Carl Jung on the “Stone” – YouTube

 

Nothing was left but the hole in which the snake was said to dwell. There the honey cakes were placed and the obolus thrown in. The sacred cave in the temple at Cos consisted of a rectangular pit covered by a stone slab with a square hole in it ~Carl Jung, CW 5, Para 577

 

In Hierapolis (Edessa) a temple was built over the earth where the flood subsided, and in Jerusalem the foundation-stone of the temple was laid over the great abyss, in the same way that Christian churches are often built over caves, grottoes, wells, etc. ~Carl Jung, CW 5. Para 577

 

It should never be forgotten—and of this the Freudian school must be reminded—that morality was not brought down on tables of stone from Sinai and imposed on the people, but is a function of the human soul, as old as humanity itself. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 30.

 

The capacity for inner dialogue is a touchstone for outer objectivity. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 187

 

Life is a touchstone for the truth of the spirit. Spirit that drags a man away from life, seeking fulfillment only in itself, is a false spirit though the man too is to blame, since he can choose whether he will give himself up to this spirit or not ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 647

 

We solemnly lay a foundation-stone with the blessing of the Church ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 87

 

Another striking example of analogy is the making fire on Holy Saturday. In former times, the new fire was struck from the stone, and still earlier it was obtained by boring into a piece of wood, which was the prerogative of the Church ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 314

 

Therefore in the prayer of the priest it is said: O God, who through thy Son, who is called the cornerstone, hast brought the fire of thy light to the faithful, make holy for our future use this new fire struck from the firestone ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 314

 

By the analogy of Christ with the cornerstone, the firestone is raised to the level of Christ himself, who again kindles a new fire ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 314

 

Over and over again in the “metamorphosis of the gods,” he rises up as the prophet or first-born of a new generation and appears unexpectedly in the unlikeliest places (sprung from a stone, tree, furrow, water, etc.) and in ambiguous form (Tom Thumb, dwarf, child, animal, and so on). ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 267

 

The alchemists projected the inner event into an outer figure, so for them the inner friend appeared in the form of the “Stone,” of which the Tractatus aureus : “Understand, ye sons of the wise, what this exceeding precious Stone crieth out to you: Protect me and I will protect thee. Give me what is mine that I may help thee.” To this a scholiast adds: “The seeker after truth hears both the Stone and the Philosopher speaking as if out of one mouth.” The Philosopher is Hermes, and the Stone is identical with Mercurius, the Latin Hermes. ~Carl Jung; CW 9i; Para 283

 

From the earliest times, Hermes was the mystagogue and psycho pomp of the alchemists, their friend and counselor, who leads them to the goal of their work. He is “like a teacher mediating between the stone and the disciple.” To others the friend appears in the shape of Christ or Khidr or a visible or invisible guru, or some other personal guide or leader figure. ~Carl Jung, CW 9I, para. 283

 

I am in a church made of grey sandstone. The apse is built rather high. Near the tabernacle a girl in a red dress is hanging on the stone cross of the window. (Suicide?) ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Par 354

 

The alchemists projected the inner event into an outer figure, so for them the inner friend appeared in the form of the “Stone,” of which the Tractatus aureus says: “Understand, ye sons of the wise, what this exceeding precious Stone crieth out to you: Protect me and I will protect thee. Give me what is mine that I may help thee.” To this a scholiast adds: “The seeker after truth hears both the Stone and the Philosopher speaking as if out of one mouth.” The Philosopher is Hermes, and the Stone is identical with Mercurius, the Latin Hermes ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 238

 

From the earliest times, Hermes was the mystagogue and psychopomp of the alchemists, their friend and counsellor, who leads them to the goal of their work. He is “like a teacher mediating between the stone and the disciple” ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 238

 

We go through a door into a tower-like room, where we climb a long flight of steps. On one of the topmost steps I read an inscription: Vis ut sis.' The steps end in a temple situated on the crest of a wooded mountain, and there is no other approach. It is the shrine of Ursanna, the bear-goddess and Mother of God in one. The temple is of red stone. Bloody sacrifices are offered there. Animals are standing about the altar. In order to enter the temple precincts one has to be transformed into an animala beast of the forest. The temple has the form of a cross with equal arms and a circular space in the middle, which is not roofed, so that one can look straight up at the sky and the constellation of the Bear. On the altar in the middle of the open space there stands the moon-bowl, from which smoke or vapour continually rises. There is also a huge image of the goddess, but it cannot be seen clearly. The worshippers, who have been changed into animals and to whom I also belong, have to touch the goddess's foot with their own foot, whereupon the image gives them a sign or an oracular utterance likeVis ut sis’ ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 343

 

The fact is that archetypal images are so packed with meaning in themselves that people never think of asking what they really do mean. That the gods die from time to time is due to man’s sudden discovery that they do not mean anything, that they are made by human hands, useless idols of wood and stone. In reality, however, he has merely discovered that up till then he has never thought about his images at all. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 22

 

Magnesia is rather the “complete or conjoined mixture from which this moisture is extracted, i.e., the root-matter of our Stone” ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 241.

 

The magnesia is feminine, just as the magnet is masculine by nature. Hence it carries “in its belly the sal Armoniacum et vegetabile,” meaning the arcane substance of the Stone. Even in Greek alchemy magnesia or “magnes” denoted the hermaphroditic transformative substance ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para  241

 

Rosinus: Take therefore this animate Stone, the Stone which has a soul in it, the mercurial, which is sensible and sensitive to the presence and influence of the magnesia and the magnet, and [which is] the calaminary and the living Stone, yielding and repelling by local motion ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 241.

 

There can hardly be any doubt that not a few of those seekers had the dawning knowledge that the secret nature of the stone was man’s own self. This “self” was evidently never thought of as an entity identical with the ego, and for this reason it was described as a “hidden nature” dwelling in inanimate matter, as a spirit, daemon, or fiery spark. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Page 94.

 

The medieval representations of the circle are based on the idea of the microcosm, a concept that was also applied to the stone. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Page 95.

 

The stone was a “little world” like man himself, a sort of inner image of the cosmos, reaching not into immeasurable distances but into an equally immeasurable depth-dimension, i.e., from the small to the unimaginably smallest. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Page 95.

 

Just as the alchemists knew that the production of their stone was a miracle that could only happen “Deo concedente,” so the modern psychologist is aware that he can produce no more than a description, couched in scientific symbols, of a psychic process whose real nature transcends consciousness just as much as does the mystery of life or of matter. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Page 296.

 

The statement that “the various names given to it [the Mind] are innumerable” proves that the Mind must be something as vague and indefinite as the philosophers’ stone. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Page 302.

 

[From an early treatise]: “Thus it [the stone] comes from man, and you are its mineral (raw material); in you it is found and from you it is extracted . . . and it remains inseparably in you” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, para 53

 

And Gerhard Dorn cries out, “Transform yourselves into living philosophical stones!” There can hardly be any doubt that not a few of those seekers had the dawning knowledge that the secret nature of the stone was man’s own self. This “self” was evidently never thought of as an entity identical with the ego, and for this reason it was described as a “hidden nature” dwelling in inanimate matter, as a spirit, daemon, or fiery spark. By means of the philosophical opus, . . . this entity was freed from darkness and imprisonment, and finally it enjoyed a resurrection. . . . It is clear that these ideas can have nothing to do with the empirical ego, but are concerned with a “divine nature” quite distinct from it, and hence, psychologically speaking, with a consciousness-transcending content issuing from the realm of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung,  CW 11, para 154.

 

In Milton’s time these ideas were very much in the air, forming part of the general stock of culture, and there were not a few Masters who realized that their philosophical stone was none other than the “total man.” The Satan-Prometheus parallel shows clearly enough that Milton’s devil stands for the essence of human individuation and thus comes within the scope of psychology. This close proximity, as we know, proved a danger not only to the metaphysical status of Satan, but to that of other numinous figures as well. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 471

 

The spiritual man says to the worldly man, “Are you capable of knowing your soul in a complete manner? If you knew it, as is fitting, and if you knew what makes it better, you would be able to recognize that the names the philosophers formerly gave it are not its true names. . . . O dubious names that resemble the true names, what errors and agonies you have provoked among men!” The names refer in turn to the philosopher’s stone. . . . ~Carl Jung, CW 11, para 153.

 

The cross has also the meaning of a boundary-stone between heaven and hell, since it is set up in the center of the cosmos and extends to all sides.The Tibetan mandala occupies a similar central position, its upper half rising up to heaven out of the earth (like the hemispherical stupas at Sanchi, India), with hell lying below. I have often found the same construction in individual mandalas: the light world on top, the dark below, as if they were projecting into these worlds. There is a similar design in Jakob Böhme’s “reversed eye” or “philosophical mirror” `Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 136

 

The center, as a rule, is emphasized. But what we find there is a symbol with a very different meaning. It is a star, a sun, a flower, a cross with equal arms, a precious stone, a bowl filled with water or wine, a serpent coiled up, or a human being, but never a god ~Carl Jung, CW 11. Para 136

 

There can hardly be any doubt that not a few of those seekers had the dawning knowledge that the secret nature of the stone was man’s own Self ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 154

 

In other dreams the circle is represented by rotation for instance, four children carry a “dark ring” and walk in a circle. Again, the circle appears combined with the quaternity, as a silver bowl with four nuts at the four cardinal points, or as a table with four chairs. The center seems to be particularly emphasized. It is symbolized by an egg in the middle of a ring; by a star consisting of a body of soldiers; by a star rotating in a circle, the cardinal points of which represent the four seasons; by the pole; a precious stone, and so on ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 109

 

With this we come back to our modern experiences. They are obviously similar in nature to the basic medieval and classical ideas, and can therefore be expressed by the same, or at any rate similar, symbols. The medieval representations of the circle are based on the idea of the microcosm, a concept that was also applied to the stone. The stone was a “little world” like man himself, a sort of inner image of the cosmos, reaching not into immeasurable distances but into an equally immeasurable depth-dimension, i.e., from the small to the unimaginably smallest. Mylius therefore calls this center the “punctum cordis” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 155

 

In Milton’s time these ideas were very much in the air, forming part of the general stock of culture, and there were not a few Masters who realized that their philosophical stone was none other than the “total man.” The Satan-Prometheus parallel shows clearly enough that Milton’s devil stands for the essence of human individuation and thus comes within the scope of psychology. This close proximity, as we know, proved a danger not only to the metaphysical status of Satan, but to that of other numinous figures as well ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 471

 

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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 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

 

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

 

As well as with a feminine being, the tree is also connected with the snake, the dragon, and other animals, as in the case of Yggdrasil, the Persian tree Gaokerena in the lake of Vourukasha, or the tree of the Hesperides, not to mention the holy trees of India, in whose shadow may often be seen dozens of naga (= snake) stones. ~Carl Jung,  CW 13, Para 461

 

The attributes of the Stone incorruptibility, permanence, divinity, triunity, etc.are so insistently emphasized that one cannot help taking it as the deus absconditus in matter. This is probably the basis of the lapis-Christ parallel, which occurs as early as Zosimos (unless the passage in question is a later interpolation). Inasmuch as Christ put on a “human body capable of suffering” and clothed himself in matter, he forms a parallel to the lapis, the corporeality of which is constantly stressed. Its ubiquity corresponds to the omnipresence of Christ. Its “cheapness,” however, goes against the doctrinal view ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 127

 

The divinity of Christ has nothing to do with man, but the healing Stone is “extracted” from man, and every man is its potential carrier and creator. It is not difficult to see what kind of conscious situation the lapis philosophy compensates: far from signifying Christ, the lapis complements the common conception of the Christ figure at that time. What unconscious nature was ultimately aiming at when she produced the image of the lapis can be seen most clearly in the notion that it originated in matter and in man, that it was to be found everywhere, and that its fabrication lay at least potentially within man’s reach. These qualities all reveal what were felt to be the defects in the Christ image at that time: an air too rarefied for human needs, too great a remoteness, a place left vacant in the human heart. Men felt the absence of the “inner” Christ who belonged to every man. Christ’s spirituality was too high and man’s naturalness was too low ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 127

 

In the image of Mercurius and the lapis the “flesh” glorified itself in its own way; it would not transform itself into spirit but, on the contrary, “fixed” the spirit in Stone, and endowed the Stone with all the attributes of the three Persons. The lapis may therefore be understood as a symbol of the inner Christ, of God in man. I use the expression “symbol” on purpose, for though the lapis is a parallel of Christ, it is not meant to replace him. On the contrary, in the course of the centuries the alchemists tended more and more to regard the lapis as the culmination of Christ’s work of redemption. This was an attempt to assimilate the Christ figure into the philosophy of the “science of God.” In the sixteenth century Khunrath formulated for the first time the “theological” position of the lapis: it was the filius macrocosmi as opposed to the “son of man,” who was the filius microcosmi. This image of the “Son of the Great World” tells us from what source it was derived: it came not from the conscious mind of the individual man, but from those border regions of the psyche that open out into the mystery of cosmic matter ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 127

 

Nothing would have been easier than to equate the love story of Mars and Venus with that of Gabricus and Beya (who were also personified as dog and bitch), and it is likely that astrological influences also played a part. Thanks to his unconscious identity with it, man and cosmos interact. The following passage, of the utmost importance for the psychology of alchemy, should be understood in this sense: “And as man is composed of the four elements, so also is the Stone, and so it is [dug] out of man, and you are its ore, namely by working; and from you it is extracted, namely by division; and in you it remains inseparably, namely through the science” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 125

 

Not only do things appear personified as human beings, but the macrocosm personifies itself as a man too. “The whole of nature converges in man as in a centre, and one participates in the other, and man has not unjustly concluded that the material of the philosophical Stone may be found everywhere” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 125

 

Something similar is meant by the poetic expression serenitas aerea in the Ripley Scrowle, and by the same author’s statement that Mercurius is changed into wind. He is the lapis elevatus cum vento (the Stone uplifted by the wind). The expressions spirituale corpus and spiritus visibilis, tamen impalpabilis (visible yet impalpable spirit) might also mean little more than “air” if one recalls the aforementioned vapour-like nature of Mercurius, and the same is probably true even of the spiritus prae cunctis valde purus (pre-eminently pure spirit). The designation incombustibilis is more doubtful, since this was often synonymous with incorruptibilis and then meant “eternal,” as we shall see later ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 261

 

Even though his interpretation strikes us at first as somewhat forced, indeed as far-fetched and arbitrary, we should nevertheless not forget that while the conception of the “waters” is a strange one to us, for Zosimos and for the alchemists in general it had a significance we would never suspect. It is also possible that the mention of the “water” opened out perspectives in which the ideas of dismemberment, killing, torture, and transformation all had their place. For, beginning with the treatises of Democritus and Komarios, which are assigned to the first century A.D., alchemy, until well into the eighteenth century, was very largely concerned with the miraculous water, the aqua divina or permanens, which was extracted from the lapis, or prima materia, through the torment of the fire. The water was the humidum radicale (radical moisture), which stood for the anima media natura or anima mundi imprisoned in matter, the soul of the Stone or metal, also called the anima aquina ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 89

 

A Latin proverb says: canis panem somniat, piscator pisces (the dog dreams of bread, the fisherman of fish). The alchemist, too, dreams in his own specific language. This enjoins upon us the greatest circumspection, all the more so as that language is exceedingly obscure. In order to understand it [the language], we have to learn the psychological secrets of alchemy. It is probably true what the old Masters said, that only he who knows the secret of the Stone understands their words. It has long been asserted that this secret is sheer nonsense, and not worth the trouble of investigating seriously. But this frivolous attitude ill befits the psychologist, for any “nonsense” that fascinated men’s minds for close on two thousand yearsamong them some of the greatest, e.g., Newton and Goethemust have something about it which it would be useful for the psychologist to know ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 90

 

The element of torture, so conspicuous in Zosimos, is not uncommon in alchemical literature. “Slay the mother, cutting off her hands and feet”.“Take a man, shave him, and drag him over a stoneuntil his body dies”.“Take a cock, pluck it alive, then put its head in a glass vessel”. In medieval alchemy the torturing of the materia was an allegory of Christ’s passion ~Carl Jung, CW 13. Para 139

 

The Stone was called “orphan” because of its uniqueness“it was never seen elsewhere”and it was said to be in the Emperor’s crown. It was “wine-coloured” and sometimes shone in the night, “but nowadays it does not shine [any more] in the darkness.” As Albertus Magnus was an authority on alchemy, he may have been the direct source both for Dorn and for Petrus Bonus.“Orphan” as the name of a gem may therefore mean something like the modern “solitaire”a very apt name for the unique lapis philosophorum. Apart from Dorn and Petrus Bonus, it seems that this name is found only in the Carmina Heliodori. There it refers to the(homeless orphan) who is slain at the beginning of the work for purposes of transformation ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 13

 

They therefore imbued this arcanum with symbols intended to characterize its malicious, dangerous, and uncanny nature, choosing precisely those which in the positive sense were used for Christ in the patristic literature. These were the snake, the lion, the eagle, fire, cloud, shadow, fish, stone, the unicorn and the rhinoceros, the dragon, the night-raven, the man encompassed by a woman, the hen, water, and many others ~Carl Jung, CW 14 Par 147

 

The materia is visible to all eyes, the whole world sees it, touches it, loves it, and yet no one knows it. “This stone therefore is no stone,” says the Turba, “that thing is cheap and costly, dark, hidden, and known to everyone, having one name and many names.” The stone is “thousand-named” like the gods of the mystery religions, the arcane substance is “One and All”.In the treatise of Komarios, where “the philosopher Komarios teaches the Philosophy to Cleopatra,” it is said: “He showed with his hand the unity of the whole.” Pelagios asks: “Why speak ye of the manifold matter? The substance of natural things is one, and of one nature that which conquers all” ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 36

 

Sacrifice is not destruction; sacrifice is the foundation stone of what is to come. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 230.

 

If ever you have the rare opportunity to speak with the devil, then do not forget to confront him in all seriousness. He is your devil after all. The devil as the adversary is your own other standpoint; he tempts you and sets a stone in your path where you least want it. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 261.

 

But the spirit of the depths said: “No one can or should halt sacrifice. Sacrifice is not destruction; sacrifice is the foundation stone of what is to come. Have you not had monasteries? Have not countless thousands gone into the desert? You should carry the monastery in yourself. The desert is within you. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 230.

 

My I, you are a barbarian. I want to live with you; therefore I will carry you through an utterly medieval Hell, until you are capable of making living with you bearable. You should be the vessel and womb of life, therefore I shall purify you. The touchstone is being alone with oneself.  This is the way. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 330.

 

The touchstone is being alone with oneself.  This is the way. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 330.

 

My pleasure is dead and turned to stone, because I did not love Salome. ~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 250, Draft, Footnote 198.

 

S: “You do me wrong. Elijah is my father, and he knows the deepest mysteries. The walls of his house are made of precious stones. His wells hold healing water and his eyes see the things of the future. And what wouldn’t you give for a single look into the infinite unfolding of what is to come? Are these not worth a sin for you?” ~Salome to Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 246.

 

If ever The devil as the adversary is your own other standpoint; he tempts you and sets a stone in your path where you least want it. ~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 261

 

I’m no artist. I only try to get things into stone of which I think it is important that they appear in hard matter and stay on for a reasonably long time. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 83.

 

I only try to get things into stone of which I think it is important that they appear in hard matter and stay on for a reasonably long time. Or I try to give form to something that seems to be in the stone and makes me restless. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 83.

 

Some of the main islands [of peace] are: my garden, the view of distant mountains, my country place where I withdraw from the noise of city life, my library. Also small things like books, pictures, and stones. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 40.

 

But the daimon reeks nothing of that, for life, at the core, is steel on stone.  ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 119.

 

Unfortunately I did not know at the time when the stone was made that my father was described as Dr. theol. instead of Dr. phil. He graduated as an Orientalist, in Arabic. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 129.

 

The essential dream-image: the Man, the Tree, the Stone, looks quite inaccessible, but only to our modern consciousness which is, as a rule, unconscious of its historical roots. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 325.

 

Freud, when one got to know him better, was distinguished by a markedly differentiated feeling function. His “sense of values” showed itself in his love of precious stones, jade, malachite, etc. He also had considerable intuition. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 348.

 

Just as some alchemists had to admit that they never succeeded in producing the gold or the Stone, I cannot confess to have solved the riddle of the coniunctio mystery. On the contrary I am darkly aware of things lurking in the background of the problem-things too big for our horizons. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 393.

 

It is said of the Stone: habet mille nomina [has a thousand names] which means that there is not one name expressing the Mystery. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 395.

 

Milk, as lac virginis, virgin’s milk, is a synonym for the aqua doctrinae one of the aspects of Mercurius, who had already bedeviled the Bollingen stones in the form of the trickster. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 615.

 

Freud, when one got to know him better, was distinguished by a markedly differentiated feeling function. His “sense of values” showed itself in his love of precious stones, jade, malachite, etc. He also had considerable intuition. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 346-348

 

After dinner we sat on the verandah, C.G. behind the little table wearing, as usual, a blue apron, and on the table lay the stone he was carving of the family lineage on the male side. ~E.A. Bennet, Meetings with Jung, Page 219

 

I asked him [Jung] again about the carving of the face of Mercury on the stone at the side of the Tower. He said, ‘I got terribly stuck when I was working on synchronicity, in the part about statistics. Then I saw that face in the stone and put my papers away and got my tools and carved it. It was the impish Mercury. ~E.A. Bennet, Meetings with Jung, Page 298

 

We looked at some of the many stone carvings he has done; a small one was of a snake which had swallowed a perch and died.  ~E.A. Bennet, Meetings with Jung, Page 183

 

A beautiful stone in the classical style was a memorial to Mrs. Jung; this, he said, was to be put up on the wall by the loggia. ~E.A. Bennet, Meetings with Jung, Page 183

 

Incidentally, America no longer has the same attraction for him [Carl] as before, and this has taken a stone from my heart. ~Emma Jung to S. Freud, Freud/Jung Letters, Page 303.

 

The self is a fact of nature and always appears as such in immediate  experiences, in dreams and visions, and so on; it is the spirit in the stone, the great secret which has to be worked out, to be extracted from nature, because it is buried in nature herself. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 977.

 

The self is a fact of nature and always appears as such in immediate experiences, in dreams and visions, and so on; it is the spirit in the stone, the great secret which has to be worked out, to be extracted from nature, because it is buried in nature herself. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 977.

 

There is a story that says that when Mohammed ascended into Heaven the stone in the Temple of Jerusalem wanted to go too. The archetype manifests itself in the outer world as sympathia. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 56.

 

He felt the need to represent his innermost thoughts in stone and to build a completely primitive dwelling: “Bollingen was a great matter for me, because words and paper were not real enough. I had to put down a confession in stone.” ~Sonu Shamdasani, Introduction 1925 Seminar, Page xiii

 

When I was working on the stone tablets, I became aware of the fateful links between me and my ancestors. I feel very strongly that I am under the influence of things or questions which were left incomplete and unanswered by my parents and grandparents and more distant ancestors. It often seems as if there were an impersonal karma within a family, which is passed on from parents to children. It has always seemed to me that I had to answer questions which fate had posed to my forefathers, and which had not yet been answered, or as if I had to complete, or perhaps continue, things which previous ages had left unfinished. It is difficult to determine whether these questions are more of a personal or more of a general (collective) nature. It seems to me that the latter is the case. A collective problem, if not recognized as such, always appears as a personal problem, and in individual cases may give the impression that something is out of order in the realm of the personal psyche. The personal sphere is indeed disturbed, but such disturbances need not be primary; they may well be secondary, the consequence of an insupportable change in the social atmosphere. The cause of disturbance is, therefore, not to be sought in the personal surroundings, but rather in the collective situation. Psychotherapy has hitherto taken this matter far too little into account. ~Carl Jung; Memories, Dreams, Reflections; Pages 233-234.

 

Naturally, I thought about the significance of what I was doing, and asked myself, “Now, really, what are you about? You are building a small town, and doing it as if it were a rite!” I had no answer to my question, only the inner certainty that I This sort of thing has been consistent with me, and at any time in my later life when I came up against a blank wall, I painted a picture or hewed stone.  Each such experience proved to be a rite d’entree for the ideas and works that followed hard upon it. Everything that I have written this year and last year, “The Undiscovered Self,” “Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth,” “A Psychological View of Conscience,” has grown out of the

stone sculptures I did after my wife’s death. The close of her life, the end, and what it made me realize, wrenched me violently out of myself.  It cost me a great deal to regain my footing, and contact with stone helped me. ~Carl Jung, MDR, Pages 174-175

 

I am an orphan, alone; nevertheless I am found everywhere. I am one, but opposed to myself. I am youth and old man at one and the same time. I have known neither father nor mother, because I have had to be fetched out of the deep like a fish, or fell like a white stone from heaven. In woods and mountains I roam, but I am hidden in the innermost soul of man. I am mortal for everyone, yet I am not touched by the cycle of eons. ~Carl Jung, Quoting an Alchemical Text, MDR 227

 

… at any time in my later life, when I came up at a blank wall, I painted a picture or hewed stone. Each such experience proved to be a “rite d ‘entree” for the ideas and works that followed hard upon it. ~Carl Jung, MDR, Page 175.

 

… at any time in my later life, when I came up at a blank wall, I painted a picture or hewed stone. Each such experience proved to be a “rite d ‘entree” for the ideas and works that followed hard upon it. ~Carl Jung, MDR, Page 175.

 

Just now some hard chunks of reality have hit you, and hit all the harder because I have spoilt you but you needed spoiling in order to approach closer to the earth, where you could get at the stone. Hardness increases in proportion to the speed of approach. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 362.

 

And what if this has no roots in the earth? If it is not a house of stone where the fire of God can dwell, but a wretched straw hut that flares up and vanishes? ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 65.

 

God wants to be born in the flame of man’s consciousness, leaping ever higher. And what if this has no roots in the earth?  If it is not a house of stone where the fire of God can dwell, but a wretched straw hut that flares up and vanishes. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 65-66

 

All things pass away, graves are the milestones of existence. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Page 569

 

I learnt to split stones in the Bollingen quarries and the masons also taught me a lot and I learnt their art relatively quickly with a certain native intelligence. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Page 168

 

 “He (Carl Jung) saw “a huge round block of stone sitting on a high plateau, and at the foot of the stone were engraved the words: “And this Shall all be a sign unto you of Wholeness and Oneness.”  ~Miguel Serrano, C.G. Jung and Hermann Hesse, Page 104

 

Matter may be stimulated by the inner psychic process, understood archetypally, to produce something analogous. A latent tension, for example, can manifest itself in creaking wood. Matter plays along with the psychic process. There is a story that says that when Mohammed ascended into Heaven the stone in the Temple of Jerusalem wanted to go too. The archetype manifests itself in the outer world as sympathia. ~Carl Jung, Conversations with C.G. Jung, Page 51.

 

There was also a relief of a bear with a ball and one of a snake. Thus these stones lived. ~Aniela Jaffe, Jung’s Last Years, Page 135.

 

The spectacle of eternal nature makes me painfully aware of my weakness and perishability, and I find no joy in imagining an equanimity in conspectu mortis. As I once dreamt, my

will to live is a glowing daimon, who sometimes makes the consciousness of my mortality hellish difficult for me. One can, at most, save face like the unjust steward, and then not

always, so that my lord wouldn’t find even that much to commend. But the daimon reeks nothing of that, for life. At the core is steel on stone. ~Carl Jung, Jung’s Last Years, Page 136.

 

”It is exceedingly difficult to write anything definite or descriptive about the progression of psychological states. It always seemed to me as if the real milestones were certain symbolic events characterized by a strong emotional tone. ” ~Carl Jung, Jung’s Last Years, Page 137.

 

For Jung the stone “contained and. at the same time was the bottomless mystery of being, the embodiment of spirit,” and his kinship with it was “the divine nature in both, in the dead and the living matter.” ~Aniela Jaffe, Jung’s Last Years, Page 76.

 

He felt the need to represent his innermost thoughts in stone and to build a completely primitive dwelling: “Bollingen was a great matter for me, because words and paper were not real enough. I had to put down a confession in stone.” ~Sonu Shamdasani, Introduction 1925 Seminar, Page xiii

 

Life is a touchstone for the truth of the spirit. Spirit that drags a man away from life, seeking fulfilment only in itself, is a false spirit—though the man too is to blame, since he can choose whether he will give himself up to this spirit or not. Life and spirit are two powers or necessities between which man is placed. Spirit gives meaning to his life, and the possibility of its greatest development. Without soul, spirit is as dead as matter, because both are artificial abstractions; whereas man originally regarded spirit as a volatile body, and matter as not lacking in soul. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 76n

 

We are concerned here, then, with the psychological phenomenon that lies at the root of magic by analogy. We should not think that is an ancient superstition which we have long since outgrown. ~Carl Jung,  CW 8, Para 314

 

If you read the Latin text of the Mass carefully, you will constantly come upon the famous “sicut”; this always introduces an analogy by means of which a change is to be produced ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 314

 

Another striking example of analogy is the making fire on Holy Saturday. In former times, the new fire was struck from the stone, and still earlier it was obtained by boring into a piece of wood, which was the prerogative of the Church ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 314

 

Therefore in the prayer of the priest it is said: O God, who through thy Son, who is called the cornerstone, hast brought the fire of thy light to the faithful, make holy for our future use this new fire struck from the firestone ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 314

 

Brahman requires that external opposites, such as heat and cold, first be denied participation in the psyche, and then extreme fluctuations of emotion, such as love and hate ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 329

 

Fluctuations of emotion are, of course, the constant concomitants of all psychic opposites, and hence of all conflicts of ideas, whether moral or otherwise. We know from experience that the emotions thus aroused increase in proportion as the exciting factor affects the individual as a whole ~Carl Jung, CW 6. Para 329

 

The Indian purpose is therefore clear: it wants to free the individual altogether from the opposites inherent in human nature, so that he can attain a new life in Brahman, which is the state of redemption and at the same time God. It is an irrational union of opposites, their final overcoming. Although Brahman, the world-ground and world-creator, created the opposites, they must nevertheless be cancelled out in it again, for otherwise it would not amount to a state of redemption ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 329

 

Brahman is the union and dissolution of all opposites, and at the same time stands outside them as an irrational factor. It is therefore wholly beyond cognition and comprehension. It is a divine entity, at once the Self (though to a lesser degree than the analogous Atman concept) and a definite psychological state characterized by isolation from the flux of affects ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 330

 

Since suffering is an affect, release from affects means deliverance. Deliverance from the flux of affects, from the tension of opposites, is synonymous with the way of redemption that gradually leads to Brahman ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 330

 

Brahman is not only the producer but the produced, the ever-becoming. The epithet “Gracious One” (vena), here bestowed on the sun, is elsewhere applied to the seer who is endowed with the divine light, for, like the Brahman sun, the mind of the seer traverses “earth and heaven contemplating Brahman.” The intimate connection, indeed identity, between the divine being and the Self (Atman) of the man is generally known ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 332

 

Brahman is also prana, the breath of life and the cosmic principle; it is vayu, wind, which is described in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (3.7) as “the thread by which this world and the other world and all things are tied together, the Self, the inner controller, the immortal” ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 334

 

Brahman is conceived in the Atharva Veda as the vitalistic-principle, the life force, which fashions all the organs and their respective instincts ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 335

 

Even man’s strength comes from Brahman. The Brahman concept, by virtue of all its attributes and symbols, coincides with that of a dynamic or creative principle which I have termed libido ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 336

 

The word Brahman means prayer, incantation, sacred speech, sacred knowledge (veda), holy life, the sacred caste (the Brahmans), the Absolute ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 336

 

By the analogy of Christ with the cornerstone, the firestone is raised to the level of Christ himself, who again kindles a new fire ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 314

 

The rationalist may laugh at this. But something deep in us is stirred, and not in us alone but in millions of Christian men and women, though we may call it only a feeling for beauty. What is stirred in us is that faraway background, those immemorial patterns of the human mind, which we have not acquired, but have inherited from the dim ages of the past ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 315

 

We go through a door into a tower-like room, where we climb a long flight of steps. On one of the topmost steps I read an inscription: Vis ut sis.' The steps end in a temple situated on the crest of a wooded mountain, and there is no other approach. It is the shrine of Ursanna, the bear-goddess and Mother of God in one. The temple is of red stone. Bloody sacrifices are offered there. Animals are standing about the altar. In order to enter the temple precincts one has to be transformed into an animala beast of the forest. The temple has the form of a cross with equal arms and a circular space in the middle, which is not roofed, so that one can look straight up at the sky and the constellation of the Bear. On the altar in the middle of the open space there stands the moon-bowl, from which smoke or vapour continually rises. There is also a huge image of the goddess, but it cannot be seen clearly. The worshippers, who have been changed into animals and to whom I also belong, have to touch the goddess's foot with their own foot, whereupon the image gives them a sign or an oracular utterance likeVis ut sis’ ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 343

 

It is the representation of a friendship between two men which is simply the outer reflection of an inner fact: it reveals our relationship to that inner friend of the soul into whom Nature herself would like to change us that other person who we also are and yet can never attain to completely. We are that pair of Dioscuri, one of whom is mortal and the other immortal, and who, though always together, can never be made completely one. You need not be insane to hear his voice [of the inner being']. On the contrary, it is the simplest and most natural thing imaginable. For instance, you can ask yourself a question to which “he” gives answer. The discussion is then carried on as in any other conversation. You can describe it as mere “associating” or “talking to oneself,” or as a “meditation” in the sense used by the old alchemists, who referred to their interlocutor as aliquem alium internum,a certain other one, within’ The “voice” is explained as nothing but “associating,” pursued in a witless way and running on and on without sense or purpose, like the works of a clock that has no dial. Or we say “It is only my own thoughts!” even if, on closer inspection, it should turn out that they are thoughts which we either reject or had never consciously thought at all as if everything psychic that is glimpsed by the ego had always formed part of it! ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Paras 235-236

 

The shadow, for instance, usually has a decidedly negative feeling-value, while the anima, like the animus, has more of a positive one. Whereas the shadow is accompanied by more or less definite and describable feeling-tones, the anima and animus exhibit feeling qualities that are harder to define. Mostly they are felt to be fascinating or numinous. Often they are surrounded by an atmosphere of sensitivity, touchy reserve, secretiveness, painful intimacy, and even absoluteness. The relative autonomy of the anima- and animus-figures expresses itself in these qualities ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 53

 

Intellect and feeling, however, are difficult to put into one harness they conflict with one another by definition. Whoever identifies with an intellectual standpoint will occasionally find his feeling confronting him like an enemy in the guise of the anima; conversely, an intellectual animus will make violent attacks on the feeling standpoint. Therefore, anyone who wants to achieve the difficult feat of realizing something not only intellectually, but also according to its feeling-value, must for better or worse come to grips with the anima / animus problem in order to open the way for a higher union, a coniunctio oppositorum. This is an indispensable prerequisite for wholeness ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Par 58

 

She [a patient] was singing hymns that put particular emphasis on her belief in Christ, among others the hymn that goes: Christ’s blood and righteousness shall be My festal dress and jewellery; So shall I stand before the Lord When heaven shall grant me my reward They shall be saved at Judgment Day Who put their trust in Christ alway While she was singing it, she saw a bull tearing around madly in front of the window. Suddenly it gave a jump and broke one of its legs. She saw that the bull was in agony, and thought, turning her eyes away, that somebody ought to kill it. Then she awoke ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 30

 

The bull’s agony reminded her of the torturings of animals whose unwilling witness she had been. She abominated such things and was extraordinarily upset by them because of her unconscious identification with the tortured animal. There was something in her that could be expressed by the image of an animal being tortured. This image was evidently evoked by the special emphasis on the belief in Christ in the hymns she was singing, for it was while she was singing that the bull got excited and broke its leg ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 31

 

This odd combination of ideas immediately led to an association concerning the profound religious disquiet she had felt during the war, which shook her belief in the goodness of God and in the adequacy of the Christian view of the world. This shock should have been assuaged by the emphasis on Christian faith in the hymn, but instead it aroused that animal element in the unconscious which was personified by the bull ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 31

 

In its sister-religion, Mithraism, which was also Christianity’s most successful rival, the central symbol of the cult was the sacrifice not of a ram but of a bull. The usual altarpiece showed the overcoming of the bull by the divine saviour Mithras. We have, therefore, a very close historical connection between Christianity and the bull sacrifice. Christianity suppressed this animal element, but the moment the absolute validity of the Christian faith is shaken, that element is thrust into the foreground again. The animal instinct seeks to break out, but in so doing breaks a legin other words, instinct cripples itself. From the purely animal drives there also come all those factors which limit the sway of instinct ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 31

 

From the same root that produces wild, untamed, blind instinct there grow up the natural laws and cultural forms that tame and break its pristine power. But when the animal in us is split off from consciousness by being repressed, it may easily burst out in full force, quite unregulated and uncontrolled. An outburst of this sort always ends in catastrophethe animal destroys itself ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 31

 

What was originally something dangerous now becomes something to be pitied, something that really needs our compassion. The tremendous forces unleashed by the war bring about their own destruction because there is no human hand to preserve and guide them. Our view of the world has proved too narrow to channel these forces into a cultural form ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 31

 

Had I tried to explain to my elderly woman-patient that the bull was a sexual symbol, she would have got nothing out of it; on the contrary, she would merely have lost her religious point of view and been none the better off. In such cases it is not a question of an either / or explanation. If we are willing to adopt a symbolical standpoint, even if only as an hypothesis, we shall see that the dream is an attempt on the part of the unconscious to bring the Christian principle into harmony with its apparently irreconcilable oppositeanimal instinctby means of understanding and compassion ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 32

 

It is no accident that official Christianity has no relation to the animal. This omission, particularly striking in comparison with Buddhism, is often felt by sensitive people and has moved one modern poet to sing of a Christ who sacrifices his life for the sufferings of dumb animals ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 32

 

The Christian love of your neighbour can extend to the animal too, the animal in us, and can surround with love all that a rigidly anthropomorphic view of the world has cruelly repressed. By being repressed into the unconscious, the source from which it originated, the animal in us only becomes more beastlike, and that is no doubt the reason why no religion is so defiled with the spilling of innocent blood as Christianity, and why the world has never seen a bloodier war than the war of the Christian nations ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 32

 

The repressed animal bursts forth in its most savage form when it comes to the surface, and in the process of destroying itself leads to international suicide. If every individual had a better relation to the animal within him, he would also set a higher value on life. Life would be the absolute, the supreme moral principle, and he would react instinctively against any institution or organization that had the power to destroy life on a large scale ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 32

 

This dream, then, simply shows the dreamer the value of Christianity and contrasts it with an untamed force of nature, which, left to its raging, hurts itself and demands pity. A purely analytical reduction that traced the religious emotion back to the repression of animal instinct would, in this particular case, be sterile and uselessly destructive ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 33

 

If, on the other hand, we assert that the dream is to be understood symbolically and is trying to give the dreamer an opportunity to become reconciled with herself, we have taken the first step in an interpretation which will bring the contradictory values into harmony and open up a new path of inner development. Subsequent dreams would then, in keeping with this hypothesis, provide the means for understanding the wider implications of the union of the animal component with the highest moral and intellectual achievements of the human spirit ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 33

 

In my experience this is what actually happens, for the unconscious is continuously compensatory in its action upon the conscious situation of the moment. It is therefore not a matter of indifference what our conscious attitude is towards the unconscious. The more negative, critical, hostile, or disparaging we are, the more it will assume these aspects, and the more the true value of the unconscious will escape us ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 33

 

Thus the unconscious has a symbol-creating function only when we are willing to recognize in it a symbolic element. The products of the unconscious are pure nature. Naturam si sequemur ducem, nunquam aberrabimus [“If we take Nature for our guide, we shall never go astray”], said the ancients. But nature is not, in herself, a guide, for she is not there for man’s sake. Ships are not guided by the phenomenon of magnetism. We have to make the compass a guide and, in addition, allow for a specific correction, for the needle does not even point exactly to the north. So it is with the guiding function of the unconscious. It can be used as a source of symbols, but with the necessary conscious correction that has to be applied to every natural phenomenon in order to make it serve our purpose ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 34

 

Therefore, artificial aids have always been needed to bring the healing forces of the unconscious into play. It was chiefly the religions that performed this task. By taking the manifestations of the unconscious as divine or daemonic signs, revelations, or warnings, they offered it some idea or view that served as a favourable gradient. In this way [the artificial aids] directed particular attention to all phenomena of unconscious origin, whether they were dreams, visions, feelings, fantasies, or projections of the same in strange or unusual personalities, or in any striking processes of organic and inorganic nature. This concentration of attention enabled the unconscious contents and forces to overflow into conscious life, thereby influencing it and altering it ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 26

 

From this standpoint, religious ideas are an artificial aid that benefits the unconscious by endowing its compensatory function which, if disregarded, would remain ineffectivewith a higher value for consciousness. Faith, superstition, or any strongly feeling-toned idea gives the unconscious content a value which ordinarily it does not possess, but which it might in time attain, though in a very unpleasant form. When, therefore, unconscious contents accumulate as a result of being consistently ignored, they are bound to exert an influence that is pathological ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 26

 

There are just as many neurotics among primitives as among civilized Europeans. Hysterical Africans are by no means rare in Africa. These disagreeable manifestations of the unconscious account in large measure for the primitive fear of demons and the resultant rites of propitiation ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 26

 

Nevertheless, we possess witnesses enough to the high esteem in which they held their science and to the wonderment which the mystery of matter instilled into them. For they discoveredto keep to sulphur as our examplein this substance, which was one of the customary attributes of hell and the devil, as well as in the poisonous, crafty, and treacherous Mercurius, an analogy with the most sacrosanct figure of their religion ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 147

 

They therefore imbued this arcanum with symbols intended to characterize its malicious, dangerous, and uncanny nature, choosing precisely those which in the positive sense were used for Christ in the patristic literature. These were the snake, the lion, the eagle, fire, cloud, shadow, fish, stone, the unicorn and the rhinoceros, the dragon, the night-raven, the man encompassed by a woman, the hen, water, and many others ~Carl Jung, CW 14 Par 147

 

In order to attain this union, they tried not only to visualize the opposites together but to express them in the same breath. Characteristically, the paradoxes cluster most thickly round the arcane substance, which was believed to contain the opposites in uncombined form as the prima materia, and to amalgamate them as the lapis Philosophorum. Thus the lapis is called on the one hand base, cheap, immature, volatile, and on the other hand precious, perfect, and solid; or the prima materia is base and noble, or precious and parvi momenti (of little moment) ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 36

 

The materia is visible to all eyes, the whole world sees it, touches it, loves it, and yet no one knows it. “This stone therefore is no stone,” says the Turba, “that thing is cheap and costly, dark, hidden, and known to everyone, having one name and many names.” The stone is “thousand-named” like the gods of the mystery religions, the arcane substance is “One and All”.In the treatise of Komarios, where “the philosopher Komarios teaches the Philosophy to Cleopatra,” it is said: “He showed with his hand the unity of the whole.” Pelagios asks: “Why speak ye of the manifold matter? The substance of natural things is one, and of one nature that which conquers all” ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 36

 

Luckily, however, while painting it Miss X had discovered that two factors were involved. These, in her own words, were reason and the eyes. Reason always wanted to make the picture as it thought it ought to be; but the eyes held fast to their vision and finally forced the picture to come out as it actually did and not in accordance with rationalistic expectations ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 539

 

Her reason, she said, had really intended a daylight scene, with the sunshine melting the sphere free, but the eyes favoured a nocturne with “shattering, dangerous lightning.” This realization helped her to acknowledge the actual result of her artistic efforts and to admit that it was in fact an objective and impersonal process and not a personal relationship ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 539

 

The patient’s association to lightning was that it might stand for intuition, a conjecture that is not far off the mark, since intuitions often come “like a flash.” Moreover, there are good grounds for thinking that Miss X was a sensation type. She herself thought she was one. The “inferior” function would then be intuition. As such, it would have the significance of a releasing or “redeeming” function. We know from experience that the inferior function always compensates, complements, and balances the “superior” function ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 541

 

My psychic peculiarity would make me a suitable projection carrier in this respect. The inferior function is the one of which least conscious use is made. This is the reason for its undifferentiated quality, but also for its freshness and vitality. It is not at the disposal of the conscious mind, and even after long use it never loses its autonomy and spontaneity, or only to a very limited degree. Its role is therefore mostly that of a deus ex machina. It depends not on the ego but on the Self ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 541

 

Hence it hits consciousness unexpectedly, like lightning, and occasionally with devastating consequences. It thrusts the ego aside and makes room for a supraordinate factor, the totality of a person, which consists of conscious and unconscious and consequently extends far beyond the ego. This Self was always present, but sleeping, like Nietzsche’s “image in the stone” ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 541

 

It is, in fact, the secret of the Stone, of the lapis philosophorum, in so far as this is the prima materia. In the Stone sleeps the spirit Mercurius, the “circle of the moon,” the “round and square,” the homunculus, Tom Thumb and Anthropos at once, whom the alchemists also symbolized as their famed lapis philosophorum ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 541

 

For the alchemists the process of individuation represented by the opus was an analogy of the creation of the world, and the opus itself an analogy of God’s work of creation. Man was seen as a microcosm, a complete equivalent of the world in miniature. In our picture, we see what it is in man that corresponds to the cosmos, and what kind of evolutionary process is compared with the creation of the world and the heavenly bodies: it is the birth of the Self, the latter appearing as a microcosm ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 550

 

A circumstance that never ceases to astonish one is this: that at all times and in all places alchemy brought its conception of the lapis or its minera (raw material) together with the idea of the homo altus or maximus, that is, with the Anthropos. Equally, one must stand amazed at the fact that here too the conception of the dark round stone blasted out of the rock should represent such an abstract idea as the psychic totality of man ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 555

 

Our series of pictures illustrates the initial stages of the way of individuation. It would be desirable to know what happens afterwards. But, just as neither the philosophical gold nor the philosophers’ Stone was ever made in reality, so nobody has ever been able to tell the story of the whole way, at least not to mortal ears, for it is not the story-teller but death who speaks the final “consummatum est” ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 617

 

Certainly there are many things worth knowing in the later stages of the process, but, from the point of view of teaching as well as of therapy, it is important not to skip too quickly over the initial stages ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 617

 

As these pictures are intuitive anticipations of future developments, it is worth-while lingering over them for a long time, in order, with their help, to integrate so many contents of the unconscious into consciousness that the latter [consciousness] really does reach the stage it sees ahead ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 617

 

The pictures represent a kind of ideogram of unconscious contents. I have naturally used this method on myself too and can affirm that one can paint very complicated pictures without having the least idea of their real meaning. While painting them, the picture seems to develop out of itself and often in opposition to one’s conscious intentions ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 622

 

But the full extent of these projections from the unconscious became known through analysis of those obscure and inexplicable feelings and emotions which give some intangible, magical quality to certain places, certain moods of nature, certain works of art, and also to certain ideas and certain people. This magic likewise comes from projection, but a projection of the collective unconscious ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 43

 

If it is inanimate objects that have the “magical” quality, often their mere statistical incidence is sufficient to prove that their significance is due to the projection of a mythological content from the collective unconscious. Mostly these contents are motifs already known to us from myths and fairytales. I would mention as an example the mysterious house where a witch or magician dwells, where some monstrous crime is being committed or has been committed, where there is a ghost, where a hidden treasure lies buried, and so on ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 43

 

The projection of this primordial image can be recognized when, one day, a person somehow comes upon this mysterious housewhen, in other words, a real but quite ordinary house makes a magical impression upon him. Generally, too, the whole atmosphere of the place seems symbolic and is, therefore, the projection of a coherent unconscious system ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 43

 

All kinds of objects and signs mark these places, and pious awe surrounds the marked spot. Thus does primitive man dwell in his land and at the same time in the land of his unconscious. Everywhere his unconscious jumps out at him, alive and real. How different is our relationship to the land we dwell in! ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 44

 

Feelings totally strange to us accompany the primitive at every step. Who knows what the cry of a bird means to him, or the sight of that old tree! A whole world of feeling is closed to us and is replaced by a pale aestheticism ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 44

 

Nevertheless, the world of primitive feeling is not entirely lost to us; it lives on in the unconscious. The further we remove ourselves from it with our enlightenment and our rational superiority, the more it fades into the distance, but is made all the more potent by everything that falls into it, thrust out by our one-sided rationalism ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 44

 

Our symbol is a clock, symbolizing time. The only analogy I can think of to such a symbol is the design of the horoscope. It too has four cardinal points and an empty center. And there is another remarkable correspondence: rotation is often mentioned in the previous dreams, and this is usually reported as moving to the left. The horoscope has twelve houses that progress numerically to the left, that is, counter-clockwise ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 114

 

The cross has also the meaning of a boundary-stone between heaven and hell, since it is set up in the center of the cosmos and extends to all sides.The Tibetan mandala occupies a similar central position, its upper half rising up to heaven out of the earth (like the hemispherical stupas at Sanchi, India), with hell lying below. I have often found the same construction in individual mandalas: the light world on top, the dark below, as if they were projecting into these worlds. There is a similar design in Jakob Böhme’s “reversed eye” or “philosophical mirror” `Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 136

 

Prejudiced by historical analogies, we would expect a deity to occupy the center of the mandala. The center is, however, empty. The seat of the deity is unoccupied, in spite of the fact that, when we analyse the mandala in terms of its historical models, we arrive at the god symbolized by the circle and the goddess symbolized by the square. Instead of “goddess” we could also say “earth” or “soul.” Despite the historical prejudice, however, the fact must be insisted upon that (as in the “House of the Gathering,” where the place of the sacred image was occupied by the quaternity) we find no trace of a deity in the mandala, but, on the contrary, a mechanism ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 136

 

A dream or a vision is just what it seems to be. It is not a disguise for something else. It is a natural product, which is precisely a thing without ulterior motive. I have seen many hundreds of mandalas, done by patients who were quite uninfluenced, and I have found the same fact in an overwhelming, majority of cases: there was never a deity occupying the center ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 136

 

This “Self” was evidently never thought of as an entity identical with the ego, and for this reason it was described as a “hidden nature” dwelling in inanimate matter, as a spirit, daemon, or fiery spark. By means of the philosophical opus, which was mostly thought of as a mental one, this entity was freed from darkness and imprisonment, and finally it enjoyed a resurrection, often represented in the form of an apotheosis and equated with the resurrection of Christ ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 154

 

The circle takes the form, for instance, of a serpent, which describes a circle round the dreamer. It appears in later dreams as a clock, a circle with a central point, a round target for shooting practice, a clock that is a perpetuum mobile, a ball, a globe, a round table, a basin, and so on ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 109

 

The square appears also, about the same time, in the form of a city square or a garden with a fountain in the center. Somewhat later it appears in connection with a circular movement: people walking round in a square; a magic ceremony (the transformation of animals into human beings) that takes place in a square room, in the corners of which are four snakes, with people again circulating round the four corners; the dreamer driving round a square in a taxi; a square prison cell; an empty square which is itself rotating; and so on ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 109

 

In other dreams the circle is represented by rotation for instance, four children carry a “dark ring” and walk in a circle. Again, the circle appears combined with the quaternity, as a silver bowl with four nuts at the four cardinal points, or as a table with four chairs. The center seems to be particularly emphasized. It is symbolized by an egg in the middle of a ring; by a star consisting of a body of soldiers; by a star rotating in a circle, the cardinal points of which represent the four seasons; by the pole; a precious stone, and so on ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 109

 

With this we come back to our modern experiences. They are obviously similar in nature to the basic medieval and classical ideas, and can therefore be expressed by the same, or at any rate similar, symbols. The medieval representations of the circle are based on the idea of the microcosm, a concept that was also applied to the stone. The stone was a “little world” like man himself, a sort of inner image of the cosmos, reaching not into immeasurable distances but into an equally immeasurable depth-dimension, i.e., from the small to the unimaginably smallest. Mylius therefore calls this center the “punctum cordis” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 155

 

Hence very early, in Clement of Rome, we meet with the conception of Christ as the right hand and the devil as the left hand of God, not to speak of the Judaeo-Christian view which recognized two sons of God, Satan the elder and Christ the younger. The figure of the devil then rose to such exalted metaphysical heights that he had to be forcibly depotentiated, under the threatening influence of Manichaeism. The depotentiation was effected this time by rationalistic reflection, by a regular tour de force of sophistry which defined evil as a privatio boni. But that did nothing to stop the belief from arising in many parts of Europe during the eleventh century, mainly under the influence of the Cathars, that it was not God but the devil who had created the world ~Carl Jung, CW 11. Para 470

 

In this way the archetype of the imperfect demiurge, who had enjoyed official recognition in Gnosticism, reappeared in altered guise. (The corresponding archetype is probably to be found in the cosmogonic jester of primitive peoples.) With the extermination of the heretics that dragged on into the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, an uneasy calm ensued, but the Reformation thrust the figure of Satan once more into the foreground. I would only mention Jakob Böhme, who sketched a picture of evil which leaves the privatio boni pale by comparison. The same can be said of Milton. He inhabits the same mental climate. As for Böhme, although he was not a direct descendant of alchemical philosophy, whose importance is still grossly underrated today, he certainly took over a number of its leading ideas, among them the specific recognition of Satan, who was exalted to a cosmic figure of first rank in Milton, even emancipating himself from his subordinate role as the left hand of God (the role assigned to him by Clement). Milton goes even further than Böhme and apostrophizes the devil as the true principium individuationis, a concept which had been anticipated by the alchemists some time before ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 470

 

In Milton’s time these ideas were very much in the air, forming part of the general stock of culture, and there were not a few Masters who realized that their philosophical stone was none other than the “total man.” The Satan-Prometheus parallel shows clearly enough that Milton’s devil stands for the essence of human individuation and thus comes within the scope of psychology. This close proximity, as we know, proved a danger not only to the metaphysical status of Satan, but to that of other numinous figures as well ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 471

 

With the coming of the Enlightenment, metaphysics as a whole began to decline, and the rift which then opened out between knowledge and faith could no longer be repaired. The more resplendent figures in the metaphysical pantheon had their autonomy restored to them practically untarnished, which assuredly cannot be said of the devil. In Goethe’s Faust, he has dwindled to a very personal familiaris, the mere “shadow” of the struggling hero. After rational-liberal Protestantism had, as it were, deposed him by order of the day, he retired to the shadier side of the Christian Olympus as the “odd man out,” and thus, in a manner not unwelcome to the Church, the old principle reasserted itself: Omne bonum a Deo, omne malum ab homine. The devil remains as an appendix to psychology ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 471

 

He achieved notoriety as the personification of the adversary or principle of evil, though by no means for the first time, as we meet him centuries earlier in the ancient Egyptian Set and the Persian Ahriman. Persian influences have been conjectured as mainly responsible for the Christian devil. But the real reason for the differentiation of this figure lies in the conception of God as the summum bonum, which stands in sharp contrast to the Old Testament view and which, for reasons of psychic balance, inevitably requires the existence of an infimum malum. No logical reasons are needed for this, only the natural and unconscious striving for balance and symmetry ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 470

 

Hence very early, in Clement of Rome, we meet with the conception of Christ as the right hand and the devil as the left hand of God, not to speak of the Judaeo-Christian view which recognized two sons of God, Satan the elder and Christ the younger. The figure of the devil then rose to such exalted metaphysical heights that he had to be forcibly depotentiated, under the threatening influence of Manichaeism. The depotentiation was effectedthis timeby rationalistic reflection, by a regular tour de force of sophistry which defined evil as a privatio boni. But that did nothing to stop the belief from arising in many parts of Europe during the eleventh century, mainly under the influence of the Cathars, that it was not God but the devil who had created the world ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 470

 

In this way the archetype of the imperfect demiurge, who had enjoyed official recognition in Gnosticism, reappeared in altered guise. (The corresponding archetype is probably to be found in the cosmogonic jester of primitive peoples.) With the extermination of the heretics that dragged on into the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, an uneasy calm ensued, but the Reformation thrust the figure of Satan once more into the foreground. I would only mention Jakob Böhme, who sketched a picture of evil which leaves the privatio boni pale by comparison. The same can be said of Milton. He inhabits the same mental climate. As for Böhme, although he was not a direct descendant of alchemical philosophy, whose importance is still grossly underrated today, he certainly took over a number of its leading ideas, among them the specific recognition of Satan, who was exalted to a cosmic figure of first rank in Milton, even emancipating himself from his subordinate role as the left hand of God (the role assigned to him by Clement). Milton goes even further than Böhme and apostrophizes the devil as the true principium individuationis, a concept which had been anticipated by the alchemists some time before ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 470

 

In Milton’s time these ideas were very much in the air, forming part of the general stock of culture, and there were not a few Masters who realized that their philosophical stone was none other than the “total man.” The Satan-Prometheus parallel shows clearly enough that Milton’s devil stands for the essence of human individuation and thus comes within the scope of psychology. This close proximity, as we know, proved a danger not only to the metaphysical status of Satan, but to that of other numinous figures as well ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 471

 

With the coming of the Enlightenment, metaphysics as a whole began to decline, and the rift which then opened out between knowledge and faith could no longer be repaired. The more resplendent figures in the metaphysical pantheon had their autonomy restored to them practically untarnished, which assuredly cannot be said of the devil. In Goethe’s Faust, he has dwindled to a very personal familiaris, the mere “shadow” of the struggling hero. After rational-liberal Protestantism had, as it were, deposed him by order of the day, he retired to the shadier side of the Christian Olympus as the “odd man out,” and thus, in a manner not unwelcome to the Church, the old principle reasserted itself: Omne bonum a Deo, omne malum ab homine. The devil remains as an appendix to psychology ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 471

 

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 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 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

 

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

 

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 gold making ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 515

 

The distinguishing mark of the spiritual man is that he seeks self-knowledge and knowledge of God. The earthly, fleshly man is called Thoth or Adam. He bears within him the spiritual man, whose name is light.This first man, Thoth-Adam, is symbolized by the four elements. The spiritual and the fleshly man are also named Prometheus and Epimetheus. But “in allegorical language” they “are but one man, namely soul and body” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 126

 

The spiritual man was seduced into putting on the body, and was bound to it by “Pandora, whom the Hebrews call Eve.” She played the part, therefore, of the anima, who functions as the link between body and spirit, just as Shakti or Maya entangles man’s consciousness with the world. In the “Book of Krates” the spiritual man says: “Are you capable of knowing your soul completely? If you knew it as you should, and if you knew what could make it better, you would be capable of knowing that the names which the Philosophers gave it of old are not its true names” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 126

 

The divinity of Christ has nothing to do with man, but the healing Stone is “extracted” from man, and every man is its potential carrier and creator. It is not difficult to see what kind of conscious situation the lapis philosophy compensates: far from signifying Christ, the lapis complements the common conception of the Christ figure at that time. What unconscious nature was ultimately aiming at when she produced the image of the lapis can be seen most clearly in the notion that it originated in matter and in man, that it was to be found everywhere, and that its fabrication lay at least potentially within man’s reach. These qualities all reveal what were felt to be the defects in the Christ image at that time: an air too rarefied for human needs, too great a remoteness, a place left vacant in the human heart. Men felt the absence of the “inner” Christ who belonged to every man. Christ’s spirituality was too high and man’s naturalness was too low ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 127

 

In the image of Mercurius and the lapis the “flesh” glorified itself in its own way; it would not transform itself into spirit but, on the contrary, “fixed” the spirit in Stone, and endowed the Stone with all the attributes of the three Persons. The lapis may therefore be understood as a symbol of the inner Christ, of God in man. I use the expression “symbol” on purpose, for though the lapis is a parallel of Christ, it is not meant to replace him. On the contrary, in the course of the centuries the alchemists tended more and more to regard the lapis as the culmination of Christ’s work of redemption. This was an attempt to assimilate the Christ figure into the philosophy of the “science of God.” In the sixteenth century Khunrath formulated for the first time the “theological” position of the lapis: it was the filius macrocosmi as opposed to the “son of man,” who was the filius microcosmi. This image of the “Son of the Great World” tells us from what source it was derived: it came not from the conscious mind of the individual man, but from those border regions of the psyche that open out into the mystery of cosmic matter ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 127

 

It is said, for instance, that after Zarathustra had received the drink of omniscience from Ahura Mazda, he beheld in a dream a tree with four branches of gold, silver, steel, and mixed iron. This tree corresponds to the metallic tree of alchemy, the arbor philosophica, which, if it has any meaning at all, symbolizes spiritual growth and the highest illumination ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 119

 

Cold, inert metal certainly seems to be the direct opposite of spirit but what if the spirit is as dead and as heavy as lead? A dream might then easily tell us to look for it in lead or quicksilver! It seems that nature is out to prod man’s consciousness towards greater expansion and greater clarity, and for this reason continually exploits his greed for metals, especially the precious ones, and makes him seek them out and investigate their properties. While so engaged it may perhaps dawn on him that not only veins of ore are to be found in the mines, but also kobolds and little metal men, and that there may be hidden in lead either a deadly demon or the dove of the Holy Ghost ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 119

 

Nothing would have been easier than to equate the love story of Mars and Venus with that of Gabricus and Beya (who were also personified as dog and bitch), and it is likely that astrological influences also played a part. Thanks to his unconscious identity with it, man and cosmos interact. The following passage, of the utmost importance for the psychology of alchemy, should be understood in this sense: “And as man is composed of the four elements, so also is the Stone, and so it is [dug] out of man, and you are its ore, namely by working; and from you it is extracted, namely by division; and in you it remains inseparably, namely through the science” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 125

 

The texts often use the terms pneuma and spiritus in the original concrete sense of “air in motion.” So when Mercurius is described in the Rosarium philosophorum (fifteenth century) as aereus and volans (winged), and in Hoghelande (sixteenth century) as totus aereus et spiritualis, what is meant is nothing more than a gaseous state of aggregation ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 261

 

Something similar is meant by the poetic expression serenitas aerea in the Ripley Scrowle, and by the same author’s statement that Mercurius is changed into wind. He is the lapis elevatus cum vento (the Stone uplifted by the wind). The expressions spirituale corpus and spiritus visibilis, tamen impalpabilis (visible yet impalpable spirit) might also mean little more than “air” if one recalls the aforementioned vapour-like nature of Mercurius, and the same is probably true even of the spiritus prae cunctis valde purus (pre-eminently pure spirit). The designation incombustibilis is more doubtful, since this was often synonymous with incorruptibilis and then meant “eternal,” as we shall see later ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 261

 

Penotus (sixteenth century), a pupil of Paracelsus, stresses the corporeal aspect when he says that Mercurius is “nothing other than the spirit of the world become body within the earth.” This expression shows better than anything else the contaminationinconceivable to the modern mindof two separate realms, spirit and matter; for to people in the Middle Ages the spiritus mundi was also the spirit which rules nature, and not just a pervasive gas. We find ourselves in the same dilemma when another author, Mylius, in his Philosophia reformata, describes Mercurius as an “intermediate substance” (media substantia), which is evidently synonymous with his concept of the anima media natura (soul as intermediate nature), for to him Mercurius was the “spirit and soul of the bodies” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 261

 

It is characteristic of any subjective dream interpretation that it is satisfied with pointing out superficial relationships which take no account of the essentials. Another thing to be considered is that the alchemists themselves testify to the occurrence of dreams and visions during the opus. I am inclined to think that the vision or visions of Zosimos were experiences of this kind, which took place during the work and revealed the nature of the psychic processes in the background. In these visions all those contents emerge which the alchemists unconsciously projected into the chemical process and which were then perceived there, as though they were qualities of matter. The extent to which this projection was fostered by the conscious attitude is shown by the somewhat overhasty interpretation given by Zosimos himself ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 88

 

Even though his interpretation strikes us at first as somewhat forced, indeed as far-fetched and arbitrary, we should nevertheless not forget that while the conception of the “waters” is a strange one to us, for Zosimos and for the alchemists in general it had a significance we would never suspect. It is also possible that the mention of the “water” opened out perspectives in which the ideas of dismemberment, killing, torture, and transformation all had their place. For, beginning with the treatises of Democritus and Komarios, which are assigned to the first century A.D., alchemy, until well into the eighteenth century, was very largely concerned with the miraculous water, the aqua divina or permanens, which was extracted from the lapis, or prima materia, through the torment of the fire. The water was the humidum radicale (radical moisture), which stood for the anima media natura or anima mundi imprisoned in matter, the soul of the Stone or metal, also called the anima aquina ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 89

 

This anima was set free not only by means of the “cooking,” but also by the sword dividing the “egg,” or by the separatio, or by dissolution into the four “roots” or elements. The separatio was often represented as the dismemberment of a human body. Of the aqua permanens it was said that it dissolved the bodies into the four elements. Altogether, the divine water possessed the power of transformation. It transformed the nigredo into the albedo through the miraculous “washing” (ablutio); it animated inert matter, made the dead to rise again, and therefore possessed the virtue of the baptismal water in the ecclesiastical rite. Just as, in the benedictio fontis, the priest makes the sign of the cross over the water and so divides it into four parts, so the mercurial serpent, symbolizing the aqua permanens, undergoes dismemberment, another parallel to the division of the body ~Carl Jung, CW 13. Para 89

 

Just as baptism is a pre-Christian rite, according to the testimony of the gospels, so, too, the divine water is of pagan and pre-Christian origin. The Praefatio of the Benedictio Fontis on Easter Eve says: “May this water, prepared for the rebirth of men, be rendered fruitful by the secret inpouring of his divine power; may a heavenly offering, conceived in holiness and reborn into a new creation, come forth from the stainless womb of this divine font; and may all, however distinguished by age in time or sex in body, be brought forth into one infancy by the motherhood of grace”. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 89

 

A Latin proverb says: canis panem somniat, piscator pisces (the dog dreams of bread, the fisherman of fish). The alchemist, too, dreams in his own specific language. This enjoins upon us the greatest circumspection, all the more so as that language is exceedingly obscure. In order to understand it [the language], we have to learn the psychological secrets of alchemy. It is probably true what the old Masters said, that only he who knows the secret of the Stone understands their words. It has long been asserted that this secret is sheer nonsense, and not worth the trouble of investigating seriously. But this frivolous attitude ill befits the psychologist, for any “nonsense” that fascinated men’s minds for close on two thousand years among them some of the greatest, e.g., Newton and Goethe must have something about it which it would be useful for the psychologist to know ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 90

 

Moreover, the symbolism of alchemy has a great deal to do with the structure of the unconscious, as I have shown in my book Psychology and Alchemy. These things are not just rare curiosities, and anyone who wishes to understand the symbolism of dreams cannot close his eyes to the fact that the dreams of modern men and women often contain the very images and metaphors that we find in the medieval treatises. And since an understanding of the biological compensation produced by dreams is of importance in the treatment of neurosis as well as in the development of consciousness, a knowledge of these facts has also a practical value which should not be underestimated ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 90

 

The central image in[“The Treatise of Zosimos the Divine Concerning the Art”], shows us a kind of sacrificial act undertaken for the purpose of alchemical transformation. It is characteristic of this rite that the priest is at once the sacrificer and the sacrificed. This important idea reached Zosimos in the form of the teachings of the “Hebrews” (i.e., Christians). Christ was a god who sacrificed himself. An essential part of the sacrificial act is dismemberment. Zosimos must have been familiar with this motif from the Dionysian mystery-tradition. There, too, the god is the victim, who was torn to pieces by the Titans and thrown into a cooking pot, but whose heart was saved at the last moment by Hera. Our text shows that the bowl-shaped altar was a cooking vessel in which a multitude of people were boiled and burned. As we know from the legend and from a fragment of Euripides, an outburst of bestial greed and the tearing of living animals with the teeth were part of the Dionysian orgy. Dionysius was actually called(the undivided and divided spirit) ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 91

 

The principle that is personified in the visions of Zosimos is the wonder-working water, which is both water and spirit, and kills and vivifies. If Zosimos, waking from his dream, immediately thinks of the “composition of the waters,” this is the obvious conclusion from the alchemical point of view. Since the long-sought water, as we have shown, represents a cycle of birth and death, every process that consists of death and rebirth is naturally a symbol of the divine water ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 135

 

“Spirit” in alchemy means anything volatile, all evaporable substances, oxides, etc., but also, as a projected psychic content, a corpus mysticum in the sense of a “subtle body”. It is in this sense that the definition of the lapis as a spiritus humidus et aereus should be understood. There are also indications that spirit was understood as “mind,” which could be refined by “sublimation” ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 137

 

In spite of the not always unintentional obscurity of alchemical language, it is not difficult to see that the divine water or its symbol, the uroboros, means nothing other than the deus absconditus, the god hidden in matter, the divine Nous that came down to Physis and was lost in her embrace. This mystery of the “god become physical” underlies not only classical alchemy but also many other spiritual manifestations of Hellenistic syncretism ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 138

 

Since alchemy is concerned with a mystery both physical and spiritual, it need come as no surprise that the “composition of the waters” was revealed to Zosimos in a dream. His sleep was the sleep of incubation, his dream “a dream sent by God.” The divine water was the alpha and omega of the process, desperately sought for by the alchemists as the goal of their desire. The dream therefore came as a dramatic explanation of the nature of this water. The dramatization sets forth in powerful imagery the violent and agonizing process of transformation which is itself both the producer and the product of the water, and indeed constitutes its very essence ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 139

 

The drama shows how the divine process of change manifests itself to our human understanding and how man experiences it as punishment, torment, death, and transfiguration. The dreamer describes how a man would act and what he would have to suffer if he were drawn into the cycle of the death and rebirth of the gods, and what effect the deus absconditus would have if a mortal man should succeed by his “art” in setting free the “guardian of spirits” from his dark dwelling. There are indications in the literature that this is not without its dangers ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 139

 

For Zosimos and those of like mind the divine water was a corpus mysticum. A personalistic psychology will naturally ask: how did Zosimos come to be looking for a corpus mysticum? The answer would point to the historical conditions: it was a problem of the times. But in so far as the corpus mysticum was conceived by the alchemists to be a gift of the Holy Spirit, it can be understood in a quite general sense as a visible gift of grace conferring redemption. Man’s longing for redemption is universal and can therefore have an ulterior, personalistic motive only in exceptional cases, when it is not a genuine phenomenon but an abnormal misuse of it. Hysterical self-deceivers, and ordinary ones too, have at all times understood the art of misusing everything so as to avoid the demands and duties of life, and above all to shirk the duty of confronting themselves. They pretend to be seekers after God in order not to have to face the truth that they are ordinary egoists. In such cases it is well worth asking: Why are you seeking the divine water? ~Carl Jung, CW 13. Para 142

 

The Stone was called “orphan” because of its uniqueness “it was never seen elsewhere” and it was said to be in the Emperor’s crown. It was “wine-coloured” and sometimes shone in the night, “but nowadays it does not shine [any more] in the darkness.” As Albertus Magnus was an authority on alchemy, he may have been the direct source both for Dorn and for Petrus Bonus. “Orphan” as the name of a gem may therefore mean something like the modern “solitaire” a very apt name for the unique lapis philosophorum. Apart from Dorn and Petrus Bonus, it seems that this name is found only in the Carmina Heliodori. There it refers to the(homeless orphan) who is slain at the beginning of the work for purposes of transformation ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 13

 

All these synonyms allude to the virginal or maternal quality of the prima materia, which exists without a man and yet is the “matter of all things.” Above all, the prima materia is the mother of the lapis, the filius philosophorum. Michael Maier mentions the treatise of an anonymous author Delphinas, which he dates to some time before 1447. He stresses that this author insisted particularly on the mother-son incest ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 14

 

Our starting-point for these remarks was the designation of the lapis as “orphan,” which Dorn mentions apparently out of the blue when discussing the union of opposites. The material we have adduced shows what an archetypal drama of death and rebirth lies hidden in the coniunctio, and what immemorial human emotions clash together in this problem. It is the moral task of alchemy to bring the feminine, maternal background of the masculine psyche, seething with passions, into harmony with the principle of the spirit truly a labour of Hercules! ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 135