Women and Authority
Edited by Maxine Hanks

Chapter 15
Edwin Brown Firmage

[335] So we do not lose heart, though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. —2 Cor. 4:16

As I have come to appreciate life’s natural rhythms, the conjoining of biological and spiritual impulses with which our earth is in organic synchronicity, I have sensed a larger theme of reconciliation. In the latter half of life, we turn to this theme. In the first portion of our lives, we are concerned with the external world: forming an ego separate from surrounding physical things and from parents and a gender identity founded on distinction from alternatives. We select a profession and close the door on other possibilities that interested us. We choose a mate and with some regret sever relationships with others. We come to see ourselves as members of a particular family, tribe, nation, religious tradition.

Then beginning in one’s thirties and at accelerating speed in one’s forties, the lines blur and disappear. Rather than defining myself negatively—I am not female; I am not Catholic; I am not black; I am not Russian—I begin to see I am all that and much more. Increasingly we see the need for an inner dimension or our efforts in the physical world will fall short.

Recognition of an inner reality in no way denies the reality and importance of the objective world. Those philosophies denying the reality of the objective world are unbalanced. The inner and outer paths have an integral relationship whether called the egoself axis, [336] yin and yang, compensation, or thesis and antithesis. They are compensating elements arising simultaneously.

An inner reality has been comprehended by mystics, poets, artists, and storytellers in fairy tales, myth, dreams, and ritual; gnostics sensed the powerful imbalance of an orthodoxy transfixed with worldly power; and modern pioneers such as Carl Jung explored depth psychology.

Quantum physics hints at an integrated wholeness to our cosmos which obliterates boundaries between space and time, organic and inorganic. Depth psychology postulates a dialogue between the conscious world of the ego and the unconscious. Whether by contemplation, meditation, dream, or active imagination, we move toward wholeness by bringing to consciousness the messages from the unconscious. Jung believed that this dialogue propels us toward the image of God.

God Within and Without

All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. —2 Cor. 5:18

Jung perceived humankind as possessing an impulse toward individuation that can be achieved through seeking within ourselves the image of God. This tendency can compensate for our historical vision of a transcendent God beyond reach, an aloof masculine figure in the patriarchal tradition. The immanent God is both maternal and paternal and is found in our unconscious. By mid-life, reconciliation with a transcendent, unresponsive God may seem impossible. Jung called this one-sided view of transcendent God a “prejudice that God is outside of man”1: “Hence it is quite understandable why the human psyche is suffering from undervaluation. Anyone who dares to establish connection between the psyche and the idea of God is immediately accused of ‘psychologism’ or suspected of morbid ‘mysticism.’”2 Further he noted that “Christian education … has not done enough. Too few people have experienced the divine image as the innermost possession of their own souls.”3

Saint Teresa of Avila perceived the same vision through a lifetime of contemplation. “However quietly we speak, He is so near [337] that He will hear us: we need no wings to go in search of Him but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us.”4

Jung observed the importance for our worship and well-being as a society that we preserve God’s image within our soul:

Man’s relation to God probably has to undergo a certain important change: instead of the propitiating praise … or the child’s prayer to a loving father, the responsible living and fulfilling of the divine within us will be our form of worship and commerce with god. His goodness means grace and light and His dark side, the terrible temptation of power … [I]t will depend upon man’s decision whether god’s creations will continue. Nothing shows more drastically than this possibility how much of divine power has come within reach of man.5

When we identify the image of God—the Imago Dei—within ourselves we must reconcile that apprehension of love and gentleness with our worship of the transcendent God.

In 1978 during the controversy regarding the placing of MX missiles in Utah, I travelled across the country and came into contact with ministers and lay people of many faiths, often staying in the home of local Methodist, Baptist, or Episcopal ministers or priests. I met groups of religious sisters, often Roman Catholic, who seemed years ahead of the clergy on issues of war and peace. I saw the spirit of God working within these people. I understood that God’s spirit works within every group I met: Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Christian.

Through three Roman Catholic sisters—Rosemary Lynch of Las Vegas and Francis Russell of Cheyenne, both Franciscans, and Mary Luke Tobin of the Sisters of Loretto in Denver—I met Thomas Merton and Francis of Assisi. Later I began to read the Christian mystics.

The world of Christian spirituality led me on a journey inward. I sought God in my own center as well as God without. Always in my Mormon tradition I had perceived only the transcendental God. Now I began a journey inward—inward and thus outward.

Sexual Reconciliation

Jung provided insight into communication with discordant parts of my soul. He helped me better understand integration and recon[338]ciliation, that I must foster dialogue between my conscious self or ego and my unconscious self. I must acknowledge and integrate elements of my masculinity and my femininity.

It was fascinating to me to note that Gandhi, so sensitive to his own inner core, perceived the need of reconciliation between elements of his own masculinity and femininity. Robert Payne, Gandhi’s biographer, explained: “As he grew older, he was becoming gentler and more feminine. There had always been a strain of femininity in him, but now he was coming to terms with it, accepting it, even rejoicing in it. In 1926, while expounding some verses of the Bhagavad Gita to the ashhram sisters, Ghandi said: ‘A man should remain a man and yet should learn to become a woman; similarly, a woman should remain a woman and yet learn to become a man.’”6

Jung similarly taught that we all have within us elements of masculinity and femininity. Our psyches seem to form themselves more or less congruently with our biological sexuality. Nevertheless, strong feminine elements exist in men and masculine elements exist in women. For Jung, and for me, the feminine presence within a male can be personalized as the “anima,” a vital person within the unconscious. Within women, Jung believed, the masculine or contrasexual element is personified as the “animus.”

We all project elements from within ourselves outward onto people and things in the objective world. We do this positively to learn and to gain perspective by distancing ourselves from our own parts. We do this negatively by projecting our own characteristics that we will not acknowledge onto another, then responding to the other with fear, anger, or repugnance.

By withdrawing our projections we acknowledge elements of our own psyche that have been suppressed into that part of our personal unconscious Jung termed the shadow. We may acknowledge, nurture, and embrace our animus or anima and our shadow and in so doing incorporate their elements within ourselves. The alternative is a psyche polarized and fragmented. In 1955 Emma Jung wrote of this bringing together:

In our time, when such threatening forces … are at work, splitting peoples, individuals, and atoms, it is clearly necessary that those which unite and hold together should become effective: for life is founded [339] on the harmonious interplay of masculine and feminine forces, within the individual human being as well as without … Bringing these opposites into union is one of the most important tasks of present-day psychotherapy.7

My own sense that male/female difference should not prevail over our shared humanity came gradually and then finally with a suddenness. For example, when the Equal Rights Amendment was being debated, I was sympathetic. But formal opposition from my church leadership led me to move into a position of neutrality. But in 1979 or 1980 I concluded we as a church were wrong. Our fears represented the heart of the problem which the ERA was designed to help us overcome.

In my most intimate life, old ways died hard. My own patriarchal presumptions—the unexamined and largely unconscious habits of a lifetime—largely continued. It was not until separation—separation eventually terminating in divorce—that a more profoundly personal change took place, a change of heart as well as mind.

In the pain of aching loneliness, a separation from spouse and home and children, I dreamed a dream. In my dream I conversed with a beautiful, dark-haired woman. She seemed to be a mystical guide. After the dream I came to understand that the woman was my unconscious embodiment of the feminine element within my own soul. She was not a representation of any female in the external world nor was she the image of God. For me, a male, the Imago Dei is male.

As I pondered this powerful experience, I came to understand several vital truths. First, that our sexuality, while dominantly masculine or feminine, with our biological selves either reflecting or determining this dominance, includes elements of masculinity and femininity. Second, it is vital that our conscious self or ego be in dialogue and in synchronicity with our contrasexuality: with our female (anima) if we are male, or with our male (animus) if we are female. Third, the female (anima) may be a guide into the unconscious, to subjective spirituality, the pilgrimage inward to the center.

Many insights came to me from this powerfully archetypal dream, insights into my relationships with spouse, mother, sisters, daughters, other women. I sensed more gradually the significance of my dream to my own sexuality: that I was both male and female, [340] that communication and integration—reconciliation—needed to occur between those elements of my soul.

Jesus taught that we must love ourselves. I am convinced that a vital part of such self love is our acceptance and love of our contrasexual self. I say love—not simply rational dialogue with our unconscious. Mystics from all ages experienced this and often wrote of spiritual union in erotic imagery. Witness the Song of Solomon or the writings of Lady Julian of Norwich. Eros is a vital part of spirituality. John Sanford, a contemporary Episcopal priest and Jungian analyst, put it this way: “The union of the personality is represented in the imagery of the unconscious as a great love affair. The opposites within us are so far apart that only the great unifying power of eros can bring them together. This can be said to be the common denomination, the basic psychological fact, in all love affairs, and for the person who wishes to become whole it is the great underlying factor that can never be disregarded.”8

In the equally real world of objectivity, our relations with those of the opposite sex are vital to our growth and to our loving capacity. But pain, even death to parts of our ego selves may be the cost. As one poet put it, “None can be eternally united who have not died to each other.”9 Jung noted that marriage, like individuation itself, was not a course away from pain but rather precisely the reverse: “Seldom, or perhaps never, does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly and without crises; there is no coming to consciousness without pain.”10 Within and without, the reconciliation of our sexuality is at the center of psychological wholeness, our individuation, our awakening with the likeness of God.

My personal reconciliation of gender took a crisis, the most grave crisis of my life. My growth in relationships and understanding had been occurring over decades, but the final breakthrough came amidst the crisis of failure—with emotional trauma, loneliness, depression, great pain.

From this extremity of ashes, my Lenten time, came Easter. A resurrection of new hope, new life, new relationships. I met my anima again through active imagination as I reentered the previous dream. I met a greying brunette woman, strikingly beautiful. She was my way into subjective spirituality, into those parts of the unconscious mind that are accessible to me. I learned that I could reenter [341] that place in the previous dream at will and converse with the beautiful woman. Flashing insight, I now know, does not lead automatically to behavioral changes. Patterns of a lifetime die hard. But insight must precede change. And I have begun.

Priesthood for Women

Once in a while an idea occurs as if it had never arisen before, in a way that is shocking in that utter simplicity and truthfulness of the concept had never been glimpsed before. For me such was the idea of ordination of women to priesthood.

I was astounded and abashed that as a fifty-three-year-old male of ordinary intelligence, I had not seriously entertained the idea. Once I thought about it in a searching way, without simply accepting the prohibition as if it were the natural order of things, I was shocked to conclude that no reason—not one solitary reason which is not on its face absurd—exists why women should not be ordained.

Some issues have strong arguments, compelling reasons on each side. I have come to believe that all the reasons for denying women the priesthood are founded upon discrimination against women so all-pervasive over millennia that we respond, as I have throughout my life, without sufficient consciousness even to entertain the idea of change.

We have witnessed in the great religious traditions a savage suppression of femininity for at least four and perhaps five or six millennia. Women have been treated as if they had no souls. At the time of Jesus, women were not allowed to study Torah. Women were not obliged to offer morning prayer (along with children and slaves). Women were not counted in the quorum necessary for public prayer (along with children, slaves, and the insane).11 The daily prayers of the time of Jesus included praise that God had not created me “a gentile,” “a woman,” or “an ignorant man.” In this context Paul’s reconciling message to the Galatians can be seen as providing an antithesis to the daily prayer: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (3:28).12

In the temple at the time of Jesus, women were limited to one outer court, the Women’s Court, five steps below the man’s court. [342] Women in the synagogue were separated from men and were not allowed to read aloud or perform any major function. In public life generally, a rabbi would refrain from dialogue with women.

Reconciliation was central to Jesus’ message: reconciling humankind to God; reconciling individuals and groups; reconciling us with each other; and reconciling diverse and hostile elements within our own souls. In that sense Jesus was a feminist. He gathered women disciples as well as men (Luke 8:1 ff; Mark 15:40 ff.). He associated directly, intimately, publicly with women. It seems a carefully deliberate act for Jesus to have first appeared after the resurrection to a woman, Mary Magdalene, who announced this awesome event to Christians. Jesus’ teachings on divorce were designed to add full personhood to the status of women who at that time could be dismissed from the protection and promises of marriage simply by expression of male intent.13

When Mary and Martha engaged Jesus in religious discourse, his willingness to do this radically broke with tradition. And when he praised Mary rather than homemaker Martha, he clearly was dissenting from the norms of his time. Women accompanied Jesus on his journeys. Women were first at the tomb and first to witness the resurrection.

Jesus’ expressions toward women, drawn so sharply against the severe discrimination of his time, contrast just as clearly with those of most religious leaders today, who with notable exceptions should appear in public in sackcloth and ashes. I applaud the elevation of a black divorced woman to a bishopric of the Episcopal Church in our own country. She is a beacon for us all.

Within my own religious tradition, Mormonism, I long for that time when four black people, three of them women, will sit on the stand as general authorities at general conference. This profound visual message of healing would transcend in immediate healing power every sermon ever given in our holy house, the Mormon tabernacle. No reason exists in Mormon doctrine, I believe, to prevent full priesthood participation by women with every office and calling in the church being open to them.

The traditional arguments against ordination of women appear particularly vacuous, at least for our day. Jesus is a man, the argument goes, and therefore all who stand in his place as ministers to the [343] people must be men in order to preserve the integrity of the symbolism. But Jesus was also a Jew and a carpenter. Must all priests be Jewish and carpenters?

Was it Jesus’ maleness that distinguished his message? His message seems powerfully peaceful, surely not what we think of as macho. If indeed he is a savior for women as well as men, as God’s son, then the essence of his role for us all must have nothing at all to do with his gender.

Jesus called no women as apostles, we are told. God works within our human frailties lest s/he distance deity so far from humanity that no teaching role is possible, only alienation. With awesome patience s/he waits for millennia or for millions of years for our consciousness first to be born and then to evolve in God’s image. This is done with profound respect for our autonomy and with compelling gentleness.

Scripture has come down to us through countless male scribes and redactors, placing a powerful masculine influence within scripture. The consignment of God’s authority only to men becomes a form of taking God’s name in vain. Only in the last two decades have women theologians and anthropologists, linguists, historians, and philosophers begun to study our past in breadth and depth. Our understanding of the scriptures and of the cultures within which our canon evolved will change with radical force over the next two decades.

I believe that women should hold the priesthood for many reasons: first, because no serious reason exists why they should not.

Second, women should be ordained because women and men are fundamentally the same. We are after all of the same species. It is not as though we were as different as turnips or horses. Our similarities as human beings equally in God’s image overwhelm the differences.

Third, we are different. Women are not imperfect men. While less profound than our similarities, our differences are the source of enrichment and fulfillment to each other. Insofar as female spirituality conforms at all to the stereotype, insofar as women possess an intuitive sensitivity to God and to the cosmos, insofar as women are more inclined toward peace and not war, insofar as women naturally seek conciliation and not battle or competition, then God knows we [344] need the influence of female spirituality in every quorum and council of the church and in every office in the land.

We are overwhelmed by our common humanity; we celebrate our differences. Both require ordination of women. Motherhood is not a substitute for priesthood; the male equivalent of motherhood is fatherhood, not priesthood. Priesthood can enrich and endow men and women equally in the home and in the larger society. The challenge—very likely greater than some males and male leaders are willing to meet—is to accommodate radical change without attempting to reassert control.

The New Testament uses the Greek word kairos to refer to a decisive moment: “dense with the possibilities of grace.” Jesus began his ministry with his announcement that the kingdom of God was at hand by proclaiming “the kairos is fulfilled” (Mark 1:15). In that sense our moment is a time of kairos. But our decisive moment includes a choice between competing visions, alternative paths to radically different places.

The absence of feminine spirituality in the councils of church government is a loss of such enormity in Christian history as to be impossible to overstate. With other Christian traditions Mormons must no longer ignore this open wound. Notions of a lay priesthood assume that for most purposes we need no intermediary between ourselves and God save Christ himself. To be sure one may be our spokesperson at the pulpit or before the altar. But he or she acts for us all. On another occasion we ourselves might be that voice. This is the mature form of Christian belief which can take us into the next century, growing in likeness of God not of ourselves.

Reconciliation with Self

Jung offered three acute criticisms of Christianity14: our subjugation of the feminine, our denigration of the physical body as inferior to or less real than the world of the spirit, and our Manichaean-like separation of good and evil with no sense of the creative tension holding polarities in equipoise. He believed we must now come into harmony with the human body, with eros, with that equilibrium between spirit and body which allows us to experience full individuation toward the image of God.

[345] Such views seem consistent with modern medicine and all we know of human psychology. Repression or denial of our humanity cannot lead to robust spirituality. With the denigration of the physical body during much of Christian history, one might wonder what we thought the message of an incarnate God was all about. George MacDonald sensed this a century ago:

It is by the body that we come into contact with Nature, with our fellowmen, with all their revelations of God to us. It is through the body that we receive all the lessons of passion, of suffering, of love, of beauty, of science. It is through the body that we are both trained outwards from ourselves and driven inwards into our deepest selves to find God. There is glory and might in this vital evanescence, this slow glacier-like flow of clothing and revealing matter, this ever up tossed rainbow of tangible humanity. It is no less of God’s making than the spirit that is clothed therein.15

Jung says that the unconscious will attempt to compensate for an imbalance in our lives. If we ignore the body we will experience some attempt by our unconscious to restore the balance. The answer is not to supplant spirituality with licentiousness nor to deny the body in physical self-abnegation but rather to reach for a balance in our quest for individuation. By listening to our body, by respecting and loving our body, we allow a dialogue between our physical and spiritual selves so that such a balance may be achieved and maintained. This is the reconciliation we seek.

I believe that evil, like God, has an objective, transcendent existence—that is, evil exists outside of myself, objectively. But the subjectivity of evil is even more profoundly true.

So much of what we call evil is simply one or another fragment of our own soul, unacknowledged, disowned, suppressed into our unconscious shadow, there to be projected onto another. This is not a complete accounting of all that is evil, dark, or undesirable. But much that disrupts our world and our psyche exists in the mind. Jung said:

If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they [346] must be fought against. He lives in The House of Gathering. Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world.16

A wise friend, the noted Franciscan Richard Rohr, related the insight of Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares by noting the conclusion.17 After discovering tares among the wheat, the injunction came to the farmer to let them grow together. Following the Sunday school lessons of my youth, I would have been pulling up tares in every direction. Now along with my brother, Richard, I see the tares as the wheat of my life and the wheat as the tares of my life.

I do not doubt that malevolent forces exist and mean us harm. But God somehow allows a serendipity of life to work toward our healing and wholeness nevertheless. Dark forces within us in dialogue with the self can produce good. Book of Mormon prophet Lehi perceived this vision. He instructed his son Jacob: “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so … righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad” (2 Ne. 2:11).

The reality seems to be that the dark and light of our souls are so inextricably blended together that the destruction of one destroys the other. Our vitality, our energy and power, may reside in our shadow along with much of our creativity, our genius. As our conscious self, our ego, confronts and acknowledges our shadow we disarm evil. This is a truth, I believe, in both the objective and subjective worlds.

With this understanding we make sense of the seemingly senseless teaching at the core of every spiritual master’s repertoire: that we must love our enemies. When my enemies are within me, my destruction is contemporaneous with theirs. When my enemies are without, I corrupt myself by using means incompatible with my life to destroy them. Paul admonished that we “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). My enemies possess characteristics that make them indistinguishable from myself. And in any event, after I destroy them they will resurrect in yet more fearful form.

Reconciliation is the only way. Jesus taught, “Love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44). Mohandas Gandhi said, “It is easy enough to be [347] friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.”18 Gandhi perceived that in the search for truth, one must dialogue with the enemy so that the enemy becomes brother and both perceive a clearer truth than either possessed in the beginning. Gandhi’s notion points to the same vital dialogue and equipoise perceived by Jung in the inner cosmos of our subjectivity.

Gandhi said, “A non-violent revolution is not a program of ‘seizure of power.’ It is a program of transformation of relationships ending in a peaceful transfer of power.”19 Indeed transformation must occur within or it will never happen without.

Reconciliation with Humanity

The Kingdom of God is within you. —Jesus (Luke 17:21)

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. —Buddha20

The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the power of all true science. —Albert Einstein21

Certain universal qualities, the core of our humanity, transcend our differences. We humans fundamentally are the same. This truth is greater than a lesser truth that we are all different. This perception—that our common humanity is a fact of greater consequence than our differences—is central to our understanding of history and the central criterion for discerning good from bad policy in the governance of our communities. The survival of human civilization depends upon understanding this condition.

Never has it been more important that we grow into the image of God. We all must build bridges rather than accentuate and exploit our differences, pander to our fears and our psychological projections. The human qualities helping us take on the image of God include our innate human propensity to move toward individuation and our capacity to love—to love God and our brothers and sisters indistinguishably from the way we love ourselves.

The outer world simply reflects our reconciliation or its lack within. In that sense subjectively we create the objective world. But [348] Jung held out hope that transformation, beginning within the individual, would occur: “The afternoon of humanity, in a distant future, may yet evolve a different ideal.”22

First is undifferentiated unity before consciousness. Then comes separation into consciousness as we assert an identity apart from God. There follows further fracturing as we separate not only into conscious and unconscious parts, into worlds of objectivity and subjectivity, but into further separations as male and female, body, intellect, and spirit. Then in the physical world we subdivide endlessly into family, tribe, race, nation, religious tradition. But then a reconciliation begins.

Call it what you will—conversion, individuation, a rise of social consciousness. Here reconciliation between polarities occurs. Charles Peguy observed that “Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics.”23 We may make this discovery of unity through compassionate service in the objective world, as did Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Or we may make the same discovery by meditation and contemplation, comprehending God’s image at our center.

Albert Schweitzer links this rising of consciousness, the “inwardness” that must first be accomplished before reconciliation with and in the objective world: “We are no longer content … to believe in the Kingdom that comes of itself at the end of time. Mankind today must either realize the kingdom of God or perish … The miracle must happen in us before it can happen in the world.”24

Hermann Hesse reminds us Christians that this phenomenon was known before Jesus and has always existed in every major religious tradition: Judaism, Sufi Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and the rest:

[T]he knowledge that, starting from this innermost point, we can at all times transcend all pairs of opposites, transforming white into black, evil into good, night into day. The Indians call it “Atman,” the Chinese “Tao,” Christians call it “grace.” When the supreme knowledge is present (as in Jesus, Buddha, Plato, or Lao-Tse), a threshold is crossed beyond which miracles begin … the light dawns with the experience that this entire “outward” world is not only an object of our perception but at the same time the creation of our soul, with the transformation of all outward into inward things, of the world into the self.25

[349] We seek reconciliation within. This allows reconciliation without. Within and without become one as we pull into ourselves all that is without. Within my own soul I become male and female, Mormon and Catholic, Jew, Muslim, and Hindu, Russian and American, black, brown and white.

We no longer can improve our lot while we oppress our brothers and sisters and violate the ecosystem within which we all live. We are told in fact that this interconnectedness extends beyond mortality and is the basis of our eternal well-being.

This then is our quest—back into a union which never really ended. Our language can obscure this reality. Nonverbal symbolic speech, art, music, mysticism, myth, and dreams allow us to perceive the truth of our common humanity at a depth beyond words. Noted American social philosopher Joseph Campbell once commented to a Shinto priest, “We’ve been now to a good many ceremonies and have seen quite a few of your shrines. But I don’t get your ideology, I don’t get your theology.” The Shinto priest paused in thought and replied, “I think we don’t have ideology, we don’t have theology. We dance.”

Through the inner journey of dream and contemplation, through the outer journey of compassionate action for social justice and civil liberty, we seek wholeness, completion, peace. Just days before his death, Thomas Merton said, “We are already one, but we imagine that we are not. What we have to recover is our original unity.”26

Love is not found in creeds or ideas but in people. No church or religious tradition stands at the entrance as the protector and definer of orthodoxy when the door is in one’s own soul.


Edwin Brown Firmage is Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law at the University of Utah. His publications include An Abundant Life: The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown and Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1830-1900. He lives in Salt Lake City. “Reconciliation” is excerpted from four papers: “Restoring the Church: Zion in the Nineteenth and Twenty-first Centuries,” Sunstone 13 (Feb. 1989); “Reconciliation,” Monsignor McDougall Lecture, 7 Mar. 1989, Cathedral of the Madeleine, Salt Lake City; “On Being Human,” 9 Feb. 1990; and “On Taking God’s Name in Vain: Religious Discrimination Against Women,” an address to the Salt Lake City Ministerial Association, 5 Dec. 1990. Mr. Firmage thanks the following for their assistance with the Monsignor McDougall Lecture: Jan Moffat, Margaret (Meg) Miller, the Rev. Bonnie Joia Roddy, Fr. Gregory Santos, the Most Reverend William K. Weigand, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Utah, the Reverend Francis Mannion, and Julie Angelos.

1. Carl Gustav Jung, “Psychology and Religion: West and East,” in Collected Works, trans. R. F. C. Hull (New York: Pantheon Books, 1958), 1:482.

2. Quoted in John P. Dourley, The Illness that We Are: A Jungian Critique of Christianity (Toronto: Inner City Books, 1984), 25.

3. Carl Gustav Jung, Psychological Reflections, ed. Jolande Jacobi (New York: Pantheon Books, 1953), 308.

4. “The Way of Perfection,” in The Complete Works of St. Teresa of Jesus, trans. E. Allison Peers (London: Sheed & Ward, Ltd., 1978), 2:114.

5. Carl Gustav Jung, Letters, trans. R.F.C. Hull (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973), 316.

6. R. Payne, The Life and Death of Mahatma Ghandhi (New York, 1969), 383.

7. Emma Jung, Anima and Animus (1955).

8. John A. Sanford, The Invisible Partners (New York: Paulist Press, 1980), 89.

9. Coventry Patmore, “Aphorisms and Extracts,” in The Rod, the Root and the Flower (London: Grey Walls Press, Ltd., 1950), 215.

10. Carl Gustav Jung, Contributions to Analytical Psychology, trans. H. G. Baynes and Gary F. Baynes (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 1928), 193.

11. Leonard Swidler, “Jesus Was a Feminist,” copy in my possession.

12. Swidler, n9.

13. Ibid.

14. Dourley, supra n2.

15. George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons (London: Alexander Strahan, Publisher, 1867), 238; Luke 24:39.

16. Carl Gustav Jung (manuscript fragment).

17. R. Rohr, “Wild Beasts and Angels” (Washington, D.C.: National Catholic Reporter Pub. Co. 1986); tape recording.

18. Mohandas K. Gandhi, Non-Violence in Peace and War (India: Navajivan Publishing House, 1949), 249.

19. Ibid., n38.

20. T. Byron, The Dhammapada: The Sayings of Buddha (New York: Vintage Press, New York 1976).

21. Lincoln Barnett, The Universe & Dr. Einstein (London: Victor Gollanez Ltd., 1949), 95.

22. Carl Gustav Jung, “Psychological Commentary on the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, Psychology & Religion,” in Collected Works (1953), 11:493.

23. Charles Peguy, Basic Verities, trans. Ann and Julian Green (New York: Pantheon Books, 1943), 109.

24. E. N. Mozley, “Epilogue: The Conception of the Kingdom of God in the Transformation of Eschatology,” in The Theology of Albert Schweitzer for Christian Inquirers, trans. J. Coates and C. Black (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1950), 107-108.

25. Hermann Hesse, If the War Goes On, trans. Ralph Manheim (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1971), 59-60.

26. Thomas Merton, “Monastic Experience and East-West Dialogue,” in The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (New York: New Directions, 1973), 309-17.