8 March 1933 Visions Seminar LECTURE VI
I don’t know whether you got a clear idea about that hermaphrodite symbol last time; I can quite understand it if you did not, for the unconscious in that case did not invent a very good form-“the head of a woman, the hands of a man, the lower part a formless mass of gold.”
It is a most hybrid invention, it consists more in allusions, and I think we have covered them as far as possible, so I will not push that symbolism further; we must wait until we get something better.
For the time being we must be satisfied with that rather formless mass of possibilities and associations and allusions.
Now we will see what happens around that figure.
You remember that she says: “About it knelt a circle of people swaying from side to side.”
The idol is not alone but surrounded by a circle of worshippers.
Where would they be? We must localize them.
Mrs. Crowley: In the unconscious.
Dr. Jung: In which part of the unconscious?-the collective, or the personal?
Miss Hannah: I would say the collective, on account of the crowd of people.
Dr. Jung: That would be a certain evidence.
But suppose we only knew of the idol. Would that show that it was in the collective unconscious?
Miss Hannah: It is not a repressed content, which means the personal, does it not?
Dr. Jung: It might be a condensation of certain personal contents. In that case what would they be?
Mrs. Baynes: It might be her money complex.
Dr. Jung: Gold often appears in her visions, so we may assume that there is a certain interest in it, and gold is of course the very essence of money, despite all financial inflation.
Then what could the head of a woman and the hands of a man imply personally?
Mrs. Sawyer: Animus possession-she acts like a man.
Dr. Jung: One could say that she would have the consciousness of a woman, yet her actions would be those of a man.
That gives a picture too; one can look at these things from a personal angle, particularly
pictures which are so unformed, embryonic, a mere conglomeration of personal complexes.
But if one goes a story deeper, one sees that these complexes are the expression of a collective idea.
How could that be seen?
Dr. Reichstein: By the analogies in history.
Dr. Jung: Yes, we have definite existing analogies which show that the idea, which she is producing here in a more or less embryonic way, is a general idea.
One can sometimes look at such creations from the personal point of view and, by stretching the imagination a bit, reach a fairly convincing interpretation.
I should say the less such a thing is formed, the more it is personal.
And then these personal complexes slowly filter together and form a sort of agglomeration, which will in the long run be an image or representation of a general idea.
So one comes to the natural conclusion that our personal complexes, which we think are genuine, are projections of underlying collective ideas.
For instance, many people are entirely aware that they have certain complexes and take it for granted that they are genuine.
One has a money complex, say, or a complex of personal pride, and thinks that covers the whole thing; and they fail to see that below are the real causes of the complex, certain collective facts.
You see, there is a sort of gap.
We understand easily enough that someone could have a money complex because that fits in with our rational ideas, but it would not fit in with our rational ideas to say that it was caused by the symbolic value of gold.
One can also say that it is not what one can do with the money, but the fascination of the gold that creates the money complex.
Either explanation is true.
Those who have too little money can explain their money complex from their lack of it, but the case of Rockefeller, or any such fellow, cannot be explained from the fact that there is not money enough-there is more than enough; it is the fascination of the gold, it is symbolic, there is a religious factor.
Mind you, Rockefeller is an exceedingly religious man personally, his god is gold, it is shining and polished and very heavy, and he serves that god for three hours every morning.
And on Sundays he walks about with a prayer book, and serves a most vaporous being that is worshipped in the Baptist community, in order to make sure that that side is taken care of. In case! One never knows.
But the real god is the yellow god.
A further evidence for the collective nature of this idol is the fact that a number of people are worshipping it; that in itself shows that it must be a collective symbol. In whatever form you dream of them-soldiers, a gathering, a family, any crowd of people-it always means that one either is the collective factor or concerned with it.
As an example, I remember the dream of a man, which I heard lately.
He was in a room with a number of men, it was as if it were his party.
Then suddenly the door opened and in came a number of other men, apparently in a hostile mood.
The intruders were exactly like the men of his own party, they seemed to belong to exactly the same social level, there was no reason why they should not have been absolutely at one with each other except for the fact that they were against each other.
The dreamer realized that they were going to attack his men and he wanted to protect them, so he began to shoot at the intruders with a revolver.
Then he noticed, whilst firing, that they were sort of winking at him, as if giving him the hint that the whole thing was for show, not really in earnest.
His own people were quite in earnest, but the others, who were in the majority, let him know that it was not serious.
So he started to walk away when a huge fellow, who reminded him slightly of his own father, took him by the shoulder saying, “Don’t worry,” and walked away with him.
Naturally, he wondered what kind of conflict this dream was hinting at. What would you
Mrs. Crowley: It is a collective problem.
Dr: Jung: Yes, this is very clearly not his personal problem.
The difference is that a personal problem derives entirely from yourself, from your own personal insufficiencies.
But a collective problem comes to you on account of the fact that you live in collectivity.
From that dream you can conclude what had happened to this man and what his difficulty was.
It is a very typically masculine problem.
We are always talking of feminine problems, but this is a masculine problem for once.
In what position is that man?
Mrs. Fierz: He takes a collective problem too personally, he makes himself the defender of it.
Dr: Jung: Yes, he takes sides too much, he even fires at the intruding people, so he puts himself all on one side of the problem.
The dreamer is identical with one side of the collective problem, but the peculiar tall
man who takes him away is beyond it.
He says, “Don’t worry, just leave it, it is only serious when you make something serious of it.”
You see that is often true of a collective problem.
If you look back into history, the reason why people killed each other has often been a thing for which we can feel no enthusiasm whatever, it would be just too ridiculous.
The point in the dreamer’s case was that through analysis he had acquired some different ideas, as is often the case.
He had always lived a collective life, a party man and so on, and he noticed that because he had different notions, his people no longer quite understood him, they began to keep
away from him a little and he felt that very much.
Instantly he was in a conflict whether he should go on having such ideas, or sharing the convictions of his people as he did before, and he fell into an attitude of self-defense,
as anybody would.
For a man who has a new idea or conviction is alone with it, he is outside the community and naturally he has feelings of inferiority; he thinks perhaps it is wrong, perhaps he has gone astray somewhat, and his gregarious instinct tells him to return.
So this man wanted to return, but he could not deny that the new way contained
a truth, so he got into a conflict.
The dissolution of the conflict is that that greater man within himself, who is the totality of his being inclusive of his ancestral souls, leads him away.
That man of more than human size is a symbol for himself, that is his totality, telling him: ‘Just go on and don’t worry about this detail.”
You see it points to the fact that you only take in a new idea through the very top of your consciousness; it does not pervade the whole of you, you only have an idea of it in your head.
But the totality of your being is not touched, your unconscious is not even aware of it, so it is as if you had the whole unconscious against you.
But you only have to wait until both sides are informed, inside as well as outside; after a while the other side will understand that the conflict has not been serious at all.
This man would not have gotten into that difficulty if he had not been very much in the public eye and connected with the superficial world.
Now this circle of people worshipping before the idol is such a symbol, and it shows the collective character of the whole problem; they are parts of the collective unconscious.
And what about their way of worshipping, swaying from side to side?
Mrs. Crowley: That is the Eastern way, like the Mohammedans. It is a sort of unconscious rhythm.
Dr. Jung: But they do it for a certain purpose.
Mr. Allemann: They are getting into a rhythmic harmony with one another.
Dr. Jung: Yes. In the first place a number of people doing exactly the same thing, concentrating upon one and the same thing, creates harmony among them, they get into a state of participation mystique.
And what is the great advantage of such a condition?
Mrs. Schlegel: One is not alone.
Dr. Jung: Yes, one is the whole world, one is filled with the god.
People who get into such a state of exaltation feel the great power that streams through mankind, they become identical with the god; that is the purpose of such a peculiar exercise.
But what is the physiological effect of it?
Miss de Witt: Dizziness.
Dr. Jung: And if you get dizzy you get unconscious, it is a sort of intoxication.
It is the same in dancing.
The dervish dances, for instance, produce a kind of ekstasis, the exercise combined with the collective rhythmic movement produces a peculiar exaltation.
Then what effect would a crowd in the unconscious doing this kind of stunt have upon the conscious?
Mrs. Crowley: It would draw one into it.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it always has a peculiar fascination and attraction upon even the white man’s system, it may draw you in.
So the conscious will be affected by such an unconscious performance, it will suffer.
If you watch a crowd of dancing dervishes, or a Negron ‘goma dance, where the rhythmic movement goes on for hours to the monotonous tones of the drum, you will get hypnotized, there will be a certain dimness of consciousness, a partial intoxication.
The thing becomes more and more convincing, so that you are finally drawn into it, and if you are entirely in it you lose consciousness completely.
And when such a performance is going on in the collective unconscious, you also fall under its spell, so that your mind is not as clear and settled and secure as before.
We must therefore look for such an effect in our patient’s consciousness.
Under those circumstances the conscious is artificially made more primitive than it ought to be.
Now such collective symbolism must always be taken as really collective, valid for everybody, valid, let us say, for the whole white world.
If we make the assumption that our patient has seen something that has such an effect in the collective unconscious, then it is not only valid for her, it is also valid for ourselves, it is valid for our time.
So we may conclude, always under the assumption that this symbolism is generally valid, that our actual world consciousness is peculiarly dim, under a strange fascination.
In that case, what kind of mental symptomatology do we develop?
Mrs. Fierz: Emotional.
Dr. Jung: The emotions come up on account of what Janet calls an abaissement du niveau mental.
We assume that our civilization has reached the state of anahata, which is just above the diaphragm and symbolizes the control of our emotions; we try not to be blind victims of the emotions.
But if that state is lowered, we come to the diaphragm, we approach the center of emotions, manipura.
So we may conclude that such a general condition would be a stage in civilization characterized by particularly wild emotional outbursts, and we have evidence for that in the war.
That was a worldwide outburst of manipura, a volcano bursting out under our feet. In anahata we develop thought and feeling instead, and what is the effect of thought and feeling upon collectivity?
On a community?
Mrs. Crowley: It would be very advanced; we can hardly imagine it.
Mrs. Adler: There would be order, relationship.
Dr. Jung: Yes, a sort of politeness, everybody would be very nice to one another, considering one another’s feelings; they would be careful not to say outrageous or paradoxical things, they would have reasonable thoughts, and that naturally produces a community.
But when one drops out of it, what would be the condition?
Miss de Witt: General discord, hatred.
Dr. Jung: And also people may fall violently in love with each other, but that does not mean peace.
Dropping out of anahata means war, disorder, dissociation-complete disintegration follows.
So the disintegration in manipura would mean small units more or less in opposition to each other.
I live in this valley with my crowd with which I am identical, and in the other valley they are all devils.
As soon as we approach manipura, the thing that is strange to us is our enemy, the thing we don’t see every day is hostile, we have to defend ourselves; only what is here is right, whatever is a bit further along the way is all wrong.
So a dim consciousness is always inclined to form something like a sect, a small group, within which there is complete identity; as soon as somebody has one thought that differs from the feelings and thoughts of others, there is trouble, then there is an explosion.
No large organizations are possible, because a difference in opinion among too many people causes the emotions to flare up and means war right away.
In manipura there can be only small communities, with complete participation mystique inside, and complete hostility and emotionality outside.
Such a chaotic condition is of course impossible, and therefore it leads to a forceful dictatorship or something of the sort, some fellow enslaves the whole crowd, he bands them together and says: “Stick to each other or I shoot.”
One understands, then, that the consciousness of our patient in such a case would be a little dim, inclined to be ecstatic and emotional and chaotic, as long as that cult is going on in the underworld.
Therefore we try to make these things conscious, to bring them to the daylight, in order to pacify the chaos on the surface.
In such a condition one consciously thinks that the emotions are all justified, perfectly natural, but from the other side we see that they are due to the fact of that unconscious
Now in forming a conclusion about the mentality of our time, what would you consider was the matter with the world in its present chaotic state?
Mr. Allemann: That it is forming an unconscious religion.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it is in the making, a cult going on in the depths of which we are not aware.
And we think we can fight that chaos with a moratorium or God knows what, disarmament, for instance, but nothing works and nothing can work, because the disturbance is below.
Well now, the patient herself feels that something is not quite right with those worshippers.
She says: “I seized one of the worshippers by the neck, and flinging him so that he faced me, I looked upon him.”
Mrs. Sigg: It seems as if the manly hands were working now!
Dr. Jung: Oh, her masculine hands are working all the time, there is a great deal of violence in these visions.
But one is apt to find that in the visions of a woman because she is so gentle and tender on the surface.
Mrs. Adler: Her conscious is going to become more active and to differentiate.
Dr. Jung: Yes, she interrupts that performance by an active attitude in order to become conscious of what is happening in the underworld, and he has to face her as she has to face him.
She continues: His face was ugly-his eyes were glass. I said: “Why do you worship this thing?” The glass eyes leered at me. Here we get his qualities. His face is ugly and his eyes are of glass.
What does that convey?
Answer: Lack of soul.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it is characteristic of these unconscious figures that they have no soul.
Therefore we must ask ourselves, under what condition do unconscious contents have a soul.
But first, do you know other examples of unconscious contents which clearly show that they have none?
Mrs. Fierz: The Golem figure.
Dr. Jung: That is a very good example, he is entirely soulless.
But that is a sort of invention.
I mean actual experiences where the unconscious contents appear quite obviously on the surface.
Dr. Jung: Yes, there the unconscious manifests quite directly.
They hear voices, they are possessed by certain opinions, and there is no soul in them whatever; they are absolutely cruel, absolutely reckless.
One cannot apply reason: they are entirely inaccessible, and the opinions or convictions they hold are without soul-the opinions of those voices, for instance, if they will describe them.
They very rarely do, because there is a peculiar taboo concerning them.
Then there is another line where people are quite dissociated and produce unconscious
Mrs. Sawyer: Mediums. They are the same as lunatics in a way, they produce cut-off pieces.
Dr. Jung: Yes, they are similar.
But what does the medium bring out in particular? Have you never done automatic writing or table moving?
Dr. Jung: And what are spirits psychologically?
I don’t mean in themselves, only God knows what they are in themselves.
Miss Hannah: Autonomous contents.
Dr. Jung: Yes, personified autonomous contents.
For instance, a person might have a spirit of pride or of hostility, and the content would be essentially that emotion, or it might be personified as the spirit of an old aunt, or the grandfather, or anybody else.
But it can be proved that it is a memory image still alive, contents of the unconscious that act as if they were persons.
Now in investigating the psychology of such autonomous figures-experimenting with a planchette, say, or with a glass running round the table-if you can pin a ghost down and ask who said a certain thing, the unconscious replies: ”.John said it.” “But who is John?”
And the answer comes: “Don’t you remember John Smith, your cousin?”
And you think you have really got hold of him.
Then you engage him in conversation, ask him questions (one is naturally very curious about the land of the hereafter), and he tells you all sorts of interesting details, they are
really very peculiar.
But if you inquire too closely he begins to be evasive, he tells you all sorts of lies, and in the end he often persuades you to believe the most foolish things.
He says: “The reason that I am moved to be here is that you are a very great man,” and after a while it invariably turns out that you are a reincarnation of the savior, a messiah, and so on; or if you are a bit more modest, you are one of the apostles; or you are not exactly Julius Caesar, but his adjutant, and naturally you have a great destiny before you.
So you discover that it is all humbug, and you say to John, “You were always such a good friend, honest and loyal, such a nice man, how can you invent such hellish lies and try to hypnotize me into madness?”
And then he wriggles weakly out and evaporates somehow, he never will tell you why, so you come to the conclusion that the damned thing has no soul, it is soulless to the nth degree.
All the products of the collective unconscious, if too hard pressed, evaporate into nothingness; the moment you get at them with your personal problems and desires,
with your human soul, you destroy them.
They are exactly like exceedingly delicate flowers which only blossom for one night and then wither.
You must take them as they are, the truth of a moment; if you treat them as flesh and blood you make the mistake of your life.
Now Dr. Reichstein has asked me to say something about the nature of that cult that is performed in the depths of the world.
This is an exceedingly difficult question.
If it is a matter of any known cult-Hindu, or Negro, or any other cult-it is definite, there are monuments, texts, and one can form an opinion about it.
But each cult that exists is part of that inner cult which hides in the bowels of nature, and to know about that is impossible; I can only give you a certain idea what it is about.
For instance, the philosophy of the Tantric yoga gives a pretty good idea of the things that happen in the underworld-it is expressed in their symbols if you can read them.
They never say that such and such a thing actually happens, they simply say, this is one condition and there is another condition-and so on; the whole thing seems to be a sort of sequence of different stages.
Another analogy would be the symbols of the alchemistic philosophy, in which an attempt is made to formulate those events in the underworld.
And a third attempt is what you know of analytical psychology: we also have certain ideas; we speak of an unconscious condition, or a condition of participation mystique, or an emotional condition, and they are very close to the Tantric ideas.
We also are concerned with symbolism, and as an example, here are these visions; they are a demonstration of what is going on down there.
Or any other case where an attempt is made to bring up the unconscious material, either through painting, or writing, or even dancing.
Inasmuch as something is really produced, it is an allusion at least to that underlying process, which in itself cannot be seen or understood, it is beyond human grasp.
What we get of it are reflections, symbols, images, that show a certain regularity, and these can be compared to the symbols in religions, or to symbols in art or in poetry.
But, for the time being certainly, I would be absolutely incapable of telling you what that process really consists of.
Whatever one can say about it is always only a part, there are so many aspects, it is
such a baffling thing.
I am trying to approach it through empirical material, out of which one gets an analogous understanding of already existing religions or philosophic systems.
Perhaps in the long run we shall even be able to postulate certain fundamental facts, which would be drawn from the comparison of far more material than we now possess.
For centuries to come that material will not be accumulated, because it is the creative secret of the mind, and I think we shall never ultimately project that.
We shall have a certain conviction about it for I don’t know how long-two years or two thousand years-but it will always be overthrown again, because the ever-creative spirit cannot be caught in any formula.
Naturally, for a certain epoch, for a certain period of time, a more or less suitable symbol can be produced.
These symbols of the Tantric yoga are enormously old, and they are still valid to a certain extent.
And the alchemistic symbols were more or less valid for about two centuries; alchemists met each other and discussed the red lion and the white lion, and the hermaphrodite that was roasted on the fire, or something like that.
They thought they knew what they were talking about.
We are not so sure of it, we would express it in an entirely different way.
We would speak of pairs of opposites being united in the fire of
passion, we would say that the coming together of opposites even caused
the fire, and through that clash in the fire, a transformation of the whole
man is produced.
This is an entirely alchemistic idea as you see, but we express it in different forms.
I am unable to tell you more about this unconscious process.
I should think over this question for years, as I have already done, but I have not yet come to a simple formula that would more or less cover it. “Transformations and Symbolisms of the Libido ” gives the mythological aspect of it; that is it too, it is exactly
the same. Now we will continue our visions.
We were speaking of that ugly face and the eyes of glass.
What do those eyes mean?-who has eyes of glass?
Answer: A doll.
Dr: Jung: And what is the definition of a doll?
Mr: Baumann: It is a symbol for a child.
Dr: Jung: Well, it is more allegorical, it is an image which describes a child figuratively, or sometimes human beings in general; but tin soldiers to a boy would be in the place of a doll, and they do not mean children, they mean soldiers.
Dolls represent living beings, but they are essentially soulless, dead, and are only animated by the projection made upon them.
A child projects life into a doll through his own soul; in themselves dolls are dead and therefore have eyes of glass.
And certain people have sort of glassy eyes.
Mr. Allemann: Lunatics are soulless people.
Dr. Jung: But lunatics don’t have glassy eyes.
Have you never seen that you had glassy eyes when you looked into the mirror?
Remark: People who drink.
Dr: Jung: Exactly, after carnival you have glassy eyes.
There is a sort of unliving stare in them and of course it shows a certain lack of soul.
You see, that would bring these eyes into line with what we were speaking of, a sort of intoxication, an influence upon the conscious from those soulless figures in the unconscious.
People who are strongly influenced by the collective unconscious also have that peculiar glassy stare in the eyes.
A classical example of that is the apostles when the tongues of fire descended upon them; they were accused of being full of sweet wine because they had just undergone a tremendous experience of the collective unconscious.
This figure is obviously a being that is absolutely identical with, or under the influence of, the collective unconscious, and she says: ”Why do you worship this thing?” The glass eyes leered at me. He answered: “There is a little door. I will show you.”
That little door is apparently the way to an answer.
Miss de Witt: It is a way of escape.
Mrs. Adler: Or the way to the scenes of the cult.
Dr: Jung: Yes, it might be either a way of escape if the situation is unpleasant, or a way into the understanding of this perfectly incomprehensible thing.
She continues: We passed through the circle of worshippers and entered a little door at the base of the idol. (You see she goes into it, not out of it.) Within was the statue of a primitive woman sitting cross-legged. The woman had many breasts and appeared loathsomely archaic. I said to my guide: “This is horrible. Drag it out into the light of day.”
So she discovers the figure of an archaic deity by going through that
It is not exactly a primitive woman, for even a primitive woman would not have so many breasts, it must be a deity, because there is something monstrous about it.
The little hole, then, gives access to a thing otherwise absolutely inaccessible; there is no means of access to that idol excepting there at the base, and inside she finds the very kernel of that strange symbolism.
What does it mean that the idol has such contents?
Mrs. Sawyer: I should think it was the picture of the collective unconscious itself as the mother in the negative aspect.
Dr: Jung: That is true, it is a mother image, but what does it mean that this idol is hollow and contains the figure of a deity?
You see it conveys the idea that the idol itself is not what it seems to be-it is a mere cover, a sort of casket for this primitive goddess.
Mrs. Sawyer: You have already spoken of the idol as being both in the personal and collective unconscious, and this is a step lower down.
There is absolutely nothing personal in this mother, whereas there is something personal in the idol.
Dr: Jung: Exactly. The idol has definite connections with the personal unconscious, so one could say the real unconscious figure, the figure of the deity, has been dimly perceived through the veil of the personal unconscious.
This is something which you can always see empirically.
If there is a fair layer of personal unconsciousness, you will invariably get a disturbed view of the contents of the collective unconscious, because the archaic figures of the collective unconscious, the archetypes, have to filter through that veil or layer of personal complexes.
Therefore you first perceive a certain disturbance in your personal complexes in any
case where an attack of the collective unconscious is due.
You can apply that statement to any case of lunacy or neurosis.
On the surface one sees apparently an entirely personal disturbance of a patient’s sexuality, or relationships, or thoughts, for instance.
Perhaps in a well-ordered mind a most absurd idea suddenly comes up which the analysis will reduce to a particular personal complex, the idea, for example, that one is not really the son of one’s parents; he knows it is perfectly absurd, yet it simply
takes possession of him.
Now the analyst will say that at bottom it is, say, a mother or a father complex, and that would be the idea or conclusion corresponding to the idol. It can also be a number of such complexes, and then you discover that it is by no means a mere conglomeration that makes no sense; that particular form points to an idea behind or beyond the form, to something still deeper.
The idol is a conglomeration of personal complexes, but below them, inside them, is the archaic goddess, the true archetype.
Mrs. Sawyer calls it an archetypal mother.
That fits the figure absolutely, it is like the Artemis of Ephesus, who is always represented with a multiplicity of breasts denoting her abundance of milk, the fertility of nature, and so on.
Applied to the unconscious, it means the unconscious under the mother aspect, for it can also have a father aspect.
The unconscious is like a mother with many breasts, nourishing innumerable children, providing inexhaustible foodstuff.
Out of the breast of the unconscious comes the flow of these visions, for instance.
Mr. Baumann: Has this figure anything to do with the monster we met before, where the baby was suckled by the wolf?
Dr. Jung: The wolf was instead of the archetypal image.
Animals are often constellated by the underlying archetypal figure and we easily misunderstand it.
That misunderstanding very often happens in the case of sexuality; one thinks it is nothing but sexuality, when it is only that the sexuality is disturbed through the presence of such archetypes.
So this archetypal figure is behind the wolf that nourishes Romulus and Remus, it is simply another way of putting it.
Artemis, for instance, is associated with bears, and the followers of Artemis called themselves arktoi, bears.
That is the reason why the gods were often expressed by animal symbolism, and this, as you know, extended into Christianity; the Holy Ghost expressed by the dove, Christ by the lamb or the fish, and the symbolic animals of the Evangelists are examples.
You see, this archetypal goddess is now more essential than the idol.
It was hidden under the other symbolism; in other words it was the cause, it explains why there is a woman’s head and a man’s hands and why the lower part is a mass of
Now it is very difficult to see in how far such personal complexes could be the effect of the presence or the constellation of that archaic goddess.
She is called “loathsomely archaic,” which is not at all inviting, you would apply the term loathsome to something evil and even dirty.
This must be the reason why it arouses the gold complex, and the split between the woman’s mind and the man’s action.
You see, another rule is that if certain archetypal contents are constellated in the unconscious, one of the first symptoms on the surface is a peculiar split.
Perhaps you have been engaged hitherto in a certain activity and you were all at one with it, quite concentrated upon it, never doubting that it was the right thing to do.
Suddenly the whole thing splits and you don’t know why, you become doubtful, and cannot understand why you should be so paralyzed.
The reason is that an archetype has been animated. In political life, for example, there may be a government that has always been absolutely satisfactory to the people; then
suddenly a gap appears, either in the people or in the government itself, and you know that a sort of subterranean movement is going on which causes the surface disintegration.
So people who are not at one with themselves have animated something in the unconscious which causes the split.
Consciousness is then like a coating of ice on the surface of a lake; when spring comes, the volume of water is increased or gets into motion, and naturally the ice is broken.
One sees that particularly in schizophrenia, where the whole surface can be split up into many fragments by the pressure of things coming from within, the full force of the
That is obvious here, this ugly archaic goddess of fertility is forcing its way up into the conscious.
We don’t know whether it will reach consciousness, but at all events it causes the existence of such complexes, and these in turn cause a peculiar conflict on the surface,
say a conflict between the man and the woman.
Of course any complex means also a certain dissociation on the surface, a neurosis, or
in a worse case, a psychosis.
Now, how do you understand the fact that that goddess obviously made of earth, having a loathsome aspect, wholly unacceptable in other words, should be present in this modern woman?
Miss de Witt: It is physical nature.
Dr. Jung: But I would not call physical nature such bad names, I think physical nature is very beautiful.
Well, the many breasts and the association with the Artemis of Ephesus is not so bad, but if you know a little more of those cults, you know what dirt is.
You know, for instance, that this goddess can also express herself as the wolf of Romulus and Remus, an animal, or any other evil monster.
Mrs. Sawyer: The unconscious itself can be negative and horrible. That is why I thought it was the unconscious in its negative aspect, the terrible mother.
Dr. Jung: Sure enough, it is an absolutely negative aspect of the divine mother.
In Tantrism it would be Kali, or the horrible aspect of Shakti.
But why just such a thing, why not something nice?
Miss Hannah: Because we have idealized women, particularly in the Roman Catholic church.
Dr. Jung: So you would explain it as a sort of enantiodromia, as a negative aspect of the Madonna, thoroughly pagan and almost diabolical, looked at from the Christian point of view?
Miss Hannah: Yes, in that we have been thinking too well of women for a long time.
Dr. Jung: You conclude from a general idea on the surface-not to be attributed to this case in particular but to the time in general-that there is at present a particularly good idea of women in the world?
Miss Hannah: Too good.
Dr. Jung: Yes, too good, and the unconscious produces something here to think about.
Well, I am glad that a woman said that! It is my idea, but it is quite open to discussion. But what about that background?
You see this is clearly a woman’s vision, so when the mother figure comes up, it
shows her essentially feminine creative nature.
The corresponding figure in a man would be equally archaic, with certain attributes which I don’t need to go into.
If our patient were a man we would have to speak of that, but she is a woman so we have to discuss this mother figure.
This is a compensatory figure.
The superiority of women seems to be a general opinion on the surface of consciousness, and the unconscious says:
“Look at this, what about this?” This is causing disturbances.
It is causing that dissociation between the head and the hands, for instance, it is
causing the gold complex, which also means worldly power and influence.
At the bottom of all those conflicting tendencies is this loathsome archaic figure.
Now that seems to be the essence of what a fairly modern woman ought to add to her substance in order to be balanced; the surface condition needs a balance, and this would be it.
When a woman sees such a figure, what do you think would be the effect upon her
Or what is the effect in general when one has a pretty good idea of oneself and then discovers something which is not so agreeable?
I mean in reality, not the effect you would think to be the right one.
Mr. Baumann: One is more careful about one’s actions.
Dr. Jung: That is what we all desire, but in reality it is not the next move.
Mrs. Baynes: One usually wants to run away and pretend one has not seen it.
Dr. Jung: Naturally. One runs away saying: “I never have seen such a thing, or if I ever have, it was in my neighbor next door; she has it, and therefore that woman has such a bad influence on me, she pulls my libido down.”
You see, one refuses to assimilate such a figure, it is too loathsome, too incompatible.
This woman would not touch it.
Yet that figure is a truth in her case, as well as a truth of the whole of civilization.
Now we shall see how she takes it.
I said to my guide: “This is horrible. Drag it out into the light of day.” My guide answered: “No, it is covered by the great idol which you have seen. It must not be shown.”
What do you conclude from this little conversation?
Mrs. Sawyer: She seems to want to accept it.
Dr. Jung: Yes, she says, “Drag it out into the light of day, let everybody see it,” meaning, “Well, I have got to accept it.”
But the guide says no.
What does that mean?
Mrs. Sigg: Animus.
Dr. Jung: That man with the glassy eyes is, of course, an animus, a perfectly soulless being in a circle of worshippers, all animi.
The animus worships conflicts, and he hates to have the idol broken up or declared
to be inessential.
The animus only flourishes where there are many conflicts, where one can have many opinions but never settle down to fundamentals; therefore he is naturally in favor of the idol.
The idol is a contrivance made by man. That conflict psychology is all made by man.
We worship our conflicts because they protect us to a great extent from the
realization of truth.
For when you can say solemnly: “I have an awful conflict,” you are occupied, you only have to worry about having such and such conflicts, and you are very interesting to the analyst-having such marvellous conflicts,
it is mental food for him-“but don’t look beyond, don’t look behind it!”
You see, the patient has a very decent reaction here, she wants to drag that thing out into the open.
Of course, it is a bit too radical, one cannot show such black spots; naturally something
has to be done about them first, they cannot be dragged out at once.
But inasmuch as she is radical, the animus says on the other side:
“No, it is covered by the idol, keep the idol, it is less dangerous,” it looks like something at least that earth mother must not be shown.
And then comes the critical moment, the question whether she should stick to her
original resolution that these things should be brought up into consciousness:
“I said: ‘It is loathsome. Do as you will. I pass through.'”
It is the same trick; it is better to pass by it, don’t wake it up.
So she says: I went out by another door, and on down the steep and narrow path.
I came to a precipice. I looked over and saw in the valley men in chariots rushing madly and frantically over another precipice, men and horses falling into a great void.
That is an animus battle raging down there, which means that beyond that archaic mother is a wild rush of animi, and they all fall into the void.
It is the aimless animus battle, which is the consequence naturally when you pass beyond the fundamental fact which shows itself in the shadow problem, in the fact that you have a certain shadow.
If you don’t want to see your shadow, naturally you pass by it; and so you fall among the
animi and go on having opinions instead of accepting it. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 952-952