Black Books

Dream:    Castagnola. Night. I o’clock. 2 / 3 I. 1923

[I]. 0h my soul, what summons me at midnight? What fear stalks my sleep and shatters it with the captain’s command?

  1. Why do you hesitate? Quick, here, your master is there. Terrible is his beauty.

Was death ever lovelier? Truly, he is more beautiful than death. I can’t describe him-this light-what is it? It isn’t fire-it’s the glow of the dead. Risen-that is the word.

[I] Yes, I feel him. He fills me with unspeakable feelings. What is it? Dread? Or is it melancholy, looking back, recollection of pain, fear? Who are you? Give me a word.

[He]: I am the man you overcame.

[I]. Is it you? I would like to call you “the most beautiful,” but this word remains stuck in my throat. How can I call you beautiful? I can’t see you, I don’t know your form. You radiate an unspeakable dread.

[He]: I come from those who don’t speak. I’ve seen your two dogs who are dead. And both still love you. I brought them your scent. The big one didn’t recognize me initially, but then, as he had breathed in your scent, he embraced me. I also saw your human dead.

I saw your father. The pallor of death and sleep still covered him. I come from the land of the dead, where all light is white, like moonlight on snow.

[I]. Is that probably the dread that shrouds you? Why, Oh friend, were you with the dead?

[He]. I wander, if you don’t stop me. I am a wanderer. Wasn’t I also with living friends of yours, who are far away?

[I]. But are you gasping so indescribably uncannily, so dangerously?

[He] . I went and I always go to the edge of the world, where death and life meet, sometimes, and just now I was entirely with the dead. Don’t forget what I said to you: I appear and always need a shroud. This time I veiled myself in death.

[I]. Why, you incomprehensible one, did you do that?

[He] . Why? Have you no idea? Tell me, why did I do it?

[I]. “It’s impossible that you wouldn’t know! The** meaning is given to you. You know what you’ re doing. How else, then, can you speak?[“]

[He]. “Am I speaking then? I only seem to be speaking. I sheathe myself in speech.

Then it is so or then I’m speaking.[“]

[I] . “But how are you then?[‘]

[He]. “I wander and I change the sheaths.** Just now I was with the dead and the shroud of death cloaked me. Now I’m with you and I appear to you in words. I shroud myself, it seems to me, in your speech.[‘]

[I] . “But why do you do this? Why do you go to the dead and then come to me and fill me with the dread and scent of death? Why did you seek my dogs and why my father?”

[He]. “Because seeking you, and not finding you among the dead, I found you sleeping.

I also found other sleeping living beings. Why do you all sleep, are you sometimes half dead?”

[I]. “It almost seems like that. But tell me-it’s exasperating-why don’t you know all this? Or why is it then that you don’t know all this? Why don’t you know that men sleep?

Why do you seek me among the dead, given that I am still someone living?

[He]. “How should I know that? I told you, I don’t even know who I am, since nothing stops  me from being everything.

I can sheathe myself in everything, be nothing  and yet appear as everything. How could I then know who I am?

Tell me, you seem to exist, no, you do, and therefore you must know.

Only those who exist can know, since whoever is, is just so, and thus cannot be different.

He can and must therefore know the other.

Since I can be everything, I cannot know, because I am neither just so nor different.

[I]. “But, nevertheless, you are? Or do you have the feeling as if you really were not?

[He]. “Certainly I am, so to speak, however I seem rather to appear than to be.

I can also veil myself in either being or non-being, since your words can express these apparent properties.

I don’t know whether such properties exist. I only know that I can conform to them.

[I]. “But if I told you who you are-if I could actually do this-and it accords would be correct, what would then happen?

Then you would know who you are, and then you would be so and not otherwise, since you would be determined.

[He]. “Yes, that is exactly what I seek. If you could correctly tell me who I am, then you would have captured me and made into this such and such.

You would have overcome me a second time, and that’s what I’m seeking.

How long, how endlessly long did I stand as if in a dream at the gate of my castle and waited for the friend who would break into my abode like an enemy.

And he never wanted to come and tell me who I am.

You came there, a stranger, and your manner seemed hostile.

You went over the bridge and walked through the doorway, as if you were stepping into your own house.

From this I recognized you as the one who could overcome me and free me from being able to be everything to having to be only this.

You managed to defeat me, but it needed the courage of despair.

And now I approach you again-0 h, I understand that this is why you sought-I came at you lowering, threatening with the menace of death, there is the danger, the uncanniness that you sense and that you sought to fathom-I know, I understand, therefore I covered myself in the stench of death, in the whiteness that is whiter than any deathly pallor-this scares the living in their bones.

Now I know.

Good that I know it, why I did it.

Now I understand why I veiled myself in death-to scare you, you living one, who slept and did not tell me who I am.

Surely you still haven’t told me who I am, but you have shown me why I do something. you see, you know, you can do a lot.

You have already shown me a way. If one knows why one does something one is already truly on the way to discovering what one is.

Or isn’t that so?

I have come to hear you tell me who I am.

I know that you know me and can overcome me and my unknowing.

I know that you can read the book in which it is written, what it is, that one is not.

Don’t forget me, I’m waiting.

[I]. “Youth, you set me a difficult task.

But you shall find me ready.

The stench of death has scared me.

But a being like you, that doesn’t even know whether it actually is or just appears to be, is not very convincing-or, for example, an animal-maybe it too doesn’t know its actual or apparent existence-it will hardly imagine itself as an armadillo or rattlesnake-which strips from it nothing of its harmlessness or unpleasantness-but now, I must add that your actuality, despite your ignorance about yourself, is something that cannot be denied.

But I beg you, don’t push, give me time. This is a difficult task.

[He.] ‘Tm not pushing, knower.

But keep your eye fixed on the question that lies before you. No harm will come to you as you exert yourself.

[I]. “My soul, here lies a difficult task. Although

I have gained time, I’m no nearer the solution.

I have the feeling that I’ll be needing you.

Take this matter to heart.

Look into all the depths of the beyond, perhaps you will find counsel there. ~The Black Books, Vol. VII, Pages 224-226

Note: Jung’s later recollections identify this figure [He] with Wotan. ~The Black Books, Vol. VII, Page 228, fn 215.