1935 13 March LECTURE 8 Zarathustra Seminar
Both Mrs. Baumann and Mrs. Stutz have asked about the concept of the subtle body which I mentioned last time.
That is a very big problem in itself, and I think it would be a good thing if a comprehensive report were made next term about the primitive idea of the body of breath.
Very little is known about this strange concept of the subtle body.
Mead has written a book about it.
You see, when we speak of the unconscious we mean the psychological unconscious, which is a possible concept; we are then dealing with certain factors in the unconscious which we really can understand and discriminate.
But the part of the unconscious which is designated as the subtle body becomes more and more identical with the functioning of the body, and therefore it grows darker and darker and ends in the utter darkness of matter; that aspect of the unconscious is exceedingly incomprehensible.
I only mentioned it because in dealing with Nietzsche’s concept of the self, one has to include a body, so one must include not only the shadow-the psychological unconscious-but also the physiological unconscious, the so-called somatic unconscious which is the subtle body.
You see, somewhere our unconscious becomes material, because the body is the living unit, and our conscious and our unconscious are embedded in it: they contact the body.
Somewhere there is a place where the two ends meet and become interlocked.
And that is the place where one cannot say whether it is matter, or what one calls “psyche.”
Now everything that can be represented to the conscious is psychological, but if a thing cannot be made conscious, or can only be expressed by vague analogies or hints, it is so dark that one doesn’t know whether it has to do with the top or the bottom of the system, whether it leads into the body or into the air.
According to the old Gnostic system, the pneuma is above, that part of the unconscious which is divine; then below would come the body which was called hyle, or sarx, as Paul calls the flesh in the New Testament, and between the two there is the human or the psychological sphere.
The Latin words for pneuma are spiritus and in another connection animus,
not to be mistaken for the animus, pneuma, spiritus spiritual unconscious, shen anima, psyche
somatic unconscious, subtle body, kuei body, sarx, hyle specific animus concept in our psychology.
Then with the psyche would be the anima, with the connotation of the breath of life, the living flame, the living warmth of the body.
This anima has a spiritual side, called in China the shen, and their concept of kuei would be the somatic or corporeal part.
This region contains the psychology of the subtle body because it reaches into the sarx.
Now, when you look at man you see the body, the sarx, and only by inference do you come to the psychological side; you get reflected rays of light from a body of flesh, and you hear a voice, vibrations of the air, and they give you the necessary hints to conclude as to the psyche.
If you are inside yourself, in your own body, then you are in the psyche, which is the center.
It would be about like this.
The mountain would be the conscious and the unconscious, and the spiritual would be on one side and the somatic on the other.
The greatest intensity of life is in the center and the darkness is on either somatic side, on the spiritual side as well as on the side of matter.
You may have read that famous Gnostic work, Pistis Sophia.
Pistis means fidelity, confidence, trust, loyalty, wrongly translated by “belief” or “creed,” and Sophia is the woman wisdom of God.
She is God’s wife in a way, and therefore has also been understood as the so-called theotokos, the mother of God-that is the term used in the Greek Orthodox church for Mother Mary-and certain Gnostics held that Sophia was the mother of the spiritual Jesus.
The man Jesus has of course been born of an earthly woman, but the spiritual Jesus that descended into him when he was baptized by John was born out of Sophia.
They were convinced that the man Jesus who was hanging on the cross was only the material body, that during his struggle in the garden, hours before his crucifixion, the God had departed from him.
So the God was never crucified.
The body was hanging on the cross and not the God-man, the proof being that Christ himself said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
That is the belief of the Domestic form of Christianity, a very important branch which for a while threatened the development of the orthodox Christian dogma.
I mention this because all these ideas of the subtle body play a great role in the New Testament.
The body, or sarx, to St. Paul is the gross, biological, physiological body, the corruptible body; but he speaks also of the incorruptible body which we put on with Christ, because Christ is in a way the soul or the pneuma, the incorruptible body that is beyond space and time.
You see, the subtle body-assuming that there is such a thing-necessarily must be beyond space and time.
Every real body fills space because it consists of matter, while the subtle body is said not to consist of matter, or it is matter which is so exceedingly subtle that it cannot be perceived.
So it must be a body which does not fill space, a matter which is beyond space, and therefore it would be in no time.
You know, we can only have a notion of time by the measure of distance; for instance, to move from this end of the room to the other needs a certain length of time, but if there is no extension, no change, there is no time; even if that moment stands still for ten thousand eternities, there is no time because nothing happens.
This idea of the subtle body is very important, and it is marvelous to encounter it in a text which naively comes from the wholeness of man.
You will see from the next chapter that Zarathustra is one of the books that is written with blood, and anything written with blood contains the notion of that subtle body, the equivalent of the somatic unconscious.
I usually do not deal with that concept simply because it is too difficult; I content myself with things
of which I can really know something. It is beyond our grasp per definition; the subtle body is a transcendental concept which cannot be expressed in terms of our language or our philosophical views, because they are all inside the categories of time and space.
So we can only talk primitive language as soon as we come to the question of the subtle body, and that is everything else but scientific.
It means speaking in images.
Of course, we can talk such a language but whether it is comprehensible is an entirely different question.
And you know I believe in science, I believe in that which man can do.
I also remember what Mephistopheles says to the student who went away with the devil’s good advice.
The devil smiles behind his back and says: Scorn reason and science if you can, The highest powers yet bestowed on man!
Science is the highest power of man, for we can do just what we can do, and when we try to deal with things which are beyond our comprehension, we are overstepping our competence.
You see, there are plenty of secrets-only a few fools, morbid intellects, think we have solved all the riddles; anybody with even the smallest amount of imagination knows that the world is a great enigma, and psychology is one of the foremost enigmas.
And you can touch one with your hands in this question of the subtle body.
Now, Mrs. Baumann first asks, “Are there not two uses of the expression ‘subtle body’? At times, it seems to be used as a synonym for the diamond body. Isn’t the other, more primitive meaning of ‘subtle body’ a kind of ghost-like body, like a framework, halfway between spirit and matter, which everyone possesses and in which the various centers are located? Is the diamond body something which may develop in this subtle body?”
Such questions will inevitably arise as soon as you begin to talk of the subtle body: Is the subtle body identical with what Chinese Yoga calls the diamond body, or it is rather the kuei of Chinese philosophy, the somatic unconscious?
Well, the diamond body is the equivalent of the concept of the self.
Therefore it is expressed by the stone of the highest value, and it is also called the golden germ, the golden child, Hiranyagarbha in Sanskrit.
According to Chinese Yoga, it comes from the lead of the water region, which is not of a precious nature.
It is the heavy cold metal of a low nature which is supposed to be deep down in the body, the muladhara, or in svadhisthana, the water center; out of this common or vulgar body the alchemistic procedure produces gold or the diamond body, the everlasting body.
In the language of medieval alchemy it would have been the philosopher’s stone or the eagle (aurum nostrum, “our gold”); for those old alchemists were by no means making ordinary gold. There was no making of bodies.
They started from bodies and tried to develop something out of the water region into a substance of highest value, something with the qualities of light.
Yet it is located in the center-the psyche-between body and spirit-and consists of both.
So in that respect one can say the concept of the diamond body is really identical with the idea of the subtle body.
Naturally, the subtle body is a primitive formulation and the diamond body is the expression for a finished product of the same nature.
The Chinese Yoga procedure and alchemy are much alike, but alchemy is a most mistaken name; it had better be called the “Yoga process.”
It is a process of transmutation which creates out of the subtle body within, something which is equal to the subtle body, yet it is of very great value.
The matter out of which it is created can also be of little value, so the alchemists said that it could be found everywhere, quite ordinary, even despicable, a stone that is ejectus in viam, thrown out into the street.
It is the stone, rejected by the builders, which became the cornerstone.
They even find it in the Sterquiliniis, the dung heap, as you can read in their literature.
Therefore when Meyrink read those old alchemistic treatises about sorcerers making gold and
God knows what, he was so impressed that he bought an ancient water closet, a little outhouse, and dug up the fond; it was two or three hundred years old and he went to the very bottom of it in order to find the substance for the stone, because the old texts say you can find it in such disreputable places.
It is funny that many old things, even manuscripts, have been found in that way.
I am not a bit sure whether the famous Oxyrhynchus papyri were not found in such a place and that they had not been put to a most disreputable use before.
Mr. Baumann: In Schaffhausen they found a wonderful one, containing a whole collection of valuable things.
Prof. Jung: Yes, such places are often really treasure-troves.
But it was also said in the old texts that many have dug up such places, worked with fecal matter, yet found nothing.
(That would be a good motto for a certain variety of psychoanalysis: I have dug up and worked with fecal matter yet found nothing!)
Another thing they said was that people stop their work where they should have begun.
The sayings of those old masters are really marvelous; as Nietzsche says in the next chapter, such things should not be read but learned by heart, they are so exceedingly true.
You see, that is exactly this idea; the process begins no matter where, deep down or up above, but if above, you have to work down into the sarx, because the body also must be in the great mixture.
The body is an important contribution to the diamond body, the final finished product.
So, as I said, the diamond body would be merely the finished product of the primitive concept of the subtle body.
Then Mrs. Baumann says: “I don’t understand how Christ was crucified by his virtues.”
That picture of Christ being crucified by his own virtues was an idea which they already understood in the twelfth or thirteenth century, and which you easily could understand in the text of Zarathustra which we have just dealt with, so that by naming your virtues you create the collision between virtues.
If you follow up the divergent virtues, if you are just and compassionate and several other things besides, inasmuch as you name these qualities you will be torn asunder.
For then you don’t know whether to follow your justice or your compassion.
Only inasmuch as you are unconscious of your value can you remain together.
If you become conscious of your virtues you are lost; you will quite certainly get into a hellish conflict.
That people don’t get into these conflicts more comes from the fact that they are altogether unconscious; they don’t notice it, and at a certain place they stop.
For instance, a man preaches on Sunday, “Sell all your goods and give your money to the poor,” but he doesn’t dream of doing it.
Or the Communists talk of sharing their goods, but if they have a fat pig in the stable they don’t share it.
So millions of people don’t dream of doing it, and it is very healthy not to because it doesn’t work; if you really try it you get into hot water, and nobody is fool enough to want to get into hot water unless he understands that it is necessary-that that is the one way, though it goes into the cooking pot, the Krater, and it is pretty hot there.
You see, your named virtues would be your conscious ideal; you want to be just but you want to be compassionate too, and you want to be generous yet you don’t want to be a spendthrift.
If you try it in reality, you will land in a tremendous moral conflict between duties, and if you follow it up to the end you get into a state of dismemberment.
Compassion then runs away with you on the one side, and justice on the other, so you are like a spread eagle, or like an animal that has been nailed onto a board.
The peasants are so mad at those black animals in England they are called stoats-that they nail them on a board, crucify them alive; everybody must know that if those animals don’t listen to what they are saying to them, if they do that again, they will be crucified.
They hate them so much that they inflict the punishment of the Lord upon them.
So you see, the end is that our virtues become utterly dissatisfied with us and kill us because we cannot fulfil them.
If we are dishonest, we may say we have fulfilled them, or that, having declared a principle or an ideal, we are bound to fulfil it.
But if we are honest we know we cannot.
Therefore, don’t say this is your ideal, because you are then giving a promise which you cannot keep.
For if you give it, if you cannot avoid giving it, you must name your virtues; every decent man must name his virtues, and so he is meant for crucifixion, provided he is consistent.
If he is very healthy he will stop on the way: he will be half-crucified, perhaps on Sundays.
He will give an old coat, say, his Sunday coat, and he will put the thorns around his top hat.
Dr. Strong: Doesn’t the fact that Christ was crucified vindicate John the Baptist in his stand against revealing the divine mysteries? In giving it to collectivity, making it a collective concept, Christ gave it a name and therefore it turned upon him. He gave the crowd a chance. That was exactly what John the Baptist foresaw.
Prof Jung: Yes, in that making conscious, that revelation, he was giving it a name.
Now Mrs. Baumann asks: “Did Christ identify with the virtues and undergo the conflict between them?”
Evidently I must make this clear once more. Nietzsche’s idea is that you should not name your virtue; otherwise you will get into a conflict of the virtues and destroy yourself.
And at the end of the chapter he says, “And therefore shalt thou love thy virtues-for thou wilt succumb by them.”
The most foolish thing one can do is to name the virtue, because as long as you don’t, you are one, acting under the influence of something incomprehensible and indescribable.
You have no wrong impressions, don’t know yourself, are more or less a primitive; or more like an animal that is always at one with itself and so never hesitates.
It goes to its own death because dying belongs to life; and primitives die with no particular fuss.
They take it as part of life. This is in a way an ideal condition, so why try to give names to things?
Just because we must: our growing intellect, consciousness, forces us to do so; if we don’t discriminate, we are cursed by the primitive condition.
Primitive conditions are all right as long as the conditions are primitive, but the unfortunate thing is that man is not only an animal-in a way he is an animal and in a way he is not-because he has the faculty of developing consciousness.
His consciousness wants to develop; he must give names even to his virtues, and so he is meant for conflict.
He cannot escape it, cannot remain at one with himself.
He will get into hot water in the end if he develops at all; and if he has once given a name he must continue to give names.
Already, the primitive man has begun to give names, and the more “adult” he becomes, the more he will do so.
So it was a particular stunt of old sages to know the names of things: it was understood to be a particular sign of power; to know the names of demons meant power over the demons.
But there is a high price on knowing names; you will be tempted, even forced, to give names, but you will pay for it with conflict.
Because you have discriminated between things, they begin to compete with each other; and you will be the victim of your own conflict, be crucified, get into the condition of the Christian mystery of self-destruction, self-sacrifice.
In the making of the Superman, Nietzsche is simply continuing in the path of Christianity, developing our hitherto valid form of Christianity into a philosophy that reaches a bit beyond.
He tells us to be reasonable, continue the way on which we have begun, name our virtues and be damned for it; if we are damned that is our destruction, yes, but thus we shall give birth to a new man, a man with a new consciousness; a new light will dawn on mankind if we are able to give birth to the Superman.
That is his message, and for that it is necessary that he even kill God.
He means also that since you cannot avoid giving names, give as many and as accurate names as you know how, because all that works for your own undoing.
In the end you are dissolved in conflict, you will be dissociated, disintegrated, extended on the cross, and torn asunder.
You see, crucifixion is also a dismemberment, the classical death of the god, like the death of Osiris and Dionysos; through that dismemberment the god distributes himself into all parts of creation.
Everywhere is a part of the god.
The dismemberment is figuratively shown in Christianity by the dividing of his mantle under the cross.
The soldiers cut it asunder; they threw dice and divided it.
That is a sort of symbolic performance which foreshadows the distribution of the sacred body in the Host, or the indwelling of the deity in the tabernacle: the God dwells in the Host or on the altar.
So Christ is distributed all over the world in the form of the Host.
As a sort of Dionysos he enters into everybody and deifies everybody; you eat the pharmakon athanasias, the medicine of immortality, and are given an immortal soul.
For without the sacraments of the church, unless you participate of the God, in other words, you cannot attain to immortality.
That is the dismemberment, and the crucifixion symbolizes the state of supreme torture through conflicts.
When you are eaten up with conflicts, completely disintegrated, you can safely say it is crucifixion because you are spread out in the four directions of your being, to the four points of the horizon.
You may have read that article in an American paper about the death of a medicine man.
A medicine man who has misused his powers, failed or neglected to do the right thing, is put to death by being torn asunder in the four directions of space, and the torn-out parts are left in the distance.
You see, a medicine man is made by the drawing together of the four into one, a process of individuation; therefore, when he is killed he will be torn asunder into those four directions of space.
This condition of the crucifixion, then, is a symbolic expression for the state of extreme conflict, where one simply has to give up, where one no longer knows, where one almost loses one’s mind.
Out of that condition grows the thing which is really fought for.
For Nietzsche, it would be the birth of the Superman. We would say it was the birth of the self.
Only through extreme pain do you experience yourself; you believe then that you are a unit.
Before that, you can imagine that you are anybody, the Pope or Mussolini-you are not necessarily yourself.
Afterwards, when you have undergone this extraordinary experience of the self, there are no illusions any longer.
You know exactly who you are. That is what Nietzsche means.
There is another question about the subtle body by Mrs. Stutz: “Does the ‘subtle body,’ which is a symbol for the individuating process of human beings, help forward the physiological work of the body itself?”
The subtle body is not a symbol for the individuating process, as I have already explained; it is a concept that covers only the somatic unconscious.
She goes on: “For instance, are the reactions of the body on itself, as well as coming from it, directed from the ‘subtle body’?”
One could not say that because the subtle body, being the somatic unconscious, is only one part; the ultimate decisions of body and mind or anything that lives within them, are obviously not only given by the somatic side of our existence; there are determinations coming from the other side just as well, and the ultimate decision is given by the self.
The self includes the somatic as well as the spiritual unconscious, being neither the one nor the other, but in between, in the psyche.
Then she says, “I experience the inside body as a free power, wherein all possibilities for forming or producing are given from one central point, which leads all events and reactions.
So is the putting of the body into life as the consequence to an inside demand, the ‘subtle body’?”
Well, from the standpoint of Platonic philosophy, the body is built up on the eidos, the eternal image of the human body.
The human body would then be explained exactly as the making of a crystal is explained, by a sort of preexisting abstract axial system into which matter is filled. In crystallography, one also assumes a sort of spatial structure, the so-called mother solution, which has reached the highest degree of saturation where crystallization begins.
The ions in solution are already in a certain axial structure, and they draw the molecules of the solution into place. If it is a solution of ordinary salts, the system is cubic and the cubic crystal will result; a sort of eidos, an inevitable form, preexists and the ions are in the decisive points of that structure to draw the molecules of the solution into place.
One can assume that the human body is also built in that way; this is the theory proposed by Geley in his attempt at physiology viewed from the standpoint of the subtle body.
He was formerly director of the Institut de Metapsychologie in Paris, the predecessor of Dr. Osty.
It is a thoroughly Platonic idea.
In that sense, one could say that the subtle body directs and builds up the physical body.
Of course, this point of view is in a way very much against our hitherto valid physiological ideas, but I must say, from a scientific standpoint, there is as little proof on the one side as on the other.
To explain it through the chemical transformations of bodies, the materialistic assumption, is just as right and just as wrong as explaining from the other side; one needs both points of view.
In that example of crystallography you have a practical Platonism.
One needs that hypothesis to explain a crystal, but of course one also needs the ions of a solution to give the start.
Mrs. Stutz: I did not think of such a material standpoint.
Prof. Jung: You can explain from within or from without: those are two contradictory points of view.
It is the same with the ultimate explanation of nature. For instance, the modern explanation of light is corpuscular, but on the other side is the theory of oscillation.
You have the two explanations and you need both because there are certain phenomena which you cannot explain as corpuscular, which must be oscillation, and others where it cannot be oscillation-where it must be corpuscular.
You are simply forced to these antinomies of reason if you follow up a problem far enough-to a clear issue.
And even there you get into a conflict.
You cannot live without getting into trouble, cannot think, cannot feel; you can do nothing without getting into trouble.
For trouble is what we are all looking for; we all hate it-we want to be perfectly nice and frank-but we are looking for trouble.
Now we come to the next chapter, which begins with a problem in the title, “The Pale Criminal.” How does Nietzsche arrive at this?
Mrs. Baumann: It refers to Christ.
Miss Hannah: The whole chapter seems to me to be awfully influenced by his being a parson’s son.
Prof Jung: So is the whole of Zarathustra. There is a great deal of Protestant psychology in it, but we are now only concerned with the title.
Mrs. Baynes: I think he draws the title from the thing that we see in the rationalistic mind and what he goes on to describe; that is to say, he has lust which he cannot justify, and so he tries to take the blood from the lust, and what is left is the pale criminal.
Prof. Jung: That is pretty complicated. How does he arrive at the subject matter of crime or the criminal?
It must follow from the chapter before and I want to make the transition.
Miss Wolff: Because the virtues are fighting like hell and murdering themselves. The idea of murder and bloodshed is at the end of the last chapter. The virtues kill man, trying to create the Superman out of the ordinary man.
Prof. Jung: That is true.
But I might put that same question in a somewhat different way.
Usually in a work of this kind, written out of the blood or out of the unconscious, as we say, it is written out of that which has been left over from the preceding chapter, the preceding image.
You see, each of these chapters corresponds to an image.
The stream of the unconscious is a stream of images.
In one chapter comes up one image, and in the next another, and all these images are connected as, for instance, the images of the I Ching are connected.
There you have the same stream of images, not connected by what we would call causality, but by an irrational connection.
What is its chief characteristic?
Miss Wolff: The opposites.
Prof. Jung: Yes, the enantiodromia, the opposite comes up.
Now in this case, quite superficially looked at, the opposite of the virtues we are speaking of would be vices.
In the preceding chapter man is supposed to name his virtues and to live them to the utmost until he himself is killed by them; he lives his virtues until he is thoroughly virtuous, and he ends in terrible trouble because he is virtuous all over.
Even his vices have been transformed into virtues, or they have been overlooked, or neglected; out of his many virtues he made a god, and out of his poison he made a medicine or something sweet.
So the shadow is transformed into light and he dies really from sheer goodness.
And when the vicious evil way of living, the way of the shadow, is entirely neglected, up it comes in the next chapter.
Like dreams-what you have forgotten in the daytime is brought up in the night.
And here is the thing that is forgotten, that should be also realized.
Mrs. Baumann: You did not read the end of my question about Christ. Christ said, “Resist not evil.” He was conscious of the black side.
Prof. Jung: I did not read it on purpose because it is a different consideration of which we shall speak after this chapter.
Of course, Christ says “Resist not evil” because it is too one-sided to be only good.
It is very nice to be only good if one can, and it is enough of a task, sure enough.
Mrs. Baynes: You have explained why it should be the criminal but not why it is the pale criminal.
Prof. Jung: Yes, one can be a rosy criminal!
This is a criminal who does not feel well in his skin.
Mrs. Baynes: But “pale” is very important is it not?
Prof. Jung: This man cannot help being pale; he gets pale at the aspect of himself. But that leads to the next chapters.
Let us assume now that we don’t quite understand why this criminal is pale and unhealthy looking. We will begin.
Ye do not mean to slay, ye judges and sacrificers, until the animal hath bowed its head?
The German text is a bit different here.
Nietzsche had profound philological knowledge, and by this nodding or bowing is meant the movement which is called in Latin numen, meaning a hint; nodding the head would be a hint or a sign.
When you have whispered into the ear of the god and remain before his divine image, then you suddenly see that the god, the statue, is nodding.
He has heard you and agrees or disagrees: that is the numen.
One observes such phenomena in studying fantasies; when you concentrate upon, betrachten, a fantasy image, after a while it begins to walk perhaps.
You have made it pregnant with your life and it moves, just as when you concentrate upon a picture with exclusive interest, it begins to move.
Numen is one connotation of the divine power, the assent of the god.
So this German text means that the judges and sacrificers don’t want to sacrifice or to kill before the animal has nodded-given its assent or justified the killing.
The translation overlooked that meaning; of course it is a bit involved.
Lo! the pale criminal hath bowed his head: out of his eye speaketh the great contempt.
“Mine ego is something which is to be surpassed: mine ego is to me the great contempt of man”; so speaketh it out of that eye.
How is that passage connected with the chapter before?
We can see then how the unconscious introduces the idea of the criminal.
Dr. Schlegel: In both these is something that must be surmounted.
Prof. .Jung: Yes. The end of the chapter before is, “and therefore shalt thou love thy virtues, for thou wilt succumb by them.”
The idea is that you should love your virtues because they will eventually kill you, will mean your own undoing.
For instance, a criminal shows by his crime his will to destroy himself.
He has committed murder so he will be judged and his head will be cut off, and that is what he wanted.
Moreover, when a person murders, he has murdered himself morally, which is of course just as bad as real death.
He has had the courage to rebel against human life, and therefore the idea here is that judges and sacrifices should not be afraid of standing up against human life; he almost says they should not wait until the animal has nodded its assent, they should be as courageous as the criminal in killing.
As the criminal does not ask whether the victim consents to being put to death, does not say to his victim, “Perhaps you will be kind enough to allow me to kill you,” so those judges and sacrificers should not be afraid of killing right on the spot, with no delay, not asking whether it is fitting or just.
They should have the same quality of decision and the contempt of life and of man which the criminal has.
Of course this does not agree with our ideas of justice in the least, but it agrees very much with our psychological ideas of punishment.
The natural idea of punishment if a man has committed a murder is to hang him, kill him; then we are satisfied.
That is the only real theory of punishment, any other is nonsense.
You see, when a man commits murder, he has the advantage of us, because we have all wanted to do that.
Once at least, in a moment of affect, everybody has wanted to murder his fellow man, but he could not because he was decent.
And then comes that hell of a fellow who dares, and why should he do it when I couldn’t? We are all potential murderers.
Of course it does not need to be a cowardly murder, it can be straightforward manslaughter.
Our ancestors have universally been murderers-it was even a virtue to commit murder in that way-so it is innate in us: it is in our blood.
But we have not been allowed to do so because it is immoral.
Therefore we say rightly, if another man has committed murder, we also have a right to do it.
But he is one and we are many, so we must do it in collectivity; we call it “law”: we elect one member of our society and give him a sword to hack off the criminal’s head.
Then we are all pleased; now his head has been cut off and we are highly satisfied.
So everybody has got at least his sprinkling of blood for his own salvation.
It gives people a fine feeling to have committed a certain amount of crime.
That is the psychology of crime, and any other way is just a rationalization of this very primitive fact.
I can substantiate it by a very real example.
In the Celebes it is the custom to kill prisoners of war in the ghost house.
This is used for all sorts of purposes, it is a condensation of all the buildings round the square in a village; the church, and one or two little inns, with the names of the Evangelist animals if possible, and the mayor’s place, which usually is connected with the house for the fire engine, and the morgue where they put all the corpses they find, and also the communal prison.
This whole assemblage of establishments in a primitive society is condensed into one building which is not only the ghost house, the place of initiation, but also the guesthouse, the community building, the club house, and the morgue.
And there they fasten the prisoner of war to a pillar round the top of which are hung skulls of
former victims, a sort of ghost pillar.
Then the whole crowd arms itself with knives or spears or arrows, and each sticks his knife into the victim a bit and then licks the blood, so finally the victim dies.
Everybody has had a taste of the blood, it is a sort of communion, a very gruesome thing naturally.
The original idea was that putting to death should be a communion of the whole people, that they should all share in it; it was establishing a sort of connection between people through a common emotion.
Since they have no such chance now, they must read detective stories, or go to the movies; they must be thrilled by accounts of ugly crimes.
Also they must at times be very enthusiastic about a war because they have seen too little killing.
The psychology of killing is the psychology of the criminal, so there are even murderers who want to be put to death and are not satisfied if they are not.
In certain murderers there is a sacrificial psychology; they thus feel their importance over people.
All that is in the death of Christ; he was counted as a criminal and crucified between two thieves and in place of a thief.
He was exchanged against Barabbas who was freed as the fertility god of the coming year, according to the old rites.
So Christ was very much in the place of the criminal, he was the god of the past year that is crucified for the good of the community. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 441-454