Service of the Soul
God the Father by Cima da Conegliano, c. 1515
On the following night I had to write down all the dreams that I could recollect, true to their wording. The meaning of this act was dark to me. Why all this? Forgive the fuss that rises in me. Yet you want me to do this. What strange things are happening to me? I know too much not to see on what swaying bridges I go. Where are you leading me? Forgive my excessive apprehension, brimful of knowledge. My foot hesitates to follow you. Into what mist and darkness does your path lead? Must I also learn to do without meaning? If this is what you demand, then so be it. This hour belongs to you. What is there, where there is no meaning? Only nonsense, or madness, it seems to me. Is there also a supreme meaning? Is that your meaning, my soul? I limp after you on crutches of understanding. I am a man and you stride like a God. What torture! I must return to myself to my smallest things. I saw the things of my soul as small, pitiably small. You force me to see them as large, to make them large. Is that your aim? I follow, but it terrifies me. Hear my doubts, otherwise I cannot follow, since your meaning is a supreme meaning, and your steps are the steps of a God.
I understand, I must not think either; should thought, too, no longer be? I should give myself completely into your hands-but who are you? I do not trust you. Not once to trust, is that my love for you, my joy in you? Do I not trust every valiant man, and not you, my soul? Your hand lies heavy on me, but I will, I will. Have
I not sought to love men and trust them, and should I not do this with you? Forget my doubts, I know it is ignoble to doubt you. You know how difficult it is for me to set aside the beggar’s pride I take in my own thought. I forgot that you are also one of my friends, and have the first right to my trust. Should what I give
them not belong to you? I recognize my injustice. It seems to me that I despised you. My joy at finding you again was not genuine. I also recognize that the scornful laughter in me was right.
I must learn to love you. Should I also set aside self-judgment? I am afraid. Then the soul spoke to me and said: “This fear testifies against me!” It is true, it testifies against you. It kills the holy trust between you and me.
How hard is fate! If you take a step toward your soul, you will at first miss the meaning. You will believe that you have sunk into meaninglessness, into eternal disorder. You will be right! Nothing will deliver you from disorder and meaninglessness, since this is the other half of the world.
Your God is a child, so long as you are not childlike. Is the child order, meaning or disorder, caprice. Disorder and meaninglessness are the mother of order and meaning. Order and meaning are things that have become and are no longer becoming.
You open the gates of the soul to let the dark ffood of chaos ffow into your order and meaning. If you marry the ordered to the chaos you produce the divine child, the supreme meaning beyond meaning and meaninglessness.
You are aftaid to open the door I too was ayaid, since we had forgotten that God is terrible. Christ taught: God is love. But you should know that love is also terrible.
I spoke to a loving soul and as I drew nearer to her, I was overcome by
horror, and I heaped up a wall of doubt, and did you dread the depths; it should horrify you, since the way of what is to come leads through it. You must endure the temptation of fear and doubt,
and at the same time acknowledge to the bone that your fear is justified and your doubt is reasonable. How otherwise could it be a true temptation and a true overcoming.
Christ totally overcomes the temptation of the devil, but not the temptation of God to good and reason. Christ thus succumbs to cursing.
You still have to learn this, to succumb to no temptation, but to do everything of your own will; then you will be free and beyond Christianity.
I have had to recognize that I must submit to what I ftar; yes, even more, that I must even love what horrifies me. We must learn such from that saint who was disgusted by the plague infections; she drank the pus of plague boils and became aware that it smelled like roses. The acts as if the saint were not in vain.
In everything regarding your salvation and the attainment of mercy, you are dependent on your soul. Thus no sacrifice can be too great for you. If your virtues hinder you from salvation, discard them, since they have become evil to you. The slave to virtue finds the way as little as the slave to vices.
If you believe that you are the master of your soul, then become her servant. If you were her servant, make yourself her master, since she needs to be ruled. These should be your first steps.
During six further nights, the spirit of the depths was silent in me, since I swayed between fear, defiance, and nausea, and was wholly the prey of my passion. I could not and did not want to listen to the depths. But on the seventh night, the spirit of the depths spoke to me: “Look into your depths, pray to your depths,
waken the dead.”!
But I stood helpless and did not know what I could do. I looked into myself and the only thing I found within was the memory of earlier dreams, all of which I wrote down without knowing what good this would do. I wanted to throw everything away and return to the light of day. But the spirit stopped me and forced me back into myself.~Carl Jung, Red Book, Pages 234-235.