Visions Seminar

25 January 1933 Visions Seminar LECTURE II

Here is a question by Mrs. Baynes: “Would it not be easier to understand this vision of the granite egg if we held to the idea that the egg belonged to the bird rather than to the fish family?

It is difficult to think of a fish egg having a yolk.

It is true that birds’ eggs do not have strings, but I think a yolk should take precedence over a string in the matter of egg diagnosis.”

There are many things that should be but they are not!

As a matter of fact, that is a very doubtful egg anyhow.

It is not of this world, so we can only put it down as a curiosity that this granite egg contains a yolk and has the qualities of a fish’s egg-or it also might be a bird’s egg.

In the unconscious anything is possible.

Of course the fact that the real origin of the egg is absolutely mysterious also makes a particular sense.

So we must leave it as it is, it is of uncertain origin.

For many things of this kind I apply that famous phrase from Napoleon’s Code: “La recherche de la paternite est interdite. ”

Mrs. Schlegel: We have a proverb: “Weder Fisch noch Vogel.”

Dr. Jung: Yes, neither fish nor bird, one cannot say to what family it belongs really.

Now we will continue the visions.

The last thing we mentioned was the fact that the granite egg opened and our patient was enveloped by the yolk and she said: “Then I knew that I could not be hurt and I turned toward the people without any anger.”

In how far is it understandable that the yolk should be a protection against that threatening crowd?

Mrs. Sigg: It might be a parallel to the myth of the dragon’s blood that protected people.

Dr. Jung: Siegfried is a very typical example; he bathed in the blood of the dragon and thereby acquired his invulnerable skin.

But here she is surrounded by the yolk. What condition would that be?

Mrs. Sawyer: She is a germ.

Dr. Jung: Yes, though it is difficult to imagine how the thing happens.

The egg opens and simply swallows her, and naturally she would be safe inside.

She would be in a sort of embryonic condition, in the womb again, or in a state of rebirth.

It is a very peculiar condition. How do you explain it?

Mrs. Sigg: At any rate the other side of it is that she would be reborn as a hero.

Dr. Jung: Mrs. Sigg means that she would acquire the heroic attitude, because such a miraculous rebirth always produces the hero, that is the meaning of all rebirth rites.

For instance, the honorary title of the high castes in India is twice born.

And Christians-if they are baptized-are twice born, and thus given special protection against the perils of the soul.

They are received into the body of the church and stay forever in the womb of the mother.

Therefore they say: Extra ecclesiam nulla salus, outside of the church there is no salvation.

So the granite egg is the building, the walls of. the church, and anyone inside of the church is within the yolk, or within the womb, and is protected like a child in the mother’s lap.

But, naturally, one is then not an ordinary human being; the second birth makes one a child of God.

You see, it is the idea of the sonship of the Christian man; through baptism one becomes a child of God, no longer a child of man.

That is clearly portrayed in primitive initiation mysteries: the boys are taken away from their families and told that they are going to die in the initiation or are already dead; then they are revivified and instead of being children of ordinary mothers and fathers, they are sons of the god, or of the spirit.

In certain tribes they learn that they are the descendants of their totem animals, and as such are also of more than human birth.

The ancient Egyptians had the sameidea: in the so-called birth chambers of certain temples are representations of the pharaoh’s second birth, showing how he was generated by the sun god and goddess, how he was born, and thus became the son of

god, the substitute of god on earth.

So this is an archetypal idea, and the symbolism here is just a paraphrase of the age-old symbolism, it is the same idea expressed in an entirely new and individual form.

This woman enters the mystical egg-or the world egg, the cosmogonic egg-a very primordial condition in which she is quite unnaturally, or one could say metaphysically, protected against the onslaught of the crowd.

We spoke last time of the crowd as symbolizing collective opinion, and collective opinion always tries to convince one of the fact that one is an ordinary human being.

And that is what man has always tried to escape, for to be only an atom, one grain of sand in the Sahara, makes no sense whatever.

There is no meaning in being just a part of an accumulation, one cannot live.

Therefore humanity has always had the tendency to develop a point of view which would protect them from this tremendous danger, the standardization and stultification of the individual.

The people who represented those ideas have tried to shield mankind against the kind of mentality which is now on top in Russia, for example.

Now what does it mean that she can turn to the people without anger?

Mr: Baumann: She is detached emotionally.

Dr: Jung: Exactly, she mentions the fact that she is no longer emotional.

That emotional attachment is participation mystique, which has the peculiar effect of making one simply part of an agglomeration.

According to the system of the chakras she would now be at least in anahata, above the diaphragm, no longer in manipura, the center of participation mystique.

At this moment she says: “I saw a dark veiled woman withdrawn from the crowd.” Who is that?

Mrs. Crowley: Herself, but veiled and therefore still unconscious.

Dr: Jung: Yes, but why should she see herself as a dark veiled figure withdrawn from the crowd?

Dr: Reichstein: It is a kind of sthiila aspect of herself.

Dr: Jung: That is right. And within the egg she got the sukshma aspect of herself.

I must explain to those who have not been here that the sthiila and sukshma aspect of things are two terms used in Tantric philosophy.

The sthiila aspect is the external concrete aspect.

For instance, to see a crowd of people as merely an accumulation of people would be the sthiila aspect, the material aspect.

The sukshma aspect would be the inner meaning of humanity, the realization that, although it is a crowd of people externally, we are really all one-I see myself in everybody.

So the inner aspect of this symbolism, the idea of being spiritually protected within the egg, is the sukshma aspect.

This woman is withdrawn, behind a granite wall, mind you, therefore inaccessible, invulnerable.

But other people would say she was stiff and cold and inhuman; looked at from without, from the sthiila aspect, she is like that dark, obscure, mysterious, veiled woman.

Now why does the sthiila aspect suddenly come in here at the moment when she recognizes herself as being detached?

Dr: Reichstein: In order not to have an inflation. Otherwise she might identify with the god-child. But now that she sees herself in reality, in the other aspect, she can make out that these things are only inside her.

Dr. Jung: Exactly.

Mrs. Crowley: She is the god-child and therefore she sees from the other side.

Dr. Jung: But why should she remember the sthiila aspect at that moment?

Mrs. Crowley: Because she has the two sides, she is now having the experience of both.

Mrs. Sawyer: She must know what effect she has on other people.

Mrs. Crowley: It is more a connection with the shadow self.

Dr. Jung: Well, Dr. Reichstein has given a perfectly satisfactory explanation.

He says, if you have undergone a second birth, if you are in the position of the hero child, there is danger of inflation, and therefore she should be reminded of her sthiila aspect.

Mrs. Sigg: It might be a hint that she does not see herself in the characteristic human form, because she is veiled all over.

Dr. Jung: That is another possibility.

After the second birth, she suddenly discovers how the thing looks from the outside.

It is as if she said to herself: “That is all very well, but how is it really?” -only something

withdrawn and veiled and inaccessible.

It might suddenly seem negative to her. At first, she would perhaps say: “Is it not marvellous, I am God’s child.”

And then up comes that other aspect: but what are you in reality?

We must see what the text says in that respect, in order to know how to value this fact of the veiled woman.

I said to her: “Why do you not mock at me with these others?” She answered: “I am indifference.”

I struck her down (she is exceedingly violent with these figures), then moved onward from the dark rocky defile.

She is still in that rocky defile that was blocked by the wheel.

And the veiled woman herself declares that she is indifference.

Mr. Baumann: I should say that a person who has had the sukshma experience of being very isolated on that level could never again be within the crowd, it would be quite impossible.

Dr. Jung: There is obviously some trouble with her social feeling, or her collective condition, but the question is, how can we value the apparition of that woman?

Mrs. Crowley: Again, it seems to me that having had both experiences, within and without, she can now be quite indifferent, either one or the other.

Dr. Jung: But why should she strike herself down?

Mrs. Sawyer: I think this particular patient, as you described her to us, would hate this figure and be reminded of her own previous condition.

Dr. Jung: Don’t you think she hates her just because she is indifferent?

She hates indifference because that is the sthitla aspect of detachment.

She has had the experience of being detached, but then comes the sthiila aspect which is the point of view of the crowd; they would call it apathetic indolence, laziness, indifference, by no means detachment.

And the point which we always have to keep in mind is that this profound doubt is within herself, she herself is not at all certain whether it isn’t indifference.

Therefore that violent gesture.

Such a violent gesture against a mild criticism is suspicious.

When a person tells me that he feels tremendously detached, I sometimes say: “Don’t you think you are just apathetic, indifferent?”

It can be something exceedingly cheap.

A lazy dog is very detached.

A Negro can be absolutely detached, he can watch the white man toil and struggle and sweat and be quite detached as long as his belly is full.

So that might be just ordinary indifference, and it is quite possible, I think even probable, that she herself thinks, “Oh, perhaps it is just indifference.” In that case, she is no longer protected, she is thrown out of the egg and attached to the crowd; then she

is vulnerable.

That suspicion sticks in her like an arrow, therefore she must strike down that figure of indifference.

You know, if someone makes a remark about us that hits the nail on the head, we always declare emphatically, “Oh no! Surely not!”

For instance, if one asks such a simple question as: “Perhaps this is a resistance against your husband?”

“Not at all, don’t insinuate such an awful thing!”

So that has become almost a principle in practical analysis, then we know we have struck home, there is no doubt about it; otherwise defense would be superfluous.

Mr. Baumann: I just read a very interesting book called The Man in the Mirror. A man is looking in a mirror and out comes his shadow, whom he has not known before.

This creature is a very vivid dashing fellow and up to all kinds of tricks.

The old man enjoys it at first and becomes detached from his family circle, but later he cannot stand him, he kills him and throws him in a well.

Dr. Jung: Yes, and there was another story, which was made into an excellent film called The Student of Prague.

He saw his shadow stepping out of a magic mirror, and he sold it to the devil.

The shadow did all kinds of evil things that finally led to the tragic end of the student himself.

The shadow is the sthula aspect of everything.

And as long as we are living in the sthula or the shadow world, which is muladhara, we must at least realize how things look from the sthula side.

We have to accustom ourselves to the fact that most of the great and beautiful things in the sukshma aspect look rather negroid in the sthula world.

This is a funny and a tragic fact.

It always reminds me of the words of a mad old Negro woman when I was examining her in the insane asylum in Washington.

She had a lot to say about her religious experiences entre autres that she had had a special encounter with God; she said: “God is not up there, that is what they say but I know better, God is inside, God works in me like a clock, funny and serious.”

So one of the greatest religious experiences, the experience of rebirth or renewal, which is a very serious and powerful and beautiful thing, even that has a sthula aspect which looks quite different, very dark, and it might look very ridiculous.

And that is serious, for according to some opinions the thing which is beautiful inside

should be beautiful outside too.

But what is beautiful here is not beautiful there, there are always the two aspects, so it is a curious fact that spiritual beauty is not always particularly agreeable in the sthula


I could give you many examples of this, and you probably know of some in the history of religions.

For instance, the fact that when the disciples had their remarkable experience of the second birth, the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, and came out into the street afterwards, the crowd said that they were full of sweet wine, that they were just intoxicated.

That is the sthula aspect of a spiritual miracle.

And that is not only a foolish mistake, it has that aspect, it is a fact.

So to know what a thing is worth, one must always know what it is inside, what the

sukshma aspect is too.

Now the fact that our patient strikes down the sthula aspect simply means that it is very powerful; so we may expect

something from that aspect which will be a stumbling block, it will turn up as a snag later on. She is now feeling her way down the narrow defile,

and she says: I came upon a barrier, a man with a woman above him and a woman below him lay across the path. The man had phalli for hands and a hand instead of a phallus.

You see, it was not a real man, he was in every part a phallic symbol, like one of those grotesque antique statues of Priapus, the phallic god.

He begged me to unchain him: I did so. Then he fell to the ground, and I stepped over him to continue on my way.

What is this obstacle?

Miss Hannah: Sexuality.

Dr. Jung: Very obviously.

Mrs. Sigg: I thought the symbol would mean an aspect of creativeness, it is a symbol of generative power.

Dr. Jung: Oh no, that is much too optimistic.

That is the sukshma aspect, but we are concerned with the sthiila aspect, and we must first taste

the particular flavor of such obscenity. We apparently cannot get on without it.

Now why such a symbol here? You see it was not in vain that we spoke of the sthiila aspect. To what does that refer?

Miss Wharton: There was something wrong with her sexuality or it would not have been there as a barrier. I think she had to plunge into that in order to get on.

Dr. Jung: But into what?

This is entirely symbolic, it is a phallic symbol, a Priapus, a woman on top of him and a woman below him.

Miss Wharton: It might lead to all sorts of orgies.

Dr. Jung: You are quite right, it looks like an orgy, but what does that mean?

Dr. Reichstein: I think the Christian attitude, that sexuality must be bound down, should be taken into consideration. But only as long as she was in muladhara; in anahata it is no longer necessary. On the contrary. She is bound as long as he is bound, but if she frees him she will be free too, she frees herself by freeing him.

Dr. Jung: You are absolutely on the right track.

You see, here we have a symbol which again seems to be a barrier, she cannot move on smoothly.

First it was the wheel and those hands which tried to seize her, and now it is this obscene symbol.

Remember, she is clinging to the state of the twice born who is spiritually protected and detached, whom nothing can get at.

And the worst thing that can get at man, the most efficient thing, is sexuality, for that is the power by which everything becomes real, by which man is bound, fastened to the world by iron chains which cannot be broken.

Now if one is immune against attachment, one is also immune against sexuality; therefore, unexpectedly enough, the very first problem that turns up after that most spiritual event of the second birth, is the problem of releasing sexuality.

For why should it be bound if one is immune, if one is no longer accessible to the world, no longer bound by participation mystique?

Even sex cannot fasten down the twice-born one.

Therefore it makes no particular sense to have sexuality fastened down like a dangerous demon; to the one that is twice born everything must be allowed; you see, that is the inevitable sequence.

Therefore the twice born one always had the prerogative of what Nietzsche calls the Herren Moral, meaning the morality of an absolutely independent feudal lord,

who is not responsible to anybody.

In the East they tell any amount of funny and indecent stories about the gestes of the twice born, particularly the very holy ones.

For instance, Madame David-Neel, the French traveler in Tibet, tells the story of a great and saintly Lama.

It is a little indecent-but not very. A young girl went to the well to fetch water. It was rather a lonely place and suddenly a very disreputable-looking man came out of the wood and tried to rape her. She defended herself as well as she could.

She was quite serious, and you know a woman who really defends herself can

never be raped-so she won out and ran away with torn garments to her mother and told her what had happened.

And when the girl described him, the mother exclaimed: “My child, you have done a great wrong, that is the great Lama and you should have given yourself to him. Go back to the well and say you are ready.”

So the child, terribly frightened, went back to the well, where the master was sitting in deep contemplation, and she said she was ready for him.

But the master said: “You are too late. Do you see those two asses in the compound?

They have just had intercourse, so the thing I wanted to prevent has happened.

A very rich evil man died a few minutes ago, and I knew that he needed rebirth; you were the first woman I saw, so I instantly made for you, that his soul should enter your body and thus have a chance of liberation; but since you refused, the soul went into the ass and he will now be born as an ass.”

You see, that is the sthiila aspect, which may be very disreputable, even criminal.

Well, that is a story such as is told in the East.

So we must not be too frightened by the most obscene aspect of that barrier.

Obscene symbols are very rare in these visions, we have hitherto encountered almost none, only faint allusions, so that with a bit of discretion we could avoid them.

But since that thing is the barrier on her way, it would also be a barrier on our way if we should not discuss it.

Its peculiarity is that it is not a real man, it is, one could say, a phallic symbol, and it is embedded between two women, one below and the other above, suggesting something very orgiastic, utterly immoral.

But the fact that a phallus is used as a symbol suggests that this probably has also a

sukshma aspect.

On the sthiila side it would be most disreputable, but since it is a symbol, we have the confidence, given by the symbol itself, to suppose an important sukshma aspect.

Now how would this obstacle work out in real life?

For she will certainly encounter it on her path.

Mrs. Crowley: She is inside of the granite egg, and upon coming out, she not only sees things with normal eyes but must also experience them. Being in the muladhara chakra, she must have more human relatedness perhaps.

Dr. Jung: Well, I would say, since she is going through the experience of rebirth, she has to encounter the problem which is the necessary counterpart of rebirth.

For what would befall a person who was removed to a higher level by his spiritual rebirth?

You see, when we speak of spiritual rebirth we always apply instinctively the Christian prejudice that we are removed to a higher level.

We identify with the symbolism of the life of Christ, who received a second birth in the Jordan when he was a man of thirty.

That was the beginning of his experience of the divine vocation.

When he [Christ] was declared to be the son of God, the divine man the Purusha-entered him and made a god of him, and then was supposed to have left him in Gethsemane before he died.

That was the Docetic teaching, which was declared to be heretic and persecuted by

the church later on.

This Christian legend naturally leads to the idea that through rebirth Christ was removed to a higher sphere, free from sin and any admixture of diabolical fraud-to use ecclesiastical terms.

But if you look at the subsequent events in Christ’s life from the standpoint of the pious Jews of those days, who were called Pharisees, you have an entirely different picture.

They would say: “You see what that second birth meant, you see the consequences of such magic performances, which are not allowed or foreseen by our religion; that man was seditious, he was plotting with the lowest mob, he consorted with prostitutes

and the Roman tax collectors, he went about with fishermen and stupid riotous folk, and he taught the most abominable things.”

You have heard the story of the man whom he met working on the Sabbath day, an appalling offence, and Christ said to him: “If thou knowest what thou art doing, thou art blessed, and if thou dost not know, thou art cursed.”

Unheard of! Terrible! If such things were repeated in our days of morality, if, for instance, a man were blest for stealing your watch just because he said he knew he was stealing your watch, it would be considered most dangerous teaching.

Another awful offence was that Christ said, “Resist not evil.”

And in the parable of the unjust steward, he taught those people to cheat and defraud and thieve, and to make friends with rich people, so when they had no more money to live on, the rich people would give them shelter.

Finally he was put to death in the most despicable way the Roman world could think of, he was crucified like a riotous slave.

So of course the pious Romans would say, “That is what you call rebirth!”

Then, you remember, Nicodemus asked how it was possible for a grown man to go back again into his mother’s womb; he understood it very concretely.

Naturally it was supposed that Christ was teaching nonsense, that he was like John the Baptizer down at the Red Sea, encouraging communistic Bolshevist ideas, most immoral stuff, so he well deserved his fate.

Now all that was the sthula aspect.

We only know of the sukshma aspect, and there the real spiritual rebirth lifts one

up into a higher sphere, most marvellous, where we are above sinning, detached from the world, where nothing evil can happen to us.

But the reality of the unconscious development shows us that the very next thing we come up against in this case is obscenity, the release of sexuality, for instance, of the dark or evil side, exactly as it happened in the Christian legend.

What was the next effect of John’s initiation of Christ? Have you never read the New Testament? Or heard of it?

Dr. Strong: The time when he was taken by Satan up to the heights?

Dr. Jung: Yes, the encounter with Satan.

He was not tempted by sexual licentiousness, but by the licentiousness of boundless power, which is an orgiastic devil just as much as sexuality.

You see, he would not have had the psychology of a libertine.

Being an illegitimate boy of very poor people, he naturally encountered the devil of ambition as a consequence of his initiation.

Having been reborn, being the son of God, the next thing was that he ran right into Satan.

And that is what happens here, this is our patient’s Satan.

For she is not a poor illegitimate child with a terrible ambition to become somebody; she belongs to the wellborn Pharisees whose only problem is what they can possibly do with their libido, whether they cannot raise hell a bit.

It is inevitable that this woman would encounter just such a barrier-it would fit her particular kind of psychology.

I don’t speak of psychological typology here, but of the social type, the kind of psychology that is probable in her case.

The people who possess don’t worry about having more power; possessing power already, they are more interested in how to spend what they possess, to spend their libido.

So the devil of lust is always the problem of the one that has power.

But with the one who does not possess, who is in a powerless condition, it is the devil of power-what one can do to be someone, to have influence-and everything else is subservient to that.

These two types of psychology are also expressed in the methods of psychoanalysis. Freud represents the problem of lust; he would be the powerful father who possesses, and does not know how to spend it.

Adler, being poor, proletarian, is concerned with the problem of self-assertion, how to play a role, how to make an impression.

Therefore he would never speak of the Lustprinzip as Freud does, but entirely of how

to arrive at power, or the mistakes one makes when one craves power.

His idea is social adaptation, how to be on the level of the people who possess, that is the final goal, and he never troubles about how the people feel who are there-as if, once there, the world would be entirely different.

A poor devil without a cent to buy his lunch today would be only interested to know how to get that cent, and doesn’t know how it would be if he inherited a million dollars; he dreams that there would then be no problems, but of course if he had it he would be beset by just as many devils, if not more.

It is not quite certain about that; we have a Swiss proverb which says: “Behind every rich man there is a devil and behind every poor one there are two.”

That is something for philosophic consideration.

So from such a fantasy you can conclude as to the social status or the social psychology of an individual.

Our patient is bound to meet such an obstacle.

In the life of Jesus, there was not the problem of the one who is in power already.

If he had been a Pharisee, his problem would have been something like this, there would have been a barrier of licentiousness.

Now this barrier of licentiousness always means that in order to go on, one has to deal with this particular temptation.

It is a real problem; one does not receive spiritual rebirth in vain, but for quite a definite purpose.

And it is not that you are lifted up into heaven where it would not make any difference, because the whole of heaven consists of twice- or thrice-born ones, and if you are received into the assembly of lights and are a little candle, you are nothing.

If you are reborn as a candle, you will be sent into the darkness; no sooner is your rebirth rite over than you are sent right down into hell with the just and the unjust.

So this woman is immediately confronted with the thing that contradicts her spiritual

rebirth in the most conspicuous way, she will be exposed to such a situation.

I cannot go into the personal history of the case, of course, but you may be sure she is a human being and therefore confronted with the problems which everybody is confronted with, and if you want a practical example, take your own case, you have enough to bother about.

So leave this woman to her little obscenity and look for your own-unless you are blessed with the power devil.

I don’t know which is worse.

Miss Wharton: I don’t see that it does us much good unless you tell us about the case and how she dealt with it.

Dr. Jung: Oh no, we are all monkeys in such a case.

If I say, “This is the trouble,” then you think it is the trouble with you, and that you must

imitate that particular individual.

The disciples said that Christ was crucified for everybody, so we simply fit into the church by the imitation of Christ, we are all substitutes.

None of them understood what the Master really meant when he said: “Ye are Gods.”

That means, you have to undergo the divine tortures too, since you are the sons of God.

But they did not understand it; that they all just imitated him was the first tremendous

mistake, such as always happens when the truth comes into the world.

So if I should tell you any particular solution, you would apply it to yourself. In a woman, for instance, the animus devil says in such a case, this or that ought to be done, and so you would be tempted to say:

“Ah, that is what I ought to do.”

One is only too glad to jump out of one’s own skin and into somebody else’s.

And then you would say the patient was wrong, it does not work, and that I am wrong in telling of the case.

I have experienced most extraordinary things in that way.

If I mentioned the fact that it was the usual thing for people to marry, it was interpreted

as: “Dr. Jung says you ought to marry this particular individual.”

Or if I said: “Naturally there are cases of adultery, such things happen,” it was repeated as: “There ought to be adultery.”

People become imaginative about it because they refuse to produce any imagination about their own cases.

But mind you, everybody’s problem is individual and nobody can say what the solution for another individual will be.

Everybody wants to have his way prescribed so that he has not to bother with it.

That is what we hate the most, because we have been taught that any occupation with

ourselves is morbid, so we make a morbid thing out of a most legitimate occupation. Instead of bothering about themselves, everybody bothers about everybody else.

It is like the two peasants: one was standing at the hedge, looking into the other’s garden and saying that the salad or the potatoes ought to be grown in an absolutely different way, and in the meantime his own garden was a wilderness.

Therefore I always refuse to enter into personal psychology.

Instead of trying to imagine what that woman’s solution would be, answer it by your own case, then you have the only true answer; you have to learn what this woman had to learn, to have imagination about her own problem.

But when it comes to yourself, you say you don’t know, you are helpless.

You see, the logical conclusion is that, since she is reborn and therefore spiritually protected, there is no use in having the phallic god bound, she can unchain him.

Those sad veiled gods of which Nietzsche speaks, can be unveiled, you can look at the truth without being hurt, you are detached and can objectively watch what they will do if unchained.

But inasmuch as you are attached, inasmuch as you are in participation mystique, you will be filled with panic because you don’t know what is going to happen, what that phallic god might do.

Therefore he was bound.

So you must be very sure of your spiritual protection when you try to cope with this problem.

She has now unchained him, and then she says: “He fell to the ground, and I stepped over him to continue on my way.”

He was the obstacle and she now passes it and goes on.

He tried to follow me. I said-“Return to those two women and make your peace with them.

Then you shall follow me.” The man turned back. I went down the steep and narrow path.

This is like the wheel again, the same psychology.

She was protected against the wheel by the armor she had put on, and in this case she is

inside the spiritual egg, as if in a protective aura; therefore she is untouchable,

invulnerable, she has overcome this hindrance.

Now what would you think about the fact that he tries to follow her?

Mrs. Sigg: Stepping over the problem does not mean that she has no longer any connection with it.

Dr. Jung: That is true. For why does he follow her?

Mrs. Sawyer: He seems to be subservient to her, I mean he is not in a commanding position.

Dr. Jung: He goes after her, but we see from the subsequent events that she can command him to return.

But that he tries to follow her means that the problem clings to her; he is not so detached, there is a connection, for, after all, in the sthula aspect she is all under this problem.

Therefore she had to be reborn, in order to have a certain objectivity, or to keep a certain distance from it.

Although she consciously makes him return, as if his connection with those two women did not concern her, there is nevertheless a secret relation that pulls him after her; so she advises him to make his peace with them and then he can follow her.

That would be the man between two women, which is always a tremendous problem.

Or it may be a woman between two men.

Obviously it is some such problem, and it will take care of itself provided she is inside

the egg, reborn spiritually.

Now a problem that takes care of itself sounds very easy, yet in reality it has one most disagreeable aspect.

When you take care of the problem yourself, you do something to it, you solve it, work it out; but when the problem takes care of itself, you are the victim, then it is as if you were under the millstone.

So in reality it is not so simple; despite the fact that you may turn your back to it, you are in no way out of it-we are more likely to be crushed by it.

I should therefore say that she takes it pretty lightly here, there is something which

does not please me.

She steps over it as if it were nothing, yet from the sthula aspect and from the human aspect, it is a tremendous problem from which nobody escapes easily.

Apparently she handles it with a grand gesture, as if she were a goddess.

It seems to be almost an inflation.

Mrs. Sigg: I don’t quite understand why you do not interpret this Priapus man as an animus figure.

Dr. Jung: Of course it is an animus figure.

Mrs. Crowley: Would not both those women with whom she asks him to make peace be shadow figures theoretically? So from that point of view it would not be dealing with the animus correctly.

Dr. Jung: No, it would not.

The animus should not be left with the shadow, for he then marries the shadow and there are two against one.

It is a very dangerous situation theoretically, because the minor part of the human personality, the shadow, falls under the animus, gives all its specific energy to the animus.

The same thing happens in a man’s case naturally: his shadow can be the prey of that powerful female, the anima, and then it is a case of possession.

One must separate the shadow from the animus or anima.

Therefore one of the most important parts of analysis consists in the understanding of the negative aspects of oneself, all the negative qualities one possesses.

Also it is absolutely necessary in this experience of rebirth to see the negative or sthula aspect of such a fact, and that is very much against our feeling; it hurts our Christian

prejudice, because we think rebirth is something very wonderful, very noble, which could not possibly have such a negative aspect.

But it has and we ought to see it.

If we don’t see the negative side of what we do, what we are, we are possessed.

The first thing in a case of anima or animus possession is that one asks, “Now where do you not see yourself?”

If a man is completely identical with his anima, swallowed up by her, behaving like a baby, emotional and possessed by moods and so on, one must say: “Do you know what you are doing, how you are behaving?”

And the same with a woman who is possessed by her animus, one must say: “Now what do you not want to do, what have you neglected?”-in order to make her shadow visible to her.

Only through the understanding of unconscious aspects, as a rule, can we liberate ourselves from possession.

Of course, there are other people who do not see the good in themselves, who live always below their own mark.

Such people are possessed by the unconscious because they omit to see their good qualities, they explain them away because they are so used to seeing themselves in a

negative light, they live in the shadow.

They are those unfortunate birds that always put the wrong foot forward, they twist everything they do into something indecent and say: “Of course I am a pig, of course it is all wrong.”

Naturally their case is somewhat different, but they are no less possessed.

In this fantasy our patient is possessed by the animus, because he is connected with the shadow and therefore by no means as powerless as he seems to be here.

So this is an anticipation, it is not real, for she can only be connected with the animus when she has done away with the other woman, when she has assimilated that shadow.

The woman on top and the woman below is a mirror reflex of the psyche, which represents consciousness on top, the shadow at the bottom, and the animus in between.

That is according to the rule, it is a typical scheme of possession.

In the seminar report of 1925, or in the little book by Joan Corrie, there are diagrams to explain this.

Above is the day, the conscious, and below is the night, the unconscious side of our psychology.

In the center of the conscious is the ego, and the unconscious is the realm of the shadow.

The sort of husk outside of our conscious is that complicated system of adaptation which we call the persona, and the corresponding part in the unconscious, the surface we turn to the collective unconscious, would be the animus or anima function.

Now when one thinks mainly from the conscious, as our patient probably would think, the ego

is on top, and below or behind the ego should be the shadow, but there is no shadow in this case, because the animus has swallowed it.

The patient is not associated with the shadow, and therefore the animus comes in and envelops the shadow; he then possesses the ego because there are two figures against one, which always produces a preponderance in the unconscious.

So her status would be the sequence: ego, animus, shadow.

Then you have that peculiar barrier.

This is a wrong condition.

The normal condition, the right sequence, is ego, shadow, animus.

You see there are a number of reasons for being suspicious; it is again an unsatisfactory

situation, we must expect to meet with peculiar difficulties.

She must return to the problem of the sthiila aspect in order to get out of the possession.

We may be sure that what she has seen hitherto is largely intuitive, anticipation rather than reality. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 877-892


3 Jung mentions The Man in the Mirror and The Student of Prague in Dream Analysis, p. 49, where he notes that the book was by Adelbert von Chamisso and titled Peter Schlemihls Wundersame Geschichte (orig. 1814; tr. as The Wonderful History of Peter Schlemihl, 1844, 1923) and that the film, Der Student von Prague (1926), “seemed to make the Germans realize their own duality” (S. Kracauer, From Caligari to Hitler [Princeton, 1947], p. 153). Jung mentions the film again in Zarathustra, p.12 2.


6 This was an unexamined myth prevalent in obstetric and gynecological textbooks of

the day and common in folk belief. See, for example, B. Ehrenreich and D. English, For

Her Own Good: I 50 Years of the Experts’ Advice to Women (New York, 1979).