1 June 1932 Visions Seminar Lecture IV
At the end of the last vision, our patient was left alone gazing at the sea, her whole suite of animals having vanished.
She saw nothing for a long time, but at last the waters parted and from the waves arose a woman crowned with light, which we said referred to the Self.
Why do you think she had this vision of her future Self at this moment?
Miss Hannah: Because she had assimilated the past, the animals and the eaters of animals.
Dr. Jung: How would you prove it?
Miss Hannah: Chiefly, that you said sol
Dr. Jung: Well, the master speaks wise words and everybody swallows them, but he might speak the greatest nonsense, so you must give us the evidence.
Mrs. Perkins: She had looked at all those ancient temples and found nothing in them.
Dr. Jung: And then she herself had the active role you remember.
The text says: “When I had spoken, all the communicants arose and followed me.”
That means, whatever was still left of the Mithraic attitude of mind, the cult of the bull, or the antique mentality as indicated by the temples of Greece and Rome and Egypt, all that joined in and followed her; the
whole hierarchy was reestablished, all the unconscious trends, all the racial memories from the past of mankind joined in and followed her.
And then everything disappeared. Now where did they all go?
Dr. Reichstein: In to the unconscious.
Dr. Jung: The unconscious which is here symbolized by the ocean.
And what would such a situation denote as to the condition of the individual?
Mrs. Sawyer: Could you not say that the libido in the animals had gone into her, and that gazing at the ocean produces the thing out of the unconscious?
Dr. Jung: Well, there is a hitch here.
It is a very particular situation which explains why the Self appears at all.
For it can only appear when she is constituted as a totality, it is quite impossible if she is not integrated.
Therefore we must expect the process of integration.
That is first symbolized by the coming up of the animals, and then by all those scattered forms, all that is left of the antique mentality; it is as if her psyche consisted of many dissociated mental figures, a sort of schizophrenic condition.
But it was not pathological, it was rather the condition of the twenty-five figures in the Chinese yoga.
You have probably read in The Secret of the Golden Flower that at a certain stage of the yoga practice, the state of concentration and contemplation, the constituents of the unconscious mind begin to dissociate, they split up into a series of figures.
The number twenty-five is only symbolical, it simply means a multitude of figures which show the actual condition of the mind.
That is, the introversion of the libido and its concentration upon the unconscious cause the animation of all the unconscious processes,, and so a dissociation into many figures.
It is on account of the dissociation that these figures become visible, and only to the extent that they are recognizable can they be assimilated into the totality of the conscious personality.
That is what we are watching now; all the figures out of the past assemble again and disappear as separate entities into her personal self.
One should not say into her conscious personality, though a large amount of the libido has gone into her consciousness.
The figures themselves sink back into the original unconscious condition as depleted images, so their original energy is now in the conscious, and therefore the conscious is on top as a strong unit.
This is demonstrated in the vision by the fact that she is alone, and the unconscious is apparently completely empty as far as the images of the former constituents are concerned, they are now pale and inefficient.
She might assume that nothing could be seen there.
But then it is as if she had the feeling that after all something could be seen, so she gazes at the ocean and out of it comes that figure of the white woman with the golden halo, who we said represented the idea of her own totality.
Now do you think that the series of visions could end here? Would you assume that this is the summit of all
that one could reach?
Dr. Ott: It ought to be.
Dr. Jung: One can hardly imagine what there could be beyond.
Of course, one should never expect to arrive at the Self exactly, because there is still the conscious ego.
If this woman imagines herself to be identical with the Self, she would simply suffer from an inflation and would have to go at once to an analyst to be deflated.
But would you say that having the vision of that completeness is all one could wish for?
Or is there any doubt about it?
Mrs. Crowley: She might have another regression.
Dr. Jung: But why should she regress if she is safe?
Mrs. Sawyer: Or it might be that she did not realize it enough.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. She might be dull, with no heart or feeling, not realizing what that figure meant, and so possibly she would have to pay for that, she would have to face the consequences.
Dr. Ott: She would have to go back to the less complete symbols.
Dr. Jung: Yes, we saw when we encountered the idea of Tao, that she was quite dull, and then she descended to lesser and lesser truths until she came to the most erroneous yet the most accessible aspect.
She became more and more exoteric. This is an esoteric vision, it is the truth if she could receive it.
But she may have to go out of the interior of the temple into the precincts, as it were, and there the same thing will be repeated again and again in lesser forms; she will expose herself again and again to error, to other illusions, but the thing will then be more accessible.
From what she says here, it is hard to see what the next difficulty will be, but there are a number of possibilities.
There is still another point.
She notices that the figure in the vision is holding something up in her hands. What would that be?
Miss de Witt: She is offering her good will, her wish to become that future higher self.
Dr. Jung: Try to be quite naive about it, try to see such a figure. What would she hold up to the sky?
Answer: A jewel.
Answer: A child.
Dr. Curtius: It is a new attempt. By really accepting the vision, a new honest attempt will be made.
Dr. Jung: If it were a boy. A girl would be no attempt at all. But we don’t even know whether it is a child.
Mr. Baumann: It might be a heart.
Dr. Jung: That gesture of adoration is a very classical one, so we may be sure that whatever she is holding up to the sky is a precious offering to the gods or whatever is above; and it is something that has been below
and needs lifting up.
That is all we can make out, and we are almost forced to assume that it must be something which is destined to reach beyond herself, rather as if she were there merely helping something that has been submerged below, lifting it up to the heavens.
So our interpretation of this figure as the future Self is questionable.
Would it not be safe to say that the symbolic precious thing which she is holding up-substance, child, jewel-would be the real Self?
Mr. Allemann: It is the future she holds up, simply.
Mrs. Sigg: It might be something which she has to form with her own hands; there is something of that in the gesture.
Dr. Jung: That is a good idea.
Though her gesture does not necessarily suggest forming anything-you see, I have not formed this ashtray, yet I can hold it up-but to call it a product would unite the idea of the jewel and the child, something that she produces by lifting it up into the light above,
Mrs. Crowley: It might be the unknown thing that would come out of her life, it might even be her inferior function, or the inferior part of herself that is unrecognized, unappreciated.
Dr. Jung: Mrs. Crowley thinks it might be the inferior function that needs to be lifted up, the idea that the last shall be first, that what has been hidden in darkness will be in the light, a very psychical enantiodromia.
That would be suitable, and therefore the gesture of invocation of this figure.
What was the least is now lifted up into the light as the most precious thing.
But what it is remains entirely dark.
Miss Hannah: Could it not be the start of the diamond center?
Dr. Jung: It could be the diamond center, or the jewel in the Lotus, and the jewel in the Lotus is the child Buddha.
On the third day after his birth he stepped into the Lotus in order to announce the law to the worlds here and beyond.
It is the diamond center sure enough, and now we must try again to characterize the woman who acts here as an intermediary.
Mrs. Sigg: It might be a product or a thought that is growing like a plant, a germ that is taken from the earth. The figure of the woman has something plantlike in it.
Dr. Jung: That is true, and we encountered that figure before, Do you remember the figure of the woman standing as a tree, her arms as branches outstretched to the sun?
The pool of gold was the precious substance below, and above was the disk of the sun.
This is exactly the same idea.
But this woman who rises from the sea is no longer the tree.
Thought, the product of man, is like a flower, so she is a plantlike form holding up the flower of thought, and that is the idea of the diamond center; it is the Lotus or the Golden Flower.
So what happened before was that our patient transformed into a tree by virtue of the unknown existence and operation of the diamond center within her.
Do you understand?
That is a case of the existence and operation of an archetype which, quite unknown to ourselves, unconsciously influences our lives to such an extent that we perform the symbolic role and have the symbolic qualities of, say, the diamond center.
Mrs. Sawyer: I don’t see how thought can have to do with the diamond
center. Does it not depend upon which function is inferior?
Dr: Jung: Oh, you must not mix it up with thinking, it means just a mental form.
Mrs. Stutz-Meyer: It is now the rebirth, and thought is the thing she holds in her hands.
Dr: Jung: Yes, but what we are interested in is the interrelation between that inner process and the human being.
When she was the tree it was an inflation, she was not a tree but she had to perform the tree.
And afterwards, when she was walking in the wheat fields, there was that shining white halo around her head.
There she was wheat, a plant, blossoming in the light above.
But that process is not her human self; it is impersonal, beyond herself; it is, one could say, the divine process.
And now, rising from the surface of the water, it is really herself in a symbolic role-but naturally, an anticipation.
As the sense of the vision shows us very clearly, the essential thing is the rising of the jewel, the treasure which always comes from below.
It would correspond to the rising of the Kundalini in Tantric yoga.
And where would she be now in the series of the six chakras?
Mr: Allemann: In the heart center.
Dr: Jung: Yes, this figure is rising above the ocean, and the ocean is the shining surface which, according to Tantrism, would be where the air region begins, the heart center.
So she is just in the heart center, holding up something which is decidedly not of human structure, as far as one can make out; if it were, a real child it would be visible.
And the next
region above would be the fifth chakra, the ethereal region, vishuddha,
the region of the larynx.
That is above the lungs, it is the region of the voice, which serves for expression, language.
And language is a means of carrying the abstract liberating thought, the thought that h.as left the heart region.
The air carries the thought above, for there is no sound without air, the air is the riding horse of thought.
Language is an abstraction conveying something that is liberated from matter, that is beyond the thinnest form of matter.
So this figure rising from the water has the movement of the Kundalini rising into the air, and carries the secret of the next step, the abstract thought symbolized by the flower mandala.
Therefore in Chinese yoga it is said that the Golden Flower is the birthplace
of the diamond body, meaning the subtle body, the ethereal body;
therefore also the suggestion in the plantlike form of this figure, it is
again the tree gesture.
Now this woman is herself impersonating the mystery, the divine process
which takes place within us besides our ordinary human psychology, which has nothing to do with our personal psychology.
But our personal psychology is tremendously influenced by this process.
It is as if one had not only to be Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So, having such and such children and such and such social obligations, but over and above all that, there was the serpent, trying to accomplish something quite strange to one’s daily occupations.
To try to explain such a thing in terms of human life is absurd; it cannot be explained in such terms.
So it is preposterous to expect anything personal in such a series of visions.
It would be like looking for something personal in the law of gravitation.
It is a natural rocess, one could say, which is peculiarly disregardful of our personal
moods and hopes, our wishes and convictions.
Now before we go on to the next vision I have asked Mr. Baumann to
explain the course of the visions according to a sort of wave scheme with
which he has been experimenting.
His diagram shows the musical principle, one could call it, in the movement of the motifs in such a fantasy.
Mrs. Baynes: While he is· getting it fixed, would you mind explaining why the sex of the child would have made any difference-if it had been a child?
Dr. Jung: A girl would mean a sort of continuation of herself, as she is a woman, while a boy would be a new attempt, the birth of the Puer Aeternus, indicating that she had come to a sort of impasse or standstill which needed that for a renewal-a complete change or something of the sort.
But a girl is just a continuation, as I said.
Therefore the extraordinary identity between mother and daughter, which is so difficult to straighten out.
That was demonstrated in our association tests.
We found that the greatest harmony in the way of associating existed between
mothers and daughters, there was an extraordinary similarity.
There was a case, for instance, where the daughter’s answers were more
than thirty percent identical with those of the mother.
There is a much greater difference between mothers and sons.
Mrs. Crowley: What about fathers and sons?
Dr. Jung: Fathers are still farther away, the son is nearer to the mother.
The mother and child relation is closer.
But the boy is nearer to the
father than the girl, who is decidedly nearer to the mother.
The father is less in the house, and he does not actually give birth to the child, which
makes a certain difference.
A YIN, unconscious, chthonic, undifferentiated, instinctive. Symbols:
ocean, lake, water, earth, cavern, crater, animals, Great Mother, motor
B PAST, archetypal, regressive. Symbols: awkward situation, family, old
man, wise man, medicine man, old animus, saint, Mary, initiates,
C YANG, conscious, spiritual, divine. Symbols: thought, idea, voice, bird,
sky, Holy Ghost; sun, stars; God, animus, psychopompos, eternal city,
D FUTURE, new way, progression. Symbols: new idea; hunch, voice, direction,
light, birds, star,jewel, child, young animus, young animals, new
Mr. Baumann: I tried to find a rhythm going through the visions.
I started with a line going down to the Yin (A) or the unconscious, and then up
again to a certain point, about on this center line (B), then continuing on
to the Yang ( C), where it comes down to the same point (D) and starts again.
That is the up and down rhythm.
Now out of the Yin, the unconscious, comes something like an archetype which represents the past, or just a going back.
In the case of our patient I have put Eros in the Yin, and above is consciousness, or Logos.
This is the point where the line passes through an archetype (B).
When she has reached the highest point she is in Logos, and there is the white city, or a psychopompos, a new animus, who gives her an idea or a suggestion, or shows her a new way.
Of course the interpretation of the symbols is quite different, one should not stick too
literally to one meaning; sometimes the serpent leads down to a cave, for
instance, and another time it shows a new way up; the principle is the
important point. Dr. Jung has asked me to try to make the last vision fit into
this plan and according to my idea it works this way:
You remember the water is rushing from the rock ( 1) and flowing down a hillside.
The water means the unconscious and the water is going down to the ocean (2) or a valley or any deep place.
Dr. Jung: The text says: “I stood under the stream of water which issued
from the rock and was afraid lest I also would perish.” She is completely
under the water.
Mr. Baumann: And in the stream oflife, in the foaming torrents, there
are a great many souls.
Dr. Jung: They would be just contents. The souls are caught like fishes,
and fishes are contents of the ocean, the unconscious.
Mr. Baumann: And coming into the stream of life is an awkward situation,
she might be caught there (3).
Dr. Jung: You mean the awkward situation is an archetype-like an
impasse or a narrow escape of some sort.
That would be true here.
It was a pretty awkward situation to be under the water in a very swift-flowing
river, but she says: “I stood firm and lifted up my face to the water which
was greatly refreshing.”
So she has passed the archetypal situation of being overcome.
It is all the same whether being overcome is due to the onslaught of an enemy, or of animals, or waves, or a dragon.
Very often the dragon is simply the personification of a dangerous river, or an avalanche
falling down, and if one manages to stand firm and resist it, one
has overcome it and comes up again.
Mr. Baumann: The situation is overcome here by her lifting up her
face, meaning that she wants to see clearly (4), and by this process she
gets to the other bank of the river which is a new place, it is the future,
and there she finds new strength; she says flames of white light were
about her (5).
Dr. Jung: “I was filled with a new strength and about me played flames
of white light.”
It is the way out, or the new situation that comes from the archetype.
Mr. Baumann: Now we leave the Yang, we have to start again at the
same line, she is coming down to the dark jungle with the animals (6).
Dr. Jung: It is an impasse, dark woods in which one might easily be overcome, and many animals, but she emerges from the jungle.
Mr. Baumann: Then she comes to another archetypal situation, a Mithraic
Dr. Jung: The cave itself might be an awkward situation, perhaps the mouth of a dragon about to swallow her, but as it is a Mithraic cave it could also be a haven, it could be a temple, which means salvation.
Mr. Baumann: Now there is singing in the cave which is also archetypal, but she has a new idea about this archetype, she says: “Your faces are encrusted with blood” (8).
Dr. Jung: That is quite true, a new idea which rises from the archetypal situation.
Mr. Baumann: It is a new insight, a new knowledge. Then I got into trouble and I tried two ways. She is going to see old temples and of course that would be archetypal, but the old temples are deserted; usually there are priests and ceremonies in them, but that they are deserted might be a new situation. So I put the old temples, not on the archetypal point, but on the point of the future, a new idea (g).
Dr. Jung: Oh, I should say you had enough of that new idea in the
sentence, “Your faces are encrusted with blood.”
Mr. Baumann: I also made out another scheme.
The initiates are praying for new life out of the blood of the bull, so that means something new coming.
When she says: “You are too heavy with the blood of the bull,” it might be the Yin.
Dr. Jung: No, the movement there would most probably be towards the future, the new idea; that is, after the new suggestion comes the criticism; it is the refusal of the blood sacrifice, of their being smeared with the bull’s blood.
Then after that, according to theory, she should move down again.
As a matter of fact, she does move down, because the latest form of the antique bull cults was Mithraic, the others were much older.
So when she says, “We peered together into the temples of Rome and Greece and Egypt,” she is really going down into the past.
That she found them deserted is really the point where it might turn.
If they had been full of people she would have been submerged again, swept into the antique mentality.
But they are deserted, so she has already got beyond the danger.
Going back to the antique temples was a decided danger; we have seen the trouble she has had in her peripeties through becoming infected by ancient cults.
Having given up the point of view of today, she naturally had to regress, and naturally she fell under the attraction of the old cults.
There is a story by Algernon Blackwood called “The Descent into Egypt,” which is very good from a psychological point of view, though he is a very poisonous writer.
It is the story of an Egyptologist who was interested in the antiqμities there, but
instead of just excavating and explaining them, he suddenly discovered the extraordinary life they contained, their magic became revivified.
Egypt got at him, as it does in a very subtle way.
He was sucked in and disappeared, he lost himself in the mystery of the still living archetypes of ancient Egypt.
That is not an invention, such things happen in reality. It is the spell of the primitive countries, the going black; I have told you of the same phenomenon in Africa.
Now what is the new situation?
Mr. Baumann: The text says that after leaving these deserted temples she goes to the ocean, and of course that has to be down below.
Then she contemplates the ocean, in which the initiates have vanished.
They are archetypes (11). And then out of the ocean comes the superior
woman (12) who holds the jewel. That is the new thing (13).
That is satisfactory.
The ocean is the way down into the past, the ocean is always at the lowest point.
As in going down from the Alps, for instance, there is always a river at the foot which leads to the ocean, the deepest place.
And so, if you follow your psyche down to the roots, you reach the primitive condition first, and finally the place where man was more or less cold-blooded, an amphibian living on the shores of the ocean.
Certain biologists hold that the period of menstruation in women has to do with that period of man’s life by the shore of the ocean, when his nutrition was influenced by the tides-a hypothesis in which I do not believe.
It is an effort to explain the twenty-eight-day moon period.
You see, they reckoned with the ocean as a living fact of our biological background.
Your scheme is perfectly satisfattory, it really gives the rhythm.
My only criticism would be that you might change the level, because the starting point in each successive movement is always decidedly higher up, or more to the center.
You see, the whole thing is a periodical movement towards the goal, each beginning a little nearer.
Mrs. Fierz: There might be secondary curves interplanted.
Mrs. Baynes: Why not just have the curve climbing the sheet instead of
Dr. Jung: The difficulty about that is that it suggests going up from the earth to the air; while in reality it is a center which can be placed as well in the center of the earth as in the polar star.
The idea, I should say,would be a sort of oscillating peripheral movement approaching a center, and the end of the growth would always be closer to the absolute center than the beginning.
A beginning is always peripheral, it is more in the world of Maya, of illusion, and the movement takes place primarily in order to bring the mind or the understanding closer to the center, the essential thing.
Mr: Allemann: That wavy line is in the spiral.
Dr: Jung: Yes, it is most probably a spiral, which is the fundamental law in the growth of a plant; the leaves always grow out of the stem in the form of a spiral.
Mr: Baumann: I also have a drawing of the spiral. The Yang or Logos, or insight, would be on the light side, and the Yin or Eros on the dark side. The movement from the darkness to the light, round and round, is the process more or less. This other circular diagram is a ground plan of the spiral. I first started with that idea really. The dream always starts in the Yin, the unconscious; then the movement goes to an archetype
as in our scheme; then on to the Yang; and then to the future. This circular movement is repeated again and again; one comes back to the same point, but always a step nearer to the center. It was very complicated to make it, so I thought I could represent it better by the oscillating line in the first diagram, the serpent line.
Question: But how do you make the top, or the end?
Dr: Jung: That is questionable because the top would be the center atthe same time. What does that form suggest?
Mrs. Crowley: It is the lingam.
Dr: Jung: Yes, it is the state of Shiva in muladhara, the state of the creative principle at its beginning.
Muladhara is the center deep down in the depths, and there Shiva is in the form of the phallus, or lingam, and Shakti is the serpent that is coiled round the lingam three-and-a-half times.
Mr: Baumann: There is a tower in Mesopotamia which is like this.
Dr: Jung: Yes, it was built like an astronomical tower, which was part of a temple of the god of heaven.
It is a curious fact that when you consider these matters and experiment with these forms, you come quite naturally to the old forms.
For instance, if you represent the movement in the development of the four functions, you arrive at the symbol of the Tai-gi-tu, which has never been explained in the East.
Of course the Tantric yoga would not explain the lingam or the muladhara chakra
as we do.
Mr. Baumann: Dr. Curtius gave me a very interesting suggestion.
Usually the dream starts like this, but we had difficulty at these points (A
Dr. Jung: That is always the critical point, the gap, the leak (B).
Mr. Baumann: It is a gap where there really should be a unity, but you can bring that about just by drawing a circle through the ends A and B, which you see, makes the Tai-gi-tu.
Dr. Jung: That is excellent.
Mr. Baumann: Another point I noticed was that in this drawing, it happens that the archetypes are in the center, and in the Chinese religion, the cult of the ancestors is the central feature.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and the ancestors are, of course, the archetypes-they are the psychological ancestors.
In a really dangerous situation they may be quite real.
The symbolical archetype is always the way out of a difficulty; the Mithraic cave, for instance, is a marvellous example of the symbolic archetype.
The situation of being half drowned in a river could be called an impasse, it is an exceedingly awkward situation; you can use it as an archetypal situation, but it is not a symbolic archetype.
It might be a real situation even, because psychological situations express themselves also in real situations in life.
When you are in such a psychological situation or mood that you are liable to be overcome by the symbolic archetype, and fail to recognize it, then you will actually be run over by a motor car, or half drowned, or caught by an avalanche.
While if you are able to realize that the motor car bearing down upon you is the monster coming to eat you, you are safe; if you don’t know that, you don’t jump
aside and are lamed.
Do you see the difference?
So when our patient is in the water, she is simply caught in a very awkward situation, she might be drowned while bathing or something like that.
Then she comes to the Mithraic cave, and if it is only a dark cave it might mean death, the entrance to Hades; but if it is a Mithraic cave, it means a place where death may be avoided by sacrifice, where the evil issue is averted by the sacrificial ceremony.
Dr. Reichstein: I was wondering whether this female figure could not be called a mediator here, perhaps a kind of female Puer Aeternus. The birth of the figure would be indicated where the patient stands under the torrent of water and has the feeling of life streaming into her; that would be a kind of fecundation, and then afterwards comes the birth of the celestial figure.
Dr. Jung: As a matter of fact, that is the structure of the whole procedure; it is a sort of rushing down of energy into the depths, and that always means a fertilization because it is the waters of life, it is energy.
And energy can never lose itself completely, it always produces an equivalent
effect in the depths which must appear in one form or another-a birth, a new product of some sort.
The woman that arises might be called an intermediary, or a mediatory figure.
It is surely a transfiguration of herself, a sort of bridge between herself and that hypothetical center she is holding up.
The figure can also be explained as an emanation from the center, transfiguring her as the ordinary human being, and exalting her to the position of a priestess.
Miss Wolff My association was the priest holding up the Host.
Dr. R.eichstein: I thought that something was indicated as coming from outside, a cosmic help. The water penetrates her and so she is fertilized.
Dr. Jung: It really does not come from outside, though it might be represented by outside events, by a situation in real life, for instance.
She might be expecting a certain pleasure, an invitation perhaps that she likes very much, and suddenly it is canceled and all her hopes rush back upon her.
Or she might have invested money in certain shares and the shares go down; then libido rushes back to her in the way of a disappointment; the outlook has a depressing effect at first, but then comes fertilization.
Our lives often consist of such situations, that change according to the up and down rhythm.
The mistake is to think, when we are on top, that everything is going to be favorable forever.
Then the whole thing changes over into hell, and we assume all is lost forever, instead of confining ourselves more or less quietly to the down-rushing of the waters; but then things right themselves again.
I recommend to you the philosophy of Till Eulenspiegel.
When he was laboring uphill on his travels, and it was very hot and disagreeable, he laughed and sang and was in the happiest mood imaginable; and going downhill, where it was pleasant and easy, he wept and was gloomy.
His friend asked him why he behaved like that, and he replied: “That is quite natural; when I go uphill I think of going downhill, and when I go downhill I think of going
Mrs. Fierz: This figure of the woman might be compared to a female Bodhisattva, who is first human and then becomes more and more a deity. She seems to have that character.
Dr. Jung: Well, it would be relative. In that case, it would probably be a Kuan Yin form of the white Taras in Mahayana Buddhism, the equivalent of the male Bodhisattva.
Osiris is a similar figure, he is mortal yet he is a god-and Christ is also such a figure.
All the dying and resurrecting gods are both human and divine.
They are simply projections of human nature into religion; everybody is human and divine, everybody is personal and impersonal or objective.
We always forget that we are not only personal but an impersonal process as well.
And inasmuch as we do not trust ourselves to the waters of life, inasmuch as we do not cooperate in that impersonal process, we are naturally at variance with it, and it is
If we deny that it has anything to do with us, things happen in a very curious way.
People in that condition get into endless trouble in their personal relationships because they simply do not understand what their effect is upon other people.
They get a point of view that is only personal.
Their own psychology is relatively simple-with a bit of knowledge of Freud and Adler’s psychology their lives are sufficiently dealt with.
But there is an impersonal psychology beyond that, and there one must have knowledge, one must know what impersonal psychology is in order to deal with it.
Our real fundamental conflict does not come from the personal trouble; the personal trouble exists chiefly because we are not in tune with our impersonal psychology.
We do not move with the waters of life; we try to get out, or we resist the current.
These visions are a demonstration of impersonal psychology.
Of course here and there one sees the imperfect personal facts of the human individual, but they are not very obvious; so these fantasies could belong to anyone else just as well, they are really interchangeable.
All fantasies are very much alike, there is no fundamental difference.
But it seems to be very difficult to understand the fact that we have a subjective
and an objective psychology, to see ourselves as specimens of the genus Homo sapiens, and at the same time as Mr. John Smith, married to such and such a wife, and living on such and such a street, which is only important to Mr. John Smith.
Humanly it is utterly unimportant, it is more important that he should be human than that he should be Mr. John Smith.
But this seems to be a great mystery, difficult to grasp.
Now we are coming to the next vision.
The last one ended with the movement up to the sky, and the question is: is she more or less identical with that figure? Or is it merely an intuition?
In either case we might assume that she would follow the upward movement.
But if she does not understand that figure, if she is dull, she would not even be particularly attracted by it. In that case, it might not be exactly an inflation, but we
would see that the same thing would repeat itself in a lesser, a more illusionary form.
She begins: “I mounted upon a white winged horse which flew with me through the sky.”
Here we can make a diagnosis right away.
Miss Hannah: It is an inflation.
Mrs. Baynes: I think that she is now reaping the reward of her virtue, so to speak. She will make fresh discoveries.
Dr. Curtius: It is an anticipation because it is a Pegasus.
Dr. Jung: All these figures are anticipations, of course.
Dr. Curtius: I mean in the sense of astrology: the Pegasus time is coming.
Dr. Jung: Now you are getting into deep waters. But hold hard and keep that in mind.
Mrs. Sigg. The Pegasus might be a symbol for a poetic faculty as a compensation.
Dr. Jung: Mrs. Sigg thinks that the apparition of Pegasus on the battle field promises a more or less future possibility of shaping the contents, which come up in this rather chaotic form, into something more definite, a condensation.
Dr. Ott: I am suspicious of the wings.
Dr. Jung: I sympathize with you!
Mrs. Sawyer: Pegasus is also a good symbol for the throat center, expression.
Dr. Jung: Poetry or inspired speech. That is very good.
Pegasus is the inspiration of the poet, the poet’s winged libido, the power that carries
him above the stars, the great enthusiasm.
So far, she has only been in the region of the air, and now Pegasus comes with the olden wings and takes her up to the region of inspired speech; inspiration is air, breathing, this is the ethereal region. ·
Mrs. Crowley: That figure of the woman was holding the jewel towards the heavens, and now she is trying to get up there herself.
Dr. Jung: Yes. Pegasus is fire, divine enthusiasm, intuition of divine words, thoughts, and that is all right thus far, we could cope with that figure.
The question comes when she herself gets into the saddle, which is not so simple because she is made of mortal stuff. I won’t be sceptical, however; we must wait and see how the fantasy progresses.
She says: We passed black clouds and were pursued by many black vultures, but the winged horse was so fleet that we passed beyond them.
Mrs. Baynes: The blackness shows that she has not lost sight of the danger of her position.
Dr. Jung: Or that she has lost sight of it if you take the vision as compensatory.
At all events it means a contrast to the white horse.
Clouds are often compared with horses-wind horses. In the Rig-veda, the clouds are understood to be herds of cows, and the rain is the milk of the cloud cattle.
So here the clouds would be black horses corresponding or analogous to evil destructive forces.
And the black vultures are birds of evil omen, they eat carrion, they are associated with death.
Mrs. Sawyer: There was the black vulture, also, as the other side of the Holy Ghost.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it was the shadow of the Holy Ghost, so we might say the black clouds were the shadow of the white horse, simply the unconscious aspect.
So all that blackness would be an intimation of the fact that this white horse, whatever it means, casts a very black shadow.
Yet for the time being she overcomes the shadow, and she says: “We came to a white
city in the clouds.
In the square of the city the horse stopped.” Where have we arrived now?
Mrs. Baynes: Home again.
Dr. Jung: Again in the white city, and you remember when she was there first, she could not stand the light; but this time the glaring light is not mentioned, apparently she can stand it now. And the horse has led her there.
Mrs. Crowley: The white city is the new Jerusalem.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it is a symbol of individuation, the promised land, or in Buddhism, the world city on the mountain of Meru.
And the square of the city is like the square center in the Tibetan mandala, with the four
gates meaning the four functions.
So she is arriving, with the aid of the horse, in the center of the Self, the perfect condition.
Then the horse stops, the movement comes definitely to an end, and she says: “There I
saw a large brilliant star, and leading the winged horse, I walked towardthe star.”
It is presumably in the very center of the square, so it is the idea of the diamond center; a brilliant star is like a diamond, and precious stones are often given a shape suggestive of a star.
She continues: And as I approached I saw that the star was on the end of a staff,
and the other end of the staff pierced the breast of a woman who lay crucified upon the ground.
She is lying upon the cross. I will show you the picture she made of it[plate 24].
Mrs. Crowley: The peculiar thing about it is that the cross is lying horizontally
on the ground.
Dr. Jung: Obviously it means the torture of crucifixion.
The white horse standing in the background of the picture is a peculiar contrast, for the woman is nailed upon a jet black cross.
The heavenly city is square or at least built on the fundamental plan of four, the square is in the center, and the cross is identical with the square.
The woman upon it represents herself again, and she is now a prey of those vultures, the clouds have burst, and she is being crucified and killed.
The staff stabbing her breast is like the spear of Longinus that wounded the side of
Jesus-it is surely a symbol of death.
To this woman on the ground, the star, the brilliant jewel, brings death.
Mrs. Crowley: Altogether it shows very clearly what you were speaking of before, the difference between the subjective personal self and this higher or archetypal individual. Those two selves are contrasted; the one with the horse carried up to the sky, who has all the enthusiasm of the heavens, and the personal being who is sacrificed to the earth, nailed down, who cannot rise at all.
Dr. Jung: Mrs. Crowley quite correctly interprets the figure lying crucified on the ground as the personal subjective being who is nailed to the earth and unable to rise.
That would be the sacrificial victim, the offering to the star, or the victim of the one that rose with Pegasus.
We see here something of the human conflict and tragedy.
On the one side the semidivine being rising on Pegasus to the white city of promise, and onthe other side the figure being crucified in that city, utterly destroyed.
Now, what is the star or jewel at the end of the staff?
Dr. Richstein: It seems as if the star had already been in this woman and was freed by her death; it is as if the star came out of her.
Dr. Jung: You would liken it to a plant, the jewel being the flower on the stem growing out of her heart?
That is true, you can make such an analogy, but her actual experience is not that; it is, rather, as if the jewel or star came down in the form of the staff and pierced her heart.
Here she suddenly sees the whole problem of that exalted Self in an entirely different light, the other way round.
The cloud has descended, the blackness has revealed itself; this is the shadow of individuation: on the one side the liberation or the synthesis of a superior being, and on
the other side that terrible shadow, the sacrifice of the personal earthly being.
Mr. Allemann: If she wants to get at the star, she must kill her earthly self.
Dr. Jung: In a way, yes.
Or one could say: inasmuch as that star manifests or lives in herself she will necessarily be crucified.
The star forces her to be crucified; in other words, it forces her to become Christ.
And now we get to the connection with astrological events.
It is a rule that the symbolism of a preceding religion becomes the leading idea of a new
For instance, the leading idea of a new religion following the Christian age would be that everybody would be Christ, that Christ had been merely the projection of an entirely human mystery.
And inasmuch as we take back this projection from Christ into ourselves, each one of us is Christ.
I am not the only one to have had this idea, others have thought of it too, one person whom you would not expect, Mr. James Joyce in Ulysses.
In the brothel scene, the prophet preaches in American slang, most outrageous, blasphemous language, but there is something extraordinary in it.
“Rush on! Join on right here for Eternity Junction!” or: “Now you rub shoulders with Christ and Satan!”
There are six people, three whores and three men, and he addresses each by his or
her name, Kitty Christ, Florry Christ, and so on.
He makes everyone a Christ.
In Egypt, the immortal soul was projected into the Pharaoh as Osiris.
The idea was that only he was immortal and would never die, but everybody else was mortal and would vanish, unless they succeeded in jumping on to the barge of the sun god when he traveled over the heavens.
This old idea is the mother religion of modern Christianity.
But Christ said that everybody has an immortal soul, every man has an Osiris.
So in Ptolemaic times practically every man of any distinction had a private Osiris, that was simply his immortal soul; what had belonged only to
Osiris became the property of all.
Then Christ was crucified, and everyone gladly got rid of their burdens by pushing them off onto Christ; they became irresponsible children.
But now we see that everybody must be responsible adults, everybody has to live his own life in his own fashion; we cannot imitate anyone else, nor can we make believe that we are anyone other than we really are. So we shall be sacrificed.
Everybody is now a Christ, and inasmuch as he is a Christ he is crucified. Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 705-723
3 Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951), a writer whose plots were influenced by his theosophical beliefs; “The Descent into Egypt” appeared in Incredible Adventures (London, 1914). Jung discusses the book in Analytical Psychology, p. 139.
5 The foremost female deity of the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon. She personifies wisdom
and compassion. In her white form she is the protector who pacifies, heals, and liberates. See Stephen Beyer, The Cult of Tara: Magic and Ritual in Tibet (Berkeley, 1973).
7 James Joyce (1882-1941) lived in Zurich, where he wrote most of Ulysses (1922) and
also met with Jung. The brothel scene takes place in Part Two (Night town) and not only
includes this garbled mass but flickering images of a black mass as well. Jung published an essay on Joyce that fall,” Ulysses. A Monologue” (orig. Sept. 1932; CW 15, pars. 163-203), and also sent a letter to Joyce about the book (27 Sept. 1932; Letters, Vol. 1, pp. 98-99; the letter also appears in an appendix to CW 15, pars. 163-203).