Dreams and Visions of St. Niklaus Van Der Flue by Marie-Louise Von Franz
Lecture 5 Dreams and Visions of Niklaus Von der Flue
Jung Institute June 5, 1957.
You will remember that at the last lecture I just mentioned the fact, though I think that it is not generally valid, that during the process of individuation there arises the indication in the case of some people, that the unconscious wishes them to become attached or related to a certain place.
It is more frequent in primitive psychology.
In primitive civilizations the whole landscape is usually psychically mapped out: a specific mountain is a place where one can have a certain particular experience, a forest is the place where an evil spirit lingers – a magic place where darkness breaks through – certain caves are set apart for childbirth, etc., it is as though archetypal events were geographically linked up with different places.
Rationally, we can say that every place has a certain psychological impact upon us, connected with a certain archetypal situation.
If you go up to Seelisberg, for instance, there is a walk above the famous Rutli, where you look down on the lake and where, when you turn a corner, you suddenly have an open vista before you and see the whole Alps and another bit of the Lake of the four Cantons – you face a tremendous panorama. In two steps you have entered a new world.
The place is known in the local saga and it is said that if the herdsmen drive their cattle round here, that as they turn the corner it seizes them and takes them away.
You stand there with your whip and the cattle have gone!
But you must not panic, but must pretend that you have not noticed anything and crack your whip and urge the cattle on and a minute later they will be back: If you get into a panic and start searching round you may fall down a steep place or an accident may happen to the cattle.
I can only say that at this place a kind of eclipse of your unconscious takes place because you are overwhelmed by the view and, naturally, it is a magic spot, it symbolizes a psychological phenomenon.
On one side everything is black and antagonistic and suddenly a new world opens in front of you.
This is a psychological experience – everything seems black and dreary but you carry on courageously without any particular hope, and suddenly a new vista of life opens.
Therefore that place is a typical magic spot and the cowherds say it takes the cattle away.
That is an example of the psychological impact of the landscape upon our image or state of mind. It symbolizes a mood.
When the Archduke Albrecht was murdered by John Parricidia, the latter rode behind him the whole morning without having the courage to murder him, but when they came to a certain ford, a dark and gloomy place of evil repute, John Parricidia cried out: “Shall we let this bastard carry on any longer?” and slew him.
That was the place to do it! Fords all over the world are places where the spirits suddenly pull you down into the water. Cross roads also are “the right place to commit a murder.”
On the Buchberg, in a certain dark spot in the woods, there is a place where again and again, rape, murder and suicide occurs, the place attracts such deeds.
Naturally, peasants say that there must be some evil lingering there. It is a northern slope, sunless, with the dark woods below, and one does think – if I wanted to commit suicide this would be the place, for the situation fits.
One could say that there was a connection with the landscape through projection. Probably in romantic landscape paintings there is an attempt to express such “soul” landscapes which fit certain moods.
In parapsychological documentation the motif of localized ghosts always appears.
There are two classes of ghosts – those people take with them and those bound to the locality.
There was the famous case in the 18th century of Mister Joller of Stans where a man sold his haunted house and went to Zurich, but as soon as he had settled there the ghost appeared again, obviously he had brought it with him.
Such phenomena account for the hypothesis that a ghost is an autonomous split-off complex which manifests in such a pseudo-exteriorized way so that the complex travels with the person.
Then there is the other kind of ghost which is locally bound, and not affected by people coming and going.
I only mention these things in connection with our problem as to how far our unconscious is connected in a mysterious way in a time and place continuum.
That would make a nice field for investigation!
Later on we shall visit the spot where St. Niklaus was tied by his own unconscious, by the four lights showing him where to build his hermitage.
I would like to hear what impression you get of this place when you see it, what the genus loci will tell you.
It is a damp hole with absolutely no view, a place which encourages introversion and concentration on oneself. It does not pull you out of yourself as a beautiful view does.
There he retired from the world which to him was so laden with emotion.
If we look back at the history of Switzerland, it is interesting to see that the whole country has followed the pattern set by St. Niklaus.
The 15th century was the time of its greatest extraverted expansion, and after the defeat of Marignano, Switzerland retired more and more into its shell, partly voluntarily.
The Veltlin (Valtelline) was given up voluntarily and after the First World War the Vorarlberg wanted to join Switzerland unconditionally, but the Swiss refused, even though neither effort nor cost would have been involved.
The country kept strictly to its attitude of neutrality and non-expansion.
This attitude coincides with something which Jung has pointed out as typical for the Swiss character, namely that Switzerland tries, as far as possible, not to project its shadow onto foreign countries, but to “have it out” among themselves.
There is the conviction that this is the way to proceed.
There is a free press, everybody can attack anybody else, anybody can bring out a newspaper, or any scandal.
The whole democratic idea of Switzerland is to allow internal fights, and even to encourage them, with the result that the Swiss are a difficult people, but not to the outer world where, politically, they are rather harmless and agreeable, for they are not so inclined to project over the border, and the admixture of languages and potentialities encourages such a possibility.
But there is a further step which the Swiss still have to make, namely to take back within the individual the shadow problem, which is accepted already within the country and Jung thinks that is the next task ahead of us as individuals.
It is his conviction that this is the only way by which we might avoid a further world war – if enough individuals can do it.
The one man who did this and went even beyond the Swiss habit of “having it out among themselves” was St. Niklaus, and in that way he behaved as a modern person; he retired and took the whole battle on within himself.
If he had gone on with his political life he could not have contained his shadow so he took the shadow within himself and retired from the world.
From our standpoint this would seem rather irresponsible and I would say that it needed more strength to stay in the friction of the world and keep the attitude of the “tower” inside.
We should build a tower within ourselves, not outwardly become hermits but inwardly build up the strength of the individual and concentrate on the individual problem so that we could not slip out through the back door.
That. St. Niklaus could not do, for he had not the psychological ideas we have.
He had to do it in a projected form – build a hermitage and retire to it as a demonstration.
With that small act he saved Switzerland and, though chronologically this is out of order, I would like to anticipate what took place, later.
The nuclear peasant Cantons of Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden got into quarrels with the city Cantons of Bern, Luzern, Zurich and Fribourg.
The Zurich Cantons controlled certain areas and worked up a revolution against the peasant or country Cantons and at one time civil war seemed inevitable, a war of the city Cantons against the country Cantons.
Though they tried to reconcile their differing standpoints, passions ran high and the thing seemed impossible and it was decided to declare war.
Italy, at this time, was very bitter against the Swiss; Austria was only waiting for a chance to set hold of the democracy, and France wanted to interfere, so if there had been a civil war Switzerland would have been torn to pieces and utterly destroyed.
In school books we read that at this moment St. Niklaus appeared at the “Tagsatzung” (Diet) of Stans and told the people to keep the peace.
This is a pseudo-poetical representation of the facts, but the original chroniclers of the 16th century give a different account: Niklaus’ Confessor, who was at the Meeting when war was decided on, ran to St. Niklaus asking what they should do.
He was told to tell the people to be reasonable and keep the peace in the name of God – just a nice governessy kind of message!
Confessor returned with the hermit’s message and discussions were resumed and it was decided to go on negotiating.
So, with a few reasonable people he worked out a compromise and in the Museum of Schwyz there are still versions of the agreement drawn up by St. Niklaus.
After several had been considered, a treaty was signed, civil war was averted and Switzerland was saved.
The amazing thing is that it was not St. Niklaus’ actual message which saved the country, but what he accomplished was due to what Jung calls the unconscious authority which he had acquired.
Through realization of the process of individuation within himself he had acquired such “mana”, and people stood in such awe of his personality and he meant so much to them that just with a reasonable, banal word he could stop a war!
To me that is one of the most overwhelming examples of the influence of one individual against a whole collective.
One works upon one’s own soul, trying to realize all the humiliating and dirty business in one’s own shadow and at the same time one gets discouraged by the news.
One feels that one day the atom bomb will come and what will it have helped to have worked upon oneself, one might just as well have enjoyed life, for the bomb will get one in the end anyway.
This statistical argument against the individual is so overwhelmingly strong and seems so reasonable that I hardly know anyone who does not from time to time succumb to this thought, it is too plain and too evident for one not to believe it and yet the dreams appearing in the process of individuation point to the fact that in the individual is something just as strong and far greater which can make up for everything else.
To take such a mystical standpoint seems even megalomanic, but in spite of that we can see that such a thing has worked: one individual working upon himself like this did save a whole country from what might have become a European conflagration.
That is an historical example and it is an encouraging one.
At least honest effort on this side seems worth while if such a thing is possible.
Possibly that is the main reason why the Swiss worship this saint so much.
He made the complete attempt to cut himself off sociologically and turned to the inner voice without compromise.
It is also impressive that he did not exclude the extraverted aspect, for he did not go so far as not to care about people and if you read the literature in this field you will see that it is generally agreed that the saint was highly intelligent.
Several noblemen visited him and discussed politics with him and wondered how it was possible that a peasant, who never seemed to bother about worldly affairs, apparently saw the whole political European situation and was not estranged from reality but knew what should be done.
But St. Niklaus put his main emphasis on his inner development and his retreat from the world did not mean running away from his own problem, but shows the importance of the inner things for him over and against the outer.
So far I have given you the biography of this saint up to the time when he built his hermitage.
In addition to the vision of the four lights, there were four other great visions before he built the hermitage, which I will now discuss with you.
These visions did not only illustrate a personal problem but go into the religious situation of the time.
The following is one which occurred during one of his depressions when he was debating, whether he should retire from the world or not.
The Vision of the Three Visitors: Three men of distinguished appearance whose dress and bearing proclaimed them to be of noble rank, appeared to him while he was
occupied with household duties.
The first entered into speech with him in the following manner: “Niklaus, will you put yourself, body and soul, into our power?”
The latter answered immediately: “I will submit myself to nobody but the all-powerful God, whose servant I desire to be with body and soul.”
On receiving this reply the three turned away and broke out laughing.
Turning to him again, the first said: “If you have dedicated yourself to the eternal service of God, I promise you that when you have reached the age of 70, the merciful God in pity for all your labours, will deliver you from all your burdens, therefore in the meantime I admonish you to endure steadfastly and in eternal life I will give you the bear’s claw and the flag of the conquering army, but the cross, which reminds you of us, I leave you to carry.
By these words St. Niklaus understood that if he could bravely overcome many temptations he would enter into eternal glory followed by a mighty army.
If you look at it superficially, this vision looks like a rather transparent motif.
The three were supposed to represent the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, who visited him and promised him eternal life, and he did die when he was exactly 70.
But from a modern psychological standpoint there are some things which seem to me to disagree with the accepted interpretation.
It is interesting that St. Niklaus seems to be quite uncertain himself as to who the three men were.
He said that he would only give himself to the service of God, so it is obvious that he is not quite sure who they are, they might be the devil! Another point is that when he says that he has dedicated himself to the service of God, they begin to laugh.
Why? Sometimes those three men speak of God as though he was another person and then again they say: “I” will give
you…. “I” will tell you that when you have reached the age of 70 God will be merciful to you.
They speak as though God were someone else and yet speak sometimes in the first person and sometimes as though they were messengers.
Commentators say that they were perhaps three angels and not God Himself.
Then there is the strange symbol of the paw – or claw – of the bear which is not to be found in Christian symbolism and which both Catholic and Protestant commentators avoid.
I propose therefore that we now look at this vision without any traditional prejudices and treat it as the dream of a modern man, which means, from the Jungian standpoint, that we take the motifs as they are. If it is not said that it is the Trinity we do not take it as such.
Probably St. Niklaus himself when he got back to a normal state of consciousness thought it was the Trinity, therefore, as an association, it would be correct, but the dream itself does not say so.
We have to accept the three noblemen who remind the saint of the Trinity, and discussed with him his way of life and promised him eternal life and a certain symbolic role.
We cannot dissociate these three noblemen from that other nobleman we had in the dream before whore he appeared and told St. Niklaus that he should not try to lead such a special life.
At that time, because it did not suit his conscious attitude, he decided it must be the devil talking to him, this time he says it is the Holy Trinity.
Let us say that the three noblemen remind us of the other, and that the figure of a nobleman putting riddles is reminiscent of Wotan who also rides about and tries people out with riddles.
This seems arbitrary, but there is something which seems to me to confirm my idea, namely the name of Wotan – Hrammi, the bear’s paw, or claw, which is one of Wotan’s official titles.
Why are there three people if this has to do with Wotan?
Wotan also sometimes called himself Bjorn, which means “little bear”.
This was another title and also the title of his fellow god Donor.
The bear was a very sacred animal and Wotan very often walked around the country and entered houses of peasants and asked for a meal and when asked would hay that his name was Bjorn, and after he had left the peasants would realize that they had been visited by the god without having recognized him.
In Switzerland the bear is a very sacred animal.
You will find a bear’s paws nailed over a stable door as a protection from evil spirits though usually now they are replaced by the horseshoe as easier to obtain, but paws are preferred because of the strength and power they represent, the essence of the strength and power in a battle.
In Switzerland the bear is equal to the lion of the more southern countries.
The bear was also one of the most widespread protective spirits of the Nordic Shamans who generally had a bear spirit as guarantee of their magic power.
In pre-Christian times his name might not be mentioned, he was spoken of as the “little grandfather” or the “clever father”, “the old one”, “the holy man”, “the holy woman”, “the honey eater” or “the gold foot”, with the idea that he had a golden foot.
Up to the 17th and 18th century such names survived in Russia and Lithuania.
The bear seems to have been a bisexual archetypal symbol.
In Greece it was sacred to the mother goddess Artemis, and in Germany to the Fulgya, the female follower of a hero.
Bears’ paws were also used as a protection from the evil eye. In old Prussia a bear’s paw was put into the tombs of the dead to give them the paws and strength to climb to the Beyond.
Here the paw is combined with the idea of getting into the Beyond and eternal life, Lavaud, the best Catholic commentator, tried to find out something about the bear in the Bible and quotes a place where Isaiah says: God has watched over me like a bear, like a lion in the dark, he causeth me to miss my ways.
Isaiah complains here that God is hard on him and is like a demon waiting for him in the dark, attacking him.
The terrible animal in the Apocrypha also has the feet of a bear.
According to these hints in the Bible, the bear has to do with evil, or the dark side of God, God in his destructive aspect.
Later, as you know, St. Niklaus had a tremendous vision of the dark side of God.
The glorious army which is to follow St. Niklaus fits in with the Germanic idea of heroes going to Valhalla, where only those go who die in battle.
To sit eating and drinking and fighting and quarrelling with no women present was thought of as a wonderful life in the Beyond and if St. Niklaus goes with the banner of the victorious army into the place of Valhalla he is there as one of their leaders.
Actually, he was a flag bearer at one time.
All this might imply that he had a kind of Germanic, pagan vision which he interpreted in a Christian way, but this is not true, because the three who seem to be Wotan leave the cross to St. Niklaus and say that he must carry that to the end of his life and that it will remind him of them.
This symbol is clearly Christian and is obviously the well-known Christian idea of the imitatio Christi.
The real motif of Christ implies the carrying of the cross, and this he is told he has to do till he becomes the leader of the army in the Beyond.
The cross, taken psychologically, and not theologically, represents – I quote Jung – the suffering of becoming conscious, moral conflict, and the uncertainty of one’s own thinking.
The cross has been interpreted as the cosmos and its four elements and Christ sacrificed to it.
But it has also been interpreted as the idea of the suffering between the opposites which Christ accepted voluntarily for Himself, so that the Divine undergoes this suffering.
One can therefore say that to carry one’s cross is to accept one’s conflict and it seems that acceptance of the utmost conflict is the way in which the flag may be obtained and the decoration of the bear’s paw.
The bear, from the amplification I gave you, represents the divine animal.
The god appears in the old traditional way as the animal, which refers to the animal in the god-man.
This religious experience comes through the body, through one’s own animal nature.
In the pagan mysteries before Christianity was introduced in all these countries, the ecstatic identification with one’s animal nature, sexual experience, or fighting, or any other typical animal experience was experienced as the divine mystery.
In the Dionysian and Eleusinian mysteries the experiences were psychologically understood as a oneness with the Divine, but in Christian times have been treated as a mystery which one has to try to live and then be quiet about.
In Germanic tribes, in contrast to the people of the Mediterranean, it was not so much the sex drive which became deified as the fighting instinct, which constituted the bridge for experiencing the Divine, and that came into the custom of the so-called “going Berserk”.
The word “serk” means skin or coat, and Berserk would mean wearing a bearskin in the sense of being possessed.
Possession is very often expressed in primitive languages as being covered by a coat – witches threw a veil or a coat over someone who then was turned into an animal, it was a way of being bewitched. It has to do with the primitive mask; by putting on the mask you are transformed but then came the situation in which the mask could not be removed.
To “go Berserk” originally was an inheritance.
In certain noble families it was an inherited capacity enabling those who had it to double their own personality.
The great hero sat in the hall and when his friend called for help, he began to yawn and suddenly there appeared on the battlefield a huge bear who killed all the enemy.
Meanwhile the body of the hero lay like a corpse in the hall or near the fire and afterwards he did not remember what had happened.
In the state of being Berserk, you do not see the hero who has perhaps done great deeds in the ecstasy of fighting and later is unconscious of what has happened.
This was also looked on as suffering.
Some chroniclers spoke of it as possession and others as a specific heroic quality.
We know that overwhelming affect can result in peculiar behavior.
In schizophrenic attacks, for instance, people can perform the most amazing tour de force – walk on one toe, or climb cut of the sanatorium hanging on to the walls like an animal.
They can accomplish the most amazing deeds which rationally would be impossible.
We can therefore say that a super-climax of affect makes a human capable of performing astonishing things and subjectively carries the experience of ecstatic oneness with the Divinity. It has a divine quality and can give the feeling of the unio mystica with God.
Many people do not want to get rid of their affects because of the tremendous joy they experience through them, even though they have to pay with exhaustion afterwards.
One is always confronted with the fact that the analysand one day will have to make his decision as to whether he wishes to be loyal to his emotional state or become more human.
Wotan is the god of this divine affect. “Wut” means rage and therefore he is the divine transformer of this frame of mind and the god of the heroes who die on the battlefield.
We have already thought that St. Niklaus must have a very violent nature and a very Berserk quality in him and this element now comes into his image of God and it can be said that the vision anticipates what he actually saw later.
He did not go into this human side of his being and he frustrated a certain realization of his own animal nature.
Jung thinks we are not thoroughly Christianized; the deeper layers of our nature remain untouched. If, therefore, a man like St. Niklaus makes an attempt, he gets up against his animal nature.
According to Christian teaching this has to be domesticated at all costs and that is St. Niklaus conscious endeavour and is why he consciously accepts the crucifix.
But what is the religious experience which the bear can give?
That part, Christianity has cut out of its program, though in other religions it belongs to the essence of its life, but it was cut out of Christianity because of its social destructiveness.
Modern man is always confronted with the question of what is to be done with the animal nature.
St. Niklaus took upon himself the cross and did it so thoroughly that he was promised that one day he should know what the other experience was.
The realization of the religious experience of the divine animal in the vision of St. Niklaus is presented so to speak ahead of the development.
You could say that there has been a worship of oneness with the divine animal.
This happens in primitive societies very often, for instance in the Mediterranean antique mystery cults.
With the Christian Trinity this element has been rejected and cut out of the religious inner life.
In the vision of St. Niklaus we could say that the symbol of the Christian faith would be the carrying of the cross, Christianity teaches us that we should only suffer the impact of this world and ourselves be crucified but never get into it, i.e. if I get into a Berserk rage I must redress it and ask God to help me to get rid of it.
Christian teaching says that is what you have suffer, that is the merit of the Christian life, that belongs to the human, that means carrying one’s cross, it is the helpless suffering belonging to this world and is looked on as an ethical merit.
Wherever there is such a tremendous primitiveness in a human being that this world is too strong and is destructive for the person, the Christian solution is adequate.
But if this process goes too far, if there is a long tradition where it has been practiced and where a certain point has s been reached then there is another problem.
Such people have become too Christian, they are cut off from their roots, they are thin, the pleasure of life and vitality has gone, the repressed world becomes destructive and then you have the noble Christian person with the tremendous explosive shadow – the gentleman who goes to church on Sunday and on Monday manufactures the atom
bomb and enjoys the phantasies of when “they” will get it.
There comes an explosive destruction and that is what Christianity has brought about.
Therefore nature seems to think of another way – to take this world and put it ahead of us, to say Christianity is something to go through for the sake of civilizing ourselves.
Whoever has lived in primitive countries knows the value of this.
If you have seen how people in non-Christian countries, where there is no care for the sufferings of others, simply say that that is karma, you realize the tremendous value of the Christian attempt at selfdiscipline, and that the humanizing of our most primitive animal instincts is a stage to be gone through.
But in the vision of St. Niklaus you have the return of the original world and his unconscious says first you have to carry the cross, but after death you will carry the bear’s paw.
The solution is projected into life after death, the program is too high for this life, but there the hope that what one does not achieve here one may achieve in the next life.
So becoming the hero and attaining one’s Christian attitude at the same time is an impossible ideal.
Therefore St. Niklaus could only suffer the Christian fate, suffering the impact of this world and hoping that after death he might attain in some other way.
The image of this man’s problem was the same as that of many other 15th century people; the desire for a real union of the two opposites if the animal nature could be integrated, without loss of the former values.
In Communism they go back into paganism where you have slaves and a free life, and if you are in a rage you just kill.
The great problem is the danger that one slips back, which is no merit.
In this vision the unconscious outlines a program in which the animal could be integrated ahead and united with the values of the Christian civilization.
The borderline between the regression into a pre-Christian state or progression into the post-Christian is very small. In St. Niklaus’ time the old Wotan and his wild hunters were still to be found in the country in spook forms and thus the regression was as near as progression.
When Klaus was creeping about in a half-naked state among the bushes it was touch and go as to which way things would turn out.
The pagan world had gripped him so strongly that to keep his Christian way was almost impossible.
The only possibility if touched by this problem is to intern oneself until one discovers where the thing leads.
Wotan, as stated by a member of the class, does not only represent the ecstatic experience of fighting and raging, but also the ecstatic joy of death.
The whole Germanic race is very much influenced by this tendency towards a kind of suicide in death such as is described in a book entitled “Letters of German Students from the War”.
They are letters from men, who later died, describing; what they experienced and felt about the war before they fell and the mystical longing for death is amazing.
There is no hate of the enemy, no real conviction of the Nazi ideal, but a mystical longing to die and a projection that this would be an ecstatic religious experience.
This has always made the Germans such dangerous soldiers and gives them such a tremendous drive.
It is very similar to the Berserk-rage; you can call it inverted aggressivity.
People with such an inner conviction have a tendency to self-destruction.
This romanticism and longing for the experience of death you meet with in several countries in the type of the puer eternus and with the mother problem.
You have the early dying youthful god and the slight tendency towards death mysticism.
In the Germanic race it combines with the aggressivity problem, the early dying heroic youth with the aspect of Berserk-rage.
The archetypal image which rules all this is the god Wotan.
Why is only the bear’s paw mentioned and not the whole bear? And why does he only get the decoration in the Beyond and only carry the cross in this life?
The bear’s paw is evidently a sign for the power of its nature, the bear itself.
The bear is dead and only the paw remains, so we could say that it is not the bear but the symbol of the bear that he will experience after death, the reintegration of what the bear means has to take place on a symbolic layer.
It is a sublimation of the bear which wants to be integrated in the bear in its heroic form, which means if this world returns in a post-Christian realization it is on a psychological level that it gets integrated and not on a concrete level, which would mean a regression into pagan behavior.
Klaus will carry the paw as a kind of symbol and not become the bear himself.
Carrying the flags with animal symbols is an old custom of Germanic priests; they carry such symbols round their fields to promote fertility.
Therefore it can be said that St. Niklaus has become a priest of a new religious attitude which reminds one of a pagan attitude, but is actually a further development, a step forward in the Christian attitude.
I would like to point out that the Germanic priests who carried such flags with animal symbols wore long hair and women’s clothes, like the Nordic Shaman.
St. Niklaus wore a long shirt, the female Shaman wears man’s clothing, which is a primitive way of expressing wholeness.
A female Shaman among the Bructerers who, according to Tacitus, lived in a tower, often received deputies from other countries and gave them advice just as St. Niklaus gave consultations to people.
We can therefore say that he is becoming a Christian hermit with certain features which represent the old Germanic priest and that the sense of awe which he formerly experienced on seeing a priest must have been an anticipation of his own future development.
I want to read a few passages from “Symbolik des Geistes” which amplify the idea of the change from the pagan to the Christian problem. Jung says that the Christian symbol of the cross represents a stage in which man becomes conscious of his ethical conflict and his own inner opposites.
In pre-Christian times though people knew that they had a shadow, the right hand did not really know what the left hand did, the shadow just splashed out all over the place.
This accounts for the social situation of late pagan antiquity which led to an intolerable situation.
In Christianity man awoke for the first time to the ethical conflict and to the fact of his social duties.
Within the Trinity, Christ belongs to the divine form of the son.
The Father represents the state where the shadow is simply lived from time to time and is also repressed.
The age of the Son, of Christ, is where we have become conscious of ethical problems.
Pre-Christian Stage Of the Father Stage of the Son Stage of the Holy Ghost
Worship of the state of oneness with the God in His double nature.
Christianity and the Cross.
Here the animal element is cut out.
Where submission to the irrational is restored.
There is something which reaches beyond the Christian cross – the submission of the
ego to the inner totality. In this stage a symbolic figure turns up, which represents the human totality.
(We can say that St. Niklaus is an example of a person who has assimilated the Christian faith within himself and has gone beyond it to reach a totality with the integration of the animal nature.)
The integration of the divine animal is such a great problem because only through ecstasy could one get a complete experience of the oneness of the personality and the oneness of nature.
If the experiment is rejected in some way one remains mutilated.
The idea is the integration of the dark side without loss of one’s ethical qualities, that is the great moral problem here.
The Berserk man is the man who is in a state of oneness with the totality through an ecstatic emotion.
In the next vision Christ appears as a Berserk figure, there could not be a more perfect union of the opposites.
Christ will turn up as a man with a bearskin, so you see where the unconscious is aiming. ~Marie-Louise von Franz, Dreams and Visions of Niklaus van der Flue, Page 37-45