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Black Books

I saw an image-a terrible image:

A gloomy vault-the floor consists of damp stone slabs-in the middle there is a high stake-from which ropes and axes hang.

At the foot of the stake there lies an awful serpent-like tangle of human bodies-in the middle the prostrate figure of a beautiful young maiden with wonderful red-gold hair.

She is naked- a man with a beardless face dressed in tight purple clothes is lying half under her.

His head is bent backward- I see a fine thin streak of blood running down his forehead-two identically dressed men have thrown themselves over the maiden’s feet and body.

Their beardless faces bear an inhuman expression-the essence of evil – their muscles are hard, and their bodies sleek like serpents.

The maiden holds her hand over one eye of the man lying beneath her, who is the most powerful of the three-her hand is firmly clasps a small silver bangle that she somehow has driven into the right eye of that devil.

The tangle is entirely motionless and I realize- they wanted to torture the maiden, but she defended herself and succeeded in piercing the eye of the evil one with the little hook-if he moves, she will tear out his eye with a final jerk.

The horror paralyzes me. What will happen?

The inner voice speaks: ‘The evil one cannot make a sacrifice, he cannot sacrifice his eye. Victory is with the one who can sacrifice.”

Evil? I thought too little about evil. Evil exists, too.

Evil, the abysmal evil is not to be forgotten.

There is no scientific cover-up for it. Even the word “evil” is commonplace, but not the thing per se.

Here lies an inner reluctance- what is it I do not want to see?

A sickening feeling of nausea sneaks up on me-abominable, perfidious serpents wind their way slowly and cracklingly through undergrowth; they hang down lazily and disgustingly lethargic from the branches, looped in dreadful knots-a horror at touching the sleek back of these devilish animals- I am reluctant to enter this dreary and unsightly valley, where the bushes stand in arid stony defiles- the valley looks so normal-its air smells of crime, of foul, cowardly deeds-I am seized by disgust and horror-I walk hesitantly over the boulders- avoiding every dark place for fear of serpents.

The sun shines weakly out of a gray sky, and all the leaves are shriveled as in autumn.

A marionette with a broken head lies before me amidst the stones-a few steps further, a small child’s apron-and then behind the bush-the body of a half-naked small girl-her body covered with terrible stab and slash wounds-smeared with blood-one foot is clad with a stocking and shoe, the other is naked and gorily crushed- the head-where is the head? -the head is a mash of blood with hair and whitish pieces of bone-surrounded by stones smeared with brain and blood.

Ice-cold horror fixes my gaze on this awful sight. A shrouded figure, like that of a woman, is standing there calmly, with her face is covered by an impenetrable veil. I stare at her.

She asks me quietly:

“What then do you say?”

Jung What should I say? This is beyond words.

She: “Do you understand this?”

Jung: I refuse to understand such things. I can’t speak about them without

becoming enraged.

Jung: Why become enraged? You might as well rage every day of your life, for these and similar things occur on earth -all times–every day.

Jung: But most of the time we don’t see them.

Girl’s Soul: So knowing that they happen is not enough to enrage you?

Jung: If I merely have knowledge of something, it’s easier and simpler. One doesn’t realize the horror through sheer knowledge.

Girl’s Soul: Step nearer and you will see that the body of the child has been cut open; take out the liver.

Jung: I will not touch this corpse. If someone witnessed this, they would think that I’m the murderer.

Girl’s Soul: You are cowardly; take out the liver.

Jung: Why should I do this? This is absurd.

Girl’s Soul: I want you to remove the liver. You must do it.

(Her voice becomes threatening) ~The Black Books, Vol. III, Page 133-134

For Jung’s commentary on this section of this entry, see IN, pp. 315- 19.

In the calligraphic volume, he added the following marginal note to this passage: “cataphatha-brahmanam 2,2,4.”

Satapathabrahmana 2,2,4 (Max Muller, Sacred Books of the East, vol. 12) provides the cosmological justification behind the Agnihotra.

It commences by describing how Prajapati, desiring to be reproduced , produces Agni from his mouth.

Prajapati offers himself to Agni and saves himself from Death, as he is about to be devoured.

The Agnihotra (lit. “fire healing”) is a Vedic ritual performed at sunrise and sunset.

The performers purify themselves , light a sacred fire, and chant verses and a prayer to Agni. ~The Black Books, Vol. III, Page 134, fn 137