Carl Jung’s BLACK BOOKS constitute an a-theological treatise (as in Bataille’s work), the protocols of a long, intense encounter and experimentation with the unconscious. They are the records of a private experience of collective import. These works are based on phenomenological observation and participation, they are not proposed as evidence of some ontotheological outside « reality ».
There is nothing more anti-Jungian than Peter Kingsley’s pretensions, in CATAFALQUE and elsewhere, to accessing ontological « Reality ».
Jung had gone through the Kantian turn, the Hegelian turn, the Nietzschean turn, the pragmatic turn BEFORE his confrontation with the unconscious. All these philosophical encounters were essential parts of Jung’s process of « unlearning » the metaphysics that interferes with a phenomenological approach to experience. https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2019/12/27/peter-kingsleys-catafalque-1-a-contrary-review/
I say that Jung had gone through the « Hegelian turn », despite his often negative remarks on Hegel’s philosophical thought. In fact he seems to be little familiar with Hegel, and to rely mostly on reductive stereotypes of Hegel’s ideas, rather than a real encounter with his works.
However, Jung’s conscious or surface rejection of Hegel’s thought does not preclude a close unconscious proximity with Hegelian thought-processes, as Wolfgang Giegerich demonstrates quite clearly.
Jung was magna-erudite, but not omni-erudite, and the accepted interpretations of his work need to be broken.
Jung was an atheist. Standard Jungians know this, but they do not say it outright. Jung is like Richard Dawkins etc in that he does not believe in an external creator. Jung’s « God » is phenomenological, not theological, and he allows for many valid varieties of religious experience.
Freud was a naive atheist, a scientistic thinker. Like Richard Dawkins, he saw no place for God in the physical universe.
Jung was an atheist in this sense too, only he was more psychological (or existential), he saw « God » as the emergence of numinous events in the psychic process, so he wrote a « theogony ».
« From the notebooks of a self-experimentation, a psychological work in a literary and theogonic form was created » (Sonu Shamdasani, Introduction to The Black Books).
In this opposition between theology and theogony, one might say between ontotheology and cosmotheogony, we rejoin the distinction that Jung made between the two types of thinking (directed and fantasy) and between two types of unconscious:
- the familial neurotic unconscious of Freud
- the cosmogonic schizophrenic unconscious of Jung
Jung’s process of confrontation with the unconscious went further than Freud’s and than what he was able to confront in his relations with Freud, who was limited to the neurotic unconscious. Jung traversed the schizophrenic unconscious without being submerged, without going mad.