I was writing an email to a friend when I realized that what I was looking for was something Jung had said in “The Undiscovered Self”. So rather than trying to say anything original I just typed in the words and sent them off, which of course makes it all to easy to just paste them in here as well.

It is unfortunately, only too clear that if the individual is not truly regenerated in spirit, society cannot be either, for society is the some total of individuals in need of redemption. I can therefore see it only as a delusion when the Churches try — as they apparently do — to rope the individual into a social organization and reduce him to a condition of diminished responsibility, instead of raising him out of the torpid, mindless mass and making clear to him that the salvation of the world consists in the salvation of the individual soul.

When the Church tries to give shape to the amorphous mass by uniting individuals into a community of believers with the help of suggestion and tries to hold such an organization together, it is not only performing a great social service, but it also secures for the individual the inestimable boon of a meaningful life form. These however, are gifts which as a rule confirm certain tendencies and do not change them. As experience unfortunately shows, the inner man remains unchanged no matter how much community he has. His environment cannot give him as a gift that which he can win for himself only with effort and suffering.






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