Modern Psychology: C. G. Jung’s Lectures at the ETH Zürich, 1933-1941

Lecture VIII 8th December, 1933

The Sun Circle which we are studying is a very difficult and complicated affair, so we must keep the diagram which I gave you last time [p. 34) before our eyes in order to enable us to follow what the Clairvoyante says about the different circles.

It is interesting that animals and spirits inhabit the same circle, it shows that she identified them to a certain extent.

Here are some of her comments: “I feel five circles under the Sun Circle and above it one empty circle.”

So these circles are disposed in layers.

Speaking of the Sun Circle, she says: “The real height of day and people lie outside the big ring for me, . . . I like to draw people as hooks.

I feel the spirit of all the people with whom I have come in contact, but I feel and know nothing of their bodies . . . I cannot think of you (Kerner) as a human being, a body, you less than anybody.

I feel you as a blue flame on the outer circle.”

It is characteristic that she should see people in this ideal form, she denies them substance, seeing only their inner reality and in this way her inner world gains in concreteness.

She says: “This outer ring with its circling flame seems to be a wall through which nothing can reach me.

I am inside the ring itself. If I think I have got outside it, I am terrified, . . . but when I feel that I am free within the circle a homesick feeling comes over me. ”

She evidently identifies the outer ring with Kerner, he and the blue flame are her protecting wall.

She continues: ” I feel as if I were imprisoned in the circle.”

It is a kind of magic circle, the world that she dreads is outside and the positive life inside; she withdraws her consciousness from the outer world.

Speaking of the three inner or central rings, the Clairvoyante says: “In the first [the outermost one, the Ring of the Stars), where I seemed to see seven stars above me, I felt well; I spoke into the world in which I had been.”

She thinks of our outer world as a place in which she has been in the past, this world is an illusion for her compared to the reality of the inner world.

“In the second ring [the Moon Ring) I never spoke, I swam over it . . . . I looked into it several times but do not remember what I s aw, I am afraid when I think of it, if is so cold and terrifying. This ring has the light of the moon.”

It remains with her as a vague memory, she merely floated over it.

We find similar ideas in antique astrology and in the teachings of the ancients concerning the future of the soul.

As souls can rise from the earth to the moon, so they can rise from the- moon ring and descend again to the earth to be reborn.

She sees over the Moon Ring away to the sun: “The third circle [the innermost Sun Ring) is as b right as the sun, but its central point is still brighter. I saw an unfathomable depth in it, which became brighter as its depth increased, I myself n ever reached it, but was only allowed to gaze into it, I should like to call it the Sun of Grace. It seemed to me that many other spirits also gazed into it and that everything which lives and moves there arises out of sparks from this depth . . . .It was in the clear light of the innermost ring, but not in its central point, that I always saw my female guide.”

We meet the female guide here for the first time.

All mediums have a control or guide, a kind of guardian angel.

There are famous examples: Mrs. Piper, for instance, William James’ medium, had a whole comp any of controls, a kind of general staff.

A woman usually has a man as guide and vice versa.

As a matter of fact we all possess this inner guidance, whether we are aware of it or not.

When we think that we have come to some decision, a little objective criticism would sometimes show us that something else has settled it for us and often quite without our knowledge.

We meet with this conception of a second guiding presence all over the world.

Frau Hauffe sees her guide as coming to her from this inner Sun Ring centre.

This centre is not in consciousness, but exists in the solar plexus, the centre of the sympathetic nervous system.

It has been called thus since antiquity, because it is through sympathy that we can become aware of this light.

This fact is recognized in India and there is a sect of navel contemplators who induce this inner vision through concentration and contemplation of the navel.

Frau Hauffe made a separate and interesting drawing of the second large ring, the Life Circle which, as we shall see, throws a new light on all these circles.

This drawing is filled with the writing of the spirit world.

This brings us to the phenomenon of glossolalia: the appearance of a strange language of which the person has no conscious knowledge and which sometimes, as in this case, has no connection with any known tongue.”

The centre of this Life Circle is the seat of something which decides numbers and words and that is the spirit.”

So the centre is called spirit in the Life Circle and sun in the innermost Sun Ring.

All this sounds such phantastic nonsense that you probably feel that you would rather go no further.

I felt like that too when I first came into contact with these things, but gradually I came to a better mind and saw that it is just these things that have been the really vital subject of human speculation for centuries.

The Clairvoyante continues: “The central point of the Life Circle is the seat of the spirit, there he is in his right place, in the Truth.”

Here again we find one of those remarkable parallels that app ear in this inner system: this centre, which Frau Hauffe endows with the attribute of Truth, is designated in Buddhism as Dharma kaya, the divine body of Truth.

She goes on to say: “In the second circle round the central point of the Life Circle the spirit is already becoming dim.”

The spirit centre is gradually losing its intensity through radiation. And in the third circle the Clairvoyante sees the numbers which are the basis of her calculations.

The Life Circle corresponds to 10, the Sun Circle to 17.

I mention this only to show you that the magic of numbers begins here, it is always bound up with inner systems and plays an important role.

10 is the terrestrial number in Frau Hauffe’s vision.

In China it is the number of the earth whilst 7 is that of the sun, the spirit We have no Chinese parallel for 17; the Clairvoyante regards it as the spiritual number.

I should like to go a little more deeply into the symptomatology of this case.

We have spoken of the patient’s second sight and frequent clairvoyant dreams.

Kerner gives us two further examples: one night she dreamt that she saw her uncle’s eldest daughter leaving the house with a small coffin on her head.

Seven days later this uncle’s one year old child died, but neither Frau Hauffe nor any one near her knew of its illness.

Another night she dreamt that she waded through water carrying a piece of rotten meat and that she met Frau N. who anxiously enquired what she was going to do with it.

The dream seemed to have no meaning, but a week later Frau N. died, giving birth to a dead child, whose body had already begun to decompose.

The water in the dream stood for the amniotic fluid .

Frau Hauffe had visions of ghosts which were of a similar clairvoyant character:

“I often see many ghosts who have no connection with me and again others who turn towards me and with whom I can speak and who remain near me for months.

I see them by night and by day, whether people are present or not . . .while I talk with them, I remain aware of all the usual familiar objects . . . The ghosts appear to me as a thin cloud which one expects to be able to see through, but I cannot do so.. They throw no shadow . . . The better ghosts appear light and the bad ones dark.”

The ghosts also produce sounds : strange knockings, noises as of gravel or sand being thrown or as the rustling of paper, shuffling, sighing, etc.

The sounds which the Clairvoyante mentions are typical of spook stories.

She never gets away from this unearthly throng, they wake her out of her good sleep.

If her eyes are closed she does not see them and says that she is not sure if they are visible in the dark, but she feels their presence and their touch is unbearable.

Other people and animals in her neighborhood were sometimes aware of them as well.

The ghosts of people she has known look much as they did in life except that they are grey and colorless. ~Carl Jung, Modern Psychology, ETH Lecture VIII, Pages 36-38.