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Memories Dreams Reflections

[Carl Jung’s Vision of his wife after her death.]

We shy away from the word “eternal,” but I can describe the experience only as the ecstasy of a non-temporal state in which present, past, and future are one.

Everything that happens in time had been brought together into a concrete whole.

Nothing was distributed over time, nothing could be measured by temporal concepts.

The experience might best be defined as a state of feeling, but one which cannot be produced by imagination.

How can I imagine that I exist simultaneously the day before yesterday, today, and the day after tomorrow?

There would be things which would not yet have begun, other things which would be indubitably present, and others again which would already be finished and yet all this would be one.

The only thing that feeling could grasp would be a sum, an iridescent whole, containing all at once expectation of a beginning, surprise at what is now happening, and satisfaction or disappointment with the result of what has happened.

One is interwoven into an indescribable whole and yet observes it with complete objectivity.

I experienced this objectivity once again later on.

That was after the death of my wife. I saw her in a dream which was like a vision.

She stood at some distance from me, looking at me squarely.

She was in her prime, perhaps about thirty, and wearing the dress which had been made for her many years before by my cousin the medium.

It was perhaps the most beautiful thing she had ever worn.

Her expression was neither joyful nor sad, but, rather, objectively wise and understanding, without the slightest emotional reaction, as though she were beyond the mist of affects.

I knew that it was not she, but a portrait she had made or commissioned for me.

It contained the beginning of our relationship, the events of fifty-three years of marriage, and the end of her life also.

Face to face with such wholeness one remains speechless, for it can scarcely be comprehended.

The objectivity which I experienced in this dream and in the visions is part of a completed individuation.

It signifies detachment from valuations and from what we call emotional ties.

In general, emotional ties are very important to human beings. But they still contain projections, and it is essential to withdraw these projections in order to attain to oneself and to objectivity.

Emotional relationships are relationships of desire, tainted by coercion and constraint; something is expected from the other person, and that makes him and ourselves unfree.

Objective cognition lies hidden behind the attraction of the emotional relationship; it seems to be the central secret.

Only through objective cognition is the real coniunctio possible. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections.

Image: Carl G. and Emma Rauschenbach Jung at their home at Küsnacht, near Zurich, before 1955