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By: Julian David

A Brief History of God

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Underlying the writing of this book is the great gap left in our society by the slow and lingering death of God the Father Almighty. What shall we do now that we are orphans in this world? What can we do with all those wonderful Gothic buildings, now that the spirit has gone out of them? The full magnitude of the change stupefies the mind. Yet there is also an enormous liberation, for a patriarchal culture is so unnatural that it does real structural damage to the psyches of those who grow up in it. That fathers should, right into the twentieth century, own their children and mothers have no rights to them, was the legacy of the One God. That women could not keep their own money—their husbands owned it and have done so throughout our history—came from the same place. We are a crippled culture, facing now our own extinction, and only beginning to find our potential to deal with it.And though God is indeed dead, as Nietzsche told us a little while ago, the mystery that things exist—that anything exists at all, let alone this world with all its beauty and its depths—surrounds us with greater force than the presence of that God permitted; and it is Einstein, the scientist, who points us towards it:“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead—his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the centre of true religiousness.”– Albert Einstein, Living Philosophies

Born in 1933, into ‘a Catholic family of excep­tional piety,’ Julian David grew up in the wilds of Mon­mouthshire. He had little schooling before going to Ample­forth as a teenager, from where he went up to Oxford in 1951 to read History. He came down in 1954.

After two years in London, trying to find a career in a world not constituted to my liking, I retired into a monas­tery and spent another two years studying mediaeval philosophy. I felt a need to go to the root of the modern world, which I knew was still in religion. In 1958 I emerged and began to teach in schools for maladjusted boys.

At the beginning of the 1960s, Mr David started teaching at Dartington Hall School and married the painter Yasmin Wishart. They bought the remote and beautiful farm in South Devon where he has lived ever since.

In March 1969, under a new headmaster, Mr David set up a course of Comparative Religion and Philosophy at Dartington. From 1970 to 1973, he ran the Dartington Social Work project in Sicily Project.

In 1976, Mr David came into just enough money from his Armenian great-grandfather to study as an analyst at the Jung Institute in Zurich. After graduating in 1982, he helped to set up the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists as a new training institute in London.

In 1987, Laurens van der Post was looking for someone to be the founding analyst in a Jungian training centre in Cape Town, and chose Mr David. In January 1989, the Davids moved out to South Africa where they spent the next five years, through the end of apartheid and the first year of Nelson Mandela’s presidency.

After returning to England, Mr David became Chairman of the C. G. Jung Club in London in 2006 and took on editor­ship of its journal, Harvest.

Mr David has lectured widely around the world, and continues to do so occasionally at Schumacher College and in Cape Town. He still lives in his Devon farmhouse, not far from his three children and seven grandchildren.

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