1935 20 Feb LECTURE 5 Zarathustra Seminar
Here is a question which is not exactly a question.
An anonymous writer who signs herself Mrs. Spider-web has sent me this contribution:
“Prof. Superman’s suggestion that the black swastika is the earth turning away from the sun connects with the four-square aspect of the earth (since the swastika is square) and with the Chinese I Ching discussion in which you described the Chinese square as having motion a vortex.
As the earth is also body, the swastika is also man, which also links up with Aquarius, the Water-carrier.
I am also tempted to mention Pegasus, the square constellation, which has to do with inspiration and which would connect with the golden sun swastika.
Therefore the swastika symbol contains all the elements with which Zarathustra is
That there is a connection is undeniable: there is the synchronous connection, and then that Pegasus business is a most interesting allusion.
Mrs. Spider-web must know about the maps of the sky.
It is true that above Aquarius is the square constellation of Pegasus, as I mentioned
in a former Seminar.
That it would connect with the golden sun swastika, I don’t see.
If the writer had elaborated a bit on these allusions, it would help us to understand it better.
There are too many jumps in it.
It contains a lot of good intuitions, but a bit more meat would be desirable.
We are still in the chapter, “The Despisers of the Body.”
We got stuck in that paragraph, “Instruments and playthings are sense and spirit.”
There we had some difficulty with the German word Sinn.
In summing up, I would say that this German concept of Sinn in connection with spirit is a sort of antithesis, Sinn and Geist; and one could use here the word Gemut to express the meaning of Sinn.
Also one could say the emotional psyche and the spirit, Seele und Geist, obviously express a totality.
Now these are, he says, tools and playthings, which would mean that they are not things in themselves but rather applications or functions or epiphenomena or appendixes, because “behind them there is still the self.”
In other words, they are phenomena or manifestations of an underlying entity, which would mean an absolute definite reality, and that would be found in the self.
In the concept of the self we enter the sphere of our psychology which also has arrived at the conclusion that the total psychological being of man consists not only of consciousness, but in addition, of the unconscious.
Obviously the ego, the personification of the center of consciousness, cannot be the whole of our psychical existence: the unconscious is needed to make a total.
And if the unconscious is added to the conscious, then the central being, or the resultant of the two, would be the alter ego.
For when one discovers the unconscious one discovers oneself too, but under an entirely different aspect; one discovers another self within oneself.
This causes, as you know, a tremendous conflict, because we are not at one with our unconscious, that alter ego which is also designated as the shadow; as a rule, one has the greatest trouble to accept the shadow, the fact of one’s own negation.
For that other one in us is so utterly different from the conscious ego that one can say it amounts to a negation of the ego, particularly when one is in doubt which of the two ought to be; the shadow is so strong that you can be honestly in doubt as to what you really are.
For instance, to have the fantasy of killing your enemy is sufficient for certain people to assume that they are potential murderers, to believe themselves wholly wrong, children of the devil; and then they get depressed, as if the possession of something against their grain would mean that they were nothing but bad.
Such people are inclined to think that a man who kills another man, or who lies or steals, is entirely black, with nothing good in him; and naturally they are utterly intolerant of the weaknesses of other people because they cannot stand their own.
It is one of the foremost tasks of analysis to bring these two sides together, to make it palatable to people that they are not only a resplendent ego which is always in a most suitable condition, newly washed and fit for the drawing room, but that they have also another side which is not acceptable and which cannot possibly be shown in public.
Such a fact does not mean that the whole mixture is spoiled; it only means that the cake contains not only sugar but some salt also, and that the substance of which one is generally composed has its flaws.
It is not quite pure.
Now, since the whole of the human being is something different from the conscious ego, it deserves another name, particularly because, when you assimilate the unconscious, you feel a certain objectivity about yourself.
As a matter of fact, you cannot assimilate yourself, you cannot live with yourself, unless you understand yourself as a sort of givenness, a datum; you are an objective fact.
If you assume that you are only the conscious ego, then it is as if you had wanted to bring about certain events, or had done certain things intentionally; but you cannot
deny that it also looks as if they had just happened to you, as if you had encountered them, or perhaps as if you had been overcome by something strange and objective.
So if you can assimilate your shadow, you then appear to yourself not only subjective but as something objective as well.
You see, in assimilating the unconscious, you increase the circumference of your being to an unknown extent; moreover, you are including something in the totality of yourself which is not under your control: you can only control what is in consciousness.
It is as if you were ruler of a land which is only partially known to yourself, king of a country with an unknown number of inhabitants.
You don’t know who they are or what their condition may be; time and again you make the discovery that you have subjects in your country of whose existence you had no idea.
Therefore, you cannot assume the responsibility; you can only say, “I find myself as the ruler of a country which has unknown borders and unknown inhabitants, possessing
qualities of which I am not entirely aware.”
Then you are at once out of your subjectivity, and are confronted with a situation in which you are a sort of prisoner; you are confronted with unknown possibilities, because those many uncontrollable factors at any time may influence all your actions or decisions.
So you are a funny kind of king in that country, a king who is not really a king, who is dependent upon so many known quantities and conditions that he often cannot carry
through his own intentions.
Therefore, it is better not to speak of being a king at all, and be only one of the inhabitants who has just a corner of that territory in which to rule.
And the greater your experience, the more you see that your corner is infinitely small in comparison with the vast extent of the unknown against you.
You get the entirely new idea that the Self is obviously something exceedingly influential and very strange and that you are just a part of it; you don’t know how infinitesimal a part-or perhaps you are a considerable part.
But at all events, you have to assume the attitude of somebody who has established his little kingdom in a continent of unknown extension, and beyond the indistinct borderline of your conscious kingdom is the absolutely unknown.
Now, if you assume that this whole continent in which your little kingdom is to be found is ruled by a central power, then that central power would be your own king also; you
would be a subject of that unknown grand power.
And that would be the self, about as we think of it in psychology.
Of course I knew that Nietzsche had such a concept because I read Zarathustra for the first time when I was only twenty-three, and then later, in the winter of 1914-15, I studied it very carefully and made a lot of annotations.
I was already interested in the concept of the self, but I was not clear how I should understand it.
I made my marks, however, when I came across these passages, and they seemed very important to me.
Yet I could not make use of it because one misses in Zarathustra the concept of the unconscious; there is only the conscious.
Gemut and Geist would be contents or qualities of consciousness.
Therefore, there was the possibility-which I saw even then in Zarathustra of the mistake which Nietzsche actually makes; namely, he identifies the ego with the self and therefore with the Superman.
His ego simply merges into the Superman, as we have seen.
That would be an incarnation of the self.
But the self is much too big; you cannot possibly identify with it without incurring the risk of a fatal inflation.
Therefore, the fatal end of the whole story-the stone that is thrown high falls back upon oneself.
Such an identification can only lead to an explosion.
The concept of the self continued to recommend itself to me nevertheless.
I thought Nietzsche meant a sort of thing-in-itself behind the psychological phenomenon.
That is obviously expressed in the passage, “The self seeketh with the eyes of the senses, it hearkeneth also with the ears of the spirit.”
The self uses our mental and psychical phenomena as a sort of means of conveyance; that is, our psyche is used as a means of expression of the self or by the self.
I saw then also that he was producing a concept of the self which was like the Eastern concept; it is an Atman idea.
I don’t know whether Nietzsche was influenced by anything Indian that he read, but I rather doubt it; it looks to me as if it were a very original invention.
Naturally, the fact that there is a collective unconscious in which all these concepts are contained and from which the East has taken them, is a reason why one finds many Eastern parallels in Meister Eckhart’s writings also, and even in Kant.
Now, I have brought you today an Eastern text which shows this parallel beautifully; it is from the English translation of the Talavakara Upanishad, one of the series of the Sacred Books of the East?
I will read the first Khanda:
The pupil asks: “At whose wish does the mind sent forth proceed on its errand? At whose command does the first breath go forth? At whose wish do we utter this speech? What God directs the eye or the ear?”
The teacher replied: “It is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech of speech, the breath of breath, and the eye of the eye. When freed (from the senses) the wise, on departing from this world, become immortal. The eye does not go thither, nor speech, nor mind. We do not know, we do not understand, how any one can teach it. It is different from the known, it is also above the unknown, thus we have heard from those of old who taught us this. That which is not expressed by speech and by which speech is
expressed, that alone know as Brahman, not that which people here adore. That which does not think by mind, and by which, they say, mind is thought, that alone know as Brahman, not that which people here adore. That which does not see by the eye, and by which one sees (the work of) the eyes, that alone know as Brahman, not that which
people here adore. That which does not hear by the ear, and by which the ear is heard, that alone know as Brahman, not that which people here adore. That which does not breathe by breath, and by which breath is drawn, that alone know as Brahman, not that which people here adore.”
Then there is a little paragraph in the second Khanda:
He by whom it (Brahman) is not thought, by him it is thought; he by whom it is thought, knows it not. It is not understood by those who understand it, it is understood by those who do not understand it.
This way of putting it is, of course, specifically Eastern; it is most descriptive, most plastic.
You see, that which is behind and uses the ears and the eyes and the mind is Brahman, the self, the unutterable primordial substance of existence; and those who understand it do not understand it, but those who do not understand it, who cannot think it, understand it.
If you desist from any attempt to understand it, therefore, you are about right, because that thing is utterly unthinkable.
You cannot conceive of a thing in which you are contained; you can only conceive of the thing you are or of a thing that is like you, but not of the thing which is greater than you and which contains you.
It is utterly futile even to attempt to describe that which is the sum total of conscious and unconscious; it is incomprehensible, beyond the possibilities of our thought.
We only can suggest it by antinomies; it exists and does not exist, for instance.
This Indian text is entirely to the point, therefore; it very clearly shows that this is a borderline concept beyond which there is no possibility for us.
You see, the concept of the self is a true symbol.
We use a symbol to express something which cannot be expressed by any other means; the moment you have a better expression it is no longer a symbol.
A symbol immediately collapses when you can see behind it.
For why should you be complicated, why should you use allusion, when you can say it in a more simple way?
Of course, the idea of the self can be thought, inasmuch as it is a manifestation, a phenomenon-you can make a drawing of it if you like.
The chakras, for instance, are stages of the self, the self in its different manifestations.
Or take a very complete mandala, the Tibetan mandala of the four-square stupa, a vajra mandala; that is absolutely abstract.
It is a symbol, yet you can talk about it, you can explain it.
But you never can explain what the self is, because the self in itself is unthinkable.
Now, that is not so here; to Nietzsche it is far more definite. He handles it as if it were explainable, and he identifies it with the body:
Ever hearkeneth the Self, and seeketh; it compareth, mastereth, conquereth, and destroyeth. It ruleth, and is also the ego’s ruler.
Here you have it; it is the thing in which the “I” is contained, to which the “I” is subject.
Behind thy thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty lord, an unknown sage-it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body, it is thy body.
And here he explains it and here he falls down because you cannot say it is this or that, it is always neti-neti.
(The Indian formula which is usually translated, “neither this nor that.”)
But he knows it is the body and that is the mistake; if he identifies the body with the self, he brings the self into the body or the body up into the self, and that produces an inflation of the body.
It is a most curious fact that Nietzsche, an intuitive, should overestimate the body to such an extent.
Of course, the body is extraordinarily important but that is an overrating.
And it is quite interesting that he calls it a “mighty lord,” for that word is taken literally, one could say, from the texts of the Upanishads and the Tantric philosophy. In the system of chakras, the lord appears when consciousness is developed as far as anahata.
There, the two principles of the body are divided, the prana and the spirit, the heart containing the fire of manipura from below, and the lungs the ethereal thin substance from above.
And there the understanding of the self appears as the reconciling principle, the mighty lord, called in this chakra the Ishvara;
in anahata the Ishvara first becomes visible as the thumbling in the center
of the triangle, the lord, “an unknown sage.”
That the self is understood to be an old sage is also an Eastern idea.
There is a Chinese text for example, handed down in Japanese philosophical literature, which says, “If thou thinketh thou art alone and canst do what thou pleaseth, thou art forgetting the old sage that dwelleth in thy heart and knoweth of all thou dost.”
That is the self that dwells in the anahata chakra, the heart center, and it would of course be the archetype of the old wise man.
For to one who has attained only to anahata,”‘ the archetype of the wise old man still covers the symbol of the self.
It is as if the self were contained in him, as on a certain level the anima contains all the subsequent figures, like the wise old man and the self.
Then naturally the anima is “She-that-must-be-obeyed,” as Rider Haggard put it quite blindly.
And that figure, “She that-must-be-obeyed,” she that represents the wisdom of the past, that understands all the secret arts and is practically immortal, would also contain the sorcerer; and inasmuch as she represents the almost divine principle, she contains the self.
All these figures of the unconscious are as if shining through the figure which one actually perceives.
Sometimes the anima has an almost hermaphroditic aspect; there is an archetype of the hermaphrodite in between the anima and the wise old man, which simply comes from the fact that the anima contains also a masculine principle.
It is as if the anima had an animus-one could put it like that-but the animus is spirit.
It is the wise old man.
If one is at the stage where it is possible to realize something beyond the anima, then the feminine aspect of the unconscious more or less fades away and instead there is that masculine animus aspect: the wise old man who is now practically divine because one is a step nearer to the apparition of the self.
You see, the anima can appear in the anahata chakra, because in the heart region, where you become conscious of feeling, you begin to discriminate and to judge.
Then you know what is your own and what belongs to somebody else; you not only recognize the difference in yourself, but also the difference between yourself and other people.
So you have a chance on that level to realize the anima, and then through the anima one gets the first inkling of the Ishvara.
Then the next center, visuddha, which is in the throat, is the Logos center.
It says in the Tantric texts that those who attain to that level are given the power of the word, and that is the realm of the wise old man.
And in visuddha you have the apparition of the white elephant, the great divine power
which is also contained in muladhara, the equivalent of the earth namely, a sort of wisdom which keeps the earth in suspenso, which balances your reality so that you can be honestly in doubt whether this or that is reality, or merely a veil.
Then, of course, the next thing is ajna, where you have a more or less clear vision of the self.
But the self only really appears in sahasrara, the thousand petalled lotus, that is the symbol of the self.
It is as if you were coming up from below, like the primordial Pueblo Indians who came up through all those caves, climbing up from the darkest cave to the topmost one where it was still dark, until they at last came out on the surface of the earth.
That would be anahata, in the diaphragm region.
The word diaphragm comes from the Greek word phren, which means mind.
At this level consciousness begins; there is discrimination.
But below is only participation, manipura; and the still lower caves correspond to svadhisthana and muladhara.
Then above the diaphragm you rise into the kingdom of the air, where the light of the self begins to appear.
That is also according to the famous text in the Upanishads about Yajnavalkya, the sage at the king’s court.
They have a long talk and the king asks him, “By what light do human beings go out, do their work and return?”
And the sage answers: “By the light of the sun.”
Then the king asks, “But when the sun is extinguished, by what light will human beings go out and do their work and return?” “By the light of the moon.”
So it goes on; when the moon is extinguished, they will go out by the light of the stars, and then by the light of the fire, and when even the fire is extinguished, “by what light can they then do their work and still live?”
And the sage replies, “By the light of the self”-the ultimate light.
Now, all this is lacking in Nietzsche, which indicates that he had no particular knowledge of Eastern philosophy; if he had, he could not possibly have identified the self with the body.
Of course, one has to link the body to the self, because the distinct body is the distinct appearance of the self in three dimensional space, yet it is of course again a function like the mind.
You cannot say that the mind is a function of the self without admitting that the body is also a function of the self.
Otherwise of course, you make the mind a function of the body, and then the psychical principle would be a sort of epiphenomenon of the chemistry of the body.
We are now sufficiently informed of the hypothetical nature of matter, however, to know that it is practically the same whether we say that the body is a function of a psychical function, or that the psychical function is no function at all but only an epiphenomenonal principle of the body, a secondary phenomenon-the body being the primary phenomenon.
But the body is, of course, also a concretization, or a function, of that unknown thing which produces the psyche as well as the body; the difference we make between the psyche and the body is artificial.
It is done for the sake of a better understanding. In reality, there is nothing but a living body.
That is the fact; and psyche is as much a living body as body is living psyche: it is just the same.
Formerly, when one said “body” one assumed that one had expressed something; nowadays we know that this is only a word.
There is more sagacity in thy body than in thy best wisdom. And who then knoweth why the body requireth just thy best wisdom? Thy Self laugheth at thine ego, and its proud prancings. “What are these prancings and flights of thought unto me?” it saith to itself.
“A by-way to my purpose. I am the leading-string of the ego, and the prompter of its notions. The Self saith unto the ego: “Feel pain!” And thereupon it suffereth, and thinketh how it may put an end thereto-and for that very purpose it is meant to think.
The Self saith unto the ego: “Feel pleasure!” Thereupon it rejoiceth, and thinketh how it may ofttimes rejoice-and for that very purpose it is meant to think. To the despisers of the body will I speak a word. That they despise is caused by their esteem. What is it that created esteeming and despising and worth and will?
The creating Self created for itself esteeming and despising, it created for itself joy and woe. The creating body created for itself spirit, as a hand to its will.
What he says about the self here is absolutely to the point; the self even creates esteem and contempt for itself.
That is an understanding which is typical of the East; it is not Western.
But it is typically Nietzsche, and there Nietzsche is very great; he draws from very deep sources.
In the East they knew it long ago; so to them the love of God and the hatred of God are essentially the same.
And rightly so, for if it only matters that you are concerned with a thing, then it does not matter whether you are concerned by hatred or by love.
Therefore, they have the saying that if a man loves God he needs seven incarnations in order to reach him, but when he hates him he only needs three.
As a rule we are really far more concerned when we hate than when we love, and in that Eastern saying one recognizes this kind of psychology.
So it does not matter to the self whether you love or despise; it is only important that you are concerned.
But here again Nietzsche makes the one-sided identification of the self with the body, and of course that is not satisfactory; he endows the body with a creative faculty or a meaningful faculty, which, even with a tremendous effort of imagination, cannot be put into it.
For we know too well that the body is a biological function, having seen how it behaves in experimental biology.
It is really not the body which restores damaged tissues; it is a peculiar vital principle which does the job, and it should not be put down to the chemistry of the body.
For instance, you cannot explain by the particular chemical constituents of a body how it can produce tissue which is entirely strange to the tissue from which it is taken; yet that is the case.
A very interesting experiment has been made on the eye of a salamander, for example.
The lens of the eye was extracted, and it was then substituted for by the growth of a
new one. But the ectoderm, the embryonic tissue from which the lens was taken, is entirely different from the mesoderm, the tissue of the iris from which the new lens-one could call it the artificial lens-was produced.
So one particular tissue of the body can be used by a living principle in the body to produce something of an entirely different tissue.
You see, we have learned that the tissues of the body are so differentiated that from the cells of a gland, no other tissue than gland tissue can be made, that it can multiply but will never become muscle tissue, for instance.
Yet there in life we find that it is possible, and it cannot be explained by the inherent qualities of the tissue.
Therefore, the idea of a sort of neovitalism is introduced, which is still a matter of discussion; one must imagine a kind of living principle which has the faculty of using
the tissues of the body as it sees fit, not dependent upon the quality of the particular tissue.
Of course, these things were quite unknown in Nietzsche’s time, and even if they had been known, he probably would not have read that kind of literature.
So he overrates the body.
But he finds it necessary to say “creative” body, and in that one sees a concession to a creative principle.
Even in your folly and despising ye each serve your Self, ye despisers of the body. I tell you, your very Self wanteth to die, and turneth away from life.
No longer can your Self do that which it desireth most:-create beyond itself.
That is what it desireth most; that is all its fervour.
But it is now too late to do so:-so your Self wisheth to succumb, ye despisers of the body.
What is the meaning of this passage?
Prof Reichstein: I think the principal meaning is that the goal of life is death, but perhaps some of Nietzsche’s personal psychology is intermingled. The sentence before suggests very much the scene with the rope-dancer and the buffoon, and in just this passage there must be a lot of personal psychology.
Prof Jung: Quite so.
Miss Wolff: I thought it was probably also a historical problem of his epoch. Before this, the body was not really discovered; it was the unknown thing, and therefore it stands on the side of the self as the unknown part of the psyche. So of course the body gets too much weight, because it is a change which must first be assimilated. And then it is also a symbol.
Prof. Jung: Because it has been unknown and therefore contaminated with the unconscious?
Miss Wolff: On the side of the unconscious and therefore it gets the importance.
Prof. Jung: Yes, a sort of symbolic importance.
But why should it be death? “So your self desireth to succumb” means death.
Miss Hannah: If the ego won’t live as the self wants it to, live its life completely, then the self usually does seem to want to die.
I mean, if it cannot get an individual to accept the individual problem or task, it is then as if it wills death-as if by killing, it would get a chance to try a gam.
Prof. Jung: But can you explain it?
Miss Hannah: I think it is just sick of the way he went, fed up.
Prof. Jung: Would there not be another way?
Mrs. Baumann: Accepting life means also accepting death in the ordinary course of things.
Prof. Jung: Well, it has not quite that meaning here.
He says. “For ye can no longer create beyond yourselves.”
That is something new, it belongs to the epoch. “But it is now too late to do so, so your self wisheth to succumb.”
You see, he obviously assumes that in another time the self did not desire to perish, but desired to live; it is just now that he “wisheth to succumb.”
Mrs. Fierz: Is that not also an Indian aspect-the creation and then the undoing of creation?
Prof. Jung: That is very much what Mrs. Baumann alluded to, but according to my idea it is a bit too academic or philosophical.
Nietzsche is far more concerned with the actual time than with the general aspect of the world that lives and dies-after birth, death, and then birth again.
That is characteristic of Upanishad philosophy and later on you find it in Nietzsche too, in his idea of the eternal return of things.
But here he speaks of a definite time; it is now that the self desires to die.
Miss Wolff: It must be a Christian idea. In Christianity, one is supposed to go beyond one’s actual condition in order to reach again the primordial condition where one was like God.
Prof. Jung: Yes, that is the cause.
The scorners or despisers of the body would be the late Christian point of view, according to which one must despise the body because it is awkward and always teaches a different truth from that of the spirit; the body must be repressed or controlled, pressed into certain forms, and one must not listen to its teaching.
Therefore, the persecution of the body in the church, the glorification of the spirit through the mortification of the body.
When a saint was rotting away in his lifetime, stinking with petrification, and when the hermits and the fakirs went into the desert and dried up with thirst, it was a sign of the glory of God.
And in the New Testament we have that famous passage where Christ speaks of those who have castrated themselves for the kingdom of heaven.
He probably alludes to the Galloi, the priests of Astarte, who used to castrate themselves officially; those not very savory symbols were carried at the head of a special parade.
The fact of the castrated Galloi was public knowledge all over the near East.
Fortunately enough, we know nothing of Christians who have castrated themselves for the kingdom of heaven, but Christ must have been referring to some well-known fact.
It would have been a most hellish sin among the Jews, so we cannot assume that he refers to them; and there were no Christians then, but only his disciples.
However, we know that later on Origen did castrate himself for the kingdom of heaven, and probably such a case occasionally happened.
It was the general Christian idea that the world was vain and would perish like Christ and that the kingdom to come was the desirable thing.
We only live for a short time here and must prepare for the eternal mansions.
That the body should have no meaning is, of course, a contradiction of the Semitic temperament which believes in the glorification of the world; it is a prophetic impulse to create, not a kingdom of heaven, but a kingdom on earth where peace and justice reign.
The Jew has the temperament of the reformer who really wants to produce something
in this world; when the Semites spoke of a kingdom of perfection, they meant it to be here, the glory of this earth, and of course that excludes the mutilation of the body.
Nothing must be mutilated.
The whole world must come to a state where the lepers will be healed and the lion will lie down with the lamb; that is all prophesied in Isaiah, a state of paradise.
As the Cabalists, for instance, have the idea that after the sin of the first parents, God removed paradise into the future, which means that paradise is to come; it is to be produced upon this earth.
But Christ’s words are in flagrant contradiction with this teaching. His kingdom is not of this earth.
It is a spiritual, transcendental kingdom in the future, and he says it is nowhere else than within ourselves; the emphasis is on the spiritual side.
The body will be curtailed.
That continued to be the case throughout the Middle Ages, but finally the body has asserted itself.
The first attempt was the Renaissance, where it appeared quite visibly; one sees it in the art of those centuries.
Look at the so-called primitives-the primitives in paint-with those peculiar heads and miserable mutilated bodies, starved and diseased, leprous.
Then one century later the flesh was blossoming in a marvelous way, in the cinquecento, the life of the earth was glorified.
Of course, it led right away into the great Reformation.
Because the body had made that attempt to break through, the severe moral restrictions in early Protestantism followed.
So the experiment proved pretty doubtful, but slowly it grew again, and in materialism we have the full triumph of matter.
Nietzsche in that respect is a sort of materialistic prophet, but he saves some spiritual substance.
It is not exactly the body he seeks but the Superman, the man who is even beyond the actual body, a new creation that is not this coarse body, a new being in whom, perhaps, the body will be completely subject to the will.
You see, that is again a sort of spiritual principle.
He is a prophet of the will, even a will beyond oneself, and that is a kind of transcendentalism; he does not get away from it altogether.
But here it is quite clear that he means by the scorners of the body those that despise the principle of the body and believe in the principle of the spirit exclusively; and he says that the self of those people desires to die.
The reason is that when we deny an important part of ourselves the right to existence, when something is continuously, for many years, repressed and macerated, then that thing always takes its revenge in the form of a suicidal wish.
For, every form of split in ourselves after a while becomes personified.
For instance, if you find in a certain respect you are stupid, you hate it and try to avoid all those occasions where the stupidity could come to the foreground, because you know you will make a stupid ass of yourself.
And if it appears in spite of yourself, you say, “Excuse me, there my stupid ass came out again. I am an ass in a certain respect and it has gotten the better of me.”
That is personification.
Then you have a stable in which you keep your ass, but you live upstairs and are a respectable gentleman.
We have done that with the body; we put it into the stable, feeding it very poorly-at least we say so.
But by mistake, in a marvelous way, it has been fed time and again.
If anybody catches you in the act, when you are down in the stable with fodder for the ass, you say, “I beg your pardon. I have such a weakness. I am sorry and I will repent.”
And then you go to church and fast and repent that you have fed the ass.
Now, that of course is not proper; it is not very helpful to the mental and physical development of the ass.
But the lower self is happily enough a greedy animal which you cannot always hinder from feeding; if it is not done legitimately, then illegitimately.
So mankind has helped himself through a great deal of unconsciousness.
Perhaps you left the stable door open and out walked the ass in the night and
ate the cabbages in your neighbor’s garden, and then it was discovered and you had to pay the damage.
Or it was not discovered and you were glad to find the ass very full.
But we soon made the mistake of developing consciousness to such an extent that we began to have a psychological criterion.
We developed insight, and then we could not deny that we had left the stable door open and had not fastened the ass securely; we had to say it was our ass that had eaten the neighbor’s cabbages.
So we cannot say it is no problem, and that we can do entirely without.
But there are still plenty of fatherly men-when they are parsons they have their little girls whom they are confirming, and they say afterwards, by the marvelous race of God the ass has eaten.
Ten thousand things have happened which apparently never happened; they are blissfully unconscious about what has been done for the ass.
The more we pay attention to our psyche, however, the more we are aware of the things that happen, and we know unfortunately for what purpose they were done.
So the body becomes a moral problem with us.
What about the ass in the stable?
It is no real way to leave the stable door open.
That cannot work in the future; we must buy a meadow where we can feed the ass in a
It must be acknowledged that there is such a thing.
For if we don’t acknowledge it, then with an increasing amount of morality, of consciousness, we find very efficient means of locking the stable door, and then the ass dies, naturally.
If we don’t let him live, he prefers to die. And then we develop a suicidal wish.
Of course, with our power to keep things locked up and concealed we don’t realize that it is a suicidal wish.
It may begin with an upset of the stomach, or continuous constipation, or you are terribly tired, or cannot walk.
Probably it is already a lack of will to live, the beginning of the suicidal wish; most of the neuroses have that character.
In agoraphobia, you don’t dare to cross the street, or you may be afraid of a big crowd of people, or afraid of being fenced in: that is all the suicidal tendency.
It means that your will to live only goes so far.
It does not risk itself in crowds, in the open spaces of life.
You are already partially lame and you seek a situation in which you can fall down, a threshold over which you can stumble, or a car that will run over you; people have little accidents which are simply preparatory for a great catastrophe, where they get into an avalanche or something of the sort.
And nobody has ever known, because we can quite easily hide things from our own consciousness and from the consciousness of other people.
Now, Nietzsche explains that it is the self, really, that doesn’t want to live, because one thus deprives the self of its own experiment.
Let us assume for the sake of argument that there is such a thing as the self, that living potentiality which accounts for the existence of our spirit as well as our body-both being essentially the same.
Sure enough, our ego-will is not identical with the self-will; our self-will does not want what the ego wants.
Why has the self created the body?
I don’t know why we are not wind; we might be forms made of air and beyond sex or appetites or digestion and such nuisances, but it is a fact that we have bodies which have been created by the self, so we must assume that the self really means us to live in the body, to live that experiment, live our lives.
And the ego should not choose whether we are to live this or that; we must have a different criterion.
I don’t doubt that certain things are meant not to be lived, but we must find out what they are.
Contradictory taboos and laws are not given by the ego, nor by an assembly of egos, nor by the church or the whole state; those are only police regulations-including our morality, which is also a police regulation.
But there is one law which is much more severe and much more accurate than any other, and that is the law of the self.
So you must inquire what experiment the self wants to make.
Everything that disturbs that experiment must be avoided and everything that helps must be lived, and you will see the consequences on the spot.
If you do something which disturbs the experiment you will be punished, much more severely than in a police court.
And if you do something which rather serves your experiment, you will have the blessing of heaven and the angels will come to dance with you.
You are helped along.
You have ungodly health, and you develop powers which you have not had before because you have obeyed, not the ego, but that will of the self.
Mind you, it is not the ego that wants to make that experiment.
Often the ego says, “For God’s sake I only hope that this thing is not coming to me!”
If you have a fundamental dread somewhere, you can be sure just that is the experiment of the self.
You see, the body is meant to live; it has to be served, and your self has a very particular purpose with it, presumably.
Of course, nobody can say what the individual experiment is; for one it is this and for another that, and it is for nobody alike.
It is an entirely individual question.
Inasmuch as we
are individuals our experiment is individual, and the point of life is that this particular individual should fulfill itself.
For it makes no point in life to create a crowd of beings who try not to be themselves.
It is just as if a potter had created a hundred vessels which didn’t want to be vessels and always tried to be something else.
But why have you been created a vessel?
Obviously you must be a vessel since you are created as a vessel, and every vessel must be what it is and function like a vessel.
Now, if the experiment is denied to the self, the self is fed up after a while and says, “Well, the experiment is not worthwhile, I prefer to disappear.”
As its purpose has been thwarted or starved, so you will be starved of life; your libido just steals away and leaves you high and dry, and you remain like that young dreamer I am dealing with in my Polytechnikum lecture; you are left as a mere wall decoration, two dimensional, flat, casting no shadow.
Then you are a mere husk of yourself;
the real life has gone because the experiment has been denied to the self.
And then it is just as Nietzsche says, the self wants to perish no use to continue that experiment.
That is one thought in this passage, but there is also the thought alluded to by Mrs. Baumann, Mrs. Fierz, and Professor Reichstein, namely, that it belongs to the nature
of life, to the nature of the experiment, that it is carried through into death.
Of course, from a certain point of view that is perfect nonsense.
One can ask, what is the use of an experiment which is made for the purpose of destroying itself?
But the nonsense is in the way in which we look at it. It is obvious that an experiment is meant to come to an end; otherwise, it is no experiment, but a static condition.
An experiment only makes sense when there is an end in sight.
You see, an experiment does not make itself, but is made; the self, that potentiality, makes the experiment, and the potentiality does not come to the end by having made it.
According to Eastern philosophy, the experiment can be repeated innumerable times-all the more the more it has failed.
But the ambition of the East is to reach such a condition that the experiment does not need a repetition-that it is final, all questions answered.
Well, there is something in favor of the idea that there is a vital potentiality which makes one experiment after another; and inasmuch as such a potentiality exists to make the experiment, it must see that it comes to an end.
Looked at from that standpoint, it does not seem to be a mere running down, a mere collapse; it is really a meaningful carrying through of an experiment, and the end yields the result.
The end is the thing you are looking for.
You undergo the whole thing in order to reach that conclusion.
The experiment is not made in order to let something run down.
It is a question and you look for an answer.
That you look for the end and do not resist the end, that you live with the certainty of the end, is obviously the way life wants to be lived.
Then it is properly lived, because you are accepting the conclusion at the end of the experiment; and that is right, it is healthy.
If you live with continuous resistances against what might come to you, of course you are simply resisting the execution of your own experiment.
So the idea that death is a goal, that it is the inevitable conclusion of your experiment, also comes in here.
And it fits in with Nietzsche’s profound optimism that you must say “Yes” to the eternal return of things.
He puts it that way: he says you must have the courage to repeat; you must love life to such an extent that you can even say, “Once more!”
To succumb–so wisheth your Self; and therefore have ye become despisers of the body. For ye can no longer create beyond yourselves.
And therefore are ye now angry with life and with the earth.
And unconscious envy is in the sidelong look of your contempt.
Here a bit of the unconscious comes in.
You see Nietzsche au fond already knew of the unconscious; he was aware of the shadow, and that is of course the deepest reason for what he is.
Mrs. Zinno: I want to know how the self can possibly perish; I should think it would be something between the ego and the self.
Prof. Jung: Oh, it is not meant that the self would perish. That is seen from consciousness.
But if the self cannot carry through the experiment, then it kills the body.
Mrs. Zinno: I thought if one was in contact with the self, that was the creative side.
Prof. Jung: Ah yes, you see the mistake he makes is that he identifies the self with the body.
And here the self wants to destroy the body.
That is the tragedy of the rope-dancer and the buffoon at the beginning of Zarathustra; the rope-dancer, Nietzsche the man, is overrun, cast away: he is no good.
That Nietzsche identifies the self with the body is of course illogical, for you then come necessarily to the conclusion that if the body died, therefore the self wants to die. That is his conclusion.
But if you take the self in the way I propose, it is of course somewhat different. I don’t identify the self with the body.
Then the body is just one of the experiments in the visibility of the self, and then you can say, “If that thing won’t function, it will be cast away; it is no good.” You can see how these things really happen in human life.
A man who does not obey when he hears the message-and it also can be a woman, you know-always reminds me of what a wild elephant once did.
On banana plantations they have little houses, erected on poles against ants and rats and other vermin, where they store their bananas.
And in such a little storehouse an old negro woman was asleep on top of the bananas, when a wild elephant broke into the plantation.
Of course, he smelt the ripe bananas in the hut, so he tore open the roof and pushed his trunk in and he simply took that old woman and threw her away, and then ate the whole bunch of bananas inside.
She fell shrieking into the branches of a tree but was not killed. That is what life does.
Life wants to get at its result and if you don’t chime in, then you are cast out like nothing at all, as if you never had been.
And then the experiment is made again. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 388-406