1934 9 May 1934 LECTURE II
We were speaking last time of Zarathustra as representing the archetypal figure of the old wise man, and I want to say a little more about archetypes in general.
The old wise man is a typical figure and therefore we call it an archetype; one meets it in legends and folklore and in innumerable texts and works of art, which shows that it is a generally human idea.
Now, such generally human ideas always have their representatives in the history of civilizations, they actually occur as real figures.
In primitive societies one finds the wise man usually in the form of the medicine man, and the older he is the more he is worshipped or feared.
He is usually an object of fear because it is assumed that he is gifted with witchcraft, magical powers-and that he often makes a very evil use of his uncanny faculties.
This institution of the medicine man is worldwide; they existed, probably, in prehistoric times.
On higher levels of civilization, the medicine man has undergone certain differentiations; on the one side he developed into the organized priesthood,
and on the other into the strictly medical man, the doctor.
There are still certain figures which embody this archetype in an almost perfect form: the pope, of course, is the wise old man par excellence-he is supposed to be infallible, which means that he is capable of deciding about the absolute truth.
Then every archbishop or bishop is a repetition of that archetype, and innumerable doctor authorities are supposed to know everything and to say marvelous things, even to know all the ropes in black magic.
So that archetype is still living.
Archetypes in general are images that represent typical situations of great vital and practical importance, which have repeated themselves in the course of history innumerable times.’
When a primitive man is in trouble which he cannot settle for himself, he will apply to the wise old men who form the council of the elders; when he does not trust his own competence, the case is referred to them.
Or a particularly ticklish case is referred to the medicine man because he is supposed to confer with the ghosts who give him advice and help beyond all possibilities of human power, and therefore one credits him with extraordinary capacities.
So in any situation full of doubt and risk where the ordinary mind does not know what to do, the immediate reaction is to apply to the archetypal figure of the wise old man.
That is because it is generally supposed that the people who have lived through a great number of years and experienced much of life are more competent than the young people.
Having survived certain dangerous situations they must know how to deal with them, so one asks them what one should do under conditions which once experiences perhaps for the first time.
An archetype comes into existence, then, because it is a customary or habitual
way of dealing with critical situations; in any crisis in life, this archetype or another is constellated; it is a sort of typical mechanism, or a typical attitude, by which one settles typical problems.
Certain situations can conjure up certain constellations in us of which we were quite ignorant; they bring out reactions of which we did not know we were capable-we are astonished perhaps at the way we are able to deal with them.
You often think, for instance, that in such and such a predicament you would get into a terrible panic and lose your head completely.
Then it happens in reality and you do not lose your head, you are not even afraid, and you go through it something like a hero.
Afterwards you more or less collapse, but in the moment of danger there is no bad reaction; you are quite cool and you are amazed at it.
The reason is simply that in such a moment up comes a certain mechanism, an instinctive attitude, which is always there; it is as if you knew what to do, you do just the suitable thing perhaps.
Perhaps not, also, but it is astonishing how often extraordinary situations bring out most suitable reactions from the people caught in them.
This is always due to the fact that an archetype has been constellated which lifts you above yourself.
It is then as if you were no longer just one, but as if you were many, a part of mankind one could say; as if that situation had occurred innumerable times already so that you reacted not as an ego of today, but like man in general who had survived these situations before.
There are other archetypes which may produce panics or which warn you perhaps unnecessarily and cause trouble, the archetype of the passage of the ford or the pass, for instance.
You know, it is the common experience when travelling in primitive countries to be careful, before striking camp in the evening, that the river is at your back, that you have crossed the river, for a thunderstorm may come up overnight and the next day the river is so flooded that you cannot get across and you may have to wait for weeks; you may even starve to death if you are caught between two rivers.
And not only is the river dangerous on account of inundations, but in fording or bridging it, you are almost sure to get into an awkward situation.
Of course that fear makes no sense at all here any longer but then it was all-important.
Quite unexpectedly, you come to a river forty or fifty yards wide, say; the banks are pretty steep, it is alive with crocodiles so there is no swimming; you have to carry all the loads across and you are in a devil of a fix.
Perhaps you have to wander along the banks for hours and hours to find a ford where you can cross more or less safely.
Or perhaps a tree has fallen or been cut down by the natives so that it fell across the river, and if the weather is fair you may be able to crawl across through an enormously thick tree, first through the roots and over the trunk and then through the branches, and you wonder how you can get all your loads across; and in rainy weather it is of course hellishly slippery.
So without the slightest expectation, you find yourself in a position where you had
better make your will.
It is perfectly ridiculous: one was in an entirely comfortable situation before and then one finds oneself suddenly facing the risk of slipping off that tree.
And nobody can hold you because there is no room, you have too get across as you can, and fifteen or twenty feet below are the crocodiles waiting for their breakfast.
Now that is an archetypal situation which has occurred innumerable times; if it is not just crocodiles, there are enemies waiting to catch you when perfectly helpless in the water.
So fords, difficult passes, and such places are supposed to be haunted by dragons or serpents; there are monsters in the deep waters, enemies in the woods, behind rocks, and so on.
Fording a river, then, is a typical situation expressing a sort of impasse, so just that archetype is formulated when one is in any dangerous predicament; and therefore many people become quite unnecessarily archetypally afraid: they are caught by a most unreasonable fear.
One can say there is no danger-why the devil don’t you go ahead?-but they are afraid to cross even a little brook.
Or it can be more psychological, a fear of going through a certain risk in life which is really not dangerous, but they are as terrified as if they had to jump over a crocodile, simply because the archetype is constellated.
The crocodile is then in themselves, and it is not helpful because it no longer suits the situation.
Naturally, to ordinary, normal people such things would not happen, but if there is a low threshold of consciousness, where the unconscious can easily get across, these archetypal figures come up.
Now, there are numbers of archetypal situations and the whole of them make up the world of mythology.
Mythology is the text book of archetypes, of course not rationally elucidated and explained, but simply represented like a picture or a story book.
But all archetypes were originally real situations.
We are here concerned with the archetypes of the old man.
Whenever he appears, he also refers to a certain situation: there is some disorientation, a certain unconsciousness, people are in a sort of confusion and don’t know what to do.
Therefore these Saoshyants, these wise men or prophets, appear in times of trouble, when mankind is in a state of confusion, when an old orientation has been lost and a new one is needed.
So in the continuation of this chapter we see that Zarathustra appears in the moment when something has happened which made his presence necessary, and Nietzsche calls that the death of God; when God dies, man needs a new orientation.
In that moment the father of all prophets, the old wise man, ought to appear to give a new revelation, to give birth to a new truth.
That is what Nietzsche meant Zarathustra to be.
The whole book is an extraordinary experience of that phenomenon, a sort of enthusiastic experience surrounded by all the paraphernalia, one could say, of true revelation.
It would be quite wrong to assume that Nietzsche invented such a particular artifice in order to make an impression, for the sake of aesthetic effect or anything like that; it was an event which overcame him-he was overcome by that archetypal situation.
Miss Wolff: Would it not be worthwhile to read that description of his inspiration?-he describes it so wonderfully.
Dr. Jung: Yes, he once wrote a letter to his sister in which he said: “You can have no idea of the vehemence of such composition.”
Then in Ecce Homo he describes how the archetype came upon him: Has anyone at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration?
If not, I will describe it.
If one had the smallest vestige of superstition in one, it would hardly be possible to set aside completely the idea that one is the mere incarnation, mouthpiece or medium of an almighty power.
The idea of revelation in the sense that something becomes suddenly visible and audible with indescribable certainty and accuracy, which profoundly convulses and upsets one-describes simply the matter of fact.
One hears-one does not seek; one takes-one does not ask who gives: a thought
suddenly flashes up like lightning, it comes with necessity, unhesitatingly-have never had any choice in the matter.
There is an ecstasy such that the immense strain of it is sometimes relaxed by a flood of tears, along with which one’s steps either rush or involuntarily lag, alternately.
There is the feeling that one is completely out of hand, with the very distinct consciousness of an endless number of fine thrills and quiverings to the very toes;-there is a depth of happiness in which the painfullest and gloomiest do not operate as antitheses, but as conditioned, as demanded in the sense of necessary shades of colour in such an overflow of light.
There is an instinct for rhythmic relations which embraces wide areas of forms (length, the need of a wide-embracing rhythm, is almost the measure of the force of an inspiration, a sort of counterpart to its pressure and tension).
Everything happens quite involuntarily, as if in a tempestuous outburst of freedom, of absoluteness, of power and divinity.
The involuntariness of the figures and similes is the most remarkable thing; one loses all perception of what constitutes the figure and what constitutes the simile; everything seems to present itself as the readiest, the correctest and the simplest means of expression.
It actually seems, to use one of Zarathustra’s own phrases, as if all things came unto one, and would fain be similes: “Here do all things come caressingly to thy talk and flatter thee, for they want to ride upon thy back.
On every simile doest thou here ride to every truth.
Here fly open unto thee all being’s words and word-cabinets; here all being wanteth to become
words, here all becoming wanteth to learn of thee how to talk.”
This is my experience of inspiration.
I do not doubt but that one would have to go back thousands of years in order to find some one who could say to me: It is also mine!
This is the way Nietzsche experienced the coming of Zarathustra, and it shows very clearly the symptomatology of the wise old man.
Now we will go on with our text.
We go as far as his intention to teach the wise their folly and the poor their riches.
Therefore must I descend into the deep: as thou doest in the evening, when thou goest behind the sea, and givest light also to the netherworld, thou exuberant star!
Like thee must I go down, as men say, to whom I shall descend.
Bless me, then, thou tranquil eye, that canst behold even the greatest happiness without envy!
Bless the cup that is about to overflow, that the water may flow golden out of it, and carry everywhere the reflection of thy bliss! Lo!
This cup is again going to empty itself, and Zarathustra is again going to be a man.
Thus began Zarathustra’s down-going.
He has been up in the mountains with the sun, which symbolizes the intense consciousness that always stared him in the face.
And now he makes up his mind to go down like the sun that sets, which means that
he was completely identified with his own consciousness, and now feels the need of leaving that condition and going down into the depths, into the underworld which to him is the world of man.
How would you interpret that psychologically? What happens when he leaves his consciousness?
Dr. Reichstein: Some new thing would rise from the unconscious.
Dr. Jung: Well, when the ordinary human being leaves his world of consciousness, then naturally the unconscious begins to move, things that have been unconscious appear, as one sees in case of neurosis or psychosis, or in any other case where people intentionally give up their consciousness.
That would be true of a normal consciousness, but this is a sort of super-normal concentrated consciousness, and we cannot expect the same thing to occur in such a case.
Remark: He comes to the normal state.
Dr. Jung: Yes, because he is already in the abnormal condition.
We are so used to thinking that people in an abnormal condition are in the unconscious that we don’t dream that they can be too conscious.
But such a spasm of consciousness does exist.
In our days there are many people who suffer from a pathologically increased consciousness, and then they have to come down to the level of normal consciousness not to a highly strung consciousness where everything spontaneous is suppressed.
Mrs. Crowley: Would it be first a very abstract consciousness?-and in coming down would it take an opposite, more human form?
Dr. Jung: Yes, it is a de-tension, a relaxation, a more human form; his consciousness was before characterized as sun-like and that is of course far too much, a sort of divine consciousness.
Naturally it suggests megalomania, and you have in fact to reckon with these megalomanic assumptions in Nietzsche.
Six years later, in 1888, he was already ill with megalomania, on the basis of degeneration of the brain.
Of course it is exceedingly difficult to say whether he was already influenced by the
oncoming disease, but I think it is very improbable; there are very few things in the actual text of Zamthustm which could be hypothetically ascribed to that. This kind of megalomania is due to something else.
Miss Wolff: It is archetypal?
Dr. Jung: Yes, he is identical with the archetype. Of course he makes a difference between himself and Zarathustra; he says: “and Zarathustra passed by me,” but he cannot help feeling gripped by that figure and he even is Zarathustra at times, and that is an inflation.
You see, whenever one is caught in an archetype, one forgets oneself completely, one is in a heightened condition, just inflated; then one lives on and can see later that one has suffered from an inflation.
Primitives know that.
When a man has been in a great excitement, an uplifted condition-when a man who has been a successful warrior and killed other men for instance-he must go through arfte de sortie in order to disidentify from the archetypal hero, the godlike figure he has become.
Otherwise he works havoc, he goes on slaughtering his own tribe perhaps, or becomes so impertinent that he is insupportable.
Therefore, in certain tribes the successful warrior is not received in triumph as we would treat him, but is sent to a lonely place where he is fed on raw vegetables for two months in order to thin him down, and then when he is quite meek he is allowed to come back.
And not only the man who has been a hero is mana, but also his weapon; a sword that
has killed contains the secret of killing and is a particular sword; it has worked the extraordinary deed and is mana.
So when one is told that a king has been murdered by a certain sword or dagger, one looks at it with different eyes: it startles one’s imagination because it is mana.
Now, as I said, Nietzsche cannot help being partially identical with Zarathustra, because that was the time of the culmination of materialistic science and philosophy and nobody had an inkling of psychology, nobody had thought of the possibility of making a difference between oneself and something psychical.
Most of the people of that day would not have been able to conceive of such a thing.
Even today, it would not enter the minds of many people, particularly the most educated ones, ‘ That is, no-or little-psychology of the kind that dealt with the unconscious.
However, Charcot was treating hysteria with hypnosis in the 7os and 8os, and Josef Breuer conducted his well-known treatment of “Anna 0” in 1882.
There was, of course, a great deal of activity in physiological psychology throughout the last half of the century.
that they were not identical with their psyche.
It needs extraordinarily good evidence and persuasion to convince them of the fact; they think that is all bunk.
So Nietzsche would not be in a condition to make a difference between himself and Zarathustra; it was quite obvious to him that there was nothing outside him but other ladies and gentlemen.
He surely was not identical with Zarathustra, and if anybody made a noise, well, it was he himself under the disguise of Zarathustra.
And the language he puts into the mouth of Zarathustra-or which he allows him to pick out of himself–is of course inflated and therefore in many places much too big.
Then, there is another reason why the language is so exaggerated. Do you know under what conditions that happens?- the condition in which you do things in a complicated way as if there were no simple way?
Mrs. Fierz: He was identified with his thinking, and when he writes, it is like an influx of a very inferior feeling, a sentimentality.
Dr. Jung: That is true, that is one thing. And why is that feeling flowing in?
Airs. Fierz: He does not know about it.
Dr. Jung: Of course, but could it not be kept outside by mere instinct?
Usually people make the most extraordinary fuss trying to keep their inferior function out of the way.
Miss Wolff The archetype touches depths where he cannot differentiate between the functions.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. The archetype has absolutely no interest in differentiating the functions because it is the totality of all functions.
Then what else might be the reason that the language is so terribly pregnant?
Remark: Anima inspirations?
Dr. Jung: Well, the anima would be the personification of the inferior function; the anima is chiefly fed by the inferior function, in this case inferior feeling, so the inferior function and the anima are one and the same under two aspects; one is the scientific formulation and the other is the phenomenological.
Of course it is a function, in whatever form it appears. But there is a further reason for this language.
Dr. Reichstein: It is quite natural that the archetype should speak in such a way; they all speak such heavy language.
Dr. Jung: That is true to a certain extent, of course, but in Nietzsche’s case it is really an exaggeration; there must be certain reasons why it is so.
Mrs. Baumann: It is not a compensation for his inferiority?
Dr. Jung: That is an idea. Whenever one has an inflation, whenever one is identical with an archetype, one has as a human being feelings of inferiority which are not admitted, and then one uses particularly big language.
For instance, I once had a case, a woman, an absolutely incurable lunatic in an asylum, who called her own language “technical words of power” and was always trying to make compounds of words that were all-powerful-as if, by combining a lot of words that expressed power or energy, like powerhouse, majesty, pope, king, church, bolshevism, etc., the compound would make a word of power.
Lunatics make up these words in order to kill people with them; they take a whole mouthful and spit it out and hope people will be smashed by them, convinced and overcome.
Of course it might be said that a great deal of our science consisted of such words of power; they use enormous Latin words and say things in such a complicated way that apparently no devil can understand them.
But it is exceedingly simple when translated into simple words; there is no need to say it in such an awfully fat and clumsy way-that is merely to convince people.
Of course one gets frightened and overcome if long Latin and Greek hybrids are screaming over you, and thinks, “Well, he must be everything and I am just nothing.”
That is usually clone by people who are more or less insignificant and want to give themselves airs; they make a particularly big noise to express something which is not very likely. “Good vine needs no bush” is an old English saying, but people who produce insignificant stuff need big words in order to be heard at all.
So a certain feeling of inferiority and inefficiency, which was always present in
Nietzsche, is back of that language, causing him to choose the big words in order to hit the goal. For to him the world was always exceedingly dull, nobody had ears or eyes or a feeling heart, so he had to knock at the doors with a sledgehammer.
But when people locked the doors, he attacked them with such fearful words that they became frightened.
His contemporary Jakob Burckhardt, the famous historian, grew quite afraid when he read Zarathustra-as I know from people in Basel who were acquainted with them both.
It was uncanny to him; it was the language that overcame him.
He shut the door to Nietzsche because he was too troublesome, he made too big a noise.
And one always has the impression in reading Zarathustra, that it does not really reach people.
Nietzsche felt that too and therefore he increased the weight of it in order to make it sink in.
If he would only wait, be a bit more patient, a bit less noisy, then it would sink in; certain passages in Zarathustra are of supreme beauty, but others are in very bad taste, and the effect of the whole is somewhat endangered by that style.
Those are the main reasons for it then, but there is still another point which explains the extraordinary weight of Zarathustra.
Mrs. Adler: It is because the aspirations or intuitions are not quite real and therefore they need a particular emphasis, as it were, against Nietzsche, as if he were preaching to himself in the first place?
Dr. Jung: That is a very subtle point of view.
It is surely a valid argument since there is plenty of evidence that what we would call “realization” had not taken place.
Mrs. Baynes: I don’t understand what Mrs. Adler means by their not being quite real to him.
Dr. Jung: It would mean in this case, not quite realized.
As a matter of fact when there is an inflation by an archetype, there is no realization:
one cannot realize the thing by which one is inflated.
First, the inflation must have come to an end, and then one may realize, not before.
But there is still another point.
Dr. Reichstein: Perhaps it was because Nietzsche was against the whole world, and so he had to knock very hard.
Dr. Jung: Yes, that is quite certain. Nietzsche was in a sort of fighting position against the whole contemporary world and it gave him a peculiar feeling of inefficiency that his words reached nowhere-no echo anywhere.
That really was the case; nobody cared, his was the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, and so naturally he would increase his voice instead of lowering it.
You see, when one is not understood one should as a rule lower one’s voice, because when one really speaks loudly enough and is not heard, it is because people don’t want to hear.
One had better begin to mutter to oneself, then they get curious.
Miss Wolff: The biblical language may be partly intention and partly coming from the unconscious, because Nietzsche suppressed traditional Christianity.
Dr. Jung: That is also a very valid consideration, that his emphasis on
this style is intentional.
Mrs. Zinno: Is it because there is no compensation from his feeling?- no figure like Salome in the unconscious to carry his feeling?
Dr. Jung: Yes, that is an important point.
We already mentioned the fact that the anima is somewhere in the game, but the absence of the anima as an independent figure surely increases the weight of Zarathustra to a rather considerable degree.
We have there a problem in itself, namely, the identity of Zarathustra with the anima, and most probably an identity of the author with the anima, so it is an extraordinary compound.
Mr. Allemann: When an archetype is constellated, it is always something old, historical; that might account for this old language.
Dr. Jung: But old language need not be so emphatic surely; there must be a power behind it that causes a tremendous emphasis and what Miss Wolff said would explain a part of it.
One could say Nietzsche himself had another side which needed strong language, and all the sermons are chiefly spoken to himself.
You must remember that he was the son of a parson and he had some inheritance presumably.
I know what that means.
Miss Hannah: Is it not just the determination of a parson not to be answered back?
Dr. Jung: But that is not enough.
On the one side, of course, one can assume a certain peculiar dull resistance of the powers which have been hitherto valid in Nietzsche himself-he needed strong language in order to overthrow that small fellow who was so overwhelmed by tradition.
That would be Nietzsche’s shadow, you see, of which there are evidences in certain letters to his “dear Lama,” as he called his sister, being quite incapable of seeing that she had not a trace of understanding.
Then you understand something about that little fellow who came from the Saxon village near Leipzig where his father was a parson.
You see, that also suggested to his imagination that he was an Englishman, he needed some geographical compensation.
But I want to know more about the force behind this language.
A definite force, the most passionate emotion, betrays itself; there must be a great strength behind that broke through the veil of tradition.
Mrs. Jung: Could it not be that he had too little libido in his life?-all the libido was in the spirit and therefore it might cause the violent expression.
Dr. Jung: Yes, one might assume that, but nobody with that particular task could be expected to pay much attention to his personal life; that counts for something of course, but there must be a particular force behind this emphasis, and that should be seen clearly.
The whole thing is overwrought, there is too much in it.
I am quite certain that if you should find such a figure in one of your own dreams you would know what was happening.
Mrs. Fierz: The urge for individuation.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. The self is in it.
That is the reason why the old man develops such an extraordinary passion and temperament, like Zarathustra.
You see, it is not the way of old wise men to be so temperamental; that comes from the fact that something exceedingly electrical is within him, and that is the self, which-inasmuch as it is not realized is contained in an archetypal form.
The self can be contained in the anima, for instance, and then it causes an anima possession and the effeminization of a man’s general character, his philosophy, all his convictions, his conduct, etc.
Or if it is contained in the archetype of the old man, he assumes the ways of the prophet, say.
Or they can be all together in one thing and then the human being is completely devoured by the archetypal tangle.
That is a case we have not yet seen where a human individual is possessed by all the things he has not, chiefly the old man, the self, and the anima.
And even the instincts, the eagle and the serpent, are also on the other side.
One really must ask oneself now, where is Nietzsche himself? That is really a problem.
It is just as he says: he feels himself to be a mere instrument, a suffering body into which these powers have descended.
So an inflation is what the word denotes; the body is filled with gas and becomes too light and rises too high and then it needs a descent.
Therefore, he is coming down into the world of ordinary people, to the former quasi-normal consciousness; in the end of this first chapter, it is said that Zarathustra wants to become just the ordinary man again.
Now we begin the next section:
Zarathustra went down the mountain alone, no one meeting him.
When he entered the forest, however, there suddenly stood before him an old man, who had left his holy cot to seek roots.
And thus spake the old man to Zarathustra:
“No stranger to me is this wanderer: many years ago passed he by. Zarathustra he was called; but he hath altered.
Then thou carriedst thine ashes into the mountains: wilt thou now carry thy fire into the valleys? Fearest thou not the incendiary’s doom?
Yea, I recognize Zarathustra. Pure is his eye, and no loathing lurketl1 about his mouth.
Goeth he not along like a dancer?
Altered is Zarathustra; a child hath Zarathustra become; an awakened one is Zarathustra: what wilt thou do in the land of the sleepers?”
Well now, what about this old man? Who is he? Zarathustra himself is the old man and now he meets another one.
Mrs. Crowley: He suggests the old wise man of the earth, more of the Unconscious.
Dr. Jung: But what kind of technique would you suggest to make out who this other old man is?
We must find out, not by mere guessing, but by getting at the actual material.
Dr. Hahadurji: They know each other already, that is the old self left behind.
Dr. Jung: Yes, they know each other, they must be related, there is apparently a secret identity.
But we don’t know exactly what that other form is.
Now what tangible method would you suggest to find out?
Mrs. Adler: One must find out his character from what he says and does.
Dr. Jung: Yes, we must see how this old man is functioning, what he says, how he behaves.
But the main point I wanted to call attention to is that Zarathustra himself says: ‘This old saint in his wood has not yet heard that God is dead!”
So you can easily conclude who that old wise man is.
Mrs. Fierz: In comparison to Zarathustra he would be Christ himself.
Dr. Jung: Well, it would be more the old Christian attitude, the wisdom of the Christian attitude.
He is an anchorite, he represents the early Christian spirit that does not know yet that its God is dead, that he has come to an end.
We will see whether this hypothesis fits.
First of all, that he is an anchorite fits in with the early Christian ideals.
Then he knows Zarathustra and says that many years ago he passed the same
place but going in the opposite direction.
To what would that refer?
Mrs. Crowley: Would it refer to the original Zarathustra when he received the spirit?
Dr. Jung: Yes, it simply means that the Christian spirit noticed Zarathustra, it knew about him.
As a matter of fact the greater part of the Christian dogma is Persian in origin, it comes from the Zoroastrian traditions.
And what would it mean that Christianity watched Zarathustra carrying his ashes to the mountains? What are his ashes?
Mrs. Baumann: His death at that time.
Dr. Jung: Well, when a man consists of ashes he is a disembodied spirit, so Christianity only knows of Zarathustra as a being that has gone forever; he is dead, he has carried his ashes to the mountains.
And now this same spirit recognizes Zarathustra coming back rejuvenated.
So Christianity realizes that Zarathustra has returned and is going the opposite way, coming down from the mountains, meaning that he is being incarnated again, becoming modern again.
Now that is Nietzsche’s idea. He thought that Zarathustra had been the inventor of
the great conflict between good and evil, and that he had influenced the whole mental evolution of the world by this most fundamental concept.
And his idea was that he ought now to come back again in order to improve on his former invention; something should be done about the insupportable conflict between good and evil, because the old Christian point of view, represented by the old man in the wood, was no longer valid.
That is evident from what fact?
Miss Hannah: That he has lost all contact with the world.
Dr. Jung: Yes, he is no longer in touch with the world.
And that Christianity has left the world is exactly the reason why Zarathustra is born again; he must come back because the spirit he created and left behind him has evaporated.
You see, that is a repetition of the very important psychological fact that when Christ died he left behind him, or promised, according to the dogma, the paraclete, the comforter, which is the spirit, like the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost; that is the aftermath of the Christian revelation, the spirit left by the appearance of Christ on earth.
His appearance was like a bursting shell that leaves the spirit trailing after; it remains for a while and then slowly recedes into the background again.
So we could call this old man the paraclete; he is the remaining spirit of Christianity and is about to recede into nature.
We shall see now how that is done.
He says to Zarathustra:
“Go not to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals!
Why not be like me-a bear amongst bears, a bird amongst birds?”
“And what doeth the saint in the forest?” asked Zarathustra.
The saint answered: “I make hymns and sing them; and in making hymns I laugh and weep and mumble: thus do I praise God.”
But this is not correctly translated. He “brumrnt” and that is like the sound a bear makes.
You see, he imitates animals’ voices, it is a regressive phenomenon.
Christianity and the Christian ritual developed in a time when it was still the custom in contemporary pagan cults to imitate animals’ voices.
We know from the old Apologists, those Christian propagandists who fought against the pagan beliefs and the heathenish philosophers and orators-and also from pagan sources-that in the mystery cults round Mithras and Bakcheus and such pagan syncretistic gods, ” they imitated on certain occasions the voices of the symbolic animals they represented, roaring like lions or bulls, for instance.
A certain class of followers of Mithras was called aetoi, others were called the leontes, lions, and the followers of Artemis were called arktoi, bears.
Others were sort of angels called the heliodrornoi, or sun-runners.
And they are represented on certain old monuments as wearing animal masks; they obviously identified with animals, which then had symbolic meaning.
They were no longer the old dancing masks of the primitives; they had a highly philosophical meaning, but we don’t know what their ideas were.
We have evidence of the same sort of thing within the Christian tradition also.
You have seen those Christian mandalas where Christ is represented in the center, usually announcing the Law like Buddha, or holding the Holy Scriptures with the gesture of blessing, and in the corners are the four Evangelists in the form of their animal identifications.
There are plenty of such representations in Nuremberg in the Germanic museum, for instance, and in Norman monasteries or churches you find these mandalas with the Evangelists in their animal forms, the so-called theriomorphic personifications the angel, the eagle, the bull and the lion.
That is a very primitive idea, coming by way of the Egyptian tradition; the four sons of Horus were animals; that is, one son of Horus had a human head, the analogy of the angel or the heliodrornoi, and the three others had animal heads.
It has to do with the condition of the functions in those days, but we are not concerned with that question here.
I merely wanted to show that even Christianity could not avoid these theriomorphic identifications; the eagle or the bull or the lion in the Christian tradition are like the
arktoi or the aetoi or the leontes in the analogous heathenish syncretistic cults.
They were a sort of concession when Christianity became worldly. Naturally, they don’t appear in the first century because the Evangels were not even supposed to be sacred then; they were only supposed to be good literature, good for the believers to read.
Then the Christian ritual was invented, the canons of the church, an organized priesthood, etc., and it is natural that the pagan ideas crept in too.
Well, the old anchorite spirit is now receding: he makes a regression, having understood that nothing was to be done with these human beings.
He becomes quite skeptical and thinks it best to worship his god in nature, to be a bear with bears and a bird with birds, to imitate the animal voices again, and to sing as a bird would sing.
So he is isolated in his wood, a sort of pensioned paraclete, en pension at least.
The new spirit is now a Christ; therefore, the analogy of Zarathustra with Christ.
He comes down from the mountains with new hopes, new expectations, with an new message to man, and he passes the old fellow.
And the new message, which the old man does not know of, is that God is dead.
You see, to the anchorite God is active, he still believes that there is a God outside of him; but Zarathustra is convinced that there is no god outside of him, God is dead.
Mrs. Baumann: It corresponds with the death of Pan two thousand years before.
Dr. Jung: Exactly. One reads in old Latin literature that two thousand years ago, the captain of a boat sailing from the Grecian islands to Ostia, the harbour of Rome, demanded an immediate interview with the emperor in order to report a most remarkable event which had taken place when he was sailing through the Archipelago.
He had passed in the night an island where there was an extraordinary noise; he heard people shouting: Panrnegistos ethneken, Pan the greatest is dead.
Pan was the philosophic god of those days.
Originally, he had been a Latin local god of the fields and the woods, a sort of midday demon with no philosophical or universal importance whatever.
Only later, when they learned Greek, did they see that the name of the old Latin god, Pan, was the same as the Greek word pan, which means “all,” the universe.
So they had new ideas about their old Pan; he became the god of the world.
Then about the second century A.D., rumor spread that Pan the greatest was dead, Christianity had prevailed against him-the last conception of a nature god created by antiquity.
And when the god is dead, it means the end of an epoch; therefore, the great emphasis laid upon that story.
In this chapter, then, we have watched the way in which the spirit of a whole historical epoch recedes, disappears into nature, and how at the same time it is renewed in a new figure with a new message.
Yet is still the same old figure; the same spirit that taught mankind the difference between good and evil is now informing us of the fact that there is no difference and that God is dead. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 21-37