1935 27 Feb LECTURE 6 Zarathustra Seminar
We have a series of questions here, aroused apparently by our discussion about the concept of the self last week.
Sure enough, this idea of the self is most mysterious.
It is a symbolic concept: one cannot say what it is; one can indicate what one understands by the concept but what it is in itself one can never say.
It covers a fact of which there is only a partial awareness and which is only partially thinkable.
The partial awareness of the self is consciousness; the ego consciousness is that part of the self which is elucidated and which is immediately accessible to our reasoning and judgment.
But the unconscious is merely noumenal
and we have no immediate access to it.
It is as indirectly accessible as, for instance, matter, or nature as a whole.
We need microscopes and most complicated physical and chemical apparatuses in order to disclose the nature of things, in order to penetrate the secret of the transcendent object.
Our sureness about material and physical phenomena is a mere illusion; we touch the surface of things but we know nothing about the inside.
Naturally, science has discovered a number of methods that allow us to penetrate the secret to a certain extent; but the ultimate object is transcendent.
It is beyond our grasp, simply because the nature by which we grasp, by which we attempt to understand consciousness or the psyche, is different from the object.
Now, that is a hypothesis. Perhaps it is not so.
But if the transcendent object were equal to the psyche, then of course we would have an absolute understanding though we would never know it. And why would we never know it?
Mrs. Baumann: Because we would be identical with it.
Prof Jung: Of course. So we never could say whether the transcendent object really consisted of psyche or not.
Since we know that we are our understanding, since the cognitional process is psyche and what we find is psyche, we naturally are unable to grasp it.
We simply project; we assume that what we perceive is psyche, yet that is no proof that it is so in reality.
The material object might in itself be something different from what we call “psyche”; since we never get out of the psyche there is no chance that we ever will get any security in our judgment about the transcendental object.
No wonder, therefore, that the discussion of the concept of the self, which covers partly our consciousness and partly what is beyond our consciousness, arouses many questions.
Now, here is a question by Mrs. Strong, “In the discussion of last time when you pointed out the superiority of the self-will to the Ego will, you seemed to assign a negative value to the ego-consciousness in its relation to the totality of the individual.
But would it be true that at times the Ego makes a very positive contribution to the creating self even acting as a check or conditioning factor on the form of the creation?”
I am sorry if I gave you the impression that I underrated consciousness or that I made any attempt to emphasize its inferiority; I thought I had indicated that consciousness is, on the contrary, absolutely indispensable to the self because it is the organ of awareness of the self.
The question shows how careful one should be in discussing such very intricate philosophical matters.
When I said the ego consciousness was a very narrow area in comparison with the great indefinite area of the unconscious, that did not mean that I belittled its value or importance.
The ego consciousness is a smaller circle contained in a bigger one, but that is not an undervaluation or depreciation of consciousness, for that very small circle may be of an extreme importance, even of sublime importance, in comparison with the vast expanse of the unconscious psyche.
If the unconscious psyche is deprived of acute consciousness, that would only be obtainable in what we call ego consciousness.
You see, my idea is that whatever we can make out about the unconscious whether it is personal or impersonal or super-personal-it is all the same in that it seems to be very weak.
If there is any consciousness at all, it is blurred and dim.
That would explain why nature felt the need of the acute consciousness; it was a tremendous achievement of nature to have produced it.
If we want to pat nature on the back for anything, it would be for producing consciousness.
It was awfully nice of nature, really an achievement!
For only since the dawn of consciousness has there been a world; before, there was nothing, because nobody knew that there was something.
We can assume that God knew of creation, but that is a mere assumption.
Only since we have attained consciousness are we sure that there is a world-at least I know, and every one of you knows, that there is a world.
Since that moment, a world exists, because it has known that it existed.
You see, if the world can be criticized from a philosophical point of view, if there is a need in man to look at the total phenomenon of the world, then he must make such speculations.
He will begin to philosophize, and he will inevitably ask the question, “Why should there be consciousness?”
And he must come to the conclusion that nobody would have had the need of producing consciousness
if he had not felt pretty blurred and obscured.
Nobody would turn on a light in this room now because it is daylight; only if it were dark would one produce an illumination.
It is like old Diogenes who went with a lantern over the marketplace in Athens in the daytime; people were astonished, but he had made that light in the daytime in order to seek men, because there were no men in Athens.’
So if nature produces consciousness, we must assume that it was on account of the need for light, and that it was most probably quite dark before.
That can be put a bit nearer to common sense by picturing the primitive man as being in rather a quandary over that general darkness.
They stumbled very often and felt the need to kindle a fire in the night.
They needed to have a certain amount of consciousness, because they found out that the people who had it were better off than those who had none.
So it became more or less fashionable and the fashion increased till now we have the general fashion of wearing consciousness: there is a general need of consciousness because it is too dark without.
And so the creator was in need of light or acute awareness and therefore made a being who has consciousness and is aware of three-dimensional things which also have the quality of time.
Now, if that is the case, if the only light of the world which we know of is our awareness of the world, then we can say human consciousness is metaphysically of an enormous importance.
It is the only seeing eye of the deity.
Therefore, in every Catholic church and even in Protestant churches, the deity is represented as the radiating eye in the center of a triangle, the mirroring image of human consciousness.
By that we declare God as an eye, and that our consciousness is that eye; in other words, God has made man so that he might see in the darkness.
I don’t want to go into metaphysical speculations-! only do so because they belong to our psychology; it is a psychological fact that man speculates in this way, that our consciousness functions in this way.
In every individual it is the same; we have a large indefinite unconsciousness and only a part of it is definite; whether it is central, we don’t know; presumably not.
Perhaps it has the same relation to the center as our earth has to the sun.
The center of our solar system is the sun, and our center, our world, is revolving round the sun; we are the children of the earth, and so our consciousness is eccentric relative to the center, as the earth is eccentric relative to the sun.
That is possible, our consciousness may also be like a planet revolving round a central invisible sun, namely, round the presumable center of the unconscious, which is called the self because that is the center of the unconscious and the conscious.
So the contribution of the ego consciousness is absolutely unique, yet it is of course restricted; under certain aspects the ego is not at all powerful.
Only as far as the affairs of three-dimensional space go, and in as far as time is concerned, is the ego on top of things.
But wherever anything reaches beyond such limited conditions as space and time, the collective unconscious is probably of much greater importance.
And there the self also is of a greater importance.
It is characteristic that the more you are identical with consciousness, the more you try to neglect the self, the more you resist it, the more you feel it even as a hostile power-while in reality it is the center of your very life.
You see, detached consciousness-detached in a wrong way I mean, when you identify with your consciousness-always tries to turn on a sort of strong electric light and shut out the light of the sun.
But only a fool would shut out the light of the sun, because it would be most unhealthy to live by an electric power, by a compensatory artificial sun.
Mrs. Baumann: You said last time that man should make an experiment of life. I see a certain contradiction in the idea of the “provisional life.”
Prof Jung: Of course, there is a very strong contradiction.
First, we must understand what I designate as provisional life.
I mean by that, that one lives under a certain assumption.
The typical case is the files a papa, the young man whose father has the necessary amount of capital so the boy lives under a sort of silent assumption that father will pay for everything.
He does not need to work or be responsible because he has the necessary bank account.
So he can live-God knows what-all sorts of things which he never would dream of living if he knew that he had to pay for the whole thing out of his own pocket.
He lives in a sort of dream.
Now of course, such a young man is not making the experiment of his life, but the experiment of a life, any life, a sort of imagination. He imagines that he is a hell of a fellow.
He speculates on the Exchange and of course falls down, but he can easily do it because he always lives on his father’s money.
Or he might imagine that he is a great sportsman or an artist, and again he wastes years and money on an assumption.
So he never arrives really at himself; he never begins to live as if he had no money.
Now, take something away from him, or make him conscious of the fact that money prevents him from living his own life, and instantly he will be forced into his own life, into what he would do if he had to depend upon himself alone.
Then he would choose the type of life which you might call his own experiment.
But that is not yet the experiment of life; it is only his experiment of life as far as his consciousness reaches.
You know, our consciousness, being a restricted affair, suffers from all sorts of weaknesses, illusions, and such things, so we can really imagine that something is our task, or that a certain way is ours, when in reality it is not.
It may be a sort of error due to inheritance or milieu for instance.
Then in the course of life you have to find out whether the way you have chosen is backed up by the unconscious or not.
For very often you have the experience that even if you live according to your best conviction, you still find yourself checked or interfered with by your unconscious.
Then you know that your line is not exactly the line of the self, and you have to correct it so that your way fits in with the way of the self.
This falling in line with the self is such an important psychological experience that it has a most significant name. What would that be?
Mrs. Zinno: Tao.
Mr. Baumann: Could we not call it individuation?
Prof. Jung: Yes, they are synonymous.
Now we will go on to Miss Hannah’s question. “Is the death of the body always willed by the self?
Or can it occur from a cause outside the solar system (so to speak) of the self and the body? For instance, you have often said the ‘ice projectile’ can kill.” (That is the icicle shot out by the medicine man.) “Would you say it would only be effective where the self already willed the destruction of that body, or could the self’s own purpose be defeated by an outside cause?”
That is a question which is well out of my reach. I am not the self.
I am not initiated into the secrets of the divine will, you know.
That question is too metaphysical to be answered.
But, of course, we have certain significant experiences; one often gets the impression, for instance,
that people die at the right time, that it was logical that they should die then: they were at the end of their rope.
Or one can say that their self agreed that it was for many reasons the moment.
An important reason may be that the body is no longer fit to stand a great change, and then the individual is just lifted out of his body as the old negro woman was lifted off the heap of bananas.
Then it makes no sense to live on, because one is really overdue; the time has changed, conditions have changed and one’s work, or one’s functional importance, has become superfluous.
Such people easily die.
It seems as if circumstances, often in a miraculous way, arranged themselves to place a trap for them.
But that is only a matter for conjecture; it is hypothetical, a speculation.
These things are just beyond our knowledge.
You can sometimes see in people’s horoscopes that a certain negative position of their stars is very conspicuous, and makes it probable that at such a moment they would die; or perhaps a dream from long ago fulfils itself by death.
Such things hint at a secret attempt by the self to finish man when he is no good any longer for the purpose of the self.
But I cannot give you any definite answer.
Miss Wolff: Was not the question rather whether there were causes extraneous to the self that could cause death? Could you not take for example certain cases of suicide or accident which an outsider would say might have been avoided if that person had known more-if he had not had a depression or if he had listened to his dreams? Could one not say that death occurs because that person is associated with the ego side? An immediate cause of death would look to me as coming
from the ego complex.
Prof Jung: Well, we could also ask the question, how is the ego complex able to kill a person? It is not strong enough; it has not those sources of power which the self possesses.
And concerning extra-mundane or extra-solar causes of death, how do you know about their nature?
It is merely speculation.
I admit that there are cases where the attitude of the ego is: Now if that is going to continue, something awful will happen!
But that is where the self finally gets sick of that fool, the ego-the case of the old negro woman sitting upon the bananas.
Miss Kaufmann: There is a beautiful book dealing with this, The Bridge of San Luis Rey.
Prof Jung: Yes, when the bridge fell, the people on it were all at the end of their rope; that was very convincing from a psychological point of view.
Now we have here this mystical diagram made by Mrs. Baynes.
Will you be kind enough to explain it?
Mrs. Baynes: I was just trying to sum up in diagrammatic form what I thought you meant about the self.
And the question I wanted to ask is, “Would it be correct to say the self is composed of two factors, the psychological factor that is the combination of consciousness and the archetypes, and a metaphysical factor which I have written down there as Brahman?” Of course, I could not show in my diagram that Brahman comes into the whole business. Would that be correct?
Prof. Jung: Well, that belongs to this whole discussion about the concept of the self. It is a very difficult problem; probably I have to repeat the whole story.
You know, the self is a borderline concept, which I call a symbol because it expresses something which we cannot express otherwise, because we simply don’t understand it.
The idea of the self is really unknown ground.
The psychological definition is that the self is the totality of consciousness and unconsciousness, and that sounds pretty definite: we seem to know what consciousness is and to have a fairly clear idea about the unconscious.
But to say we know the unconscious is going much too far; we only know of it.
The unconscious has an extension that can reach anywhere; we have absolutely no means of establishing a definite frontier.
As we cannot say where the world ends, so we cannot say where the unconscious ends, or whether it ends anywhere.
A concept that contains a definite factor like consciousness and an indefinite factor like unconsciousness is not scientific; moreover, it is metaphysical in its nature per definition: it overreaches itself.
Therefore, I call it a symbol.
A symbol to me is not a sign for something of which I know, like the winged wheel on the cap of a railway employee, or the Freudian symbols, or the Freemason’s so-called symbolism-those are simply signs or something we know very well.
A symbol is an expression for a thing of which I only know that it does exist. I don’t know it.
So the self is a living symbol because it designates something which we know exists; we know there is a totality of consciousness and unconsciousness because we are the living examples of it.
The self expresses our acknowledgment of a thing that is actually in existence, but of which we don’t know enough. It overreaches us, it is bigger than we are.
Therefore, I call it the concept of the self; it is the best expression I know.
Formerly, there have been other expressions.
The self has been expressed by the figure of Christ, for instance; in medieval philosophy it was the lapis philosophorum, or it was the womb, or the gold, or the Tinctura magna, the quinta essentia.
And the Grail was a symbol of the self, and the cross.
On more primitive stages the king was the symbol of the self, because he was always of divine nature at the same time.
Or certain gods.
Since the beginning of history, the self has nearly always been represented by the god-man.
Then of course, on lower primitive levels it is a fetish, an object that is inhabited by the divine breath, or my mana, or by extraordinary magic effect.
This concept is, as I say, an acknowledgment of the experience of a being that is bigger than we are; we cannot comprehend it.
In German that would be called ein Erlebnis, an experience.
Such an experience is not scientific because it is not intellectual; it is an utterly irrational fact.
Psychology is a peculiar science in that the function of cognition is there identical with the object of cognition, for the object of cognition is the psyche, and cognition is a part of the psyche.
So one uses the same system to recognize the system.
In any other science, you are in a much more favorable position, because one had the limitation of the object.
In mineralogy, for example, the minerals are the object of cognition, because one defines them as being different.
If one goes further, if one gets into the interior of the atom, then one falls into doubts, for then there is no difference between the object and the psyche.
But mineralogy does not need to go into the detail of the psyche; it is sufficient to know about the uses and application of minerals.
The subject matter of mineralogy is different from the psyche and therefore one doesn’t need to worry: one can use one’s mind in order to understand minerals, which are quite different.
But how would it be if one had to use minerals in order to understand minerals?
Then the method of cognition would be the object of cognition at the same time, and one cannot see how that would be possible.
Therefore, people have asked, “Is it really possible that there is such a thing as psychology?”-and
that is really a legitimate question.
Now, by a certain limitation, just as by not going into the question of the interior of the atom mineralogy is possible, so in psychology, provided I look at certain psychological processes under a certain aspect, I can then pass a judgment-I can really say something about the psyche or physical processes.
But I must mention my premises, the standpoint from which I am talking.
Inasmuch as I don’t go in for the inner structure of the atom I can deal with mineralogy, and inasmuch as I don’t enter upon the being of the psyche I can make sense of psychology.
But if I enter upon the actual being of the psyche, I must acknowledge the psyche is an irrational experience.
So in such subtle concepts as the self you have both sides; on the one side it is a psychological concept which you can define perfectly neatly, and even use in a scientific way; but on the other side, you must acknowledge the irrational fact of the psyche which is an experience, a state of being.
It is like trying to make a science of elephants, say.
You can write a chapter in zoology about elephants, but to be actually under the feet of an elephant is quite different. In the one case you are sitting in your study writing, and in the other you are in a damned unfortunate situation.
That is so with the self.
You talk about it in a perfectly friendly, scholarly way. Nobody is hurt.
It is all nice and warm and afterwards you are going to eat your dinner.
But if it should be an experience, well, you are just under the elephant. Not always though.
So these things have to be considered in making such a scheme as this one of Mrs. Baynes.
And I have another diagram here by Mrs.
Baumann which also belongs to the nature of the self as an experience.
We need such speculation and formulas as soon as we discuss the concept of the self.
Inasmuch as the self is a scientific concept, of course circles and Brahman and such things are not needed; for the scientific concept of the self comes to an end with the statement that it is the sum
total of consciousness and unconsciousness, and then everybody shakes hands and goes home and sleeps.
And that is right, that is as it should be.
But if anybody asks, “How far does the unconscious reach?
What is the unconscious?”-then you are in pitch, you are stuck, and then you must confess that here the elephants begin, and they are real.
Miss Kaufmann: I think there is the same difficulty with philosophy.
Prof Jung: Yes, it is the eternal trouble with philosophy that the world is man’s experience, and then they go and talk about it.
It is much safer to talk and therefore they prefer it.
Well now, as soon as you deal with the self as an experience, the whole thing changes and wild things come up, because you are then confronted with mountains of obscurity; it is just like being actually in the jungle in the midst of an excited herd of elephants.
So you try all sorts of things to conjure up the danger and to express what you see.
Since the earliest times-I am thinking of old Pythagoras, for instance-those people who took the
existence of the world and the psyche to heart, made such diagrams: circles and squares and triangles.
They invented the queerest ciphers in order to express that peculiar experience.
And always again, consciousness overlapped and would not accept it, said it was all bunk, nonsense, and made up a conscious philosophy or conscious science which was just talk and useful rules-of-thumb.
For instance, philosophy inasmuch as it is talk is a useful rule-of-thumb: how to become a professor.
And science or scientific investigation is a way to invent or discover useful new rules-of-thumb for practical purposes, either how to become a professor or how to become practical and helpful to people, as in medicine, say.
There are all sorts of applications for either objective or subjective rules-of-thumb; you can even divide learned people according to this scheme.
On the one side are the subjective ones whose rule-of-thumb is how to become famous, how to say something which makes people sit up and cock their ears and exclaim, “How wonderful!”- and on the other side are those who really produce something of value.
But that is all science, a world of words, a two-dimensional world.
Beyond that is a world where you actually experience that the world exists, that you are the psyche-the psyche becomes your existence.
Now, in making such a chart you denote the self as an experience and that brings in a lot of things which are exceedingly questionable; you feel that they exist, but you cannot grasp them.
So no end of such things will be produced.
Then science becomes the desperate attempt of man to designate the root of things, the things which are not just in the head, but forces interieures perhaps from below the earth.
There is a Latin text which says these roots are below the earth, meaning that they are in the unconscious.
So when you follow up the life of the living self, it leads you into an experience which is below and above, or before and beyond, our day.
I am sorry if this is too damned obscure, but we all get obscure as soon as we talk of the experience of life, because anything that is, is always beyond; if it were not, we would be gods.
Life is beyond, our world is beyond, our whole being is beyond-ourselves.
Experience it and you begin to make these desperate attempts.
(I call them desperate attempts, and the club that is preoccupied with such things is a club of desperados.)
You necessarily get desperate when you touch upon the thing that is greater than yourself.
Mrs. Baynes’ system as far as I get it, is correct, I should say this is a fair.
Mrs. Baynes: A fairly desperate attempt!
Prof Jung: But I would not give the ego that central position.
I would change those two points around, I would call this central point the self, an indivisible point, and I would put the ego on the outer circle, as a sort of planet revolving round the self, in order to remain in tune with the harmony of the spheres which you begin to hear as soon as you get below the water.
If you cock your ears you will hear it; and then you will put the self in the center, and the ego would be on the larger circle.
You see, the ego in the three-dimensional sphere necessarily seems greater than the self, because the self is not three-dimensional.
The concept of the self implies a space-denying existence; the four-dimensional is the denial of the three-dimensional, so to speak of four-dimensional space is complete nonsense.
It is a denial of space.
Therefore, the self is best indicated by the Bindu creative point, and the ego would extend outward into three-dimensional space; so you can make it bigger, as the earth to us seems to be bigger than the sun though in reality the sun is much bigger.
The things which are smallest in the self or for the self are the biggest in space, and you can safely conclude that all the big mighty things in the outside world are just nothing in comparison with the self.
So the more you are looking upon the self, the less the big outside things matter, and that is what they always hate.
That is the reason those desperados who look into such experience always hide themselves away, make secret brotherhoods.
They go into the woods and caves-not into the churches but into secret places below the churches-expressing by that that they can turn their backs on the big things.
And as the big collective things mind it, time and again they accuse the secret societies of all sorts of things, like the hue and cry against the Freemasons.
In Italy they really killed a number of them; all the leaders of the Italian Freemasons are assumed to be archdevils and banished to a certain island, because they do not believe in the collective path, the big things.
Of course, the visible powers of the earth become nil if you approach the center.
So it is quite a dangerous enterprise, of which one can only warn people who approach this time and space-annihilating something.
The scientific concept is perfectly safe, but take it as an experience and it is unsafe.
Well then, with the self in the center absolutely unextended, and the ego revolving around it, the objective world in which the ego moves
would be limitless extension, just space.
Now Mrs. Baynes had indicated her Brahman by this vertical line, which would be the side elevation:
it would really be at right angles to the plane.
That would be a fourth dimension which is always a vertical upon space.
Of course one cannot imagine such a thing, because space simply does not suffer a vertical upon itself, but that would be the mathematical definition as the third dimension is a vertical upon a plane.
A vertical upon space is space-denying at the same time, because space only has three dimensions; if there were a fourth dimension there would be no space.
There would be instead something absolutely unthinkable, unimaginable.
Therefore, by putting that Brahman there you deny space, and Brahman is just that, a potentiality of a world-a world in itself perhaps but a world of unknown quality, bearing upon our world like an indivisible and therefore an invisible point. It is an absolute potential.
So that Hindu metaphysical concept of Brahman which symbolizes the totality of existence, contains in itself that quality which denies existence; therefore, Brahman is the eternal non-existent existence.
To indicate it by a point is practical because it has absolutely no extension, and we cannot conceive of a thing that has no extension because it is not in space.
Mrs. Baumann: Professor Hauer represents it as making one world by this diagram: One circle is the visible world and the other would be the invisible archetypal world, and the point of the self is in the center where the lines cross.
Prof. Jung: Yes, one also can show it like that.
But that does not convey the idea of the annihilation of existence.
It is not Hindu philosophy to which Mrs. Baynes’ diagram obviously relates, where it is indispensable to think of existence as being non-existent.
And as one of the peculiar qualities of the self is that it is existent non-existent, you can call it a merely virtual center.
In a way, it is as if it did not exist; in another way, it is as if it were the only existence.
Of course, one could say it was perfectly futile to make such speculations.
Yes, from the horizontal point of view, the world of words; there it is absolutely morbid and unsound.
But if you experience the psyche, you cannot help speculating about it; you are simply forced to do so in order to defend yourself against the experiences that crowd in.
Since you are confronted with them, you have to invent certain forms to try to express them.
For instance, if you go into a man’s bedroom and find that he has put the legs of his bed into
washbasins full of oil, you think he is mad; but if you see that in the Bush, you know it is an excellent idea because he can then sleep.
That is the only way to protect himself against the ants, which would otherwise eat him and his bed too.
If you live in a country where there are no such things as mosquitos or migrating ants or termites, you don’t need any particular methods of protection-you don’t need an adaptation system-but if you happen to live in central Africa, it is a different story. And so it is with the question of the self.
As long as you find the world livable, the world of newspapers and concerts and books, the
world of lectures, drawing rooms, how-do-you-do, five o’clock teas, and so on, to talk of the self is perfectly ridiculous, utterly futile.
But if you take the self as an experience, then these efforts become suddenly exceedingly important and vital, and if you don’t succeed in making the right kind of cipher, you may pass a sleepless night, or your stomach will be upset; while if you happen to hit the right cipher, you are
relieved, you can digest and are friendly to everybody, and the world and life seem to be worthwhile again-all of which is of course quite ridiculous looked at from the horizontal.
Now here is another living attempt. Will you be kind enough to explain how you came to this, Mrs. Baumann?
Mrs. Baumann: It is sort of mixed up with the star map. At the right is Aquarius; and on the
left the taigitu design stands for the Fishes because it is also the age of opposites; and Pegasus is above as the ruling principle of our time, the age of transition.
Mrs. Baynes: Above what?
Mrs. Baumann: The swastika which is the whirlpool of disorientation of the present moment
between the two ages. But Prof. Jung ought to explain it.
Prof. Jung: This is not my attempt. I have made no swastika in the sun!
But the idea here apparently has to do with the transition of the Platonic year; according to old
astrological philosophy the precession of the equinoxes is now preceding into the sign of Aquarius, coming from the sign of the Fishes.
Now, if you look at the sign of Aquarius on the star map, you find above it a constellation which is almost a square called Pegasus.
The precession is really oblique, it comes down out of the horizontal second Fish and then Pegasus is just above.
Could you explain to us how you connect this idea of the Platonic time with our problem in question, the self?
Mrs. Baumann: The self, of course, underlies it all. But I was thinking first of Nietzsche’s relation to the time, that he was influenced by the time in writing Zarathustra. Also it has to do with our present time, and with what is happening in Germany.
Prof. Jung: But more closely in connection with the self.
Do you mean Pegasus would be the idea of the self?
Mrs. Baumann: I would say it had to do with the development of man. But may I first explain the diagram as a map of time? As Pegasus is the ruling principle above, it seemed to me to also have something to do with the throat center, inspired speech and enthusiasm. Then the earth down below is the opposite creative thing; also the earth is the material which the sculptor molds, and there is another constellation down below the Fishes and the first part of Aquarius called the “Sculptor.” As Aquarius is in the future (on the right), I call that the age of increased consciousness; and the past, the Fishes (on the left), is the age of relative unconsciousness. In the center is the golden swastika turning to the right. That is the constructive aspect. Then if you turn
it the other way, man is moving backward and the swastika turns to the left. Aquarius would then be on the left as the unconscious future, and the Fishes (on the right) would be, from that point of view, the conscious past. And the swastika is black, destructive-the emphasis on the black. Then Pegasus, the ruling principle could also be called the “animal libido,” and the square is the Trinity plus the devil, making all four functions.
Prof. Jung: How would you explain this cross below?
Mrs. Baumann: I just used this as a sign for the earth.
Prof. Jung: Referring to the I Ching symbolism I suppose.
Mrs. Sigg: You spoke last time of the creative self and I thought that was an enormous relief; and you also spoke of the vital principle that was beyond everything, ruling over all. And I think if you connect the self with the creative idea, the forming principle, that makes it much easier for us to accept the idea of the self, much easier for living. Now in Pegasus, Mrs. Baumann suggests something of that forming principle,and she also spoke of the Sculptor, the constellation below, as a creative sign.
Prof. Jung: I did not quite understand what you said about Pegasus and the relation of the word, Mrs. Baumann.
Mrs. Baumann: I meant inspired speech, as in the creative poet, so it seemed to me it could be connected also with Nietzsche.
Prof. Jung: You mean connected through synchronicity-that the actual place of the spring equinox would coincide with the time of Nietzsche?
Mrs. Baumann: I mean with his intuition of the ruling principle to come.
Prof. Jung: Pegasus is a fixed place in the heavens, and in the stream of time the birth of Nietzsche would occur somewhere under Pegasus.
And that Nietzsche would therefore coincide with that symbolism would be of course according to the idea of astrology, where a birth coincides with a cosmic factor and is influenced thereby. Would that express your idea?
Mrs. Baumann: Yes.
Prof. Jung: Well, that is possible. Thank you very much.
Mrs. Baumann: I felt so terribly shy about showing this. I did not want to be identified with it. It was absolutely not my own activity.
Prof. Jung: I am very glad that Mrs. Baumann has told us this, because she thus gives us a very excellent demonstration of what I was saying: that this is not a creation from the world of words, but from the world of experience.
She naturally felt shy in talking about it and has not her usual certainty; it is a particular kind of experience which she has tried to formulate in cipher.
I assume that this is more or less a definite experience, otherwise we could not explain why she took the time and trouble to seek out and bring together all sorts of situations and parallels, in order to express or substantiate her particular experience, which is in itself utterly inexpressible.
You will admit that one experiences a peculiar difficulty if called upon to explain such a thing.
Now the very character of the things she has gathered together to make her point clear, shows that one could also bring in God-knows-what other comparisons or analogies, which would contribute equally well to the same idea.
This whole scheme, for instance, suggests the cross, and the cross was a very important time symbol already in antiquity; it has always been explained as the position of the spring equinox, the intersection of the equator with the so-called ecliptic.
It has also been said that the Greek letter X in Platonism represents that spring equinox, but I don’t believe it; I think it is the visible cross in the sky which one sees in certain latitudes, not the constellation of the Southern Cross,but the intersection of the Milky Way with the zodiacal line.
I saw it in the desert in North Africa, but I assume one can see it on clear night in Greece because it is the same latitude.
Prof. Fierz: We saw it in Rhodes.
Prof. Jung: It is a very old idea of course, belonging to that myth, for instance, where the demiurgos created a round universe which he cut into four parts and then stuck together again; and to the myth where man was made as a perfect form, a globe with double sex, which had to be cut asunder.
In that case, it was cut into only two parts.
But since the dawn of time it has been assumed that the living unit consisted of four.
That was the idea of Pythagoras, and one finds in all medieval philosophy that the self consists of four elements, which were either identified with earth, water, fire, and air, or with the four kinds of temperament, just as we compare them with the four functions.
It is an archaic truth that the essential thing consists of four, and therefore this cross symbolism is also linked up with time.
The intersection of the ecliptic with the equator is such an association with time, and from that
comes the cross symbolism of the early horoscope, which can be drawn in a square, as the ancients conceived of it, or in the form of a circle.
So this diagram is a sort of horoscope, but of the Platonic year, and though it apparently has to do with the most cosmic matters, yet it also expresses our psychology; and according to Mrs. Baumann, it would express the psychology of Nietzsche and Germany and Europe.
As a matter of fact, one could say that it does represent it, which does not mean that events in the world are so because we have such ideas!
This is not an explanation.
It is utterly illogical, utterly irrational; it is merely an expression of the fact that our psychology is actually such that it has to produce this sort of thing if the psyche is experienced.
That is, of course, the necessary condition; without that, nothing of the kind happens.
And the best way of expressing it is surely to link it up with the peculiarities of the time, because there is presumably a synchronicity between the psychological events in ourselves and the events in the sphere of life in which we live.
Of course, much more could be said about this peculiar symbolism.
For instance, you have here the so-called four correspondences very beautifully.
In Pegasus one sees the four points quite clearly, and they are included in the square below in a different arrangement, in the form of a cross.
Here the points are connected, while in Pegasus they are disconnected.
Then in the taigitu, corresponding to the age of the Fishes, there is a duality; and opposite, in the age of Aquarius, there is also a duality but of a different kind.
The symbol for the Fishes is static because it revolves in itself, and the Aquarius sign is flowing.
It has no beginning and no end.
I am glad that Mrs. Baumann has given us this chance to see how such symbolic expressions come into existence, and why they come.
They are always an attempt to formulate the immediate experience of our time.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that nobody experiences the time who does not make such a scheme; we can experience our time in many forms.
It can be in the form of the word, also.
As long as it is experienced in the form of the word, however, we are personally not really shaken.
But if it reaches us within, in our own essence, we need an expression and we will seek an expression.
We will eat dust to get that expression.
People eat the most incredible things-Eastern philosophy, and anthroposophy, and I don’t know what besides-in order to find the stuff which would allow them to express the experience of our time, the actual condition of our collective psyche. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 407-423