The Spirit and Soul of Money

Following on from Friday’s Jung Society Lecture on the deep psychology of money we will look at how money becomes a spiritual and psychological reality for us. Two contributions from Hillman and Jung will guide our discussion and practice.
From Hillman

Rather, money is a psychic reality, and as such gives rise to divisions and oppositions about it, much as other fundamental psychic realities — love and work, death and sexuality, politics and religion — are archetypal dominants which easily fall into opposing spiritual and material interpretations. Moreover, since money is an archetypal psychic reality, it will always be inherently problematic because psychic realities are complex, complicated. Therefore money problems are inevitable, necessary, irreducible, always present, and potentially if not actually overwhelming. Money is devilishly divine.

For money always takes us into the sea, uncertain, whether it comes as inheritance fights, fantasies about new cars and old houses, marriage battles over spending, ripping off, tax evasion, marked speculations, fear of going broke, poverty, charity — whether the complexes appear in dreams, in living rooms, or in public policy. For here in the facts of money is the great ocean, and maybe while trawling that sea floor during an analytical hour we may come up with a crazy crab or a fish with a shekel in its mouth.

The cut between Caesar and God in terms of money deprives the soul of the world and the world of soul. The soul is deflected onto spiritual path of denial and the world is left in the sins of luxury, avarice, and greed. Then the soul is always threatened by money and the world needs the spiritual mission of redemption from the evil caused by the Weltbild (philosophy) that cuts Caesar from God. That money is the place where God and Caesar divide shows that money is a ‘third thing’ like the soul itself, and that in money are both the inherent tendency to split into spirit and matter and the possibility to hold them together.

Hillman, James, “A Contribution to Soul and Money” in Lockheart, et al., Soul and Money, (Dallas, Texas: Spring Publications, Inc.), 1982

From Jung

The State is the psychological mirror-image of the democracy monster. As the nation always rises as one man, the State is just as good as one man. As a matter of fact it is quite a person, of unlimited means, more exacting than any tyrant ever was, greedy to the limit and biologically dangerous. It, the State, is not like a Roman Caesar, enslaving prisoners of war on the lower strata of the population; it squeezes its contributions out of the most vital and most gifted individuals of its domain, making slaves of them for its own wasteful devices. It does not know that energy only works when accumulated. Its energy is money. It taps all carefully prepared and studied accumulations of this energy and dissipates it so that it becomes ineffectual, thereby causing an artificial entropy.

Jung  CW 11. 1319