31 January 1934 Visions Seminar LECTURE II
Here is a question by Mrs. Baumann: “Several people in the seminar discussion group would like to ask if the red bird on the back of the animus is the same as the birds which appeared earlier in the visions, and also whether it was favorable for the animus to kill it?”
The bird which was tearing at the animus was part of a generally unfavorable situation. The animus was also in an unfavorable form-it is usually an unpleasant phenomenon-and therefore it is quite comprehensible that there should be another figure that is compensatory.
It often happens in dreams that in a generally unfavorable situation a figure which in itself would be positive is in that case also unfavorable, and then that aspect is compensated by a contrary aspect which ought to do away with the entirely negative form.
So there is a play of a series of figures which work against each other, but no one generally is sufficient to improve the situation because it is an unsettled conflict.
It is as if it were a disease which the doctor is unable to cure; he gives a drug which, despite the favorable effect, has at the same time a certain unfavorable effect; like driving out the devil by the aid of Beelzebub-instead of one devil, several small devils. Therefore something again must be applied to combat the negative action of the drug, and again there are both the positive and negative effects, and so it goes on.
The bird-an air being, a thought being-is something like the animus, also a winged being; the unfavorable animus is worried by another form of animus and that form is injured too, something else worries him.
That is generally the character of an unfinished problem, an unsettled condition.
Mrs. Baumann: I wondered if the red bird in the first part of the vision represented her wounded feelings in a way. The animus is pushed into the unconscious and it might be that in killing the bird, it comes up as a fire, a kind of emotion.
Dr. Jung: The bird means her wounded values, and the unfavorable animus is of course valued as wrong, so the bird’s attack upon the animus is right.
Yet her values are also in an animus form-in the form of a bird-and that is not as it should be; it should be her own judgment and not delegated to the animus.
Therefore when the animus kills the bird, it is both right and wrong; it is right inasmuch as that form should be killed, it should not be projected; and it is wrong if her individual values are destroyed.
One often dreams that a certain figure, representing the animus or the shadow, dies, and one is apt to think it is all wrong; but it is right that the figure dies inasmuch as it is a projection, it should be finished as a projection; but it should not be finished as a function.
One must always remember that it is only an appearance when it is killed or dies, it will come back again in another form; the form changes, but nothing is lost.
The dream of a child who is sick and dies, for instance, is very frequent in analysis, and it only means that that particular attempt has failed; but an attempt which fails does not mean that the whole enterprise is necessarily finished, it will come again in another form.
Then here is a question by Dr. Neumann about the concept of realization.
He asks whether all the functions must be used in order to realize. It would be most ideal if they were.
Usually one realizes with the superior, the most differentiated function.
A thinker realizes first through his thinking, and may forget or omit to do so with other functions.
But nature is not satisfied with that.
Therefore when a thing is realized with the most differentiated function only, it is in a way as if it were not realized; it will come back in another form, one will be faced again and again with the same situation, which proves that it has not been realized sufficiently, another function is needed with the intellect.
Then inasmuch as realization is a sort of verification, sensation must be associated with the thinking; the thing must not be realized through the reasoning process only, the realization must be based upon facts, upon tangible reality.
The realization of an intuitive is based upon possibilities.
If both the thinking and intuitive functions are developed, the realization will be first a logical conclusion: If A is equal to B and B is equal to C, A must be equal to C-some such conclusion would be the logical part.
Then intuition also gives a notion of the possibilities.
So in reality or in psychology such a conclusion works off into facts finally, because even the intuitive is in a way out for facts, possibilities which will come off in the long run.
He doesn’t need to have the fact itself, he is quite satisfied with the probability; of course he considers it a certainty, he assumes that the thing will surely take place.
Therefore the intuitive can live upon mere chances, and he runs away as soon as the possibility threatens to become a fact, he leaves his field as soon as he knows that the seed will become ripe and hurries off to cultivate a new field.
The sensation type sees the whole procedure, but is not satisfied with the fact that the seed will later produce wheat, he is only satisfied when the wheat is in the barn, the whole process must be finished, and he never dreams of cultivating another
field as long as this one is growing.
So naturally he is always behind realities, always too late, because the world moves more quickly than his realization; he is forever confronted by facts and has to bring more facts into existence, because he is so fascinated by the already existing ones.
Then certain people need three functions, intellect, sensation, and intuition.
They must not only see that the thing comes off in reality, they must also see to what it is possibly leading in the future, or what its possible effect on surrounding conditions will be.
It is as if they had to extend the process of elucidation very much further in order to realize the importance of a fact.
For example, a doctor thinks that a certain disease must be the bubonic plague, let us say.
Now he is not satisfied that his diagnosis is according to all the rules of bubonic plague, he verifies it by facts, he makes a bacterial examination of the case, and only when he actually sees the bacteria, does he say it is indubitably the bubonic plague.
Then he is not satisfied with that fact either, he asks himself what it means.
It means terrible danger of contagion, anybody in the surroundings might already be suffering from the disease.
“Might”-they do not yet as far as he knows, but there is a possibility that this is the first case of an enormous epidemic.
So he foresees an epidemic.
And nobody could say he had realized the fact of plague as long as he did not realize the danger of an epidemic, which has not yet appeared and might never appear, but there is that possibility.
Now all that can be a perfectly cold-blooded inhuman statement: “A very interesting
case, and unique you know; my father is suffering from plague, I have verified it and find it according to the rules; and another remarkable fact is that you may catch it because you shook hands with him yesterday,
so your wife and your children may also catch it; that will be exceedingly interesting, one will see people dying by hundreds.”
Of course he would be considered a perfect devil.
You see he speaks without any feeling, and he will be accused of not realizing what the damned thing means.
Sure enough, he doesn’t, he needs feeling for a complete realization, he must include the human values.
People usually have a very restricted realization.
They even consider it as a sort of prerogative not to realize.
Two days ago I heard a woman say: “I never think about the effect of what I do or say.”
I pointed out that it was her damned duty to consider it, and that she would otherwise knock her head against sharp corners. “But I would suffocate if I had to think about it.”
That was said quite naively by a person who is by no means unintelligent or foolish, she is simply caught in a place where there is no realization.
Of course such a person would not dream of behaving like that with acquaintances; it is always with those who are closest to us, the husband or the wife, that we fail to realize.
With other people, or with an objective situation, we realize far more than when it comes close to the skin.
That is why we usually know everybody else much better than the people who are just in front of our noses.
Dr. Neumann also asks if realization can be absolute, or if it is only relative.
It is in the nature of things that realization can never be absolute, nothing can be absolute; even a so-called total realization, where a thinking type includes feeling, or the sensation type includes intuition, even then it is only a relative realization.
To have complete realization demands a well-nigh universal consciousness, which we have not.
For every existing fact implicates the universality of facts, all facts are included in the one fact because that fact is in the continuity.
There is no part of a river that is just this part and in no connection with the whole river; this part is in connection with the whole and to realize this part one must realize the whole: not only the river but the banks, not only the banks but the whole countryside, the whole continent, the whole earth, and the whole universe.
And to realize that one must have a universal consciousness.
Therefore our realizations are necessarily relative.
Now we come to the next vision. The patient says: “I entered a great cavern. Water dripped from the rocks. It was dark.”
What does this symbolism mean?
Mrs. Crowley: She is going down again into the unconscious.
Remark: The last thing we saw was a black wall of rock.
Yes, the psychology of the chakras shows us that the unconscious is not one big bag, or a black hole full of water or something there
are stories or layers and they have different qualities.
A part of the unconscious is expressed by the symbolism of muladhara, another part by
svadhisthana, and another by manipura, and if there should be people who were in the blessed or most unhappy condition of vishuddha, then even anahata would be part of the unconscious.
That is expressed in the cosmogonic myth of the Pueblo Indians by the different stages through which they made their way up to consciousness; a series of caves, one on top of the other, constituted the unconscious, you remember, and from one to another they rose to the light.
In the last vision, we encountered fire, which always indicates a manifestation from the fiery emotional center, manipura; and here we are decidedly one story deeper, in that dark region which is called svadhisthana.
She says: “Suddenly I beheld a woman in a robe of blue walking ahead of me.” Who is that woman?
What would be your theoretical guess?
Mrs. Crowley: A manifestation of Mary.
Dr. Jung: She has a blue celestial robe, a robe like the blue heavens, that is true, but you will presently see that this figure is far from being dear old Mary.
Dr. Reichstein: It is the figure she has met before, the earth mother.
Dr. Jung: There have been several such figures.
The blue robe suggests a sort of superhuman or demonic figure, and that naturally makes you think of the great earth mother who also wore a blue robe; then there was another earth mother in red, the one who initiated her.
Those are parallel figures but we have no indication yet whether this woman has the specific maternal quality of the others.
But even if she had that maternal quality, who could she be?
Dr. Reichstein: Could she be compared to that terrible figure, the Makara?
Dr. Jung: The Makara in svadhisthana is the devouring danger that is lurking in the darkness, like the monster of Loch Ness; it is a sort of whale-dragon, and that could of course be the negative aspect of the mother, like the Empusa I mentioned last time who consisted of only a womb, or like the Lilith who kills children. In mythology generally, these dragon monsters are negative aspects of the life-giving mother.
But as she appears here in human form we cannot assume that she is in her underworld form, the destructive makara.
In the Buddhist pantheon all the gods have three forms, the celestial beneficial form, the wrathful form, and the dangerous really destructive form.
Even the goddess of bounty and divine kindliness Kuan Yin has such a negative aspect; she is represented as a dreadful demon in hell.
There is a representation in the British Museum, where a thin thread leads from that hellish figure up to a minute little Kuan Yin sitting up in heaven, the beneficial form.
She gives food to all the gods, and when she goes down to the lower world to feed the evil spirits, she is so kind that she takes on the shape of an evil spirit too in order not to frighten them, it would be inconsiderate to appear in her divine form in hell-a very good example of tact.
So this woman walking ahead of our patient in a blue robe, is now the positive form, the maternal superior figure, not the makara. “I caught hold of her robe.” What does that suggest?
Mr.: Allemann: She is seeking the protective mother.
Dr: Jung: Yes, it shows her own infantile role.
She is like a child catching at the mother, or like that famous picture of the Madonna gathering human beings like little children within the shelter of the celestial robe, the protective mantle.
I started to speak to her. She put her finger on her lips and said: “Follow me. You enter upon a fearful place.”
Here we see the actual role of this mother.
Mrs. Sigg: She is in a kind of animus role.
Dr: Jung: Yes, she appears instead of the psychopompos and goes ahead of her, anticipating her, exactly as an animus would do under other conditions.
This must mean something.
The animus fell asleep, and instead of him this mother is now leading her to a fearful place.
Miss Hannah: Is that not the cavern of the ghosts because the vision is called “The Ghosts”? [plate 37]
Dr: Jung: It will probably be some haunted place, an underworld full of presumably dangerous ghosts.
What does that mean psychologically? Where is the evil ghost world?
Mr.: Allemann: It is still deeper down in the unconscious, muladhara.
Dr: Jung: The deepest level of all. And what is the danger there?
Mrs. Crowley: Being caught and swallowed up by the unconscious.
Dr: Jung: Yes, the character of muladhara is complete unconsciousness, complete mystical identity with the object, no differentiation whatever.
One sees now the action of the whale-dragon in svadhisthana; the danger of being swallowed completely is still very tangible there because the makara is close to muladhara.
One rises from below, from complete unconsciousness, to the next center, svadhisthana, and at the entrance of that second chakra, one must pass the open mouth of the makara; that is, when one rises from one sphere to another, one must pass the danger zone where one might regress, where it is most probable even that the monster will catch one.
So this maternal figure shows her relatedness to the lower region, for she presumably leads the patient down to the region where a great danger is waiting; she may have a destructive influence on her.
She has still the positive form, yet she may suddenly change into a terrible underworld monster, the makara.
Now why is muladhara called the place of ghosts? Why should it have that quality?
Mrs. Baumann: Would it not have something to do here with the veil of personal unconsciousness again? The fears she has repressed would be even worse when she comes down further.
Dr. Jung: Well, we must be rather more primitive here. What are ghosts?
Mrs. Crowley: The ancestors really. Would it not be a more complete participation mystique?
Dr: Jung: Yes, ghosts are remnants of former lives, what one calls ancestral
spirits, which means the units which constitute the psyche.
As you know, the psyche may be split up into its original inherited components.
These are called Mendelian units; one part of the psyche comes from the grandfather, another from the great-grandmother, and so on, the individual is a sort of conglomeration of ancestral lives.
This leads to the idea of reincarnation, the migration of souls, etc.; all those apparently vivid recollections of former lives occur when one is in the condition in which an ancestral life is constellated.
This is such a natural event that a very imaginative Frenchman, Leon Daudet, though he knew very little about psychology, could not help observing it; he speaks of it in his book L’Heredo. ”
He is a very fantastic creature, yet that book contains a considerable kernel of truth.
His theory is that at certain moments of the individual human life, something which he calls auto-fecondation anterieure takes place, meaning the fertilizing of oneself, and that generates an ancestral life.
In other words, it is as if an ancestral spirit were reawakened, and from that moment on the individual does not live his own life exactly but the life of his great-great aunt, let us say; he becomes peculiarly depersonalized.
That accounts for the strange changes of character one sometimes sees in people.
For instance, a very nice young man, quite reasonable and amiable and generally admirable, from a certain time in his life displays very inferior traits, and people say: “Oh well, that is in the family, he is exactly like his grandfather who was such an awful beast.”
There it comes to the fore.
You see, that man was meant to be a quite different being, but by an act of auto-fecondation anterieure he regenerated his grandfather, and now he lives his
grandfather-he becomes more or less neurotic and represses his true individuality which showed itself when he was very young; he lives really the ancestral life.
Mrs. Crowley: Would you say that about St. Francis of Assisi?
Dr: Jung: No, that was a positive change.
You see, it is possible that one sets out to live the ancestral life right in the beginning, as most people
do who develop in a reasonable and positive way-they grow out of several ancestral lives into all-round individuals.
Look at Mussolini, for example.
There was a picture of him as a boy in our illustrated paper, and he looked like any Italian workman, absolutely commonplace and foolish-he was one sort of ancestral fool they had in the family.
A genius never grows out of a perfectly balanced family, there must have been fools; a fool is always the first sign of the genius and the last, as foolishness and wisdom are sisters.
And then he developed beyond the ancestral level, becoming more than his ancestors; he has become in a way completely individuated, an all-round personality, transcending himself, transcending his ancestral lives.
Then there are people who bloom early, like gifted children, and one expects them to have marvellous personalities later on, but no, they wither, an ancestral life breaks through, and they become sort of withered mummies.
That is a regressive development which is very frequent.
All neuroses have to do with such things: a successful development is blighted and an ancestral life steps into the place of the individual life.
Or one can put it also that the individual development is repressed by the ancestral life.
Later on in life, or even in the beginning, one sees that such a person is living a sort of
collective life, not being himself really; he is most probably an ancestral spirit.
Primitives have very similar ideas.
They even try to incarnate the souls of favorable ancestors in the children; they give the name of a powerful uncle or great-grandfather to a little boy, in order to call down into him the soul of that ancestor, to reincarnate that ancestor.
Or they have the conviction that from the beginning children are nothing but reincarnations of their ancestors, and that as soon as a man dies he seeks a new body in the same family.
Mr. Allemann: Why do you look at the ancestral life as negative and the individual life as always positive? May it not be the contrary?
Dr. Jung: Because no matter what the ancestral life is, it has a negative value in being a ghost life instead of the new individual attempt.
You can say that is simply a point in our Weltanschauung, and that the world would be much better if the ancestors were living, but since life is always producing new attempts, and since we cannot prove that the world was in any way more hospitable or nicer when people were more primitive, we hold that the individual attempt is still better than the primitive.
And it is true that where the ancestral life prevails, the individual is peculiarly dead; you have the feeling that you are not talking to a living being, it is more as if you were talking to a tribe, which is very awkward; that is, provided you know what an individual contact is.
Of course one could say that most people have never experienced an individual contact; they are always talking with ghosts because they themselves are not one but many, they are a tribe, a family; so everything is more or less irrelevant because everything is static.
When the family that has lived in this castle for six hundred years talks to the family who has lived in that castle for the same length of time, it doesn’t matter whether it is the year 1895 or 1748 or 1212; those people have never existed as individuals, they are
only the tribe.
If they develop a higher degree of consciousness and a stronger claim for the unity of personality, they either become neurotic or they die out.
Mrs. Crowley: May it not be possible, if a certain side of an ancestral ghost has not been lived, that an individual might have to complete that life?
Dr. Jung: Ah yes, but that is not an ancestral ghost, that is just a life that has not been lived despite the fact that it is inherited; for the inherited guilt of the unlived life of an ancestor is just the unlived life, and one who does not live his inherited nature is dead.
But in living the inherited nature one is thoroughly alive because one lives for the ancestors, one makes a new attempt to pay off the debts left by the ancestral generations.
The ancestral spirit of which we are speaking is not an unlived life, it has been lived and is really already exhausted.
Well; the vision leads us to muladhara, the real place of ghosts, where the individual consciousness does not exist, only the remnants of the past.
Therefore it has always been thought that the ghost land was below the earth or in caverns in the earth; Hades is called the underworld; and the Egyptian sun-barge navigates across the dark waters of the underworld, the ocean of night, toward the new light. that is muladhara.
Now this is an entirely new aspect· of muladhara, which I did not mention in my commentary on the Hauer seminar.
You see, muladhara is the earth in its manifold aspects, not only is it the soil from which life springs but also the place to which life returns.
It is the grave, as the mother in mythology is not only the giver of life, but also the taker
of life; she is the sarcophagus, which means the flesh-eater.
So in primitive mythology this mother is often represented as the open mouth of
In a Mohammedan myth quoted in the Koran, the sun sinks down into a well in the west which is filled with black slime; that is the grave, the black hole in the earth into which life disappears.
Therefore another aspect of muladhara is the place where the seed is left, or the remnants of the past are left, the place of bones and dust.
These two aspects of the earth are mixed in Christianity, where the flesh means also the grave and decay.
And in Buddhism the world has a double aspect; on one side the birthplace, the cradle, and on the other side, the burial ground, the place of specters and of carrion.
We need this double aspect here particularly because the patient herself is concerned with her actual transition into the world.
And the world is muladhara, the root world, the place of birth and death, of construction and destruction, all at the same time; and having these two aspects,
life is either a real life or an ancestral ghost life, there are both possibilities.
That maternal figure is leading her to muladhara with this double meaning.
Consciously she steps out into the world as if an imperative voice within were telling her that she must live the human life: play the game, be sporting about it, be a persona, have a personal life, find your connections or conditions or social possibilities as Mrs. So-and-So.
And on the other side there is a voice which tells her: “This is the place of decay and death, and what you see here are not human beings but ghosts.”
It is true that there is a peculiarly ghostlike aspect to reality, but naturally only to those people who are turned inward-lunatics, for instance.
In the first stage of schizophrenia they often have strange visions, the people in the street seem to them to have livid faces, to look like dead people, ghosts, or they have skulls instead of living human heads; or they see everything in complete decay, the sun loses its splendor and the air and the water are infected with poison; everything is negative.
So it is ambiguous, it all depends upon the mood, one could say; a little change of mood and the whole world is negative, a photographic plate with no color and no attraction, all the glamor gone; it is as if it were decaying or nonexistent.
It may also depend upon the Weltanschauung.
It is quite certain that to people in the second century the world had lost its glamor to a very great extent, it became infernal, negative, a place of foolishness and sin; so the meaning of life was felt as being in the inner development towards a spiritual goal.
Those are moods on a grand scale, the moods of nations; we call them Weltanschauungen.
Now here it is obvious that such a problem cannot be digested without a certain hesitation.
When that woman says to her: “Follow me and you will enter a fearful place,” it is evident that our patient begins to doubt, and she says: I saw that she was old and withered. I said: “Why should I follow you? You may be a witch. Who are you?” She said: “You have little faith.”
That passage shows the doubt whether she should follow that figure with the withered aspect-perhaps she is a witch, perhaps it is the wrong way.
So this is the place to ask who that woman may be just as the patient asks her. Now what would you expect her to answer?
Mrs. Crowley: You said she was a kind of psychopompos.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and that is unusual.
A psychopompos is generally a sort of Hermes or Orpheus, an animus figure, not a woman.
But if you consider that muladhara here is only the negative aspect of reality, the outside world, that figure would be the “categorical imperative” which leads her out into her world, pushes her forth into plain everyday existence.
Mrs. Baumann: Could she not be the old woman who has been in the past and is also in herself, the old woman whom the patient will be? She might be the past and future in us.
Dr. Jung: Quite right, but what then is the past and future in us?
Mrs. Crowley: The Self.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. That figure is a symbolic concept: it is the Self that unites the pairs of opposites, light and dark, the past and the future, and so on.
And it is supposed to be timeless.
It functions in about the same way in psychology as ether functions in physics.
Ether is matter which is not matter, it is absolutely hypothetical; it functions as the union of pairs of opposites, and is therefore a sort of reconciling symbol in physics, uniting the qualities which are due to the fact of space, what we call matter, and the nonspatial qualities of the thing which is not material yet is called a sort of matter.
The Self in psychology is the same; we need such a concept in order to unite our psychological aspects-the fact that our consciousness does not cover the whole of our psyche, for instance.
There is a psyche outside of our consciousness, but the whole thing is a sort of self-regulating system which we call a unit; and that does not consist of consciousness only, it also consists of unconsciousness.
A great part of our psychological system is in the unconscious, so we must have a
concept that covers both functions, consciousness and unconsciousness, and we call this the Self.
You can choose any other name if you please, it does not matter.
I have chosen the term which has been used since time immemorial in Eastern philosophy to designate this fact, the union of our psychological system; it is the term by which the total of the phenomenon, man, has been expressed.
Now this thing is not identical with the ego because the ego is only the focus of consciousness, while the Self would be the focus of the unconscious as well; it includes both, all life and experience.
That would necessarily be expressed by a circle which is greater than the circle of consciousness and includes consciousness, something like this: consciousness would not be in the center, but it would be included.
We have no idea of the size because that smaller circle included in the greater circle cannot have a sufficient conception of the thing that is greater than it; we cannot conceive of anything that is greater than our measure, with qualities that transcend our notions of qualities; it transcends us in every respect.
Therefore it can be understood as the historical notion of the Self, the Eastern idea of those divine qualities which man alone would not have.
This Self is exceedingly small, because it is the center of the center of consciousness; yet we are included in that smallness and so we discover that it is exceedingly big.
“Smaller than small, yet greater than great.”
And you remember the symbol in the Prajapati of the thumbling in the heart, which at the same time covers the whole earth two hand-breadths high; that is the formula
which symbolizes the creator of the worlds.
The Self is also the creator of the worlds, it is that factor in us which is apparently the smallest conceivable thing, yet it is the creator of all things.
That simply denotes the thoroughly paradoxical nature of this concept of the Self; it must be paradoxical in order to express qualities that transcend our ideas of qualities.
So the Self unites all the pairs of opposites, among them the past and the future; in other words, a quality of the Self would be timelessness-it has been and it will be.
It is the expression of the concept of absolute timeless continuity, and so it can appear as being exceedingly old or not yet born, embryonic; as it is tremendously big, it can be infinitesimally small; it can be quite dark and quite bright; because it is all the qualities, it is absolutely inclusive, it comprehends the totality of psychological or psychical phenomenality.
Therefore we cannot concretize the Self and say it is divine, or this, or that, we must always keep in mind that it is a symbol.
One can call it an exceedingly clumsy notion which man has invented to designate that which he does not understand at all; yet he feels the need of postulating something.
We cannot understand how light is carried through space, for instance; yet it is, so there must be a bridge; it is vibration, oscillations, yes, but there must be something to oscillate.
That is the way our minds work.
Oscillation is a movement and not a body, so naturally we come to the idea that it must be corpuscles.
You see, the strange thing is that matter itself behaves in such a foolish way, the rays of light are paradoxical, those infernal things behave as if they were really nothing but oscillations; but turn it round and they behave exactly as if they were corpuscles;
they behave in both ways.
It is a matter of our minds: we cannot conceive of anything which is neither the one nor the other, yet both.
There is the same difficulty with the concept of the Self.
We need such a concept and naturally, as we cannot understand it, we have to express it by a symbol.
And mind you, the symbol is not a mere token or sign, it is an expression of something which we cannot express in any better way, of something which at the same time we do not grasp, which we simply cannot understand.
When man’s mind comes to an end he invents a symbol, but that does not mean that there is nothing behind it, that it covers a hole in the universe; there is something divine behind it.
And dreams themselves, which we surely do not make, bring up that symbolism.
We encounter everywhere the idea of a symbolic life-giving center, a living unity, as a sort of superior incomprehensible leader or director.
You can also call it a mechanism because it is often represented by an object-by a great revolving wheel, let us say.
Or you can call it the sun or the moon.
That concept is ingrained in man because nature itself suggests it.
On a higher level of the human mind, when it had attained to philosophical speculation, the term Atman was invented, the living Self, for it is also breathing in ourselves, which is a sign of life.
So the life in ourselves is a greater unit than the ego, it is the innermost principle and the all-pervading truth of life, it is the pneuma or the prana and it is the wind, it is the breath of creation in general.
Now to return to the figure in the vision.
The fact that she is old and withered and has the aspect of a witch shows that she is a thing of the past, and that she may be functioning in a magic way.
We have already discussed witchcraft, and we defined what magic or witchcraft meant in contradistinction to a decent way of handling things.
Do you remember what the witch does and how she does it?
Mrs. Baumann: She works particularly by participation mystique.
Dr. Jung: Yes, witchcraft is worked through fascination, the magic effect consists in fascination, and that is always based on participation mystique.
Can you explain that?
Mrs. Baumann: One has to be in it, but a little bit objective in order to pull the strings; in working it, one goes from the higher to the lower things; it is black magic.
Dr. Jung: Well, you can obtain an effect by pulling the dark strings, which means you are yourself unconscious to a greater extent in an illegitimate way.
If you repress all the more conscious, decent things, you can keep yourself on a lower level and can then influence people through mental contagion, you can induce a similar state, also an unconscious condition.
People who are unconscious always create unconsciousness, and in this way they influence others; they can get them into an unconscious condition so that they will behave exactly according to their intention.
That is the real essence of witchcraft.
Now here is the doubt: is this figure on a low unconscious level and therefore infectious
through unconsciousness? In other words, is she the makara?
The patient suspects that she may be below herself, unconscious and creating
unconsciousness, and so might eventually induce such unconsciousness in her that it would mean destruction in the underworld.
But when she asks: “Who are you?” that woman says: “Behold!” She pulled off her robe. I saw a beautiful woman. She was all green, triumphant, dazzling, standing in a green light. I bowed my head.
How about this apotheosis?
Mrs. Crowley: It is like the tree symbol again. The green means a transformation into another form.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it is the green of vegetation, so it suggests a sort of vegetation spirit.
But the main point is that she is beautiful and young and divine, and her superhuman or nonhuman nature is denoted by the green color; she is a dryad, a tree spirit.
That shows one thing very clearly.
Mrs. Crowley: That she is not a witch at least.
Dr. Jung: Yes, yet she is a witch, that is the interesting thing.
For that unconsciousness in the witch, through which she works by participation mystique, is the elfish being, the imp that creates fascination and works all sorts of magic stunts.
And the imp is a vegetation spirit-the Irish rightly speak of the Green Folk-a spirit of nature; that is, it is a spirit of creation in the positive aspect, a divine aspect; as the antique gods were vegetation demons, even according to the modern theory, and as nature demons they were beyond human judgment or values or human morality.
Now it is certain that this woman is paradoxical, which proves that she is the Self, and this is one of the forms in which the Self often appears, as an absolutely unaccountable nature spirit, sometimes positive, sometimes negative.
This dazzling apparition of the Self naturally casts a very deep shadow so that one asks: “Is it not the devil?”
And someone else asks: “Is it not divine?”
It depends upon which side you approach it from.
Whenever one is near that factor, one never knows exactly where one stands; one doubts one’s own values, one’s own truth, one loses one’s power of judgment.
Therefore that thing is a living symbol, it is something which is always more or less suppressed or repressed, and it has been the object of the mysteries for ages past.
Mr. Allemann: Is it not the elan vita
Dr. Jung: Of course. It is the “categorical imperative” of life, the thing that says: “Go into New York, be that figure Mrs. So-and-So.”
Or it is the almost evil spirit, one could say, that points out: “It is all decay, it is the grave, return, don’t try to ape the personal existence.”
Dr. Reichstein: It is extraordinary that the Self is here a female figure.
Dr. Jung: No, just not, because our patient is a female.
Dr. Reichstein: But it is often a hermaphrodite.
Dr. Jung: That is the stage before the male and the female are overcome; when they are still split, it might appear as a hermaphroditic figure, that is a pre-stage.
But the divine form in a woman is a woman, as in a man it is a man, without any emphasis on the sex character.
Human interests, human problems seem to be quite immaterial, they don’t matter; it is quite indifferent to the spirit of nature whether you are a man or a woman, and what you do does not matter.
Yet in a certain sense it matters very much, since it is all done at the command of the figure that says in the same breath: “Go into the world, do not go into the world.”
Because it is a paradoxical thing, its command is paradoxical, it causes conflict, it is as if that being-I mean, if you succeed in constructing a human being out of the Self, if you assume it has a human form at all-pushed you neither into this nor into that, but always into “either, or.”
It is as if that being wanted the conflict and not the solution, neither the one thing nor the other, but a hellish conflict.
That is peculiarly analogous to the mystery saying of Jesus: “I came not to bring peace but a sword.”
He was not trying to harmonize little families, he created a hell of a row in the family; that is what Christ meant, for he was the carrier of the symbol of the Self, he was identical with the Atman.
That was his mystery quality at least, whatever he was as a human being.
Those are his own words, I mean, if there is anything like the “own words” of the Lord, those would most certainly be.
But no wonder that our patient has little faith, for we ordinarily have little faith in such figures.
We want to have things straight and simple, cut and dried, with no such thing as conflict; if anything leads us into conflict we are certain it is all wrong.
But inasmuch as you assume those words to be true you include Christ in that projection.
Well, that apotheosis seems to be exceedingly convincing, for our patient bows her head, she has nothing to say against it.
And then this superior woman puts on the blue robe again: She put on the blue robe and changed again into the old woman. (The unfavorable aspect.)
She said: “You enter among the ghosts. Cover your face with the gray veil. They must not see you.”
That is something for meditation. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 1260-1274