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Alchemical Quotations


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Modern Psychology: C. G. Jung’s Lectures at the ETH Zürich, 1933-1941

“The philosophers have said: that no one could attain the science of the spiritual, unless his soul be divine and his nativity spiritual.”

“It is by the revelation of the highest and greatest God that I have attained this art, and only through diligent study, wakefulness, and through constantly reading the authentic books.”

“The materia must be understood, for the philosophers of all ages have held knowledge to be the most important thing in this work. One must have an untroubled fund of knowledge.”

“He, who would attain this highest mystery, must realise that this art does not lie in man’s power, but depends up on God’s goodness, and that neither will nor desire can lead him to it, but only God’s mercy. One must only exercise this art for the honour and glory of God (ad solam Dei gloriam) and for no other goal. Nature is one, true and simple, perfect in its essence, and a secret spirit lies hidden in it. If
thou wouldst recognise it, thou must thyself be true, simple, patient, steadfast and devout, and must not harm thy neighbour, in short: thou must be a regeneratus, a new being.”

“Spirit, body and soul must all take part in this work.”

“In this art, which comes from God, no sensual, wicked or infernal spirits are admitted, but only a simple, straight, true and steadfast spirit whose essence is pure and devout. All others misunderstand the highest mystery.”

“But when God grants his grace, to someone who understands it, this will appear incomprehensible in the eyes of the world and those who love this mystery will be scorned of men and looked down upon as . . . ”

“Just as learned men also, doctors and others, cannot find it, because they have never looked at it, although it lies before their eyes, and do not trust it, although it contains such power in itself. And no One can teach them any better while they follow their nature and their intellect : therefore they cannot find it for very wisdom, because it transcends their power of comprehension, for it is the work of God and of nature and can only be reached through nature. Therefore they remain ignorant.”

“Only a few attain the possession of this Kingdom, although many labour in the construction of our stone. The Creator has not given the true knowledge and possession of it to the multitude, but only to the few, who hate lies and cling to the truth, devote themselves to the art with heartfelt sighs and seek it conscientiously; but above all to those who love God without hypocrisy, and therefore pray to him.”

“If he succeeds in finding a worthy, suitable man, and he begins to feel the weight of his own years, then he may impart the art to him, but not to several! For this science must always remain secret. Because, were a wicked man to have knowledge of it, the Christian world would be in great d anger. Puffed up with pride (inflatus superbia) over his heritage, he would overthrow the legitimate rulers who govern others . . . God has hidden this knowledge from great doctors and has only given it to a few who were truly devout and humble. And as among the myriads of stars in the Heavens, there are only seven planets, so among millions of people, only a few attain this knowledge. Those, who think themselves wise although they know nothing, are not bidden to our feast . ”

“One should not begin to touch this secret, impenetrable work, and the spirit which lies hidden beneath it . . . before having explored it in the depths of its own singularities and characteristics, and in relation to the indispensable harmonising with nature. One gains nothing from this spirit, if one has not already clearly recognised and known it. God is wonderful in his works and his wisdom is infinite and he
does not allow himself to be mocked. Many entangled themselves lightly in this work and have died in the laboratory, or have been otherwise pursued by misfortune. For the art is not easy, as some imagine, because the philosophers have likened it to the play of children and the work of women.”

“A few philosophers have found it easy, simply because God granted them understanding. Therefore one should pray and begin with God’s help.”

“So man must become as the corn of the field . . . therefore he must die outright and unfold completely.”

“And as all things proceed from one, through the meditation of the One.”

“One must reflect on the books.”

“And indeed thou must work with greatest concentration of unlimited meditation ; for with it thou wilt find, and without it thou wilt not.”

“Understand then and meditate up on it . . . . Meditate upon these words, and with the will of God, thou wilt find ”

“It is a stone and yet no stone. Moreover, if thou art a seer, and meditatest on it, then thou canst hope to perceive it.”

“It is therefore necessary, that we principally discern the soul, through the intelligence. If we do this, we shall reach the goal and be exalted by the science through meditation: But this is the procedure
of the philosophers, and the philosopher begins in the teaching (sermone) at this place, at the more subtle end of nature.”

“I have spent much time in meditating on the teaching, in understanding the words, and in meditating on the meaning.”

“The human mind is composed of nothing better than the spagiric and meditative procedure, ap art from the divine gift of grace.”

“No one can truly know himself, if he does not investigate through diligent meditation, and know who he really is.”

“Direct therefore thy feeling, senses, reason and thoughts toward this salt alone.”

“Therefore study, meditate, sweat, work, cook . . . and in this manner a wholesome flood will burst forth, which comes from the heart of the son of the great world.”

[Alchemical Quotation cited by Carl Jung, ETH, Lecture IV, Pages 161-170.