1934 27 June LECTURE 8 Zarathustra Seminar
You will have noticed that the psychology of these figures-Zarathustra, the rope-dancer, and the buffoon-is extraordinarily mixed.
It is difficult to explain their relation to each other, as well as their position in the psychology of Zarathustra and in Nietzsche’s own psychology.
Sometimes I speak of the rope-dancer as a shadow, for instance, then of the jester as a shadow, and naturally one becomes confused because it is hard to keep in mind the major proposition.
It all depends upon the point of view from which we envisage the problem.
I tried to make that actual standpoint clear, but of course it is quite easy to lose the premise if one doesn’t quite follow the argument.
Therefore I have made up a so-called soreites syllogismos; although dealing with elusive aspects, we can introduce a certain order by using this. Soreites is the Greek word for a piece of logic.
(You know logic is a science in itself.)
The Latin word for this is acervus, meaning a heap of something.
The German word is Haufenschluss, meaning an accumulation, conclusion. Syllogismos means the conclusion.
There are always a major proposition and several minor propositions, and then the conclusion.
The major proposition is the most important, one assumes that to be a sort of certainty.
If there are a number of propositions, it amounts to this soreites syllogismos, the rational conclusion from an accumulative argument.
Now, I will show you such an argument, which is quite necessary in order to clear up these most complicated differences of levels and aspects.
In this case Nietzsche the man is the certainty: Nietzsche himself, Nietzsche the citizen, Nietzsche the anatomical and biological human being.
And he is equal to that man, the first rope-dancer, who falls dead and so anticipates Nietzsche’s own fate; they are identical because their fate is identical.
That is perfectly safe, a certainty.
Now we come to the second proposition.
The figure second in importance is Zarathustra who is equal to the Superman; he is the Superman.
The third proposition is that the buffoon, the jester, is equal to the shadow of the
rope-dancer, because he follows the rope-dancer, he jumps out after him and overcomes him in the typical way that the shadow overcomes the conscious man-as for instance, when I say, “You can assume such an artificial position if you like, but be careful that your shadow doesn’t get you by the neck or attack you from behind.”
We start the argument with proposition 2, that Zarathustra is the Superman, and under
(a) I put: The Superman is equal to a demon because the Superman is a demoniacal man; he is more than man, which would be of course a demon in the antique sense of the word.
(b) Then there is another demon in the play; the jester is described as a demon, so the jester equals the demon. And from that follows
(c) that the jester is equal to the Superman.
You can also say, for instance, that the demon is the jester, and also the Superman; therefore, the jester is the Superman.
If A is equal to B and B is equal to C, then A is equal to C. That is a so-called categorical conclusion or judgment.
Mr. Nuthall-Smith: Is it the same demon?-are all demons equal?
Dr. Jung: Of course you cannot say that all demons are equal if speaking of different individual demons.
I use the expression, as I said, in the antique sense of the word, which is mana, demoniacal, the daimon.
As Socrates used the term, the demon was neither female nor male, neither succubus nor incubus, but was neuter; he called it daimonion, which is a neutral thing.
In German we would say: der Damon, die Damonin, order der incubus, der Succubus, and das Damonische.
Socrates used it simply as a concept of mana, an uncanny or a peculiarly efficient thing, more than man, in a way superior to man, and in that sense to daimonion, the demoniacal.
And that applies to the Superman as well as the jester, in that they are equal.
Then another conclusion (d) is that the jester equals Zarathustra, because Zarathustra is equal to the Superman.
The Superman is equal to a demon and the jester is equal to a demon; therefore, the jester is equal to the Superman and the Superman is equal to Zarathustra.
You see, that follows logically; it is like mathematics.
Now comes the major conclusion, the end of this particular argument.
One cannot say the jester is quite equal to Zarathustra, but he is equal in his demoniacal aspect, or one could say the shadow of Zarathustra simply, the negative demoniacal side.
So the jester would correspond to the shadow of Zarathustra (e).
In other words, the jester is the negative side of the Superman.
Therefore, it is understandable that Zarathustra says: “But they think me cold and a
mocker with terrible jests.”
He there feels his identity with the jester; namely, his identity with his own shadow.
The major proposition is now that the jester is equal to the shadow of the rope-dancer, and the conclusion of the former proposition is that the jester is equal to the shadow of Zarathustra.
So one gets entirely mixed up.
That needs to be explained: one cannot assume that identity at first sight-that because Zarathustra is the Superman, the rope-dancer would be a Superman.
It is apparently impossible, but we will follow up that argument.
The figure in question, the rope-dancer, is Nietzsche himself. Now if the rope-dancer is equal to Nietzsche himself, then it is Nietzsche himself who is jumped over or killed by the jester, inasmuch as the jester follows the rope-dancer as if he were his shadow.
So (b) the jester is equal to the shadow of Nietzsche himself, because Nietzsche himself is equal to the rope-dancer; and the shadow of the rope-dancer is equal to the jester.
But the jester is equal to the shadow of Zarathustra, the conclusion we reached here (c).
Therefore, the end of our argument and at the same time the conclusion of the whole soreites is what?
Mrs. Baumann: Zarathustra is Nietzsche, or Nietzsche is Zarathustra.
Dr. Jung: Exactly.
Nietzsche the man is equal to Zarathustra. Voila! That is black magic.
We can write at the end q.e.d.
You see, it means that this whole complication starts from the fact that Nietzsche is identical with Zarathustra, and it would not exist if that were not so.
To put the thing in this form helps to keep the picture in mind; one needs such a complicated, magical argument.
It is like higher mathematics.
One cannot express certain functions or connections or conditions unless one makes a pretty difficult calculus: it is necessary in order to hold the whole argument together.
One gets into these complications as soon as there is such an identity; the root of the whole thing is that Nietzsche is equal to Zarathustra, so the two figures are mixed together.
all the trouble, the whole tragedy.
And one can only clear up the peculiar interchangeable aspects of the figures in some such way.
Dr. Reichstein: Do you mean that it is an unconscious identity between Nietzsche and Zarathustra?
Dr. Jung: Oh yes, I mean an identity in fact.
He would not be conscious of it. If he were conscious of it, it most probably would not exist, or only partially, so there would still be an identity.
The complete consciousness of a projection always destroys the identity; when you are entirely convinced, really understand that a certain thing is a projection, it can no longer be experienced as something outside of yourself.
As a symbol is destroyed if it is understood: it is then completely superfluous.
You don’t need to express yourself through a symbol if you know what it means.
Why not call it by its right name if you know what it is? Why make a detour?
It is infantilism.
You only need a symbol for a thing which you cannot express in any other way.
Otherwise, it would be mere allegory, and then one asks why you should talk in such a
Why not be natural, why be so allegorical, talking through projections?
Question: Then if one were absolutely conscious, there would be no such figures in the unconscious?
Dr. Jung: Yes, if one were. Of course that is an assumption.
If a complete or divine consciousness were possible, there would be no projection, which means that there would be no world, because the world is the definiteness of the divine projection.
According to the Hindu myth, inasmuch as God dreams, he creates a world, he produces objects.
But a state of complete consciousness obliterates the world.
The assumption is in Buddhism that the attainment of perfect illumination, or consciousness, means nirvana, positive non-existence.
The perfect consciousness is the complete identity with divinity.
Man has returned into the deity, the world has returned to God, and nothing is because
there is no object any longer.
Now of course we don’t know whether perfect consciousness is possible, but we know that with the progression and extension of consciousness, the number of known projections becomes diminished, so we assume that if consciousness were capable
of still greater extension, still more projections would enter the field of our vision.
We would destroy more of the world, as it were.
Mr. Nuthall-Smith: I don’t follow the argument that (a) and (b) are really identities, that the Superman and the jester are both equal to the demon.
The demon seems to be a quality of the Superman and the jester, but not an identity.
Dr. Jung: Well, both are superhuman inasmuch as they both have demoniacal quality; therefore, I say you had best express this demon by the term Socrates used, to daimonion; the Superman is das Damonische in man.
Mr. Nuthall-Smith: They are interchangeable?
Dr. Jung: You can say, “paradoxical aspects of one and the same thing.”
The proof, as I mentioned, is that Zarathustra makes the remark: “But they think me cold and a mocker with terrible jests.”
You see, that is the jester, but it is Zarathustra at the same time.
So the jester is simply another aspect of Zarathustra, and they have their common
root in the daimonion.
In the case of Socrates himself, the voice of the wise old man, his daimon, always advised him, told him what to do or warned him.
He told him he ought to make more music, for instance, and then Socrates bought a flute.
And he was walking with his friends through the streets of Athens one day when his daimon whispered in his ear: “Take the other road to the right, leave this road.”
Socrates obeyed and suddenly down the road they had left rushed a herd of swine, trampling down all the passers-by into the mud.
A nice picture of the conditions of public hygiene in those days!
You see, the daimon was very careful to forewarn him.
That is the prophetic voice of the seer in our unconscious, usually symbolized by the wise old man.
So the daimon is the Superman, the thing that is greater than man, yet it seems to be in man.
If you have some vision or premonition, you are tempted to assume that you are perhaps the wise old man yourself, and then one calls it an inflation.
Nietzsche himself was in the condition for an inevitable inflation.
That explains his almost pathological megalomania, which was criticized during his lifetime, that megalomanic manner of speech was a considerable obstacle in his way; people thought he made tremendous assumptions.
It was simply an inevitable inflation through the corning up of that figure and his identification with it
Mrs. Baumann: If Zarathustra is equal to the demon, then would Nietzsche be equal to the demon?
Dr. Jung: Obviously, all that is included in the demon because Zarathustra is the demon; he is the wise old man.
Whatever Zarathustra is, Nietzsche is also.
Nietzsche is the awful jester so he is also the demon that Zarathustra is.
Mrs. Crowley: If Nietzsche had been quite conscious, what would have happened to Zarathustra?
Obviously he would not have been in this form.
Dr. Jung: I am afraid that is like asking what would have happened in the history of the world if the old Romans had known gunpowder and rifles.
One can only say, if the same problem should happen to one of us, I hope he would have learned analysis enough to avoid that identity.
You see, the daimon cannot be completely wiped out by the assumption that it is a mere projection or an identity with a fantasy; on the contrary, you can assume that you have built a certain fantasy and that the identity would not have been if you had not made just that fantasy.
But if you detach from the fantasy, from that agency which works in you, then you become aware of the extraordinary reality of the thing; only when you detach, when you make that sacrifice, do you know what it is worth.
As long as you hold onto it, you don’t know what it means, nor how it functions, and then you cannot develop and it cannot develop.
So when I have an idea that the wise old man has had his hands in something, I try to go back to my humble self and make sure that I am in no way identical with him.
Then it is freed from my cumbersome presence, and I am free from the awful assumptions of that figure, I don’t need to talk in such a stilted way, to produce hieratic language, to establish the truth of the world and the law of life, and to be infallible; I can be quite fallible, an ordinary human being.
Naturally, I try sometimes to do my best and sometimes my worst, but I am in no
way that marvelous being who talks so beautifully, in such a heavenly way, like the old parson on Sunday afternoon at two o’clock.
Therefore, I always say you had better leave God alone and then you will see what he can do.
Most people who are on such good terms with God assume that it is their virtue, but if you leave the whole thing alone you can see how it works.
For instance, perhaps you assume that you should not eat salt in your food because you don’t understand why you need it.
Then don’t bother about salt, eat your food without it, and you will soon discover what it does.
For heaven’s sake, don’t believe these things, the wise old man, the collective unconscious, etc.
Try it, and see what happens without.
It is very simple; don’t touch it and you will see how it works.
So if Nietzsche were a contemporary of mine and asked my ideas about it, I would say: “Be your humble self, say you know nothing, you have no ideas, and if you feel that there is somebody who wants to talk, give him a chance, clear out of your brain and leave it a while to the old man.
Then make notes of it, take it down and see what he says.
And then you can make up your mind whether your ideas fit in with it or not. But don’t identify with it.”
Of course, the thought probably would not enter his mind to ask my advice or anybody’s advice about it.
I often meet very religious people who identify with the wise old man and I follow a certain principle in dealing with them.
I enter upon their proposition and, according to principle, whatever they want I let them have to the end, so that they finally get sick of it.
That is the old principle of Heraclitus, who said to let the Ephesians have plenty of
gold so that their viciousness would come to the daylight; without gold they would have to work, but if they have gold enough, they can develop their vices, and then they will become obvious.
So if you have to deal with people who suffer from megalomania, just favor them until
they explode-that is the best way.
If anybody is convinced that he is very good, let him believe that he is good to the very edge of his existence, for if you tell him he is evil, he will make a desperate effort to be good and never get beyond his conviction of his virtue.
I always follow that principle with lunatics also-of course people with inflations are mild lunatics and sometimes not very mild.
If a man says he is the triple god or the pope or Jesus, I say: “Why not?-anybody can be Jesus.”
But it happened once that I had another man in the same ward who said he was Jesus too; we had two Jesuses, and how could I make out which was the one?
I simply put them together in the same room to let them have it out.
About half an hour later I went and listened, but there was no noise, so I went in and one was standing behind the stove and the other tapping on the window looking out.
I asked one of them, “Now what about the Jesus? Who is the real one?”
And he pointed to the other and said, “Of course that is a mad ass.”
He saw right away that he was a mad man but that he himself was mad he could not see.
So what can you do? Of course, you cannot cure them.
But people who have inflations are not lunatics in the sense that their brain is already split and congealed into that form.
In cases of inflation it is functional; it is still in a liquid condition, and the cure depends upon the attitude people take, whether they take a sort of compensatory or contrasting attitude or whether they agree and submit to the majesty of an inflation.
Sometimes there is a very great majesty in inflation, something marvelous.
Now we will continue our text:
When, however, he was but a step behind, there happened the frightful thing which made every mouth mute and every eye fixed:-he uttered a yell like a devil, and jumped over the other who was in his way.
The latter, however, when he thus saw his rival triumph, lost at the same time his head and his footing on the rope; he threw his pole away and shot downwards faster than it, like an eddy of arms and legs, into the depth.
The market-place and the people were like the sea when the storm cometh on: they all flew apart and in disorder, especially where the body was about to fall.
Zarathustra, however, remained standing, and just beside him fell the body, badly injured and disfigured, but not yet dead.
The fact that Zarathustra did not run away, but remained glued to the spot, means that he had a very particular relationship to that event; the rope-dancer who fell down had an intimate connection with him.
After a while consciousness returned to the shattered man, and he saw Zarathustra kneeling beside him.
“What art thou doing there?” said he at last, “I knew long ago that the devil would trip me up.
Now he draggeth me to hell: wilt thou prevent him?”
“On mine honour, my friend,” answered Zarathustra, “there is nothing of all that whereof thou speakest: there is no devil and no hell. Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body: fear, therefore, nothing any more!”
This is the classical passage in Zarathustra, the prophecy, the unmistakable anticipation of the final catastrophe, his madness, where his mind or his soul was dead long before his body.
And during his madness he was utterly gone-there was absolutely no connection with him.
It was an a-typical form of the general paralysis of the insane, and he was quite bad; one could not talk to him.
There was no reasonable connection. Occasionally, he ran away.
Once he ran away from his sister’s house, and was caught naked in one of the gardens of Weimar.
Then he had quiet times when she could walk with him but he could not react if talked to; there were only a few intelligible remarks.
For instance, he once said to his sister: “Are we not quite happy?”-perfectly reasonably, and then he was gone, confused. People have concluded from that that his madness was a divine mania-what the Greeks called mania, a divine state, the state of being filled with the god; one is entheos, the god is within.
The remark was quoted as evidence that he had reached a sort of nirvana condition.
You see, we can assume that behind madness there is a sort of nirvana condition.
That would explain why in people who are quite mad there are still voices which are entirely reasonable; and when they are physically ill often they become quite reasonable.
I remember the case of a crazy woman who was full of the most absurd megalomanic ideas, but the voices she heard, which she called her telephone, told her the truth.
Once she told me something perfectly absurd, a megalomanic idea expressed in an awfully involved and artificial way.
I tried a long time in vain to get at the bottom of what she meant, and suddenly she
became impatient and kicked against something, and said: “The telephone always disturbs me.” “What did the telephone say?”
She would not tell me but finally I wrested it from her.
“You are leading the doctor by the nose; it is all bunk, you really belong to the lunatic asylum.”
And on another occasion when she was very unruly, I said: “But look here, if you behave like that, everybody will think you are not quite in your senses.
That is the reason you are here in the lunatic asylum; one must keep such people locked up.”
She remonstrated and then suddenly was interrupted by her telephone: “The doctor is quite right; of course you are mad, and you need to be locked up.”
They were voices of perfect normality and insight.
Another case was a man, one of the noisiest individuals in the ward.
He usually began at about five o’clock in the morning to be excited and unapproachable.
He cursed everybody up and down and was sometimes quite violent, one had to keep him locked up.
Then from ten on he was left in the open ward or in the garden, and when I came at that
hour he usually shouted: “There is one of that dog and monkey crowd of doctors who want to play saviors and cure lunatics; it is all bunk.”
It was almost a stereotyped speech.
But once when I came, that fellow was perfectly quiet.
The nurse said he was quite nice and gentle, and he spoke to me in a normal voice.
Then I noticed that his hands were hot and found he had already thirty-nine degrees of fever.
They put him to bed and it turned out to be a case of typhoid fever which lasted for about six weeks.
During that time he was a gentle simple being, most obedient and never noisy.
Whenever I came to his bed, he said, “Thank you doctor, it is very nice of you to look after me.”
And he always thanked the nurses; he was a soft, charming person, really.
We got used to his complete transformation, but one morning, when he was still very weak he said feebly, “Ah, there is again one of those dogs and monkeys of doctors who play saviors.”
I thought, “You are getting up, old man,” and within a week he could loudly croak his case, and then I knew he was cured.
He was back in his normal state from an abnormal condition of health.
Now, that man was in a lunatic asylum for almost twenty years and it is assumed in such a case that the brain is somewhat disturbed, that whole layers of cells are atrophied, but during the typhoid he was perfectly all right; then suddenly he fell back.
That is a well-known fact.
Therefore, originally, if these cases were treated at all, one made them artificially ill by using poisonous ointments or something which would cause an infection, because it was noticed that when suffering from high fever or infection they became relatively normal.
So the idea that there is a sort of normal or superior condition behind the diseased state of consciousness is by no means nonsensical.
It is also possible that behind Nietzsche’s condition there was a superior self which had no chance to come through.
Consciousness was diseased, but the self was sane.
For instance, I have just written a preface to a new edition of the works of Dr. Carl Ludwig Schleich, an older contemporary of mine.
He had the idea that the soul of man is not at all connected with the brain but with the body, with the sympathetic nervous system, so that even if the brain is disturbed the personality is not necessarily affected.
It was observed in the war that tremendous losses of cerebral matter did not affect the personality at all; there were only relatively slight disturbances of another kind.
Now, Mrs. Case has just asked me this question: “You stated that if there were complete consciousness, the world would no longer exist.
Do you hold the opinion that outer reality is nothing more than a projection of the unconscious?”
Of course that is a bit too quick~ I cannot say that I saw any conviction about such problems.
I say such things with an if They are not articles of conviction or faith, inevitable conclusions or scientific truths.
It is psychology, and psychology is a world of facts, events, all having their own nature.
If you meet an elephant in Africa, it proves nothing about the being of the world.
It is just that you run across an elephant in Africa. It can mean your end or nothing at all.
It is simply a fact. And so you run across certain ideas in human heads.
They are just there and they don’t necessarily mean anything.
We must free ourselves from this most unscientific prejudice that our thoughts mean something in the sense of producing something; it is exceedingly rare that a thought produces anything.
A thought is a phenomenon in itself; it proves nothing.
That a certain crow is flying across the lake at this moment proves nothing and means nothing. It simply flies.
There is such a bird.
So we have such birds in our heads and they prove nothing as to the real structure of the world.
But it is important that we know that our world is a psychological fact; whatever we judge is a psychological
fact. For instance, you would say that this match stand was real.
But what is real in the thing? It is what you feel.
You see it here but you don’t feel here; you feel up in your brain and nobody knows what the brain can do to your sense perception.
There are certain waves of air which you call sound, but you call the same waves moving with less frequency vibration, because you feel it as a vibration.
With a vibration of ten waves a second you feel the movement of the air; if it is sixteen per second, certain people can already hear a very low sound.
So our world is relative to our psyche; therefore it does matter what we say about the world, because we say it about our world.
If there is perhaps another world, what we say means precious little-no more than a louse on the North Pole.
It is an old conviction in Eastern philosophy that if you reach the state of complete or perfect consciousness, the object is abolished; the world enters into God and then it is not.
That of course includes the idea that our world is a projection. Inasmuch as we hurt ourselves against such projections, we assume that they are real.
So we cannot say the world is our projection.
It is God’s projection; a superior being in man has made the projection.
Therefore, in the East matter is called the definiteness of the divine thought.
The divine thought can be vague and then the thing is not, but if the divine mind or thought is definite, it is matter.
It is quite possible that this is so; we have absolutely no argument to use against such a statement.
For instance, you can substantiate the whole of theology from the statement of modern physics, because matter as we have previously understood it doesn’t exist at all. It is utterly intangible, utterly immaterial.
It becomes, and it vanishes, and the thing that really exists is a sort of energy or radiation.
So the Hindu philosopher’s statement that matter is the definiteness of the divine thought is highly intelligent.
You can say, of course, that this is a human projection taken from the experience that the world apparently disappears when we faint or are asleep.
But you know the structure of the whole world suggests that it can disappear.
It has no substance in itself. It can also be in a condition which is not; matter can dissolve into radiation, and there is nothing, not even mass; the whole thing has gone.
Mrs. Case: But is not radiation just as real as matter?
Dr. Jung: Of course, but it is no longer matter.
Naturally, you must assume that there is something, inasmuch as you think about something.
You see, with all these problems you wind up with antinomies or a priori categories.
You need categories of judgment in order to be able to think about something at all; as soon as you think, you have already produced an existence, and if you assume that something is, you already think.
So the idea that a world returns to non-being by perfect consciousness is a philosophical idea which we have to notice; but we cannot say that this makes or destroys a world.
It only makes and destroys our world.
Well, all this is most unsatisfactory, I dislike talking of such philosophic questions concerning the reality of objects.
Philosophy has very much to do with the subject, and the more you think things, the more you make them enter yourself-the more you obliterate them.
You extinguish things by thinking about them; you make them unreal because you make them enter the self and then they no longer exist.
For things are our world, not the world.
Well now, we will continue our text:
The man looked up distrustfully. “If thou speakest the truth,” said he, “I lose nothing when I lose my life. I am not much more than an animal which hath been taught to dance by blows and scanty fare.”
“Not at all,” said Zarathustra, “thou hast made danger thy calling, therein there is nothing contemptible. Kow thou perishest by thy calling, therefore will I bury thee with mine own hands.”‘
When Zarathustra had said this the dying one did not reply further, but he moved his hand as if he sought the hand of Zarathustra in gratitude.
We see here that the dying rope-dancer is very close to Zarathustra, and in how far Zarathustra assimilates him.
In which sentence does that become visible?
Miss Hannah: “Thou hast made danger thy calling.”
Dr. Jung: Exactly. That shows in how far Zarathustra is the ropedancer.
Dr. Reichstein: It is an anticipation, of course, but there is a parallel to this burial in old legends and alchemistic philosophy where the spiritual part must be buried in the earth in order to bring out something new.
Dr. Jung: Yes, like the grain of wheat that is buried in the earth in order that it may grow.
If we encounter the figure of the rope-dancer again, we can assume that he is here buried for the purpose of a later resurrection.
Do you know of any figure similar or analogous to the rope-dancer later on?
Miss Hannah: Is it the ugliest man?
Dr. Jung: It is quite possible that he is resuscitated as the ugliest man.
Miss Hannah: I don’t understand: “Thy soul will be dead before thy body.”
I know it is a prophecy of Nietzsche’s fate, but presumably he meant something himself by putting it down.
Dr. Jung: How does it sound here?
In what tone does he speak?
Miss Hannah: It sounds like a negation of the Christian principle.
Dr. Jung: I mean with reference to the rope-dancer.
Miss Hannah: It would be to free him from the fear of death.
Dr. Jung: Well, when you are talking to a dying man with that intention, it would be a sort of last blessing, a consolation.
The Christian parallel would be: Fear nothing; thy body will die but thy soul will live.
And here he says his soul will be dead even before his body, “Fear therefore nothing any more.”
Just the opposite! But how is that opposite a consolation?
I had not intended to enter upon this because it is really the anticipation of the whole tragic problem of Zarathustra which will be unfolded in the course of the drama.
It is here in the bud, you can deduce from it the later developments, but it is difficult to
Mr. Nuthall-Smith: He has already experienced the whole horror of dying when his soul dies; his body does not mean so much.
Therefore, he has nothing to fear.
Dr. Jung: Would that be a consolation?
Dr. Schlegel: The rope-dancer said if the devil appeared, he would take him to hell.
Dr. Jung: Well, the rope-dancer was afraid that the devil would drag him down to hell, and then Zarathustra tells him there is no hell-and: “Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body.”
So there remains nothing for the devil to take away with him.
Now do you call that consolation?
It would be as if a person were suffering from a very bad toothache and somebody said: “Don’t worry, I will shoot you.”
One could understand it like this. But it is an exceedingly queer consolation.
Mrs. Crowley: Is it not connected with the idea that God is dead?
Dr. Jung: Yes, that is absolutely certain. It is an anti-Christian consolation.
Of course, everybody would think it consoling to say: “Now don’t be afraid, man, you must get rid of your body naturally, but your soul will live.
As the old Egyptians and the Assyrians and the Christians for two thousand years, and all primitive people have believed.”
But here the whole thing is turned upside down and he talks as if that were a consolation.
It is peculiar, yet I hold that there is a secret kind of consolation in it-but a consolation which is only to be understood out of the particular condition in which Nietzsche found himself in that moment.
Otherwise, for any other kind of psychology, that would be no consolation whatever.
Mr. Allemann: Nietzsche understands that the body, the earth, is all and that the soul is nothing, the soul is meager; so there is nothing in keeping the soul and losing the body. When the body is lost the soul must be lost also.
Dr. Jung: Yes, he even takes it for a sort of consolation to keep the body and lose the soul.
He has that prejudice of the late Christian age that the soul of man is nothing, not worth saving.
It is even a great merit not to save anything so low down.
It needs a tremendous institution to save such a miserable thing: nothing further can come out of man.
The good we possess is all revealed.
We are quite incapable of producing anything good out of ourselves.
We cannot even make our way: it is all the grace of God.
You see, in Catholicism there is at least the possibility of sanctification through work, but in Protestantism there is nothing but grace, and if that doesn’t work we are lost forever.
We have a very low esteem in our civilization for what one calls soul; we only have words.
When it comes to the practical showdown, there is no esteem at all, no patience.
If you say to a man that he has to spend a certain time every day for the development of his soul, he laughs in your face.
He has never heard of such a thing. It is ridiculous; one believes and that is enough.
That one should do something about it is absolutely unheard of.
Dr. Reichstein: I think the rope-dancer has committed a kind of Promethean sin, and therefore his soul will be punished for eternity.
So then it would be a consolation if his soul were not a reality.
Dr. Jung: And one could also say that it would be a consolation for the man Nietzsche who is a sort of Prometheus; and inasmuch as he is a Prometheus, he is a rope-dancer.
Thus far it is a sort of consolation to tell him his worries will be soon over.
For your soul is worry, if you have no soul there is no worry.
This consolation coincides with Zarathustra’s general teaching of the “blond beast.”
Be heroic, like a fair animal.
Then you have no soul. It is bunk to have a soul.
It means foolish psychological complications; therefore be heroic. Identify with that great figure of the unconscious and get rid of all that psychology, all
those distinctions which just mean worry.
To get drunk with the figures of the unconscious is Dionysian; if you have read farther, you remember that the feast of the ass is a Dionysian orgy.
That is what he advocates as a means against the insinuations of the ugliest man, in order to overcompensate the ugliest man who is a sort of miserable Christian.
In the cult of Dionysos it is even the main purpose to be drunk and unconscious, to end the psychological worry, to forget in the embrace of nature all the things that bother you as being too small.
In Schiller’s “Hymn to Joy,” you find this idea of the compensation of the small misery of man through the greatness of the completely unconscious state of the Dionysian enthusiasm. In that intoxication, the god enters the mystes.
He becomes a god himself.
He becomes the great current of nature, the stream itself, and there are no individual worries any longer.
That is a way to deal with worries when they become too great.
It is the hysterical way, to use a very cool word in that connection, and it is the way of the alcoholic, who seeks unconsciousness in intoxication.
He runs away to the great universe from his personal troubles, as the hysterical individual tries to save himself from his complex.
The other way, the psychasthenic way or the introverted way, is to lock oneself away with one’s complex, to avoid other people, to avoid intoxication in order to stare into the face of the complex and to do nothing else.
That would be the Apollonian way.
Of course that is not understood in the term Apollonian, but by definition it would be that way in the sense of discrimination, discriminating yourself as marked by a complex in contradistinction to all other beings.
Just no embrace to the universe, not one kiss to all beings, focussing all your attention upon staring into the face of the complex, being a monster in a monastery, settling down to the fact that one is excluded.
That is another way, another means of redemption or way of grace if you like to say
1\ow here he advocates the Dionysian way.
Forget yourself, be dead to yourself; your soul will die before your body happily enough, for then you won’t see what happens.
You will not worry any longer.
You will perhaps enter a dream, or a state of death in the sense of complete extinction, even while the body is living on.
Already in the course of Zarathustra you see that beginning to operate.
Nietzsche tries-or perhaps he was made to try-to rise to a more and more Dionysian condition.
More and more the orgiastic hymn comes in.
The deeper the worry, the greater the tragedy becomes, the more he loses himself in the enthusiasm of the divine mania.
And that is prepared here.
To a man like Nietzsche, gripped by an extraordinary suffering, it is a real consolation when somebody says: “All that terrible trouble which burns you now with the tortures of hell, will come to an end; you will go to sleep and not know what is happening to your body.”
If you have ever experienced such a state of oblivion in your life, where only your
body lives, then you know all the bliss of the Dionysian revelation.
And Nietzsche had that revelation.
There are beautiful poems later on where it becomes quite obvious.
He really got out of himself for a moment on the wings of an extraordinary enthusiasm, absolutely disentangled from the worry of discriminating consciousness.
He actually suffered from an overintensity of consciousness, which is always the case if one is anachronistic, if one lives in a time when one is not meant to live, because one finds no understanding contemporaries.
Angelus Silesius was such a man; he lived in a time when he simply could not find his equal.
Yes, if he had been able to travel to India, he would have found his equal.
They would have said his truth was an old truth which they had known long ago.
But nobody could understand in the West. And what happened to him?
Well, he was a fellow who did not get into Dionysian enthusiasms because, as his fate shows, he locked himself away with his complex.
He locked himself up literally in a monastery where he died.
He lost all his beautiful poetry completely, and produced fifty-six awful pamphlets against Protestantism.
He had been a Protestant and he died most miserably in a hell of a neurosis in a monastery.
You see, that was the other way round: his body died before his soul, and his soul became a terrible, poisonous demon-the soul of that man who had produced “Der Cherubinische Wandersmann,'” that sweet mystic verse.
And then fifty-six pamphlets against Protestantism!
That is something horrible, really satanic.
But it is what naturally happens to the introvert, or at least to the one who prefers that mechanism.
It is of course only faintly a question of type.
I am convinced that even an introvert can use an extraverted mechanism if he uses the way of the inferior function.
Nietzsche had an extraverted mind, so he would use the extraverted mechanism, the Dionysian way.
But you see both in Nietzsche’s case.
He was first a professor at the University of Basel, but he was not quite understood, so he locked himself away with his complex and lived quite isolated.
Then the unconscious came up with all its extraversion, and this time he locked the complex away from himself and dissolved in a tremendous extraversion within his isolation, exactly like old Angelus Silesius-who should have discovered the cellar of the monastery and about a thousand bottles of old wine.
His neurosis would have been cured, but he would have died from cirrhosis of the liver. ~Marie-Louise Von Franz, The Dreams and Visions of Niklaus Von Der Flue, Page 129-145