[Carl Jung on Wholeness and Unity.]
Although “wholeness” seems at first sight to be nothing but an abstract idea (like anima and animus), it is nevertheless empirical in so far as it is anticipated by the psyche in the form of spontaneous or autonomous symbols.
These are the quaternity or mandala symbols, which occur not only in the dreams of modern people who have never heard of them, but are widely disseminated in the historical records of many peoples and many epochs.
Their significance as symbols of unity and totality is amply confirmed by history as well as by empirical psychology.
What at first looks like an abstract idea stands in reality for something that exists and can be experienced, that demonstrates its a priori presence spontaneously.
Wholeness is thus an objective factor that confronts the subject independently of him, like anima or animus; and just as the latter have a higher position in the hierarchy than the shadow, so wholeness lays claim to a position and a value superior to those of the syzygy.
The syzygy seems to represent at least an essential part of it, if not actually the two halves of the totality formed by the royal brother-sister pair, and hence the tension of opposites from which the divine child is born as the symbol of unity.
Unity and totality stand at the highest point on the scale of objective values because their symbols can no longer be distinguished from the imago Dei.
Hence all statements about the God-image apply also to the empirical symbols of totality.
Experience shows that individual mandalas are symbols of order, and that they occur in patients principally during times of psychic disorientation or re-orientation.
As magic circles they bind and subdue the lawless powers belonging to the world of darkness, and depict or create an order that transforms the chaos into a cosmos.
To the conscious mind the mandala appears at first as an unimpressive point or dot, and a great deal of hard and painstaking work as well as the integration of many projections are generally required before the full range of the symbol can be anything like completely understood.
If this insight were purely intellectual it could be achieved without much difficulty, for the world-wide pronouncements about the God within us and above us, about Christ and the corpus mysticum the personal and suprapersonal atman, etc., are all formulations that can easily be mastered by the philosophic intellect.
This is the common source of the illusion that one is then in possession of the thing itself.
But actually one has acquired nothing more than its name, despite the age-old prejudice that the name magically represents the thing, and that it is sufficient to pronounce the name in order to posit the thing’s existence.
In the course of the millennia the reasoning mind has been given every opportunity to see through the futility of this conceit, though that has done nothing to prevent the intellectual mastery of a thing from being accepted at its face value.
It is precisely our experiences in psychology which demonstrate as plainly as could be wished that the intellectual “grasp” of a psychological fact produces no more than a concept of it, and that a concept is no more than a name, a flatus vocis.
These intellectual counters can be bandied about easily enough.
They pass lightly from hand to hand, for they have no weight or substance.
They sound full but are hollow; and though purporting to designate a heavy task and obligation, they commit us to nothing.
The intellect is undeniably useful in its own field, but is a great cheat and illusionist outside of it whenever it tries to manipulate values. ~Carl Jung; Aion; Pages 31-32; Paras 59-60