Dr. Jung: Of course not, we are moving now in a field where she has understood almost nothing.
She had these visions after she left here, and I have never had a chance to talk with her about them.
It is utterly improbable that she could have understood this.
The whole thing develops in the unconscious with no interference from the conscious.
The next move will impress you with its simple logic.
The title of this new series of visions is: “The Pit of Onyx.”
You know that onyx is a semiprecious stone of beautiful colors, usually rather dark.
Many precious vessels made of onyx are preserved from antiquity, particularly small vessels for ointments, or little tear jugs for funerals.
She says:The narrow path opened into a circle.
I saw a round pit of onyx which went down into the earth like a cone.
What do you make of the first sentence?-“the narrow path opened into a circle.”
Mrs. Crowley: It looks like a mandala of some kind.
Dr. Jung: It is surely a mandala, and that always means a protective circle against the surrounding fire, against that thing which mixes one up with worldly events or with the bewildering facts of one’s surroundings-which sweeps one along in a stampede, for instance.
And what makes one fall into such a chaotic condition?
Mrs. Crowley: Emotion.
Miss Hannah: Participation mystique.
Dr. Jung: In a state of participation mystique one always projects emotion, but that emotional condition is brought about, according to the Buddhist teaching, by what?
Mrs. Bailward: The flames of desire.
Dr. Jung: Yes, by desire you are bound to things, and when they become chaotic you are drawn into the chaos.
Now against this desire which is always trying to tear you to bits, to pull you hither and thither, the best means is to draw a magic circle round yourself, so that nothing can escape and nothing can come in; that is the first attempt at an attitude.
And in the center of this circle is that round pit of onyx going down into the earth like a cone.
What is that thing for?
What will happen when she approaches the center of the circle?
Frau Stutz: Either she will fall in or something will come out.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and this situation would be like the lion making for the amphora.
The pit of onyx would be the amphora, and onyx is a precious substance out of which vases are made, so she is seeking a particularly precious vessel in which something is contained, out of which something might come, or into which she might get-we don’t know.
She might fall in, we must see what follows.
But inside this magic circle she would be protected against the surrounding flames, the desire and the Panicky condition.
Now she looks down into the pit, and says: “At the bottom I beheld an old Indian woman holding in her arms the Mexican image which seemed alive.”
We assumed that that Mexican image must be a spiritual symbol because it was in the sky, in the kingdom of the air.
So at the bottom of the pit of onyx, the mandala, she beholds a symbol of a peculiar kind of spirit.
Why should it be Mexican? And why an Indian woman?
Mrs. Baumann: She is an American.
Dr. Jung: Yes, these are her ancestors who are connected with the soil, and soil is just matter, the absolute opposite of the spirit, yet it contains the spirit.
Without encountering the soil one would never realize the spirit; it needs that resistance of matter in order to reveal itself.
So she comes back to her primitive Indian ancestors, her spiritual ancestors, and the old Indian woman is holding that spiritual Mexican image which seems to be alive.
The symbol of the spirit has gained life. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Pages 1045-1046
[Image Courtesy of Craig Nelson]