The God I experienced is more than love; he is also hate, he is more than beauty, he is also an abomination, he is more than wisdom, he is also meaninglessness, he is more than power, he is also powerlessness, he is more than omnipresence, he is also my creature.– C. G. Jung, Black Books, Vol 1.
There are several ways to understand this.
We can take a more “outside-in” and philosophical approach. If God is all of existence, then God naturally is all of that and more. God is all there is and what allows it all to exist. God is the universe and all of what we are and experience, and God is capacity for it all.
Existence is God expressing, exploring, and experiencing itself in always new ways, including through and as us and our lives and experiences.
AN IMMEDIATE NOTICING OR EXPERIENCE OF GOD AS ALL
This can also be our immediate experience, as Jung suggests.
When I was fifteen or sixteen, I walked down a dark gravel road at night with the stars above me and a big wind blowing through everything. From one moment to the next, all was revealed as God. This was (and is) an immediate experience more clear than any normal content of experience.
Everything without exception is God. This human self – this angst-ridden atheist teenager – and every other being and everything else is God experiencing itself as that. God is beyond and includes all polarities. Any sense of a separate self or I is God temporarily and locally having that experience for itself, and what we all and everything is, is the divine.
This is what mystics from all the traditions speak about, and also the mystics outside of traditions. It’s also what many seem to glimpse through certain plants and drugs.
And it’s what Jung seemed to experience, and what turned my world upside-down and inside-out when I was a teenager. It’s what transformed my life and is still transforming my life, and has never left me.
DIFFERENTIATING MY OWN NATURE AND THE NATURE OF ALL OF EXISTENCE
There is a slightly more sober way to understand this.
In one sense, I am this human self in the world. That’s not wrong.
When I explore what I more fundamental am, in my own first-person experience, I find something else.
I find I am capacity for the world as it appears to me. I find that, to me, the world and this human self and any content of experience happens within my sense fields.
I find I am what this human self and the wider world happens within and as.
When I notice this, I find what a thought may label consciousness. To me, everything happens within and as consciousness.
I also find oneness. Any content of experience happens within the same field, it’s all one. Any sense of I or observer or doer and so on happens within and as this field, this oneness.
When this is noticed, when oneness notices itself, and this human self transforms and lives within it, it takes the form of love. (And it’s all perceived and lived very imperfectly.)
This seems to be my nature.
And since the world, to me, happens within and as what I am, it also seems – to me – to be the nature of all of existence. It’s inevitable that it seems that way. But is that how it is? Is this really the nature of all of existence?
To ourselves, what we are is what a thought may label capacity, consciousness, love, and so on. And when the world, to us, inevitably takes this form, it seems that all of existence is the same. And that’s what we can call God. And yet, can we honestly say we know that’s how it is?
Can I honestly say I know that my nature, as it appears to me, is the nature of all of existence?
We may say it’s likely. We may find suggestions it is that way. (Synchronicities, sensing at a distance, distance healing, and so on.) And yet, I cannot say I know for certain.
EXPLORING THIS FOR OURSELVES
We don’t need to wait for random mystical experiences or glimpses to explore this.
We can explore it for ourselves here and now.
The best way I have found for doing that is through structured inquiries. These can function as a support and guide until we get more familiar with the terrain. The most direct ones may be the Big Mind process and Headless experiments. And a more thorough and detailed form of inquiry, which leads us to the same general noticing, is Living Inquiries which is a modernized form of traditional Buddhist inquiry.
I thought I would look a bit at Jung’s quote.
The God I experienced is more than love; he is also hate,
Why does he say “he”? If God is all, why not say “she” or “it”? God is what takes the form of any beings and genders, and also all of what’s not a being. Jung is obviously still speaking from a cultural and Christian bias of calling God “he”.
Since we sometimes experience hate, God takes that form too. Human love takes all different forms and is caught up in fear, desire, longing, a feeling of lack, and so on. And yet, when we notice what we are, we also notice a love that goes beyond all of that. It’s the love of what we are, which gets filtered through our human hangups and wounding.
he is more than beauty, he is also an abomination,
I am not sure what he means by abomination. Perhaps it’s all the things humans tend to see as not so beautiful? The horrors of the world? If God is all of existence, God takes those forms too. And since to me, it’s all happening within and as what I am, what I am takes those forms.
he is more than wisdom, he is also meaninglessness,
he is more than power, he is also powerlessness,
he is more than omnipresence, he is also my creature.
Yes, if God is all, then God takes the form of this human self and this life and these experiences.
My nature takes all these forms.