The Red Book: A Reader’s Edition (Philemon)
Image: So-called “Young Centaur”: young centaur mocking Love’s wounds (Eros missing). Grey-black marble, Roman copy after an Hellenistic original.
What would mockery be, if it were not true mockery? What would doubt be, if it were not true doubt? What would opposition be, it if were not true opposition? He who wants to accept himself must also really accept his other. But in the yes not every no is true, and in the no every yes is a lie. But since I can be in the yes today and in the no tomorrow, yes and no are both true and untrue. Whereas yes and no cannot yield because they exist, our concepts of truth and error can.
I presume you would like to have certainty with regard to truth and error? Certainty within one or the other is not only possible, but also necessary, although certainty in one is protection and resistance against the other. If you are in one, your certainty about the one excludes the other. But how can you then reach the other? And why can the one not be enough for us? One cannot be enough for us since the other is in us. And if we were content with one, the other would suffer great need and afflict us with its hunger. But we misunderstand this hunger and still believe that we are hungry for the one and strive for it even more adamantly.
Through this we cause the other in us to assert its demands on us even more strongly. If we are then ready to recognize the claim of the other in us, we can cross over into the other to satisfy it. But we can thus reach across, since the other has become conscious to us. Yet if our blinding through the one is strong, we become even more distant from the other, and a disastrous chasm between the one and the other opens up in us. The one becomes surfeited and the other becomes too hungry. The satiated grows lazy and the hungry grows weak. And so we suffocate in fat,
consumed by lack.
This is sickness, but you see a lot of this type. It must be so, but it need not be so. There are grounds and causes enough that it is so, but we also want it not / to be so. For man is afforded the freedom to overcome the cause, for he is creative in and of himself If you have reached that freedom through the suffering of your spirit to accept the other despite your highest belief in the one, since you are it too, then your growth begins. If others mock me, it is nevertheless them doing this, and I can attribute guilt to them for this, and forget to mock myself But he who cannot mock himself will be mocked by others.
If others mock me, it is nevertheless them doing this, and I can attribute guilt to them for this, and forget to mock myself But he who cannot mock himself will be mocked by others. So accept your self-mockery so that everything divine and heroic falls from you and you become completely human. What is divine and heroic in you is a mockery to the other in you. For the sake of the other in you, set off your admired role which you previously performed for your own self and become who you are.
He who has the luck and misfortune of a particular talent falls prey to believing that he is this gift. Hence he is also often its fool. A special gift is something outside of me. I am not the same as it. The nature of the gift has nothing to do with the nature of the man who carries it. It often even lives at the expense of the bearer’s character. His character is marked by the disadvantage of his gift, indeed even through its opposite.
Consequently he is never at the height of his gift but always beneath it. If he accepts his other he becomes capable of bearing his gift without disadvantage. But if he only wants to live in his gift and consequently rejects his other, he oversteps the mark, since the essence of his gift is extra-human and a natural phenomenon, which he in reality is not. All the world sees his error, and he becomes the victim of its mockery. Then he says that others mock him, while it is only the disregard of his other that makes him ridiculous.
When the God enters my life, I return to my poverty for the sake of the God. I accept the burden of poverty and bear all my ugliness and ridiculousness, and also everything reprehensible in me. I thus relieve the God of all the confusion and absurdity that would befall him if I did not accept it. With this I prepare the way for the God’s doing. What should happen? Has the darkest abyss been emptied and exhausted? Or what stands and waits down there, impending and red-hot? ~Carl Jung; Red Book