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The Red Book (Philemon)

[Carl Jung and Atmavictu]

Illustration 117 from The Red Book:

When the God enters my life, I return to my poverty for the sake of the God.

I accept the burden of poverty and bear all my ugliness and ridiculousness, and also everything reprehensible in me.

I thus relieve the God of all the confusion and absurdity that would befall him if I did not accept it.

With this I prepare the way for the God’s doing. What should happen? Has the darkest abyss been emptied and exhausted? Or what stands and waits down there, impending and red-hot? [Image 117]222 ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Nox Quarta, Page 302

The Red Book Footnote 222:

Text in image: (Atmavictu); [a youthful supporter]; TELESPHORUS];[evil spirit in some men.]

Image legend: “The dragon wants to eat the sun and the youth beseeches him not to. But he eats it nevertheless.”

Atmavictu (as spelled there) first appears in Black Book 6 in 1917- Here is a paraphrase of the fantasy of April 25, 1917:

The serpent says that Atmavictu was her companion for thousands of years.

He was first an old man, and then he died and became a bear. Then he died and became an otter. Then he died and became a newt. Then he died again and came into the

serpent. The serpent is Atmavictu.

He made a mistake before then and became a man, while he was still an earth serpent. Jung’s soul says that Atmavictu is a kobold,
a serpent conjuror, a serpent.

The serpent says that she is the kernel of the self From the serpent, Atmavictu transformed into Philemon (p. 179f).
There is a sculpture of him in Jung’s garden in Kusnacht. In “From the earliest experiences of my life” Jung wrote:

“When I was in England in 1920, I carved two similar figures out of thin branch without having the slightest recollection of that childhood experience. One of them I had reproduced on a larger scale in stone, and this figure now stands in my garden in Kusnacht. It was only at that time that the unconscious supplied me with a name. It called the figure Atmavictu-the ‘breath of life.’

It is a further development of that quasi-sexual object of my childhood, which turned out to be the ‘breath of life,’ the creative impulse.

Basically, the manikin is a kabir” (lA, pp. 29-30; cf Memories, pp. 38-39). The figure of Telesphorus is like Phanes in Image 113. Telesphorus is one of the Cabiri, and the daimon of Asclepius (see fig. 77, Psychology and Alchemy, CW 12). He was also regarded as a God of healing, and had a temple at Pergamon in Asia Minor. In 1950, Jung carved an image of him in his stone at Bollingen, together with a dedication to him in Greek, combining lines from Heraclitus, the Mithraic Liturgy, and Homer (Memories, p. 254).

Carl Jung’s Illumination #119 from The Red Book.

I am he, the nameless one, who does not know himself and whose name is concealed even from himself I have no name, since I have not yet existed, but have only just become. To myself I am an Anabaptist and a stranger. I, who I am, am not it. But I, who will be I before me and after me, am it.

In that I abased myself I elevated myself as another. In that I accepted myself I divided myself into two, and in that I united myself with myself I became the smaller part of myself I am this in my consciousness.

However, I am thus in my consciousness as if I were also separated from it. I am I [Image119]

I not in my second and greater state, as if I were this second and greater one myself but I am always in ordinary consciousness, yet so separate and distinct from it, as if I were in my second and greater state, but without the consciousness of really being it.

I have even become smaller and poorer, but precisely because of my smallness I can be conscious of the nearness of the great.
Footnote 126: 226 Image legend:

“The accursed dragon has eaten the sun, its belly being cut open and he must not hand over the gold of the sun, together with his blood. This is the turning back of Atmavictu, of the old one. He who destroyed the proliferating green covering is the youth who helped me to kill Siegfried.” The reference is to Libel’ Primus, chapter. 7, “Murder of the Hero.”