The Quest for Home and Self 2

Looking further at this search Paul Tillich sees that our essential nature as grounded in God cannot be forgotten – our memory of God is the basis of our sense of God and sense of exclusion from being home with God. Carl Jung takes this sense of God further when he writes: ‘God is the circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.’ God or the numinous is ever present Jung writes about the numinous as that which ‘controls the human subject, who is always rather its victim than its creator.’

For both Tillich and Jung make the point that the process of the quest for home and self cannot be exhausted in the course of a lifetime where realization can only ever be partially realized. The fullness of the quest belongs to eternity but the quest is the basic demand of life and what actually makes life worth living. The goal of the journey is unity with the ground of being. Interestingly and John P. Dourley comments audaciously Jung sees that in the deepest part of the psyche the unconscious unites what the Church has divided – namely the human and the divine – the goal of each person’s life is the experience of the natural divinity of one’s humanity … For Jung there is a natural presence of God in the human psyche:

‘It is therefore psychologically quite unthinkable for God to be simply the “wholly other”, for a “wholly other” could never be one of the soul’s deepest and closest intimacies – which is precisely what God is.’ The Western bias of making God totally transcendent and out there means that too few people have ‘experienced the divine image as the innermost possession of their souls.’

Dourley concludes his article by assessing that Jung provides us with a more detailed map of the way of the quest with a more accurate description of the powers to be met en route, ‘and with gripping premonitory image of the final homecoming’. He sees both theology and psychology as able to throw light on each other’s sense of exile and search for home and some sort of acceptance and assimilation of both ‘be truly able to help each other to go home together.’