Friday, March 07, 2014

Belief and Believing in God

I read the quote below to my 14 year old son this morning. He's a big fan of The Percy Jackson series (My wife is actually reading it right now) and the rest of Rick Riordan's work. And he occasionally wonders out loud if the Greek Gods actually exist. The answer I usually come up with usually is: Well, Carl Jung use to have a latin saying above one of his doorways that said: "Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. ... Summoned or not summoned, The God is present."

Also, the quote below also reminds me of deer season a few years back. On the afternoon of Thanksgiving, my dad and I were in the bar having a couple of beers after registering a deer I'd just shot that morning. There was a guy about my age (I'm 39)sitting across from us that was close to falling-of-his-barstool drunk. He looked over at me and asked if I believed in Bigfoot. I shot back with, "I don't believe in anything." It just came out.

"James Hillman: Belief is captured in the realm of religion and Christianity makes a big deal of it. Credo. And the Christian God, you know, starts with the credo, I believe in Jesus Christ, and so on and so forth. That's part of the testament of faith. And I often wondered what would happen to the Gods of Christianity in no one believed in them. They require belief. If the God says you have to believe in me, then belief is what supports the God. The Greeks did not ask people to believe in their Gods. The Gods asked for certain rituals, or not to be forgotten, that was the most important thing. Not to be forgotten.

"Sonu Shamdasani: Belief automatically valorizes disbelief. To say 'believe in something' is a statement: the addressee is starting from a position of disbelief, or nonbelief, and is asked to move from that state to one of belief. This is the whole shift that Jung completely tries to discount. It's not a question of belief, nor was it a question of disbelief." [Pg.128, Lament of The Dead]

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