Black Books

Philemon brought with him an Egyptian-Gnostic-Hellenistic atmosphere, a really Gnostic hue, because he really was a pagan.

He was simply a superior knowledge, and he taught me psychological objectivity and the actuality of the soul.

He had showed this dissociation between me and my intellectual object …

He formulated this thing which I was not, and formulated and expressed everything which I had never thought. ~The Black Books, Vol. I, Page 34

I very much agree with you that we have to grapple with the knowledge content of Gnosticism and Neo-Platonism.

These are the systems that contain the materials which are destined to become the foundation of a theory of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. I, Page 67

In early 1913, he [Jung] read Dieterich’s Abraxas, still from the perspective of his libido theory.

In January and October 1915, while doing military service, he studied the works of the Gnostics intensively. ~The Black Books, Vol. I, Page 50

There has been much debate on the precise relation between Philo’s concept of the Logos and John’s gospel.

On June 23, 1954, Jung wrote to James Kirsch,

“The gnosis from which John the Evangelist emanated is definitely Jewish, but in its essence is Hellenistic, in the style of Philo Judaeus, from whom the conception of Logos also stems” ~Sonu Shamdasani, The Black Books, Vol. III, Page 103, fn 14

But what did he [Ammonius] say?

That the sequences of words have many meanings, and that John brought the Logos up to man, elevated it to man.

But that does not sound properly Christian. Is he perhaps a Gnostic?

No, that seems impossible to me, since they were really the worst of all the idolators of words, as he would probably put it. ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. III, Page 107

…. the Gnostics used it as the name of their supreme deity. He was a time god.

The philosophy of Bergson, la duree creatrice, is an expression of the same idea.

” And: “just as this archetypal world of the collective unconscious is exceedingly paradoxical, always yea and nay, that figure of Abraxas means the beginning and the end, it is life and death, therefore it is represented by a monstrous figure.

It is a monster because it is the life of vegetation in the course of one year, the spring and the autumn, the summer and the winter, the yea and nay of nature.

So Abraxas is really identical with the Demiurgos, the world creator.

And as such he is surely identical with the Purusha, or with Shiva” November 16, 1932, VS, vol. 2, pp. 806- 7).

He added: “Abraxas is usually represented with the head of a fowl, the body of a man, and the tail of a serpent, but there is also the lion-headed symbol with a dragon’s body, the head crowned with the twelve rays, alluding to the number of months” (June 7, 1933 , VS, vol. 2, pp. I041- 42) .

According to St. Irenaeus, Basilides held that “the ruler of them is named Abrasaks, and that is why this (rule1) has the number 365 within it” (Layton, The Gnostic Scriptures, p. 425).

Abraxas featured in Albrecht Dieterich’s Abraxas. Studiens Zur  Religiongeschichte des spaten Altertumnus (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1891).

Jung closely studied this work early in 1913, and his copy is annotated.

He also had a copy of Charles King’s The Gnostics and Their Remains (London: Bell and Daldy, 1864), and there are marginal annotations next to a passage discussing the etymology of Abraxas on p. 37.  ~The Black Books, Vol. V, Page 274, fn 295