Society of Jerusalem I quoted a Gemara from the Talmud (Baba Bathra 15a) which states that the Biblical Job "never was and never existed" but was a "parable" written by Moses at the dictation of God. The question is, A parable of what? It's exactly that question that Jung seeks to answer, out of his own cataclysmic encounter with the Self, in his monumental work of modern theology, Answer to Job, that we are analyzing in this series of lectures.


On one very important level, Jung's notion of the archetype can be understood as a primordial, autonomous, psychological "scenario" that lies dormant in the collective, impersonal unconscious until, for one reason or another, it invades and possesses an individual, personal unconscious, literally battering the ego back and forth in the throws of its own preexistent drama in much the way a dog worries a bone. Jung calls this an "archetypal possession," of which the Biblical account of Job is one.

In other words, to answer our opening question, the Book of Job is, on one level, a "parable" of the always-imminent collision between the individual Ego and the higher Self (i.e., God), as played out by an archetypal invasion of the latter into the individual psyche of the former. Moreover, like all other archetypal invasions, that of the "Job Experience" has a beginning, a middle and an end -- and, therein, lies Jung's great contribution in Answer To Job.

That is, Jung lays out in exquisite detail the devastating Yahweh/Job scenario for anyone unfortunate (or fortunate) enough to find themselves trapped within it. Thus, the Possessed knows rather precisely where they are, where they've been, where they're headed, and what to expect when they get there in the archetypally predictable unfolding of this turbulent and self-propelling encounter.

Jung experienced this collision with God, out of which he wrote Answer To Job. His student and my mentor, James Kirsch, experienced it under Jung, and I did under James. Mine lasted ten years and I can testify to its power to destroy and transform the individual ego, making it, in Jung's words, a vessel for the continuing incarnation of God. (James, incidentally, described his life's work with Jung in the same Jungian anthology in which my chapter on Kabbalah and the interpretation of dreams appeared, namely Modern Jew in Search of a Soul. James's essay is entitled, "Reflections at Age Eighty-Four," pages 147-155.)


Unlike Eastern mystical traditions, such as Vedanta and Buddhism, Jung taught that the goal of the spiritual path (or what he called "individuation") was not the annihilation of the ego in the Self, but rather the establishing of a working partnership between the two, in which the ego remains independent of the Self, but acts as a conduit for the latter's drive to enter the external realm of consciousness.

In this way, the individual ego, like the Biblical Job, out of its suffering and struggles with the Self, becomes an Eved HaShem, or "Servant of God" -- a "priest" who brings about the salvation of others:

"When Yahweh had said all this to Job, he turned to Eliphas of Teman. 'I burn with anger against you and your two friends,' he said, 'for not speaking truthfully about me as my servant Job has done. So now find seven bullocks and seven rams, and take them back with you to my servant Job and offer a sacrifice for yourselves, while Job, my servant offers prayers for you. I will listen to him with favor and excuse your folly." (Job 42:7)

Thus, Job (the ego) out of remaining strong and constant in the face of violent attacks from Yahweh (the Self), and not disintegrating as his friends advised him to do, is raised to the status of near-partnership with God -- becomes his priest, so to speak, through whom divine dispensation finds its opening onto others. He has become, as we have been describing it, an archetypal "vessel for the continuing incarnation of God."

PART: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

| Sabbatai Zevi | Jacob Frank | Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain |
| A Critical Re-Assessment of Sabbatai Zevi |
| Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain's Professions of a Holy Sinner |
| The Zohar |
| Knowing the Unknowable |
| A Brief Note on Enlightenment |
| A Neo-Sabbatian Discourse on the Son of God |
| A Primer of "Yalhakian" Neo-Sabbatian Kabbalah |
| Participating in the Continuing Incarnation of God |
| Sabbatai Zevi's 'God of the Faith' | Evolution of the Ego |
| Two Torahs of Kabbalah: Torah D'Atziluth & Torah D'Beriah |
| On the Limits of Antinomianism | The Transformation of God |
| Commentary on the 13th Century "Treatise on the Left Emanation" |
| A Selection of Neo-Sabbatian Quotations Culled from Various Sources |
| Commentaries on Rabbi Azriel of Gerona's 12th Century Text, "Explanation of the Ten Sefirot" |
| Kabbalistic Genetics of the Holy Seed & Reclaiming the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel |
| A Commentary on the Book of Job | Kabbalah and the Interpretation of Dreams |
| To Die for the People: A Kabbalistic Reinterpretation of the Crucifixion of Jesus |
| The Shemot Shel Katzar Tikkunim: Revealing the Concealed Names of God |
| The Christian Myth of Melchizedek vs. Hereditary Jewish Priesthood |
| The Apocrypha of Jacob Frank | The Tikkun of Raising Animals |
| Appointment in Smyrna: A Neo-Sabbatian Odyssey |
| Sabbatai Zevi and the Mystery of the Red Heifer |
| The Kabbalah of the Hindu Mantra "OM" |
| The Mystery of the Middle Column |
| The Hidden Structures of Water |
| Exegesis on the Rod of Aaron |
| Book of Silence |
| Ten Sefirot of Jewish Kabbalah | Sufi Lion of Bektashi Islam |
| Mandala of Tibetian Buddhism | Seven Chakras of Tantric Hinduism |
| Ox-Herding Pictures of Zen Buddhism | Rosarium Pictures of Christian Alchemy |
| Donmeh West Home Page |
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