17 February 1932 Visions Seminar Lecture V
Today we start a new series of visions.
In the beginning our patient finds herself again in a cathedral.
That was prepared for in the end of the last vision by the aurora borealis, which was a light from above when she came up from below; so the movement now begins above, in a spiritual setting.
But what kind of spirit would you expect in a cathedral?
Mr. Allemann: A Christian spirit.
Dr. Jung: Obviously, and that does not fit in with the aurora borealis, which is the natural spirit, a cosmic sort of spirit.
We have already encountered that conflict between the cosmic spirit of nature and the Christian spirit. What example do you remember?
Mrs. Baynes: Pan.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the god Pan is obviously a nature spirit, a sort of philosophical nature god.
The original form of Pan was a petty, local field deity, like Priapus or Saturnus.
Priapus was a god of the fields, particularly of the boundary lines; instead of having stones to mark the beginning of a neighbor’s estate, they had phallic figures of Priapus, always made of the wood of the fig tree.
They still have such figures in Egypt, but there they have more to do with fertilization, and they look more like scarecrows.
Saturnus was also such a deity, a rather unimportant field demon for fertilizing and protecting the seeds, the growth of the wheat, etc., an agricultural god.
Later on he [Saturnus] became identified with the Greek god Chronos, who was the god of creation, having exactly the meaning of what Bergson calls la duree creatrice.
So one could say that Bergson’s intuitive idea was only a recrudescence of that archetypal idea of creative time.
Then in Mithraism, there was the Aion, the god with the lion’s head encoiled by the snake, the snake’s head resting upon the head of the god; that figure was always standing in Mithraic temples somewhere near the altar, and it is identical with the Persian deity Zervan Akarana, which means infinitely long duration, and this is also la duree creatrice.
Proclus, the Neoplatonist, called Chronos the god of creation and said that wherever there was creation there was time; the creative god was always associated with light, fire, warmth, and time.
Perhaps the most ancient form of the idea is found in Heraclitus, the old Greek philosopher, a contemporary of Lao-tze; he called it pur aeizoon, meaning fire always living, which is exactly what Proclus called Chronos about nine hundred years later.
But Saturnus was originally something like Pan, who was a god of the meadows and the woods.
Pan’s flute created the panic fear of the shepherds.
The word panic comes from Pan. He went about whistling or playing his pipe and frightening the shepherds.
The shepherd’s fear is like the stampede of the herds.
Occasionally a herd begins to stampede for no obvious reason, it is as if they were suddenly frightened by something.
That happens to us also; at certain moments in the midst of real nature one is suddenly seized with terror without knowing why.
Sometimes it is a particularly lonely and uncanny spot, but at other times one cannot say what it is, a kind of animal fear seizes one.
It is the great god Pan that causes the panic terror.
Then that nature demon became a great philosophical god on account of the transformation in the meaning
of the name.
The Greek word pas means all, the whole, and pan, the neuter, means the universe; and that meaning became attached to the god as the universal nature spirit.
That nature spirit was opposed by the Christian spirit in the first centuries.
The early Christians repudiated nature worship of every description-nature was not to be looked at nor admired-while the antique religions consisted of an intense nature worship, particularly Mithraism.
Therefore the Mithraism are always found in lovely places, near a spring in the woods perhaps, or in natural grottoes and caves.
There is such a place in Provence-I have forgotten the name-where a beautiful clear spring comes out of the green under a wall of rock, on the surface of which the Romans carved a huge altar picture of Mithra slaying the bull.
Then they made holes in the rock into which they inserted beams, and so erected the temple right beside the spring.
The spring was always outside for the sacred ablutions, and there the mystery of rebirth was performed.
There is the same arrangement at Saalburg near Frankfurt; the Mithraism has been reconstructed, and the mystical spring is just as it was in those early days for the rebirth ritual.
So the spirit of late antiquity was expressed in the worship of the deity inter nemora etfontes.
It was a beautiful form of worship, and there Christianity met its most formidable enemy; the natural joy one feels in nature had to be combatted by the Christian spirit.
They said the devil was tempting them, luring them away to natural beauty, to the beauties of the flesh,
and making them dull in spirit.
It is quite true that contact with nature makes one more or less unconscious; in that respect the influence of nature is hostile.
When fairly primitive people are exposed to the intense influence of nature they simply become unconscious.
One sees that happening still.
People nowadays go to the woods and the mountains just in order to become unconscious; to identify with nature is a great relief from the strain of consciousness in the life of the city.
But it may be overdone, it may have a bad influence, people may become too primitive.
I have seen several cases where the influence of nature had to be com batted, for they were always avoiding issues by going off into nature and forgetting themselves completely; they used it as a sort of drug.
And so it was in the beginning of Christianity, and still in the Middle Ages, and even very much later; in order to make people aware of the power and importance of the spirit, it was necessary to curse nature as being most unholy.
That was on account of the fact that the great god Pan was not really dead, the spell was still there.
Of course, the Christian spirit is not to be entirely rejected, too much belief in nature may overwhelm people, as I said, and then they lose what the Christian gained through its repudiation.
The Christian spirit is the Western attempt-still very modest-to deny the flesh; it is one stage on the road which the East has already accomplished, the denial of reality.
The early Christian argument was that the flesh is transitory, while the spirit is eternal; the flesh vanishes like the grass, while the spirit lives on in eternity.
It is the beginning of the idea that reality is not what it seems to be, that it is an illusion.
We find a like spiritual attitude in Islam, despite the fact that they have not the same moral attitude as Christianity.
Our patient suffers from the same conflict between nature and the Christian spirit.
When she is confronted with a natural manifestation of the spirit, there is always the danger that she will be influenced as if by Pan, that she will fall into an unconscious condition.
You see that terror of nature comes, not from nature herself, but from the nature of man.
The panic terror is due to the fear of being overcome by the unconscious; it is the terror of solitude where one might really go crazy.
The vision of the aurora borealis was a manifestation of the spirit of nature, and if she can avoid the aesthetic aspect of the phenomenon, if she is not too inclined to lose herself in it, if she can look at it and understand it, she will then be maintaining a spiritual attitude to the thing.
But if she should be overcome by the aesthetic quality of the vision, it would mean that she was unconscious and deserved to be in a panic over it; then she should be a Christian.
That explains why the aurora borealis immediately constellates the Christian spirit; a cathedral means a refuge, she is sheltered there against the demons of nature.
For nothing natural is allowed to enter: animals are never allowed in the church, everything that is used in the ritual has to be denaturalized.
As I have often told you, the water used in the baptismal font, and the wax of the candles, and even the incense, must be purified, denaturalized, before they are used.
This denaturalization is an extraordinary twist in human nature, yet it is necessary in order to come to a spiritual point of view.
But if one is already in that condition, there is no use going further along that road, for it is then a question of the horse and the oats-the day when one succeeds in bringing up that horse to live without oats, it is dead.
So if one goes on denaturalizing long enough, one is finally dead, and it is no use going further because there is nobody to go with.
Then the return to nature becomes a problem.
But the return should not be a regression; one should not go below the Christian accomplishment of seeing the flesh as illusory.
One should, rather, keep the Christian point of view and return to nature with that as a safeguard.
Otherwise one lands in the old demonism of primitive times and the whole intervening development has been for nothing.
That is this woman’s danger, so she always returns to the problem of Christian spirituality when she touches upon the natural spirit.
But there is the difference that now when she comes to a manifestation of the nature spirit, it is because it is beyond the Christian denaturalization; and when she returns to Christianity, it is a regression.
And then you may be sure that the regression has to be worked out again; it has to be transformed to a new
attempt to approach the spirit of nature in a conscious way.
Now here is the next vision:
I was in a cathedral. I saw a dark Christ on the crucifix and beneath the crucifix knelt the mother of Christ weeping. I said to her: “Why do you weep, oh mater dolorosa?” She answered: “Before this he was with me. Now he is up there upon the cross. Something has broken between us.” Then I took her by the hand and led her away saying: “Woman, are you afraid to stand alone?” We stood together facing the dying Christ who turned his face towards us and gazed upon us. Then he spoke saying: “Oh you two women who have created me, behold me now. Did you create me only to be crucified?” I answered Christ: “Yes, from my womb I bring forth suffering. I will create you again with my body and again you will be crucified.” When he had heard these words the eyes of Christ closed. He turned his head away. Then the mother of Christ wailed in a loud voice: “You shall not speak such words.” She called in a great crowd who stood about menacing me. I drew a veil over my face and went forth from the church. The angry crowd called: “You have spoken words no one shall speak.” I made my way through the winding streets of the town and came at last to the banks of a stream. Here I knelt down and, lifting my veil from my face, I bathed my face in the water. A swan came toward me and in a basket I saw a newborn babe.
This is a very coherent story, as you see, therefore I have given you the series all together in one picture.
The vision contains the reconstruction of her rapport with the nature spirit, it is the transformation of the regression into progress.
She is obviously identified, or parallel with, the mother of Christ, as one sees from her words: “We stood together facing the dying Christ.”
Then she talks with the dying Christ as if she were the mother, and he says, “You two women who have created me.”
Only Mary created him, but the patient is as if she were a second Mary.
She is assimilated into the story, and she answers him: “Yes, from my womb I bring forth suffering, I will create you again.”
Do you understand this?
Dr. Reichstein: Her conflict is constellated between the spirit and nature, for Mary is nature and she complains in the beginning that something has come between herself and Christ. And is the Christ not black here?
Dr. Jung: She does not say black, the dark Christ means obscure, dim, referring perhaps to the antiquity of the wood.
I think it is better to take Mary, and Christ also, as specifically Christian symbolism, and according to the Christian idea Mary is entirely spiritual, there is nothing chthonic about her.
Moreover, the patient herself is not aware of the chthonic connotation of Mary in the early church, of the fact that St. Augustine called Mary the earth, for instance, and said that Christ was born from that earth.
Dr. Reichstein: It seems very analogous to a Gnostic fragment where the earth complains that the spirit has left her. The words are similar here.
Dr. Jung: That is perfectly true, but that belongs to the earlier times, those are subtleties of which the patient is not aware.
Mary should be taken here in her medieval significance rather than as still identical with the earth. You see Mary does not agree with our patient; she says, “You shall not speak such words,” and calls in the menacing crowd.
She is quite against her strange behavior in the church, she disavows her, she doesn’t want to be identified with her.
She does not want to know that she has brought Christ into the world only to be crucified; she brought
him forth assuming that it was for a happy and successful life, and not for such a cruel death.
And in contradistinction to Mary, the patient says hat she brought him forth for suffering, and if she should do it a second time, it would again be for crucifixion.
She is apparently perfectly conscious and almost ruthless, very unsentimental. Now how would you interpret this? It demands some imagination. What about this fact that she takes the place of Mary, as if she were going to create a Christ, as if she were Mary herself?
Dr. Curtius: It is ambivalence. Mary is more the natural mother, and she is in the position of the spiritual mother.
Dr. Jung: She could not mix herself up with Mary without a certain amount of ambivalence, but that does not explain the meaning.
There is something very significant in it and very modern.
Mrs. Crowley: It might be a new attitude towards herself, where she recognizes this rebirth within herself. She is the mother of it; she is no longer the child, but takes the attitude of furthering it.
Dr. Jung: It is true that such an attitude means great maturity, extraordinary consciousness; she is far more conscious than Mary, who appears here as if she did not agree at all with the fate of her son, whereas the patient says that she even meant to bring forth all that suffering.
But what is the main parallel with Mary?
In the Catholic church it would be exceedingly blasphemous for anyone to identify with Mary.
Mrs. Fierz: Is it not the collective idea about mothers that they should suffer?
Dr. Jung: That children are always children of sorrow is certainly true, it is the eternal fate.
The suffering of the world is continued through the fact that mothers have children; every woman who has a child is continuing the suffering of the world.
It is an extremely conscious point of view, very mature, to say: “I am bringing forth this child for the suffering of the world.”
No, she brings them forth, as she positively thinks, to be healthy, successful, and happy; each mother hopes that the life of her daughter or her son will be happier than her own.
So Mary is very much in the condition of the unconscious primitive woman-well, any mother-who assumes that it is particularly sad if her children meet with an unhappy fate, as if it should not be.
Mrs. Crowley: It seems as if she had assimilated the Christian or medieval point of view about Mary, as if she had Mary within herself.
Dr. Jung: Yes, we see progress here, it becomes obvious that she has attained to a certain consciousness in that she is able to say there is nothing particularly divine in Mary; we are all like Mary in bringing forth children who will suffer, it is even our purpose to do so.
It is better to assume that one is procreating suffering than that eternal lie that everybody is going to be happy; a mature consciousness cannot assume such nonsense.
So here she takes the initiative.
She talks to Christ as if he were her son, and in putting herself into the place of Mary, she is practically putting herself in the place of Christ.
Christ is the symbol of the man who shoulders the cross, who goes to his death with a deliberate consciousness, a clear conscious vision that things must be as they are and that one must accept one’s individual suffering.
And when she says she is bringing him forth a second time, it means that she is bringing him forth for the same end; she is then doing what Christ did when he deliberately went to his cruel death.
What is described here is really the assimilation of medieval Christian psychology.
That is, the medieval man, who is still living in great numbers in our days, considered Christ as the redeemer, and the life of Christ as absolutely unique, a divine mystery.
But modern man sees that it is by no means unique, it is the ordinary human life; it is the life of someone who accepts his own fate deliberately and consciously, accepts what he is.
If anyone else would accept his individual pattern and his individual condition in the same way, he would be the brother of Christ, he would be a Christ himself.
He would probably not be crucified, he would perhaps be hanged, or shot, or die from an ordinary disease, or any other kind of suffering.
He would perhaps declare himself to be insane.
But he would come to his end declaring that such a life had to be, and as soon as he accepts himself in that way, as Christ accepted his own life, he has fulfilled the condition of human life.
Then Christ is no longer necessary to him.
Christ came into the world to fulfill the will of the Father, and inasmuch as he did so, he is the Son of the Father, he is the visible manifestation of God, and as such he dies.
Therefore that allusion in the New Testament, “Ye are Gods.”
You see, Christ made desperate attempts to teach his disciples that they should not imitate him; they should live their own lives, only then would they be like him.
But they did not understand it, they took him to be the God, and his life to be a divine mystery which they were very glad to leave to him; they preferred to hide behind him, and to organize a church where such
events as Christ never happened.
So nobody has ever tried to live his own life as Christ lived his.
It might be quite disreputable, one would be in bad company.
Think of a decent man of thirty who prefers the company of disreputable people, prostitutes and similar low characters!
We would not think that he was a redeemer or particularly divine, we would call him immoral or degenerate, and socially he would be completely lost.
Now in this passage it becomes obvious that our patient has intuitively attained to such maturity of character that she can place herself beside the mother of God and take the situation into her own hands.
She is willing and conscious enough to accept the facts of life, namely, that the woman who has children has made up her mind to continue the illusion and the suffering of the world.
And with that understanding, she can go out of the church. For what would be the use of the church?
The church is an institution of make-believe, the delusion that somebody has redeemed us from sin; Christ has been a substitute for living our own lives.
One could say: He has lived it, so I don’t need to, I can sit back and wait.
Christ pushes me into the dirt, or pulls me out of it, and I absolutely refuse to have anything to do with my own life; that is Christ’s affair.
Of course people who think like that are spiritual sucklings, they are still sucking the breasts of the church and relying on redeemers.
But the moment they make up their mind to risk the hypothesis, to live their own lives as Christ lived his life, or as Mary lived her life-which was by no means a particularly nice life, I assume she had a pretty bad reputation if reports are true-inasmuch as they can accept such a life, they no longer need a church of make-believe or substitution.
This woman has her own life, she is conscious enough, therefore she can leave the church.
Now we have the symbol of the veil again. You remember that appeared in one of the early visions.
Mrs. Sawyer: Before, it was over the back of her head.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and it is now over her face. She is hidden from other people, she cannot be recognized.
The veil to cover the back of her head meant to cover her unconscious.
Here she is hiding her face so that she cannot be seen, meaning that it is necessary to hide herself.
As a conspicuous social individual, she is taking the veil; she is renouncing the respectable role; in that sense she is taking the veil.
So she went out of the church and found herself confronted by the hostile crowd.
Naturally anyone who is courageous enough to live his own life in his individual fashion is in the same awkward situation as any Christ-like man, or the martyrs, or the saints, who were in a sort of quandary in their collective surroundings and were therefore tortured and killed.
Now she comes to the stream, which is nature, and she kneels down beside it because the stream is now to her an object of worship; she is conscious enough, has suffered enough, to stand the influence of nature.
She is able now to worship nature consciously.
I don’t want to convey the impression, however, that the patient herself had attained all that maturity in reality, I must make it clear that this is a merely intuitive anticipation.
Then the swan appears. What is the swan?
Dr. Reichstein: It is again a kind of natural spirit.
Dr. Jung: Yes, being a bird it is a spirit, and white always denotes purity, innocence, so it might almost be a sort of dove, a Holy Ghost.
Mrs. Crowley: Was it not a symbol of Aphrodite?
Dr. Jung: That was the dove, but we have the scandalous story of Leda, and it is quite possible that this swan is connected with that because it is a bird that lives either in the water or on the firm ground.
It seldom flies, it prefers swimming on the surface of the water; therefore it is a different kind of spirit.
It does not belong to the air and to land only, which is consciousness; it lives between the water and the air, pushing a long neck up above the water into the air.
So it is the symbol of the two elements, something between the water, the unconscious, and the air or the light, the conscious, and therefore it is more chthonic than the dove.
Then in a basket she saw a newborn babe which the swan evidently brought. What is that?
Mrs. Crowley: A new birth.
Dr. Jung: Yes, a new attempt, it is as if she were a newborn babe.
It is like Christ, who was raised up again, born anew, when the Voice said: “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
Miss Wolff: Is not the swan bringing the child, a parallel to the Holy Ghost as a dove?
Dr. Jung: Yes, in medieval art the Holy Ghost is often represented as a dove bringing the infant Christ.
There are a number of early paintings of a thing like a fire-escape tube by which people slide down from upper story windows, and the baby is depicted gliding down that tube and so under the skirts of Mary; or sometimes the dove flies down from heaven in the tube.
Now I hope the main idea of this vision is clear because it is of principle importance. It is really the logical continuation of the idea of Protestantism.
As you know, the Protestant church, as an institution of intercession between man and God, is disintegrating slowly but most decidedly.
It is already split up into more than four hundred denominations, and finally each person will be his own church.
So that leaves only a religion in which man is alone with God. Christ was alone with God, and anybody who lives his life like Christ is with his own God, he is his own church.
Mr.: Baumann: What does the stream in the vision mean?
Dr: Jung: A stream always means natural life, the waters of life, and crossing the stream of life is a very important motif.
In dreams of modern people one often finds that motif expressed by other symbols; instead of the stream of life it might be a high-tension electric wire, for instance.
I saw a dream recently where the great enterprise, the crossing to the other side, was symbolized by a street in a town, which was dug up and a high-tension cable laid across the ditch they made.
The dreamer had to stop his car, he could not get across.
That is the stream of life, the place of the ford, fording the great river in modern form.
There is a legend in the Koran that Moses came to the stream of life in the desert but did not recognize it, so he had to return to it because something important happened there: a fish he was carrying in his basket was
touched by a drop of the water of life and thus came to life, and then it slipped into the river and on down into the sea.
When Moses wanted to eat the fish there was no fish-so Moses understood that there was the water of life.
Mrs. Crowley: I would like to ask whether, if one has assimilated that natural power-or the unconscious-to a certain point, and gets to the state of consciousness, which is a stage or another point of development, you would say that one was then one with the god?
Dr: Jung: No, alone with the god.
Mrs. Crowley: But does that not really mean that one has only reached another stage of consciousness, at which there will be exactly the same amount of unconsciousness beyond so that one really cannot assimilate it? I mean, one cannot be fully conscious?
Dr: Jung: To be fully conscious is quite possible.
Mrs. Crowley: But then is one still attached to the unconscious natural power?
Dr: Jung: The mistake is to project that consciousness into human institutions, human relations, into all sorts of substitutes.
You are attached through the projection.
Mrs. Crowley: But what I do not understand is the idea of that complete self-identity, identity just with yourself, because it seems to me that you are simply in another layer where you are completely surrounded by another stream-only on another level-so that you cannot but disidentify. You are still an instrument or part of the stream, you are still part of a vast layer of nonunderstanding.
Dr: Jung: Naturally. You must always be, otherwise you would be God himself.
The point is that you should assimilate yourself and not project half of yourself into other people or institutions.
Of course you are far from being perfect, or perfectly conscious.
When you are integrated you are perhaps as unconscious as you ever were, only you no longer project
yourself; that is the difference.
One should never think that man can reach perfection, he can only aim at completion-not to be perfect but to be complete.
That would be the necessity and the indispensable condition if there were any question of perfection at all.
For how can you perfect a thing if it is not complete? Make it complete first and see what it is then.
But to make it complete is already a mountain of a task, and by the time you arrive at absolute completion, you find that you are already dead, so you never even reach that preliminary condition for perfecting yourself.
Completion is not perfection; to make a building perfect one must first construct it, and a thing which is not even half finished cannot be perfected.
First make it complete; then polish it up if you have time and breath left.
But usually one’s whole life is eaten up in the effort at completion. Now we will go on to the next series of visions.
She says: I stood on the edge of a volcano. I looked into the crater and saw a sea of boiling fire. Dead bodies were cast up and fell back again. A great cross of smoke with the Egyptian symbol of life above it arose, hovered in the air, and vanished.
She had been near the stream of life, where the babe was brought by the swan, the Holy Ghost in a natural form, but suddenly she is on the edge of a volcano.
Now that the babe is born, now that she is entering upon a new life, one would expect a sort of redeemed condition.
But instead of that she is on the edge of a volcano just about to erupt; it is obviously a very dangerous place, and this is a most critical moment.
But this rapid enantiodromia takes place according to a profound truth, which one finds indicated in many places in many different forms.
In the Hindu cosmogonic myth, for instance, part of the creation of the world consists of Indra pulling up the big serpent that is deep down in the sea, and with it he pulls up the seven great treasures, enumerated as seven gods, among whom is Mani, which means the jewel in Sanskrit.
Mani is a title of Buddha in Mahayana Buddhism, and the famous Tibetan prayer formula: Om mani padme hum, means: Oh, the jewel in the Lotus.
But the jewel Mani of the cosmogonic legend is Vedic, it is of most venerable age.
Now when these treasures are brought to the surface, one would assume that things would be all right, but a most destructive poison wells up from the sea, which threatens to destroy the whole world.
That is an example of this rapid enantiodromia.
Then in the life of Christ, one would have assumed that his death would bring about immediate redemption.
But no, the contrary; Jerusalem was immediately destroyed, disaster followed disaster.
His disciples and his followers were persecuted and killed by hundreds and thousands for another two hundred years.
When the helpful thing is found, then follows immediately the impact of everything that is against it.
It is as if the main pillar under a huge building were suddenly removed and the whole building were tumbling down upon you.
So after this woman’s rebirth, when things should be all right, they are apparently all wrong.
You see, she removed herself from her collective world and she left a vacuum there, and that empty space is sucking everything in. It is a catastrophe like an explosion.
Just where she should be in her former world there is a hole-as if she had evaporated to another world and left a hole-and then instantly it is as if a sort of compensatory process were taking place.
And when one has succeeded in extracting the jewel, even more has one created a tremendous vacuum;
therefore it means destruction, everything is sucked in again, or at least threatened by it.
So after the birth of Apollo the terrible dragon Python pursued him in order to swallow him.
And as soon as Christ was born, he narrowly escaped being killed by the Herodian mass murder of boys.
Then when the woman in Revelations brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations, a dragon was waiting to devour the child, and he cast a river of water out of his mouth so that she might be submerged and carried away.
As soon as the redeemer appears, all the devils crowd together to suppress him.
So our patient gets immediately into the most dangerous situation, a volcano, the danger from below, fire, and so on, and one might say that this crater was caused by the birth.
You see the earth has brought forth, the Son of God has come out of the earth, and now the earth is trying to suck the whole thing back again.
Dr. Reichstein: Is it not also that she has to give way to this power of the earth before she can be redeemed? She must always be destroyed before she can be redeemed.
Dr. Jung: You will see how she appeases the earth.
It is as if something had happened here which was very much against the law of the earth; that anyone should be reborn seems perfectly impossible.
That is the doubt of Nicodemus in the New Testament when he asked how a man could enter his mother’s womb a second time.
It is impossible, so that rebirth must have been against nature, and therefore nature takes her revenge.
That is the danger, and the question is how to combat the evil result.
For the birth of the redeemer means an awful catastrophe to the world because it is against nature.
He has created a hole in the universe, and the whole thing crashes into it.
Dr. Curtius: Is it like the Yang and the Yin, when the Yang sign is coming into the Yin?
Dr. Jung: Yes, Chinese philosophy has expressed it; the order of the I Ching follows the same scheme.
The first sign consists of unbroken lines: =- It is called Khene, the Heaven, the Father.
The second sign has broken lines and is called Kun, the earth, receiving or conceiving: § ~
So far it is positive and strong, but it is just the opposite in the next move; then one sign or several change but always in enantiodromic order.
For instance, this sign: = = in the next move would be this: = = Thus the Yang always has a tendency to increase to such an extent that it suddenly bursts apart, and then it is Yin.
So the creation of the redeemer, or rebirth, is such an extraordinary accomplishment, such an unnatural or supernatural fact, that it really is as if something were bursting, and then the contrary fact occurs.
Instead of extreme synthesis and construction, destruction and dissociation take place.
After a great feat of physical force, there is extreme exhaustion; or when one has an outburst of joy, the next move is tears, as one sees with children so often.
So after the rebirth comes the void, the emptiness, the disappointment, destruction, and the question is how to deal with it.
That is the content of this next vision.
Dead bodies were cast up and fell back again; that is destruction, people have been killed already.
And then a cross appears.
The Christian cross has the meaning of sacrifice, but this is the crux ansata, the cross with the loop, the Egyptian symbol of life.
That symbol appearing in the smoke above the crater means that this is the crater of life; it does not mean destruction only, because the crux ansata always denotes life given by the gods, or life given by the pharoahs to the gods.
There are representations where the gods bestow life upon the pharoahs by offering them the crux ansata, or where life is offered thus by the pharoahs to the gods.
So here it also means the crater of life.
Now she says: The fire in the crater died down and instead of fire I beheld a beautiful green oasis.
A complete transformation suddenly, again an enantiodromia.
The most destructive thing is now a lovely fertile piece of land, the very symbol of life.
This was already indicated by the crux ansata.
Mrs. Crowley: It indicates that if she surmounts that danger, there is life for her just out of the eruption of the volcano.
Dr. Jung: Yes, but how does she reach that point?
Something must have happened in the meantime that the crater suddenly turns into an oasis.
The only thing we can see is that smoke cross, the crux ansata, but there must be some secret key which would unlock the mystery of the enantiodromia.
Miss Hannah: It is because she did not identify with it.
Dr. Jung: That is one point, for the crater was most likely to swallow her.
As a rule when someone has had a very positive experience, the next thing will be despondency, complete despair, a moral collapse, and if they identify with it they are swallowed up.
First jubilant joy at their accomplishment-they identified with what they brought about naturally-and then they are in the crater.
But this woman is detached, she can now look upon the whole process in a detached way, which is again a sign of maturity.
She can say: So that is the way in which things happen; there is the babe, which means rebirth; and there is the crater which means destruction; and they had to be, things are so.
But au fond it does not change, instantly destruction becomes life again, it is simply an enantiodromic process; that smoke, yes, it is smoke, yet it is also symbolic, it forms the symbol of life. She is standing outside looking at it.
If you can see a situation, not only as it seems to be, but also as a sort of symbol, you have won.
You may find yourself quite overcome by an awkward situation and unable to see that it is symbolic, but if you can get outside of it, a bit above it, you say: “Is it not funny that such a thing has to happen to me?
Now I am in a nice mess! Does that fit into my psychology? What does it mean to me? Why do I find myself in such a position?”
And then you are above it, you have won the battle; then the most disastrous situation can instantly change into a life-giving situation.
So it happens here.
What has been a scene of destruction is now a beautiful life-giving oasis, and the terrors of the crater have disappeared. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 580-593