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Visions Seminar

22 November 1933 Visions Seminar LECTURE VII

I have two questions here which may lead us far afield into metaphysical mists. And here is a contribution from Dr. Barker which I will read first:

In the Tibetan Book of the Dead, pages 186-187, is a reference to the eighty thousand species of mischievous sprites.

These seem to be blood relations to the imps mentioned in the last seminar, and to come into being under somewhat similar conditions to those of the visions.

That is perfectly true, they are surely such imps, elementals; they are soulless and insect-like and there are so many of them; all those innumerable spirits of Eastern imagination and metaphysics are impish beings, creations that are fragments only; they are personifications of the partial souls in man.

Our psyche is by no means a unit to begin with, it seems to be a collection of inherited units, probably fragments of the past, of former lives or of ancestral lives.

I will not enter into a discussion of the possible transmigration of souls, metempsychosis, because we have no proof of that in psychology, we have absolutely no scientific means of establishing or confirming any conviction about such matters.

We only know that in the psychology of the unconscious there are those possibilities.

Things do happen which could be explained by the reincarnation theory; such ideas would never have come into existence in the history of the world if there were not corresponding psychological facts which lead to such conclusions.

But those are mere hypothetical conclusions, attempts of man to explain certain peculiar facts, and the existence of such conclusions does not prove the actual existence of anything like the transmigration of souls.

The idea in Buddhism is that the human being develops very slowly through incarnations in many forms; Buddha himself experienced about five hundred seventy rebirths, living once as a grasshopper, another time as a plant, another as a monkey, and so on.

Even those ideas are by no means farfetched, they correspond to definite psychical experiences.

Therefore such a hypothesis exists, and also such a conclusion; certain psychological facts explain the existence of the theory.

But, as I said, the existence of the theory does not prove that there is such a thing in reality.

Therefore, speaking of these matters psychologically, we can only state the fact that there are such theories, but we cannot prove them because there are other facts just as conspicuous which prove that they are hardly possible.

For instance, we have the overwhelming fact that at death the human psyche is apparently just put out, it no longer exists; occasionally there are certain postmortem effects which seem to indicate otherwise, but they are so rare and so extraordinary that we are awestruck when we hear of them.

So we cannot say it is the rule that when a man dies he becomes a spirit; it is a great exception when a fact occurs which points to the immortality of the soul.

We have to take that exception into account too, but we have not enough evidence; cases where ghosts have been observed with any accuracy are exceedingly rare, and they do not prove the continuation of life after death, because the obvious facts all speak against it.

It is a psychological fact that the idea of imps is found all over the world, and that is not due to a sort of mental epidemic or a migration of symbols, it is an autochthonous fact which rises everywhere anew; even if there had been no tradition it would come up again, because it is truly a psychical fact that there is such a thing as an imp.

We can explain this satisfactorily from the fact that the mind is a synthesis of inherited units, just as the body is such a synthesis; you have your nose from your mother, your mouth from one of your great-grandparents, and so on; and as your body is such a compilation or synthesis, so is your mind.

The original psychological condition is an agglomeration of inherited traits, and if one part of that agglomeration does not fit, or is particularly obstinate, it can hardly be assimilated; it may be in the long run, but certain people have inherited units like lumps rolling about in their unconscious which they never assimilate at all.

They are like a ship with a heavy cargo, which does not roll as long as it is in quiet waters, but when it gets into the swell of the ocean, the cargo begins to roll too and it becomes exceedingly dangerous.

Such an unassimilated lump in yourself is an imp, and the imp keeps perfectly civil until you get into rough water, but then you will feel it, it will play all sorts of tricks.

For instance, instead of keeping quiet in the moment of danger you become excited; the cargo rolls over to the wrong side and you are seized with a panic.

Always in an important moment of life the imp comes up and spoils the situation.

You know there are plenty of Pechvogel, as they are called in German, birds that

always get into the pitch at the wrong moment, people who always put the wrong foot forward.

When they should say the right word, they say just the wrong word, like the imps that said: “Our Father, which art not in heaven.”

So it may be a mental imp, or the imp may also play an exteriorized role.

For example, when I explain this to a patient, he is likely to say: “Excuse me, doctor, I am all right, it is the outside circumstances.”

It is always somebody else who is at fault.

In the moment when you should have your hat, the hat is gone; when you should have your car it is out of order and doesn’t work, etc.

You can always say, it is not I, they are not doing their duty; the car doesn’t work, the train was not in time, the timetable was misprinted even, you have most objective proofs that if it were you only, things would work out quite smoothly; always the circumstances are wrong.

Of course there is the question, how does it happen that it is always you who get into the hole? Who stumbles over misprinted timetables, who wants to use the car that doesn’t go?

Facts can heap themselves up to such an extent that it is as if you were actually accompanied by an imp that spoils everything for you.

I have seen cases where I must admit it was most peculiar, absolutely inexplicable that they should always run into situations which did not work; apparently it was not their

fault, they were not the cause of it, but it nevertheless always happened to them.

You see there are people who are decidedly unlucky and wherever they are they cause an unfavorable condition.

If they only enter a room a glass falls off the table and breaks, a mirror splits, or somebody falls down; they seem to cause an unlucky situation.

Such people are often understood to have the evil eye.

In Italy, where they believe in that very strongly, if someone with the evil eye enters a room everybody makes a certain sign, two fingers held out as horns against the power of the evil eye, blindfolding the evil eye.

The King of Spain is supposed to have the evil eye, so when he enters a house, everybody makes that sign under the table; otherwise someone invariably falls ill. Primitives are very shy of people who are unlucky.

You only need to be sick and they will become suspicious and have nothing to do with you, they won’t touch you, they give you provisions and put you in the wood, they think you are possessed by evil spirits so they had better keep away.

We also don’t like unlucky people.

Of course, with our Christian virtue we must be exceedingly loving and kind to people who have ill luck, but it is utterly disagreeable to us if it comes to a showdown, we must confess in the end that we don’t like it at all.

Therefore we feel particularly virtuous if we take care of people who have ill luck-it means that we have overcome a strong resistance.

As a matter of fact, we much prefer happy-looking gay people to sad, evil-eyed, devil-possessed people.

Now here are two questions from the seminar discussion group.

The first one is: “If one were compelled to spend the night in a haunted house, what practical magic ritual could one use?”

We are getting back by a fast train to the dark ages! I confess that I don’t know.

I think the best way is to clear out as soon as you can.

I don’t know any practical magic ritual because I don’t believe in them, I am exceedingly skeptical.

According to my conviction, if you are confronted with such a phenomenon as a haunted house, I would not advise you to use the means we mentioned, exorcism, and so on.

Such means would only work where all the people concerned believed in it; then it would be legitimate.

It might work with peasants, for instance, even Protestant peasants.

I know of a case where a cow stable was haunted, a thing which frequently happens here in Switzerland, and a Franciscan father from the monastery at Rapperswil was sometimes called in to disinfect the stable spiritually, by means of the special knowledge he is taught.

There is a little Franciscan monastery right below the castle at the end of the

peninsula, and a priest lived there who was really a medicine man, and he knew how to deal with ghosts and evil spirits, using the church magic, exorcism. For instance, the animals belonging to the little Swiss “Circus Knie” hibernate in Rapperswil, and among them was a young elephant that suffered from diarrhea.

I heard of this case from a former state attorney of the Canton St. Gallen, a gentleman and a clearheaded fellow; he watched the whole performance, so it is first-class information.

All the vets had done their best and all the medicine they could provide had been used, but the elephant simply would not be cured.

Then they called in the medicine man, this Franciscan father from the monastery, and for one-and-a-half hours he talked to the little elephant; he stroked his back and looked into his eyes for a long time and said he should give up being sick, he should submit and be nice.

Then suddenly, looking into his eyes, he said: “Now he wants to be cured, he will be all right tomorrow, you must do nothing to him, he has submitted.”

And the next day he was well.

This is truly primitive medicine; it is what the medicine man does, he puts something into people.

This little elephant merely reacted like any sensible human being would react, any child or human being.

It took perhaps a bit longer with the elephant, of course it was a little less accessible than a human being, but it worked.

Now we could not apply such magic because we would not be able to believe in it; if we could believe we would be on that level.

And on that level our consciousness would be so encased and have such a limited reach, that many of its contents would not be conscious, they would be exteriorized. People with a narrow conscious life exteriorize their unconscious, they are continually in participation mystique with other people.

That Franciscan father had an exceedingly limited consciousness, and his whole psychic life therefore took place outside of himself in the Brothers of his Order, in the people and animals he contacted he was everywhere, as primitive people are everywhere.

He could work in this way because a bridge existed through the fact that he lived in participation mystique.

Now if your mind has no such limitations, if more unconscious things have become conscious to you, then you live less in participation mystique, there is less connection, and you can no longer hold such beliefs.

Therefore the ordinary magic used against a haunted house would be ineffectual with people who already know too much, who are already too conscious; such people must apply entirely different means, which would be like that of the rain maker of Kiao Tchou.

If you get into a situation that is wrong, then you are wrong because you contact it.

People are often astonished upon coming into a gathering that they suddenly go wrong because the people in the gathering are wrong; they were perfectly all right and then they find themselves wrong.

Now you can work magic in such a situation, not by putting that wrong right-that is only what the primitive medicine man does by participation mystique-but by putting yourself right, and then by indirect magic you may work in favor of the general situation.

For if one man is right in a crowd there is a chance that it may spread, that the crowd will become right because one man is right.

But you cannot put the crowd right directly unless you are in participation mystique.

For instance, a primitive sorcerer can put a whole crowd wrong, he can blindfold the crowd, and then work his tricks; as in that famous trick where you can see the boy

climbing up the rope which is thrown into the air.

But if a man from outside who has not been under that spell joins the gathering, he sees

no rope, nothing is in the air and the boy is standing on the ground; and if it is photographed, there is nothing in the air.

Yet everybody will swear that the boy climbed up the rope.

I have seen jugglers working like that, and I got into it myself, my own judgment became confused.

An Indian juggler did the very simple trick of the little hats and the red berry.

They use the top of a certain tropical fruit, which is cone-shaped like a little hat.

There are three of these hats, all slightly different, and the red berry is put under one of them.

You can watch them and could swear that you knew exactly where that berry was.

People bet about it, and the funny thing is that the man who is betting is invariably wrong, while the people who are looking on know quite well.

A friend who was with me tried it first and I always knew where the berry was and he never knew, so I was absolutely sure that I could safely make the bet.

I went as high as one hundred and twenty-five francs, and each time I was wrong, and, mind you, the people standing at my side knew where the berry was.

That was an extremely interesting experience to me.

You see, such a sorcerer is in participation mystique so he can blindfold people.

But we cannot do that.

I would not be able to blindfold a crowd unless I were blindfolded.

I cannot do so when I am conscious; consciousness prevents that magic effect.

You see, such magic effect never works to a good end, it always works downwards, for low tricks, for immorality, for irresponsibility, because it is a running-down process and therefore has this tremendous catching power.

If a conscious person should apply magic of the low order or exorcism of any kind, he would become infected by the evil he tried to combat.

Moreover, it would not work because he could not possibly believe that it would work.

So don’t try such stunts.

The legitimate way would be that you say: “I contact a wrong situation, I am wrong, therefore I should purify myself.”

Purify yourself and you may improve the situation; then you are working for the good.

It is at least certain that if anyone should imitate your example there would be two, and perhaps a third one would do so which would make three, and then it would spread so that the whole situation would change eventually.

Of course it does not work so miraculously as the running-down way, but it works to a

much better end.

If you should find yourself in a haunted place you should say: “I am obviously in a wrong place; whether it is that the house is haunted (for there is such a thing) I don’t know, but sure enough I am wrong.”

Then you can only do what you always do when you are wrong: you purify yourself, you try to understand yourself, you observe your dreams; they will tell you where you are wrong, what the situation is, and then you try to clarify yourself in order to regain your former right attitude.

In doing this you have combated the wrongness of the place, perhaps you have laid the ghost.

Or you clear out. At all events something will happen which will settle that problem.

It is not necessary or possible to lay all ghosts, or to improve all conditions; that would be the power attitude or a sort of savior attitude.

You can leave things to themselves. If they don’t improve, then you improve and you quit.

Therefore I say the best way of solving such a thing is by removing yourself, not the ghosts.

Some unspeakable wrongness may be in the place and you simply leave it to the devils and clear out.

Certain places may be wrong perhaps eternally, because they have been built with the wrong intention, and then naturally in every stone, in every corner is that wrongness.

As there are certain places which are built with a good intention, and they have an unspeakably calming, pacifying, beneficent effect in their style and in their atmosphere, because it is right.

Here is the second question: “Do you believe there are objective ghosts as well as subjective ones?”

Well, it is not a matter of believing, I believe nothing; either I know a thing and then I don’t need to believe it, or I don’t know it, and then why believe?

But if you ask whether we have sufficient reason to believe that ghosts are objective as well as subjective, I must say that there are most certainly objective effects which

one calls ghostlike.

The phenomena of parapsychology are effects of that kind, or telepathy, for instance; one knows here what happens a thousand miles away by a telepathic dream or a vision.

These facts can be objectively verified. It is the same with ghosts.

Of course we can admit that ghosts are subjective phenomena, that is perfectly obvious, there is no doubt about it; but that they are objective seems to involve a tremendous problem, namely, the continuation of the individual life, almost of consciousness, after death.

Of course we must not conclude that, because it makes the whole problem unwieldy; such issues are then involved that we can hardly deal with the problem scientifically.

If, however, you can believe that a so-called ghost is an exteriorization of a living being, it is at once perfectly possible, for as it is a possibility that you perceive something which surely you have not seen or heard or smelt or touched, so truly objective effects are possible which you cannot possibly have produced.

For instance, it is utterly impossible for me to knock against that wall from my place here because my arm cannot extend so far, but if you assume that there is a possibility of exteriorization, as in a telepathic vision, you can assume that I am able to exteriorize a part of myself-whatever force it may be-and that that thing can knock

against the wall.

You might think it was a ghost, but a photograph taken in that moment shows a stream of ectoplasm going out from my hand or any other part of my body, which reaches the wall and knocks there.

You may have seen the photographs of the Crawford experiments.

Now those things are by no means a swindle; although very peculiar, they are facts, but observation shows that it needs a medium from whom those effects issue and by whom they are produced.

So there is a certain objectivity about it, but that does not prove that it is the ghost of a dead man or an elemental; we cannot prove the existence of objective ghosts because we simply cannot find any evidence for it.

If you study the theory of cognition, say Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, you know why it can never be proved; there is as little possibility of a proof in that case as there is of proving that the world is infinite; it cannot be proved because it is simply beyond our means.

You may have more or less convincing subjective experiences, but you cannot prove that they are what you take them for.

Those gruesome pictures of ectoplasm prove an objectivation that does exist, it is something tangible and even accessible to physical experimentation, it can be photographed and weighed, but that it is a ghost one cannot say with absolute certainty.

But as you cannot prove that there are objective ghosts, so you cannot prove the contrary; it is quite possible that there are, but there is no evidence because you can never prove their identity.

A very interesting experiment was once made at Columbia University in New York by two groups of students who telephoned to each other from different places, making the attempt to prove their identity over the telephone.

It was as if somebody should telephone me, to whom I gave my name as the person

speaking, and he should reply: “You call yourself Dr. Jung, but who knows whether you are really he?” “Don’t you recognize my voice?” “Anybody can imitate your voice.” “Don’t you remember we dined together a fortnight ago?” “Oh yes, but there were others there who can imitate your voice.” “But we were once quite alone and discussed such and such a matter.” “But somebody may have been told that we had such a talk

together in order to pull the wool over my eyes.”

You see one could go on indefinitely.

You perhaps remember the famous case of the identification of the ghost of William James, the American psychologist; I knew him personally, a very great man, a wonderful man.

And Professor Hyslop, the physicist, who later became general secretary of the American Society for Psychical Research, was his friend; he made many experiments and left quite a remarkable book, perhaps the most intelligent one upon this question.

Before James died they made an agreement that whoever died first would do his best to give some message to the other, a message which would possibly be helpful in identification, because that was their common problem.

At first nothing happened at all after his death, but sometime later-I don’t remember the exact time-one of Professor Hyslop’s mediums said that a man who called himself William James wanted to give a message to Professor Hyslop; he reminds him of the pink pajamas.

Hyslop of course cocked his ears when he heard the name of William James, but he was completely baffled by the pink pajamas, till he finally remembered that when they were students together in Paris, upon some one unusual occasion William James had in fact worn pink pajamas.

Then about ten days later Hyslop got a letter from a spiritualistic circle in England saying that upon that evening, at such and such an hour, so many minutes, a ghost appeared and gave their medium a message for Professor Hyslop, Columbia University, New York: William James reminds him of the pink pajamas.

So a circle with which Hyslop was not acquainted received the same message upon the same evening.

This was the best proof that he ever got.

He told me this story himself a very interesting case of identification.

If you are invisible, behind a wall, for instance, and you want to identify yourself, how the devil can you do it?

Finally you come to such an issue as about the best possibility.

You take a thing which nobody knows, a thing which is so unimportant that you could not possibly have told it to anybody else, something that you have in common with that man of which nobody else would take notice, and remind him of this unique fact which has most probably been in nobody else’s mind.

That would make a fairly good case.

But you could also say Hyslop was just as interested in the question, and his unconscious mind was seeking a possible means of identification, so he exteriorized the whole show.

But then what about the circle in England with whom Hyslop was not even acquainted?

Well, it beats me.

But if there is such a thing as exteriorization and telepathy, they had perhaps a particularly sensitive medium, like a good wireless receiving set; he had broadcast his need and the medium got the message from the waves which go round the earth, and sent it back to America.

If the one thing is possible then the other is possible as well. So you have no proof, one proof is as good as another.

If you know that the human mind can broadcast its condition, why should it not be broadcast through that medium who had a particularly good wireless connection?

That we do broadcast such things is also very possible.

If you think of a friend who lives in central Africa when he is in a particularly

receptive condition, he can receive it and send waves back to you which you can also receive.

Suppose, while your attention is fixed upon what I am saying in this room, that that stream of consciousness, your attention, is interrupted by a flash of very clear vision in which you see a friend or a relation in a railway accident, and a telegram comes afterwards that he has indeed been killed in a railway accident under the conditions in which you saw him.

You will then be convinced that you have seen that accident, and you will assume that the dead man projected the vision into your mind, because you cannot imagine any other reason.

Otherwise you would have many more such impressions, but you have not; it always needs such moments in order to break through.

I will tell you a most remarkable case: an Englishwoman, living in England, dreamt that her brother, a civil engineer in India, stood at the foot of her bed with his head chopped off and lying on the table beside him.

The next day she got a telegram from India, saying that he and some other engineers had in fact been killed in a riot of coolies in a mine, and after having killed them, the coolies had chopped off their heads and carried them about on poles.

The man was dead when they chopped off his head, yet he broadcast the fact that his head had been chopped off.

Now it is difficult to assume that her unconscious was following him all the time and saw that, it is more probable that he sent out an S. 0. S. to her.

But he could not possibly broadcast that his head had been chopped off because by that time he was already dead.

This story aroused a number of arguments, the argument, for instance, that the man was perhaps not quite dead when they chopped off his head, so that he knew.

Or, knowing the customs of that lovely country where he was working, he may have assumed that in a riot they surely would do just that, so, knowing ahead, he could broadcast it.

Or another possibility was that he knew what was going to happen from a dream the night before, and that he broadcast his dream then.

Of course this latter possibility would be just as miraculous.

That the thing was broadcast at all is a miracle, for according to our wits it is inexplicable.

If you assume that he broadcast it, then he broadcast it when he was dead, because according to the reports the body was already badly mangled, they had stuck their knives into it as often happens in such cases.

But even if he were not dead, it would, nevertheless, be a miracle that his sister saw it.

Now I will tell you another story which is even more intricate: an American woman living in New Zealand had not heard for some time from her brother who was in the United States.

Then she had three consecutive dreams, of which I only remember the main facts.

She saw her brother sitting upon a railway track in the moonlight, when a train

came along and ran over him and killed him; and in one of the cars she saw, as if she were looking in through the window, a man whom she knew, a parson; he was sitting alone in a compartment on that train.

This all proved to be true; her brother, on account of business worries, had committed suicide by throwing himself under the train.

And by further inquiries she found out that a certain reverend gentleman had actually been where she had seen him in the train which ran over her brother.

Now if the man who was killed broadcast the picture, you must assume that he must also have seen the parson in the compartment; otherwise he could not have broadcast the fact.

Or if you don’t like that assumption, then you must assume that the sister’s unconscious watched her brother all the time and thus saw him killed.

Miss Wolff: Could the parson not have seen the man under the train?

Dr. Jung: No, nothing was known, even the engine driver did not know it.

Mr. Jerome: But doctor, are you not assuming that there is no survival after death?

Dr: Jung: I make no assumptions, I am speaking about psychological facts.

If you assume that that man had an immortal spirit, or a soul that survived death, then this case is very simple because naturally the soul knew the whole thing. But how prove it?

It is the simplest thing on earth if you can accept that, but if you cannot, then how prove it?

You see, the whole thing is apparently simple when you make one hypothesis, namely, that the unconscious is aware of what is happening whatever the unconscious may be.

It is not even necessary to assume that there is personal survival after death, you simply assume that there is an all-pervading oneness in which all things are contained, so naturally the influence reaches the right place, where it is most likely to be received.

It may not reach another who has not the same wavelength.

Or if that message reaches someone else, he may just have a dream, because he does not connect with that wavelength.

But in the case of a relation whom one loves, perhaps a brother, it is different; then it is like the Siamese twins, if one gets a shock the other one feels it.

All these questions can be solved by the standpoint of an all-pervading oneness, which means complete annihilation of space and time; that would mean a reality at the basis of our so-called reality, which would be the basis of our oneness.

Such a hypothesis is an unimaginable thing, but by the hypothesis of a fourth dimension, you can answer it.

Mr. Baumann: There is a story about Mark Twain, that when he wanted to write a letter to a friend, all he had to do was to write it and take it to a post office, but not to throw it in; then the next morning he got a letter from his friend about the subject he wrote about.

Dr. Jung: Well, such things happen.

You dream of a certain person of whom you have not thought for ten years and the next morning you have a letter from him.

Strangely enough, this happens when the letter is already in the immediate vicinity.

That peculiarity of dreams was remarked in the famous case which Dunne reported in An Experiment with Time.

He was in a remote place in South Africa, and he had a terrible

nightmare in which he saw a mountain exploding and knew that four thousand people had been killed.

When the next mail arrived, he read in the Daily Telegraph of the disaster at St. Pierre in Martinique; the volcano Mont Pelee exploded and the whole town with forty thousand inhabitants was destroyed.

Now he had not perceived the catastrophe when it really happened, the point is that he had that dream only when the papers with the news were already in the post office. And in the paper, through a mistake in printing, the number of people killed was really put at four thousand, the number he saw in his dream; he dreamt the mistake.

You see that also casts a very peculiar light on such phenomena, it seems to point to the hypothesis I mentioned, the peculiar oneness of consciousness and our inclination to receive those influences which really concern us and which are approaching us.

He was not in any way personally concerned, but naturally anybody would receive a certain shock.

I remember that I read it in the papers with a good deal of emotion; it is impossible to read such a thing without a certain amount of participation and that was true in his case.

So you can anticipate certain events which are not just personal, yet they touch you somewhere profoundly; they make an impersonal impression upon you despite

the fact that they don’t concern you personally.

I don’t know why the question of ghosts is so engrossing just now, but we must take things as they come along.

I have an idea that when we get to a place where we apparently go off on a bypath, it is not so much of a bypath, it must somehow have to do with the subject in question.

The imp started us on this road.

You remember he was described last time as a sort of ape-man with black fur on his legs.

This apparition of an ape-man, or nature demon, or elemental, occurred when our patient had taken that star back into her breast, which means that the symbol of individuation returned to her after having been objectified-by the magic ritual of contemplation and veneration it came into objective existence.

Such a ritual act is an acknowledgment of the substantiality of the symbol.

I told you, for example, the story of the man who barked in the moonshine like a dog.

You see, when you have recognized the objectivity of a symbol by worshipping it or by putting it outside of yourself, by a mere drawing of it perhaps, it gains a certain reality, the reality of a drawing on a piece of paper at least, so that when you come across it later on, you say: “How funny, it was such a reality to me that I once even made a picture of it.”

A sincere act of worship means bestowing a lot of libido on the thing; and investing that amount of energy in it, energizing it, will have the inevitable consequence that it takes on a certain autonomous character, it becomes a substance, as it were.

Therefore taking that substantial star back into herself will keep this woman on her individual line, it becomes a certain power in her, she is led on the way toward

individuation, which means an increase of consciousness.

For individuation is differentiation and differentiation means increase of consciousness;

the more you know how different you are from other beings or things or circumstances, the more your consciousness increases.

So since she is on the way to an increase of consciousness, it is as if she were moving away from the man of the past, the instinctual, archaic, historical man, and she creates a sort of distinction between herself and man as he used to be.

That also is a sort of differentiation, a denial of participation mystique, only here it refers to biological humanity in general, the universal ape-man.

Now as long as our consciousness stays within reach of imitation, tradition, submission, general creeds, we are within the reach of the ape-man we are imitating-as, for instance, we imitate our parents.

I am imitating the convictions of my father and grandfather and great-grandfather, and

I don’t need to use my mind at all for that purpose because it works all by itself.

I simply fall in with the wisdom, with the movement, the melody of my ancestors.

By birth I am a good Christian as by birth I belong to a certain family, and I have to do nothing, I am what I am, I am carried by the circumstances.

So I can be an advanced civilized being, yet I am absolutely in the frame of the historical tradition, the given facts, and thus I am like a monkey, or like a sheep in the herd; I don’t transgress any borderline, I am not distinct from the general or universal ape-man.

But the moment I begin to increase my consciousness by understanding a little bit of Freud, for instance, by beginning to mistrust the character of my own mother or father, by thinking the dependence upon my mother is not all that it seems to be, that there are very peculiar motives in it, I am then different from other people.

I have then increased my consciousness by the mere doubt about things which are generally accepted.

That a son worships his mother is of course generally accepted as the proper state of things, but when you sincerely doubt that, you have increased your consciousness, you are already beyond the ordinary man.

Or, speaking of a generally existing participation mystique, if you doubt the character of human relations you are different.

The real author of this idea of participation mystique, Levy-Bruhl, applies that term only to primitive man, he does not dream of participation mystique among civilized beings.

He assumes that it does not exist or that it belongs to the dim ages, he has no idea that he himself is in participation mystique.

But I apply this term very freely to ourselves, expressing thereby the doubt of our human relatedness; I try to make you see the generally accepted fact of human relatedness under the light of participation mystique, conveying by that idea that in certain ways we are exactly like primitive man.

And so I increase your consciousness by that doubt of something which you took for granted.

Then you are in a way like Newton, who saw an apple fall from the tree, according to the legend.

Millions of people had seen an apple falling from a tree, but nobody else discovered the law of gravity; he had a doubt, he began to think about it, like Galileo with the swinging chandelier.

The great discoveries were made by someone doubting a thing which was taken for granted; the one who increases consciousness marvels about things at which nobody

else marvels, things which are no problem to other people.

So the increase of consciousness causes a distinction from the general or universal

animal, the universal unconsciousness of participation mystique; and when that difference becomes marked, you are likely to have a vision of the thing from which you are different.

It is impossible to recognize a thing as long as you are identical with it; if you happen to be completely identical with another human being, you cannot make a difference between yourself and that human being, you cannot say that the object exists, because you are essentially the same.

It is not even a problem because it is impossible to perceive or understand anything that is not different.

So to somebody who is within tradition, that ape-man does not exist; it is not experienced by such an individual, as the unconscious is not experienced by one who is absolutely within tradition.

If you are firmly within the walls of the Catholic church, for instance, there is no experience of the unconscious.

But the moment you step beyond the limits of the traditional frame, the unconscious becomes objective and then you feel the whole impact of it.

Now by that act of individuation, our patient, as we said, is clearly going ahead, she is increasing her consciousness.

Consequently the unconscious is constellated, it appears here in the form of a furry animal, we spoke of it as a sort of imp, a nature demon.

The farther consciousness is removed from it, the more it loses all its intrinsic human value.

You see, the status that ruled before was that she herself was identical with the furry animal; and in that case the animal is not clearly an animal and she is not clearly human, she is something in between.

And anybody looking at her with the eye of increased consciousness will instantly

see that she is an animal, he will be able to catch the gleam, the glimpse, the glitter of the animal in the eye, in the movement, the way of speech, in the manners; everywhere he will detect the beast.

It is true that if one studies human beings, one will see the animal in them, though they themselves may be highly respectable pillars of the church and don’t see it at all; therefore no use mentioning such a trifle.

But that trifle becomes all-important if it is disregarded, because it is then deprived of human consciousness, of the specific light of the human being.

Then it is nothing but a furry impish thing, an uncanny constituent, threatening, malevolent, and of magic attraction perhaps.

It may show in dreams, as it shows in these visions, in the form of the ape-man, or of a real ape, or a monstrous animal.

Or it may appear in a more projected way in a sudden fear of collectivity.

When consciousness is increasing one is most likely to be seized with panic, because the animal then appears in human society-collectivity becomes that monster, a sort of swallowing dragon.

One doesn’t see it in just that form, but one is affected as if in the presence of a huge and dangerous monster.

It is not quite fair to call this particular monster an animal, for it is not exactly a monster nor is it exactly an animal; it is a man covered with hair, a rather dangerous-looking individual, the primitive man who dates back from the glacial age into millions of unknown unconscious years.

That forms a tradition which is a million times more important than all of our conscious history.

These three months of the Platonic year that man has lived through-each month being one-twelfth of twenty-six thousand years, or approximately two thousand years-what is it?

And before that nothing was realized, things just happened; nothing was invented, writing was discovered only about three months ago.

The state of real culture, real civilization, has been in existence a very short time, it is quite recent.

Five or six thousand years are nothing, it isn’t even long enough to form a decent geological layer.

There are geological layers which have taken thousands of years to form, so it would be the thinnest coating of dust, and beyond are long ages of primitiveness.

We don’t know how far back we should date the Synanthropes man, or the Neanderthal race, but they are immensely old, because the anatomical features have changed considerably since.

Now, that man will be constellated, and you will be up against him when you advance in consciousness, and that fellow is exceedingly powerful.

So in times when human consciousness really advances, one may expect manifestations of this old man-call him the ape-man.

Do you know any historical example of the manifestation of such a figure?

Mrs. Baumann: Would the war be an example?

Dr. Jung: No, that was mere disintegration.

Dr. Neumann: Pan?

Dr. Jung: That is a good idea, a close analogy to this vision.

You see, Pan in his philosophic meaning is by no means the old satyr, the demon of

the woods and the prairies, the demon that arouses one’s fear when one hears the whispering of the wind in the reeds; Pan was also a philosophic conception.

For the Greek word pan means all, the universe; in later times he lost all connection with that original demon and became a symbolic god of the universe, and even played a role in metaphysical speculation.

You may remember that old legend of the pilot, Thamus, who landed his ship in Ostia, the harbor of Rome, and demanded an audience with the emperor in order to give him an important message.

He said that when sailing through the Grecian archipelago, he passed the island of Naxos in the night, and there he heard great lamentation going on, Pan megistis ethneken, Pan the greatest is dead.

That was in the time of Tiberius, just at the beginning of Christianity.

This form then vanished, Pan was dead.

But there were other great figures and they were not always negative.

Question: Is not Enkidu in the Gilgamesh epic such a figure?

Dr. Jung: Yes, that is true. Gilgamesh was a man of superior consciousness, two-thirds divine and only one-third human, so he was a sort of Prometheus, a light-bringer.

He took a step ahead, so he offended the gods, and therefore they invented a terrible primordial man, Enkidu, to subdue him.

His body was covered with hair, and he ate herbs like the gazelle and drank with the animals at the waterholes.

But we miss there the overwhelming greatness he was not paramount to Gilgamesh, not quite his equal even.

Mr. Alleniann: Would the Titans killing Dionysus be an example?

Dr. Jung: Yes, inasmuch as Dionysus was really a god of the mysteries, and the mysteries had the purpose of increasing consciousness by secret teaching.

And an increase of consciousness would be likely to arouse the collective unconscious symbolized by the Titans, so there we have the giant motif.

Mrs. Baynes: Could one say that Nietzsche’s superman was such a notion?

Dr. Jung: Yes, and there are many more.

Perhaps you can think of others for the next time.  ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 1180-1196


James Hervey Hyslop (1854-1920), Enigmas of Psychical Research (Boston, 1906). See

above, 29 Oct. 1930, n. 6. Jung mentions him in CW 13, par. 6on. and in the Freud/Jung

Letters, index, s.v.