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999 khidr

Black Books

Khidr, “the verdant one,” is an important figure in Islamic mysticism.

In 1940, Jung analyzed Sura 18 of the Koran. Moses encounters Khidr, whom he looks to for instruction.

Jung commented:

“Khidr may well represent the self. His qualities signalize him as such: he is said to have been born in a cave, so in darkness. He is the ‘Long-lived One,’ who continually renews himself, like Elijah. Like Osiris, he is dismembered at the end of time, by the Antichrist, but is able to restore himself to life. He is analogous to the Second Adam … he is a counsellor, a Paraclete …. Khidr represents not only the higher wisdom but also a corresponding way of acting, which is beyond human reason” (“Concerning Rebirth,” CW 9, l, § 247).

Jung narrated that while traveling in Kenya, his Somali guide, a Sufi, informed Jung that he might meet Khidr, as Jung was a “man of the book” (the Koran):

“He told me that I might meet Khidr in the street in the shape of a man, or he might appear to me during the night as a pure white light, or- he smilingly picked a blade of grass- the Verdant One might even look like that.

He said he himself had once been comforted by Khidr, when he could not find a job after the war and was suffering want …. He dreamt he saw a bright white light near the door and knew it was Khidr” (“Concerning Rebirth,” CW 9, pt. 1, § 250). One wonders if Jung told his guide that he himself had met Khidr. ~The Black Books, Vol. VI, Page 298, fn. 344