In Memories, Jung recalled:
“Later, Philemon became relativized by yet another figure, whom I called Ka.
In ancient Egypt the ‘King’s Ka’ was his earthly form, the embodied soul.
In my fantasy the ka-soul came from below, out of the earth as out of a deep shaft.
I did a painting of him, showing him in his earth-bound form, as a herm with base of stone and upper part of bronze.
High up in the painting appears a kingfisher’s wing, and between it and the head of Ka floats a round, glowing nebula of stars. Ka’s expression has something demonic about it- one might also say Mephistophelian.
In one hand he holds something like a colored pagoda, or a reliquary, and in the other a stylus with which he is working on the reliquary.
He is saying, ‘ I am he who buries the Gods in gold and gems.’
Philemon has a lame foot, but was a winged spirit, whereas Ka represented a kind of earth demon or metal demon.
Philemon was the spiritual aspect, ‘the meaning,’ Ka, on the other hand was a spirit of nature like the Anthroparion of Greek alchemy- with which at that time I was still unfamiliar.
Ka was he who made everything real, but who also obscured the kingfisher spirit, the meaning, or replaced it by beauty, the ‘eternal reflection.’
In time I was able to integrate both figures through the study of alchemy” (pp. 209-10 ).
Wallis Budge notes:
“The ka was an abstract individuality or personality which possessed the form and attributes of the man to whom it belonged, and, though its normal dwelling place was in the tomb with the body.
it could wander at will; it was independent of the man and could go and dwell in any statue of him” (Egyptian Book of the Dead, p. lxv).
In 1928, Jung commented:
“At a rather higher stage of development, where the idea of the soul already exists, not all the images continue to be projected … but one or the other complex has come near enough to consciousness to be felt as no longer strange, but as somehow belonging.
Nevertheless, the feeling that it belongs is not at first sufficiently strong for the complex to be sensed as a subjective content of consciousness.
It remains in a sort of no-man’s-land between consciousness and the unconscious, in the half-shadow, in part belonging or akin to the
conscious subject, in part an autonomous being, and meeting consciousness as such.
At all events it is not necessarily obedient to the subject’s intentions, it may even be of a higher order, more often than not a source of inspiration or warning, or of supernatural information.
Psychologically such a content could be explained as a partly autonomous complex that is not yet fully integrated.
The primitive souls, the Egyptian Ba and Ka, are complexes of this kind” (The Relations Between the I and the Unconscious, CW 7, § 295).
In 1955- 56, Jung described the Anthroparion in alchemy as “a type of goblin, that as [devoted spirit], spiritus familiaris, stands by the adept in his work and helps the physician to heal” (Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW 14, § 304).
The Anthroparion was seen to represent the alchemical metals (“On the Psychology of the Child Archetype,” CW 9, pt. l , § 268) and appeared in the visions of Zosimos (CW 13), §§ 60- 62). The painting of Ka that Jung refers to has not come to light.
On October 15, 1920, he discussed a painting with Constance Long, who was in analysis with him.
The painting appears to be cat. 54 in The Art of C.G. Jung (p.126). Her notes shed light on Jung’s understanding of the relation of
Philemon and Ka:
“The 2 figures on either side are personifications of dominants ‘fathers .’
The one is the creative father, Ka, the other, Philemon that one who gives form and law (the formative instinct) Ka would equal Dionysus
& P = Apollo. Phi lemon gives formulation to the things within elements of the collective unc. .. .
Philemon gives the idea (maybe of a god) but it remains floating, distant & indistinct because all the things he invents are winged.
But Ka gives substance & is called the one who buries the gods in gold & marble.
He has a tendency to misprision them in matter, & so they are in danger of losing their spiritual meaning, & becoming buried in stone.
So the temple may be the grave of God, as the church has become the grave of Xt.
The more the church develops, the more Xt dies.
Ka must not be allowed to produce too much- you must not depend on substantiation; but if too little substance is produced the creature floats.
The transcendent function is the whole.
Not this picture, nor my rationalization of it, but the new and vivifying creative spirit that is the result of the intercourse between the consc. intelligence and the creative side.
Ka is sensation, P is intuition, he is too supra-human (he is Zarathustra, extravagantly superior in what he says & cold.
[CGJ has not printed the questions he addressed to P nor his answers.] .. .
Ka & Philemon are bigger than the man, they are supra-human (Disintegrated into them one is in the Col. Unc.) …
Philemon is the inverse of Xt.
Ka is the brother of the devil, is the antichrist- the Red Pope. Lenin.”
The “Red Pope” may refer to the Prefect of the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide.) (Diary, CLM, pp. 32-36). ~Carl Jung, The Black Books, Vol. VII, Page 163-163, fn 36