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Symbols of Transformation

Death has laid its hand upon our friend.

The darkness out of which his soul had risen has come again and has undone the life of his earthly body, and has left us alone in pain and sorrow.

To many death seems to be a brutal and meaningless end to a short and meaningless existence.

So it looks, if seen from the surface and from the darkness.

But when we penetrate the depths of the soul and when we try to understand its mysterious life, we shall discern that death is not a meaningless end, the mere vanishing into nothingness—it is an accomplishment, a ripe fruit on the tree of life.

Nor is death an abrupt extinction, but a goal that has been unconsciously lived and worked for during half a lifetime.

In the youthful expansion of our life we think of it as an ever increasing river, and this conviction accompanies us often far beyond the noonday of our existence.

But if we listen to the quieter voices of our deeper nature we become aware of the fact that soon after the middle of our life the soil begins its secret work, getting ready for the departure.

Out of the turmoil and terror of our life the one precious flower of the spirit begins to unfold, the four-petaled flower of the immortal light, and even if our mortal consciousness should not be aware of its secret operation, it nevertheless does its secret work of purification. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 1705-1708