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The Red Book

Why did I behave as if that serpent were my soul?

Only; it seems, because my soul was a serpent.

This knowledge gave my soul a new face, and I decided henceforth to enchant her myself and subject her to my power.

Serpents are wise, and I wanted my serpent soul to communicate her wisdom to me.

Never before had life been so doubtful, a night of aimless tension, being one in being directed against one another.

Nothing moved, neither God nor the devil.

So I approached the serpent that lay in the sun, as if she were unthinking.

Her eyes were not visible, since they blinked in the shimmering sunshine, and I spoke to her. [Image 159]. ~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 319.

Footnote 296:

Image legend: “9 January 1927 my friend Hermann Sigg died age 52.”

Jung described this as “A luminous flower in the center, with stars rotating about it. Around the flower, walls with eight gates. The whole conceived as a transparent window.”

This mandala was based on a dream noted on January 2, I927 (see above, p. 2I7).

From the ‘town map,’ the relation between the dream and the painting is clear (see Appendix A).

He anonymously reproduced this in 1930 in “Commentary to the ‘Secret of the Golden Flower,’ ” from which this description is taken.

He reproduced it again in 1952, and added the following commentary:

“The rose in the center is depicted as a ruby, its outer ring being conceived as a wheel or a wall with gates (so that nothing can come out from inside or go in from outside).

The mandala was a spontaneous product from the analysis of a male patient.”

After narrating the dream, Jung added:

“The dreamer went on: ‘I tried to paint this dream.

But as so often happens, it came out rather different. The magnolia turned into a sort of rose made of ruby-colored glass.

It shone like a four-rayed star.

The square represents the wall of the park and at the same time a street leading rpund the park in a square. From it there radiate eight main

streets, and from each of these eight side-streets, which meet in a shining red central point, rather like the Etoile in Paris. The acquaintance mentioned in the dream lived in a house at the corner of one of these stars.’

The mandala thus combines the classic motifs of flower, star, circle, precinct (temenos), and plan of city divided into quarters with citadel.’

The whole thing seemed like a window opening on to eternity;’ wrote the dreamer” (“Concerning mandala symbolism,” CW 9, I, §654-55).

In 1955/56 he used this same expression to denote the illustration of the self (Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW I4,§763).

On October 7, I932, Jung showed this mandala in a seminar, and commented on it the next day.

In this account, he states that the painting of the mandala preceded the dream:

“You remember possibly the picture that I showed you last evening, the central stone and the little jewels round it.

It is perhaps interesting if I tell you about the dream in connection with it.

I was the perpetrator of that mandala at a time when I had not the slightest idea what a mandala was, and in my extreme modesty I thought, I am the jewel in the center and those little lights are surely very nice people who believe that they are also jewels, but smaller ones … I thought very well of myself that I was able to express myself like that: my marvelous center here and I am right in my heart.”

He added that at first he did not recognize that the park was the same as the mandala which he had painted, and commented:

“Now Liverpool is the center of life-liver is the center of life-and I am not the center, I am the fool who lives in a dark place somewhere, I am one of those little side lights.

In that way my Western prejudice that I was the center of the mandala was corrected-that I am everything, the whole show, the king, the god” (The Psychology Of Kundalini Yoga, p. 100).

In Memories, Jung added some further details (pp. 223-24). ~Liber Novus, Footnote 296, Page 319.