I don’t need to believe….I know! So says the famous Psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology, Carl Jung in an interview given to the BBC in the mid-1950’s, shortly before his death.
At first glance, Jung’s enigmatic statement contrasting knowledge with belief seems rather difficult to fathom. Thankfully he goes on to explain in much more detail the thinking behind this in his autobiography. In his book, Jung writes in some considerable detail about an actual experience he had as a child that proved to him personally that God was very real. For Jung the experiential was always more important than the theoretical.
Although often criticised as heretical in his espousal of a form of Christianity shorn of dogma during his lifetime, Jung’s insights are intriguing. Take for example his perception of the psyche as existing, at least in part, beyond space and time (and therefore continuing post-mortem). Indeed, Jung describes death as ‘the great adventure that is ahead’, a notion that is of course perfectly compatible with orthodox Christianity!
You can see some actual footage of the BBC interview here: