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Refinding the Soul

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The Red Book

When I beheld the vision of the flood in October of the year 1913, it happened at a time that was significant for me as a man.

At that time, in the fortieth year of my life, I had achieved everything that I had wished for myself I had achieved honor, power, wealth, knowledge, and every human happiness.

Then my desire for the increase of these trappings ceased, the desire ebbed from me and horror came over me.

The vision of the flood seized me and I felt the spirit of the depths, but I did not understand him. Yet he drove me on with unbearable inner longing and I said:

My soul you-are you there? I have returned, I am here again. I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you, I am with you. After long years of long wandering, I have come to you again.

Should I tell you everything I have seen, experienced, and drunk in? Or do you not want to hear about all the noise of life and the world? But one thing you must know: the one thing I have learned is that one must live

this life. This life is the way, the long sought-after way to the unfathomnable, which we call divine. There is no other way, all other ways are false paths. I found the right way, it led me to you, to my soul. I return, tempered and purified.

Do you still know me? How long the separation lasted! Everything has become so different. And how did I find you?

How strange my journey was! What words should I use to tell you on what twisted paths a good star has guided me to you?

Give me your hand, my almost forgotten soul. How warm the joy at seeing you again, you long is avowed soul. Life has led me back to you.

Let us thank the life I have lived for all the happy and all the sad hours, for every joy, for every sadness.

My soul, my journey should continue with you. I will wander with you and ascend to my solitude.”

[2] The spirit of the depths forced me to say this and at the same time to undergo it against myself since I had not expected it then.

I still labored misguidedly under the spirit of this time, and thought differently about the human soul.

I thought and spoke much of the soul. I knew In many learned words for her, I had judged her and turned her into a scientific object.

I did not consider that my soul cannot be the object of my judgment and knowledge; much more are my judgment and knowledge the objects of my soul.

Therefore the spirit of the depths forced me to speak to my soul, to call upon her as a living and self-existing being.

I had to become aware that I had lost my soul. From this we learn how the spirit of the depths considers the soul: he sees her as a living and self-existing being, and with this he contradicts the spirit of this time for whom the soul is a thing dependent on man, which lets herself be judged and arranged, and whose circumference we can grasp.

I had to accept that what I had previously called my soul was not at all my soul,but a dead system.

Hence I had to speak to my soul as to something far off and unknown, which did not exist through me, but through whom I existed. He whose desire turns away from outer things, reaches the place of the soul.

If he does not find the soul, the horror of emptiness will overcome him, and fear will drive him with a whip lashing time and again in a desperate endeavor and a blind desire for the hollow things of the world. He becomes a fool through his endless desire, and forgets the way of his soul, never to find her again.

He will run after all things, and will seize hold of them, but he will not find his soul, since he would find her only in himself

Truly his soul lies in things and men, but the blind one seizes things and men, yet not his soul in things and in men.

He& has no knowledge of his soul. How could he tell her apart from things and men? He could find his soul in desire itself but not in the objects of desire.

If he possessed his desire, and his desire did not possess him, he would lay a hand on his soul, since his desire is the image and expression of his soul.

If we possess the image of a thing, we possess half the thing.

The image of the world is half the world. He who possesses the world but not its image possesses only half the world, since his soul is poor and has nothing.

The wealth of the soul exists in images He who possesses the image of the world, possesses half the world, even if his humanity is poor and owns nothing

But hunger makes the soul into a beast that devours the unbearable and is poisoned by it. My friends, it is wise to nourish the soul, otherwise you will breed dragons and devils in your heart. ~Carl Jung, Red Book, Pages 231-232