The Red Book

Sir Galahad, a hero of Arthurian legend, detail of a painting by George Frederic Watts

On the following night, however, I had a vision: I was with a youth in high mountains. It was before daybreak, the Eastern sky was already light. Then Siegfried’s horn resounded over the mountains with a jubilant sound. We knew that our mortal enemy was coming. We were armed and lurked beside a narrow rocky path to murder him. Then we saw him coming high across the mountains on a chariot made of the bones of the dead. He drove boldly and magnificently over the steep rocks and arrived at the narrow path where we waited in hiding. As he came around the turn ahead of us, we fired at the same time and he fell slain. Thereupon I turned to flee, and a terrible rain swept down. But after this I went through a torment unto death and I felt certain that I must kill myself if I could not solve the riddle of the murder of the hero.

Then the spirit of the depths came to me and spoke these words: “The highest truth is one and the· same with the absurd.” This statement saved me, and like rain after a long hot spell, it swept away everything in me which was too highly tensed. Then I had a second vision: I saw a merry garden, in which forms walked clad in white silk, all covered in colored light, some reddish, the others blueish and greenish. I know, I have stridden across the depths. Through guilt I have become a newborn.

[2] We also . live in our dreams, we do not live only by day. Sometimes we accomplish our greatest deeds in dreams. In that night my life was threatened since I had to kill my lord and God, not in single combat, since who among mortals could kill a God in a duel? You can reach your God only as an assassin, if you want to overcome him.But this is the bitterest for mortal men: our Gods want to be overcome, since they require renewal. If men kill their princes, they do so because they cannot kill their Gods, and because they do not know that they should kill their Gods in themselves.

 If the God grows old, he becomes shadow, nonsense, and he goes down. The greatest truth becomes the greatest lie, the brightest day becomes darkest night. As day requires night and night requires day, so meaning requires absurdity and absurdity requires meaning. Day does not exist through itself, night does not exist through itself. The reality that exists through itself is day and night. So the reality is meaning and absurdity.
Noon is a moment, midnight is a moment, morning comes from night, evening turns into night, but evening comes from the day and morning turns into day.

So meaning is a moment and a transition from absurdity to absurdity, and absurdity only a moment and a transition from meaning to meaning.

Oh that Siegfried, blond and blue-eyed, the German hero, had to fall by my hand, the most loyal and courageous! He had everything in himself that I treasured as the greater and more beautiful; he was my power, my boldness, my pride. I would have gone under in the same battle, and so only assassination was left to me. If I wanted to go on living, it could only be through trickery and cunning. Judge not! Think of the blond savage of the German forests, who had to betray the hammer-brandishing thunder to the pale Near-Eastern God who was nailed to the wood like a chicken marten. The courageous were overcome by a certain contempt
for themselves. But their life force bade them to go on living, and they betrayed their beautiful wild Gods, their holy trees and their awe of the German forests.

What does Siegfried mean for the Germans! What does it tell us that the Germans suffer Siegfried’s death! That is why I almost preferred to kill myself in order to spare him. But I wanted to go on living with a new God.
After death on the cross Christ went into the underworld and became Hell. So he took on the form of the Antichrist, the dragon. The image of the Antichrist, which has come down to us from the ancients, announces the new God, whose coming the ancients had foreseen.

Gods are unavoidable. The more you flee from the God, the more surely you fall into his hand. The rain is the great stream of tears that will come over the peoples, the tearful flood of released tension after the constriction
of death had encumbered the peoples with horrific force. It is the mourning of the dead in me, which precedes burial and rebirth. The rain is the fructifying of the earth, it begets the new wheat, the young, germinating God. ~Carl Jung, Red Book, Pages 241-242