Forbidden Thought

To question is to be alive otherwise we merely exist. Most of us have experiences in our past that we have suppressed, skeletons in our closets that we guard with our lives. We also have teachings, customs, rituals and practice that have been passed down to us with an implicit or even explicit command that we should not question. This is reflected by Carl Jung’s “forbidden thought.”

When Jung was about 12 years old he had what might be called his foundational experience. He walked by the Cathedral of Basle on his way to school. One day he looked up and saw a beautiful sky and God sitting on his throne, looking down on the Cathedral. As a bolt from out of the blue he was plagued by “a forbidden thought.” He was convinced that if he succumbed to this thought he would be punished and something terrible would happen to him. He could not talk to his father or his 9 uncles who were part of the clergy in the Swiss Reform Church. Every time Jung asked a question, he was told that it was in the Bible and that was the end of conversation.

He was tormented by the “forbidden thought” and knew that he would have to deal with it by himself. On the third day he began to think that this challenge came from the all-powerful and all-knowing God. Giving in to this temptation would go against the teachings of religion and apparently go against God’s own commandment! But the intensity of the “forbidden thought” overpowered him. Jung turned his gaze to God sitting on his golden throne, high above the world, and from under the throne an enormous turd fell upon the sparkling new roof of the cathedral, shattering it and breaking the solid walls. At that moment he experienced unutterable bliss such as he had never known and spiritual freedom that would be the foundation of the rest of his life. Following this experience Jung deliberated long about what God’s will might be, and why on earth he would attack his own cathedral.

The forbidden thought is like the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die” (Gen 3:2b). Not only did they touch the fruit but ate it. They experienced enlightenment when their eyes were opened and through their nakedness they became conscious of their true essence, namely, the Divine image and likeness or the Divine Breath. And Eve became the mother of all the living or the source of life (Gen 3:20).

How about reflecting on this quote?

“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It will transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.” Albert Einstein.

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20 Responses to Forbidden Thought

  1. Henri says:

    The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It will transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.” Albert Einstein.

    Believing that God Alone is God, is, for me, the Freeing Place where the understanding I have today of my personal God, will by His Grace, open up to me something greater and more wonderful of God tomorrow. “For with God a thousand years are as one day” until that day when I “Will know even as I am Known”.
    Thank You my God for revealing that You Love us, that we can believe in You, trust You, love You.
    This I ask this of You each day my God that I might love You with my whole heart, soul, mind and body and love my neighbour as myself; acting justly, loving tenderly, walking humbly before You my God.

  2. JOSEPHINE says:

    To this blog and to this conversation I, with as loud a voice as I can muster, reply

    AMEN PAUL COUTINHO !!!!!!!!!!

    You have just affirmed my whole being of spiritual growth at the moment.

    I agree 1000% That God and all that comes with God is, was, and always will be
    COSMIC. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now the new struggle becomes letting go of years and years of formation and brain washing that have presented God in a box 📦—- the box of organized religion….😳

    Paul, this blog and its timing could not be more perfect. In fact, this entry is so resonating in my spirit that I think I want to have a conversation in person with you to discuss it more.

    Anyone else with me in discussing this more ?

    We could have a fabulous God and spiritual experience of cosmic connection and consciousness discussing this together.

    Think about it ??????

    I am ready.

    THANK YOU Paul
    For this blog today and the spirit within you that spoke so beautifully.

    I would love to hear responses from those who also resonate with this blog today.
    And the sooner the better.

    Cosmic connection of Divine Breath


    Josephine Ludwig

    Hugs and love and connection of deep growth of Cosmic proportions to all of you.


  3. Mary Kopuster says:

    Our source will tell us everything.
    Test everything.

  4. Mary Anne Posnanski says:

    Wonderful! Thanks.
    Mary Anne

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Marilyn Koncen says:

    No wonder Einstein is called a genius! A blessed Easter.

  6. Diane says:

    Love this essay in Jung’s dreams!
    They speak for one and all of us when we question the “traditional” faith we are raised with.
    There is that faith and so much more and so much less than all the religions on this earth. We are always searching for more, if we choose not to stay in our box of comfortable religion all our lives.
    We never find the more, but the journey is in the seerching. We find a bit an d a piece, just never the final
    Piece of the entire puzzle of faith and spirituality !

  7. Yolanda says:

    So true, being raised catholic I had friends of different religions we would talk then I would relate to a priest or a nun friend and and the answer was always the same. “Just because” so off I would go. Maybe I’m still this way just going with the flow. Afraid of making waves😋 Thank you Paul you are a ray of sunshine.

  8. Jackie Guimond says:

    Thank you so much, Paul. You had shared this story with us at lunch and it is so good to have it to digest again. So appreciative of the freedom your wisdom empowers us with. And your CTA CD arrives tomorrow too. Easter blessings arriving early. Namaste!

  9. Miriam Wesselmann says:

    Thanks, Paul, for sharing your truth. It resonates with many of us and empowers us to speak our truth.

  10. Henry Holt says:

    Paul when I was a little boy I was at an amusement park with my father, when I had my own Jungian moment, My dad had just bought me a soda, and I took not 10 steps when a Leucophaeus atricilla (aka laughing gull) flying overhead shitted in the cup with the precision of a laser. I hadn’t even taken a sip……


    I burst into tears, and so now I ask, what kind of Almighty God would would do that to a little boy? Obviously a cosmic God with a miraculous sense of humor teaching a little boy to how to laugh.

    “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

    Albert Einstein

    • florydsouza says:

      ……. I burst into tears, and so now I ask, what kind of Almighty God would would do that to a little boy? Obviously a cosmic God with a miraculous sense of humor teaching a little boy to how to laugh. …..

      This is such a beautiful way of an adult looking at situations like these.. Thanks.

  11. florydsouza says:

    Thanks for putting these thoughts down in your blog Paul, so many more will benefit from it. We are so fortunate that we can discuss these things with you on a daily basis.

    The “forbidden thought” – truly I would be ostracized in the Mumbai, India church if I just whispered. I realized that whenever I tried to make a point, it was frowned upon. So what do I do as I don’t want to be alone, I superficially go with the crowd and privately believe what I want. Of course even privately, the guilt does not always go away, so ingrained we are in the Church’s teachings. Sincerely, I would love to have Jung’s experience with the turd falling on all our stupid beliefs and crashing them all.

    Love you Paul

  12. Mark Rudis says:

    The Devine gave us emotions which are to be transcended to find true happiness. Often times it is the pain experienced in life which creates a teachable student who out of desperation overcomes the barriers designed to contain him. Religions for centuries have tried to keep people blinded and boxed. Rumi said “there is a field out beyond the feelings of right and wrong, I will meet you there. ” Wisdom can be a path to Creator, true wisdom comes from personal experience. I am a fence jumper who wears no leash. Einstein met Rabindranoth Tagore in Berlin in 1933 their conversation consisted of “dueling truths,” for me I will choose Tagores truth. The table is not there if it is not observed in consciousness. Perhaps these great thinkers might have differed on the meaning of “cosmic” too? All must be experienced before it can be held as wisdom or truth. I too would eat the forbidden fruit. What great thoughts Paul and thanks to all who replied. What a great room it would be to have us all in one place sharing our own thoughts! Thank you.

    • JOSEPHINE says:

      I just thought the exact same thought
      “What a great room it would be “ if all of us that respond to Paul’s blog could share together in the same room. In person. Keep writing Paul. You provide “a room”

    • JOSEPHINE says:

      So many great responses that spring from your seeds you plant for us Paul.
      Thank you.
      2018 has been thus far an emotional and challenging growth year for me. Some deep roots of wounds are surfacing and so hope from any source is helpful and greatly welcomed right now.
      Thank you Paul.
      Thank you responders.
      Thank you cosmic universe of love that keeps me upright taking sometimes one moment and one breath at a time.
      I am sincerely grateful today.



  13. Henry Holt says:

    I think it’s important to note that when Einstein wrote that and was peering into the future, he was already light years ahead of the rest of us……but assuming god is constant and that it’s out understanding that is dynamic, it makes me think that religiosity and conformity are pretty useless.

    “Not only are we in the universe, the universe is in us. I don’t know of any deeper spiritual feeling than what that brings upon me.”

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

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