1934 10 October LECTURE I Zarathustra Seminar
Ladies and Gentlemen: We stopped before the vacation at the death of the rope-dancer, so we will start in now with section 7.
Meanwhile the evening came on, and the market-place veiled itself in gloom.
Then the people dispersed, for even curiosity and terror become fatigued.
Zarathustra, however, still sat beside the dead man on the ground, absorbed in thought: so he forgot the time.
But at last it became night, and a cold wind blew upon the lonely one.
Then arose Zarathustra and said to his heart:
Verily, a fine catch of fish hath Zarathustra made to-day! It is not a man he hath caught, but a corpse.
Sombre is human life, and as yet without meaning: a buffoon may be fateful to it.
I want to teach men the sense of their existence, which is the Superman, the lightning out of the dark cloud-man.
But still am I far from them, and my sense speaketh not unto their sense.
To men I am still something between a fool and a corpse.
Gloomy is the night, gloomy are the ways of Zarathustra.
Come, thou cold and stiff companion! I carry thee to the place where I shall bury thee with mine own hands.
What do you think is remarkable in this passage?
Mrs. Crowley: I think this chapter is the repetition of that scene of the lightning and the Superman.
It brings up that point again.
But I feel that it is like a preface to the next one, that it cannot be separated, and that chapter 8 again goes back to chapter 2.
We can get it only by analogy with the second one, where he is coming down from the mountain.
Mrs. Baynes: To me it is that he accepts the corpse as his companion.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. You see, we could almost expect that Zarathustra, having watched the catastrophe of the rope-dancer, would be rather disinterested, because it would seem to have really happened outside of himself.
He might philosophize about it but there would be no close or intimate connection between the rope-dancer and himself, unless it was the very near connection which we established in the former Seminar-namely, that the rope-dancer is the human form of Zarathustra, Nietzsche himself as the human being.
It is just that which explains why he cannot leave the corpse; he has to remain with it, to make the corpse his companion.
Now, this is a pretty gruesome spectacle, I should say: that Nietzsche the man should be in any sense the corpse that accompanies Zarathustra, the corpse that is carried by him.
This is in fact the gloomy aspect of Zarathustra, a cloud hanging over the whole book-Nietzsche being dragged along by that figure of Zarathustra-and it comes to the daylight here for the first time. “Verily, a fine catch of fish hath Zarathustra made today! It is not a man he hath caught, but a corpse.”
We must pay attention to this sentence.
It is important, because later on comes the realization that he needs other people just because he has not caught a man.
He realizes that he ought to have other people instead of that corpse.
You see, if the corpse is himself, then he is dead really, and he has to replace himself by the other people he catches-or one could almost say, by other corpses.
They must be, then, instead of himself; he hands over to others his human life which he should have lived.
Therefore, he says that human existence is uncanny and without a meaning.
The jester, as you know, is the negative aspect of Zarathustra, which means that an unconscious figure, like Zarathustra (we dealt with the different aspects of these figures in the last Seminar) could prevail against the human being to such an extent that the latter would be destroyed.
That explains why he calls the Superman a lightning out of that dark cloud, man (lightning is, of course, utterly destructive), and also why he puts himself between a fool and a corpse.
For people in general were quite unable to see who Zarathustra was, and so they took him either for a jester or the corpse; either it was Nietzsche himself, the corpse, or it was a sort of malevolent fool-in other words, insanity.
People would not see the archetype which Zarathustra represents, the archetype of the wise old man. Inasmuch as this archetype was obvious to them at all, it appeared only as a jester or a corpse, a being which would either make a man insane or kill him.
But Zarathustra is not only the archetype; he contains the self at the same time and is therefore an exceedingly superior figure.
Now, what about this identity of an archetype with the self? Can that be?
Miss Hannah: No, because the archetype is the general idea, and the self the particular thing in the Here and Now.
Dr. Jung: Yes. The archetype is a collective thing; it is by its definition a content of the collective unconscious.
It is an omnipresent eternal figure which one encounters everywhere, while the self is not to be encountered everywhere.
The self is, by definition, the most individual thing, the essence of individuality.
It is the uniqueness. And that onecan only encounter where?
Answer: In an individuated human being.
Dr. Jung: Well, only in yourself. You cannot even encounter it in anybody else, only in yourself.
The self is the immediate awareness of your uniqueness, and it is a uniqueness which is in a way most personal, most intimate.
It is your uniqueness.
Now, I grant you it is exceedingly difficult to understand such a thing intellectually, because it is most contradictory.
Of course, we always have to keep in mind that the self is in the first place the personal Atman-to use the Indian formulation of that concept.
But their definition is that the personal Atman, the self, is in everybody; it is the smallest thing, the thumbling in the heartof everybody, yet it is the greatest thing in the world, the super-personal Atman, the general collective Atman.’
And we can accept that definition.
It can be grasped intellectually even by an occidental mind.
Yet it is not grasped properly at all, because the super-personal Atman is not the thumbling in everybody.
It is the thumbling in myself.
There is only the self, and that is myself, for by definition the personal Atman is uniqueness.
Now, I cannot guarantee whether the East understands it in this way, but at all events we can be satisfied with the fact that there are mandalas and formulas in the East, ready-made, so we can assume that people have understood this peculiar secret of the self.
For instance, take the worship of a mandala, not like these chakras on the wall which represent evolution, but a mandala of completion, a Lamaistic chakra, where in the center there is either the thunderbolt, the vajra, the abstract symbol of concentrated divine power, or Shiva and Shakti in embrace.
When the Tantric initiant enters the center of the mandala through the four gates of the functions it is understood that he approaches the god, which in the philosophy of the Upanishads would be the super-personal Absolute Atman.
In other words, the initiant brings the personal Atman back to its divine source, the super-personal Atman.
In the end, when he has entered through the four gates and has reached the center, then the climax of the contemplation would be the complete identity of the initiant with the god-if he is a man, with the Shiva, and if a woman, with the Shakti, the female aspect of the god.
The two aspects merge finally into one, in the non-existing yet existing Brahman, the potential world being.
Now, in this case an individual self has become the universal self, yet when you approach the universal self through the personal, you carry the individual consciousness into the universal consciousness.
Then the universal consciousness is identical with the individual consciousness; there the self in all its particularity, in all its peculiar personal being, is at the same time the universal being.
This is utterly paradoxical, just as paradoxical as that old German mystical poet, Angelus Silesius, for instance, when he wonders mildly that he and God are just the same, that there is no difference between himself and God.
You see, we must keep in mind that in our unconscious psychology there are these thoughts, which are evolved as the Tantric system, say, in India, or in Lamaistic philosophy, or as mystical thought in the West, and so we have to talk of them.
This is not mysticism, this is psychology.
It is simply the scientific consideration of such facts, which are constantly reproduced by our unconscious in this form or another.
And here we find such a form in Zarathustra, because Zarathustra is on the one side very clearly the archetype of the wise old man, and on the other side that concept of uniqueness.
Therefore, the absolutely indissoluble interwoven ness of Nietzsche himself and Zarathustra of which we have spoken.
This peculiar identity and nonidentity is in exactly the same relation as the personal and super-personal self, or the personal Arman and the super-personal Atman.
Even when Nietzsche is Zarathustra, he is his own uniqueness, his own personal self as it were.
Now, this thing should not be an archetype at the same time; the archetype should be differentiated or discriminated from the self.
Mr. Baumann: Could one not say that the archetype stands only for the unconscious, and the self for the conscious and unconscious together?
Dr. Jung: Exactly. The self is always the sum total of conscious and unconscious processes.
It comprehends consciousness; consciousness is included in the self like a small circle in a bigger circle.
The self cannot be contained in an archetype because an archetype is merely a content, a figure, of the collective unconscious, and cannot possibly contain the thing in which it is contained.
The archetype is contained in the unconscious, and the unconscious and the conscious together make the self.
“The self” is a concept of totality which contains all the archetypes and individual consciousness at the same time.
The symbol of totality is always a circle, and one can say that in the center is the conscious, and around it is the unconscious containing the archetypes, among them the archetype of the old man.
And that cannot contain the self, because the whole circle is the self, the totality of the conscious and unconscious.
So it can only be a transitory condition in which the idea of the self or the idea of totality appears as a content in an archetype.
Now, how would you characterize such a transitory condition?
When is it possible for that condition to appear in one archetype, the archetype of the old man?
There is one definite situation in which that can be.
Mr. Baumann: I think it can be when the archetype includes something eternal, not referring to the past alone, but including the whole development. The wise man ordinarily implies the old man who has had only past experiences, but he might take a form without time limit, though I have no idea what it would be.
Dr. Jung: Well, you can say the old wise man is surely the figure of the great teacher, the initiator, the psychopompos.
And then he can contain the idea of the self for a while as a sort of vision or intuition.
He knows about it, he teaches it, because he is the psychopompos who leads the initiant on the way to his completion.
As a matter of fact, it is the rule in analysis that when the patient begins to realize the archetype of the old wise man, the self also appears in the figure.
That is the reason why men have the tendency to identify at once with the wise old
Because the self appears then, they are already in the wise old man, so to speak, and then they are sucked up and they become mana, important.
They have an inflation and walk about with heavy heads, “les inities imaginaires,” as Zimmer once said very wittily.”
When a man is swelled up with the idea of possessing the big thing, being a hell of a
fellow, getting very wise, it means that identification.
And in the inflation which follows, the human being goes to hell.
For one cannot possibly live as the wise old man day and night; one would be something between a corpse and a fool.
People would think so and right they would be.
As I said, people thought Nietzsche was a fool in reality and were always afraid there would be insanity behind it.
And he suffered from terrible migraines, he only lived for his health, he was a living corpse; that is the external appearance of a fellow who has been swallowed by the wise old man.
But the wise old man ought to have wings, he should be a swan, not a human being.
He should not walk about.
He should make use of his aeroplane that he carries within himself.
You know, in the East they suppose that the perfect wise men are able to fly.
That is the criterion-as long as one cannot fly, one has not attained to the summit of wisdom.
So let the old wise man be an air-being, a subtle body with wings, and don’t identify with it.
This is one of the events which very often happens to the analyst; it is one of the forms of analyst-neurosis.
Analysts have very peculiar neuroses.
They are infected by all the transferences they get and their heads are twisted.
They are poisoned, and as a rule they become sensitive and susceptible, difficult to deal with.
That is always the infection of the cursed profession: they are cursed by their perfect old wise man.
They should know better but they don’t.
Therefore, it is important for the analyst to confess that he does not know better, or he will know worse.
Then he gives a chance to the patient.
But you see, there is always the prestige of the doctor.
The public wants to be convinced that the doctor is a sort of sorcerer or magician.
The primitive medicine man, of course, lives on that prestige.
He is identical with the wise old man, so very often he is sick or insane at the same time.
Therefore, primitive people are always afraid of being made into medicine men. It is not an enviable condition.
Mrs. Crowley: I thought the corpse suggested his shadow, that this was where he was first meeting his shadow.
Dr. Jung: Do you remember our great soreites syllogismos?
The conclusion there is that everything is everything.
So the corpse is also the rope-dancer, and the rope-dancer is the shadow sure enough.
But Nietzsche himself as a human being is in the same connection with Zarathustra as the rope-dancer with the jester.
You see, the rope-dancer is the negative attitude of Nietzsche himself and Zarathustra; the ropedancer is the one who jumps over the hesitating Nietzsche.
Then in the next chapter, the jester comes, and in the ninth chapter Zarathustra himself says that he is going to jump over all those that hesitate or are reluctant. “Over the loitering and tardy will I leap.”
Mrs. Crowley: But now he is giving up teaching. He has a new attitude entirely after he buries the corpse.
Dr. Jung: Ah yes, the new attitude that will come is that he needs human
beings instead of himself.
Another quality of the inflation by the wise old man is that one gets a mania to teach, to be a missionary, to tell people all about it and take care that plenty get into the kingdom of heaven.
It always creates a sort of missionary attitude, and of course the conviction that there is no other way but this way.
Mr. Allemann: Speaking of consciousness, is it possible, when the self is made conscious, to get over that identification, at least temporarily?
Dr. Jung: Well, as a rule you go through a time when you are identical with the wise old man.
Nobody can realize an archetype without having been identified with it first.
If you even touch the animus or anima, the most vulgar archetypes of all, you are they, and you cannot realize them without having been thoroughly caught by them.
No woman will realize what the animus is without having been identical with him, and no man will realize what the anima is without having been filled by the anima. In speaking of such things, I say: “as if”: it is as if these archetypes were each of them stronger than the ego.
They easily catch hold of you and you are possessed as if they were lions or bears, say-primitive forces which are quite definitely stronger than you.
You see, our prejudice is that we are sitting on top of the mountain with our conscious and our will, and nothing can get at us; and then the unconscious catches us from below.
People call the thing that is below “the subconscious” instead of “the unconscious”; it sounds so much better.
The subconscious is the cellar, something below your feet, and you are St. George standing upon the dragon.
That is the medieval ambition, to kill the dragon and stand on top of it.
But if you descend into that world, you encounter a figure which is definitely stronger than your ego complex.
Therefore, quite naively, Rider Haggard speaks of: “She-that-must-be-obeyed.”
Nothing doing otherwise, you have to obey.
It is quite self-evident that she is the stronger part.
And the complex of the wise old man is a fearful thing.
Sometimes the dragon is overcome, so we can assume that it is not always so strong.
But there are plenty of whale-dragons that attack and overcome the hero, proving that the dragon is much the stronger-until the hero makes the attack from within.
Now we will go on to Chapter 8.
When Zarathustra had said this to his heart, he put the corpse upon his shoulders and set out on his way.
Yet had he not gone a hundred steps, when there stole a man up to him and whispered
in his ear-and lo! he that spake was the buffoon from the tower.
“Leave this town, 0 Zarathustra,” said he, “there are too many here who hate thee.
The good and just hate thee, and call thee their enemy and despiser; the believers in the orthodox belief hate thee, and call thee a danger to the multitude.
It was thy good fortune to be laughed at: and verily thou spakest like a buffoon.
It was thy good fortune to associate with the dead clog; by so humiliating thyself thou hast saved thy life to-clay.
Depart, however, from this town-or to-morrow I shall jump over thee, a living man over a dead one.”
And when he had said this, the buffoon vanished;
Zarathustra, however, went on through the dark streets.
At the gate of the town the grave-diggers met him; they shone their torch on his face, and recognizing Zarathustra, they sorely derided him.
“Zarathustra is carrying away the dead clog: a fine thing that Zarathustra hath turned a grave-digger! For our hands are too cleanly for that roast.
Will Zarathustra steal the bite from the devil?
Well then, good luck to the repast! If only the devil is not a better thief than Zarathustra!-he will steal them both, he will eat them both!”
And they laughed among themselves, and put their heads together.
Zarathustra made no answer thereto, but went on his way.
When he had gone on for two hours, past forests and swamps, he had heard too much of the hungry howling of the wolves, and he himself became a-hungry.
So he halted at a lonely house in which a light was burning.
“Hunger attacketh me,” said Zarathustra, “like a robber.
Among forests and swamps my hunger attacketh me, and late in the night.
“Strange humours hath my hunger.
Often it cometh to me only after a repast, and all clay it hath failed to come: where hath it been?”
And thereupon Zarathustra knocked at the door of the house.He carried the corpse to the woods.
Do you remember any historical
parallel to this carrying of the corpse? It is typical symbolism.
Mrs. Crowley: The carrying of the cross.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it is a symbol of the so-called transitus, the old term which designates the carrying of the cross in the Christian mystery for example, or the carrying of the tree in the Attis mystery, or the carrying of the dead bull which was himself by Mithras.
Mithras was the white bull of the beginning of the world, the world bull, Abhudabad, in
Persian mythology; so he sacrificed his own bull, himself, and then he carried his own corpse.
That carrying of the bull is really the parallel to Zarathustra carrying the corpse of the rope-dancer, the equivalent on a different level.
And what is the subtle difference of those two symbols? What did it mean originally that Mithras sacrificed the bull?
Mrs. Crowley: He sacrificed his animal nature.
Dr. Jung: Yes, it would be the impetuosity, the uncontrolled affectivity of the primitive man.
Therefore, Mithraism is the religion of the Roman soldiers.
The remains of the Mithraic temples were found chiefly near the garrisons along the German Lines for instance; and quite recently a well-preserved Mithraeum has been discovered in the Syrian desert, where the French are making explorations in cooperation with Yale University.
They have now asked the connoisseur of Mithraism, Cumont, to help in the excavations.
It was the religion of the imperial house of Rome and of the soldiers because it was a religion of discipline.
And this discipline was expressed in the bullfight by the toreador who, with a most marvelous self-control, showing no sign of nervousness or fear, kills the bull in the critical moment.
Mithras was a deified toreador, so the god was represented in the position of the antique toreador.
He did not face the bull with a sword, but jumped upon his back like a cowboy and killed him with a short sword which he pushed in near the shoulder blade.
Therefore, the bull had a sort of belt round the chest to help the bullfighter leap on his back and to cling to in case of need.
Usually, the toreador is depicted with a most peculiar face of hysterical sentimentality, like a Guido Reni.’
There is a very wonderful head of Mithras in the British Museum in London, where
you can study this strange hysterical expression, like that of a person who ought to do something which he doesn’t like, so that his mind is split.
He is not at one with what he is doing.
Therefore, the god is always turning his head away when he pushes his knife in.
It is exceedingly psychological, as if the overcoming of his emotions were not entirely
shared by the whole individual, as if a part of the individual were for it and a part against it.
We don’t like to control our emotions because we enjoy them.
It is a sort of partial suicide when we control them.
We regret ourselves, we are sorry for ourselves; and the god expresses that in his peculiar face.
Now, after the bull’s death it is carried somewhere, but this part of the Mithraic mystery is unfortunately absolutely dark.
Cumont says, however, that this is the transitus part of the mystery, in which things are carried from one place to another, and he draws a parallel with the carrying of the cross of Christ. ”
But in the Christian religion it is no longer a question of killing the bull.
Christ as a lamb is sacrificed, and one calls that symbolical but it is really allegorical.
It really means that Christ as a man is sacrificed, or one can also say that God himself has become man in order to sacrifice himself for the redemption of mankind.
So the cross carried by Christ would be the symbol of man, and truly it is, for standing with the arms outstretched, the position of the
figure on the cross is the gesture of complete acceptance. It means,
there is nothing to be done about it, do what you please, one is defenceless.
It is the complete surrender of man.
The Christian symbol of Christ carrying the cross means that he carries his own body, his own corpse.
We have here a sort of Christian symbolism, therefore. Zarathustra carries his own humanity, his human body, Nietzsche, as the rope-dancer who has been killed, a kind of paraphrase of the Christian sacrifice.
As I have said before, Nietzsche was in a secret way more Christian than anyone would expect.
Mr. Baumann: It has been said that in Christianity there are no more heroes, only martyrs: they all have to die.
Dr. Jung: Well, the martyrs are just the witnesses.
The Greek word martyros means witness.
They overcome fear and so on, but it has nothing to do with the transitus, which is a symbolical mystery transformation.
Mr. Baumann: The hero does his work and afterwards is in heaven, but in Christianity man has to suffer in order to accomplish.
Dr. Jung: Yes, but the principle of the church was imitatio Christi.
They carried on just by witnessing, not by being heroes. The hero is always original. Christ did not carry on anything; as a symbolic figure, he was original and creative.
When a martyr was killed in the arena, he was killed for Christ or for his creed, but not for himself.
He was simply a witness for the Lord.
That has nothing to do with what happens to the hero.
Mr. Baumann: That is what I meant: there are no more heroes in Christianity.
Dr. Jung: Ah yes, that is true.
Of course, one does call martyrs heroes of the church, but they were heroes for the church and not for themselves.
But Christ is the hero for himself; he did not sacrifice himself for the glory of any church.
It was the natural expression of his own life, of his individuality.
Now, here we have the symbolism of the transitus again.
What is the difference between this transitus and the transitus of Christ for instance, or Mithras?
Miss Wolff The bull which is killed by Mithras is a god, apparently a chthonic god. After he is sacrificed by Mithras, the world is created out of his various organs.
The corn, the vine, and all the animals spring from them, and his soul becomes a celestial shepherd.
And Christ is a god. He is the incarnation of god in human form, and he dies as a god.
But with Nietzsche, Zarathustra is a sort of god, but he is not sacrificed, and he merely carries a corpse, the corpse of a very inferior man.
So here the god remains alive, there is no sacrifice.
Only the corpse of Nietzsche’s shadow, his own collective human side, is sacrificed, necessarily inferior because all values are concentrated on the superhuman aspect.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. The difference is that Christ carries the cross to his own execution.
The cross is the instrument by which he will be killed.
He will be killed by man and the god is sacrificed, while Zarathustra is carrying the body in order to bury it, merely.
The transitus in the cult of Attis is a better analogy, where the fir tree is carried into a cave, into the earth, the cave being a burial place or a mystery place-they are indistinguishably the same.
Therefore, the first Christian cult took place in the catacombs.
It was by no means to escape persecution, for everybody knew the access to the catacombs-they were public burial grounds.
They simply worshipped in the burial ground.
And the Christian medieval churches are still burial grounds.
One walks on tombs; the whole place is filled with corpses just as it was in the beginning. So carrying the burden into the grotto, the so-called spelaeum,
means carrying it into the place of tombs.
Human dwellings were also burial places originally, particularly in the Near East.
In Mesopotamia, for instance, houses have been excavated where the corpses of the ancestors were buried under the floors.
That was done to keep the ancestral spirits in the house, or in the family, as the Eskimos often preserve the corpses in their huts in order to keep the ancestral spirits with them.
It is most unfortunate when the host of ancestral spirits leave the ground, because then the living no longer have the support of the spirit world, and that is very dangerous under primitive conditions.
This aspect of the transitus, carrying something to the burial place, played a role probably in the Mithraic cult as well, but the relationship of the cult of Attis to Christianity is very close, perhaps even closer than Mithraism.
For instance, Hippolytus, an early father of the church, says that the grotto in which Christ is said to have been born was, according to tradition, the sanctuary of Attis.’
And quite recently a very interesting proof has been brought to light: recent excavations in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem have shown that below the Christian church, which dates from early in the fourth century is Roman masonry, the remains of a temple of Attis built by the Emperor Hadrian in about 136; and this was erected in order to desecrate the place of the Christian cult.”
This proves that before the cult of Attis the Christians had already worshipped in that place.
There must have been a very early local tradition that Christ was really born in this spelaeum, and that it was actually a spelaeum of Attis is shown by the fact that Hadrian again erected the temple of Attis with the purpose of desecrating the place of Christ’s birth.
You see, these traditions obviously have a great similarity, and there are other remains which prove the relationship.
Just where the Vatican is standing today, for example, there was a temple of Attis, and the head priest of that cult was called papas in Greek, and the priest who is still ruling there in the old place is the papa or pope; papa is the Latin form.
Here, then, we have a very peculiar transitus.
Zarathustra would be in the place of the god of the antique mysteries, in the place of Christ the man-god, or Mithras the hero god, or Attis the son god, the son of Astarte.
He is carrying the human body, the corpse-or the humanity, one can say-which really carries him.
You see, there is a peculiar twisting of the facts.
The archetype has its life in this world of consciousness through the fact that it appears in a living body, so the living body carries the archetype of the wise old man.
But here it is represented as if the archetype were carrying the man, which is of course true inasmuch as an archetype is greater in size than the ego complex and therefore
able to swallow it.
And when the ego complex disappears in the archetype, man is the victim. He is injured, that is; his life is taken from him by the archetype of the wise old man.
Now, if you take that as the symbol of a mystery cult, like those in antiquity, it would express the fact that man was sacrificed to an archetypal idea, or an archetypal spirit which is true-and it would be at the same time a sort of admonition to the believers of that cult, as the killing of the bull, for instance, is an admonition to the believers of Mithraism.
It meant: that is you; you ought to kill your own bull as Mithras the god overcomes himself in his animal aspect.
Or as Christ is imitated in the Christian mystery.
He goes to his own sacrifice carrying his humanity, dragging his humanity along to that divine sacrifice.
And that is of course very interesting, and quite different from the Mithras or Attis idea.
So here again we can say this is a sort of admonition: Let the Superman carry the ordinary man as if man were a corpse.
You see, there is absolutely nothing of the Christian idea that the god is proceeding to his own self-sacrifice.
Zarathustra is not going to sacrifice himself at all; he is going to live on.
He is only going to bury the man, thinking that he is thus overcoming the thing which has been so reluctant, heavy, unwilling, too clumsy, too conservative.
Therefore, Zarathustra’s identification with the jester who jumps over the hesitating rope-dancer.
Now, that amounts to a teaching of inflation, one could say.
It would mean that you should identify with the archetype even if you sacrifice your humble humanity; you should sacrifice your humanity to the life of the archetype.
That is exactly what happened in Nietzsche’s life, and the question is whether that should go as a general symbol.
If it would work as a collective symbol, such a passage would become dogmatic.
It would become the contents of a mystery; you would see the holy figure of Zarathustra carrying man to his rest, going to bury man, and that would fill us with a particular emotion.
It would put something on fire in us as the Christian mystery did formerly.
I am sure that the believers of Mithraism followed the peripeteial of the divine mystery with great emotion, probably with tears and lamentations, or with shouts of joy.
It was a sort of passion play, and it would not have worked.
It would not have gripped people if it had not gripped their emotions, touched their actual psychological condition.
If people were in a state which could be expressed by such a symbol, they would most certainly be deeply and emotionally fascinated by it, and it would work like a transitus
symbol in a mystery cult.
And you know there has been that pretension.
There have been people who considered Zarathustra as a prophetic revelation, a teaching of profound wisdom.
It has had a sort of religious value.
I remember when I was a student, there were quite a number of young people in Basel, even certain professors of the younger generation, who studied Zarathustra and made a cult of it.
Now, apart from this transitus symbol, what would arrest your attention the most in this chapter? Did you notice anything impressive?
Miss Hannah: His hunger.
Dr. Jung: That is decidedly a point, for later on, quite at the end of Zarathustra, this hunger and thirst business comes up again, but we will postpone it for the time being.
There is something before that.
Mrs. Stutz: The devil.
Dr. Jung: That Zarathustra is going to steal the devil’s meal?
Well, yes, but that is already contained in the jester.
One must contemplate the sequence of events here, as in a dream, as if it were a causal sequence.
That is the principle of science: science looks at the events of the world which follow in a sequence as a causal sequence.
One must try to establish a causality.
Science thus produces sense.
So for an explanation here, one must assume a causal sequence.'”
Here, then, by the gesture of carrying the corpse on his back, he causes the jester to appear, and that is really causality.
It is not a mere incident or chance; the jester is called up by Zarathustra’s gesture.
He only went about a hundred paces before the jester came along.
He cannot go very far with his victim without making the jester appear.
Now what is the jester in relation to Zarathustra?
Mrs. Crowley: The shadow.
Dr. Jung: Yes, we could say the very actively negative aspect of Zarathustra.
That jester is an evil demon.
As Zarathustra is supposed to be the superior wise man, so the jester is correspondingly destructive and evil, and he comes up now.
You see, when you take a certain stand, when you make up your mind to something which is one-sided and therefore strike against an obstacle, then the opposite is conjured up from the unconscious, and the opposite is here symbolized by a fool-and a destructive fool at that. In Nietzsche’s case it means insanity.
If anybody behaves like Zarathustra–if a man allows himself to be swallowed by an archetype–then he will be swallowed by the unconscious.
In other words, he will be insane.
It will be a psychosis, a case of schizophrenia perhaps.
So no sooner does Zarathustra start to carry that corpse than he conjures up insanity in the form of the jester who kills the mind of a man long before his body.
It is the jester who jumps over the rope-dancer and injures him, so that Zarathustra then says to him:
“Be quiet, don’t worry, your mind will be dead long before your body.”
This was Nietzsche’s case in reality, as you know.
He was insane for about eleven years; he had literally predicted his own fate.
And this jester is the personification of the insanity.
The archetype of the wise old man is understood to be the sum total of human wisdom, and the shadow is necessarily the personification of all human foolishness.
Therefore, wisdom and foolishness are so exceedingly close together.
One is often not quite certain whether a man is wise or whether he is a great fool; and one must recognize that in foolishness there is a great deal of wisdom.
The fool has sometimes been the typical wise man.
Till Eulenspiegel, for example, is the fool and the great wise man at the same time.
And the primitive medicine man whom they consider so wise is really often insane.
Or an insane man is often thought to be wise because he is not understood.
Mr. Baumann: The king’s jester would be a case.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and he was the only one who had intelligence.
Because he was considered a fool he was allowed to say things which nobody else would dare to say to the king.
The medicine man is usually uncanny and feared, but in the Pueblos they have a special clan that is entrusted with the function of the carnival.
They are sort of professional clowns.
It is an important office, and they are called delight-makers.
The medicine man and the delight-maker come together in the figure of the medieval jester, the merrymaker who was very often the secret councilor of the king and gave him the best advice.’
The coming up of the jester, then, is very clearly the next fact in the sequence after Zarathustra carries away the human being as a corpse.
Prof Reichstein: Is not the jester here in quite a helpful role?
Dr. Jung: Well, he has that peculiar ambiguity of the medieval jester.
He gives advice to Zarathustra.
He advises him to leave the town, and he even says it was good fortune for him that the people thought he was talking like a jester, for if they had really understood, things would not have gone so well.
And it was good fortune for him that he went away with the dead dog.
He had better make use of the opportunity to disappear; otherwise he-the jester-would jump over Zarathustra exactly as he had jumped over the man.
If Zarathustra remained in the town, that is, he would make such a fool of himself that he would be insane himself.
Now, is that really good advice?
You see, I would say that if Zarathustra remained in the town, he would remain in collectivity, in human society.
He might be found and killed, but also he might be able to convince people of his wisdom, and if he leaves the town he won’t be able to do so.
At all events, Zarathustra remaining in the town would be forced to be conscious of his ordinary human existence, because those other people would reach him by his humanity, by the body, the corpse.
And then he would soon be aware that he was not a man, that he was merely a fantasy or an archetypal image and not a reality.
It would soon come about that when he looked at his hand, he would say:
“By Jove, this is not my hand at all, like spirits when they are made conscious of the fact that they possess a foreign body.”
You know, there are cases of people who are possessed by spirits; and to de-possess such a person one must conjure that ghost through the aid of a medium, and then, like the Masters in The Tibetan Book of the Dead, one must tell the ghost that he is dead, disembodied.
He won’t believe it, he will insist that he has still a body.
So one must say: “Now look here, you say you are a man and have a man’s body, but look at your hand.”
(It is a medium’s hand because he speaks through the mouth of a woman medium.)
Then he says: “This is a woman’s hand, how awkward!-how did I get into this strange body?”
And it is further proved by telling him to go through a wall, for of course no man was ever seen doing that; so when he goes right through it, he has to admit at last that you are right.
There is a doctor in California who cures his neurotic or psychotic patients in that way.
His wife is a medium, and he simply gets all the spirits which are supposed to exist in the patients into his wife.
Then when a ghost talks through his wife’s body, he says to him: “Look at your body, you are a man but this is a woman’s body.”
And the ghost is so thoroughly shocked that he jumps right out of her and quits for good.
Not always though! ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 149-165