This webinar is derived from Peter Todd’s book published by Chiron Publications in November 2012 and titled “The Individuation of God: Integrating Science and Religion”. Having countered the critique of all religion in Richard Dawkins bestselling book “The God Delusion” and provided an incisive critique of religious fundamentalism in its various guises as a Jungian shadow, the lecture proceeds to present the case for a third millennium theology which is illuminated by insights from Jung’s archetypal psychology, quantum physics, neuroscience and evolutionary biology. This theology dispenses with the pre-Copernican, patriarchal, anthropomorphic image of God and argues for the existence of a numinous principle implicit in cosmology and the cosmic evolutionary process. It explores the collaboration between physicist and Nobel laureate Wolfgang Pauli and C.G. Jung and the paradigm shift in cosmology whereby the classical mechanist physics of Newton is replaced by the quantum and relativity revolutions.
Prior to the emergence of quantum physics and depth psychology a schism between science and religion, psyche and matter had existed since the seventeenth century with the repression of mind and its banishment from the domain of scientific enquiry so that science rested upon an underlying epistemology of materialism so consciousness and the personal equation of mind of the human observer were considered to be mere epiphenomena to be passed over in silence. Todd presents a story of how, just as the mind of the observer was being ousted by behaviouristic psychology, it was synchronously being re-discovered in quantum physics as the consciousness or “personal equation” of the human observer in experimental situations. We will then explore the notion of the complementarity of mind and matter with archetypes as cosmic ordering and regulating principles and active quantum information (in the work of Physicist David Bohm and his colleagues) providing the bridge between mind and matter while avoiding the perils of panpsychism and reductionist (metaphysical) materialism. As Jung himself wrote in Symbols of Transformation concerning the experience of the God archetype, “Religious regression makes use of the parental imago, but only as a symbol-that is to say, it clothes the archetype in the image of the parents, just as it bodies forth the archetype’s energy by making use of sensuous ideas like fire, light, heat, fecundity, generative power and so on. In mysticism, the inwardly perceived vision of the divine is often nothing but sun or light and is rarely if ever personified” (1952, 90). Jung spent much of his life treating Christianity as a figurative patient referring to the Mass in an essay as a rite of the individuation process and Christ as symbol of the numinous Self archetype (CW: 11).
David Bohm’s implicate order and Jung’s collective unconscious outline dimensions of extended mind and of the Self which transcend space and time, the stuff which a third millennium theology could be made of. Pauli’s concept of the U-field referred to the unconscious as the psychological counterpart of the field concept in quantum physics an idea with distinctly metaphysical connotations, a theme explored in the lecture as is the notion that God and humanity are in an entangled state so that the individuation of each is inextricably bound with the other. In other words, the evolution of God and that of humanity cannot be separated!
Peter B. Todd has been a research psychologist at the Neuropsychiatric Institute Sydney, a member of the Biopsychosocial AIDS Project at the University of California, a consultant in the department of immunology at St. Vincent’s Hospital, and a research coordinator at the Albion Street AIDS Clinic Sydney. His papers have appeared in the British Journal of Medical Psychology, the Griffith Review, and the interdisciplinary journal Mind and Matter. He is currently a psychoanalytic psychologist in private practice in Sydney, Australia.