1931 December, Visions Seminar, Lecture V
I said last time that the four stages in the development of the anima were personified, according to the Gnostic idea, by four famous women, and I have been asked to present the development of the animus in a similar way.
You see all these fragments of old philosophy-philosophy was then psychology-have been made by men.
Chinese philosophy, for instance, which is really a sort of psychology, was an entirely masculine invention, because women at that time played no role in the world of men, excepting indirectly, by influence.
In antiquity and in all primitive societies, “cherchez la femme” was an eternal truth, but they were not recognized, and when men set to work on psychological matters they overlooked the existence of women completely.
So no wonder that we have a classification of the development of the anima from a deeper source-it is more than two thousand years old-and we know practically nothing about the animus, or even about the existence of an animus.
Men have only cursed women for their argumentative ways, but they never thought of making a science of it.
It was not dignified enough to be made an object of science, it was merely the bad moods and irrational ideas of the Mrs. Professor, who had nothing to do with the lecture her husband was giving.
But one can speculate about the animus and really produce a similar scheme for it.
Here again, however, it is a man who does it, so I beg your pardon-I mean of the female part of my audience-if I am intruding upon a field which is not entirely my own.
You are quite free to suggest a different classification, so please do consider my point of view only as a
proposition based upon a certain experience and spiced with more or less benevolence.
First I will repeat the Gnostic classification of the anima.
It begins, as you remember, with Chawwa, the earth-the earth not being meant, of course, as the terrestrial globe; it is also called Eve, and it is the furrow in the field that is to be fertilized.
It really has the meaning of the female genitals, it is the yoni, so this lowest stage could be called the yoni stage.
The next is Helen of Troy. The third stage is Mary, the Mother of God. And the fourth is Sophia.
There is a famous book, one of the very few Gnostic books that has been saved in its entirety, called Pistis Sophia, the Gnosis of the Light. Pistis means faith.
It was discovered in the rafters of an old Coptic church in Cairo.
There are references to that book-and I think also abstracts-in Mead’s Fragments of a Faith Forgotten.
The corresponding series of the animus would be a sort of analogy, but I did not construct it from the development of the anima.
It is a construction based upon the experience of the animus.
The symbol corresponding to the yoni would be the phallus; you know phallus worship in primitive religions-and still in our days-is a fertility cult of women; sterile women still anoint the lingam.
The most usual form is a sort of reddish stone of an oblong shape in an olive-oil press; there is a round mold with a little canal out of which the oil flows.
I will make a drawing of the plan and elevation:
The stone that stands in the center is the grinding stone, and there is an outer rim from which protrudes
the canal where the oil comes out.
One sees them often in India, they sell them to tourists.
This form is also used as a sacred symbol in the temples, and it is anointed with butter by women in order to obtain fertility.
It is a remnant of the old phallic worship, the worship of the generative powers.
Then the next stage would be the husband. After that is the lover.
And the last stage I would designate as Hermes, the leader or shepherd of souls, the psychopompos, whom you have frequently met in these visions.
First they worshipped a sort of wooden pole with the phallic meaning, and a later expression of that idea was these busts, which were always ornamented with a phallic symbol no matter what head was on them, like this.
In Athens a long alley was flanked by those berms, representing the famous men of old Greece, and on each was the sign of the phallus because each was a Hermes, a psychopompos, a shepherd of souls.
Now this phallic sign is of a very carnal nature and therefore divine, a chthonic divinity.
Then up above is the god; above and below are divine, as the yoni is a carnal divinity, and Sophia is the heavenly divinity, the dove or the Holy Ghost.
The two intermediate links, Helen and Mary, are human, Helen bordering on Chawwa, the chthonic, and Mary bordering on Sophia, the leader of souls.
These four stages of man correspond to four stages of understanding.
On the lowest stage a man is not seen as a personality at all, he exists only inasmuch as he is a generative factor.
The woman wants a child, therefore she needs a man, any man; that is the way a child comes into her life.
The man functions as nothing but a generating phallus; inasmuch as he provides conception he is noticed, otherwise he does not exist.
This is true with animals and with very primitive women. In the next stage the human consideration appears.
The man who provides the child is called “my man,” he is the husband, the one who is about, who is a more or less friendly or unfriendly presence; he is just the man who happens to be there.
Perhaps it is the man who paid the four cows and obtained permission to visit the woman in her house, or to live with her; it might be any other man, but he is the man who paid the four cows, and so the man to whom she is married.
What kind of individual he is does not count, it is enough that he is “my man.” Then comes the lover.
That is already very psychological because there is a definite choice, exclusiveness.
He is supposed to be concentrated upon the woman, and he is very specific to her, because he is not merely the provider or the fertilizer, he is not an objective presence like a piece of furniture.
It is an exclusive choice that goes to the core of things, it goes to the soul of the woman.
Therefore he is the one who prepares the next step, which is Hermes; that is, the god already appears in the lover.
Or I might quote another figure of speech which is usually in the Kundalini yoga text.
According to that system, from this lower center, or from the lover, you can behold the figure of the god, as from the husband you can see the lover; you are not yet there but you can see from this center the next stage of the god.
These are the four forms which would correspond to those of the anima, and there must be such a correspondence; otherwise man and woman would not fit.
A man’s anima must fit the woman somewhere, or such a figure would never have originated, and a man could never conform to a woman, nor a woman to a man.
Each stage means the other, but in a very subtle way.
One can easily see how the two lowest ones fit, but the two following, the husband and Helen, are more difficult.
But when one knows the fact that official prostitution, which is tolerated by the state, is really financially supported, not by bachelors but by married men, you then understand why the husband is parallel to Helen and the woman of the street.
Then is there any more beautiful love story than the love story of Mary?
Wonderfully secret, divine, it is the only love affair of God that we know about.
He is the illegitimate divine lover who produces the Redeemer.
So these two stages are absolutely parallel; the lover always sees in the beloved something like the Mother of God, and the loving woman sees in her lover the bringer of the divine message.
The Hermes stage is the perfect, divine accomplishment, which is again beyond the human grasp.
Now that is my proposition, but I leave it to the ladies to invent something better or to argue this proposition.
I beg you not to do it here and now, however. Otherwise we could not continue the Seminar.
This theme was really a side line which doesn’t exactly fit in with our visions.
You remember, the beginning of the new series was the vision of the marching men.
The patient joined their ranks, and they led her to the high mountain where they disappeared, leaving her alone in the snow.
Then a lion appeared to her and she asked him: “Why am I here, oh lion?”
And he said “Because you have taken the way.”
We spoke of marching men as another form of the animus, a sort of psychopompos; here it is a general opinion which leads her up to a certain height.
You see, the fact that she is led by the animus to that isolation is again a compensatory reaction.
We must connect these things in order to get an idea of the rhythm.
In the last sentence of the vision before, a lot of birds descended upon her.
You know the construction of these visions is very much like that of the I Ching, that is, the last six lines contain the turn of fate that leads up to the next hexagram.
So here the last sentence is already leading up to the next vision, it contains the next vision as a motif.
We must therefore go back to the main content of the last vision, the bull and the drinking of the blood, the libation.
The worship of the bull is always an earthly cult, and I said last time that astrologically the bull is an earthly sign; Taurus is the house in which Venus dwells.
So she was down on the level of the earth, partaking of the wine of the earth, the libation poured out to the bull.
Then at the end of that vision the yoga tree appeared, from which we may conclude that she was in the muladhara center, in the roots of the tree.
In other words, she was in the sphere of the instincts, in communion with the flesh; she was the divine
cow, docile to the intimations of the gods of nature.
This is all metaphorical, but I am afraid we must use metaphors in order to describe such complex psychology, though to our feelings it is au fond exceedingly simple.
But science does not allow us to recognize the standpoint of the animal, we have no scientific terms to formulate such a psychology.
One could say she was an animal, an instinctive being, pursuing its course in the sense of nature in a pious and law-abiding way, with no moral scruples.
That is what we call a low moral and mental condition, that sort of dumb, blind obedience to the basic laws of nature.
But the basic laws of nature are the laws of Chawwa, and they are sacred.
Of course they are not sacred in the traditional church because it has been very careful to wipe out all that, but in the very beginnings of Christianity they knew what the earth was-therefore that famous saying
of Jesus about the animals, or those verses in the New Testament about the lilies of the field.
But if you try to live like the lilies of the field, you work not, you exhibit your soul and your body to the light of the sun, you offer no resistance and are without moral reflections, you just grow.
In reality they would put you in the lunatic asylum, you would not be adapted at all, you would be the most immoral being.
You know missionaries in primitive countries admonish the natives to wear clothes.
The European women knit woollen socks and pants and jumpers for those little Negroes, because they are so terribly naked, and the fools here send money over for that purpose.
Those perfectly natural beautiful beings who are so much more decent than we are, going about naked like animals or beautiful flowers, are taught by our Christianity to wear clothes; it is abominable, apart from the bad taste.
Where they were beautiful before, their graceful bodies walking about in the jungle, they now wear top hats; those very dignified natives are now laughingstocks. It is a devastation.
And if one knows the moral and physiological consequences of such teaching, it is more than lamentable, it is infernal.
The English are now more understanding; they have issued a law in certain Polynesian islands that every native found in pants should be whipped.
They force them to go naked again because they found it was exceedingly unhealthy for them to wear clothes.
Those sayings of Jesus, apart from all the venom that has been taught about them, are remains of the old idea of the natural life which leads to the kingdom of heaven, but, mind you, through the intermediary of a
cruel rite of crucifixion, whatever that means.
The church wiped out the original teaching and put the church teaching in place of it, and that is quite artificial, made by man; therefore it sounds so hollow and in the long run is not convincing at all.
According to that teaching, everything that is earth is impure, even the substances used in the rites of the Catholic church.
The Holy water, the salt used in the water, the wax of the candles, the incense inserted as little grains into the wax, all these substances are impure, and the priest has to perform a special rite to disinfect them from the admixture of diabolical fraud.
Admixtio diabolicae fraudis is the official formula.
The devil is in them all, in the water from the spring, in the salt from the earth, in the wax made by the bees.
All that must be cured, sterilized; the benedictio fontis, the benedictio salis, the benedictio cerei, all to liberate the substance from the infernal implication, from corruption.
The old Christians were not even allowed to admire the beauties of nature, because they were earthly and impure.
Of course we are no longer taught this in the Protestant church, but that point of view pervades everything even now, it is still a sous entendu.
Naturally, then, we are not inclined to give great importance to the sacred things of the earth, and therefore that Gnostic scale is to us a scale of values-the vicious thing at the bottom and the divine thing at the top.
But that is a mistake.
The beginning is divine and the end is divine, and between the two is the human being, the more earthly and
the more heavenly being.
So there is no real depreciation of the earth in that early classification.
But the interpretation of the church has filtered into our system, and that proves to have been in the long run obnoxious; it has produced wrong values.
Nowadays we begin to admire the body again, and we are no longer afraid of admiring the beauty of the high mountains and the sea, or the beauty of the woods and the springs in the valleys.
We even think we find God in nature. We go up the Utilberg to see the sunrise.
Unfortunately the swing is too far to the other side; people are fanatical.
There is now the cult of nudity, what one calls in Germany Nacktkultur.
So our patient cannot help feeling low down when she is close to the earth, as everybody in our time feels, it is in our nature.
And that is also true for the primitive in a way, though he would not value it as we do.
He feels a mixture of fear and awe connected with the powers of the earth; he worships them, yet he is afraid of them.
He worships them just because he is afraid of them; he worships them in order to propitiate them, in order to twist them into his favor.
But he is entirely convinced of their divinity, while we have only the idea of their power, of being immorally
lured or humiliated, and we revile them instead of fearing them.
It frightens us when we are inspired with that original instinctive feeling of awe.
We cannot explain to ourselves why we should have such a feeling, which according to our rational ideas would only be proper for something really divine.
We have forgotten that those powers are really divine, having rationalized them in order to drive out the devils, or to make them less formidable.
They have not lost their original power, however; they have still the magic force, so much so that even the most enlightened minds, the most rationalistic men, are spellbound by them.
For example, I recently asked a man, a rather well-known scientist, to talk to us here in our Psychological Club.
He was quite willing, but then he said: “I suppose no ladies are to be there, by the way.” “But naturally
ladies will be there.” “Then I cannot come, I cannot talk before women.”
I was astonished and asked why not, but he would not tell me. So I enquired, for in such a case, cherchez la femme.
l found out that he had been a bachelor and then, as often happens to bachelors, his housekeeper had married him, so the woman was on top of him in a dangerous way; he rationalized everything but out came the fear in that form.
Of course, he would not recognize his primitive reaction, he would give any other explanation of it, but that force is naturally a tremendum, a thing which is really to be feared, at which one trembles.
The fear of sexuality, the fear a man experiences of the beloved woman who tempts him, or the fear of a woman who is in love with a man, is the original feeling of awe, which has nothing to do with the person concerned.
Suppose Miss A meets Mr. B at a dance and I ask Miss A what she thinks of Mr. B. “Uh, quite a nice boy.” “Are you afraid of him?” “Why should I be afraid of him?”
A week later she comes to consult me in a terrible state, her nerves all tingling, unable to sleep. I say: “What is the matter, something terrible must have happened.”
And she says: “Oh, he is a terrible man, he has proposed to me and I don’t know what I shall do, I am afraid of him.”
That is the nice little boy she was not afraid of at all, suddenly he has released all the hosts of hell, suddenly that young man becomes a winged demon.
And afterwards he telephones me: an awful thing has happened to him, he had fallen in love with that girl!
And a week before he had told a friend that she was just a ridiculous little flapper, a goose.
Something is released in two human beings, who are simply attracted by each other, which transforms them into perfect demons of whom they are mutually afraid.
That is the divine daemon in chthonic things; it is merely a sexual attraction, yet that is divine, and we have forgotten the fact.
It would be much better if we admitted our fear and got used to the idea that it is a divine thing which ought to be feared.
Now all that explains why the animus, the traditional point of view, interferes with this woman who has drunk of the blood, first leading her up to a very cold place and then leaving her isolated in the snow, where
she can think of the situation in the light of the animus, or alone if it is necessary.
Then she meets the lion.
Now in such a case I should advise you not to try to interpret the lion for the unknown patient; you don’t know her and her particular person does not matter at all.
That is universal symbolism; the lion is everywhere.
Dr. Reichstein: The lion is the animal that can eat the snake.
Dr. Jung: Yes, we said last time that the lion was a Mithraic symbol and it is often the counterpart of the snake; the lion would be the Yang principle, the fiery, male principle in contrast to the humid, shadowy, earthly principle of the serpent.
But the lion has other virtues which we omitted.
To explain the lion as the opposite of the serpent in the terms of Chinese philosophy is rather too general an explanation here.
Mrs. Crowley: You told us about the astrological sign, the difference between the lion and the bull.
Dr. Jung: But there is still another aspect of the lion as a symbolical animal.
The British lion would be an example, you see him in every edition of Punch.
Mr. Baumann: He has everywhere the meaning of the strongest animal, the kingly, royal animal.
Dr. Jung: Yes, he is a symbol of power. He symbolized the power of Rome, for instance.
Those columns at the entrance of Norman churches, on top of crouching lions, signify the Christian church built upon, or victorious over, the power of paganism.
All the Italian guides will tell you that the lion is the symbol of pagan days, the power of imperial Rome.
And the lion as a symbol of power in astrology comes from the fact that it is the sign for the hottest time of the year, when the power of the sun god, the ruler of heaven, is at its height.
Also, the lion has been understood to be the strongest animal excepting the elephant, and to Western
people he was much better known than the elephant, which is possibly the reason why he has been considered the royal animal.
This gives us another aspect of the lion, the more psychological aspect of power, of royalty.
Mr. Baumann: He is often before the gates of temples and pyramids, so he must mean safety also.
Dr. Jung: That is apotropaic, it is to ward off the evil eye, to prevent evil spirits from coming through the door, like the hand of Fatimah, the daughter of the prophet, in the East.
And in primitive villages one often finds at the entrance a so-called juju door, usually two sticks with another stick across the top, from which all sorts of little bags filled with herbs and leaves and minerals are suspended.
The path leads through to the village, and all the spirits that come that way are warded off by this juju door.
Then in the East and in Africa, particularly in old Arabic houses, a real stuffed crocodile is placed over the door with the same idea of warding off evil.
As we put on the gate, “Warnung vor dem Hunde!” or “Mitglied des Vereins gegen Hausbettel,” it takes rational forms.
So the lion motif at the temple gates in China represents lion spirits that will terrify all evil-doers who may approach the temple and its treasures.
Naturally one would choose a very powerful, terrifying animal as a charm to drive away evil-doers.
The lion expressing the idea of power is really the oldest form of the symbol.
Many primitive tribes called the chief the lion of the tribe; the lion of Judah meant the powerful man Judah.
Then there is the myth of Samson who killed the lion.
And the kings of Babylon and Assyria were represented as lion-killers, even stronger than lions-super-lions, so the king wore a lion’s skin, as the King of Abyssinia still wears a crown made from a lion’s mane, in order to express his supreme power.
You see, that meaning of the lion is really born in us.
Now I want to show you something which is a close parallel to the subject we are dealing with, a little medieval book about alchemy, which Dr. Reichstein has just given me, where the lion plays a great role.
there is a peculiar connection, an analogy, between the lion and the bird and the tree symbolism.
You remember in our patient’s vision the theme of something growing up from below; after she had partaken of the wine and so entered into communion with the earth, the tree grew up from the pedestal where the bull had stood, and the birds appeared, and then followed the symbol of the lion. Here we have an alchemistic parallel.
A tree is growing out of the head of a naked woman and birds are flying about.
She is standing upon an alchemistic contrivance, a sort of oven over a fire, upon which is the retort and the alembic, a distillation apparatus; out of the crude matter the spirit is extracted by distillation, the volatile substance out of the mineral.
The arrangement of that is curiously like the drawing I made you of the Hindu lingam-it also represents the union of the male and female.
The retort is above, and the alembic is the vessel below which receives the vapors from the substance in the retort when heated by the fire.
It is a sex analogy, so the alchemistic process that takes place down below in the earth is a sort of sexual
The woman stands upon this arrangement, and on her head is an eagle and there are many other birds flying about.
The text says: “The tree comes out of the semen of the man and the woman. When the semen has died in the earth, it then rises, and therefrom a tree comes with inexpressible fruit and with manifold effects. he birds are the semen of the sun, and they fly through the mountains of the moon up into the heights of the heavens, and they are biting their feathers; then they come down into the mountains again and die there
of the white death.”
The white death is an alchemistic symbol, but in our vision it is snow.
“The birds are the semen of the moon and they fly through the mountains of their father and guardian, up to the heights of heaven, where they receive the light of the sun and in that way become clear; they then again fall down into the mountains and there they die of the black death.”
Another form of death, also an alchemistic symbol.
You see, the birds rise and fall in a peculiar movement which is not indicated in our visions yet, but the picture is nevertheless a close analogy to our situation.
Then on the left of the figure is the symbol of the sun and on the right the moon, again meaning the union of the female and the male, exactly that alchemistic process; and on the left the sunbirds are dying the white death, and on the right the moon-birds are dying the black death.
This idea has also been represented by a tree shedding its leaves, the leaves falling down right and left, and the process then beginning again.
A patient once drew a strange picture which I will show you because it is another parallel.
Down below is a vessel in which is a fire with bluish flames, and out of those flames a bright column grows, like the trunk of a tree, which branches out in a beautiful cascade of light, and then comes down into the fire which flares up again to meet it.
That is the circular process, the tree growing out of the fire, then shedding its leaves, which fall down and nourish the fire which starts again.
The same thing is represented in alchemy by a dragon or a griffin and a snake devouring each other.
It is a symbolic formula, which one also finds expressed in antique psychological philosophy by an interesting
Greek text: Tauros drakontos kai Taurou drakon pater, the bull is the serpent’s father and the serpent is the bull’s father-they are father to each other.
Or one can reverse the idea; the bull generates the serpent and the serpent generates the bull.
It is an eternal process which goes on in a cycle.
And that is obviously the process which takes place in the unconscious when there is no intervention from the conscious to interrupt it.
The birds would be forever flying up and falling down to earth again if man-the conscious-did not interfere.
The unconscious processes revolve in that mysterious cycle: they rise, they develop, they flourish, and then they decay, they die, and are swallowed up into chaos-and then they rise from chaos again.
One sees that movement in the dreams of insane people.
I have observed series of dreams which worked up sometimes to a great beauty, so that one thought something must be going to happen, but then it all decayed and fell back into chaos, until it starts again.
That is the regular way in which the unconscious is brought to consciousness.
In certain cases of analysis one sees it very clearly in the dreams of every night, how they rise and rise, and the patient can almost take it; but it is not taken by the conscious, so the thing fades into chaos, and it is as if
nothing had happened; and then it starts once more.
The pillar of life in She expresses the same idea, it passes rhythmically through a cleft of a mountain, quite low down in the belly of the earth, in a volcano; it is a very mystical miracle, expressing that strange condition which is like fire.
Rider Haggard describes it later in Wisdom’s Daughter, a very interesting bit.
It is the tree of life really, containing all beings, shrieking with the voices of all forms of life, animal and human, an amazing thing.
When “She” steps into it, she becomes almost immortal, but when she enters it a second time, she withers up and decays to dust in no time.
It is the same formula-like the animals eating each other, and the birds flying up and falling down. Heraclitus expressed it much earlier in another form.
He said that the soul becomes water, and then earth, and then it becomes water again; and after that, it becomes the fire of the empyrean, it is in the upper spaces with the gods.
He also said that when a man drinks too much wine the soul becomes humid and returns to earth again.
So he described the rhythm of the soul: it must always change, below and above.
It is a piece of the same philosophy, one might say.
Now on the woman’s head in the picture is an indication of the inexpressible fruit of the tree.
The eagle is a very particular bird in alchemy, he is usually on top of the whole thing, almost as if he were the inexpressible fruit; apparently the fruit was meant to be a winged being, which suggests the old Babylonian symbolism.
On Babylonian seal cylinders one finds representations of the tree of life, usually with two figures,
worshippers, one on either side; and out of the tree rises the symbol of the winged disk, a circle with a cross. Now curiously enough, that is a symbol of individuation, and individuation is the entelechia, the realization
of the pattern of the individual.
That is the inexpressible fruit of the tree. Individuation should come from that process.
But if the conscious does not interfere, the fruit never appears, the birds simply go on rising and falling again.
You see, this is a very psychological picture.
For instance, it is a well-known fact that in the course of an analysis, one goes through many strange stages, all sorts of birds fly up, one has all sorts of fantasies, but alas, in the end all the birds come down with a very sad disappointment, and one thinks, “Oh, it is nothing, it is mere fantasy”; everything is dead and one is at the beginning stage once more.
Then up grows the tree again, and the birds appear, and one thinks, “Ah, now!”-but it is the same thing all over again.
One is led astray by the fantasies and does not concentrate upon the inexpressible fruit of the tree.
In the next picture is a lion; he is practically never failing in these alchemistic books of the cinquecento, and he is usually connected with the growth of the tree.
I know a representation where the lion is on top of the tree, and sometimes he is either side, and in another stage he has his four paws cut off; the text says something about that.
Then in the following picture there is a further elaboration of the idea of the tree; this time it is a tower surrounded by a sort of wall, like the wall of a fortress.
Branches of leaves emerge from the top of the tower, and birds are flying into the air above them.
Down below on the left the lion is standing up against the wall, and then he appears on the right, where a
man with a sword has cut off his four paws.
The text says: “Whoever drinks the blood of the lion and behaves accordingly, and whoever with violence burns his father’s body into ashes by means of the glowing fire, and then pours the blessed water into the ashes, will produce from it an ointment that heals all sickness,” etc.
Now comes the idea of the conscious intervention.
According to the alchemistic idea, the natural process would probably go on if man did not interfere.
But here man interferes, he cuts off the paws of the lion, he burns up the body of his father and pours the blessed water into the ashes, and that produces the ointment, the philosopher’s stone, what the early Christian church called the pharmakon athanasias-the medicine of immortality.
This is a very interesting text.
The lion obviously represents the will to power, which is identical with the royalty of man, in that man’s will is a weapon which he superimposes upon nature.
That is the difference between man and animal.
The animal is obedient, pious, he obeys the laws of nature, but he can only obey the laws, only in so far is he powerful.
It is no power of his own, it is the power of nature that manifests through the animal.
But man has real power because, in his disobedience to nature, he has succeeded in wresting away, or in abstracting, a certain amount of energy from nature, and made of it his own will power.
And the danger of that lies in the fact that it was originally an animal that may still insinuate itself and run away with him; it is a sort of inflation, and because he has stolen something from the gods, he is therefore punished by them, as you know from the myth of Prometheus.
The possession of will power causes a certain hubris which carries man too far on the conscious line; he cuts the lion’s paws and therefore becomes, not subject to the process of nature, but to that separate impulse which is in his will.
His will then carries him away, as one sees in our present cultural conditions.
The machines which we have invented, for instance, are now our masters.
Machines are running away with us, they are demons; they are like those huge old saurians that existed when man was a sort of lizard monkey and deadly afraid of their hooting and tooting.
By his will man has invented a mesozoic world again, monsters that crush thousands by their voice and their weight.
The enormous machines in factories, the enormous steamers and trains and automobiles, all that has become so overwhelming that man is the mere victim of it.
Look at the city of New York. Nobody can tell me that man feels like a king in New York.
He is just an ant on an ant heap and doesn’t count at all, he is superfluous there, the ant heap is the thing that counts.
It is a town which should be inhabited by giants; then I would believe that those buildings belonged to them.
A big city is like a holocaust of humanity, as Zola expressed it.
Man has built his own funeral pyre and it is destroying him, and so our whole world is being destroyed.
It has taken the bread away from millions, and production is still going on like mad; that is really at the bottom of the actual crisis.
So what the proverb says becomes true: ”Das Menschen Wille ist sein Himmelreich, ” Man’s will is his kingdom of heaven.
His will becomes his god, and it is a terrible god that runs away with him like a lion that eats its prey.
Therefore one should cut off the paws of the lion.
The idea of burning up the father’s body has a specific mystical connotation, but it is also psychological; it means the destruction of the things that have been.
The father’s body is the condition which prevailed before the actual condition, the condition before was the father of the condition now.
When we are in the dragon condition, the bull was our father, and it must be sacrificed in order that we may liberate ourselves.
That is, we have to sacrifice the past in order to illumine the future; we would be immovable, caught, if we could not sacrifice the past.
So in every important stage of history, in the actual moment, the destruction of the past became almost inevitable, spiritually and materially.
If we can make that change, if we can destroy the body of the father, if we can cut off the paws of the lion, we can produce the medicine of life eternal; that is, we have helped life to go on, we have severed
our lives from the past and so we can live again.
Now that is a piece of alchemistic philosophy.
I am very much obliged to Dr. Reichstein for calling my attention to this book, which I had forgotten about;
there are so many parallels that one often does not see the wood on account of the trees.
Of course, the lion in this fantasy does not play the same role, but it is apt symbolism here, for our patient is just reaching out into the next stage of transformation which is characterized in this book by the lion.
That is, she has the will to get out of her former humiliated condition, and so she rises; and when she is quite alone she meets the lion, thus becoming aware of her royal will power which has led her up to that height.
In other words, she has lifted herself out of the participation mystique with the earth, and there she meets the lion.
She does not understand what really has happened, and she asks quite naively, “Why am I here?”-in that particular isolation-and he says, “Because you have chosen the way.”
Then a bird came to me and I said to the bird: “Why am I here in the eternal snows? I desire warmth.” The bird answered: “Follow me.” I did so and the bird took me to the sphinx in the desert.
She no longer follows the lion, she now chooses the bird, an entirely different symbol, and in this case it has a very specific meaning.
When the hero gets into a very tight corner and does not know where to turn for help, a bird comes and tells him what he has to do.
That is intuition; he gets a hunch, a way out suddenly dawns upon him.
So the bird is here an intuition of a new possibility, something of which she would not have thought.
As a bird alights from nowhere, so a thought alights in her head and brings a new possibility.
The bird now takes her away from that place and entirely away from the lion, and she follows on the path of
adventure; she gives up her wilful choice and follows a new intimation. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 489-504