From there on the voices of the depths remained silent for a whole year. Again in summer, when I was out on the water alone, I saw an osprey plunge down not far from me; he seized a large fish and rose up into the skies again clutching it. I heard the voice of my soul, and she spoke: “That is a sign that what is below is borne upward.”
Soon after this on an autumn night I heard the voice of an old man (and this time I knew that it was DIAHMON. He said: 1 want to turn you around. I want to master you. I want to emboss you like a coin. I want to do business with you. One should buy and sell you. You should pass from hand to hand. Self-willing is not for you. You are the will of the whole. Gold is no master out of its own will and yet it rules the whole, despised and greedily demanded, an inexorable ruler: it lies and waits. He who sees it longs for it. It does not follow one around, but lies silently, with a brightly gleaming countenance, self-sufficient, a king that needs no proof of its power. Everyone seeks after it, few find it, but even the smallest piece is highly esteemed. It neither gives nor squanders itself Everyone takes it where he finds it, and anxiously ensures that he doesn’t lose the smallest part of it. Everyone denies that he depends on it, and yet he secretly stretches out his hand longingly toward it. Must gold prove its necessity? It is proven through the longing of men. Ask it: who takes me? He who takes it, has it. Gold does not stir. It sleeps and shines. Its brilliance confuses the senses. Without a word, it promises everything that men deem desirable. It ruins those to be ruined and helps those on the rise to ascend.
A blazing hoard is piled up, it awaits the taker. What tribulations do men not take upon themselves for the sake of gold? It waits and does not shorten their tribulations-the greater the tribulations, the greater the trouble, the more esteemed it is. It grows from underground, from the molten lava. It slowly exudes, hidden in veins and rocks. Man exerts all cunning to dig it out, to raise it.”
But I called out dismayed: “What ambiguous speech, Oh DIAHMON!”
But DIAHMON continued: “Not only to teach, but also to disavow, or why then did I teach? If I do not teach, I do not have to disavow. But if I have taught, I must disavow thereafter. For if I teach, I must give others what they should have taken. What he acquires is good, but the gift that was not acquired is bad. To waste oneself means: to want to suppress many. Deceitfulness surrounds the giver because his own enterprise is deceitful. He is forced to revoke his gift and to deny his virtue.
The burden of silence is not greater than the burden of my self that I would like to load onto you. Therefore I speak and I teach. May the listener defend himself against my ruse, by means of which I burden him. The best truth is also such a skillful deception that I also entangle myself in it as long as I do not realize the worth of a successful ruse.”
And I was startled again and cried: “Oh DIAHMON, men have deceived themselves about you, therefore you deceive them. But he who fathoms you, fathoms himself”
But DIAHMON fell silent and retired into the shimmering cloud of uncertainty. He left me to my thoughts. And it occurred to me that high barriers would still need to be erected between men, less to protect them against mutual burdens than against mutual virtues. It seemed to me as if the so-called Christian morality of our time made for mutual enchantment. How can anyone bear the burden of the other, if it is still the highest that one can expect from a man, that he at least bears his own burden. But sin probably resides in enchantment. If I accept self forgetting virtue, I make myself the selfish tyrant of the other, and I am thus also forced to surrender myself again in order to make another my master, which always leaves me with a bad impression and is not to the other’s advantage. Admittedly, this interplay underpins society, but the soul of the individual becomes damaged since man thus learns always to live from the other instead of from himself It appears to me that, if one is capable, one should not surrender oneself as that induces, indeed even forces, the other to do likewise. But what happens if everyone surrenders themselves? That would be folly Not that it would be a beautiful or a pleasant thing to live with one’s self but it serves the redemption of the self Incidentally, can one give oneself up? With this one becomes one’s own slave. That is the opposite of accepting oneself If one becomes one’s own slave-and this happens to everyone who surrenders himself-one is lived by the self One does not live one’s self; it lives itself.
The self-forgetting virtue is an unnatural alienation from one’s own essence, which is thus deprived of development. It is a sin to deliberately alienate the other from his self by means of one’s own virtuousness, for example, through saddling oneself with his burden. This sin rebounds on us.
It is submission enough, amply enough, if we subjugate ourselves to our self The work of redemption is always first to be done on ourselves, if one dare utter such a great word. This work cannot be done without love for ourselves. Must it be done at all? Certainly not, if one can endure their given condition and does not feel in need of redemption. The tiresome feeling of needing redemption can finally become too much for one. Then one seeks to rid oneself of it and thus enters into the work of redemption.
It appears to me that we benefit in particular from removing every sense of beauty from the thought of redemption, and even need to do so, or else we will deceive ourselves again because we like the word and because a beautiful shimmer spreads out over the thing through the great word. But one can at least doubt whether the work of redemption is in itself a beautiful thing. The Romans did not find the hanged Jew exactly tasteful, and the gloomy excessive enthusiasm for catacombs around which cheap, barbaric symbols gathered probably lacked a pleasant shimmer in their eyes, given that their perverse curiosity for everything barbaric and subterranean had already been aroused.
I think it would be most correct and most decent to say that one blunders into the work of redemption unintentionally; so to speak, if one wants to avoid what appears to be the unbearable evil of an insurmountable feeling of needing redemption. This step into the work of redemption is neither beautiful nor pleasant nor does it divulge an inviting appearance. And the thing itself is so difficult and full of torment that one should count oneself as one of the sick and not as one of the over healthy who seek to impart their abundance to others.
Consequently we should also not use the other for our own supposed redemption. The other is no stepping stone for our feet. It is far better that we remain with ourselves. The need for redemption rather expresses itself through an increased need for love with which we think we can make the other happy. But meanwhile we are brimming with longing and desire to alter our own condition. And we love others to this end. If we had already achieved our purpose, the other would leave us cold. But it is true that we also need the other for our own redemption. Perhaps he will lend us his help voluntarily; since we are in a state of sickness and helplessness. Our love for him is, and should not be, selfless. That would be a lie. For its goal is our own redemption. Selfless love is true only as long as the demand of the self can be pushed to one side. But someday comes the turn of the self Who would want to lend himself to such a self for love? Certainly only one who does not yet know what excess of bitterness, injustice, and poison the self of a man harbors who has forgotten his self and made a virtue of it. In terms of the self selfless love is a veritable sin.
We must presumably often go to ourselves to re-establish the connection with the self since it is torn apart all too often, not only by our vices but also by our virtues. For vices as well as virtues always want to live outside. But through constant outer life we forget the self and through this we also become secretly selfish in our best endeavors.What we neglect in ourselves blends itself secretly into our actions toward others. Through uniting with the self we reach the God.
I must say this, not with reference to the opinions of the ancients or this or that authority; but because I have experienced it. It has happened thus in me. And it certainly happened in a way that I neither expected nor wished for. The experience of the God in this form was unexpected and unwanted. I wish I could say it was a deception and only too willingly would I disown this experience. But I cannot deny that it has seized me beyond all measure and steadily goes on working in me. So if it is a deception, then deception is my God. Moreover, the God is in the deception. And if this were already the greatest bitterness that could happen to me, I would have to confess to this experience and recognize the God in it. No insight or objection is so strong that it could surpass the strength of this experience. And even if the God had revealed himself in a meaningless abomination, I could only avow that I have experienced the God in it. I even know that it is not too difficult to cite a theory that would sufficiently explain my experience and join it to the already known. I could furnish this theory myself and be satisfied in intellectual terms, and yet this theory would be unable to remove even the smallest part of the knowledge that I have experienced the God. I recognize the God by the unshakeableness of the experience. I cannot help but recognize him by the experience. I do not want to believe it, I do not need to believe it, nor could I believe it. How can one believe such? My mind would need to be totally confused to believe such things. Given their nature, they are most improbable. Not only improbable but also impossible for our understanding. Only a sick brain could produce such deceptions. I am like those sick persons who have been overcome by delusion and sensory deception. But I must say that the God makes us sick. I experience the God in sickness. A living God afflicts our reason like a sickness. He fills the soul with intoxication. He :fills us with reeling chaos. How many will the God break?
The God appears to us in a certain state of the soul. Therefore we reach the God through the self Not the self is God, although we reach the God through the self The God is behind the self above the self the self itsel£ when he appears. But he appears as our sickness, from which we must heal ourselves. We must heal ourselves from the God, since he is also our heaviest wound.
For in the first instance the God’s power resides entirely in the self since the self is completely in the God, because we were not with the self We must draw the self to our side. Therefore we must wrestle with the God for the self Since the God is an unfathomable powerful movement that sweeps away the self into the boundless, into issolution. Hence when the God appears to us we are at first powerless, captivated, divided, sick, poisoned with the strongest poison, but drunk with the highest health.
Yet we cannot remain in this state, since all the powers of our body are consumed like fat in the flames. Hence we must strive to free the self from the God, so that we can live. It is certainly possible and even quite easy for our reason to deny the God and to speak only of sickness. Thus we accept the sick.part and can also heal it. But it will be a healing with loss. We lose a part of life. We go on living, but as ones lamed by the God. Where the fire blazed dead ashes lie.
I believe that we have the choice: I preferred the living wonders of the God. I daily weigh up my whole life and I continue to regard the fiery brilliance of the God as a higher and fuller life than the ashes of rationality. The ashes are suicide to me. I could perhaps put out the fire but I cannot deny to myself the experience of the God. Nor can I cut myself off from this experience. I also do not want to, since I want to live. My life wants itself whole.
Therefore I must serve my self I must win it in this way. But I must win it so that my life will become whole. For it seems to me to be sinful to deform life where there is yet the possibility to live it fully. The service of the self is therefore divine service and the service of mankind. If I carry myself I relieve mankind of myself and heal my self from the God.
I must free my self from the God, since the God I experienced is more than love; he is also hate, he is more than beauty, he is also the abomination, he is more than wisdom, he is also meaninglessness, he is more than power, he is also powerlessness, he is more than omnipresence, he is also my creature. ~Carl Jung, Red Book