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Psychology and Religion: West and East (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 11)

[Carl Jung and the Vision of Edward Maitland]

Thus the circular movement has also the moral significance of activating all the light and dark forces of human nature, and with them, all the psychological opposites of whatever kind they may be.

That means nothing else than self-knowledge by means of self-incubation (Hindu tapas), A similar primordial concept of an, absolutely complete creature is that of the Platonic man, round on all sides and uniting within himself the two sexes.

One of the finest parallels to what has been said here, is the description of his central experience given by Edward Maitland, the co-worker of Anna Kingsford.

As far as possible I have followed his own words.

He had discovered that during reflection on an idea, related ideas became visible, so to speak, in a long series, apparently back to their source, which to him was the divine spirit.

By means of concentration on the series, be made the effort to press on to their origin.

He says:

“I was absolutely without knowledge or expectation when I yielded to the impulse to make the attempt. I simply experimented on a faculty . . . being seated at my writing-table the while in order to record the results as they came, and resolved to retain my hold on my outer and circumferential consciousness, no matter how far towards my inner and central consciousness I might go. For I knew not whether I should be able to regain the former if I once quitted my hold of it, or to recollect the facts of the experience. At length I achieved my object, though only by a strong effort, the tension occasioned by the endeavor to keep both extremes of the consciousness in view at once being very great.”

” Once well started on my quest, I found myself traversing a succession of spheres or belts . . . the impression produced being that of mounting a vast ladder stretching from the circumference towards the center of a system, which was at once my own system, the solar system, and the universal system, the three systems being at once diverse and identical. . . . Presently, by a supreme, and what I felt must be a final, effort … I succeeded in polarizing the whole of the convergent rays of my consciousness into the desired focus. And at the same instant, as if through the sudden ignition of the rays thus fused into a unity, I found myself confronted with a glory of unspeakable whiteness and brightness, and of a luster so intense as well-nigh to beat me back. . . .But though feeling that I had no need to explore further, I resolved to make assurance doubly sure by piercing if I could the almost blinding luster, and seeing what it enshrined. With a great effort I succeeded, and the glance revealed to me that which I had felt must be there. … It was the dual form of the Son . . . the unmanifest made manifest, the unformulate formulate, the unindividuate individuate, God as the Lord, proving through His duality that God is Substance as well as Force, Love as well as Will, Feminine as well as Masculine, Mother as well as Father.”

He found that God is two in one like man. Beside this he noticed something that our text also emphasizes, namely, “suspension of breathing.”

He says ordinary breathing stopped and was replaced by an internal respiration, ” as if by the breathing of a distinct personality within and other than the physical organism.” He took this being to be the entelechy of Aristotle, and the inner Christ of the Apostle Paul, the ” spiritual and substantial individuality engendered within the physical and phenomenal personality, and representing, therefore, the rebirth of the man on a plane transcending the material symbols of our text.

The phenomenon itself, that is the light-vision, is an experience common to many mystics, and one that is undoubtedly of the greatest significance, because in all times and places it appears as the unconditional thing, which unites in itself the greatest power and the profoundest meaning. ~Carl Jung, The Secret of the Golden Flower.