4 October 1933 Visions Seminar LECTURE I
In the development of these series of visions, we are at a moment when external events were beginning to have a tremendous influence on our patient.
Hitherto she has been in Europe-although not in Zurich the latter part of the time-but then came the return to America, and the approach to her own country caused great mental disturbance.
This was because she had gone through a very peculiar mental development in her analysis; she had become conscious of all sorts of strange things which she could not assimilate into her former life, or her former convictions and ideas.
In her native land the old ideas began to come up again, and they naturally clashed with those she had acquired in Europe.
It is true that there had always been such contents in her unconscious, as there are everywhere, but she had been blissfully unaware of them, so there was no clash.
For the contents of the unconscious usually express themselves somehow-in one way or another and then the individual can be at peace with himself.
A person may contain a devil in the unconscious, for instance, an evil part of his personality; then in his vicinity there is someone who is that devil, and an unconscious person is much relieved when someone else takes over that role, so that he can believe himself to be perfectly nice and decent.
That is the reason why we appreciate detective stories and movies that demonstrate
crime and bad people.
We love villains, we read the stories of their lives with great interest; we find the life of Al Capone, say, very fascinating, simply because he represents certain contents of our own unconscious.
As long as I am in such a condition that a brother or an aunt, or somebody else, represents the devil to me, I can live peacefully, my unconscious is sufficiently expressed.
For it does not matter so much to the unconscious by whom it is expressed if it is only expressed, if it only lives; it is almost indifferent to the unconscious whether I am angry with myself or with somebody else.
You see, the unconscious has a history, it is not always the same.
At first it is in an absolutely natural animal-like condition; it is a thing that denies itself, it is a yea and a nay, it is good and bad, light and dark, it is the eternal play of nature that builds up and pulls down.
Nature kills every autumn whatever she has created during the year, and in the spring she creates everything all over again.
But there is a peculiarly disturbing factor even in the natural unconscious, and that is the germ of the individual, the germ of the Self, like a spark of light, that causes consciousness to be.
And when man begins to be conscious he aims at union with the spark of light; he is always doing something which doesn’t agree with nature, more and more he disturbs nature, he tries to put nature into a straitjacket.
Look at the straight lines through nature: for instance, railways, roads; and woods killed, fields ploughed, certain plants cultivated only in certain places.
Nature would never produce such a sight.
And what one sees on the surface of the earth, one sees in the soul of the conscious man: things which would never have been abstracted or concentrated together in certain places-all the signs of civilization, things done against nature.
It is quite natural that the unconscious should not like that intrusion of consciousness, that it should have a tremendous resistance against it.
There are still traces in primitive man of those original struggles for the existence of consciousness, for the unconscious always tries to wipe out the existing consciousness, to swallow it up again into darkness.
The dragon myths, and the flood myths, for example, represent moments in which the darkness has swallowed the light once more.
It often happens to the primitive in reality that he loses the little bit of consciousness he
has acquired and he is terribly afraid of such a moment.
Naturally I don’t mean that he faints or actually loses consciousness; it would not be
a physiological condition, it is an entirely psychical condition-whether he acts, or whether he is acted.
And it easily happens to any one of us that we do not act through our own volition.
Then I cannot say I do, but it is done through me; something takes possession of me, the very action can take possession of me, and I am afraid of the thing that causes this,
because I am the victim of it; it runs away with me.
Now against this danger the conscious tries to fortify its acquisition; that spark of light
which was once discovered, but which has been there since eternity, is surrounded by means of protection, by all sorts of rules or taboos.
The protection of the spark is symbolized in mandalas, for example.
And it is to be seen in all the chakras, though the chakras of the Tantric yoga system express less the protective character than certain conditions.
They are pictures of the unfolding-it is the flower motif which always means the unfolding of a condition-of the spark of light or of consciousness.
In the mandalas of Mahayana Buddhism, the Lamaistic mandalas, for instance, the idea of protection is more evident; the spark of light, which is the center, is protected by magic circles, by a circle of fire, by the cloister, and so on; it is fenced in against the desirousness of the world, so the intrusion of things outside is checked.
And in our visions we also see the expression of the unfolding and the protection of the
spark of light, because the old story of the light and the devouring darkness repeats itself again and again.
On each level of consciousness the ancient mystery of the light and the assault of darkness is repeated, for a new level means an increase of light, and that little increase of light can be attacked by the relative darkness of the state before.
To express myself in the terms of the Tantric chakras, when one leaves the state of manipura, the lower condition, and arrives at anahata, the higher condition above the diaphragm, manipura then becomes the worst danger to anahata; then manipura, despite the fact that it is a glowing sun, is the darkness in relation to the strange new light of anahata.
In manipura one’s psychology is entirely emotional, with no idea of objectivity, one cannot detach oneself from one’s emotions, one is the emotion; in anahata one can say, “I am in a bad mood,” but in manipura one is the bad mood, nothing but a bad mood, so that one cannot even admit it.
If one tells a person in that condition that he is in a bad mood, he replies: “No, I am not!” But in anahata he says: “By Jove, you are right.”
And that is the higher condition, that is the difference between manipura and anahata.
Now this higher condition can easily be wiped out by a wave of emotion; therefore
anybody who has attained to the state of anahata is afraid of whatever could increase his emotions; he avoids people who make him angry and situations which rouse uncontrollable emotions, in order to preserve the state of anahata.
Then again in advancing from anahata up to the next center, visuddha, the recognition that I am an active principle is the worst enemy of the higher light, which tells me that the ego is not the thing, I am not the observer or the controller of my emotions; then
comes the idea that I am not, and this is an increase of light over that which says, I feel so-and-so-it is a denial of the level that was reached before.
I mention these things in order to show you once more that every stage of development is counteracted by the preceding stage, and then the preceding stage acts as if it were the original darkness.
The good becomes the enemy of the better.
Therefore the myth of St. George killing the dragon is eternal, it is represented on every stage.
In the case of this patient, we have seen that she has gradually built up, through many peripeties’ and through a long series of peculiar symbols, a figure that in the last vision was symbolized as the Mexican image, the figure of something indestructible.
In the vision before she warmed that image in the fire in order to make it strong, to give it active power and the quality of duration.
For valuable substances are tested in the fire; whatever stands the fire is indestructible, as gold retains its quality and is not oxidized in the fire.
So the fire magic simply means strengthening the idol or the fetish and giving it duration.
And in psychology, it means to give the Self, or the spark of light, the quality of duration, to liberate it from the attack of time, for instance, which destroys everything, and to protect it against the influence of destructive emotions, that there may be a certain place in the individual which is out of reach of the fires of manipura.
The Self, according to the Tantric yoga, appears for the first time as an active and independent center in anahata-there one first beholds the Lord, Ishvara, the Self.
The text of the Upanishads says: “Smaller than small yet greater than great, he appears in the heart the size of a thumb, yet he covers the whole earth two hand-breadths high.”
It is an all-enveloping something yet at the same time small.
You see that definition of the Self-the spark of light that appears is the condition that is above the emotional condition-shows that the appearing Lord, or the Self, is supposed to have almost passed the human condition and to have attained to the state of duration or eternity, to the complete independence of a divine being.
So the next stages in the Tantric yoga transform the center more and more into the Ishvara, until the human individual, the ego, entirely disappears.
Those are symbolic expressions of the depersonalization of consciousness.
In the highest condition consciousness reaches a state where it is absolutely depersonalized, the state expressed by the Ajna center.
Those different conditions are a series like the series of visions of our patient, only her visions are more or less chaotic, and the condition does not rise continuously; it is as it happens in reality, a rising and a falling, a building up and a destroying; and it is as if, when the waves were rising higher and higher, the destruction was correspondingly worse.
But that is unavoidable, because we see in these visions the actual individual making
of the center which is presented only abstractly in the chakras.
The time when the chakras were made by the old Indians is long past, so we do not know what individual experiences led up to that system; probably the first terrible battles of the light against darkness were undergone several thousand years before Christ.
There are traces of that in the ancient Zoroastrian religion, which demonstrates a time of the most intense struggle against the darkness when it was quite questionable which
side would win out.
The Zoroastrian gathas are supposed to have originated before the earliest attempts at writing, about 4500 B.C., and I should say that what we would call consciousness arose at the time when a sort of writing was invented, when an objective continuity of history
through records first came into existence.
For it demands a consciousness which is free from emotional conditions, it demands a certain objectivity, for somebody to say: “That is a remarkable event, let us make a record of it.”
A consciousness which is incapable of passing judgment is not real consciousness; there can be an awareness of being, but it is not what we would call human consciousness.
So, as I said, we may date the beginning of consciousness at about the time in which all those very early systems of establishing records arose, and probably that was also
the time in which the first ideas of the stages of consciousness, the chakras, originated.
As a matter of fact we find in Persian Sufism traces of three chakras independent of the Hindu system, and the same thing probably existed in the Chinese yoga.
The developments in our visions are parallels, and those among you who were in the last seminar will remember that we had just passed through a moment when the light was threatened, but it was sheltered in the pit of onyx, a particularly hard stone, which would be most protective against the onslaught of that herd of buffalo.
The buffalo is the totem animal of North America, so it would represent all the wild instincts let loose upon our patient when going back to the United States.
Despite the fact that she has been protected by that pit of onyx, she is not safe there from the dangers of the collective onslaught.
She knows that she must expose herself, and you remember that she opened the
fatal gate, she came out of the magic circle that had protected her hitherto and stepped out onto the streets of New York.
I want to continue from this point.
She opens the fatal gate and walks out and finds herself among the skyscrapers of New York.
That means that she leaves the mood in which she has been here, where she lived exclusively for the development of her mental condition, and then comes the need to
adapt to the new world, which is her old world but new to her now because it appears to her in an entirely new aspect; it is now intensely hostile because it is so utterly different from her visions, or from the world in which her visions grew.
She goes on to say: “Great buildings rose above me, bent over me, towered and swayed and hit with thundering crashes.”
What has happened to the skyscrapers? They are obviously not in the right mood.
Dr. Harding: It is another form of the buffalo-the thundering crashes.
Dr. Jung: Ah yes, they behave rather excitedly, but what would that denote?
Miss Howells: An earthquake.
Dr. Jung: It would be an earthquake, if they were not moving all by themselves.
What does that mean?
Miss Howells: That they are themselves alive.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. They are like living beings, they are filled with a most unnatural life.
Now under what conditions might perfectly dead objects assume a very unnatural life?
Miss Hannah: In mediumistic seances?
Dr. Jung: That is something else. I mean psychologically, when things become uncannily alive.
Miss Taylor: When one is in a temper, things throw themselves about.
Dr. Jung: No, you throw them about! But in a state of fear things often begin to move.
When you are walking through a wood in the moonshine and feel afraid, something suddenly seems to move, the trees and the shadows move, things are filled with an uncanny life.
Of course in mediumistic seances it goes much further, things really move.
To come down from anahata to manipura and svadhisthana plunges one into an emotional condition, and so objects take on life.
A man in the svadhisthana condition is living in a world that is entirely filled with life, objects walk and speak, they do the most extraordinary things, and in manipura, the next center above, the world is far more alive than it is with us in anahata.
Here the world is almost depleted of life, only the so-called living things move: but even they have a very restricted kind of life.
It is not a good life, it is a bad life; in Christianity, the anahata religion, the idea was invented that man was very bad, and that is a restriction.
Moreover, the Christian idea is that animals have no souls and therefore never get into heaven-unless by mistake.
In former times there were no such notions; animals had souls as well as human beings and a man’s life was not necessarily bad, his vital energy was supposed to be good and of the nature of the gods, so he was quite satisfied with himself.
But from the Christian point of view his life energy is evil, and he would go straight to hell if God did not interfere with the natural course of things.
The belief that animals have no souls is very much alive in Latin countries, where animals are very cruelly treated; they have, temperamentally, no idea that an animal could have a soul, because they are still very medieval Christians.
It is the state of fear, then, which causes this unnatural life in objects, and that shows that our patient has descended into manipura, where she is simply the prey of emotions.
Therefore we may expect fire symbolism, to this center fire belongs.
She says: “Every time the buildings crashed together, a great red bird flew screaming into the sky.”
What about this?
Mrs. Sigg: This might be the fire symbolism.
Dr. Jung: We speak of the red cock on the roof, which means the house on fire; they might mean fire, but they are also associated with blood and she says in the next line: “The birds were mangled and from them dripped blood.”
But we shall see fire later on, and I too would associate these birds with fire.
Dr. Barker: Would they be her terrified thoughts and feelings of fear?
Dr. Jung: In interpreting such animal symbolism we must cling to the very obvious qualities of the animal.
If a fish turns up as a symbol, for instance, one must cling to the natural facts of the fish, a cold-blooded thing that lives in the water.
This is a bird, which means psychologically that it belongs to the anahata region, the kingdom of the air, because it is the region of the heart and the lungs; so here we have the blood and the air.
Everything that belongs above the diaphragm, contents of the personality like thoughts or feelings, which belong to that higher level, are expressed by birds.
Now naturally, when this woman descends into the lower center manipura, those contents above are mangled and destroyed, or at least badly wounded, by that unnatural animation of objects, dead things.
Through the descent to the level below, the life of concrete or dead objects is increased; in manipura mankind in general is animated as well as things, everything is filled with a peculiar life.
One sees that when analyzing a person who has great self-control, who is well
educated and quite conscious of a strict maintien; such people soon drop into manipura because they have been too high up in anahata, and then instantly there is a tremendous increase of life in their surroundings.
Naturally, the further down one goes, the more that increases, until finally in a mediumistic condition one is unconscious, in a sort of trance, and things outside do actually begin to move.
That is a pathological stage of this psychological phenomenon.
Mrs. Baumann: I think it is peculiar that those birds don’t drop down, they seem to go up.
Dr. Jung: Because they belong to the kingdom of the air.
They are simply air beings which are injured by this descent into manipura.
Now she continues: “The drops fell upon me and whenever they touched me I became wounded and bleeding.”
This shows that the birds are connected with herself.
She is one of those birds, or she is the center for them.
They are her thoughts, her feelings, her ideas, all the mental contents that belong to a higher condition of consciousness, so naturally she herself is wounded and injured by the descent into manipura.
She is not exactly mangled, as the birds are, because she does not belong to anahata exclusively, she is also in manipura.
We can live in manipura without being injured when we really belong there, but whatever within us is in anahata will be injured in manipura.
You see, we always contain the lower mental condition as well, those mental contents are living in us in a certain sense, but they are under the control of the center which is
higher at the time.
We may be in anahata generally and then anahata rules all the centers below, but they continue to live.
So when anahata is injured or abolished we don’t suffer completely, we only suffer inasmuch as we are in anahata; inasmuch as we are in manipura we don’t suffer at all.
It is always funny when people say: “If such and such a thing happened to me I should die, I could not stand life any longer.”
But they do not die, they still live on.
It is amazing what people can stand-they simply change their psychology.
One often sees that when people undergo a change of social conditions; they can live under conditions which they could never have borne if they had developed according to their own imagination or anticipation.
They formerly thought that below a certain sum nobody could live, but they can soon live on less; or that one must have two cars and couldn’t possibly live without servants, but now they have none.
According to circumstances psychology changes very much.
So when you come to a condition where anahata is impossible, you can live in manipura, but the anahata part is injured.
Now she says: “I shrank back in horror and leaned against a wall of rock.”
Here is the same phenomenon as before.
Mrs. Baumann: She is trying to get the protective thing again.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. You see, leaving the mandala means unfolding; the palm tree grew, and she found the magic idol by which she could open the gate and she stepped out into the world.
But the world behaves in a perfectly mad way, and she is of course horrified and tries to seek shelter in the mandala; here is the wall of rock again.
But the rock is no longer green, and the palm tree is dead.
Then she says: I looked up and saw a great blue rock towering into the sky. It sent forth streams of water which rushed down on either side of me. I was healed of my wounds.
What is this?
Dr: Harding: She has gone down one stage lower into the water region, svadhisthana, by regressing again to the desire for protection.
Dr. Jung: Yes, entering the mandala is of course a descent into the sheltering cave, which is the earliest idea of a mandala; an underground sanctuary is the place of spiritual shelter, and the crypt has always been the place of initiation since time immemorial.
The cave has that protective quality, but it means going back in time, receding to the cave from which one emerged, and so receding in one’s psychological condition.
First one falls into manipura, and then from manipura to svadhisthana, and svadhisthana means the psychology of a caveman, the man who existed before civilization and who had an exceedingly restricted consciousness, only a sort of awareness, with no possibility of passing a judgment.
Therefore, they left no records, they never bothered to invent writing or any other sign, not even knots in strings such as the early Peruvians and the Chinese used, who expressed their deepest philosophical thoughts by knotted strings.
The symbol of the River Map- in old Chinese classical philosophy, which is the system of the world, as it were, was expressed by knotted strings.
They were arranged in the basic square around a mandala in the center, composed of four knots around the central point.
The need to put things on record is a sign of a higher consciousness; it is not characteristic of the very primitive man, so he is necessarily on a lower level, in manipura or even in svadhisthana, which is still an animal-like condition.
The psychology of svadhisthana consists of mere urges.
It is expressed by the awareness of the pressure of the urine in the bladder, for instance, or by other physiological needs of the body; the whole inner life consists of the awareness of instinctual impulses or urges.
That is a very low condition, but one naturally falls into such psychology by entering the mandala only for protection; one invariably falls back through the ages.
That was evident in the beginning of these series of visions, when the patient began to enter a mandala-one could call it-or the area or square of the things within; she withdrew from the actual world and went back through the ages, passing by ancient temples, right back to the animal, which means to svadhisthana.
One doesn’t say to muladhara, for in muladhara there is no consciousness, and to go back to complete unconsciousness means that there would be nobody there to be aware of it; there must be a little consciousness in order to be aware at all.
Now in that low state of consciousness she sees the tremendous blue rock towering high into the sky.
Blue indicates the air or water, but as it is here towering up into the sky, it is presumably the blue of the air.
So this is a spiritual tower, a tower that has been built by mankind, but it is also a natural growth.
It is all the way up, or all the way down to where she came from, and it is the symbol of heights that might still be attained.
And from that special rock the healing waters flow down.
Now where does she find that symbolism of healing waters, or magic waters at least,
or fertilizing waters?
Please use your Christian imagination.
Mr. Allemann: Christ said he was the water of life.
Dr. Jung: Yes. Do you remember that beautiful Negro spiritual: “I found a home in that rock”?
Christ is the home in the rock, the cave, in which one finds shelter.
This blue rock, as expressed through Christian symbolism, is Christ himself.
That would be a beautiful analogy, any father of the church would have fallen for such an interpretation with no hesitation.
But of course the psychological interpretation, which should be inclusive of the Christian, is rather more difficult to understand.
Mrs. Baumann: Would it not be another symbol for the Self? You spoke Of it in connection with the palm tree, and when the palm tree was in the center it was dead rock. Here it is dead rock but it still has healing properties; it is now in the center, and blue is a spiritual color.
Dr. Jung: Yes, whatever is in the center always has reference to the Self, and this blue color is to be found when one has reached the air region, the anahata center, where the Tantric text says one beholds Ishvara, the Lord. Here we have the bridge to the Christian symbolism-that this sheltering rock from which the healing waters issue is Christ himself.
So it would be the idea of the Self, for Christ can also be designated as the Self.
Then what about the height of that rock towering up to the sky?
Dr. Harding: On the personal plane, it would represent the mounting that she has done through all these series of visions, and on the plane of civilization it would be the attainment of Christianity, would it not?
Dr. Jung: Yes. Or it might simply emphasize the importance of the figure, as in the past the size of the important figure was increased.
On the walls of the Egyptian temples the pharaohs were always depicted five times as big as their followers.
And Christ has often been represented as a very tall figure amongst his disciples.
It suggests superhuman greatness, the thing that reaches to heaven.
Then water always has to do with svadhisthana psychology, but in this case it is healing water. How do you translate that?
Mrs. Baumann: She had a vision long ago where she had to go under a kind of waterfall and come out on the other side, and we spoke at that time of the river of life.
Dr. Jung: Well, water usually means the water of life, the medium through which one is reborn; it symbolizes the baptismal ceremony, or initiation, a healing bath that gives rebirth; so this woman is really undergoing rebirth.
Then the water issuing from the rock would be an emanation from the Self.
And the rock out of which Moses brought the healing water was always supposed in early Christianity to refer to Christ, Christ being the healer, just as Christ was the brazen serpent which Moses put on that pole, the sight of which healed the people’s wounds in the plague of the fiery serpents.
So Christ is also the source of the healing water.
Do you know any other Christian symbolism confirming this statement?
Dr. Harding: The Crucifixion where Christ was pierced by the spear, and blood and water flowed from the wounds.
Dr. Jung: Yes, the blood issuing from the wounds, as we see it in medieval art, is the life-giving or healing fluid; it symbolizes the grace which emanated from the crucified body of Christ.
But there is other symbolism in the New Testament that is closer.
Dr. Harding: The four rivers in the Apocalypse that flow from the center of the holy city.
Dr. Jung: Yes, from the center of the heavenly Jerusalem.
And in that city built upon the rock is the Lamb, and from the rock upon which the Lamb stands, four rivers issue.
That is a repetition of the Garden of Eden from which the rivers flow, meaning life coming from the mandala; for paradise is of course a mandala, a symbolic projection of what we feel to be the center of the life within.
Another reason for saying that the heavenly Jerusalem in Revelations is a repetition of the Garden of Eden is that, according to the old cabalistic interpretation, God removed paradise from its place after the fall of the first man, and gave it a new place in the future.
So the same symbolism is in the end of Revelations, which claimed to be the final and complete anticipation of the last things, when the beginning of the world would be reestablished, the absolute kingdom of God.
In the end there had to be a symbol of the beginning, but it was understood to be no longer a garden where man lived on friendly terms with animals; the animal became a symbol, the animal was the main thing, not man; and the hill was important; and the garden became a city with its foundation of precious stones.
But the healing waters of Christ were still flowing.
This symbol is full of meaning, but I mention it here only on account of the analogy with that blue rock in the vision from which the healing water streams.
Now there is indubitably a relation to svadhisthana wherever the water symbol occurs.
The baptismal fount always means svadhisthana; it is the return to the womb where consciousness arose. In the stage before, muladhara, consciousness is absolutely impossible, but in svadhisthana there is an awareness of instincts, of reflexes.
So that is the cradle of consciousness, there light dawns.
Therefore the moon is an attribute of svadhisthana; it is a feeble maternal light, symbolizing the dawn of light out of profound darkness.
A return to svadhisthana, then, amounts to a return to the original condition, where the psychical life of man was very low and where everything else was tremendously animated, where natural life still had its full value, with nothing restricted and nothing abstracted.
And the return to such a condition has healing value just because it brings things back to their origin, where nothing is yet disturbed. It is as if one were gaining a sort of orientation there of how things really ought to be.
So when you are in a dilemma or in doubt about something, you sleep on it, and the following morning you often wake up quite clear, with a definite feeling about it.
What have you done?
You returned in sleep not only to svadhisthana but to muladhara, where things somehow put themselves right.
When you don’t disturb things, they fall into their natural rhythm and that seems to be right.
Even if it is not right it seems to be, and we have no criterion to state whether a thing is right or not, other than the feeling that it is right; it seems to chime in, to be natural, you have a certain conviction about it.
Therefore that return into the mandala is something like a sleep or a trance in which the conscious is done away with to a large extent, and things can find their natural way again.
And the water is healing simply because it means that low condition of consciousness where everything is undisturbed and can therefore fall into the right rhythm.
So the wounds of our patient were healed, she walked again to the edge of the rocks, and she said: “I knew that I had to descend into the city.”
She had recoiled from her task before because she was frightened, but she knew she ought to go through with it, to deal with whatever dangers were in the town.
And her recoil led her into the condition in which she could find rebirth.
She continues: Narrow steps led down. In fear and dread I walked down them. As I
descended I could no longer see the red and mangled birds.
You see, the state in which she felt injured is overcome, she has gone through that stage and therefore the birds disappear.
She is now fortified in her actual condition; she is sufficiently strong owing to the performance of the rite of rebirth.
She says: I entered the market place. (That is the center of the town.) It was thronged with a multitude of men and women surging and shouting and cutting themselves with knives. It seems to be a town full of mad people.
What does that mean?
Mrs. Crowley: It might be a panic or a sort of Dervish ecstasy.
Dr. Jung: Yes, a sort of orgiastic madness, with the motive of wounding themselves and each other.
Mrs. Sigg: Collectivity is now wounded.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. The mad thing that happened before was the moving skyscrapers behaving like animals, so the birds that had to do with her were wounded.
Now the uncanny animated objects seem to have lost their magic life; it is now human beings who are overwrought, overcharged with electricity, therefore behaving like mad.
What does that denote as a psychological change?
Answer: A lower level.
Dr. Jung: Which is the higher level?
If somebody told you that the people in the streets all looked mad, or that the houses looked mad, which would you think was the better condition?
Mrs. Sigg: That the people should be mad. It is more natural.
Dr. Jung: Yes, people easily go a bit mad, and houses have no mind and cannot be mad, only the madness of human beings could make them appear so.
It is decidedly worse when houses are made to look mad.
For people to be mad is not so bad, it is more or less normal and plausible.
This shows that her tremendous horror has now centered upon reasonable objects, she is really terrified of the people and not of the houses.
You see, when the terror is very great it spreads over everything.
If you hate or are in terror of someone who lives in a certain house, you hate the house and the street, you hate the whole district or town.
And the same when you project madness into people, but that is more reasonable
because everybody is a little mad at times.
She is now no longer injured in the form of birds; that is, she no longer suffers from her
emotions of being wounded or pained, so she has accomplished a certain amount.
That magic bath really worked, and therefore she can see things more clearly; she is in better control of her emotions, she doesn’t allow them to move her to the extent of seeing skyscrapers toppling and clashing around her.
It is still pretty bad, I admit, but by no means so bad as before.
She continues: “Above them on a raised platform sat a woman in white with a child upon her knees.”
That is again a highly symbolic figure. Who is that woman?
Dr. Shaw: The Virgin mother. I think the patient is a little inflated, she is too high. Looking from that attitude perhaps she saw them as they really are. I mean the world is rather mad and she sees them that way, but it is inflation to be above them.
Dr. Jung: Well, if the woman in white refers to herself, but that is questionable.
She says: I went to her and said: “Why are you here?” She answered: “They wish it.” I said: “How can you stand this sight? Does it not sicken you? Have you no feeling?” She said: “No.” I left her in disgust.
This is rather baffling. The mother of God is exceedingly philosophical here, she is quite indifferent to the whole mad turmoil.
Mrs. Sigg: In the picture the meaning might be, if he who is smaller than small is protected by the mother, then it does not matter.
Dr. Jung: Oh, you take the whole thing symbolically, the mother of God being really a protection.
Mary protected the Lord as if he were a little child.
She symbolizes the one that contains the anahata center, Mary is really the symbol of individuation; she is the mother of the Purusha, so she is the symbol of individuation for women as Christ is for men.
Mrs. Baumann: I thought it had more to do with the American attitude, that she was not exactly the mother of God but the woman on a pedestal.
Dr. Jung: Yes, one could also say that this was an aspect of feminine society.
Below, or behind the screen, they rage like devils against themselves and against each other, and above is marvellous sacred motherhood on a pedestal to be worshipped-what they want to be or want to make believe.
But it is more profitable here to see the truly symbolic meaning, not the allegory, and the symbolic meaning in this case would be, rather, that Mary represents the one that contains or is mother of the Purusha.
And she is au-dessus de la melee, not mad, she is quite free from participation mystique with the mad crowd.
The patient herself does not understand why that woman does not participate, she thought she ought to be sickened by the sight. “Have you no feeling?”
That is what people often ask each other: “Have you no sympathy?” “No, I have not!” “But don’t you see how they injure each other?” “Yes, they are damned fools!”
Why should one waste feeling on such madness?
Therefore that virgin mother is a very positive symbol, and I think that aspect is more important than the attitude of sacred motherhood, which is a sort of medieval ban mot.
Our patient does not understand the tremendous feeling that is expressed by this laconic “No.”
She is disgusted and leaves her, obviously fascinated herself by that marvellous spectacle.
She continues I saw that the men were cutting themselves on the breast with knives.
They were also cutting and stabbing the breasts of women. The women were stabbing the men in the back. I seized one of the struggling women and threw her aside. I said: “What is all this? It is horrible. I cannot bear it. Why do you do this?” She said: “We stab
men in the back because they must know us.” I said: “How can you bear so many wounds and still live?” She said: “I will show you.” She drew from her throat knives, spears, and a poisonous black snake.
Who is that woman whom she seized?
Dr. Shaw: Herself.
Dr. Jung: Of course, her participation mystique in the crowd, for she finds that she is behaving like them unconsciously.
But she has acquired enough self-control by the bath of rebirth to at least seize her mad partner by the neck and take her aside and talk to her.
She is really asking herself: “What is all this?”
Question: Why does she not seize the Purusha?
Dr. Jung: She cannot touch that figure.
Such figures are entirely symbolical and above her; she is one of the crowd, doing exactly what they are doing.
One observes that in analysis.
You learn many beautiful things, and then you go out to your family and society and friends and do exactly what you should have learned not to do, what you know you
should not do.
No matter what you have accomplished before, when you go into the crowd you have that psychology.
You should be able to take yourself by the neck and keep clear of it.
Our patient has gained enough self-control to say: “Now I am a part of the general madness, but why should I be mad?”
It is as if, when she is in society, talking the same nonsense as everybody talks, believing that she has certain feelings which she has not at all, she should take herself by the ear and say: “Do you really believe what you say? What are you expressing? Why are you here at all?”
That is objectifying oneself and reaching a higher level by seeing what one is doing. As long as one is in it, one doesn’t realize it.
Now the woman explains, ‘We stab men in the back because they must know us.”
I think Dr. Harding could explain that very easily, she has written a book about it.
Dr. Harding: Well, stabbing in the back certainly refers to feminine treachery.
Dr. Jung: “Because they must know us!”
Now that is the most outrageous projection! They must know themselves!
But because they don’t know themselves, they say men ought to know them, for men ought to do all the things women do not do. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminars, Page 1081-1096