Image: Carved relief of the cartouche representing Thutmose III on the wall of the Precinct of Amun-Re, Karnak
In what far-away space was I?
What did I dream? Of a white horse?
It seems to me as if I had seen this white horse on the Eastern sky over the rising sun. The horse spoke to me: What did it say?
It said: “Hail him who is in darkness since the day is over him.”
There were four white horses, each with golden wings.
They led the carriage of the sun, on which Helios stood with flaring mane.
I stood down in the gorge, astonished and frightened. A thousand black serpents crawled swiftly into their holes.
Helios ascended, rolling upward toward the wide paths of the sky: I knelt down, raised my hands suppliantly, and called: “Give us your light, you are flame-curled, entwined, crucified and revived; give us your light, your light!”
This cry woke me. Didn’t Ammonius say yesterday evening: “Do not forget to say your morning prayer when the sun rises.”
I thought that perhaps he secretly worships the sun. Outside a fresh morning wind rises.
Yellow sand trickles in fine veins down the rocks.
The redness expands across the sky and I see the first rays shoot up to the firmament.
Solemn calm and solitude on all sides.
A large lizard lies on a stone and awaits the sun.
I stand as if spellbound and laboriously remember everything from yesterday, especially what Ammonius said.
But what did he say?
That the sequences of words have many meanings, and that John brought the LOGOS to man.
But that does not sound properly Christian. Is he perhaps a Gnostic?
No, that seems impossible to me, since they were really the worst of all the idolaters of words, as he would probably put it.
I should not forget my morning prayer-but where has my morning prayer gone?
Dear sun, I have no prayer, since I do not know how one must address you. Have I already prayed to the sun? But Ammonius really meant that I should pray to God at the break of day.
He probably does not know-we have no more prayers.
How should he know about our nakedness and poverty? What has happened to our prayers?
I miss them here. This must really be because of the desert.
It seems as if there ought to be prayers here. Is this desert so very bad?
I think it is no worse than our cities. But why then do we not pray there?
I must look toward the sun, as if it had something to do with this. Alas-one can never escape the age-old dreams of mankind.
I do not understand how Ammonius could have endured this life for even a year.
I go back and forth on the dried-up river bed and finally sit down on a boulder.
Before me there are a few yellow grasses.
Over there a small dark beetle is crawling along, pushing a ball in front of it-a scarab.
You dear little animal, are you still toiling away in order to live your beautiful myth?
How seriously and undiscouraged it works! If only you had a notion that you are performing an old myth, you would probably renounce your fantasies as we men have also given up playing at mythology.
What I say sounds very odd in this place, and the good Ammonious would certainly not agree with it.
What am I actually doing here?
No, I don’t want to condemn him in advance, since I still haven’t really understood what he actually means.
He has a right to be heard. By the way,
I was even very thankful to him that he wanted to teach me.
But I’m being critical once again, and superior, and may well learn nothing. His thoughts are not that bad at all; they are even good.
I don’t know why I always want to put the man down.
I can no longer see you.
Oh, you’re already over there with your mythical ball.
These little animals stick to things, quite unlike us-no doubt, no change of mind, no hesitation.
Is this so because they live their myth?
Dear scarab, my father, I honor you, blessed be your work-in eternity-Amen.
I’m worshiping an animal that must be because of the desert.
It seems absolutely to demand prayers.
The reddish color of the stones is wonderful; they reflect the glow of a hundred thousand past suns these small grains of sand have rolled in fabulous primordial oceans, over them swam primordial monsters with forms never beheld before.
Where were you, man, in those days? On this warm sand lay your childish primordial animal ancestors, like children snuggling up to their mother.
That was the desert.
How everything appears so animated to me!
This place is truly terrible.
These stones-are they stones?
They seem to have gathered here deliberately.
They’re lined up like a troop transport.
They’ve arranged themselves by size, the large ones stand apart, the small ones close ranks and gather in groups that precede the large ones.
Here the stones form states.
Am I dreaming or am I awake?
It’s hot-the sun already stands high-how the hours pass!
Truly, the morning is nearly over-and how astonishing it has been!
Is it the sun or is it these living stones, or is it the desert that makes my head buzz?
I go up the valley” and before long I reach the hut of the anchorite.
He is sitting on his mat lost in deep reflection.
I don’t question you anymore and this will no longer surprise me. I’ve learned a lot.
But only enough to make you an even greater riddle than you were before.
Why, all the things that you must experience in the desert, you wonderful man! Even the stones are bound to speak to you.”
That will make our difficult task easier.
I don’t want to intrude on your mysteries, but I feel that you come from a strange world that has nothing to do with mine.”
I’m a stranger here, more foreign than any you’ve ever seen.
Even a man from Britain’s remotest coast is closer to you than I am.
Therefore have patience, master and let me drink from the source of your wisdom.
Although the thirsty desert surrounds us, an invisible stream of living water flows here.”
Yet I dreamed that I prayed to the rising sun.”
If you do find a word, your soul has nevertheless found inexpressible words to greet the break of day.”
Let us go to work Do you want to ask something about the conversation we had yesterday?”
You wanted to explain your notion of the various meanings of particular sequences of words.”
A man my father had set free once came to me; this man, whom I’d been attached to since my childhood, spoke to me and said:
You wove witty jokes into the lecture to please your listeners.
You heaped up learned expressions to impress them.
You were restless and hasty, as if still compelled to snatch up all knowledge.
You are not in yourself”
But like an echo from distant rock faces the words returned to me: a man and yet the Son of God. It seemed significant to me, and this phrase was what brought me to Christianity.
Those able to read that language correctly could thus recognize in it not only the pagan doctrines but also the doctrine of Jesus.
And it’s with this that I now occupy myself I read the gospels and seek their meaning which is yet to come.
We know their meaning as it lies before us, but not their hidden meaning which points to the future.
It’s erroneous to believe that religions differ in their innermost essence.
Strictly speaking, it’s always one and the same religion.
Every subsequent form of religion is the meaning of the antecedent.”
This yellow, sun-glowing desert. Here you can see the countenance of the sun every day; you are alone, you can see glorious Helios-no, that is – pagan-what’s wrong with me?
I’m confused-you are Satan I recognize you-give way; adversary!”
But I am far away in the twentieth century.
He dreams a primordially ancient dream. He dreams of the rising sun.
If you sleep this sleep and dream this dream in this time of the world, you will know that the sun will also rise at this time.
For the moment we are still in the dark, but the day is upon us.
His chariot ascends with four white horses, his back bears no cross, and his side no wound, but he is on fire and his head blazes in the fire.
Nor is he a man of mockery, but of splendor and unquestionable force.
I drank fire in this night, since I climbed down through the centuries and plunged into the sun far at the bottom.
And I rose up drunk from the sun, with a burning countenance and my head is ablaze.
Give me your hand, a human hand, so that you / can hold me to the earth with it, for whirling veins of fire swoop me up, and exultant longing tears me toward the zenith.
And I remain concealed in the gorge of the earth, deep down and solitary, and in the darkening shadows of the valley. That is the shadow and
Why should I pray to it?
I drink the sun within me, so why should I pray to it? But the desert, the desert in me demands prayers, since the desert wants to satisfy itself with what is alive.
I want to beg God for it, the sun, or one of the other immortals.
In the day of this world, I forget that I drank the sun and am drunk from its active light and singeing power.
But I stepped into the shadows of the earth, and saw that I am naked and have nothing to cover my poverty.
No sooner do you touch the earth than your inner life is over; it flees from you into things.
What you thought was dead and inanimate betrays a secret life and silent, inexorable intent.
You have got caught up in a hustle and bustle where everything goes its own way with strange gestures, beside you, above you, beneath you, and through you; even the stones speak
Far and near work within you and you work in a dark manner upon the near and the far. And you are always helpless and a prey.
One stone falls upon another with your force, plants and animals also grow through you and they are the cause of your death.
A leaf dancing in the wind dances with you; the irrational animal guesses your thought and represents you.
The whole earth sucks its life from you and everything reflects you again.
Nothing in you is hidden to things, no matterhow remote, how precious, how secret it is. It inheres in things.
Your dog robs you of your father, who passed away long ago, and looks at you as he did.
The cow in the meadow has intuited your mother, and charms you with total calm and security.
The stars whisper your deepest mysteries to you, and the soft valleys of the
You cry for help and attach yourself to the first person that comes your way.
Perhaps he can advise you, perhaps he knows the thought that you do not have, and which all things have sucked out of you.
Therefore you would like to have tidings of the son of the
You would like to hear of the son of God, who shone and gave, who begot, and to whom life was born again, as the earth bears the sun green and colorful children.
The desert sucked him dry, the stones spoke his thoughts, the cave echoed his feelings, and so he himself became desert, stone, and cave. And it was all emptiness and desert, and helplessness and barrenness, since he did not shine and remained a son of the earth who sucked a book dry and was sucked empty by the desert. He was desire and not splendor, completely earth and not sun.
If he would have drunk of himself he would have drunk fire.The solitary went into the desert to find himself.
But he did not want to find himself but rather the manifold meaning of Holy Scripture. You can suck the immensity of the small and the great into yourself and you will become emptier and emptier, since immense fullness and immense emptiness are one and the same.
Things also change, but you do not notice this if you do not change. But if you change, the countenance of the world alters.
The manifold sense of things is your manifold sense.
It is useless to fathom it in things. And this probably explains why the solitary went into the desert, and fathomed the thing but not himself And therefore what happened to every desirous solitary also happened to him: the devil came to him with smooth tongue and clear reasoning and knew the right word at the right moment. Helured him to his desire.
I had to appear to him as the devil, since I had accepted my darkness.
I ate the earth and I drank the sun, and I became a greening tree that stands alone and grows. ~Carl Jung, Red Book, Pages 270-273.