That is to say, just as Joachim supposed that the status of the Holy Ghost had secretly begun with St. Benedict, so we might hazard the conjecture that a new status was secretly anticipated in Joachim himself.
Consciously, of course, he thought he was bringing the status of the Holy Ghost into reality, just as it is certain that St. Benedict had nothing else in mind than to put the Church on a firm footing and deepen the meaning of the Christian life through monasticism.
But, unconsciously—and this is psychologically what probably happened—Joachim could have been seized by the archetype of the spirit.
There is no doubt that his activities were founded on a numinous experience, which is, indeed, characteristic of all those who are gripped by an archetype.
He understood the spirit in the dogmatic sense as the third Person of the Godhead, for no other way was possible, but not in the sense of the empirical archetype.
This archetype is not of uniform meaning, but was originally an ambivalent dualistic figure that broke through again
in the alchemical concept of spirit after engendering the most contradictory manifestations within the Holy Ghost movement itself.
The Gnostics in their day had already had clear intimations of this dualistic figure.
It was therefore very natural, in an age which coincided with the beginning of the second Fish and which was, so to speak, forced into ambiguity, that an espousal of the Holy Ghost in its Christian form should at the same time help the archetype of the spirit to break through in all its characteristic ambivalence.
It would be unjust to class so worthy a personage as Joachim with the bigoted advocates of that revolutionary and anarchic turbulence, which is what the Holy Ghost movement turned into in so many places.
We must suppose, rather, that he himself unwittingly ushered in a new “status,” a religious attitude that was destined to bridge and
compensate the frightful gulf that had opened out between Christ and Antichrist in the eleventh century.
The antichristian era is to blame that the spirit became non-spiritual and that the vitalizing archetype gradually degenerated into rationalism, intellectualism, and doctrinairism, all of which leads straight to the tragedy of modern times now hanging over our heads like a
sword of Damocles.
In the old formula for the Trinity, as Joachim knew it, the dogmatic figure of the devil is lacking, for then as now he led a questionable existence somewhere on the fringes of theological metaphysics, in the shape of the mysterium iniquitatis. Fortunately for us, the threat of his coming had already been foretold in the New Testament—for the less he is recognized the more dangerous he is.
Who would suspect him under those high-sounding names of his, such as public welfare, lifelong security, peace among the nations, etc.?
He hides under idealisms, under -isms in general, and of these the most pernicious is doctrinairism, that most unspiritual of all the spirit’s manifestations.
The present age must come to terms drastically with the facts as they are, with the absolute opposition that is not only tearing the world asunder politically but has planted a schism in the human heart.
We need to find our way back to the original, living spirit which, because of its ambivalence, is also a mediator and uniter of opposites, an idea that preoccupied the alchemists for many centuries. ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 141