8 November 1933 Visions Seminar LECTURE V
The last vision ended with that circle of old men, the animi.
The new vision was called “The Procession of the Dead,” and was a continuation of the same scene-our patient was still talking to the old men.
And we discussed the advisability of leaving those old fellows, who seemed to her
so lifeless, and of going out into the market place which symbolized the collective life.
Then having come out there, she said: “The market place was deserted. All was dark. I stood alone.”
A market place is supposed to be full of life, thousands of people coming and going, yet here it is dull and empty. What does that mean?
Dr. Harding: Her libido is withdrawn.
Dr. Jung: Yes, so nothing happens.
One sees that particularly in cases of melancholia, as well as in all ordinary depressions; the whole world and the people in it seem to be lifeless, dead.
In melancholia it goes almost as far as an illusion.
A man once told me that the world looked quite unreal, like a photographic reproduction; it was not even plastic, just flat, and without color or movement, as if everything were frozen or congealed.
So when this woman comes out into the open, she finds that her libido is withdrawn from the world, and she feels that she stands alone.
Yet, she says: The great buildings still clashed together and again I saw the red mangled birds screaming up into the sky. A great wind blew.
We have already spoken of those birds, but what would it denote that a great wind was blowing?
Dr. Shaw: Spirit.
Dr. Jung: The wind symbolizes spirit or pneuma, but what does it mean that a great spirit is blowing?
Dr. Harding: It is the missing libido. There is no movement or life in the sthiila aspect, but in the sukshma aspect there is still life.
Dr. Jung: That is perfectly true. Her libido has withdrawn from the sthiila aspect of existence.
Mrs. Smith and Mr. Jones and concrete life as it is in its ordinary aspect, all that is empty.
The only thing that is alive is another aspect: all those phenomena are moved by a great wind.
I cannot help feeling an analogy here with what I have just seen in Germany.
Individuals hardly matter there any longer, everything is moved by the great wind.
I did not think of this vision then, but in trying to formulate my impression of the atmosphere, the only analogy I could find was a tremendous storm.
That enormous uprush of forces is as indistinct as the wind, one doesn’t know where it started or where it is going; it is a phenomenon of which nobody knows the interpretation.
The concrete conditions are, one could say, almost obsolete, they are at all events indifferent; not even the people concerned, the individual conditions, matter very much; everybody is fascinated by the great movement because every individual fate depends upon it.
They all feel shaken by that wind and only want to know what it is doing.
As when you are being carried along in a moving crowd, you naturally want to know where it is going, because that will be your fate; you cannot consider your own position or your own choice, you have none, you simply move along.
In our vision we are confronted with a very similar situation.
Our patient is affected by the great wind, she is no longer concerned with individuals,
so naturally she would like to know what that whole movement means. This is the secret movement of collectivity.
To put it into concrete form, one could say that she drops into America right out of analysis and finds there a peculiar secret movement going on, the sukshma aspect.
And she asks herself what the sukshma aspect of that noise and movement which they call American life may be.
Her unconscious smells a rat; not being concerned with individuals her unconscious is concerned with the secret forces underlying the American activity.
Mind you, that was some time ago; she had this vision, I think, in 1926 or 1927, before the actual conditions in America had become obvious.
But they were already there, whatever is happening now was there then in the germ, and the unconscious might have had a hunch about it.
As one might have had a hunch about the feelings that were in preparation in the year 1926 here in Europe, one might have felt that wind already starting in the unconscious.
So one could say that such a vision was really a hunch about the things that were to come, namely, that after a while the individual and individual conditions would not matter so much because a great wind would come up and move the whole nation.
And that will be interesting, because every individual fate will depend upon the movement.
Now after this statement one would expect an attempt at an interpretation of what is happening, and she says: “I saw, winding through the streets, a burial procession.”
The movement in the streets is first called the wind, and now the unconscious tries to formulate it better.
For the wind is invisible, so one has the feeling that that spirit, or dynamic phenomenon, should be grasped in the shape of a vision; and here instead of the wind she sees the movement in a visible form, as a burial procession winding through the streets.
She continues: All the men were in black with black hoods. They carried a bier, and
behind the bier walked men with torches. I stood with my arms out to stop them. They stopped. I said: “I would behold the corpse.” I lifted the black pall. Beneath it there was nothing. I cried out asking: “Where is the dead?” Then the men called in a loud and awful voice: “Behold we are the dead.” They are celebrating their own funeral, they are corpses carrying an empty bier; they are all dead and are going to bury themselves as their own corpses.
This is the interpretation of the wind, this is the sukshma aspect.
Now what kind of feeling does this vision give you?
Dr. Barker: The world today is celebrating its own funeral, as it were.
Dr. Jung: Yes, you see that is rather banal, you can read it in the papers, and in books, it has been said very often already.
It is a very pessimistic point of view.
Of course, the world won’t go to hell or come to an end, the day of judgment has not arrived; it merely means that something is going on which causes a disturbance, and that is represented as the great wind.
Mrs. Sigg: Old customs and ideas and forms of living are perhaps dead, so it might be the time just before a rebirth.
Dr. Jung: Exactly.
It means that a new spirit is stirring, a new attitude is coming, and naturally all the old convictions and ideas are decaying, they are going to their own funeral; all that has to vanish. If you compare the America of today with America as it was seven years ago, say, you find a tremendous difference.
Many of the old convictions have vanished prohibition has evaporated, for instance, even the gangsters are slowly beginning to disappear; and American prosperity has gone by the board, it is no longer what it used to be.
America is in a condition which she has never experienced before in her history; even in the most critical times of the Civil War there was no such stagnation.
It looks as if America has reached her limits as we have in Europe.
There is nothing further to explore here, we do no more pioneer work because Europe is full to the brim.
And that is now true of America; they begin to realize there that a continent has certain limitations, that in a way they have come to the end of their rope; and since the conditions are changing, the spirit of the country will change.
Therefore it is quite possible that our patient, upon leaving Europe and analysis, where she was deeply imbued by the collective unconscious, would instantly feel the incipient future movement that is going on behind the scenes when confronted with America.
Of course, the impression is not realized, it is realized as little as her own experiences of the collective unconscious, which are only faintly perceived.
I am sure she did not realize that she was feeling something of the life of the nation, as little as I would have then been able to tell her that she was realizing something of the sukshma aspect of American psychology.
I would not have dared to go as far as that, for one feels a peculiar hesitancy when it comes to interpretations which have an importance for the future.
Dr. Escher: When the Holy Ghost descended upon the disciples at Pentecost, it was said that a powerful wind was filling the house.
Dr.: Jung: Yes, the wind symbolized the pneuma, and together with the tongues of fire, it would also mean the destruction of the old values.
Mrs. Crowley: There were terrible winds and storms at the time of Caesar’s death just before the Christian era.
Dr. Harding: Christ said to one of his disciples: “Let the dead past bury their dead.”
Dr. Jung: That is the same idea.
Dr. Escher: I meant especially that the disciples had to bury their old ideas. It was the birth of a new idea, they themselves must go their own way through the burial and birth.
Dr. Jung: Yes, that was destruction and birth at the same time.
Here we are only concerned with the burial, but one may expect that after such destruction rebirth will follow.
For it is perfectly plain that those figures that form the funeral procession are the dead, the bier is empty, they only carry it as a sort of symbol.
She continues: They pulled off their hoods and I saw their faces sad and ghostly in
the flickering light of the torches. They said: “The ground beneath our feet is hot. Beneath us there must be life but we are dead.”
This demonstrates the character of the situation.
The things that are visible on the surface are dead, her libido is withdrawn from them, and naturally that libido must be found elsewhere because it cannot disappear; so it must be underneath because we always instinctively think of the unconscious as being below, in the earth or in the sea.
And the dead say that the ground under their feet is hot, which means that there is fire
underneath, a tremendous accumulation of energy or tension.
Then in a not very polite way she exhorts them to dig: I said: “Dig, you fools.” They began to dig. Suddenly the paving stones cracked and burst and a great fire rushed up from the earth with volcanic fury. It cast forth wild beasts and strange half-human forms. The men shrieked and ran. The wild animals prowled down the silent streets.
How do you interpret this?
Miss Hannah: Everything which has been repressed by the Christian era bursts up again from below.
Dr. Jung: Let us say the late Christian era, particularly the Victorian age, whose god was respectability.
That attitude blindfolded humanity; also a certain politic optimism that man was very nice, always meaning well and doing the right thing, while in reality he is always doing the wrong thing.
We do not realize what he really is and what our ideals really are; we quite forget that our ideals are compensations for just the opposite quality.
To have certain ideals doesn’t mean that they express our situation; it means that they are compensatory for something that is quite the other way round.
Our ideal of respectability means that we are by no means respectable.
The Greeks and Romans said of the Persians that they were the dirtiest dogs that ever existed, and therefore had the highest ideal of purity, the purest religion.
And Christians have the most cruel and bloodthirsty record ever known, and therefore they have an ideal of love.
Look at what they did in the East, calling it a crusade.
In the later crusades they did not even go to Jerusalem, they went to Byzantium for the imperial treasure there; and on their way through the Balkans and Asia Minor they burned and plundered everything they could lay hands on.
What we have done to the world in general is unheard of, and all in the name of Jesus.
Not to speak of the World War.
Well, below that respectable surface there is fire, and there are wild beasts and strange half-human forms which are not even animal, but something much worse, something between animal and man.
What would that be?
Miss Hannah: All sorts of monsters and mental deformities.
Dr. Jung: What would you call mental deformities?
Miss Hannah: There are a lot of mythological beasts, like centaurs and fauns and satyrs and incubi.
Dr. Barker: Beasts in human form would be ~bout the extreme I should think.
Dr. Jung: Yes, or a human being in animal form, a sort of perversity of nature, neither animal nor man but an awful thing in between.
You see, just through his progress man has caused such monstrosities to exist, for
he only advanced on one side and the other was left in the dark undeveloped.
So the intellect, for instance, was allowed to produce the most monstrous devices and convictions; and the feeling was allowed to develop monstrosities because it was not counterbalanced by the mind; everything got out of proportion, so the most hellish beings were created.
In the Middle Ages a man in my position-medicine men, priests, and so on-would have said to the people: “By your misbehavior you have created half-human forms; you have allowed your intellect to act by itself without the balance of the instincts, and it has produced monstrous forms by illicit intercourse with matter; it has created machines, monsters hooting and tooting through the streets killing people, eating up human lives; you have invented half-living things that are only comparable to such horrors as the mandragora, or those awful monsters the succubi, which cause terrible diseases, all sorts of ailments to humanity.”
Paracelsus used a similar argument at the time of the great epidemic of bubonic plague, when everybody was in despair, particularly the doctors
who could do nothing against it.
He wrote a letter to the emperor telling him that the pest could only be suppressed if he would suppress the brothels, where the prostitutes were bringing forth succubi or incubi instead of real children; the bubonic pest, he said, was due to the generation of those demons, it was caused through a perversion of the natural instincts of propagation.
And the Gnostics had the very similar idea that the suffering of the world was brought about by the intercourse of mind with matter.
The serpent in Paradise was such a monster, neither animal nor human, and that serpent had much to do with the beginning of human consciousness.
For nature can only be completely unconscious; with consciousness begins the deviation from the course of nature.
We are always deviating, and we are always having to find the way back.
Our consciousness tries to persuade us that we can go very far away; our whole civilization has been a gigantic attempt to force nature into our rational schemes; the machine age was an attempt at a substitution-as if we could escape the unconsciousness of nature.
Conscious rationalism went too far and had to return; that became a monstrosity which led to chaos.
So this part of the vision shows that not only the animal instinct has been suppressed
and lost, but also an insight into the real character of our conscious attempts to master nature: it really produces perversities.
Here a volcanic outburst brings out all those animals that go prowling
through the silent streets.
This is by no means a unique idea.
There is a very similar idea in Die andere Seite by Kubin.
He describes how the city in the unconscious is slowly invaded by all sorts of wild animals, they creep out apparently from nowhere and appear among human beings, and they are preparatory to an absolute change in the unconscious.
That book is also a sort of prophetic anticipation of the outburst of volcanic forces in our days.
One can see these things in the sthiila aspect of the actual conditions in Germany, one can see the uprush of the unconscious dynamis, the big snakes and the prowling animals-all that happens in reality.
The wildest instincts have been let out onto the streets, and Germany is now trying to deal with that explosion of the collective unconscious.
And America is not far from it; what the farmers are actually doing in America is not so far from what is happening in Germany; perhaps America will also have to deal with such an outburst.
Now the patient says: “The fire roared up and consumed the bier.” What does that mean?
Dr. Harding: It means that the new thing is overcoming and replacing the old.
Dr. Jung: Yes. The bier is the symbol, one could say, that expresses the meaning of, or characterizes, the funeral procession.
And this idea is consumed by the fire, there is no question now of the things that have gone by, they are consumed.
The thing that matters now is the fire and the prowling beasts.
She continues: I walked away wondering if the whole city would be consumed. All the streets converged into one narrow way and I found myself again descending the black path with black rocks high on either side.
What path is this? We have already seen it several times.
Mrs. Crowley: It sounds like the serpentine path of the unconscious, the spiral way.
Dr. Jung: But the unconscious has many ways; this is a very specific path.
Miss Hannah: The way of Tao?
Dr. Jung: Not necessarily.
No, this is her own path where she is fenced in with high rocks on either side; there is no escape, it is her inevitable path.
Now what does it mean, that all these streets in New York are converging into one path?
Mrs. Sigg: It means that the whole of New York does not really concern her, only the individual path is important for her.
Dr. Jung: Is that not morbid egocentricity?
Mrs. Crowley: She contains all those paths.
Dr.: Jung: That would be a hell of an inflation, I should say.
Mrs. Crowley: Or she may be contained in them, all those various paths converge into one.
Mrs. Baumann: It would be more like what you said about the person in a crowd and the big wind. For if all the streets converge into one path it is her own path, and that is in between the collective situation.
Dr. Jung: Ah yes, but when you are caught in a crowd that is rushing along, you are naturally interested in where it is going; for you cannot get out, you must follow.
In Germany at present everybody asks where that thing is going, where it will land, and nobody asks, where shall I land, because there is no question of the individual landing anywhere, it is a question of a whole nation.
Suppose Zurich were suddenly surrounded by water which threatened us with extinction; nobody would ask where do I land, but where do we land; we would simply be caught.
So in Germany the multitude is acting like one man despite the differences of opinion, they are all caught in the same movement; whether they say yes or no, whether they are willing to follow that crowd or not does not matter, they are carried away.
That is a very specific condition, and it is difficult to see a connection with this symbolism, where she suddenly finds that all the paths are converging into one.
And mind you, it is her own path that she has described again and again, with high
black rocks on either side and no escape.
Dr. Harding: These two things are really equivalent. In the one case the crowd is being considered and the individual is lost; but you can put it the other way round, for the crowd consists of individuals, and through concentrating on the path of one individual, the path of the crowd will be found.
Dr. Jung: Exactly, and you can put that into one very short formula: it is the sukshma aspect of the collective movement.
This collective movement will naturally draw her attention away from herself, everybody forgets themselves, they can’t afford to think of themselves.
But then one is simply confronted with the rush of wild waters in which nobody is conscious of himself.
This should not be, for there is then no consciousness of the movement, and people should have insight, they should want to know what is happening and to understand the meaning of such a collective movement.
And you can only come to an understanding of its meaning when you come to the understanding of your individual way within that movement.
Despite the fact that your body and your personal consciousness is being moved along, you should be able to stand still mentally and ask yourself what you feel and think about it. What does it mean, and what is this fellow here doing and saying?
Then you discover the sukshma aspect of it and then you can say that it is your individual way, just as any German at this time must discover that what is happening is his individual way; there is no escape for the individual.
I asked people who are right in the midst of the movement-I mean thinking people-and they told me exactly that.
There is nothing to be done about it, and the point is that you can surrender to it without knowing what the thing is or where it leads to, whether it leads to complete destruction or to a victory of some unknown kind.
You can surrender to it because it is your individual way.
You see, that is a complete acceptance of things as they are.
To be able to accept things as they are, inside and outside, is the way to individuation; without that acceptance you can never find yourself because you will always be peculiarly identical with everything.
That is, you are a microcosm, and a microcosm is also a macrocosm; you are the people, you are the world, and when you accept things as they are, you come into your own.
Our patient, then, is confronted with the individual path, that inescapable way which leads further down. She says: “I sat down sad and weeping.”
This doesn’t look very hopeful, she obviously does not like that path.
It is true that it is the easiest thing in the world to be carried by collectivity, moved by the wind, because one then has to make no effort, one can drift with the crowd.
In a way, that is a beautiful experience, yet it is exceedingly dangerous because it always leads to a place of stagnation-all the waters run down to a place of stagnation.
And so it happens with all those blind movements, they never lead up, they always
The greatest display of energy is always where there is a potential, where something is coming crashing down there is energy; but after a while that comes to a standstill, it cannot go on eternally.
Therefore the longer such a movement lasts, the more people with insight or mind realize the need of understanding it, the need of opening their eyes and seeing what it leads to.
You see, no river has ever built power works, man has done that; he can do it with a rush of energy provided that he opens his eyes and sees.
He can say to himself: “Now here is good water power, here is a cascade which gives me the necessary energy to drive my wheel.”
But he must build the wheel, he must know how to use the power which nature has given, perhaps in abundance.
To realize the trend of things will help him to open his eyes.
For it is necessary for each one to realize what all this means to him, what he feels as his own necessity in the movement, and what his attitude is to it.
And that is the individual path.
This is a rather difficult task because the temptation to follow the current is so great that one feels it almost impossible to resist.
Our patient is here confronted with this task; she should see the phenomenon by which she is surrounded, the collective movement, as her individual experience in which she is caught.
It is then no longer the experience of the masses, it is her own experience.
She must begin to ask herself where it leads to; she must sit down and reflect upon it.
The text continues: “I said: ‘Is there no end to this black path into the valley which I must travel?'”
You see, that is exactly the question.
It is the way of the waters, rushing down to the valley, the place of standstill, and when it arrives in the valley it will at last be quiet, it will not be a cascade, it may even be a lake-anyway a more or less complete standstill.
Then she says something very peculiar.
Perhaps you can divine what that would be.
Suppose you are caught in such a maelstrom of collective movement; you only feel that tremendous rush of waters pouring down, and you are able to stop for a moment and you begin to wonder and worry about it.
Now what could you do?
Obviously it would be an attempt to stop the mad rush of things.
Dr.: Reichstein: I would look into the valley to see where it was going.
Dr. Jung: But the question is what we can do about it when things are rushing down like that.
Why should we become aware of our individual path?
It looks as if fate itself were trying to make us conscious that it is our choice whether we follow, or whether we can stop it, or whether we might be able to give a certain direction to the movement.
If everybody in the crowd realized that they were running into an abyss, what would
Dr. Reichstein: As long as she does not know about the abyss, she cannot know whether it is advisable to follow.
Dr. Jung: Yes, but let us assume that she sees the path to be going down and realizes that she cannot possibly run with the herd all the time.
Miss Hannah: I think she would like to find another mandala, a protecting circle.
Dr. Jung: That is a good idea, she would look for a protective circle against the onslaught of the crowd.
Mr. Allemann: She would try to go back.
Dr. Jung: Impossible, you cannot swim against that current.
Mrs. Sigg: She might try to find a higher standpoint.
Dr. Barker: Or to find somebody to cooperate.
Dr. Jung: Those are also good ideas. Now who could cooperate with her?
Dr.: Shaw: The animus?
Dr.: Jung: If there were a positive animus it might help, but usually the animus is running along with the collective unconscious.
Mrs. Crowley: Would she not consult her dreams?
Dr. Jung: Yes, but the object here is not so much to have dreams as to do something about the situation.
She is trying to reflect about it, and she comes to a certain conclusion.
Dr. Shaw: She must have a shelter, she must get away where she can meditate.
Dr. Barker: She may find a niche.
Mr. Allemann: A cave in the rock.
Dr. Harding: She might cry with the psalmist: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Dr. Jung: Yes, we have already met such a rock in the vision, and what did we say about it?
You see, it is an overwhelming situation; perhaps the only thing to do is to cling to a passing log and try to keep afloat.
One is pretty desperate. Now what do people do in such conditions?
Miss Hannah: She would try to find the Self of which she is the object.
Dr. Barker: People usually pray.
Dr. Jung: There you have it. She says: “I wanted to pray. Then I knew that I could only pray to my star.”
The star is a symbol of her uniqueness.
As stars are unique units in the heavens, so individuals are in a way stars, they are unique units.
The innermost substance is a microcosm, as every star is a microcosm.
The earth is a microcosm in the great cosmos of the stars and we are ourselves microcosms upon the earth.
Each of us, every living being, is a small earth, one could say, because we are in intimate
connection with the earth, we are partially earth, we are conscious of our earthly body, for instance.
The star symbol means the center of a mandala, and the meditation on the Self or the meditation on the mandala is prayer; in many different religions that concentration upon a point outside of oneself, not identical with oneself, is called prayer.
One could not say that the ego was the microcosm because the ego is only the center or the focus of the individual consciousness, and consciousness reaches only as far as the conscious material reaches.
It doesn’t even cover the very important functions of the digestion, or the heart; for instance, there are enormous spaces of the psyche that lie beyond the conscious sphere.
So the totality of all that is not the ego-the ego is merely one part that belongs to a totality-the sum total is called the Self.
The center of that totality does not necessarily coincide with the ego system, just as the center of our galaxy of stars does not coincide with our sun, and the center of our solar system does not coincide with the earth; we cannot assume that our earth is the center of the universe.
It was discovered long ago that the earth is in the periphery of something bigger, it is an
appendix of the sun, and even the sun is an appendix of a larger system, a galaxy of unknown extent.
We cannot think of our earth as a sun, nothing is revolving round us except perhaps the moon; the ego is a little system like the earth with the moon, but it is by no means the center of the universe.
The Self is the center of the totality of the psyche in as far as we can measure it or have an intuition about it, or in as far as we have dreams about it, and surely beyond, for we cannot assume that we are informed through our dreams of everything that is happening in our psyche.
We cannot even be certain that it is our own psyche; it might be, but there are many things in our unconscious, and we are by no means sure whether they really belong to us or to somebody else.
It is quite sure that we are somewhere swimming in the same river with everybody
else, and that certain contents are flowing and drifting in between individuals, so sometimes they are in me and sometimes they are in another.
Therefore in a desperate situation like this, the religious reaction is absolutely to the point; this woman must have something to cling to that lifts her out of the rush of the waters; otherwise she will be carried away.
If she wants to stop, to become reflective, if she wants to realize her inner vision, she must have a point d ‘appui; she must have a point outside of the earth, where she can put in her lever.
And that is the Self, often symbolized as a star, the real center of the mandala.
Now she goes on: “I took it” (the star) “forth from my breast and laid it on the ground and knelt before it.”
Here we learn that the star has been in her breast. And with what was it identical there?
Mrs. Baumann: It is the flame in anahata.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and the flame in the Tantric yoga is the vision of Ishvara, it is the germ of the supreme principle, of Shiva himself, the god, but in his most individual form; the individual light spark would be the star.
There are other synonyms in other religious systems.
In the Vedic hymns, for instance, this center is not called Shiva but Hiranyagharbha,
which means the golden germ.
It is also called the golden child, and the golden egg.
Of course compared to the sun, it is a star; the morning star often has the meaning of this star.
Now what does it mean that she takes the star out of her breast and lays it on the ground.
How can one take the Self out of one’s breast and kneel before it as if it were an idol?
Mrs. Crowley: It is in order to see it-as if she could become a kind of object outside of herself.
Dr: Jung: Yes, she objectifies that idea or intuition of the Self in a visible form and makes an idol of it.
That seems to us almost heathenish, for we labor under the impression that we should not make images of sacred things, of the idea of God, for instance, because it would be idolatry.
Apparently her unconscious is in favor of it, however; it is here represented that she is even worshipping that intuition of the Self, as an objectified form. Now why should that be concretized?
Remark: She should meditate upon it, betrachten.
Dr: Jung: Yes, but first it must be objectified, concretized, and then follows Betrachtung, contemplation.
The word contemplation does not quite give the sense of the German betrachten, however, which means filling the thing with psychical stuff, making it full so that it carries.
That phase of contemplation follows, but we are concerned now with the objectification, the fact that she puts the symbol outside of herself.
What does that mean psychologically?
Dr: Harding: She disidentifies with it.
Dr: Jung: Exactly.
As long as you carry that symbol in your heart you are identical.
You can always say, I am that, it is inside myself, that is my intuition, so there is danger of its being identified with the ego, and then inflation invariably follows.
In rising from manipura, the fire region, to anahata, there is great danger of inflation because anahata is the air center.
There you approach the sphere of the gods, you are almost like a god of creation, breathing life into things and saying “I will.”
Manipura does what it will with you, you are carried, but in anahata you can choose, you can take this way or that way.
So you are godlike, knowing the difference
between good and evil because you have understanding.
Always before, the gods produced thoughts and feelings, the breath of life, you got it from them, but now you are the producer yourself.
It was a great discovery, a tremendous achievement of consciousness, that man could
say, I think, I feel, I will do certain things, as it is a great discovery to a child when it first discovers that it can carry out a plan.
Therefore the danger in anahata of getting a tremendous inflation, of being filled with that wind.
You see, the wind which was blowing had been inside of gas bags, but now they are pricked and out comes the great wind; it must come from somewhere, it must come from an inflation.
The people before the war, the gas bags with prestige, have been pricked, and all the winds together make a tremendous storm.
But if you take the cause of the inflation out of your own system, that creative feeling when you say, “I will,” it then becomes the wind of anahata.
The creed of the nineteenth century was: Where there is a will there is a way.
But that is what God says, and when it is his will, there is surely a way, for what he thinks or speaks, comes about, he makes ways.
You see, any ordinary human being who identifies with the creator thinks as if he were the creator, but if he succeeds in objectifying the creator as different from himself, then he himself, the gas bag, collapses; then he returns to human proportions and realizes that he is not the creator.
So in this moment of utter helplessness, when she is swept along by the wind, our patient understands that this is not her own choice nor her own doing, that she is in the power of an unknown will with an unknown design, and she makes an image of it, and even gives a name to it.
She calls it her star, her guiding principle that is leading her through the darkness and over the vast seas, and she worships that center.
Now we come to the contemplation, filling or giving life to a thing through contemplation.
Through meditation, Betrachtung, or adoration, she gives life to the guiding principle outside of herself.
That is prayer, through prayer you give life to the god, you make him strong.
This is an exceedingly primitive idea, but it has been the idea of mankind forever, that
through offerings, or the sacrifice of animals or fruits, or through the moral sacrifice of self-abnegation or humiliation in prayer, strength is given to the god.
The original idea was that it fed god.
You see such an explanation has nothing to do with the fact, in the sense that it could
explain away the truth of the fact; it is simply a new interpretation of the same old fact.
Thousands of years ago the god was fed with the sacrificed sheep because people then thought that the god liked to eat mutton.
Later on they said that god liked the smell of burned meat, and not exactly to drink wine, but the smell of wine that arose with the smoke; they thought the god lived by the odor, the mere smell of things.
And still later our own god wanted our sacrifice in the form of prayer, our souls were the food that we submitted to him.
We don’t use that terminology any longer because we have developed an idea of the divine principle which is far beyond the idea of feeding; it is just the other way round, we eat God in the communion, we eat the Host in which God dwells, and in that way we participate in the divine substance.
We return thus to exceedingly archaic ideas of cannibalism, and to old Egyptian ideas.
The Pharaoh was supposed to eat the small gods for breakfast, the middle gods for luncheon, and for dinner the great gods.
In other words, he drew all the gods into himself.
This Egyptian idea is at the base of the ideology and the symbolism of the communion.
But all these human attempts to find formulations have, as I said, nothing to do with the fact; in spite of all explanations or formulations, the fact remains that there is such a thing as exteriorization.
It is as if there were· a thing outside in matter that is not you, not ego; it is nonego, and you can put something into it by concentration, meditation by the right thought and the right deed, as the Buddhist says.
You can submit to it, it is a guiding function, whatever it is. That is the truth.
It does not matter what you call it, that is simply a fact, it is possible, it works.
An.cl that is what this woman tries quite naively; she symbolizes this act of devotion-or call it helpful magic-by the action of making an idol and putting it objectively before her eyes.
Now that is simply a formulation of the process, and the process is so real that if she could realize her vision and her actual situation, she would most certainly put that image before her eyes in reality; she would naively paint a star and she would contemplate it and concentrate upon it, not with the assumption that she is filling that piece of paper with the star painted on it with her magic libido, as a primitive would assume, to her it would simply symbolize her submission.
For to descend to such a primitive level would really mean submission to a modern man; that he should perform the same action that a primitive man would perform, make a miserable little idol, knowing all the time it was no idol, that it was a piece of paper and some paint, an idea out of his own head, would mean great self-abnegation.
He may say he has to do it for Dr. Jung, that it is a part of his analysis, but a voice from within tells him, nevertheless, that it is exactly what a primitive would do, and that he is perfectly ridiculous to do it.
It is like the man who barked in the moonshine: he thought he was safe in doing it because he would know that he was not crazy, but then he did bark in the moonshine and he was crazy.
Mr. Allemann: Is this not like the Christian saying, that you have to become like children in order to go to heaven?
Dr. Jung: Exactly, it is that submission, that childlikeness, which is simply another term for primitiveness.
You see, any modern man who did such a thing in reality would either be an artist, or a fool, or it would mean self-sacrifice, a sacrifice of all inflation, a return to the most primitive conditions.
It is a purely ritual act, but with no church that sanctifies or codifies it; it is an uncodified ritual, with all the original merit.
For such an action has psychological merit.
The first act, then, is the unveiling of the idol, and then follows the phase of contemplation or adoration.
This woman was concentrating upon the star and she says: “I saw jagged red and black bands all around it, moving into it and seeking to cut it into pieces.”
When one concentrates upon an idol, and is quite devout in the action, one exteriorizes
such an amount of living force into it that it begins to move.
In antiquity, when they prayed to the statue of the god, they touched its feet perhaps,
or they sometimes had steps leading up to the ear of the statue, where they whispered the prayer, making it as living as possible; through the devotion, it was said, they called the god in the statue, and he would then answer their prayers by winking or nodding his head.
Those people saw the statue move, and they took it as a miraculous answer.
That is the origin of the word numen, which really means winking at someone, it is a
hint, as when the god shakes or nods his head to one; and numeinosus is almost a technical term, meaning a thing that is full of mana, of its own spontaneous, autonomous life, a thing that has power; therefore numen also means the power in the statue or the god.
But it would be the mana one has put into it through adoration or devotion, through sacrifice to the divine being in the statue.
Such things happen in reality.
There are plenty of similar legends from the Middle Ages where the mother of God or Christ nodded the head or blinked the eyes or spoke to the worshipper.
All those were real events insofar as people in the act of religious devotion concentrated upon the image to the extent that it took all their life into itself and so was able to move.
That is called a hallucination or illusion in the sthula aspect; in the sukshma aspect it
means that the life force or libido is concentrated, and exteriorized into that unknown non-ego so that it begins to act, to work.
Now our patient sees in her vision the idol, her star, almost cut into pieces by red and black bands.
This is obviously a disturbance which comes from without.
What do these black and red bands mean?
Mrs. Baumann: It reminds one of the black sun with the red arms, it is the same color.
Dr.: Jung: Yes, and what did that mean?
Mrs. Crowley: It meant panic and destruction before.
Dr. Jung: But what has that to do with the star?
The star should be just the opposite, it should balance or counteract that.
Dr. Harding: It is the impact of the forces that were in the crowd before.
Dr. Jung: Yes, and coming out of the crowd, she is imbued with the forces working in that current; so when she contemplates the star, those destructive forces flow into it quite automatically and threaten to destroy the idol.
The collective movement is opposed to the concretization of the idea, the idea must be destroyed; otherwise the movement is no longer unconscious.
Nature cannot stand ideas, she is hostile to consciousness, because it disturbs the great unconsciousness in which things glide along smoothly; consciousness comes along and illuminates the darkness and upsets that smooth gliding movement of nature, so the
powers of such a movement are all against illumination.
Therefore people in this situation have no time to listen or reflect, they are too much caught by it.
And they don’t want to know what they are doing because of the fear of hearing something disagreeable; nobody wants to know that they are in a movement which is going straight to hell.
They are afraid of the interpretation that might be put upon it, or that their eyes might be opened to a danger which they prefer not to see.
The first effect, then, is that all those destructive forces flow into the image and
threaten it with destruction, as if she said to herself, “Oh well, in that turmoil, what does it mean after all? It is nonsense, it does not work.”
You will find all these reactions beautifully described in religious books.
But we see that this influx of destructive forces now has a positive effect.
She says: Then I saw a new pale blue star grow out from the circle and hold in check the red and black teeth. The circle grew stronger and more distinct.
The jagged bands are now teeth.
And here we have the construction of the mandala again, which is particularly needed at this place.
Those points which threatened the star are now demoniacal jaws, against which she, or her star, is protected by the magic circle, which is growing stronger and more distinct.
This shows that the influx of the destructive powers has been checked by that vision; in other words, it shows that this principle holds water, it is not an illusion, it works.
The greater the danger, the stronger the onslaught of the destructive powers, the more this principle justifies its existence and also grows stronger.
All that is happening in a sort of semiconsciousness, it is not realized by the patient; it is like a movie passing before her eyes, and so things develop in a very natural and law-abiding way.
She does not interfere, she just watches it more or less. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 1148-1164
2 Alfred Kubin, German Expressionist artist and author of The Other Side, tr. D. Lindley
(orig. 1909; New York, 1967); see CW 6, par. 577.Jung, in a letter to Kubin, cites the book as “a classic example of the direct perception of unconscious processes” (Letters, vol. 1, p. 104, 19 Nov. 1932); Two Essays, CW 7, par. 342; CW 15, p::irs. 142, 194; and Dream Analysis, p. 141.