Aion (Collected Works of C.G. Jung)
[Carl Jung and we learn to know our true selves through the experience of outward things]
“Let him know that man’s greatest treasure is to be found within man, and not outside him. From him it goes forth inwardly . . . whereby that is outwardly brought to pass which he sees with his own eyes. Therefore unless his mind be blinded, he will see, that is, understand, who and of what sort he is inwardly, and by the light of nature he will know himself through outward things.’
The secret is first and foremost in man; it is his true self which he does not know but learns to know by experience of outward things.
Therefore Dorn exhorts the alchemist: “Learn from within thyself to know all that is in heaven and on earth, that thou mayest be wise in all things. Knowest thou not that heaven and the elements were formerly one, and were separated by a divine act of creation from one another, that they might bring forth thee and all things?”
Since knowledge of the world dwells in his own bosom, the adept should draw such knowledge out of his knowledge of himself, for the self he must seek to know is a part of that nature which was bodied forth by God’s original oneness with the world.
It is manifestly not a knowledge of the nature of the ego, though this is far more convenient and is fondly confused with self-knowledge.
For this reason anyone who seriously tries to know himself as an object is accused of selfishness and eccentricity. But such knowledge has nothing to do with the ego’s subjective knowledge of itself.
That is a dog chasing its own tail.
The other, on the contrary, is a difficult and morally exacting study of which so-called psychology knows nothing and the educated public very little.
The alchemist, however, had at the very least an indirect inkling of it: he knew definitely that as part of the whole he had an image of the whole in himself, of the “firmament” or ”Olympus” as Paracelsus calls it.
This interior microcosm was the unwitting object of alchemical research.
Today we would call it the collective unconscious, and we would describe it as “objective” because it is identical in all individuals and is therefore one.
Out of this universal One there is produced in every individual a subjective consciousness, i.e., the ego.
This is, roughly, how we today would understand Dorn’s “formerly one” and “separated by a divine act of creation.” ~Carl Jung; Aion; Pages 263 – 264; Paragraph