A Copernican Revolution in Science and Religion Towards a Third Millennium Spirituality:The Entangled State of God and Humanity

Symposium Conference Paper, C. G. Jung Society of Melbourne, May 21, 2016 (forthcoming)
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As the title, The Entangled State of God and Humanity suggests, this lecture dispenses with the pre-Copernican, patriarchal, anthropomorphic image of God while presenting a case for a third millennium theology illuminated by insights from archetypal depth psychology, quantum physics, neuroscience and evolutionary biology. It attempts to smash the conceptual barriers between science and religion and in so doing, it may contribute to a Copernican revolution which reconciles both perspectives which have been apparently irreconcilable opposites since the sixteenth century. The published work of C.G. Jung, Wolfgang Pauli, David Bohm and Teilhard de Chardin outline a process whereby matter evolves in increasing complexity from sub-atomic particles to the human brain and the emergence of a reflective consciousness leading to a noosphere evolving towards an Omega point. The noosphere is the envelope of consciousness and meaning superimposed upon the biosphere a concept central to the evolutionary thought of visionary Jesuit palaeontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (The Phenomenon of Man). His central ideas, like those of Jung with his archetypes, in particular that of the Self, provide intimations of a numinous principle implicit in cosmology and the discovery that in and through humanity, evolution becomes not only conscious of itself but also directed and purposive. Although in Jung’s conception it was a “late-born offspring of the unconscious soul”, consciousness has become the mirror which the universe has evolved to reflect upon itself and in which its very existence is revealed. Without consciousness, the universe would not know itself. The implication for process theology is that God and humanity are in an entangled state so that the evolution of God cannot be separated from that of humankind. A process (Incarnational) theology inseminated by the theory of evolution is one in which humankind completes the individuation of God towards the wholeness represented for instance in cosmic mandala symbols (Jung, Collected Works, vol. 11). Jung believed that God needs humankind to become conscious, whole and complete, a thesis explored in my book The Individuation of God: Integrating Science and Religion (Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publications 2012). This process theology like that implicit in the work of Teilhard de Chardin, is panentheistic so that God is immanent in nature though not identical with it (Atmanspacher: 2014: 284).

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