Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group

Man and His Symbols

Part 1. Approaching The Unconscious Carl G. Jung

Man uses the spoken or written word to express the meaning of what he wants to convey. His language is full of symbols. . .


What we call a symbol is a term, a name, or even a picture that may be familiar in daily life, yet that possesses specific connotations in addition to its conventional and obvious meaning. . . . eagles, lions, and oxen in old churches. . . symbols . . . derived from the vision of Ezekiel, and that this . . . has an analogy to the Egyptian sun god Horus and his four sons. Page 3
When, with all our intellectual limitations, we call something “divine”, we have merely given it a name, which may be based on a creed, but never on factual evidence. Page .4
. . . we constantly use symbolic terms to represent concepts that we cannot define or fully comprehend. This is one of the reasons why all religions employ symbolic language or images. Page 4
Man . . . never perceives anything fully or comprehends anything completely. He can see, hear, touch, and taste; but how far he sees, how well he hears, what his touch tells him, and what he tastes depend upon the number and quality of his senses. These limit his perception of the world around him. Page 4
Man has developed consciousness slowly and laboriously, in a process that took untold ages to reach the civilized state (which is arbitrarily dated from the invention of script in about 4000 B. C.). And this evolution is far from complete, for large areas of the human mind are still shrouded in darkness. Page 6
Whoever denies the existence of the unconscious is in fact assuming that our present knowledge of the psyche is total. Page 6
Consciousness is a very recent acquisition of nature, and it is still in an “experimental” state. It is frail . . . and easily injured. Page 6
We . . . can become dissociated and lose our identity. We can be possessed . . . by moods, or become unreasonable, so that people ask: “What the devil has got into you?” We talk about . . . “control”, but self-control is a rare and remarkable virtue. Page 8
This capacity to isolate part of one’s mind, indeed, is a valuable characteristic. Page 8
Freud and Josef Breuer . . . recognized that neurotic symptoms . . . are in fact symbolically meaningful. They are one way in which the unconscious mind expresses itself . . . Page 9
A story told by the conscious mind has a beginning, a development, and an end, but the same is not true of a dream. Page 12
. . . the only material that is clearly and visibly part of a dream should be used in interpreting it. The dream has its own limitation. . . . it was said that “every man carries a woman within himself.” This feminine aspect is essentially a certain inferior kind of relatedness to the surrounds, . . . which is kept carefully concealed from others as well as from oneself. Page 17
Consciousness naturally resists anything unconscious and unknown. P. 17
. . . “civilized man reacts to new ideas by erecting psychological barriers to protect himself from the shock of facing something new. P. 17
. . . when something slips out of our consciousness it does not cease to exist . . .It is simply out of sight. Thus, part of the unconscious consists of multitude of temporarily obscured thoughts, impressions, and images that, in spite of being lost, continue to influence our conscious minds. P. 18
If you observe . . . a neurotic person, you can see him doing many things that he appears to be doing consciously and purposefully. Yet if you ask him about them, you will discover that he is either unconscious of them or has something quite different in mind. P. 19
. . . so many physicians dismiss statements by hysterical patients as utter lies. Such persons certainly produce more untruths than most of us, but “lie” is scarcely the right word to use. P. 19
Forgetting . . . is a normal process, in which certain conscious ideas lose their specific energy because one’s attention has been deflected. P. 20
This is unavoidable, for consciousness can keep only a few images in full clarity at one time, and even this clarity fluctuates. P. 20
The unconscious, however, has taken note of them, and such subliminal sense perceptions play a significant part in our everyday lives. Without realizing it, they influence the way in which we react to both events and people. P. 20
Aside from normal forgetting . . . several cases that involve the “forgetting” of disagreeable memories . . . memories that one is only too ready to lose. As Nietzsche remarked, where pride is insistent enough, memory prefers to give way. Thus, among the lost memories, we encounter not a few that owe their subliminal state . . . to their disagreeable and incompatible nature. The psychologist calls these repressed contents. P. 22
Many people mistakenly overestimate the role of will power and think that nothing can happen to their minds that they do not decide and intend. P. 22
. . . one must learn . . . between intentional and unintentional contents of the mind. The former are derived from the ego personality; the latter, however, arise from a source that is not identical with the ego, but is its “other side”. P. 22
We find . . . in everyday life, where dilemmas are sometimes solved by the most surprising new propositions; many artists, philosophers, and even scientists owe some of their best ideas to inspirations . . . from the unconscious. P. 25
The ability to reach a rich vein of such material, and to translate it effectively . . . is commonly called genius. P. 25
We can find clear proof of this fact in the history of science itself. The so-called “mystical” experience of the French philosopher Descartes involved a . . . sudden revelation in which he saw in a flash the “order of all sciences”. The British author Robert Louis Stevenson had spent years looking for a story that would fit his “strong sense of man’s double being,” when the plot of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was suddenly revealed to him in a dream. P. 25
. . . I simply want to point out that the capacity of the human psyche to produce such new material is particularly significant when one is dealing with the dream symbolism . . . p. 26
. . . dreams are difficult to understand . . . a dream is quite unlike a story told by the conscious mind. P. 27
Primitive man was much more governed by his instincts than are his “rational” modern descendants, who have learned to “control” themselves. P. 36
Fortunately, we have not lost these basic instinctive strata; they remain part of the unconscious, even though they may express themselves only in the form of dream images. P. 36-37
For the sake of mental stability and even physiological health, the unconscious and the conscious must be integrally connected and thus move on parallel lines. It they are split apart or “dissociated”, psychological disturbance follows. P. 37
. . . it is plain foolishness to believe in ready-made systematic guides to dream interpretation. No dream symbol can be separated from the individual who dreams it, and there is no definite or straightforward interpretation of any dream. P. 38
The individual is the only reality. The further we move away from the individual toward abstract ideas about Homo Sapiens, the more likely we are to fall into error. P. 45
Psychology inescapably confronts you with the living relations between two individuals. The analyst and his patient may set out by agreeing to deal with a chosen problem in an impersonal and objective manner’ but once they are engaged, their whole personalities are involved in their discussion. At this point, further progress is possible only if mutual agreement can be reached. P. 45

The archetype in dream symbolism

The universal hero myth always refers to a powerful man or god-man who vanquishes evil in the form of dragons, serpents, monsters, demons, and so on, and who liberates his people from destruction and death. The narration or ritual repetition of sacred texts and ceremonies, and the worship of such a figure with dances, music, hymns, prayers, and sacrifices, grip the audience with numinous emotions and exalt the individual to an identification with the hero. P. 68

A remarkable instance of this can be found in the Eleusinian mysteries, which were finally suppressed in the beginning of the seventh century of the Christian era. They expressed, together with the Delphic oracle, the essence and spirit of ancient Greece. On a much greater scale, the Christian era itself owes its name and significance to the antique mystery of the god-man, which has its roots in the archetypal Osiris-Horus myth of ancient Egypt. P. 68
It is commonly assumed that on some given occasion in prehistoric times, the basic mythological ideas were “invented” by a clever old philosopher or prophet, and ever afterward “believed” by a credulous and uncritical people. P. 69
But the very word “invent” is derived from the Latin invenire, and means “to find” and hence to find something by “seeking” it. P. 69
Goethe’s Faust aptly says: “Im Anfang wr die Tat [in the beginning was the deed].” “Deeds” were never invented, they were done; thoughts, on the other hand, are a relatively late discovery of man. First he was moved to deeds by unconscious factors; it was only a long time afterward that he began to reflect upon the causes that had moved him; and it took it him a very long time indeed to arrive at the preposterous idea that he must have moved himself . . . his mind being unable to identify any other motivating force than his own. P. 70
. . . inner motives spring from a deep source that is not made by consciousness and is not under its control. In the mythology of earlier times, these forces were called mana, or spirits, demons, and gods. They are as active today as ever. If they go against us, then we say that it is just bad luck, or that certain people are against us. The one thing we refuse to admit is that we are dependent upon “powers” that are beyond our control. P. 71

The soul of man

What we call civilized consciousness has steadily separated itself from the basic instincts. But these instincts have not disappeared. They have merely lost their contact with our consciousness and are thus forced to assert themselves in an indirect fashion. This may be . . . physical symptoms . . . neurosis . . . various incidents . . . moods . . . unexpected forgetfulness . . . or mistakes of speech. P. 72

Our world is, so to speak, dissociated like a neurotic. P. 73
. . . we neither see nor want to understand what we ourselves are doing, under the cover of good manners. P. 73
The sad truth is that man’s real life consists of a complex of inexorable opposites . . . day and night . . . birth and death . . . happiness and misery . . . good and evil. P. 75
Life is a battleground. It always has been, and always will be; and if it were not so, existence would come to an end. P. 75
. . . there are millions . . . who have lost faith in any kind of religion. Such people do not understand their religion any longer. While life runs smoothly without religion . . . when suffering comes, it is another matter. That is when people seek a way out and to reflect about the meaning of life and its bewildering and painful experiences. P. 75
People feel that it makes, or would make, a great difference if only they had a positive belief in a meaningful way of life or in God and immortality. P. 75
Even if we did not know by reason our need for salt in our food, we should nonetheless profit from its use. P. 76
Man positively needs general ideas and convictions that will give a meaning to his life and enable him to find a place for himself in the universe. P.76
A sense of a wider meaning to one’s existence is what raises a man beyond mere getting and spending. If he lacks this sense, he is lost and miserable. P. 78
Myths go back to the primitive storyteller and his dreams, to men moved by the stirring of their fantasies. These people were not very different from those whom later generations called poets or philosophers. P. 78
. . . just as Greeks persuaded themselves that their myths were merely elaboration’s of rational or “normal” history, so some of the pioneers of psychology came to the same conclusion that dreams did not mean what they appeared to mean. P. 79
I have already described my disagreement with this idea. P. 79
. . . no textbook can teach psychology; one learns only by actual experiences. P. 81

The Role of Symbols

When the medical psychologist takes an interest in symbols, he is primarily concerned with “natural” symbols, as distinct from “cultural” symbols. The former are derived from the unconscious . . . the cultural on the other hand . . . used to express “eternal truths”, and . . . still used in many religions. P. 83

. . . cultural symbols . . . retain much of their “spell”. One is aware that they can evoke a deep emotional response . . . function the same way as prejudices. P. 83
Such tendencies form an ever-present “shadow” to our conscious mind. This is why well-meaning people are understandably afraid of the unconscious, and incidentally of psychology. P. 83
Modern man does not understand how much his “rationalism . . . has put him at the mercy of the psychic “underworld”. He has freed himself from “superstition” (or so he believes), but in the process he has lost his spiritual values to a positively dangerous degree. His moral and spiritual tradition has been disintegrated, and he is now paying the price for this break-up in world-wide disorientation and dissociation. P. 84
Anthropologists have often described what happens to a primitive society when its spiritual values are exposed to the impact of modern civilization. Its people lose the meaning of their lives, their social organization disintegrates, and they themselves morally decay. We are now in the same condition. P. 84
As scientific understanding has grown, so our world has become dehumanized. Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer involved with nature and has lost his emotional “unconscious identity” with natural phenomena. P. 85
To be more accurate, the surface of our world seems to be cleansed of all superstitious and irrational elements. P. 86
Because a child is . . . small and its conscious thoughts scarce and simple, we do not realize the far-reaching complications of the infantile mind that are based on its original identity with the prehistoric psyche. That original mind is just as much present and still functioning in the child as the evolutionary stages of mankind are in its embryonic body. P. 89
Psychology is the only science that has to take the factor of value (feelings) into account. Psychology is often accused of not being scientific on this account; but its critics fail to understand the scientific and practical necessity of giving due consideration to feeling. P. 90

Healing the Spirit

Our intellect has created a new world that dominates nature, and has populated it with monstrous machines. P. 90

Man is bound to follow . . . and . . . admire himself for his splendid achievements. P. 91
In spite of our proud domination of nature, we are still her victims, for we have not learned to control our own nature. Slowly but, it appears, inevitably, we are courting disaster. P. 91
There are no longer any gods whom we can invoke to help us. The great religions of the world suffer from increasing anemia . . . the god-men have disappeared underground into the unconscious. P. 91
Our present lives are dominated by the goddess Reason, who is our greatest and most tragic illusion. By the aid of reason, so we assure ourselves, we have “conquered nature”? P. 91
As any change must begin somewhere, it is the single individual who will experience it and carry it through. The change must indeed begin with an individual; it might be any one of us. Nobody can afford to look round and to wait for somebody else to do what he is loath to do himself. P. 91
Man today is painfully aware of the fact that neither his great religions nor his various philosophies seem to provide him with those powerful animating ideas that would give h him the security he needs in face of the present conditions of the world. P. 92
. . . the Buddhists would say: . . . if people would only follow the “noble eightfold path” . . . the Christians tells us if only people would have faith in God . .. the rationalist insists . . . if people were intelligent and reasonable . . . the trouble is that none of them manages to solve these problems himself. P. 92
Christians often ask why God does not speak to them . . . the rabbi was asked . . . nowadays nobody sees God . . . the rabbi replied” “Nowadays there is no longer anybody, who can bow low enough.” P. 92
This answer hits the nail on the head. We are so captivated by . . . our subjective consciousness that we have forgotten . . .that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions. P.92
This ignorance persists . . .in spite of the fact that for more than 70 years the unconscious has been a basic scientific concept that is indispensable to any serious psychologist investigation. P. 92
We can no longer afford to be so God-almighty-like as to set ourselves up as judges of the merits or demerits of natural phenomena. P. 92
. . . the unconscious . . is a natural phenomena . . . prove to be meaningful. But the general undervaluation of the human soul is so great that neither the great religions nor the philosophies nor scientific rationalism have been willing to look at it twice. P. 93
. . . if a theologian really believes in God, by what authority does he suggest that God is unable to speak through dreams? P. 93
I have spent more than half a century in investigating natural symbols, and I have come to the conclusion that dreams and their symbols are not stupid and meaningless. The results, it is true, have little to do with . . . buying and selling. But the meaning of life is not . . . explained by one’s business life, nor is the deep desire of the human heart answered by a bank account. P. 93
. . . very little attention is paid to the essence of man, which is his “psyche” . . . man’s greatest instrument . . . little thought of, and it is often directly mistrusted and despised. “It’s only psychological” often means: It is nothing. P. 93
Where, exactly, does this immense prejudice come from? We have obviously been so busy with the question of what we think that we entirely forget to ask what the unconscious thinks about us. P. 94
Our actual knowledge of the unconscious . . . contains all aspects of human nature . . . light and dark, beautiful and ugly, good and evil . . . p. 94

Part 2
Ancient Myths and Modern Man
Joseph L. Henderson
The Eternal Symbols

The ancient history of man is being meaningfully rediscovered today in the symbolic images and myths that have survived ancient man. ” . . . it is not the events of . . . time that we learn to treasure but the statues, designs, temples, and languages that tell of old beliefs. They can show that the same . . . patterns can be found in the rituals or myths of small tribal societies still existing, unchanged for centuries, on the outskirts of civilization. P. 97

In London or New York . . if anyone claims to have seen a vision . . . he is mentally disturbed. We read the myths of the ancient Greeks . . . or the folk stories of American Indians, but we fail to see any connection . . . p. 97
Yet the connections are there. And the symbols that represent them have not lost their relevance from mankind. P. 97
Consciously we may ignore them, but unconsciously we respond to them . . . p. 98
These symbols are so ancient and unfamiliar to modern man that he cannot directly understand or assimilate them. P. 98
A . . . striking example . . . to anyone who has grown up in a Christian society. At Christmas we may express our inner feeling for the mythological birth of a semi-divine child . . . the symbolism of rebirth. This is a relic of an immensely older solstice festival, which carries the hope that the fading winter landscape of the northern hemisphere will be renewed. For all our sophistication we find satisfaction in this symbolic festival, just as we join . . . in the pleasant ritual of Easter eggs and Easter rabbits. P. 99
But do we understand what we do, or see the connection between the story of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection and the folk symbolism of Easter? P. 99
Christ’s crucifixion . .. seems at first . . to belong to the same pattern of fertility symbolism that one finds in the rituals of such other “saviors” as Osiris, Tammuz, Orpheus, and Balder. They too, were of divine or semi-divine birth, they flourished, were killed, and were reborn. They belonged, in fact, to cyclic religions in which the death and rebirth of the god-King was an eternally recurring myth. P. 99
But the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday is much less satisfying from a ritual point of view than is the symbolism of the cyclic religions. His resurrection occurs once and for all. P. 99
It is this finality of the Christian concept of the resurrection . . . that distinguishes Christianity from other god-king myths. It happened once . . . this since of finality is probably one reason why early Christians . . . felt that Christianity needed to be supplemented by some elements of an older fertility ritual. They needed the recurring promise of rebirth . . . symbolized by the egg and the rabbit at Easter. P. 100
Some symbols relate to childhood and the transition to adolescence, others to maturity, and others again to the experience of old age, when man is preparing for his inevitable death. P. 100

Heroes and Hero Makers

The myth of the hero is the most common and the best known myth in the world . . . classical mythology . . . Greece and Rome . . . Middle Ages . . . Far East . . . contemporary primitive tribes. It also appears in dreams . . . obvious dramatic . . . profound . . . importance. P. 101

. . . structurally very similar . . . universal pattern . . . over and over again . . . a tale of . . . miraculous . . . humble birth . . . early proof of superhuman strength . . . rapid rise to prominence . . . triumphant struggle with the forces of evil . . . fallibility to the sin of pride (hybris) . . . and his fall through betrayal or a “heroic” sacrifice that ends in his death. P. 101
. . . another important characteristic . . . provides a clue . . . the early weakness . . . is balanced by . . . strong “tutelary” figures . . . who enable him to perform the superhuman tasks that he cannot accomplish unaided. Theseus had Poseidon . . . Perseus had Athena . . . Achilles had Cheiron . . . the wise centaur, as his tutor. P. 101
These godlike figures . . . representative of the whole psyche, the larger and more comprehensive identity that supplies the strength that the personal ego lacks. P. 101
Once the individual has passed his initial test and can enter the mature phase of life, the hero myth loses its relevance. The hero’s symbolic death becomes, as it were, the achievement of that maturity. P. 103
. . . the image of the hero evolves in a manner that reflects each stage of the evolution of the human personality. P. 103
. . . more easily understood . . from the obscure North American tribe of Winnebago Indians . . . four distinct stages . . . Trickster . . . theHare . . . the Red Horn . . . the Twin. It represents . . . efforts to deal with the problem of growing up. P. 103
Trickster . . . earliest and least developed period of life . . . physical appetites dominate his behavior . . . mentality of an infant . . . gratification of primary needs . . .cruel . . .cynical . . . unfeeling.
Hare . . . not yet attained mature human stature . . . appears as the founder of human culture . . . the Transformer. This myth was so powerful that the members of the Peyote Rite were reluctant to give up Hare when Christianity began to penetrate the tribe. He became merged with the figure of Christ.
Red Horn . . . ambiguous person . . . winning the race . . .proving himself in battle . . . defeats giants . . . has a powerful companion whose strengths compensates for . . . weakness. We have reached the world of man . . . the aid of superhuman powers or tutelary gods is needed to ensure . . . victory over evil forces . . . p. 106
This basic theme . . . how long can human beings be successful without falling victims to their own pride or . . .to the jealousy of the gods? P. 106
Twins . . . sons of the Sun . . . originally united in the mother’s womb, they were forced apart at birth . . . yet they belong together . . . it is necessary . . . though difficult . . to reunite them. In these two children we see the two sides of man’s nature . . . “Flesh” . . . mild, without initiative . . . “Stump” . . . dynamic and rebellious. P. 106
. . . for a long time . . . invincible . . . they eventually sicken from their abuse of their own power. . . their consequent . . . behavior brings retribution . . .the punishment they deserved was death. P. 106
. . . we see the theme of sacrifice or death of the hero as a necessary cure for hybris . . . the pride that has over-reached itself. P. 107
. . . in European mythology . . . the theme of ritual sacrifice is more specifically employed as a punishment for hybris. P.107
. . . in any case the next stage in human development is one in which the irresponsibility of childhood gives way to a period of socialization, and that involves submission to painful discipline . . . p. 110
. . . the concept of “shadow” . . . Dr. Jung has pointed out that the shadow cast by the conscious mind of the individual contains the hidden, repressed, and unfavorable aspects of the personality. Buthis darkness is not just the simple converse of the conscious ego. Just as the ego contains unfavorable and destructive attitudes, so the shadow has good qualities . . . p. 110
The ego, nevertheless is in conflict with the shadow . . . in the developing consciousness . . . the emerging ego overcomes the inertia of the unconscious mind, and liberates the mature man from a regressive longing to return to the blissful state of infancy in a world dominated by his mother. P. 111
The battle between the hero and the dragon . . . shows more clearly the . . . theme of the ego’s triumph over regressive trends. For most people the dark . . . side of the personality remains unconscious. The hero . . . must realize that the shadow exists and that he can draw strength from it. He must come to terms with his destructive powers if he is to . . . overcome the dragon. I. E. Before the ego can triumph, it must master and assimilate the shadow. P. 112
The idealism of youth, which drives one so hard, is bound to lead to over-confidence: The human ego can be exalted to experience godlike attributes, but only at the cost of over-reaching itself and falling to disaster. (Icarus . . . carried up to heaven on . . . fragile . . . . humanly contrived wings . . . flies too close too the sun and plunges to his doom. ) All the same, the youthful ego must always run this risk, for if a young man does not strive for a higher goal than he can safely reach, he cannot surmount the obstacles between adolescence and maturity. P. 113
The ritual has a sorrow . . . that is also a kind of joy . . . acknowledgment that death . . . leads to a new life . . . it is the same drama . . . of new birth through death. P. 113
As a general rule . . . the need for hero symbols arises when the ego needs strengthening . . . p. 114
. . . rescue symbolizes the liberation of the anima figure from the devouring aspect of the mother image. Not until this is accomplished can a man achieve his first true capacity for relatedness to women . . . freeing the psychic energy attached to the mother-son relationship, in order to achieve a more adult relation to women . . . and, indeed, to adult society as a whole. The hero-dragon battle . . . symbolic expression of this process of “growing up”. P. 118
This important point . . . illustrated in a man nearing 50. All his life he had suffered from periodic attacks of anxiety associated with fear of failure (originally engendered by a doubting mother). Yet his actual achievements . . . were well above average. Frequently felt threatened by the shadow of self-doubt . . . no longer necessary to fight the shadow . . . accept it. . . no longer driven to a competitive struggle for supremacy . . . such a conclusion . . . leads one to a truly mature attitude p. 119
This change . . . requires a period of transition . . . expressed in forms of initiation. P. 119

The Archetype of Initiation

. . . each human being has originally a feeling of wholeness . . . from the Self . . . the totality of the psyche . . . the individualized ego-consciousness emerges as the individual grows up. P. 120

. . . series of events by which the individual ego emerges during the transition from infancy through childhood. This separation can never become final without sever injury to the original sense of wholeness. P. 120
. . . it would appear . . .that the hero myth is the first stage of differentiation of the psyche. Unless some degree of autonomy is achieved, the individual is unable to relate himself to his adult environment. But the hero myth does not ensure that this liberation will occur. There remains the problem of maintaining and developing that consciousness in a meaningful way, so that the individual can live a useful life and can achieve the necessary sense of self-distinction in society. P. 120
Ancient history and the rituals of contemporary primitive societies have provided us with a wealth of material about myths and rites of initiation . . . young men and women are weaned away from their parents and forcibly made members of their clan or tribe. P.120
. . . it is the initiation rite that most effectively solves this problem . . . forcing a symbolic death . . . then ceremonially rescued by the rite of a new birth . . . true consolidation of the ego with the larger group. P. 123
The ritual . . . insists upon this rite of death and rebirth . . . provides a rite of passage from one stage of life to the next . . . p. 123
. . . not confined to . . . youth . . . every new phase of development throughout an individual’s life is accompanied by a repetition of the original conflict between the claims of the Self and the claims of the ego. In fact, this conflict may be expressed more powerfully . . . from early maturity to middle age (between 35 to 40 in our society) than at any other time in life. P. 123
At these critical periods . . . initiation is strongly activated to provide a meaningful transition that offers something more spiritually satisfying . . . p. 123
There is one striking difference between the hero myth and the initiation rite. The . . . hero . . . exhausts efforts in achieving the goal . . . the novice for initiation is called upon to give up willful ambition and all desire and to submit to the ordeal. He must be willing to experience this trial without hope of success. In fact, he must be prepared to die . . . the purpose remains always the same: to create the symbolic mood of death from which may spring the symbolic mood of re-birth. P. 124
. . . distinction . . . between initiation and the hero . . . act of climbing a mountain . . . trial of strength . . . the will to achieve . . . a scene by the altar . . . task is rather to submit to a power greater than himself. He must see himself as if he were dead . . . only by such an act of submission can . . . experience rebirth. P. 125
. . . a man’s sacrifice is a surrender of his sacred independence: he becomes more consciously related to woman. P. 126
Man’s knowledge (logos) encounters women’s relatedness (Eros) and their union is represented as that symbolic ritual of a sacred marriage . . . the heart of initiation since its origins in the mystery-religions of antiquity. But this is exceedingly difficult for modern people to grasp, and it frequently takes a special crisis in their lives to make them understand it. P. 126
. . . a man, ready to change his attitude to life . . . he had been self-centered, seeking the illusory safety of personal independence but inwardly dominated by the fears caused by childhood . . . needed a challenge to his manhood in order to see that unless he sacrificed his childish state of mind he would be left isolated and ashamed . . . pass through the symbolic rite by which a young man gives up his exclusive autonomy and accepts . . . shared life . . . in a related form . . . appropriate fulfillment in his relationship with his wife . . .essentially a woman’s initiation rite, in which a man is bound to feel like anything but a conquering hero. But the theme of marriage is an image of such universality that it also has a deeper meaning. P. 128

Beauty and the Beast

Girls . . . share in the . . . hero myths . . because they . . must also develop a reliable ego-identity and acquire an education. P. 129

. . . for a woman to feel right about herself, life is best realized by a process of awakening. P. 130
A universal myth expressing this . . .is found . . . in Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty is any young girl or woman who has entered into an emotional bond with her father, no less binding because of its spiritual nature. Her goodness puts her father and then herself in the power of a principle that expresses not goodness alone, but cruelty and kindness combined. It is as if she wished to be rescued from a love holding her to an exclusively virtuous and unreal attitude. P. 131
. . . she awakens to the power of human love concealed in its animal (and therefore imperfect) but genuinely erotic form . . . this represents an awakening of her true function of relatedness, enabling her to accept the erotic component of her original wish, which had to be repressed because of a fear of incest. P. 131
To leave her father she had, as it were, to accept the incest-fear, to allow herself to live in its presence in fantasy until she could get to know the animal man and discover her own true response to it as a woman. P. 131
. . . she redeems herself and her image of the masculine from the forces of repression, bringing to consciousness her capacity to trust her love as something that combines spirit and nature in the best sense of the words. P. 131

Orpheus and the Son of Man

Orpheus was probably a real man, a singer, prophet, and teacher, who was martyred and whose tomb became a shrine. No wonder the early Christian church saw in Orpheus the prototype of Christ. Both religions brought . . the promise of a future divine life. P. 135

. . . one important difference between the religion of Orpheus and the religion of Christ. Though sublimated into a mystical form . . the spiritual impetus preserved the most significant quality of a religion rooted in the art of agriculture . . . the eternally recurrent cycle of birth, growth, fullness, and decay. P. 135
Christianity . . . dispelled the mysteries. Christ was the product and reformer of a patriarchal, nomadic, pastoral religion, whose prophets represented their Messiah as a being of absolute divine origin. P. 135
. . . the asceticism of early Christianity did not last. The memory of the cyclic mysteries haunted its followers to the extent that the Church eventually had to incorporate many practices from the pagan past into its rituals. P. 139
Yet the two somehow fuse in the figure of Orpheus . . . who remembers Dionysus but looks forward to Christ p. 139

Symbols of Transcendence

. . . it is quite certain that the fundamental goal of initiation lies in taming the original Trickster-like wildness of the juvenile nature. It therefore has a civilizing or spiritualizing purpose, in spite of the violence of the rites that are required to set this process in motion. P. 146

There is . . . another kind of symbolism . . . also connected with the periods of transition . . . they concern a man’s release from any confining pattern of existence, as he moves toward a superior or more mature stage in his development. P. 146
A child . . .possesses a sense of completeness, but only before the initial emergence of his ego-consciousness. In the case of an adult . . . completeness is achieved through union of the consciousness with the unconscious contents of his mind. Out of this . . . a man can achieve his highest goal: the full realization of the potential of his individual Self. P. 146
. . . the symbols of transcendence provide the means by which the contents of the unconscious can enter the conscious mind . . . p. 147
. . . we again meet the Trickster theme . . . he no longer appears as a lawless would-be hero. He has become the shaman . . . the medicine man . . . whose magical practices and flights of intuition stamp him as a primitive master of initiation. P. 147
Evidence of such powers can be found as far back as the Paleolithic period of prehistory . . . p. 147
At the highest level of this type of initiatory activity . . . we find the Hindu master yogis. In their trance states they go far beyond the normal categories of thought. P. 147
. . . the theme of the lonely journey . . .which somehow seems to be a spiritual pilgrimage on which the initiate becomes acquainted with the nature of death. But this is not death as a last judgment or other initiatory trial of strength: it is a journey of release, renunciation, and atonement, presided over and fostered by some spirit of compassion. P. 150
In the first part of life . . . this may be experienced as that moment of initiation at which one must learn to take the decisive steps into life alone. P. 150
At a later period . . . one may not need to break all ties . . . nonetheless one can be filled with that spirit of divine discontent which forces all free men to face some new discovery or to live their lives in a new way. This change may become especially important between middle and old age. P. 151
This need may be filled temporarily . . . by a trip . . . or nothing more than a move to a smaller house. But none of these will serve unless there has been some inner transcendence of old values in creating not just inventing, a new pattern of life. P. 151
Perhaps the commonest dream symbol of transcendence is the snake . . . chthonic transcendence is the motif of the two entwined serpents. Naga serpents of India . . .Greece . . . on a staff belonging to the god Hermes . . . p. 155
It is not easy for modern man to grasp the significance of the symbols . . . from the past . . . or that appear in dreams. P. 156
Initiation is, essentially, a process that begins with a rite of submission, followed by a period of containment, and then by a further rite of liberation. In this way every individual can reconcile the conflicting elements of his personality: He can strike a balance that makes him truly human, and truly the master of himself. P. 156

Part 3
The Process of Individuation
M.-L von Franz
The Pattern of Psychic Growth

By observing a great many people, (at least 80,000 dreams) Jung found that not only were all dreams relevant . . . but , , , they seem to follow an arrangement or pattern. This process Jung called “the process of individuation”. P. 159

These changes can be accelerated if the dreamer’s conscious attitude is influenced by appropriate interpretation of the dreams and their symbolic content. P. 161
Gradually a wider and more mature personality emerges . . . and even visible to others . Psychic growth cannot be brought about by a conscious effort of will power, but happens involuntarily and naturally . . . fulfilling a definite pattern. P. 161
The organizing center . . . a sort of nuclear “atom” . . . Jung called the “Self” and described it as the totality of the whole psyche, in order to distinguish it from the “ego”, which constitutes only a small part of the psyche. P. 162
Throughout the ages men have been intuitively aware of the existence of an inner center. Greeks . . .daimon . . . Egypt . . . Ba-soul . . . Romans . . . genius. P. 162
The Self can be defined as an inner guiding factor that is different from the conscious personality and that can be grasped only through the investigation of one’s own dreams. P. 163
How far it develops depends on whether or not the ego is willing to listen to the messages of the Self. Such a person also becomes a more complete human being. P. 163
One could picture this in the following way: The seed of a mountain pine cone contains the whole future tree in a latent form; but each seen falls at a certain time onto a particular place, in which there are a number of special factors, such as the quality of the soil and the stones . . . its exposure to the sun and wind. Thus an individual pine slowly comes into existence . . . the realization of this uniqueness in the individual man is the goal of the process of individuation. P. 162
. . . the process of individuation is real only if the individual is aware of it and consciously makes a living connection with it. P. 164
The guiding hints or impulses come, not from the ego, but from the totality of the psyche: the Self. P. 167
It is, moreover, useless to cast furtive glances at the way someone else is developing, because each of us has a unique task of self-realization. P. 167

The First Approach of the Unconscious

. . . .the years of youth are characterized by a state of gradual awakening . . . slowly becomes aware of the world and of himself. Childhood is a period of great emotional intensity . . . p. 168

When a child reaches school age, the phase of building up the ego and of adapting to the outer world begins. This . . . brings a number of painful shocks. P. 168
. . . some children begin to feel very different from others . . . brings a certain sadness . . . part of the loneliness of many youngsters. P. 168
If the development of consciousness is disturbed in its normal unfolding, children frequently retire. . . . into an “inner fortress” p. 169
In this early phase . . . many children . . .earnestly seek for some meanings in life . . . there are others .. . who are still . . . carried along by dynamism of inherited and instinctive patterns. P. 169
The actual processes of individuation . . . the conscious coming-to-terms with one’s own inner center or Self . . . generally begins with a wounding of the personality and the suffering that accompanies it. This initial “shock” amounts to a sort of “call”, although it is not often recognized as such. P. 169
. . . the ego feels hampered . . . projects the obstruction onto something external . . . accuses God . . . economics . . . boss . . . marriage partner . . . p. 169
Or perhaps everything seems outwardly all right, but beneath the surface a person is suffering from a deadly boredom that makes everything seem meaningless and empty. P. 170
Many myths and fairy tales symbolically describe this initial stage of individuation by telling of a king who has fallen ill, or grown old. P. 170
Thus, it seems as if the initial encounter with the Self casts a dark shadow ahead of time . . . to catch the helplessly struggling ego in his snare. P. 170
. . . in the initial crisis in the life of an individual . . . one is seeking something that is impossible to find or about which nothing is known. P. 170
In such moments all well-mean, sensible advice is completely useless . . . none of that helps, or at best only rarely. P. 170
There is only one thing that seems to work . . . to turn directly toward the approaching darkness without prejudice and totally naively . . . find out what its secret aim is and what it wants from you. P. 170
Sometimes it first offers a series of painful realizations of what is wrong with oneself and one’s own conscious attitudes. Then one must begin the process by swallowing all sorts of bitter truths. P. 171

The Realization of the Shadow

. . . one becomes acquainted with aspects of one’s own personality that for various reasons one has preferred not to look at too closely. P. 174

“realization of the shadow” . . . used because it actually often appears in dreams in a personified form. P. 174
The shadow is not the whole . . . it represents unknown or little-known attributes of the ego. P. 174
When an individual makes an attempt to see his shadow, he becomes aware of (and often ashamed of) those qualities and impulses he denies in himself but can plainly see in other people . . . such as egotism, mental laziness, sloppiness, unreal fantasies, schemes, plots, carelessness, cowardice, inordinate love of money and possessions . . . in short, all the little sins about which he might previously have told himself: “that doesn’t matter”. P. 174
If you feel an overwhelming rage coming up in you when a friend reproaches you about a fault, you can be fairly sure . . . you will find a part of your shadow, of which you are unconscious. P. 174
. . . the work of self-education begins . . . a work, we might say, that is the psychological equivalent of the labors of Hercules. P. 174
. . . a task so enormous that the ordinary mortal would be overcome by discouragement at the mere thought of it. P. 174
. . . shadow does not consist only of omissions. . . just as often in an impulsive or inadvertent act. . . the shadow is exposed to collective infections . . . when a man is alone . . . he feels all right, but as soon as “the others” do dark . . . things, he begins to fear that if he doesn’t join in he will be considered a fool. P. 175
. . . he gives way to impulses that do not belong to him at all. P. 175
If people observe their own unconscious tendencies in other people, this is called “projection”. Projections of all kinds obscure our view of our fellow men, spoiling its objectivity, and . .. all possibility of genuine human relations. P. 181
Whether our shadow becomes our friend or enemy depends largely upon ourselves. The shadow becomes hostile only when he is ignored or misunderstood. P. 182
Sometimes . . . an individual feels impelled to live out the worse side of his nature and to repress his better side. P. 182
So, whatever form it takes, the function of the shadow is to represent the opposite side of the ego and to embody just those qualities that one dislikes most in other people. P. 182
There is such a passionate drive within the shadow that reason may not prevail against it. A bitter experience coming from outside may occasionally help; a brick, so to speak, has to drop on one’s head to put a stop to shadow drives and impulses. At times a heroic decision may serve to halt them, but such a superhuman effort is usually possible only if the Great Man within (the Self) helps the individual to carry it through. P. 182
The discovery of the unconscious is one of the most far-reaching discoveries of recent times. But the fact that recognition of its unconscious reality involves honest self-examination and reorganization of one’s life causes many people to continue to behave as if nothing at all has happened. P. 185
It takes a lot of courage to . . . tackle the problems it raises. Most people are too indolent to think deeply about even those moral aspects of their behavior of which they are conscious; they are certainly too lazy to consider how the unconscious affects them. P. 185