The Red Book: A Reader’s Edition (Philemon)

He who sleeps in the grave of the millennia dreams a wonderful dream. 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.

He who comprehends the darkness in himself, to him the light is near. He who climbs down into his darkness reaches the staircase of the working light, fire maned Helios.

His chariot ascends with four white horses, his back bears no cross, and his side no wound, but he is safe and his head blazes in the fire.

Nor is he a man of mockery, but of splendor and unquestionable force. I do not know what I speak, I speak in a dream. support me for I stagger, drunk with fire. 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.

But day is about to break, actual day; the day of this world. 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 heaviness of the earth.

How can I pray to the sun, that rises far in the East over the desert? 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.

I beg because I am empty and am a beggar. 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.

And a wondrous life arises in 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 to you, and magical threads spin from you to things and from things to you.

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.

But if you watch closely, you will see what you have never seen before, namely that things live their life, and that they live off you: the rivers bear your life to the valley,. 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 happens in which you are not entangled in a secret manner; for everything has ordered itself around you and plays your innermost.

Nothing in you is hidden to things, no matter how 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 earth rescue you in a motherly womb.

Like a stray child you stand pitifully among the mighty, who hold the threads of your life.

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.

I know that you would like to hear the tidings of he whom things have not lived, but who lived and fulfilled himself.

For you are a son of the earth, sucked dry by the suckling earth, that can suck nothing out of itself, but suckles only from the sun.

Therefore you would like to have tidings of the son of the sun, which shines and does not suckle.

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.

You would like to hear of him, the radiating savior, who as a son of the sun cut through the webs of the earth, who sundered the magic threads and released those in bondage, who owned himself and was no one’s servant, who sucked no one dry, and whose treasure no one exhausted.

You would like to hear of him who was not darkened by the shadow of earth, but illuminated it, who saw the thoughts of all, and whose thoughts no one guessed, who possessed in himself the meaning of all things, and whose meaning no thing could express.

The solitary fled the world; he closed his eyes, plugged his ears and buried himself in a cave within himself but it was no use.

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.

Consequently he was in the desert as a clever saint who very well knew that otherwise he was no different from the other sons of the earth. 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.

He wanted to find what he needed in the outer. But you find manifold meaning only in yourself not in things, since the manifoldness of meaning is not something that is given at the same time, but is a succession of meanings.

The meanings that follow one another do not lie in things, but lie in you, who are subject to many changes, insofar as you take part in life.

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.

He lured 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.