1935 30 January LECTURE II Zarathustra Seminar
We spoke of the suffering god last time, and I have brought you today a vision given me by a patient which is interesting in that connection.
He is a youngish, educated man, who was originally a Jew, and he has also been a Catholic, but he has almost forgotten that.
As a matter of fact, he believes in nothing in particular; he was not especially interested in religious problems, and was hardly bothered with such ideas at all until suddenly he had this vision of the crucifixus.
He was very much gripped by it, so that he got into a state of ekstasis and heard a voice saying: “But Christ is not able to redeem you. If you could redeem yourself, he would be bleeding less. When men in general are able to redeem themselves, he will cease to bleed. It will then be like a song that has lost its significance.”
The vision was particularly important because it happened in a time when the man was not concerned with such problems.
I have his dreams before and after, and there are very few that indicate anything of the kind; occasionally, certain hints occurred but nothing was really visible, when in came suddenly this amazing experience, a sort of short ekstasis.
He is capable of having such moments; later on, he had similar syncopes of consciousness, trancelike conditions which did not last very long, and at those times
he sometimes heard such a voice.
There is nothing schizophrenic in the case; they are truly psychic phenomena-what one calls mystical experiences.
I quote this case because it is similar to the psychology of Nietzsche but with a certain difference.
Nietzsche is definitely anti Christian-he wrote a book as you know, called The Anti-Christ-and he is intentionally destructive, while this vision is very much more human because it shows pity.’
It is very clear that the voice means that if you as a personal being are doing your duty, if you carry your own burden, you will relieve the suffering of God.
Instead of casting all your burdens on him and letting him bleed, do some of the bleeding yourself.
I mentioned this also because in the continuation of our text we shall come to the bleeding, which is of course important Christian symbolism.
Now we will go on:
Suffering was it, and impotence-that created all backworlds; and the short madness of happiness, which only the greatest sufferer experienceth.
In the main, it is the suffering that creates the other worlds, but occasionally it is also that brief illusion of happiness, because it is the happiness of one who suffers.
So the idea of this passage is again that man has created through his imagination another world, a fantastical world of refuge against the suffering in this world, against the fire which burns him to ashes.
Therefore Nietzsche speaks of “carrying mine own ashes to the mountain”; that is, of course, the hill of suffering, and the suffering itself is the flame of passion.
You see, the word passio means suffering, and the German word Leidenschaft has been explained by a poet in a very nice way: Leidenschaft ist das was Leid schafft, passion is that which creates suffering.
Leidenschaft is really sufferingness.
That is the Buddhistic explanation too: the desirousness, the concupiscentia, of man, creates the great suffering of the world.
This passio, then, is the flame which turns man into ashes if he exposes himself to it.
But Nietzsche did not.
He avoided it, and I cannot blame him, for if anybody can avoid the fire he is very wise to do so.
Now, there is another saying of Jesus, similar to those found at Oxyrhynchus, which is not in the Canon.
It runs: Whoever is close to me is close to the fire.
That means that whoever is close to Christ, is close to Christ’s passio, and is apt to have Christ’s own psychology and the same fate.
He was the one who took up his passio. He submitted to it and suffered correspondingly, and whoever is close to him will do the same.
This is exceedingly intelligent and exceedingly true, and would therefore have been abolished if the father of the church who quoted it had not been too stupid to understand it.
Other things which were less intelligent and less hidden have also been destroyed, and they would be equally interesting but perhaps not so profound.
Now we go on with the text:
Weariness, which seeketh to get to the ultimate with one leap, with the death-leap; a poor ignorant weariness, unwilling even to will any longer: that created all Gods and backworlds.
It looks here as if Nietzsche shared the belief of his time, a materialistic conviction that other worlds-metaphysical matters-have no existence except in the imagination of man.
He is paying a tribute to his age, not seeing what the imagination of man really means.
When anybody says a thing is merely imagination, he is really saying something quite formidable; for whatever our imagination may be, that is our world, unfortunately.
If people imagine that you are the archfiend, they will kill you; whatever the mere imagination was, the end is a corpse and it happens to be your own corpse, which is a very disagreeable fact.
The imagination which was apparently nothing at all has wound up with downright murder.
One should say, “This is imagination and now look out!” as one would say, “Be careful in handling that gun! There is a cartridge in it.”
For any imagination is a potentiality.
The chair upon which I am sitting and the house in which I am, have once been the imagination of a builder; first he made a drawing of it and then he built this house, and if it comes down on my head I shall be crushed.
There is nothing in our civilized world which has not been imagination.
So imaginations are potential realities, exactly like a loaded revolver, a shot that has not gone off yet; but some ass might pull the trigger and I would be dead.
With the point of view of that time, then, Nietzsche assumes that those other worlds have been only the imagination of suffering people, while the point is just that suffering people have such imaginations, and that they are as real as they can be.
You see, there are plenty of situations in life where your imagination about it is far more important than the situation in itself.
Usually the world is what you imagine it to be, and we don’t know to what degree that is true; it might be that our world would be quite different if we had a different imagination about it. I am certain, for instance, that the primitives live in an entirely different world from ours; we assume that it is the same, but that is by no means true.
They have different impressions, different imaginations about it; it functions in an entirely different way.
Only a short time ago, any educated Chinaman-not a modern Chinaman-was quite convinced that magic worked, and he was equally convinced that it did not work with a European because a European is not built that way.
It does not grip him anywhere; he is not accessible to it.
But with them it really does work; it is not mere imagination, because they live in a world and they have a psychology where such things are possible.
We are not accessible-apparently-but I have my doubts about that.
At all events in our conscious personality we are not accessible.
I have seen so many effects that I have come to the conclusion that it is also imagination to imagine that such things have no access to us.
We like to overlook these facts and prefer, from sheer fear, the so-called rational explanation, because it would be too awkward to introduce magic effects, as rational,
into our calculation of the world.
Believe me, my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the body-it groped with the fingers of the infatuated spirit at the ultimate walls.
This is not an easy question, so we had better stop at it.
Can anybody give us a commentary on it?
Prof Reichstein: I think it is explained in the next sentence where he speaks of “the womb of being.” This would be the female part of God, just the opposite of the flame which he invented himself; this is something which he just accepts as mere being.
Prof Jung: Well, I think we must here try to formulate Nietzsche’s thought, and separate it from the psychological vocabulary for the sake of clearness-then translate it into psychology afterwards.
Can you explain to us that concept of “the womb of being” from the standpoint of Nietzsche’s philosophy?
You see, it is quite certain that to him there is no such thing as a female aspect of the deity because he admits no deity.
So to him, “the womb of being” has nothing to do with a metaphysical deity.
Prof Reichstein: But here it is the first time, perhaps, that he accepts anything as beyond his invention.
Prof Jung: Ah well, we are perfectly certain that he accepts his world as being. Being, to him, is not a metaphysical concept, and so “the womb of being” cannot be a metaphysical concept.
He is trying to abolish all metaphysical concepts as mere wish-fulfilments.
Therefore, we are really forced to assume that “the womb of being” is here a sort of
figure of speech, a metaphor; we cannot go farther in the interpretation of it as long as we remain with Nietzsche’s philosophy.
But when we come to psychology, that is something else; then the figure of speech becomes an important hint.
What I want a commentary upon first, however, is the sentence, “It was the body which despaired of the body-it groped with the fingers of the infatuated spirit at the ultimate walls.”
That simply means creating another world, creating the beyond.
Mrs. Baynes: I think he was hitting again the Christian point of view, saying: here are people who are such fools that they don’t appreciate the meaning of the body. They turn their backs upon it, and go to work to create a world which they could find within the body if they had the sense to do so.
Prof. Jung: Yes, he is here attacking the Christian standpoint which neglects the body.
He says it is just the despised body which creates the reality of other worlds; from the body is taken that substance by which the substantiality of the beyond is created.
You would not see a superhuman divine figure if you did not repress or suppress your body; it is the non-recognized reality of your own body that gives body to metaphysical
That is Freud’s point of view in his The Future of an Illusion.
It is also the materialistic and rationalistic idea that the reality of a metaphysical being is chiefly due to the fact of the repression of the body.
So Nietzsche says it is the despised body which has created the body likeness, the reality of the things beyond.
Believe me. my brethren! It was the body which despaired of the earth-it heard the bowels of existence speaking unto it.
You see the repressed, despised body took its revenge and made metaphysical figures more real than human beings; the body took revenge on man and made him believe that reality lay beyond, and that nothing here was worth while, that they are illusions.
So he hits, not only Christianity, but Buddhism and all those religions which recognize the futility of secular existence.
And then it sought to get through the ultimate walls with its head-and not with its head only-into the other world.
That is perfectly clear.
When the reality of the body is repressed or despised, you naturally seek for the essential world, and that seems to be the world beyond; so you naturally will treat this world as merely passagere, an illusion, a futility, or a mistake, and you just wait for your redemption or your transition to a divine world.
But that “other world” is well concealed from man, that dehumanized, inhuman world, which is a celestial naught; and the bowels of existence do not speak unto man, except as man.
So the womb of being is really, one could say, the essential truth, the essential being.
To Nietzsche, “the womb” is a speech figure: it means the innermost.
The essence of being is naturally where one has the greatest interest, that is the most real thing, and if one assumes that the divine place for mankind is another world, then the womb of being is there, and from there it calls upon one.
Therefore, he says that the womb of being, which is the essence of being, speaks not unto man save as man.
That means that only inasmuch as one assumes the ultimate and divine and essential reality to be in man, is the womb of being in man, speaking in the form of man. In that case, naturally the other world would be a celestial nothingness, a dehumanized world. Inasmuch as body is banished, man has gone; he is a mere question mark, a triangle or square, an abstraction of man.
He is dehumanized, and he moves in a world of non-being; there is no matter, no stuff, no substance.
Reality for Nietzsche is entirely linked up with the visibility, the tangibility, the definiteness of the body.
Verily, it is difficult to prove all being, and hard to make it speak.
Tell me, ye brethren, is not the strangest of all things best proved?
Yea, this ego, with its contradiction and perplexity, speaketh most uprightly of its being-this creating, willing, evaluating ego, which is the measure and value of things.
You see it is most improbable that the ultimate reality should be the “I,” for the “I” is a most confused and contradictory thing.
Yet to him this “I” is the measure and the value of things, the ultimate reality.
Is there any justification for this point of view?
Miss Wolff: I don’t know whether one should point to the next chapter where it is no longer the “I”!
Prof Jung: Knicken Sie nicht die Pointe’s You see, when we have made the mistake of believing it is the “I,” then we are suddenly slapped in the face. It is interesting.
It shows how Nietzsche’s ideas grow in the text of Zarathustra; for it looks here as if the “I” were really the ultimate essence, the absolute being.
Now, is there any justification for such an assumption?
Mrs. Adler: I think it is the compensation for the Christian standpoint.
Prof Jung: Yes, it is a compensation and therefore it has definitely its justification.
The Christian point of view is that the ultimate reality is God, and only inasmuch as there is God is there existence at all; but the other reality, the empirical reality from which Nietzsche draws his conclusions, is obviously only created by the immediate awareness of the existence of the “I.”
And that I am, that I am aware of being myself, is such an immediate fact that it needs no other justification.
On the contrary, you can derive from this reality of man every other so-called
metaphysical reality, as he has just done; he says the other world is nothing but a derivative of the suffering ego of man.
There is no substantiality to such metaphysical figures except through the absolute
reality of “I”-the “I” exists and suffers and has imagination and so on.
Now, of course, this is all egocentricity over against the Christian idea of a metaphysical universality, of God.
Mrs. Jung: Does he not mean consciousness by this “I”? I think that in this conception he is influenced by Schopenhauer.
Prof. Jung: Yes, the justification in Nietzsche’s case is of course not only an empirical one; it is also dependent upon Schopenhauer’s philosophy, where the “I” is the indispensable mediator for the redemption of the world.
For if there were not an “I” capable of some ideas of its own, there would be no mirror to be held up to the face of the primordial will, in which to behold his own countenance and the nonsense he had created. And also, as you say, “I” means man’s consciousness.
What is “I”? Merely awareness, it is consciousness.
When something is a reality to myself, or when I know there are contents which are related to a center, then I can say ‘T’-I do, or I think, or I hear, for instance-then only have I an awareness of myself.
This ego consciousness is to Schopenhauer the turning point of the whole history
or development of the world; if that did not exist, the world could never be redeemed.
So Schopenhauer introduced an important change in the conception of the world.
And it is interesting that he is really a Buddhist missionary, the first influence from the East, which is changing our conceptions in the most extraordinary way.
Then after Schopenhauer comes Nietzsche with the background of natural science, materialism.
The whole metaphysical importance has now shifted onto man, but one could say it was really the Buddhistic influence upon the West; by that subtle and secret infection the idea is brought in that man is capable of doing something for himself.
Of course we have an idea in the West that man is capable of a certain independence;
the Catholic church assumes that, but the strict Protestant church assumes that everything is dependent upon the grace or the mercy of God.
If man does not encounter the grace of heaven, there is nothing within him but darkness.
Inasmuch as the Protestant theologian assumes that man can do something towards his redemption, even in the most modest way-that he has at least a certain capacity in himself to receive the grace of heaven-then it is already an approach to Catholicism.
But even in Catholicism it needs the means of grace, the holy communion, and so on.
Miss Wolff: I would say that in Catholicism he has a disposition to get saved but he can do nothing without the grace of the church; it goes further than the Protestant point of view.
Prof. Jung: You see, the Catholic church believes in the justification through work; thus far the Catholic church gives a possibility to man.
While the strict Protestant, Karl Barth for example, denies absolutely that man can do anything for himself; if the grace of God doesn’t descend upon him, nothing doing.
This is the actual conflict between Brunner and Karl Barth; Brunner compromises but Karl Barth makes no compromise.
Psychologically, I am on the side of Karl Barth.
Not philosophically of course-! am no theologian-but psychologically I think that is right: the Protestant ought to insist upon man himself as being absolutely devoid of all means vis a vis God.
That is psychologically very important.
Miss Wolff: Doesn’t Nietzsche go a step beyond Schopenhauer? For Schopenhauer emphasizes merely the mind or the intellect, including art or anything which is a cultural achievement of man, while with Nietzsche there is apparently consciousness or awareness of the body, of the earth.
Prof. Jung: Ah yes, with Nietzsche we come into a new sphere; Schopenhauer is really a classical philosopher while Nietzsche is something else: with Nietzsche it becomes drama.
You see, Schopenhauer’s philosophy had little to do with his own existence, while with Nietzsche, the man, his life and his philosophy were tragically the same.
Schopenhauer makes a wonderful philosophy about the suffering of the world, and then every day he goes to his hotel and has an excellent lunch.
Of course, with such a philosophy, one should deny existence, one should vanish into Nirvana.
Some people once watched Schopenhauer while he was taking a walk on a hill behind Frankfurt.
He was walking up and down, always murmuring to himself, and they thought he must
have great secret thoughts in his mind.
Then somebody went up behind and listened to him, and to his great amazement he heard: If only I had married Ann So-and-So fifty years ago! Nobody knew that name but they investigated and found out that this Miss So-and-So was the daughter of a druggist who had sold the best pills against cholera, and with his death the recipe was lost. Voila!
That is Schopenhauer.
Miss Wolff: There was a story about one of his landladies. She was really very mean and he went to all possible courts, finally to the Supreme Court, in order to fight her. But he did not get his rights, and that was terribly important to him.
Prof Jung: Yes, he was full of contradictions.
His human existence was quite apart from his philosophy, while in Nietzsche the two began to come together and in a very tragic way.
So he goes really further than Schopenhauer whose philosophy is merely a mental affair, while Nietzsche feels that it concerns the whole man; to him it was his own immediate reality.
It is impossible to be this on the one side and something entirely different on the other, to have a philosophy which has nothing to do with one’s reality.
Schopenhauer’s philosophy is in a way also a Christian philosophy, because he accepted the likeness of Buddhism and Christianity where they coincide in the conviction that this world is a futility, the thing that should be overcome, and that the other world is the reality-whether it is called heaven or the positive non-being in Nirvana.
He still believed in the non-importance of this world. But Nietzsche begins to emphasize the importance of the body by losing his belief in other worlds.
As soon as the transcendent goal of life fails, the whole importance is of course in the ego consciousness and in the personal life.
That is inevitable.
And this most upright existence, the ego-it speaketh of the body, and still implieth the body, even when it museth and raveth and ftuttereth with broken wings.
Always more uprightly learneth it to speak, the ego; and the more it learneth, the more doth it find titles, and honours for the body, and the earth.
A new pride taught me mine ego, and that teach I unto men: no longer to thrust one’s head into the sand of celestial things, but to carry it freely, a terrestrial head, which giveth meaning to the earth.
Here he continues to attribute the essential reality to the “I,” and the reality of the “I” consists in the obvious reality of the body.
The body is the truest thing; this is indubitable and undeniable even if it should fabricate poetry and philosophy or other illusions and delusions-the fluttering with broken wings.
Dr. Escher: The “I” of Schopenhauer is the conscious “I,” and the “I” of which Nietzsche speaks is between our psychological “I” and the self.
Prof. Jung: Ah yes, but just wait! In the next move Nietzsche gives a new definition of the “I,” but for the time being we must share his insufficient formulation-especially since this is the mistake which has also been made historically.
As you know, with the collapse of metaphysical convictions, the “I” of man really became important.
That was the age of individualism. Individualism has nothing to do with individuation;
individualism is an inflation of the ego of man, because suddenly the ego finds himself in the position of the Kontra-punkt of God himself.
You see, the great ego of the world was God and we were nothing but the thoughts of God, and now we find that God is a thought of man.
Therefore, man in all his modesty becomes a cosmic factor of the very first order, because he is the maker even of gods.
And mind you, man is forever in the funny position of the religious atheist, whose psychology has been beautifully characterized by Bernard Shaw in one of his plays: the atheist complains and laments over the fact that he has lost his atheistic belief–all his highest convictions have been lost, he can no longer believe in atheism.
Of course, it is exactly the same whether a man is a theist or an atheist; it is only plus and minus. But that has been the preoccupation of man forever.
You see, Nietzsche speaks here according to the prejudice of his time, the materialistic individualism of the eighties: if the ego has everything it wants, everything is all right.
Our modern socialistic philosophy is still that; Karl Marx is of that time.
It is the enlightened individualism called socialism, the idea being merely that every individual should be granted a decent existence.
That is the individualistic ideal sure enough, because if all individuals are not granted a decent existence one doesn’t feel well.
If I have no friends with decent homes, I cannot be invited to dine with them, and if I have not a decent home I cannot give them nice dinners.
So it is assumed that a certain number of human beings must have nice homes.
Now inasmuch as that formulation of the “I” is a mistake due to the inflation of the ego, at the end of the nineteenth century it began to be overcome.
Soon Nietzsche brought an entirely new point of view which was more up-to-date.
He was, in a way, a prophet.
“Always more uprightly learneth it to speak, the ego; and the more it learneth, the more
doth it find titles and honours for the body and the earth.”
That is, the more you enter the mood of this ego consciousness, the more you will find how important the body is for that reality.
You see, the ego consciousness is exceedingly narrow; it contains only a few things in the moment and all the rest is unconscious.
You need to gallop from one continent to another in order to have a survey.
And you must make abstractions in order to have a total vision of things, because you cannot imagine all the details of things and at the same time have a view of their totality.
Your consciousness is so restricted that you must economize, make abstractions; it is really the exact opposite to what people suppose to be the universal consciousness of the deity.
One could say that man has come home to himself after travelling in God’s consciousness in the cosmos, and finds that the origin of the whole business is the
very small and narrow house of the human mind, the narrowness and restriction of consciousness.
And he finds that the reason for that restriction is very obviously the body.
You cannot be conscious of many things simply because you are not where they are; I am not conscious of what is happening in the library, for instance, and I cannot hear what somebody says in the library because my ears are here and not there.
If I could do without my body, then my ears might be anywhere in New York or Stockholm.
I could hear and see all things, God knows what.
But as a matter of fact there is the body and the body is in time and space; if it were not, there would not be that restriction of consciousness.
Also, if there were no restriction, there would be no consciousness, for if you are conscious of millions of things as it seems to you, you are conscious of nothing: your
consciousness is then exceedingly blurred.
And the distinction, the real essence of consciousness, is exclusiveness.
You must be able to exclude many things in order to be absolutely conscious.
So restriction is the very being, the very character, of consciousness.
And the reason for that distinctness, that particular capacity of acuteness of consciousness, is the body, which restricts you to a certain place in space and a certain moment in time.
It protects you against the elemental quality of cosmic indistinctness. Without consciousness, how can anything be distinguished, how can anything happen?
There can be no world if nobody is aware of it.
If there is nobody to speak of the existence of a world there is none.
And how can there be an acute consciousness without the restriction of the body?
So it comes home to us that the body is the ultimate reason of everything which can be represented in and by consciousness.
The great realization of the end of the nineteenth century is that the body is extremely
important, at the bottom of the whole business, and any change which happens to the body will influence the mind.
People believed that even hysteria had to do with the body, and that there was
no such thing as a psyche.
This was, of course, the extreme reaction against the metaphysics of the preceding time.
“A new pride taught me mine ego, and that teach I unto men: no longer to thrust one’s head into the sand of celestial things, but to carry it freely, a terrestrial head, which giveth meaning to the earth!”
That is exactly what I meant: it is the head of earth which gives meaning to the earth.
The body is the guarantee of consciousness, and consciousness is the instrument by which the meaning is created.
There would be no meaning if there were no consciousness, and since there is no consciousness without body, there can be no meaning without the body.
A new will teach I unto men: to choose that path which man hath followed blindly, and to approve of it-and no longer to slink aside from it, like the sick and perishing!
This means: Since man-or his ego consciousness-is a living body, his body is ultimate reality.
And that is right: it has to go its own path.
It is a good path, and any deviation from it is wrong, just morbidity wrongness in the biological sense.
You see there something very important.
This passage would justify the criticism one often hears of Nietzsche, particularly of Zarathustra, that he preaches a ruthless egotism or individualism.
If Nietzsche had written nothing else but this sentence, that surely would be true: one could accuse him of it.
But it all comes from the fact that he speaks the language of his time.
He says “I,” the ego consciousness, without clearly examining that concept of the “I.”
He never asks what the “I” is really, he has no psychological criticism. The moment he began to criticize it psychologically, he would see that the statement “I,” or the expression “ego consciousness,” is too limited, it is a mistaken concept; it is wrong.
The sick and perishing-it was they who despised the body and the earth, and invented the heavenly world, and the redeeming blood-drops; but even those sweet and sad poisons they borrowed from the body and the earth!
To what do these blood drops refer?
Miss Hannah: To the communion.
Prof Jung: Yes, the redeeming blood-drops would be the blood of Christ.
And he says they drew even those from the body and the earth.
Mrs. Jung: Wouldn’t it be the bread and the wine?
Prof. Jung: Yes, the red wine is the blood, and the substance of the earth is the bread, and that is the body and the blood of Christ.
He calls them sweet and poisonous, because he says our morbidity comes from the fact that we live by the metaphysical instead of the physical principle-we live by the spirit but the spirit is nothing but our imagination.
There again he is lacking in psychological criticism, for what is imagination?
From their misery they sought escape, and the stars were too remote for them.
Then they sighed: “0 that there were heavenly paths by which to steal into another existence and into happiness!”
Then they contrived for themselves their by-paths and blood draughts!
This is of course a blasphemous desecration of the communion.
Beyond the sphere of their body and this earth they now fancied themselves transported, these ungrateful ones.
But to what did they owe the convulsion and rapture of their transport?
To their body and this earth. That is plain.
They were not grateful to the body, allowing themselves to be transported in their ekstasis away from this earth to a heavenly place.
But the very ekstasis is due to a convulsion of their humble servant, the body.
If the body did not help them, they would not have an ekstasis. How can an ekstasis be brought about otherwise?
If they are in the body, then they can step out of it; the body indirectly helps the ekstasis.
And of course if you ill-treat the body, it can throw you out of the house entirely, out of your body.
It is like ill-treating objects.
You know, objects are inanimate things; they lie about heavily, have no legs or wings, and people are often quite impatient with them.
For instance, this book would like it very much better, I am sure, if it were lying near the center of the table where it is safe, but I have put it on the edge.
It is an awkward position for that poor creature of a book. It may fall down and get injured.
If I am impatient, if I touch them in an awkward way, it is a lamentable plight for the poor objects.
Then they take their revenge on me.
Because I illtreat them they turn against me and become contradictory in a peculiar way. I say, “Oh, these damned objects, dead things, despicable! “and instantly they take on life.
They begin to behave as if they were animated living things.
You will then observe what the German philosopher tells about the die Tilcke des Objekts.
And the more you curse them, the more you use speech figures which insinuate life into them.
For instance, “Where has that book hidden itself now? It has walked off and concealed itself somewhere.” Or, “The devil is in that watch, where has it gone ?”
Objects really take on dangerous qualities with people who are particularly impatient with them: they jump into your eyes, they bite your legs, they creep onto a chair and stick up a point upon which you sit-such things.
You will find many beautiful examples in that book by Vischer.
What spectacles can do, for instance! If there is a chair with a concealing pattern, my spectacles will seek it and become invisible, the contours merging with the pattern.
And, of course, buttered toast will never fall on the unbuttered side.
And the coffee jug will most certainly try to get its spout under the handle of the milk pot, so that when you lift the coffee pot you pour out the milk.
But such things only happen to people who are impatient with objects-then the devils go into the objects and play the most extraordinary stunts.
Gentle is Zarathustra to the sickly.
Verily, he is not indignant at their modes of consolation and ingratitude.
May they become convalescents and overcomers, and create higher bodies for themselves!
Neither is Zarathustra indignant at a convalescent who looketh tenderly on his delusions, and at midnight stealeth round the grave of his God; but sickness and a sick frame remain even in his tears.
Many sickly ones have there always been among those who muse, and languish for God; violently they hate the discerning ones, and the latest of virtues, which is uprightness.
Here we see much of the personal experience of Nietzsche himself.
You know, when you have overcome a prejudice, for instance, you are inclined to be tolerant.
You say, “Oh, God, yes, one can understand things that way; people don’t know yet.”
But those people who remain in a prejudice, with their half knowledge that it is a prejudice, get quite resentful against those who have given it up.
Backward they always gaze toward dark ages: then, indeed, here delusion and faith something.
Raving of the reason was likeness to God, and doubt was sin.
Too well do I know these godlike ones: they insist on being believed in, and that doubt is sin. Too well, also, do I know what they themselves most believe in.
Verily, not in backworlds and redeeming blood-drops: but in the body do they also believe most; and their own body is for them the thing-in-itself.
What does he mean by the godlike ones?
Mrs. Brunner: He means the priests who think they know what is right.
Prof Jung: Ah yes, but why are they godlike? Or why should they behave like that?
Miss Wolff: I think he means the people who in a certain drunkenness thought they knew what godlikeness was; he speaks of the Middle Ages or the old times.
Prof Jung: Well, it is sure that they are looking back towards dark times, obviously the Middle Ages, when their delusion and belief was a different thing.
So the mania of reason could be understood as a disoriented state of mind.
I think that interpretation is right-a disordered reason is God Almighty-likeness, and doubt is sin.
And that is perfectly true.
He means by those godlike ones, then, people with a medieval mind. But why should he think that they are godlike?
There must be a sort of psychological justification for calling them godlike.
Prof Reichstein: Perhaps he means that they live in the other world; he speaks here of the godlike people, and of the people who live in this world.
Prof. Jung: Yes, the psychological justification for such an attribute is that the condition in which such people live is a godlikeness.
If you assume that there is a metaphysical god and that people live a metaphysical
existence, then they are like God; and psychologically the metaphysical place would be the unconscious.
People who live in the unconscious are like the unconscious; they are also unconscious.
So, in as far as you can call the reality of the unconscious the deity, they are like the deity: they are like unto God.
This shows itself in reality through the fact that they have a peculiar self-evidence in life, they feel justified; it is certain that their way is right-or wrong.
There is no doubt about it: they have the natural self-evidence of an animal.
Therefore, an animal is godlike in a way, because it fulfils the meaning of its pattern. And this is a metaphysical thing to the animal.
It is not conscious of its pattern-as little as the Pueblos know that they are living in a Pueblo, or the elephant knows that he is an elephant-though he knows perhaps better that he is an elephant inasmuch as he has to do with man.
But we usually do not know what we are.
You know, perhaps the story of the knight in the thirteenth century, who was caught by his enemies and put into a dark dungeon, and finally, after years of suffering in that cave, he got impatient and beat his fists upon the table, saying, “If only these damned Middle Ages would come to an end!”
Miss Wolff: Doesn’t Nietzsche here make an allusion to certain historic facts when he uses this word Gottahnlich? He means those who believe in God are Gottahnlich. There must be the association of epileptic people here, who were considered to be particularly in touch with God, as the dancing dervishes and such people were also, according to
those medieval beliefs. So I think he probably compares the godlike people to them-since those who were mad, who had no ego, who were dissolved, were supposed to be particularly near to God.
Prof Jung: According to primitive people, crazy people are possessed by spirits.
Miss Wolff: Yes, and as he puts the emphasis on consciousness and the ego, he criticizes them particularly.
Prof Jung: But now he says, “Verily, not in backworlds and redeeming blood-drops: but in the body do they also believe most; and their own body is for them the thing-in-itself.”
You see even for those otherworldlings, the body is the absolute thing, even they believe most in the body. We were assuming just the contrary. How is that?
Miss Hannah: That is just true. Nobody worries over his health like a theologian.
Prof Jung: Well, there is something in the idea that people who are too metaphysical are bothered by their bodies.
For the more the mentality or the psyche leaves the body to itself, the more the body goes wrong.
The two ought to live together.
That explains the bad state of health of intuitive people who don’t even need to be metaphysical; it is enough that they are a bit too intuitive.
They live too much in mere possibilities, and then the digestion begins to suffer, they get chronic diseases, ulcers of the stomach or the duodenum, for instance.
Or they may get other disturbances of the body of an infectious nature; many organic diseases are due to this peculiar lack of attention.
People who have lived too much upon spiritual ideas should bring their attention back to their bodies.
So one can say it is always a wise thing when you discover a new metaphysical truth, or find an answer to a metaphysical problem, to try it out for a month or so, whether it upsets your stomach or not; if it does, you can always be sure it is wrong.
It is necessary to have metaphysical ideas-we cannot do without them-but it is also necessary to submit them very seriously to the test whether they agree with the human being: a good metaphysical idea does not spoil one’s stomach.
For instance, if I hold a metaphysical conviction that we live on after death for fifty thousand years instead of fifty million-if that is a solution-! try what it means if I believe in fifty thousand years only; perhaps that is good for my digestion-or bad.
You see, I have no other criterion.
Of course, it sounds funny, but I start from the conviction that man has also a living body and if something is true for one side, it must be true for the other.
For what is the body?
The body is merely the visibility of the soul, the psyche; and the soul is the psychological experience of the body.
So it is really one and the same thing.
Therefore, a good truth must be true for the whole system, not only for half of it.
According to my imagination, something seems to be good-it f-its in with my imagination-but it proves to be entirely wrong for my body.
And something might apparently be quite nice for the body, but it is very bad for the experience of the soul, and in that case I have a metaphysical enteritis.
So I must be careful to bring the two systems together; the only criterion is that both are balanced.
When life flows, then I can say it is probably all right, but if I get upset I know something must be wrong, out of order at least.
Therefore, people with one-sided convictions of a decidedly spiritual nature are forced by the body to pay attention to it.
I have seen many people who suffered from all sorts of ailments of the body simply on account of wrong convictions.
But it is a sickly thing to them, and gladly would they get out of their skin.
Therefore hearken they to the preachers of death, and themselves preach backworlds.
Hearken rather, my brethren, to the voice of the healthy body; it is a more upright and pure voice.
More uprightly and purely speaketh the healthy body, perfect and square built; and it speaketh of the meaning of the earth.
Here you have it. He trusts to the reaction of the healthy body.
The healthy body is the healthy life, and the healthy life is the life of the soul of man as much as his body, because soul and body are not two things.
They are one. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 339-355