Zarathustra Seminars

[Carl Jung and Symbols of Individuation]

Similar representations occur in practical psychology: these symbols are repeated fairly often in the beginning of the individuation process.

I will show you the original of an unconscious picture which I used to illustrate one of my Eranos lectures!

The patient herself is represented as grown fast to the rock-in other words, identical with the unconscious which is the earth.

The boulders are egg-shaped and really mean eggs, or the seed substance that is to be transformed.

The next stage is in this picture of lightning striking the earth, and instead of the human being there is a perfectly round incandescent sphere, like the earth in a primeval incandescent condition, split off from the surrounding chaos-a bit of chaos is now cut loose from the surrounding chaos, as on the frontispiece of the Songe de Poliphile.

The lightning means an influence which suddenly starts the individuation process: namely, that separation of a certain area of chaos.

It is as if the individual, as depicted here, had been partially buried in chaos, only the upper part of her body being detached.

You see, she was singled out, a separate being with a consciousness of her own, but in the lower stories she was not at all separated from the universe, one could say.

And then through this lightning she suddenly appears as a whole, a circle or a globe, separated from the participation mystique with chaos, or, as we would say, with the collective unconscious.

She is still a piece of chaos, and every piece contains chaos, is chaos, has chaotic quality, but the further development of this series leads into a differentiation of this primordial incandescent globe. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Pages 1407-1409.