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The Archetypal Symbolism of Animals by Barbara Hannah

Like Native peoples, Jung felt that the animal was sublime, that it was indeed the “divine” side of the human psyche.

Animals live much more in contact with a “secret” order within nature itself and – far more than man – live closely connected with the “absolute knowledge” of the unconscious.

In contradistinction to man, the animal is the living being that follows its own inner laws beyond good and evil.

And herein lies the superiority of the animal.

Presumably out of similar reflections Marie-Louise von Franz expressed the idea that the utmost fulfillment is that human ritual follows the order of the animal, for here we experience absolute harmony with nature.

The greatest consciousness, she once said, “is like a return to the animal, but on a higher level.”

Both Jung and von Franz set a premium value on the study of animal symbolism and felt that it was an indispensable tool for the correct interpretation of the representations of animals as they appear in dreams, visions, spontaneous paintings, autonomous fantasies, active imagination, and so forth. Barbara Hannah – The Archetypal Symbolism of Animals, Page viii.