1934 16 May LECTURE Ill Zarathustra Seminar
Here is a question by Mrs. Bailward: “‘Ye creating ones, there is much uncleanness. That is because ye have had to become mothers’:
Does this passage allude to his psychic identification (possibly a necessary part of creation) which he intuits as unclean?”
Well, the identification we spoke of has nothing directly to do with what he means in this later passage; this is a particular problem, the problem of the psychological condition of creativeness, which has nothing to do with the identification of Nietzsche with the old man.
For there is nothing unclean about the old wise man, nor is there necessarily anything unclean about the anima, or the Puer Aeternus, and so on.
The impurity he alludes to in this very much later passage is the impurity of the mixture of spirit and matter which is necessary for creation; without that mixture no real creation can take place.
But it is not concerned with the identification we are concerned with just now.
I mentioned last time that recognition of God’s being dead; we met that idea then for the first time.
Now, how shall we understand this statement by Nietzsche?
Dr. Reichstein: That the guiding principle which ought to contain the life, is dead.
Dr. Jung: Yes, we can understand God psychologically as a supreme
But we must well understand when we make that formulation or any other, that it is always our formula, it is what we say or know, it is our impression, the picture which we paint.
If you paint a picture of a landscape, say, you would never believe that it was the landscape; it is only what you make of the landscape.
You paint a picture as well as you can, but it is probably never as beautiful as the landscape itself.
Either you put something in that is not there, or you leave out something; at all events, you never make the mistake of confusing the one with the other.
But when we make a formulation about God, everybody assumes that that is God.
If I say, for instance, that god is an image, or a complex with a very great emotional intensity, or a supreme guiding principle, a psychological principle, then everybody asserts:
Dr. Jung says God is nothing but this.
A theologian does exactly the same thing when he says God can only be good.
And he has no idea of the blasphemy he is uttering.
How does he know that God can only be good? He takes half of the world away from him.
How can God he everything if he is denied the faculty of being evil too?
People make the mistake of assuming that he is nothing but their idea about him, and apparently God never defends himself.
He never says: now this is most certainly nonsense!
When somebody calls God a devil nobody strikes that man dead: he can live on ever afterwards perfectly happily.
One person can say that God is dead, and another one that he is most living, and it makes no difference.
Supposing that such an absolutely unimaginable thing as God exists: he must necessarily be beyond our grasp; otherwise, we would not use the idea of God.
It must be a thing beyond our mental possibilities.
So when we make a mental effort to formulate something about God, it is most obvious that we make a picture with our own means, consisting of our own stuff, and it is a most restricted aspect, because our mind is most certainly incapable of grasping such a fact as God would represent.
Moreover, the experience we can have of a thing utterly beyond ourselves can only be certain effects in our psychology;: we have absolutely no other material by which to judge.
And even in our psychological experience we are entirely restricted to our own condition.
You know, when I say something to a person and create a certain effect, then the
right conclusion is: Dr. Jung said such and such a thing to me and I had such and such a reaction.
Only when in a very bad mood or very resentful will he identify his reaction with himself.
In case of a bad reaction, he will consider me a perfect devil, most cruel perhaps, but that is only when he does not see the justification of what I have said, or when he does not want to see that he has such a reaction because his character is such that it necessarily produces just that.
Only very naïve people will project such reactions upon each other.
Of course it happens all the time; you kick a stone and hurt your foot and then you go back and kick it again.
I saw a man do that recently.
He stumbled over a pipe in his path and dropped something in his hand, and then he went back and kicked that pipe most violently and hurt his foot a second time.
That is, of course, very human but it is perfect nonsense.
We always must keep in mind, then, that what we say about God is made of our own psychology; we cannot get beyond that fact.
It is our language, our own brain cells, our individual experience, and we cannot prove that anything in our conception could possibly touch the real being of what we call God.
It is almost futile to make such formulations because we never can prove them; we can only ask: Are there peculiar effects in our psychology which we cannot place otherwise than under such a heading? In other words: Are there such things as God-experiences
in our psychology?-or what is the thing we call a God-experience?
All we can formulate about it is made of our own concepts, and we can only postulate that there must be an unimaginable paradoxical being behind the experience about which we cannot know, definitionem.
It is absolutely dark.
So when we assume God to be a guiding principle-well, sure enough, a god is usually characteristic of a certain system of thought or morality.
For instance, take the Christian God, the summum bonum: God is love, love being the highest moral principle; and God is spirit, the spirit being the supreme idea of meaning.
All our Christian moral concepts derive from such assumptions, and the supreme essence of all of them is what we call God.
So, when Nietzsche says God is dead, then it naturally means that supreme guiding principle is dead, the spirit, love-Christian love of course-whatever is believed about the Christian God: for instance, that God loved mankind so much that he even allowed his son to be crucified to redeem them from sin, and the idea that his son was himself
and at the same time the sum total of all these leading dogmatic ideas.
So, you could say just as well that our Christian faith or point of view has vanished; we no longer believe in the Christian dogma, or in the leading principles of Christian morality, nor can we continue our traditional Christian psychology.
Nietzsche calls himself an atheist, but this formulation is of course a bit influenced by the idea that God is when he is said to be. In calling yourself an atheist, you make that
concession to your primitive magic thinking-as if you could produce something by saying it is.
As Kant said, that word is is nothing but a copula in a judgment; you need to use a verb that expresses existence, but you have not produced a thing by it.
If you say you possess a hundred dollars, they don’t necessarily exist.
But Nietzsche’s idea confirms our explanation of the old wise man as the original Christian revelation continued in the idea of the paraclete, the Comforter, withdrawing slowly from the world and becoming a hermit, re-identifying himself again with the natural background from which he came.
You see, the original Christian spirit came out of the unconscious, out of human nature, in a most natural way.
The theologians and the historians of the Christian conviction always try to make us believe that Christianity fell from heaven.
But it grew very naturally through the course of centuries.
Everything was well prepared.
We spoke of the Persian origin of Christianity, but a great deal came also from Egypt,
something from India even, because already in the second century B.C. there were Buddhistic monasteries in Persia, so through Persia the Buddhistic ideas probably crept into the formation of Christianity.
All the Christian ideas and symbolism existed before, and many of the institutions
of the Catholic church also.
The mass probably derives from the cult of Mithras, and the communion ritual as well.
Monasteries already existed.
You know, at the time of the Reformation they asserted that monasteries and nunneries were not foreseen in the New Testament, and then the Catholic church pointed to the fact that monasteries existed in the early days of Christianity, introduced by the first believers in Christ, before the holy scriptures were ever recognized as holy.
They claim that the church is an older authority than the holy scriptures since they were collected and declared to be holy long after the church had been founded by St. Peter (who was supposed to be the first substitute of Christ on earth) and to have been put into that place by Christ himself before the Evangels were written.
Now, it is an interesting fact that later investigation has shown the evidence of the Catholic church to be not quite reliable.
The church pointed to a little book by Philo Judaeus, a Jew, also called Philo the Alexandrian, who was the philosopher of Christianity; he developed particularly the Logos philosophy which is contained in the most philosophical of the Evangels, the Evangel of John.
The little book is called Dr Vita Contemplative and in it he described monasteries that existed in his time in Egypt and presumably also in Southern Palestine in the valley of the Jordan.
The Catholic church quietly assumed that those were Christian monasteries, because one knew of no others; but the fact is that this book is now known to have been written between 20 and 24 A.D., at a time when Christ had not begun to teach; and moreover in writing about the life in those monasteries, Christianity is not mentioned-quite naturally, because it did not exist!
And just as monasteries were in existence before anything Christian, so the very central thoughts of Christianity had been well prepared for centuries and were already there.
Then the whole thing crystallized around that more or less legendary figure of Christ.
They said that it came suddenly as a great revelation, and they actually tried to destroy all traces of its sources, to forget how it came about and to make it absolutely unique, like a lightning from heaven.
But historically this is an unknown picture: natura nonfacit saltus, nature does not make jumps; it is a continuous development.
The spirit which grew through the centuries and appeared before the consciousness of the world in the moment of Christ’s teaching, came about so naturally that Tertullian, one of the early fathers of the church, wrote that famous phrase: anima naturaliter
Christiana, the soul is naturally Christian.’
It was there long before people realized it, and the sudden explosion of the Christian faith was nothing but a sudden dawning of the consciousness of it.
And as it came from nature, so it went back to nature.
For a while it lifted man’s mind out of nature and put it in opposition. St. Augustine, for example, said in one of his writings that people went out to marvel at the beauty of nature, the vastness of the sea, the greatness of the mountains, etc., and forgot themselves and lost their souls; he admonished them not to look, to beware of the beauty of nature, because it was all wrong; in everything there was the admixtio diabolicae fraudis, the admixture of devilish fraud.
A devil was in every natural thing.
That idea still exists in the preparatory rites of the Holy Mass.
For example, in the Missale Romanum, a collection of rites and prayers, there is a particular magic rite called the benedictio cerei, the blessing of the wax in the altar-candles, for the purpose of purifying the natural substance of wax as produced by the bees from all admixtio diabolicaefmudis.
They assumed that everything that came from the life of nature was impure because it contained effects or constituents of evil influence, the work of the devil, so in order to make a sacred use of things, one must disinfect them.
There is also the brnedictio salis, the benediction of the salt.
And in the performance of the Holy Mass the choir boys swing their censors to make the incense smoke rise, the smoke being a spiritual disinfectant.
Germs of evil nature are in the air but these devils are driven out by the smoke of the incense that surrounds the altar.
So in every detail the Christian spirit of the early Middle Ages lifted up something in man, his spirit or soul, till it was out of touch with nature.
But already in about the twelfth or thirteenth century we see the first reactions.
It was then that the poet Petrarch climbed a mountain for the first time to enjoy a beautiful view; he climbed Mont Ventoux in Provence, and the expedition was surrounded by all sorts of anticipations and fears because it was then supposed that mountain tops were inhabited by particular nature devils, so it amounted to an almost blasphemous boldness to climb to the heights.
After that, the Christian spirit included the importance of nature more and more.
The early primitive artists, who indulged in particularly ugly and unanatomical
bodies, were soon supplanted by painters who had discovered the beauty of the flesh and of all natural things; and with this came the Renaissance, the resurrection of the spirit of antiquity, and of the old feeling of connection with nature.
We are still in that process of becoming acquainted again with the spirit of nature, in contrast to the medieval spirit. In the time of Nietzsche, this process, which had begun, let us say, with Petrarch, reached a culmination; it was recognized that the Christian principle was dead.
That was the confession of the materialistic age which began with the French Enlightenment in about 1730, with the Encyclopedists and philosophers Diderot, Voltaire, etc.
This statement that god is dead is obviously most important.
It is, one could say, the exposition of the whole problem of Zarathustra.
You know, in the beginning of a dream there is a short sentence or a picture which is the exposition of the theme of the dream, and this is such an exposition.
Zarathustra makes that statement to the old wise man, the old Christian spirit, who has turned very skeptical and prefers the solitude of the mountains and the woods to life in collectivity.
And he gives good advice to Zarathustra: he says to give mankind nothing, but rather to take part of their load and help them to carry it; only then will they be grateful.
Yet, he thinks they will not accept the new message.
We are now coming upon certain symbols to which I should like to call your attention.
In the fourth paragraph of the second chapter, for example, the old wise man says: “Yes, I recognize Zarathustra.
Pure is his eye, and no loathing lurketh about his mouth. Goeth he not along like a dancer?”
This quality or attribute of the dancer will occur again and again later, and I propose that someone make a note whenever we come across it.
There he is likened to a dancer for the first time and one cannot see exactly why, but when one compares that passage with others, one understands better what he means.
In the third chapter the rope-dancer turns up.
And the same symbol occurs in the fifth chapter; there the motive of dancing comes again in connection with a star that is born out of chaos.
Other symbolic expressions occur in different connections.
Right in the beginning, for instance, there is the motif of the setting of the sun, or the down-going of Zarathustra.
Mrs. Crowley: I have thought a great deal about the meeting of these two wise men. It seemed to me to be the exposition of the whole problem at the beginning of Zarathustra. And I wondered whether one could explain it in another way besides the historical one, that Zarathustra is the representative of the dying and resurrecting God.
The old wise man would be the spirit of nature, in the eternal, timeless sense, whereas Zarathustra would represent consciousness as a transforming reality.
Then I thought it was an important point that he speaks of the imperfection of man, which suggests the idea that the spiritual values come and go, but man, as the animal, inherits that element which is eternal, his instinctive nature.
Dr. Jung: Yes, you are quite right. The old wise man in the woods and the old wise man in Zarathustra are one and the same thing.
And that is always so.
The old wise man is at the same time the one that goes and the one that comes, for everything that is, also is not-and what is today, is not tomorrow.
Through that little mental operation of assuming that time is an extension, one knows that what has been, is still, and what will be, is already: inasmuch as things happen in a timeless condition they are always existing. So that archetype of the old wise man has been Zarathustra in the ninth century B.C. and Zarathustra.
He has been Christ, he has been Mohammed, he has been Mani.
He went and he came, he died and was born again.
It is of course exceedingly
awkward and paradoxical, but things happen like that in the unconscious: you come upon such peculiar facts there.
And what the collective unconscious is, the world is also.
When you look up at the sky and marvel at the beauty of the stars, you don’t see them as they are, but as they were, untold millions of years ago.
You apparently see a new star flaming up, but that star became incandescent when Tut-ankamen was Pharaoh in Egypt, and perhaps it does not now exist at all.
For if by a miracle all the stars in heaven could be wiped out of existence, you would still go on seeing them for four years: only then would the first star disappear perhaps, and twenty or fifty years later others might go out, but the sky would be there as before, and it would take untold millions of years before the last star vanished.
So we live continually in an age where things that have been are still in existence.
The disagreeable thing is that we cannot see what is in the future.
But our unconscious is somewhat in advance of our eyes, and has a notion of the things that will be, for the future is created out of the remote past.
Mrs. Baumann: I want to ask why Shiva is always represented dancing?
Miss Wolff: Dancing is a symbol of creation, according to Professor Zimmer’s book.
Dr. jung: Yes, dancing is always connected with creation.
Shiva dances the origin and the destruction of the world.
The birth of the dancing star out of chaos is a symbol of creation.
Dr. Reichstein: Dancing with the self is always an expression of oneness.
Dr. Jung: Would you say that it was creative to represent the unity of your condition or the union with yourself?
Dr. Reichstein: Yes, it has a creative effect.
Dr. Jung: But upon what? What would be the creative effect?
Dr. Reichstein: It can be very different, it depends upon the kind of dance.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. You can dance not only to produce the union with yourself, or to manifest yourself, but in order to produce rain, or the fertility of women, or of the fields, or to defeat your enemy.
The idea of an effect, or something produced, is always connected with the idea of dancing.
Therefore, it was originally a magic ritual by which something was produced, it was the original idea of work even.
When primitives dance they really work, they dance until they are completely exhausted; they can dance for forty-eight hours in succession.
For instance, in the stag dances of the Mexican Indians one of the participants puts on the skin of a stag and wears a stag’s horns, and is then pursued by the hunters who shoot at him with dulled arrows.
He goes on dancing until he is almost dead and then another one takes his place, and that goes on for days in succession.
That is a rite d’entree before the stag hunting season, and it is very clearly done in order to gather up all their energies and to put them into the frame of mind, the attitude, of stag hunting, or to produce plenty of meat supply, or to attract hunting animals.
They dance the animals in order to attract them, as the oyster fishers in Scotland sing the oysters.
And in Switzerland they sing the cows, the so-called ranz des vaches, or the Kuhreihen, in order that they may give a lot of milk and produce calves.
There are plenty of such primitive rites to produce fertility or for the cure of disease.
They dance a disease, they represent the demons of sickness and dance them in order to combat them.
So the first ideas of efficiency or effect were due to their peculiar psychological experiences through rhythmic movement: the efficiency mood was developed through the rhythmical repetition that slowly catches the whole system.
The native drum, for instance, the tom-tom, has an exceedingly suggestive effect; after a while the whole system quivers rhythmically, and by means of that rhythm they get into the attitude, a sort of ekstasis,” in which the effect takes place, a state in which they may have visions that help them to get up their courage or to concentrate.
Then, people who are ordinarily just lazy dogs do things in an amazing hurry and with tremendous concentration.
I once watched an interesting performance in north Africa, south of Tunis.
The Marabout in that country is a saintly man who is usually in charge of the poor: he sees that they are fed. His title is “the one who nourishes the poor.”
He naturally cannot feed them all out of his own pocket, so he is entrusted with land to cultivate for that purpose, which is worked in turn by voluntary labor; one year it is this village, and the next year it is another.
The men work for two or three days on the estate of the Marabout, and they do it as a sort of ritual.
I saw them assembling the evening before with their camels, hundreds of them with
green banners, and then in the morning a wild drumming and singing started and the whole crowd began to dance.
They had sort of baskets or sacks, and short hoes instead of shovels and spades, and they filled these sacks with sand, a weight of a hundred pounds or more, and danced, carrying that load to another place where they were building dams and making little canals for fertilizing the very dry soil.
And all that heavy labor was done in dancing step.
Of course towards midday they were nearly dead in the great heat, but I watched them for hours and they were most efficient.
In a few hours they had built a huge dam.
But I am perfectly certain that if I had hired that crowd for three or four shillings they would hardly have moved; they would have been so tired and hot and hungry.
Now we go on to the next chapter:
When Zarathustra arrived at the nearest town which adjoineth the forest, he found many people assembled in the market-place; for it had been announced that a rope-dancer would give a performance.
And Zarathustra spake thus unto the people:
I teach you the Superman.
Man is something that is to be surpassed; what have ye done to surpass man?
All beings hitherto have created something beyond themselves: and ye want to be the ebb of that great tide, and would rather go back to the beast than surpass man?
What is ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame.
And just the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame.
Ye have made your way from the worm to man, and much within you is still worm.
Once were ye apes, and even yet man is more of an ape than any of the apes.
Even the wisest among you is only a disharmony and hybrid of plant and phantom.
But do I bid you become phantoms or plants?
Lo, I teach you the Superman!
Well, this chapter begins with the continuation of the story.
You know, there is always a certain movement, a certain story, going on in all unconscious fantasies.
Zarathustra is in the mountains in the beginning, then he descends and goes through a wood where he meets that old wise man, and now he comes to the city which is near the forest.
That is like fantasies in general, a sort of drama which has its own time and place where it is enacted.
Of course it is symbolical.
The place high up on the mountain is a high level, corresponding, as we have seen, to an
intense consciousness, the level of the sun: there one is isolated.
And the down-going is the approach to the lower level where one comes together with that man in oneself, the ordinary collective human being.
Not in your highest differentiation, your so-called differentiated or superior functions, are you connected with other human beings, but in your inferior functions.
You see, the differentiated functions help you to be independent.
If you could live entirely in your differentiated function, you never would need any other human being; you would be under no obligations and dependent upon nobody.
But where you are inferior, inefficient, you are connected with mankind.
The real vital connection is always through the inferior side, the “human, all-too-human,” as Nietzsche says.
Now, Zarathustra comes first into the wood, and the wood is dark and doubtful.
To primitive people the wood is always a place of ghosts, full of unknown risks and dangers.
It is a place where the unconscious is projected.
So, from the very high level of consciousness, he has to go down almost into the unconscious in order to reach man, who is separated from a superior consciousness through the fact that he is unconscious of that high level.
The mountain is hidden from his view by the forest and by the old spirit that dwells in the forest.
And now he comes to the town, the collective place.
He has arrived on the level of ordinary humanity and will speak to his fellow beings.
The first person he meets is a rope-dancer.
If it were a dream or a fantasy, what would you say that meant?
Dr. Reichstein: It would suggest a caricature of the dancer that Zarathustra really is; he dances without connection with the age.
Dr. Jung: You assume that this would be a sort of mirror reflex or a caricature of Zarathustra?
Dr. Reichstein: I think it is a picture of the time perhaps, because people are out of connection with the earth.
To dance in the air is just the thing which is attempted by people.
Dr. Jung: Well, in the next chapter, the fourth part, there is a confirmation of this idea; he says:
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman-a rope over an abyss.
A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous look-back, a dangerous trembling and halting.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is lovable in man is that he is an over-going and a down-going.
Down-going is the translation here of the German word Untergang, but there is really no English equivalent.
This shows that the rope-dancer is an equivalent of himself, or himself under a certain aspect-a shadow aspect of himself, one could say, for he would not be conscious of the identification.
It is nowhere clearly indicated that Zarathustra is the rope-dancer, but it is perfectly obvious in the further continuation of the story inasmuch as he is Nietzsche.
I doubt very much whether Nietzsche realized it.
There is, however, farther on in the book, a quite irrefutable proof that he himself is the rope-dancer, in the prophecy of his own life, of which he could not have been conscious.
So I think I am safe in the assumption that Nietzsche was not conscious that Zarathustra was the rope-dancer.
You see, if a figure like that appears in a dream-if you encounter yourself in the form of a certain person, for instance-then you can safely conclude that you are unaware of the
fact that you are like that person under a certain aspect.
Or if it is an animal, that you are unaware of yourself under the aspect of such an
animal. You always assume it must be somebody else.
So it would be quite natural if Nietzsche did not recognize that figure.
But we have such dreams just in order to meet the thing in ourselves which is strangest to us, and that is the reason why Nietzsche meets that aspect of himself, a sorry sort of saltimbanque, a rope-dancer.
It is a very flimsy kind of profession, you know, and very risky at that: one easily slips and falls down dead.
Now he begins his sermon about the Superman.
Here we encounter that concept of the Superman for the first time.
He gives a certain definition of him as the being that can be created by man’s making a
heroic endeavor to create something beyond himself.
Of course, any creation is a creation beyond oneself, because one is already in existence, and if anything is created it must be beyond.
The essence, the very principle, of creation would be man-beyond-himself, and that is the Superman.
Nietzsche says here, “Man is something that is to be surpassed,” that ought to be overcome. Now what is the connection between the last statement of the chapter before, that God is dead, and this beginning of the new chapter?
Miss Hannah: It means that the possibility of projecting god into a thing outside of ourselves is over.
That period is dead, and we have to find it in ourselves-or rather in the Self.
Dr. jung: Yes, and that practically amounts to the question: What happens to man when he declares that God is dead?
Something must happen, because other human beings hold that God lives, declaring by
that that they delegate certain of their vital processes into an impersonal sphere which they call God.
Mr. Allemann: It is an increase of consciousness, a breaking of a taboo.
Dr. Jung: Well, not necessarily, but something is increased by it.
Mr. Allemann: The responsibility to oneself.
Dr. Jung: One could say “responsibility” if one assumes that consciousness is increased; without consciousness there is no responsibility of course.
Remark: If he is not guided, he has to depend upon himself.
Dr. Jung: Yes, he is without God inasmuch as he assumes that God guides him.
But that is a special case: the gods don’t always guide, they also misguide.
For instance, we pray to the Christian God not to lead us into temptation.
One of my little daughters refused to say that prayer because God should not be doing such things.
We are little ants, not even children, in comparison with God, and that he takes a fiendish pleasure in leading us into traps is really very evil.
But there is a definite effect which takes place when you declare that God is dead.
Mrs. Crowley: Inflation.
Dr. Jung: Of course.
For you then declare that certain vital processes which you assume belong to a being outside of you, are now dead.
They either do not exist any longer, or they have become your own activity.
Now, since these processes are untouched by whatever you declare, they cannot die, they are never dead.
They happen as they have always happened, but they happen now under the heading of your own fantasy, of your own doing.
Instead of saying, “God spoke to me in a dream,” you say “I had a dream, j’ai fait un reve, I produced, I made, a dream”: it is your activity. Then somebody comes along and says: “You terror, how can you produce such a hellish dream?”-and you think you must be an awful fellow to make such dreams!
St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for his own dreams.
He still believed in the impersonal activity.
He would have gotten into a complete hell if he had thought God was dead, for then
his dreams would have been his own, and any evil or any good that God had worked in the worth hitherto would have been his own doing.
If a person is conscious of this, his responsibility can heighten to such an extent that he will have a hellish inflation of consciousness.
But also if he does not realize it, if he does not know what he has done by saying that God is dead, he can have an inflation of his whole personality.
Then his unconscious will get inflated; he will be hampered by the continuous presence of God in the unconscious, which is of course the most terrible thing.
Things happen to him, and he thinks he is responsible.
Suddenly a thought comes into his head, for instance, and he thinks he must be a most immoral person to have such a thought.
We cannot be objective, we are exceedingly hysterical: we think we have done so and so, because we don’t assume that those things just happen.
We are like somebody walking through a wood who thinks, when an animal crosses the path, “Why have I caused this animal to cross my path?-why have I created this animal?”
But the mind is like a wood in which all kinds of things happen.
Formerly, we believed that God could do marvelous things and so could put peculiar thoughts into the human mind, or that evil ghosts played bad tricks, and thus we were
rid of the responsibility of certain activities.
But if you declare that God is dead and that there is no spook whatever, then it is all your own doing; or worse still, the doing of your wife, or your neighbors, or their children, and so on.
That is quite bad.
Then God is not only introjected into you but he is also projected into mankind, and then what people do becomes extremely important, because you assume they know what they are doing and that only a devil could do such things.
But those people are perfectly unconscious, as you are unconscious: you don’t know what you do really, because you are not God.
Yet you behave as if you were.
That is the inevitable consequence, and then of course you become very important, responsible for a whole world.
If you are inclined to be a good Christian, naturally you get the savior delusion.
You think you are, in a way at least, a little savior, and that you must missionize the world and tell people what is good for the good cause.
But your cause is exceedingly bad, because you only try to get away from your own inflation.
So when Nietzsche declares that God is dead, he is confronted with the rope-dancer, and the rope-dancer is what?
Mrs. Stutz: He represents the great risk of the inflation.
Dr. Jung: Well, the rope-dancer is that quantity of energy which has been in the god before.
This is the diminuitive form of the god in him, and he is a dancer because God dances the world.
That a god should be a dancer is of course a very pagan notion, and the Hindu idea is that he dances the creation of the world and its destruction.
But God as a creator, as the author, the maker of things, is a Christian idea as well.
So God appears now like the rope-dancer who is himself, Nietzsche.
And the rope-dancer leads an exceedingly risky existence.
Therefore, through his identity with God, he is instantly forced into a heroic attitude, an attitude of possible self-destruction: he is increased beyond himself by that inflation.
One could not say that this was very bad: it is the making of a hero.
You see, a hero must have a large self-destructive tendency in order to be a hero.
We praise a hero, and the hero contains a divine spark, or he would not be a hero.
He encounters himself, then, as the hero, this rope-dancer, but that means the maker of his own destruction.
For the moment, however, the rope-dancer plays no role.
First, Zarathustra tries to teach the people his idea of the Superman.
The idea of the Superman is, of course, the consequence of the God that is dead, for then man cannot remain man.
He is lifted out of himself, because all the vital processes that were embodied in God before are now in himself, and he becomes the creator of himself as God creates himself or the world.
In the old Egyptian texts, God is the maker of his own egg, the builder of his own nest; he hatches himself out; he is the Phoenix that burns itself and rises out of its own ashes; he is the God that eternally re-creates himself.’
So, whenever that inflation process gets into man, he becomes the maker of himself.
Therefore, Nietzsche continues now to speak about the Superman as able to create himself; Zarathustra is now the expression of man plus God.
He can undo himself and create a being beyond man, supposedly a product of man and God.
Then he says that “All beings hitherto have created something beyond themselves,” and that otherwise they would go back to the animals.
Here is the interpretation of the old man in the chapter before: he didn’t create any longer and so he went back to the animals, to nature, You see, those people who don’t create themselves do go back to the animal.
This idea of self-renewal is a general religious idea.
In what kind of historical rites does it express itself?
Mrs. Baynes: In rebirth ceremonies and initiations.
Dr. Jung: Yes, all the rebirth ceremonies in all religions express this self-renewal, and it is always linked up with the idea that man in his self-renewal is doing the same thing that God does.
To that extent, he is God himself. For instance, the baptism of Christ in the Jordan is the moment of his generation by God himself.
According to the old Docetic teaching, it was the moment when God entered the man Christ.
Christ was an ordinary man until his baptism, when God entered him and he became Superman, god-man.
And he remained god-man until that moment in the garden before his crucifixion when he sweated blood.
There God left him, and it was the ordinary man Christ who was crucified and not God at all.
Therefore he said on the cross: “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
That old Docetic belief was of course a heretical teaching according to the Catholic dogma, but it lasted over many centuries and survives in certain more or less mystical sects still in existence.
Without the ceremony of rebirth, then, man is generally thought of as an animal. In the Catholic church, people must be baptized to save them from the natural state which is not capable of the vision of God, the special prerogative of that condition.
They are then quasi modo r.;rniti, as if newly born.
And in pagan cults they were clad in white robes and fed with milk like little children for about a week after the rebirth.
I was in one part of Africa where they have rather painful and complicated initiation ceremonies, and I was told that when the young men and women evade them, as they do now under the influence of the Christian missions, they are called animals because they have not submitted to the rebirth ritual.
All rebirth rituals are a making over of man into something beyond man, and that is expressed in many different ways; for instance, that the real parents are no longer their parents, or that they died and came back again as sort of ghosts in comparison to the animal being they were before, and they are given new names, etc.
These many forms of rebirth rites shmv that it is a representation collective, an archetypal idea, which means that the process in question is a regular quality of the collective unconscious, the original disposition of man.
And because it has occurred everywhere, it always comes back again in one form or another.
If we live at all, we will always seek the fulfilment of the archetype of rebirth; one could say it came to pass on the slightest provocation.
So when Nietzsche declares that God is dead, instantly he begins to transform.
With that declaration he is no longer a Christian, he is an atheist or it doesn’t matter what.
He immediately gets into the process of that archetype of rebirth, because those vital powers in us which we call “God” are powers of self-renewal, powers of eternal change. Goethe felt that: there is a beautiful verse in Faust about the kingdom of the mothers where everything is in a continuous state of self-renewal, a continuous rearrangement.
And this kingdom of the mothers is the abyss of the deity; it is the darkness of the good, the deus absconditus, the auctor rerum, the dark father of created things. Also one can say it is the original mother.
Now, we have a peculiar sphere in our unconscious which corresponds to such concepts, and we call that “God,” the creative or the creating god.
And as soon as this projection or this declaration, this creative god (whatever it is) is abolished, instantly that process begins in us.
We are caught in those powers.
If you don’t want to be caught in them, then don’t make such declarations; it is exceedingly foolish to make them, because you thus provoke the unconscious.
Of course you think it is quite futile whether you make such a declaration or not, that you can say this or that about God and it makes no difference whatever.
But I tell you it does make a difference in reality, only you won’t connect it with things.
You see, the man Nietzsche himself did not realize, when he said God was dead, that it meant that he would get into the mill, into the alchemical pot where he is cooked and transformed.
As he did not realize, for instance, that thinking is a most exhausting creative process.
He says that all his thoughts jumped out of his brain like Pallas jumping out of the head of Zeus, l but on the next page he complained about the terrible vomiting and awful headaches he was always pestered with when working.”‘
That is generally so; we don’t connect psychological and physical conditions.
You see, that declaration is a very obnoxious thing: it gets him into trouble right away, but he does not realize it.
The trouble is that he has to create the Superman.
His first word is: I teach you the Superman, not realizing that he has to give birth to a Superman, that he is confronted with the task of creating the Superman.
And what is the best proof that he does not realize it?
Miss Hannah: That he preaches it.
Dr. Jung: Yes, if he realized what a task he was confronted with, he would not teach it; he would keep it all to himself.
You see, when one preaches such things, one practically says you ought to do it, but I am all right.
But whether you realize it or not, you are confronted with an impossibly difficult task, perhaps really impossible, for who is courageous or bold or mad enough to suggest that he is capable of creating himself beyond himself, to assume that he is the carrier of a divine activity?
That is too big. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 47-55