Symbols of Transformation

The same idea is expressed in the following passage from the discourses of the Buddha: But if those sensual pleasures fail the person who desires and wishes for them, he will suffer, pierced by the arrow of pain.

The wounding and painful shafts do not come from outside, through gossip, which only pricks us on the surface, but from the ambush of our own unconscious.

It is our own repressed desires that stick like arrows in our flesh.

On another occasion this became true for our nun, and in the most literal sense.

It is a well-known fact that scenes of mystic union with the Saviour are strongly tinged with erotic libido.

Stigmatization amounts to an incubation with the Saviour, a slight modification of the ancient conception of the unio mystica as cohabitation with the god.

The nun gives the following account of her stigmatization: I had a contemplation of the sufferings of Christ, and I besought him to let me feel his sorrows with him, and prayed five paternosters in adoration of the five sacred wounds.

Lying on my bed with arms outstretched, I entered into a great sweetness and into an endless thirst for the torments of Jesus.

Then I saw a radiance descending towards me; it came slanting down from above.

It was a crucified body, alive and transparent, the arms extended, but without the Cross.

The wounds shone more brightly than the body; they were five circles of glory emanating from the glory of the whole.

I was enraptured, and my heart was moved with great pain and yet with great sweetness, from my longing to share the torments of my
Saviour.

And at the sight of the wounds my longing for the sufferings of the Redeemer increased more and more, as if streaming out of my breast, through my hands, side, and feet towards his holy wounds.

Then from the hands, then from the side, then from the feet of the figure triple beams of shining red light shot forth into my hands, my side, and my feet, ending in an arrow. ~Carl Jung, CW 5, Para 138