For the past few years, I have been pursuing some PhD research into the relationship between personality and mythology. The overall aim is to find ways of promoting religious tolerance. It is based on Jung’s analytical psychology and is now in the final stretch.
I would appreciate your help by completing four online questionnaires, which will take about 30 minutes in total. When you have finished, there will be a report in the form of a PDF file, or Ebook, or you can read the results online. There is more information about the research on the page that introduces the questionnaires, at https://research.myers.co. Thank you, in advance.
If you have any questions or comments, please use my contact page (above).
In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins argues that God (probably) does not exist, and he associates belief in God with the childhood practice of having an “imaginary friend” (Dawkins 2006, p. 88). He advocates, as an alternative to belief in God, using science and evidence to develop useful models that replicate how the world works.
Although his argument has some validity, it is underpinned by a Western cultural premise that something is either real/exists or imaginary/unreal. This is a false dichotomy, created by the tendency in the modern Western mind to think in terms of simple opposites (Corbin 1972, p. 1). Imagination and reality are not alternatives, but imagination helps to create reality. This can be illustrated with three practical examples.
Illustration 1: Optical Illusion
In the picture above/right (published by Edward Adelson on a Wikipedia page), squares A and B are opposite colours – one is black the other is white. Can you see how this reality is created by your imagination?
Justin Welby hit the headlines by choosing, for his first Easter sermon as Archbishop of Canterbury, his failure as a leader.1 To some, this might seem a slightly odd topic, or perhaps a side-issue to the real message of Easter. But, from a Jungian perspective, it can be seen as a brilliant choice, both from a leadership point of view and one of personal, spiritual development.
Jung was “absorbed by the question of leadership” (Samuels 1993, p. 287). Much of Western leadership culture is concerned with aiming to be the perfect leader – doing things better, to a higher standard, or becoming more excellent. In analytical psychology, however, this is one-sided and unrealistic, and a better leader is one who aspires to wholeness.
Jung’s most famous televised quote came after he was asked if he believed in God. He replied, “I don’t need to believe, I know” (Jung 1959a, p. 428). His reply caused some furore at the time and, in the decades since, it has been quoted by many – such as Richard Dawkins who cites it as an example of blind faith (Dawkins 2006, p. 51).
Jung immediately regretted his answer – because of it’s controversial, puzzling, or ambiguous nature (Jung 1959b). To understand why, we need to take a look at the context of the interview, and the background of Jung’s attitude towards God.