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The Inscription to The Red Book Image 154


The Red Book (Philemon)

The Inscription to Image 154 [Of Philemon] reads:

oh master of the garden, your magical grove shone to me from afar.
I venerate your deceptive mantle, you father of all will,o’,the,wisps.

The corresponding footnotes 281 & 282 read:

281 Jung’s marginal note to the calligraphic volume:

“The bhagavadgita says: whenever there is a decline of the law and ‘an increase in iniquity; then I put forth myself For
the rescue of the pious and for the destruction of the evildoers, for the establishment of the law I am born in every age.”

The citation is from chapter 4, verses 7-8 of the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna is instructing Arjuna concerning the nature of truth.

282 The text in the image reads: “Father of the Prophet, beloved Philemon.”

Jung subsequently painted another version of this painting as a mural in one of the bedrooms in his tower at Bollingen, He added an inscription in Latin from the Rosarium philosophorum, in which Hermes describes the stone as saying:

“defend me and I will defend thee, give me my right that I may help thee, for Sol is mine and the beams thereof are my inward parts; but Luna is proper to me, and my light excelleth all light, and my goods are higher than all goods.

I give many riches and delights to men desiring them, and when I seek after anything they acknowledge it, I make them understand and I cause them to possess divine strength.

I engender light, but my nature is darkness. Unless my metal should be dry, all bodies have need of me, because I moisten them. I blot out their rustiness and extract their substance. Therefore I and my son being joined together, there can be nothing made better nor more honorable in the whole world.”

Jung cited some of these lines in Psychology and Alchemy (1944, CW 12, §§99, 140, 155). The Rosarium, first published in 1550, was one of the most important texts of European alchemy, and concerns the means of producing the philosopher’s stone.

It contained a series of woodcuts of symbolic figures, which was Jung’s exemplar in Psychology of the Transference. Explained through an Alchemical Series of Pictures. For Doctors and Practical Psychologists (1946, CW 16). ~The Red Book

Image: #154 in The Red Book