Visions Seminar

10 February 1932 Visions Seminar Lecture IV

Here is a question from Mrs. Sawyer: “How does it happen that the shadow assumes such a positive and helpful role? Has the shadow become tired of her own connection with the animus? I suppose it means that the patient has accepted her shadow to such an extent that the shadow is now able to behave in a positive way.”

Your idea is that the shadow has assumed such a positive and helpful  role on account of its separation from the animus?

Mrs. Sawyer: I wanted to know why the shadow was marrying the animus to the patient, therefore severing her own connection with the animus and behaving in a positive way.

Dr: Jung: Well, the multitude of soldiers is of course the animus as many, but here he is one; that unknown man is the animus, and here the patient is wedded to him.

Usually the animus is in connection with the shadow and not with the conscious, because the shadow is that part of a person which is in the unconscious.

Further away in the unconscious the animus is an object, while the shadow has the quality of the subject.

You see, the shadow is practically the same as the personal unconscious; those two concepts are more or less identical, one must allow for the fact that the personal unconscious is a sort of distortion of the shadow because it consists of repressed material.

The Freudian concept of the unconscious is the personal unconscious alone, inasmuch as Freud assumes that the unconscious only exists, practically, on the basis of repressions.

This is at least his main working hypothesis.

According to his idea, the unconscious exists only as a function of the conscious, it has no virtue of its own, no existence of its own.

He assumes that if one changes one’s conscious personal attitude, one no longer has any unconscious, that if his interpretation of neurotic symbolism were to be generally known, the neurotic would be cured, that he has a neurosis only because he does not know what it is all about.

Say he has an incest complex; as soon as he knows it, he cannot be neurotic.

Now that is a wrong idea because it is based upon the assumption, first of all, that the neurosis is caused by repressions.

Freud simply takes that for granted; he is absolutely convinced that if one knows the contents of one’s repressions, one must necessarily be well again.

But this is not true.

So his concept of the personal unconscious is what I would call the shadow, and yet it is not altogether that.

It looks like hairsplitting when I try to explain such a subtle difference, but it is very important to know it for practical reasons; for the shadow is a normal and natural fact, while the Freudian unconscious, or the personal unconscious, is not necessarily a normal and natural fact; it is to a certain extent a cultural fact.

When one asks people what their shadow is, they are likely to tell you what they repress; that is, their conscious

assumption of the nature of their shadow.

But one must realize that such an assumption does not necessarily coincide with reality.

We usually make the mistake of assuming that the shadow coincides with our repressions, we explain it in those terms. It may be so, but it is not necessarily so.

The real evil in people is often quite different; they repress something which perhaps is not even evil, it is only a mistake, an illusion.

I will tell you a case.

A man came to me and told me among other things that he was homosexual.

He didn’t look so and I get rather suspicious when people assure me that they have sexual peculiarities, so I asked him whether he had had a Freudian analysis, and found that he had for some months.

Then I said: “Now tell me, have you had love affairs with boys?” “Oh no,” he said, quite upset, “it is not as bad as that.”

“But of what does your homosexuality consist? Do you have fantasies about boys, do you like them better than girls?”

“Oh no, I have always been in love with girls.

When the analyst told me I was homosexual I was shocked, I didn’t know it.”

“But how did the analyst know since you did not know it?”

“It came as a great surprise; I once dreamed that I was sleeping with someone whom I thought was a woman and it turned out to be a boy. I woke up terribly shocked.”

Now of course one can dream anything, one can dream that one is sleeping with an animal, but that does not prove that one is a sexual pervert, it is simply a symbol.

But those people take it quite literally and are convinced that it is sexual, which is simply not true.

That symbolism does not come from a repression; the repression theory is not necessarily an eternal truth, it is a point de vue, an aperr;u.

So one must make a difference between the shadow and the personal unconscious.

The personal unconscious in a way coincides with the shadow, yet it also may be like a film of illusion, or a sort of assumption about the negative nature of the shadow.

The shadow is the negative of the conscious personality, but it may be much more decent and have many more positive qualities than the conscious.

For many people live their dark side in the conscious, their conscious life is the shadow life.

Such people are always putting the wrong foot forward; you know people often look much more stupid than they really are-though usually it is the other way round.

But certain people look idiotic and do all the wrong things, and even indulge in such behavior, either because it gives them

more pleasure to be martyrs, or because they take it for granted that things are like that, that naturally they live in a hell of a world and naturally they are the victims of it.

There is always a sort of hidden Christ complex in such an attitude; also that infantile principle: “It serves you

right when it hurts me.”

So the film of illusion which we have about our shadow is not to be taken as the shadow; to find out what the shadow

really is, is sometimes quite a task.

We all know those people who live the shadow, like the unfortunate bird who cannot enter a concert hall without stumbling over a chair and always has to cough during a pianissimo; or the person who congratulates the mourners at a funeral when he means to express his sympathy.

There are many such unfortunate beings who go through life falling into one hole or another, and if one asks them about their shadow, they inform one that they are murderers, cutthroats and gamblers and everything that is wrong, while in reality they are entirely decent folk.

If one takes away that film of illusion about their own shadow, one discovers eighty percent true gold, perfectly nice people.

It is a surprising experience to discover that.

Then other people always put the right foot forward, and if asked about their shadow, they admit that they have any amount of faults and are quite willing to see them, because to admit a sin polishes up their resplendent surface still more.

But when one by chance comes upon a specific sin, they cannot admit it, and there one has the shadow; you see they also have a wrong idea about their other side.

But here we are not speaking of such assumptions, we speak of the shadow as it is in reality, namely, the unconscious part of the conscious personality, and that is an exceedingly real thing.

To say the shadow is merely absence of light is like the famous definition which optimistic people give about evil-that evil is nothing but the absence of good, it is only a mistake.

But when one looks at the way things develop in the world, one sees that the devil is really in things, that there is an abysmal evil at work.

One cannot explain the destructive tendency of the world by the mere absence of good or a mistake made in something originally good.

People say that at bottom man is good but that is not true, one could just as well say that he was the devil from the very beginning.

Are the untold millions spent for armies and weapons and poisons only because of the absence of good?

No, it is a very evident will to destruction, which is wrong.  Destruction is just as real as construction.

Is the destruction of northern France, or the destruction now going on in Shanghai, not real because it is wrong?

That the shadow is the absence of light is of course true of the physical phenomenon; when one is sitting in the shadow on a cool day and begins to shiver, the absence of light is a very obvious fact.

But in the psychological sphere, one side of ourselves is positive and constructive, and the other side is not merely inert, it is actually destructive, it has a destructive will, and that is an activity too; it is not an absence of activity, it is an active evil will.

And so our shadow is an existing thing, as much or all the more evil, the more we are positive and constructive in the conscious.

I mean, when one tries desperately to be good and wonderful and perfect, then all the more the shadow develops a definite will to be black and evil and destructive.

People cannot see that; they are always striving to be marvellous, and then they discover that terrible destructive things happen which they cannot understand, and they either deny that such facts have anything to do with them, or if they admit them, they take them for natural afflictions, or they try to minimize them and to shift the responsibility elsewhere.

The fact is that if one tries beyond one’s capacity to be perfect, the shadow descends into hell and becomes the devil.

For it is just as sinful from the standpoint of nature and of truth to be above oneself as to be below oneself.

It is surely not the divine will in man that he should be something which he is not, for when one looks into nature, one sees that it is most definitely the divine will that everything should be what it is.

I must use my usual metaphor here, I am again reminded of the good tiger that learned to eat apples.

Such a tiger is surely not the tiger that it was meant to be, it is a perversion of the creative will.

Now you ask, Mrs. Sawyer, whether this old woman who is throwing the fire upon them, the patient’s shadow, is behaving in a positive way?

Mrs. Sawyer: It seems to me that by marrying the animus to the patient, the shadow is severing her own connection with the animus, and therefore she is doing something for the good of the whole psyche. I wondered if it meant that the patient had accepted her shadow so that the shadow is now helpful.

Dr. Jung: That is not so simple.

We must remember the text here.

She sees one of the riders standing before the ghost of an old woman, and in front of the ghost is a cauldron seething with fire.

And we said that the cauldron shows that the old woman is a witch, which is nothing very positive.

Moreover she is not even a real witch, she is a ghost of a witch which makes it still more negative, it is very spooky.

So evidently the shadow did not become positive, despite the fact that she weds the patient to the animus.

Mrs. Sawyer: But does not the shadow thus renounce the animus connection?

Dr. Jung: Well, the patient has acquired a very active attitude, she even throws down the helmet which the animus offered to protect her against enemies.

She shows herself in a very masculine role and obviously aware of what she is doing, so the result is that one of the animus riders dismounts and comes to her.

She forces the animus down to herself, in other words, and both are standing before the witch.

The shadow has done nothing really, the shadow remains negative; the patient herself is active and detaches the animus from the shadow, thus making the shadow into a ghost, an unreal thing, yet with the positive quality of fire.

The witch can be a witch whether she is a real witch or a ghost, she can throw fire upon them, and the question is whether the fire is positive.

My supposition would be that it is a destructive evil will; she puts into them an angry flame from the witch’s fire. Do you understand?

Mrs. Sawyer: Yes, thank you. I thought the shadow was doing something on her own initiative.

Dr. Jung: I should say that the shadow was absolutely unconscious; all the activity is in the patient, and she forces the animus to come to her.

In other words, she acquires her own mind, or the Logos function, which in a woman’s case is always an autonomous content of the collective unconscious; as relatedness in man, the Eros function, is a content of the collective unconscious to begin with.

And it is up to him to force Eros to his side, to marry the anima that before entertained a relationship with his shadow figure-his primitive mind or whatever the shadow might be; for the shadow may be very different things as I told you.

Mrs. Sawyer: Does the witch herself not say, “Now I have wedded you?”

Dr. Jung: She says, “I will wed you with fire,” and then she throws fire upon them. But that fire comes from the unconscious side, it is a sort of telluric fire, a fire from the bowels of the earth, from the witch’s cauldron, and the witch’s cauldron is muladhara, the root center.

Mr. Baumann: I think Mozart knew a good deal of modern psychology -the problem of the wandering anima in Don Juan, for instance, and even the problem of the shadow. In The Marriage of Figaro, there are two couples, one is the shadow of the other.

Dr. Jung: In fiction also, the villain is very often the hero on the other side, a partner in the same game only he holds the unconscious side.

The typical villain figure is the shadow.

One can often see very clearly that he is just the other side of the hero himself.

Usually they are even in love with the same girl, the same Pudencian, as a modern writer has called them.

I really must call your attention to that story, “A Voyage to Purilia,” by Elmer Rice.

It is one of a collection of stories by different authors in a book called Holiday Omnibus, and it is a wonderful demonstration of the modern American movie psychology.

The author describes a planet hitherto unknown on which things happen as they happen at the movies.

The country is called Purilia, and he gives a sort of natural history of it and a classification of the peculiar types of human beings living there.

He says they look like us, they all look very human.

The main figures, those who enjoy almost divine worship, are the so-called Umbilicans, who are characterized by an atmosphere of great devotion.

They are always very sorrowful, and their chief occupation consists in standing at a window, knitting, and looking at the photos of absent ones, usually children.

Then the second class is the Pudencians, who are girls between eighteen and twenty-two.

Later on they always marry but they never lose their virginity.

They are very beautiful young girls, and they are invariably in terrible emotional stress, because they are desperately in love with a certain class of men called the Paragonians, yet persecuted and tortured by another class of men, the villains.

But the villains never succeed. As the name denotes, the Paragonians are paragons in every respect.

They are exceedingly virtuous, they are always most athletic, they are infinitely resourceful, and they are of superhuman

strength, a match for ten fellows of white skin and thirty fellows of colored skin; they excel in every art and craft.

They are excellent aviators, first-class shots, and they always win out, they are practically immortal, yet they are afflicted with terrific wounds sometimes, which heal, however, in an incredibly short time provided that a Pudencian gives the Paragonian a kiss.

The class opposite the Paragonians are the villains, and they are always fighting a lonely fight.

They are called the Vauriens, and there is a tremendous number of casualties among them; they undergo heavy losses,

they are shot, they are thrown down from skyscrapers, they fall down from airplanes, and they go down with ships at sea.

For they are always after the Pudencians, they try to kidnap them and to seduce them by the most violent means.

But they never succeed because the Pudencian never loses her virginity even if they are married, as childbirth has nothing

to do with sexual intercourse; childbirth is entirely metaphysical and has only to do with the marriage ceremony; that makes them pregnant.

Children come as a sort of surprise, they are already there, and usually already provided with teeth.

Occasionally one sees a woman knitting little socks or something like that, but it is very bad taste and should not be-it is regarded as almost too indelicate.

Then comes the most despised class on that planet, women called Bordellians.

This is a very peculiar class; they have never been seduced, they have never lost their virginity, because they never had any, they were always wrong, and their chief object is to seduce the Paragonians.

Occasionally they almost succeed in something which looks like the very thing, but since the Paragonian never loses his virtue, one doesn’t know what they really are after; the Paragonian always wins out, yet he is somewhat distracted by the Bordellians.

There is also another class of men, who are neither Paragonian nor Vaurien, neither this nor that, morally indifferent, but they are occasionally seen.

They are usually men in bowler hats, much too big shoes, and baggy trousers, who simply cannot adapt to the peculiarities of that civilization.

I remember one, for instance, who was caught in the swing door of a hotel, and he went round and round until the swing door shot him out into the street, where by chance a very dignified lady was walking past, with a pram containing a suckling; he landed with his lower parts in that pram, and the suckling, having already developed teeth, bit him on the bottom.

This sub-caste of men are really most unfortunate creatures; they are utterly incapable of coping with even the most ordinary mechanical contrivances.

They are always seen hanging out of carriage windows, or being run over by automobiles, or doing the most nonsensical things.

They are supposed to be the last survivors of a prehistoric race that could not adapt to modern life in Purilia.

Then their religion is marvellous: there is a voice that functions like God himself, a very peculiar impartial voice that comes suddenly out of the sky.

When the human being who tells the story first landed on that planet, it was a pleasant evening in early spring.

He landed from a sort of flying machine, and as he walked away from the field to a cottage in the distance, admiring the landscape, he suddenly heard a voice out of the wonderful blue sky that said: “Spring comes early in Purilia.”

And then he observed that each time he came to something which he did not yet know, a perfectly impersonal voice said something about the situation.

It was most informing and instructive but he could never find out exactly where that voice came from.

Of course it is the text inserted in the movies, the apt remark.

It is all a most amazing caricature of collective psychology.

The Vauriens and the Paragonians are almost the same, they are interested in the same object, they have the same purpose, only the one tries to attain his goal by wonderful feats of prowess, and the Vaurien tries to reach his end in awful, vicious ways, but the result is the same: they both arrive at practically nothing.

For the human man tried that life too, he behaved exactly like a Paragonian and fell in love with a Pudencian, who

was extremely happy and made tremendous eyes at him-the Pudencians are always exceedingly loving.

He went through terrible emotional mistakes, because it seemed that ordinary things were always misunderstood

and had entirely different effects, but in the end they came together and were going to be married.

One marriage alone seldom took place, usually some other marriages occurred at the same time, very often it was the mother.

So this man’s mother-in-law was to be married to an old Paragonian whom she had lost fifty years before, and a friend of his girl, another Pudencian, was being married to a friend of his own, and their wedding ceremonies took place before his.

Then he noticed that as soon as they were married those two couples just vanished, they lost their contours and became nonexistent, so he ran away and got into his plane, because he didn’t want to vanish.

He looked back whilst running away-the priest had already given the blessing and he could just get away in that moment-and the girl still remained there in an ecstasy of joy.

That is the reason why the Umbilicans never have husbands; they are always lost, for as soon as they have them they vanish.

Now we will go back to our work.

Mrs. Sawyer’s question has shown me that this vision is pretty complicated, and I think we had better go through the part once more, which we went over last week.

This union of the patient and her animus creates a different situation, of course; she is separated from the shadow or in opposition to the shadow, and yet she is wedded to the animus.

That means that she now has an immediate connection with the collective unconscious; which gives a chance for the

blending of the collective unconscious with the conscious, the two can unite, which naturally produces a new condition.

For the principle pair of opposites is the conscious world and the unconscious world, and when the two come together, it is as if man and woman were coming together, the union of the male and the female, of the light and the darkness.

Then a birth will take place.

Therefore in alchemy the Lapis philosophorum, which is the reconciling symbol, is often characterized by the union of the male and the female.

I have recently seen such a representation, a square in a triangle, and the triangle in a circle, the square containing the male sign on one side and the female sign on the other.  So the philosopher’s stone is characterized as such by the reconciliation of the pairs of opposites, the Yang and the Yin.

And being wedded to the animus means this union of Yang and Yin.

You see, in that case the conflict between the two worlds, the light world and the dark world, the visible world and the invisible world, would be settled in her, it would be the beginning-or the anticipation at least-of Tao.

That is, of course, only a psychological condition; in this case it is a mere intuition.

One would seek in vain for symptoms of Tao in her external life, or even in her general feeling about herself.

The way by which Tao could be established is only indicated.

If Tao should really be established, everything would get into its place; there would be no conflict needing soldiers and helmets and other means of protection.

Now in order to bring about this union of opposites it is first of all necessary that the principle of Yang as well as of Yin should be active in her psychology; it is important that she should contain the principle of light, that she should not lose consciousness and understanding.

But on the other side she must have the power of darkness; that is the flame in her breast.

Similar things have been hinted at before-that dark influences got at her, or that the animus transformed into the dark principle, like that Negro.

But here it is in the form of the flame of her Eros, the flame shooting from her heart.

And the flame of the Logos comes out of the man’s head.

Now that flame is unholy, it has to do with the fire of hell rather than with the warmth of the light.

It is an intensity of the dark purpose, and the old witch says to them: “Go forth and see what you can find,” which is not just a blessing.

It would mean that further on the way they would encounter tremendous obstacles, for they have to deal now with the most immediate and formidable resistances of the earth.

So they go out into the darkness of the forest, the place where they cannot see far, where there are hidden dangers, and there they discover the snakelike dragon.

For us the dragon is the principle of chthonic darkness, exactly contrary to the meaning in Chinese mythology.

I told you last week the early Christian story of a certain saint who discovered in a cave the artificial dragon with a sword for a tongue, onto which the virgins were thrown as a yearly sacrifice.

And what was the specific meaning of that dragon with the sword for a tongue?

Mrs. Sawyer: We said last time that it was gossip and public opinion.

Dr. Jung: Yes, she has to face that.

So the man, who is her mind, wrenched the sword-or the knife-from the dragon and, tearing out its teeth, threw them behind him, meaning that her mind takes the sting out of the gossip.

You see, in analysis one naturally has to deal with gossip all the time, and one finds that there is usually a sting in it because it contains an element of truth.

Moreover, it stings because, inasmuch as we are collective, we also have collective opinions, collective opinions are all over us; and when we hear the same thing outside which we already have within us, it stings us in the back, so we are momentarily overcome and our thought fails us.

Therefore I usually say to anyone who is wounded by gossip: “Now let us think about it, what has really

happened?-and does it really matter?”

And then it becomes obvious that it is not worthwhile to get excited, it is often complete nonsense.

If people are able to think-of course I don’t mean intellectual thinking,

but if they have a meditative sort of mind and can submit the thing to their reasoning powers, if they are capable of taking it in an objective way, not merely personally and emotionally-they can then disinfect the sting, they can even overcome the bad effect.

And that is done through the Logos element which discriminates between things, while a woman who has nothing but the Eros element is related to the thing that stings and is stung again and again.

She has absolutely no weapon against it because her Eros principle always tries to establish a relationship to it; while if she begins to think about it, there is a space in between, and she is relatively safe.

So here our patient has to learn to disarm gossip or wounding remarks in the way that a man would arrive at his own convictions independent of public opinion.

She has to forget her woman’s ways, her Eros by which she has hitherto tried to adapt to things that wounded her.

Arrows and all sorts of missiles were shot at her, you remember, but they were merely that so-called public opinion.

Now, according to this part of the vision, she can only attain to a relatively safe state when she is able to think things out.

So the animus tears out the knife and the teeth and throws the teeth behind him.

Throwing the teeth behind him is a symbol-it alludes to a motif which I described in Psychology of the Unconscious.

The story is that after the great flood everything was extinct except Deucalion and Pyrrha, and in order to create human beings again, they were told to throw the bones of the Great Mother behind them; they understood the bones to be stones, so they threw stones behind them, from which sprang up human beings.

Then in the myth of Jason, teeth were sown in the earth and up came armed men from the furrows.

So this is concerned with the creation of new people, but it is not followed up here, so I will not insist upon it. I will repeat the next lines of the text: “We walked on and soon came to a block of ice. I said: ‘Within that ice is a beautiful red jewel.

How shall we melt the ice to obtain the jewel?’ The man answered: ‘Only your body will melt it.’ So I lay on the ice which melted away. I gave the jewel to the man who put it upon his breast.”

What is the block of ice with the red jewel in it? You see this symbolism emphasizes the importance of the body.

When a woman is wedded to the animus, she is usually lifted up into a mental sphere where she is only concerned with spiritual things, as if everything could be done through a spiritual attitude.

But that is a wrong kind of spirituality, because behind it is a secret joy that she has escaped the awkward problem of the body.

And this vision says only the warmth of the body will melt the ice which contains the red jewel.

So a certain influence of the animus, which would lift her up too far into the spiritual sphere, is here counteracted by the emphasis upon the body, on the fact that the ice cannot be melted otherwise, that the body plays a decisive part in her

further progress.

Now what does the red jewel signify?

Obviously a great deal depends upon the interpretation of that red jewel.

Mrs. Fierz: The feelings.

Dr. Jung: Yes, the heart or the blood; it is feeling warmth, and a jewel of that red substance could be called love.

As the heart is a red jewel, I think we are safe in assuming that it means the treasure or the jewel of life, here surrounded by a block of ice.

For if one is lifted up into the upper stratas of the atmosphere, everything is frozen, so even the heart gets cold, just on account of the animus.

When women begin to think, they often dismiss the heart altogether, and if the animus functions all alone, it is as if the world contained no feeling at all, or anything like Eros.

The animus statement is always peculiarly beside the mark because it is made in an absolutely unfeeling way.

So this vision confirms what we have seen before, that through her contact with the animus she becomes disembodied and cold, her heart is in the ice block.

But the human heart has to do with the body, it is not made of air, and she can only obtain the jewel by using her body to melt the ice; for that flame is in the body, and the flame comes from the dark side.

If she should try to be wonderful and perfect, her shadow would contain the flames of hell, but she herself would not contain them; she would be a pure ice block, she would have a flaming red heart inside, yet it would not reach anybody.

And any warm ray from someone else’s heart would have to pass through that block of ice in order to reach hers, and in the ice it would be annihilated, it would die down completely.

The existence of a heart in the ice means nothing, it must reach a fellow being. Ideals are very nice and wonderful, but they are too wonderful; they can transform one into an abstract ghost which emanates no warmth at all, and such a body naturally cannot kindle fire.

A drop of hellfire is absolutely indicated.

It is always there, but if one disregards the body, one disregards that drop of hellfire, and it doesn’t work.

That is not my invention, the idea is in an old Jewish legend which I have quoted repeatedly. Remark: We do not remember it.

Dr. Jung: Well, Jezer Horra is the evil spirit of passion.

And the story is that there was a very wise and pious man who saw that all the sins of the world were caused by that evil spirit, so being a pious man and therefore on very good terms with God, he went up to the roof of his house one evening and prayed to God to remove the evil spirit of passion from the world.

God granted the request, and the pious man thanked him and was very glad and went down into the world now redeemed from the evil spirit.

But when he went into his rose-garden, though the roses were as beautiful as ever, he could not enjoy the beauty and the perfume; they seemed very ordinary, and their perfume was somehow not right.

He said to himself: “There must be something wrong with me,” and bethought himself of a wonderful old wine in his cellar; so he descended into the cellar to fetch it, and it was the same wine yet it had no taste, there was no kick in it.

Then he remembered that he had a beautiful young wife in his harem, so he went and kissed her, but it meant nothing.

He was quite desperate till the idea occurred to him: has it to do with Jezer Horra?

So he went up to the roof and prayed to God, beseeching him to let Jezer Horra out in the world again.

And because he was a pious man God let out the spirit of passion, and since then it has been in the world.

You see, that is the drop of hellfire, the flame, and without it no ice can be melted, there will be no warmth; sure enough, heart will not touch heart and no fire will be kindled.

Mr. Baumann: There are similar stories in German. One is about a castle on a mountain of glass, and in it there is a jewel; people try to climb up to it but they always slip down, they cannot get hold of it.

Dr. Jung: That is a very similar idea.

Well, this woman succeeds in melting the ice, and then she gives the jewel to the man, who puts it upon his breast.

That is, the animus now reaches her heart, there is a union between the animus and the feeling; the animus is no longer the mere Logos function, he now contains feeling, which is a tremendous asset.

For then the woman’s thought, her conception of things, is not a mere abstraction; it is adapted and adjusted through feeling values, and that  corrects the essential mistakes of the animus.

Now I will repeat the rest of the vision: “As we walked on in the darkness we saw before us in the sky the streaming lights of the aurora borealis.”

What does that indicate?

Mrs. Fierz: Is not the aurora borealis the light of the earth itself?

Dr. Jung: No, it is electrons coming down from space.

Therefore it is in close connection with electromagnetic storms; when there is an electric storm, the aurora borealis is often to be seen at the same time, but it really comes from the cosmic spaces.

That fits in particularly well here because the situation is now very earthly, the Logos is now connected with the feeling, with that drop of hellfire in her heart, so she is quite on the earth and in the darkness.

And then comes the vision of the light from the cosmic spaces. Now what is that light psychologically?

Mrs. Fierz: The light of Tao.

Mr. Allemann: The white spirit light.

Mrs. Crowley: It is the constellation of the Yang again, having accepted the Yin.

Dr. Jung: Yes, this last part of the vision contains a full recognition of the Yin and of the essential psychology of a woman; and then comes the cosmic phenomenon, in other words, the enlightenment.

The aurora borealis is particularly impressive because it occurs in the almost interminable winter nights of the arctic countries; it is an exceedingly brilliant phenomenon of almost metaphysical beauty, a very spiritual and mystical light.

Miss Hannah: I have seen it from the North Cape. It was a strange green light, quite different from anything I have ever seen, almost daylight.

Dr. Jung: It is sometimes like a curtain, or like ribbons of light, and it moves.

It is most extraordinary, really an unearthly phenomenon.

Now that means illumination, an enlightenment which is only possible when one is in the depths of darkness; then only can that unearthly light be seen.

Here it refers to the inner spiritual experience which can never be the object of a science or of rational explanation; it is just a fact, and a most irrational fact at that.

We have now finished this series of visions. Are there any questions?

Mrs. Fierz: I don’t understand why you explain the ice block in this way, because, before that, she had already been touched by the fire of hell; she meets the dragon and is in complete darkness, she is already in the middle of the Yin principle. So I don’t see, except for the presence of the animus that must be there, why you explain this as a sort of animus

attitude, and why you could not explain it also as just one aspect of the Yin principle. For the Yin principle is the north, it is the ice, and it is just in this aspect of the Yin principle that the red jewel would be found, if her body, which is hot from hell fire, contacts it.

Dr. Jung: You are quite right, but the quintessence of the Yin principle is not reached without the animus; it needs the animus in order to push the woman entirely into the Yin principle, to the point that she gets simply frozen.

Mrs. Fierz: As far north as possible?

Dr. Jung: Yes, the two things belong together, because as long as there is no animus there is only a sort of lukewarm happy medium, but as soon as the animus begins to act, the Yin asserts itself.

Or you can explain it as the Yin mind; the animus is very much the Yin mind, and that contact has a peculiar effect on a woman.

She may feel five hundred degrees of heat inside, and she may assume that it is most convincing, but it is not, it is utterly cold. Everything gets congealed with the cold.

Mrs. Baynes: I did not quite get Mrs. Fierz’s point.

Dr. Jung: Mrs. Fierz was explaining the block of ice by the qualities of the Yin; she said that the patient was already in a Yin condition, having received the fire from the witch in the wedding rite, and then going on in the darkness, fighting the dragon in the forest, etc., which of course is all on the earth.

The Yin principle is the cold north side of the mountain, so she thinks the Yin now produces the coldness round the heart.

This is all true, but the Yin principle can only be entirely brought out by the animus; otherwise there would be no motive for a woman going so far in the Yin principle.

In the case of an animus possession, a woman’s nature goes to the extreme of Yin, and that causes those peculiar projections.

The animus causes an extreme reaction of the Yin powers.

Mrs. Baynes: You mean the fact that she seems not to be in the Yin is just a sort of screen that is put up by the animus?

Dr. Jung: The animus causes the illusion that a woman is absolutely given over to the spirit or the mind, while in reality she is more in the body, more swept by passion, more in the actual heat of hell than any other woman.

The so-called Eros woman may be comparatively cool beside her, even cold. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 566-579