I saw the black serpent, as it wound itself upward around the wood of the cross. It crept into the body of the crucified and emerged again transformed from his mouth. It had become white. It wound itself around the head of the dead one like a diadem, and a light gleamed above his head, and the sun rose shining in the east. I stood and watched and was confused and a great weight burdened my soul. But the white bird that sat on my shoulder spoke to me: “Let it rain, let the wind blow, let the waters flow and the fire burn. Let each thing have its development, let becoming have its day.”
Truly; the way leads through the crucified, that means through him to whom it was no small thing to live his own life, and who was therefore raised to magnificence. He did not simply teach what was knowable and worth knowing, he lived it. It is unclear how great one’s humility must be to take t upon oneself to live one’s own life. The disgust of whoever wants to enter into his own life can hardly be measured. Aversion will sicken him. He makes himself vomit. His bowels pain him and his brain sinks into lassitude. He would rather devise any trick to help him escape, since nothing matches the torment of one’s own way. It seems impossibly difficult, so difficult that nearly anything seems preferable to this torment. Not a few choose even to love people for fear of themselves. I believe, too, that some commit a crime to pick a quarrel with themselves. Therefore I cling to everything that obstructs my way to myself.
He who goes to himself climbs down. Pathetic and ridiculous forms appeared to the greatest prophet who came before this time, and these were the forms of his own essence. He did not accept them, but exorcized them before others. Ultimately; however, he was forced to celebrate a Last Supper with his own poverty and to accept these forms of his own essence out of compassion, which is precisely that acceptance of the lowest in us. But this enraged the mighty lion, who chased down the lost and restored it to the darkness of the depths. And like all those with power, the one with the great name wanted to erupt from the womb of the mountain like the sun. But what happened to him?
His way led him before the crucified and he began to rage. He raged against the man of mockery and pain because the power of his own essence forced him to follow precisely this way as Christ had done before us. Yet he loudly proclaimed his power and greatness. No one speaks louder of his power and greatness than he from whom the earth disappears under his feet. Ultimately the lowest in him got to him, his incapacity; and this crucified his spirit, so that, as he himself had predicted, his soul died beforehis body.
No one rises above himself who has not· turned his most dangerous weapon against himself One who wants to rise above himself shall climb down and hoist himself onto himself and lug himself to the place of sacrifice. But what must happen to a man until he realizes that outer visible success, that he can grasp with his hands, leads him astray. What suffering must be brought upon humanity; until man gives up satisfying his longing for power over his fellow man and forever wanting others to be the same. How much blood must go on flowing until man opens his eyes and sees the way to his own path and himself as the enemy; and becomes aware of his real success. You ought to be able to live with yourself but not at your neighbor’s expense. The herd animal is not his brother’s parasite and pest. Man, you have even forgotten that you too are an animal. You actually still seem to believe that life is better elsewhere. Woe unto you if your neighbor also thinks so. But you may be sure that he does. Someone must begin to stop being childish.
Your craving satisfies itself in you. You can offer no more precious a sacrificial meal to your God than yourself May your greed consume you, for this wearies and calms it, and you will sleep well and consider the sun of each day as a gift. If you devour
other things and other people, your greed remains eternally dissatisfied, for it craves more, the most costly-it craves you. And thus you compel your desire to take your own way. You may ask others provided that you need help and advice. But you should make demands on no one, neither desiring nor expecting anything from anyone except from yourself For your craving satisfies itself only within you. You are afraid of burning in your
own fire. May nothing prevent you from doing so, neither anyone else’s sympathy nor your more dangerous sympathy with yourself Since you should live and die with yourself
When the flame of your greed consumes you, and nothing remains of you but ash, so nothing of you was steadfast. Yet the flame in which you consumed yourself has illuminated many. But if you flee from your fire full of fear, you scorch your fellow men,
and the burning torment of your greed cannot die out, so long as
you do not desire yourself.
The mouth utters the word, the sign, and the symbol. If the word is a sign, it means nothing. But if the word is a symbol, it means everything. When the way enters death and we are surrounded by rot and horror, the way rises in the darkness and leaves the mouth as the saving symbol, the word. It leads the sun on high, for in the symbol there is the release of the bound human force struggling with darkness. Our freedom does not lie outside us, but within us. One can be bound outside, and yet one will still feel free since one has burst inner bonds. One can certainly gain outer freedom through powerful actions, but one creates inner freedom only through the symbol.
The symbol is the word that goes out of the mouth that one does not simply speak, but that rises out of the depths of the self as a word of power and great need and places itself unexpectedly on the tongue. It is an astonishing and perhaps seemingly irrational word, but one recognizes it as a symbol since it is alien to the conscious mind. If one accepts the symbol, it is as if a door opens leading into a new room whose existence one previously did not know. But if one does not accept the symbol, it is as if one carelessly went past this door; and since this was the only door leading to the inner chambers, one must pass outside into the streets again, exposed to everything external. But the soul suffers great need, since outer freedom is of no use to it. Salvation is a long road that leads through many gates. These gates are symbols. Each new gate is at first invisible; indeed, it seems at first that it must be created, for it exists only if one has dug up the spring’s root, the symbol.
To find the mandrake, one needs the black dog, since good and bad must always be united first if the symbol is to be created. The symbol can be neither thought up nor found: it becomes. Its becoming is like the becoming of human life in the womb.
Pregnancy comes about through voluntary copulation. It goes on through willing attention. But if the depths have conceived, then the symbol grows out of itself and is born from the mind, as befits a God. But in the same way a mother would like to throw herself on the child like a monster and devour it again. In the morning, when the new sun rises, the word steps out of my mouth, but is murdered lovelessly; since I did not know that it was the savior. The newborn child grows quickly; if I accept it. And immediately it becomes my charioteer. The word is the guide, the middle way which easily oscillates like the needle on the scales. The word is the God that rises out of the waters each morning and proclaims the guiding law to the people. Outer laws and outer wisdom are eternally insufficient, since there is only one law and one wisdom, namely my daily law, my daily wisdom.
The God renews himself each night. The God appears in multiple guises; for when he emerges, he has assumed some of the character of the night and the nightly waters in which he slumbered, and in which he struggled for renewal in the last hour of the night. Consequently his appearance is twofold and ambiguous; indeed, it even tears at the heart and the mind. On emerging, the God calls me toward the right and the left, his voice calling out to me from both sides. Yet the God wants neither the one nor the other. He wants the middle way: But the middle is the beginning of the long road. Man, however, can never see this beginning; he always sees only one and not the other, or the other and not the one, but never that which the one as well as the other encloses in itself.
The point of origin is where the mind and the will stand still; it is a state of suspension that evokes my outrage, my defiance and eventually my greatest fear. For I can see nothing anymore and can no longer want anything. Or at least that is how it seems to me. The way is a highly peculiar standstill of everything that was previously movement, it is a blind waiting, a doubtful listening and groping. One is convinced that one will burst. But the resolution is born from precisely this tension, and it almost alwaysappears where one did not expect it. But what is this resolution? It is always something ancient and precisely because of this something new, for when something long since passed away comes back again in a changed world, it is new. To give birth to the ancient in a ~new time is creation. This is the creation of the new, and that redeems me. Salvation is the resolution of the task. The task is to give birth to the old in a new time. The soul of humanity is like the great wheel of the zodiac that rolls along the way: Everything that comes up in a constant movement from below to the heights was already there. There is no part of the wheel that does not come around again. Hence everything that has been streams upward there, and what has been will be again. For these are all things which are the inborn properties of human nature. It belongs to the essence of forward movement that what was returned. Only the ignorant can marvel at this. Yet the meaning does not lie in the eternal recurrence of the same, but in the manner of its recurring creation at any given time.
The meaning lies in the manner and the direction of the recurring creation. But how do I create my charioteer? Or do I want to be my own charioteer? I can guide myself only with will and intention. But will and intention are simply part of myself Consequently they are insufficient to express my wholeness. Intention is what I can foresee, and willing is to want a foreseen goal. But where do I find the goal? I take it from what is presently known to me. Thus I set the present in place of the future. In this manner, though I cannot reach the future, I artificially produce a constant present. Everything that would like to break into this present strikes me as a disturbance, and I seek to drive it away so that my intention survives. Thus I close off the progress of life. But how can I be my own charioteer without will and intention? Therefore a wise man does not want to be a charioteer, for he knows that will and intention certainly attain goals but disturb
the becoming of the future.
Futurity grows out of me; I do not create it, and yet I do, though not deliberately and willfully; but rather against will and intention. If I want to create the future, then I work against my future. And if I do not want to create it, once again I do not take sufficient part in the creation of the future, and everything happens then according to unavoidable laws to which I fall victim. The ancients devised magic to compel fate. They needed it to determine outer fate. We need it to determine inner fate and to find the way that we are unable to conceive. For a long time I considered what type of magic this would have to be. And in the end I found nothing. Whoever cannot find it within himself should become an apprentice, and so I took myself off to a far country where a great magician lived, of whose reputation I had heard. ~Carl Jung, Red Book, Pages 309-312.