J Job & Lilith
CG Jung CW 10, para 310. ‘Even if the whole earth will fall to pieces, the unity of the psyche would never be shattered. And the wider and more numerous the fissures on the surface, the more the unity is strengthened in the depths’.
On our flight down to Plettenberg Bay from Johannesburg this morning, I was wondering about what to say about Lilith and the J headline and words for this post. I had been thinking of jewels, judgment, justice, and some other words that I forget right now. I am missing a talk that Dr. Deon van Zyl is giving this Friday evening to the Jung Centre here in Johannesburg on ‘Job’ from the Old Testament; I would have loved to attend but since I’m not there, this is of course impossible.
I’m in a small study group that meets most Monday evenings. We’ve been meeting for the last 15 years or so. Last year we tackled Job, initially reading straight from the Old Testament in our bibles and thereafter studying C.G. Jung’s “Answer to Job”. We actually read ”Answer to Job” about 10 years ago and I remember feeling very, very disturbed by it. Even ill at ease. I was out of sorts for a long while during and after the reading of it. To me it seemed blasphemous at times. We decided to tackle it again last year and see if and how our perceptions had changed. It took the whole of last year.
So, why Job and Lilith?
Lilith is first put through the fire by a judgmental and vengeful G.d; Job finds himself face to face with the most high and he too goes through the fire losing his livelihood, his family, his health. Like Lilith, Job questions ‘why’? Job dialogues with G.d; Lilith does not.
Both stories or myths belong in the archetypal realm. Lilith and Job had different responses for the suffering imposed upon them. Is there any relevance to these existential issues in understanding or coming to terms with the nature of human lived experience?..
Jung, in his book Answer to Job, presses upon the reader that he writes as ‘.. a modern man with a Christian education and background (who) comes to terms with the divine darkness which is unveiled in the Book of Job, and what effect it has on him” Jung, C.W. 9, par. 561.
Lilith does that too – with the Patience of Job –
In spite of the fissures of earthquake magnitude, the unity of the inner depths is strengthened. The divine darkness is revealed.
Each of us has different ways of experiencing and responding to the slings and arrows that life brings. We are many times required to have the Patience of Job as the amoral cycle of creation & destruction, change & re-creation is iterated.
Thank you for reading!