Facebook Exchange: Jung, Job, Cigars, Pajamas, and Heresy

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Rufus McCain is sitting in his pajamas on the back steps smoking a cigar and reading Jung’s Answer to Job.

Saturday at 10:37pm via Facebook for Android · Comment · Like

Camille Waldorf likes this.

Camille Waldorf Love Jung. Love Job.

Uma McCain But do you also love cigars?

Camille Waldorf I have no strong feelings about cigars one way or another 🙂

Uma McCain For me to truly love Job, Jung and Cigars, I would need some vodka too–

Camille Waldorf Amen to that.

Maria Schneider Groene OKay, now I know I love your mom. Vodka would make the three much more enjoyable.

Maria Schneider Groene not sure I want to imagine you in your jammies, *shivver*

Uma McCain ‎–an old shirt with holes and splotches of roof tar + saggy boxers?

Josephine Rembrandt Job is a hard nut and Jung tries mightily if I member rightly. Job is why I
might have to give up on Yahwee. What say?

Rufus McCain I like Jung, too, although I haven’t read anything by him in 20 years, and this book has been sitting on my shelf since then. I’m not sure why I grabbed it just now. My take on the book after reading about half of it is that it is creatively and eruditely heretical while at the same time surprisingly orthodox in parts. The heretical part is a psychoanalysis of a God who could make a wager with Satan such as is described in Job. Job maintains the moral high ground, which sends God into a tizzy and ultimately leads to the incarnation. Jung views Satan as much more intimate with God than Christian orthodoxy would have it, even as a shadowy aspect of God. That’s the heretical part of Jung’s excursion here, from a Xian standpoint. Jung’s description of the incarnation is fairly orthodox, however, and striking. I’m enjoying it. It’s giving me some stuff to chew on. For a long time, I haven’t doubted God’s existence, not really. But I have often doubted God’s benevolence. Anyone who believes in God has to wrestle with that, I think, and probably has to wrestle with God on that point as Job does. Why is life such a shit sandwich at times? I don’t think Jung gets it quite right, but I like how he goes after it, wrestling with God himself. It’s something.

Sorry about the longwinded comment.

And I actually have real pajamas, thank you very much. Three pair. They were given to me as Christmas presents by wife and daughters, seeing as I brought no pajamas of my own into the relationship. And I didn’t mention the Dr. Pepper I was drinking with the cigar. I wanted to add some Irish whiskey to it, but the bottle was in the room where my mother-in-law was sleeping and I didn’t want to disturb her.

Uma McCain It’s been years and years (college) since I’ve read any Jung and years since I’ve read Job, so am rusty on those two, but I will say this: as I get older and older I realize more and more that anyone searching for answers in an honest way is not a heretic—-questioning orthodoxy is not heresy. Jesus said a number of times in a number of different ways: the Torah says thus, but I say to you this—–

Rufus McCain I only used the term heresy to distinguish what Jung is doing from what someone operating in a more strictly Xian framework might do. I don’t think of “heresy” as a horrible thing, really. I personally wander in and out of heretical thoughts all the time.

Maybe I should have used some other less loaded term, but Jung’s description of God as containing both Good and Evil is in fact a heresy–from a traditional Xian point of view. Somewhere along the way, I’m pretty sure this question came up and was answered definitively. (That’s one thing I like about the Catholic Church, by the way–that there are definitive answers to many of these questions that keep cropping up. I think there’s a place, a need even, for a few definitive answers in our lives, and for saying that when you stray from what is definitive, you’re straying into what might be called heresy.)

That doesn’t mean Jung is not honestly exploring deep truths nor that he might not have some profound insights that might inform orthodox thinking.

Maria Schneider Groene my professor says the church is full of heretics, now instead of Arius we just call them Mr McCain. (wink) In my humble opinion a little heretical thought helps us to grow closer to the ineffible.

One of my to do’s after my training program is to read more Jung. I KNOW, right? why does anyone choose to do that but there it is. From this discussion I am thinking Job isn’t the place to start.

Uma McCain Actually that’s exactly what I don’t like about the Catholic Church (and there are many things I do like)—-definitive answers—-and not just Roman Catholics are at fault here, of course. Over the centuries, in the name of definitive answers, people who question have been branded as heretics. Jesus was the original questioner and often answered questions asked of him with a question. Yet in the name of Jesus, we’ve burned questioners at the stake, not allowed certain “sinners” to take communion, kicked various “deviants” out of the church, not allowed women to assume certain roles, and on and on—-it’s absolutely breathtaking in its pukiness. I can’t remember what “Xian” means (need to look that up)—-

Maria Schneider Groene That same professor also says Dogma surfs; meaning it isn’t meant to be a deffinitive stopping place, but rather to lead us deaper and deaper into the awe and wonder that is our faith.

Rufus McCain Xian is just an abbreviation for Christian. Sure, people have done all sorts of horrible things in the name of definitive answers. People are assholes and idiots. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for definitive answers. People were also astonished that Jesus “spoke with authority, not like the scribes and the pharisees” — and I would expect the Church that he founded to speak with authority as well, which it does, and if it didn’t the world would be a much dimmer place, and the assholes and idiots would still do their thing. The definitive answers you don’t like have also inspired great acts of kindness, generosity, mercy, goodness, and beauty in the world.

Rufus McCain By the way, I didn’t pick this fight, Mom. Go back and read what I said about Jung. Am I “branding him a heretic”? I don’t think so. You’re going out of your way to take issue with things I’m not saying.

Uma McCain Good grief, son, don’t say Xian—that’s like saying Xmas—
I looked it up and it said it was some city in China—-still laughing!

Uma McCain This is not a fight—this is a discussion which has evolved—-as all good discussion tend to do.

Rufus McCain OK, I’m laughing now.

Rufus McCain It could be a follower of Malcolm X, too, I guess.

Rufus McCain Or a Gen-Xer.

Uma McCain Ha—I like the Malcom X idea. Insert that into the preceding discussion….HA

Maria Schneider Groene I wish my grad school educmacation had included weekly spelling tests .. deeply . Seriously

Uma McCain The English language is a minefield of weird spellings waiting sadisticly to trip us up. Weekly spelling tests only perpetuate the evil.

Charles Lambert You people all have too much time on your hands!

Uma McCain Charles—what’s more important than solving the unsolvable problems of the universe?

Uma McCain And every time someone writes a comment on a status that I’ve been involved in, my damned Blackberry dings!


  1. Anonymous says

    Very good writing.

    I need to read up on Job and also Jung.

  2. When did Jung call? I must have been in the shower….


  3. Matthew Lickona says

    Facebook is a heresy.

  4. Dorian Speed says

    This place needs a "like" button.

  5. Jonathan Webb says

    Anonymous is right, good writing.

    More than typing in fact. Much more.

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