“Jungian psychology is ripe for existentialism. Kierkegaard has a lot to say about self-deception. He has a lot to say about how resilient our self-deceptions are. He has an awful lot to say about authenticity; we can’t read Kierkegaard and not become profoundly unsettled. To engage with the text is to really engage with your own sense of who you are and where you are going.”                                                                                                      

– Amy Cook

Transcript of podcast interview for ‘Psychology & The Cross’ with Amy Cook about Sören Kierkegaard & Carl Gustav Jung.
Date of interview: 19.03.2021

(0:35) Jakob Lusensky: Welcome to Psychology and the Cross. In this our second episode of this podcast, we will dive deep into the world of Danish philosopher and Christian existentialist, Søren Kierkegaard, and study his psychology in comparison to C. G. Jung’s. As our guide, we have Amy Cook. You most likely don’t know who she is, but you really should. She has written, to my mind, one of the best books related to Jungian studies in recent years. It’s named Jung and Kierkegaard: Researching a Kindred Spirit in the Shadows, and was published by Routledge in 2018.

The book is not only an excellent examination of Kierkegaard and Jung’s psychologies, and how they compare and differ. It’s also a thought-provoking study that brings light to Jung’s own struggle with faith and belief. In a Kierkegaardian manner, Amy addresses fundamental questions to the Jungian field, about our relationship to knowledge, experience, religious belief, and faith. It’s a bold book, and necessary reading for any individual, Jungian and not, in search of truth. Amy graduated with a degree in history from the University of Aberdeen in 2005. She went on to study a master’s degree in philosophy and psychoanalysis at Essex University, before completing another master’s in Jungian and post-Jungian studies. Her PhD dissertation from Bangor University became the foundation of this, her first book.

Here’s our conversation.

(2:16) Amy Cook: I’ve always been really interested in philosophy. You know, I was a history undergraduate, but a terrible one. So I spent all my time reading philosophers. It was Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Kierkegaard. So, I’ve always had this fondness for Kierkegaard. I just think, if you’re a philosophically-minded teenager, you’re probably going to find something of a companion in Kierkegaard: lots of angst. There’s a lot of comfort to find in reading—even, yeah, even the most morose philosophy, even Schopenhauer—there’s a comfort there. You’re not alone. You’re despairing, that’s good. You’re somewhere along the line of progress.

Really, when I left uni, it was all about studying philosophy. And it was just by chance I returned to where I grew up in Essex, and I think Essex University is one of the—I think the only one, actually, in Britain—where you can do Jungian study. I started off with philosophy and psychoanalysis, which I loved. And then, of course, through that master’s, I’d become interested in Jung as a figure—again, coming back to this idea of there being this suffering, that you can be suffering, you can be despairing, you can be in despair. But that, see, that’s not a bad thing. And that was the real hook for me. And something that I’ve always been fascinated with.

(4:05) Jakob Lusensky: The people who listen to this podcast—yeah, most of them—they might have a pretty good idea about Jung and Jung’s theory. I was wondering if you could say a little bit about Kierkegaard, in regard to him as a psychologist.

(4:22) Amy Cook: Kierkegaard is a figure who for most part in philosophy is known to be the father of existentialism. And then, people may have heard of him in terms of his being a very miserable, gloomy, melancholic Dane. But I don’t think it’s really—Even though existentialism is one of the few philosophies that’s really become embedded in our culture, there are very few philosophies that have had made that crossover to be really felt. And you’ve got artists and poets and writers all really massively infused by this philosophy.

But yes, Kierkegaard is a ridiculously good psychologist. You know, I think it’s really hard to just talk about Kierkegaard without talking about his personal life. Because his is a lived psychology. And Kierkegaard himself never called himself a philosopher. He really didn’t get on with the philosophers of his time; they were on the wrong track. So he’s very much a poet, a poet and an author, who—he says this—he says his raison d’etre is to awaken his reader, to awaken that inner truth in them. So, if you get to take one thing from Kierkegaard, it really is this: this reminder that existence isn’t about beliefs, words, thoughts, creed, systems. It’s about you. You must let your life speak for you. It’s what we do. It’s what we put into action.

Kierkegaard is all about not telling you how to live. You know, he’s very silent in that respect. What he does is—he uses Socratic irony. And very clever characters in his works that reflect a certain stage of existence. And there’s a conflict between them. And so you’re, you’re reading his work. And what you’re seeing is—you find yourself reflected back. And that’s what he wants. He wants you to feel unsettled. He wants to awaken something deeper in you. I think we’ll talk about Kierkegaard, where he ends up—and it’s not a path that I certainly would want to follow his path. It’s full of pain, full of loneliness. But he seems to have found some joy in that place, you know, because, you know, we get to the end of his life, and he is very serene. And he just fills up, it’s his time. He’s not raging against anything. He’s not raging against what he—he talks a lot, he diagnoses himself a lot: the thorn in his flesh, the misrelation between his spirit and his body.

(7:44) Jakob Lusensky: In the introduction of your book, you summarize also some point of commonalities that you find between C.G. Jung and Kierkegaard. Could you speak a little bit about that to begin with, yes, the commonalities that one can find in their psychological theory or life projects?

(8:04) Amy Cook: Yes. So I think just the very common existentialist themes that run through Jung and Kierkegaard. We’ve got authenticity, this idea that there is an authentic self and a false self. And that common to both of them is this understanding that so many of us live in despair of the self that we are, for whatever reasons, you know. And—so self-deceptions—the resistance of our self-deceptions. We find that a common point in both their work. And I guess the passage to becoming a true self is one that involves suffering, and holding on to that suffering and seeing it through and not relegating it or seeking to medicate it away. And I kind of think, especially in today’s world, not only are these ideas completely relevant—I just think there’s so much more needed.

(9:49) Jakob Lusensky: Could you help us to elaborate on Jung versus Kierkegaard’s view of the self, maybe starting with Kierkegaard, to see how they relate or how they might differ? Their view on what it is to be yourself, or what a self is that is in becoming?

(10:08) Amy Cook: Sure. So the self in becoming: this is what connects them both. The self is in a state of becoming. It’s becoming a self, your true self, your true authentic self, which is going to heal you. You can’t develop a religious attitude without this development of self to its full potential. So the self becomes really quite holy, a holy concept.

There’s a really difficult argument to make about the relational self, particularly in Kierkegaard. There is a relational self because, of course, Kierkegaard is influenced and can influence others. So there’s a relationship, but ultimately, the self has to relate to God. And that God is very much a transcendent God, is very much the other.

Now Jung—and this, I think—things get quite controversial for theologians: that God that exists somewhere outside of us and is a transcendental being. Jung sort of puts this God into the Self with a capital S. So the relationship to this God-Self is what matters. And, I mean, that’s a really—you talked about bold ideas—that’s bold. You know, that immediately is not cool. It gets people’s backs up, doesn’t it? I mean, one of the wonderful things about Jung is just how wide his knowledge is of religion. Kierkegaard, we don’t see any further than the Christianity that he grows up in; this is a different Christianity of Denmark. But Jung’s not as closed off as that. So he talks about, there is not so much the religion, but the religious, and that can be that commending the figurehead of a God. Or it could be a path to salvation, or—and this is what I really, really love—it can be anything dangerous and beautiful enough to give your life meaning. And I just think that’s just the most amazing statement.

Because, of course, today, so many people can’t find meaning in their religions as institutionalized religions. Because both Kierkegaard and Jung—I’ve now wandered off from the self, but I think this is an important point—are completely at a loss with institutionalized religion. You know, they both see them lacking something very, very fundamental for the development of the self, where for Jung, this is very much the symbolic that’s missing. And for Kierkegaard, you could say, it’s the suffering of being a Christian that’s eroded. But you could also say that the Danish church have made being a Christian so easy. That it really had lost the meaning, and, you know, it had lost its vitality: being Christian for Kierkegaard isn’t sitting in a comfy armchair and becoming very settled. And I think that’s the state he thought a lot of his companions were in. They were under the illusion that they were Christian by being born into a Christian society and being baptized. But that’s not the end of it. You know, it’s your life, it’s what you do, it’s the essence of your existence.

(14:39) Amy Cook: I suppose I’ve done—I’ve done you a disservice, really, by not talking about Kierkegaard’s stages of existence. Because it’s got three stages. And the first of that is the aesthetic. And that’s probably where most of us will find ourselves. This is really governed by pleasure. We run from anything that fills us with dread; we make no commitments to ourselves or to other people. So, his point is you have to hurry up and despair, because you will find no happiness until you do so. And I mean, you can just see it in our modern-day culture. If people feel any kind of anxiety, they’ve got their mobile phone. It’s kind of like a—it’s almost like a dummy. You know, you get your mobile phone out, and you’re scrolling on Facebook, and you distract yourself. That’s the point, in the aesthetic realm: you’re always distracting yourself. You just don’t want to sit with that restlessness that defines human nature. And I think that’s a concept, this restlessness that we see in Kierkegaard and in Jung.

So, to kind of flip this over now to Jung—he would say that this would be—how he says (this is neat), “that I haven’t seen a patient over the age of thirty-five whose problem wasn’t to do with having lost their religious outlook, or having lost this overall sense of meaning of life’s purpose.” Pretty much a second half, second half project of life, isn’t it? Not for everybody: some of us make it the first half, and then worry about careers later. You’ve got this sense of, in this [step] phase, you’re even in despair, because you don’t know it. And this is absolutely the most basic-level despair, because you’re in a state of spiritlessness. And you might look at that in Jung and see something like a neurosis. There’s something that is missing. So whereas Jung proposes a process of individuation to come to this meaning, meaningful existence, Kierkegaard’s got his stages of existence, which is a lot more dramatic, you know: each stage is mediated through a crisis. So, eventually, the idea is that in the aesthetic fear, we simply can’t hide from the boredom and the emptiness and that dread will bubble up. And we’ll have to start asking ourselves questions, you know, what are we going to do in our life? Who are we? Why are we here? You know, and then that’s where there’s a movement over to the ethical. And the ethical is pretty much that, you know, that second stage of life where you’re focused on careers, and families, commitments, you know, it’s very much about obligation and finding your place in society.

But that can’t—in the end, Kierkegaard would argue that too, the meaninglessness of that will to evade and evoke dread. And ultimately, you have to make that leap of faith, that leap of faith to God, to rest transparently in God. I think that’s the point for me, where I’m struggling. In Kierkegaard’s writing it becomes very hard to understand, because it’s about the absurd. So you have to transcend the ethical in this absurd, paradoxical leap. He talks about Abraham and Isaac, and Abraham sacrificing of Isaac as this ultimate act of faith, because it contains this paradox. [Abraham] understands that he’s killing Isaac, that he will kill him. But at the same time, he had this faith that God will restore Isaac back to him, which is absurd. You know, it’s just not possible. But that’s the embodiment of faith.

(19:37) Jakob Lusensky: I think you’re leading us into this foundational question, one of them, around faith versus knowledge and Jung and Kierkegaard’s respective views on that, and where they base themselves. Is it something you could speak of a bit, because you write so articulately around that in the book, about the question of faith versus knowledge. And as you’re also quoting Jung saying in that BBC interview, “I don’t believe. I know.”

(20:17) Amy Cook: Yes. Jung’s faith, I think that’s a really tricky thing. Just a full confession: I don’t understand. I don’t understand where he’s coming from. I mean, for Jung, he repeats a lot this idea of the original religious experience, this double aspect. He even says something like, “I can only commune with people who have had this experience of God.” And for someone who has never had an experience of God, I struggled to even imagine what it might look like. I’ve read The Red Book. I get the sense that his original experience of God is in there. And, I mean, I don’t understand it. I mean, I won’t pretend to. But yes, so the BBC interview? “I don’t believe. I know.” And it’s a very—I find it a very bizarre statement. Particularly when you consider how Jung has this love for the esoteric and for paradox. And in no other scenario does he struggle with belief. You know, it’s a therapist’s belief and hope that his patient can heal and progress along the stages of individuation. No problem here. But when it comes to God, he’s just—he completely just obliterates the idea of a belief. And it’s a very strong statement. It’s a really strong statement, and I just feel I can’t really do a service to understand it because I can’t come from a place where I can even conceive what he might be getting at. But in my book, I do make some conclusions about what might be going on. I think it’d be quite well known to people, Jung’s issues with his dad. Well, not really his dad as much as maybe his father’s religious doubts. You know, he kind of kept imploring his—as a child, to give him—he wants to know why he should believe in God. His dad would say, “You just believe.” And he starts to see this as quite a hollow, empty faith. He doesn’t believe his father has this faith at all: he’s just a bit of a lost soul going through the motions. But then, I find it hard not to see that same dogmatic response in his own statement, really.

(23:43) Jakob Lusensky: I have a quote from you from your book here, where you say, “With his statement, ‘I do not believe. I know,’ Jung is standing patronizingly so outside of his father’s religion. Such statements seed with unconscious doubt and indicate the clear need to quiet an uncertainty by dogmatically defending religious experience. Faith and knowledge through personal experience exists so uncomfortably in Jung’s thinking that, to my mind, this really does limit the degree to which we can view Jung as a sensitive and sympathetic spiritual pilgrim.”

(24:26) Amy Cook: Yes. It’s just so deeply strange, isn’t it? I mean, Jung. He so brings to life this dialectical process. You have to hold two things in conflict, to birth the third. You know, and here we find he can’t hold these two things. He can’t hold them. He’s very much an everything and nothing response. And yeah, it’s something that is just very intriguing. I mean my conclusion is by no means the only one—at all.

(25:23) Jakob Lusensky: You write there in the conclusion, “Although Jung believes himself to have discovered God alive and active within the unconscious, I do not think he managed to recapture his lost faith in God. It would certainly seem that his attempt to heal the split with his father and his father’s religion was ultimately unsuccessful.”

(25:49) Amy Cook: Gosh, I kind of stand by that. Because, I think it’s so fundamental to—I think any religion, not just Christianity, but any religion: faith has to have doubt. You can’t have an enlivened faith without doubt. I think I struggle with, as soon as—I think this is a personal problem—as soon as anybody comes to anything with any certainty—to that strength of certainty—I’d be inclined to take a step back, just instinctively, just take a step back. But then, at the same time, this could just be Jung’s attempt to completely reimagine what Christianity is, because you can be sympathetic to this idea of undergoing the original experience, whatever that is. And, of course, that has to be some sort of confrontation within the unconscious. It doesn’t necessarily have to lead to the conclusion that I draw. But I think maybe, if we were to look at it from a Jungian—[if] we come at it from a Jungian aspect—I think you would find that a troubling statement. There’s no dialectical process going on here.

(28:00) ‘Cause there is a little—but I know—I know I am straying a little bit further now—but there is that aspect of analytical psychology that could be said to replace the need for religion. I mean, if you look at it as a project, that one finds their self, their purpose, and meaningful existence: individuation encompasses all of that. You know—I don’t know—I’m not entirely sure that Jung’s wanting to heal Christianity is as pure a motivation as it might seem. I think there is a sense, I think, you really, well—not with any certainty—there is a sense from, to my mind, that he does go beyond Christianity and does seek to replace it with something else. But why not? There’s nothing wrong with that. You know, there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

(29:26) Jakob Lusensky: What would you see is left of Christianity in Jung’s project, then? What’s sort of left, what is Christian about this Jungian psychology, as you understand it?

(29:42) Amy Cook: Very little. I mean, I don’t know. If you look at Kierkegaard, he doesn’t arrive to the faith of his knight of faith. He identifies himself as being a knight of resignation. He hasn’t quite got—he hasn’t quite made it in terms of faith. But it’s still—Kierkegaard you could follow. You can see where he’s coming from. There is no sense of you have to be certain. And, of course, the religious experience is extremely important to Kierkegaard. But it doesn’t supersede belief. It doesn’t, because that’s the point with Kierkegaard, isn’t it? Experience and belief aren’t going to get you to that leap of faith that you need to get to. There’s something more, there’s something that is inexpressible, that you can’t reduce to rational thinking. There is just something else; whereas when Jung arrives at this point of talking about faith, that’s not there anymore. There isn’t any space: it’s just, you have the experience, and you know. But it just seems so alien: How could you have any kind of experience, and be so utterly sure in that experience, [in] what have you experienced? Where’s the framework around it, to make sense and to contemplate and reflect and—

(31:41) Jakob Lusensky: But isn’t a part of that related to the idea of individuation, or Jung’s rendering of the imitatio Christi? Isn’t that where he speaks of life or faith, in something that goes beyond an individual numinous experience of sorts?

(32:03) Amy Cook: You got a very different imitation of Christ in Jung. It’s very individual. You carry your own cross. Don’t carry Jesus’s cross; you must carry your own. You know, it’s a completely subjective experience. Which, you know, that’s probably a good thing. I don’t think we want to follow Kierkegaard down his imitation of Christ, which is literally to suffer and suffer, and hate, the stigmata, and suffer some more—and live in complete hostility to everything around you. Does not sound fun.

(32:45) Jakob Lusensky: But you are saying that he found peace.

(32:49) Amy Cook: Yeah. But for Kierkegaard, these two things aren’t in conflict at all. It’s not something that perhaps you or I could live with. I mean, to Kierkegaard, he stops going to church. He doesn’t have relationships around him. He even stops taking what he refers to as his “people baths”—where he would walk the streets of Copenhagen, and stop and have a natter with people. He stops all that because there was an incident with a magazine there. It’s a fight he started, because he decided that because they liked him, he couldn’t be terribly important. Because a magazine that took people down—kind of the equivalent of our Heat magazine. So he upsets them so that they attack him. And then, of course, everybody else attacks him. And he’s absolutely happy now. Because this is to be Christ-like: to be mocked and to be scorned. And if the world’s not been hostile to you, you’re not really living the life of Christ.

So in Jung, we see a much healthier, I think—a much healthier imitation of Christ. But there’s no conflict here. Because, yes, Kierkegaard, he dies quite peacefully. He’s quite serene. He’s quite confident in his work. You know, this was his purpose: was lead this body of work that was going to challenge people out of their self-deceptions and into a true life. That—you know, he’s still melancholic. He’s still a deeply angsty, anxiety-ridden individual. But that’s maybe his truth. And I think—I think for Kierkegaard, he always allows—he always allows for there being something else.

(35:31) Jakob Lusensky: Would you say that Jung and Kierkegaard can sort of complement each other? I mean the subtitle of your book is “Researching a Kindred Spirit in the Shadows.” Can one speak about them somehow complementing each other, or are there ways that you feel like some of Kierkegaard could give life to the Jungian world, or the other way around, in your mind?

(36:00) Amy Cook: Yeah, that’s a really good question. Really tricky question. I mean, Jungian psychology is ripe for existentialism. And I think if you came at it from a—it doesn’t have to be a strictly speaking Kierkegaardian angle—but [if you] really draw out the existential themes, I think you have a really—you could have a really interesting infusion. Kierkegaard has a lot to say about self-deception. He has a lot to say about how resilient our self-deceptions are. He has an awful lot to say about authenticity. And I don’t think that if you could hold the two together, that can’t fail to enliven things, you know? But I think, I mean, I’m going to be a little bit provocative. But I think what Jungian psychology really needs is a Kierkegaard.

You know, I mean, I am coming from Kierkegaard as a Socratic figure, somebody who is going to be an absolute nuisance. I mean, Kierkegaard understood he was an absolute nuisance. He thought that was his meaning, that’s the whole reason he’s here: being a nuisance. But he’s, at the same time, he’s challenging. He’s challenging us. He’s unsettling us. You can’t read Kierkegaard and not become profoundly unsettled. You know, to engage with the text is to really engage with your own sense of who you are, where you are going.

So, to my mind, more than anything, I’d love to see analytical psychology find itself a Kierkegaard, someone who’s going to shake it up a little bit. Get everyone questioning things. There can be a tendency to always want to defend some pretty big Jungian concepts and always go back to the original writings. And a little bit of hero worship—you know, Jung is great—I’m not saying he’s not great.

(38:35) Jakob Lusensky: Yeah, could we speak a bit about Jung’s critical reception of Kierkegaard, and Jung’s view on Kierkegaard? Again, many people listening to this podcast, they might not know that much about it. And if they know anything, they might just know that he didn’t like Kierkegaard, or there was something negative.

(38:37) Amy Cook: Jung’s reception of Kierkegaard is profoundly negative. He doesn’t seem to see any commonalities between their projects, which is astounding because even if you—just the most basic of concepts in Kierkegaard—it’s like Kierkegaard is properly liberating. It’s not about what’s written down, what theories you’re following, what philosophy you feel or think. It’s about what you think. This is your truth. Don’t live somebody else’s life. You can only live yours. And for his time—he is a unique voice here—emphasizing his subjective truth that is so important to individual development. I mean, it’s hard to say how much Jung actually knew Kierkegaard. By the 1920s, Kierkegaard is really very popular. So I can’t believe he didn’t have a good enough knowledge of Kierkegaard. But yeah, Jung reduces him to a religious neurotic, part of the misery institute that has become, not Christianity altogether, but maybe just a certain kind of Protestant religion. I think that’s where that misery institute plays in.

(40:50) Jakob Lusensky: ‘Cause you also do interpretation or analysis of a possible way of viewing this negative reception, and you speak of this sort of shadowy relationship between the two, or at least Kierkegaard as a sort of shadow figure to Jung?

(41:09)Amy Cook: So, I think I come at Kierkegaard as a shadow figure for Jung in terms of the fact that you simply can’t see anything positive in Kierkegaard’s work. And I think it’s very telling, in calling him a religious neurotic, that even then, he can’t see anything that might be vital in that, you know, any vitality, any kind of anything positive and, of course, Jung’s all about neurosis as not being this wholly negative experience. It has its own meaning. You know, it’s its own communication. And it’s very much—neurosis is very much—it’s through neurosis that we could arrive at a more authentic sense of our own selves. And so he just completely shuts off and closes down. Writing to people that, you know, I think he writes to Küntzli something along the lines of “that you find him frightful warms the cockles of my heart.” And I think, you know, obviously, I come from a position of thinking Kierkegaard’s wonderful.

And it’s really not difficult to see how much of a shared project they have. No, there aren’t—there are differences. And some of those differences are big. But at the heart of it, they’re so similar in what they’re trying to do. To awaken something that is profoundly you and you alone. And then I think this is where it gets a little bit—a little bit more tenuous—is where I connect this to the relationship that each has to [his] father. And how Kierkegaard, at the end of the day, very much sits within his father’s faith. He’s resolved the difficulties that he’s experienced in his father’s faith. But he doesn’t transgress what was a very familiar sense of faith to both him and his father and Christianity, whereas in Jung, we see this uncomfortable resolution of the problem of his father’s faith. I say uncomfortable: it’s only uncomfortable to me. I think there are plenty of people who wouldn’t see any issue with this: of course, you want to undergo the religious experience, and that should be everything. It’s just I happen to think I don’t agree that it is everything. It’s not the last word.

(44:31) Jakob Lusensky: I’ve been wondering about the sources we have about Jung’s life. If they go beyond Jung’s sort of description of his father’s personality, or if it’s mostly based on that, that we sort of have this image of the suffering, helpless man who never found peace. I don’t know if you know?

(44:58) Amy Cook: I certainly would have to say I’m guilty of only drawing on Jung’s description of this father. I’ve never come across anything, myself, in studying the PhD or even writing a book, that went beyond that. But, you know, I think that’s a really good point.

(45:41) Jakob Lusensky: You write that: “Jung’s understanding of the imitatio Christi carries with it the implication that traditional Christianity has misunderstood both Christ and the incarnation. The incarnation continues in and through the individual, who must understand that his relation to the infinite is to realize the incarnation as an ongoing and continuing process, according to Jung. To exist as an authentic individual requires that we break away from, and go beyond, conventional Christianity in pursuit of a higher religion.” So there we are again, also with that question of, you know, what you mentioned before, is analytical psychology sort of surpassing or replacing Christianity? Or is it to be seen as a sort of reparation or a restoration of some original truth? Where I would think Jesus maybe would play some central part?

(46:44) Amy Cook: But don’t you think the interesting thing is that it can be both? It really just depends how you approach it. I mean, if you’re somebody with a Christian disposition, you can read that statement, that the change in what it is to imitate Christ is not a literal imitation. It’s the deepest, truest expression of Christ, but through yourself. Yeah. And that’s, I mean, comparing that to how when Jung is talking about his experience, or religion, I can’t follow that, but I can follow this. I can follow where we’re departing from conventional Christianity here. Yeah? I don’t think it’s that—I don’t think it’s that bold. But I can follow it. But in terms of whether it’s a process that is about reparation, or a process that’s superseding religion. It’s an either–or, because I think that’s why Jung attracts just such a wide, diverse range of people. And whether, ultimately, he meant it as one or the other, I think it’s unanswerable. Jung knows. None of us do. But he does.

(48:22) Jakob Lusensky: But you’re also speaking—yeah, you’re also referring to the dream that I discussed with Murray Stein, about Max Zeller’s dream about building the temple. That each one in the analysis is building an individual pillar, and Jung’s prophetic interpretation of that dream as a sort of vision for a new religion to take place in five, six hundred years. You refer to that, to that dream when you speak of the imitatio Christi and the idea of maybe needing to break away from conventional Christianity in pursuit of a higher religion. Do you understand Jung’s product as a continuation of a sort of Christian tradition, or that it’s a break with it, in your mind?

(49:23) Amy Cook: My opinion’s very unqualified, because I’m not a Christian. But I struggle to see it as anything but a breakaway. But then, I don’t see that as a negative thing. I only see that as a negative thing when he’s talking about belief not being necessary. It’s experience over belief. I struggle—I find that quite—I think there’s something quite unhealthy to that. Whereas to say to somebody, you know, to put the emphasis on imitating Christ in a way that is very uniquely your own imitation? I really find a lot to like about that. There’s an ideal there—I think a good ideal to look up to.

(50:29) Jakob Lusensky: An ideal?

(50:30) Amy Cook: Yeah, as in, you know, Jung is using Christ as an example of individuation, isn’t he? And the same is true for Kierkegaard. But whereas I don’t see Kierkegaard’s imitatio as something to be—I certainly wouldn’t advise anybody to follow him down that road. But in Jung’s rendering of the imitation, there is something a lot more gentle, a lot more gentle and perhaps even a little bit more authentic. Authentic in terms of the individual, not authentic to Christianity.