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The Visions Seminar

Dr. Bertine: Is that not connected also with the myth of Ishtar, who went to the underworld seeking her lover Tammuz and had to shed her seven veils one after another until she stood naked?

Dr. Jung: Yes, it is a very similar motif.

You see, this is not exactly a persona, because it is not a question here of what her relation to the world would be, it is an inner problem, the question of what her relation to herself would be.

For you can have a sort of persona toward yourself.

You have illusions about yourself, you want to appear to yourself in a certain way, and that can be expressed as garments, sort of illusory veils, behind which you try to hide from your own view.

These veils are between herself and her own eyes or consciousness; it is an unwillingness to face the real truth about herself, for inside she would naturally be quite naked.

Therefore if people put a figure in the center of a mandala, it is usually a naked figure, because you are there exactly what you are.

For instance, you have seen perhaps a so-called melothesia of the MiddleAges, which means a certain position of the limbs.

There are such figures in the famous Lucca manuscript of Hildegard von Bingen, for instance; an Englishman has published a book about it, but one finds them in other books too.

It is often painted in this form as a five-rayed star, the star of man, the pentagram.

This figure serves the purpose of showing the microcosm within the macrocosm, and therefore it is usually surrounded by the phases of the zodiac, or the phases of the moon, showing how man is placed in the cosmos, his relation to the stars or the elementary powers.

It is always a naked figure because it shows man as he is without any veils, the true man.

But our patient still has garments or illusions about herself, as if she had been playing a role before herself. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Pages 819-821

Note: The Image appears on Page 820

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