Carl Jung’s Dream Analysis Seminar Lecture X 4 December 1929
Lecture X 4 December 1929
Dr. Jung: You remember that we were discussing energy and time, and I suppose you must have wondered why I talked about such abstruse matters in connection with the cross and crescent symbols.
It would be quite understandable to me if some of you had asked today why I had pushed that question so far, to fundamentals-as far as the stars, one could say.
There were certain reasons.
I found as I was thinking over the material for the next seminar, that my thoughts were developing towards the stars and the problem of the identity of time and energy or libido, and then I asked myself what the justification was for enlarging the scope of our problem to such an extent.
I became curious to know what the patient’s subsequent dreams said on the subject.
I looked into my records and found that the very next was one that we could not deal with without this preparation.
It contains this particular problem, as you will soon see.
So you can believe me, that I am not just losing myself in idle speculation when I talk about time and energy.
It is not a metaphysical problem, it is psychological, even astrological, for astrology was the first form of psychology, which is an extremely young science, dating from the end of the nineteenth century only.
Of course, there was a beginning of psychological technique at about the time of the decay of Christianity and the period of the French enlightenment.
Voltaire would be one of the first psychologists, and La Rochefoucauld, and Fenelon. But it was not yet science.
It consisted more of intellectual aphorisms.
It was essentially a critique.
One might say that Nietzsche had a psychological approach to his material.
But inasmuch as the human soul has always existed, there must have been at all times an equivalent of psychology.
Philosophy would be such an equivalent, but it is merely intellectual, or a metaphysical projection.
Religion would be an equivalent also, one could say, yet it is metaphysical concretism.
Then there was astrology, which was legitimate up to the seventeenth century and was used by doctors in universities, together with dreams, as aids in diagnosing disease.
Palmistry also was so used. I have a little text-book of medicine written by a famous Wuzburg professor towards the end of the sixteenth century.
It deals with astrology, phrenology, palmistry, and physiognomy, and was especially for the use of doctors.
The author was practically the last of the official professors of astrology, which was a sort of psychology but with the qualities and peculiar character of projection.
It was our psychology in its oldest form.
Our modern science began with astronomy.
Instead of saying that a man was led by psychological motives, they formerly said he was led by his stars.
In Schiller’s Wallenstein there is a conversation between Wallenstein and the astrologer in which the latter says, “In thy heart are the stars of thy fate.”
That is a translation of astrological into psychological terms.
But this was very late, in the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Until then, people assumed that it was not psychology at motivation but the movement of the stars which caused the personal reactions, as if the direction of their lives was created by the vibrations of the planets.
The puzzling thing is that there is really a curious coincidence between astrological and psychological facts, so that one can isolate time from the characteristics of an individual, and also, one can deduce characteristics from a certain time.
Therefore we have to conclude that what we call psychological motives are in a way identical with star positions.
Since we cannot demonstrate this, we must form a peculiar hypothesis.
This hypothesis says that the dynamics of our psyche is not just identical with the position of the stars, nor has it to do with vibrations-that is an illegitimate hypothesis.
It is better to assume that it is a phenomenon of time. In the concept of time the two come together.
Time, or the moment understood as a peculiar form of energy, coincides with our psychological condition.
The moment is unique,so that whatever has its origin at a certain moment has the energy and qualities of that particular moment.
It must be so, because a thing originating a hundred years ago has the character of that age.
In this conception of time we have a mediating concept, which helps us to avoid the irrational explanations of astrology.
The stars are simply used by man to serve as indicators of time, and our psychology has as little to do with the stars as a clock, which is merely an instrument used to measure a certain moment-say 10.45.
It is exactly the same as if one said the sun is in Aquarius, the moon in Sagittarius, and Gemini is coming over the horizon with an elevation of 5 degrees.
This is a particular moment. Four minutes are necessary for a degree of a sign to rise above the horizon.
You can even find the very instant by dividing that degree into seconds.
Such a constellation during a very long space of time is unique. In the lapse of 26,000 years we have one such position, the year, the month, day, hour, and seconds.
The important fact is that it is this particular situation and not that the stars indicate it.
One could use other constellations to establish time.
The thing that matters is that the present moment is what it is-the particular moment and the actual condition of the world, and its energy and its movement at that moment.
Whatever originates at that time will be marked by that particular moment, so the psychological factors are determined by the actual position and all its qualities.
To return to the cross and crescent, we found the best way to conceive of those two symbols was in the Chinese terms Yang and Yin, meaning by them the conception of the opposites needed to
Energy can exist only where the opposites are at work.
When there is an equal warmth everywhere, as if all the world were reduced to a plane, then nothing happens at all.
If every contrast is wiped out, if there is no chemical tension, then there is no higher level, no potential.
Energy is dissipated, and we have what the Germans call “Warmetod,” or death in an equal temperature-entropy.
There is a speculative idea current that the end of the world might be like this.
Things might get into a state where all energy is wasted, where the temperature of surrounding things is equal to the temperature of the sun, for instance.
So two opposing principles such as the Yang and the Yin are unavoidable premises for the concept of energy.
The world cannot move without conflict.
This throws light on the theory of complexes.
Benevolent people assume that analysis has been invented, divinely ordained, to rid people of their complexes.
But I maintain that without complexes there can be no energy.
They are the focus and very mother of energy.
So that cannot possibly be the task of analysis if God invented that he would bring the whole thing to a complete standstill .
Complexes are due to passion.
So Yang and Yin are not only physical and metaphysical but also psychological principles.
They are quite unlike our concepts because it is a peculiarity of Chinese thinking that makes the Chinese take what happens within and without as being indissolubly connected.
We, on the other hand, cannot assume that the position of the stars or something that happens on the planet Mars has anything to do with us.
There seems to be no connection.
We are unable to mix up two things, our minds have that bias.
But the Chinese have the fundamental conviction that everything is connected with everything else, so that the most intimate things are in their eyes world principles at the same time.
They would say that the Yang and Yin operating in us is at: the same time operating in the heavens, in the great movements of the stars and the planets.
This is an essential Chinese conviction, and so they understand human psychology as simply a special case of, one could say, spiritual principles.
As the great, so is the small; as the small, so is the great.
The same force works within as well as without.
This is the theoretical explanation of the I Ching and the explanation of the way it works an oracle.
When one casts the sticks, they behave exactly as one’s psychology and the general conditions of the moment happen to be, no matter what is concerned; whether it is an individual or a group that is involved doesn’t matter.
The Chinese look upon them all as subject to a part of one and the same energy that moves everything.
It is as if our discriminations were only valid as far as consciousness goes, but when it comes to the unconscious, it makes no difference whether a thing happens to you or to me.
We are all affected by the same thing, for all these things are one and the same energy when it comes to the unconscious roots of our psychology.
How far this is true you can judge from the two drawings of those children which I showed you, as examples of the way of connection by the common roots.
They took up the symbolism as if they had been here with us.
Since I have seen many other examples of the same kind in which people not concerned were affected, I have invented the word synchronicity as a term to cover these phenomena, that is, things happening at the same moment as an expression of the same time content.
So the fact that the principles of our psychology are principles of general energic phenomena is not difficult for the Chinese to accept; it is only difficult to our discriminating mind.
But this also has its value with its fine sense of the details of things, and this is where the East decidedly shows its incapacity, for they cannot handle facts and they allow themselves all sorts of fantastic ideas and superstitions.
On the other hand they have a far more complete understanding of the role of man in the cosmos, or how the cosmos is connected with man.
We must discover this and many other highly interesting and marvellous things known to them.
I hope that you see now why I have laid so much stress on this concept of the identity of energy and time.
In order to understand the peculiar workings of the unconscious, we have to go far afield in theoretical speculation, and without such facts we would be unable to understand the development of these symbols in the unconscious.
It is not in vain that in the dream the crosses and crescents are thrown together in the same cauldron where they should obviously blend, and that for a certain purpose.
The purpose is the important thing.
If the Yang and the Yin come together, the result is a release of energy which might be symbolized in different forms. It might be emotional energy in the case of the dreamer, or it might be a burst of revealing light, an inspiration or a great vision.
It is interesting to see how the unconscious, operating in the group, has already anticipated the vision.
I have here a picture by a member of this group made beforehand, and so not influenced by your discussion concerning the union of the symbols.
It contains a representation of what will happen when cross and crescent meet.
In the drawing of the young boy on his toothbrush, we have very much the same thing.
Here is the cross, then the crescent, and they are peculiarly together, and then instantly comes a tremendous outburst, a release of energy in the form of an enormous sphere of light. Such is the energic phenomenon.
Here is the whole theory that when the opposites come together there will be a great manifestation of energy of some sort.
Now, that peculiar light engendered by the cross and crescent is a new enlightenment, a sort of revelation.
If the truth of the crescent could be united with the truth of the cross, it would produce that enlightenment, the combined truth of Islam and Christianity.
If it were possible to extract the essential truth of each and blend them, then out of that clash would come an enormous illumination which would amount to a new conviction.
Both Christianity and Islam are psychological methods of treating diseases of the human soul.
They prescribe methods of living, attitudes, moral codes as well as dogmatic explanations of why things are as they are-how man misbehaved and God saw himself forced to do something about it, sending sons or prophets to cure the evils of man.
Christ was essentially the Healer. The sect to which he belonged, the Essenes, was known as the Therapeuts.
We cannot see now how our actual Christianity could possibly heal, since we cannot establish a connection between Christianity and a neurosis.
If I told a patient that his religion ought to cure him, he would think that I was stark mad.
But in the beginning it was effective.
In the time of Augustus, the old gods were dying or dead, the old religions and the old temples were going fast.
There was great confusion, the world was neurotic, and it became necessary to have a new therapeutic system.
There was the Stoic system, for instance, with its theory of the happy, right, and complete life.
Innumerable cults from the East were introduced.
I have already spoken several times of the letter of Zosimos to a certain lady advising her to go to the krater, the mixing bowl, to find rebirth.
It was just as if a modern man wrote to a friend: “I strongly advise you to go to the krater at Zurich for analysis-to the Jungbrunnen!”
It is essentially the same idea. In the beginning these methods are quite simple.
Then they become more and more removed from the human sphere.
The more they don’t work, the more it is necessary to heap up miracles and all sorts of complications.
The moment that a new light ceases to be a light, people make dogma of it; the less it works, the more it has to be enhanced. Whereas a true religion is exceedingly simple.
It is a revelation, a new light. But one can hardly talk of it without blushing, on account of the false ideas that have been pumped into it, big words hallowed by two thousand years of suggestion.
For a long time now, the Christian religion has not worked, so it became a Church of great splendour and power in order to increase its influence by suggestion.
But neither does suggestion work in the long run.
The church decayed.
Protestantism was a symptom that the light had become so feeble that people felt it wouldn’t do any longer.
They were seeking a new light then, and they found it in Luther for a time, until he hurled himself against politics and had to make his compromise with the world.
Again the light grew dim and a religion of the usual dogmatic kind was the result.
Now this picture shows a new light.
Such an outburst is in anticipation of new understanding, new vision, a unity which gives new expression to the world and to man.
Everything appears in a new light.
That is a renewal, a rebirth.
But it must not be assumed that producing such a picture means that one has that light, that one experiences it consciously.
Such a vision is quite impersonal.
For the time being it is in the unconscious.
It is as if the man in the fourteenth century who invented gunpowder said, “As you can drive the ball out of the cannon by the explosion produced by the tension of gas, so you can make the ball rebound into the cannon and recreate the explosive motor.”
He could have deduced all that, but he did not go so far.
Nor did Hero of Alexandria dream that he had discovered a potential steam-engine when he invented the first simple steam toy; he had no idea of its potential value.
Those old Romans didn’t realize that they had the principle of the steam engine right under their noses.
Perhaps a lunatic also had the intuition, for often it is they who have the first intuition of the things we later discover.
It takes people a tremendous time to realize the simplest deduction.
You have seen how the pattern of these dreams is developing.
The next one shows an extraordinary revelation.
But before we go on, I would like you to bring up any questions that you have.
I wart a dean desk before proceeding to the next dream.
Dr. Baynes: My difficulty is with your statement that time and energy are identical. It seems as if time were an expression of energy but not identical. It is like the relation of speech to thought.
Dr. Jung: Time is the essential identity with creative energy.
There is a Greek aphorism, “Wherever there is creation, there is time.”
Chronos was the god of light, creation, and time.
Also the Stoic concept of primordial warmth is practically identical with time.
The Greek Heimarmene, meaning astrological compulsion, is identical with primordial warmth, the primordial creative force.
I admit that this is strange, and if you are not sufficiently acquainted with the facts, it is not easy.
Our Western mind refuses to function along Chinese lines.
It is difficult to feel intuitively the creative wave of time that moves the winds, the clouds, the birds, and even the streetcars.
We should realize the tremendous importance of everything that is now.
To the Chinese this means everything, but to us it is nothing but chance—chance that we are here, chance that the bird sings and the dog barks.
It is the unique characteristic of this moment.
Whatever takes its origin in this moment carries the mark of this moment for ever.
I have been asked about the incident I described of the astrologer who told me that on the 31st of March, in such and such a year, I had a feeling of rebirth.
He said it was due to the transition of a certain planet over the place it occupied at the time of my birth.
There is a fact, which he got at through the old rule that when a planet does this, something happens more or less-it is always more or less.
Mrs. Baynes: I understood you to say that a planet was not in that position at the moment of one’s birth.
Dr. Jung: No, it was not, on account of the non-identity of time and astronomical position.
Dr. Baynes: But the place where you were born must be mentioned the here and now must be emphasized. So in order to diagnose your temperament he must have been guessing, for he doesn’t know the place.
Dr. Jung: That is contained in my horoscope.
It was necessary to tell him the place for it must be on a certain meridian implied in my horoscope.
Dr. Deady: Is it as though it were two thousand years ago?
Dr. Jung: It was true two thousand years ago.
There are very few verifiable horoscopes.
The material is scarce, and it has not been done in the spirit of modern science.
I have told you about the aerial trigon.
That Frenchman made such an attempt.
The whole trouble has been caused by the sun that refused to work reasonably.
It is very bewildering.
Miss Wolff· Perhaps you could make it clearer by showing it on the blackboard.
Dr. Jung: Suppose we are in the year 2200 B.C., on the 21st of March, and Aries is just coming over the horizon at 1 degree.
This is the spring-point, that is, the intersection of the line of the ecliptic with the equator of the sky.
Each one of the zodiacal signs represents 30 degrees.
Slowly, through the precession of the equinoxes, the spring-point shifted through the sign of Aries toward that of Pisces until in 150 B.C.
Hipparchus observed that Aries was gone and the sun was coming up in a new sign.
In those days tremendous things were happening.
The gods changed when the stars changed. Here the Ram changed into the Fish, he died as a ram and was born as a fish.
The gods had bull’s horns when the sun was in Taurus, and they had ram’s horns during the Aries period.
Then the Fish became the symbol.
The Christian baptism in water has to do with this symbolism.
The Pope still wears the fisher ring-a gem that represents the miraculous draught of fishes, symbolizing the gathering of all Christians into the womb of the Church.
So a new psychology began to make itself felt.
It was the dawn of Christianity, and we can follow its course in the astrological picture.
The fishes are represented in a peculiar way in the zodiacal sign.
They lie almost tail to tail, joined by a commissure.
This double arrangement is supposed to indicate Christ and Antichrist.
That curious legend can be traced back to the first century-the idea that Christ had a brother, the Antichrist.
When the spring-point has progressed to the whole length of the first fish, we are in A.D. 900–about the climax of Christian influence.
Then it declines, and the spring-point is in the middle of the commissure, which would be in about 1500.
Mr. Bacon: A curious fact is that the temporal power of the Pope and the power of the Dalai Lama reached their highest points within fifty years of each other, and they also lost it within fifty years of each other.
Dr. Jung: Yes, that is very interesting, and there are other parallelisms of that kind.
Now in about 1500, we have Luther, and the Catholic Church was right in saying that he was the Antichrist.
When we come into the tail of the second fish, we are in 1750, the period of the French Enlightenment, when for the first time Christianity was dethroned and replaced by the Goddess of Reason.
The spring-point leaves the fishes before the head of the second fish is reached. For the time being we are headed for the utmost destruction of that principle.
About 1940 we strike the meridian of the first star of Aquarius.
That would be the turning point-about 1940 to 1950.
So we may look for new developments at about that time.
It remains to be seen, I shall make no predictions.
Now we can go back into the past and verify some of these astrological peculiarities.
At the time the sun was in Aries, about 400 to 500 B.C., there were particularly brilliant stars, and that time coincides with the greatest development of philosophy in Greece and China.
About 2000 B.C. Hammurabi announced himself as the great lawgiver. He declared himself the Ram.
It was the time when the sun was just coming into Aries.
Probably we are dealing here with unconscious laws of creative energy, of how things develop, which we only now begin dimly to divine.
It is a very pale spectre still, but things begin to take shape.
Each spring sign is, of course, balanced by an autumnal sign.
For Taurus, when the Zodiac was first made, it was Scorpio foretelling the suicide of the sun.
The hero Gilgamesh passes through the autumn gates guarded by the Scorpio giants in going to the Westland.
In Roman times, Scorpio had ceased to be the autumnal sign, it was Libra.
When the sun came into Pisces, Virgo became the autumnal sign, and astrology has connected that fact with the worship of the Virgin Mary.
When we get into Aquarius, we shall have Leo opposite, so we would have a deification of lion attributes the worship of the sun or sun-like personalities.
I hope that by the next seminar, you will have all this clearly in mind, because you won’t be able to understand the next dream if you have not. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis Seminar, Pages 413-423