2 November 1932 Visions Seminar Lecture I
Ladies and Gentlemen: We are beginning a new book of visions by the same patient, the book containing the mandala psychology.
The last vision we were dealing with was the one of the mandala with the child in the center, and we did not finish it.
I will read the first part again: I saw two rings of gold lying upon the black ground.
One ring was smaller and was encircled by the larger ring.
Within the small ring lay a male child as though in the womb. It was surrounded by amniotic fluid. I wanted to get to the child which held out its arm toward me, but I could not seem to step over the outer ring. I sat for a long time wondering how I could reach the child. I saw snakes gliding over the rings taking food to the child. In desperation I picked up a hammer of wood and tried to break the outer ring. But it remained firm. I lay upon it that the heat of my body might melt it. I tried to split it with a hair from my head. I wept and my tears fell upon it, but in spite of everything I could not break it. Then I beheld an old man coming toward me. I spoke to him: “Old man, though you are blind yet do I know that you have wisdom. Teach me how to break this ring that I may take up the child in my arms.” The old man walked around and around the circle of gold. At length he said: “Woman, you must lose one of your eyes.” After he had spoken he vanished.
The wind blew a seed into my left eye and I knew that I had been blinded.
Our patient wants to take that child into her arms, but she is unable to enter those magic circles.
Here we become acquainted with magic circles which have apotropaic strength so that nobody can come in.
Then she sees the wise man making the circumambulatio.
You remember that the circumambulatio, which is one of the origins of the mandala, means forming a protective circle by walking or dancing round a given center, in order to ward off danger, or to prevent anything entering from outside.
So primitive dances are often circular in form: There is usually a fire in the center, and in the dances I have seen, the outer circle is formed by the warriors, the inner circle by the women, and the circle in the innermost center by little children.
In the same way, when a herd of elephants are frightened, they push the females and the little ones inside, and the males, the warriors, are outside; that is the most natural way of forming a protective mandala.
For instance, the American pioneers always placed their covered wagons close together in squares or circles around a central space, thus making a sort of wagon burg to defend themselves against the red Indians.
This woman is outside and should be inside with the child.
That child is most attractive to her, which means that in this moment of her development, the idea of the child comes to her as an apotropaic or protective mandala, a protection against the overpowering influences from the onslaught of the unconscious.
She has been swept along by the unconscious from the heights to the depths, from water into fire; everything that could happen happened, showing that she is torn asunder by a thousand devils.
And naturally she develops a tendency to contract, to find a shelter to protect herself, to create something round herself that will hold her together.
The three gold rings, for instance, would do that. Or a child could hold her together.
And so the idea came to her that she should have another child; she was still a very young woman and a child would be protective.
For a pregnant woman forms a magic circle round herself, and nothing matters any longer, everything gets a little dulled, no knife has an edge, the outside world is all soft and blurred.
She is well protected because she herself becomes muladhara practically; an important
part of her conscious eagerness and acuteness is withdrawn because all that libido is given to the growing child.
One could say that the child was the center of the mandala and the mother simply the protective ring round it.
She made this picture of the child in the embryonic position, with the three snakes going in [plate 26].
You notice that there are three and not four, which is extraordinary; perhaps we shall find something later which will explain it to us.
Then she asked the old man how she could get into the center, and he said: “Woman, you must lose one of your eyes.”
So she can only get into that circle by sacrificing one eye.
What does this symbol suggest?
Mrs. Fierz: The eye of Horus.
Dr: Jung: Yes, Horus sacrificed one eye for his father.
Osiris was once walking over his lands, when suddenly he had a piercing pain in his eye
and went blind.
His son Horus asked him what was the matter, and he replied that he had seen a black hog-he had seen the dark principle, the devil, Set, in the form of a black hog, and that blinded one eye.
Then Horus gave him one of his own eyes, so Horus also had only one eye.
Like Wotan who had to sacrifice one eye to Mimir, the fountainhead of wisdom, thereby acquiring an understanding of the secret wisdom.
This eternal situation is repeating itself here.
The old wise man said she must lose one of her eyes, whereupon the wind blew a seed into her left eye, and she knew that she had been blinded.
This is like Set in the left eye of Osiris, but it is here a seed which obviously ought to grow into something.
The seed is of course the conception, and the old man giving her that advice would convey what to her through this vision?
Mrs. Crowley: She is in a conflict as to whether the child should be projected into sthiila reality, or remain a symbol.
Dr: Jung: Exactly.
Should it be a real child or an imaginary child, should it be a sukshma or a sthiila child?
She is inclined to think it will be a sthiila child, but this vision tells her the seed is in her eye, and from that she will never have a sthiila child. It will be a sukshma child, a visionary or spiritual child.
She continues: “I lay back in the darkness while great birds stood about me.” What do birds denote?
Mrs. Crowley: Intuition or thoughts.
Dr: Jung: Yes, birds live in the air and can fly, and therefore they always symbolize thoughts or psychical contents that are flying about.
So great birds standing about her would mean that great thoughts were standing about her.
Then she says: At last an earth mother came to me. She plucked forth my eye saying: “This eye will I put into my bosom where all things perish and die and are reborn.”
Now what does it mean that the earth mother takes out her eye?
Mrs. Sigg: Does it mean that she could solve some questions better with her imagination than with her intellect?
Dr. Jung: But imagination is not supposed to be a characteristic of the earth mother.
Of course fantasy depends upon support from the soil, but imagination alone would be far too vague, the earth mother means something rather definite.
Mrs. Sawyer: The earth mother seems to take over her pregnancy.
Dr. Jung: No, the earth mother would deprive her of her pregnancy, and presumably of the eye with the seed in it, because afterwards in the fantasy the patient says: “I have given my eye unto the earth,” and: “Now grow as the tree grows.”
You see, out of the seed a tree will grow, and that is presumably the seed in the eye which the earth mother plucked out.
What does the appearance of the earth mother mean psychologically?
You remember she appeared a long time ago, I will show you the picture again. Here is the apparition of Pan [see plate 8], and that leads to Dionysus where the patient is the maenad, and here is the figure of the old wise man, wisdom over against the orgiastic maenad [see plate g].
Then appears the motif of the mother, the patient being the helpless victim on her lap [see plate 10]; the lap is the womb, she enters the womb of the Great Mother.
And here she is swimming in the blood [see plate u].
Mrs. Sawyer: Was it not the animus figure on the lap of the mother?
Dr. Jung: Naturally, the animus as the psychopompos is preceding her and showing what she has to do; but in the course of events it is she herself who enters the Great Mother, and she then transforms into the
tree [see plate 12]; there she was still identical with the tree.
But now she is detached from the tree, which means that she is coming back from an inflation.
She begins to understand that it is not she who develops, but that it develops in her, through her, the tree is now growing out of her eye.
was after her inflation as a tree that she met the earth mother, the Great Mother of the initiation [see plate 13], and this is the same Great Mother here.
Do you remember what happened at the time of the initiation?
Mrs. Fierz: She went down into chaos and found the crystal man.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and this earth mother also embraces young men, she is just earth, bare concrete facts.
Whenever the earth mother appears it means that things are going to happen in reality; this is an absolute law.
Therefore she is the Greek goddess of the underworld, Hecate, which means the one whose arrows reach one from afar.
She is a moon goddess, the goddess of all things dark and uncanny, and of fear, fear of the actual happening.
That the earth mother turns up here and takes this woman’s eye means that things are going to be real, just as there is nothing illusory about a real pregnancy.
If that eye containing the seed is in the possession of the earth mother, it will grow in reality, and whatever that tree means or has led to, whatever the Great Mother insinuates, will come to her in real life.
I refrain from speaking of the personal life of our patient because that leads nowhere; if you begin to think of her as a person it will lead you astray.
These visions are not to be understood in a personal way, for they would then be nothing but the subjective foolishness of one person.
This symbolism is general, it is typical; therefore we treat it as impersonal material.
The symbol of the earth mother is always followed by tremendous consequences; if a certain reality has not been accepted before, it must be accepted now, something will happen in reality, symbolized by the tree, which means a development.
In other words, there is no development as long as one only imagines or thinks or has intuitions about a thing.
One may have the most marvellous visions and fantasies, but they lead nowhere if they don’t somehow grow into reality, if one’s real life is not reached by them.
So this part of the symbolism shows that this woman can only reach the child when she is willing to accept the particular fate which that child means to her in real life-as a real child would mean an unavoidable reality which might even cost her her life.
That type of life, that way, whatever it is, has to be accepted; whether it is disagreeable and dangerous or not, it will be the way.
That happens here; she says: I arose and saw that the rings of gold were broken. (She can now enter the mandala.) I walked to the child and lifting him in my arms, I said: “Now grow as the tree groweth.”
The child is the tree and the tree is the child.
Mrs. Fierz: It is the yoga tree.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the yoga tree again, the impersonal way It is the way of fate, a development that is not her ego way.
This is a thing that simply takes possession of her, as the child that would grow in her womb would take possession of her, and provide her with a definite fate which was not to be escaped.
So this spiritual law-whatever you want to call that child is like a tree that follows its natural course and develops after its own law.
It will produce a certain life for her, a life that has its own laws; so she will no longer be a free agent, as a woman who has a child is no longer a free agent.
If she thinks she is, it is sheer imagination, she is fettered by the earth; when that tree grows she will be fettered by her own particular growth.
One cannot avoid it, and one can only be thankful to heaven when things turn out the right way, because they can also turn out the wrong way.
Mrs. Sawyer: The first time she would be more like the other Great Mother, but this time would she not be more like Ceres, because of the seed, and the growth? She is not underground.
Dr: Jung: Ceres is the goddess of the wheat fields, chiefly of foodstuffs, but I think in this case she is more Hecate than the nourishing Ceres, or the nourishing Artemis, though Artemis is the huntress with the far-reaching arrows too.
But Hecate is the mother of fate, which is actual life, the life of the earth which makes all things real.
You know I explained that first heavenly mother in blue as a spiritual form, referring to the air element into which the patient was first taken up; that is, she experienced first by thought and by intuitions, and therefore the blue mother was associated with white birds.
Later on, it was a white mother, and then a red mother, and finally it will be a black mother.
You see, there are four stages of the mother figure as there are of the anima: Eve, Helen, Mary, and Sophia. In Faust, they are Gretchen, Helen, Mary, and the Eternal Feminine, an abstraction.
Here it is quite certainly the real earth mother, absolute reality, and that opens the rings.
Then this woman can enter the mandala and take the child in her arms as her
own, which means that she will accept that way of life.
And she says to the child: “I have given my eye unto the earth and you will receive it
when you have become a tree.” What does that mean?
Mrs. Fierz: Is it not a new viewpoint? She will have one vision here, and another, a non-ego vision.
Dr: Jung: Yes, the child represents the non-ego life, which is like another person with his own special view; it is that other eye which sees into the impersonal life.
It is as if you were in muladhara, the one eye seeing muladhara, and the other seeing what is behind or beyond muladhara, the development of the god from muladhara to ajna.
Since there are those two forms of existence, one must have two eyes in order to see
them, the one turned out to this world, and the other turned in.
The same symbolism is in Jakob Boehme’s little book about the reversed eye, which means the eye of the soul.
He says the soul is like an eye of fire, and he drew a mandala which he called the reversed eye of the philosophical globe, or the mirror of wisdom.
With the one eye, one sees the circumference of the horizon here, and with the other eye the mandala.
Here this woman accepts the child, the center of the mandala; in other words she enters the mandala.
And here her vision comes to an end.
This is the end of her first book of visions.
Then followed a time when she produced mandalas without texts, and I have brought some to show you, this one with the three snakes was the first [see plate 26] it was done in 1925 or thereabouts and she had no idea of mandalas then.
Moreover, if she had followed any suggestion, she would not have made three snakes, she would have made four.
And I only discovered about the child in the center afterwards; she was one of
the first cases in which I found this idea that there should be a child, that
in this bladder or vessel was a human figure.
I discovered in the text Wilhelm sent me about the Golden Flower, that in China they call the center, in which a child or the “diamond body” is formed, the divine germinal vesicle.
After the mandala with the three snakes, follows one where she is standing in flames, and out of her head come four snakes [ compare plate 27].
She evidently needed to be made over, to be cooked anew, because she had sacrificed to the three, and the three means the one-sided sex standpoint.
That is also indicated in the chakras by the triangle; we saw there the male triangle and the female triangle meaning sex.
And these three snakes mean sex, but that is changed in the next one.
Though as a matter of fact, there were two very peculiar mandalas in between, in which, instead of three, there were five, and five also means he natural or animal man.
Now the wheel behind her figure in this mandala has four spokes, and now out of her head rise four snakes, showing that through the fire she has learned that there are four snakes, not three.
In other words, she has embodied the thing that is strange to her, the male counterpart to herself, the inferior function which is always in the possession of the animus; so the integration of her fourth function would make the four snakes.
You see, as long as you are only a sexual being, you can afford to be one-sided, because you project everything into your vis-a-vis.
If you are a woman, you project it into a man, and then the man is the male and nothing else, and you are the woman and nothing else; and you naturally make a man responsible for everything with which you assume a man ought to be concerned, and identify yourself exclusively with the woman, with no insight at all into the fact that you are not exclusively woman.
And so a man projects his anima into a woman, never doubting that this is the real woman.
Now if the sex, or the biological state, is overcome by fate, by necessity, the four appears because then you get into a special kind of hell.
For a woman there is no longer anyway out; if she cannot have children, escape into pregnancy, she falls into hellfire because all her creativeness turns back to herself, she begins to eat herself, and thus she discovers that she is not only a woman, she is a man too.
And when a man meets with an absolute obstacle in his career, when he cannot go on building and building and creating, when he is simply held down by something, his creativeness begins to devour him, then he is in the fire; and thus he discovers that he is not only a man, but curiously enough a woman too.
The fire is manipura.
Now here is a mandala with the five-rayed star [plate 30].
And in the next one [plate 29] there are four snakes issuing from the center in the direction of the moon symbol, and the vesicle bladder is in the center.
Are there any questions as to this particular symbolism before we begin the second volume?
Dr. Reichstein: Do you mean that the three is of such great importance in Christianity because all female influences were cut away?
Dr. Jung: I should say the female influence was cut away because men were nothing but men, and everything that was feminine was in the female.
And the fourth is always the devil; there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, and the fourth figure in heaven is the devil.
A hell, a separate asylum was made for him, and we always forget that he is an important member of that company in heaven.
As a matter of fact, he is one of the inhabitants, an important factor in the land of
the hereafter, because he has a special kind of hospital for people who have failed here; they are sent there to be cooked in hot oil for purification.
Purgatory is the place where souls are distilled in the fire, in order to become a bit cleaner or more volatile, to lose their earthly admixture and fly up to the eternal Trinity mansions.
If they are too heavy with vices, they sink down into the depths of Satan’s abode, into his particular cooking pots, where they are boiled to make them a bit lighter.
Hell is a great distillation apparatus-inasmuch as it is not a permanent institution.
Of course, Protestants are very much of the opinion that hell is a sort of asylum for incurables, where that cooking process goes on into eternity.
But the Catholic church is far more merciful; they accept the fact that hell is a laboratory where the volatile essences are distilled out of them, so that they reach the seat of the god in the end.
So the number four, when not understood to belong to ourselves, is the thing that is projected.
If a woman is nothing but woman, then she projects that part of herself which apparently does not belong to her, her masculine form or essence, into a man, and vice versa.
So she loses one fourth apparently; I don’t know why not a half, as one says of a woman that she is the better half of Mr. So-and-So-we make it half.
But according to history it must be a fourth, since the other person is always the representative of the inferior function.
We forget that, because we are inclined for many reasons to overvalue the human object.
When one is in love with somebody, or forced by circumstances to deal with certain people, one is always trying to be optimistic about it, to imagine them better than they are in order to make the task easier.
One does a kind of Coue;6 one says: “Well, after all, it is not so bad; as a matter of fact, it is quite nice, could you not be more interested? It would facilitate your task considerably.”
We overdo it, we overvalue and embellish our objects, therefore repressing all the time the fact that the object invariably presents to us our negative qualities, it is a receptacle for our projections.
What we think of the object is nothing very nice, but we don’t want to know it; yet what we repress comes naturally to the foreground.
You may think certain people are awfully nice as long as you don’t live in the same house, but live with them for any length of time and you make extraordinary
You discover your inferior function and fail to recognize that it is projected, you think it is the other person; and of course you represent the inferior function to that other person.
inferior function is always projected. So the Trinity condition of mankind signifies, as far as I can make out, that condition in which men are nothing but men, and women are nothing but women; and everything else, all their inferiority and darkness, is projected into the opposite object.
Dr. Bertine: It is rather interesting in this connection that Hecate had the three forms, Artemis, Selene, and Hecate.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the Hecate Trivia-of the three ways.
Now when you begin to develop your insight, your psychological understanding, you cannot help seeing that what you experience with people is really yourself.
For instance, if you have gone through a series of unfortunate experiences which are all more or less typical, though you have had them with the most different people, you finally come to the conclusion that you may be wrong somewhere yourself.
You may have done something wrong repeatedly of which you were not at all conscious, and that brings you slowly to the idea that you have projected something into other people.
Such realization means a kind of slow grilling; you are the steak over the fire and you perspire like anything, you perspire thoughts, till finally it dawns upon you that you are not three but four, so that if you are a man, one-fourth of you is female, and you must have the qualities of the object in yourself just as well.
That is the way the four comes about.
And that would mean a great change in heaven at the same time, it would mean bringing Satan into the Trinity, it would cause a sort of meeting with the celestial powers in heaven.
This really happens when a man is to be thoroughly tried.
The famous historical case is Yahweh’s discussing with the devil what particularly bad trick they could play on that poor fellow Job-like bad boys planning what they could do to pester and tease a dog.
That it was exceedingly immoral, people were then too naive to see.
Another case was the meeting between God and the devil, when they agreed what should be done to that miserable creature Faust.
This simply means that when a great personality is to be created, integrated in other words, then the four come together.
For other people it is not necessary; they are decided by the Trinity alone or by the devil alone.
Under ordinary circumstances when a man is made he is handled by the Trinity, and the women are all handled by the devil, or vice versa.
That explains a lot of psychology. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 787-797
In the notes she made after each of her analytic sessions, Morgan stated that Jung had
the idea she should have another child and interpreted her vision accordingly. She responded in straightforward opposition: “It would be death to me” (Douglas, Translate This Darkness, p. 166). Morgan proceeded to express her response to Jung’s suggestion in a vision a few days later [plate 28] that Jung did not discuss here but did refer to, out of place, in an earlier seminar. Fn 2