1935 8 May LECTURE I Zarathustra Seminar
We had just begun last term, the chapter called “The Pale Criminal”; I think we dealt with only the first two verses.
This is not a particularly engaging chapter-even disagreeable.
I will read it beginning with the third verse:
When he judged himself-that was his supreme moment; let not the exalted one relapse again into his low estate!
There is no salvation for him who thus suffereth from himself, unless it be speedy death.
Your slaying, ye judges, shall be pity, and not revenge; and in that ye slay, see to it that ye yourselves justify life!
It is not enough that ye should reconcile with him whom ye slay.
Let your sorrow be love to the Superman: thus will ye justify your own survival!
“Enemy” shall ye say but not “villain,” “invalid” shall ye say but not “wretch,” “fool” shall ye say but not “sinner.”
And thou, red judge, if thou would say audibly all thou hast done in thought, then would every one cry: “Away with the nastiness and the virulent reptile!”
But one thing is the thought, another thing is the deed, and another thing is the idea of the deed.
The wheel of causality doth not roll between them. [That is an awful sentence!]
An idea made this man pale.
Adequate was he for his deed when he did it, but the idea of it, he could not endure when it was done.
Evermore did he now see himself as the doer of one deed.
Madness, I call this: the exception reversed itself to the rule in him.
The streak of chalk bewitcheth the hen; the stroke he struck bewitched his weak reason.
Madness after the deed, I call this.
Hearken, ye judges!
There is another madness besides, and it is before the deed.
Ah! ye have not gone deep enough into this soul!
Thus speaketh the red judge: “Why did this criminal commit murder?
He meant to rob.” I tell you, however, that his soul wanted blood, not booty: he thirsted for the happiness of the knife!
But this weak reason understood not this madness, and it persuaded him, “What matter about blood!” it said; “wishest thou not, at least, to make booty thereby? Or take revenge?”
And he hearkened unto his weak reason: like lead lay its words upon him-thereupon he robbed when he murdered.
He did not mean to be ashamed of his madness.
And now once more lieth the lead of his guilt upon him, and once more is his weak reason so benumbed, so paralysed, and so dull.
Could he only shake his head, then would his burden roll off; but who shaketh that head?
What is this man?
A mass of diseases that reach out into the world through the spirit; there they want to get their prey.
What is this man?
A coil of wild serpents that are seldom at peace among themselves-so they go forth apart and seek prey in the world.
Look at that poor body!
What it suffered and craved, the poor soul interpreted to itself-it interpreted it as murderous desire, and eagerness for the happiness of the knife.
Him who now turneth sick, the evil overtaketh which is now the evil: he seeketh to cause pain with that which causeth him pain.
But there have been other ages, and another evil and good.
Once was doubt evil, and the will to Self.
Then the invalid became a heretic or sorcerer; as heretic or sorcerer he suffered, and
sought to cause suffering.
But this will not enter your ears; it hurteth your good people, ye tell me.
But what doth it matter to me about your good people!
Many things in your good people cause me disgust, and verily, not their evil.
I would that they had a madness by which they succumbed, like this pale criminal!
Verily, I would that their madness were called truth, or fidelity, or justice: but they have their virtue in order to live long, and in wretched self-complacency.
I am a railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me may grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not.- Thus spake Zarathustra.
What is your general impression of this chapter? Do you like it? Does your heart react to it?
Mrs. Sigg: It is very deep and interesting and extremely difficult.
Prof. Jung: You seem to be chiefly attracted by the intellectual intricacies, then. Is there no man here who has an opinion on this chapter-a man who realizes his feelings independently? Or perhaps an independent woman’s mind with a heart attached to it?
Mrs. Fierz: I don’t know whether I am independent, but I think it shows very much what I often feel about Zarathustra. I did not read it ahead, not a line, because I could not; this, especially, is a chapter where I simply stop if you don’t do the whole work beforehand to help me to get into it a little.
Prof. Jung: Yes, exactly my feeling.
It is exceedingly disgusting to my feeling. Excuse me for talking of my feeling condition, but in this case you simply go astray if you don’t realize your feelings.
From an intellectual point of view, it is unspeakably intricate; a sort of intellectual devil is all over, which will come still more to the foreground in a chapter a bit further on.
Here Nietzsche really becomes an intellectual criminal.
That is the disgusting thing-he reaches here one of the prestages of his own madness.
It is not yet madness, but it becomes as sophisticated, as intricate, as madness when it first begins to insinuate itself.
Therefore, my idea is that a natural feeling function, as well as a natural untwisted mind, will be hurt by the special psychology here.
It is thoroughly evil from any aspect. You are stopped dead when you begin to read it.
Your feeling refuses to touch upon that thing because it is altogether too pathological.
No wonder that he speaks of the secret thoughts of the red judges as a poisonous worm, because a poisonous worm is at work here.
You see, you have to deal with a man who is doomed to madness, preparing himself for it; Zarathustra, under a certain aspect, is the preparation for madness, the way into it.
If a man is really going to be mad, in this way he will land there.
And if a sound man goes this way, he will learn what madness means, something of the
possibilities, because he will go very close to the edge.
Here, Nietzsche is flirting with it.
He reaches over into the forbidden land, and he is scorched, tainted all over, by touching upon that area.
So it is necessary to overcome a certain resistance in dealing with this material.
You see, each chapter of Zarathustra is a stage in a process of initiation, for whenever a man takes that way of the immediate experience of his inner condition, he gets more and more under its influence and thus he becomes initiated.
That is the initiation process, as it always has been.
Of course later, as has happened in all traditional initiation processes, there comes a moment when the original experience is lost and then one is confronted only with ritual-with certain ideas that have become dogmatic or almost dogmatic.
One looks back and thinks of the experiences of the forefathers-the gurus, the teachers-and one naturally tries to pick up what they have left behind them.
One thinks if one imitates these relics that one is surely going to make the same way, forgetting altogether that they are now only shackles-what they used to call scoria.
We imagine, when we follow the words or images, the symbols left by others, that we are making a way.
But we are only imitating a way, and it is not the thing itself.
The thing itself is an immediate primordial experience, and therefore it is always individual.
We still have traditions or such initiation processes; they are to be found in no books of course, but one comes across series of individual symbols in the great libraries of Europe.
In the higher grades of Freemasonry, the so-called ancient and accepted rite of Scotland which has thirty-three degrees, the initiation process is codified, dogmatized; one is told what to do, what to think and believe, and the whole thing is just flat and empty.
It is most interesting, but it is too good to be true-well, it is true, but nobody is in it. It is quite hollow.
It is only form and as dead as a door-nail.
And this organization, which dates back probably to about the seventeenth century, was preceded by another stage of which we still have traces.
I myself have a series of manuscripts and books of symbolic representations copied from those in the Bibliotheque de Arsenal in Paris.
They came from noble families whose male members were officers in the army and belonged to secret societies where such initiations took place.
But these books date from a time when the initiations were not according to the rule.
They were individual, therefore they made books, like the symbolic series of visions of
the American woman which I produced in a former Seminar.
That was such a secret individual initiation process.
And those knights, or whatever they were, made very similar books; some of them consisted not even of words but were picture-books only, in which the processes of psychological transformation in an individual nature were depicted.
But no book is really understood, no book resembles any other; of course, they have the style of the time, as our symbolic books have the style of our time, but they are individual in themselves.
Later on, those things were replaced by codified dogma, and then the spirit was gone.
They were no longer alive.
Now, Nietzsche’s Zamthustra is one of the first attempts in modern times to come back to the immediate, individual initiation.
But he did not seek that.
It took him, rather, by the neck: he was overcome by the process because the time was ripe and he was just the kind of man who was open to such a thing.
It really began at the height of that period of blooming materialism, and he, being an exceedingly sensitive individual, realized the need of the time, feeling that our traditional forms had become more or less empty.
He himself moved in those academic circles where spiritual life was utterly gone.
He naturally felt the need of something-there was nothing for him to stand on-so he was
forced to have individual experience, and this came about in the moment when he said to himself, “God is dead,” as he says in Zarathustra.
The spirit gripped him in that moment when it was completely denied.
For it is just then that the spirit cannot be hidden any longer.
If you believe that there is spirit in a certain form, in a building or a saying for instance, then the spirit has an abode.
Then it is cut away from yourself because it is embodied in something.
But when you believe there is no such thing as spirit anywhere, you have disinfected the heavens and the whole world and found no God in it as that doctor said (whom I have told you about) who suffered from the same disease as Nietzsche.
You see, as soon as you make such a declaration, the spirit is liberated from its incarnations and then it is in yourself: then your unconscious begins to stir.
That happened to Nietzsche.
His initiation process began, and he wrote it down as such a man would do.
When one has a vivid inner experience, one always feels tempted to write it down, give form to it and expression.
Therefore, painting and drawing have been discovered as a means for the symbolic purposes; one simply feels the need, and also has a peculiar satisfaction if one succeeds in giving expression to an inner experience.
Many people who are not usually poets begin to write verses, and they write in a peculiar hieratic style.
They become solemn and poetic and express themselves in a high passionate manner, using all sorts of means to emphasize it because they feel they are experiencing something which needs that expression.
So Nietzsche at once drops out of his intellectual, aphoristic way of expression.
Zarathustra is a most passionate confession from beginning to end, and moreover it is an experience: his life itself flows into these chapters.
Therefore, each chapter is a new image in the process of initiation.
You know, those ancient initiation processes consisted of symbolic passages.
First, one is confronted, say, with a certain threat, or one is put into a dark room perhaps; and then one is exposed to all sorts of dangers, tests of courage are made-one must endure cold and heat and all sorts of things.
Those are all symbolic stages, imitating the processes one would presumably go through in an individual initiation.
These were all individual in the beginning, and from the condensation of the original representations, slowly a ritual was made; and then it all became artificial.
The most ridiculous forms were invented which nobody could take seriously.
For instance, in the Freemason initiation, one is put through tests which look a bit
gruesome, but are not real at all. It is like a sort of child’s play.
Of course, one is serious, or tries to make it serious, but it is not: it doesn’t even touch your skin.
Wilhelm told me that when the Japanese bombarded Kian Tchau, a Masonic lodge was hit by a shell and eventre, the whole wall of the house came down, the intestines were laid bare, and people went there to see the funny things inside.
Belonging to the initiation ceremonies, for example, was a sort of grating with most dangerous looking iron spikes upon which the initiant had to kneel, and then the marvel happened that when he believed in God those spikes did not hurt him.
But upon examination it was found that those spikes where he had to kneel looked exactly like the others but were made of rubber; they were nice and soft, so instead of having his flesh lacerated, the initiant thought, how marvelous that God had helped him!
So the initiation may degenerate into mere fraud.
The individual process on the other side is not a fraud, but a terrible thing.
Nietzsche is confronted with all the devils, the temptations of his own nature, all the lowest as well as the highest qualities of man, the greatest possibilities of the depths as well as the heights.
Now, there is a secret logic, a sort of Homeric chain, going through the whole thing: one chapter leads on to the other.
The last chapter before this was “Joys and Passions.”
To follow the way of delights and passions is the way to the Superman; but it leads to the pale criminal, an inelegant, pale criminal who cannot commit his crime without having an idea of it at which he collapses.
That is the pale criminal and as such that term has entered the common speech; one reads it in books and papers, meaning a man who is not on the level of his deed.
Now you can be sure, if a man as unsound as Nietzsche comes into that layer of his personality which is meant to bring about his madness, that you will come into something which is surely not very engaging; it is something which hurts and cannot be accepted because it is against our sound instincts.
But this is just the chapter where a man of unsound mind, on the other hand, would be touched or tempted.
I remember a fellow student of mine who was an exceedingly gifted man, but the first thing I noticed about him was that, in reading Nietzsche, the chapter over which he fell down was “The Pale Criminal.”
It was all the time on his mind and he never got away from it, “What a wonderful chapter-that a man should sacrifice his life even for his crime!”
He identified with the pale criminal, and the result was that later on he became insane too-not of course because he had read Nietzsche, but because he himself was doomed to become insane.
He never succeeded in life because he was altogether too pathological.
But as a student, everybody expected him to have a rather remarkable career: he began in a more or less grand style.
Soon he made himself impossible, however, because his delights and passions carried him too far.
He lost sight of humanity and developed paranoia, which is the idea of persecution, the idea that everybody hates one, the reality being that one runs away from people.
But in the sound part of such a man there is still the yearning for connection with humanity, and those ideas of persecution develop as a compensation for the fact of running away from them.
All those people who feel persecuted and unrelated are suffering from a minor form of paranoia: to feel observed, to have the feeling of awkwardness and to be gene in society, but unable to give themselves because they are inhibited by other people.
This is the mildest form of it. Such people don’t love others.
As a matter of fact they hate them and they try to avoid them, and if that thing grows
upon them, they will develop ideas of persecution.
Now, the fact that Nietzsche, after the chapter about “Delights and Passions,” arrives at the chapter or the stage of “The Pale Criminal” is not abnormal in itself, but perfectly normal; for if one follows the path of passion one will surely come to the place where one’s passion becomes abnormal, asocial or criminal, and that is a quality which is in everybody.
Therefore, one says, principiis obstas resist delights and passions, resist in the beginning before it is too late, don’t have passions, it is not good taste, it is bad form.
The deeper reason is that if one slips too far into such flames, one is sure to land in criminality.
But how can you live and have no passion-for then you would escape suffering?
(Passio also means suffering. The German word is Leidenschaft; as a poet says: Leidenschaftistdas, was Leidenschafft.)
Nobody can escape suffering, and to try to escape passion is to try to escape suffering. But as you cannot escape suffering you cannot escape passion; you will suffer from passion either directly or indirectly, and it is much better to suffer directly because indirect suffering has no merit.
It is exactly as if nothing has happened.
So the indirect suffering in a neurosis has no moral merit.
Years lost in neurosis are just lost, without gain.
But if you suffer directly and you know for what you suffer, that is never lost.
Therefore, Christ said that if you know what you are doing you are blessed, but if you don’t know you are cursed.?
For then it is a neurosis.
So, arriving at the Pale Criminal is perfectly normal, but the way in which one deals with the Pale Criminal is of course the test of soundness or unsoundness.
Now here, Nietzsche is dealing with it in his own very peculiar way.
I think we will go on through the different items and try to make sense of this chapter:
When he judged himself-that was his supreme moment; let not the exalted one relapse again into his low estate!
You see, in doing his deed, in committing his crime, he made himself a criminal, and that is what he meant to do because he was a criminal; he was meant to be a criminal.
Thus far that is perfectly sound, provided that he knows what he does.
But there is the difficulty.
If he is a criminal without knowing it, simply doing his deed like an animal, he has absolutely no chance of redemption; but if he knows what he does, there is a possibility, for he is then simply fulfilling his role.
For instance, a good man will do a good deed.
He will be forced to be good and feel utterly miserable if he isn’t; so there is no merit in it.
He is just doing what he is, all quite natural, like an animal.
It is very good of the bees to make the honey we eat, one might say, and when they sting us it is very bad, but in either case they have done it unconsciously and there is no merit in it.
But if the man knows he is doing a good thing just because he cannot do otherwise, then there is merit because he is then conscious of that saying of wisdom: The king shall play the role of the king, the beggar the role of the beggar, and the thief the role of the thief, being conscious of the gods.
This means being conscious of their role, of Karma, the necessity that the one must play the role of the king because he is born a king, and the other the role of the beggar because he is born a beggar, and if another man is born the villain of the play, he needs must be that villain.
Yet if he knows that this is all from the gods, there must be redemption.
That is Hindu philosophy, which simply shows that the condition of redemption is in being conscious of what you do.
And from that point of view it is just as bad to be good without knowing it as to be bad without knowing it: neither way has merit; the only chance for redemption is in consciousness, for that is the point where one differs from what one does, where one differs from being a mere animal.
So it is a sublime moment here.
He should not fall below it by judging himself, provided he knows what he is doing.
There is no salvation for him who thus suffereth from himself, unless it be a speedy death.
That is not the salvation that I would designate as redemption, of course.
Nietzsche means here that he is committing his crime in order to reach death; the lust for murder, the greed for the blood, is simply the preparation for death.
Therefore, he says, it is the madness before the deed.
The murderer wants to see blood, as if he knew that committing murder meant his own death.
He is seeking to end his existence because-as the text afterwards says-he is nothing but a mass of
diseases, a coil of wild serpents which can only wind up in its own destruction.
So the Pale Criminal is in that respect the symbol for the man
who must end his existence because he is no good-in order to make
room for the Superman.
That was the point which caught my fellow student, but at the same time he was identified with the Superman, like Nietzsche. He was always talking about committing suicide.
He felt that if it were necessary in order to make room for the Superman, he would do so without hesitation.
He played with such ideas; he removed himself.
So he committed a moral suicide, becoming so much a Superman that he could no longer deal with ordinary mortals and the result was that fear of persecution.
You see, if the criminal knows in committing his crime that he really means his own undoing, that he commits
the crime in order to kill himself, then one can only agree; he most certainly will commit his crime, nobody can prevent him, and if he knows that he is thereby killing himself it is all right.
One judges a crime differently when the murderer immediately afterwards kills himself too:
one has the feeling that he has judged himself and sentenced himself to death.
If the murdered is also put out of life, it is satisfactory.
But if we begin to think it over and ask what is the use of putting him to death, we can make frightful mistakes, errors of justice.
To think of the moral side, that we should improve the criminal, is nonsense.
That is all trash, having nothing to do with justice.
It is just to put the criminal to death because we are in his crime too; everyone of us contains a criminal who wants to commit crimes though we don’t know it.
criminal is terribly disappointed. In sleepless nights he complains that
we don’t give him a chance.
Then we read in the paper about somebody who has committed murder and we think, “What an insolent devil! He has smashed a man’s head. He can do what I wanted to do, having taken the liberty to commit that crime.”
Our criminal instincts are all roused and we must have our revenge, something must be done against him.
And as it is impossible for all the 35o,ooo inhabitants of the town of Zurich, for instance, to kill one man, we choose a judge, but we are so unreasonable that we don’t even have a hangman in Zurich.
In England they are reasonable enough to choose a hangman who is entrusted with the public sentiment: he must take care of the criminal instincts of the whole town.
When he has put that man to death, we have had our share in the crime. And that is right.
Otherwise, we are simply frustrated. Instead of trying to improve that man, hang him.
Our criminal instinct is not satisfied by this damned reasonableness, so we get bitter and poisonous and more and more reasonable, but we are
really just waiting for the time when we can take a revolver and kill; we are waiting for an age of revolution, for an age of cruelty.
So it would be much better if we could begin at the beginning and put the criminal to death by public execution; it doesn’t make us any more cruel than we are already.
Look at the things that happen in the world!
The amount of quite
open cruelty is incredible. One reads about in in the papers.
Yet we still go on believing that we are growing better and better every day and in every way until we shall arrive in heaven.
But we are in hell, and I tell you, if in our most reasonable town we had some juicy shooting, people would feel grand.
I saw a policeman a while ago in the country, a perfectly harmless fellow, who said. “But just wait till the next time I get at
He promises himself a marvelous feast. And that is so everywhere.
Only a few fools believe that we are growing better and better every day, hoping that we are improved by improving a few criminals.
We are not improved by it and we shall not improve the criminals.
That is a bad mistake, because the murderer has murdered himself already long before we cut his head off.
Well, the good admonitions and good counsel here are not very important.
The only thing which is relevant would be that sentence, “Let your sorrow be love to the Superman: thus will ye justify your own survival.”
He obviously means that our guiding or leading idea should be the Superman, and the criminal who is a mass of disease, etc., ought to be done away with, to make room for him.
The criminal simply has to perish: that man is no good, he is a bad mixture, and the judge will justify his own survival by having the courage to do away with him.
people say that should not be done! How awful!
Or, it should be done
in a moral way! But how can I say that somebody else ought to be improved?
I have absolutely no stand. I know what filth I am. I know my own thoughts. I have absolutely no point of view.
How can an ant say of another ant that it should be improved as an ant? They are all ants.
Mr. Baumann: From the biological aspect, every kind of animal, man or ant, has the tendency to make his own race strong and surviving over the others. So I think there is a certain instinct to improve man
for man and ant for ant.
Prof. Jung: But no animal has a tendency to improve another animal.
That is again a well-meaning raisonnement which we make from a biological point of view.
A biological justification for punishment is just as wrong as a moral idea about it, for if you follow your biological idea of punishment, you must punish a degenerate thief as much as a murderer
because he is a degenerate individual; you would cut off the heads of all sorts of little frauds, pickpockets, etc., and your feeling would not back you up in that at all.
You would say they needed a good thrashing, or to be put in a prison for a fortnight, or something else disagreeable, but not to be put to death.
But from a biological point of view, you have to put him to death, and with him, imbeciles and lunatics and people with bodily diseases or anybody equally incapacitated.
Mrs. Jung: What you have said seems to me to refer only to a criminal
who would be, as an individual, a criminal, but I think most people who commit a crime do it out of a sort of mistake.
They do things which are not really individual.
Prof Jung: Well, Nietzsche is speaking of such people.
He doesn’t look at the problem from the standpoint of individuation.
To him, the criminal is a man who has gone astray, say a fool or a diseased individual who ought to be done away with, so there is no question of consciousness of crime or of the problem of individuation in the criminal.
He doesn’t even mention it.
Mrs. Jung: But you say he must only be improved when it is proved that he has got to be a criminal. But with many people it is not proved that they have to be criminals; it is quite unconscious what they have to be.
Prof Jung: Sure enough, if they were not unconscious there would be a redeeming factor; as a matter of fact they are so identical with what they do that they do not know what happens to them.
Mrs. Jung: And therefore they could be improved.
Prof Jung: That is a question.
As soon as one begins to reason about the possible arguments in favor of capital punishment, one simply loses oneself in a maze of considerations and can do nothing.
So the simplest thing would be to react according to feeling; then you do something which is perfectly proper and sufficient, except for the intellectual who wants to have proper reasons.
You see, what the crime is for the criminal, whether he can be improved or whether, by committing his crime outside himself, killing somebody else, he has done evil to himself, selling his own chance.
Those are considerations for the criminal and we are not speaking of his psychology, but of the psychology of Nietzsche versus his own instincts.
The criminal is only a sort of mirror reflex of the criminal impetus of Nietzsche.
I speak of the criminal in this frame and not of the psychology of this individual criminal merely of the social aspect of this individual.
If I have to deal with the criminal individual then I shall consider the case just as any other.
For instance, every case I am treating has a criminal in himself.
If one goes far enough, everybody has done something or is planning to do something which is not right, which is criminal; and there we have to observe all the rules of the game, exactly as in any other case.
But inasmuch as murderers don’t come into my analysis I cannot talk about the possible analysis of a murderer.
I also cannot say that all murderers should be analysed, as I cannot say that all neurotics should be analysed.
For there are certain social considerations over which I am not a lord, and I never make rules that would be good for humanity, particularly if nobody is very likely to carry them out.
They kill murderers in France, in Italy, in England, in America, in Germany, and in most
Catholic cantons of Switzerland; only a few very enlightened and reasonable communities have gone astray so far as not to kill murderers.
I am not speaking of our Christianity-that point of view is not valid at all, only talk; I go by facts, and the fact is that capital punishment is valid in nearly all the most enlightened and civilized countries, and I am not against it.
There is a very good reason why it is so.
All other ways of punishment are wrong.
By putting the criminal to death, one shares the crime; otherwise, one doesn’t see the criminal in oneself.
One must see one’s criminal point: if one does not, one has not shared the criminal impetus, the criminal personality in oneself. And then one never becomes integrated.
The purpose of individuation is that every part of the individual must be integrated, also the criminal part; otherwise, it is left by itself and works evil.
So thus far Nietzsche is giving recognition to the criminal instincts.
For instance, the “red judge” is his own moral function naturally, which might call his criminal instinct by all sorts of bad names: he might say this is perhaps a foolish or pathological tendency.
It is, but it is not to be judged from a moral point of view because that is not helpful. It does not help to say a thing is bad or good.
To say it is bad helps least the thing which is the most important, namely, that one can accept the bad thing.
You see, when we accept it there is a chance that something can change, but we never accept it.
We can improve only when we accept what is part of ourselves. Then we can change, not before.
Now he comes to the explanation of the Pale Criminal; hitherto he speaks simply of the criminal.
The paleness comes from the fact that the man was made pale by an idea; he begins to think over what he has done, and he gives it a name.
You remember we came across this idea before; it was represented as a particular mistake to give a name to your virtues.
Of course, unavoidably you will do so; you don’t live your virtues simply as the recognition of an indescribable something about yourself which has value, but say it is this or that, and so you give it a name and make it exclusive and cause trouble-quarrels, conflicts between duties and between virtues.
While if you have not given it a name, you will have retained the value.
So you cause a conflict by giving names, but one cannot see how to do otherwise.
The criminal has to give it a name, then.
He adopts an idea about his deed and says he has done so and so, and then cannot stand it because he sees himself with ten thousand pairs of eyes.
For a name is a collective thing, a word in everybody’s mouth.
He has heard that word from ten thousand other mouths already; when he says to himself that he has committed a murder, he sees it in printed letters in the newspaper, and what he has done is just that awful thing which is called murder.
While if he did not give it a name, it would have remained his individual deed, his individual experience, which is not expressed by the collective noun murder.
Such a criminal usually says: “I just beat him over the head, or “I put a knife into him,” or “I wanted to tell him something and I put a bullet into him, and afterwards they said he was dead.”
You see, it was an individual series of events which were not named.
The premeditated murder is very often accounted for in such a way: “I simply had to give that fellow something to make him quiet because I wanted to get at such and such a thing; naturally I had to shove him aside.
And then it turned out that he was dead.”
That is the way such people use a revolver-as a means to change something.
It is a sort of aftereffect or a concomitant circumstance that a corpse was left.
How awkward! That it is murder only dawns upon them a long time afterwards when they are told.
Then they realize it and get pale, but as long as somebody simply has been removed, well, it was awkward that he was found afterwards with a fractured skull, but that does not make one pale: it is simply regrettable.
People who commit a fraud invariably explain that they just wanted to do this or that.
They are quite astonished when they are told that they have committed a crime, because they only did it for a certain effect and never thought that it had such an ugly name.
So the pale criminal is really slain by his own idea of it, though it is not exactly his own, but is now the standpoint of the eleven thousand virgins who are flabbergasted.
Nietzsche calls this a sort of madness: the criminal’s weak intellect has been overthrown by a mere word.
That is the madness after the deed.
Now what is this line of chalk which paralyzes the hen in the text?
Mrs. Baynes: There is an old wives’ tale that a hen will not cross over a chalk line.
Prof. Jung: That comes from the fact that Athanasius Kircher, a Jesuit living in the beginning of the seventeenth century, made the first hypnotic experiment by hypnotizing hens.
We repeated that experiment once.
You take a hen very carefully so that it doesn’t get excited, and you put it down slowly and softly, holding her head down for a while to the floor, and then you make a chalk line over the beak and on the floor, so that it looks as if it were a white ribbon over her nose-of course, that is not necessary, but is only to blind other people-and the
hen remains there.
You can hypnotize monkeys and dogs in the same way: you must impress them for a while with the idea that they cannot move.
That hen stretched out with the line over its beak looks very funny, as if it were glued to the floor by the white line-an experimentum mirabile!
Now he says that there is another madness, the madness before the deed; that is the question of the cause of the crime.
He says that it is a general prejudice that one commits a murder for a certain purpose, in order to rob for instance, but that it is really madness, that the murder has been committed for the sake of the blood.
This is of course an unconscious truth. Consciously, each murderer considers his murder as a by-product.
Perhaps in very wild crimes of affect people cry for blood and want to kill, yet it is not quite real; they are always astonished that it worked.
They wanted to demonstrate murder and then it happened to be murder.
The ordinary psychology is that murder is more or less a by-product.
But in the unconscious, as Nietzsche understands it, it is really murder, the thirst for blood, and it means the undoing of the criminal himself if he understands himself rightly.
He therefore prefers the rational explanation that it was for robbery.
Otherwise, he must admit that he is caught and he cannot admit that, because to have
done it for the sake of blood is madness; he prefers the sort of superficial motive of robbery and so he lies, on top of all the rest. “Could he only shake his head, then would his burden roll off”: if he only would not think such rubbish he would not be burdened.
Then Nietzsche asks what the criminal is, after all.
He is a mass of diseases, a coil of serpents.
For such an individual is terribly pained and tortured really and therefore he commits a crime; nobody causes pain to another person unless he himself suffers pain.
As a rule only such people torture or hurt who are hurt or tortured themselves; they want to relieve themselves from their own suffering by hurting somebody else, in order to feel that the pain is not inside themselves alone.
You see, it is as if we were secretly threatened by the invisible presence of the criminal in ourselves, and then we wish that somebody might commit a crime so that we can say, “Ah thank heaven, there is the criminal, there is the evil.”
That explains somewhat why we love detective stories and the long reports of crimes in the newspapers; it is of the greatest interest to us to know where the evil is.
We exclaim, “What an awful fellow!”
We lap it up because we have hunger and thirst for such things; they fascinate us because we have an unsatisfied criminal instinct in ourselves.
So the whole respectable community grows more and more uncanny; if nothing happens, everybody looks at everybody else with fear and hate.
Are you the one who is going to relieve us? Am I the one to relieve the others? Am I the one who will set the ball rolling? Am I the one to kill?
And then suddenly the news comes: somebody has committed murder. “Thank heaven!”
You see, a murderer is a sort of scapegoat for the community; it is as if each community should have a boucernissaire who was burdened with the sins of the community.
Therefore, in the Orient they often had the very wise custom of making a murderer represent the sacrificed god, as they did in old Mexico for instance; then he was cut open afterwards, the living heart was cut out and he was a god practically: he carried the sins of the community.
That is the original psychology of the sacrificial death of Christ, of course.
Therefore, Christ was crucified between the thieves.
He was the murderer of the season, one could say; he was exchanged against Barabbas who was a real criminal.
So he is the boucernissaire and is killed as the criminal of the season, and thereby we are redeemed from our own sin.
When the community puts the criminal to death, it is an act of redemption for the community, a sort of psychological alleviation.
The criminal has a certain social role-this is not my idea, it was valid long before I lived-and therefore a real criminal has always been given the dignity of a sort of ritual in recognition of his merit; first a long trial with judges in wigs and gowns, and then the procession to the guillotine or the gallows with tambours and soldiers and a great crowd, and then he is executed.
It seems, of course, absurd that we should worship in our churches just that kind of public execution, yet each crucifix carried that meaning.
But we won’t give that dignity to our criminals to whom we ought to be grateful for committing a crime instead of ourselves; they pay with their blood for our sins and we should give them a decent burial with soldiers and music, or at least tambours.
Those ancient ways of burying the criminal took naively into account the great social importance of the crime as the atonement for the sins of the people.
Nietzsche also says here that other ages had other ideas of morality, etc., and that therefore one should not judge morally.
But that is not very important-that the heretic and the witch were considered to be bad people in the Middle Ages and that nowadays they are just fashionable.
Here again, however, we come to a good and sound idea-that the madness which precedes the crime might be named “truth” or “faithfulness” or ‘justice.”
Those are virtues, mind you, so the madness of the belief in virtue is the madness which precedes crime.
The idea is that if we believe in such ideals of virtue and if we identify with them if
somebody says he is faithful or just, for instance-that is the forerunner of crime, because to burden the scale of virtues makes the scale of vices rise: the scales have to be balanced.
The more people think that they are good or identify with good, the more they leave evil alone, and as much as their good increases, unconsciously their evil will increase.
So we leave it to somebody else.
But we have already committed the crime in leaving our evil to other people, and we are not even grateful that they spare us.
Nothing makes us more moral and self-righteous than when anybody is humble enough to be immoral.
Then we say, “I am not like that, such things don’t happen in our family.”
They have their virtue in order to live long in wretched self-complacency.
That is, they simply misuse their faculty of being good, the grace they have of being good, in order to rescue themselves from life and to have a long life of despicable ease.
Then having said all this, in the end Nietzsche thinks obviously of his own role, and why he says such things, and he goes on, “I am a railing alongside the torrent; whoever is able to grasp me may grasp me! Your crutch, however, I am not.”
That is, he is a certain guidance along the torrent, but if you cannot walk, if you need a crutch, it would not do.
It is a truth which takes the ground away from under your feet; you know where it leads but there is no stand.
It is not a certainty. It does not help you to keep upright. It is tempting but undermining. And it is undermining: that is the purpose of this chapter. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 457-473