Zarathustra Seminar

23 January 1935 LECTURE I Zarathustra Seminar

Prof Jung:

Ladies and Gentlemen: We were speaking a while ago of the Oxyrhynchus papyrus. Do you remember in what connection?

Mrs. Fierz: The Ein-siedler and the Zwei-siedler.

Prof. Jung: Yes, I said that Nietzsche, by this play of words, brings in the idea that if there are two together-not just one alone-they also can produce the Superman.

And I said that this idea was expressed in the New Testament where Jesus says: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

But in the Oxyrhynchus papyrus, which is probably older than the first conception of the Gospels, that saying is quoted as follows: “Wherever there are two they are not without God, and wherever there is one alone I say I am with him.”

There, you see, the emphasis is on the Einsiedler, the hermit, and where there are two together it is of secondary importance, though “they are not without God.”

You remember I read from the Greek text the original publication by Grenfell and Hunt,

and I pointed out that the hand of the church had wiped out the very passage that is particularly emphasized in the original conception, “where there is one alone,” and only the remaining passage is left in, “where two or three are gathered together in my name,” which means that only in a community is God present, but when there is one alone the devil knows what happens to such a fellow.

In other words, outside the walls of the church there is no salvation, for one alone cannot make a church. That is the way the church has backed up her claim of being

the means of grace, the intercessus divinus, the mediatrix between God and man.

Our theologians have never wanted to know about these papyri apparently, despite the fact that they are at least of equal authority with the New Testament.

And now Mr. Allemann has just given me a very remarkable document humain, a book by a theologian who does know about them, called Die Ersten Christen Quellen, quotations from ancient pagan writings concerning the sources of Christianity.

Here he quotes from the Oxyrhynchus papyrus, 1897-1914, by Grenfell and Hunt: “Wherever there are two together they are never men without God.”1 But “wherever there is one alone” is not mentioned.

You see, it is just a downright cheat, a four-square cheat, and that happens in 1935!

He has entirely misquoted it.

It is a conscious fraud.  Eberhard Arnold is the man’s name, Leipzig.

Miss Wolff: Is he a Catholic?

Prof Jung: No, a Protestant. Oh, Catholics won’t quote it at all; they are not so stupid.

But this Protestant thinks he can pull wool over our eyes.

Well now, we began before Christmas with the chapter called “Backworldsmen,”

and we spoke of the play of words in the title.

Then I read you the first part but I think I had better go over it again.

You see, in reading Zarathustra, one is apt to just slur over it. It sounds like something and one simply ceases to think: it is like wine.

Once on a time, Zarathustra also cast his fancy beyond man, like all backworldsmen.

Ah, ye brethren, that God whom I created was human work and human madness, like all the Gods!

We must think a little more about this picture he is painting of his idea of theology. Is this a Christian picture? What kind of theology does it presuppose?

Miss Hannah: You said last time it was the super-Protestant.

Prof. Jung: And what kind of theology is that?

Mrs. Brunner: Indian.

Prof Jung: It would be more Indian and Gnostic than Christian.

Now he says, “The work of a suffering and tortured God, did the world then seem to me.” What is that exactly?

Miss Hannah: Schopenhauer, is it not?

Prof Jung: Schopenhauer is in it. But does the blind creative will of Schopenhauer suffer?

Miss Hannah: The suffering crucified God is Christian.

Prof. .Jung: Well, Christ is the son of God, he is not the creator.

Elohim or Jahveh are the creators of the world, according to Christianity, and Elohim did not suffer, nor did Jahveh.

He was very angry at times, but only other people suffered from it-that was his purpose.

The next source for that suffering idea in Nietzsche is Schopenhauer, but do you think that the blind creative will to existence suffers?

Prof. Fierz: No, the will doesn’t complain about the suffering. Schopenhauer complains.

Prof. Jung: Yes, man complains, and man is the result of that will.

The will had a bad dream, which just happened to be a world in which there were suffering beings; but they knew they were suffering, and inasmuch as they were manifestations or incarnations of the preexisting will, they had the possibility of holding a mirror to the face of that will, showing him what he was: that in his endless desirousness, he was creating evil and suffering.

And Schopenhauer’s idea of salvation is that when the will, through man, through the intellect, sees and understands that he is creating evil and suffering, he will desist, and then the world will come to an end.

Now this is of course an Eastern idea.

In what kind of Eastern teaching do we encounter it-with this specific idea of suffering?

Mr. Allemann: It is more in Buddhism than in Hinduism.

Prof. Jung: Yes. You see, in Schopenhauer’s time the knowledge of Eastern religious systems was very restricted.

Schopenhauer only knew a few Buddhist writings which had been translated, the Oupnekat, a very corrupt form of the Upanishads, and a collection of about fifty

Upanishads translated into Latin by Anquetil du Perron.

Otherwise they were unknown in Europe.

The main source, then, for his philosophy was this knowledge of Buddhism, and there, as you know, the central teaching is that concupiscentia, desirousness, is the sole cause of suffering; if one can bring one’s desires to an end, one brings the suffering of the world to an end.

So redemption, or salvation, consists in leading the created back into the non-created, the non-existent.

For instance, in the epic description of Buddha’s death, the Nahaparimbbana-sutra, the great disappearance, Buddha returns to the utter nonexistence which is called nirvana or nibbana.

But that is not what we would understand by “not being,” which is a mere negation; Nirvana is a positive non-being, which we cannot render in our language because we have no conception of a thing which is positively non-existing.

To the Buddhist it is as if non-existence were just as much a quality as existence.

That is because the original Indian idea was that there are two forms of existence.

The one is a potential existence expressed in Tantrism, for instance, as the Shiva Bindu, the unextended point in which the god is dormant before his expansion, or his manifestation.

The other is an extended or actual existence expressed by the Kundalini coiled three

and a half times round the linga, as you see it in the muladhara chakra.

That is the first manifestation of the god; he already appears, but he is still in a dormant condition.

The latent or potential existence of course cannot be depicted, but it is always contained in the Shiva Bindu, that little point from which a bridge is usually shown leading to the two inset medallions, the second one containing the corresponding divinity Shakti, the form which is characteristic for the state of Shiva in that particular chakra.

But the god himself and with him the whole manifestation of the world, is latent inside that one Bindu, because the world, according to this particular branch of Eastern philosophy, is always existing and non-existing at the same time.

Inasmuch as there is existence, there is non-existence.

So this full expanse of world that we see is at the same time non-existent.

Therefore they call it Maya, illusion.

The meaning of illusion is thoroughly negative to us, but in the East that is not so.

The word Maya, as you heard in the Hauer Seminar, comes from the root ma which means mater, materia, and maya means building material; so the illusion is building power.

If you have an illusion you have built something; something exists which is different from yourself or different from the creator.

Illusion is not negative, therefore; it is the positive appearance of the world, or really the positive existence.

We have here, then, a philosophy which came from India through the medium of Schopenhauer by whom Nietzsche was much influenced.

This passage: “The dream-and diction-of a God, did the world then seem to me, coloured vapours before the eyes of a divinely dissatisfied one” is more or less the Schopenhauer viewpoint.

But there is one point which is not Schopenhauer. What is that?

Mrs. Brunner: The personality of God. It is a personal God who suffers. He says his god has eyes and looks away from himself.

Prof Jung: Yes, that he has eyes and is discontented shows that he must be different from his creation, whereas Schopenhauer’s blind will is in participation mystique. It is the unconscious itself.

Therefore, after Schopenhauer, von Hartmann appeared, with a philosophy very much like Schopenhauer’s only he called this blind will “the unconscious.”

He used that term.

But it was the same metaphysical factor that created the world, an unconscious creator that could not possibly be discontented because all eyes were his eyes.

He saw nothing beyond himself because he was in everything.

Would that be a Buddhistic idea? Is God discontented in Buddhism?

Mr. Allemann: God does not exist really.

Prof. Jung: Well, he is a sous-entendu.”

But I never heard that there was anything like a discontented god in Buddhism.

Mrs. Baynes: I think you told us that the Gnostic idea was that God got horribly bored with the situation and created a world.

Prof. Jung: Yes, in the Jewish Gnosis God suffered from headache because he discovered that he was all alone.

There was nothing but himself and he was tremendously extended, so he pulled himself together and formed a cloud, and the tension grew till suddenly lightning burst out of the cloud, and that was the first sun, the first light.

There is also a Hindu parallel in the Upanishads.

There again you find the idea of that lonely suffering god who is so intensely bored with himself that he must do something about it, and so, like a toy, he creates a world-he dreams a world to relieve his loneliness, to have an object.

Now this is an intensely male philosophy, while the Tantric philosophy assumes the coexistence of an equally important female creative principle, the Shakti of the god.

And the female principle is so strong that Shiva himself is represented at times as a female.

I have a Tibetan picture of him dancing on the burial ground in his female form, the

form of his own Shakti.

So in Tantrism the idea of creation is a different one; the Shakti really creates through her own will.

Of course, Shiva enjoys his creative ideas in the creation of the Shakti, and Shakti realizes the creative thoughts of her husband in the form of the abundance of the world.

Shiva in himself is always in a creative dream, but his dream would not come off if the Shakti did not realize his dream and therewith create the beauty and the suffering of the world.

You see, that is an entirely different conception, and it is most characteristic that Nietzsche emphasizes the masculine form, the loneliness of the suffering creator who created the world in order to relieve his infinite boredom.

Therefore, he says, “Intoxicating joy is it for the sufferer to look away from his suffering and forget himself.”

Then he says, “This world, the eternally imperfect, an eternal contradiction’s image and imperfect image-an intoxicating joy to its imperfect creator:-thus did the world once seem to me.”

Here he lays stress upon the imperfection of the world.

You see, in the Old Testament the idea is that the creator is perfect and creates a perfect world, and the only regrettable and damnable thing is that man makes a mistake.

Of course, one could ask why man was made in such a way that he made the mistake, for which a clock-maker has made a bad clock, the clock is not held responsible.

Now where does that idea of imperfection come from?

Prof Fierz: It is Gnostic.

Prof Jung: Yes, specifically Gnostic, though I don’t know whether Nietzsche ever studied Gnosticism or whether it is his own invention.

The demiurgos was by no means a universal god, but a sort of sub-god, a secondary god, an angel or demon who in his vanity created a world.?

It was only a material world though he was quite satisfied with his work and thought he had made something very wonderful and perfect.

Then he looked up and saw a light which he realized he had not created, so he lifted himself up to see what it was and came to another world, the world of the spiritual father, the real God, and thus he understood that he had made a mistake.

And then the father of the spiritual world took pity on those half-conscious worms, human beings, whom the demiurgos had made without consciousness enough to see their own imperfection; and he sent his son in the form of the first snake in Paradise to teach the first parents to eat from the tree of knowledge.

So despite the evil invention of the demiurgos, when they had eaten they could understand the difference between good and evil, and that was the way to salvation.

Now whether Nietzsche got this idea from the Gnosis, I don’t know.

As a boy and during his early years Nietzsche read a good deal, but later he read astonishingly little, because his nerves and his eyes gave him no end of trouble.

His neurosis began really when he was a very young man; I think he was about twenty-four when he became a professor at Basel and he soon became neurotic.

So it is quite possible that he had not read about Gnosticism, particularly because it was then in ill repute.

He would have asked his friend Professor Overbeck, a professor of religion, who would most certainly have told him that it was only imagination, unsound thinking, and all that.

And then, you see, he came to the conclusion that that image of God-the kind of theology which claims the metaphysical existence of a God-was all man’s work and man’s madness.

He cut the whole thing down.

Prof Fierz: I think the conception that man has made God, instead of God having made man, came from Feuerbach.

Prof Jung: It is possible, but I assume he would not have been particularly delighted with Feuerbach even if he had read him.

But that idea was in the air generally.

You see, Darwin became known then, and he was most horribly shocking to late Christianity and caused many people to lose their faith.

I remember that time very well, and know how Darwin’s views were received in my set; it was whispered that there was a dreadful person who said that man came from the monkeys; and it was quite particularly awful because the scientists seemed to back him up.

It was the age of materialism, and though Nietzsche’s philosophy is of course not a banal materialism, he understood that it was necessary to have that kind of critique.

The time was not ripe for a psychological conception of the deity; either a thing was real or it was not.

Anything so subtle as analytical psychology was beyond the mind

of those times.

So for Nietzsche the dilemma was: if there is a god, he must have a metaphysical existence as concrete as this table, or he does not exist.

And he came to the conclusion that he did not, though that conclusion was less rigorous than is usually supposed-we will find a passage later where Nietzsche leaves a door open.

Now we will go on:

A man was he, and only a poor fragment of a man and ego. Out of mine own ashes and glow it came unto me, that phantom. And verily, it came not unto me from the beyond!

What does he convey by the sentence: “From mine own ashes and flame came that phantom”?

Mrs. Durer: It is a contradiction.

Prof Jung: One is the outcome of the other; the ashes are the result of the flame.

Mr. Allemann: It is the living body, a process of combustion.

Miss Wolff: In German it is Asche und Glut. That means the flame has burned down-it is not an actual flame-and out of what is left God is made.

Prof. Jung: Well, as Mr. Allemann rightly pointed out, the living process of the body is a combustion, and out of that God is made.

The living body is the originator of the god. Now how is that?

Dr. Escher: It is the living energy.

Prof. Jung: Yes, living energy is in the body in the form of combustion, oxidation, but how does that living process form the god?

Mrs. Jung: Suffering might be understood as combustion.

Then as the world is created by the suffering of the creator, so God is created by the suffering, the combustion of man.

Prof Jung: Ah, yes. You are right.

Prof Fierz: I think Asche means his body and Glut his spirit, KoJper und Geist.

Prof Jung: No, they are more or less the same; the one is still hot and the other no longer hot.

One uses that kind of simile when one wants to express conflagration and the outcome-that a great passion has burnt itself out, for instance, and what remains are glowing embers and ashes.

So I should say that he refers here to a conflagration that has taken place in himself, and out of the result he has made his god. You will find in the next paragraph, “I carried mine own ashes to the mountain; a brighter flame I contrived for myself.”

So there must have been a fire, and then he invented a new flame. Nietzsche often uses

that fire simile, and to him it seems to always mean a passionate life, a passionate conflagration of emotions and interests, a passionate understanding of the pathos of life.

That is what he expresses here.

If we reconstruct the underlying idea, it is that he had the idea of fire or a

conflagration in his mind, and the intensity of that process had a destructive influence, and then out of that came that former idea of God.

In other words, he projected his own suffering into God.

And his God

is metaphysical; he did not put God into himself, he put him out in the extra-mundane existence, into the cosmos, and assumed that his own suffering was that God’s suffering.

Prof. Reichstein: He says “only a poor fragment of a man and ego,” which would mean that this God is made of his ego standpoint, the material standpoint, and the expression “ashes and embers” explains this.

Prof. Jung:

It is synonymous.

The ashes and embers would be that poor piece of humanity.

It is Nietzsche the man himself who has undergone a passionate conflagration, and he projected this experience into a metaphysical suffering God.

In other words, he made the attempt not to accept that suffering as his own.

Remark: Is it not specially the resignation of man that is the ashes?

Prof. Jung: One could say it was a sort of resignation, in that he assumes it is God’s suffering, and is incapable of accepting the truth that it is his own.

That is the reason why there have always been suffering gods, not only at the beginning of our era, but long before.

Osiris, one of the oldest gods of Egypt, was a suffering God; they have existed for an eternity, quite apart from the god-kings, who, when they were old or when the crops failed or the cattle died, were put to death because their mana or medicine power had gone wrong.

There were many suffering gods in Asia Minor. Christ is only one of them.

Prometheus is also a divine sufferer, for instance. So there has always been a tendency

to project the suffering into a divine figure.

Why is that so? Why can’t one accept it as obviously one’s own?

Mrs. Sigg: I think Nietzsche’s whole life was looking away from himself. He created his work and totally neglected his own existence, and so he was identical with the creator.

Prof Jung: A creator would say it was his own suffering; but no, he projected it into a metaphysical creator.

He was identical and just did not know it.

Mrs. Baynes: Would it not be true to say he swung between two poles, the psychological and the philosophical? First he looked over the past to see how the idea of God had been taken. He made a philosophical critique and repudiated it. Then he looked within himself and found the same psychological situation that created the gods before, as we have just said, and called it by a new name.

Pro( Jung: That is rather complicated, but there is something in it.

Dr. Schlegel: I should say he projected it in order to be able to tolerate it better.

Prof. Jung: Yes, to endure it; that is what I wanted to hear.

For example, if you try to sleep when suffering from toothache or any other painful ailment, you are apt to dream that somebody else is in the same bed and has that toothache; you make a difference between yourself,

quite comfortable, and somebody else who suffers.

You see, our psychology is easily disintegrated. It disintegrates every night; one part of

the system is suffering and another is not, because they are separated from each other.

It is quite a usual occurrence that we simply split off the suffering part.

The phenomenon of the so-called Hexenschlaf, the witches’ sleep, is an example.

You also see it in the Malleus Maleficarum, in the Middle Ages, which is about the diagnosis of witches.

When they were submitted to the torture, it often happened that those women just fell asleep, or they fainted away.

They got into a state in which the body became absolutely anaesthetic, no sensation whatever.

And you can hypnotize suitable subjects to such an extent that they lose the sensation of the body completely.

I made an experiment once with a young girl at the Polyklinic.

She was a bit hysterical, and I told one of my assistants to entangle her in an interesting conversation.

He was a nice young man and it went beautifully, and then I went up behind her and pushed a needle into her neck about a centimeter deep.

It would naturally be painful and she did not even wince, but her pupils contracted.

The physiological person felt the pain, but her whole libido was in the man and withdrawn from the surface of the body, so she felt nothing consciously.

That explains why in war a wound received during action is not noticed; only when there is a lull is it suddenly discovered.

In the excitement of the moment it is not felt because the libido is concentrated on something else.

This is a general mechanism and it looks as if it underlay Nietzsche’s philosophy; his idea that man has created the suffering God is in order to get rid of the acute realization of his own misery.

There is a great deal in that.

If you study the suffering of the Christian god, you will see that this explanation fits the situation.

We are even taught to put our suffering upon him and that he will carry it for us; we leave all our sorrows for him to take care of.

He redeems us from the eternal pain in hell through his self-sacrifice; he undergoes the excruciating agony of a terrible death on the cross in order to save us from an analogous pain.

Therefore, we cling naturally to that hero-god, for then we are unconscious of our suffering.

It is a fact that one is quite capable of being unconscious of suffering, and particularly can one be unconscious of moral suffering.

For instance, you can say your stomach is ailing, but in reality it is a moral situation which you cannot stomach.

Or perhaps you have a pain which you call rheumatism, but if you had that pain in connection with the real cause, if you realized what that so-called rheumatism meant, you would undergo a most acutely painful moral or psychological problem.

So the more people are in the church, the more they escape psychological suffering-to such an extent that they have no problems when they are good Catholics; and good Protestants can economize a good deal on moral problems by putting their suffering upon the Lord.

They say, “It is a very peculiar situation and I don’t know what to do, but I don’t need to worry; I put everything upon the Lord and hope that he will do his job. I am glad in Jesus, Fröhlich in Christus; he will take care of it.”

This is surely very nice as long as it works, but it doesn’t work always.

We will continue our text: What happened, my brethren? I surpassed myself, the suffering one; I carried mine own ashes to the mountain; …What is the meaning of this?

Prof Reichstein: Can it refer to the beginning where Zarathustra is quite alone on the mountain?

Prof Jung: Quite so. He is alone with himself in his retreat.

And according to this passage he carried his own ashes to the mountain.

How do you understand this?

Mrs. Sigg: I think that is the western way of looking at one’s own illusions; he has had illusions and they burned down and became ashes.

Prof  Jung: Yes, one says an illusion has burned itself out or collapsed, like a house after a conflagration; and that process of conflagration is the acute suffering which has been projected into God.

Now, by the understanding, or the confession, that God is dead, all the suffering which has been in God, returns to him, and so he carried his own ashes to the mountain.

And he says, a brighter flame I contrived for myself.

Again a fire. What is this new flame?

Mr. Allemann: That is the idea of the Superman.

Prof. Jung: Exactly, because as soon as he says God is dead, he is God and then the inflation begins.

The Superman is the deification of the ordinary man, and that is the new flame.

Therefore, he says, And lo! Thereupon the phantom withdrew from me!

This means of course that the projection came to an end.

You see, the former condition, despite all the allusions to Hindu or Buddhist philosophy, was also a Christian situation in which the suffering was projected onto a suffering God; and now, by denying the extra-mundane metaphysical God, that whole so-called illusion has collapsed, and the suffering returns to him.

That is the inevitable consequence. Is that right or wrong?

Mrs. Sigg: It might be a natural process, because first Nietzsche accepted the conventional God, and then Zarathustra grew out of his own material, one could say, out of his own soul; it is his own god really.

Prof. Jung: Yes, but that is an interpretation of Zarathustra.

I want to know whether this process is legitimate, or if there is any cheat about it.

Prof. Reichstein: The cheat is his saying that he has invented the flame. But it might be a beginning of something else.

Prof. Jung: I am glad you have pointed out that he says “I invented.”

You see he has invented before also. He said he invented a god, and that is man’s work, man’s madness; it is an artificial product.

It shows that he trusts his mind with almost uncanny powers.

If he criticized such a statement carefully, he would soon see that was impossible, for

the idea of a god existed long before Nietzsche. It did not originate with him.

What happened to him was that, being human, born in the herd, he adopted the ways of other people.

He quite naturally accepted his metaphysical fate, the prevailing belief, and so participated in the general good of humanity.

And then he says man invented it; that it is an illusion or something of the sort.

You see, the fact that he comes to such a conclusion suggests to him that he can invent something

else, invent that flame, as if it were his own activity.

Now what is the psychological danger of such a formula?

Prof. Reichstein: It is identification, and it would create an inflation.

Prof. Jung: If somebody in practical analysis said he had invented such and such a thing, I would jump upon it with both feet instantly.

You see we must be accurate in these matters; we cannot slur over them.

If it is a matter of one’s bank balance and one thinks like that, there is soon trouble.

Or if it is a matter of a book and one assumes that one invented it, it is as if one claimed to have invented the Bible.

That is just cheat.

Nietzsche did not make “God”; that idea already existed.

Of course, when one studies carefully how the idea of God came into existence at all, one can say that somebody once made an idea of it.

But the fact was there long before.

For we know that the primitive man sets out-not with the conviction, he does not need to have a conviction about it-but with the fact that his world is animated, full of spiritual life.

Gods are in every tree, in every animal; the demon’s voice is everywhere.

So the existence of the divine presence was an original fact with which man was confronted.

In the moment when he was confronted with any physical object, he was also confronted with the fact that this object was animated.

The profound original fact is the divine presence.

Then very much later people came to the notion that one can make an idea about it-that one can say, this is such and such a god, having such and such a quality, and one must do such and such things.

But first of all, it was simply an animation, a presence, and they did not break their heads over what the presence was; they could hardly give a name to it.

Or they simply called it numen, which is the Latin word for a hint; it is the nodding of the head, the divine presence or the divine power, like mana.

One doesn’t know what mana is; mana is an impression one gets, or it is the magic quality of the thing that impresses itself upon one.

It has no form, no personality-there is no concept that would formulate it-yet it is an absolute fact.

So God has never been made. He has always been.

Then slowly, with the increase of consciousness, when people discovered that they could make different ideas about the deity, they came to the conclusion that it was nothing but an idea, and they quite forgot the real phenomenon that is behind all the ideas.

You see, they became so identical with the products of their own conscious that they thought there was a god; and of course God was there so they thought they had created him.

But such abuse brings its own revenge.

The more people created ideas about God, the more they depleted and devitalized nature.

And then it looked as if that primordial fact of the world had only taken place in


Of course, by that process we create consciousness, but we have built up a thick wall between ourselves and primordial facts, between ourselves and the divine presence.

We are so far away that nobody knows what one is talking about when one speaks of that divine presence, and if anybody discovers it suddenly, he thinks it is most amazing; yet it is the most simple fact.

But we are no longer simple enough on account of that thick wall of ideas; we have so many preconceived ideas about what the divine presence ought to be, that we have deprived ourselves of the faculty of seeing it.

Yet the primordial facts are still in the world; they happen all the time, only we have given them so many names that we don’t see the wood any longer on account of the trees.

Nietzsche easily is led into that error, therefore, of thinking that man has invented God and so can invent something else-therefore the inflation.

For God is a fact that always has happened; it is just a mistake to think that God can be created by a magic performance or by calling magic names.

Naturally, he is led in this way to the assumption that he can create a Superman.

You see, he has readily undergone an objective psychological transformation, and he should see that as an objective fact.

The moment you understand that the suffering of the God is your own suffering and that it ought to be-that it is simply primitive to leave your very personal suffering to a god-in that moment you are transformed: the suffering god has come into yourself.

Then you are confronted with a terrible dilemma: Am I a miserable worm that suffers,

or am I now the suffering god?

And the one saving idea doesn’t come into your head, that God is also a suffering worm.

That is too paradoxical.

For we have such an idea of what God ought to be that we cannot possibly conceive of the divine presence in a very small isolated fact.

But the primitive can easily conceive of the fact that God is this particular locust, or that particular bird, or particular flower; that is entirely acceptable to the primitive mind.

It is the way they think.

Therefore those three ways of the apparition of God in the Sufi religion, where God can also appear as a leaf of grass if he chooses.

This is a psychological truth: that peculiar phenomenon which is called God, the experience of the divine intervention or presence, can be connected with anything.

It is just a fact and the primitive mind acknowledges it, but we have ideas about it and think it is not possible; we think that God can only appear in certain prescribed ways.

The fathers of the church were very strong in that respect; in order to make suitable differences between God and the devil they had to be careful to make a sort of casuistic

wall about the ways in which God is allowed to appear.

The primitive man is of course not disturbed by such considerations, because he never would extend his moral conceptions to the deity, who is to him beyond human conceptions.

Of course, the more he extends his ideas, the more civilized he becomes: the more God is put into the prison of ideas.

Nietzsche here decides obviously for the identification with the God and so he creates the Superman.

He could have created the idea of the inferior man just as well, and that such an idea was in his mind too is shown towards the end of Zarathustra when the question of the ugliest man comes up.

You see, the ugliest man is just as much the divine man as the Superman.

To me the convalescent would it now be suffering and torment to believe in such phantoms: suffering would it now be to me and humiliation.

Thus speak I to backworldsmen.

He obviously means that it would be humiliating to him to assume that  he could project his suffering into a god.

For instance, suppose that a divine being really were living among us and that you could project your personal suffering into that man or woman, and he would be willing to carry every damned trouble you have.

Then I hope you would be ashamed to do so, because by getting rid of your own trouble and your own responsibility, you would not grow up; you would remain a little child.

You can only grow up when you say, “This is my business, my life; my suffering is my own and it cannot be projected into anybody else.”

Perhaps you project it into your father and say, “I am your son; you can carry the whole load. I cannot work and earn money because it hurts me.

I cannot get along with people; you must get along with them for me.” That is terribly infantile, but there again you have the theologians.

For instance, you remember in the Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido, I say the Christian teaching is that you must sacrifice your own childishness, for how can you become like unto a child when you are still a child?

First, you must overcome your childishness and then, after you have been an adult, you can become a child again.

That is very clearly the teaching of Christ.

But I got an article from a theologian which he had published in the Archives de Theologie in which he said that I, in flagrant contradiction to la parole du Maftre, said that one should not remain a child; one should give up le sentiment filial.

I did not trust my eyes! I simply gathered some quotations from the Latin text of the New Testament, and I put them on a postcard and sent it to that man.

Then I must say he had the decency to put a little paragraph in the next edition of the “Archives de Theologie,” in which he said, Notre article sur le role du sentiment filial nous a valu Ia critique suivante de Ia part de Dr. Jung,” and then he reproduced my postcard with the quotations.

I am sure not one of the readers understood it, because they believe that you should always remain a little infant and then, out of your childhood, you simply slur over into the church, where you are still a child, or a sheep.

Dr. Escher: But that is the real standpoint of the clerical hierarchy.

Prof. Jung: Of course it is.

And it is so unspeakably immoral that it needs a man like Nietzsche, who philosophizes with a hammer and smashes the whole damned lot.

It is immoral to keep people below their level; they must assume their responsibility and not project their doubts and God knows what into the Lord.

Projecting our own difficulties onto God reminds me of the story of the sleepless man, which is a very good psychological example.

There was a man who had to pay a debt the next day, and as he hadn’t the money, he could not sleep.

It was one o’clock and then it was two o’clock and then it was three, and he still could not sleep.

It was a very cold night, and he made up his mind he must do something about it.

So he got up and went to the house of his creditor and rang the bell, and after a long time he came to the window and said: “Who the devil is there?” And the man said:

“I am, and I ought to pay you my debt tomorrow.” And the creditor said: “Tomorrow morning is early enough to pay me.” “But I have not the money,” said the man. “You can tell me that tomorrow; why do you disturb me now?” “But I cannot sleep.” “What the devil do I care for your sleep?” “Well, now I have told you, and I can sleep and you can’t.”

So what you would not do to any human being, don’t do to God. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 323-338