Jung and his Mystics : In the end it all comes to nothing book cover
1st Edition

Jung and his Mystics
In the end it all comes to nothing

ISBN 9780415703895
Published April 2, 2014 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Jung’s psychology describes the origin of the Gods and their religions in terms of the impact of archetypal powers on consciousness. For Jung this impact is the basis of the numinous, the experience of the divine in nature and in human nature. His psychology, while possessed of a certain claim to science, is based on depths of subjective experience which transcends psychology and science as ordinarily understood. Jung and his Mystics: In the end it all comes to nothing examines the mythic nature of Jung’s psychology and thought, and demonstrates the influence of mysticism and certain religious thinkers in formulating his own work.

John P. Dourley explores the influence of Mechthild of Magdeburg and fellow mystics/Beguines, and traces the mystic impulse and its expression through Meister Eckhat and Jacob Boehme to Hegel in the nineteenth century. All of these mystics were of the apophatic school and understood the culmination of their experience to lie in an identity with divinity in a nothingness beyond all form, formal expression or immediate activity. Dourley shows how this is still of relevance in our lives today. The book concludes that Jung’s understanding of mysticism could greatly alleviate the conflict between faiths, religious or political, by drawing attention to their common origin in the depths of the human.

Jung and his Mystics: In the end it all comes to nothing is aimed at scholars and senior research students in Jungian Studies, including religionists, theologians and philosophers of religion, especially those with an interest in mysticism. It will also be essential reading for those interested in the connection between religious and psychological experience.

Table of Contents

Preface.The Mystics and Psychic Self-Containment.The Unspeakable Ecstasy, Mechthild and Other Divine Mistresses. I pray to God to Rid me of God; Jung, Eckhart, and the Nothing. Jung on Boehme, the Co-Redemption of the Divine and Human. Hegel and Jung, a Requiem for a Lonely God.The Answer to Job, the Divinity of the Human as the Humanity of the Divine. Conclusion: So What?

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John P. Dourley is Professor Emeritus, Department of Religion, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada (1970–2001). He is a practising Jungian analyst, a graduate of the Zurich programme, 1980. He has written widely on Jung and religion. His previous works include Paul Tillich, Carl Jung and the Recovery of Religion (Routledge, 2008) and On Behalf of the Mystical Fool: Jung on the Religious Situation (Routledge, 2010). He is also a Catholic priest and a member of the religious order the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.


"Jung and His Mystics is a bold and original effort to draw out the implications of a Jungian understanding of the psyche, God, and religion for theology and contemporary society... it will be of great interest to those who are interested in the psychological foundations of spiritualty and theology." - Sanford L. Drob, PsycCRITIQUES