18 February 1931, Visions Seminar, Lecture V
Last week I read the first sentence of the new series of visions referring to the sacrifice of the sheep.
That is the Christian sacrifice of the lamb, as I explained.
Today I will give you the whole text of that series, telegraphic sentences as before: “I beheld a sheep upon a stone altar which had been sacrificed. Many Indians danced in a circle about it.”
It is curious that the sacrifice is taking place in such surroundings, for this is only the relatively primitive man that is immediately accessible to the dreamer, the North American Indian.
They threw the sheep into the air and smeared their faces with its blood.
They tore out the entrails and hung them about their necks. The entrails changed into great red jewels.
I appeared dressed in white.
First comes the objective part, and then she herself enters the sacrificial scene.
As usual the activity is first projected into the Indians.
Instead of that one Indian, there is now a group, a whole tribe of animi, which is quite possible, since the animus is always like a multitude; so she could have said just as well that one red Indian was sacrificing the sheep.
The Indians here are carrying out in an anticipatory way whatever the real meaning of the ceremonial is.
We shall see afterwards what that is, but what we see now is that the Indians, after the sacrifice has been accomplished, celebrate a sort of blood baptism.
They throw the sheep up into the air and smear their own faces with its blood.
Do you remember anything that suggests this symbolism?
Prof Eaton: Tossing the balls in the religious festivals.
Dr. Jung: Yes. We spoke in a former seminar of a symbolic game called the jeu de paume, which was played in festivals in the early church.
One finds in old records that it was played, according to certain ritualistic rules, until the late sixteenth century, when it was interdicted by the Pope.
You no longer know the rules of that sacred game, but the ball originally symbolized the globe of the sun.
And there was another rather uncanny connotation.
Do you remember having been filled with horror when we discussed it before?
Mrs. Crowley: Was it a child?
Dr. Jung: Exactly. We have no historical evidence, as far as my knowledge goes, except that concerned with the Black Mass; in the Black Mass, children were really sacrificed as late as the seventeenth century.
There is historical evidence that Madame de Montespan sacrificed three
children in order to retain the king’s love.
And she succeeded in doing so-that is the amazing thing.
Probably the king didn’t know about it, or it would not have worked so well.
She was a fearfully determined woman.
The Black Mass originated in the thirteenth century, or near that time, when there was war and famine and terrible epidemics.
Everything went wrong, so people lost their belief in the good will of God; and since God was not helpful they thought the devil might do something for humanity, and therefore they celebrated the Black Mass.
That seems to be the historical origin, but it is quite possible that the roots were of a much earlier date.
We know that sacrifices of children were very frequent in early antiquity.
For instance, when the French excavated the temple of Astarte at Carthage, they found hundreds of skulls of little children, which is evidence that child sacrifices were often carried out there.
But that is too remote-it is long before the Christian era, perhaps in the seventh or eighth century B.c.; we need more recent evidence and we have only rumors.
But rumors are very characteristic.
For instance, there was a rumor that the early Christians sacrificed children in their ceremonials.
The Romans told that story in order to disqualify the Christian heresy which was so horrible to them; for those Christians worshipped an awful god that was hanging on a cross, and that was only done to
To the Romans it seemed a sort of sadistic perversion to worship such a god, so they assumed that the Christians must have awful secret rites.
It is true that the Christians celebrated their rites in underground places, but that was not because they were persecuted.
That is a later legend, invented out of Christian sentimentality.
As a matter of fact they preferred to be in those mysterious places, like the catacombs.
The Mithraic cult was also celebrated underground and there was no question of persecution.
Then the Christians spread the same story about the Gnostic heretics-that in one of their ceremonials they formed a circle and tossed a child about until it was dead.
These rumors are really the first inklings of that idea of the jeu de paume which was played later in the church.
It is quite possible that in those early Gnostic cults they played the same sort of game, and in the primitive Christian church they may have played such a game too.
It is possible, because that game of jeu de paume in the church, as well as the burial of the Alleluia, are customs left over from earlier pagan days; they must have come from somewhere, they did not fall out of the sky.
Dr. Baynes: Is it not possible that the projection upon the Jews in the Middle Ages of the idea of child murder comes from this pagan root?
Dr. Jung: Absolutely. That idea of the ritual murder of little children was projected onto the Jews in the Middle Ages and in Russia just before the war.
Miss Sergeant: I think it is well established that child sacrifice existed in the pagan religious ceremonials.
Dr. Jung: That is true. Well, there is no indication of a child here, so we must take it for granted it is a sheep.
That throwing or tossing an object refers to such a magic ritual, however.
There is a game which sailors play, for instance, where one of the men is placed in the middle of a sheet, and the others pull on all sides and jerk him up into the air.
That is a kind of ritual, like jeu de paume.
It must have a magical meaning-such things always have some magic purpose. What would it be?
Mr. Reichstein: To bring it nearer to heaven perhaps.
Dr. Jung: Yes, but the question is, to bring what nearer to heaven?
It might be the soul of the community, for instance, but that is much too nice. It is more primitive than that.
You see, primitives felt themselves very responsible for the reasonable workings of nature, a point of view
which we have entirely forgotten.
What was their particular office?
Mrs. Sigg: To help the sun to rise.
Dr. Jung: Yes, that was the preoccupation of the primitive mind.
The primitive man sees that the sun disappears every evening so he thinks the earth sucks it in; the great-grandmother in the West opens her jaws and in walks the sun, she cracks her jaws and eats it, and miraculously enough, a new sun comes up in the morning.
But it is quite possible that a mistake will occur, that somebody will forget to make a new sun.
For in the course of the year the sun gets weak and limp, very tired, and the further north, the more suspect the situation becomes.
It sinks down very low and seems unable to rise; by 21 December in the winter solstice it looks as if the sun had lost all its power.
It gets cold and people will freeze, so something should be done about it.
That is such an important fact that we are still making magic about it.
On 25 December we put lights on our Christmas tree in order that the sun may rise; and we have an evergreen tree so that it will bring forth fruit; it is a magic ceremonial to produce or increase the sun.
It has now become a sort of festival that produces Christ again, it is the birthday of Jesus.
But that was originally the birthday of Mithra, the invincible sun-it is a borrowed birthday.
In all the festivals of those days there was a magic ritual for the renewal or increase of the light and warmth of the sun.
And the same magic practices are still going on in our days.
For instance, the chief of one of the Pueblo Indian tribes once wrote to me saying: “If the Americans continue to interfere with our religion, they will see that in ten years the sun will not rise.
We are the children of the sun and we are entrusted with that office, and the Americans are mad, they gamble away the sun.
But if we don’t help the Great Father to rise and to wander over the heavens, to give light and life to America and the whole world, the sun won’t rise any longer.”
Here is the same idea. But this magic ceremony means that a sacrifice is needed, blood is needed.
Blood is a very valuable substance.
Life is ebbing low and something ought to be done about it.
And since the unconscious suggests such an old ritual, we can be quite certain that a sort of life renewal is planned here.
Now do you remember what happened just before?
Miss Sergeant: The animus fell down.
Dr. Jung: Yes, this woman lost her animus; he fell back into the unconscious and then the gates were shut.
It was night and it was as if her unconscious forces were lost to sight.
Afterwards she enjoyed the vision of herself as the sun, but if she identified with it, as I told you, it would be
an inflation, threatened by an immediate downfall; after a while she would become aware of a peculiar lack of life.
You see, at the end of the last series of visions she was in a condition like our modern consciousness: we know modern life only in the form of conscious life and are diverted from the collective unconscious.
In former times we had a connection at least through the symbolic bridge of dogma, but that is lost to
And because we have no longer a symbolic connection with the collective unconscious, we assume that we are the sun.
We imagine ourselves to be sort of supermen, like Nietzsche’s superman who said, God is dead.
But if God is dead, he must be God, and so naturally a superman, lifted up beyond the human level.
For a while that may give one a wonderful feeling of elation and grandeur, but before long one will be left
high and dry because one is separated from the sources of life.
That was the condition of the patient at the end of the last series.
She acquired a sort of value, a tremendous meaning, which was like the effects of the antique initiations.
Once in a man’s life, as an initiate, he experienced that unique effect, and that was apparently sufficient at
The consciousness that one had once attained divinity should last, but it is inflation, and therefore there must be a downfall and restitution must be made.
As I explained, the Christian necessity of self-sacrifice was on account of the antique assumption of being divine.
If logically continued, that must lead to self-sacrifice, because it is an inflation, hubris; so it must be paid for, there must be restitution.
That is the logical origin of the Christian symbolism.
This woman experienced a sort of sun identification, which leads to a sacrifice, and this series of visions is concerned with the sacrifice and its magic purpose.
That is, through the fall of the animus into the depths and darkness of the collective unconscious, through the loss of that connection, communication was cut off, and now it ought to be reestablished, because life is
beginning to fade out and must be restored.
Therefore the rite of making the sun rise.
Now after tossing the sheep about, the Indians smeared their faces with blood.
What does that mean? Do you know of anything similar?
Mrs. Crowley: The warrior chiefs used to do that with their enemies’ blood to get strength.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it could be compared with those manifold customs, like drinking the blood of the enemy, eating his heart, eating his brains, or smearing oneself with his blood.
Those are ethnological parallels.
The Germanic myth of Siegfried bathing in the blood of the dragon in order to make himself invulnerable might be a last trace of such ideas.
Dr. Baynes: There was the Mithraic tauroboliurn.
Dr. Jung: Yes, there they were bathing in the blood of the bull. St. Peter’s in Rome now stands on one of the places where they slaughtered the bull.
The sacrifices were executed in the following way: the initiate was put down in a hole in the ground, which had a grating over it where they sacrificed the bull.
The blood ran down through the grating into the hole, so that the man was smeared with it.
He bathed himself in the blood.
Then he was pulled out and put to bed and fed with milk for six or seven days; he was treated exactly as if he were a baby.
It was birth magic.
Those initiates were covered with blood like newborn babies, and then they were given new names and called quasi rnodo geniti-as if newly born.
So here that the Indians smear themselves with blood means birth magic; it is to help the sun to rise.
A few days ago, I got an interesting account of a recent attempt to produce a magical effect.
A young American traveling in Russia was driving in the country there when a crowd of peasants stopped his car, and he had to wait on the side of the road because a procession of people was coming along, leading a cow covered with white linen.
He asked an old woman what it was all about, and she said they were going to make rain.
They were leading the cow to the crossroads to sprinkle her milk in the dust to the four corners of the world, in order to make the rain ashamed, to show it they could do better.
She said the Bolshevists had destroyed God, and they had nobody else to ask.
And when she heard that the young man was going to Moscow, she said, “Won’t you ask the Bolshevists to bring rain?”
That is really primitive psychology.
They were imitating the spirit of rain, as for instance, in the old Vedic songs of the Rig-Veda, 2 the priests, as a rain-charm, formed a choir to sing like frogs because frogs were the sign of rain.
And so the sound of the wind or of falling water was imitated in order to bring up clouds and rain.
That is called sympathetic magic, which can be rationalized to a certain extent.
In the same way, these Indians smear their faces with blood in order to put the sun to shame and induce it to rise.
These facts are utterly unknown to the patient.
She is like those peasants who lost their traditional religion, and then up comes the collective unconscious when the upper layers are destroyed.
Take away the actual beliefs, and the unconscious produces something like a restitution.
So if the leg or the tail of a salamander is cut off, it makes a new one, but a bit less differentiated, a bit more archaic.
Apparently that is happening in Russia since they did away with their more or less civilized religion.
And so in this case what comes up from the collective unconscious as a sort of restitution is far more primitive than the highly evolved symbolism of the Catholic church, but the advantage is that it is thoroughly alive, immediately impressive, and the historical symbolism does not work any longer for most educated people.
Now the Indians tear out the entrails and hang them about their necks, whereupon they changed into red
Do you know anything that could enlighten us about this symbolism?
Dr. Baynes: They used the state of the entrails for augury in the classic times.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the entrails played a very great role in blood sacrifices.
They were used for all sorts of prophetic purposes because the entrails, and particularly the liver, were supposed to contain the imprint of destiny.
As we have little books about dream interpretation, or about the lines of the hands, or astrological books, so in antiquity people in general-not only the priests-used to consult livers.
Clay tablets have been found, on which are illustrations showing all possible variations of the liver, with their interpretation.
They look like the pictures in a book about palmistry, they are divided by lines and little mounds, and according to their variations and divisions a particular fate was predicted.
There are very individual differences in their size and form, and from such variation there was apparently a chance to read intuitively.
The liver was particularly important because it was supposed to be the original seat of life, as the name indicates.
The liver is that which lives; in German it is die Leber, which has the same meaning.
So from the primitive point of view it was reasonable to assume that one must go to the sources of life to get a knowledge of fate.
That was the old idea and therefore the oracles were over wells or holes in the earth, like the springs at Delphi; or like the Norse myth of the giant Mimir drinking the waters of the spring from which wisdom flowed; and there are many other examples in primitive legends or early literature.
The entrails and the liver, then, were supposed to be the seat of psychic life and of secret knowledge; they were the seat of the abdominal soul, as the brain to us represents the seat of consciousness.
You see, we identify brain and consciousness more or less; we assume that our consciousness is located in the brain, but the consciousness of those very primitive people was located decidedly below the brain.
In the time of Homer-astonishingly enough to us as boys-the psychical centre was located in the diaphragm, as I told you recently.
That word is derived from the Greek phren, which means mind.
Schizophrenia means disintegration of the mind.
And Negroes and very primitive people definitely located the whole psychic life still lower down, in the abdomen.
Not long ago a most highly educated, most rational lady said to me: “Do you know what has happened?
I have got down to the abdominal thinking.
Let me tell you what I have been observing.”
And out came the natural mind in the most authentic form, very simple and true, very original and very
cold; it was really the primitive mind.
Mrs. Baynes: Could you not tell us what she said?
Dr. Jung: Better not!
I merely wanted to show that it is still possible to reach that primitive form of mind which is located in the entrails.
As I have told you, there is hardly a case of neurosis where the entrails are not disturbed.
For instance, after a certain dream a person has diarrhea, or there are spasms in the abdomen.
And I know of a number of cases of abdominal disturbances because people did not do what they should
have done, people who got a bit lazy, for instance, who really should have organized their lives on a somewhat larger scale perhaps.
They failed to do their duty and tried to live like chickens, so they got terrible spasms in the abdomen.
Then they think it is tuberculosis and consult twelve doctors and spend a number of years in health resorts.
A woman under the influence of too quiet a milieu may forget that she should organize her life, and then she has some sort of hysterical symptom that wakes her up.
But for primitive men and women whose mind is still down in the abdomen, there would be no physical pains or spasms, it would take the form of painful admonitions.
For instance, they would say: “A snake came when I was asleep and bit me in the heart or the liver.”
They would be able to realize the thought contents of the symptom.
Therefore when an old patient comes back with such symptoms again, I ask: “Now what does that symptom say to you?
I expect you to have imagination enough to know what it is trying to indicate, just as the primitive would put a meaning into an apparently blind symptom.”
So the abdomen is the most primitive localization we know of, though Indian speculation goes a little deeper.
We shall speak of that later.
Now taking out the entrails and using them as a sort of decoration, a guirlande, means bringing the hidden contents out into the open.
The sheep almost invariably symbolizes unconsciousness or unconscious impulses, sheeplike impulses-that is, a gregarious impulse to do exactly what everybody else is doing.
You know how, when one sheep runs ahead, the whole herd follows it, they all go to hell together.
That unconscious gregariousness is like man when he is only collective.
A sheep sacrifice means the sacrifice of a merely collective impulse, an imitation, doing what everybody else is doing.
If one lives like a sheep, one has only the consciousness of a sheep, just going along with the crowd.
So sacrifice means giving up the collective prejudice that one is only one among thousands.
No more living blindly like sheep in a herd.
It is true that man is gregarious, but if he is nothing but gregarious, he is not human.
Any kind of gregariousness is animal.
Therefore that famous kind of thinking where women worry day and night over what would be good
for the eleven thousand virgins, but never bother about themselves.
Such people are gregarious and they think like animals.
In his new book about America, Keyserling calls that kind of reasoning-what is good for the ten thousand-the animal ideal.
To him the best standard of living is the animal ideal, which of course does not mean that it is bestial.
It is no reproach, it is not a depreciation, it simply means that inasmuch as man is animal, he is gregarious.
Prof Demos: Do you think the parable of the swine falling all together down the cliff means a release from the collective unconsciousness?
Dr. Jung: Yes, those people were possessed by collective devils, and that is the driving out of the collective possession, making them conscious.
In those days all the early teachers, like Christ or John the Baptist, were concerned with the same task which we unfortunate analysts are concerned with.
We must make people conscious, we must fight against that gregariousness.
One doesn’t know who is who or what is what in the herd.
Well, we have seen that those entrails are closely associated with a very primitive form of psychical functioning.
And we see that bringing them out of the sheep into the open would be a sort of analytical procedure,
though I have no evidence from antiquity to confirm such a rite and I doubt if it ever existed.
I think this is a very modern attempt which symbolizes a sort of dissection and exposition of the contents of the sheep; in other words, getting the contents of the early primitive mind out of the unconscious form and wearing them openly.
Then a miracle happens, they become jewels, which means that the unconscious itself says that as long as these contents are inside and unconscious, they are only entrails of sheep, but if you turn them inside out, if you bring them up into consciousness, they become precious stones.
And with this we see that the situation has become very positive in that this woman enters the ceremony herself-it is now acceptable.
Before, it was only a primitive blood ceremonial which might well seem horrible to her.
You see, the collective unconsciousness, which forces us blindly to join in the herd, to be like everybody else, is a force that has great value when it is revealed to our consciousness.
At first one finds contents which seem rather disgusting and crude, but when they reveal their inner value one sees that they are really precious jewels.
In practical application, then, it would mean that the extraordinary force which makes everyone like
everyone else, which keeps one down as low as possible-low in consciousness, low in quality, low in every other respect-that force, if brought up to consciousness, will reveal contents of priceless value.
And if you apply this to our patient’s psychological life, it would mean that she has been too far away from her own reality.
She has been seeing things in the form of detached visions, and even this may be a more or less detached vision; yet she is approaching the central problem as a spiral, drawing nearer all the time.
She is now able to understand the great value in crudeness and primitivity, though she recoiled from it at
You see, that disappearance of the animus in the unconscious shows its autonomous nature; it shows that the animus is capable of acting without the control of the conscious, the conscious cannot hold him.
The collective unconscious can lock its gates and leave the human individual alone, so that after a while he will find himself forced back into the herd just by that autonomous functioning of the collective unconscious.
Therefore that has to be sacrificed, she has to kill the sheep in herself, to make herself conscious; then-out of that unconsciousness-she will get the contents, the precious jewels.
Now she says: “I appeared dressed in white and I besought the Indians to give me the red jewel.”
The white refers to the state of rebirth. It is the white garment of the newly born-quasi modo geniti.
That she beseeches the Indians to give her the red jewel shows that she is craving for the value which it symbolizes.
Now what is symbolized by this red jewel?
What about this whole blood ceremonial?
Mrs. Crowley: It would be the life force, would it not?
Dr. Jung: Yes, blood always means the life force, it is the symbol of the soul.
According to primitive belief, blood is the real seat of life; therefore
drinking the blood of an enemy is supposed to give one his mana.
Also magic can be wrought with blood.
But what about the jewels that appear out of the entrails?
Dr. Barker: Is it not the development of the feeling she is craving?
Dr. Jung: It might be if you start from the assumption that she is a thinking type.
Miss Sergeant: Would it not be a crystallization of all the values of the unconscious?
Dr. Jung: Would they all be symbolized by a red jewel?
Prof Eaton: A jewel has a great deal of mana quality. In the East the idols have jewels symbolizing mana or force; especially a red jewel, that would have very much more mana than a green one.
Dr. Jung: Well, in antiquity emeralds were regarded as the most important stone.
But in the East it is the ruby. You are quite right, jewels are talismen, amulets of high value.
You can make extraordinary discoveries about the psychology of women from the rings they wear, you could
almost make an analysis.
The jewel is extraordinarily expressive of psychological facts, so we may be quite certain that this red jewel has a very definite psychological meaning.
D r. Barker points to the feeling it might symbolize, and that is true in her case.
She is a thinking intuitive type, so that her feeling would be her inferior function, and when the inferior
function is much repressed, it is located in the abdomen; therefore if the feeling function were aroused, there would be trouble in the abdomen.
For instance, you often notice in talking to people that at certain points in the conversation, the abdomen suddenly begins to murmur, because certain emotions, which don’t appear on the surface, cause a kind of
irritation of the entrails.
They are activated by a peristaltic movement,
and then they begin to talk, so that one might be tempted to ask: “Now what do your entrails want to say?”
The abdominal thinking is bringing up something.
We don’t understand that language, but if we should succeed in getting the entrails up out of the darkness we would know what they meant to say, and since they would arise out of the natural mind, it would be horrible, insupportable even.
Yet one discovers when one examines them that they are really exceedingly precious.
So the inferior function is precious on account of the life it contains.
The superior function is like fine old material, a bit worn out, though highly differentiated, while the inferior function is very crude, a rough diamond but full of promise.
It is very probable that the thinking type gets a bit dry and sterile in his thinking, but when it comes to feeling, he is still young and fresh; nothing has been used up, there is a lot of life in it which is of immense value.
That would explain the red quality, referring to the blood, the soul power.
The inferior function contains the priceless treasure of life force and therefore it is so important to bring it
It is not for vulgar or criminal purposes, for the sake of its evil, that I try to bring out the swine or the criminal in people-whatever kindly critics may think.
They assume that I must be an irresponsible kind of individual who stirs up the world, and then leaves the poor worms to cope with it alone.
We have to bring up these inferior qualities in people because they contain the priceless jewel of life, which they should not miss for anything on earth.
For what is more precious than life to a living creature?
If one lives only a half or a third of life, what is the use of living?
Life only has meaning when it is really lived.
Otherwise it is like a pear tree that blossoms every spring and never brings forth a pear; you remember Christ himself condemned that which bears no fruit, when he cursed the barren fig tree.
People who live sterile lives are like that fig tree, they do not fulfill the will of the Lord.
If they want to live, they must live with the whole of their being.
And then they cannot accept this because the entrails suddenly begin to murmur, because they are too
aesthetical, or they call it too moral.
But then they don’t fulfill their meaning, the problem of their being. That is the problem here.
This woman is still too much of a sheep, still too much like other people.
In reality she is not like other people, most decidedly not, but if she applies her wits to making herself into a common idiot, it is as if a peach tree were to make desperate attempts to turn itself into an apple tree.
In a way that is what she did and what everybody is doing, because of the power of suggestion; our milieu suggests to us that we are all average.
But that does not exist, that is just a mathematical concept.
Nobody is average, nobody is normal, that is simply a silly suggestion, and our task most certainly is to be ourselves.
Therefore she ought to make that sacrifice, she ought to kill the sheep, in order to become an individual, to be herself.
Then of course she will be confronted with the necessity of taking up her inferior function, which is no joke at all.
But the vision tells her it is a jewel, and the jewel is so beautiful that she wants it.
And it is interesting to see how the vision puts it: she wants it, not in her usual form but in the form of the quasi modo geniti; that is, in the state of the white dress, in the state of the newly gained innocence, which would denote that she does not want that jewel just out of greed.
There are people who wish to possess a jewel out of mere cupidity, but she wants it out of innocence.
The vision continues:
They fled from me and I was left alone. Then appeared an Indian who came toward me.
“Why have they fled?” I asked him. He answered, “You have violated the blood.”
Then many animals appeared and stood behind the Indian. This is an unexpected turn.
We might have assumed that she would get that jewel since she is not demanding it out of cupidity.
But unexpectedly the Indians run away as if she had done something evil. Then the Indian animus appears.
Only one is left and he is the speaker of the unconscious, and when she asks him why they have fled, he says: “You have violated the blood.”
The meaning of that remark is not explained in the subsequent symbolism, but what do you assume that it means?
You see, it cannot be anything personal, for the patient is now concerned with things that are beyond the personal, they are universal, they have to do with feelings that are beyond our time.
So there is truth in them for every one of us.
We may have to answer the same questions: why did the primitives flee from my grip? why cannot I approach them? what is wrong with me?
And then the anima or the animus would say: it is because you have violated the blood.
Dr: Baynes: It means you have severed the participation mystique of the primitive law by separating yourself, the individual.
Dr: Jung: Well, that would be the sacrifice, cutting herself loose from the primitive participation by the sacrifice of the animal.
Dr. Baynes: It is rising above the natural level in a way.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and therefore she would have violated the blood. Dr. Baynes’s suggestion is well worth discussing.
Or is there perhaps any other possibility?
You see, it might be that “you have violated the blood” does not refer to the ceremonial, because she did not kill the sheep, the Indians killed it; so it might mean that she has violated the blood in some other respect.
Mrs. Sigg: Identifying herself with the person in the white dress might not be quite human enough. That might be a violation.
Dr. Jung: It is possible.
But the white dress is a very transitory condition, it comes from the rebirth symbolism.
Prof Eaton: The fact that she, as a stranger, watched the ceremony would be a violation of the primitive law.
Dr. Jung: Well, Dr. Baynes’s idea was, if I understood him rightly, that by killing the sheep she had cut herself off from community with primitive consciousness, but as a matter of fact she did not kill the sheep, the
primitives killed it.
If she had killed it, there would be no escape from the assumption that Dr. Baynes makes.
But she only watched it in that very detached way, so the taboo would not operate; she was only a ghostlike
witness of the ceremonial.
Prof Eaton: Is it not true that primitives don’t like to have their ceremonials watched?
Dr. Jung: If she were a real human being, she would be killed for watching, for breaking that taboo, but she is not exactly a watcher because she is not in the game.
She is an impersonal witness relating the story.
Mrs. Crowley: Would it be perhaps the idea of the god coming up again? A sort of identification with the sun? In that way, as a superior being, she would see it as a violation.
Dr. Jung: Yes. You see, to answer a question one should look back upon what happened before.
Naturally, deification lifts man out of the ordinary, it inflates him, and that means a violation of the human quality, the law of the earth which is contained in the blood.
This applies to anybody who imagines that he is more than he is. We always try to be better than we are.
That is a general aspiration: how can we be better than we are?
We are just as good as we can be and not an inch beyond, just as we cannot add one inch to our size.
As we have our physical size so we have our moral size.
But we try to live above our level as millionaires or princes when we have not a cent for our daily bread, which is just inflation.
That doesn’t mean that we cannot improve, however.
Prof Demos: If you go to the god the devil gets angry, and if you go to the devil the god gets angry. You have to be an acrobat.
Dr. Jung: Well, for a certain stabilized condition, don’t try to be better than you are, otherwise the devil gets angry, and don’t try to be worse because God gets angry.
Try to be what you are, that is acrobatics enough.
Prof Demos: But then I would not go to the psychoanalyst.
Dr. Jung: But you go to the psychoanalyst just to find out what you are. That is another mistake of our times.
We are inflated because we don’t know or because we have forgotten what we are.
We substitute our ignorance with gas; modern people are all gas bags inasmuch as they are ignorant of what they really are.
We have simply forgotten what a human being really is, so we have men like Nietzsche and Freud and Adler, who tell us what we are, quite mercilessly.
We have to discover our shadow.
Otherwise we are driven into a world war in order to see what beasts we are.
We have now taken to investigating the psychology of non-European peoples, so we learn what they think about us; we make the discovery that we are bloodhounds or pirates, all sorts of evil things.
As they are beginning to learn German in France, so we are beginning to observe what the other side is like.
We assume that everything is over there, it is certainly not here; it is they who are casting mud at us.
But why should people be my enemies simply because they are on the other side of the moat?
It is all just as much my mud.
Anatole France tells about two men who were fighting one another; somebody asked one of them: “Why do
you hate him so?” “Paree qu’il est a l’autre cote de la riviere.”
Our inflations come from illusions about ourselves; that is shown in our continuous attempts to live above our level or below our level, for there are people who live decidedly below their level.
Our ignorance of the human being as he is really meant to be is a violation of the blood, and particularly when we try to live above our level.
That really is the violation of the blood, because such an attitude tends to become God Almighty-like-for instance, when we say, “where there is a will there is a way.” As if you could get out of your skin!
That is all part of the same foolishness, but such things become convictions, they are even taught in
Now is that clear concerning the violation of the blood?
You see, this woman is not natural, she lives above herself, she assumes that she is better than she really is.
She is divorced from her shadow, and therefore her animus has married the shadow and gone to hell.
That gives her animus the power to behave exactly as it wants to behave.
One should have a very plastic imagination about these things, in order to understand them.
Today I have brought a diagram showing the behavior of the animus, because I knew we would have something to say about that. This is one of the charts we used in the Zurich notes of 1925.
The part of the circle on the left ( p.c.) would represent the personal consciousness of a woman; in the center would be the ego ( e), and over on the right would be the shadow (s) in the personal unconscious ( p.u.).
Now in this case shadow and consciousness are connected as if they were part of the same whole-let us call it a globe; but the line indicates that that globe can be divided; that is, should you be unaware of a shadow quality in yourself, should you assume that you are better than you are, instantly a chasm would be formed and that shadowy thing in your character would fall away into darkness.
Then there is another figure outside the personal unconscious, which represents the real man or the absolute object (a).
And just opposite that is the figure of the animus (b). It is not one alone, it is composed of several, as is indicated here by the lines (b’).
It is really a plurality, and that figure-or figures-might become autonomous and walk away.
It might regress into the collective unconscious, and then the ego consciousness would be left isolated, with no connection, with no live psychological force.
Now the bringing up of the shadow to consciousness would restore the normal condition, then the shadow and the ego would be one.
That would approach the ideal, a modern consciousness, able to realize all the unconscious sides as well as the conscious ones.
The test would be that the animus would lose its uncontrollable power.
The same thing applies to a man: if he really sees his shadow, if he realizes the unconscious qualities of his personality, the anima cannot possess him.
But as long as either the anima or the animus has that uncontrollable power, you can be sure that such people are not enough aware of their shadow.
Of course, to be fully aware of the shadow would be an almost superhuman task, but we can reach a certain optimum of consciousness; we should be aware to a much higher degree than we are now.
You see, the phenomena of the uncontrollable animus and anima are absolute tests from which to measure the degree of distance between your conscious and your shadow.
In order to control your anima or your animus, you must bring the shadow close to consciousness and so liberate the shadow from their possession.
Consciousness without the connection with the shadow means that violation of the blood; then people live beyond their means, they live in an unnatural imaginary way, above their own heads, which is an offense against the earth.
If one lives close to the earth, if one lives with the blood, there are some things which one simply cannot do or imagine.
For instance, to make a straight line through nature, like a railway that disfigures a whole countryside, is an offense to nature not to the forest or the mountain, they do not lament, but to our own nature.
It violates the blood, because our blood knows no straight line.
Now Mrs. Baynes asked me to tell you that Watkins is publishing a new edition of Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, by Mead, a standard work on Gnosticism.
There is no other book that can compare with it, it is written with love and great understanding.
There is a certain admixture of theosophy, but one hopes that this will have disappeared in the new
You get a real picture of the many speculative attempts of the philosophers of the second and third centuries.
One might say that Gnosticism was the first systematic attempt to formulate basic psychological facts and therefore it should be particularly interesting to us.
It is a great pity that more of it has not been preserved.
The church destroyed such knowledge as far as possible, so we only have scraps of the most important systems.
It is curious, too, that so many of the writings which have been preserved are just silly; the stories of Mary and Jesus are childish, whilst the fragments of Gnosticism are adult and highly intelligent.
The fathers of the church quoted many passages for exegesis without knowing that they were quoting something exceedingly intelligent.
Harpokrates, for instance, and many others, used these quotations to show up the stupidity of Gnosticism!
Indeed we owe our knowledge of these texts largely to that fact.
The German books on this subject are split up into all sorts of very specialized works.
There is nothing in German equal to this book by Mead; it is well worth reading. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 222-238