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Visions Seminar

8 June 1932 Visions Seminar Lecture V

Then comes the constellation Piscis Austrinus, the southern Fish.

It is as if the age of the Fishes had sunk down into the unconscious when it vanished.

One can speculate about that, it is a most interesting conception.

Mrs. Baynes: I think it is a horrible fate to have to regard ourselves for another Fish. I am so sick of Fishes.

Dr. Jung: The Whale has produced the Sculptor, and then comes the Piscis Austrinus, and after that Capricorn, half fish and half mountain goat.

Now up to the present moment we had only the authority of Dr. Curtius for talking of the astrological implications of our symbolism.

Yet there is something in both the text and the picture which also gives us a certain justification for establishing this connection between an individual fantasy and the world of stars.

Dr. Reichstein: The patient said in the text that she flew up into the sky on Pegasus, and in the picture also Pegasus is in the sky.

Mrs. Sawyer: And the large brilliant star.

Dr. Jung: Yes, she is obviously somewhere in the neighborhood of the stars, so we are quite safe in assuming that the unconscious is indicating a situation in which human beings usually do not find themselves.

Down here on the surface of the earth one is in the thick atmosphere, but a mythological horse could carry one much further up into the air than any aeroplane or zeppelin could.

She is going up to the stratosphere like Professor Piccard, to an extra-mundane place, an abstract heavenly place, to the stars where there is a city that is foursquare.

The city within the four walls is the star in itself, and in the middle of the city is the open square.

So this is really an extra-mundane place where one would quite naturally encounter extra-mundane symbols.

Moreover a star penetrates the woman’s body, and we can take that quite naively as the leading star, the guiding principle-as one speaks of one’s star, one’s fate, one’s fortune, etc.

It is obviously her individual star, and in this picture it is an influence which penetrates her heart, the center.

This is such definite symbolism that we are quite safe in assuming that it is not only central insofar as her own personal psychology is concerned, it is also central in the cosmic sense, it is at the same time a universal human principle.

That individual relationship to the stars is a thought as old as mankind.

The primitives believed that the falling stars were really souls descending from heaven to embody themselves in human bodies.

They also believed that man was a fiery spark.

Even those much quoted central Australian aborigines believe that.

They are like paleolithic men, they have not yet invented clothes, they never hunt animals for their furs because they never thought of it, in spite of the fact that at times, towards morning, the temperature descends below zero; then they stand round fires and wait until the sun comes back to life.

Now those people believe that the soul of man consists of a little fiery spark, and when such a spark-they are very swift and cunning-is flying about and happens to enter the womb of a woman, she immediately becomes pregnant.

These fiery sparks, which they call by the Swiss-sounding expression maiaurli, are supposed to be the souls of ancestors and to live in particular rocks or trees, and any woman who passes must use special charms in order to ward off the maiaurli that jump out to impregnate her-they are always looking for a womb to enter.

There was a similar idea in certain Gnostic systems: they thought that the soul was a fiery spark which fell down into the sea, or the creative womb, and then became a human soul, building a body round itself.

It is a very interesting idea.

Later on, the stars were identified with the gods, who were supposed to be like human beings although at the same time they were stars; the planets Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, and so on were gods but they were also planets.

That they could be both comes from the fact that those old gods were temperaments or constituents in the character of human beings.

For instance, Mars personifies rage, a martial temperament is the warlike temperament, and in a horoscope Mars means a martial constituent.

And a jovial temperament is like an exceedingly blue sky, like Jove benevolently smiling, and Jove-or Jupiter-in an important position in a horoscope indicates a jovial character.

Venus means love or certain aspects of sex. Mercury is intellect.

And Saturn personifies gloom and all those manifestations which originate in the state of gloom or cause gloom; the Tempter and the Purifier are two of Saturn’s titles.

Now these character constituents in fairly primitive man are very often autonomous-a person’s temperament may be autonomous, for instance.

He may be pathologically jovial, jovial to such an extent that it is no longer a virtue but a vice.

Or he may be good in a most vicious way, so good that he destroys himself and everyone round him; being a little too good is most dangerous for one’s surroundings.

And it is the same with the so-called malefic planets, Mars and Saturn.

You see, the personification of those planets comes from the projection of such autonomous complexes and therefore they have been called gods.

When a woman says: “But I feel so and so about the matter,” it is most decisive, as you know, so one could call it a god.

As a man says: “It is not according to my principle.” I say: “Damn your principle, the situation is so-and-so.”

But his principle is a god to him, he would die rather than give up his most foolish principle, and this is simply based upon a fact of temperament, a deep-rooted emotional factor.

Those temperamental qualities were quite rightly called gods and therefore projected.

So here also is a link between man and the stars, his laws are found to be identical with the stars.

That this woman could project such a thing, then, was not merely a foolish fantastic invention, but has to do with the secrets of psychology.

We have discussed before the connection between time and astrology, and the fact that time has quality.

This moment is different from any other moment, and the next moment will have its particular stamp, and everything that originates in that moment will have that particular stamp.

If we are in a certain mood and, all together, write a letter to  someone, the letter will have the quality of this moment and will retain

it; in ten thousand years that letter will have this stamp because it originated in this particular moment.

So if we could at this moment produce a child out of our collective consciousness-of course, we must not introduce the unconscious, the unknown factor-it would be exactly what the time is now; that the child was born at five minutes to one on such and such a day of such and such a year in such and such a degree of latitude and longitude, would indicate what the child was.

The time moment may be expressed either by the memory we have of the moment, or simply by the watch, and the watch is regulated according to the position of the stars.

So the real connection with astrology is time, and therefore the most striking aspect of our connection with the stars is that of fate.

Fate evolves with time, and it is identical with time.

When one says the time has not yet come, it means that fate has not yet fulfilled itself; fate fulfills itself only in time, time being only another aspect of fate.

Fate and time are absolutely identical, fate being the more human aspect and time the more energic aspect.

And time is another aspect of energy, for without time there is no energy, and without energy there is no time.

Time is measured energy.

In winding up a clock, a certain store of energy is given it, so that it can run its course, and that is called the movement of time, because by that energic process as a measure, time can be appreciated.

Life is another aspect of time; it is fate, it is energy, and it is the movement of the stars.

It can express itself either by the watch, or by the course or position of the stars, or by the process of energy running down.

So there are really many reasons for the connection of our innermost psychology with the movement of the stars, and it is therefore almost to be expected that in just this moment an astrological picture would turn up.

You see, it is a matter here of a tremendous problem which has never been formulated before, the problem that is left over from the Christian era, the crucifixion of the earthly man.

And here we encounter another being that rides through the heavens on Pegasus, here they come together.

We only knew before that whenever our patient came to the white city, something was wrong, something would not work, the light was too glaring, or the white city was a black city.

But she always returns to that critical spot, and this time she sees why it is particularly unendurable; it is because she finds herself crucified in the square city and pierced by the star.

Now that penetration by the star expresses an achievement, a fulfillment; the star has reached her, it has finished her.

It is the spear of Longin us which pierced Christ’s side, proving his death.

That is the analogy, and we can take it here as having the same meaning.

She is nailed down, immobilized, completely done for, and no escape possible.

Therefore I call it an achievement or an accomplishment, something divine has penetrated.

Furthermore, she has to confront herself, and this explains why the white city, the idea of completion, of

fulfillment, is a matter of such unendurable torment.

Now we should understand thoroughly what this woman crucified upon the black cross means, we should be able to trace that experience back to individual experience.

These visions are getting very awkward, very complicated, it needs much more painstaking work to bring them home, to trace them to their origin and see what they mean in the human being. Otherwise there is danger of the whole thing losing itself in vapors and symbolism.

How would you formulate the actual condition?

We could understand the enlightenment, but now we should understand this enantiodromia.

There was first the glaring white city, and after some peripeties we came down to the black city, the counterpart of the heavenly city.

The blackness of the cross seems to be a remnant from Hades; it means death naturally and it appears now as connected with the white city. How could one formulate this human sacrifice?

Mrs. Crowley: Perhaps she is not actually conscious of it, but I think it is probably a vision of the consciousness of two opposing forces within herself.

Dr. Jung: That is true.

This symbolism impresses her with that duality; something above impresses her as being in the state of uttermost freedom and liberation from bodily weight, and the other part of her is being nailed down to the ground.

So it is an awareness of opposites.

Mrs. Crowley: There is consciousness below and above; the previous attitude was a swinging from one to the other, but this time there is an awareness of both.

Dr. Jung: Yes, the main virtue of this situation is that the two opposites are now coming together.

There is an equal awareness on either side, an almost limitless freedom, and an equally limitless fixation. Now how would that part which is perhaps more accessible to us express itself?

The part of suffering? We understood the liberation as a sort of enthusiasm, but what is the meaning of the crucifixion?

Mrs. Crowley: It is a dismemberment. She is being torn between the two forces, those two ways of realization.

Dr. Jung: Yes, but the conflict here is not in the woman that is nailed to the cross, it is between the two figures; one assumes a third consciousness that looks on, between the free spirit and the chained spirit. What does the crucifixion mean psychologically?

Mrs. Sawyer: The sacrifice of the personal life for the impersonal.

Dr. Jung: What is the meaning of Christ’s intentional self-sacrifice?

According to tradition he did it quite intentionally.

Frau Durler: To redeem mankind.

Dr. Jung: Yes, so it is really a sacrifice of the personal life for something else, whatever that may be; we see here only the suffering part of it, we see that she is undergoing the torment of the sacrifice of personal life,

but we don’t know for what purpose. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 734-738