Visions Seminar

17 May 1933 Visions Seminar LECTURE III

Here is a question by Miss Hannah: “Is not killing the monster the masculine way of dealing with the situation? Is the patient again under the sway of the animus in using it, even though the Indian is apparently obeying her? When it comes to finding her conscious way of freeing herself, will it not have to be in accordance with her own feminine nature and not just a copy of man’s way?”

Inasmuch as a masculine figure in such a fantasy is doing the work, it is invariably the animus instead of the patient; in his role of Hermes Psychopompos-the animus always goes ahead and does it intuitively, one might say, or potentially.

It is like a magic anticipation, or like children’s play, as little boys playing soldiers might be an anticipation of future enterprise, perhaps war.

All the primitive magic rites for producing rain, or crops, or the health of the tribe are anticipatory.

In order to produce rain, they shake a wooden rattle with dry seeds inside, imitating

thus the noise of rain upon the roofs or upon dry leaves.

The oldest part of the Rig-Veda consists of the so-called frog songs, which were sung by

the priests as a rain charm; they sound like frogs in a swamp when it has rained.

Another charm is to imitate rain by sprinkling milk on the floor.

And when sailors are becalmed, they whistle as the wind whistles in order to make the wind rise.

It happens in exactly the same way in our patient’s psychology.

Whenever she should change her attitude, or when some symbolic act should be performed, then the animus, either directed by her or of his own accord, steps in and does it for her, thus producing the mood in which she may be able to do it herself.

Now here again is the heroic task of killing the monster from within, that famous

mythological situation, and according to tradition she leaves it to the hero.

In our religious dogma we do the same, our hero is Christ.

He overcomes hell for us, killing the monster from within; by his death he makes the sacrifice that saves mankind.

Looked at from the psychology of a woman he is the animus; looked at from the psychology of a man he is the superior man, as the I Ching calls the one who does the heroic deed for us.

We always like to forget that nothing has really been done by such an anticipation, it can only bring about a mood in which, by the famous imitatio Christi, we might be able to produce the same effect.

Usually we forget that, we prefer to think that since Christ has done it, it automatically


And mind you, this absurd and infernal superstition has been much supported by the church; we have simply to believe that the hero has done it, that he has killed the monster from within, and we are saved automatically.

Now that is just superstition, it is magic, and magic is always immoral because you acquire an advantage through magic which does not belong to you.

It only belongs to you when you can do what magic does, but you must earn it, work for it.

Magic only works magically; that is, it brings about a mood, or a fascination, which may

help you, it may push you over the edge, but if you have not done it

yourself, you are just a rolling stone and have no merit whatever.

If you want to make an honest job of it you must do it in your own way; it is mere fascination when you imitate.

So it becomes inevitable that you yourself become the enterprise, you yourself become Christ, one could say.

But such a conclusion makes everybody shudder, and rightly so, for it is terribly awkward; one does not like it at all, one prefers to be a good Christian.

And so if our patient prefers to have the animus do the big job, she will be a good Christian, and naturally she is most inclined to be just that.

First of all it is highly respectable, and it is exceedingly simple.

The hero has done it, the monster is killed, and therefore we are all saved.

There is always the danger with these visions that people think: “Now the thing is done, nothing remains,” one simply believes it has happened and will thereby be saved.

This occurs often in practical analysis.

When a patient has had an impressive vision he makes great efforts to believe that everything is all right, not seeing at all that this is foolishness and almost cowardice, because he then escapes his essential task of doing as the hero has done.

When this woman is faced with the killing of the monster, she will naturally have to do it in her own way, which is different from the way of a relatively primitive Indian.

For she is not a primitive Indian, she lives in civilization; her way will be quite different and perhaps more difficult.

Dr. Schlegel: That seems to me clear in psychology but how can it be in reality? You said that by whistling sailors produced wind.

Dr: Jung: Yes, but of course one does not see that in reality.

Sailors bring the wind by whistling because if they whistle long enough, finally the wind must rise.

Like the rainmaker of Kiao Tchou: he just waited till it had to come.

In practical psychology it would be more like this: suppose there is a difficult task for you and you don’t know whether you will be able to accomplish it, and are not inclined to make the effort.

Then you begin to meditate, to ponder, you go round and round it in your mind, and finally you get into the mood of that thing, you feel more and more that it is really possible.

Now if you observe yourself carefully in your fantasy, you will see that you are always imagining how you can do the thing, you are slowly approaching it.

Sometimes in your fantasy you fail and then you go back and try another way.

So you accustom yourself slowly to the accomplishment of the task by fascinating yourself into the

mood, and into the way such a thing may be done.

For instance, the primitives cannot work as we do.

We say, now we are going to work, and we begin; we have horses that can be fastened to the carriage and we drive off.

But the primitive’s horses are always pasturing far away, he doesn’t even know where they are, he must fetch them first, whistle for them, and that is done by magic ritual.

He is almost incapable of pondering or meditating upon a thing; if he should try he would fall asleep.

Then a dream might help him, but usually he has to resort to a rite d’entree.

That is true even of hunting.

First come the dances, he must dance hunting, whip himself into the mood of hunting until he is thoroughly filled with the idea.

He identifies also with the animal he hunts, he becomes his own buffalo and he is the hunter at the same time.

The red Indians wear the skin of a buffalo and they are buffalos; they represent them as grazing in the pastures, but each buffalo carries his own arrow by which he will be hit, they are both the hunter and the hunted one.

So they are absolutely in the picture, in all parts of the situation, they are nothing but the situation of hunting.

Therefore those dances are very strenuous, by no means a joke; it is work.

And it is the same with the war dances.

They are not eager for war at all, so they must be worked up into anger and blood lust, into fear and rage; every emotion must be worked up in them until they can go to war.

In the stag dances one man is the stag and the others are the hunters; they shoot at him with dulled arrows, and he goes round and round in a stag’s skin and horns until he

falls down exhausted.

Then another one takes his place and around he goes, until they are all in a state of ekstasis from that ritual dancing.

And then they go hunting-hunting is easy when one is worked up properly.

Afterwards they have the rite de sortie, where they detach themselves from that mood.

This is often done in a very drastic way, not at all voluntarily.

When a warrior comes back from a war filled with the mania for killing, they lock him into a hut and feed him for two months on vegetables in order to remove his blood lust.

That is a very apt method for cooling those people down so that they can fit into the community again; otherwise they would go on dancing war, killing right and left, because they were in the mood for it.

This explains the terrible slaughters that primitive people sometimes perpetrate; it is not cruelty, it is just going on with the dance.

That occurs in the Bible-in the way the Jews slaughtered the Canaanites and the Philistines, for example.

But it was merely the continuation of such a mood: now we are in for it and it shall be done until nothing is left.

That is the way in which it works practically, it is chiefly the working up of the fantasy until it happens.

So to the primitive mind it often looks as if a thing were done by magic; they cannot understand afterwards how they were able to do it.

You know when one gets into the proper mood, one can do the most amazing things.

Therefore in those negative moods after a day of feasting, one can hardly believe that one could have said and done such things; but when one is in the same mood one will do the same things again.

I am glad that you insisted upon this particular point of the animus.

It is again the weak point in the vision that the patient herself does not overcome the monster but lets it be overcome for her.

That is valuable, but it is not enough, so it will lead to further difficulties later on.

Just as through the mere belief in our Christian myth and through the imitation, we gain little or nothing.

If we had profited by it, the Disarmament Conference would not have been necessary.

Now the Indian succeeds in breaking the pillars which support the roof of the cavern, and the next thing is that she says to him: “Perhaps the altar on which you lay is the vulnerable place. Take up a spear and break. the altar.”

So the situation is still within the monster.

By the destruction of the two pillars that support the roof of the cavern, the monster is apparently not quite killed, there is still an important vital organ which has not been


But how could the hero be aware that the monster was killed? How would it show?

Miss Hannah: He always seems to get out at that point but I have never understood why.

Dr. Jung: Exactly. You see he would get out, the situation would change.

In the myth of the whale-dragon, it is usually indicated that when he has cut out the heart or an important piece of the liver or the main artery of the monster, he feels that the monster is dead, there is no longer any movement, and he feels also the grinding of the monster’s keel on the shore.

For in the moment when the monster dies, it reaches the eastern shore where the sun rises; and since it is dead, it cannot shut up the entrance, so the hero creeps out of the mouth or he simply cuts the belly open and so emerges into the daylight.

He has usually had signs that the monster is dead, that there is a way open to him.

It may be due to something from without; birds may hack open the monster lying dead on the shore, for instance.

But in this case nothing has changed in the situation, even with those two pillars down; therefore the supposition is that an important organ is still left that should be destroyed, and she supposes it to be the altar on which the Indian lay.

Now why just an altar?

To explain this symbolism you will get nothing out of the word altar, you must go back to the situation itself, the belly of the monster.

What is that psychologically?

Miss Hannah: The unconscious.

Dr. Jung: Yes, but the unconscious is a vast sea, you can be in the unconscious when you are in an entirely different condition.

You can be in a most marvellous light, for instance, or in a boat on a river, or with animals, or with archetypal figures, you can be in all sorts of other situations.

Mrs. Baumann: I should think it had something to do with the Christian church-Christianity has some power for her still.

Dr. Jung: Why do you say just the Christian church?

Mrs. Baumann: Because those iron men stood for the Christian ideas, and that is the belly of the monster.

Dr. Jung: That is true, but such a symbolic situation could be found in practically any other established collective religion just as well.

In this case we say Christian, not because it is particularly indicated in the dream, but it is quite probable that a white woman would have been in her past in the given Christian situation.

That would be expressed by the fact of being locked in, or buried alive, and sure enough we could say that was the religious formula, the traditional form, the way in which we

conceive of the main things of life.

It is a symbol that expresses the essence of our notions of the life of the soul, as well as of practical life.

Therefore there is no religion without eschatological ideas; that is, ideas about the last, the uttermost realities, which are the ruling ideas or the ruling factors formulated by symbols.

Now here it is obviously the Christian atmosphere even if she does not think so.

Though perhaps just the fact that she is not a church-going Christian causes this abstract and general symbolism of the cave.

It does not say that the altar is in a church; it might be in a Mithraic grotto just as well, it might be anywhere, it might be part of a primitive cult.

For her it is simply the atmosphere of the past into which she is locked, and naturally the altar is always the central place, the place where the gods are.

In the Catholic church the deity dwells in the Host that is present upon the altar.

This expresses itself in other forms and customs of the Catholic church: the church is the house of God, for instance, in that house God lives.

So when Catholics are on pilgrimages, if the train pulls through a village where there is a church, they must all cross themselves, they must greet God who is dwelling in his house there like the landlord; it is understood as very concrete and real.

The altar is the center, the essential organ really of all religious cults.

And upon that the Indian was lying like an offering. What does that mean?

Mrs. Baumann: It is the same as the Christian sacrifice.

Dr. Jung: Well, it is the sacrifice of the primitive.

In that highly differentiated religious form Christianity, the primitive is the sacrifice.

That is the thing which has to be killed, to be offered up to the gods; in other words, it is given back to the unconscious, because the gods are the overpowering factors of the unconscious.

So they offer the primitive man that is in everybody to the unconscious; he has to be killed for the sake of the existence of the higher form.

Therefore also the astrological signs which characterize certain months of the Platonic year are represented in the Christian cult as the sacrificial animals.

The sacrificed lamb referred to the earlier age of Aries, the Ram; and the sacrifice of

the bull represented the age before that, the Age of the Bull, which was from about 4300 to 2200 B.C.

There was the same idea in the fish meal of the early Christians; the astrological sign is two fishes, and the communion was then not celebrated in the present form with wine and bread, it was a meal of fish.

The Christians were called fishes as well as lambs and they wore rings with a little fish or fishes engraved upon them.

The Pope’s ring contains a gem on which is carved the miraculous draught of fishes, symbolizing the shepherd-or the fisher-that draws the flock into the church.

This fish meal was by no means Christian only; it occurred in other cults of those early days when Christianity was just one of a number of mystery cults.

Now this woman suggests to the Indian that he ought to destroy the essential part of that early atmosphere, or that historical condition, for in that place the primitive, containing the original instincts of a race, is lying as the sacrifice.

In other words the primitive is brought back to life, he is meant to live in her.

You remember, she said to him: “Give me your blood and your sinews and believe in me.”

That means, to be one with herself, to be herself.

So this is a sort of mystical meal with the primitive.

The blood which he is to give her is the blood of the primitive instead of Christ, it is a communion feast, she will embody him; that is, she will eat him as he is-skin and hair, everything included, as the Germans say.

This is an anti-Christian meal, the Christian communion but reversed.

It is not what is ahead or above that is to be assimilated-the thing that is greater, more differentiated, higher-but the thing that is lower, less differentiated, more ancient.

This is to be reintegrated and thus brought back into life again, for the purpose of destroying the highly differentiated historical condition which we call the Christian age.

Then she says that the altar is the vulnerable place.

That is true of course, it is the essential place, the real center, where the priest communes with the immediate presence of the god; if that is destroyed, it is indeed complete destruction.

Therefore when it speaks in the Old Testament of destroying the altars of a tribe or of a people, it means killing that people, destroying it utterly.

As a matter of fact, primitive tribes are completely ruined when the missionaries succeed in destroying their religion.

For instance, when I was with the Pueblo Indians, I told the chief of the ceremonies that he should admonish his people never, for anything in the world, to betray their religious secrets, because that would be their undoing.

They have an interesting legend-a projection, of course that if they should be prevented, say, by Mr. Rockefeller and the Baptist mission, from practicing their own religion, ithin ten years the sun would not rise again.

For they are the sons of the sun, and their riteshave the purpose of making the sun rise, to help the Great Father to rise over the horizon and to bring light and fertility to the whole world.

They could not understand how the Americans could be so shortsighted and stupid, how they could take such a risk as to debar the Pueblos, who are the benefactors of the whole universe, from helping the Father to rise.

That is a very significant projection; for if they should betray their mysteries, they would really be finished, their light would fail.

You see that in Africa also; wherever the missionaries come and destroy the primitive

faith the night sets in, those people simply degenerate, they are lost in every respect.

When they have gone through the mission schools, they are no good any longer, not even as ordinary boys; you would never dream of employing a mission boy, they lie and steal and cheat because they are brethren of the white man.

But they are only very distant cousins when left to their primitive faith.

Only stupid asses of white people would think that they should refine the primitive, that they could bring them up in the loving spirit, without their turning out the same little asses as the schoolmasters. If you had lived in Africa you would get as angry as I do; I always get angry when I see such stupidity.

So the sacrifice of the primitive is absolutely necessary.

It is not only a good thing, it is inevitable when you arrive at a level of understanding, or consciousness, where you can build up a form that contains life completely and that allows you to give up the primitive ways.

But when you put something in place of the primitive faith which does not allow life,

which does not give the right form to the energies of the unconscious, it is mere murder, and murder of something which ought to live.

We can rightly suppose that we had a possible form in Christianity, for it lives and has lived and that proves that it could take up the primitive energies.

And in the universal dogma of the Catholic church one sees that there has always been the effort of comprehending everything, of expressing everything.

If one understands this dogma fully, one understands why it caught on, why it held the energies of the unconscious and is still alive to a certain extent.

But if you understand a little more of it, you know what its shortcomings are; then you understand why the Reformation was unavoidable, and you also understand the modern situation better when even that protest against the universal dogma is no longer a living form.

Protestantism was a symptom of the beginning of the disintegration of the church, and our vision contains the reflex of the actual time, when that process of disintegration is taking place.

It makes itself felt in the most obvious ways.

In such a time of disintegration, the cave falls in or becomes a prison, because it is the thing we should escape from, and then naturally we look for a form that contains life, that will shape our mental or moral energies.

And since we cannot find that in the things that are, we seek it somewhere else.

Naturally we look ahead, but ahead we see nothing, the future is a mist; we cannot be sure of a goal in the future, an image or symbol that will contain us and our lives.

So we fall back to see whether there was not something in the past, to see what the

decisive factor was then.

Whenever we get into a fix and don’t know where to turn, we try to remember whether there have not been circumstances before in our lives or in history that will help us-we think there may have been something long ago.

Moreover when one is in an absolutely impossible situation one cannot go ahead, one is right on the edge of the abyss and there is no bridge across, so the only thing to do is to

turn back, and then one gets into a time that was before this order of things existed.

When one falls back out of the Christian form, one naturally comes to the antique form, to paganism, and after that to the primitive.

Our patient went back through ancient cults to the primitive, and even further, down to the animal, and we are now rising with her through the ages and have reached a relatively primitive age.

The progress is not straight up in definite grades, but slowly upwards, always with


We had already reached the level of the secret symbolism of early Christianity, for instance, and here we have a regression to the primitive, because here the primitive is needed to help in the destruction of certain historical values.

Here a consideration comes in which is tremendously important.

When one looks at the magnificence of the Catholic church, its marvellous organization, its beauty, and the historical meaning of its institutions and forms, one thinks it is almost a crime to feel negatively about those things, they should be preserved, if only in a museum.

One hates the idea that such values should be destroyed.

I myself hope they will live on for six thousand years to come.

But we cannot reckon with the possibilities, the unaccountable tendencies, of the unconscious of man, his primitivity.

So in the sixteenth century there was that sudden outburst of feeling against the images in churches, and they destroyed enormous values as a sort of accompaniment to their protest.

They could have made the protest without such barbarism but there you are, that is man, he is exceedingly primitive.

Our patient naturally hesitates to resolutely destroy those values, and therefore the primitive must come in, it is inevitable.

Often we hang onto the past by mere sentimentality, it is so beautiful, so mellow with age, so full of meaning and so rich in human quality, that one cannot overcome these feelings.

Then the unconscious simply has recourse to the barbarism of the primitive, calls him up, and he destroys.

You see, this woman even suggests that he shall destroy the altar which is really the vulnerable place.

The destruction of the altar, meaning the destruction of the essential part, in this case Christian mentality, is a very important moment.

It denotes the transition from one state of consciousness into another.

First of all, as I said, it means a recourse to the past.

Then through the fact that the primitive comes in, an entirely new orientation comes into existence.

You see, our late Christian mentality is linked up with a certain Weltanschauung-or a Weltbild-and this concept of the world does not allow of the primitive image; the primitive has an image of the world too but it is different from ours.

You see when the primitive mentality comes in, then the primitive world comes in, because the primitive is the part of our psyche which has not been allowed to exist; therefore it was lying on the altar as the sacrificial offering.

If that primitive mentality is not sacrificed, it will enter our consciousness, and the primitive point of view means a world which does not coincide with our differentiated idea of a world.

For instance, inasmuch as we believe in causality the primitive believes in something else; he also believes in a sort of causality, but it is magic.

So if he comes into our world he will bring with him a magic conception of the enchantment of events; he will conceive of entirely different connections between things, and we shall have to change our notions accordingly.

Of course it cannot be done in a rationalistic way, because rationalism belongs to our late Christian mentality.

And this is not a fact in itself, something absolute, as we believe that the concept of

causality is absolute, that every event must have a cause and every cause an effect; this is no longer an absolute truth, it is developing quite different aspects.

This profound doubt which is coming in through the primitive betrays itself in many symptoms of our times-for example, in Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Also in a certain doubt about the validity of natural laws, and that idea of causality which seemed so unshakable is not so absolutely certain.

All that is coincidental with the revival of the primitive mind.

The primitive man believes only in arbitrary causation and in nonphysical connections,

magic connections, and those ideas of a magic connection between things are now coming up on every side.

In analysis, for instance, in dealing with the unconscious, one can conceive of connections which do not follow our conscious rationalism at all, they have a different character; things happen in our psychology which cannot be explained rationally, and it is futile to try because they are essentially magic.

To mention an example, the idea of synchronicity plays a tremendous role in the enchantment of unconscious events.

So the coming up of the primitive means an enormous change in our philosophical and moral outlook and of course in many other respects too.

It is just as if a cosmos had been replaced or at least intermingled with chaos, and the result is most baffling.

It will be an absolutely unsettled condition which one could not call a higher level of consciousness, it will be an upset of consciousness, it is too conscious at the same time.

But the intense consciousness which will rise out of such factors will necessarily increase by many times; the struggle is meant to lead up to a higher level which will constitute a new consciousness.

It will be as if one had discovered a new world.

So the destruction of a world leads first into a chaotic condition, but out of the chaotic condition that is dark in itself, like the primordial night, will rise a new idea, a new consciousness.

A new world will have been created.

You will ask how that idea develops in this symbolism.

The Indian followed her advice and destroyed the altar.

She says: “This the Indian did. We looked within and saw a small pine tree lying in blood.”

What is that? Have you an analogy?

Mrs. Baynes: It could be muladhara.

Dr. Jung: Exactly.

Muladhara is the lowest center where the world begins, therefore the peculiar blood colors in that chakra; the square in the center means the earth. (In Chinese symbolism the earth is also represented as a square.)

The triangle in the square, the symbolic yoni, is red too, and inside is the lingam with the Kundalini serpent.

They are the dormant deities of the beginning, where nothing has yet unfolded, where the whole world is a promise, a potential.

In this center is Shiva, the god, called in this condition the young green leaf, the first shoot.

And in the vision of our patient that is lying in the blood. That is the symbolism.

It is the first growth of something which is still in the blood, which means still in the unconscious, still inside the body, not yet developed; but it is a promise, it will grow,

provided that the dormant condition of muladhara is exploded.

And that explosion of muladhara, that spear that breaks the stone, for instance, is the

hissing of the serpent in the Tantric text; it is the instant when Kundalini raises its head and shoots up.

That coup de foudre is the moment when the world is burst open, when out of muladhara rises the brilliant Shakti Kundalini.

In our vision, then, it is a germ that they find.

Now why not an oak or a palm tree, why just a pine tree?

Mrs. Baumann: It is a Christmas tree.

Mrs. Crowley: The symbolism of the pine tree and the blood is in the cult of Attis.

Dr. Jung: Yes. We must now take into account that the patient has read my Psychology of the Unconscious and is surely aware that Attis was represented by a pine tree.

Attis is a dying and resurrecting god, so much like Christ that Hippolytus, the Greek Father, asserted that the grotto in Bethlehem where Christ was born was a spelaeum, a grotto of the cult of Attis.

St. Peter’s in Rome is built on the site of a temple of Attis.

There the taurabolia, the blood baptisms, were celebrated; a bull was sacrificed

on a grating over a hole in which the initiant had been placed, so that the blood of the bull poured down over him, he was bathed in it.

Then the high priest of the cult of Attis was called Papas, the pope; that title has nothing to do with the Christian tradition, it is of pagan origin.

Now this vision was probably suggested by her knowledge of the cult of Attis, but a pine tree was chosen originally because it is an evergreen tree; it is not subject to the changes of the seasons but remains green and growing all the time.

Therefore we use the pine for our Christmas tree, it is evergreen and it is magic; it has the purpose of continuing vegetation so that in the next spring it can come to life again.

And we put lights on the Christmas tree in order to make the sun rise, it is an anticipation of the rising of the sun and the rising of the new vegetation; otherwise Father Sun would perhaps be offended and refuse to appear, and then the vegetation would not spring up.

Also, the vegetation demon might be offended, so one had better remind him by the green tree; by thus helping his memory, one helps him to start up the green vegetation again.

That pine tree in the blood is a sort of vegetation magic, then, but of course it cannot now be understood in the very primitive sense, because we are not vitally interested in helping the gods to raise the crops.

It is now a spiritual symbol, as the Christmas tree has become a Christian symbol, meaning the continuance and increase of the light.

And light always symbolizes consciousness.

So in this vision they discover the Christmas tree, with all the symbolism and meaning that belongs to it, the increase of consciousness, of light, but as a promise for the future naturally.

She continues: “The Indian lifted up the pine tree. The blood changed to clear water.”

Clear water is transparent, it has more of the light than blood, and therefore

more of the nature of consciousness.

So when the tree is lifted out of that state of unconsciousness, the increase of consciousness shows itself.

The tree grew and grew. (Instantly a new world of consciousness springs up.)

The growing branches lifted up the roof of the cavern (it opens like a sarcophagus) and we emerged onto a beautiful grassy bank lit with sunlight.

They come into the full light of the day, a new consciousness has been established.

This creation of a new conscious world is really a cosmogonic miracle, it is like the Indian cosmogonies.

There is a close parallel in Pueblo mythology, an account of which has been published very recently, since these visions were recorded, so our patient cannot have known it.

It is a myth of the Hopi Indians.

I mentioned it in the English Seminar following the Tantric Yoga Seminar of Professor Hauer, but I will repeat it now in more detail.

I am quoting parts of the version recorded by Cushing, the American ethnologist.

When the world was new, men and creatures lived not and things were not on the top of the earth, but below.

All was black darkness above as well as below.

There were four worlds: this world, the top of the earth, and three cave-worlds, one below the other.

The first men and creatures lived in the lowest cave-world and increased until they

overfilled it.

Then the master sent “The Two” to see what they could do.

(These were two divine brothers who figure in somewhat different forms in the mythology of North and South America.)

They pierced the roofs of the caves and descended to the dark abode of the men in the lowest cave.

There they planted all the plants, and finally a cane grew up which was high enough to go through an opening in the roof, and which was jointed like a ladder.

So many men and creatures climbed into the second cave-world, taking the ladder with them.

After a long time the second cave became as overfilled as the first one, and they placed the cane under the roof and escaped into the third cave-world.

Here “The Two” made fire with which torches were set ablaze, and by the light of these the men built huts and kivas or travelled about.

But again evil times came and especially the women became crazed.

I suppose the women got neurotic because they were no longer at one with that eternal darkness, they could not stand it.

This is like the woman in the Bible who experimented with that famous apple; she probably knew that she would get hysterical in no time if she didn’t make a move,

so she made the first move.

Apparently the Hopi women felt the same way about it so they also made the first move, anticipating the spirit of the time and receiving it in full-grown hysteria.

You see, hysteria is not a negligible symptom, it makes sense if you understand it.

But men are always convinced that it makes no sense, you can never teach them, they

will always say: “Of course the world is dark, it is foolish to say it should be light, you must be satisfied with things as they are.”

The men did not get nervous because their highest ambition is always to be adapted to things as they are, while women cannot stand being adapted to things as they are, they always raise some devil somewhere.

Obviously these men realized that the women were getting absolutely intolerable, and that something would have to be done so they tried to make light.

At last the men ascended to the fourth world which was this world.

Here they found the tracks of only one being, the single ruler of the unpeopled world, Corpse Demon or Death.

And this world was as dark as below because the earth was closed in by the sky, and very damp, it seemed to be surrounded by water.

Then the people tried to make light, and many attempts were made without success.

Aniong the other creatures were five in particular: Spider, Vulture, Swallow, Coyote, and Locust.

The men and these creatures consulted together, and finally the Spider spun a mantle of pure white cotton, which gave a little light but not enough.

So the people prepared a very white deerskin and made a shield-case out of it, which

they painted with turquoise paint, and the light of this was so brilliant that it illuminated the whole world.

Thereupon they sent the shield-light to the east where it became the sun, and the mantle-light to the west where it became the moon.

Then a coyote had stolen a jar in the cave-world, and when he opened it, shining sparks flew out into the sky and became stars.

By these lights it was found that the world was indeed very small and surrounded by waters.

So Vulture fanned the waters into mountainous waves that flowed away to the east and west until mountains began to appear.

Across these “The Two” cut channels which afterwards became canyons and valleys.

This myth shows in a wonderful way how those people felt that human consciousness arose, and how at the same time a world came into existence.

It is particularly interesting that there are four worlds and that they grow up from the lowest one.

This idea of subsequent stages is like the system of the chakras, which is also a sort of history of the growth of consciousness.

Therefore the peculiar idea that the chakras, which symbolize certain mental conditions, have each its special localization in the body.

The lowest condition, muladhara, is in the perineum.

The third stage, manipura, is just below the diaphragm, and that is the first psychical

localization we can trace from ethnological sources or through direct observation; the primitives localized their thinking in the belly.

The next stage would be above the diaphragm and the Homeric Greeks thought

the mind was there; the word diaphragm comes from the Greek word phren, meaning mind.

Then comes the heart center, and the Pueblo Indians in our days localize thinking in the heart, and say the Americans are all crazy because they have the idea that they think in the head; the Indians say only crazy people think in the head, normal people only

notice disturbances in the heart.

They are too dull to notice disturbances in the brain, but we have localized the mind there, which would be up in the sixth chakra-the sixth cave, as it were.

The slow growth of consciousness is beautifully portrayed in this Hopi myth; also the idea of the tree erected as a ladder so that mankind can pierce the level just above and finally reach a higher plane.

Curiously enough, the same idea is in the Islamic tradition, not in the so-called canonical tradition as far as I am aware, but in one of the many legends about the life of Mohammed.

It is localized in a very interesting place, the altar stone in the mosque of Omar in the Haram es-Sherif.

(That is the same word as harem really, meaning an enclosed place, what the Greek called a temenos, a sacred enclosure.)

Haram es-Scherif is the name of the rectangular sacred place in Jerusalem where the Herodian temple stood, and in the center is the mosque of Omar.

It had nothing to do with the Khelif Omar; it is a Christian church built by Justinian in

the sixth century in the form of a mandala.

Mandala forms were quite frequent at that time. It is built over a great irregular jagged rock, black with age, which was surely a neolithic place of worship; long before the Jews came into Palestine it was a place of worship, and the Jews themselves used it as an altar stone for their burnt offerings.

Then under the rock is a cave which has been used for ritual purposes, and there are very peculiar things about it.

In the center, overhead, is a hole obviously made by man, and where the dome or cupola slopes down, there is again a hole, also made by man, but this one is merely a sort of small dent in the rock.

It is absolutely smooth inside, and a little higher than the average human head, but one can reach the top of it with one’s hand.

This cave is the second holiest place in Islam-Mecca is the first-because according to the legend Mohammed started his flight to heaven here.

Pilgrims stand under that hole, and if they are very pious they jump up and try to hit the top with their skull; they are particularly holy when they can do that.

Most of them are content with touching it with the hand.

Mohammed dwelt in this place a long time and fasted and prayed, and when he felt the time was come to ascend to heaven, he tried to jump, but he hit the rock, the rock was too thick there.

He was quite desperate, in black despair that his prayers had no effect.

Then God sent his angel, I think the archangel Gabriel, who told him he should try the

center of the cave, so there Mohammed jumped again and this time made a hole right through the stone-where it was not so thick-so he came out on top and flew to heaven.

And the stone was so impressed by the feat and loved Mohammed so utterly that the whole rock tried to follow him.

But the archangel, not having foreseen such a possibility, said no, that was quite impossible, a piece of rock could not go to heaven, and he put his two hands like tiger’s claws, on the edge of the stone and held it down.

You can still see the claw marks. So the rock settled down.

But it contains so much of the power of holiness that it is still suspended, that stone does not rest upon the earth.

This story shows again the piercing of the roof of the cave and the transition to a new state of consciousness, rising to a new life, a new world, again the old symbolism.

And the same thing is expressed in the vision of our patient in the fact that she and her Indian guide emerge now into the full sunlight.  ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 986-1001


Frank H. Cushing’s research on the Hopi and Zuni was published in the United States

in 1898 and 1901. Jung refers to the lecture of 24 June 1931