Transcendence, Religion and Psychology

InsightMeditationA religious epiphany, a peak experience or the Now can be labels applied to the same thing, an experience of the present moment. Also notice in the following description by C. G. Jung the similarity to J. Krishnamurti’s “I don’t mind what’s happening,” the essence of that wonderful mystic’s teaching. “They came to themselves, they could accept themselves and by this they were also reconciled to adverse circumstances and events. This is much like what was formerly expressed by saying: He had made his peace with God, he has sacrificed his own will, he has submitted himself to the will of God.” This in secular language could be described as choosing to respond instead of reacting.

It is the P-A narrative which can be transformative, and can also change our identity and therefore change our experience of life. Again Jung describes how this all relates to treating the neuroses created by the P-B context. “The thing that cures a neurosis must be as convincing as the neurosis; and since the latter in only too real, the helpful experience must be of equal reality. It must be a very real illusion, if you want to put it pessimistically. But what is the difference between a real illusion and a healing religious experience? It is merely a difference in words. You can say, for instance, that life is a disease with a very bad prognosis, it lingers on for years to end with death; or that normality is a generally prevailing constitutional defect; or that man is an animal with a fatally overgrown brain … Nobody can know what the ultimate things are. We must, therefore, take them as we experience them. And if such experience helps to make your life healthier, more beautiful, more complete and more satisfactory to yourself and to those you live, you may safely say: ‘This was the grace of God.’”

In other words, we need not concern ourselves with whether Simple Reality represents ultimate reality or truth with a capital “T” but only that it is a narrative that contains a process that makes us healthier, happier and more compassionate. If P-B is an unsustainable story, and it obviously is, then we only have to ask, is P-A a sustainable narrative? That one you will have to answer for yourself.


References and notes are available for this essay.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry:
Who Am I? The Second Great Question Concerning the Nature of Reality
Where Am I?  The First Great Question Concerning the Nature of Reality
Simple Reality: The Key to Serenity and Survival

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