Carl Jung on “Meditation and Imagination.”

The point of view described above is supported by the alchemist’s remarkable use of the terms meditatio and imaginatio.

Ruland’s Lexicon alchemiae defines meditatio as follows:

“The word meditatio is used when a man has an inner dialogue with someone unseen.

It may be with God, when He is invoked, or with himself, or with his good angel” (fig.137).

The psychologist is familiar with this “inner dialogue”; it is an essential part of the technique for coming to terms with the unconscious.

Ruland’s definition proves beyond all doubt that when the alchemists speak of meditari they do not mean mere cogitation, but explicitly an inner dialogue and hence a living relationship to the answering voice of the “other” in ourselves, i.e., of the unconscious.

The use of the term “meditation” in the Hermetic dictum “And as all things proceed from the One through the meditation of the One” must therefore be understood in this alchemical sense as a creative dialogue, by means of which things pass from an unconscious potential state to a manifest one.

Thus we read in a treatise of Philalethes:

“Above all it is marvelous that our stone, although already perfect and able to impart a perfect tincture, does voluntarily humble itself again and will meditate a new volatility, apart from all manipulation.”

What is meant by a “meditated volatility” we discover a few lines lower down, where it says:

“Of its own accord it will liquefy . . .and by God’s command become endowed with spirit, which will fly up and take the stone with it.”

Again, therefore, to “meditate” means that through a dialogue with God yet more spirit will be infused into the stone, i.e., it will become still more spiritualized, volatilized, or sublimated (cf. fig. 178).