C.G. Jung and Marie-Louise Von Franz and The Star in Man

Gerhard Dorn

But no man can know himself unless he know what and not who he is, on whom he depends on whose he is (for by the law of truth no one belongs to himself), and to what end he was made. With this knowledge piety begins, which is concerned with two things, namely, with the Creator and the creature that is made like unto him. For it is impossible for the creature to know himself of himself, unless he first know his creator… No one can better know the Creator, than the workman is known by his work. ~Gerhard Dorn as quoted in Mysterium Coniunctionis; Pages 270-272; Para 362.

The sun is invisible in men, but visible in the world, yet both are of one and the same sun. ~Gerhard Dorn; Theatrum Chemicum Volume 1 Spec. phil.

This castle of inner truth will destroy many people; it is a cheap thing, mostly despised and even hated. But one should not hate it, but rather love it; it is the greatest treasure, it is loving to everybody and hostile to everybody. You can find it everywhere and practically nobody has ever found it. Change yourself, the heavenly wisdom says, from dead philosophical stones into living philosophical stones, because I am the true medicine and I change everything which cannot exist into something eternal. Why are you possessed by madness? Through yourself but not from you, is everything which you need and which you wrongly seek outside.

There shines in us, though dimly in darkness, the life and the light of man, a light which does not come from us, which however is in us, and we must therefore find it within us. It belongs to Him who has put it into us; we can find it in Him, in His light. Therefore the truth is not to be looked for in us, but in the image of God which dwells within us, that is the one thing which has no second other thing. It is the Being and is in itself the whole of existence. ~ Gerhard Dorn; An extract from Dorn’s ‘Philosophia speculativa’.

The Star in Man: C.G. Jung and Marie Louise von Franz on the Alchemical Philosophy of Gerhard Dorn:

The journey to India [in 1938) formed an intermezzo in the intensive study of alchemical philosophy on which I was engaged at the time.

This had so strong a grip upon me that I took along the first volume of the Theatrum Chemicum of 1602, which contains the principal writings of Gerardus Dorneus.

In the course of the voyage I studied the book from beginning to end.

Thus it was that this material belonging to the fundamental strata of European [ureuropäisches Gedankengut] thought was constantly counterpointed by my impressions of a foreign mentality and culture.

Both had emerged from original psychic experiences of the unconscious, and therefore had produced the same, similar, or at least comparable insights. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams Reflections, Page 275

Just as those things that appear to be physical sometimes, although not always, have a moral aspect when seen through the eyes of philosophers, so things that are considered to be no less obscure than anything else could be are actually very clear to the readers themselves.] ~Gerhard Dorn, Speculative Philosophy, Page 8

[I had to explain these matters to students in advance so that they would understand why I have confounded metaphysics with physics and morals, and sometimes morals with metaphysics, and why the latter have to be compared with the former and with physics, lest I might by chance seem to have made it unnecessarily difficult for those readers who have lost their way in the maze (as most are accustomed to do) to access material that it is essential for them to understand.] ~Gerhard Dorn, Speculative Philosophy, Page 8

[The art of achieving a voluntary withdrawal from the Body of a well-composed Mind is called Speculative Philosophy.

By this method the Rational Soul may more easily concern itself with the cognition of all aspects of the Truth. ~Gerhard Dorn, Speculative Philosophy, Page 11 [Note: Rational Soul = Animus]

[Whatever is not from heaven cannot be said to be a virtue, but merely its false simulacrum. ~Gerhard Dorn, Speculative Philosophy, Page 68

One of his extraverted pharmacological contributions was the discovery that if certain chemical medicines were applied in a refined way, if they were better distilled, they then had a better and more heightened effect. Dorn was [also] an introvert and a very religious man, and if you have read the last chapters of [Jung’s] Mysterium Coniunctionis where Jung quotes him and comments upon his work, you see that he is also remarkable for another reason: namely that he not only, as an introvert, kept aware of the inner psychic aspects of the alchemical work, but that he also tried in an absolutely genuine way to do active imagination. ~Marie-LouiseVon Franz,  Alchemical Active Imagination, Page 18

[In the human body is hidden a certain metaphysical substance which is known to very few people and which needs no medicine because it is itself the incorruptible medicine.

The philosophers, through some divine inspiration, recognized the strength and heavenly virtue of this substance and how to free it from its fetters, but by a similar medicine in itself. ~Gerhard Dorn, Alchemical Active Imagination, Page 51

[…. The Mind of Man is immortal: for that reason it does not fear death.

Indeed it overcomes it manfully. But the whole body is subject to death, and for that reason dreads it to the utmost extent. ~Gerhard Dorn, De speculativa philosophia, Page 258-258

[Indeed the physical chemist is not content with experiment alone, nor what he may have from heaven, but from what part of heaven he may thoroughly investigate the anatomy of the Great Creature {i. e., macrocosm}, making a comparison with that creature that can come into existence from the microcosm {i. e., man}. ~Gerhard Dorn, De speculativa philosophia, Page 266

[With the two of you then made one, you will have peace in union. … O admirable efficacy of the fountain, which makes one from two and brings peace between enemies. … [I]t makes one man from Mind and Body.]~Gerhard Dorn, Speculative Philosophy, Page 70

Dorn floated over abysses of the mysteries which Jung penetrated.

Nevertheless he was endeavoring to cope with the same problems as we cope with, but he could not deal with the problem of evil.

After attempting to remove the shadow from the body he slips, and again projects it back into the body.

He was caught by and bound to the Christian belief that God is only good and that he cannot contain the problem of evil.~Marie-Louise Von Franz, Alchemical Active Imagination, Page 114

[Imagination is the star in man, the celestial or supercelestial body.] ~Gerhard Dorn, Dictionarium, Page 56

[The Adech is our interior and invisible man, which prefigures the unique visible man in our soul, and which serves the visible man’s nature.] ~Gerhard Dorn, Dictionarium, Page 56

And Gerhard Dorn cries out, “Transform yourselves into living philosophical stones!” There can hardly be any doubt that not a few of those seekers had the dawning knowledge that the secret nature of the stone was man’s own self. This “self” was evidently never thought of as an entity identical with the ego, and for this reason it was described as a “hidden nature” dwelling in inanimate matter, as a spirit, daemon, or fiery spark. By means of the philosophical opus, this entity was freed from darkness and imprisonment, and finally it enjoyed a resurrection. It is clear that these ideas can have nothing to do with the empirical ego but are concerned with a “divine nature” quite distinct from it, and hence, psychologically speaking, with a consciousness-transcending content issuing from the realm of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, para 154.

In his old age Gerhard Dorn, a learned natural philosopher, doctor, and Paracelcist from Frankfurt-am-Main, who lived in the sixteenth century, came to mean more to Jung than most other alchemists. ~Aniela Jaffe, Jung’s Last Years, Page 55.

Jung repeatedly emphasizes this when he speaks of the self as the archetype of order and meaning, and Gerhard Dorn expresses the same thing as the “union of the whole man with the unus mundus”. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 78

“Knowest thou not that heaven and the elements were formerly one, and were separated by a divine act of creation from one another, that they might bring forth thee and all things.” ~Gerhard Dorn, Psychology of Yoga and Meditation, Page 158