“In order to free the fiction of the Sovereign State—in other words, the whims of the chieftains who manipulate it—from every wholesome restriction, all socio-political movements tending in the direction invariably try to cut the ground out from under religion. For, in order to turn the individual into a function of the State, his dependence on anything else must be taken from him. Religion means dependence on and submission to the irrational facts of experience. These do not refer directly to social and physical conditions; they concern far more the individuals psychic attitude.
“But it is possible to have an attitude to the external conditions of life only when there is a point of reference outside them. Religion gives, or claims to give, such a standpoint, thereby enabling the individual to exercise his judgement and power of decision. It builds up a reserve, as it were, against the obvious and inevitable force of circumstances to which everyone is exposed who lives only in the outer world and has no other ground under his feet except the pavement. If statistical reality is the only one, then that is the sole authority. There is then only one condition, and since no contrary condition exists, judgement and decision are not only superfluous but impossible. Then the individual is bound to be a function of statistics and hence a function of the State or whatever abstract principle of order may be called.” ~C. G. Jung
Fiction of the Sovereign State
What Jung means by saying that the idea of the Sovereign State is fiction is that a state or political entity should never be sovereign over us. The state must never have the last word in everything we say and do, what we buy, what we wear, what we are allowed to say, etc. The proper state or government must give us the freedom to be individuals while at the same time linking us together as a unit. It is a delicate balancing act that few governments ever achieve. And those that do always change over time until they lose their way. That is because a government, corporation, or other organization inevitably starts to function as if it is a living entity. As such, it begins to value its own preservation above all other things. And as Jung points out, one way governments do this is through religious restriction. Some do it by establishing an actual or de facto state religion, others by banning religion entirely.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
One way that the Sovereign State turns people away from religion is by promoting the idea that only things established as facts by science are real, everything else is a childish fantasy. The problem with this idea is that science limits itself to studying the physical realm and completely ignores the spiritual. On the rare occasion that a scientist does decide to study the spiritual, they do so with the expectation that spiritual things will follow the laws of matter. That is, of course, impossible. If spirit followed the same laws as matter, it would just be another form of matter, which it isn’t. The scientists need instead to learn what the laws of spirit are just as they learned over many centuries what the laws of the physical universe are. But instead, science declares spirit as fantasy because it doesn’t obey the laws of matter. This generally serves the desires of the Sovereign State very well. The state can now label religion and any spiritual practices as nonsense.
Spiritual But Not Religious
While I’m sure members of this group will deny it emphatically, those who in recent years have declared themselves “spiritual, but not religious” are actually doing just what the Sovereign State wants them to. They think they are being rebels, but they are only rebelling against the religions which serve as a counterbalance to the Sovereign State. They also don’t realize that the idea that you could be spiritual without having some form of religion included in that is sheer nonsense—unless your idea of being spiritual simply means you oppose religion, which isn’t actually being spiritual at all.
The Value of Religion
The value of religion, according to the quote from Jung, is that it provides an alternative view from that of the Sovereign State. Not just another view, but a very different view. While the state inevitably clings to materialism, which is its domain, religion turns instead to a world of spirit. At least most religions do. So even when much of what a particular religion or church is teaching is false, it still serves the purpose of turning people away from materialism and being controlled by the state. Unfortunately in today’s world, many churches have turned themselves to materialism, so can no longer serve that purpose, but others still do.
Jung doesn’t mention spirituality because to him real religion and real spirituality are one and the same thing. So the ancient mystery schools of Atlantis, Egypt, and Greece were religions just as much as they were spiritual. They knew that it is impossible to be spiritual without believing in God, and if you believe in God, you are religious. You don’t have to belong to an organized church to be religious. The New age belief that spirituality is the opposite of religion is false.
The Other Side
There is a negative side to Religion. It often engages in mind control every bit as much as a sovereign state, if not more. Yet even then, it usually provides that alternative to the Sovereign State that allows one to think and function outside of state control. And yes, some wars have been started in the name of religion and some great atrocities have been committed in the name of religion. Far more have been done by governments, Kings, and sovereign states. So being anti-religion doesn’t make you spiritual, it makes you a tool of the Sovereign State that wants to end religion.