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Visions : Notes of the seminar given in 1930-1934 (2 Volume Set) (Bollingen)

Dr. Jung:

We have further contributions to the diamond symbolism today.

We said last time that the diamond was a carbon crystal, and Dr. Escher now says that it crystallizes in the cubic system, one of the simple forms being a double pyramid, the same above and below.

So the pyramid is really an analogy to the diamond, we were not far from the truth when we drew that parallel.

Then the word diamond-diamant in German and French-derives from the Greek adamas, which means the untamable or the invincible one, and that fits in beautifully with the symbolic meaning of the diamond.

Also it has peculiar magic qualities.

You know magic qualities have always been attributed to precious stones; the amethyst is a protection against drunkenness, for instance, and the diamond has the power of averting insanity and avoiding poison.

In the Middle Ages it was known as the pietra della reconciliazione, the stone of reconciliation,the peacemaker between husband and wife, a very good idea, and then after sixty years they celebrate the diamond wedding. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 1351

Now we will go on with our text.

We were speaking last time of the sacrificed animus whose remains were on three sides of the pyramid.

There was the split face of a man, and the man lying face downward on the ground, and a knife from which blood was dripping.

Those are the three symptoms of a slaughter which has taken place, obviously the slaughter of the animus that was left behind.

And the Self that was left behind turned into matter, into a pyramid.

Mrs. Baumann: Does it mean then that the animus and the Self are buried together in the pyramid?

Dr. Jung:

Yes. It is quite certain that it is the dead and buried Self that appears in the pyramid, as the dead pharaoh appears in the form of the pyramid.

That is the last one sees of him because his mummy is walled up inside; the old Egyptians gave a human shape to the sarcophagus itself, the head and face and arms indicating as nearly as possible the shape of the king, and then they built that outward sign over him.

Evidently the animus does not enter the pyramid-shrine altogether, because those remains of him are still outside, but there is apparently very little life left in them, so we may assume that his life also is buried within the pyramid.

When the kind of relation to the Self which the patient has had

Those remains of the animus in the vision are still visible, then, because you cannot get rid of the animus, which means that you cannot get rid of your own opposite, the other voice; just as you can never get rid of mankind, or of the object, it is always there, whatever it is.

So our patient has to do something about it and she says:

I seized the knife and where the knife had been, appeared a human hand with blood dripping from the finger.

With the knife I cut off the hand.

Evidently the hand comes out of the pyramid-bad symbolism you see.

The living being to which that hand belonged is the animus.

Cutting off the hand is a great mutilation, so she mutilates whatever life is left in the form of the animus.

Now she says:

Then I struck the pyramid with the knife. It crumbled away and I saw, standing where it had been, a man.

There he comes!

The pyramid is the visible sign of the Self that once has been, or the king who once has lived, and she now destroys the pyramid.

It is obviously a magic act of destruction, and she does it with the knife.

That means what?

Miss Hannah: With the logos.

Dr. Jung: Logos is too beautiful, too ecclesiastical. I should say it was the intellect, the discriminating mind, an acute mind, sharp like a knife; she cuts in with her mind, and so she destroys the pyramid.

That is what we do; we have destroyed those things with our minds so they now mean nothing to us except historical remains.

And we have developed an almost morbid mania for preserving remains, as a compensation for their lack of meaning; we do not understand them, and instead we have a sort
of historic sentimentality and preserve them indiscriminately.

Certain archaeological collections are really ridiculous, they preserve old poles and God knows what.

There is a collection in Switzerland which contains the most absurd things; they did not know what they were, but I knew, having a good power of fantasy and having had the subject suggested by one of my old teachers.

You see, those things were connected with a serious question, as I learned when I went to Africa.

Suppose you come to the desert and nothing grows there but cactus and you have a human need, what can you do?

That was a great question in antiquity; they had no paper you see.

An old professor of Latin used always to put that question to us boys: what do you think they did about it in antiquity?

Did they use newspaper?

But there was no paper, only papyrus, and that was an exceedingly expensive substance which had to be fetched from Egypt and paid for very heavily.


That was also expensive.


But in a town or in the desert there were no leaves.

What did they do then?

So he said they always carried a little bag filled with gravel; ordinary people had just ordinary gravel and the rich people had marble.

Of course that was his joke, but they did have little sticks for that purpose.

There is a place in Zurich where there were Roman barracks, half a legion was stationed there, and in the outlets for the drainage, they found any number of those little sticks and didn’t know what they were.

And those things were preserved, along with old drainage pipes and old bottles and God knows what nonsense, in a museum two thousand years afterwards just because they were old. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Pages 1362-1363

Dr. Jung:

Yes, he takes root, he becomes one with the earth, as it were.

So he is in danger of becoming nothing but an earthbound being.

That comes from the fact that the patient is occupied all the time with the descent into the world, and the man she meets there is the same, her opposite is also growing into the earth and becoming formless.

He said:

“You have liberated me from the pyramid. Can you now give me my limbs? Can you free them and shape them?” I answered: “Wait.” I went away from him and sat alone wondering how I could free the man. At length I arose and said to him: “I must sever you from the earth.”

He cried out: “If you cut me off I will bleed to death.”

You see, the idea here is that something ought to be done about it.

That man is about to grow into the earth, in which case he would be completely lamed, he would become a tree perhaps, unable to move from the spot. And she seems to feel a certain responsibility about it, that it should be prevented.

What is the danger? ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 1364