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  1. #1
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Default The "Collective Shadow" partaken of through the Cross with Christ

    Just sorting out a bunch of stuff I've been thinking, trying to make sense of it all.

    In a discussion with a Jungian theorist, the subejct of Job came up, who was said to symbolize Israel (didn't really realize this), who was a type of Christ (Which I did realize to some extent), in what was termed "bearing the collective shadow". The shadow is all of those things we shut out of our consciousness (which the "ego" is the seat of). Hence, this includes sin in general. we are quick to see it in others, but not in ourselves.

    "Job was Israel, and he refused to give up his identity as a man who had faithfully followed God's law.

    So the story ultimately tells us about the point at which Israel realized that God wasn't punishing His people for doing wrong. He was telling them that following His law would force them to carry the collective Shadow. This is when Israel began to understand itself as the suffering servant rather than a people chosen by God to rule over others. [That is, the faithful within Israel, or "spiritual Israel". The unfaithful, of course, continued to look for the "warrior messiah", leading to reject the Messiah sent to them].

    Job had two options: to protest his suffering as wholly undeserved, which was his first inclination, ensuring his experience of the "dark" side of God; or to bear his suffering as a sign of faith. He chose the latter, so that he didn't become a shaman who moves between men and demons. He became a mediator who moves between men and the God whose law he kept, even though doing so would court compensation from the dark forces that had been denied. Satan, in the story, is the dark force who compensates a righteous man by trying to convince him that his righteousness does not ensure a just reward. A suffering servant accepts the pain and privation as redemptive, borne for the sake of the world.

    Suffering is the inevitable outcome of being mortal. To avoid it is to avoid life itself.
    We human beings are both conscious and mortal. We have no choice but to recognize our limitations, and the ego rages against them for as long as we're alive.

    Jesus showed us, however, that when we suffer, we become capable of states the immortal gods will never know: the existential condition of love, which is keenly felt through a human heart; compassion for others who suffer, because we know pain in our human bodies.
    "

    All of this spoke to me, who has been struggling ("mid-life crisis") with God's involvement in life, and Christianity's tossing around the "suffering as tests from God; you better have a good attitude toward it or you're a bad Christian" jargon, in light of my own experiences, and fit in with the Comprehensive Grace premise I had adopted. (That the world is redeemed; not all still being held under the Law save a relative few who must make the right choice and then behave to match it).

    Nobody is supposed to bear the collective shadow (sin) except for Christ. The world however does not really recognize Christ, but instead relies on a sense of human goodness, and even the religious world falls into this. So the world of people tend to pass the buck, and dump the shadow on others. Particularly whoever is in a vulnerable position and can’t pass it off on someone else.

    The black race, for instance, has basically borne the shadow of much of the world. We have been made into the most evil and backward race, based on stuff like crime, morality, “civilized society” and technology. (Just look at this, especially the comments, for an example: http://www.hiphopmusicdotcom.com/why-i-hate-blacks.html) However, those who believe themselves “superior” and saying all this stuff ignore and excuse the barbarism (wars, conquest, pillaging, etc) their ancestors had often employed to become “superior” in the first place. We are blamed for the state of the US economy, and when suggested that it’s the fruit of the capitalist system, this too is turned back on us, as the rich are seen as “earning” it, and we’re just trying to “take” what’s rightly theirs. It’s all based on an attribution shift. When they took what was others’, it was “God” divinely “blessing” them.

    As a "Safety sensitive" worker", we on my job are constantly under the gun regarding mistakes or rule violations, while upper management and contractors have total freedom (especially when it comes to money and efficiency). Then, when service is bad, fares go up, sometimes we are the ones the public blames.

    Neither of these two groups really had any [official] identity of following God’s Law like Israel did. (Though the blacks did eventually become Christian and read their experience into Biblical stories of Israel in Egypt, and the Church under persecution). It’s whoever is more “bad” (like in the street sense) that gets to set the game and put people into these positions (while often thinking they themselves are the "chosen" ones, with "chosenness" always interpreted in terms of power and privilege over others)..

    So it seems anyone who attempts to be “good”, for any reason (including in a passive sense; just not striving to be "bad"), will have this burden fall on them. No one can be “good” enough to meet God’s requirements, but the world does not know this anyway (And even much of the Church still thinks trying to be as “good” as one can is necessary to “prove” oneself “elect”).
    So they proceed to project their shadow (sin) onto those not as powerful or as good as passing the buck as they. Gaining such power often involves doing things “not good”, or “taking risks” (as they often brag).

    So it seems anyone who attempts to be “good”, for any reason, will have this burden fall on them. No one can be “good” enough to meet God’s requirements, but the world does not know this anyway (And even much of the Church still thinks trying to be as “good” as one can is necessary to “prove” oneself “elect”).
    So they proceed to project their shadow (sin) onto those not as powerful or as good as passing the buck as they. Gaining such power often involves doing things “not good”, or “taking risks” (as they often brag).

    We with less power are taught things like the “serenity” of changing what we can, accepting what we can’t, and knowing the difference. If you don’t have the power over others to main equilibrium of respect in a relationship (if they offend you, there will be a consequence), and they “get away with it”, then we are counseled to “forgive”, get over it, and go on.
    Looming over our head, from a Biblical perspective, is that God has forgiven us. This effectively becomes the “Cross” we are to bear, like Christ bearing our sin on the original Cross. Even though we are not actually bearing the other person’s sin, it does feel like it is falling on us in such a situation where we are not able to either get the person back, or take it out on someone else.

    Then, in counseling, we're even told to forgive ourselves! Like we are the ones who did all this to ourselves. I guess, what it is, like in my case, if being angry at yourself for not being able to protect yourself from the pains of life more. Not being able to do more for yourself. So we basically have to forgive ourselves and the whole world. Just like (we believe) Jesus did.
    So it's almost as if we really are bearing the collective sin. But I guess we aren't; it is "partaking" in Christ, who did.

    Life, the way it is set up, favors the powerful; those with the drive and/or advantage to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.
    They then use that advantage to essentially place burdens on others they will not bear themselves.

    The Beatitudes then come to make more sense as to why negative circumstances such as poverty seem to carry a virtue in themselves. (The immediate context was the followers of Jesus being persecuted by the religious establishment of the day).

    Perfect example is forgoing the potential romantic partners of "the world" and settling on a monogamous "Christian" life. But now restricting yourself to only this one other person in the whole world, it does not stop the curiosity about what else has been "missed". Yet if you lust/desire/imagine, etc., you're "sinning". As many of the most frevent preachers have shown in their own life, no amount of "standards" is able to keep you pure, spiritually and/or physically.

    It's like you just set yourself up. You've borne more sin it seems, than if you had just gone and lived out the secular "single life" of "swinging" or whatever. And for someone who trusted in this as proving they were "holier" than others; it's like a waste. You do all this, for what? You're spiritually no better off than the swingers. And heaven help if people in the "world" see your problem. They will dump on you all the guilt every preacher ever dumped on them (the world).
    But we're still supposed to "obey", whether it makes us more righteous or not.

    Those who do are basically taking the collective shadow on themselves. Or, again, partaking in Christ.
    I've even expanded my view of the "demonic personality" archetypal complex. Not only is it an image of evil we project onto others, but also an image of a totally weak, defeated, sapped-of-life image we fear becoming if we don't fight that evil without, and maintain the ego and its anima/animus. (this is what shadows the vulnerability of the anima/inferior, in an "ego-dystonic", even more negative way). But in reality, this is really the "daimon" (what the archetype is really supposed to be) that has taken on the burden of the whole shadow. (Hence, appearing to be so pathetic and broken, and in the ego's view, "passively" evil by allowing evil to prevail). Ultimately, he becomes an "angel", if the ego allows him to.

    The thing for me now, becomes how true is all this? I'm finding a lot of understanding (things fitting together), but understanding does not always equate to incentive. It still comes down to a matter of "faith", as as we've discussed elsewhere, this sort of faith is often very hard for NT's.
    For me, when I begin feeling bound with need to "take on" such a burden like that which means to possibly have to forego the ego's goals or way of seeing things, then Trickster Se comes and demands hard, tangible "proof" before I will make such a concession. Senex Ni envisions just "giving in", and after all is said and done, it will prove to have been wrong, and I was just a "sucker" for letting go of ego's wishes.

    So this is the "struggle" for me, in life at this point.
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  2. #2
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think intellectualizing can just take you away from giving in to God, and is just another way to exert control over your life.

    I've come to realize true power, if there is such a thing, probably [paradoxically] comes from letting go of all Will to Power, which can even be followed by our Wills to Life and Love, if you want to take it that far. Which is also essentially letting go of being human....leading into the archetypal concepts you referred to, such as going into the daimon and 'allowing' evil to exist.

    So suffering is the key to entering new realms whereby you are forced to let go, or remain suffering. The conflict being control versus succumbing which is so antithesis to being human because it actually makes us more Godly, in the end.

    I guess this is what the Buddhists refer to when they speak to letting go of desire. I guess if you whittle away human Will, you are left with the most Godly form of humanity. ?
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  3. #3
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    You're saying that "letting go" is letting go of being human? Funny, as what I was told, was that letting go, by accepting our limitations, was being truly human (at least, as God designed us, and I guess as opposed to trying to be God, or something like that).
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  4. #4
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    Do you understand that faith is a gift from God?

    (Romans 12:3) For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

  5. #5
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    That appears to be the Calvinist reading of passages like that, but the point is not God giving someone the ability to believe (which is then presumed to be "withheld" from those who don't believe), but that they are "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think" as if their salvation was of their own will and not grace. (Eph. 2:8 also)
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    Senior Member EvidenceOfRedemption's Avatar
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    Job isn't a metaphor at all. Job was a man just like the Bible said, and exactly what was written was what happened to him.

    Temptation must come. Even the most righteous man on earth had to be tempted. How Job was tempted starts right at the very begenning with his wife saying "why are you holding on to your integrity? curse God and die!" (and put an end to your suffering) but Job wouldnt (in case your wondering it is no coincidence it starts this way just as it did in the garden of Eden).

    Eventually God had to put an end to Jobs suffering and remind him to remember his Creator. (this is the conclusion of Ecclesiates, the collective end of wisdom about the suffering, toil, and meaninglessness of life).

  7. #7
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    I wasn't saying he was a metaphor; just a type of Israel/Christ (a type basically serves as both a literal figure and a metaphor at the same time).
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  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Our collective shadow is Original Sin, paid for by Jesus on the Cross.

    But we now know there was no Adam and Eve and so no Original Sin, and so no collective shadow either partaken by Jesus on Cross or redeemed by Him.

  9. #9
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    And how do you say we know that?
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  10. #10
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    And how do you say we know that?
    We know that through evidence and reason, exemplified in Charles Darwin's, "Origin of Species", and confirmed in Watson and Crick's, "The Double Helix", and the sequencing of the genome.

    Yes, we arrived here by non random natural selection over vast unimaginable eons of time. And at no point was there a homo sapiens Adam and Eve, so no Original Sin and no need for Redemption.

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