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Visions Seminar

11 February 1931, Visions Seminar, Lecture III

We stopped at the place where the animus fell into the water.

I spoke of the animus as the bridge, the communication, between the conscious and the unconscious sides, and you know that is the psychological definition of the anima as well.

I find, nevertheless, that people are still rather bewildered by that definition, they do not understand how anything so personal could be defined as a function.

But that is by no means difficult when you realize that people in general, if looked at as social factors, are really nothing but functions.

One even uses the term fonctionnaire, which means a man who functions in a certain department, political or otherwise, and is so identified with it that one forgets altogether that he is a human being; he is identified with what we call the persona, with his social function, so that his whole point of view in every respect is just the point of view of that function.

And it is the same in the unconscious.

Figures in the unconscious are to be considered as mere functions, yet they are also in a way personal factors, because nothing in the unconscious is abstract, it is all personal.

For instance, if you were describing a certain complex of your own in psychological terms, you would naturally say that it consisted of certain representations and of certain feeling tones associated with it, certain emotions, certain fantasies.

And you would probably visualize it as a sort of bubble, containing so many representations, so many emotions; or perhaps like a web or tissue with so many meshes.

But in reality you would find nothing of the sort in the unconscious.

If you could look into it you would see a sort of personality; every part of your psychology has a personal character, and it appears in your unconscious like a little person.

One sees that in spiritualistic experiments.

In the famous game of table turning, for instance-or one can do it with a glass or a planchette these unconscious personalities manifest and often call themselves by a name, Aunt or Uncle So-and-So who died so many years ago, or any other person who supposes himself to be a ghost.

And you will find that that person consists of a certain set of thoughts, or a part of the medium’s personality, or perhaps the personality is split off from one of the participants of that particular circle.

It is in itself only a fragment, yet it appears more like a total personality that calls itself I, says my name is so-and-so, and behaves exactly like a little person.

That is also true of the voices which lunatics hear; they speak in a personal way, and the more distinct they are, the more it is a matter of functional dissociation, or even of a real psychosis.

If part of your personality is repressed, that fragment forms a person which may take possession of you on certain occasions, and then it is as if you were possessed by a ghost.

This explains those cases of double personalite; the character is completely changed when anyone is in the possession of such a ghost or fragment of himself, and there may be the same effect in the case of the animus or the anima.

The animus is in this respect rather difficult to deal with because it is a plurality.

One can compare the animus, as I have said, to a group of people, a court, or a limited company, or an organization; while the anima is very definitely one person and therefore more clearly to be seen.

The anima behaves exactly like a definite person, yet she is also a function, her true function being the connection between the conscious and the unconscious; there the anima is in her right place.

That is, she is not in between myself and my audience, but in between myself and my unconscious audience, a mirror reflex of this world, the collective unconscious.

There again, those people who think of the unconscious as being a psychological tissue contained in one’s head are completely bewildered, for they can hardly form an idea of a tissue standing in one’s head.

That is indeed a very wrong idea.

You should think of the collective unconscious in a very primitive way, then you are about right, at all events much nearer to the facts than when you think of it in psychological terms.

You should think of it in the terms of primitive man, as the ghost land, all the invisible dead people amongst us.

Or a good idea of the collective unconscious is that it is a sort of unknown or unconscious reality, the unknown in everything and in everybody.

For instance, the unknown and invisible nature of this chair.

Of course, any person of ordinary mind would deny emphatically that there was anything unknown in this chair.

If they don’t know what is in the chair they simply tear it open and see that there is hair or some other kind of stuffing in it, and the wood can be examined to see whether there is anything inside that, and they know about the maple tree from which it is made, so everything is perfectly normal.

Yet they entirely forget that they have not penetrated the secret of cellulose, nor the secret of the atoms of which the chair is composed.

There is an absolutely cosmic secret, an existing thing in the chair, and you see that forms the collective unconscious.

Prof Eaton: It becomes very abstract, it ceases to be concrete.

Dr: Jung: Absolutely. It is the most abstract thing in the world, yet one assumes that substance or matter is a most concrete thing.

Prof Eaton: In your description it seems to become very abstract, whereas when it manifests itself in our psychology, when it appears in our dreams, it is a perfectly concrete thing.

Dr: Jung: That is just the point I am making.

The collective unconscious is exactly as concrete as this chair.

The chair seems to be concrete, undeniable, and very simple, yet even such an obvious and commonplace object is terribly mysterious.

And so it is with the collective unconscious-it is most obvious yet it is a great secret.

The bewildering thing is that our approach to the collective unconscious is just the reverse of the approach to the material object.

If we approach a chair from the theory of relativity, the theory of the atom, for instance, we land eventually at the chair, and thus the most abstract thing seems to be the most concrete thing.

But with obvious things we take the reverse way.

We begin at their obvious existence and eventually we land in the theory of electrons.

We are bewildered by the concept of the collective unconscious, and therefore I say: You should not begin at those abstract ideas of functions and archetypes; in order to have a correct idea of its nature, you should begin at the very simple idea of ghosts, or the souls of objects, say, or thought forms.

It is better to assume that this chair is at the same time a thought form or a breath body, as the primitives hold.

When one of the tribe dies, primitives break up all his furniture, etc., in order to send it after him.

Breaking up the furniture means the death of the objects, and then their breath bodies or subtle bodies emigrate with their owner into the ghost world and form part of his household there.

He has his vessels for his milk, his cooking pot, his sticks and spears and  bows and arrows, all in the form of subtle bodies because he himself is a subtle body.

So, by far the best or the only possibility for the clarification of this apparently very difficult concept is that, just as we suppose that things have a sort of platonic form, so thoughts have a subtle body.

As that chair has a sort of double existence, the existence as a concrete object and at the same time as a dynamic thought form, so thought has an abstract and a substantial existence.

We mustn’t go too deeply into this subject, or it will become too exciting, for here we get into the most modern ideas about the behavior of electrons-most outrageous problems-and that is something for private conversation between philosophers; for other people it is a brainstorm.

For practical uses, it is really best-though terribly shocking, I admit-to assume that everything has a double existence: a known tangible surface and at the same time an invisible, unknown existence.

And you can call the unconscious and unknown side of a thing its soul, as the unconscious invisible life in us is called soul or essence or whatever term you like to use-an old-fashioned idea, as old as the world, and therefore shocking for the modern man.

We are the people who think they have discovered the right picture of the world after all these centuries, so it looks as if we were making a most awful regression in fetching that old image of a double world from the depths of history.

But I assure you it is most practical to do so; otherwise you will never understand the meaning of the animus and the anima.

The best thing is, as I say, to assume that we are standing in between two worlds, a visible tangible world, and the other invisible world, which somehow has a peculiar quality of substantiality; but very subtle, a sort of matter that is not obvious and is not visible, that penetrates bodies and apparently exists outside of time and space.

It is here and everywhere at the same time, and yet nowhere because it has no extension; it is a complete annihilation of space and time, which makes it a very different thing from our conception of an obvious world.

But these are merely philosophical considerations which have not necessarily to enter your practical conception.

Your practical conception, I repeat once more, should be to think that everything has a sort of double existence.

So when you are concerned with a relationship to another human being, you are in connection with two things really, with the conscious obvious person and the unconscious person at the same time.

When you analyze any kind of relationship you find a conscious and an unconscious part, which are quite unlike each other.

For instance, a man consulted me recently concerning his wife whom I don’t know.

He told me how much they loved one another and that she would sacrifice her life for him and had almost done so; he was truly convinced of the love of his wife.

Yet his wife is very ill and making his life a hell, torturing him with terrible fits of jealousy for no reason whatever, he said, and I naturally believed him.

He· is a nice and naive man who does not understand the devilish complications of man and woman, so it simply would not enter his head that his wife was torturing him all day long and all night long if possible.

He gave me instances and she is behaving like a real she-devil.

So I said: “Don’t you see that your wife has another side? She loves you, yes, I admit that, yet she also hates you, and that is why she tortures you.”

But he could not get that into his head, that was incomprehensible to him, I might as well have talked of the wave theory of light.

He could only finally submit to such a point of view after he had looked at me for a very long time, and finally reached the conclusion that I must be in a pretty sane condition of mind.

That shows one what the ordinary mind is capable of.

You see, that man is absolutely convinced that his wife loves him, and that it is quite impossible that there should be somebody else in her who hates him, that it is quite impossible that his wife should have a double personality.

Well, it is not exactly a double personality in her case, but mixed, not clearly separated, two persons that overlap more or less.

There are two entirely different characters in her, the one lovable and intelligent and reasonable, with the best of intentions naturally, all that admitted; and on the other unconscious side just the contrary.

That is her soul if you like to say so.

I am convinced that if I said to that woman: “Now don’t you see that you hate your husband and want to get

rid of him, that you force him to say evil things so that you may have a good reason to separate yourself from him?”

If I said that, she would not admit it, because she is absolutely unaware of the fact that she consists of two sides.

We always like to think we are the one truth, and hate to admit that we might be counterbalanced by the opposite.

But even Christianity had to suffer from that truth.

The legend of the Antichrist dates from the first century, it can be traced as far back as that.

The Antichrist is the dark evil side of Christ.

Christ being the best man, the Antichrist is the worst, and they are one and the same person really, the dark inside and the bright outside.

Prof Demos: When you say that the anima is a bridge from the conscious to the unconscious, does it not include the relation to another person because the other person is an object of emotion?

Dr. Jung: Well, you must make the difference that the anima may be between the self and the object, which is the wrong place.

Then the reality would be twisted.

My anima may twist my impressions of reality, and she may twist my image in the eyes of the object.

It is like a moving,

deceitful thing in between oneself and reality if wrongly placed.

But the anima as a bridge, as a function of relationship between the conscious and the unconscious, is rightly placed.

Prof Demos: Whose unconscious, mine or the other person’s?

Dr. Jung: There is only one collective unconscious, it is always one and the same, so if my anima is rightly placed behind my back, between the collective unconscious and the conscious, then the relationship is right everywhere.

If l have an adaptation to the collective unconscious, I don’t need to establish any kind of connection with your unconscious person.

Inasmuch as I am connected with my own unconsciousness, I am related to yours.

Prof Demos: So it is really the relation between the invisible reality in general and the visible?

Dr. Jung: The invisible side is the same everywhere, in absolute contradistinction to the obvious things which are all different.

That accounts for the extraordinary indistinctness of things in the unconscious, and you can be sure that all those figures which you observe in the unconscious are illusions.

The gods, the spirits, the demons are all illusions according to the Eastern idea.

Yet they are real inasmuch as you can perceive them.

When you have penetrated those veils, you are right at the one thing and there are no such discrete particles any longer.

They only exist inasmuch as you carry over perception from this visible world into the unconscious, and you cannot very well do otherwise, because your perceiving mind is formed in this visible world.

And for purposes of observation you have to make such differences.

The differentiation of the animus or the anima is really, if you like to say so, an artifact, yet it is also true because it works.

That is what I call a relative reality, as the obvious aspect of things is a relative reality.

When you come to their intrinsic quality, three dimensional things become very doubtful.

Has space only three dimensions? Are three dimensions enough to explain existence? What about time? Is time really what we suppose it to be?

Well now, the function of the animus, like that of the anima, should be exactly in the right place.

And here the animus is in the right place, he functions as a bridge; so he is on the side of the collective unconscious and not on the side of the obvious so-called material world.

But there is always a certain danger that the animus falls backward, so to speak, disappears into the collective unconscious, and then for a while the connection with the unconscious would be cut off.

It is like a drawbridge, which has its moorings in the unconscious; when it is drawn up, the gate to the collective unconscious is shut.

That would be about the right image for the animus, because it really belongs more to the unconscious than to the conscious.

You see, the animus is not created by the conscious, it is a creation of the unconscious, and therefore it is a personification of the unconscious.

It is the gate to the collective unconscious, and by a certain attitude one can provoke that function to appear; but if it returns to itself, pulls up the bridge, that locks the gate.

I repeat: the anima and the animus have not been just invented by the conscious, they have been found by the conscious.

It is nothing that we have done in the conscious in order to build a bridge to the unconscious; it is rather that the collective unconscious came to us in the form of an anima or an animus; and, of course, when we became aware of it, we reached out for that figure and thus established the relationship.

All these insights into the peculiarities of the collective unconscious were not originally produced by consciousness, because our consciousness is peculiarly passive and incapable.

That inside world really keeps on appearing to us by its own activity.

In studying the history of the activity of the human mind, one is impressed again and again by the fact that

thoughts have not been made by man, but that they appeared to him, they often manifested in such a way that he did not even see them as thoughts.

For instance, primitives see ghosts or have revelations of things which we might think consciously.

And it is the same in our dreams-we get intimations of thoughts which we would not have thought consciously.

That is the reason why we analyze dreams; otherwise the analysis of dreams would be perfectly futile, sterile, because we would find nothing that we do not know consciously.

Therefore, when we reach a conclusion from a dream which is exactly as we have already found it in the conscious, we have not arrived anywhere near the truth, we simply have not gotten to the bottom of the dream.

For every dream is an intimation, a creation produced from the unconscious, and not a thing which has been caused by the conscious or by some conscious intimation.

The Freudian point of view is that if you have a wish and then drop it, that might produce a dream.

But that is not exactly true.

Already in 1904 I remember writing to Freud to tell him that what he called repression was often not exactly repression, because there were many cases where one could not find any traces of it.

I said it was an automatic function which had its roots in the unconscious and where the conscious is a perfectly detached spectator.

And he said that was true, that he had observed the same thing.

But it never appeared in his theory, he always stuck to his old point of view.

That was one of the first inklings of my own conviction that the unconscious has its own ideas and can produce the most amazing changes in the conscious, by extracting things or inserting things into the conscious, and the conscious can do precious little about it.

For our consciousness in its origin was a mere passive awareness, and all that we call concentration and active thinking, or any intentional conviction, came about very much later; it is, as a matter of fact, a very recent acquisition.

It is quite astonishing to see how little the primitive can actively think.

He cannot concentrate, he has no power of attention.

If the thing doesn’t catch his instinct, he is as if unaware; that is, he has a passive awareness, but it doesn’t move him in the least.

Therefore some of their rites are so ridiculous.

The rite of the Australian Negroes for arousing anger is an example.

Now people usually get angry without the necessity of a particular ceremonial to bring it about, but there they need a special rite in order to get angry enough to avenge a murder.

When a murder has been committed, the brother or one of the relations of the murdered man calls the men of the tribe together and tells them that his brother has been killed by certain people.

When a murder has been committed here, we shout: “For God’s sake, a murder! Call in the police!”

And everybody gets terribly excited. Nobody gets excited there. They just sit there, nobody moves.

And then a very strange ceremony takes place: that man goes to the male members of the tribe and  performs a sort of sexual act upon each one, telling him at the same time the story of the murder.

Now by handling those men as if they were women, he arouses their anger, which then becomes associated with the murder.

So when he has made the round and all the men are in a state to do something about it, they take their spears and go to avenge the murder, and there will be some reddening of the spears.

But without that ridiculous ritual they are unable to make up their minds to move.

Then, it is a very usual custom among the Bushmen to have a hunger belt, and when they begin to get hungry, they simply draw it tighter and go on sleeping.

There is nothing to eat, so they should hunt for food, but they would almost rather die; only when they are approaching a comatose condition do they make up their minds to move, to realize that something must be done or they would starve.

Then they hunt for two days or more, till they spear an animal, and then they gorge themselves with meat, sometimes ten or twelve pounds for each man, till they are all swelled up and lie out in the sun for days to digest it, just like boa constrictors.

And then it begins again till they almost die.

That is the primitive man and that is how consciousness came about, that is the origin of the will, for instance.

Well now, here is a very typical case, which we also see in dreams: while the animus is establishing the relationship with the unconscious, he suddenly drops off into the collective unconscious, and then the gate is shut, there is no connection for a while.

Our patient says: “And then I was afraid; I was alone in the dark woods.”

She realizes that her ghostly companion has vanished and she is left to her own devices, and it is interesting to observe what happens when she is left alone.

She continues:

“I lay down beside a stream and the animals came and licked my face. I arose and walked to the edge of the water.”

You see, the animus is a sort of helpful ghost who tries out certain ways for her, and then she has to do the same thing, as I have been indicating.

But once the moment will come when she has to do something alone, without the help of the animus, that help which the immediate connection with the unconscious gives.

The ideal condition would be that people could act out of pure instinct without the animus.

The primitive, for instance, ordinarily has no psychology; there are no such figures or occurrences because there is no space, no chance for it.

The very primitive man is still identical with the collective unconscious, he is just a piece of this world, a part of visible nature, and values himself as one among the other animals; so he is like an indistinguishable part of the collective unconscious and naturally there is no such dissociation as with us.

But as soon as civilization begins, there is that differentiation from nature; then consciousness moves away from the unconscious and then mediation becomes necessary.

Therefore you find in the very beginning of civilization certain people who realized the necessity of a mediating link.

The sorcerer or medicine man is himself such a link; he deals with ghosts and if anything difficult occurs, say a war or a pestilence, he has recourse to that method; that is, he tries to reestablish the lost connection

with the collective unconscious.

For it is supposed that if that connection is perfect, nothing can happen which is out of order, only regular

things can happen.

The irregular things are always supposed to be intrusions because the connection with the collective unconscious has been cut off and therefore man has deviated.

For instance, that famous story: A nigger is sick and naturally he asks himself what that comes from; it is perfectly unnatural to be sick, therefore it must have been caused by witchcraft, perhaps the tin fetish he is carrying round his neck has lost its magical efficiency, or he has given offense to some unknown ghost or demon, or to a sorcerer of a foreign tribe.

At first he may not be able to remember the magical reason for his disease, but it certainly has a magical reason for not even death is natural to a nigger, it is always caused by witchcraft.

He finally discovers that three weeks before, when taking a walk along the shore, he had found an old anchor and had broken off a piece to use as a shovel to dig a hole.

Now he knows that that anchor is a fetish, and he tells his son to take back the piece he broke off to Mr. Anchor on the shore; so the son carries that part back, with much bowing, and then the father gets well again.

And from that time, whenever the nigger passes the anchor he always bows and greets it as Mr. Anchor, in the fear that by offending it, it will again cause an illness.

Naturally the suggestion itself is already helpful; sometimes they are cured in a wink after following such an auto-suggestion.

You see, when man is in connection with his collective unconscious he supposes everything is all right because he quite naturally has a feeling of what the Chinese call Tao, which means when things are just as they should be, in complete harmony.

Therefore the definition of Tao that a Chinese student gave to Professor McDougall when he asked him what Tao was.

The student tried to give him an explanation but he found Professor McDougall much too tough minded, and finally he got irritated and took the Professor to the window, saying: “What do you see there?” “I see houses and trees.” “Yes, and what else?” “A hill and a road.”

“Yes, and what else?” “There is a river flowing down and people walking over a bridge.” “Well, that is Tao.”

That simply means that things are right, just as they ought to be.

There are trees where trees should be, there is a hill where a hill should be, the water is flowing as it should and there is the necessary bridge for people to cross over it.

Now if Professor McDougall had said that he saw the river flowing uphill, or that several people had fallen dead, the Chinaman would have said: “That is exactly not Tao because things are out of order, out of tune.”

So the original idea of Tao is an exceedingly simple feeling experience that things are right, that the conscious and the collective unconscious are going smoothly along together.

There are no ghosts, no enemies, nobody is sick, no tree falls down on your head, and therefore everything is all right; and as soon as something irregular happens, there is the assumption: we have deviated from Tao, from the right way.

Naturally things ought to move, so when things are all right man is together with nature, he is part of the general course of events, nowhere at cross purposes with existing things.

And that means he is together with his instincts; his instincts are completely expressed in the things that happen, he is together with his animals.

That is the reason why the animals go and lick this woman’s face in the vision. She is one of them, she is right with them.

For that the animal agrees with you, as you agree with nature, is almost a sort of test; as a matter of fact, people who are more or less on good terms with their own nature are friendly with animals, and animals know it and go to them.

Therefore those many Eastern pictures where the holy man in his meditation is visited by all sorts of animals, and birds fly down and alight on him.

So here, all alone with herself, she is together with her instincts.

This is a moment when one could say: a complete existence, a complete fullness; insofar as the collective unconscious is together with her, she doesn’t deviate.

And at that moment, being near the water, she has a vision: “A woman rose up from the water, wearing a high-peaked cap. She laughed as I stepped into the golden boat pulled by a white sea horse. As I went I saw rainbows arching everywhere over the sky.”

The high-peaked cap which the woman wears is the pileus, which derives from the cult of Mithra, a sun figure, a deity.

The woman is herself, so it is a vision of herself in the exalted condition, identical with the sun.

This refers back to the initiation and deification in the former vision, and it is the reason why she laughs that divine laugh which is beyond the uncertainties and doubts of the imperfect mortal.

She is the woman rising up as a vision from the unconscious.

She steps into a golden boat, which also shows the sun identification, and while sailing on the water, she sees rainbows arching over the sky.

She causes the rainbows to appear, as the sun causes the rainbow to appear; she herself is the sun now.

You see, that makes the thing complete.

For being together with the unconscious means being together with her lower instincts, the earthly instincts, mind you, the instincts of her body, every thinkable animal fact, a complete awareness of her chthonic being, which is a sort of utter humiliation, man degraded to the animals, being among animals as one of them.

And that causes this superior Self to appear, because it is the only possible thing which can happen.

For the Self in that divine form is the balance and the necessary counterpart to the animal instincts.

So the figure of the Self is the divine above and the animal below, like the vision of the satyr-god.

Now this is the end of this particular series of visions, and we are coming to a new one.

But before we begin that, I should like to ask you your opinions as to the actual condition of the woman who has these visions.

From the last part you saw that she succeeded in getting her animus into the right place and in making it function in the right way as a bridge-and she crossed the bridge to the other side, thus establishing a connection with the collective unconscious.

And in the moment when that happens, when the goal has been reached, one could say, so that the animus can plunge back into the collective unconscious, then the drawbridge is pulled up and the gate shut, and she is left alone with the animals in the darkness, all of which is perfectly all right.

And being with the instincts, being among the animals, means being consciously in the dark.

Through being with the animals, one is lower down than the brain, because the farther one reaches back into the ages, the more one has the animal feeling, the intuition of what the animal is.

One might go back even to the lizard, farther than the warm-blooded animal, where one probably loses consciousness.

Snakes, for instance, are extraordinarily unconscious of man.

It is quite possible that, with the end of warm blood, all traces of consciousness come to an end, and something entirely different begins, a sort of completely unconscious soul.

Therefore the darkness.

Then on the other side she has the vision of greatness, of the Self in its divine aspect, which is absolutely as it ought to be, because she can never hope to be more, or to have more, than that vision of the Self.

She is glorified or deified, she enters the golden abode of the sun and produces the rainbow, which is like the halo round the heads of saints.

That symbol occurs several times in the course of her visions.

So this is really a complete sanctification or deification in the sense of the antique mysteries.

Now that seems to be a pretty ideal situation, it is apparently all one could wish for.

So what would you expect? How can the visions continue? What would be the next possibility?

Prof Demos: She is escaping from the Protestant bete noire to paganism.

But that seems a one-sided situation because paganism after all did collapse, and Christianity filled the need. So I should think she could not stay with the animals all the time, she should get to something else now.

Dr. Jung: We can criticize it from that angle. This is a thoroughly pagan idea.

You remember what I said about looking into the animal’s eyes; there she had reached the bottom, she had gone down through the different layers of civilization.

And now she is returning.

She encountered the sun-worshippers, and then she came to the essential ideas of the Dionysian cult, and she is still in that sphere.

She has come about as far as the mystery cults of the second and third centuries A.D. Inasmuch as these cults still lasted after Christianity became the state religion, they overlapped the beginnings of Christianity.

But the Christian development is invisible here on account of the fact that she is already a Christian.

That would be her conscious development, but this is the unconscious; she dropped out of the Christian attitude and went back through the ages, and now comes back with the constructive idea of antique spirituality.

But to have come only as far as the second century is of course not satisfactory.

She ought to come up to modern times. So Professor Demos makes a perfectly fair criticism.

Then there is another one, more psychological.

Prof Eaton: Is there not a serious duality there, on one side being unified with the animals, and on the other side having this vision of herself as an ideal personality? It seems to be almost a split.

Dr: Jung: The question is what you call an ideal personality. That laugh of the gods, do you know what it means?

It is the laughter of the Greek gods, the laugh of Priapus.

I have a copy of that wonderful statue which was excavated in Herculaneum, Priapus as the educator, one might say, of the bambino.

The little god is seated upon his shoulder as a baby, and Priapus is holding up a bunch of grapes to him, and looking at him with an indescribable smile, that marvelous archaic smile which is the laughter of the gods.

That goes with the animals very well, that is excellent, there is no trouble.

But the situation is nevertheless not ideal because it is two thousand years behind our time.

There is something in the text from which to draw a conclusion: “She laughed as I stepped into a golden boat pulled by a white sea horse.

As I went I saw rainbows arched everywhere in the sky.” To what would that point? We have already spoken of it.

Dr: Baynes: That she is the sun.

Dr: Jung: Exactly.

The purpose of the antique mysteries was to make the initiate into Helios; the upshot of the whole mystery ceremonial was that the initiate should become the sun itself, like Apuleius in The Golden Ass.

But to rise from the darkness to the tremendous heights of the sun is an absolutely superhuman condition.

She is, after all, just an ordinary woman and this is merely her experience in the exalted condition.

Now what is the relationship of such a condition to our life? That is still lacking.

The problem is now solved as it would have been solved two or three thousand years ago.

Then it was sufficient for them to be almost unconscious people, who at certain times in life were exalted both to unspeakable depths and unspeakable heights.

We still have fragments of the confessions of initiates at Eleusis, which tell something of their wonderful experiences there.

It apparently sufficed for that time, but it did not suffice in the long run.

Human consciousness developed, and new needs came up with new solutions.

And the next solution was Christianity.

We are already overlapping the beginnings of Christianity here, and something should happen which is akin to Christianity, something in which she discovers the inner meaning and structure of early Christianity, just as she discovered the inner meaning and structure of the pagan cults.

For we must expect her to continue her way through the ages in order to reach modern times.

Naturally we would not expect a development through Christianity as she already knows it, but one which is similar to the experience she has had in the antique mysteries.

She is well read, so she is intelligent about antiquity.

But you see, we know it because we have read about it, we know of the cult of Mithra, or of Jupiter Ammon, and of other old gods, and it leaves us stone cold.

It is just historical knowledge.

Yet those things were really forms of life, they were full of passion, real fire, and that is what we are unable to feel, what we cannot understand.

We cannot understand the tremendous emotions of Eleusis.

Yes, we can say it must have been a gorgeous sight, people running around the shore with torches seeking Kore, and the tremendous illumination and joy when they found her.

But that is what the professor at the gymnasium tells us when he gets particularly excited, and the boys sit there and think, “Oh, bunk!-old stuff, that is not interesting.”

That is the way we know it, but she now experiences it to a certain extent in herself, she knows how it feels to be traveling in the sun boat.

That is, she sees it, she doesn’t exactly feel it; it is a more or less abstract vision, which is of course the main criticism.

But there are very good reasons why the thing has not entered her blood, it must come much nearer in order to transform her.

So the next thing we could expect would be an attempt at reconstructing the Christian experience in an entirely new way, as we have already seen the reconstruction of the Dionysian experience, which is as a modern person would experience those things; and still it is amazingly like the accounts of the experiences at Eleusis.

Now the next vision begins in the following way: “I beheld a sheep upon a stone altar which had been sacrificed.”

In these words, we already discover the Christian sacrificial idea, the sacrifice of the lamb.

There has been no sacrificial symbol before, except the one when she was with the sun-worshippers, and that concerned her precious little.

Here, however, she is obviously preparing to deal with that idea.

Now why does the question of sacrifice come in here?

If you can answer that question, you will have realized what Christianity means as an inner experience, not as the historians explain it.

Dr: Barker: In order to get to the middle way, she must sacrifice.

Dr: Jung: Exactly. As the sun, she is the supreme god, and down below in the depths she is an animal.

She is reaching beyond herself in both directions, above as well as below. She is no longer human.

She is almost torn asunder by the tension of that pair of opposites, she is stretched in length to an amazing degree.

Now that is exactly the situation which an early Christian philosopher has described, an old bishop, Synesius of Edessa.

He lived between the fifth and sixth centuries, and he philosophizes in his very interesting book about a certain spiritus phantasticus, which is simply the creative imagination of man that causes dreams.

We would call it fantasy-visualizing fantasy or creative fantasy-but to him it is almost personified.

The idea is that there is a spiritus phantasticus in man that is capable of extraordinary things: it can descend into unspeakable depths or ascend to enormous heights, almost to the gods, and inasmuch as that is beyond the reach of man the spiritus phantasticus becomes divine-really divine, mind you.

So you see, if that woman’s experiences had been more real, less like paintings, or painted with more vivid colors at least, if she could really have felt them in her body, she would have been divine-of course, divine in the human category, inasmuch as man can imagine something divine.

She would have been herself, but as a superhuman being.

That is what Synesius held: that when the spiritus phantasticus in man, his creative fantasy, reaches beyond man in every respect, below or above, he really becomes divine.

Then he says something extraordinary: “And being divine, as such he has to undergo the divine punishment.”

And the divine punishment is dismemberment.

He will be torn asunder, he will be sacrificed as the animal is sacrificed, cut to pieces on the altar.

In these words he gives away the secret of the transition from paganism to Christianity; he really formulates it.

You see, the religious experience of antiquity was the experience of the individual as being divine; that was the enormous discovery they made and that was a living truth to them.

They probably said to one another: Have we not been gods together?

And it was a tremendous thing; they were exalted, they were no longer little citizens, they were lifted up to a higher condition, as the Christians were through baptism.

But it had the great disadvantage that they got into a superhuman sphere, and this became impossible somehow; therefore they fell.

Now they felt that the only way in which they could overcome this particular ailment which they acquired from their ascent and descent was to sacrifice.

They must kill something, and so it came about that they chose a symbol, which means really the sacrifice of the animal, the lamb that is the god at the same time; it is the sacrifice of the god animal.

That is the idea of the Christian sacrifice as expressed through the early symbolism.

The lamb symbolism played a much greater role in the primitive church than now, though it is still so obvious that an East Indian who traveled in England told his confreres at home that it was by  o means true that the English religion was so spiritual.

They still worshipped a lamb, one saw lambs all over their churches.

Of course, now it means little more than a speech metaphor: Christ gave himself like a lamb to the sacrifice, and so on.

But originally that symbol worked. It meant a real sacrifice.

Therefore the Christian legend was expressed in so many primitive pictures by sheep and little lambs.

Mr. Reichstein: Was not the bull of Mithra supposed to be divine?

Dr. Jung: Yes, but that was only the animal part; the god part was not sacrificed.

Mr. Reichstein: But was it meant that the bull was divine?

Dr. Jung: Yes, the quality of divinity was not only inherent in the human form, the animal was also divine, the magic animal had divine mana.

But the divine man is quite different.

It means much more when the god appears in his human form; we always assume that the bull, for instance,

is a sort of disguise for a real god.

Of course, for very primitive people that was not always so.

The god could be a real bull, and then it was the divine bull and taboo-it should not be touched and its shadow should not be trodden upon.

But the bull sacrifice had only the virtue of the sacrifice of the lower animal nature in Mithraism, which was the religion of the old Caesars. Most of the famous mithraea were along the frontiers of the Roman Empire.

There was one in Strassburg, for instance; and in Heddernheim, which is on the Rhine near Frankfort; and at Carnuntum, near Vienna; and in Ostia, the seaport of Rome, where the troops were shipped.

There were also quite a number in Switzerland and in England; they were found wherever there had been large numbers of soldiers.

It was an exclusively masculine cult, in which discipline was the main idea.

The Christian cult had the great spiritual advantage over the Mithraic cult that it sacrificed not only the animal part, but the human-divine man in the form of Christ, which meant that the divine man as well as

the animal man should be sacrificed.

That is an unusual interpretation, I am aware, or it would be to a theologian.

Mrs. Crowley: What about Osiris?

Dr. Jung: Osiris is a very particular case; there I always quote the dogmatic decision of the Catholic church that the Osiris-Isis myth was an anticipation of Christ.

One could hardly expect that such an important thought as the Christian idea would appear suddenly out of nowhere; it was prepared, of course, throughout all the centuries.

There is another interesting fact in connection with our seminar today: in studying the Egyptian temples one is impressed with the fact that the temple walls are  decorated outside with all the worldly feats of the pharaoh; there you see him slaying his enemies, leading his armies, etc.

And inside, the walls are covered with representations of the inner events of his life, showing how he is born from the god-mother, etc.; he functions there as a sort of mediator between human beings and the gods.

So there was already the idea of the mediator, that was also an anticipation of Christ really; the pharaoh was a messiah, the son of God, the twice-born.

One is shown the birth chamber where his divine birth is depicted, beginning with the generation through the godfather and the godmother, and then how he was born a second time as a god.

It is like the Christ myth; the baptism of Christ in the Jordan was the second birth.

Also the myth of Dionysus is in a way an anticipation: after he was dismembered by the Titans, Hera gave his heart to his father, Zeus, who swallowed it.

Then his wife Semele gave birth to the new Dionysus.

There is also the version that Zeus enclosed him within his own thigh till he came to maturity. In either case it is rebirth or resurrection symbolism, so it approaches the Christian idea.

Therefore the early church held that Dionysus was an anticipation insinuated by the cunning of the devil.

One of the earliest Christian fathers, Justinus Martyrus, wrote in 190 A.D. that about eight hundred years before the birth of Christ, the devil told the Greeks the myth of Dionysus, foreseeing that God would later

on send his son to redeem the world; and then when his messengers came to announce the news to the Greeks, they could spoil their effect by saying: “Oh, that is an old story.”

It is true that Christ performed the same miracles that were usually performed in the temples of Dionysus,

such as the transformation of water into wine; and there are representations of Christ that are like Dionysus.

A famous goblet (which is now in a safe in America) was found down in a well in Damascus, probably having been hidden there in the sixth century, as part of the treasure belonging to a church, during the persecution

of Julian the Apostate.

The goblet is of very thin hammered silver, argent repousse, and on it Christ is depicted sitting in a sort of pergola of grapevines and looking exactly like Dionysus.

There were plenty of opportunities for Christ to be mistaken for Dionysus besides his sacrificial death, and so Justinus Martyrus claimed that Dionysus was the invention of the devil to counteract the intention of God.

But on the other hand the church pointed out the Osiris-Isis myth as a positive anticipation of Christ.

I have read a Catholic scientific work concerning this theory, which has received the sanction of the Pope.

But as a whole, the average religious experience of antiquity was the reaching out into regions above man and below man, to the human divine and to the animal divine, and usually the antique religions only

knew the substitute sacrifice, as you see it in the course of history.

Originally human beings were sacrificed, and then animals, and then the fruits of the field, and finally in India the sacrifice has become a mere gesture, decorating the altar with flowers.

Nowadays the sacrifice that we bring before the altar consists mainly of ten-cent pieces; it has completely degenerated.

As a substitution for the animal and in order to make it quite serious, the early Christians should have returned to the human sacrifice, but they could not turn back the wheel of history so it was done symbolically-sacrificing the experience of man that reaches above and below him.

Now we must know what that means.

What did they really sacrifice? What would it produce if you should experience yourself as a being that reached from the lizard up to a winged divinity?

Prof Demos: A man sacrificing his divinity is no longer in participation mystique with the god; he risks putting himself in the place of the god.

Dr. Jung: Exactly. Through such an experience, the individual becomes entirely collective, he becomes a god.

I become a Helios, you become a Helios, he becomes a Helios, we are all Helios.

A man who was very sad and felt terribly alone once said to me that he cured himself by the idea that other people were sad too. I am sad, you are sad, we are all sad-so nobody is alone.

The effect of the participation mystique is strengthening, it is really a return to the primitive condition.

The Dionysians were seeking that effect; the idea was that the blood of Dionysus was circulating in every living being, that everything contained a piece of Dionysus; so if they were quite identical in every experience, they were in every thinkable form of existence, which means naturally a strengthening of the participation mystique.

But of course it killed individuality.

It was the first appearance of the being in man that reaches beyond man, but the shot went too far.

They identified with it and were torn to pieces, they no longer existed, they were completely shattered, so

nothing remained but the reminiscence of the divine moment.

Therefore it became necessary for the sake of the individual to sacrifice the participation mystique.

That they did not exist as human beings is shown by the fact that they had no human feeling.

Think of all the horrible things they did in the circus!

That would not have been possible if they had had a living feeling for humanity.

Then, since they had no individuality, they had to worship one individual human being.

Thus the Caesars were deified, and after/ death they became stars.

The astrologer always discovered a new star in the heavens when a Caesar died.

And in Egypt the pharaohs were deified.

But we are all individuals, and the individual cannot live if he is completely denied, so there was a general sadness in those days, as the poets pointed out, and a tremendous desire for a redeemer.

We have historical and literary evidence for that fact.

Therefore the next sacrifice was of exactly the experience which was the real spiritual life of antiquity.

That was completely abolished.

I put that very strongly because we are in a time now where the old things are again beginning to crumble away, so we should not imagine, if anything new comes, that it will come with sugar or honey.

There would have to be a tremendous abolition of old values-I mean if the time is ripe, as it almost seems to be.

So for the pagan individual who was really religious to sacrifice his most holy experience probably brought about a terrible moral and spiritual conflict.

They had to sacrifice that experience of divinity which is the real essence of religion.

They had to accept the fact that we are all ugly and miserable, full of sins, before a humble poor God

hanging on a cross.

That was the thing they could not understand, and I can understand that they could not.

I would not have accepted Christ then for anything in the world. But perhaps I would, I don’t know. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Pages 203-221