18 October 1933 Visions Seminar LECTURE III
We stopped last time at the symbolism of the bull caught in the net with its feet bound.
You remember, it came in a rather dramatic moment, when we were expecting a solution of the problems presented by the situation just before, her reactions upon getting back to New York.
For her this meant a return to the conventional world, the outside reality in which she is meant to live, and to which, of course, she has to adapt.
It meant a return to the lap of her family and her social surroundings, to that whole mental atmosphere which is characteristic of practically any town or any family.
And with that return everything came back to her from which she had escaped while here.
She had had a sort of holiday from human society, she moved here in an entirely different sphere of life, having very different thoughts and feelings from her ordinary ones.
But now the old ways are coming back, and naturally the first tendency was to get into a panic and to give up whatever she had gained for herself, to give up her own individual position for the laws of society.
This is a very natural reaction.
For what is one voice against the ten thousand voices, or one will against the ten thousand wills? Just nothing.
One has to bow before the enormous overpowering crowd that is like a sea in which one is only a drop.
Therefore the majority of people are absolutely swallowed up by the beliefs and the convictions of humanity and are quite content to have no life of their own, because it would be nothing but a double life.
Sometimes people do a thing which cannot be mentioned by society, something impossible, and because they cannot share it with everybody, they suffer from it as if it were an open wound; they live perhaps a very private life and are only too glad when they can remain in the dark with it.
But they feel this to be far from ideal, and sure enough it does not harmonize with the ideals in which they were brought up, and a great many people get neurotic under those
So something is needed, some miracle to improve the situation, because the human individual should be able to live in spite of human society, that much should be granted.
For what is human society?
Without individuals there is no such thing as a state.
Humanity is after all an abstraction or a fiction, as a state is an abstraction; the real truth is the individual human being.
There would be no Sahara without the single grain of sand, as without the special animal there would be no guarantee for the existence of the animal kingdom.
The laws of states or of societies are nothing without individuals; the individual is the carrier of humanity, and therefore of extraordinary importance.
One could say it was the foremost duty of everyone to be an individual, in order to secure the continuation of the family or society or the state or mankind for if the individual does not exist, nothing exists.
Therefore the individual must have some justification for his peculiar ways.
He is not there in order to fulfill only the demands of society; in that case everybody would be fulfilling the demands of everybody else and nobody his own demands, which would be of course a lunatic asylum.
If I do what everybody expects me to do, I do nothing for myself, and what people do for me I don’t want, I hate it, and they of course loathe what I do for them, so nobody gets
what he wants.
So to make it a principle to fulfill only the demands of human society, is an eternal reapplication of the story of the man, his little son, and the ass.
A peasant went to town with his little son and his ass.
They walked in single file and after a while a man came up and said: “You are fools, why
don’t you ride on the ass’s back?” The peasant said: ”Yes, you are right,” and he put his little son on the back of the ass. Presently another man came up and said: “A nice boy that is who sits on the ass and lets his old father walk!” And the peasant said: “Yes, that is right,” so he got on the ass and let the boy walk. Then another man came and said: “Ah, a nice father, who lets that poor little boy walk while he himself rides!” So both
sat on the ass. And finally another man came and said: “You cruel people to both ride on that little beast!”
The peasant was confronted with a terrible problem, he didn’t know what to do, but at last he decided to carry the ass into town.
That is where one lands by fulfilling the demands of society.
Therefore one comes to the conclusion that something ought to be done for the individual, and the individual should stand for it.
That makes sense, but how can the individual do anything for himself when he is apparently nothing, a speck of dust, a quantile negligeable? Being so small, how can he assume that he is of any importance, that in God’s plan of the world the individual could play any role?
Also he is taught that he is egotistical, and whatever he wants is wrong because man is evil; so he cannot see why he should be worth saving.
But it is a bad beginning in life for a man to think his only meaning is that perhaps somebody may come along and put him into his pocket and save him, and that otherwise he will be nothing at all.
He can’t even see what sense it makes that a creator should create such absolutely valueless stuff that it must always be rescued and healed.
Why not make something sound that is really worthwhile and feels that it is worthwhile?
This is the modern rebellion against those old beliefs.
But to rebel against them does not help; we should have some principle or formula by which to prove to ourselves, or prove to God, that we are in some way indispensable, that we make sense somewhere or somehow.
Our patient is obviously caught in that typical panic, the conflict between the individual and society, and she unconsciously realizes the need of a principle, something to stand on which would confirm that she is worthwhile.
And now comes the bull, which is surely an animal that stands on its four feet, it is quite an impressive power, particularly when it is chasing you.
It is a most powerful and dangerous animal, and since time immemorial has been a symbol of the sun and worshipped as such.
The sun is indubitably of insurmountable strength; it is eternally expending life and strength and it is really inexhaustible; nobody can stop the course of the sun nor interfere with its ways.
Therefore the sun, via the bull, would be a marvellous symbol for something standing in its own right, say an individual who is simply going on his own way, shining, radiating, emanating power, quite inaccessible to human demands.
If one could say: I am like the sun, or at least related to the sun, it would be helpful.
You know many an ancient civilization has declared that man was the son of the sun, the heaven-born child; this symbolism has been applied to the emperor, or to the nobles of a country, or to the priesthood, or even to the ordinary people.
That was done in order to give strength and dignity to the individual, something to help him to resist the onslaught of collective and conventional demands.
It also gave him national pride or sense of value to say: “We are the true sons of that fiery god up there, and those other people are only children of worms”-or of crocodiles, or foxes, or other slime of the earth.
That gave him a sort of backbone, a feeling of great importance and value, it gave him as a matter of fact an enormous strength.
I had a rare chance to observe this with the Pueblo Indians who are sons of the sun, children of the light, and a great deal of their natural firmness and dignity comes from this fact.
For one cannot help feeling like that when one has such a conviction.
If we were really convinced that we were children of God, that our father was that all-powerful being in heaven, we would have the dignity of at least semidivine beings and whatever we did would be dignified.
We would be courageous and stand for our convictions, knowing that our way was the way of the sun and should not be interfered with.
But we are far from that; our way is the way of the herd, and no wonder, because no such conviction exists in us.
Those Christian people who call themselves the children of God are filled with unspeakable fear, they collapse if Mrs. So-and-So says anything queer about them, they say: “For God’s sake, if she says such things we are lost,” and they begin to tremble and their knees are like water.
And we call them children of God! So the bull is a very apt symbol, but there
is of course the great danger, when that symbol comes up, of making a regression into antiquity.
Now I have here a valuable contribution from Dr. Harding which will help you to see the complication of the problem; in the elucidation of this symbolism, she says: Last time we ended with the bull who was bound and under a net while the people offered him milk and flowers. This binding was taken as an unnatural restraint and humiliation of the bull who was obviously a divine being. Could this not be taken in a slightly different aspect?
The bull is the fire, the personification of the principle of manipura.
It is a revelation of the fire, which the dreamer had recommended to the man to cure his wounds.
It is as though the vision said: “It is in this form that you must go into the fire, through worshipping the bull who is bound.”
That is perfectly true; the bull being the sun is of course the quintessence of fire.
Any earthly fire is also the fire of heaven.
For example, when the Pueblo chief was talking about their conception of the sun being god, he gave a series of examples of what the sun could do, and then said: “But what can man do up there in the mountains?
He is not even able to build his fire without the aid of the sun.”
He was expressing their feeling that not only every form of life derives from the sun, but
also the fire a man builds when it is cold is the sun, it is at least a child, a spark, of the god.
You see this is true religious thinking.
Not only man himself but even the fire he makes has its dignity through this sonship not
to speak of the buffalo or the bear or other animals; even objects have their dignity as children of the supreme being.
And being the child of the sun god, the Indian cannot help looking at the fire on his hearth with the same worshipful eyes; even that is divine.
But we are far from that, we have no such values; the fire in our stoves, or the central heating-God! what is it?
It is due to coal or to oil, it is a chemical procedure.
And one is oneself just a chemical procedure, so where could one find any argument against the demands of the herd?
One is a heap of coal, a barrel of oil, just fuel.
That is modern consciousness; it has really no dignity because it has lost its meaning by losing its connection with the Father.
So the healing fire of which the vision spoke before is the bull, or the sun, and going into the fire means going back to the Father, to the divine essence, in the form of the insurmountable powers within ourselves.
Now we must only ask ourselves: What are the insurmountable powers within us? Would it be our personal convictions, for instance?
The insurmountable power within is the thing by which we are overcome, and that is an emotional instinctual power, and therefore represented by the bull.
The wound which needs healing is that we have lost our Father, we are no longer children of the sun, we are cut off; and we heal the wound by going back into the sun, the all-powerful essence from which we came.
That surely means the center which is below, manipura; one falls back into the power of the emotions, the instincts.
But that is immoral, against the idea of anahata, and therefore we are afraid to do it.
You see, the ten thousand voices say, “No, that is absolutely wrong, it is irrational, it is reckless, it is too individualistic.”
That is all very true, but where is the right of the individual? The individual must live. What is your damned herd if a part of the herd cannot live? If the part has no dignity how can the whole herd have dignity?
You see, the healing of the wound is a regression to a state of rebellion, of wild emotions, and that is a tremendous danger.
Therefore it is quite comprehensible that the symbol which expresses the manipura condition should be a god with its feet bound, showing that this power, which would be very dangerous if let loose, is here under a certain restraint.
So it is not a regression into antiquity, it is not being delivered over to the wild rush of unbound waters, simply swept away in an orgiastic cult, but a restrained power, it is power controlled by man.
For the net is man-made; the bull has not bound its own feet, and no other animal could bind the bull’s feet; only man has the cunning to do that.
It is as if we were returning here to a deity that was under the control of man. Is that not astonishing?
Now what god is under the control of man?
Dr. Barker: The developed human personality would be the god under restraint.
Dr. Jung: That is not far from the truth.
Sure enough, the god has become man; the Christian power became substantiated in man, incarnated.
Man is the result of the great Christian world process; in so far he really represents the Christian god.
Yet we are under a peculiar restraint, we are not all-powerful.
Our life, though of the divine life, has not the full power of the bull.
Our human personality would be a god under the restraint of the laws of matter, of causality, of influences of even the most banal kind; we are restrained by our own human society, by our own man-made laws.
This bull, then, would be the god caught in man, caught in his own creation.
Now Dr. Harding continues: The divine principle is here shown not in its manifesting, but in its latent form. Is not this inevitable when it is a question of worship and a ritual?
Certainly the dreamer could not take the antique attitude directly into New York society.
They would send her out to the lunatic asylum, there are many there.
But surely God is not worshipped when he is manifesting, that is, he is not then the subject of a dogmatic religion, for he is being lived.
It is only when he is bound or latent that he is worshipped.
For example, when men worship Mars, they go to church, but when Mars awakes and throws off his bonds men no longer go to church and worship him.
They go to war and live him.
There is a poem about this which runs:
They build their temple walls to keep Thee in
And frame their iron creeds to shut Thee out.
But not for Thee the closing of the doors,
Oh Spirit unconfined,
Thy ways are free as is the wandering wind.
That is very good.
Let us try to understand what it means that God when manifesting is not worshipped.
I don’t quite agree with the idea that people go to church when Mars is not manifesting, and that they are only living him when they are at war, because when going to war they make special sacrifices to Mars, they worship him particularly at that time because they want his help in the war.
But that he is not worshipped when he is manifesting is nevertheless perfectly true; everybody is then cursing, for he manifests in a way which people do not expect and hate to admit.
We have the time of Christ as a historical example.
Millions of people believe that God then manifested himself, that he issued a new
statement to the world about the eternal truth and even sent his son to confirm it, which was most truly a manifestation of God if there ever was one.
But in reality people at that time so hated the idea that they killed the prophet and persecuted the witnesses.
So humanity was very reluctant to worship that manifestation of God, they even ridiculed it.
You have perhaps seen on the Palatine in Rome that painting of a crucified god with the head of an ass.
It was found in the rooms of the training school for the imperial cadets.
There was a young Christian among them apparently, and the other boys, to make fun of him, made a rough sketch on the wall of a cross, and the crucified man had an ass’s head; then in bad Greek they wrote at the bottom: Alexandros sebeie theno: Thus
Alexandros worships his god. The idea that Christ, the crucified one, should have an ass’s head comes from a confusion with Yahweh, the Jewish god.
It was a legend in Rome that the Jews worshipped an ass in the temple at Jerusalem, and those boys assumed this to be the same god.
For instance, a leaden tablet, an amulet, was found in Egypt, dating somewhere between 100 B.C. and 100 A.D., upon which is a formula against disease beginning: I conjure thee, (the name of the disease) in the name of Jesus, the god of the Hebrews.
That shows the confusion of Jesus with Yahweh, and the mock crucifix was of the same origin.
We see there how a new manifestation of God is accepted.
Any good Protestant will believe that in the reforms of men like Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin, a true spirit of God manifested again, but naturally the Catholics would not share such a conviction.
What does a Mohammedan think of God’s manifestation in other places? What do we
Christians think about the manifestation of God in India or China?
You remember the Spanish church thought that the crosses existing in Mexico before the conquest were all inventions of the devil, a sort of mock religion, so that the heathens could say, when the Spaniards brought over their own Christian cross, “Oh, we knew that long ago! “-the devil thereby winning out.
It is certain that the Mexicans offered bloody sacrifices on the cross, and it looked so exactly like the Spaniard’s own cross that it was most bewildering and unwelcome to them.
But we must admit that any sort of religious creed is a manifestation of the divine if there is any; we have absolutely no guarantee that Christ is a better son of God than Buddha, for instance.
From the standpoint of success, Buddha was more successful than Christ, there were more Buddhists than Christians.
And the idea or superstition of any other great man of God was just as good or as bad. So we can say that when God is manifesting it is unpleasant, we don’t like it because it overthrows old beliefs.
You know the story by Dostoevsky of the Inquisitor when Christ appeared again.
The Inquisitor knew it was Christ, but he said: “Why do you appear again? It is very awkward now, we have built up such a fine church, everything is in order, and you upset the whole thing by coming back; therefore we have to prevent it.”
So any new manifestation of the divine will, any new revelation is terribly awkward; we certainly do not worship it, quite the contrary.
Now Dr. Harding says: Does not the symbolism of the “net” bear out this interpretation?
For the “net” has two paradoxical connotations in mythology.
It was taken last time as an arbitrary restraint put upon the bull, perhaps even perversely.
This would be perhaps the conventional restrictions due to the dreamer’s twentieth-century attitude.
This fits in with one significance of the net, which was the peplum, the veil of the universe, the many-coloured veil of nature.
The Temple of Thoth at Khemennu was called the “House of the Net.”
And the net there “symbolized a certain condition of the inner nature which shut the man into the limitations of the conventional life of the world and shut him off from the memory of his true self.”
He is adjured, “Let the Great Man swallow the net of the Lesser Man. ”
The net was also the veil of Isis “which is the spiritual nature of man. To raise it means to transcend the limits of mortality and become consciously immortal.”
The net, or the veil of Isis, is Maya in the Hindu terminology, or it is the web of Shakti, it is the illusion of the world in which we are caught.
It is space and time, for instance, for in space and time we are shut off from the Absolute Being because existence within time and space is relative, it is here and not there, it is not the universal existence.
So the net or the veil is surely the old idea of the conditioned existence over against the
universal divine existence.
And the net over the bull would mean that the bull was caught in space and time, the world of illusion, the human world.
That fits in with what we said, that it is the divine creator, the god within his own creation.
This is a psychological fact which one sees in an artist or a scholar: He writes a book, or produces a work of art, or he has a beautiful voice, or he is an actor, and he is caught in this fact and forever remains in it.
From that day such a man begins to live in his biography; he can hardly move, or eat, or go upstairs without seeing it in print.
He has a sort of dignity, because he can do nothing without hearing the words of the biographer, and at the same time he sees his wonderful face, and his beautiful eyes and locks.
That is getting caught in one’s own persona, in one’s own time and space.
But the one who does not identify is free from illusion in this respect; naturally he can be caught in anything else, but he is not caught in his own creation.
Of course, everybody must acknowledge themselves partly caught, nobody escapes it.
For it is a tragic fact that in whatever one has done, one is caught forever and in for trouble.
On the other hand, another type of man will sow the seed and cultivate new fields and then he is away before the crops are ripe, and others reap what would have been the result of his own merit, his own hard work.
That is the intuitive type, who always feels threatened by being caught in anything he has created: he scents possibilities, but he always fears a trap; a lid is open on top and it may come down on him.
So he prefers not to finish the job, he jumps out of the box into the open and creates a
new box, only to repeat the same trick in order to escape again. This also is a great disadvantage.
But we cannot live without accepting the tragedy of life, and one of the problems of life is that we cannot live and flourish without being trapped; no matter what we do we are trapped, and the ultimate result is that one is buried in a hole in the ground.
Now it is certain that the bull means that divine creative principle that is caught in its own creation, the god restrained by man in spite of his superhuman power; he is caught by human cunning.
It is an old primitive conviction that in spite of the enormous power of the gods, they can be enticed, charmed or tricked into a box.
That sounds rather blasphemous but all pious people do just that.
They say all sorts of pleasant things to God in the evening: “Look here, I have done your work during the day, so now do something for me. I am very grateful that I have my soup but a bit of meat would be still better, surely you will not deny that if I promise to be a good boy.”
That is the ordinary piety, a sort of soft compulsion exercised over God; their prayer is a want, a demand, an expectation, a hope, and it would not be a good God if he did not listen.
Naturally, a prayer that God should help us in war is the worst superstition; but nobody is ashamed of it apparently, it is good form to go to a great service held in favor of our own perfectly good war.
The father confessor of Madame de Guyon, the Abbe Fenelon, taught her something
She asked him how to pray, and he said: Quand vous priez, pensez a rien.
For whatever one thinks is an expectation; it is trying to force God; one is whining about something and trying to squeeze something out of him; therefore, think of nothing.
That is the teaching of a very enlightened and very pious man, who was conscious of our superstitions.
Now Dr. Harding continues: But the net also represents the invisible web of fate that catches those destined for redemption and draws them, often against their will, into the company of the believers. We have a hint of this in Christ’s use of the symbolism of the fishing net which is to catch the believers. The Psalmist also sings “My soul is fallen like a bird into the net of the fowler.”
Yes, the net is one of the well-known symbols in the Catholic church.
The Pope’s fisher-ring is an antique gem representing the miraculous draft of fishes, and it symbolizes the role of the chief fisher.
He is St. Peter’s substitute and as such he is the king of fishermen, drawing human beings into the church.
This is of course a very specific application of the symbolism; in itself it is of a more general nature.
It has, as Dr. Harding points out, the meaning of the inescapable, inevitable fate; the net is to the fish or the game what fate is to man.
Man eventually traps himself in the web of fate, an inextricable web of circumstances from which there is no escape.
So a fateful situation is symbolized as a net that is cast over a person, as a wild animal is caught.
This point of view amplifies the meaning of the net, and if applied to the symbol of the bull it means the creator caught in his own web.
It is a matter of temperament whether one gives an optimistic or pessimistic interpretation to this fact of the creator being caught in his own creation.
If optimistically inclined, one can say it is all for the good, it is not just drawing the fishes into the church, or into the kitchen where they can be eaten, which would seem very unfortunate for them; it may be for their good to be eaten, perhaps we redeem them from a lower to a higher condition by giving them rebirth in us.
Well, it seems certain that the net has the connotation of inevitable fate, there is no escape from it.
This is also like the spider’s network, which seems a bit far away but as a matter of fact it is the same problem; and the symbol of the spider’s web often occurs in connection with a particular psychological situation which is also expressed by the hole into which you fall.
You say: “Oh damn,” and then it turns out to be what?
Mrs. Baumann: The place where you belong.
Dr. Jung: Yes, your individual place, your own individuality.
It is one of the greatest disappointments in life.
You say: “Myself! Oh, this is impossible!” But you are caught, there is no escape.
You feel a sort of unconscious power at work, for which the spider is an apt illustration because of its sympathetic nervous system.
Also its shape, round, with legs in all directions, is a good form to symbolize the sympathetic nervous system or the solar plexus; it would be the soul or the unconscious weaving the net in which you catch yourself like a fly.
For a fly can buzz about everywhere, until suddenly it is caught and glued into the spider’s web, as you are caught in the web which has been created by an unconscious power in yourself.
One has a certain intuition about these things, one has the feeling that there is such a thing as fate when one looks attentively and carefully in to one’s own life.
Schopenhauer wrote a very interesting essay about the apparent intentionality or purposefulness in the fate of the individual.
That there should be such a thing is absolutely against his own theory that the will, or the unconscious urge which forces man into existence, has no purpose whatever, and therefore just any kind of world was created, not the best of all possible worlds but a mere chance world, absolutely incidental and so as bad as possible; if it had been just a little worse, he said, it could not have existed, it is the minimum condition for existence-and sometimes it looks exactly like it.
That is Schopenhauer’s pessimism.
But in that particular essay he looked at things in a different way, and in one of his later works, Uber den Willen in der Natur, he again stressed the possibility of the purposefulness of the will, quite in contradiction to his own original philosophy.
Those are such intuitions, and when something unforeseen or very impressive happens, you usually have the feeling that it has been thought out before, that an unknown power has been at work; and you feel justified in cursing the unknown power that has worked out such a hellish scheme.
For you cannot help thinking that something behind the scenes manipulated the threads in such a way that it had to come about.
And sure enough right down inside, the unconscious arranged the whole thing with infinite cunning.
So individuation is negatively expressed by the spider’s web.
It is interesting also that the spider’s web is often used as the first form of a mandala, which expresses the same idea of a magic circle, but the opposite positive idea; it is not a destructive trap but a protective circle.
As long as the idea of individuation is not conscious in patients, they may produce such spider-web drawings, lines radiating from a center through a series of circles of increasing size.
That is the beginning of a real mandala, and it only depends upon seeing it in a more positive way to transform it into a sheltering circle.
From that standpoint, then, the net cast over the bull has the meaning of inevitable fate, a purposeful arrangement in which the bull must eventually be caught, he cannot avoid it, he will wind up in that net.
Have you any parallel to substantiate this idea?
There is one outstanding example in antique mythology.
Dr. Harding: We hear a lot about the spinning of fate in the Nordic countries.
Mrs. Crowley: Attis?
Mrs. Zinno: The labyrinth?
Dr. Jung: Oh yes, but there is one important myth from which those are probably derived, the Thracian Dionysus, the bull Zagreus.
When Dionysus appeared on earth he was persecuted by the Titans and in order to escape their power, the power of fate that is, he transformed into all sorts of beings.
Finally he changed into a bull, and in that form they caught him and dismembered him and ate him.
Titanic means chthonic-the powers of the earth seized the god and killed and ate him.
So he himself disappeared into those Titanic beings when he assumed the form of the bull; thus the power of the godhead is found in every being of Titanic nature.
Now it is by no means just chance that it was a bull; you see for a long time the bull remained a wild animal, extremely difficult to tame; it is not yet tamed fully.
This must have been a very impressive fact to humanity because they perpetuated the feat, like the invention of fire, in many cults.
The role of Mithra is really a perpetuation of that achievement.
The god Mithra was understood to be a sort of toreador; therefore the bull was depicted on Mithraic monuments with a belt round its chest such as the bulls in the arena then wore, unlike the present Spanish bullfight, which is a later expression of the same idea.
The bullfight was a sort of religious ritual originally, and it still has an almost religious meaning in Spain.
It was just an ordinary fight in the arena, but even then it also had a religious connotation, because Mithra, the god of the soldiers, was perpetuating that first great feat when the first man tamed the first bull.
That was almost equal to the invention of fire. For to be able to tame such a dangerous wild animal as the bull you must first be able to tame yourself, tame the panic.
The wild bull is one of the most dangerous animals that exists.
The wild buffalo in Africa, for instance, is far more dangerous than the elephant or the lion, and he is extraordinarily cunning; also, apart from the mamba (a sort of cobra), he is perhaps the only animal that attacks on sight without provocation.
So the man who could tame the bull had tamed himself, he had overcome his fears; it was a tremendous moral achievement.
And what they worship in Spain is not exactly the fact that he kills the bull, it is the moral education of the toreador.
You cannot help admiring the sangfroid of the toreador, his perfect maintien when he is killing the bull, which is the real culmination of any fight.
It is still the old hero cult of the man who is capable of taming his own bull-like passions; the man who can overcome himself is almost a god, he is at least the representative of the god.
Thus catching the bull in the net, or overcoming the bull, is an age-old symbol for the self-education of man, his liberation from the fires of manipura-showing humanity the way to a higher level of consciousness, to anahata where one is supposed to be in control of the bull.
Now the question is, to what extent is the bull overcome?
In what condition is he in anahata?
Well, if the bull has been practically murdered one can be in anahata, because then there is no fire.
But this is mere repression because the bull is divine and cannot be killed, it can only be repressed.
That is possible; you can avoid places where bulls are to be found, and if you don’t see them, you will not be bothered.
But you must be dodging all the time in order to avoid every possibility of arousing
the bull; and since life provides endless opportunities for the emotions, there is no end of dodging, which amounts to a panic or a chronic funking of life.
So it is not an ideal solution. In our vision we see that our patient has managed to keep away from this problem for a while, but as soon as she gets back to it, manipura begins to fire up like anything, and the question of mastering the bull arises once more.
Now the bull should not be killed, it is not a bull sacrifice, because we have learned what that means. It means that you are deprived of life, drained of the very juice of life; if you kill the emotional powers in yourself, you get absolutely petrified, dried up, dead.
Therefore you must try to keep that bull alive under certain conditions symbolized by the net and the tied feet.
The bull must live.
Otherwise your being in anahata is akin to being in the morgue; yes, you are there but you are on a bier, a corpse, you are deprived of the most essential condition for life.
You see, what you have to repress or to kill in order to reach the next condition is here a symbol of the deity that gives life; and what kills your life is now the devil.
You are therefore apparently in a state similar to that of an early Christian, say, who had
regressed from Christianity to Mithraism.
So it seems to be, but in making that regression to Mithraism the bull is in an entirely different condition, the bull is free, he is not under a net at all, and you have to go through the original bullfight in order to deal with him.
You must then be like Mithra, and the end is that you kill the bull, and practically the same or a very similar development will take place that took place in Christianity; life will then be extinguished.
When you rise to a conscious sphere in which you are unaware of your instincts or emotions, you are really deprived of life.
And that is the condition which ought to be changed, for when living in such an artificial conscious world, you are not up to the facts of the world.
In human society, for instance, you are the victim of all sorts of fears and emotions which you do not understand; you are, one could say, blissfully unconscious of what is attacking you.
But when you analyze it you soon find out that those are the same old bulls which you thought were killed long ago, all sorts of human emotions which you had forgotten that you ever had.
You also learn that you feel much better when you have those emotions; when they live within you, they are really the life-giving element, and therefore, as life-giver, to be worshipped as a divine being.
Mind you, the bull was the life-giver originally.
According to the cosmogonic myth of the Sufis, a Mohammedan sect, God created the world in the form of an immense bull; he then killed the bull, transformed him into
stone, and threw him into the sea; and the bull sank down till only his left horn was still sticking out of the waters, and that left horn is the earth.
It is the same idea, a violent creative impulse, a passion through which creation comes about.
Without that nothing happens. If you kill it there will be no creative impulse.
Because you cannot stand the conditions, everything becomes petrified.
But if you can keep those powers alive, you will continue to live, you will again be creative.
We have often been in circumstances in life where we really needed some form of creativeness.
We get into absolutely intolerable conditions where something ought to be done about it and we don’t know what to do; we have all sorts of clever schemes and nothing works, because the only thing that can help is a new creation, a new manifestation of that passionate will, that divine will to create a new world.
All this, however, does not entirely explain the fettered bull.
We have to look at this symbol from still another side.
As we said, this is the creative impulse or the will of the creator, incarnate god in man.
Therefore it is the god in man which is to be the object of worship; it is no longer the transcendent, extramundane god, the god before creation, but the god after creation, having really descended upon earth.
Thus far this idea would be a fulfillment of the Christian conception of the god incarnate in man.
In Christ, according to the Christian dogma, God descended upon the earth, he left his extramundane position and appeared in the flesh, thereby creating an immediate contact between himself and man.
And ever since then, man, through the process of redemption, is supposed to be filled with the divine breath, to really contain the eternal spirit, or the god, the divine breath.
And being filled with the divine pneuma, he has naturally an absolutely different position in the universe; he is no longer a mere inhabitant of the earth, like an animal that inhabits the sea or the woods, he is now filled with the divine breath and is therefore a god in his own right; he himself can create.
Now we must admit that in the history of the world, as far as we know it, mankind has never produced such an extraordinary civilization as in the last two thousand years; we are in a way immensely far away from the primitive age.
In the two or three thousand years before Christ, the world was close to the primitive age, it was not much farther along than the old prehistoric civilization.
But in the last thousand years, man has swept over the earth and transformed it in many respects; he has done the most amazing things.
So there is a peculiar coincidence between the religion which teaches implicitly that we are divine creators, and an extraordinary creative period in the history of civilization.
We are now at the end of that particular period, we are no longer naive creators, we are beginning to be psychological, to look at ourselves.
At no other time before us has man been looked at as we look at him, no one ever tried to dig up the psychological being of man, there was no such thing as psychology.
It is now happening to us that we reflect, we ask ourselves what that creative thing in us really is.
What is the psyche after all? Why are we what we are? And why have we to do such
and such things?
Obviously a peculiar change is beginning in the world.
Of course we don’t know what it will lead to, but it is decidedly a very new development which coincides with the obvious decline of those religions which were characteristic of the last two thousand years.
We know that is true of Christianity, Confucianism, and Buddhism, and it is also true of Islam; in Turkey they are less drastic than in Russia; they are not really persecuting the Moslems, but the mosques are nevertheless practically obliterated.
Formerly one saw Moslems prostrated in the streets by thousands at the time of the afternoon prayer, but now even in the mosques, at St. Sophia in Constantinople, for instance, I saw only about a dozen old men.
All the young people have European convictions and wear European clothes, and old Islam has gone by the board.
That decline of the old beliefs marks the change; something is coming instead and it is prepared by the peculiar turning of the tide; instead of going out, it is coming in.
The out-going movement is for the time being completely soulless, it is just herd instinct, nothing else.
So everyone today who is more or less civilized, or who feels a certain amount of responsibility, is quite naturally turning in, away from the old civilization of the herd. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 1116-1131