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Visions Seminar

18 November 1931 Visions Seminar LECTURE II

We were speaking last time of the vision of the white city which our patient saw beyond the giant, and I quoted that fragment from the sayings of Jesus in the papyrus at Oxyrhynchus.

I have here a contribution from Mr. Allemann with the complete quotation:

“‘Jesus sayeth, ye ask who are those that draw us to the kingdom if the kingdom is in Heaven? The fowls of the air, and all beasts that are under the earth or upon the earth, and the fishes of the sea, these are they that draw you; and the Kingdom of Heaven is within you; and whoever shall know himself shall find it.

Strive therefore to know yourselves, and ye shall be aware that ye are the sons of the Father; and ye shall know that ye are in the city of God, and ye are the city.’

Is this not an exact parallel to the Indian conception of Atman-Brahman, being the spark of Life eternal within man, to find which in oneself is the most individual experience and at the same time the most collective one, as Brahman is Life in all creation and beyond creation?”

It is exactly the same idea.

You know early Christianity is supposed to have been influenced by the East, but it is difficult to make out to what extent.

The legend of the youth of Krishna, who was contemporary with Christ, is such a close parallel that Christians say it originated in Christian countries or was affected by Christian influences, while the Hindus

assert just the opposite.

As a matter of fact no one has really proved an influence either way, though such connections existed at other times.

This idea of the city of Brahman-which means Brahma himself, of course-is very much older than Christianity.

There it seems clear that there were connections between the East and the West.

No scholar in our days will deny the Persian influence on the conceptions of early Christianity; the Christian idea of heaven and hell, for instance, is typically Persian.

The influence of Hindu philosophy is still questionable, however, though it is a fact that there were Buddhist monasteries in Persia about two hundred years before the birth of Christ.

So it is possible that, through Persia, Buddhistic influences-or any other influences reached the Near East, perhaps Alexandria, and found a welcome there among the syncretistic elements which were at the origin of Christianity.

Since Christianity is one of the products of the syncretism of those early centuries, there might have been a direct connection with Indian ideas in Alexandria.

But it is also possible that it was an autochthonous, spontaneous growth, that the same thought originated in the Near East and the Far East.

Again and again in analysis I discover in dreams or fantasies ideas which are a close analogy of the Eastern ideas, and yet the dreamer has not the faintest notion that he is reproducing them.

Kundalini yoga is an excellent example, a remarkable parallel.

Mr. Baumann: A few years ago in Tibet, sculptured figures were found closely resembling Greek sculpture, almost the same style, yet they were made rather before the Greek time; and evidently the same rites were

celebrated for those gods as for the Greek gods.

Dr. Jung: Yes, there were Greek colonies as far east as the Punjab. You probably refer to the discoveries of the Turfan expedition.

Three or four German explorers discovered the existence of a Greek civilization-one could almost call it-at Turfan, which showed the great influence of Greek art upon Indian art, particularly upon Buddhistic art.

There was also a Byzantine influence; certain examples of Buddhist sculpture look exactly like Byzantine sculpture.

That was the Gandhara civilization-a mixture of Greek and Hindu.

Such influences date from the time of Alexander’s great campaign into India. He is still a legendary figure


Ishkandar is the Arabic form of Alexander; any Arab knows that name, and he is as well known in India.

This comes from the fact that, as late as about seven or eight hundred, the great highways that went from

the Far East, India and China, through Central Asia to Byzantium were still open, because the rivers were full of water.

But in the eighth and ninth centuries the rivers dried up, and the road was completely obliterated.

A few years ago an Englishman explored those caravan roads.

It was an extraordinary adventure, he almost died of thirst, but he found the old route which led from China to Byzantium, much of the way through the desert.

He discovered caches where precious books and silks and jewels had been hidden; and he found coins on the road, which had probably been dropped there by one of the last caravans that passed that way.

I suppose somebody had a hole in his pocket out of which dropped a coin from time to time, just where this Englishman found them, for nothing had happened since.

They were still lying there as they were left a thousand years ago, because nobody traveled there any longer; all the old rivers mentioned by the writers had dried up.

The existence of those roads shows that there was a close connection with the West, and it may account for the Greek remains in India.

Certain religious beliefs of the Near East penetrated into China; Manichaean documents, for instance, have recently been discovered there, translated from the Persian or Uigur language into Chinese, and they were found in East Turkestan as well.

The Christians, also, went into China; the famous Nestorian monument in Sianfu was erected in 781,

with the inscription in both Chinese and Syrian.

Wilhelm speaks of it in The Secret of the Golden Flower, and it seems not unlikely that even the text of the Golden Flower was affected by Christian ideas.

There was probably more traveling in those times than we assume, and therefore more mutual influences. Greek coins have been found as far north as Norway.

Not long ago a Greek coin was found near a dolmen about twenty miles from Zurich, and Greek writing was known here before the Roman conquest.

Well now, you remember that we were dealing with the dwarfs last time, which is a very important motif. What are they?

Miss Taylor: You said that they were helpers, teachers, and also that they were the innate spirit of things.

Mr. Allemann: Are they the natural mind?

Dr. Jung: Yes, but just now I would like to know how you would justify the idea that they were the spirit of things.

Can you substantiate it?

Mr. Allemann: They are cabiri, who are also helpers.

Dr. Jung: Yes, but that is not exactly the spirit of things. But there is one connection, the so-called Kanopoi.

These are the spirits of vessels, of amphoras and such things.

There was the idea that the spirits of ancestors were still living in the vessels used in the household, in pots, amphoras, etc., an idea which probably comes from the fact that in old civilizations the dead were buried in the great wine jars or amphoras such as were used to hold grain.

In Peru, as well as in the Near East, the dead were buried in such vessels, or when they were burned, the ashes were put in the amphoras.

Perhaps that is the rational origin of this idea, but besides, we have a much better psychological explanation in the peculiar fact that, according to legend, the dwarfs did the housework.

For instance, when a woman was kind and put something aside for them-a drop of milk perhaps-and particularly if she was not curious about them, then in the night they cleaned up the house with brush and water.

When she got up the next morning, the whole house was clean, all done by the brownies, the dwarfs.

The German word for them is Heinzelmiinner.

There is a beautiful drama called Der Tote Tag, written by a German artist named Barlach-he is not a writer, he is a sculptor or painter about the spirits of things.

He gives them names, he calls the ones who go about in the night and clean the house Besenbein, which means broom-leg.

The origin of that strange animation of objects is psychological.

It comes from the fact that our psychology in the beginning is by no means our psychology, everything is psychical through participation mystique.

That means by projection you might say, but it is never done by projection.

Nothing has ever been projected, that is a wrong conception really, the term projection is wrong; it has always been outside, it was never inside.

A so-called projection is simply a thing which is discovered to be outside, and it then becomes integrated by the discoverer with himself.

Our psychology was all found outside, it was never in our pockets.

And so it is with the primitive, the psychological functioning of the primitive is exteriorized, it is identical with things, the things are his mind.

Any country with old traditions, like Switzerland, has over it that net of the unconscious; we still have places with legends attached to them.

If you say to a peasant that you will give him twenty francs if he will tell you all the local legends, he doesn’t know what you are talking about.

But in the evening, over a glass of beer and a pipe, he is likely to say: “That is a bad place over there, a man has built a stable there but he will have trouble.”

They have agreed upon projecting a part of their psychology, a certain psychological effect, upon a certain place, and if you happen to buy that land and build a stable there, you associate with it and it becomes

a psychical fact-it is a part of the general unconscious of the people which is still alive.

So to the primitive, not only his land, his rivers, woods, and hills are alive, but also his personal belongings, his spears, swords, canoes, whatever his belongings are, and that goes so far that it is even expressed in the language.

In all primitive languages there are prefixes and suffixes to express whether an object is living or dead. Instead of simply speaking of “an ash tray,” you must always say whether the ash tray is male or

female or neuter or alive or dead.

Even in French or German you must say “der Aschenbecher,” showing that it is a masculine ash tray, and in a

primitive language you must say “der Aschenbecher lebendig,” the living ash tray.

In certain languages you must go even further and say whether it is upright or lying down, or whether it is inside or outside.

If you speak about it at all you must say: ash tray, male, alive, upright, inside the house.

If it belongs to me it is alive, if it belongs to you it is dead; since the ash tray belongs to the club, I say it is dead.

Whereas my book or my pipe, particularly my pipe, is teeming with life, it is sacred, nobody may touch it.

So the objects that are particularly beloved and connected with the chief’s life, like weapons, are assumed to have sex or life of their own, but it is always the life of the possessor, living parts of his psychology.

That accounts for the fact that still, in English, ships have sex, one speaks of them as she.

And on the Mediterranean, ships have eyes.

Of course, we explain that as apotropaic, warding off evil influences, but underlying it is the eternal idea that the ship is alive and has eyes and can see.

Also, primitives are absolutely convinced that there is no object in the world which does not speak.

Trees can speak, for instance, because everything is filled with its own life; and that is, of course, a complete

exteriorization of the psyche.

All this shows the origin of dwarfs, the spirit in objects; they are the last of that original mental condition, where objects were my life, or where my life was the objects.

And those psychological parts, the dwarfs, are personified because each part of the psyche is a person; it appears actively, with a human personal voice, so one must assume it to be a person.

Lunatics hear voices out of objects, out of the smallest things, perhaps a match, and they are personal voices, as if they were all small human beings.

Therefore it is exceedingly difficult to convince such people that the voices are not real, and this makes them almost incurable.

If they can pass beyond that stage, if the personality is synthesized again, they become able to realize that the voices were something outside; but as long as they are happening, they cling to their conviction

that they are real.

Mr. Baumann: There is a very impressive picture by A. Welti: A man has died and his body is being carried downstairs, and the spirits out of his golden wine cups follow him down.

Dr. Jung: Yes, that is a fine representation of this primitive fact, for all beloved objects contain a part of one’s psyche, and when one dies that mana recedes from the objects and emigrates, as it were.

Mr. Baumann: You said last time that the dwarfs were artistic, and chiefly did metal work. If they are really the spirits of things, they seem to try to express it in an artistic form.

Dr. Jung: That comes from the fact that if the object is alive, it suggests to you what you should do to it.

There is a beautiful Chinese story to illustrate that in the writings of Chuang-tze:

A wood-carver once made a bell frame, which all the people admired as if it were the work of spirits.

The Marquis of Lu also beheld it and asked by what art he had succeeded in producing it.

The wood-carver said: “I am but a craftsman and of what art should I be possessed? Yet one thing I will mention.

When about to undertake the work I was careful not to waste my vital powers with other thoughts and felt it necessary to fast in order to make my heart quiet.

After fasting for three days, I did not dare to think of any earthly gain or honor for the execution of my task.

After five days I did not presume to think of any praise or blame which it would produce, nor of the skill that it might display.

After seven days I had forgotten my body and all my limbs.

At that time I thought no more of your Highness and your court.

Thus I gathered myself up into my art, and all stultifying temptations from the outside world vanished.

Then I went into the wood and looked at the trees, their forms, and the manner of their growth.

When I came to the right tree, I saw the figure of the bell frame finished before me, and I applied my hand

to the work.

Had I not found that tree, I must have given up the work.

My Heaven-given faculty and the Heaven-given nature of the wood worked together upon it.

So was my spirit engaged in the production of the bell frame, and so it is that people think it a divine work.”

This story makes one understand the extraordinary feeling for the material in old Chinese sculpture: the material spoke to them.

And it seems as if the marble in old Greek sculpture told the artist what the figure or the column should be like that he was about to make, what the marble wanted to become.

Do you remember, for instance, the two figures of the barbarian slaves in the Boboli gardens in Florence?

I advise you, the next time you are in Florence, to go first to the tomb of the Medici and look at Michelangelo’s marbles there, and then take a taxi, don’t look out of the window, but drive straight to the Boboli gardens, and there you will see the difference.

Those two figures of the barbarians are suggested by the stone, the stone speaks, it is really the stone;

while in Michelangelo’s figures the stone has just nothing to say; you get an hysterical impression, you feel that he did something with the stone which never should have been done.

I had a feeling of nausea; I said, “Now this is hysteria.”

It is the beginning of the Baroque style, and that was certainly not suggested by the stone.

The Gothic style is also in a way hysterical because it is not true to the nature of the stone; the builders

suggested wood into the stone, and therefore they made buildings which are like plants.

And in antiquity they made the living ornament, like ivy, clutching the stone, not being the stone itself.

We have got very far away from the antique activity of the stone, when the spirit was still in the object and the object could suggest itself to the artists.

To the ancient artists or builders the material suggested a certain thing.

A goblet or a sword said: “You must decorate me in such and such a way.”

Or the canoe said: “You must paint me, you must give me eyes, you must decorate me because I love you.”

That was the relation, because the antique man was under the spell of the object.

For instance, a native was carving his canoe with the utmost love and care, and he spent so much time on it that when he came to the stern of the boat, the bow was already rotten.

The boat said: “I want to be carved”; so he carved and carved, and in the meantime the parts he did first were decaying.

If he were the master he would surely be able to do just so much carving, he could do what he liked.

But no, the boat is his superior and tells him what he must do, so he goes on for years, and in the

meantime the boat is gradually rotting away.

That shows what the animation of the object means. I am convinced that primitive inventions were

also made in that way, and that many poisonous or healing plants were discovered, not by experience but by the suggestion of the objects.

For when primitives say that the trees tell them this and that, it is apt to be the truth; perhaps not in one sense, but it is remarkable what the primitive unconscious can do when it is absolutely outside in the object.

One sees the same thing in mediums or in very sensitive people; they have one door still open, one part of their mind is not theirs, it is outside in an object and it knows what the object knows.

Such a fellow is able to produce one’s own thoughts, as if he were in possession of one’s goods, so to speak; and from such experiences one can draw conclusions about those early conditions where the human mind was still in objects.

Then man had only to perceive and apply what was suggested to him by the things themselves.

One hears similar remarks from artists even now, if they are a bit primitive-that certain materials suggest such and such forms or creations.

Now out of these facts, the ideas concerning the dwarfs have come.

On a higher level-we come now to modern times-the dwarfs have been obliterated as domestic spirits, but psychologically they are still there; that is, they are not yet part of the ego-consciousness.

It is questionable whether they can ever become part of it.

But they are no longer found in objects, they are now in our unconscious where they are the equivalent of objects; and there they function psychologically in the same way as objects functioned before, namely, as spontaneous suggestions, which may be either helpful or injurious.

Of course, you can say that nothing was suggested to you, that it just happened to come into your mind.

Since you cannot trace the origin of the suggestion you are inclined to deny that it has been suggested; you think that seems almost pathological and that you will be accused of hearing voices, or depending upon things you cannot admit.

But they are voices, no matter how you understand them, and here you have such a case: these helpful

powers are suggesting that this woman should be naked.

And we said that being naked means being as she really is, with no particular adornment, no particular fuss and conventional makeup to deceive others or herself.

She should be just herself with no veil in between. Now why should that be necessary?

You remember she wants to pass the giant who stands in her way to the white city.

Miss Taylor: You said it was in order to have nature on her side.

Dr. Jung: But how would that help her against the giant? Is nature as strong as the giant?

Dr. Reichstein: The giant is made essentially of the same stuff as her clothes, and if she takes off her clothes it will take away his power.

Dr. Jung: That is it.

Her clothes are also a persona, and if she throws away that veil or that deception, it would be what one calls sympathetic magic, a charm by analogy.

To produce rain by magic, one sprinkles water or milk or blood on the ground; or one imitates the sound of wind or rain, in order to create the mood of raining.

The so-called frog songs of the Rig-Veda are a good example; they are seven or eight thousand years old, and quite incomprehensible if they are not understood as rain charms.

The priests assemble and sing like frogs-sing the frogs-because frogs always sing during the rain, and thus they create the mood of rain in nature.

So by throwing away the thing in her which is like the obstacle, she would be throwing away or overcoming the obstacle.

Then she continues:

I threw stones at the giant, blinding him in one eye. Still he stood. I stabbed him in the breast many times.

Still he stood. I looked up into the sky.

Throwing stones at the giant and blinding him in one eye suggests famous analogies, David and Goliath, the Old Testament myth, for instance, which we spoke of last week.

Those things are tremendously in our bones.

People always wonder where they get all those biblical analogies.

It is because our ancestors were imbued with them.

The thumbling against the giant, blinding him in one eye is an old myth, which surely has something to do, also, with Ulysses and the Cyclops Polyphemus, who only had one eye.

But here she makes no impression upon the giant, he is apparently not put off; even when she stabbed him in the breast it did not help.

So the old means, rebelling against or attacking the obstacle, has not succeeded, and she is forced to invent new schemes.

She says:

I looked up into the sky and beheld a star which sent rays down to my forehead, and the crescent moon descended upon my head. “Behold,” I said to the giant. But still he stood.

Even when, very naively, she points to a crescent upon her head, it does not work.

Now what would it indicate, that she has a crescent on her head?

Mrs. Fierz: That she is the goddess of the moon.

Dr. Jung: No less than that! But it makes no impression upon the giant, and the reason is that it is just bunk, it is not real.

She could never be a moon goddess, that is mere inflation, she is trying to bluff him.

You know certain people, when they are up against their own fear of public opinion, quickly identify with one divinity or another, hoping for help, but it is no help because it is just bunk.

So the identification with the moon goddess proves to be useless.

This gesture of the patient is by no means unique; as I said, people often try it in the moment of difficulty,

in order to make a certain impression, for they themselves really believe it.

You see, it is something like a fascination that comes over her.

She is caught in her own concepts, in her own words; she has a feeling of divinity through an inflation from the unconscious.

Her continuous preoccupation with these unconscious concepts has given her a sense of power and importance, which is quite apart from the usual little effects, the little vanity that one can produce something which is interesting to the analyst.

The other fact, the inflation one gets through the occupation with the collective unconscious, is much stronger.

After a while one has the feeling that it is all rather simple and very beautiful, and that one must be very gifted to see such marvellous things, that it must be a divine influx filling one with such pictures.

Also the idea that it is all coming up from one’s own creative depths, indicates that one is perhaps the originator, and so slowly the identification with the deity filters into one’s psychology whether one likes it or not.

With due modesty one says: “Of course I am not a god, but it is after all very wonderful what one can do, what beautiful things one sees.”

And one gets so used to this royal array that after a while one must come to the conclusion that one is something very peculiar at least.

Then when the difficulty comes, one falls back on being Napoleon, or something like that. It is a sort of unconscious readiness to bluff.

It is quite legitimate up to a certain point, but in this case it will not help, because that giant is not human and cannot be killed with ordinary bluff.

For bluff is made of the same stuff as this giant; he knows all about it.

It is again a veil, this time a divine nakedness.

You know people like to say, more or less in the words spoken by Luther before the Emperor at the Reichstag in Worms: “Here am I standing and God help me”-that sort of thing because they feel their own case to be analogous.

They feel themselves to be a great reformer or a great martyr perhaps.

It ought to work, but it is the same fabric as the giant himself, also an illusion, a veil of deception.

Even when there is no particular difficulty to face, people are apt to remind themselves of their own greatness and importance.

“Don’t you know who I am really?”-something like that.

There was a case in Zurich-I should really tell the story in Swiss-a very popular man here once met several boys playing ball in the road, and he very foolishly played with them.

Then after a while he could not hold it in any longer, he found it too marvellous that he should condescend to these little creatures, they should at least tell at home with whom they had played.

So he said to one of the boys: “Do you know with whom you are playing, do you know who I am?”

And the boy said: Oh, yes, you are a-well, the equivalent of a jackass.

We have that marvellous word in Swiss, Loli.

You see, the child saw through the veil.

Like the beautiful Andersen fairy tale of the king who announced that he had new clothes made of stuff that

was invisible to all those people who lied, that was visible only to those who told the truth.

He walked into the church in his shirt, and of course they all said that they saw the clothes; there was only one little child who was honest enough to say: “Why does that man walk about in his shirt?”

Well, the vision goes on:

Then I saw a faun who beckoned me into the woods and gave me a goblet to drink. When I had drunk, a great strength entered into me and I returned to the giant. A white bird flew at the giant’s throat, sucking the blood therefrom until he sank into the ground. Then I stepped over the body and walked into the white city. The light was blinding, the white stones hurt my feet.

That is a theme for fantasy obviously.

At all events the faun suggests an antique reminiscence; it is a regression into the woods.

She goes far back into the Dionysian mentality; therefore the goblet which belongs to the cult of Dionysus, the blood or the wine.

And that touch of the earth is sufficient to give her the necessary strength to overcome the giant.

Not that it is she who does it, it is the white bird that flies at him. What about this white bird?

Dr. Reichstein: It is again the spirit which was once killed by the Indian.

Dr. Jung: Yes, and later it flew down to the Great Mother figure.

Here we have that bird again, after the Dionysian intermezzo.

It would seem as if she would now be in possession of the white bird, but it appears, not as her possession, but as the typical helpful animal, apparently because she followed the beckoning faun.

Drinking the blood meant a reidentification with nature, as in the Dionysian cult it was a reconciliation of

man estranged from man through civilization.

In those ancient days when the original wildness broke forth, it was sometimes expressed in a very emphatic way: the maenads tore the flesh of living animals with their own teeth.

Now after this identification with nature, nature proves helpful, sending the white bird. In modern Christian psychology, a white bird is always associated with the Holy Ghost, but it is very difficult to understand how the Holy Ghost could enter the scene here at all.

How could the Holy Ghost appear when a Dionysian mystery has been celebrated?

Dr. Barker: Can you look upon it as the result of the union between her and the Dionysian?

Dr. Jung: We must, it is the result.

The animals become helpful because she has been reconciled to nature, but how is it possible that the Holy

Ghost enters the scene after the faun episode?

That is difficult to explain.

Dr. Reichstein: The spirit is also a part of nature.

Dr. Jung: Are you conscious of what you say?-the spirit as a part of nature? I hope we have no theologians here!

But I am quite of your opinion, I am certain that there would be no spirit if it were not part of nature.

Dr. Reichstein: So it would undergo the same laws as nature generally undergoes.

Dr. Jung: But by what principle would you explain that or make it plausible?

Well, we must not forget the fact that “les extremes se touchent, ” which means that when we reach one extreme, in the very next minute we encounter the other.

It is the law of enantiodromia, the law of Heraclitus, that when things have reached their culmination they transform into their own opposite.

That is the teaching of the I Ching.

So this woman goes to one extreme with that faun, back into a pre-Christian cult, and in that moment the turn comes.

For instance, St. Paul received the Christian revelation at the time of his greatest sin.

When he was apparently the farthest away from Christ, really persecuting the Christian she was on his worst errand when he went to Damascus-just there he had the vision of Christ.

That would be absolutely incomprehensible if we did not know that the yea is close to the nay.

Here, then, in an instant the situation is quite transformed, the bird is really the natural spirit, and it is the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost is always expressed by a natural thing, either by fire or by a bird.

These two symbols have been retained in the canonical writings because they could not very well be evaded or wiped out.

In the quotation I read to you today, Jesus said it was the animals that led you to the Kingdom.

How could you ever understand yourself without realizing the animal that is within you? But you avoid the knowledge of yourself.

Then you may ask why you avoid that knowledge, and the answer is, on account of the giant.

For you can only know yourself if you really get into yourself, and you can only do that when you accept the lead of the animal.

You can fully understand why the church had to obliterate that saying of Jesus, it was too awkward.

Animals play no role in the New Testament, except in the famous passage of St. Paul about the apokatastasis, which is mentioned as included in the great mystery of redemption.

So one could say that through that regression to the Dionysian point of view, through the contact with the earth, the miracle of Antaeus had occurred.

Antaeus was the giant whom Hercules was unable to overcome until he discovered that he was the son of the earth, that when he touched the ground he was so strong that he could not be overcome.

Therefore Hercules lifted him up, and the moment Antaeus lost contact with the earth he was powerless, and Hercules easily overcame him.

So getting down to the earth means strength; then one touches facts which cannot be denied.

And instantly when the earth is touched, the other phenomenon which belongs to nature comes up; the compensating phenomenon is the spirit.

Therefore one finds them together in the Dionysian cult.

Silenus is always with Dionysus, you know; Silenus is the wise old bird, always drunk, yet speaking the wisdom of the wine, the wisdom of the earth.

They are drunken gods, but on the other side, they are both gods of prophecy.

Therefore Dionysus is beside Apollo as the other proprietor of the oracle of Delphi.

That the spirit was contained in the Dionysian mystery we know, also, from the results of excavations in the Villa dei Mysteri in Pompeii, from those frescoes of the initiation ceremonies, which I have shown you.

And it is evident in the resemblance, or contamination, between Bacchus and Christ.

There is nothing without spirit, for spirit seems to be the inside of things. Dionysus is concerned with the outside of things, with tangible forms, with everything that is made of earth, but inside is the spirit, which is

the soul of objects.

Whether that is our own psyche or the psyche of the universe we don’t know, but if one touches the earth one cannot avoid the spirit.

And if one touches it in the friendly way of Dionysus, the spirit of nature will be helpful; if in an unfriendly way, the spirit of nature will oppose one.

Therefore the countless legends of people who have offended the spirits of things.

The primitives are tremendously afraid of doing the wrong thing, of not being polite to the spirits; in certain places they have to bow, or to whisper something to propitiate a certain ghost; they have to pay attention.

We never pay attention, so we probably offend the spirits of things all the time, and because we have not been polite they will be against us, and this leads us more and more into a kind of dissociation from our

own nature.

That the white bird sucks the blood of the giant means that the power of public opinion is completely hollowed out by the spirit.

The spirit is that which makes us free; this woman is instantly freed from the weight of convention when she is helped by the natural spirit.

Without it she is quite powerless. Now what is the spirit? That is the question.

Well, the spirit is really a certain attitude: one speaks of doing something in a certain spirit, or that a certain spirit moves one, meaning a sort of general idea, or an archetype.

But it is not made by man; no idea made by man can move one.

The best this woman could do was the moon goddess idea; that was her own invention, and it proved to be completely inefficient.

But if the bird is on her side the giant collapses; that is, when a natural spiritual attitude is present, it works immediately; it is as if the giant had never existed and as if there had never been any conventions.

Now it is necessary to have conventions.

Nothing would be more foolish than to destroy them; they would never have come to pass if they were not really needed.

And it is right to collapse before convention, we are meant to collapse before that giant.

Otherwise we could not overcome the giant.

It would do no good, it would always be too early in life.

It is much better that we collapse, for we thus remain at least in an orderly condition.

To fight convention by futile arguments and attacks at society only leads us into a new convention which is worse than it was before.

We really cannot circumvent it.

The only thing that may break conventions is the spirit; it is worthwhile to break conventions for a new


To oppose convention for a whim or a fad is nothing but foolish destruction if we succeed at all.

But for the spirit it is something else.

Spirit is constructive; out of spirit something can come, because it is a living thing and a fertilizing thing, so naturally it has a great advantage over mere conventions.

A convention is never creative, but spirit is always creative.

You can find this psychology in the Epistles of St. Paul; everything that I am saying here about the spirit, he has already said.

His relation to the spirit is exactly what I mean by this passage.

When the giant collapses, she steps over his body and walks into the white city; that is, she arrives at the Self, and one could expect here something very impressive.

But the light was blinding and the white stones hurt her feet.

So her arrival in the white city, which really should be a sort of triumphant entrance, is not so wonderful.

To what does that point?

Miss Hannah: She cannot stand it yet, she is not ready for it.

Dr. Jung: She doesn’t seem quite ready for it. Probably she has had an illusion.

When she sees the white city from the distance, she naturally thinks, as anybody would: there is the place of rest, the place of completion, the real goal.

We assume that such a goal must necessarily be most satisfactory in every respect, but the vision says, by no means.

Well, that is often the case.

It is the Christian prejudice to connect the idea of the perfect, almost paradisiacal condition with the idea of redemption.

We assume that we will be in a blissful state when redeemed; if not here, then at least after death.

But in reality it is not so simple as that.

The Self can be, and very often is, the most difficult task; it is almost insupportable.

That is why people avoid it; they do their level best not to become acquainted with themselves, not to be themselves, because everything else seems to be easier.

It is as if people had a very clear notion about the Self, and therefore they avoid it most carefully, for in becoming acquainted with it there would probably be trouble.

That is also anticipated by the Christian legend, we learned it there.

Jesus was the first man-for us-to show what happens when one becomes oneself, and we are not ready to go as far as that.

He got into terrible trouble, and his real followers in the first centuries found themselves in various bad


Some got into the arena, some were tarred and feathered and used as torches by Nero, others were crucified upside down like St. Peter, or beheaded like St. Paul.

It was not agreeable.

Our arenas are of a much more subtle nature, things are getting very psychical in our times, far more invisible, through back yards and round corners.

The torture is much more refined, but life has not become easier in any way. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 447-460