But this was the vision that I did not want to see, the horror that I did not want to live: A sickening feeling of nausea sneaks up on me, and abominable, perfidious serpents wind their way slowly and cracklingly through parched undergrowth; they hang down lazily and disgustingly lethargic from the branches, looped in dreadful knots. I am reluctant to enter this dreary and unsightly valley; where the bushes stand in arid stony defiles.
The valley looks so normal, its air smells of crime, of foul, cowardly deeds. I am seized by disgust and horror. I walk hesitantly over the boulders, avoiding every dark place for fear of treading on a serpent.
The sun shines weakly out of a gray and distant sky; and all the leaves are shriveled.
A marionette with a broken head lies before me amidst the stones-a few steps further, a small apron and then behind the bush, the body of a small girl-covered with terrible wounds-smeared with blood. One foot is clad with a stocking and shoe, the other is naked and gorily crushed-the head-where is the head?
The head is a mash of blood with hair and whitish pieces of bone, surrounded by stones smeared with brain and blood. My gaze is captivated by this awful sight-a shrouded figure, like that of a woman, is standing calmly next to the child; her face is covered by an impenetrable veil.
She asks me:
Soul: “What then do you say?”
I: “What should I say? This is beyond words.”
Soul: “Do you understand this?”
I: “I refuse to understand such things. I can’t speak about them without becoming enraged.”
Soul: “Why become enraged? You might as well rage every day of your life, for these and similar things occur every day.”
I: “But most of the time we don’t see them.”
Soul: “So knowing that they happen is not enough to enrage you?”
I: “If I merely have knowledge of something, it’s easier and simpler. The horror is less real if all I have is knowledge.”
Soul: “Step nearer and you will see that the body of the child has been cut open; take out the liver.”
I: “I will not touch this corpse. If someone witnessed this, they would think that I’m the murderer.”
Soul: “You are cowardly; take out the liver.”
I: “Why should I do this? This is absurd.”
Soul: “I want you to remove the liver. You must do it.”
I: “Who are you to give me such an order?”
Soul: “I am the soul of this child. You must do this for my sake.”
I: “I don’t understand, but I’ll believe you and do this horrific and absurd deed.” I reach into the child’s visceral cavity-it is still warm-the liver is still firmly attached – I take my knife and cut it free of the ligaments. Then I take it out and hold it with bloody hands toward the figure.
Soul: “I thank you.”
I: “What should I do?”
Soul: “You know what the liver means, and you ought to perform the healing act with it.”
I: “What is to be done?”
Soul: “Take a piece of the liver, in place of the whole, and eat it.”
I: “What are you demanding? This is absolute madness. This is desecration, necrophilia. You make me a guilty party to this most hideous of all crimes.”
Soul: “You have devised the most horrible torment for the murderer, which. could atone for his act. There is only one
atonement: abase yourself and eat.”
I: “I cannot- I refuse- I cannot participate in this horrible guilt.”
Soul: “You share in this guilt.”
I: “I? Share in this guilt?”
Soul: “You are a man, and a man has committed this deed.”
I: “Yes, I am a man-I curse whoever did this for being a man, and I curse myself for being a man.”
Soul: “So, take part in his act, abase yourself and eat. I need atonement.”
I: “So shall it be for your sake, as you are the soul of this child.”
I kneel down on the stone, cut off a piece of the liver and put it in my mouth. My gorge rises-tears burst from my eyes cold sweat covers my brow-a dull sweet taste of blood-I swallow with desperate efforts-it is impossible-once again and once again- I almost faint-it is done. The horror has been accomplished.
Soul: “I thank you.”
She throws her veil back-a beautiful maiden with ginger hair.
Soul: “Do you recognize me?”
I: “How strangely familiar you are! Who are you?”
Soul: “I am your soul.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book