1936 29 May LECTURE 4
We will continue our text:
I no longer feel in common with you, the very cloud which I see beneath me, the blackness and heaviness at which I laugh-that is your thunder-cloud.
Here he describes something very important; he says that the cloud beneath himself, the blackness and heaviness, explains his peculiar attitude, the fact that he laughs at it.
He feels particularly light because he stands above the blackness which would pull down other people, which would be a threatening thunder-cloud to them.
They would be afraid of it, and rightly so.
But he makes light of it and that is not natural; he surely lifts himself up too far, even identifies with a dancing god, like Shiva the great Creator and Destroyer who is sometimes represented as dancing in the burial ground upon a corpse.
So he says:
Ye look aloft when ye long for exaltation; and I look downward because I am exalted.
He makes a sort of compensatory movement, making light of the thing that is heavy; he simply takes the other side and disidentifies with that blackness.
But he thus gets rid of his own shadow and becomes a mere idea; he leaves behind the heaviness and fear and darkness which would make him human, and so separates himself from humanity.
That of course must lead into an identification with the deity and that is the inflation; he becomes identical with air and with phantoms of the air, those are his goblins.
Here he prepared for the inevitable issue, insanity: it is a very decisive moment.
You see, the chapter about the Pale Criminal is really continued here.
He cannot stand the vision of the criminal, which means that he himself is a pale criminal; therefore, he disidentifies and rises like a balloon, and thus falls a victim to the goblins.
Now he continues:
Who among you can at the same time laugh and be exalted? He who climbeth on the highest mountains, laugheth at all tragic plays and tragic realities.
Courageous, unconcerned, scornful, coercive-so wisdom wisheth us; she is a woman, and ever loveth only a warrior.
Sure enough, wisdom is a woman, Sophia, and sure enough, she loves none but the warrior, but the warrior is not understood to be a being of air, a dancer upon the burial ground.
He would be amidst all the dangers, really fighting the battle of life, not dancing in the clouds.
There is a parallel in Nietzsche’s personal life: when he wrote Zarathustra he had withdrawn from his job as professor at Basel University because he suffered from all sorts of neurotic troubles, and having no money of his own he was supported by certain wealthy people in Basel.
With that money he lived high above the clouds in the Engadine where he wrote the better part of Zarathustra.
So even in his personal life he was walking on clouds, living upon the benevolence of other people without realizing at all that he had no feet on the earth.
One really doesn’t know how he would have written Zarathustra, or whether he would have written it at all if he had had his feet on the earth.
I always regret that Christ only reached the age of thirty-three, because I would
like to know what he would have been at fifty or thereabouts, having had a wife and half a dozen children.
I wonder what his teaching would have been then.
I have an idea that certain things would have been quite different.
Since the normal human life lasts more than thirty-three years, and since most people do marry and propagate themselves and are on the battlefield of life or even the burial grounds, they surely must have different views of life from people who never are fully born into the darkness of existence.
Nietzsche was really carefree, scornful, and violent-all that is really true of his personal life.
You see, he could afford to be like that since he was not completely born, but remained a human promise, an attempt that never came off; so what he teaches is what a soap-bubble might say, or a butterfly-no, not even a butterfly, because a butterfly is very real.
A butterfly never dreams of travelling above thunder-clouds, but is always below the clouds in the vicinity of the earth, among flowers and mates and such things.
Ye tell me, “Life is hard to bear.”
But for what purpose should ye have your pride in the morning and your resignation in the evening?
Life is hard to bear: but do not affect to be so delicate!
We are all of us fine sumpter asses and assesses.
That is just what he is not, but he easily can talk like that; being out of the fray, he is outside and above it.
What have we in common with the rose-bud, which trembleth because a drop of dew hath formed upon it?
Well, he just escaped it.
It is true we love life; not because we are wont to live, but because we are wont to love.
This is a very great sentence. He says we are accustomed to love.
But what? Let us assume, to love life, but if one loves life then surely something
should come from it.
You see, life wants to be real; if you love life you want to live really, not as a mere promise hovering above things.
Life inevitably leads down into reality.
Life is of the nature of water: it always seeks the deepest place, which is always below in the darkness and heaviness of the earth.
So what he says here is really a soap-bubble. There is always some madness in love.
But there is always, also, some method in madness.
That is very true, but it is a dangerous kind of talk under such conditions.
And to me also, who appreciate life, the butterflies, and soap bubbles, and whatever is like them amongst us, seem most to enjoy happiness.
One mistrusts that happiness, particularly if one knows that all these ecstasies in Zarathustra are dearly paid for by awful days of headaches and vomiting, which Nietzsche never connected with the production of his thought.
To see these light, foolish, pretty, lively little sprites flit about that moveth Zarathustra to tears and songs.
I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance.
We know that God, but he is called the destroyer and his dancing takes place unfortunately in the burial ground.
And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn; he was the spirit of gravity-through him all things fall.
That very normal and very sound and even inevitable trend of life to seek the deepest places was the devil to him.
And who is more earnest or solemn or profound than Zarathustra?
You see, he cannot get rid of his devil.
Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!
I learned to walk; since then have I let myself run.
Because the more he learns to walk, the lighter he becomes and the faster he runs-something like an avalanche.
I learned to fly; since then I do not need pushing in order to move from a spot.
Now am I light, now do I fly; now do I see myself under myself.
Now there danceth a God in me. Thus spake Zarathustra.
Here he really demonstrates the psychological process going on in him, the preparation for insanity.
It is a very frequent symptom in the beginning of certain forms of insanity that people have a very peculiar relationship to their own body.
They often have the idea, for example, that the body has no weight, that they can not hear their own footfall.
They also think they can fly and make attempts at flying, thus accounting for what has been supposed to be suicide in many cases; they climb out of the fourth story and naturally, following the law of gravity, they land on the pavement.
And as they cannot explain what they really attempted,
it is called a case of suicide from unsound mind.
Or they attempt to walk on the water and then they are drowned.
I remember such a case, a fellow student at the University, a particularly intelligent man who passed his medical examination at the same time as I did, and was equally good at it so people thought he would have quite a remarkable career.
But I did not hear of him again until, about ten years later, I met him on military duty, and he then gave me an account of his hectic life in the meantime.
I had heard that he had gone to Egypt and thought he must have some great scheme on, so I asked him what he had done there. “I got out of the train at Cairo.”
“And where did you go then?” “I walked down to Alexandria.” “What! You walked down to Alexandria! What for?” “To see the country; there are pretty bad dogs there.” “Dogs! Did you see nothing else?” “Well, I had a scrape with the police. I had to shoot those dogs.” “And you experienced nothing else in Egypt?” “But what could you see there? It is pretty flat.”
You see, that was his first attempt at flying over the earth; he had the idea that he was approaching divinity and should now move over the lands, so why not over Egypt? And being in Egypt, why not move over the Delta?
With no relation to the soil, with no relation to the country, just in order to move over the lands of the earth.
But when he told me he had been in a lunatic asylum later I began to understand.
The next thing after his notable trip to Egypt and his experience with the bad dogs in the villages of the Delta, was that he had grand schemes, sort of Faustian schemes, to produce life for millions.
His greatest idea was to dam up the Canton of Wallis near St. Maurice in Switzerland, thus making a big lake inside that Rhone valley; the whole population would be drowned, but it would be done in order to produce energy for all of Europe.
And while he was at those plans, he made other discoveries, how to diminish gravity for instance; he had a pile of five-franc coins and in playing with them he found that by heaping them up and by means of a peculiar electrical process, the coins at one end of the pile became lighter.
He repeated the process many times and finally was convinced that he could produce a similar phenomenon in himself, could cause his own body to lose weight.
To test it, he walked out into the street and over a bridge where his footfall seemed to him to be quite inaudible, so he concluded he must have lost his weight.
Then he rightly deduced from this fact that his body must have lost the quality of matter and therefore would not reflect light and would be invisible.
He tested that by walking in a loop round people on the street for quite a distance; apparently nobody noticed it-or he did not notice that they noticed it-and he even brushed against somebody who paid no attention to it, so he decided he was immaterial.
But as he was still not quite sure, he went to the main station and began to circle round the groups of people there; evidently they didn’t see him so he made up his mind that he was really invisible, and was circling each tree in a row of trees in front of the station when, he said, “Such a stupid ass of a policeman suddenly caught hold of me and put me into a lunatic asylum, upsetting my most serious experiment.”
Then he went on to tell me that he noticed afterwards in the clinic that they had mice particularly trained by the director in order to test whether he would be stupid enough to fall for their tricks.
But he finally discovered that there were really no such mice-they were hallucinations-and thus realized that there must be something wrong with him. I said, “And you really could correct all your ideas?” “I corrected all of them.” ‘Even the mice?” “Yes, they were all hallucinations but one, and that one was surely trained by the director.”
He was then a doctor who was carrying on his professional work, but he had retained
that one thread: he held the whole string of delusions by the tail of that one mouse that surely had been trained by the director.
Of course one knows in such a case that the whole matter has been condensed into a sort of corner, so that field is left clear for the time being; but that hole is open and the whole thing can swing out into consciousness again.
About a year later he was as a matter of fact inundated by such delusions and was confined for life.
You see, that is a very similar case.
Of course, here it is a sort of metaphor-it has not yet affected consciousness to such an extent that Nietzsche in person would feel a loss of gravity-but this peculiar loss of connection plays a great role with Nietzsche.
He describes a similar feeling in a very beautiful poem about the mistral, for instance, where he becomes identical with the wind.’
There are many passages in Zarathustra where we encounter the same symptom of insanity, but in that mitigated form of a speech metaphor which all too easily can become truth to him.
For the time being, however, it is only a piece of psychological symbolism, but a very significant one, which in insanity describes the lost connection with reality.
That marked phenomenon in schizophrenia, the loss of feeling rapport, is the same thing.
One notices first a peculiar drop of feeling relation; either it becomes exaggerated or it becomes atrophied, no longer in tune with circumstances.
It is as if other people or conditions had lost their specific psychological value so that consciousness becomes disorientated.
Such cases no longer know how to deal with objects, human beings or objective situations; the function begins to fail which tells what these things mean or are worth.
So the behavior of such people becomes inadequate; one first remarks inadequate feeling and then naturally judgment also goes wrong.
It is something like a withdrawal of the psyche from its natural projections and expectations.
It can also happen that the psyche withdraws from the natural facts of the body, from the instincts for instance; people don’t feel hunger, or pain.
They don’t feel the weight of the body or perceive its condition; so more and more the psyche becomes isolated in itself and what then becomes of it we don’t know.
When we say that those people are insane, we must never forget that they are only insane in their effect; we don’t know what is inside the psyche.
There are cases where, by careful observation, we see that something in the psyche is functioning normally, but in the attempt to convey to somebody else what is happening inside, the whole thing goes wrong.
It is exactly like certain spiritualistic experiments.
I don’t know whether you have read that quite interesting book, Science and the Future
Life, by Hyslop, in which he quotes his experiments with Mrs. Piper.
She had a wonderfully developed animus called “the imperator group”-which shows very clearly the quality of her animus!
But she understood it as a group of real spirits that were communicating with her.
Hyslop made some very interesting discoveries; he describes the difficulties of ghosts who want to communicate with this world, for instance.
When a ghost approaches the sphere of man, he contacts the psyche of the particular individual he wishes to talk to, and instantly becomes disorientated.
He is influenced by the mental sphere of the individual and forgets everything he was going to say.
Therefore, one of the helpful spirits of the imperator group advised an inexperienced
spirit who wanted to manifest something, to learn it by heart and then to rush in and say it immediately, as quickly as possible, because otherwise he would lose his mind.
As if, when entering a gathering where you wanted to say something definite, you were afraid you would be so influenced by the thoughts of others that you would forget your own, and so learned it by heart, and then rushed in and got off your sentence.
The same thing happens in insanity: people sometimes succeed in saying one or two sentences, or only a few words that are on the right line, and then they lose sight of the rest.
Of course that is a common phenomenon even with normal people.
How often have I heard a patient say, “I had made up my mind to tell you something last time, but as soon as I entered your office I entirely forgot it.”
I remember a case where that was quite usual; first she accused me of trying to shut her
up though I had not said a word beyond, “How are you?” or “What are you bringing me today?” and then she lost her mind completely and talked of everything under the sun excepting what she meant to say.
So I asked her to put it in a book and bring it to me.
She promised she would but the next time she ran on completely wild till I said, “Now
come, produce your book.” And then she had forgotten the book!
You see, that is like ghosts and insane people-only with insane people it goes a bit too far.
They have the right intentions, something functions properly, but when they want to transmit their thought, in the attempt of conveying what they really mean, it gets twisted in a peculiar way, and then they become disorientated and talk nonsense.
I had a case of a woman who for many years was in an asylum completely insane, but occasionally she heard voices that talked absolutely normally.
She always got caught in the delusion and the artificial kind of speech they have and could not express herself, but one day she suddenly in an angry way shook her head and said somebody had called her to the telephone.
I asked her what had been said, and after a long hesitation she came out with it, that somebody, a very foolish person, had made the remark, “You are leading the doctor by the nose through the whole wood.”
Another time she was complaining that she was not insane and should not be in the lunatic asylum; it was most unjust and the other people were all mad, when the telephone rang and the voice said: “But it is perfectly evident that you belong in the lunatic asylum because you are crazy.”
Of course that was just nonsense to her, but it showed me that her normality had withdrawn into the realm of voices-that is, her insanity had already inundated the sphere in which there had been a normal ego.
There was no vestige of a normal ego any longer except that psyche which had withdrawn still further and was only to be discovered through the telephone.
As long as such normality exists, we know that there is somewhere normal functioning, normal orientation.
That explains why, under certain conditions, when such people have a very serious physical illness, for instance, they suddenly become normal.
There was a man who had never spoken a reasonable word for many years; we always
had to keep him in the ward for the excitable cases, but when he got typhoid fever he became entirely normal, very nice and full of understanding.
For six weeks, as long as the fever lasted, he was all right.
We had become quite accustomed to it and thought he must be cured, but one morning when I came to his bed again, he greeted me in the same old way, as one of the dog and monkey host-he always greeted the doctors like that-so I knew he was back again at his old game.
The moment he recovered from his fever he fell back into insanity. And where had his normality gone?
It had drawn back and left the field to the goblins.
So we have no justification for assuming that insane people are completely destroyed.
The last thing we have been able to discover is that their normal psyche simply withdraws, is not on the job, not in the house-unless perhaps in the cellar or the attic.
Or it may be outside somewhere and only able to reach home by telephone; so the normal self can ring up at times, but the goblin that is dwelling in the house gets very angry if the former inhabitant disturbs him.
It has often been said that there were traces of such a withdrawal in Nietzsche’s insanity, and I don’t wonder.
There are still people who are convinced that it was not real insanity, but a state of ekstasis of a most mysterious nature, that he simply left the level of the ordinary mind and went into a higher region where there was no return, and that we were fools not to understand what he was doing.
The only tangible thing which I ever heard of his condition in that respect, which might point to such a peculiar withdrawal, is that, after he had left the clinics in Basel andjena and was living with his sister in Weimar, he once suddenly said to her in a very quiet voice, apparently perfectly collected, “Has not everything become quite different and are we not quite happy now?'”
But the next moment he was gone; it was just as if that withdrawn psyche of his had come back and declared itself, as if it could use the wire for a moment, and then the clouds drew in and he was gone again.
This would be nothing extraordinary, however; already in former centuries it was well known by doctors that physical illness apparently cured insanity, and they therefore applied certain means to cause pain or fever, having observed that their patients then became more normal.
They used to rub an ointment which caused ulceration of the skin into the heads of insane people, assuming that the evil vapors or humors or whatever was the cause of the insanity could thereby escape, and they would then become normal again.
And there was some truth in it.
Now we will go on to the following chapters, “The Tree on the Hill.”
This is the next picture in the great stream of images from the collective unconscious as they represented themselves in changing form to the conscious perception: each chapter is a new phase of the unconscious development.
We saw the connection between “The Pale Criminal” and the chapter on “Reading and Writing,” and now we must make the bridge to this picture of” The Tree on the Hill.”
To know the connection, one must consider the main ideas alluded to in the last sentences of the previous chapter. What idea is paramount there?
Miss Hannah: Having no weight.
Prof Jung: Yes, flying, moving like a bird, like a wisp of air or a cloud.
Miss Hannah: Then he comes to the tree, a rooted thing which cannot move.
Prof. Jung: Exactly.
The tree is that living thing which is forced to remain where it grew; it cannot withdraw its roots for they are vital, but can only live when it has its roots in the earth.
So the tree is the absolute opposite of a flying, airlike being, far more than an animal because practically all animals, even a snake, can move.
Then the tree symbolizes something quite specific?
Mrs. Crowley: It is a symbol of psychical life.
Prof. Jung: Of course it all depends upon how you define psychical life-no easy matter.
Miss Hannah: You usually use it as the symbol for the impersonal life, the life that one gets through taking up the other side of the psyche.
Prof. Jung: But why should not any animal represent the impersonal life just as well?
Miss Hannah: Because a tree is a rooted thing, whereas an animal can walk off.
Prof. Jung: But you can impersonally walk off as well as remain rooted.
Mrs. Baumann: Plant life develops in a spiral and is before animal life; in the past Seminars it has always been used that way. And in the East it is a symbol for development.
Prof. Jung: Well, sure enough, the tree being a plant represents a very different kind of life from an animal; usually warm-blooded animals have red blood for instance, so the plant must represent a life which is really quite strange to what we would call life.
And since such a symbol is used and always has been used by the collective unconscious, we must assume that we have some notion within of a kind of life in ourselves which is not animal life.
This is of course a very bold hypothesis, but what do we know, after all?
We know very little of life.
Our hypothesis is that our unconscious produces evidence of facts; and our hypothesis further says we can make use of the evidence produced by the unconscious in order to conclude hypothetically about certain conditions, say, which are absolutely unknown to us.
So if the unconscious speaks of a tree, and surrounds that symbol with all sorts of signs of importance-the magic tree for example, the tree that speaks, or the tree in which the gods live-then we can make the further hypothesis that this symbol refers to a peculiar type of life within our animal life, a sort of life absolutely strange to our own, which can most probably be expressed by plant life.
Now, if you assume that the life of the collective unconscious is life in general, not only the life of the human species but perhaps also of animals, monkeys, horses, elephants, snakes even, then why not go further and include the life of plants? Why not assume that they are at the very foundation of our life, engrammes or archetypes which contain
also the potentiality of plant life?
For surely our planet is characterized by plant life as well as animal life, and there are even quite a number of animals that are alternatingly plants and animals.
For instance, take the simple case of the algae, which one finds in fountains or ponds, that green spirogyra which makes clouds in the water.
It consists of microscopic threads and it is indubitably plant, but it produces cells, young spores with a tail which moves like the motor organ of the Flagellata, and they have a little red eye but are not rooted at all.
They swim about quite happily and behave exactly like animals; you could hardly say they were plants.
They are animals, and they travel about in the water and seek a place to settle.
After a while a new instinct grows in them and they sit down upon a rock and make roots and are plants.
Then there are many animals that resemble plants and are rooted like plants, like the sea anemones.
So animal life and plant life in their primitive stages interpenetrate.
This shows that they are not absolutely different, despite the fact that the results of their long differentiation are utterly unlike each other; in their most primitive forms they are one.
Therefore, it is not inadmissible to assume that if there are archetypes at all, there are also archetypes of plant life.
At all events these archetypes always introduce the idea of an entirely different life of which one has had no knowledge, a life which is in principle utterly different from animal life.
So after that chapter on flying, that dangerous attempt to leap off into the heaven of insanity, it is no wonder that we have now the enantiodrornia, a chapter about the tree which is rooted in the earth, the absolute opposite.
That loss of the sense of gravity is, as I said, a most alarming symptom; such a condition is an exaggeration of animal life, as if the animal were leaving the earth, overcoming the body.
It is an ecstatic condition utterly unlike the life of the plant, which changes only with the seasons, and is extraordinarily slow and static.
The curve of animal life is a more restless sort of growth, but it decreases and becomes sterilized a long time before it reaches the end; it ends like the sun or the day or the seasons.
The character of animal life is really a curve, while the plant’s growth is quite steady, ever-increasing, going on flowering and producing fruit until death suddenly occurs.
In the last chapter we saw that these ups and downs are dangerously increasing.
When he goes up, he almost leaps into heaven, so we may expect a counter move of the unconscious; if it is not a completely destructive affair, we may expect almost with certainty a compensatory dream containing the symbols that ought to cure this ecstatic
condition, which, no matter how beautiful it looks, is abnormal.
This is not the philistine conception of ecstasy, but is a fact; leaving the body is always a dangerous enterprise, and making it an ideal or calling it by beautiful names means cultivating a dangerous state of unreality.
But of course we have many things in our civilization which help such an attitude; it sounds so marvelous, wonderful, grand.
And naturally when we evaporate, or distil, or sublimate, we can be sure that everybody is quite satisfied that somebody else evaporates, because then there is more room for themselves.
Schopenhauer says man’s egotism is so great that he could kill his brother merely in order to smear his boots with his brother’s fat, which is a very cynical way of putting it, but there is something in it; man is nothing very elegant.
Now the first sentence of the new chapter is, Zarathustra’s eye had perceived that a certain youth avoided him.
This is a drop into a story, as if Nietzsche had discovered a story or a drama unacknowledged in himself and dropped into the midst of it; we have not heard of that young man before, nor that there was any such situation.
We have been moving in an almost completely abstract sphere of potentialities where nothing was tangible, and now suddenly he seems to be on earth and a certain young man avoids him.
And as he walked alone one evening over the hills surrounding the town called “The Pied Cow,” behold, there found he the youth sitting leaning against a tree, and gazing with wearied look into the valley.
Zarathustra therefore laid hold of the tree beside which the youth sat, and spake thus: …Who would that remarkable young man be?
Mrs. Sigg: It might be Nietzsche, because he says to Zarathustra in the same chapter that it is he who has destroyed him; or it might represent in some way the ideal of his mother’s and sister’s animus.
Prof. Jung: Now keep that in mind; that is not so bad!
Miss Hannah: I thought it was his actual body.
Prof. Jung: Well, if you keep to the old tradition of pneumatikos, psychikos, and hylikos (material man), where would you put the young man?
Miss Hannah: With the material man, the body.
Prof. Jung: And where would you put Zarathustra?
Miss Hannah: Up as high as possible.
Prof. Jung: Yes, of course he would be the pneumatikos.
Miss Wolff’ I think this would be just the normal young man whom Nietzsche never lived.
Prof Jung: Presumably something of the sort; therefore, we could easily put him down to hylikos; he lives in muladhara, in this world.
Mrs. Fierz: But could he not as well be psychikos, the one who feels individually about it?-because when Zarathustra flies up so high, then his own soul, his own life, becomes very sad.
Prof Jung: The two of them might feel sad.
The hylikos will feel sad because he is left behind, being the first to notice that something is amiss; and the psychikos will feel sad too because on another plane he
feels the failing connection with life and surroundings and other people.
So I think we can say it is all the lower parts, for Zarathustra not only leaves the body, but also leaves the human sphere which would be the psychikos.
Prof Fierz: But why should it be a young man?
Mrs. Fierz: He is young because it is the unlived life.
Prof. Jung: People who have not lived often remain young. It is thought to be a great advantage.
Mrs. Sigg: I think that if Zarathustra represents the father in Nietzsche, the young man represents the son: there are two archetypes in him.
Prof Jung: Yes, but Zarathustra, as archetype, is not felt as being the father of Nietzsche; Nietzsche identifies with him as the old wise man.
Of course we could say this young man is the son, and that Zarathustra takes him in a paternal way, but that is something else.
Zarathustra would be the archetype of the old wise man, and the young man, one could say, would be the inexperienced youth, the disciple.
Mrs. Sigg: The figure tends to be human.
Prof. Jung: He would be the human thing that has not been lived enough, not developed.
We will see now how it works out in the text.
Zarathustra says, “If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to do so.
But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it as it listeth.
We are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands.”
What does he mean by that rather cryptic remark?
Prof. Reichstein: I think he describes his own condition.
Prof. Jung: Exactly, that is just his case.
The tree, being the tree of life, represents the thing which is rooted in life, which cannot escape from the place where it has been placed; and that life is surely badly twisted and badly treated by the wind, the pneumatikos Zarathustra.
It is the condition of the hylikos tormented by the pneumatikos.
And where does this sentence come from? It is almost a quotation.
Mrs. Baumann: From the Bible. “The wind bloweth where it listeth.”
Miss von Konig: Formerly it was translated: Der Geist geistet wo er will.
Prof. Jung: Yes, because in the Greek text it is pneuma, the Holy Ghost, so it can be translated either as wind or spirit; they are essentially the same.
Thereupon the youth arose disconcerted, and said: “I hear Zarathustra and just now was I thinking of him!” Zarathustra answered:
“Why are thou frightened on that account?-But it is the same with man as with tree.
The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and deep-into the evil.”
This is just what we were speaking of: when the movement goes too high, there will be a compensatory movement downwards into the earth.
It is the animal type of life that rises, and the plantlike type of life emphasizes itself as going into the dark, even into evil.
That throws a light upon the functional meaning of the chapter about the pale criminal, and also on that interesting allusion to the black cloud in the chapter on reading and writing.
Mrs. Sigg: Nietzsche was in criminal depths in the chapter about the pale criminal, and it is a strange fact that in Nietzsche’s real illness he behaved in a way like a tree.
In December/January [1888-89] he fell ill.
He then first had the feeling of being very light and was sometimes in a state of great ekstasis, when he actually danced like a god; and his sister said that for five years Nietzsche always got ill in December/January.
Prof Jung: One observes that in other cases too.
When the energy of the sun is lowest and night seems to prevail is the time of evil ghosts.
The approach of Christmas is particularly haunted and I have seen cases that produced most horrible dreams just then; everything that is characteristic of night, the unconscious, is then nearer to the conscious and threatens to overwhelm it.
That probably happened in Nietzsche’s case too.
But what I meant to point out is that as the tree compensates Zarathustra’s ekstasis, its roots must go much further down in order to compensate that height.
In the chapter about the pale criminal he begins really to rise and to remove himself from crime and evil; because he is the pale criminal he cannot stand the sight of evil so he tried to leave that sphere; and in the next chapter about reading and writing he already has that dark sphere below his feet, the black thunder-cloud of which people are afraid.
Then he leaps up into the air and overcomes the darkness and the heaviness; that falls away from him, and then comes the problem: if one leaps too high, the counter move will follow.
Now, you remember that in the beginning of the book we dealt with a particular fateful moment.
Mrs. Baynes: Do you mean the rope-dancer?
Prof. Jung: Yes: “High throweth thou thy stone but it will fall back upon thee.”
That is the ekstasis, leaping high into the air, and then crashing down.
And here the tree appears in order to convey the message to Zarathustra that the higher it grows, the deeper its roots will reach; if he were like a tree, he would not leap into the air because he would think in the same moment of sending his roots deeper down; if he rises to heaven his roots will touch hell.
That is exactly what he ought to know and what he does not know.
Also the tree carries the message that it is rooted in earth and has to stand every storm, even the storm of the spirit which Zarathustra does not stand-well, one should say “Nietzsche” here, though he is identical with Zarathustra.
Nietzsche cannot resist the storm; he is tossed about like a dry leaf, and that is just the danger.
But the tree, though badly tormented and mangled, resists it.
So the tree says to Zarathustra: “You should resist all the moving powers of the earth and the air in order to maintain your position.”
But you know when the spirit moves us we think it is particularly fine, highly espectable: everybody wishes to be moved by the spirit.
You can read your own story in the Old and the New Testament.
And we do not realize that it is a danger at the same time; it is an elemental power, after all.
Therefore the spirit is wind and wind is spirit.
Mrs. Sigg: Is the tree not the symbol for the kind of object that takes its nourishment both out of the soil and out of the air?
Prof. Jung: Yes, the tree makes a connection with two worlds; the branches above are the growth in the air through the life-giving breath of the spirit above, and the roots are nourished with the juice of the earth, sucking up all the nourishing minerals and the water.
So the tree is a very beautiful and complete symbol.
But we must bear in mind that the tree symbolizes life that is utterly strange to the animal mind; when the symbol of the tree appears, it means that a new form of life appears.
It is as if within the animal life of man a new type of life would then begin.
One finds that idea expressed in every mystery cult; initiation means introducing a man to another type of life which he has not known before, and it is understood by primitives that man is only a man when he has that knowledge, when he knows the other side too.
This is called the life of the spirit but it is not only spirit, but also the earth.
It is an entirely new attitude to heaven and earth, the relationship of the tree that lives by air or light as well as through the soil.
An animal is a parasite on plants, but the plant feeds upon the original elements; an animal is already a derivative, a sort of louse living on plants, and we human beings, inasmuch as we are animals, are also parasites.
So we should know the second life; in the new second life we should return to that state of being which assimilates the original elements and can feed from non-organic matter.
That is a very important point of view symbolically.
“Yea, into the evil!” cried the youth. “How is it possible that thou hast discovered my soul?”
Zarathustra smiled and said: “Many a soul one will never discover, unless one first invent it.”
What does he mean by that?
Mrs. Sigg: Something extremely important, because really what you call discovering a soul can only be done by inventing; our individuality is something you must really invent. Nietzsche was always identified with other people, with his father for instance, and he did not invent his own individuality.
Prof Jung: You are quite right.
You know the word invent comes from the Latin word invenire; venire means to come and invenire means to enter.
So to invent a new form of life means to come into a new kind of life.
And it is as if that new kind of life did not exist in itself, at least not for you; it is utterly strange, a life you don’t know and apparently do not contact.
It is so far away that you have to find it, invenire, to invent it; you have to go into it in order to know it.
This idea is also expressed in the initiations by the idea of the quest, a sort of voyage of exploration or invention: you seek in order to find that new thing.
It may be the quest of a knight errant who seeks the Holy Sepulchre or the Holy Grail, or who seeks dangers in order to develop his courage; or it may mean seeking the hidden treasure, or how to make gold.
All these different metaphors mean the same thing, namely, the way of invention,
the way of finding, and that finding consists in inventing the thing which has apparently not yet been.
But the very word, to invent, means to go into it; when you invent a thing you literally go into something which already does exist though not yet visible.
It is as if you were going into a house which you have not seen before, and so you conclude that you invented it, but it was there long before you were born you simply happened to find it.
The German word for invent is erfinden, which means the thorough finding; it was there already and it was just for you to find it; you didn’t make it, you simply found it.
So the invention of the soul means that you find the soul, that you come into it; but it is already there.
That is what Zarathustra alludes to here-that the soul, meaning of course the secret life of man, always has to be invented or it would not exist.
And it is a true psychological statement that there are no psychical contents which have not to be invented, as long as they are unconscious.
For when you are unconscious of a thing, it really does not exist for you; it is not in your world.
If you want to find it you have to invent it, and then it is.
But it has already existed; you cannot invent a psychical thing which has not existed before, but only come into it.
Take, for instance, the concept of animus and anima; it is always there, everybody can see it.
Only those who are possessed by it have never noticed it.
They say, “I have invented it,” and that is right; I came into it and you have come into it too.
For one must first invent it in order to see what a thing is. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 506-522