“From this point of view, alchemy seems like a continuation of Christian mysticism carried on in the subterranean darkness of the unconscious….
But this unconscious continuation never reached the surface, where the conscious mind could have dealt with it. All that appeared in consciousness were the symbolic symptoms of the unconscious process.
Had the alchemist succeeded in forming any concrete idea of his unconscious contents, he would have been obliged to recognize that he had taken the place of Christ – or, to be more exact, that he, regarded not as ego but as self, had taken over the work of redeeming not man but God.
He would then have had to recognize not only himself as the equivalent of Christ, but Christ as a symbol of the self. This tremendous conclusion failed to dawn on the medieval mind.” ~Carl Jung;Psychology and Alchemy (Part 3, Chapter 5.1).