9 March 1932 Visions Seminar Lecture VIII
We spoke last time of the dead in the catacomb into which our patient was descending, and among them was one whose flesh was still red, one of the dead was still alive.
And that living dead man referred to the Indian in the beginning of these visions, where, as the animus, he was an important figure.
So we are quite safe in assuming that the Indian who appears here among the dead is really that original Indian who still contains a certain amount of life, and the fact that we are meeting him again suggests that he is playing the same role as in the beginning.
Why did he appear then?
Miss Taylor: Because she had not the courage to do things herself.
Dr: Jung: Yes, he was her enterprise, what she could not do he did for her.
So we must conclude that she is again in a difficulty where she does not trust herself.
What is her difficulty now?
There was a very remarkable moment in the vision, most noticeable.
Mrs. Crowley: When he was at her feet.
Dr: Jung: Exactly, when he knelt beside her. He was like a dog crouching at her feet.
It was as if she had whistled to him and said: “No flying into abysses, come here!”
It is a very grand moment, you must realize, when she can say to the animus, “couche-toi, “it is an enormous achievement.
And what happens in the moment of a great achievement?
Miss Taylor: Inflation.
Dr: Jung: That is the usual thing, for in a moment of great achievement you cannot help admiring yourself; you think you are such a hell of a fellow that you stumble over yourself and down you come with a crash.
So the hardest thing to stand is not suffering but success, that is the worst thing that can happen to you; success usually creates a really dangerous inflation.
This woman succeeded in reaching a frame of mind that allowed her to call the animus to order, and we assume that she has not yet stumbled over the fact, and that the animus is still sitting obediently at her feet.
Then what is the situation of a woman to whom the animus is obedient?
Or of a man who is in control of his anima?
Miss Hannah: One has to take the entire responsibility.
Dr. Jung: Exactly, and it is a most awkward and loathsome situation when one is forced to assume the responsibility for oneself.
That is what one is afraid of, and the reason why one doesn’t want to see things.
It is much better not to know what is happening in the next room, for one is then not responsible; at least one can deceive oneself and say one doesn’t know the reason for it.
Of course it is all monkey tricks, but it is so much in the human grain that one can hardly escape it; it is always the same, again and again.
People say, “I did not know what he was going to do, how could I be responsible?”
Of course anybody could know it if they only wanted to.
Things are so much easier apparently when one doesn’t see through them; then everything runs more or less smoothly, and one can always say it was just by chance that such and such a thing happened.
But when one sees, it is altogether too clear how one prearranged the whole show.
So the moment the animus is obedient, this woman has to assume responsibility.
Then she has to live with seeing eyes.
We don’t know exactly what the trouble will be, but we may be quite sure that if she controls her animus, she will get into an exceedingly difficult situation because she will be put to a test.
That is always so in reality. It is like a challenge.
You see, when a man controls his anima, or a woman her animus, they are doing a thing which nobody would dream of doing, because since the world began, mankind has been possessed.
And when you dare to dispossess yourself you get into a different order of things, which means a challenge to the old order.
No sooner do you get rid of one devil than all the devils are against you.
If a man makes a modest attempt at controlling his anima, he will at once be faced with a situation where he is tested to the limit; all the devils of the world will try to get into his anima in order to bring him back into the fold of Mother Nature.
For he gets out of the ordinary level of the flock if he even makes such an attempt.
And it is the same with a woman; every available devil circulating within hundreds of miles will do his best to get at her animus.
Controlling the animus or anima is like creating a vacuum; if you lift yourself out of a certain volume of space, it leaves a vacuum and everything rushes in to fill it.
Therefore people who make an attempt to control these figures meet other conditions which almost force them back to their former state; it works quite automatically.
So there is the possibility of a trying situation here, caused essentially by the fact that she made that attempt, a situation that is perhaps too difficult for her, a thing she cannot carry, it is too much.
One should always realize that one risks an unusual loneliness through the control of the animus or the anima.
A participation mystique is created through not controlling them, because one allows a piece of one’s own self to wander about, to be projected into other people, which gives one a feeling of being connected.
Most connections in the world are not relationships, they are participation mystique.
One is then apparently connected, but of course it is never a real connection, it is never a relationship; but it gives the feeling of being one sheep in the flock at least, which is something.
While if you disqualify yourself as a sheep you are necessarily out of the flock and will suffer from a certain loneliness, despite the fact that you then have a chance to reestablish a relationship, and this time a conscious relationship, which is far more satisfactory.
Participation mystique gives one a peculiar unconsciousness, which is in a way a function of the mother; one is carried in unconsciousness.
Sometimes it is nice and sometimes it is not nice at all, but as a rule people prefer it because the average man gets awfully frightened when he has to do something which he cannot share with his world; he is afraid to be alone, to think something which other people don’t think, or to feel something which other people don’t feel.
One is up against man’s gregarious instinct as soon as one tries to transcend the ordinary consciousness.
It is because of some such difficulty that an Indian turns up here, but the Indian is not quite alive.
Yet he has the potentiality of life, and if he assumes a leading role, we shall know that she has given up her responsibility and is submitting again to the animus; therefore the next important thing is to see who is taking the lead in the action.
She now takes from his neck a necklace of teeth and walks on.
That shows that she does not make a regression here, she does not submit to the animus.
On the contrary she takes a talisman from him. Now why just teeth? What kind of teeth do Indians wear?
Mr. Allemann: The teeth of ferocious beasts.
Dr. Jung: Yes, animals of prey, and chiefly the canine teeth, the long aggressive teeth which are really the weapons of animals.
And why should such teeth be worn?
Mrs. Schlegel: To get power.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the lion’s teeth or the lion’s claws give one the lion’s power.
I met a queen in Africa who had a wonderful ornament consisting of two lions’ claws. It denoted royal power.
There was a middle piece of bead embroidery, and on both sides were fastened the lions’ claws.
It formed a sort of moon symbol, and she wore it round her neck with a string.
She was a very nice and respectable lady, the wife of a respectable king who had only one queen at a time, but every year he had a new one.
This woman’s year was drawing to an end, and she was already looking for new friends.
That is supposed to be respectability in Uganda.
So this necklace of teeth denotes the power of the animus; that is, he can put his teeth into a thing.
It is a fearful weapon, but if she tries to be responsible for herself, she needs it to give her the aggressiveness and courage of the animus.
Then she said, you remember, that a dwarf followed her and tried to snatch the necklace away but she held it firmly.
What about this dwarf?
Mrs. Baynes: He would be one of the devils that you spoke of.
Dr. Jung: Yes, one of the elementals; he comes from the ground, from the surrounding unconscious.
That she was able to take the secret of power from the animus was an achievement, so instantly up comes one of the devils to snatch it away.
One often encounters that motif in fairy tales.
And at the end of the Gilgamesh epic, after Gilgamesh had acquired the herb of immortality, he fell asleep and a snake came and stole it.
The dwarf is always a subordinate creative power in the unconscious that may either be helpful and bring things up from the unconscious, or it may steal things away.
It is then like a sort of momentary eclipse of consciousness, in which the decision or the power suddenly disappears.
That often happens.
For instance, after long deliberation and struggles you make up your mind about something and think, now you have got it, the thing is now settled; then there is a moment of unconsciousness and the whole thing is gone, suddenly it has disappeared as if snatched away by an evil power.
Or you may have had disagreeable dealings with someone, and you say to yourself that you will go and speak your mind to him; so you go there, and on the way upstairs you find that you have completely forgotten what you were planning to say.
Sometimes a patient simply submerges me with waves of talk, and I am quite impressed and think, what amazing material; then at the end of the hour she says: “But I forgot what I wanted to say to you, and my time is gone!”
So I tell her to carry a little book in her pocket for all her items, and never to speak until she has consulted it. For it occurs again and again; the dwarf snatches the thing away.
Then our patient went on to say that she came to a fire of blue flame and held the teeth in the fire, whereupon the teeth changed to bloodred jewels which burned her hand.
Why does she hold them in the fire?
Mrs. Sigg: She is spiritualizing them.
Dr. Jung: The blue flame would be good for that purpose, blue is the color ordinarily used to express the spirit, but why should the teeth be spiritualized?
Mrs. Sawyer: I should think it would be refining them to get out the true essence.
Dr: Jung: What is their true essence?
Mrs. Sawyer: In the beginning the Indian was leading her, he had her feeling, she was not in control of it, and that gave him the power.
Dr: Jung: Quite so, but he is no longer in control of her feeling. She holds his power, the teeth.
Mrs. Sawyer: And that is a spiritual thing, not something she has had before.
Dr: Jung: It has always been in the possession of the animus; those teeth are his secret power.
Mrs. Sawyer: But why do they turn into red jewels?
Dr: Jung: That is the question, that is what I ask you.
Miss Hannah: Isn’t it that they were first hatred, the destructive side, in the animus, and then the fire transformed them into the other side, feeling, positive love?
Dr: Jung: At all events you are quite certain that the teeth mean rather a negative feeling, hatred or hostility rather than love; while the red of the jewel-the red jewel always refers to the heart-would mean love.
So it would be a pair of opposites.
You might say that the aggressiveness or hostility of the teeth is transformed into a feeling of love.
But does it not seem a peculiar transition?-that the teeth of the animus transform into a red jewel, meaning the heart?
Mrs. Baynes: It happens all the time if you can hold on long enough.
Dr: Jung: And often if you do not hold on it happens, it already means that!
When a woman makes an animus attack on a man, one knows that it means that the animus is terribly busy, using all the negative arguments he can lay hands on against that man, just because the man has become extremely important to her feeling.
So turn the thing round, and up comes the red jewel, the positive feeling, the heart.
An animus attack is usually a substitute for a positive feeling.
You see, the power of the animus consists, as a rule, in the possession of a woman’s feeling; that is, when she is not responsible for her feeling, when she does not look out for it consciously, the animus eats it; and then he becomes powerful and may devour her or any other innocent prey.
But here that feeling is symbolized by a red jewel, so there is something more in it than could be expressed by a warm living heart.
To what does that point?
Mrs. Sigg: It is more durable.
Mrs. Stutz-Meyer: It is something that is more valuable than the usual feeling.
Dr: Jung: And what is more valuable than the usual feeling? Well, it is difficult to say-that is very relative.
You see, it is a sort of red crystal.
Mrs. Dick: It is perhaps not so changeable.
Dr. Jung: It is not fickle, it remains the same; that is the nature of the stone. But stonelike feeling is not particularly nice.
Mrs. Crowley: It is like the diamond center in all Eastern mandalas.
Dr. Jung: It has to do with the center of the mandala, it is again the idea of the crystal, and this time it happens to be red.
You see it is something that is really immutable, one could say almost eternal.
It is starlike in its character; the precious stone is the equivalent of the star, and it points to the center of the mandala.
So it would point to the Self which appears in the feeling, and naturally when the animus possesses that, he has an almost mystical power.
That is also the reason why the animus is so utterly intangible or inaccessible.
There are certain women who just despair because they cannot tackle the animus anywhere, he is so utterly elusive, he is surrounded by the taboo of a thing that is almost divine.
As a man is often mercilessly subjugated by his anima, because she is equally elusive and divine; he simply cannot tackle her, for since the beginning of time he has had a system of taboos against feelings in himself.
He easily collapses with a superstitious fear against anything that comes anywhere near his anima.
Of course he is quite unconscious of it, he is like a primitive who believes in his taboo.
If you induce a primitive to break his taboo, he will die of it-he gets so lonely, so utterly outcast in his world, that he would rather die.
It is the same with the animus and the anima, they are living taboos, and if you violate them, you might find yourself in the devil’s kitchen; it needs tremendous strength to control them.
Therefore that strength is usually symbolized by the possession of a precious talisman, an apotropaic charm to ward off the evil which comes from the violation of a taboo.
Then our patient said that the blood-red jewels burned her hand. Why are they so hot?
Mrs. Sigg: There is so much libido in them.
Dr. Jung: But it is hardly possible that her libido would be sufficient to heat the jewels to the point of burning her hand.
The body could not produce more warmth than that of the blood.
Mrs. Sawyer: Is it not like the stones in the white city which hurt her feet?
Dr. Jung: It is just that. In that white city there was such a glare that she could not stand it, and now she is in a like situation.
This red jewel is not of such an insupportable brightness, but it is so unnaturally hot that it is almost more than she can deal with.
Mrs. Schlegel: She was not prepared for it.
Dr. Jung: Yes, in the white city her eyes could not endure the glare, she was not able to grasp that light, and here her intensity is hardly great enough to put up with this heat.
But mind you, she keeps the jewel; it is disagreeable but this time she can hold onto it.
But why is it so hot-I mean objectively. Or why is the white city so glaring?
Mrs. Dick: A human being cannot stand it, it is no longer human.
Dr: Jung: Exactly.
It is not human in itself, therefore human beings cannot stand it.
That accounts for the taboo; such taboos exist because there are things in us which we just cannot endure, it is too much.
I know people who simply cannot see certain things because they are unable to stand them; such cases cannot and shall not see them, there are things which shall not happen.
A thing you cannot tackle in yourself ought not to be tackled.
If you have unsurmountable resistances, don’t even make an attempt to break them down; you might violate a taboo and you would not be able to stand that realization.
Therefore remain with the feasible things.
So this woman should not force herself to stay in the white city, it is much better to return, and then after a while she will be led to another test.
This time it is the test of the red jewel. If she can stand that, we shall know she can break the taboo of the animus.
She will be able to hold her own jewel.
Hitherto the animus had to carry it because she could not stand the burning pain.
Now is that clear, or is it too symbolic?
Miss Taylor: It is difficult to know when to go on and when to withdraw.
Dr: Jung: No, that is not at all difficult.
I tell you, when you come anywhere near that heat, you simply beat it.
You cannot touch it, instinctively you withdraw the tail.
When you are up against the inaccessible thing, you know it.
In anyone there are things which cannot be touched immediately.
Of course people are often so blissfully unconscious that they assume that they have never encountered such a thing, but that is merely animus mist; if they open their eyes a bit, they know they have touched upon things in their lives which were just untouchable, where they had to be burned, where it was too much.
Whether it was an insight or an understanding, it was impossible; or it might be a feeling, an emotion,
or an adventure which was untouchable, where they encountered the living taboo.
Mrs. Baynes: I suppose the patient did not realize that she was up against the test in this case.
Dr: Jung: I cannot tell what her conscious situation was, I would not know.
Mrs. Baynes: But if she had realized that this was a test, would she then have had to go back to the unconscious to get up more power to meet it?
Dr: Jung: If she were conscious of the meaning of this test, she would surely try her level best to hold on, she would guard all her strength.
Mrs. Baynes: But where would she get reinforcements to help her to hold on?
Dr. Jung: Well, the question is, do you put out your whole strength, or do you not?
If you are hanging on for life, you will exert yourself more than when you are just holding onto your umbrella; when you are hanging onto the edge of a roof, with a drop of six stories, you will find additional strength to hold on.
So it is often a question as to whether people have a realization of the situation or not; if they realize its importance they will put all their reserves of strength into it.
You see, such a realization of their conscious situation is the only reinforcement they get.
There might be a miracle, the intervention of divine grace might give them divine strength, we don’t know, but that is quite out of consideration.
You can never launch an enterprise with the hope of divine intervention, the hope that in the right moment some grace would fall from heaven and give you the additional strength.
Mrs. Crowley: It would appear that her conscious had progressed.
Dr. Jung: Decidedly. Even if she does not consciously know what is happening in this vision, the vision shows that she as a person has acquired more strength, more consciousness, because she can carry the thing through, she can hold onto the stone.
As you realize, these things are very subtle but, practically, of very great importance.
These are the symbols of the fundamental decisions that take place inside of human beings, and they are the important decisions.
Now she is continuing on her way and she says:
Soon I came upon an ancient blind man who barred the way. Upon his robe were Chinese dragons.
He put a ring on the finger of my right hand. I looked at the ring and saw written thereon the words:
“This way is for those who know. If you violate it then you will know death.”
The old man stood aside for me to pass.
What is happening now? Who is the old man?
Mrs. Baynes: She is going to be allowed to take another step forward,
and this old man is another form of the psychopompos.
Dr. Jung: Yes, this old man with the Chinese dragons on his robe is obviously the old wise man.
He would be, presumably, a positive animus.
The ancient blind seer is mythological; he is physically blind and therefore he has the inner sight.
So this must be the legendary seer who knows the truth, who has a superhuman knowledge and understanding of life.
Now why does he bar the way?
Mrs. Crowley: He realizes that she is probably not ready. He sees beyond the present situation.
Mrs. Baynes: He wants to tell her that it is a critical moment and make her realize that she can’t get through without a test.
Dr. Jung: Well, it is that in holding the jewel, she breaks a taboo.
She is advancing now into a new sphere of experience without the necessary understanding and insight, and therefore the old wise man comes up.
It is a new way of experiencing life, a way hitherto absolutely unexplored, because she herself has always been possessed by the animus.
This is the sphere that the animus has explored or lived, and where the human being has not yet been.
She is like an explorer setting out on an adventure to the Antarctic continent, or to the jungles of Africa, so she would need advice; she cannot go on without realizing what she is doing, and for that the old sage, the seer, is the classical symbol.
The Chinese dragons would point to the East which means here the unconscious; that ancient seer barring her way would mean that she cannot go on as hitherto without using the age-old wisdom of the unconscious.
She needs the mind, but this time not the ordinary intellectual science, but the wisdom of the ages, which is quite different.
Of course, science is a part of wisdom, there is no wisdom without real knowledge; science is really conscientious understanding and that is part of wisdom.
But the old man is indispensable, he is the guardian of the threshold across which she is now stepping.
Then he puts a ring on her finger. What does that mean?
Mrs. Baynes: A relationship with her, a sort of pledge that he will stand by her if she does the proper thing.
Dr. Jung: Yes, a ring always means a union, so she is pledging herself by wearing the ring, and he is bestowing wisdom upon her in that form.
You know from fairy tales that wisdom or secret knowledge is often bestowed in the form of a magic ring.
There is a story about the Bey of Tunis: One day he asked his Grand Vizier to tell him the word which changes pleasure into pain and pain into pleasure.
He gave him three days and three nights and if he had not found the word in that time he would have his head cut off.
The Grand Vizier was in a terrible quandary.
He went to the Academy in the next mosque to ask whether it was known there but they all shook their heads, that word was absolutely unknown.
Then he went to the courtyard and asked a Marabout, a saintly man who had come into town, and he didn’t know the word either, but he said there was another Marabout who lived near the desert who would know it if anybody did, but that was three days’ journey away from Tunis.
So the Grand Vizier sent messengers out to the desert on the fastest meharis-those great swift camels-and they rode day and night till they came to the Marabout sitting before his hut.
He said to them at once: “I know why you come, you want the word for the Bey, that is quite easy,” and taking a ring from his finger he gave it to the messengers saying: “Take this ring to the Grand Vizier, who shall give it to the Bey. This is the word.”
So they took the ring back to the Grand Vizier, who woke up the Bey after midnight of the third day and said: “I have found the word: ‘Tout passe, ‘-everything passes by, everything changes.”
Everything is in transition.
That is the story of such a ring, a ring containing the wisdom or the magic quality which produces the effect one needs.
Now Mr. Allemann has just called my attention to Aphorism No. 20 in the Tao-teh-king.
I am using the most recent translation by Mrs. Sawyer.
The aphorism is called: “Away from the crowd.”
Give up your erudition, so become free from care!
Between Yes and Yes-indeed where is the difference?
Between Good and Bad where is the difference?
What all revere one may not set aside unpunished.
Oh Desert, have I not yet reached thy center?
The men of the crowd are beaming
As if celebrating a great feast,
As if ascending towers in springtime.
I alone am wavering, and still without a sign for my actions.
Like an infant who cannot yet laugh!
A weary wanderer who has no home!
The men of the crowd all live in abundance.
I alone am as if forsaken!
In truth, I have the heart of a fool!
Chaos Oh Chaos!
The men of the world are clear, so clear,
I alone am as if troubled!
The men of the world are so greedy of knowledge,
I alone am sad, so sad!
Restless, alas, like the sea!
Driven about, alas, like one who tarries nowhere!
The men of the crowd all have something to do.
I alone am idle like a good-for-nothing!
I alone am different from other men
For I value the all-giving mother.
That is the confession of one who broke through taboos, who saw behind the veil.
Well now, the message of the ring the ancient seer bestows upon this woman is: “This way is for those who know.”
What does that mean really?
Mrs. Schlegel: It is the way of consciousness.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and an interesting fact-which the patient does not know-is that Tao is the way of consciousness.
Tao is written in hieroglyphs from which the meaning must be deciphered; the writing is but a sign, the meaning lies in its interpretation.
The Chinese hieroglyphic signs have no absolutely definite meanings; the meaning is always created in the reading; those are the real symbolic pictures.
So the sign for Tao is written with the sign of the head and the sign for going-going with the head.
The head in Tantric yoga is the seat of supreme consciousness.
As you know, they believe that there are different localizations for consciousness, that one form of consciousness is in the abdomen, another one in the heart, and the highest chakra is up in the head.
That is the heart of heaven which is valued so highly because it is the most recent acquisition, the supreme acquisition of the East.
With us it has not the same value; one always values that which one does not possess.
But there the head means clearness, consciousness, seeing, so Tao means to be conscious of the way, the going, to be consciously going.
“This is the way for those who know” would simply mean Tao.
Then the interpretation of this sentence, “if you violate it then you will know death” is beautifully given by Lao-tze in the last line: “For I value the all-giving mother.”
The all-giving mother is Tao, and if you violate the way of which you know, the way of consciousness, you are sinning against the all-giving mother.
He says: “I alone am different from other men, for I value the all-giving mother.”
That makes him different, because other people can do for themselves, they have their personal aims, but his aim is Tao, which is not to be violated.
Having broken through taboos he goes by his own way, and if he violates his own way he kills the one thing by which he can live.
Do you understand that? He cannot live by any other taboo. You see taboos are ways of living.
People who are under a taboo can live along the lines that are prescribed by the taboo, but if they once break through, they can only live by the way of their consciousness.
And if they violate that way they are completely lost, for they have then violated the unconscious, the all-giving mother, and there is nothing for them any longer.
For instance, I have frequently observed a symptom in people who are living by the way of which they are conscious-by the unconscious, that is-that they fall into a panic when the unconscious ceases to produce
anything; fear seizes them that they have violated Tao and are therefore forsaken by the unconscious.
That is an illusion.
The unconscious may be perfectly silent, yet one is still contained in it.
One doesn’t need the visible presence of the mother all the time.
Only a spoiled child wants to see and hear the mother constantly, to feel her hand; the child should be conscious enough of the mother to know that she is ever present.
So it is a mistake, but it shows their appreciation of the danger.
If one violates the way of Tao, it leads to instantaneous destruction, as it were, for people have then lost their last value, their last taboo.
You see, the all-giving mother was Lao-tze’s taboo. Now how could this woman violate her own way?
Mr. Allemann: By again going with the crowd, trying to get into the flock.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the most usual thing is that one feels more or less in the desert, in absolute desolation, and then one goes back to the crowd, losing the understanding of Tao.
That is fatal and the thing one shall not do.
For then one loses the great value which one has once touched, and if one loses that, something quite evil happens.
It is most destructive.
It often has most destructive effects upon the health also.
Without speaking of cases which I have seen in my experience, there is the famous historical example of Angelus Silesius, the mystical poet of the seventeenth century.
He was a Protestant, and as a Protestant he conceived his very marvellous book: Der Cherubinische Wandersmann, a series of mystical poems from which I have quoted certain examples in Psychological Types.
In that book he broke through the taboos of his time, he created an entirely new understanding of the relation to God, which was quite beyond the church or even the Protestant conception; he went beyond Protestantism into an almost psychological understanding of the mystical experience.
But that was far beyond his time, and naturally enough he got into the heart of the desert and found himself completely alone.
There his courage failed him; he found himself alone in the wilderness and naturally, seeking companionship through a very human feeling, he sought it in the past.
In the future we can see nothing, we cannot see our friends in the future, or our spiritual mates; we can
only see them in the past, in back of us.
So he was converted from Protestantism to Catholicism, and then had the most terrible neurosis and lost his poetic gift completely.
He wrote fifty-two poisonous polemics against Protestantism and died most miserably in a monastery.
You see, that was a man who turned away from Tao.
Under all conditions he should have had the courage to stand his isolation; having touched upon such a precious thing he should have seen the value of it and should have stood the loneliness that was meant for him.
For anybody who touches upon such a treasure is forced to a certain isolation, it is inevitable.
That explains the words on the ring: “then you will know death.”
Having understood its meaning, this woman passes on, and the old man stands aside.
She must have such an understanding within in order to go on with her individual task.
The old man in the Chinese garment is perhaps a sage like Lao-tze.
Now she continues:
I entered a room. In the center of the room there shot up a great fire which reached high into the sky and melted many stars which fell into the fire.
Do you see any connection here?
Mrs. Sigg: The melting of the stars and the melting of the jewel.
Dr: Jung: Well, the jewel was not melted, but she held the teeth in the fire and out came the blood-red jewels.
Now the jewel is, as I said, in symbolic connection with the star; the idea of a precious stone is the
idea of a star.
Here the fire is melting the stars so that they fall down to the earth. Why is that?
Mrs. Crowley: It suggests that she is no longer in participation mystique with the star, the cosmic thing, but that it is closer to her notwithstanding.
Dr: Jung: You mean she is no longer unconscious of her cosmic relationship, she loses her unconsciousness there?
It is, then, as if she were getting back what she has projected into the stars.
I will read you the next thing in the text: “I passed through the fire and emerged into a garden. I walked along the path until I came to a pool.”
What is this?
Mr: Allemann: A mandala.
Dr: Jung: Yes, and it has a rim of fire apparently, through which she passes and enters the garden.
It is like the Eastern mandala.
In the center is a pool, which would be the disk of gold, or the great void, or the germinal vescicle, or the place of rebirth, or the fountain.
So this fire that melts the stars and makes them fall is really the fire round the mandala, round the Self.
You see, the red jewel comes up from the earth, out of the body, as it were.
At first it was even the entrails of sheep; in that sacrificial feast of the red Indians, they smeared themselves with the blood and drew out the entrails which transformed into jewels.
So the origin of the jewels is in the entrails, it comes from the earth, from below, and the stars are above; the fire that purifies the jewel also melts the stars and brings them down as if they also belonged to that mixture.
I once saw such a mandala.
The figure of the patient was in the center, and stars were falling into the center too, meaning that even the stars
form constituents of that body which is called the Self.
This idea is very difficult because it has something to do with man’s cosmic correspondences, an entirely unscientific idea out of the unconscious which is a very hot and angry thing to hold; the whole thing is very fantastic, yet it is a strange psychological fact.
The idea of souls becoming stars, or descending from the stars, is very old.
The star of Bethlehem was the soul of Christ that descended upon the earth.
And there was that well-known idea, to us almost childish, that after death souls traveled up to the stars and were then like stars.
As the old Romans thought that their emperors after death transformed into stars.
Or the Manichaeans thought that the souls of dying people who had light enough in their essence, were
sucked up by the waxing moon; then when it was quite full of souls, the moon approached the sun and there gradually discharged its contents; so all the souls that contained enough light went over to the sun, thus
forming the so-called Pillar of Light in which they were taken up to the highest heaven.
I have not yet investigated this idea sufficiently-the story is in only one Persian manuscript-but the point is that the soul of man has something to do with the stars, and of course that has to do with astrology.
It is as if the human soul consisted of qualities coming from the stars; apparently the stars have qualities that fit in with our psychology.
This is because of the original fact that astrology is a projection of man’s unconscious psychology into the stars.
There is an amazing knowledge of unconscious functioning there, which we consciously do not possess, and it appeared first in the remotest stars, the stars of the zodiacal constellations.
What we possess, as the most intimate and secret knowledge of ourselves, is apparently written in the heavens.
In order to know my individual and true character, I have to search the heavens, I cannot see it directly in myself.
When I discover that my sun is in Leo and my moon in Taurus, for instance, something has been explained to me; and when I find that I have a particular touch with modern times, and the rising sign in my horizon is Aquarius, it is as if I had learned something more than I already knew of myself.
The projection still holds good.
This has nothing to do with the stars, yet my most unconscious laws are written there.
There must, therefore, be some connection in the unconscious of man with-well, one might say-with the universe.
Something in man must be universal, otherwise he could not make such a projection, he could not read himself in the most remote constellations.
One cannot project something which one does not possess; whatever one projects into someone else is within oneself even if it is the devil himself.
So the fact that we project something into the stars means that we must possess something of the stars.
You see, we really are part of the universe.
We must never forget that we are living on a planet, and a planet is a satellite of the sun, it is just a body moving about in space, and we are a kind of living slime on the surface of that body flying through the eternal heavens.
So we are cosmic in every particle of our bodies, we are the dust of eternity and of limitless space.
All that is within us, and that is why we can project it, why we can perceive space at all, and why we have such ideas as infinite space or infinite time.
It is because we have it in ourselves, we are parts of the cosmos.
And so the symbol of stars falling down has the eternal meaning of the soul of man descending.
The star that appeared at the birth of Christ announced a cosmic phenomenon, a cosmic soul had descended.
In other words, a man who was conscious of his cosmic fate, of the absolute regularity of his fate; that is, one could say, a man with the understanding that his life was law abiding, that it was an expression of the ordinances of heaven.
The Chinese would call it a complete expression of Tao, for Tao is the condition which is in tune with the ordinances of heaven, a complete expression of the order that rules heaven and earth.
So when one creates something which is right, one should be conscious of the fact that it is imbued with the stars.
That explains the idea of the choice of days, why people study the stars to find out whether a certain time is favorable to their psychological condition, in tune with them or not.
It is because they instinctively realize that whatever one does should be the expression of the universe; since one is part of the cosmos everything one does should be in accordance with the laws of the cosmos.
That is the idea here, the coming down of the stars means the coming into consciousness of the cosmic laws, that one’s life evolves like the revolution of planets, or like the rising and setting of the sun.
You see, that brings in what is called the eternal aspect, the envisaging of things sub specie eternitatis; one then sees human life not in the ordinary personal perspective but in the impersonal objective perspective of a cosmic procedure.
I hope I have made myself clear.
I admit it is almost impossible to see all that from this little hint, but this hint is worth more than all the rest.
Mrs. Baynes: I should like to ask about the flames surrounding the mandala and meaning concupiscentia. Why is it that these flames can reach the stars and bring them down? The stars should be out of reach of concupiscentia.
Dr: Jung: That is true, they are above our concupiscentia. But they are a fulfillment of that fire.
That this red jewel is so hot is an indication that we shall encounter fire, as we have encountered it already in the crater.
That was by anticipation.
She must go through fire as a purification; the fire means a great outburst of passion, of which she has been afraid.
But when she can go through it, she will be purified.
Dante had to go through fire to burn away the last remnant of earthly love; then only could he enter heaven.
So this is an outburst of passion, the wildest concupiscentia, and that will bring the eternal law down upon her.
Then she will meet her fate, then she will be in her own place, she will be exactly what she is meant to be.
Concupiscentia is the expression of the Self as long as you are in the ego-consciousness.
But when you have conquered your fear, you brave the fire.
It is the hero who goes through the fire, not the ordinary coward. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 623-638