The Red Book

[Carl Jung and why a Living Human Body is necessary for the Redemption of our Dead. If we do not Redeem our Dead who is going to?]

“Later, when I wrote the Septem Sermones ad Mortuos, once again it was the dead who addressed crucial questions to me.
They came so they said “back from Jerusalem, where they found not what they sought.”

This had surprised me greatly at the time, for according to the traditional views the dead are the possessors of great knowledge.
People have the idea that the dead know far more than we, for Christian doctrine teaches that in the hereafter we shall “see face to face.”

Apparently, however, the souls of the dead “know” only what they knew at the moment of death, and nothing beyond that.

Hence their endeavor to penetrate into life in order to share in the knowledge of men.

I frequently have a feeling that they are standing directly behind us, waiting to hear what answer we will give to them, and what answer to destiny.

It seems to me as if they were dependent on the living for receiving answers to their questions, that is, on those who have survived them and exist in a world of change: as if omniscience or, as I might put it, omni-consciousness, were not at their disposal, but could flow only into the psyche of the living, into a soul bound to a body.

The mind of the living appears, therefore, to hold an advantage over that of the dead in at least one point: in the capacity for attaining clear and decisive cognitions.

As I see it, the three-dimensional world in time and space is like a system of co-ordinates; what is here separated into ordinates and abscissae may appear ”there,” in space-timelessness, as a primordial image with many aspects, perhaps as a diffuse cloud of cognition surrounding an archetype.

Yet a system of co-ordinates is necessary if any distinction of discrete contents is to be possible.

Any such operation seems to us unthinkable in a state of diffuse omniscience, or, as the case may be, of subjectless consciousness, with no spatio-temporal demarcations.

Cognition, like generation, presupposes an opposition, a here and there, an above and below, a before and after.

If there were to be a conscious existence after death, it would, so it seems to me, have to continue on the level of consciousness attained by humanity, which in any age has an upper though variable limit.

There are many human beings who throughout their lives and at the moment of death lag behind their own potentialities and even more important behind the knowledge which has been brought to consciousness by other human beings during their own lifetimes.

Hence their demand to attain in death that share of awareness which they failed to win in life.

I have come to this conclusion through observation of dreams about the dead.

I dreamed once that I was paying a visit to a friend who had died about two weeks before.

In life, this friend had never espoused anything but a conventional view of the world, and had remained stuck in this unreflecting attitude.

In the dream his home was on a hill similar to the Tullinger hill near Basel.

The walls of an old castle surrounded a square consisting of a small church and a few smaller buildings.

It reminded me of the square in front of the castle of Rapperswil. It was autumn.

The leaves of the ancient trees had turned gold, and the whole scene was transfigured by gentle sunlight.

My friend sat at a table with his daughter, who had studied psychology in Zurich.

I knew that she was telling him about psychology.

He was so fascinated by what she was saying that he greeted me only with a casual wave of the hand, as though to intimate: “Don’t disturb me.”

The greeting was at the same time a dismissal.

The dream told me that now, in a manner which of course remains incomprehensible to me, he was required to grasp the reality of his psychic existence, which he had never been capable of doing during his life.” ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections.

What the ancients did for their dead!

You seem to believe that you can absolve yourself from the care of the dead, and from the work that they so greatly demand, since what is dead is past.

You excuse yourself with your disbelief in the immortality of the soul. Do you think that the dead do not exist because you have’ devised the impossibility of immortality? You believe in your idols of words.

The dead produce effects, that is sufficient. In the inner world there is no explaining away, as little as you can explain away the sea in the outer world.

You must finally understand your purpose in explaining away, namely to seek protection. ~Carl Jung; Red Book.

Image: A Funeral for a Mummy