Complementarity in Christology

I have now expanded my article about “The Complementarian Self” with a chapter “Complementarity in Christology”. The notion of the two-unity of the self can be expressed in different ways. It is interesting to see what alternative models of two-unity there existed in early Christianity, regarding the nature of Christ, such as ‘miaphysitism’, Nestorianism, etc. It turns out that they correspond to today’s different psychological versions of the self. I argue that the complementarian self is formally the same as the ‘hypostatic union’ of the two natures of Christ. Read the article here:

It was this debate that ruined the friendship between Carl Jung and Dominican Father Victor White (Wikipedia)

When Jung published his Answer to Job, White wrote a scathing critique of it, which hurt Jung very much. Of course, Jung’s ambivalent Godhead was incompatible with White’s trinitarian standpoint. White wrote a very competent book on the subject of “God and the Unconscious”. An interesting article that discusses this problem is Brabazon, M. (2002) ‘Carl Jung and the Trinitarian Self’:

B. suggests that the “double trinity” solves the dilemma. I am skeptical, but it’s a good article. My standpoint is this:

Jung often represents the three as an incomplete wholeness, only four is wholeness proper. But triads of gods are numerous in religious history. It is a recurrent symbol of dynamic and spiritual wholeness (holiness) in diverse symbology. Without doubt, the number three expresses wholeness, in itself. Nevertheless, it is not wholly sufficient as self symbol. Something is amiss. Jung sensed this, and thought that the quaternity could take its place as an apt symbol of the self. The quaternity is symbolic of completeness. Nevertheless, it is, as well, insufficient as self symbol. To achieve an unflawed symbol, both numbers are embraced as complementary models. Conjointly, they are a consummate symbol of the self, but not at the same time, since the self cannot be more than complete, as well as more than a wholeness. Since they are mutually exclusive and incompatible, they must function in a revolving manner, as in Henderson’s diagram (see my article).

As guiding star in an individual’s life, the self changes its appearance from three into four, and reverse. Thus, over time, the guiding star changes its nature. At any given moment in time, the individual can only live under the aegis of either ternarius or quartarius. Yet, the complementarian union of both numbers must be cherished as the proper self symbol, exemplified by Pauli’s world-clock. The revolution of three and four avoids the dangers and pitfalls that are associated with these numbers, respectively.

Mats Winther

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