Zarathustra Seminar

LECTURE II Zarathustra Seminar 17 October 1934

Dr. Jung:

Before we begin today I have a proposition to make.

I wish that a committee of members of the seminar would occupy themselves with research about the archetype of the wise old man.

We used to make such researches in former seminars: you remember perhaps the very excellent “Moon” paper that Dr. Harding and her committee worked out.

The moon is of course the archetype of the inner mother, the faint light of the dark earth.

We encountered that figure of the earth mother in the Visions also.

Since that is a predominant, prevailing archetype of the woman’s unconscious, the ruling aspect, it is characteristic for the particular development of fantasies; therefore we made a special investigation into the phenomenology of the archetype of the mother aspect of the moon.

Now we are occupied with a man’s psychology, so I want a report made about the phenomenology of the archetype of the wise old man.

He is the sun but a sun within, an illuminating factor, the sun of understanding, the light of the Gnosis for instance; in the Gnostic texts you always find that light symbolism associated with the wise old man who is the initiator, the bringer of light, the real Lucifer with all the implications of that name.: Concerning the method, you have a number of sources for your researches.

First of all you have the comparative history of religions, and the figures of the founders of religions; then you have the mythology of all races, and folklore and fairytales where there is the figure of the sorcerer, for example, in many forms, great and small; then literature, belles-lettres, and particularly poetic art.

And besides the great official religions, there are minor ones, primitive religions, tribal customs, and the noncanonical traditions-the heretic traditions-in which a lot of psychology is to be found.

Psychology has often been exiled from official religions because it is awkward, so one finds there material of an extremely philosophic nature.

In our Christian world, for instance, you have the historical traditions of the Gnostics which is heretic philosophy, both early and medieval Gnosticism, the new Platonists, and the later medieval philosophy in the form of alchemy, the Rosicrucians, etc.

In literature you encounter the figures of the anima and animus, of course, but you will have great trouble to find suitable examples of the more remote figures that are beyond.

The animus and anima are in our immediate experience while these great figures are not-they are always far more projected and therefore less easily recognizable-but they do exist in literature.

The earth mother is an exceedingly rare symbolism just because it is highly symbolical, but the wise old man is rather more frequent-there are definite examples because the wise old man has become an institutional figure while the earth mother is no institutional figure, of course.

She has always been terribly awkward; she does not fit into a man’s institutional world because she is always upsetting institutions.

I think this investigation is highly worthwhile in order to make ourselves realize the general aspect of the archetype, so that we may not labor too much under the impression that Nietzsche is such a particular case, that it is only possible for such a figure as Zarathustra to live in the mind of Nietzsche.

This research will show beyond question that it is really a representation collective.

Now we return to our text.

You remember we touched upon the problem of the hunger.

Zarathustra suddenly becomes aware of that symptom and says: “Hunger attacketh me like a robber.”

This theme of being overcome with hunger as if it were a robber is anticipated in the passage where the grave-diggers meet him and make jests about him: “A fine thing that Zarathustra hath turned a grave-digger! For our hands are too cleanly for that roast. Will Zarathustra steal the bite from the devil? Well then, good luck to the repast! If only the devil is not a better thief than Zarathustra!-he will steal them both, he will eat them both!”

One reads such a passage and hardly notices it; it sounds a bit queer, and one doesn’t stop to marvel about it and ask oneself what the devil it means, whether it is a mere figure of speech or has any deeper meaning.

I emphasize this passage because it is really characteristic of the style of Zarathustra in general.

You see, it is a sort of joke-one could almost say that the jesting way the grave-diggers talk to Zarathustra should have a comical effect-yet there is something, not exactly uncanny, but painful, about it.

There is a certain brilliant yet peculiar, painful aspect.

Now this painful aspect is pathological, and a pathological joke has a marked difference from a normal joke in that it doesn’t help one to laugh from the depth of one’s heart because at the same time one feels a stabbing pain somewhere.

This is due to the fact that in that joke there is a breaking line, a sort of split on account of the pathological interference; something which is not a jest at all, something gruesome, horrible, is mixed up with it.

And that is the case throughout the whole of Zarathustra: there are many attempts to be funny but always with a peculiar split in them, always with that painful admixture of poison as if something awful were behind.

We will try to understand what that is.

Obviously, in the allusion made by the grave-diggers it first touches Zarathustra; then in the form of hunger it really comes to him.

He says, rightly, that it overtakes him; it has been behind his consciousness and then it catches him suddenly he is made to realize that he feels very hungry.

Also, it is anticipated when still unconscious in the hungry howling of the wolves.

Animals always denote unconscious instinctiveness, and it is still projected into the wolves in the woods as if it were their hunger.

As, for instance, when you have a pain, a toothache perhaps, you sometimes dream that somebody else is in the same bed and that he or she has the pain. In the dream it is delegated: you are split in half and the other half has the toothache.

You are sort of projecting away the pain which threatens to disturb your sleep.

The supposition, then, is that Zarathustra’s hunger, which appears in the end, was there all the time; he was hungry all day long even when he didn’t know it.

Now, under what condition does one not notice that one is hungry?

Mrs. Baumann: When one doesn’t know that one has a body.

Dr. Jung: Yes. It often happens with intuitive types.

That doesn’t happen to me. I am very intuitive but I know when I am hungry-I never was short of such a realization.

But there are people who do not know it, who think hunger is a psychological problem, and Zarathustra represents such a person here. Where is the evidence for it?

Miss Hannah: Because he is burying it.

Dr. Jung: Exactly, the body is the corpse; it is Mr. Nietzsche himself, and he is going to bury Nietzsche.

Even a ghost, if he wants to make any effect on this earth, always needs a body, a medium; otherwise he cannot ring bells or lift tables or anything that ghosts are supposed to do.

And so Zarathustra needs the man Nietzsche.

If he is going to bury the corpse Nietzsche, then he has no body or he is unconscious of it; then he is stepping beyond Nietzsche as the jester threatens to step beyond him: we read that passage where the jester threatens to jump over Zarathustra as he had jumped over the rope-dancer.

You see, the jester is a terrible danger.

If he should jump over Zarathustra, what would be the result?

Mrs. Baumann: You said last week it would be insanity.

Dr. Jung: Yes. You see, Zarathustra is a ghost.

He cannot die in the body; he can only fall off the rope, fall off his synthetic mind-and

then it would be a psychosis, not the death of the body but the death of the mind.

Now, under what conditions is Zarathustra particularly threatened by the jester?

Miss Hannah: By staying in town, remaining with humanity.

Dr. Jung: Yes. If Zarathustra remains with Mr. Friedrich Nietzsche, then Friedrich Nietzsche can say something to him, can realize when he is hungry; he can feed his body, and then the danger is not great.

As Mr. Nietzsche, he is only saddled with the problem of the wise old man, which presumably does not fit into his psychology.

Sure enough, he wouldn’t follow his suggestion.

He would not yield easily to that old wise man of the 8th century B.C.

That was a rather unexpected feature of his life.

Therefore, if Zarathustra could remain in the town he would remain with Nietzsche-and Nietzsche would remain.

But since Nietzsche is threatened with death, it means he is overcome by Zarathustra, he is as good as a corpse.

He is dead as the rope-dancer; he cannot play his game any longer.

And then Zarathustra simply carries a corpse and has no relation to life; he is without physical feet, a pied a Terre, and therefore he loses reality.

As a man, he loses touch with earth, he is always threatened by insanity.

There is no reason why he should not dissolve into infinity, for such a man as a rule does dissolve into infinity.

You see, the body inasmuch as it is alive is hungry.

Nietzsche is hungry for physical substance: he needs that in order to sustain life.

So the body announces its need to be fed, in order that he may form a sort of opposite to Zarathustra, a balancing weight to the mad enthusiastic impulse which Zarathustra gives.

But Zarathustra doesn’t realize it.

Or only a faint realization of the fact that the body has its claims comes through in an indirect way, in that allusion of the grave-diggers.

Now we will try to understand further what the grave-diggers suggest, what their joke really means.

They say first that the corpse he is carrying would be too unclean for their hands.

That is an immense depreciation of the body.

This carrion is only good for hell; it is what the devil would eat; and as the devil is the principle of utter destruction, this morsel is only good for utter destruction.

And Zarathustra will perhaps steal this morsel from the devil-he will play the role of the devil in eating that carrion.

This idea is logically continued.

They say: “Well then, good luck to the repast,” which means that the devil stealing

the morsel of carrion will devour it-implying of course utter destruction of the body.

If Zarathustra steals the corpse from the devil, he steals it for the sake of an anthropophagous or sarcophagus meal; therefore, they congratulate him on that repast.

You see here a very peculiar old anthropophagical idea is corning in, and of course there are historical reasons why it comes in just here.

I hope that is clear! I will repeat it: The idea is that the devil will fetch that carrion, it is his morsel; the devil means utter destruction, so utter destruction will devour the morsel.

But Zarathustra is apparently going to steal it from the devil, as if he were another devil also meant to devour and thereby destroy the carrion.

And because they assume it is so they say: “Blessings on the repast.”

They congratulate him that he has stolen it, but they think it is pretty dangerous to deceive the devil and to take a morsel out of his teeth; the danger then might be that the devil would out thieve Zarathustra and steal both, eat both.

For it is perfectly obvious that if Zarathustra succeeds, he will eat the body.

You see, that is what we said before: he has overcome the body.

But it is a sort of anthropophagous act: he becomes a carrion eater, like a sarcophagus.

(The name of a coffin means the eater of flesh.)

He becomes the sarcophagus of Mr. Nietzsche.

Now that is the awful joke; it sounds like a sort of battling with empty brilliant words, yet at the bottom of it is the terrible allusion to an anthropophagous tendency of Zarathustra, the tendency of the wise old man to be a vulture.

Miss Hannah: Was there a chance that Zarathustra would get back the body by eating it?-having killed it, I mean?

Dr. Jung: No, he would play the role of the devil and completely destroy the body.

That is the utterly destructive quality of the spirit if the body doesn’t resist it properly.

Where have we an excellent example of this truth?

Mrs. Baynes: The saints who retired into the desert.

Dr. Jung: Yes, in the history of the saints one sees what the spirit can do. Cities of many thousands of inhabitants in the East were depopulated completely; all the inhabitants went into the desert because they were eaten by the spirit.

And think of the martyrs who voluntarily went into the arena.

Even the holy Christian church, which is the incarnation of divine love, burnt more than a hundred thousand of her own children alive.

Think of the heretics who were burned in Spain, and the witches who were burned, and the terrible things religious wars brought upon mankind.

And all the “isms” in our day are man-eaters, not only wolves but lions and sharks.

In our actual politics, human life counts for very little indeed; one of the means of persuasion is bullets and hanging.

We approach social conditions that are similar to those of the Middle Ages.

We have tyrants and secret police, execution without trials, and all that is done by a certain spirit, a certain “ism,” or a certain conviction in the name of truth.

It is a nice picture. You see, that is the spirit when it breaks away.

Zarathustra is a very wise and beautiful spirit in a way, and then he is the devil himself; therefore, I say Lucifer with every implication of that word.

You know, the German philosopher Klages is a great enemy of the spirit: he accuses the spirit of strangling life, of being murderous and depleting life of blood, and to a certain extent that is perfectly true.

If the spirit prevails against the body, there is destruction; it has an almost infernal power.

Nietzsche often played with that idea; for instance, in the Unzeitgemasse Betrachtungen, one of his earliest works, he says that one spark fallen from the eternal fire into the soul of a man searching after truth suffices to devour his entire life.

You see, in that sentence he expresses very clearly the descent of the Holy Ghost: that is a fiery spark of the eternal fires, and this most holy ghost is able to devour the whole of a human life.

We think it is beautiful, but we cannot deny the fact that all this beauty and grandeur can also produce most horrible destruction.

Of course, you can put yourself on the standpoint that it had to be; obviously it would not have happened if it had not been necessary.

But that is perfectly meaningless: it does not do away with the suffering.

If it happens to you, you will soon discover the other side of it.

To be devoured by the spirit is just as bad as to be devoured by a wild animal: it is an act of destruction.

That aspect of the spirit is absolutely strange to the Christian standpoint, where if you speak of spirit you are admitted to the company of the righteous ones.

Nobody doubts that the spirit is a marvelously good thing.

Yet it is by no means true; the spirit has a gruesome aspect and that comes through here indirectly in this joke.

Now, when Zarathustra says: “Hunger attacketl1 me like a robber,” the choice of that word shows how he feels the appetite of the body; it apparently takes something away from him.

Anything that does not go into the spirit, any life of the body, seems to be a minus for the spirit.

If the spirit has any actual claim, it will invariably claim all the rights of the body-quite irrespective of the fact that it has no feet without the body.

He says: “Among forests and swamps my hunger attacketh me, and late in the night.”

It is just there, in the woods and swamps, when he is lonely and should have a companion in the night, that he becomes aware of the fact that his body suffers pain or no longer exists.

For there he would need a body relation.

Otherwise, he is like a will o’ the wisp. “Strange humours hath my hunger.

Often it cometh to me only after a repast, and all day it hath failed to come: where hath it been?”

That this need of the body is not perceived regularly shows what the case is.

It apparently only appears as a symptom-when one doesn’t expect it; or after having eaten, it is realized-showing of course that it is also a psychical need. That kind of hunger is like a hysterical symptom.

Mrs. Crowley: I would like to understand why it would have been better if he had stayed in the town.

Dr. Jung: Well, better! I say if he had stayed in the town, he would have remained with the body; he would have had a chance to resurrect the body.

But these symbolic facts are not so definite; they can be changed any time.

The body is not definitely dead, only relatively; only the rope-dancer is dead.

Mrs. Crowley: But in the town he is playing the role of the Superman in speaking down to the people, so I don’t see how it can help him.

Dr. Jung: It would not help him in the least. He would have made himself a complete fool; nobody would have understood.

They would say, Oh, that is just Mr. Nietzsche!

He would defeat his own purpose; as long as one remains with human beings one defeats the purpose of the spirit.

You see, it is logical that he gave it up and went away, because he did not want to make a fool of himself.

He had to become a dweller in solitude.

He could not possibly have remained in town without having the position of an ordinary citizen.

Everybody would have taken a snapshot of him, would know where he lived, how he shaved, where he bought his clothes, who his acquaintances were-and that would have taken away all the glamour of the spirit.

For nobody among mortals believes that the man whom he sees every day is a genius or a spirit.

Can you believe that the man living next door is Jesus?

Live a while with him and you will be convinced that he is altogether too human.

So it is destructive to remain, but a certain amount of destruction is very healthy for a human being; man is then able to live normally and persist, and the spirit can be held at bay.

But that is of course ignominious from the Christian point of view, very heathenish.

Now we will go on with the text:

And thereupon Zarathustra knocked at the door of the house.

An old man appeared, who carried a light, and asked: “Who cometh unto me and my bad sleep?”

“A living man and a dead one,” said Zarathustra. “Give me something to eat and drink, I forgot it during the day. He that feedeth the hungry refresheth his own soul, saith wisdom.”

The old man withdrew, but came back immediately and offered Zarathustra bread and wine.

“A bad country for the hungry,” said he; “that is why I live here. Animal and man come unto me, the anchorite. But bid thy companion eat and drink also, he is wearier than thou.”

Zarathustra answered: “My companion is dead; I shall hardly be able to persuade him to eat.” “That doth not concern me,” said the old man sullenly; “he that knocketh at my door must take what I offer him. Eat, and fare ye well!”

Thereafter Zarathustra again went on for two hours, trusting to the path and the light of the stars: for he was an experienced night-walker, and liked to look into the face of all that slept.

When the morning dawned, however, Zarathustra found himself in a thick forest, and no path was any longer visible.

He then put the dead man in a hollow tree at his head-for he wanted to protect him from the wolves-and laid himself down on the ground and moss.

And immediately he fell asleep, tired in body, but with a tranquil soul.

What is the remarkable thing in this new passage?

Mrs. Crowley: The anchorite?-meeting again the same old man?

Dr . .Jung: Have you evidence that it is the same man?

Mrs. Crowley: He is transformed, but it seems to me the same figure.

For one thing, when he appears in section 2, he asks why Zarathustra must drag his body as he is now doing, as if it were a prophecy.

Then Zarathustra says he is going to preach this message of the Superman to the people, and the old man rather laughs at him and says they really wouldn’t want his wisdom at all; it would be better for him to carry part of their load.

And in this last part he again gives him something to eat and drink.

Dr . .Jung: Yes. And you remember what we said about that former old man?

Mrs. Crowley: Zarathustra said that the old man did not know that God was dead, and the interpretation was that he was the old idea of Christianity. He was mumbling in the forest, making hymns and so on, but at the same time he seemed to contain something which Zarathustra lacked, and that was the soul part. Zarathustra is on the spirit side.

And now he seems to come back to nature, not the spirit side but the soul side.

Dr . .Jung: Exactly. It is indeed the same old man to whom he comes in this moment.

Now, this moment also is characterized by the hunger; he is in need of something. He realizes that all is not well and so he approaches, as it were suddenly, former convictions; it is rather doubtful here apparently, like a sort of regression, and that is the reason why he meets the former old man.

You remember Zarathustra experienced the sad fact, when he preached in the marketplace, that people did not understand him at all.

He had no success and so he left, and then there was a great fatality. Now he is hungry and has nothing to eat.

He has had the experience of this world which he doesn’t know how to cope with, and so he naturally approaches a former point of view, as if something in him said: “Well, don’t you think that was perhaps more reasonable than what you are trying now?”

So he has to beg the old man to give him food, and he is giving him bread and wine. To what does that point?

Mrs. Crowley: Communion.

Dr . .Jung: Yes. In going back to the old man, he naturally goes back to the central mystery of late Christianity, the only thing that has retained a certain living symbolism.

This makes it clear that the old man is the old Christian spirit.

He is the wise old man inasmuch as he has taken form or been incarnated in the spirit of the Christian church.

So what he really seeks for food is the communion. And why just the communion?

Mrs. Crowley: Would it not be that he is now coming to himself, so it would be more the inner reality, the inner experience?

Before, everything was projected and you might say it was more as if he were giving communion, as if he were the priest.

Dr . .Jung: Well, there is a more definite reason.

Mrs. Brunner: Doesn’t he feel lonely?

Dr . .Jung: Yes, he has lost the body. You know, from the primitive’s point of view the spirit that is always about with no body is forever seeking one, and as soon as they touch a body they go into it and imagine that it is their own.

But they only cause possessions. Spirits crave food in order to be active in this world.

Therefore, in Homer, Ulysses kills the sheep and pours out the blood for the ghosts; and only those to whom he wants to talk does he allow to drink of it-the others he wards off with his sword.

And as soon as the ghosts have drunk blood, they can speak with an audible voice.

They become active.

They make themselves understood.

They are tangible, visible when they add material substance to their spiritual existence.

Now, all spirits want bodies; they are crazy without bodies.

And that is what Zarathustra wants: he wants material substance in order to communicate with people.

Having no body he cannot convey his meaning to them; he is practically invisible.

And this substance is at the same time communion.

The real meaning of the communion is the flesh or the body, the blood.

You see it is not in vain that Luther defended the estin (“is”) against our Swiss reformer Zwingli, who in a somewhat lame way said the communion was a sort of symbol.’

But Luther defended the primitive point of view, that it was the real body and the blood, because it is utterly important that the primitive instinct of man, the anthropophagous instinct, should be satisfied.

For the real communion with the qualities of human beings, particularly the psychical qualities, only takes place when you can eat them.

So when the red Indian wants to acquire courage, he eats the heart of the enemy; or to acquire cunning, he eats his brain.

That is the way in which they understand assimilation, by projection.

He naturally assumes that his enemy’s magic is better than his-as one is convinced, for instance, that the doctors abroad are always better than those at home.

And as the English papers say, the universities abroad are remarkable, while their own are nothing, only institutions to preserve old prejudices.

Or as primitives say, the tribe on the other side of the mountain have good magicians, big medicine, and much better weapons, because they have mana.

That is all projection and they try to get it back by eating their enemies.

They also eat their uncles and aunts and grandfathers in order to retain the family mana.

On a higher level, they are quite content if the tribe contains mana, and then they delegate the eating of the dead to the next village.

For instance, in Bugishu, on the western slope of Mt. Elgon, where they have only very recently come into contact with the white man, they were only relative anthropophagists: they did not eat the enemies caught in war.

They were quite nice, gentle people, but they had the somewhat peculiar custom of eating the dead.

So when there is a sad loss in the family, an uncle perhaps, they send a message to the next village: “We are bereft of our dear uncle,” or, “It has pleased God to take our uncle and tonight we put him into the Bush, so will you pay attention to it?”

Then the people in the next village prepare all sorts of presents-food, drink, beer and they carry them into the Bush and exchange loads; the mourners take over the presents, and the people from the other village take the body and chop it up and boil it for two or three hours.

And in the morning it is eaten and the bones are cleared up by the hyenas.

That is the way they get rid of their dead.

As a matter of fact, they say that is no longer done.

My head-man, who was from the south side, said they never would dream of doing such a thing; but we never found the dead, and I was by no means sure that the uncles and aunts were not eaten.

Miss Hannah: Why did they not eat it themselves?

Dr. Jung: Perhaps because it is not so nice; they try to get away from it and to let the others do it.

When somebody died in the other village they themselves had the same duty, however.

I don’t think they liked it so much. I had the impression that it was a sort of politeness-because I am your cousin, I will eat your uncle.

People say that they are very keen on eating human flesh, but I doubt it.

Of course, terrible things happen.

There was a case in West Africa where in one night they cleared out the whole cemetery of a hospital and ate them all-something simply incredible.

Nobody ever has explained why they did it, because usually they prefer fresh food-a fat prisoner of war fed up for the purpose, for instance, as they do in the South Sea Islands.

They say human chops are one point better than pig.

But that they should eat such awful filth means that there must be something behind it; we don’t know, the whole thing is exceedingly deep and mysterious.

They know it is filth.

They like fresh meat, particularly in the tropics, and they say of hyenas that they are horrible because they eat carrion.

So it had quite certainly a magic purpose.

This a true case. It is reported, I think, in that book by Talbot, In the Shadow of the Bush.

At all events it is quoted by Sir Wallis Budge in Osiris and the Egyptian Religions.

The symbol of communion here, then, means Zarathustra’s attempt to reconcile himself with the body; or one can say it is the need of the body that Zarathustra should become reconciled to it.

Therefore, the return to the old ways, which silently take into account the insistence

of the needs of the body.

An old religion, which one even might call somewhat degenerate, is more human in that respect than a later one; a new religion is always apt to disregard the body.

Protestantism is much more dangerous than Catholicism, which is the older and takes the body into account.

That is a matter of reproach from the Protestant side, but it is also a title of honor; an earthy Catholicism is much better because, without seeking it really, it reconciles the spirit and the body.

It doesn’t exaggerate the spirit, the body is taken care of.

There is an extraordinary tolerance in Catholicism concerning the body; and if you study the origin of the rites of the church, you will see that the church has taken over many ceremonies from the pagan cults, the mass for instance, and the robes of the priests. And that funny square black cap they wear, folded into four corners with one black pompom on top, is the original cap of the Flamines, the priests of Jupiter in Rome.

Then the bells in the Mass, and the host with the cross marked on top are Mithraic, and our Christmas day is the birthday of Mithras.

And naturally much of the antique point of view was also taken over; the standpoint of the church in certain legal matters, or in reference to sex morality, is very like the antique point of view, a bit stricter but not a bit moral in the way we would feel morality.

So the relation between the life of the spirit and the life of the body is very critical.

Too much of the body and the spirit dies; too much of the spirit and the body dies.

There is a sort of changing equilibrium between the two factors, and a bit too much of one means the destruction of the other.

You see, if Zarathustra returns to the old ways, he gets into a sort of modus vivendi that

guarantees at least a minimum of existence to the body; and he is no longer alone because through communion he has relation to humanity, his body is fed.

He can add substance to himself.

But it is at the expense of his own spiritual standpoint.

Now, the anchorite regards the corpse, not as a corpse, but as a companion rather; and he says to Zarathustra that he should get him to eat and to drink. Zarathustra then explains that that fellow is dead, so one cannot persuade him to eat, wherewith the old man is grumblingly satisfied.

He doesn’t insist upon it, it doesn’t concern him.

Naturally it would not, because he personifies a sort of traditional attitude which has no activity in itself, all the activity being in Zarathustra.

And it depends entirely upon him whether he is willing to accept the body in his system or not.

After this, he continues his way, and something is said about Zarathustra’s being a good walker in the night and one who loves to look into the face of sleeping things.

What does that mean?

Mrs. Crowley: Walking in the night is a reference to the unconscious.

Dr . .Jung: Yes, Zarathustra is first the unconscious side; inasmuch as the spirit is not born, it is the archetype living in the unconscious.

Then it is born into consciousness and takes a modern shape.

So old Zarathustra reborn in Nietzsche takes on the shape of “Thus Spake Zarathustra.”

This Zarathustra has nothing whatever to do with the old Zarathustra-the only thing they have in common is the name-but in a way this Zarathustra carries the message of today.

When the archetype appears, it always carries first a message of remotest antiquity apparently.

very strange; and then inasmuch as the conscious listens to the message and assimilates it, it will give a modern form to it.

It will give it rebirth in other words.

And the message, as you know, always appears in the moment when it is absolutely needed by the time.

Whenever an old system of representations collectives has become overdue, when its life is ebbing away so that it doesn’t carry life any longer-then that archetype is constellated, then it brings its message out of the dark.

But until then it has been a walker in the night, or “a caller in the desert,” as the prophet says.

Nobody hears him, he talks to empty space.

So as long as the archetype is unconscious, his only preoccupation would be to walk about in the night, in the unconscious, and to study sleeping things; therefore, to be in the darkness is a thing to which he is used.

Finally, he finds himself in the deep forest and no way is visible. Where would that be? What does the wood mean?

Mrs. Sigg: It might be the realm of the earth mother, because he buries the dead in the tree, and the tree is the mother.

It would be to give him rebirth.

Dr. Jung: Yes, it is the depths of the unconscious.

The wood in this respect is simply another symbol like the sea; it is the darkness.

One is projected, one can conceal oneself in the wood as if buried in water.

Also, a wood has the same mysterious in penetrability as water, and it is full of living beings that suddenly appear and disappear, especially primordial forests which are exceedingly uncanny: no paths and anything is possible in it, particularly that one loses one’s bearings.

That is the most horrible thing of all; it instantly calls up the collective unconscious and causes one to revert to the animal.

Now, Zarathustra is moving into the unconscious in order to bury the corpse there.

What would be the consequence, or the purpose, of Zarathustra in burying it in the unconscious?

Remark: To forget it.

Dr. Jung: Yes, one hides it there.

Then he can move easily because he has not to remember that corpse all the time, He is no longer burdened with that preoccupation.

The last trace of heaviness has gone and he becomes light, a dancer.

Zarathustra often calls himself that; he insists upon his light step, the step of a dancer, as if he had no weight what ever; he tries to get rid of the weight of the body because he cannot live the life of the spirit with the body.

Mrs. Baumann: Is that not contradicted by the next sentence? He wanted to protect it from the wolves.

Dr. Jung: But the wolves are the hunger.

Those are the robbers and the robber is in himself in order that he, Zarathustra, can no longer eat the body.

You see, Zarathustra is almost afraid of his own craving for a body.

To the primitive mentality, ghosts are immensely hungry things that walk about the whole night crying: “Where is my body? I am seeking my body.”

They suppose that the wandering spirits are terribly keen on bodies because they have lost their own, and when somebody is sick in the kraal, perhaps lying unconscious and unable to defend himself, the spirit sees it and in it goes to his body.

That is the way they describe it.

Have I told you about the little ghost houses they build to keep the spirits away from the kraal?

Well, you know, all the native trails leading from the jungle to the kraal are very serpentine, many curves with a short radius.

I will draw you a picture of one.

You see, it winds down from the bamboo forest above, where the ghosts are supposed to live,  towards the kraal below where the human beings are.

Then at a particularly sharp angle or at a likely spot where there is a clump of trees perhaps, the people in the kraal who are supposed to be spirit haunted, make another path with a flatter house kraal curve, a sort of trap trail.

This is paved and outlined with stones on each side, like the way to the burial place-or in one case I heard of, to the chief’s house where the stones indicated the number of people he had killed.

(One still sees such stone avenues in Cornwall leading to holes in the ground which were dwelling places in the neolithic age.)

This little decoy road branches off the main path and leads to an open space like a real kraal, and in that clearing they build the ghost house, a hut about as high as your waist. Inside is a bed of mats, and sometimes a clay figure on the bed.

And they put in food, corn or sweet potatoes, and outside is ajar in the ground filled with water. The clay figure is a sort of bait, of course.

Then in the night the spirit comes swinging and swerving down the path into the decoy trail, and he says: “Nice hut here, much good, I stay here in the hut. I get into that body; now I am at home, I have much mealy-mealy, I have much seed water.”

Then suddenly the sun comes up, and he jumps out of the body and runs back to the bamboo forest.

They tell that story in such a vivid way that one sees at once that it is absolute truth to them.

They protect the body by those traps, and you can be almost certain, when walking along a primitive trail, that you will come across one.

They don’t call it a trap.

They call it a spirit house, and of course negroes would not go that way; they would say it was

very bad. We had such a case near our camp: a young woman fell ill and the Gandu, a sorcerer who is a particular authority, smelt a ghost.

He went round the kraal in ever-widening circles, sniffing like a dog exactly, till he touched a certain spot, and then he said: “Here they come, this is the trail where the ghosts come in the night.”

And then they built a trap there.

This girl had been left an orphan very early; the parents died when they were quite young people so they were terribly sad and angry that they had lost their bodies so early, and were minded to do all sorts of evil to that kraal because their little girl was harbored there, and they wanted to have her with them.

Even in Homer you find that same psychology: the shadow people in Hades are very sad.

They are always wandering aimlessly about as disembodied shadows; it is a dim and shadowy world, and as soon as there is blood anywhere, they go like vultures and drink it in order to get substance, to have a body again.

\l Practically all primitive people are convinced that that is a truth-if they have developed a spiritualistic system at all.

So one can understand this wolfish hunger of Zarathustra-that it is represented by wolves.

You know, wolves howl very peculiarly, and hyenas are particularly like ghosts because they eat the bones of the dead and so are supposed to have their bellies full of ancestral souls.

One must handle them with the utmost care; if one kills a hyena it means trouble.

They really are spooky, I never have heard anything so demoniacal as a pack of hyenas; they lend themselves to that superstition.

They do their level best to represent disembodied spirits.

When they are hungry, that whining and laughter is just awful.

Naturally they are taken for ghosts by the primitives.

If it is heard in a place where hyenas are not supposed to be, or if there is anything in the least unusual about it, then it is probably a ghost.

Hyenas are not feared in themselves, but if it is a ghost, that is something else.

Ghosts are supposed to imitate, not only hyenas, but any other animals; and it is recognized by its extraordinary behavior.

The Red Indians call certain animals “doctor animals” when they behave in a way which is not according to rule.

So Zarathustra’s idea, in burying the dead in the wood, is to forget him altogether, to give him a decent burial, which means to lock him in somewhere so that he cannot get out.

We piously put a stone upon the graves of our ancestors, but that was originally to keep the dead in the hole.

There have been such customs as nailing the body to the ground by driving a pole or a nail through the belly in order that the body should not rise again; or a lot of stones were heaped upon the grave in order to prevent the dead from escaping.

In Switzerland, I think it was in Canton Aargau, in the 1gth century the custom still prevailed that when somebody died one opened the windows and said to the soul of the dead, Fahre hin un fiadere, “Farewell and flutter away,” thus inviting it not to return.

On a certain South Sea island they have the most elaborate ceremonies to inveigle the soul of the dead to leave the body, so that they may be sure it will never return: a boat lands and then the medicine-man takes the corpse by the hand and leads the soul very politely to the boat and puts it on board and it sails away.

So the meaning of the hollow tree was surely a burial place.

Of course in reality bodies were put into hollow trees for protection against wolves or foxes, partially because of a certain belief in bodily resurrection, and partially because of the fear that the dead would be badly offended by not having had a decent burial-that is the most frequent reason.

There were Christian societies in Rome in the first century, sort of insurance companies, which guaranteed a decent burial; they were called thiasotai, and some of them were to guarantee to members one meal daily also.

“There was a tremendous traffic congestion in old Rome.

The streets were exceedingly narrow and there were no buses or cars except slow horse-carts which were all needed for the transport of food.

Rome had a population of about two million people at that time.

A great many people went to town every day for business and there was no time to go home at midday for a meal.

There were no trains to the suburbs; it was all plain walking, and they had to eat their meal in the town, as we do.

So they formed societies.

They took a room or a basement and had a man there to cook meals, and it was the custom to name the society after a patron saint, the Society of Theseus, or Heracles, for example.

The cook, who prepared the meal, had already eaten when the society arrived; and while they ate, he read the gospels to them-which were not then considered to be inspired truth, only very good books.

Or he told them stories, or read the epistles that came from abroad to that particular society.

You see, that is the origin of the idea of the mass; the altar is the cooking range, the hearth, where the magic or spiritual food is prepared, and the priest is the cook who gives it to the people.

There is the same custom in monasteries; one of the monks reads the sacred texts or other good books while the others eat.

They had such insurance companies for decent burial, because otherwise the soul would begin to work havoc and cause no end of trouble.

Even today, Italians are exceedingly careful to bury their people well.

They go to great lengths to get monuments; the cemetery of Genoa, for instance, is full of monuments of awfully bad taste but touching in their naivete.

To primitive people, as to the unconscious, the dead mean a tremendous lot.

So, as we are moving here on the fringe of the collective unconscious with the figure of Zarathustra, it is by no means strange that he should observe a primitive custom and bury the corpse in such a way that he would have no reason to return.

For it would not suit Zarathustra if that spirit of heaviness should come back and burden him with the banality of an ordinary human life. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, ~Page 166-184

Dr. Jung:

Before we begin today I have a proposition to make.

I wish that a committee of members of the seminar would occupy themselves with research about the archetype of the wise old man.

We used to make such researches in former seminars: you remember perhaps the very excellent “Moon” paper that Dr. Harding and her committee worked out.

The moon is of course the archetype of the inner mother, the faint light of the dark earth.

We encountered that figure of the earth mother in the Visions also.

Since that is a predominant, prevailing archetype of the woman’s unconscious, the ruling aspect, it is characteristic for the particular development of fantasies; therefore we made a special investigation into the phenomenology of the archetype of the mother aspect of the moon.

Now we are occupied with a man’s psychology, so I want a report made about the phenomenology of the archetype of the wise old man.

He is the sun but a sun within, an illuminating factor, the sun of understanding, the light of the Gnosis for instance; in the Gnostic texts you always find that light symbolism associated with the wise old man who is the initiator, the bringer of light, the real Lucifer with all the implications of that name.: Concerning the method, you have a number of sources for your researches.

First of all you have the comparative history of religions, and the figures of the founders of religions; then you have the mythology of all races, and folklore and fairytales where there is the figure of the sorcerer, for example, in many forms, great and small; then literature, belles-lettres, and particularly poetic art.

And besides the great official religions, there are minor ones, primitive religions, tribal customs, and the noncanonical traditions-the heretic traditions-in which a lot of psychology is to be found.

Psychology has often been exiled from official religions because it is awkward, so one finds there material of an extremely philosophic nature.

In our Christian world, for instance, you have the historical traditions of the Gnostics which is heretic philosophy, both early and medieval Gnosticism, the new Platonists, and the later medieval philosophy in the form of alchemy, the Rosicrucians, etc.

In literature you encounter the figures of the anima and animus, of course, but you will have great trouble to find suitable examples of the more remote figures that are beyond.

The animus and anima are in our immediate experience while these great figures are not-they are always far more projected and therefore less easily recognizable-but they do exist in literature.

The earth mother is an exceedingly rare symbolism just because it is highly symbolical, but the wise old man is rather more frequent-there are definite examples because the wise old man has become an institutional figure while the earth mother is no institutional figure, of course.

She has always been terribly awkward; she does not fit into a man’s institutional world because she is always upsetting institutions.

I think this investigation is highly worthwhile in order to make ourselves realize the general aspect of the archetype, so that we may not labor too much under the

impression that Nietzsche is such a particular case, that it is only possible for such a figure as Zarathustra to live in the mind of Nietzsche.

This research will show beyond question that it is really a representation collective.

Now we return to our text.

You remember we touched upon the problem of the hunger.

Zarathustra suddenly becomes aware of that symptom and says: “Hunger attacketh me like a robber.”

This theme of being overcome with hunger as if it were a robber is anticipated in the passage where the grave-diggers meet him and make jests about him: “A fine thing that Zarathustra hath turned a grave-digger! For our hands are too cleanly for that roast. Will Zarathustra steal the bite from the devil? Well then, good luck to the repast! If only the devil is not a better thief than Zarathustra!-he will steal them both, he will eat them both!”

One reads such a passage and hardly notices it; it sounds a bit queer, and one doesn’t stop to marvel about it and ask oneself what the devil it means, whether it is a mere figure of speech or has any deeper meaning.

I emphasize this passage because it is really characteristic of the style of Zarathustra in general.

You see, it is a sort of joke-one could almost say that the jesting way the grave-diggers talk to Zarathustra should have a comical effect-yet there is something, not exactly uncanny, but painful, about it.

There is a certain brilliant yet peculiar, painful aspect.

Now this painful aspect is pathological, and a pathological joke has a marked difference from a normal joke in that it doesn’t help one to laugh from the depth of one’s heart because at the same time one feels a stabbing pain somewhere.

This is due to the fact that in that joke there is a breaking line, a sort of split on account of the pathological interference; something which is not a jest at all, something gruesome, horrible, is mixed up with it.

And that is the case throughout the whole of Zarathustra: there are many attempts to

be funny but always with a peculiar split in them, always with that painful admixture of poison as if something awful were behind.

We will try to understand what that is.

Obviously, in the allusion made by the grave-diggers it first touches Zarathustra; then in the form of hunger it really comes to him.

He says, rightly, that it overtakes him; it has been behind his consciousness and then it catches him suddenly he is made to realize that he feels very hungry.

Also, it is anticipated when still unconscious in the hungry howling of the wolves.

Animals always denote unconscious instinctiveness, and it is still projected into the wolves in the woods as if it were their hunger.

As, for instance, when you have a pain, a toothache perhaps, you sometimes dream that somebody else is in the same bed and that he or she has the pain. In the dream it is delegated: you are split in half and the other half has the toothache.

You are sort of projecting away the pain which threatens to disturb your sleep.

The supposition, then, is that Zarathustra’s hunger, which appears in the end, was there all the time; he was hungry all day long even when he didn’t know it.

Now, under what condition does one not notice that one is hungry?

Mrs. Baumann: When one doesn’t know that one has a body.

Dr. Jung: Yes. It often happens with intuitive types.

That doesn’t happen to me. I am very intuitive but I know when I am hungry-I never was short of such a realization.  But there are people who do not know

it, who think hunger is a psychological problem, and Zarathustra represents such a person here. Where is the evidence for it?

Miss Hannah: Because he is burying it.

Dr. Jung: Exactly, the body is the corpse; it is Mr. Nietzsche himself, and he is going to bury Nietzsche.

Even a ghost, if he wants to make any effect on this earth, always needs a body, a medium; otherwise he cannot ring bells or lift tables or anything that ghosts are supposed to do.

And so Zarathustra needs the man Nietzsche.

If he is going to bury the corpse Nietzsche, then he has no body or he is unconscious of it; then he is stepping beyond Nietzsche as the jester threatens to step beyond

him: we read that passage where the jester threatens to jump over Zarathustra as he had jumped over the rope-dancer.

You see, the jester is a terrible danger.

If he should jump over Zarathustra, what would be the result?

Mrs. Baumann: You said last week it would be insanity.

Dr. Jung: Yes. You see, Zarathustra is a ghost.

He cannot die in the body; he can only fall off the rope, fall off his synthetic mind-and then it would be a psychosis, not the death of the body but the death of the mind.

Now, under what conditions is Zarathustra particularly threatened by the jester?

Miss Hannah: By staying in town, remaining with humanity.

Dr. Jung: Yes. If Zarathustra remains with Mr. Friedrich Nietzsche, then Friedrich Nietzsche can say something to him, can realize when he is hungry; he can feed his body, and then the danger is not great.

As Mr. Nietzsche, he is only saddled with the problem of the wise old man, which presumably does not fit into his psychology.

Sure enough, he wouldn’t follow his suggestion.

He would not yield easily to that old wise man of the 8th century B.C. That was a rather unexpected feature of his life.

Therefore, if Zarathustra could remain in the town he would remain with Nietzsche-and Nietzsche would remain.

But since Nietzsche is threatened with death, it means he is overcome by Zarathustra, he is as good as a corpse.

He is dead as the rope-dancer; he cannot play his game any longer.

And then Zarathustra simply carries a corpse and has no relation to life; he is without physical feet, a pied a Terre, and therefore he loses reality.

As a man, he loses touch with earth, he is always threatened by insanity.

There is no reason why he should not dissolve into infinity, for such a man as a rule does dissolve into infinity.

You see, the body inasmuch as it is alive is hungry.

Nietzsche is hungry for physical substance: he needs that in order to sustain life.

So the body announces its need to be fed, in order that he may form a sort of opposite to Zarathustra, a balancing weight to the mad enthusiastic impulse which Zarathustra gives.

But Zarathustra doesn’t realize it.

Or only a faint realization of the fact that the body has its claims comes through in an indirect way, in that allusion of the grave-diggers.

Now we will try to understand further what the grave-diggers suggest, what their joke really means.

They say first that the corpse he is carrying would be too unclean for their hands.

That is an immense depreciation of the body.

This carrion is only good for hell; it is what the devil would eat; and as the devil is the principle of utter destruction, this morsel is only good for utter destruction.

And Zarathustra will perhaps steal this morsel from the devil-he will play the role of the devil in eating that carrion.

This idea is logically continued.

They say: “Well then, good luck to the repast,” which means that the devil stealing the morsel of carrion will devour it-implying of course utter destruction of the body.

If Zarathustra steals the corpse from the devil, he steals it for the sake of an anthropophagous or sarcophagus meal; therefore, they congratulate him on that repast.

You see here a very peculiar old anthropophagical idea is corning in, and of course there are historical reasons why it comes in just here.

I hope that is clear! I will repeat it: The idea is that the devil will fetch that carrion, it is his morsel; the devil means utter destruction, so utter destruction will devour the morsel.

But Zarathustra is apparently going to steal it from the devil, as if he were another devil also meant to devour and thereby destroy the carrion.

And because they assume it is so they say: “Blessings on the repast.”

They congratulate him that he has stolen it, but they think it is pretty dangerous to deceive the devil and to take a morsel out of his teeth; the danger then might be that the devil would out thieve Zarathustra and steal both, eat both.

For it is perfectly obvious that if Zarathustra succeeds, he will eat the body.

You see, that is what we said before: he has overcome the body.

But it is a sort of anthropophagous act: he becomes a carrion eater, like a sarcophagus.

(The name of a coffin means the eater of flesh.)

He becomes the sarcophagus of Mr. Nietzsche.

Now that is the awful joke; it sounds like a sort of battling with empty brilliant words, yet at the bottom of it is the terrible allusion to an anthropophagous tendency of Zarathustra, the tendency of the wise old man to be a vulture.

1V1iss Hannah: Was there a chance that Zarathustra would get back the body by eating it?-having killed it, I mean?

Dr. Jung: No, he would play the role of the devil and completely destroy the body.

That is the utterly destructive quality of the spirit if the body doesn’t resist it properly.

Where have we an excellent example of this truth?

Mrs. Baynes: The saints who retired into the desert.

Dr. Jung: Yes, in the history of the saints one sees what the spirit can do. Cities of many thousands of inhabitants in the East were depopulated completely; all the inhabitants went into the desert because they were eaten by the spirit.

And think of the martyrs who voluntarily went into the arena.

Even the holy Christian church, which is the incarnation of divine love, burnt more than a hundred thousand of her own children alive.

Think of the heretics who were burned in Spain, and the witches who were burned, and the terrible things religious wars brought upon mankind.

And all the “isms” in our day are man-eaters, not only wolves but lions and sharks.

In our actual politics, human life counts for very little indeed; one of the means of persuasion is bullets and hanging.

We approach social conditions that are similar to those of the Middle Ages.

We have tyrants and secret police, execution without trials, and all that is done by a certain spirit, a certain “ism,” or a certain conviction in the name of truth.

It is a nice picture. You see, that is the spirit when it breaks away.

Zarathustra is a very wise and beautiful spirit in a way, and then he is the devil himself; therefore, I say Lucifer with every implication of that word.

You know, the German philosopher Klages is a great enemy of the spirit: he accuses the spirit of strangling life, of being murderous and depleting life of blood, and to a certain extent that is perfectly true.

If the spirit prevails against the body, there is destruction; it has an almost infernal power.

Nietzsche often played with that idea; for instance,

in the Unzeitgemasse Betrachtungen, one of his earliest works, he says that one spark fallen from the eternal fire into the soul of a man searching after truth suffices to devour his entire life.

You see, in that sentence he expresses very clearly the descent of the Holy Ghost: that is a fiery spark of the eternal fires, and this most holy ghost is able to devour the whole of a human life.

We think it is beautiful, but we cannot deny the fact that all this beauty and grandeur can also produce most horrible destruction.

Of course, you can put yourself on the standpoint that it had to be; obviously it would not have happened if it had not been necessary.

But that is perfectly meaningless: it does not do away with the suffering.

If it happens to you, you will soon discover the other side of it.

To be devoured by the spirit is just as bad as to be devoured by a wild animal: it is an act of destruction.

That aspect of the spirit is absolutely strange to the Christian standpoint, where if you speak of spirit you are admitted to the company of the righteous ones.

Nobody doubts that the spirit is a marvelously good thing.

Yet it is by no means true; the spirit has a gruesome aspect and that comes through here indirectly in this joke.

Now, when Zarathustra says: “Hunger attacketl1 me like a robber,” the choice of that word shows how he feels the appetite of the body; it apparently takes something away from him.

Anything that does not go into the spirit, any life of the body, seems to be a minus for the spirit.

If the spirit has any actual claim, it will invariably claim all the rights of the body-quite irrespective of the fact that it has no feet without the body.

He says: “Among forests and swamps my hunger attacketh me, and late in the night.”

It is just there, in the woods and swamps, when he is lonely and should have a companion in the night, that he becomes aware of the fact that his body suffers pain or no longer exists.

For there he would need a body relation.

Otherwise, he is like a will o’ the wisp. “Strange humours hath my hunger.

Often it cometh to me only after a repast, and all day it hath failed to come: where hath it been?”

That this need of the body is not perceived regularly shows what the case is.

It apparently only appears as a symptom-when one doesn’t expect it; or after having eaten, it is realized-showing of course that it is also a psychical need. That kind of hunger is like a hysterical symptom.

Mrs. Crowley: I would like to understand why it would have been better if he had stayed in the town.

Dr. Jung: Well, better! I say if he had stayed in the town, he would have remained with the body; he would have had a chance to resurrect the body.

But these symbolic facts are not so definite; they can be changed any time.

The body is not definitely dead, only relatively; only the rope-dancer is dead.

Mrs. Crowley: But in the town he is playing the role of the Superman in speaking down to the people, so I don’t see how it can help him.

Dr. Jung: It would not help him in the least. He would have made himself a complete fool; nobody would have understood.

They would say, Oh, that is just Mr. Nietzsche!

He would defeat his own purpose; as long as one remains with human beings one defeats the purpose of the spirit.

You see, it is logical that he gave it up and went away, because he did not want to make a fool of himself.

He had to become a dweller in solitude.

He could not possibly have remained in town without having the position of an ordinary citizen.

Everybody would have taken a snapshot of him, would know where he lived, how he shaved, where he bought his clothes, who his acquaintances were-and that would have taken away all the glamour of the spirit.

For nobody among mortals believes that the man whom he sees every day is a genius or a spirit.

Can you believe that the man living next door is Jesus?

Live a while with him and you will be convinced that he is altogether too human.

So it is destructive to remain, but a certain amount of destruction is very healthy for a human being; man is then able to live normally and persist, and the spirit can be held at bay.

But that is of course ignominious from the Christian point of view, very heathenish.

Now we will go on with the text:

And thereupon Zarathustra knocked at the door of the house.

An old man appeared, who carried a light, and asked: “Who cometh unto me and my bad sleep?”

“A living man and a dead one,” said Zarathustra. “Give me something to eat and drink, I forgot it during the day. He that feedeth the hungry refresheth his own soul, saith wisdom.”

The old man withdrew, but came back immediately and offered Zarathustra bread and wine.

“A bad country for the hungry,” said he; “that is why I live here. Animal and man come unto me, the anchorite. But bid thy companion eat and drink also, he is wearier than thou.”

Zarathustra answered: “My companion is dead; I shall hardly be able to persuade him to eat.” “That doth not concern me,” said the old man sullenly; “he that knocketh at my door must take what I offer him. Eat, and fare ye well!”

Thereafter Zarathustra again went on for two hours, trusting to the path and the light of the stars: for he was an experienced night-walker, and liked to look into the face of all that slept.

When the morning dawned, however, Zarathustra found himself in a thick forest, and no path was any longer visible.

He then put the dead man in a hollow tree at his head-for he wanted to protect him from the wolves-and laid himself down on the ground and moss.

And immediately he fell asleep, tired in body, but with a tranquil soul.

What is the remarkable thing in this new passage?

Mrs. Crowley: The anchorite?-meeting again the same old man?

Dr . .Jung: Have you evidence that it is the same man?

Mrs. Crowley: He is transformed, but it seems to me the same figure.

For one thing, when he appears in section 2, he asks why Zarathustra must drag his body as he is now doing, as if it were a prophecy.

Then Zarathustra says he is going to preach this message of the Superman to the people, and the old man rather laughs at him and says they really wouldn’t want his wisdom at all; it would be better for him to carry part of their load.

And in this last part he again gives him something to eat and drink.

Dr . .Jung: Yes. And you remember what we said about that former old man?

Mrs. Crowley: Zarathustra said that the old man did not know that God was dead, and the interpretation was that he was the old idea of Christianity. He was mumbling in the forest, making hymns and so on, but at the same time he seemed to contain something which Zarathustra lacked, and that was the soul part. Zarathustra is on the spirit side.

And now he seems to come back to nature, not the spirit side but the soul side.

Dr . .Jung: Exactly. It is indeed the same old man to whom he comes in this moment.

Now, this moment also is characterized by the hunger; he is in need of something. He realizes that all is not well and so he approaches, as it were suddenly, former convictions; it is rather doubtful here apparently, like a sort of regression, and that is the reason why he meets the former old man.

You remember Zarathustra experienced the sad fact, when he preached in the marketplace, that people did not understand him at all.

He had no success and so he left, and then there was a great fatality.

Now he is hungry and has nothing to eat.

He has had the experience of this world which he doesn’t know how to cope with, and so he naturally approaches a former point of view, as if something in him said: “Well, don’t you think that was perhaps more reasonable than what you are trying now?”

So he has to beg the old man to give him food, and he is giving him bread and wine. To what does that point?

Mrs. Crowley: Communion.

Dr . .Jung: Yes. In going back to the old man, he naturally goes back to the central mystery of late Christianity, the only thing that has retained a certain living symbolism.

This makes it clear that the old man is the old Christian spirit.

He is the wise old man inasmuch as he has taken form or been incarnated in the spirit of the Christian church.

So what he really seeks for food is the communion. And why just the communion?

Mrs. Crowley: Would it not be that he is now coming to himself, so it would be more the inner reality, the inner experience?

Before, everything was projected and you might say it was more as if he were giving communion, as if he were the priest.

Dr . .Jung: Well, there is a more definite reason.

Mrs. Brunner: Doesn’t he feel lonely?

Dr . .Jung: Yes, he has lost the body. You know, from the primitive’s point of view the spirit that is always about with no body is forever seeking one, and as soon as they touch a body they go into it and imagine that it is their own.

But they only cause possessions. Spirits crave food in order to be active in this world.

Therefore, in Homer, Ulysses kills the sheep and pours out the blood for the ghosts; and only those to whom he wants to talk does he allow to drink of it-the others he wards off with his sword.

And as soon as the ghosts have drunk blood, they can speak with an audible voice. They become active.

They make themselves understood.

They are tangible, visible when they add material substance to their spiritual existence.

Now, all spirits want bodies; they are crazy without bodies.

And that is what Zarathustra wants: he wants material substance in order to communicate with people.

Having no body he cannot convey his meaning to them; he is practically invisible.

And this substance is at the same time communion.

The real meaning of the communion is the flesh or the body, the blood.

You see it is not in vain that Luther defended the estin (“is”) against our Swiss reformer Zwingli, who in a somewhat lame way said the communion was a sort of symbol.’

But Luther defended the primitive point of view, that it was the real body and the blood, because it is utterly important that the primitive instinct of man, the anthropophagous instinct, should be satisfied.

For the real communion with the qualities of human beings, particularly the psychical qualities, only takes place when you can eat them.

So when the red Indian wants to acquire courage, he eats the heart of the enemy; or to acquire cunning, he eats his brain.

That is the way in which they understand assimilation, by projection.

He naturally assumes that his enemy’s magic is better than his-as one is convinced, for instance, that the doctors abroad are always better than those at home.

And as the English papers say, the universities abroad are remarkable, while their own are nothing, only institutions to preserve old prejudices.

Or as primitives say, the tribe on the other side of the mountain have good magicians, big medicine, and much better weapons, because they have mana.

That is all projection and they try to get it back by eating their enemies.

They also eat their uncles and aunts and grandfathers in order to retain the family mana.

On a higher level, they are quite content if the tribe contains mana, and then they delegate the eating of the dead to the next village.

For instance, in Bugishu, on the western slope of Mt. Elgon, where they have only very recently come into contact with the white man, they were only relative anthropophagists: they did not eat the enemies caught in war.

They were quite nice, gentle people, but they had the somewhat peculiar custom of eating the dead.

So when there is a sad loss in the family, an uncle perhaps, they send a message to the next village: “We are bereft of our dear uncle,” or, “It has pleased God to take our uncle and tonight we put him into the Bush, so will you pay attention to it?”

Then the people in the next village prepare all sorts of presents-food, drink, beer and

they carry them into the Bush and exchange loads; the mourners take over the presents, and the people from the other village take the body and chop it up and boil it for two or three hours.

And in the morning it is eaten and the bones are cleared up by the hyenas.

That is the way they get rid of their dead.

As a matter of fact, they say that is no longer done.

My head-man, who was from the south side, said they never would dream of doing such a thing; but we never found the dead, and I was by no means sure that the uncles and aunts were not eaten.

Miss Hannah: Why did they not eat it themselves?

Dr. Jung: Perhaps because it is not so nice; they try to get away from it and to let the others do it.

When somebody died in the other village they themselves had the same duty, however.

I don’t think they liked it so much. I had the impression that it was a sort of politeness-because I am your cousin, I will eat your uncle.

People say that they are very keen on eating human flesh, but I doubt it.

Of course, terrible things happen.

There was a case in West Africa where in one night they cleared out the whole cemetery of a hospital and ate them all-something simply incredible.

Nobody ever has explained why they did it, because usually they prefer fresh food-a fat prisoner of war fed up for the purpose, for instance, as they do in the South Sea Islands.

They say human chops are one point better than pig.

But that they should eat such awful filth means that there must be something behind it; we don’t know, the whole thing is exceedingly deep and mysterious.

They know it is filth.

They like fresh meat, particularly in the tropics, and they say of hyenas that they are horrible because they eat carrion.

So it had quite certainly a magic purpose.

This a true case. It is reported, I think, in that book by Talbot, In the Shadow of the Bush.

At all events it is quoted by Sir Wallis Budge in Osiris and the Egyptian Religions.

The symbol of communion here, then, means Zarathustra’s attempt to reconcile himself with the body; or one can say it is the need of the body that Zarathustra should become reconciled to it.

Therefore, the return to the old ways, which silently take into account the insistence of the needs of the body.

An old religion, which one even might call somewhat degenerate, is more human in that respect than a later one; a new religion is always apt to disregard the body.

Protestantism is much more dangerous than Catholicism, which is the older and takes the body into account.

That is a matter of reproach from the Protestant side, but it is also a title of honor; an earthy Catholicism is much better because, without seeking it really, it reconciles the spirit and the body.

It doesn’t exaggerate the spirit, the body is taken care of.

There is an extraordinary tolerance in Catholicism concerning the body; and if you study the origin of the rites of the church, you will see that the church has taken over many ceremonies from the pagan cults, the mass for instance, and the robes of the priests. And that funny square black cap they wear, folded into four corners with one black pompom on top, is the original cap of the Flamines, the priests of Jupiter in Rome.

Then the bells in the Mass, and the host with the cross marked on top are Mithraic, and our Christmas day is the birthday of Mithras.

And naturally much of the antique point of view was also taken over; the standpoint of the church in certain legal matters, or in reference to sex morality, is very like the antique point of view, a bit stricter but not a bit moral in the way we would feel morality.

So the relation between the life of the spirit and the life of the body is very critical.

Too much of the body and the spirit dies; too much of the spirit and the body dies.

There is a sort of changing equilibrium between the two factors, and a bit too much of one means the destruction of the other.

You see, if Zarathustra returns to the old ways, he gets into a sort of modus vivendi that guarantees at least a minimum of existence to the body; and he is no longer alone because through communion he has relation to humanity, his body is fed.

He can add substance to himself. But it is at the expense of his own spiritual standpoint.

Now, the anchorite regards the corpse, not as a corpse, but as a companion

rather; and he says to Zarathustra that he should get him to eat and to drink. Zarathustra then explains that that fellow is dead, so one cannot persuade him to eat, wherewith the old man is grumblingly satisfied.

He doesn’t insist upon it, it doesn’t concern him.

Naturally it would not, because he personifies a sort of traditional attitude which has no activity in itself, all the activity being in Zarathustra.

And it depends entirely upon him whether he is willing to accept the body in his system or not.

After this, he continues his way, and something is said about Zarathustra’s being a good walker in the night and one who loves to look into the face of sleeping things.

What does that mean?

Mrs. Crowley: Walking in the night is a reference to the unconscious.

Dr . .Jung: Yes, Zarathustra is first the unconscious side; inasmuch as the spirit is not born, it is the archetype living in the unconscious.

Then it is born into consciousness and takes a modern shape.

So old Zarathustra reborn in Nietzsche takes on the shape of “Thus Spake Zarathustra.”

This Zarathustra has nothing whatever to do with the old Zarathustra-the only thing they have in common is the name-but in a way this Zarathustra carries the message of today.

When the archetype appears, it always carries first a message of remotest antiquity apparently.

very strange; and then inasmuch as the conscious listens to the message and assimilates it, it will give a modern form to it.

It will give it rebirth in other words.

And the message, as you know, always appears in the moment when it is absolutely needed by the time.

Whenever an old system of representations collectives has become overdue, when its life is ebbing away so that it doesn’t carry life any longer-then that archetype is constellated, then it brings its message out of the dark.

But until then it has been a walker in the night, or “a caller in the desert,” as the prophet says.

Nobody hears him, he talks to empty space.

So as long as the archetype is unconscious, his only preoccupation would be to walk about in the night, in the unconscious, and to study sleeping things; therefore, to be in the darkness is a thing to which he is used.

Finally, he finds himself in the deep forest and no way is visible. Where would that be? What does the wood mean?

Mrs. Sigg: It might be the realm of the earth mother, because he buries the dead in the tree, and the tree is the mother.

It would be to give him rebirth.

Dr. Jung: Yes, it is the depths of the unconscious.

The wood in this respect is simply another symbol like the sea; it is the darkness.

One is projected, one can conceal oneself in the wood as if buried in water.

Also, a wood has the same mysterious in penetrability as water, and it is full of living beings that suddenly appear and disappear, especially primordial forests which are exceedingly uncanny: no paths and anything is possible in it, particularly that one loses one’s bearings.

That is the most horrible thing of all; it instantly calls up the collective unconscious and causes one to revert to the animal.

Now, Zarathustra is moving into the unconscious in order to bury the corpse there.

What would be the consequence, or the purpose, of Zarathustra in burying it in the unconscious?

Remark: To forget it.

Dr. Jung: Yes, one hides it there.

Then he can move easily because he has not to remember that corpse all the time, He is no longer burdened with that preoccupation.

The last trace of heaviness has gone and he becomes light, a dancer.

Zarathustra often calls himself that; he insists upon his light step, the step of a dancer, as if he had no weight what ever; he tries to get rid of the weight of the body because he cannot live the life of the spirit with the body.

Airs. Baumann: Is that not contradicted by the next sentence? He wanted to protect it from the wolves.

Dr. Jung: But the wolves are the hunger.

Those are the robbers and the robber is in himself in order that he, Zarathustra, can no longer eat the body.

You see, Zarathustra is almost afraid of his own craving for a body.

To the primitive mentality, ghosts are immensely hungry things that walk about the whole night crying: “Where is my body? I am seeking my body.”

They suppose that the wandering spirits are terribly keen on bodies because they have lost their own, and when somebody is sick in the kraal, perhaps lying unconscious and unable to defend himself, the spirit sees it and in it goes to his body.

That is the way they describe it.

Have I told you about the little ghost houses they build to keep the spirits away from the kraal?

Well, you know, all the native trails leading from the jungle to the kraal are very serpentine, many curves with a short radius.

I will draw you a picture of one.

You see, it winds down from the bamboo forest above, where the ghosts are supposed to live,  towards the kraal below where the human beings are.

Then at a particularly sharp angle or at a likely spot where there is a clump of trees perhaps, the people in the kraal who are supposed to be spirit haunted, make another path with a flatter house kraal curve, a sort of trap trail.

This is paved and outlined with stones on each side, like the way to the burial place-or in one case I heard of, to the chief’s house where the stones indicated the number of people he had killed.

(One still sees such stone avenues in Cornwall leading to holes in the ground which were dwelling places in the neolithic age.)

This little decoy road branches off the main path and leads to an open space like a real kraal, and in that clearing they build the ghost house, a hut about as high as your waist. Inside is a bed of mats, and sometimes a clay figure on the bed.

And they put in food, corn or sweet potatoes, and outside is ajar in the ground filled with water. The clay figure is a sort of bait, of course.

Then in the night the spirit comes swinging and swerving down the path into the decoy trail, and he says: “Nice hut here, much good, I stay here in the hut. I get into that body; now I am at home, I have much mealy-mealy, I have much seed water.”

Then suddenly the sun comes up, and he jumps out of the body and runs back to the bamboo forest.

They tell that story in such a vivid way that one sees at once that it is absolute truth to them.

They protect the body by those traps, and you can be almost certain, when walking along a primitive trail, that you will come across one.

They don’t call it a trap.

They call it a spirit house, and of course negroes would not go that way; they would say it was very bad. We had such a case near our camp: a young woman fell ill and the Gandu, a sorcerer who is a particular authority, smelt a ghost.

He went round the kraal in ever-widening circles, sniffing like a dog exactly, till he touched a certain spot, and then he said: “Here they come, this is the trail where the ghosts come in the night.”

And then they built a trap there.

This girl had been left an orphan very early; the parents died when they were quite young people so they were terribly sad and angry that they had lost their bodies so early, and were minded to do all sorts of evil to that kraal because their little girl was harbored there, and they wanted to have her with them.

Even in Homer you find that same psychology: the shadow people in Hades are very sad.

They are always wandering aimlessly about as disembodied shadows; it is a dim and shadowy world, and as soon as there is blood anywhere, they go like vultures and drink it in order to get substance, to have a body again.

l Practically all primitive people are convinced that that is a truth-if they have developed a spiritualistic system at all.

So one can understand this wolfish hunger of Zarathustra-that it is represented by wolves.

You know, wolves howl very peculiarly, and hyenas are particularly like ghosts because they eat the bones of the dead and so are supposed to have their bellies full of ancestral souls.

One must handle them with the utmost care; if one kills a hyena it means trouble.

They really are spooky, I never have heard anything so demoniacal as a pack of hyenas; they lend themselves to that superstition.

They do their level best to represent disembodied spirits.

When they are hungry, that whining and laughter is just awful.

Naturally they are taken for ghosts by the primitives.

If it is heard in a place where hyenas are not supposed to be, or if there is anything in the least unusual about it, then it is probably a ghost.

Hyenas are not feared in themselves, but if it is a ghost, that is something else.

Ghosts are supposed to imitate, not only hyenas, but any other animals; and it is recognized by its extraordinary behavior.

The Red Indians call certain animals “doctor animals” when they behave in a way which is not according to rule.

So Zarathustra’s idea, in burying the dead in the wood, is to forget him altogether, to give him a decent burial, which means to lock him in somewhere so that he cannot get out.

We piously put a stone upon the graves of our ancestors, but that was originally to keep the dead in the hole.

There have been such customs as nailing the body to the ground by driving a pole or a nail through the belly in order that the body should not rise again; or a lot of stones were heaped upon the grave in order to prevent the dead from escaping.

In Switzerland, I think it was in Canton Aargau, in the 1gth century the custom still prevailed that when somebody died one opened the windows and said to the soul of

the dead, Fahre hin un fiadere, “Farewell and flutter away,” thus inviting it not to return.

On a certain South Sea island they have the most elaborate ceremonies to inveigle the soul of the dead to leave the body, so that they may be sure it will never return: a boat lands and then the medicine-man takes the corpse by the hand and leads the soul very politely to the boat and puts it on board and it sails away.

So the meaning of the hollow tree was surely a burial place.

Of course in reality bodies were put into hollow trees for protection against wolves or foxes, partially because of a certain belief in bodily resurrection, and partially because of the fear that the dead would be badly offended by not having had a decent burial-that is the most frequent reason.

There were Christian societies in Rome in the first century, sort of insurance companies, which guaranteed a decent burial; they were called thiasotai, and some of them were to guarantee to members one meal daily also.

“There was a tremendous traffic congestion in old Rome.

The streets were exceedingly narrow and there were no buses or cars except slow horse-carts which were all needed for the transport of food.

Rome had a population of about two million people at that time.

A great many people went to town every day for business and there was no time to go home at midday for a meal.

There were no trains to the suburbs; it was all plain walking, and they had to eat their

meal in the town, as we do.

So they formed societies.

They took a room or a basement and had a man there to cook meals, and it was the custom to name the society after a patron saint, the Society of Theseus, or Heracles, for example.

The cook, who prepared the meal, had already eaten when the society arrived; and while they ate, he read the gospels to them-which were not then considered to be inspired truth, only very good books.

Or he told them stories, or read the epistles that came from abroad to that particular society.

You see, that is the origin of the idea of the mass; the altar is the cooking range, the hearth, where the magic or spiritual food is prepared, and the priest is the cook who gives it to the people.

There is the same custom in monasteries; one of the monks reads the sacred texts or other good books while the others eat.

They had such insurance companies for decent burial, because otherwise the soul would begin to work havoc and cause no end of trouble.

Even today, Italians are exceedingly careful to bury their people well.

They go to great lengths to get monuments; the cemetery of Genoa, for instance, is full of monuments of awfully bad taste but touching in their naivete.

To primitive people, as to the unconscious, the dead mean a tremendous lot.

So, as we are moving here on the fringe of the collective unconscious with the figure of Zarathustra, it is by no means strange that he should observe a primitive custom and bury the corpse in such a way that he would have no reason to return.

For it would not suit Zarathustra if that spirit of heaviness should come back and burden him with the banality of an ordinary human life. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, ~Page 166-184