What Do These Writings Mean to You? A Short Sermon to the Dead

While I was completing my undergraduate degree in Religious Studies at Louisiana State University, I had the joy of studying closely with Jungian scholar Robert Segal.

Professor Segal at that time was a force of nature. He would demand students read all of the literature and be ready to deeply engage with the writings every class. If not, he was furious and would stop class early.

I remember reading and writing for his classes more than I had to for my English Literature Degree. To this day, I cherish private discussions in his office about Jung’s “Seven Sermons to the Dead”, the Nag Hammadi library, and Jung’s book “Flying Saucers.”

He was a significant influence on my writing.

He would tell me “I don’t want some bullshit word salad rambling with your papers. What do these writings mean to you? How can they influence your perception of life? How do these books inform your vision of the world?”

I am forever grateful to him for his insights. I often wonder now if anyone actually READS Jung’s work and ponder the implications.

In the words of Keith Shallcross Schuerholz:

“In America now, children are shielded from losing in games where the parents and players are forbidden from keeping score. Everyone gets trophies and prizes regardless of how well or badly they play. This creates a culture where the expectation is that everyone will always be praised and no one will ever be criticized. People grow up in a society which forbids all judgement – except on political grounds. This is all part of the unexamined residues of Judeo-Christianity that still permeate all Western values. It is essentially nihilistic.

I believe this nihilistic society is profoundly antithetical to Thelema, that it engenders weakness and victimhood, and it nauseates me. I am writing for the people who don’t need empathy and are tired of a society that forbids negative criticism. I am reaching the people who appreciate THAT message and I find that it is these people who value Crowley’s critical judgments too.”

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