Immanence: God within

Sacred Heart of Jesus. The legend cites Psalm 63:7, Accedet homo ad cor altum (modern numbering: Psalm 64:6)
Robert la Longe, Sacred Heart of Jesus- 1705

“They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.” (Psalm 64:6, King James Bible)

The image above depicts an interpretation of Palm 64:6. It is an image of the sacred heart. God is known through the inward thought: within the heart, within the deep.

In Psychology and Religion, Jung speaks of the ‘God within’. The God image expresses a deep and profound relationship to a sacred truth that known within the human heart, within the depths. Jung says:

Symbol spontaneously produced in the dreams of modern people… the God within. “ (CW 11 para. 101)

Carl Jung points out that in modern times we have lost connection to the God within. We “depreciated this idea,” calling it “mystical.” (ibid. para. 101) Mystical has become a negative term, an insult.

Carl Jung’s own experience, as well as his clinical work with individuals, led him realize that the deity image appears spontaneously within psychic life. Jung says,

“It is precisely this ‘mystical’ idea which is forced upon the conscious mind by dreams and visions. I myself, as well as my colleagues, have seen so many cases developing the same kind of symbolism that we cannot doubt its existence any longer.” (para. 101)

Carl Jung understood the psyche’s ability to create spontaneous religious imagery. As Jung notes in Symbols of Transformation, God resides within the human heart (CW 5, para. 176). We might add that the God image arises from the heart.

The God image serves a purpose in that it guides the individual in the process of becoming whole, of becoming a self. Carl Jung says that “the image… promises to heal, to make whole.” Archetypal imagery is capable of guiding an individual in both their spiritual and psychological development. “Creative divinity” is a vital part of psychic life (CW5, para. 183).

 

References:

  1. Psychology and Religion (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol. 12)
  2. Symbols of Transformation (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol. 5)
  3. Commentaria in Psalterium Davidicum, Band 3, Serafino Capponi- 1738 (cited on Wikimedia)
  4. Robert la Longe, Sacred Heart of Jesus- 1705: A special thank you to the unreferenced commentary on the image from wikimedia.
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