Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1940 (Philemon Foundation Series)

[Carl Jung: “These royal tombs, deliberately built for eternity…”]

In the pyramid of Borobudur in Java, the picture of Buddha is clearly visible on the lower terraces, surrounded by scenes from his life.

On the middle terraces it stands alone, without any narrative framework.

Higher up still, its portrayal is hardly visible any longer, and finally completely eludes the human eye on the uppermost terrace.

The pyramids are huge central edifices rising above a quadratic base, with a strong emphasis on the top as the actual center of the towering rock mass.

Such a central edifice is a body mandala, that is, a sacred area that offers not only protection, but also a place in whose center the god is born or has his home.

These royal tombs, deliberately built for eternity in the third millennium b.c. (the Cheops pyramid was built around 2800 b.c.), make an immense, if remote, impression even today; they are perfect and inaccessible at the same time, and, like something final or absolute, extend from the dim and distant past into our age.

In such a perfect form, which cannot be surpassed in its simplicity, there is no twilight zone in which fairy tales or legends could emerge.

As if in awe, neither language nor popular belief have taken possession of these monuments, and dealt with or shaped their meaning.

With great aplomb, however, Goethe wrote to Lavater in 1780, at the age of thirty one: “the desire to acuminate the pyramid of my existence, whose base was given to me as a foundation, as high up into the air as possible, prevails over everything else, and makes immediate forgetting nearly impossible.

I must not tarry, for I am already far advanced in years, and perhaps fate breaks me in two in the middle, and the Babylonian Tower will remain blunt and unfinished.

At least it should be said: He was of audacious design; and if I live the forces shall reach, God willing, up to the top.”

To conclude, the symbol of the pyramid provides the following indications for our dream: it is an archetypal image, a body mandala, in whose depths the body of the king rests as a mummy, and at whose summit the glorification of the soul takes place.

The composition of the form displays how matter becomes dematerialized, and the arrangement of the reflecting surfaces shows how mass reflects the Eternal Light. ~Carl Jung, Children’s Dream Seminar, Pages 282-283.