On the question of Jung’s belief or non-belief in God, believers like to quote ecstatically or triumphantly his famous statement in his 1959 interview for the BBC: « I don’t believe I know »
However Jung does not continue the sentence any further, he does not say what he « knows ». He cannot mean that he « knows » ontologically that God exists as he spent his whole life saying that he accepts the Kantian critique of reason and thus that we cannot « know » a metaphysical entity.
If Jung were an agnostic he would have said « I don’t know », i.e. I don’t know metaphysically, I suspend my judgment. What he in fact said was « I know », i.e. I know psychologically (and the whole question of metaphysical existence drops out).
It seems more in line with the whole system of his thought to say that Jung was an atheist, but not in the naive sense of Freud (and Richard Dawkins) but in the dialectically sophisticated sense of Slavoj Zizek.
For a more general principle in Zizek’s thought we may cite his Hegelian concept of « Absolute Knowledge » as acknowledging the failure of ontology and of ontological knowledge. For Zizek absolute knowledge coincides with its acceptance of its own failure to know metaphysically.
Discussing his early fascination with Schopenhauer’s metaphysical concept of the Will, Jung tells us:
« I was puzzled that Schopenhauer should ever have been satisfied with such an inadequate answer. Because of this I was impelled to study him more thoroughly, and I became increasingly impressed by his relation to Kant. I therefore began reading the works of this philosopher, above all his Critique of Pure Reason., which put me to some hard thinking. My efforts were rewarded, for I discovered the fundamental flaw, so I thought, in Schopenhauer’s system. He had committed the deadly sin of hypostatizing a metaphysical assertion, and of endowing a mere noumenon, a Ding an sich, with special qualities. I got this from Kant’s theory of knowledge, and it afforded me an even greater illumination, if that were possible » (MEMORIES, DREAMS, AND REFLECTIONS, 70).
All through his life Jung rejects « hypostatizing a metaphysical assertion ». So his « I know » does not mean what people usually take it to mean.
Note: in these posts I am always talking about the noetic Jung immanent to his books, and to his system, not the empirical Jung. The noetic Jung is the Jung that we extrapolate from the conceptual and imagistic structure of his books. The empirical Jung is the one people met and talked to. We know far more about the noetic Jung as we have his many writings to consult.