21 January 1931 Visions Seminar Lecture I
Ladies and Gentlemen: The series of visions has now advanced to the very important moment when the patient meets the god Pan.
You remember I compared these visions with the mental phenomena which take place during an initiation.
Now, of course, very little is known about that process; when you read about the initiation of primitives, or about the antique mysteries, you feel that you are pretty well at the end of human knowledge and understanding; you come across the most amazing psychology.
A Dutch scholar, de Jong, has written a book on that subject, but those matters are generally unknown; they are known only to specialists.
And the corresponding facts, which we are dealing with here, are also unknown because they have not been discovered.
I have discovered a good deal concerning them, but we are moving in unknown seas.
Now the whole series of phenomena which we are observing takes place in a sort of fragmentary mind.
Only a part of the patient’s psyche is having these visions.
As in primitive initiations, the initiate is in a somewhat different frame of mind than when he is fishing or hunting, it is not his everyday consciousness.
You must realize that anyone undergoing such a process is in a sort of exalted state.
The experience is not like an experience in one’s ordinary condition.
That last vision of the god is a very unusual one; it has the characteristics of an ancient Dionysian image, and the atmosphere and state of mind in which the vision took place was Dionysian.
There had been, before, the descent into the past, the descent through the ages into primitive culture, till finally she had that vision of looking into the eyes of the animal; in other words, she reached a sort of animal consciousness, a most remote instinctive feeling amounting to almost complete unconsciousness.
Then the ascent began, and the vision of the pagan god is part of the experience which takes place when the mind returns from a regression into the remote past and arrives in the sphere of the cultural mind again.
But it is the cultural mind at its dawn practically, in early Greece in the sixth or seventh century B.C.
That form, or that conception of the god fitted in with the frame of mind of that age.
It is exceedingly important that the patient should realize that particular concept of the god.
Can you tell me why?
Mrs. Fierz: She is of puritanical origin and the Dionysian concept is very far away from her, so perhaps the very next thing for her to see.
Dr. Jung: Yes, since she has a very puritanical background, she has in her unconscious mind the puritan conception of the supreme psychological factor, and, as compensation, it is absolutely necessary that she should realize this entirely different form.
According to the usual definition, God is something terribly obtuse and remote; and the definition is of great psychological importance because it expresses the supreme idea under which one works.
Of course we cannot assume that God is exactly as we define him.
He prefers to be himself, and what we say about him amounts to no more than what ants might have to say about Mussolini or the Pope.
As we are untouched by the public opinion of an ant heap, so God is surely what he is and not what we say he is.
But what the ant heap has to say about its own highest principle, its own supreme factor, is exceedingly important, because that shows its conception of itself, and we can be sure that the ant heap will be influenced by the conception.
For in formulating his highest principle, man formulates himself.
It is not necessarily true.
When we say our God is love, we know it is not true.
We say that in order to compensate for the fact that we do not love enough, that we hate too much.
Our ideal is love because we are too separated.
We talk of community and relationship because we have none; we always talk of the things we do not possess.
For instance, the cleanest, purest religion-literally clean, on account of its numerous washing ceremonials-is the Persian religion, and the Persians were known throughout the antique world as the dirtiest dogs that ever existed; their religion was compensatory.
The most fanatical monotheists were the Jews, and it was the Jews who always fell for the foreign gods.
The way in which people define their God is most characteristic.
But in these visions, there is no question of self-made formulations or definitions made up for a certain purpose; they are simply facts which we observe.
Such visions just happen.
The point of this technique is that the psyche is liberated from the usual merely arbitrary management and is given over to itself, to a factor which is not identical with the conscious will or intention.
The patient is trained to let things happen, so that he may see his psyche; otherwise he labors under the impression that it is exactly what he wants it to be.
But if he is in such a relation to it that he is able to experience it as an objective fact, he will realize the truth and the value of psychical events.
Such a vision is not invented, it is not sought for, it is not elaborated; it just occurs in a certain particular form and so it has the character of objectivity.
But at the same time it is a compensation.
So since our patient started originally with a conception of the divine which was limited by puritanical prejudices, the god that appears here is naturally just the opposite.
This is not uncommon.
For instance, I remember the dream of a very puritanical lady, and another one of a clergyman, which show exactly the same psychology.
The lady dreamt that she was driving to church with her husband in her father’s fine car-being a respectable man he had a beautiful limousine-and she was having some altercation with her husband about their convictions.
It was an Episcopal church, a very nice place otherwise.
The congregation was already assembled, and she saw that the people had a strange expression, they all looked half dead, and she also noticed the extraordinary fact that from the heads of those people vines were growing all over the church.
Then she discovered that in a corner somebody had brought in cocktails, and presently a girl pulled out a guitar and began to sing very frivolous songs.
This did not go very well with the church hymns that other people were singing.
She woke up in the most terrible confusion.
Here we see Dionysus brought into the puritan church and it upsets the whole situation.
The other dream was of a clergyman, a man very much concerned with all the modern problems, but quite convinced that the whole modern world should be in the lap of one universal church.
He is quite a liberal man, but absolutely bound by the ecclesiastical prejudice.
He dreamt that he came into his church and suddenly noticed that the part where the choir had been had fallen down.
The altar with the crucifix was still there, but it was completely overgrown with grapevines.
Moreover, the walls had fallen away behind and the crescent moon was shining into the church. He woke up with a tremendous start.
There, you see, is the same idea.
It is again the vine, the Dionysian principle, the fruit of the earth, that is growing into the church.
The altar is where one drinks the wine, the spirit of the earth, and it is assumed that the wine is inspiring, that it gives one good thoughts.
Then the background behind the altar is now open nature, and there is the moon.
This is a particularly charming allusion. Do you know what the moon means?
Prof Eaton: It is the feminine principle.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the feminine principle, which is repressed by the church, is here expressed by the moon.
In the Protestant church everything is masculine; since the feminine principle is connected with the earth, it is considered wrong, and it is therefore completely repressed.
That appears in this dream, and we have very much the same psychology in the visions we have been dealing with.
I tell you all that in order to give you a certain basis for the next things that happen.
The vision after the one of the great god Pan is the following:
I beheld a scarab which opened. A man and a woman emerged.
They walked down some steps to a pond and gazed there at their own images.
Then the man dove into the pond and emerged holding in his hand a ring.
This ring he held to the forehead of the woman and the ring sank into the flesh of her forehead and remained there.
Now this vision of the god Pan is a part of the initiation; it is the experience of the living presence, of the absolutely objective psyche.
As long as you assume that you are the inventor and instigator of your own psychical life, you are entirely alone in the psychical world.
You depend upon the company of other people in order to feel a presence outside of yourself.
One of the reasons why Protestants make such a fuss over human relationship, community life, and so on, is that there really is no objective psychical presence in their lives.
But if you can train yourself to take psychical contents as objective, you will feel a presence.
For then you know that the psychical contents are not things you have made, they really occur, they are there, and so you are not alone; then you can be in perfectly good company, most entertaining company.
If you have invented them, it is as if you were living in a world where you know that you have imagined the whole thing.
I should instantly stop lecturing if I thought I had invented all of you.
If you are only my illusion, why should I bother any further?
Why talk to my psychical contents if I have produced them, if they are only my imagination and therefore not real?
That all modern people naturally assume that nothing exists in the psychical world which they have not made up is the best possible demonstration of their God-Almightiness.
Our basic idea is that there would be nothing if we did not bring it about, which is an amazing assumption,
implying that we are in the condition of the creator before he created the world.
For instance, there is an old Hindu legend that in the beginning the creator was all alone by himself, there was nothing but himself, and that bored him most terribly.
Finally he got a tremendous headache and something really had to happen.
So he did the only thing he knew how to do, which was to contract, and this he did to such an extent that he
burst, and then there was reality.
There is a similar Jewish legend that God was originally a cloud or a gas and entirely alone, whatever he
touched he found to be himself, and he could stand it no longer; so he contracted and became a sort of thunder cloud, whereupon something like lightning suddenly burst out of him as the first ray of light.
And that was the sun, the beginning of creation.
He felt something outside of himself.
You see, that is exactly the position of our consciousness when we say that everything psychical is due to our instigation, and that we are responsible for it.
Then one is all alone in one’s psyche, like the creator before the creation.
But through a certain training, certain exercises, suddenly something objective happens which one has not created, and then one is no longer alone.
That is the idea of the initiations: people are trained to experience something which is not their intention, something strange and objective with which they cannot identify.
Then they can say, there is the object, there is reality.
Often it needs only a tiny detail to bring about the realization.
I remember the case of a patient with a strict Catholic training.
The exercitia prescribed by Ignatius Loyola are most characteristic of that kind of training, whereby all spontaneous creative fantasy is intentionally destroyed.
This patient had undergone that, and since her Catholic creed was not helpful any longer, it was necessary that she should have the experience of the reality of the psychical contents, so she had somehow to produce a spontaneous fantasy.
A certain picture came to her upon which she could concentrate, a picture of a tribe of Indians who had camped on the bank of a lake, but it was in a desert where there was not a trace of organic life.
And there was one Indian, the chief of the tribe, who would never move, he just stood still like a wooden figure.
She tried to bring that man to life, it was always the same image and she always concentrated upon it, but nothing happened for weeks, and it was all-important that something should happen.
Then, suddenly, she once felt a bit of moisture in the air.
And that was the amazing discovery, that touch of moisture in the air she had not invented.
It was exactly as it happened to the Demiurgos: When he had created the world he withdrew a bit to look down on what he had done.
“That is damned good,” he said and was quite vain about it, “I am the creator of the world.”
Then in his vanity he also looked up in order to say, “And this too, how fine it is,” when he suddenly beheld a little light far above his head and knew that that he had not created.
Instantly he traveled up and up until he reached that light so far above him.
And there he came to another world, there he discovered the spiritual world which he had not made, and there the great enlightenment came to him, that worlds and worlds had existed and would continue to exist besides this miserable little world which he had created.
That is a Gnostic myth, and that is a psychological experience. It describes the mystery in an initiation: here is something which I have not created.
That woman was completely overcome by the fact of that bit of moisture in the air; it was so genuine that it brought home to her the fact that something was alive which she herself had not managed.
Her feeling about it was almost pathetic.
If that Indian had moved or spoken, she would probably have been suspicious, she would have said it was her imagination, but the moisture was almost a sensation, and that was absolutely convincing to her.
So this experience of the objective fact is all-important, because it denotes the presence of something which is not oneself.
Such an experience may reach a climax where it becomes the god, and therefore even the smallest happening of that kind has mana quality, divine quality.
A bit more and it is the deity, the giver of life. It is a decisive experience.
This new vision describes a union between a man and a woman who had before been enclosed in a scarab.
Our patient has read Egyptian mythology, so she knows that the scarab was the chthonic form of the sun god.
Therefore it was called the kheper-ra, the god in the form of the scarab; and in that condition it was thought that the god was forming his own egg.
You know, the scarab makes a ball of camel dung as a store of fodder for its young, but the Egyptian idea was that it hatched itself out of the dung.
It was a sort of phoenix myth to explain the fact of the sun’s regeneration.
The original idea was that the sun really died in the evening and that every morning a new sun was made, for it was a great puzzle that the sun went down as if it were buried in the ocean or the earth and then came up again.
Also the fact that the sun lost its power in the winter and then later regained its strength was very puzzling.
But the Egyptian idea was that the sun regenerated itself in the night, and that fertility and self-regeneration were expressed by the symbol of the kheperra-as the scarab regenerates itself, so does the sun.
Now as the sun was supposed to be contained in the kheper-ra when inthe state of regeneration, so the relationship between man and woman seems here to be contained in the kheper-ra.
After the vision of the god comes a new revelation concerning the relationship between man and woman; it is as if the relationship had been regenerated and the regenerated couple were now appearing.
But why should the relationship between man and woman be affected? Is not that always the same?
When you see nothing but the outside of the chthonic scarab, it means that the sun has disappeared; it is winter, night, there is no light and no warmth.
That would be the condition in which consciousness is all alone in itself.
How would that affect the love relationship between man and woman?
Practically, it is the question of what such religious mythology has to do with a love relation at all.
Mrs. Wickes: Is it that just as the idea of God had to come in a new form, so the idea of love and relationship had to come in a new form, which would be an unacceptable pattern to her conventional ideas?
Dr. Jung: Yes, the conventional form is identical with the actual assumption of consciousness that it is all alone, that everything that happens psychically is an arbitrary invention of consciousness; and if one applies the same idea to love, there is only a love relation within the conventional forms, nothing else exists.
So if our patient has any experience of psychical reality at all, if she admits that something may occur which she is not responsible for, then she has also to admit the possibility that something may happen in her feelings which she has not invented and which is outside the frame of conventionality.
That of course throws an entirely new light upon everything; the relationship between man and woman is just one application of it.
She says to herself: if it is possible that something happens in my psyche which I have not made, then what about love?
Then something can happen in my feelings which I have not invented; anything could happen there and it could not be denied, whereas the conventional consciousness always starts with the assumption that one can deny an inconvenient feeling because one doesn’t want to feel like that.
Convention handles these problems as if we should assume responsibility for the fact that we feel in a certain way, but it is absolutely impossible because we have not invented that kind of feeling.
It is as if I should say I was sorry that the weather was bad today.
But I am not responsible for the weather; it is awkward and disagreeable, I grant you, for one has to take an umbrella, or perhaps put on a heavy coat, yet it is not one’s responsibility.
So the instant she realizes this-in a woman that works very quickly-it suddenly becomes objective.
This experience means the complete renewal of the idea of the relationship between man and woman, as you can easily imagine.
Coming out of the scarab is like the sun rising.
That is very usual symbolism, as when a person begins to understand a thing, he says, it dawns upon him.
It is the coming of light, it becomes clear to her, she is in a way enlightened.
And now she is in the picture, which is very important; through that experience she sees herself in relationship in a new way.
I don’t know whether you grasp the difference.
You see, it makes all the difference in the world whether a woman assumes that she has invented a certain feeling or a certain situation, and so is responsible for it, or whether she can take it as an objective fact which occurs in exactly the same way as the vision that occurred before.
As in the case of the Catholic patient who experienced that moisture in the air, it made an enormous
difference to her when she was able to realize that things happened in her consciousness as they happen in nature.
You would not assume when the sun breaks through the clouds that you were the instigator of it, but when you have a certain thought you actually assume that you have invented it.
That is tremendous arrogance, really God Almightiness.
If you apply that thought, if you begin to think what it means for your practical life, you will see that it makes all the difference in the world.
It can change your Weltanschauung completely.
This woman comes to that realization here; she sees herself now as if in a new world, she sees her feeling in a new light.
And this renewal is due to the vision of the life-giver, the great god Pan.
So that realization is part of the mystery experience.
Suppose you are dealing with someone concerning an ordinary matter, perhaps a business matter.
This is within the ordinary conventions in the conventional and ordinary world, there is nothing particular about it.
But suppose, while you are doing your business with that man, that
you suddenly have a vision in which both you and he are in an exalted
form, and you see moreover that the business is by no means so much
merchandise against so much money, but that it is symbolic.
Then, naturally, you understand that it is not ordinary business, but a part of a greater and more significant life.
But this is also the way in which people go crazy.
They suddenly understand that an ordinary event like meeting a man and greeting him is not simply that; it is a meeting between the King of England and the Pope.
The man you are greeting is not just that man, he is somebody else; he doesn’t know it, but you know that you are both something very particular.
So it is only a very subtle nuance that separates those matters from insanity.
It is the religious aspect that makes the difference.
In cases of insanity one is impressed by the fact that these appearances, or these particular distortions of reality, have no religious character whatever.
For instance, a pathological case, in describing what happens, usually first describes a piece of ordinary life-I was born, I was married, I am living in such and such a house-but then he suddenly begins: “One morning I left my house with nothing particular in my mind, when I saw that the sun was splitting into two suns, and that everybody’s faces had changed, they all looked quite pale, and some were merely skulls; so naturally I got quite excited, because I knew that I was now chosen by God to preach salvation on this earth; then they took me to the police who sent me on to the clinic.”
That is the way such a case develops.
If they could realize the situation, if they could make the difference between the two levels, that one level is the physical world and the other level is the psychical world, the whole thing would be understood.
In the psychical world, one can experience two suns, split the universe in twelve parts if one pleases, because there physical facts have no value.
But one must know that one is in an abnormal condition, and be able to switch it off and get into one’s so-called normal condition again.
Such an abnormal condition is by no means pathological.
As long as humanity has existed, religious exaltation has existed.
It is a legitimate attempt at a sort of higher consciousness.
If one succeeds in grasping an idea which will only come through to the world in two or three hundred
years perhaps, if one can imagine how relationship, for instance, will then be understood, one is naturally in an exalted condition.
In that condition one is not necessarily in space and not necessarily in time, but one must know it, and that is exactly what insane people do not know; they are insane because they have no realization of what they are experiencing.
We must know that we are living in the year 1931 in this respectable town of Zurich, and not in the year 2500.
The normal man knows that certain things belong to the level of ordinary consciousness, and others to a more exalted level of consciousness.
It is even possible that a thing may belong to both levels of experience, that ordinary activity might have an aspect which has nothing whatever to do with the physical level, but belongs to a higher consciousness.
And inasmuch as it belongs there, it has the divine or taboo character, and therefore it is extremely unwise to let it appear in the sphere of ordinary life.
It is necessary to make these distinctions; otherwise people are unable to live a complete life.
The physical or conventional level is much too narrow; one must also be able to live in a symbolic way.
The reason why there have always been religions is because religions formerly had something to do with exaltation.
You must not think of ordinary Protestantism; that is an unfortunate example. Protestantism is a protest.
I am no Catholic, my father was a Protestant clergyman, so I know something about Protestantism, and it is not a real religion, it is a protest against a real religion.
Nor is actual Catholicism a fully living religion because it does not hold the intelligentsia.
It is good for the masses, one could say, but people who have been Protestants cannot easily find the way back into the Catholic church.
So we have not very good examples.
But if one studies antique or primitive religions, one sees how those people were given the opportunity of an exalted life and had cause to remember it; and inasmuch as there have always been such religions or such ritual forms, we can say that there has always been an absolute need in man for that dual life.
Now things on the exalted level have their feet in reality; as an accompaniment, there is always a cult, a ritual, as we saw in those pictures of the Villa dei Misteri in Pompeii.
That kind of life has its outer appearance.
In such a mystery place, one would see people doing really ridiculous things.
In the story of the Golden Ass, for instance, a deification takes place in the end, where Mr. Smith, say, is Helios on a pedestal with a crown on his head.
Think of any of us on a pedestal, having donned a celestial mantle covered with stars and planets, and being worshipped by rs. So-and-So!
Yet I am sure, if you have read that account by Apuleius, that you felt his emotion vibrating in his confession, and I am absolutely convinced that it was really there.
The thing worked, it was real; it was no longer Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones standing upon the pedestal in the heavenly mantle.
You see, these things are utterly impossible on the physical level.
They only live as spiritual facts, so they must necessarily be taboo, they must be esoteric.
Therefore any real religion is esoteric.
The original Catholic baptism-the complete submersion-was esoteric.
Of course it is ridiculous to think of Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones in his nightshirt diving into the pond.
It was cold, and the water not quite clean, and all those awkward little things happening, awful human details-perhaps a lady’s comb dropped into the water and he felt that he must fish it out for her.
It is all so ridiculous, so it had to be a mystery.
Nowadays we only baptize babies, and they are just nice little lambs.
But the baptism of the adult was originally a very serious business, so it had to be in a mysterious and secluded place, where the few who were present were in the proper mood.
Then it was possible, then it held meaning.
So this exalted life is risky; from the ordinary point of view it is somewhat ridiculous, exactly as the life of lovers is ridiculous.
If someone took a stopwatch and observed, say at 11: 15, one kiss, one minute thirty-five seconds, it would be terrible.
And what they say to each other is all so nonsensical and in such bad taste. But they are in heaven.
Well now, this last vision contains, as I have explained, the realization of an entirely new aspect of relationship between man and woman, quite other than their relationship on the physical or conventional level.
You notice that I say physical or conventional and perhaps you are astonished that I make them practically identical.
But convention is nothing but the average truth.
For instance the law or the penal code recommends one way of acting or behaving; it tells you what you can safely do, how far you can go.
And so the conventions are just signposts that indicate how far you can risk yourself on this level of visible things, in this conventional world, that is.
But there is another kind of relation between man and woman which obviously belongs to a different order of things, it belongs to that exalted condition.
This is an extremely important recognition, and it is immediately followed by the image of a union of a very divine nature, namely, that ring which the man brings up from the depths of the pond is inserted in the flesh of the woman’s forehead.
You can wear the ordinary ring on your finger and also you can take it off, but when it is inserted into your flesh, grown into your flesh, it is a different matter; even if it is cut out, it leaves a scar; it is far more securely fixed than when you wear it on your finger.
That is the idea here.
It means something far more penetrating than the conventional relationship.
Now that is a general truth: Anything that happens in the exalted condition is far more impressive and penetrating than anything that happens on the conventional or physical level.
I don’t know exactly what the reasons are, but if you ask people what they consider the most important
event in their lives, if they are not confined to common sense only, they usually tell you particular experiences which clearly indicate an exalted condition.
Therefore it has often been said that nothing matters but the union with God, or heaven, or something of the sort.
And so the relationship on the exalted level reaches into greater depths, it is unforgettable, it burns itself into the flesh.
If the ring is removed, the scar will be forever visible.
That spot on the forehead is where the criminal is branded, and it is also the place which is particularly holy in Brahmanism.
It is the so-called ajna centre, which plays a great role in the Tantric theory of these phenomena.
It is the center of supreme knowledge, supreme consciousness.
This center is also in other forms of yoga, in Chinese yoga for instance, where it is called the birthplace of the imperishable body, or the diamond body.
That indicates that this union is not only an experience on the exalted level, but has also to do with the problem of individuation, because supreme consciousness is linked up with the idea of perfection or of completion.
In Tantric yoga it is said that the yogi has extraordinary command over his psychical powers; when he wants to die, or feels that death is approaching, he collects all his energy in the ajna center, that center of supreme consciousness, and thus he vanishes.
It is also called the place of liberation, because supreme consciousness means supreme detachment.
As long as one is in participation mystique with things, one cannot be conscious of them.
Any increase in consciousness brings about an increase of detachment, and the tendency of Eastern philosophy is always to reach that supreme consciousness and with it the supreme detachment.
This condition is called Nirvana, the being non-being, for if one is completely conscious and completely detached, it is as if one were not.
This place on the forehead, then, indicates the seat of supreme consciousness, and that has to do with the process of individuation, because supreme consciousness and individuation are identical.
As I said, as long as one is mixed up with objects, not separated, not individuated, one cannot have individual consciousness.
The relationship our patient is realizing is closely connected with the problem of her own individuation, and at the same time it has the importance of the experience on the exalted level which would make of her a twice-born, as they say in India.
This particular place on the forehead is always marked on the statues of the Buddha, and it is usually the
sign of the man with the awakened higher consciousness, the man who has undergone initiation.
At the time, neither my patient nor I were conscious of all this, but when one tries to get into the real meaning of the symbolism, one sees that it belongs with such general ideas.
This vision really contains the moment of complete initiation; that is, she is definitely touched and marked, like a criminal who has been sentenced and branded on the forehead.
Or it is the mark of the chosen one.
That fact should give an absolutely typical quality to her psychology.
She is like someone who has always believed that twice two might be five or six, or if four there was no certainty about it, but from now on she knows that twice two are really four.
Such a realization has usually an unforgettable character, and therefore all these experiences have the character of the divine.
It is as if the transitory quality of experiences on the conventional level were abolished, and something of an eternal nature had entered in.
Also, it is surrounded by a reminiscent historical atmosphere, an old Greek feeling comes up, for instance, as if we were still in the year 700 B.C.
We are living twenty-six hundred years later, yet that feeling is alive and as serious as it was then.
So how can one help having a feeling of immortality or timelessness?
Such experiences always have the character of coming out of eternity, which naturally excludes the applicability of a temporal point of view.
It is as if you had fallen into the hands of cannibals and said: “Now look here, don’t play the fool, that is cannibalism.”
But they put you into the cooking pot all the same; they don’t care about conventions, why talk about cannibalism?
If this woman has realized the mana quality of her experience, categories of conventional origin do not apply.
You can only say: “Well, if you appear as Helios on Bahnhofstrasse with a crop of palm leaves on your head, you will be arrested and put in the lunatic asylum.”
On the ordinary level people will not understand.
Therefore people have forever made mysteries of these things.
On the African west coast when they call the boys for initiation, they whirl the great bull-roarers and make a sound which is very impressive in the night.
They call it the voice of the great spirit.
And when they hear the bull-roarers no woman is allowed to go out of the house, for if she should see that her husband was the sacred spirit, she would go to the devil.
No wife has ever been convinced that her husband was a superman, the voice of the great spirit; she says that is all nonsense.
Therefore if a woman or a girl dares to peep out of the hut she is instantly killed.
It is quite serious; even when women see the totemistic ceremonies of the men quite by chance, they are killed by the spear.
That happens also if the men watch the women.
At one of the women’s ceremonials, they speared a man for having violated their mysteries.
It is in order to avoid the application of the conventional point of view; that simply cannot be applied.
Of course, under certain circumstances it must be applied, otherwise people can lose themselves entirely; in certain cults they have done most impossible horrible things.
As long as they are done within the mystery and are understood as a holy ritual, they are not perversities; but the moment they are seen under a more human or banal aspect, they become perversities.
Like throwing the children to Moloch.
That might be called ordinary murder and a terrible perversity, and then it would be perversity.
But before that it was a divine sacrifice and most efficacious because it was real; it was not murder, because in that exalted condition it meant something most wonderful.
I am quite convinced of that.
The sacrifice of the first born, for example, must have been the supremist sacrifice.
You know the extraordinary kind of monkey love which primitives have for their children, yet they learned to sacrifice them.
The moment they open their eyes and see that it is just murder, then it is murder.
Then they see that the symbolism is absurd, and only the lazy, stupid, inert masses continue such a rite.
As long as it works it is real, but when it is understood it collapses and there is need of other forms.
You see, the reason why religions, religious symbolism, and the efficacy of ritual die, is that it all becomes an everyday matter; as soon as it degenerates into ordinary routine there is no exaltation.
If the priest enters his pulpit thinking: Oh, I have to read that service, it is done for.
But if he is in that exalted condition, it is efficient, then the congregation feels the mana.
Otherwise it is worse than nothing-better nothing-and we are pretty much at that point.
Mr: Baumann: I should like to ask something which was suggested by the last point. Why was Abraham stopped when he was going to kill his son?
Dr: Jung: That would be just the supreme consciousness, for with relatively primitive people, what we would call our superior insight becomes objective; it is projected into psychical objectivity, automatism Psychologique,
it is a voice, it is the god.
Abraham did not feel it as his own consciousness, a vision prevented the deed.
That marks the transition to the understanding of the sacrifice of the son as mere murder; then the sacrifice
of the animal was substituted.
That it was understood to be murder and violated human feeling was the reason why the substitution was
But in the exalted condition they could feel the blessing of heaven upon what was a horrible crime; to them it was an act of the greatest devotion.
In the excavations of old Carthage they found a series of pots in the temple of Astarte containing the remains of hundreds of slaughtered little children that had been sacrificed to the goddess.
That was not mere cruelty, it was great devotion.
You can imagine that those women did not like to give up their children.
It is like the self-sacrifice of the first Christians; Tertullian used to teach his catechumens to offer themselves to the circus of wild animals, to sacrifice themselves in that way.
But self-sacrifice is just as bad as killing someone else; it is human sacrifice, human blood.
The English common law is very logical in that respect; a man who attempts to commit suicide is punished by law for having committed an outrage, and such people have a correspondingly bad conscience about it.
Like the story of the man who tried to drown himself in the moat round the citadel at Spandau.
A sentry saw the man approaching the moat, obviously in order to jump in, and he shouted tohim: “If you jump in I shall shoot youl” Instantly the man ran away.
He was going to commit a murder so he had a bad conscience.
That ordinary soldier understood the situation; he felt that the man was a criminal, and therefore he was justified in threatening to shoot him.
Now here is the next vision [plate g]:
I beheld a beautiful youth with golden cymbals, leaping high in the air with joy and abandon.
He was followed by dogs who were also leaping with him.
His hair was black and around his loins was a leopard skin.
He came upon an old man, in a turban, who stood with his arms outstretched.
The youth stopped and his cymbals dropped.
The old man gazed at the earth and flowers sprang up at his feet.
The youth fell upon the ground and buried his face in the flowers.
The old man lifted up his countenance. His face was dark but his eyes were white. He was blind.
Here the animus is again taking the lead.
I have already explained that in a situation where the contents are too far from consciousness, so that the consciousness is unable to realize them, the contents are then enacted or impersonated by the animus, as if only the animus were concerned with them. It often happens like that in ordinary life.
Suppose, for instance, that you are not aware of a certain important quality of your character; perhaps you are not aware that you are very vain.
People who are terribly modest insist upon their modesty and then one knows they are vain, and one sees that those people discover vanity everywhere in other people; they emphasize their vanity, they are so particularly impressed with it that it is almost as if people were employed to impersonate or perform the vanity role.
Also it is quite interesting to observe how such very modest people induce others to be boastful; they bring
out vanity in others.
And so when other bad qualities are projected, they bring out those very things in other people.
People are always complaining that other people are unkind and unfriendly with them.
But look at them! They are the unkind and unfriendly ones, and naturally they bring that out in others.
So very sensitive people (who are always tremendous tyrants) bring out all the brutality in their surroundings.
Sentimentalists bring out vulgarity. And people who are afraid are attacked.
We see the same mechanism here.
When the patient is unable to realize certain contents, or to perform certain activities, because they are
too far away and therefore not recognizable as parts of her own psychology, then the animus takes on the role.
That is like the primitive method of education.
Initiation is always used as a means of educating the youth,to teach them what is or is not permissible.
So in certain tribes, several of the older men perform all the things which are not permissible, a whole
list of bad deeds, to show the young initiates what they shall not do.
There is the same vicarious performance in this vision.
The youth expresses the Dionysian attitude.
He is represented in a leopard skin with clashing cymbals in his hands, which are part of the Dionysian ritual as an accompaniment to the music and dancing.
Obviously she cannot yet realize the exalted joy of the Dionysian cult, the situation is still too bewildering, she cannot detach herself to the point of forgetting herself; that people should be deprived of the consciousness of themselves, lifted out of their everyday condition, was the sign of the exalted condition.
Therefore the classical contest between Apollo and Dionysus, which ended with the fact that the temple at Delphi, which had originally been the property of Dionysus, was later on divided really with Apollo.
This is considered as historical evidence of the great religious conflict between the Apollonian and the Dionysian tendencies: on the one side, the law, the tendency towards strict rules, and on the other side
the breaking of all rules through exaltation.
In the higher states of exaltation one really does forget oneself, but that is not only the self-forgetfulness arising from some form of intoxication.
That could be said of the Dionysian cult, but in Indian psychology it is a consequence of the detachment of consciousness.
For the more one becomes conscious, the more consciousness becomes detached the more one forgets oneself and the less one matters.
One does not matter because one is too conscious.
And when consciousness becomes detached from objects, the particular object does not matter so much.
This accounts for the Eastern attitude of indifference, which on the practical side has bad consequences; human life and health do not matter enough, they are far too much disregarded. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 171-186