Carl Jung and “Psychology and Alchemy” – YouTube

 

Carl Jung:  CW 12 “Psychology and Alchemy”

 

Suffocation of the personality and an impotent Christianity that may well have received its death-wound—such is the unadorned balance-sheet of our time. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 559

 

However we may picture the relationship between God and soul, one thing is certain: The soul cannot be “nothing but. ” On the contrary it has the dignity of an entity endowed with consciousness of a relationship to Deity. Even if it were only the relationship of a drop of water to the sea … ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 10.

 

So long as religion is only faith and outward form, the religion’s function is not experienced in our souls, nothing of any importance has happened. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 12.

 

I would not deny the possibility of parallel dreams, i.e., dreams whose meaning coincides with or supports the conscious attitude, but in my experience, at least, these are rather rare. ~Carl Jung, CW 12; Page 48.

 

The self is not only the centre but also the whole circumference which embraces both conscious and unconscious; it is the centre of this totality, just as the ego is the centre of consciousness. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, para 44.

 

The highest and most decisive experience of all . . . is to be alone with . . . [one’s] own self, or whatever else one chooses to call the objectivity of the psyche. The patient must be alone if he is to find out what it is that supports him when he can no longer support himself. Only this experience can give him an indestructible foundation. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 32.

 

The conscious mind allows itself to be trained like a parrot, but the unconscious does not — which is why St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for his dreams. ~Carl Jung, CW 12,  Page 51.

 

Dionysus is the abyss of impassioned dissolution, where all human distinctions are merged in the animal divinity of the primordial psyche—a blissful and terrible experience. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 90.

 

The intellect may be the devil , but the devil is the “strange son of chaos” who can most readily be trusted to deal effectively with his mother. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 90.

 

But the principle of the unconscious is the autonomy of the psyche itself, reflecting in the play of its images not the world but itself, even though it utilizes the illustrative possibilities offered by the sensible world in order to make its images clear. ~Carl Jung, CW 12,  Page 146

 

With a truly tragic delusion these theologians fail to see that it is not a matter of proving the existence of the light, but of blind people who do not know that their eyes could see.  ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 14.

 

It is high time we realized that it is pointless to praise the light and preach it if nobody can see it.  It is much more needful to teach people the art of seeing.  ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 14.

 

I did not attribute a religious function to the soul, I merely produced the facts which prove that the soul is naturaliter religiosa, i.e., possesses a religious function. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 14.

 

But every carrier is charged with an individual destiny and destination, and the realization of these alone makes sense of life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 330.

 

To round itself out, life calls not for perfection but for completeness; and for this the “thorn in the flesh” is needed, the suffering of defects without which there is no progress and no ascent. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 208.

 

I do not hold myself responsible for the shortcomings in the lay public’s knowledge of psychology. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 4.

 

But the right way to wholeness is made up, unfortunately, of fateful detours and wrong turnings. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 6.

 

I for my part prefer the precious gift of doubt, for the reason that it does not violate the virginity of things beyond our ken.  ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 8.

 

On the contrary it [The Soul] has the dignity of an entity endowed with consciousness of a relationship to Deity. ~Carl Jung, CW 12,  Page 10.

 

As the eye to the sun, so the soul corresponds to God. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 10.

 

The great events of our world as planned and executed by man do not breathe the spirit of Christianity but rather of unadorned paganism.  ~Carl Jung, CW 12,  Page 11.

 

The Christian missionary may preach the gospel to the poor naked heathen, but the spiritual heathen who populate Europe have as yet heard nothing of Christianity. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 12.

 

So long as religion is only faith and outward form, and the religious function is not experienced in our own souls, nothing of any importance has happened. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Page 12.

 

Has it not yet been observed that all religious statements contain logical contradictions and assertions that are impossible in principle, that this is in fact the very essence of religious assertion? ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 15.

 

If the theologian really believes in the almighty power of God on the one hand and in the validity of dogma on the other, why then does he not trust God to speak in the soul? ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 17.

 

The archetypes of the unconscious can be shown empirically to be the equivalents of religious dogmas. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 17.

 

In the West the archetype is filled out with the dogmatic figure of Christ; in the East, with Purusha, the Atman, Hiranyagarbha, the Buddha, and so on. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 17.

 

The message of the Christian symbol is Gnosis, and the compensation effected by the unconscious is Gnosis in even higher degree.  ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 25.

 

Christ can indeed be imitated even to the point of stigmatization without the imitator coming anywhere near the ideal or its meaning. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 7.

 

The Western attitude, with its emphasis on the object, tends to fix the ideal—Christ—in its outward aspect and thus to rob it of its mysterious relation to the inner man. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 8.

 

If the supreme value (Christ) and the supreme negation (sin) are outside, then the soul is void: its highest and lowest are missing.  ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 8.

 

As the eye to the sun, so the soul corresponds to God. Since our conscious mind does not comprehend the soul it is ridiculous to speak of the things of the soul in a patronizing or depreciatory manner. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 11.

 

Too few people have experienced the divine image as the innermost possession of their own souls. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 12.

 

True, the “sense” is often something that could just as well be called “nonsense,” for there is a certain incommensurability between the mystery of existence and human understanding. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 222

 

In the self good and evil are indeed closer than identical twins! ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 24. 

 

We know that the mask of the unconscious is not rigid—it reflects the face we turn towards it. Hostility lends it a threatening aspect, friendliness softens its features. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 29

 

The experience of the unconscious is a personal secret communicable only to very few, and that with difficulty. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 61

 

The archetype is, so to speak, an “eternal” presence, and it is only a question of whether it is perceived by the conscious mind or not. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 329

 

There is always an attraction between conscious mind and projected content. Generally it takes the form  of a fascination. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 436.

 

So long as a content remains in the projected state it is inaccessible. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 555.

 

I may define “self” as the totality of the conscious and unconscious psyche, but this totality transcends our vision; it is a veritable lapis invisibilitatis [stone of invisibility]. In so far as the unconscious exists it is not definable; its existence is a mere postulate and nothing whatever can be predicated as to its possible contents. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 247.

 

As a doctor it is my task to help the patient to cope with life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 32

 

The patient must be alone if he is to find out what it is that supports him when he can no longer support himself.  Only this experience can give him an indestructible foundation. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 32

 

The labours of the doctor as well as the quest of the patient are directed towards that hidden and as yet unmanifest “whole” man, who is at once the greater and the future man. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 6

 

Our psychic prehistory is in truth the spirit of gravity, which needs steps and ladders because, unlike the disembodied airy intellect, it cannot fly at will. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 79

 

Experience of the opposites has nothing whatever to do with intellectual insight or with empathy. It is more what we would call fate. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 23.

 

Without the experience of the opposites there is no experience of wholeness and hence no inner approach to the sacred figures. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 24.

 

Since the psychological condition of any unconscious content is one of potential reality, characterized by the polar opposites of “being” and “non-being,” it follows that the union of opposites must play a decisive role in the alchemical process. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 557

 

It has yet to be understood that the Mysterium magnum [the great mystery] is not only an actuality but is first and foremost rooted in the human psyche. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 13.

 

The man who does not know this from his own experience may be a most learned theologian, but he has no idea of religion and still less of education. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 13.

 

Hence a religion becomes inwardly impoverished when it loses or waters down its paradoxes; but their multiplication enriches because only the paradox comes anywhere near to comprehending the fullness of life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 18

 

Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one-sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 18

 

The alchemist related himself not only to the unconscious but directly to the very substance which he hoped to transform through the power of imagination. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 394

 

However remote alchemy may seem to us today, we should not underestimate its cultural importance for the Middle Ages. Today is the child of the Middle Ages and it cannot disown its parents. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 432

 

It is clear enough from this material what the ultimate aim of alchemy really was: it was trying to produce a corpus subtile, a transfigured and resurrected body, i.e., a body that was at the same time spirit. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 511

 

There the main concern is the “diamond body,” in other words, the attainment of immortality through the transformation of the body. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 511

 

Since all the essentials [in Alchemy] are expressed in metaphors they can be communicated only to the intelligent, who possess the gift of comprehension. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 423.

 

They [Alchemists] rarely have pupils, and of direct tradition there seems to have been very little, nor is there much evidence of any secret societies or the like. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 422

 

“True” alchemy was never a business or a career, but a genuine opus to be achieved by quiet, self-sacrificing work.  ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 422.

 

It seems as if all the personal entanglements and dramatic changes of fortune that make up the intensity of life were nothing but hesitations, timid shrinking, almost like petty complications and meticulous excuses for not facing the finality of this strange and uncanny process of crystallization. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 326.

 

Often one has the impression that the personal psyche is running around this central point like a shy animal, at once fascinated and frightened, always in flight, and yet steadily drawing nearer. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 326.

 

In the last analysis every life is the realization of a whole, that is, of a self, for which reason this realization can also be called “individuation.” ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 330

 

All life is bound to individual carriers who realize it, and it is simply inconceivable without them. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 330

 

But every carrier is charged with an individual destiny and destination, and the realization of these alone makes sense of life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 330

 

Experience, not books, is what leads to understanding. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 564

 

In religious matters it is a well-known fact that we cannot understand a thing until we have experienced it inwardly. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 15

 

Christian education has done all that is humanly possible; but it has not been enough. Too few people have experienced the divine image as the innermost possession of their own souls. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 12

 

Only that which can destroy itself is truly alive. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 93

 

Microphysics is feeling its way into the unknown side of matter, just as complex psychology is pushing forward into the unknown side of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 2

 

Of course there is little or no hope that the unitary Being can ever be conceived, since our powers of thought and language permit only of antinomian statements. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 2

 

And what kind of an answer did the next generation give to the individualism of Nietzsche’s superman? It answered with a collectivism, a mass organization, a herding together of the mob, tam ethice quarn physice, that made everything that went before look like a bad joke. Suffocation of the personality and an impotent Christianity that may well have received its death-wound—such is the unadorned balance-sheet of our time. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 559

 

There is no light without shadow and no psychic wholeness without imperfection. To round itself out, life calls not for perfection but for completeness; and for this the “thorn in the flesh” is needed, the suffering of defects without which there is no progress and no ascent. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 208

 

It is only the intervention of time and space here and now that makes reality. Wholeness is realized for a moment only—the moment that Faust was seeking all his life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 321

 

I do not call the man who admits his ignorance an obscurantist; I think it is much rather the man whose consciousness is not sufficiently developed to be aware of his ignorance. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 564

 

Although man and woman unite they nevertheless represent irreconcilable opposites which, when activated, degenerate into deadly hostility. This primordial pair of opposites symbolizes every conceivable pair of opposites that may occur; hot and cold, light and dark, north and south, dry and damp, good and bad, conscious and unconscious. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 192

 

Nobody can meddle with fire or poison without being affected in some vulnerable spot; for the true physician does not stand outside his work but is always in the thick of it. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 5

 

An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 563

 

We know that the mask of the unconscious is not rigid —it reflects the face we turn towards it. Hostility lends it a threatening aspect, friendliness softens its features. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 29

 

It is so much easier to preach the universal panacea to everybody else than it is to take it oneself, and, as we all know, things are never so bad when everybody is in the same boat.  No doubts can exist in the herd; the bigger the crowd the better the truth—and the greater the catastrophe. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 563

 

To round itself out, life calls not for perfection but for completeness; and for this the “thorn in the flesh” is needed, the suffering of defects without which there is no progress and no ascent. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 208

 

Oddly enough, the paradox is one of our most valuable spiritual possessions, while uniformity of meaning is a sign of weakness . ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 10.

 

The word “type” means “blow” or “imprint”, thus an archetype presupposes an imprinter. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 14.

 

We simply do not know the ultimate derivation of the archetype any more than we know the origin of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 14.

 

I would not deny the possibility of parallel dreams, i.e., dreams whose meaning coincides with or supports the conscious attitude, but in my experience, at least, these are rather rare. Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 48

 

Evil needs to be pondered just as much as good, for good and evil are ultimately nothing but ideal extensions and abstractions of doing, and both belong to the chiaroscuro of life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 36

 

And this is also the reason why the psyche is forgotten so often and so long, and why the intellect makes such frequent use of magical, apotropaic words like “occult” and “mystic,” in the hope that even intelligent people will think these mutterings really mean something. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para119

 

But a conscious attitude that renounces its ego-bound intentions—not in imagination only, but in truth—and submits to the supra-personal decrees of fate, can claim to be serving a king. This more exalted attitude raises the status of the anima from that of a temptress to a psychopomp. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 380.

 

It [the unconscious] is and remains beyond the reach of subjective arbitrary control, in a realm where nature and her secrets can be neither improved upon nor perverted, where we can listen but may not meddle. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 46.

 

The secret is that only that which can destroy itself is truly alive. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 81.

 

Life that just happens in and for itself is not real life; it is real only when it is known. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 81.

 

Natural man is not a “self”—he is the mass and a particle in the mass, collective to such a decree that he is not even sure of his own ego. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 81.

 

I conjecture that the treasure is also the “companion,” the one who goes through life at our side—in all probability a close analogy to the lonely ego who finds a mate in the self, for at first the self is the strange non-ego. ~CW 12, Page 117.

 

But no matter how much parents and grandparents may have sinned against the child, the man who is really adult will accept these sins as his own condition which has to be reckoned with. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 117.

 

In the light of the possibilities revealed by intuition, man’s earthliness is certainly a lamentable imperfection; but this very imperfection is part of his innate being, of his reality. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 114.

 

For the alchemist, the one primarily in need of redemption is not man, but the deity who is lost and sleeping in matter. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 312.

 

All life is bound to individual carriers who realize it, and it is simply inconceivable without them. But every carrier is charged with an individual destiny and destination, and the realization of these alone makes sense of life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 222.

 

In the last analysis every life is the realization of a whole, that is, of a self, for which reason this realization can also be called “individuation.” ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 222.

 

Hildegard von Bingen transcended the animus; that is one woman’s service to the spirit. ~Carl Jung, Conversations with C.G. Jung, Page 30.

 

It is only the intervention of time and space here and now that makes reality. Wholeness is realized for a moment only—the moment that Faust was seeking: all his life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 214.

 

Just as the father represents collective consciousness, the traditional spirit, so the mother stands for the collective unconscious, the source of the water of life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 71.

 

Not for nothing did alchemy style itself an “art,” feeling—and rightly so—that it was concerned with creative processes that can be truly grasped only by experience, though intellect may give them a name. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 482.

 

It should therefore be an absolute rule to assume that every dream, and every part of a dream, is unknown at the outset, and to attempt an interpretation only after carefully taking up the context. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 44.

 

That from which things arise is the invisible and immovable God. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 323.

 

Only the gods can pass over the rainbow bridge; mortal men must stick to the earth and are subject to its laws. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 114.

 

We can never reach the level of our intuitions and should therefore not identify ourselves with them. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 114.

 

We should not rise above the earth with the aid of “spiritual” intuitions and run away from hard reality, as so often happens with people who have brilliant intuitions. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 114.

 

But Mercurius is the divine winged Hermes manifest in matter, the god of revelation, lord of thought and sovereign psychopomp. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 292.

 

When I say as a psychologist, that God is an archetype, I mean by that the “type” in the psyche. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 149

 

Wholeness is realized for a moment only—the moment that Faust was seeking all his life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 321

 

Suffocation of the personality and an impotent Christianity that may well have received its death-wound—such is the unadorned balance-sheet of our time. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 559

 

To round itself out, life calls not for perfection but for completeness; and for this the “thorn in the flesh” is needed, the suffering of defects without which there is no progress and no ascent. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 208

 

Wholeness is realized for a moment only—the moment that Faust was seeking all his life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 321

 

I have been accused of deifying the soul. Not I but God Himself deified it.” ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Page 14.

 

Such a change can begin only with individuals, for the masses are blind brutes, as we know to our cost. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 563

 

Hence the must fix his eye not on what is done but on how it is done, because therein is decided the whole character of the doer. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 31, Para 36.

 

True, what the soul imagines happens only in the mind, but what God imagines happens in reality. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 280.

 

All life is bound to individual carriers who realize it, and it is simply inconceivable without them. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 222.

 

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.  ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 99.

 

“Sense” and “nonsense” are merely man-made labels which serve to give us a reasonably valid sense of direction. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 222, Para 330.

 

Hence one could say —cum grano salis —that history could be constructed just as easily from one’s own unconscious as from the actual texts. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Page 86.

 

In the first case man attributes to himself the need of redemption and leaves the work of redemption, the actual opus, to the autonomous divine figure ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 414

 

In the latter case man takes upon himself the duty of carrying out the redeeming opus, and attributes the state of suffering and consequent need of redemption to the anima mundi imprisoned in matter ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 414

 

In Christianity the life and death of the God-man, as a unique sacrifice, bring about the reconciliation of man, who craves redemption and is sunk in materiality, with God. The mystical effect of the God-man’s self-sacrifice extends, broadly speaking, to all men, though it is efficacious only for those who submit through faith or are chosen by divine grace; but in the Pauline acceptance it acts as an apocatastasis and extends also to non-human creation in general, which, in its imperfect state, awaits redemption like the merely natural man ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 415

 

By a certain “synchronism” of events, man, the bearer of a soul submerged in the world of flesh, is potentially related to God at the moment when He, as Mary’s Son, enters into her, the virgo terrae and representative of matter in its highest form; and, potentially at least, man is fully redeemed at the moment when the eternal Son of God returns again to the Father after undergoing the sacrificial death. ~Carl Jung,  CW 12. Para 415

 

The ideology of this mysterium, [the mystical effect of God-man’s self-sacrifice], is anticipated in the myths of Osiris, Orpheus, Dionysus, and Hercules and in the conception of the Messiah among the Hebrew prophets. These anticipations go back to the primitive hero-myths where the conquest of death is already an important factor. The projections upon Attis and Mithras, more or less contemporary with the Christian one, are also worth mentioning. The Christian projection differs from all these manifestations of the mystery of redemption and transformation by reason of the historical and personal figure of Jesus. The mythical event incarnates itself in Him and so enters the realm of world history as a unique historical and mystical phenomenon ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 416

 

In alchemy she always appears as Sapientia Dei, and in the writings of the Church Fathers the south wind is an allegory of the Holy Ghost, presumably because it is hot and dry. For the same reason the process of sublimation is known in Arabic alchemy as the “great south wind,” referring to the heating of the retort ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 473

 

The Holy Ghost, too, is fiery and causes an exaltation. His equivalent, so to speak, is the hidden fire, the spiritus igneus dwelling in Mercurius, whose opposite poles are an agens (i.e., fire) and a patiens (i.e., quicksilver). When therefore Abu’l Qasim speaks of the fire as the “great south wind,” he is in agreement with the ancient Greek view that Hermes was a wind-god. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 473

 

This spirit was eventually interpreted as the Holy Ghost in accordance with the ancient tradition of the Nous swallowed up by the darkness while in the embrace of Physiswith this difference, however, that the devourer is not the supreme feminine principle, earth, but Nous in the form of Mercurius or the tail-eating Uroboros. In other words, the devourer is a sort of material earth-spirit, an hermaphrodite possessing a masculine-spiritual and a feminine-corporeal aspect. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 447

 

The original Gnostic myth has undergone a strange transformation: Nous and Physis are indistinguishably one in the prima materia and have become a natura abscondita ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 447

 

The psychological equivalent of this theme is the projection of a highly fascinating unconscious content which, like all such contents, exhibits a numinous“divine” or “sacred”quality. Alchemy set itself the task of acquiring this “treasure hard to attain” and of producing it in visible form, as the physical gold or the panacea or the transforming tincturein so far as the art still busied itself in the laboratory ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 448

 

But since the practical, chemical work was never quite free from the unconscious contents of the operator which found expression in it, it was at the same time a psychic activity which can best be compared with what we call active imagination. This method enables us to get an active grasp of things that also find expression in dream life. The process is in both cases an irrigation of the conscious mind by the unconscious, and it is related so closely to the world of alchemical ideas that we are probably justified in assuming that alchemy deals with the same, or very similar, processes as those involved in active imagination and in dreams, i.e., ultimately with the process of individuation ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 448

 

Earlier on, we left Arisleus and his companions, together with Beya and the dead Thabritius, in the triple glass house where they had been imprisoned by the Rex marinus. They suffer from intense heat like the three whom Nebuchadnezzar cast into the fiery furnace. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 449

 

King Nebuchadnezzar had a vision of a fourth, like the “Son of God,” as we are told in Daniel 3:25. This vision is not without bearing on alchemy, since there are numerous passages in the literature stating that the Stone is Trinus et unus. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 449

 

Trinus et unus consists of the four elements with fire representing the spirit concealed in matter. This is the fourth, absent and yet present, who always appears in the fiery agony of the furnace and symbolizes the divine presencesuccour and completion of the work ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 449

 

And in their hour of need, Arisleus and his companions see their master Pythagoras in a dream and beg him for help. He sends them his disciple Harforetus, “the author of nourishment.” So the work is completed and Thabritius comes to life again ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 449

 

The Christian receives the fruits of the Mass for himself personally and for the circumstances of his own life in the widest sense. The alchemist, on the other hand, receives the fructus arboris immortalis not merely for himself but first and foremost for the King or the King’s Son, for the perfecting of the coveted substance. He may play a part in the perfectio, which brings him health, riches, illumination, and salvation; but since he is the redeemer of God and not the one to be redeemed, he is more concerned to perfect the substance than himself ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 451

 

The alchemist always stresses his humility and begins his treatises with invocations to God. He does not dream of identifying himself with Christ; on the contrary, it is the coveted substance, the lapis, that alchemy likens to Christ. It is not really a question of identification at all, but of the hermeneutic sicut“as” or “like unto”which characterizes the analogy ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 451

 

For medieval man, however, analogy was not so much a logical figure as a secret identity, a remnant of primitive thinking which is still very much alive. An instructive example of this is the rite of hallowing the fire on the Saturday before Easter (fig. 191) . The fire is “like unto” Christ, an imago Christi. The stone from which the spark is struck is the “cornerstone”another imago; and the spark that leaps from the stone is yet again an imago Christi ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 451

 

The analogy with the extraction of the pneuma from the stone in the saying of Ostanes forces itself upon us. We are already familiar with the idea of pneuma as fire, and with Christ as fire and fire as the earth’s inner counter-element; but the stone from which the spark is struck is also analogous to the rocky sepulchre, or the stone before it. Here Christ lay as one asleep or in the fetters of death during the three days of his descent into hell, when he went down to the ignis gehennalis, from which he rises again as the New Fire. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 451

 

Without knowing it, the alchemist carries the idea of the imitatio a stage further and reaches the conclusion we mentioned earlier, that complete assimilation to the Redeemer would enable him, the assimilated, to continue the work of redemption in the depths of his own psyche. This conclusion is unconscious, and consequently the alchemist never feels impelled to assume that Christ is doing the work in him ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 452

 

It is by virtue of the wisdom and art which he himself has acquired, or which God has bestowed upon him, that he can liberate the world-creating Nous or Logos, lost in the world’s materiality, for the benefit of mankind. The artifex himself bears no correspondence to Christ; rather he sees this correspondence to the Redeemer in his wonderful Stone ~Carl Jung, CW 12. Para 452

 

From this point of view, alchemy seems like a continuation of Christian mysticism carried on in the subterranean darkness of the unconsciousindeed some mystics pressed the materialization of the Christ figure even to the appearance of the stigmata. But this unconscious continuation never reached the surface, where the conscious mind could have dealt with it. All that appeared in consciousness were the symbolic symptoms of the unconscious process. Had the alchemist succeeded in forming any concrete idea of his unconscious contents, he would have been obliged to recognize that he had taken the place of Christor, to be more exact, that he, regarded not as ego but as Self, had taken over the work of redeeming not man but God. He would then have had to recognize not only himself as the equivalent of Christ, but Christ as a symbol of the Self. This tremendous conclusion failed to dawn on the medieval mind. What seems like a monstrous presumption to the Christian European would have been self-evident to the spirit of the Upanishads. Modern man must therefore consider himself fortunate not to have come up against Eastern ideas until his own spiritual impoverishment was so far gone that he did not even notice what he was coming up against. He can now deal with the East on the quite inadequate and therefore innocuous level of the intellect, or else leave the whole matter to Sanskrit specialists ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 452

 

his uncreated mystery was prepared (praeparatum) by God in such a way that nothing will ever be like it in the future nor will it ever return to what it was. For it was so corrupted as to be beyond reparation (which presumably refers to the Fall). Dorn’s rendering is true to the original text ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 430

 

The above examples clearly show that the alchemists came to project even the highest valueGodinto matter. With the highest value thus safely embedded in matter, a starting-point was given for the development of genuine chemistry on the one hand and of the more recent philosophical materialism on the other, with all the psychological consequences that necessarily follow when the picture of the world is shifted 180 degrees. However remote alchemy may seem to us today, we should not underestimate its cultural importance for the Middle Ages. Today is the child of the Middle Ages and it cannot disown its parents ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 432

 

The prima materia has the quality of ubiquity: it can be found always and everywhere, which is to say that projection can be made always and everywhere. The English alchemist George Ripley (c. 1415-90) writes: “The Philosophers tell the inquirer that birds and fishes bring us the lapis, every man has it, it is in every place, in you, in me, in everything, in time and space. It offers itself in lowly form [vili figura]. From it there springs our eternal water [aqua permanens]” ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 433

 

According to Ripley the prima materia is water; it is the material principle of all bodies, including mercury. It is the hyle which the divine act of creation brought forth from the chaos as a dark sphere (sphaericum opus:) ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 433

 

The chaos is a massa confusa that gives birth to the Stone. The hylic water contains a hidden elemental fire. The idea of the rotating aquasphere reminds us of the Neopythagoreans: in Archytas the world-soul is a circle or sphere; in Philolaos it draws the world round with it in its rotation. The original idea is to be found in Anaxagoras, where the Nous gives rise to a whirlpool in chaos ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 433

 

The cosmogony of Empedokles is also of importance: here the(spherical being) springs from the union of dissimilars.The definition of this spherical being as “most serene God,” sheds a special light on the perfect, “round” nature of the lapis, which arises from, and constitutes, the primal sphere; hence the prima materia is often called lapis ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 433

 

The initial state is the hidden state, but by the art and the grace of God it can be transmuted into the second, manifest state. That is why the prima materia sometimes coincides with the idea of the initial stage of the process, the nigredo. It is then the black earth in which the gold or the lapis is sown like the grain of wheat (cf. fig. 048) . It is the black, magically fecund earth that Adam took with him from Paradise, also called antimony and described as “black blacker than black” (nigrum nigrius nigro) Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 433

 

Alchemy was trying to produce a corpus subtile, a transfigured and resurrected body, i.e., a body that was at the same time spirit. In this it finds common ground with Chinese alchemy, as we have learned from the text of The Secret of the Golden Flower. There the main concern is the “diamond body,” in other words, the attainment of immortality through the transformation of the body ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 511

 

The diamond is an excellent symbol because it is hard, fiery, and translucent. Orthelius tells us that the Philosophers have never found a better medicament than that which they called the noble and blessed Stone of the Philosophers, on account of its hardness, transparency, and rubeous hue ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 511

 

This waking dream shows that the dreamer is still preoccupied with the dark centre. The bear stands for the chthonic element that might seize him. But then it becomes clear that the animal is only leading up to the four colours, which in their turn lead to the lapis, i.e., the diamond whose prism contains all the hues of the rainbow. The way to the east probably points to the unconscious as an antipode. According to the legend the Grail-stone comes from the east and must return there again. In alchemy the bear corresponds to the nigredo of the prima materia (fig. 090) , whence comes the colourful cauda pavonis ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 263

 

The mystical and philosophical trend became ever more pronounced, while on the other hand chemistry proper began to mark itself more distinctly. The age of science and technology was dawning, and the introspective attitude of the Middle Ages was fast approaching its decline ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 502

 

Religious and metaphysical values became less and less able to give adequate expression to the psychic experiences brought to light by the opus alchymicum. Only after the lapse of several centuries did it fall to empirical psychology to throw new light on the obscure psychic content of Hermetic experiences ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 502

 

Paracelsus and Böhme between them split alchemy into natural science and Protestant mysticism. The Stone returned to its former condition: vilis vilissimus, the vilest of the vile, in via eiectus, thrown out into the street, like Spitteler’s jewel. Morienus could say again today: “Take that which is trodden underfoot in the dunghill, for if thou dost not, thou wilt fall on thine head when thou wouldst climb without steps”meaning that if a man refuses to accept what he has spurned, it will recoil upon him the moment he wants to go higher ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 514

 

The lapis-Christus parallel recurs all through the last days of alchemy in the seventeenth century, but only in epigonic form. This was the age that saw the rise of the secret societies, above all the Rosicruciansthe best proof that the secret of alchemy had worn itself out. For the whole raison d’être of a secret society is to guard a secret that has lost its vitality and can only be kept alive as an outward form. Michael Maier allows us a glimpse into this tragedy: at the end of his chef-d’oeuvre he confesses that in the course of his grand peregrinatio he found neither Mercurius nor the phoenix, but only one phoenix feather his pen! ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 515

 

This is a delicate hint at his realization that the great adventure had led to nothing beyond his copious literary achievements, whose merits would no doubt have gone unremembered had it depended solely on the spirit of the next three centuries. But, although the growing materialism of the age dismissed alchemy as a huge disappointment and an absurd aberration, there is yet “quaedam substantia in Mercurio quae nunquam moritur”a fascination that never entirely disappeared, even when wrapped in the fool’s garb of goldmaking ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 515

 

In alchemy the egg stands for the chaos apprehended by the artifex, the prima materia containing the captive world-soul. Out of the egg — symbolized by the round cooking vessel — will rise the eagle or phoenix, the liberated soul, which is ultimately identical with the Anthropos who was imprisoned in the embrace of Physis. ~Carl Jung; CW 12; Page 202.

 

I wish everybody could be freed from the burden of their sins by the Church. But he to whom she cannot render this service must bend very low in the imitation of Christ in order to take the burden of his cross upon him. The ancients could get along with the Greek wisdom of the ages: “Exaggerate nothing, all good lies in right measure.” But what an abyss still separates us from reason! ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 37

 

If the theologian really believes in the almighty power of God on the one hand and in the validity of dogma on the other, why then does he not trust God to speak in the soul. Why this fear of psychology? Or is, in complete contradiction to dogma, the soul itself a hell from which only demons gibber.” Even if this were really so it would not be any the less convincing; for as we all know the horrified perception of the reality of evil has led to at least as many conversions as the experience of good. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 19

 

This objectivity is just what my psychology is most blamed for: it is said not to decide in favour of this or that religious doctrine. Without prejudice to my own subjective convictions I should like to raise the question: Is it not thinkable that when one refrains from setting oneself up as an arbiter mundi and, deliberately renouncing all subjectivism, cherishes on the contrary the belief, for instance, that God has expressed himself in many languages and appeared in divers forms and that all these statements are true—is it not thinkable, I say, that this too is a decision? The objection raised, more particularly by Christians, that it is impossible for contradictory statements to be true, must permit itself to be politely asked: Does one equal three? How can three be one?  Can a mother be a virgin? And so on. Has it not yet been observed that all religious statements contain logical contradictions and assertions that are impossible in principle, that this is in fact the essence of religious assertion? ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 18

 

So long as religion is only faith and outward form, and the religious function is not experienced in our own souls, nothing of any importance has happened. It has yet to be understood that the mysterium magnum is not only an actuality but is first and foremost rooted in the human psyche. The man who does not know this from his own experience may be a most learned theologian, but he has no idea of religion and still less of education. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 13

 

Religious symbols are phenomena of life, plain facts and not intellectual opinions. If the Church clung for so long to the idea that the sun rotates round the earth, and then abandoned this contention in the nineteenth century, she can always appeal to the psychological truth that for millions of people the sun did revolve round the earth and that it was only in the nineteenth century that any major portion of mankind became sufficiently sure of the intellectual function to grasp the proof of the earth’s planetary nature. Unfortunately there is no “truth” unless there are people to understand it. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 166

 

The Church represents a higher spiritual substitute for the purely natural, or “carnal,” tie to the parents. Consequently it frees the individual from an unconscious natural relationship which, strictly speaking, is not a relationship at all but simply a condition of inchoate, unconscious identity. This, just because it is unconscious, possesses a tremendous inertia and offers the utmost resistance to any kind of spiritual development. It would be hard to say what the essential difference is between this state and the soul of an animal. With the methods employed hitherto we have not succeeded in Christianizing the soul to the point where even the most elementary demands of Christian ethics can exert any decisive influence on the main concerns of the Christian European. The Christian missionary may preach the gospel to the poor naked heathen, but the spiritual heathen who populate Europe have as yet heard nothing of Christianity. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 13

 

The pagan religions met this danger by giving drunken ecstasy a place within their cult. Heraclitus doubtless saw what was at the back of it when he said, “But Hades is that same Dionysos in whose honour they go mad and keep the feast of the wine-vat.” For this very reason orgies were granted religious licence, so as to exorcise the danger that threatened from Hades. Our solution, however, has served to throw the gates of hell wide open. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 182

 

The great events of our world as planned and executed by man do not breathe the spirit of Christianity but rather of unadorned paganism. These things originate in a psychic condition that has remained archaic and has not been even remotely touched by Christianity. The Church assumes, not altogether without reason, that the fact of semelcredidisse (having once believed) leaves certain traces behind it; but of these traces nothing is to be seen in the broad march of events. Christian civilization has proved hollow to a terrifying degree: it is all veneer, but the inner man has remained untouched and therefore unchanged. His soul is out of key with his external beliefs; in his soul the Christian has not kept pace with external developments. Yes, everything is to be found outside—in image and in word, in Church and Bible—but never inside. Inside reign the archaic gods, supreme as of old. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 12

 

It is in the inward experience that the connection between the psyche and the outward image or creed is first revealed as a relationship or correspondence like that of sponsus and sponsa. Accordingly when I say as a psychologist that God is an archetype, I mean by that the “type” in the psyche. The word “type” is, as we know, derived from the Greek TVTToq, “blow” or “imprint”; thus an “archetype” presupposes an imprinter. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 15

 

The competence of psychology as an empirical science only goes so far as to establish, on the basis of comparative research, whether for instance the imprint found in the psyche can or cannot reasonably be termed a “God-image.”

Nothing positive or negative has thereby been asserted about the possible existence of God, any more than the archetype of the “hero” proves the actual existence of a hero. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 15

 

What does “wholeness” mean? I feel that there is every reason here for some anxiety, since man as a whole being casts a shadow. The fourth was not separated from the three and banished to the kingdom of everlasting fire for nothing. Does not an uncanonical saying of our Lord declare, “Whoso is near unto me is near unto the fire”? Such dire ambiguities are not meant for grown-up children —which is why Heraclitus of old was named “the dark,” because he spoke too plainly and called life itself an “ever-living fire.” And that is why there are uncanonical sayings for those that have ears to hear. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 297

 

Every life is the realization of a whole, that is, of a self, for which reason this realization can also be called “individuation.” All life is bound to individual carriers who realize it, and it is simply inconceivable without them. But every carrier is charged with an individual destiny and destination, and the realization of these alone makes sense of life. True, the “sense” is often something that could just as well be called “nonsense,” for there is a certain incommensurability between the mystery of existence and human understanding. “Sense” and “nonsense” are merely manmade labels which serve to give us a reasonably valid sense of direction. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 330

 

The demand made by the imitatio Christi—that we should follow the ideal and seek to become like it—ought logically to have the result of developing and exalting the inner man. In actual fact, however, the ideal has been turned by superficial and formalistically-minded believers into an external object of worship, and it is precisely this veneration for the object that prevents it from reaching down into the depths of the psyche and giving the latter a wholeness in keeping with the ideal. Accordingly the divine mediator stands outside as an image, while man remains fragmentary and untouched in the deepest part of him. Christ can indeed be imitated even to the point of stigmatization without the imitator coming anywhere near the ideal or its meaning. For it is not a question of an imitation that leaves a man unchanged and makes him into a mere artifact, but of realizing the ideal on one’s own account Deo concedente—in one’s own individual life. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 7

 

If the supreme value (Christ) and the supreme negation (sin) are outside, then the soul is void its highest and lowest are missing. The Eastern attitude (more particularly the Indian) is the other way about everything, highest and lowest, is in the (transcendental) Subject. Accordingly the significance of the Atman, the Self, is heightened beyond all bounds. But with Western man the value of the self sinks to zero. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 9

 

Western man is held in thrall by the “ten thousand things”; he sees only particulars, he is ego-bound and thing-bound, and unaware of the deep root of all being. Eastern man, on the other hand, experiences the world of particulars, and even his own ego, like a dream; he is rooted essentially in the “Ground,” which attracts him so powerfully that his relations with the world are relativized to a degree that is often incomprehensible to us. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 8

 

The intellect may be the devil, but the devil is the “strange son of chaos” who can most readily be trusted to deal effectively with his mother. The Dionysian experience will give this devil plenty to do should he be looking for work, since the resultant settlement with the unconscious far outweighs the labours of Hercules. In my opinion it presents a whole world of problems which the intellect could not settle even in a hundred years—the very reason why it has so often gone off on a holiday to recuperate on lighter tasks. And this is also the reason why the psyche is forgotten so often and so long, and why the intellect makes such frequent use of magical, apotropaic words like “occult” and “mystic,” in the hope that even intelligent people will think these mutterings really mean something. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para119

 

Rational truths are not the last word, there are also irrational ones. In human affairs, what appears impossible by way of the intellect has often become true by way of the irrational. Indeed, all the greatest changes that have ever affected mankind have come not by way of intellectual calculation, but by ways which contemporary minds either ignored or rejected as absurd, and which were recognized only long afterwards because of their intrinsic necessity. More often than not they are never recognized at all, for the all-important laws of mental development are still a book with seven seals. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 135

 

In the light of the possibilities revealed by intuition, man’s earthliness is certainly a lamentable imperfection; but this very imperfection is part of his innate being, of his reality. He is compounded not only of his best intuitions, his highest ideals and aspirations, but also of the odious conditions of his existence, such as heredity and the indelible sequence of memories which shout after him: “You did it, and that’s what you are!” Man may have lost his ancient saurian’s tail, but in its stead he has a chain hanging on to his psyche which binds him to the earth—an anything but-Homeric chain* of given conditions which weigh so heavy that it is better to remain bound to them, even at the risk of becoming neither a hero nor a saint. (History gives us some justification for not attaching any absolute value to these collective norms.)That we are bound to the earth does not mean that we cannot grow; on the contrary it is the sine qua non of growth. No noble, well-grown tree ever disowned its dark roots, for it grows not only upwards but downwards as well. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 148

 

We should not rise above the earth with the aid of “spiritual” intuitions and run away from hard reality, as so often happens with people who have brilliant intuitions. We can never reach the level of our intuitions and should therefore not identify ourselves with them. Only the gods can pass over the rainbow bridge; mortal men must stick to the earth and are subject to its laws. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 148

 

To remain a child too long is childish, but it is just as childish to move away and then assume that childhood no longer exists because we do not see it. But if we return to the “children’s land” we succumb to the fear of becoming childish, because we do not understand that everything of psychic origin has a double face. One face looks forward, the other back. It is ambivalent and therefore symbolic, like all living reality. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 74

 

The labours of the doctor as well as the quest of the patient are directed towards that hidden and as yet unmanifest “whole” man, who is at once the greater and the future man. But the right way to wholeness is made up, unfortunately, of fateful detours and wrong turnings. It is a longissima via, not straight but snakelike, a path that unites the opposites in the manner of the guiding caduceus, a path whose labyrinthine twists and turns are not lacking in terrors. It is on this longissima via that we meet with those experiences which are said to be “inaccessible.” Their inaccessibility really consists in the fact that they cost us an enormous amount of effort they demand the very thing we most fear, namely the “wholeness” which we talk about so glibly and which lends itself to endless theorizing, though in actual life we give it the widest possible berth. It is infinitely more popular to go in for “compartment psychology,” where the left-hand pigeon-hole does not know what is in the right. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 6

 

The doctor cannot afford to point, with a gesture of facile moral superiority, to the tablets of the law and say, “Thou shalt not.” He has to examine things objectively and weigh up possibilities, for he knows, less from religious training and education than from instinct and experience, that there is something very like a jelix culpa. He knows that one can miss not only one’s happiness but also one’s final guilt, without which a man will never reach his wholeness. Wholeness is in fact a charisma which one can manufacture neither by art nor by cunning; one can only grow into it and endure whatever its advent may bring. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 36

 

As a doctor it is my task to help the patient to cope with life. I cannot presume to pass judgment on his final decisions, because I know from experience that all coercion—be it suggestion, insinuation, or any other method of persuasion—ultimately proves to be nothing but an obstacle to the highest and most decisive experience of all, which is to be alone with his own self, or whatever else one chooses to call the objectivity of the psyche. The patient must be alone if he is to find out what it is that supports him when he can no longer support himself.  Only this experience can give him an indestructible foundation. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 32

 

But in no circumstances may we anticipate that this meaning will fit in with any of our subjective expectations; for quite possibly, indeed very frequently, the dream is saying something surprisingly different from what we would expect. As a matter of fact, if the meaning we find in the dream happens to coincide with our expectations, that is a reason for suspicion; for as a rule the standpoint of the unconscious is complementary or compensatory to consciousness and thus unexpectedly “different.” ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 48

 

The psychological context of dream-contents consists in the web of associations in which the dream is naturally embedded. Theoretically we can never know anything in advance about this web, but in practice it is sometimes possible, granted long enough experience. Even so, careful analysis will never rely too much on technical rules; the danger of deception and suggestion is too great. In the analysis of isolated dreams above all, this kind of knowing in advance and making assumptions on the grounds of practical expectation or general probability is positively wrong. It should therefore be an absolute rule to assume that every dream, and every part of a dream, is unknown at the outset, and to attempt an interpretation only after carefully taking up the context. We can then apply the meaning we have thus discovered to the text of the dream itself and see whether this yields a fluent reading, or rather whether a satisfying meaning emerges. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 48

 

I would not deny the possibility of parallel dreams, i.e., dreams whose meaning coincides with or supports the conscious attitude, but in my experience, at least, these are rather rare. Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 48

 

The doctrine that all evil thoughts come from the heart and that the human soul is a sink of iniquity must lie deep in the marrow of their bones. Were it so, then God had made a sorry job of creation, and it were high time for us to go over to Marcion the Gnostic and depose the incompetent demiurge. Ethically, of course, it is infinitely more convenient to leave God the sole responsibility for such a Home for Idiot Children, where no one is capable of putting a spoon into his own mouth. But it is worth man’s while to take pains with himself, and he has something in his own soul that can grow. It is rewarding to watch patiently the silent happenings in the soul, and the most and the best happens when it is not regulated from outside and from above. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 126

 

Whoever speaks of the reality of the soul or psyche is accused of “psychologism.” Psychology is spoken of as if it were “only” psychology and nothing else. The notion that there can be psychic factors which correspond to the divine figures is regarded as a devaluation o£ the latter. It smacks of blasphemy to think that a religious experience is a psychic process; for, so it is argued, a religious experience “is not only psychological.” Anything psychic is only Nature and therefore, people think, nothing religious can come out of it. At the same time such critics never hesitate to derive all religions—with the exception of their own — from the nature of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para  9

 

I do not underestimate the psyche in any respect whatsoever, nor do I imagine for a moment that psychic happenings vanish into thin air by being explained. Psychologism represents a still primitive mode of magical thinking, with the help of which one hopes to conjure the reality of the soul out of existence, after the manner of the “Proktophantasmist” in Faust: Are you still there? Nay, it’s a thing unheard. Vanish at once!  We’ve said the enlightening word. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 750

 

Were it not a fact of experience that supreme values reside in the soul (quite apart from the antimimon pneuma who is also there), psychology would not interest me in the least, for the soul would then be nothing but a miserable vapour. I know, however, from hundredfold experience that it is nothing of the sort, but on the contrary contains the equivalents of everything that has been formulated in dogma and a good deal more, which is just what enables it to be an eye destined to behold the light. This requires limitless range and unfathomable depth of vision. I have been accused of “deifying the soul.” Not I but God himself has deified it! ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 14

 

It would be blasphemy to assert that God can manifest himself everywhere save only in the human soul. Indeed the very intimacy of the relationship between God and the soul precludes from the start any devaluation of the latter. It would be going perhaps too far to speak of an affinity; but at all events the soul must contain in itself the faculty of relation to God, i.e., a correspondence, otherwise a connection could never come about. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 1

 

1 did not attribute a religious function to the soul, I merely produced the facts which prove that the soul is natitraliter religiosa, i.e., possesses a religious function. I did not invent or insinuate this function, it produces itself of its own accord without being prompted thereto by any opinions or suggestions of mine. With a truly tragic delusion theologians fail to see that it is not a matter of proving the existence of the light, but of blind people who do not know that their eyes could see. It is high time we realized that it is pointless to praise the light and preach it if nobody can see it. It is much more needful to teach people the art of seeing. For it is obvious that far too many people are incapable of establishing a connection between the sacred figures and their own psyche they cannot see to what extent the equivalent images are lying dormant in their own unconscious. In order to facilitate this inner vision we must first clear the way for the faculty of seeing. How this is to be done without psychology, that is, without making contact with the psyche, is, frankly, beyond my comprehension. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 14

 

The immortality of the soul insisted upon by dogma exalts it above the transitoriness of mortal man and causes it to partake of some supernatural quality. It thus infinitely surpasses the perishable, conscious individual in significance, so that logically the Christian is forbidden to regard the soul as a “nothing but.” As the eye to the sun, so the soul corresponds to God. Since our conscious mind does not comprehend the soul it is ridiculous to speak of the things of the soul in a patronizing or depreciatory manner. Even the believing Christian does not know God’s hidden ways and must leave him to decide whether he will work on man from the outside or from within, through the soul. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 11

 

The old alchemists were nearer to the central truth of the psyche than Faust when they strove to deliver the fiery spirit from the chemical elements, and treated the mystery as though it lay in the dark and silent womb of nature. It was still outside them. The upward thrust of evolving consciousness was bound sooner or later to put an end to the projection, and to restore to the psyche what had been psychic from the beginning. Yet, ever since the Age of Enlightenment and in the era of scientific rationalism, what indeed was the psyche It had become synonymous with consciousness. The psyche was “what I know.” There was no psyche outside the ego. Inevitably, then, the ego identified with the contents accruing from the withdrawal of projection.

Gone were the days when the psyche was still for the most part “outside the body” and imagined “those greater things” which the body could not grasp. The contents that were formerly projected were now bound to appear as personal possessions, as chimerical phantasms of the ego-consciousness. The fire chilled to air, and the air became the great wind of Zarathustra and caused an inflation of consciousness which, it seems, can be damped down only by the most terrible catastrophe to civilization, another deluge let loose by the gods upon inhospitable humanity. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 562

 

All that is not encompassed by our knowledge, so that we are not in a position to make any statements about its total nature. Microphysics is feeling its way into the unknown side of matter, just as complex psychology is pushing forward into the unknown side of the psyche. Both lines of investigation have yielded findings which can be conceived only by means of antinomies, and both have developed concepts which display remarkable analogies. If this trend should become more pronounced in the future, the hypothesis of the unity of their subject-matters would gain in probability. Of course there is little or no hope that the unitary Being can ever be conceived, since our powers of thought and language permit only of antinomian statements. But this much we do know beyond all doubt, that empirical reality has a transcendental background. It is a remarkable fact, which we come across again and again, that absolutely everybody, even the most unqualified layman, thinks he knows all about psychology as though the psyche were something that enjoyed the most universal understanding. But anybody who really knows the human psyche will agree with me when I say that it is one of the darkest and most mysterious regions of our experience. There is no end to what can be learned in this field. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para

 

Dionysus is the abyss of impassioned dissolution, where all human distinctions are merged in the animal divinity of the primordial psyche—a blissful and terrible experience. Humanity, huddling behind the walls of its culture, believes it has escaped this experience, until it succeeds in letting loose another orgy of bloodshed. All well-meaning people are amazed and blame high finance, the armaments industry, the Jews, or the Freemasons. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 118

 

Evil needs to be pondered just as much as good, for good and evil are ultimately nothing but ideal extensions and abstractions of doing, and both belong to the chiaroscuro of life. In the last resort there is no good that cannot produce evil and no evil that cannot produce good. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 36

 

The difficulty lies in striking the dead centre. For this an awareness of the two sides of man’s personality is essential, of their respective aims and origins. These two aspects must never be separated through arrogance or cowardice. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 148

 

We know of course that without sin there is no repentance and without repentance no redeeming grace, also that without original sin the redemption of the world could never have come about; but we assiduously avoid investigating whether in this very power of evil God may not have placed some special purpose which it is most important for us to know. One often feels driven to some such view when, like the psychotherapist, one has to deal with people who are confronted with their blackest shadow. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 36

 

Christianity has made the antinomy of good and evil into a world problem and, by formulating the conflict dogmatically, raised it to an absolute principle. Into this as yet unresolved conflict the Christian is cast as a protagonist of good, a fellow player in the world drama. Understood in its deepest sense, being Christ’s follower involves a suffering that is unendurable to the great majority of mankind. Consequently the example of Christ is in reality followed either with reservation or not at all, and the pastoral practice of the Church even finds itself obliged to “lighten the yoke of Christ.” This means a pretty considerable reduction in the severity and harshness of the conflict and hence, in practice, a relativism of good and evil. Good is equivalent to the unconditional imitation of Christ and evil is its hindrance. Man’s moral weakness and sloth are what chiefly hinder the imitation, and it is to these that probabilism extends a practical understanding which may sometimes, perhaps, come nearer to Christian tolerance, mildness, and love of one’s neighbour than the attitude of those who see in probabilism a mere laxity. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 25

 

On paper the moral code looks clear and neat enough; but the same document written on the “living tables of the heart” is often a sorry tatter, particularly in the mouths of those who talk the loudest. We are told on every side that evil is evil and that there can be no hesitation in condemning it, but that does not prevent evil from being the most problematical thing in the individual’s life and the one which demands the deepest reflection. What above all deserves our keenest attention is the question “Exactly who is the doer?” For the answer to this question ultimately decides the value of the deed. It is true that society attaches greater importance at first to what is done, because it is immediately obvious; but in the long run the right deed in the hands of the wrong man will also have a disastrous effect.  No one who is far-sighted will allow himself to be hoodwinked by the right deed by the wrong man, any more than by the wrong deed of the right man. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 36

 

As a doctor it is my task to help the patient to cope with life. I cannot presume to pass judgment on his final decisions, because I know from experience that all coercion-be it suggestion, insinuation, or any other method of persuasion-ultimately proves to be nothing but an obstacle to the highest and most decisive experience of all, which is to be alone with his own self, or whatever else one chooses to call the objectivity of the psyche. The patient must be alone if he is to find out what it is that supports him when he can no longer support himself. Only this experience can give him an indestructible foundation. ~Carl Jung, CW 12: Page 32.

 

It would be blasphemy to assert that God can manifest Himself everywhere save only in the human soul. Indeed the very intimacy of the relationship between Cod and the soul automatically precludes any devaluation of the latter. It would be going perhaps too far to speak of an affinity; but at all events the soul must contain in itself the faculty of relation to God, i.e. a correspondence, otherwise a connection could never come about This correspondence is, in psychological terms, the archetype of the God-image [q.v.]” ~Carl Jung, CW 12, par. 11.

 

Christ espoused the sinner and did not condemn him. The true follower of Christ will do the same, and, since one should do unto others as one would do unto oneself, one will also take the part of the sinner who is oneself. And as little as we would accuse Christ of fraternizing with evil, so little should we reproach ourselves that to love the sinner who is oneself is to make a pact with the devil. Love makes a man better, hate makes him worse—even when that man is oneself. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para  37

 

The conscious mind allows itself to be trained like a parrot, but the unconscious does not—which is why St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for his dreams. The unconscious is an autonomous psychic entity; any efforts to drill it are only apparently successful, and moreover harmful to consciousness. It is and remains beyond the reach of subjective arbitrary control, a realm where nature and her secrets can be neither improved upon nor perverted, where we can listen but may not meddle. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 51

 

The reality of evil and its incompatibility with good cleave the opposites asunder and lead inexorably to the crucifixion and suspension of everything that lives. Since “the soul is by nature Christian” this result is bound to come as infallibly as it did in the life of Jesus we all have to be “crucified with Christ,” i.e., suspended in a moral suffering equivalent to veritable crucifixion. In practice this is only possible up to a point, and apart from that is so unbearable and inimical to life that the ordinary human being can afford to get into such a state only occasionally, in fact as seldom as possible. For how could he remain ordinary in the face of such suffering! ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 24