24June 1931, Visions Seminar, Lecture VI
Dr: Jung (upon being presented with roses):
Thank you very much.
This is the day of roses by the way; it is the day of St. John the Baptist, who, for reasons unknown to me, is associated with the mystical rose.
The Freemasons distribute roses on the day of St. John the Baptist because of that association.
You see the astrological opposition is this:
Jesus 24 December
John was born under Cancer, which is the retrograde sign of the culmination of the sun, the longest day; and Jesus was born on the shortest John Jesus o~ ) +
day when the sun is increasing; therefore it was said that he must grow but John must decrease.
Now Jesus is characterized by the cross, and John by the rose, and the two together make this: EB The interesting fact is that we here come to the inner tradition.
On the one side is John, and on the other side is Jeshu ben Miriam-Jesus, the son of Mary-called the Deceiver according to the Book of John; here is the opposition between the cross and the rose.
The rose, according to old tradition, was withheld by the church.
The poets of the Court of Frederick II in Salerno and those in Dante’s group complained that the
medieval church withheld the sweet secret of the rose.
An interesting article was published in the Europaische Revue by Luigi Valli, a modern commentator on Dante, about the secret language used by the poets of Dante’s time in order to designate the mystical rose.
The rose means love. And this red is the color of passion.
It is not a light red, it is a strong red, a burning color.
It is also the color of the muladhara region, the lowest center according to the Kundalini yoga.
And here, you understand, is the same opposition.
The evidence for this is to be found in the Mandean Book of John or in the extract which Mead made from it, a little book called John the Baptizer, where there is an interesting discussion between Jesus and John.
John accuses Jesus of having given out the mysteries to the world, and Jesus, the “betrayer of the truth,” defends himself by showing the miracles he has wrought.
One can well imagine that this is based on historical fact.
It is quite possible that John, being the teacher or initiator of Jesus, was convinced that such truths would be incomprehensible to the crowd and therefore should be withheld.
But Jesus thought that it would be cruel to withhold such a light from humanity, so he identified himself
with the Messiah and went out into the world to teach people the truth.
And we know the results, how it has worked.
As a matter of fact it was not understood-even the disciples misunderstood it.
The discussion never ends, and to this day it remains undecided who really was right.
But in the Manda-which means gnosis or knowledge-there is no personal savior; the savior there is called by a name which is of particular interest for us: Manda d ‘haje, meaning understanding of life; that is an impersonal figure, a sort of Poimen, representing the wisdom or the consciousness of life, an exceedingly modern conception.
Those early people, like John, must have been quite aware that their contemporaries were utterly unable to understand such a concept.
Now we are here concerned with the vision of the descent into the cave, where a bird leads this woman to the fire and orders her to stand in it.
The bird is the helpful leading animal, and here it is simply a thought: an involuntary thought is personified by a bird that whispers into her ear what she ought to do.
As you know, there are two kinds of thoughts, the outward arbitrary and intentional thoughts, and the inward involuntary symbolical thoughts, and when the latter turn up they nearly always have a peculiarly commanding quality.
She was afraid of the burning fire, but again the bird commanded her, and when she stepped into it, the flames leapt up and burnt away her robe so that she finds herself naked in the fire.
What does it mean that her robe is burnt away?
Miss Taylor: The loss of her persona.
D1: Jung: Well, yes, it is her external covering, that stratum of personality between herself as she really is and the surrounding world, and therefore we could call it her persona.
But the persona is a very treacherous thing.
The persona can make one believe that it is the true and only thing, and such a prejudice makes people imagine they are nothing but the role they play, which of course is a very great mistake.
And very conscious people are particularly inclined to identify themselves with their consciousness, losing sight of what they are unconsciously.
That is the handicap of any strong consciousness.
Such a person is likely to forget that he is somebody else at the same time; it seems utterly improbable.
Prof Eaton: Is the persona identical with consciousness?
Dr. Jung: To a great extent.
But not quite, because the persona consists not only of the conscious contribution, there is also the unconscious contribution; and besides that subjective part, there is what one takes on from other people.
The persona is a sort of mental system which consists partially of oneself and partially of what one is forced to be by one’s surroundings.
One would not have a persona if one were alone; usually people who are quite alone lose it altogether.
The photographs of Courtauld in Greenland, published in the London News, are a wonderful example.
He lost his persona absolutely.
He looks effeminate and sentimental, exactly like his anima: a morbid woman.
That poor fellow was in the Canadian Air Force, and he volunteered to go to the Ice Cape in North Greenland to make meteorological observations.
He entered his hut there in the beginning of last December.
Then there were such heavy snowdrifts that his hut was buried.
He had foreseen such a possibility and had made an air shaft going out of the hut and a tall flag pole, but the snowdrift piled up higher and higher, and though he tried to dig a way out every day, it was each day blocked up with snow, and finally he was buried entirely.
The top of the air shaft peeped out only about a foot and the flagpole, a little higher, was torn down by the winds.
So when an expedition was sent out at the end of March they could not find the place and went home.
It was feared that his food had given out and that he was dead.
Then a Swedish air captain went to hunt for him; he traveled over the ice at great personal risk, but he also failed to find him under the snow.
And then Watkins went with three men and dogs, and at last they found him and talked to him down the air shaft.
He was frozen in and for six weeks he had had no candles.
Think of such a horror!
From the end of March to the end of May he was in complete darkness; he had plenty of food because he had been careful with it, but no light and no tobacco.
They dug him up and the photographs are most interesting.
That fellow got absolutely ground to dust in the darkness.
That is why they put criminals into dark solitary cells.
Mr. Schmitz: But he is still living?
Dr. Jung: Yes, they brought him back.
I don’t know what it has done to his psyche, nobody bothers about his psyche; but he looks very strange,
long hair, and the expression of a woman who has been intoxicated and then put into cold water till she nearly drowned, completely demoralized.
Mr. Schmitz: But his persona is coming back now?
Dr. Jung: Let us hope and pray that his persona will come back, because he looks like an egg without its shell.
Of course if any of us had to be under the snow for six weeks without a light!
Dr. Baynes: And without tobacco!
Mr. Schmitz: If the same thing happened to a woman do you think that she would become virile?
Dr. Jung: I cannot tell you that. I never saw one in that state.
I could not have told you how Courtauld would look.
It might be that a woman’s animus would predominate.
Mrs. Baynes: How do you know he was not a sentimental young man before?
Dr Jung: Oh, well, no young fellow in the Canadian Air Force would be like that.
You can only explain it by the identity with the anima and the complete loss of the persona.
That happens easily to men who have met with disaster; they become effeminate because their appearance of masculine force is chiefly a matter of persona.
Everybody assumes that they are men and even if they are not quite convinced of it themselves, they
have to play a masculine role.
I saw a fellow who went into the army in order to appear like a man.
His daily prayer was: God, make me a man!
He grew a fierce mustache and developed a deep rumbling voice, but he was as soft as a peach inside.
And then a woman refused him and he was like a little whimpering child.
He was what one usually calls a weak woman, but that is an inadequate description because a woman would
show quite a different reaction.
So you see the persona is a very complicated mental system.
Prof Eaton: It seems to me that there must be more in consciousness than just the persona. When one sits alone by oneself, one is conscious of certain elements of the anima, but the whole of consciousness is wider
than the persona, is it not?
Dr. Jung: Oh, yes, because the persona is not a genuine article.
It is made up, a product, so there could hardly be a specific consciousness of the persona.
One can be conscious of it, but as I said, we are very often playing a role, adapting ourselves to people’s expectations without knowing it.
We not only acquire bad habits of our own, more often we pick them up from other people, and that also is part of the persona.
One has to call people’s attention constantly to such peculiarities of which they are utterly unaware; they have a certain way of talking or gesticulating, for instance, or they wear a certain kind of necktie, or shoes.
They have picked it up because something about it impressed them, God knows what, and it clung to them.
They don’t know that they have assimilated it for the sake of making an impression.
Usually things that are felt to be impressive or smart are used as persona articles.
When a woman sees another dressed in a particular fashion and thinks it is becoming, she naturally chooses such a dress too, and it might become a sort of habit, the motive being altogether unconscious; that would be an influence which came from without.
Therefore I say the persona is both consciously and unconsciously a product of the surroundings; it is a sort of compromise between the incomparable and incomprehensible ego, and the milieu, the surrounding
Obviously a mental system of adaptation is a necessity without which one cannot live.
But although it has great advantages on the one hand, it has disadvantages on the other; for in identifying with it, one loses sight of the fact that the persona is a mere structure for special purposes.
One is likely to be identical with that system and to think of oneself as just that and nothing else.
For instance, those people whose only god is respectability-respicere means to be looked at-will naturally
identify with their persona; they are always bewildered if anybody tells them they are something quite different.
And, as I said, all people who are very conscious are in danger of such an identification.
Now our patient, being a very conscious person and very headstrong, is in a certain danger of that, despite everything she knows about herself.
She clings to her persona. Of course we all cling to something.
We live through our eyes, we live in the field of consciousness; in other words, one half is living outside of ourselves.
That is an illusion in a way, and particularly in this case, at the moment when this woman is developing
an inner way and when it is all-important that she should be what she is.
She must lose the last remnant of the persona illusion and stand naked before her own eyes.
And also before the invisible world, for it is in the mysteries that these things happen; there is no actual audience, but before the invisible onlooker she should be naked.
You see, she is never alone in these visions, she is accompanied by animals, or the animus, or several animus figures; and before these observers nothing should remain concealed.
Why is it so important that she should be forced to absolute nakedness? Why cannot she indulge, at least to a small degree, in a mild self-deception-a sort of mild persona indulgence?
Mr. Hutchinson: Because she would only take half measures, she would not face the whole situation.
Dr. Jung: That is perfectly true, but there is another point.
Of course she must see herself as she really is, but she is already far on that way; she has faced a good deal, but she is called to a still more intense consciousness of herself.
Let us assume for a moment that she has really convinced herself of her problem.
What more could there be?
Mrs. Crowley: The unknown problem.
Dr. Jung: Let us assume that nothing especially essential is unconscious except one thing.
Miss Taylor: To know what she has already got, to help her to go on.
Dr. Jung: Exactly.
To be conscious of herself as she is helps her to face her own problem, because she is then convinced that it is her own individual problem.
Most people do not believe this, they assume that it is just a mistake that they are confronted with certain problems in life.
For instance, a person tells me that in the year so-and-so he made a fatal mistake.
But there is no such thing, that is fate; fate is greater than we are, it was just what had to occur at that moment, and it was no mistake looked at from his inner structure.
he knows himself, he will understand that the mistake is himself and that therefore he has to face it.
But that is only half the value of the knowledge of one’s own individuality.
Even if people do face their problem, if they live it, if they really manage their lives with a full knowledge of what they are doing, even then they might still carry it through with the sort of limitless lack of consideration which is a peculiarity of the conscious.
The conscious has a very disagreeable quality; it always follows a straight line.
Suppose, for example, the goal to be here, (B), and a man sees his problem, the point to which he ought
to go-or what that seems to him to be, for it might be an illusion; this procedure takes placewhen one is not actually in the thing.
He really B sees only the point from which he starts, (A); 1 this is the point de depart. Now his consciousness ,C 1 advises him to make a straight line for the goal, ‘, I (B), but as I said, the handicap of the conscious ‘, I
is that it always acts in a sort of telescopic or ” Y beeline, because it is entirely linked up with see- “~ I
ing, and the mistakes we made are on account D\ I of the one-sidedness of our optical apparatus. \l
So he visualizes his goal and makes a straight A line for it, and that is the mistake.
For his mind E or soul does not consist of the conscious optical apparatus alone.
It has a long tail; it is not only two-dimensional, it is three-dimensional.
It drags a tremendous tail along behind it that cannot go straight, it wriggles.
So the man is naturally forced to do the same, and that leads to endless trouble.
When he wants to take a direct course he finds that his feet are turned to the left, and he thinks it is a mistake because he cannot see the goal any longer, he sees something else-another goal, ( C), and then he
thinks that is wrong, so he returns and doesn’t walk at all.
You see, in prolonging the way to the left, to the imaginary goal, he forgets that when he arrives here, (D), his feet will be turned to the right, and then naturally the mistake will occur again.
It will be the same on the other side, and again he will lose sight of the goal.
He can only arrive in this winding way.
The danger of our conscious way of living is that we constantly lose sight of the real goal and go after imaginary goals, which hinders us from advancing at all; it always induces a sort of limitlessness.
Your conscious processes as well as your unconscious-that is, the power from the back, of your instincts-are always pushing you out with a centrifugal momentum against which you must have some protection.
The only protection is the knowledge or consciousness of your individual limitations, what you are without a veil.
You must know what you can do.
You may come to a place where another person who started with you will make progress, go farther, and you imagine that you also can go much farther.
Another can, but not you. Sure enough you can go farther, but on your own path.
The moment you lose your own path, you lose your limitation.
The only thing that keeps you in shape is consciousness of what you are; you need a vision of yourself as an unveiled, absolutely naked thing.
That knowledge gives you the necessary limitations so that you can always correct what you are living, you can check it up; if you have a sort of conscious image of what you are, you know what kind of life coincides with your individual pattern.
You may be quite certain that if you imitate somebody else you will go wrong; when you follow another
person’s conviction or principle you will most certainly go astray inasmuch as that principle does not fit in with your own pattern.
So at this moment, when things become hotter and hotter, our patient is again emphatically called back to the knowledge of herself; her picture is put before her eyes, so that when the visions move on, she will never again lose sight of herself, she will always know who she is.
For these figures of the collective unconscious could easily insinuate that she is quite other than what she is, and then she would lose conviction about herself and lose her path. It is a tremendous temptation, because on that path people make astonishing discoveries, things of which they have not even dreamt.
Mr. Schmitz: In saying that one must know who one is, you mean this word probably not in the intellectual sense of wissen, but more in the sense of innersein.
Dr: Jung: Not by the head but by the heart.
Mr. Schmitz: I cannot give anybody a formula of myself.
Dr. Jung: Heavens no, surely not. It is a feeling experience.
Therefore I should not say who one is but what one is; it is an inner experience.
Now when she stood in the fire naked, she said:
The fire died down and the bird disappeared. I walked about the dark cavern searching for a way to escape but could find none. Then I was afraid and walked about like one demented.
That is perfectly plain. The situation is typical symbolism.
You have heard again in Professor Hauer’s lecture about that place in the lower abdomen called muladhara, the root center.
So here the cave would be the central place where the Kundalini fire starts, the fire being symbolized by the serpent that takes its life or its mana from the god Shiva as the center.
As long as things are in a quiescent condition the serpent does not get the fire that is dormant in the creative point of Shiva; but when it receives the living spark from the god that is hidden in the creative center, in that moment the snake leaps up and mounts through the different centers of the abdomen, as well as the thorax.
In the diagram ( page 418), if you call A the root center, and B the center of consciousness in the forehead, it would indicate the movement of the serpent coming up from the lowest center.
You understand of course that that is merely metaphorical.
People sometimes assume that there really are such centers, but the Hindu himself
says ‘Just as if” there were such centers; it is not to be taken literally.
But the interesting thing is that the symptoms which are roused through the localization of the Kundalini serpent almost point to physiological facts, it is really ‘Just as if” there were such centers which influence
People in whom the Kundalini serpent has reached the heart region will most probably suffer from neurotic symptoms in the heart; and as long as the Kundalini is unconscious they suffer from abdominal difficulties.
As I told you, there is hardly any case of hysteria that is not accompanied by abdominal trouble; also peculiar sex excitements.
When the Kundalini starts there is sex trouble, and the next thing would be bladder trouble, like forced urination.
Then comes the stomach, and then the heart, and then the higher psychological regions.
To repeat: first the perineum, at the base of the small basin; then the region of the bladder at the entrance of the basin; then the solar plexus; then the region just above, the diaphragm; then the larynx; and then
There is something beyond, but these are the practical examples.
Miss Wolff If there is actually trouble in the spine, to what region would it belong?
Dr. Jung: But all these troubles are spinal, as part of the sympathetic nervous system.
The sympathetic centers at the entrance to the lower basin, for instance, would account for bladder trouble.
Sex troubles would be associated partially with the sympathetic system and partially with the spinal cord.
But the farther up one goes, the less the sympathetic system is apparent; in the heart region it is no longer so important, and in the speech center it disappears entirely; there it is clearly the brain.
As I said, we cannot really speak of any definite anatomical localization; we should always bear in mind that it is “as if.”
Now here she is in that abdominal cave, in the region where the fire starts and where there are absolutely no preconceptions.
It is just as if life were starting again; nothing has yet happened. In the beginning of life, in early childhood, one sees what an individual really is; children who are already introspective at an early age have an intuition about themselves which perhaps never leaves them.
They know exactly what they are.
Later on they usually lose this knowledge; it is partially squeezed out of them, and partially they succumb to certain illusions, and it is only much later that they discover it again.
That is the reason why the Freudian theory makes such a fuss about the reminiscences of early childhood.
If you can remember those facts, you know what you have been, because whatever happened to you then was yourself.
Of course in a way nothing ever happens to you which you are not. The life you live is your life.
All your experiences are yourself-that is exactly what you are.
when somebody complains that he has been a victim of a sexual attack, say, in early youth, and explains his whole life by that occurrence, one must say that it is lamentable, yet it was himself, he experienced it.
You see, if such a thing had happened to him, but it had not been his own experience, it would have made no impression, it would have passed him by.
Usually neurotic patients think that one thing or another has had such and such an effect, but I have gone through numbers of like experiences myself and they have left no impression because they were not mine; whilst others were traumatic, and one had to be an extraordinary acrobat to explain why-because a dog waggled his tail at one or something like that.
Now this woman’s fear of becoming demented because she is caught in the cavern is not out of the way, for there is a particular risk in that close association with the lower centers.
Anybody studying the Kundalini yoga is conscious of the fact that he is treading on a dangerous path, he
is quite aware of the peculiar dangers in calling forth the serpent.
For it will certainly complete its path if possible; that is, if the yogi is able to stand it.
The further the snake progresses, the greater is the danger, and the most dangerous point is when the snake reaches the head.
Therefore it is probable that few yogis reach the stage when the snake enters the ajna center of consciousness.
That should not be mixed up with our ordinary consciousness, which has nothing to do with this particular kind of experience.
One can be quite conscious, yet one has not the consciousness which is brought about by the serpent.
That whole yoga process is something additional to our normal mental development, as I always try to make clear.
That development of consciousness is not a normal process; it may be said to be abnormal, an additional consciousness.
One cannot possibly foretell what the result of such a thing might be, it would be somewhat different from anything we know.
You see, the experience of the awakening of the serpent is not merely a sex experience; there are millions of sex experiences, and there is not one real yoga experience among them.
That is something apart, it is a particular kind of sex experience.
So the process of yoga is really a thing that happens on a different plane, as it were, and there are dangers and risks which do not attend the usual development of consciousness.
The usual development is normal, there is nothing out of the way, while this whole thing is absolutely out of the way, one is treading on dangerous ground.
Should one reach the lowest place, muladhara, for instance, one might be caught in the roots.
Such experiences are so real that people who have not the faintest knowledge of Eastern philosophy have painted pictures of a human figure caught in the roots of a tree; there is one in The Secret of the Golden Flower, a recumbent female figure dormant in the roots, in muladhara.
It is associated with the danger of insanity because insanity is really that attachment to the roots of consciousness.
It is just as if in this process one were giving up all the attainments of civilization and living the whole experience of the world over again.
Naturally there is the danger that when one returns to the state of the animal one may get caught in
the animal, the animal psychology may sway one’s consciousness and clement or dissociate it.
Therefore a typical case of insanity might be called a yoga experience that had gone wrong; something had been touched in the roots of such people so that the serpent leaped up and they were caught; a piece of psychology had come up which they were unable to swallow.
When one studies a case of schizophrenia or dementia praecox, one nearly always finds some such experience in the beginning of the disease.
I will tell you a very simple case.
A very introverted young man fell in love with a girl, and he hoped to find her at a certain dance.
But she was amusing herself dancing with another man and did not pay much attention to him.
When he asked her for a dance she said she was sorry she was already engaged, and he took it to heart and went home.
On the way home he tried to be reasonable, telling himself that she was unaware of his love, and that it was a bit exaggerated to leave because she had disappointed him.
But when he got home his disappointment grew, and finally he was in absolute despair and wanted to throw himself out of the window.
In order to protect himself from that impulse he went down into the garden, and there he was seized by such a terrible wave of emotion that he rolled on the grass, biting the ground and crawling about like a beast.
After twenty or thirty minutes he came to his senses and was absolutely frightened out of his wits at having had such an attack.
For several weeks after that he slept very badly and had a most peculiar sex trouble about which he consulted me.
You see, this is the story of a boy hitherto normal, yet there was that dynamite dormant in him; that moment was enough to kindle the fire, and it simply swept through him and transformed him into an animal.
He got out of it, but he was terribly scared.
He had been a very gifted musician, but he gave up his music because it was associated with emotion.
He had been very imaginative but he became the most commonplace individual.
I followed up his life for twenty years and always found a note of fear of anything emotional; for if the Kundalini should be detached a second time, he felt that he would probably be unable to cope with it, he was afraid it would drive him mad.
Now that man is apparently leading a curiously normal life; he is normally married and has normal children, and everybody would say he was a good and respectable citizen; his normal life is evolving according to rule.
Yet there is that dormant condition in him which he is certain he could not manage, so one cannot even talk to him about it.
He just escaped by making the immense sacrifice of his whole personality, and the sacrifice of his hard-won artistic achievement as well, because that was associated with it.
Mr. Hutchinson: Do you think it was essential for him to give up his music?
Dr: Jung: It is possible that he might have been protected so that he could have maintained his artistic accomplishments, but it is questionable. I have seen cases where one cannot do more than to shield people
Mr. Schmitz: And what is the difference between the case of this man and the case of this woman?
Dr. Jung: Oh, she can cope with it.
Mr. Schmitz: But what she does is more than normal psychology.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it is supernormal psychology.
You see, Providence really meant the neurotic psychology to be supernormal, but it often remains
Mr. Schmitz: So the neurotic ought to use his neurosis, to make something of it.
Dr: Jung: “Many are called but few are chosen”; that is an esoteric truth.
It is true that the neurotic can only be really cured by supernormal psychology, additional psychology; if that cannot be accomplished they are just maimed.
They are either crippled, or they are supernormal.
Miss Wolff Is not this additional or supernormal psychology as a rule the problem of older people? Normally, young people have to move away from the unconscious in order to develop their conscious, and only when they have got a firm standpoint in reality and achieved things in it, can they relate to the unconscious without danger.
Dr. Jung: Oh, yes, there was a reason of course psychologically, but not for holding him up for more than twenty years, and even in later life he could not cope with it.
That man is only a few years younger than myself; I was quite a young doctor when he came to me, so it is possible that if his brain lasts and he is still vital and elastic at sixty, it may come up.
All this applies to the second half of life, but there are exceptions where people have to go through the process earlier.
I have seen young people who have had to go through it because they were already in it, they had their feet entangled very early, and in such cases it is sometimes an operation that may cost them their lives.
But there is nothing to be done, particularly with people who have already had an attack; they just have
to go on with it if they are to have any chance, no matter how young they are.
Mrs. Sigg: Children rather often have similar experiences.
Dr. Jung: Oh, yes, that is true.
You see children of a certain age, if they have any introspection at all, have far more knowledge of these things than adult people, who are getting blind.
Young children have a consciousness which is remarkable.
I find the psychology of little children exceedingly difficult; their dreams, for instance, are amazingly difficult.
One would assume that they would be quite simple but they are far from that.
Of course some are obvious, but they have an unusual number of great dreams, and great visions too, and to deal with them requires an hypothesis which makes one quite dizzy.
One has to assume that they have a consciousness of the collective unconscious, an amazing thing.
It makes little children seem quite old, like people who have lived a full life and who have a very profound idea of what consciousness really is.
Hence the saying: fools and children speak the truth. It is because they know it.
Children have the vision still hanging over them of things which they have never seen, and could not possibly have seen, and which are in accordance with the theory of reincarnation.
It is just as if reminiscences of a former life were carried over into this life, or from the ancestral life
perhaps, we don’t know.
I could tell you children’s dreams which are simply uncanny, and if you want to interpret them at all, you have to use uncanny means.
They cannot be explained even by the psychology of the parents.
They must come from the psychology of the collective unconscious; one could say they were remnants of things they had seen before they were born, and that is really vision.
I know a case where a vision affected a whole life.
Individuals can be stunted all through their lives by a vision in childhood.
Such children are not quite born-their birth takes place much later, when they can detach.
But many people are never quite born; they live in the flesh but a part of them is still in what Lamaistic philosophy would call the Bardo, in the life between death and birth, and that prenatal state is filled with extraordinary visions.
Miss Sergeant: There is a poem by Wordsworth called “Intimations of Immortality.” It is very beautiful and it corresponds with this psychological fact.
Dr. Jung: You see, that explains why children have really cosmic dreams, astronomical dreams, for instance, like approaching the world globe which they see in the distance.
This connection with the roots is a new and very peculiar experience.
It is, as I said, as if the whole process of becoming conscious were repeated, so it is expressed as a second birth, and the one who has undergone it is called the twice-born, and is supposed to enter into a condition
which is mana or taboo or redeemed-whatever the religious term may be.
At all events it is an experience that creates a new kind of consciousness, which could be characterized psychologically as a detached consciousness, a consciousness which is no longer in participation mystique.
I don’t want to go further into all that now, but I mention it in order to explain to you the experience our patient is undergoing, her fear of insanity.
For if she does not develop that new kind of consciousness, she will be enmeshed in the roots, with no consciousness of what she has experienced.
That is absolutely typical for cases of insanity: they go through the most extraordinary experiences, but if one explains that it was a marvelous symbolic experience, they see nothing of the sort.
They are simply blindfolded by the fact that it actually occurred and cannot detach from it enough to see it as a symbolical event; it is real to them.
I say: “Don’t you see what that means?”
But they don’t even care what it means, they stick to the fact that it has happened and are crazy.
That is the root and they cannot detach from it.
You may remember, in the Two Essays, 7 the case of the young man who suddenly became insane
because of a disappointment in love.
He saw those starry couples in a great river, and then had a strong feeling conviction that the treasure was in the astronomical observatory.
He never could ask himself what it meant.
He would have been cured in one stroke had he been able to say to himself: This is a strange idea which is rising in my mind, what does it mean?
If he could have asked himself such a question, he would have been ready to establish a supernormal psychology.
Mrs. Crowley: In a way, would not the primitive rituals take the place of that?
Dr. Jung: Oh, yes. Initiation rituals do purposely drive people mad in order that they may have that extraordinary experience and be liberated from it at the same time, which, of course, is the very best protection.
It is like breaking a weak bone; when it heals it is stronger than before on account of the callous place.
It is pretty rough treatment for the bone, but we are forced to do it occasionally. It is no pleasure for either the patient or the doctor.
Now this woman has to remain down in the dark, in that very comprehensible fear, until she can stand it.
Usually such states of panic or great emotion last, or repeat themselves, as long as one cannot stand them.
When one can stand them, they are overcome; if one can tolerate such a condition and remain quiet, it vanishes.
It is as if one had taken the energy out of the emotional form and transformed it into a sort of consciousness.
That is the Kundalini process.
Then she continues:
At length I heard the Negro descending. (That Negro who was lying on the ground with his hands filled with fruit, that god of vegetation who had been above while she was down below.) He sang: “I sing to
you of darkness and of flaming fields.” He opened the door of the cavern.
You see he is the one who opens the way for her.
What is the meaning of his being above while she is down in the unconscious, of his being outside while she is inside?
Mrs. Crowley: It is because he is the detached part of herself; he can see the whole whereas she can see only a part.
Dr. Jung: Well, he is that power which is in the serpent fire, the part which she could not stand, and therefore it is projected.
He lives it, he holds the fruits of the earth, and he is pouring out his blood.
Now that is a Christian idea, the hero idea: we are not capable of living it, but the hero is capable of it.
Therefore if we have a burden we cast it upon him as quickly as possible and get rid of it.
The hero can carry it, and moreover he promises to redeem us-which is exactly the reason why nobody
That is quite impossible, it is a mere projection, a sort of historical illusion which was a truth that worked for a certain period of history.
But for us it will not work any longer.
We know very well that if we cast all our sins upon the Lord it won’t work, nothing happens and we only get neurotic.
So the Negro simply anticipated what she was intended to do: to be on the surface, to receive the fruits, and to pour out the blood. He is the opener of the way, the psychopompos.
Then she says:
That means that they are in absolute unbreakable union. As the Christians would say: Christ became my brother and my brother is myself, so I am Christ.
Now that is of course a most blasphemous assumption; anyone who said that would be considered insane.
But no, Christ was simply a modern individual.
He just lived his own mind, he had an interesting kind of conviction, and he made an experiment.
He identified with his own way against all traditions, against all conventions, against his whole family, and against all the respectable people of Palestine.
That is what he meant to do, and he paid for it.
And that is what this woman is meant to do, nothing else, just that.
It is like an early Christian going into the arena, or like Christ himself who was doubtful how the whole thing
would turn out so that he had his bad hours in the garden before he was crucified.
You see these things are as serious as in the early days of Christianity.
Tertullian taught his disciples to seek the arena, and that is the idea here: to become oneself and risk even going to the dogs, or being blasted to bits.
That is what is waiting for this woman, and therefore she needs the super-personal consciousness.
Now I think we may stop here because we are at the end of this vision.
I can only tell you that the process of becoming herself continues, but it is a slow process which requires a great deal of inner preparation.
You might have thought she would say: “Ah, I see!”-and leap to its accomplishment.
But that is impossible, she cannot step out of that vision into the street and say: I am what I am, and now come what may.
That is absolutely excluded because she would get into a most terrible panic.
She has to make herself safe first by a magic process.
The following visions are concerned with the symbolical or metaphorical processes which should make her strong in order to start on the warpath.
Before we leave, I want to call your attention to a new book by Charles Aldrich, The Primitive Mind and Modern Civilization.
It is an excellent exposition of primitive psychology.
He has done some work with me here and has a psychological point of view, so he presents his subject in a
way which is useful to us.
The books about primitive psychology are not always intelligent. It is published by Kegan Paul. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 412-427