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Carl Jung on Shame in The Red Book. [Anthology]

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The Red Book

Carl Jung on Shame [Excerpts from The Red Book.]

Just as my thinking is the son of fore thinking, so is my pleasure the daughter of love, of the innocent and conceiving mother of God. Aside from Christ Mary gave birth to Salome. Therefore Christ in the gospel of the Egyptians says to Salome: “Eat every herb, but do not eat the bitter.” And when Salome wanted to know, Christ spoke to her: “If you crush the covering of shame, and when the two become one, and the male with the female, neither male nor female.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book

The gospel of the Egyptians is one of the apocryphal gospels that features a dialogue between Christ and Salome. Christ states that he has come to undo the work of the female, namely; lust, birth, and decay: To Salome’s question of how long shall death prevail, Christ answered, as long as women bear children. Here, Jung is referring to the following passage: “she said, ‘Then I have done well in not giving birth,’ imagining that it is not permitted to bear children; the Lord answered, ‘Eat of every herb, but the bitter one eat not.’ ” The dialogue continues: “When Salome asked when it shall be made known the Lord said, ‘When you tread under foot the covering of shame and when out of two is made one, and the male with the female, neither male nor female’ “(The Apocryphal New Testament, ed.]. ~Red Book; Footnote 202.

But still she lies there, crying-yet what if she were real? Then she would be worth feeling sorry for, every man would have compassion for her. If she is a decent girl, what must it have cost her to enter into the room of a strange man! And to overcome her shame in this way? ~Carl Jung; Red Book

At your low point you are no longer distinct from your fellow beings. You are not ashamed and do not regret it, since insofar as you live the life of your fellow beings and descend to their lowliness / you also climb into the holy stream of common life, where you are no longer an individual on a high mountain, but a fish among fish, a frog among frogs. ~Carl Jung; Red Book.

But the way is my own self my own life founded upon myself The God wants my life. He wants to go with me, sit at the table with me, work with me. Above all he wants to be ever-present. But I’m ashamed of my God. I don’t want to be divine but reasonable. The divine appears to me as irrational craziness. I hate it as an absurd disturbance of my meaningful human activity. It seems an unbecoming sickness which has stolen into the regular course of my life. Yes, I even find the divine superfluous. ~Carl Jung; Red Book

The Draft continues: “The lowest in you is the stone that the builders discarded. It will become the cornerstone. The lowest in you will grow like a grain of rice from dry soil, shooting up from the sand of the most barren desert, and rise and stand very tall. Salvation comes to you from the discarded. Your sun will rise from muddy swamps. Like all others, you are annoyed at the lowest in you because its guise is uglier than the image of yourself that you love. The lowest in you is the most despised and least valued, full of pain and sickness. He is despised so much that one hides one’s face from him, that he is held in no respect whatsoever, and it is even said that he does not exist because one is ashamed for his sake and despises oneself In truth, it carries our sickness and is ridden with our pain. We consider him the one who is plagued and punished by God on account of his despicable ugliness. But he is wounded, and exposed to madness, for the sake of our own justice; he is crucified and suppressed for the sake of our own beauty We leave him to punishment and martyrdom that we might have peace. But we will take his sickness upon ourselves, and salvation will come to us through our own wounds” (pp. 407-8). The first lines refer to Psalm 118:22. The passage echoes Isaiah 53, which Jung cited above, p. 229. ~Red Book; Footnote 204

But I spoke to my serpent: “In truth, my serpent, I didn’t know that you are also a teller of fairy tales. So tell me, how should I interpret your fairy tale?”

Serpent: “Imagine that you are the old king and have a son.”
I: “Who is the son?”
Serpent: “Well, I thought that you had just spoken of a son who doesn’t make you very happy.”
I: “What? You don’t mean-that I should crown him?”
Serpent: “Yes, who else?”
I: “That’s uncanny. But what about the sorceress?”
Serpent: “The sorceress is a motherly woman whose son you should be, since you are a child renewing himself in you.”
I: “Oh no, will it be impossible for me to be a man?”
Serpent: “Sufficient manhood, and beyond that fullness of childhood. Which is why you need the mother.”
I: “I’m ashamed to be a child.”
Serpent:: And thus you kill your son. A creator needs the mother, since you are not a woman.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book

But you are shameless in everything where no one sees you. If another said that to you, you would be mortally offended, despite knowing that it is true. You want to reproach others for their failings? So that they better themselves? Yes, confess, have you bettered yourself? From where do you get the right to have opinions of others? What is your opinion about yourself? And what are the good grounds that support it? Your grounds are webs of lies covering a dirty corner. You judge others and charge them with what they should do. You do this because you have no order within yourself because you are unclean. ~Carl Jung; Red Book

And then-how do you really think? It appears to me that you even think with men, regardless of their human dignity; you dare think by means of them, and use them as figures on your stage, as if they were how you conceive them? Have you ever considered that you thus commit a shameful act of power, as bad as that for which you condemn others, namely that they love their fellow men, as they claim, but in reality exploit them to their own ends. Your sin flourishes in seclusion, but it is no less great, remorseless, and coarse. ~Carl Jung; Red Book

What is concealed in you I will drag out into the light, shameless one! I will crush your superiority under my feet. ~Carl Jung; Red Book

I want you to speak about your shame, and that instead of speaking great words, you utter a discordant clamor before those whose respect you wanted to exact. You deserve mockery; not respect.
I will burn out of you the contents of which you were proud, so that you will become empty like a poured-out vessel. You should be proud of nothing more than your emptiness and wretchedness. You should be a vessel of life, so kill your idols. ~Carl Jung; Red Book.

She whispered with a hesitant voice: “Brimo.”

I guess that’s what you call her-the old one-which is how it begins-the one who bore the son-the powerful HAP, who grew out of her shame and strove after the wife of Heaven, who arches over earth, for Brimo, above and below, envelops the son. She bears and raises him. Born from below, he fertilizes the Above, since the wife is his mother, and the mother is his wife.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book.

“You are lying, you want to cast suspicion on me, where you are lacking. Those times when you could rob men unpunished are over. Surrender everything that is his sacred inheritance and that you have rapaciously claimed. You have stolen from the vassal and the beggar. God is rich and powerful, you can steal from him. His kingdom knows no loss. Shameful liar, when will you finally stop plaguing and robbing your humanity?” ~Carl Jung; Red Book.

“I know,” I replied, “but no longer is there any unconditional obedience. When will they use their strength for me? They also want me to place mine in their service. What is their payment in kind? That they are tormented? Man suffered agony and the Gods were still not satisfied, but remained insatiable in their devising of new torments. They allowed man to become so blinded that he believed that there were no Gods, and that there was only one God who was a loving father, so that today someone who struggles with the Gods is even thought to be crazy. They have thus prepared this shame too for those who recognize them, out of boundless greed for power, since leading the blind is not easy. They will corrupt even their slaves.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book.