Visions Seminar

3 February 1932 Visions Seminar Lecture III

We stopped last time at the vision of the snake that crawled up to the altar and wound itself onto the cross.

Our patient asked the snake who he was and the snake replied: “I am he who has taken the place of Christ,” thus declaring the transformation of the central religious symbol, which means an important change of the psychological attitude.

You remember I drew a parallel with the legend of the antichrist who was said to be a snake.

The text continues:

I went out of the cathedral and knelt on the stones of the square before a golden disk upon the ground. I asked the disk why the snake had taken the place of Christ upon the cross. Then I looked in the disk and I saw my face reflected there. My eyes were green, my lips were scarlet, and my hair was wreathed with grape leaves. I returned to the cathedral and I said to the snake: “Now I understand.”

The first important point is the square with the golden disk on the ground. Do you remember anything about that?

Miss Hannah: It was the pool of gold. She passed God’s face and then came the pool of gold.

Dr. Jung: Yes, and in what particular spot was the pool situated?

Mrs. Fierz: In the roots of the tree.

Dr. Jung: And what was the meaning?

Miss Hannah: Was it the concrete financial side which she despised?

Dr. Jung: It characterized a very concrete value, no longer a spiritual value.

It was the face of God, as it were, but materialized in the form of gold. But there was another meaning, it was not only mammon, it was more than that.

Mrs. Sawyer: It was like the sun above and the sun below.

Dr. Jung: Yes. The sun above has been the symbol of a spiritual deity since time immemorial.

Of course, before that there was the time when the sun itself was the god, the time of the real sun worship.

The Pueblos are still in that condition, the real sun is to them the Father or God, there is nothing spiritual about it.

Then there was the stage-very early in some civilizations-when the sun was merely an emanation or impersonation of the deity.

In the early literature of India, for instance, there is plenty of evidence for the entirely spiritual meaning of the sun; it was clearly said that the sun was an appearance or an illusion, the central essential thing being behind the sun.

But the Pueblo Indians refused to believe that.

My friend Mountain Lake got quite angry when I insinuated that there could be anything beyond, the sun to him was the absolute reality.

Then I have told you about a much more primitive point of view where the deity is mana, and where consciousness and the faculties of discrimination or concretization are so dim that the people are not able to locate the mana even in the sun.

I observed amongst those people that the deity was merely a moment, the moment of the rising

sun, or of the new moon.

This disk of gold is surely a sun image, but it is in contradistinction to the Christian idea of a spiritual sun, the novus sol justitiae, as Christ was called in the early centuries.

That was the title given to Jesus in competition with the cult of Mithra, where the official title of the god was sol invictus, the invincible sun.

The golden disk in my patient’s vision has the meaning of matter versus the spirit.

The gold is really meant as the concrete substance; it is not only emblematic, it is the actual valuable material, which now takes on an almost spiritual value.

It is a substitution for the spiritual value because the spirit is as if exhausted, and in these visions there is a new consideration of matter as a sort of religious object.

That is entirely strange to our Christian mentality.

We cannot conceive of matter as a spiritual entity, or even imagine that it could have a spiritual connotation or a spiritual value. It seems an absolute paradox.

But when one studies Hindu philosophy, one sees that matter, as the opposite of spirit, is really pretty much the same thing.

Mrs. Sawyer: The pool of gold was hot, it represented the Kundalini fire, and in that sense it was lower than the spiritual thing.

Dr. Jung: It is simply the other end of the process.

That gold is glowing hot, it is really the sun in the depths, and that is muladhara, the lowest

center, the place where the Kundalini serpent starts, and on its upward way finally transforms into spirit or light.

To us matter is exceedingly unspiritual, we always assume that it has nothing whatever to do with

spirit, but to the Indian mind this is not so; in Tantric philosophy matter and spirit are supposed to be essentially the same.

For spirit to them is what they call cit, or consciousness, meaning a universal consciousness which is not to be defined by any specific contents; it is a sort of detached, all-pervading, ever present consciousness.

And when that consciousness creates a specific idea, they say it is expressed as concrete matter; so matter is the concrete defined thought of the deity or of the cit, when cit becomes specific it is matter.

For instance, they would say that the definite objects to be seen on this round earth, the moon and

the sun and all human beings, every animal and every plant, inasmuch as it is something well defined, is a definite thought in the universal consciousness.

In other words, when the universal consciousness-or you can call it Brahman because it is a concept of that central essential being-produces a definite thought, then it is matter.

If anyone had taken these things seriously twenty years ago, we would have said that he was ripe for the lunatic asylum, but in the light of modern physics we can easily discuss such possibilities. For what is matter in modern physics?

Matter is more abstract than air, it has lost its material qualities altogether.

Matter comes and goes, a material atom in the next moment may explode and then it is a ray of light, and what is a ray of light?

Or a ray of light may suddenly snap into matter and become concrete.

A material body, like the photons of light, when caught disappears, it is no longer matter.

So matter is an absolutely relative concept in modern physics.

It is yea and nay, it is existent, nonexistent, and one cannot possibly say whether it is spirit or concrete and material.

And so the spirit in Tantric philosophy, the deity or the universal consciousness, is as definite as it is indefinite.

If one can imagine a consciousness that is not occupied by any definite things, but rather a vague all-awareness, one gets about the idea of cit.

In Tantric philosophy the central being is called Satchitananda, which is built up from the words sat, meaning being, Seinheit; cit, meaning consciousness or spirit or mind; and ananda meaning bliss.

So the literal translation of that concept would be a blissful universally conscious being.

It would be something like the consciousness of a person who, after a period of difficult and

strenuous work, had begun his vacation, with no obligations, no responsibilities, with absolutely perfect weather and a beautiful vista before him; he might be on top of a mountain, looking at the world in general with good feeling about everything that exists, well pleased with what he is and with what the world is.

That would be, according to Tantrism, the actual condition of the central being: with no definite contents, as if nothing had yet come off, nothing had taken definite shape; a thousand hopes and fears, a thousand plans, but nothing definite.

It would be like looking at the whole thing as if it were a vast dream picture.

But when anything definite occurs in that consciousness, if one says: now I must go and have lunch, or: soon it will be night and I must go down from the mountain, that is concrete, that is matter.

You see, from that standpoint, matter may be as divine as the most abstract being of Satchitananda; matter is the definiteness of something that is sat, cit, and ananda, because

each thing in itself is cit, and its materialization simply consists of its definiteness.

This golden disk is the definiteness of the idea of the deity, as the icon, the image or the painting of the god, is the definiteness of the god.

Therefore it does not matter whether one worships the most abstract, absolutely inexplicable idea of Brahman, or the most definite statue of a god with sixteen arms; they are essentially identical. And so the disk of the sun and the disk of gold are identical, only one is the material end, and the other is the spiritual end, the indefinite end.

You see, the change in consciousness consists of the recognition of the possibility that the material object may be just as divine as the most abstract idea the idea of a god, for instance, of whom one cannot possibly draw a picture.

But the picture or the image of that god, provided that it is made in a beautiful way from beautiful material, represents the idea of the deity just by its value, to the same degree as the most abstract or elaborate philosophical idea of a deity.

The philosophical elaboration of the concept of the deity is also made from precious material in a beautiful way, one could say, the expression of the attributes of the god and the beautiful hymns and invocations.

The image consists of beautiful workmanship in gold and ivory and precious stones, while the religious ritual consists of prayers and music.

And so one can discover God in the perfume of flowers or even in the flavor of wine, because taste may be just as precious as hearing or seeing.

Of course the given time makes a great difference.

In the mental atmosphere of the beginning of the twentieth century, for instance, the idea that the deity is a material disk of gold is quite different from that of an old Hindu worshipping a disk of gold, because it is in too vivid contrast with what we have hitherto assumed the deity to be, it collides with our prejudice that God must necessarily be spirit.

But the moment one understands that matter may be a making definite of the divine thought, it is quite possible to worship a disk of gold.

It conveys just as much as the most abstract and beautiful philosophical dissertation about the notion of God.

Now this disk in the vision is in the open, on the ground, in a square. What is that?

Miss Foote: A mandala.

Dr. Jung: Yes, and the mandala is outside of the cathedral.

That is to be taken almost literally-extra ecclesiam, as the church says-meaning that outside the church there is no redemption, only hell, the outsider is lost.

So here the mandala is characterized as something belonging to the open fields practically, to the open spaces rather than to the sacred precincts or the inaccessible part of the sanctuary.

We find the deity this time outside the church, and this woman goes to look into the disk as if to a superior source of authority, apparently in order to find an orientation.

What she wants is obviously an understanding in regard to that snake inside the cathedral.

How would you explain that psychologically?

What does she see in that mandala?

Mrs. Crowley: It is her Self-with a capital.

Dr. Jung: Yes, just as the psychological mandala that you produce means your Self.

But I just said that the disk of the sun or the disk of gold really meant the deity, and now we say the mandala is the Self.

How do you explain that?

Mr. Baumann: It is identification with the deity.

Dr. Jung: That is very often true, thus causing the god inflation which is at the root of so many psychological troubles, but that is not meant here.

Dr. Reichstein: Here she does not identify with the gold, she only looks at it; and this mandala is a part of the deity which is in herself.

D1: Jung: Yes, in producing a mandala, one usually produces a picture of the Self, of the hypothetical center that seems to be part of oneself, or of which one seems to be part.

One is contained in it there, and yet one contains the center in oneself.

That center of the mandala is what Hindus would designate as “smaller than small yet greater than great.”

There is a text in the Upanishads: “Inside of the heart of the size of a thumb, outside covering the world on all sides two handbreadths high. ”

Looked at from one standpoint it is smaller than the smallest thing and it is inside of one, and from another standpoint it is greater than great and one is contained in it.

Therefore Hindu philosophy, since very ancient times, has understood that the innermost being of man is cit, which is identical with the deity, and that there are many human beings is an illusion.

If one comes to a real understanding of cit in oneself, one comes to the consciousness that there is no I, there is not just this one, nor are there many, there is only cit.

That is reality and the many things are illusions.

This is the way in which the yogi returns to the oneness of the beginning.

You see, in looking into that symbol of the deity our patient sees her own face.

So in the god I recognize my Self; it is what I have created, and in that which I have created I recognize the creator.

But the creator in me is not I, the creator in me is it; it is the activity, and that activity comes out of the universal source of activity, the universal god.

Now this woman sees herself in quite a different guise, and from that she suddenly understands why the snake went up onto the cross.

And what is her new aspect? In what way is she transformed?

Mrs. Crowley: She has now a Dionysian appearance.

Dr. Jung: Exactly, the wreath of grape leaves on her head is Dionysian. And why the green eyes?

Mrs. Sawyer: The satyr had green eyes.

Dr. Jung: Yes, the great god Pan has green eyes in the picture she painted of him, so she recognizes herself as a nature-like being; Pan is the god of nature according to the late interpretation.

Originally he was a very local wood demon, but another idea grew up around him on account of his name.

The Greek word pan means all, the whole, the universe, and the name Pan originally had nothing to do with that philosophical concept, there was only the likeness of the word.

But later on, particularly in the time of the Hellenistic syncretism, in the first century after Christ, the nature god Pan became associated with the philosophical idea of the god of the universe.

There is a very symbolical legend which seems to refer to an actual fact.

A ship landed at Ostia, and the captain went up to Rome and asked for an immediate interview with the emperor in order to inform him of something very important that had happened.

He was admitted and told the following story: He was sailing through the Aegean sea, amongst

the small islands there, and on one of them he heard a tremendous lamentation.

The people were all shouting: Pan megistos ethneken, Pan the Greatest is dead created a great commotion; the rumor spread and no one knew what to do.

Everybody was so impressed that it was recorded in the official history of the time as a most remarkable but inexplicable fact.

Taken as a symptom of the mentality of those days, it would mean that the unconscious felt the necessity of informing the people that Pan the Greatest had died, which would mean that that principle had come to an end.

For it was really the time when Pan as the deity of nature came to an end.

And in our time again, after the reign of the spirit, something similar is happening.

In Thus Spake Zarathustra, Nietzsche says: “God is dead.”

It is exactly the same cry as Pan megistos ethneken, but now it means the spiritual God has come to an end.

Then instantly the unconscious reacts and brings up the symbols of Pan once more.

That is literally true.

This patient made a picture of Pan, and through this Dionysian allure, she denotes her relationship with the great god Pan and she herself is a Pan-like being.

That is, mirrored in the golden disk, in the mirror of the material creation of her own hands, she appears as a nature-being.

And inasmuch as she is a nature-being she is the exact replica of the deity; through her identity with nature, she experiences again her identity with the creator.

One would assume that only through spirituality would we be able to feel the identity with the divine being, but through the extreme cultivation of the spirit, we have come to feel our difference

from the deity.

We are filled with the idea of extreme sinfulness, so how could we ever identify with the deity?

It seems to us rather an extraordinary impertinence on the part of the mystics to insist upon their identity with God.

It was really only the later mystics who dared to insist upon it.

The best example of it is that most mystical and most childlike poet, Angelus Silesius, who in a very naive way confessed his identity with the deity; but he could only do so in a more or less somnambulistic condition-it never became a truth for which he could stand.

He was a Protestant, but as a human being he was never able to stand up for such a heresy.

He regressed into Catholicism, he lost all his poetic faculty and had a terrible neurosis.

His later life was spent in a monastery where he ended his days in a completely degenerate neurotic condition.

His only activity consisted of writing fifty or more pamphlets of the lowest order against Protestantism, a most lamentable debacle after such a beautiful beginning.

His most remarkable work is called: Der Cherubinische Wandersmann.

The verses are of exquisite beauty and extraordinary naivete.

He there confessed the age-old belief: “That is Thou,” which is the last expression of the Hindu faith, they cannot say more than that.

It means Brahman.

The very well-known expression Tat tvam asi expresses this truth, namely, what you touch, what you do, what you are, That is He or That is Thou.

The fate of Angelus Silesius is quite comprehensible, it could easily happen in our days.

He was overcome by the vision, and, like a medium, he expressed it, yet he was quite unable to live it humanly, to assimilate the tremendous truth he had discovered.

He lived at about the same time as Jakob Boehme, the medieval mystic, who was one of the first to

create a mandala consciously; he called it the reversed eye of the philosophical globe, or the mirror of wisdom.

One sees from these attributes that he understood it to be a sort of Lapis philosophorum.

By looking into it one saw the picture of the truth, but he did not call it the Self, because he thought one saw the divine being in that mirror, and he did not dare to assert: I am that divine being.

He should have said it quite directly, he had a very definite inclination to think in that way, but it was a pretty dangerous idea to express in those days.

In the fate of Angelus Silesius one sees that even without any particular persecution, it may kill a man to make such a change in his religious convictions.

There is such a change going on in this case.

This woman sees herself as a nature-being, and that fact makes her understand why the healing

snake has become again the symbol of the redeemer, the healing one, the Soter, the Heiland.

It is the demon of Aesculapius, the nature form of the healer.

You see, Aesculapius was among the healers or redeemers who were human beings; he was a man-of course, a sort of semidivine personage-yet he was simply the great medicine man.

But he would not be that great medicine man if he were not a snake on the other side, because every hero is a serpent.

The serpent, or the dragon, is the other side of the hero, because the truth is, according to Hindu philosophy: “I am the game and the gambler, I am the murderer and the murdered one.”

Or: I am the hero and the dragon, the two aspects of the same thing.

So looked at from a human point of view Aesculapius was a semidivine man; looked at from the standpoint of nature he was a serpent.

His essential quality was nonhuman, it was superhuman and therefore symbolized by an animal figure.

One might almost say that at a time in history when people look at things from a human point of view, the gods become human; and when they look at the world from the standpoint of nature, material forms or animal forms appear, everything takes on a nature aspect.

Then it is no longer a spiritual abstract sun, it is a disk of gold, or instead of the human being, it is a demon.

Something like that seems to be suggested by these visions.

So after this recognition, when our patient returns to the cathedral and tells the snake that she now understands, something of that sort is perhaps meant.

This is the end of the vision. Have you any questions?

Mr. Baumann: Most mandalas have as a center something like a point, so if you take the disk as a center, might it be a divine center? Might it indicate more consciousness since it is a much greater center of consciousness?

Dr. Jung: The point in the center of the mandala is more an idea of something exceedingly small really, yet which emanates an immense creative energy.

There are all sorts of similes: a star, for instance, or the disk of the sun, or any other form that suggests intense activity-a sort of whirling activity.

Sometimes it is a great flaming sun, which doesn’t look much like a point, but nevertheless the idea is such a point.

Mr. Baumann: I was referring to the proportions of the center of the mandala. The divinity in the mandala is generally represented by a big disk. If the sun is the center, it is much bigger than if there is only a point.

Dr. Jung: Of course, in a picture it must be more than a point; a point is a mathematical fact and it would be quite invisible.

But that is really the idea-that the god is unextended, in the state of being in himself only, a tremendous intensity with no extension whatever.

For he can only become visible through the intercession of the serpent that is wound round him as the center.

The serpent has the meaning of the space-giving or the visibility-giving factor.

Naturally all pictures of mandalas have a certain extension, which is due to the fact that the god can only be represented in the Hindu or Tantric pictures when in the state of creation.

In the dormant condition he is utterly invisible, and there is no sign of the serpent, for it is said that Shakti is only figuratively coiled round the creative lingam when the god is dormant or in himself; the serpent is then only a slight variation of his consciousness.

It has also a different name then, instead of Shakti, it is called Cit-rupini, meaning a slight change of consciousness, for it is then in the consciousness, in cit, in the absolute consciousness of the dormant god; the Shakti is merely a sort of possibility of his thoughts turning into something definite.

That is one of the subtle ideas of the Tantric philosophy, and in that state the Shakti is called Cit-rupini.

Mr: Baumann: I am informed that in the Mohammedan religion there are very strong laws against representing the face of God. Why is that?

Dr. Jung: It is the same in the Jewish religion, an absolute interdiction against representing the deity.

There are no images in mosques, no decorations of animals or plants, there is nothing that might indicate in any way that God was a figure that could express itself in nature.

Only abstract geometrical designs or writing are used as wall decoration.

They have a most elaborate art of writing, which is simply because they are not permitted to think, or suggest in any way, that God has anything to do with matter; God is entirely spiritual, entirely invisible, a great void.

The mosques are particularly impressive because they were built on that principle.

In those old mosques of the eighth century, like the Ibn Tulun in Cairo, or the one at Cordova in Spain, there is first a wide courtyard, then one goes through dark colonnades leading to a small entrance, and naturally one expects to enter a dark interior as in our Christian churches.

But no, one comes into an immense square, and there is that marvelous southern sky and one hears nothing-nothing but the birds.

One has an overwhelming impression of the omnipresence of God, that All-seeing Eye of the Deity.

One gets a deep impression of the religious feeling of Islam which always seems so foreign to us, one feels a most intense endeavour to liberate the idea of the deity from the definiteness of material form.

Islam is in that respect far more advanced than Christianity.

Medieval Christianity was a compromise with paganism, Catholicism is still imbued with it.

Protestantism tried to spiritualize the deity, and succeeded to such an extent that it vanished altogether.

Now we will begin the next series of visions.

She says: I beheld many men riding by on horseback carrying white streaming banners. They wore helmets. As they rode past they tore off their helmets and threw them to the ground. I picked one up and inside I saw engraved these words: Wear this helmet if you would shield yourself from the world. I threw the helmet down and  walked on. I saw one of the riders dismount from his horse and

stand before the ghost of an old woman. In front of the ghost was a cauldron seething with fire. I joined the man and we stood together. The old woman said: “I will wed you with fire.”

She threw fire upon us.

These men riding by on horseback are obviously soldiers. What does that suggest?

Mrs. Sawyer: The collective animus.

Dr. Jung: Yes, it is the well-known motif which we have encountered many times already: always when a new enterprise is necessary which she cannot face, the animus precedes her, sometimes alone and sometimes as a multitude.

These soldiers represent a sort of warlike attempt, they carry streaming banners, they are apparently riding off to battle, there is something triumphant about it.

Now why, after the last vision, should she assume the role of the soldier?

Mr. Baumann: Are they not to protect the Self?

Dr. Jung: From the words which she finds engraved inside the helmet, it is obvious that they are meant to protect those soldiers against the hostile influences of the world.

Now Mr. Baumann suggests that they should protect the Self. Is that exactly true?

Miss Hannah: I should have thought that the animus was the collective opinion against the snake taking the place of Christ.

Dr. Jung: Usually the animus is a collective opinion, and the collective opinion would be rather against her, but that is only the negative animus, a historical animus.

In this case it is not sure whether the animus is hostile, sometimes it is very positive; the animus as the involuntary function of the mind is not necessarily negative.

As the anima in a man-the function of his feeling life, his Eros-is by no means always against him or against his pursuits; if his position is right, if he is on the right path, the anima may come in quite naturally as an auxiliary force, not at all against him.

So the fact that these soldiers throw their helmets down on the ground might be rather a friendly action, and that inscription inside the helmet she picked up would seem to be in her favor.

These soldiers suggest an enterprising mood-setting off on horseback like adventurers, going into the world to fight, and taking the necessary precautions against the world by wearing a helmet to cover the head.

Now why just that?

Mrs. Fierz: Is it not that she has now that Dionysian aspect? It is this head she should cover.

Dr. Jung: Yes, if she goes into the world with green eyes, scarlet lips, and vine leaves in her hair, she would look as she should not look; it would be disreputable to go out into the world with the eyes of Pan.

No one should suspect that one is a natural being; if there is any doubt, one is considered of the devil, close to hellfire.

And don’t forget that the medieval devil was represented with horns and a tail just like Pan.

It is dangerous to set out into the world as a nature-being, so her animus really gives her sound advice; he tells her to cover her head, to hide it, because that is what the world will most certainly beat upon.

But she refuses, she throws the helmet down and is going to face the music without protecting herself, which is rather over-courageous.

She does not realize what she is up against.

Of course to keep perfectly quiet about the whole thing would be still better, for to be armed with a helmet and a sword is really just asking for trouble.

The animus mood takes the form of a sort of belligerent attitude; it is like coming out with an absurd statement in order to fight for it as if one were fighting for Jerusalem.

Then one of the riders dismounts as if he were coming to her aid.

A part of the animi is condensed or concretized here into one, and when the animus becomes one, it is most probably projected into a real man.

As long as the animus is a multitude, it cannot possibly be projected, unless one is by chance concerned with a board of trustees or some such group.

If one is an employee, say, and has to deal with a board of directors, the projection of the animus is possible, then the whole board becomes the animus, but such conditions are exceptional.

Therefore as long as the animus consists of many, it is usually not projected, it is still inside oneself; but if represented as one, there is a great chance of its appearing in a real man.

In this case she sees him standing before the ghost of an old woman, who is evidently a witch because there is a cauldron on the fire, which of course always suggests a witch.

Expressed psychologically, the animus is now turning to the unconscious, the ghost indicates the unconscious; the collective unconscious is the ghost world, and the witch is a figure of the collective unconscious.

This woman was going out to face the world, but since her animus turns into the collective unconscious, she has to stay with him.

It is her reckless procedure that causes the animus to dismount; instead of proceeding further, he goes right back into the unconscious, in order to compensate her recklessness.

Then who would the witch be?

Mr. Baumann: It might be the Great Mother.

Dr. Jung: The Great Mother would hardly be represented by the ghost of an old woman with a cauldron.

The Great Mother is the mother of witches, but she herself is never a witch, because of her divine character.

This must be a minor mother if a mother at all.

Mrs. Sawyer: It is the shadow.

Dr. Jung: Yes. It is of course rather baffling that our patient should suddenly be represented as an old woman, but it is entirely logical on account of the fact that she was proceeding so recklessly.

She is too young, therefore she has the old woman within as compensation.

One sees that in dreams; if the conscious attitude is too infantile, too immature, an old woman appears as a compensating figure.

And the old wise man always appears when one is too foolish.

Then the moment one becomes mature and reasonable in one’s attitude, infantile figures turn up in the dreams, the puer aeternus motif, for instance.

You see, when one is old in one’s consciousness, perhaps too reasonable, too adapted, too considerate, then one’s soul is young, it is a child even, because one needs childlikeness in order not to dry up and suffocate in one’s own wonderful adaptation.

So the old woman is really her shadow.

Here again her subjective condition is enacted before her eyes, and then she joins in herself, and one might say as the shadow, that green-eyed, scarlet-lipped aspect of herself.

But there we cannot apply the term shadow because we have reserved it for the old woman.

You see, the patient herself comes in when she goes to the side of that man, and the old woman throws fire upon them as they stand before the cauldron.

Then she is not her own shadow because she is in the magic ceremonial.

The old woman is her shadow, and she herself is the figure that is between the conscious and the unconscious, and in that position she is

very much herself, detached from the shadow as well as from ego consciousness.

Now what does the cauldron suggest?

If the old woman is a witch, there must be a cauldron because witches always have cauldrons.

Mrs. Crowley: It suggests a transforming process.

Dr. Jung: Yes, wherever the cauldron appears it indicates the alchemistic process, the process of transformation.

And what should be transformed?

Something must be wrong, useless, because only old and wrong and useless things are thrown into the cauldron to be made over or to be born again.

Sick people are cooked again, for instance. So what is


Mrs. Crowley: Her belligerent attitude.

Dr. Jung: Yes, her recklessness in stepping out into the world as a maenad, a female Pan; that won’t do at all, that is too nonsensical.

And now the ceremonial.

The old woman says: “I will wed you with fire.” Whom does she mean by that?

Mrs. Sawyer: The old woman wishes the patient to marry her animus.

Dr. Jung: Yes, and what is the psychological reason?

Mrs. Sawyer: The animus had the good idea but she did not follow it.

Dr. Jung: Well, first of all the animus should normally not be connected with the shadow because there are then two against one, the shadow plus the animus against consciousness.

That is too much for consciousness; so consciousness either breaks away and becomes wild, or succumbs to the predominating unconscious and is overcome and wiped out.

Then an animus possession takes place.

She ought to be in relation to the animus as she ought to be the proprietor of her own shadow.

You see, people who are not in possession of their shadow, who are not aware of their inferior shadow side, may apparently be marvellously good people; one cannot discover any flaw in them, they are as

white as milk.

They themselves say there is nothing wrong with them everybody else is wrong but they are never wrong.

But such people are absolutely possessed by devils, because they deny their shadow; they are all eaten up by the animus, and the animus grows fat on it, he is strengthened by that excellent nourishment, he gets so strong that he is able to possess the conscious, and the conscious is then under his rule.

In such a case the connection between the animus and the shadow should be broken, and here it is even the shadow that breaks it.

You can never arrive at the animus unless you see the shadow, unless you see your own inferior sides.

When you see your shadow, you can detach from the anima or the animus, but as long as you don’t see it you have not a ghost of a chance.

So what the witch is going to do is a very useful procedure, namely, she tries to wed the animus with the conscious self, a sort of smelting procedure.

She is throwing fire upon them, in order that in the fire they shall melt together.

Now the vision continues:

A flame shot up from the head of the man and from my breast shot a flame also. Then the old woman said: “Go forth and see what you can find.” We walked away.

Why is the fire breaking out of his head and out of her breast?

Mrs. Ott: It is Logos and Eros.

Dr. Jung: Yes, the fire of Eros bursts from her heart, and the fire of the Logos from his head.

Her unconscious involuntary mind is aflame and is blending with the woman’s heart, the Eros.

So she should now be equipped, one would expect.

But going out into the world so carelessly shows a lack of feeling consideration; if she had a differentiated Eros function and was not possessed by the animus altogether, she would instantly see that such a thing could not possibly succeed.

If she realized her own feeling, she could not appear as a nature-being, because love after all has something to do with kindness.

In most cases, I admit, it has nothing to do with kindness, it is just a hellish possession, but love should have something to do with kindness-I am pleading for love.

In the East, where they know as little about that kind of love as we do, they have a beautiful symbol for it in Kuan Yin, the goddess of kindness.

She gives nourishment to all living beings, even to the evil spirits of hell.

For that purpose she must go down to hell, but it would frighten the devils if she should appear in her heavenly form, and as the goddess of kindness she cannot possibly permit such a thing.

So she transforms herself into an evil spirit and in that guise takes the food down to hell-having such an

extraordinary regard for the feelings of the devils.

There is a beautiful traditional painting, where she is represented as a devil among the devils in hell, giving them food; but a fine thread goes from her head up to the heavenly being above, and there she is in all her fine splendour.

That is the psychological attitude which is suggested by real love.

But if our patient should go out into the world with streaming banners and horses and helmets, she would be giving the show away, she would be wrong, that would be no love at all.

So if she is reasonable, she will go out like any other human being, looking exceedingly conventional, which of course means very much more than marching out with trumpets and drums.

Then they walked away together, she and her animus man, and she says:

The white banner of the men trailed on the ground. We came to a forest and there beheld a snakelike dragon. In its mouth it held a knife. The man wrenched the knife from the dragon and tearing out its teeth, threw the teeth behind him. 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. As we walked on in the darkness we saw before us in the sky the streaming lights of the aurora borealis.

Why is the white banner of the soldiers trailing on the ground? It was happily streaming in the air before.

Mrs. Crowley: It sounds deflated.

Dr. Jung: Yes, all that spirit which was shown in those streaming banners has now collapsed and the banner is trailing in the dirt.

Mr. Baumann: It is disarmament!

Dr. Jung: Quite so, an animus disarmament.

And then, since they are on the quest again-it is the typical situation, the hero and his dame on the quest-a dragon is bound to appear sooner or later, or they must get into a dark forest or something of the sort.

The adventures on the road to the far goal now begin.

The dragon holds a knife in his mouth, which is rather unusual.

There is no mythological parallel, but you must keep in mind that she has read Psychology of the Unconscious, and there she has probably seen an early Christian legend reported by the apologists of

those days-the people who occupied themselves with the defense of the Christian faith-concerning a peculiar contrivance which was destroyed by one of the early saints in Rome.

A dragon to which virgins were sacrificed was said to live in a cave there.

The saint penetrated into the cave and discovered that the dragon was a mechanical contrivance; the dragon’s tongue was a sword which projected, and the women were hurled down onto the sword right to the tail of the dragon.

Our patient is referring to that picture probably, having taken it up as apt symbolism to express her particular case.

For what would the dragon with that sword in its mouth represent?

Mrs. Sawyer: Animus opinions.

Dr. Jung: Well, the dragon being the enveloping, engulfing, or devouring monster, I think it means here a multitude, collectivity.

And the tongue, which is sharp like a knife, would be gossip, slander, public criticism or depreciation, anything that kills, so one might call this dragon another form of the animus.

Yet we should not exaggerate the use of the term animus, so we had better say that it is here collective opinion, which is not necessarily represented by the animus, because it is also an external fact.

The contents of the collective unconscious are as a rule also outside and in other people; therefore it is called the collective unconscious.

Many of these collective things which are apparently merely subjective events, have a tendency to come off in reality; and not only subsequently, they often anticipate events; we speak of a certain thing and find that it is happening at the same time.

We may be concerned with a certain dream or vision of the collective unconscious, which seems only subjective, yet the next day it happens, or it has already happened, but we did not know it.

So collectivity is a sort of participation mystique.  ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Pages 551-565