Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1940 (

Professor Jung:

As a matter of fact, it does have something to do with consciousness. Could you give more details about it?


The transparent stone refers to the diamond. It is refined earth, the epitome of refined earth.

The earth is dark, gloomy, nontransparent, and starts to become transparent in the stone.

Although the stone is earth, hardest earth, it assumes the character of transparent water.

We speak of a diamond “of the first water.”

Because of its transparency, the philosopher’s stone is also called vitrum aureum (the golden glass) or vitrum malleabile (the malleable glass).

In the Book of Revelation it says that the streets of the new Jerusalem were like golden glass

Professor Jung:

So it is the same idea as in alchemy—that the earth had been transformed into a transparent, waterlike, yet hard and imperishable, incorruptible structure.

Therefore, the philosopher’s stone is the expression of the highest perfection of the earthly body, and, therefore, you also find the idea that the lapis philosophorum is man himself, that is, his corpus glorificatum, his body at the Resurrection.

This immortal body is the subtle body that had left the physical body and is beyond corruption.

The diamond, the hardest mineral, is synonymous with the lapis philosophorum.

This is ancient metaphysics, old speculation in symbolic form.

What does this mean psychologically?

It was mentioned that the diaphanitas and the stoniness, the inelasticity, could have to do with the nature of consciousness.

You can find this connection in the old texts of alchemy, the idea, that is, that the stone is the product of a mental operation, the equivalent, so to speak, of enlightenment.

Therefore the stone says in a Hermetic text: “I create the light, the light that is greater than all other lights in the world.”

So what is actually meant is a phenomenon of consciousness, a product of human effort, and at the same time a donum gratiae, a gift of God’s grace.

It is always stressed that it is impossible to do it on one’s own, it can only be given per gratiam dei, but man still has to make the effort to make this structure.

It originally was a head, that is, a consciousness that was in the head.

It is symbolized as the head of Osiris that was washed ashore from the sea and venerated by the women of Byblos.

This severed head, the so-called round element, is the epitome of perfection.

A consciousness has crystallized that is imperturbable, a detached consciousness, characterized by wholeness (represented by roundness).


In the legend of Perseus, too, we find this idea, in the severed head of the Gorgon.

Here, roundness is linked to the mortification of the mother.

Professor Jung:

Yes, quite right. In the stars you find the constellation of Perseus with the Gorgon’s head above the sign of Taurus.

The great Gorgon’s head is the horrible face entwined by snakes; it is the face of the past in front of which we are petrified.

The fear it provokes can be traced back to the fear of the devouring mother, the horror of this; for this face can turn you into dead earth again.

This danger was averted by Perseus by cutting the Gorgon’s throat with a fiery sword, a diamond sword.

This would mean that the danger is averted by the intervention of consciousness, of thinking; because it was an act of consciousness that detached him from that horror.

When the flood of blackness is later inundating him again, he can free himself from it, because he cut the head of the horrible mother.

You find a similar standpoint in the philosophy of the Upanishads; the knowledge about Atman liberates from the law of the earth.

So the head is that round thing, originally hidden in matter, that Zosimos called the Omega element.

That’s why the ancient philosophers called themselves “children of the golden head.”

This was the opposite of the caput mortuum or caput corvi,which is the sediment that precipitates, or the opposite of nigredo.

This caput aureum, however, is the end product of the process.

It is also round, it is the wholeness, and it is a transparent stone. ~Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams Seminar, Pages 221-223.