Hieros gamos. Sacred or spiritual marriage, union of archetypal figures in the rebirth mysteries of antiquity and also in alchemy. Typical examples are the representation of Christ and the Church as bridegroom and bride (sponsus et sponsa) and the alchemical conjunction of sun and moon. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections, Page 395.
In contemporary times, Jung gave great importance to the papal bull of the Assumptio Maria. He held that it “points to the hieros gamos in the pleroma, and this in turn implies, as we have said, the future birth of the divine child, who, in accordance with the divine trend toward incarnation, will choose as his birthplace the empirical man. This metaphysical process is known as the individuation process in the psychology of the unconscious” ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para §755. Also in Liber Novus, Footnote 200, Page 299.
Salome is an anima figure. She is blind because she does not see the meaning of things. Elijah is the figure of the wise old prophet and represents the factor of intelligence and knowledge; Salome, the erotic element. One might say that the two figures are personifications of Logos and Eros. But such a definition would be excessively intellectual. It is more meaningful to let the figures be what they were for me at the time namely, events and experiences. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections, Page 182 also in Liber Novus, Footnote 161, Page 247.
Archetypal statements are based upon instinctive preconditions and have nothing to do with reason; they are neither rationally grounded nor can they be banished by rational arguments.
They have always been part of the world scene representations collectives, as Levy-Bruhl rightly called them.
Certainly the ego and its will have a great part to play in life; but what the ego wills is subject in the highest degree to the interference, in ways of which the ego is usually unaware, of the autonomy and numinosity of archetypal processes.
Practical consideration of these processes is the essence of religion, insofar as religion can be approached from a psychological point of view.
At this point the fact forces itself on my attention that beside the field of reflection there is another equally broad if not broader area in which rational understanding and rational modes of representation find scarcely anything they are able to grasp. This is the realm of Eros.
In classical times, when such things were properly understood, Eros was considered a god whose divinity transcended our human limits, and who therefore could neither be comprehended nor represented in any way.
I might, as many before me have attempted to do, venture an approach to this daimon, whose range of activity extends from the endless spaces of the heavens to the dark abysses of hell; but I falter before the task of finding the language which might adequately express the incalculable paradoxes of love,
Eros is a kosmogonos, a creator and father-mother of all higher consciousness. I sometimes feel that Paul’s words ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love” might well be the first condition of all cognition and the quintessence of divinity itself.
Whatever the learned interpretation may be of the sentence “God is love,*’ the words affirm the complexio oppositorum of the Godhead.
In my medical experience as well as in my own life I have again and again been faced with the mystery of love, and have never been able to explain what it is.
Like Job, I had to ‘lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer/* (Job 40:4f.) Here is the greatest and smallest, the remotest and nearest, the highest and lowest, and we cannot discuss one side of it without also discussing the other.
No language is adequate to this paradox. Whatever one can say, no words express the whole. To speak of partial aspects is always too much or too little, for only the whole is meaningful Love “bears all things” and “endures all things’* (i Cor. 13:7).
These words say all there is to be said; nothing can be added to them. For we are in the deepest sense the victims and the instruments of cosmogonic “love.”
I put the word in quotation marks to indicate that I do not use it in its connotations of desiring, preferring, favoring, wishing, and similar feelings, but as something superior to the individual, a unified and undivided whole. Being a part, man cannot grasp the whole.
He is at its mercy. He may assent to it, or rebel against it; but he is always caught up by it and enclosed within it. He is dependent upon it and is sustained by it. Love is his light and his darkness, whose end he cannot see. “Love ceases not” whether he speaks with the “tongues of angels,” or with scientific exactitude traces the life of the cell down to its uttermost source.
Man can try to name love, showering upon it all the names at his command, and still he will involve himself in endless self-deceptions. If he possesses a grain of wisdom, he will lay down his arms and name the unknown by the more unknown, ignotum per ignotius that is, by the name of God.
That is a confession of his subjection, his imperfection, and his dependence; but at the same time a testimony to his freedom to choose between truth and error. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections, Pages 352-354.
The god-sun is the highest good; the devil is the opposite. Thus have ye two gods. But there are many high and good things and many great evils. Among these are two god-devils; the one is the BURNING ONE, the other the GROWING ONE. The burning one is EROS, who hath the form of flame. Flame giveth light because it consumeth.
The growing one is the TREE OF LIFE. It buddeth, as in growing it heapeth up living stuff. Eros flameth up and dieth. But the tree of life groweth with slow and constant increase through unmeasured time. Good and evil are united in the flame Good and evil are united in the increase of the tree. In their divinity stand life and love opposed. Innumerable as the host of the stars is the number of gods and devils. Each star is a god, and each space that a star filleth is a devil. But the empty-fullness of the whole is the pleroma. The operation of the whole is Abraxas, to whom only the ineffective standeth opposed. Four is the number of the principal gods, as four is the number of the world’s measurements. One is the beginning, the god-sun.
Two is Eros; for he bindeth twain together and outspreadeth himself in brightness. Three is the Tree of Life, for it filleth space with bodily forms. Four is the devil, for he openeth all that is closed. All that is formed of bodily nature doth he dissolve; he is the destroyer in whom everything is brought to nothing. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections, Page 385 and Liber Novus, Page 351.
Like many sons, Adler had learned from his “father” not what the father said, but what he did.
Instantly, the problem of love (Eros) and power came down upon me like a leaden weight. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections, Page 153.
The idea dawned on me that Eros and the power drive might be in a sense like the dissident sons of a single father, or the products of a single motivating psychic force which manifested itself empirically in opposing forms, like positive and negative electrical charges, Eros as a patiens, the power drive as an agens, and vice versa.
Eros makes just as great demands upon the power drive as the latter upon the former. Where is the one drive without the other? On the one hand man succumbs to the drive; on the other hand, he tries to master it. ~Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections, Page 153.
Woman’s consciousness is characterized more by the connective quality of Eros than by the discrimination and cognition associated with Logos. In men, Eros . . . is usually less developed than Logos. In women, on the other hand, Eros is an expression of their true nature, while their Logos is often only a regrettable accident. ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, par. 29.
Eros is a questionable fellow and will always remain so . . . . He belongs on one side to man’s primordial animal nature which will endure as long as man has an animal body. On the other side he is related to the highest forms of the spirit. But he thrives only when spirit and instinct are in right harmony. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, par. 32.
Where love reigns, there is no will to power; and where the will to power is paramount, love is lacking. The one is but the shadow of the other: the man who adopts the standpoint of Eros finds his compensatory opposite in the will to power, and that of the man who puts the accent on power is Eros. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Par. 78.
An unconscious Eros always expresses itself as will to power. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Par. 167.
In Transformations and Symbols of the Libido (1912) while discussing mythological conceptions of creative force, Jung drew attention to the “Orphic figure of Phanes, the ‘Shining One,’ the first-born, the ‘Father of Eros.’ In Orphic terms, Phanes also denotes Priapos, a god of love, androgynous, and equal to the Theban Dionysus Lysios. The Orphic meaning of Phanes is the same as that of the Indian Kama, the God of love, which is also a cosmogonic principle” (CW B, §223). Phanes appears in Black Book 6 in the autumn of 1916.
In Transformations and Symbols of the Libido (1912), while discussing his concept of libido, Jung referred to the cosmogonic significance of Eros in Hesiod’s Theogony, which he linked with the figure of Phanes in Orphism and with Kama, the Hindu God of love ~Carl Jung, CW B, Para §223.
In 1917, Jung wrote a chapter on “the sexual theory” in The Psychology of the Unconscious Processes, which presented a critique of the psychoanalytic understanding of the erotic.
In his 1928 revision of this chapter, retitled “The Eros theory” he added:
“The Erotic .. , belongs on the one hand to the original drive nature of man . , .On the other hand it is related to the highest forms of the spirit.
It only thrives when spirit and drive are in right harmony … ‘Eros is a mighty daemon,’ as the wise Diotima said to Socrates … He is not all of nature within us, though he is at least one of its essential aspects” (CW 7, §§32-33).
In the Symposium, Diotima teaches Socrates about the nature of Eros.
She tells him that” ‘He is a great spirit, Socrates. Everything classed as a spirit falls between god and human.’
/ ‘What function do they have?’ I asked, / ‘They interpret and carry messages from humans to gods and from gods to humans.
They convey prayers and sacrifices from humans, and commands and gifts in return for sacrifices from gods.
Being intermediate between the other two, they fill the gap between them, and enable the universe to form an interconnected whole.
They serve as the medium for all divination, for priestly expertise in sacrifice, ritual and spells, and for all prophecy and sorcery.
Gods do not make direct contact with humans; they communicate and converse with humans (whether awake or asleep) entirely through the medium of spirits” (tr. C. Gill [London: Penguin, 1999], pp. 202e-203a.
In Memories Jung reflected on the nature of Eros, describing it as “a kosmogonos, a creator and father-mother of all consciousness” (p. 387).
This cosmogonic characterization of Eros needs to be distinguished from Jung’s use of the term to characterize women’s consciousness. See note 161, p. 246. ~Liber Novus, Footnote 104, Page 351.
Sprouting from him we see the tree of life, labeled vita (‘life’) while its upper counterpart is a light-tree in the form of a seven-branched candelabra labeled ignis (‘fire’) and Eros (,love’). Its light points to the spiritual world of the divine child. ~Liber Novus, Appendix A, Page 364.
The old man represents a spiritual principle that could be designated as Logos, and the maiden represents an unspiritual principle of feeling that could be called Eros. A descendent of Logos is Nous, the intellect, which has done away with the commingling of feeling, presentiment, and sensation. ~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 366.
Eros is a principle that contains a commingling of all the fundamental activities of the soul just as much as it masters them, although its purpose is completely different. It is not form-giving but form-fulfilling; it is the wine that will be poured into the vessel; it is not the bed and direction of the stream but the impetuous water flowing in it. Eros is desire, longing, force, exuberance, pleasure, suffering. Where Logos is ordering and insistence, Eros is dissolution and movement. They are two fundamental psychic powers that form a pair of opposites, each one requiring the other. ~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 366.
Salome is hence apparently no (complete) correct embodiment of Eros, but a variety of the same. (This supposition is later confirmed.) That she is actually an incorrect allegory for Eros also stems from the fact that she is blind. Eros is not blind, since he regulates, just as well as Logos does, all fundamental activities of the soul. ~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 365.
A figure like the prophet, which is clear and complete in itself, arouses less curiosity than the unexpected form of blind Salome, which is why one may expect that the formative process will first address the problem of Eros. Hence an image of Eve appears first, together with images of the tree and the serpent. This apparently refers to temptation, as already encapsulated in the figure of Salome. Temptation brings about a further movement toward the side of Eros. This in turn forebodes many adventurous possibilities, for which the wandering of Odysseus is the fitting image. ~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 366.
Eros is subject to error in the flesh, but in the spirit it rises above the flesh and the inferiority of carnal error. ~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 367..