1935 10 June LECTURE VII Zarathustra Seminar
We will continue our text.
Your enemy shall ye seek; your war shall ye wage, and for the sake of your thoughts!
Here Zarathustra touches upon an idea which seems to become true in modern psychology, as we said last week.
And if your thoughts succumb, your uprightness shall still shout triumph thereby!
Ye shall love peace as a means to new wars-and the short peace more than the long.
You I advise not to work, but to fight. You I advise not to peace, but to victory. Let your work be a fight, let your peace be a victory!
One can only be silent and sit peacefully when one hath arrow and bow; otherwise one prateth and quarrelleth. Let your peace be a victory!
Ye say it is the good cause which halloweth even war? I say unto you: it is the good war which halloweth every cause.
War and courage have done more great things than charity.
Not your sympathy, but your bravery hath hitherto saved the victims.
Much of this sounds rather familiar-you can read similar things in newspapers and in certain modern literature.
Now inasmuch as such teaching is understood as the education of a nation, it is of very doubtful value, but understood as educational teaching for an individual it is an entirely different case; it teaches the importance of conflict.
War on the objective plane is of course what war is generally understood to be, but war on a subjective plane means the conflict within the individual.
What is good within is not necessarily good without, in spite of the fact that Heraclitus said that war was the father of all things; it is a very doubtful father-well, fathers are often doubtful.
Nietzsche’s sermon is ambiguous here; we don’t know whether he is preaching a belligerent attitude which shows itself in the politics of states, or whether he preaches the individual conflict.
If it is the latter, I must subscribe to it, because nobody gets anywhere who has no conflict: we need the conflict and the willingness to accept it.
For conflict is the origin of our psychical energy-there can be no energy without it.
We must have conflict, otherwise we don’t live.
We might assume here that Nietzsche hides in this paragraph the intuition of individuation.
For conflict is absolutely indispensable for individuation.
You cannot individuate as long as you are identical with your aims and activities because they are always only one aspect, and if you identify with only one aspect of yourself you are merely an autonomous function, an autonomous aspect of yourself.
But if you accept the conflict between two or several aspects of personality, you have a chance to individuate, because you then need a center between the conflicting tendencies; then individuation makes sense.
If you are identical with only one aspect of yourself, you are naturally up against the unconscious, and then it looks as if your enemy were outside of yourself; at least you don’t understand why you should be opposed from within because you only see that one tendency with which you are identical, and do not see the opposing tendencies.
So you project your aspects into other people who then become your bete noire.
They seem to be the cause of your defeat or your neurosis; one likes to accuse father
and mother or a wrong education or enemies in order to excuse oneself for one’s own defeat.
You see, if Nietzsche really means the individual here, this is really good advice; but if he is haranguing a politically excited crowd, then it is cheap stuff-no good, bad filling of newspaper columns.
“What is good?” ye ask. To be brave is good. Let the little girls say: “To be good is what is pretty, and at the same time touching.”
I think this “what is good, ye ask” is due to a feeling of ambiguity and doubtfulness.
He asks himself, “Is this sermon I am preaching really good stuff?”
Then of course he is not referring to real little maidens who are pretty and pathetic.
The German text is unmistakable: it means that good is something pretty and pathetic.
That is also a certain point of view, exceedingly harmless.
He means here that it is good to be brave.
He is, as I said, in doubt, so he extracts the idea of being brave from his sermon as having to do with war; the warrior is at least brave.
Of course you can also apply it to the individual again and then this little passage would mean: it is a good thing to face one’s own problem, one’s own conflict, and it won’t do to have a sort of sweetish point of view concerning morality, a morality that is just pretty and pathetic.
Here my word pathetic has nothing to do with the German pathetisch; it means touching, ruhrend.
They call you heartless: but your heart is true, and I love the bashfulness of your goodwill. Ye are ashamed of your flow, and others are ashamed of their ebb.
Ye are ugly? Well then, my brethren, take the sublime about you, the mantle of the ugly!
Now, this seems to be mighty good advice: cover yourself with the sublime or the austere in order to hide the ugly.
If that were possible!
In contemporary history you see many such cases, where they have tried to put on the mantle of the sublime over things which are really ugly.
And if you think of the subjective application of this sermon, you can see how impossible such advice would be.
It would not do to cover up your ugliness by the mantle of the sublime because too many people could see the ass’s ears or hooves coming out from under the lion’s skin.
And when your soul becometh great, then doth it become haughty, and in your sublimity there is malice [wickedness]. I know you.
This is again a funny thing in Nietzsche.
At times he gets quite coquettish-like an old maid, you know-with his own malice.
Whenever I read such a passage I think of the bust of Voltaire by Houdon in the foyer of the Comedie Francaise: that exceedingly malicious and ironical look.
It needs a Frenchman-it needs just Monsieur Voltaire-to have that malice, yet Nietzsche is always coquetting with it; but he is much too naive.
When you read, for instance, Voltaire’s Romans et Contes Philosophiques, then you know what malice is; he is marvelous in that respect.
Or when you read the numerous anecdotes from his life-even on his deathbed he had that divine malice which Nietzsche would like to have.
You see, in this case he ought to be malicious.
Prof. Reichstein: I was wondering whether it could be taken that the mantle of ugliness itself would be the sublime. It could mean just to cover the ugly, but in the German text it could also mean the contrary, that the mantle itself is the ugly thing, just to keep it round you.
Prof. Jung: Grammatically, yes, you are right, but I am a little doubtful about that meaning.
Prof. Reichstein: If you are ugly, to just say you are ugly and not to cover it would be the best you could do. That would make better sense with all the fighting-not to try to make the ugliness nice but to take it as it is. Then it would be sublime.
Mrs. Crowley: That seems to fit in with the next verse also.
Prof. Jung: But it doesn’t quite fit in the with general tenor of Zarathustra.
You see, he uses that idea later on in his conception of the ugliest man.
There he really speaks of ugliness, and as you know he rejects the ugliest man: there is nothing sublime about him.
So I rather think-together with the doubt “what is good?”-it would mean, “Now
what is ugly? Do you think you are ugly, or do you appear as ugly? Well then, cover yourself up by the sublime in accepting your ugliness.”
For instance, the pale criminal is the one who does not accept fully the fact that he is a criminal; if he could only accept it he would not be pale, and then he would be in a way sublime.
So if they accept ugliness they might possess austerity.
Certain people are so ugly that they really are austere.
Have you ever seen the picture of the ugly Tyrolese Duchess?
She was the ugliest woman in history-the ugliest that was ever portrayed; I don’t doubt there have been other monsters.
She was just a monster, highly interesting, and one could say sublime in her ugliness, a real masterpiece of ugliness.
So you see I would rather take it in the same way that we understood the pale criminal; as far as I can make out, the austere or the sublime is a cover for the ugliness.
I am glad to accept your idea, but that is the way it looks to me.
This verse, “And when your soul becometh great,” etc., would mean, then, that the soul does not hide itself any longer and that is sublimity, austerity.
You see, becoming proud or ubermutig is like an inflation, and an inflated person surely will not hide his light from other people, but will show his hand, will manifest himself so that he can be seen; he is so filled with the idea of himself that in his own eyes he is perfect or great, and he thinks other people will see him as he sees himself.
Therefore, all his ugliness comes to the foreground, and then it could be called sublime;
there is an austerity about it.
Yet Nietzsche says the austerity is Malicious.
Now, in how far that austerity is malicious is not easily to be seen.
You see, Nietzsche has a funny kind of attitude toward the austere or sublime; it is almost as if he were afraid of it.
It sounds too good, like the austerity of somebody who has renounced life or overcome himself; that sounds like perfection which has a very bad smell and it had a particularly bad smell in his days.
So it is almost necessary for him to put a point on that sublimity which makes it less moral or less beautiful; he cannot acknowledge or recognize it fully without putting a certain sting into it, a certain resentment and that is this maliciousness.
Sublimity would be almost too dangerous also, because he has said so many disagreeable things about sublime people that it would mean having to contradict himself.
Therefore, he must call it malicious, a Bosheit, a sort of joke, as Voltaire would surely do.
You know, when Monsieur Arouet de Voltaire, the father of the French enlightenment, the worst mouth in Europe, came to die, and the Abbe who came to take his confession asked him if he regretted all his sins, he said: “Mais oui, je regrette tous mes peches, surtout ceux que je n’ai pas commis.”
That is malicious, the sublime and the ridiculous in one.
That is the pathos of Voltaire, that to the very last, with his last breath, he is malicious.
But Nietzsche is not, he is pathetisch, an expressive actor of his own tragedy.
Mrs. Sigg: Is it not just the way Zarathustra treated the Jews before?
He put on a sublime attitude but he was quite malicious to them.
Prof. Jung: No, he is not malicious, he talks about it, but he is sentimental.
Mrs. Sigg: It is Bosheit.
Prof. Jung: No, read Voltaire. There is really a poisonous sting, and Nietzsche has not that refinement, one could say.
Mrs. Baynes: Nietzsche is much too serious.
Prof. Jung: Yes, and maliciousness is never serious.
Mrs. Fierz: Has this kind of maliciousness a faint resemblance to his dancer idea?
Prof. Jung: Exactly.
The dancing idea is also a making light of things which are really very heavy.
He is much impressed by the weight of things, he is awfully serious, and so he makes light of them.
But you don’t feel the lightness; you are never really taken off your feet as it were, never lifted from the ground.
There is too much pathos in it-it is too heavy, too sentimental.
While if you read a good joke in Voltaire you laugh, you cannot help yourself; it is light, liberated.
Nietzsche was a great admirer of the French, and of just the French aphorists who had developed this art of turning a whole situation by one word, but he never succeeds; he is a master of language sure enough, and he has also made many good jokes, but he is too German, too serious.
Mrs. Sigg: I think there is no word in the German language that has exactly the meaning of maliciousness.
Prof Jung: Of course not.
Bosheit weighs about ten tons, it is not light: it has not the sting of a wasp.
The French malicieux is a Latin word; it is just not German, and it designates something which cannot be translated, as the German word gemutlich cannot be translated.
The Frenchman’s equivalent for gemutlich is a cafe with marble tables on a boulevard, or a salon where the Gemut would freeze to death.
Mrs. Crowley: Is it due to a lack of real feeling in the German?
Prof Jung: No, it is just the peculiar capacity of the German to pack so many things together in his sentiment, a whole museum of realities; Gemutlichkeit is anything from bacon and beer up to a guitar-it is inimitable.
So his idea that in sublimity there is malice is an attempt to make sublimity something light, somewhat unreal, but he does not succeed.
If you want to know how a very serious thing can be made light, read Candide by Voltaire, read his talk with Panglosse, the philosopher, who suffers from a very disreputable disease about which he is very optimistic in order to make light of it.
See how Voltaire treats that subject and you see what maliciousness is and what making light of a difficult thing can be.
You will then understand also that the German language is absolutely incapable of producing such a word.
The very words in French are so detached, so abstract, so refined, so definite, that you
really can isolate one thing against another.
But the German words to designate anything emotional or sentimental are so full of earth that they are just heavy.
The lightest things you can find in German are certain light sentiments-a German waltz, for instance, is light-but it is not the lightness of France.
It is still a feeling with blood in it and some earth; yes, it is a dance but you see the weight of the sentiment in the dance; it has nothing whatever to do with the French sentiment.
Nietzsche says, then, that in sublimity there is malice-he hopes there is malice-that the sublime is not so terribly sublime.
If it really reached the highest stage it would show a hook.
It does, mind you; if anyone happens to be sublime then sure enough he is the victim of it.
What can he do? He is nothing but sublime.
And if anyone is really good, what can he do against that?
He is nothing but good and he is a victim of it, for without anything bad he has lost his freedom.
Therefore I always fight against it when the theologians say God is good.
Meister Eckhart says God is not good because if he were good he could be better.
That is true. Moreover I would say he loses his freedom because he is then bound to be good, can do nothing but good, which would be a very grave restriction to his omnipotence and is surely not meant.
So sublimity has a drawback somewhere because of its one-sidedness.
If you have to do with sublime people you feel the maliciousness; it is a fact that they are victims of sublimity and then they are poisonous bores.
But it is a malignity of fate; it is something malign and not exactly malicious, an evil thing because it is so perfect.
All the shadow and evil is suppressed and naturally pours forth somewhere else.
Nothing is more boring and more destructive for one’s morality than a relation to undoubtedly Good People: it is disastrous.
Children of very good people must become morally defective in order to compensate
for that goodness, and naturally the sublime must be compensated for right away by the unfortunate partners in the game.
That is the real malice in perfect sublimity.
And the one who can compensate for his own sublimity by a hook or by a flaw, say, is never quite sublime.
So you cannot have both.
It is a supernatural freedom he aspires to because it is humanly impossible to have both things at the same time.
In wickedness the haughty man and the weakling meet.
But they misunderstand one another. I know you.
Ye shall only have enemies to be hated, but not enemies to be despised.
Ye must be proud of your enemies; then, the successes of your enemies are also your successes.
Resistance-that is the distinction of the slave. Let your distinction be obedience.
Let your commanding itself be obeying.
Again, if this is for the crowd it is hardly worth listening to; if it is meant for the individual, it is something else-then it makes sense.
For instance, that you shall not have enemies whom you despise means you shall not despise the enemy in yourself; you may hate him but you must not despise him, for you would then despise yourself.
If you hate something in yourself, that is a real conflict.
Also you can be proud of your enemy because you can conclude as to your own qualities if you know your enemy; if you have in yourself a particularly bad enemy you know that you have something particularly good on the other side.
Then also, “Resistance-that is the distinction of the slave. Let your distinction be obedience.”
If you apply that to the individual, of course it makes sense-otherwise it makes none; to let your very command be obedience, would mean, obey yourself.
To the good warrior soundeth “thou shalt” pleasanter than “I will.”
And all that is dear unto you, ye shall first have it commanded unto you.
That is also a very good idea when applied to the individual.
If you say “I will,” it is usually an inflation because as a matter of fact you don’t will it; but if you feel it as “thou shalt,” it is in a way easier to accept also it is more true because the self is not identical with the ego.
The ego says “I will,” the self says “thou shalt.”
So the ego feels as if somebody had said “thou shalt”; and that is true-at all events it is more true than “I will,” and more efficient.
In that sense everybody should be aware of the warrior in his own self, accept his superior insight as a “thou shalt” and never as “I will.”
If the latter is true, you are in danger of an inflation because you can only carry that responsibility as far as your ego reaches; you cannot carry it as far as your self reaches, because that is beyond your responsibility.
Your responsibility is one aspect, one function of the self, but it has other aspects; irresponsibility is also an aspect of the self.
Nietzsche means something like that when he speaks of that which is beyond good and evil.
The Superman is beyond good and evil but the Superman is the self.
Let your love to life be love to your highest hope; and let your highest hope be the highest thought of life!
Nietzsche says something here which is really a foundation of a new morality, one could say.
Formerly the idea was, that whatever was pleasant to the gods was good.
Of course a primitive chief would say that what was good for himself was good, and what was good for the other and bad for himself was necessarily bad; he has no other point of view.
Later on, as I said, the idea would be that the word of God tells you what is good, and you are bad if you don’t fulfil it; you must not stand against that standpoint.
Now, inasmuch as these metaphysical concepts have disappeared, we are surely in need of a new foundation.
By what standard can we say that a thing is good?
We must have some sort of measurement.
Well, life would be such a standard: for instance, whatever is vital is of moral importance.
Of course one would refrain from using the word good there because it has acquired a particular quality in the history of morality; you know very well that the vital thing is not just good as we understand that word.
But you cannot deny it is vital, and that being the case you can also not deny that it looks to you as if there were something good about it, something worthwhile.
Perhaps you would say that to decide a thing in such and such a way would be good and moral, but then you see that it is not vital to decide it in that way; so a more vital solution should be sought, allowing life to be lived.
But you cannot call it good, despite the fact that you feel it to be more worthwhile than to seek a moral issue.
We call too many things good which have lost their vitality altogether; they are no longer worthwhile, no longer living.
And there are other things that never have been called particularly good, but sure enough, they convey more life-are not only vital in themselves but also provide a much better basis for living.
They give forms or possibilities which enrich life.
We have plenty of moral ideas which impoverish life and we think it is even good to do so, but then we discover that we do it not for any moral reasons but out of sheer cowardice-just cowardice and pretext; we hide our cowardice behind moral laws, and it doesn’t help very much to believe in their validity.
In modern times, we have therefore become very doubtful about moral standards and the so-called idea that a thing is good or bad.
The only question is: “Is it vital? Does it help life?”
You see, we have now learned to think of life as a fact, not as a wilful and arbitrary affair of certain individuals.
Life in itself is a great fact and we assume that it has its laws quite irrespective of our codes of morality; we feel more and more that our moral code is inadequate to deal with life.
That point of view is not altogether modern; we find it already in the Mandaean Gnosis of john the Baptizer, the initiator of Christ, who was one of the representatives of that secret teaching.
In the Book of John one is astonished to find at the end of each chapter that almost epical phrase: “And the Life be praised, victorious was Life.”
They had the idea that the “understanding of life” was the savior: their savior was that Manda d’hayye,7 the Gnosis of life.
They believed that the understanding of life was the supreme knowledge-that the ultimate decision about human action was given through life itself.
So the whole of history, as they saw it, was a question of whether life would be victorious or not, a sort of shout of triumph that life was again victorious.
Peculiarly enough there is the same epical ending in a book by Zola, and he could not have known of the Book of John, because that has only very lately been translated; it was written in the Southern Babylonian Aramaic, a lost language which even existing adherents of that belief were unable to read; a German scholar has deciphered it again only very recently.
Yet in one of Zola’s books, I think it is Fecondite, one finds exactly the same ending to the chapters, “And victorious was life.”
Now, Nietzsche says, “Let your highest hope be the highest thought of life.”
One could say just as well, “Let life be your highest thought of hope.”
Then you would put nothing above the fact of life, but Nietzsche puts something over or above life, a hope and a concept of life.
But life itself should decide, as it always does in reality.
We cannot hide the fact any longer from our philosophical consideration that life ultimately decides and that those are the decisions which are valid and always come true, despite all attempts of man to restrict life, to canalize and to organize it: finally life will break through all barriers. Your highest concept [thoughts], however, ye shall have it commanded unto you by me-and it is this: man is something that is to be surpassed.
Have you any argument against this sentence?
Mr. Allernann: That man has to be surmounted is destructive to life; man is living, man is the highest idea.
Prof Jung: Yes, if man doesn’t live, what else is there?
Mrs. Sigg: I have no sympathy for that sentence, that he will command.
Mrs. Adler: It is just logic that if he commands, it is not our highest idea, and that cannot be accepted. The command of the highest idea of another might be too high for us.
Prof Jung: Yes, it would be a concept in place of life; that is the thing we cannot agree with.
Mrs. Baynes: It does not seem to me destructive to say that man must be surmounted; it does not mean that humanity must be killed, but should keep on growing.
Miss Wolff: I think Nietzsche means that man must be surmounted in order to become the Superman.
Prof Jung: Yes, it cannot be taken so literally.
But the first part of the sentence, “Your highest concept, however, ye shall have it commanded unto you by me … ” needs a lot of interpretation.
This sentence only becomes acceptable if one assumes that Zarathustra represented the
Superman as being the self of everybody.
If that were the case, then one could accept whatever is commanded, because as I said, it is true.
It corresponds with the actual psychological fact when we accept the command of the self as a “thou shalt,” the self being not identical with the ego.
So here, if you understand that Zarathustra is the self of everybody, then that self can command us, and whatever it commands is the highest thought.
But I don’t like that word concept there; a concept is already an abstraction from life; if instead the sentence were, “Ye shall accept your life as commanded by me,” I could accept it-naturally with the supposition that Zarathustra is the self of everybody.
Mrs. Jung: In the German text it is Gedanke which is not the same as concept, it is something more living. Would it not be rather translated by “idea”?
Prof. Jung: That is true, Gedanke is milder; concept is much too sharp, too definite.
It is less offensive in the German text; you can leave it as it is. Gedanke is wide enough.
You see, conceptus means something that is completely caught, a concept, a thing you have grasped, while Gedanke is not necessarily: you can have Gedanke, ideas, which you have not grasped; as a rule our ideas are like free birds in the air which we have not yet caught or grasped.
Mrs. Crowley: It is “thought” in this translation. Would “your highest thought” be the equivalent in English.
Prof. Jung: Yes, “thought” is acceptable.
Mrs. Crowley: May I ask what you mean by Zarathustra being the self of everybody-doesn’t that make him collective?
Prof. Jung: Well, inasmuch as Zarathustra is Nietzsche’s Superman, or Nietzsche’s self, and inasmuch as we accept the idea that man has a self and that “Zarathustra” is an apt expression for the self, we can say that “Zarathustra” might symbolize the self of everybody.
For instance, instead of calling Zarathustra the self, call him Nietzsche’s genius, or god; then insofar as we accept the possibility that everybody has a relation to God we can say he is the God of everybody.
Mrs. Crowley: Yes, I can see it that way, but not in the way of command.
Prof Jung: Well, if there is a god, you will be under a command; otherwise it is not a god.
So if you accept the idea of the self you are under the command of the self because your ego is only a part.
Mrs. Crowley: You mean of a self, not the self. How could everybody be under the command of the same self?
Prof. Jung: The point is that we don’t know how far that self reaches.
Inasmuch as we agree that Zarathustra is very modern and vital, we can be in doubt whether “Zarathustra” does not express, at least to a certain degree, the self under whose command we are actually living.
The last sentences are mere rhetoric: So live your life of obedience and of war! What matter about long life! What warrior wisheth to be spared!
I spare you not, I love you from my very heart, my brethren in war!
Now, we come to the chapter called, “The New Idol,” and that new idol, as you will have seen in the first verse, is the state.
What is the transition?
How does the chapter on war and warriors lead over to the new idol, the state?
You see, we are just following the steps of history.
Mrs. Baumann: If the chapter we have just finished is dealing with the individual, as it seems to be, then the next thing will probably be a collective consideration.
Prof Jung: Yes, if it is dealing with individuals, but I am afraid that it is not just dealing with individuals.
The two aspects are confusing.
You see, Nietzsche’s intuition is right as applied to the individual, but through the identification of the human individual Nietzsche with the archetype Zarathustra, it becomes generalized and has also a collective aspect.
So he anticipates the possibility, which for us is already a historical fact, that what ought to be taking place in the individual is happening collectively in a nation, and not only in one nation but in several.
It is as if the process of individuation, which is now constellated, were happening on a lower story, on the lowest story of collectivity, where it is not the business of one individual but the business of a whole group.
We already have spoken of that; it is a sort of compromise between the individual and humanity.
You see, humanity is universal, not even a matter of a group; but what actually is happening is very clearly a matter of national groups, namely, the idea of autarkia, the autonomy and self-sufficiency of nations.
That has become the leading idea instead of individuation.
It is just as if God himself were split up from a universal existence into a national existence, so there is a god of France, a god of Italy, a god of Germany, a god of England. Nietzsche says God himself has become a Jew, and one could say God himself had become German or Italian; that is expressed by a leader, whether they call him Duce or
Fuhrer is all the same.
Miss Wolff: War is always made by a state or a monarch, and the warrior means the army, so in the very idea of war the state is implied.
Prof. Jung: That is perfectly true: the very idea of warriors, or soldiers, presupposes a general will above them, a monarch or a general or a state.
That would be the cause of the existence of warriors, but the question is, how do we progress from the idea of warriors and war to the state?
Mrs. Fierz: When the kind of individuation which he describes here is taking place in collectivity, the state is a sort of persona, the incarnation of this individuation, and the change taking place will be described as happening within that form or that personality, the individuating collectivity.
Prof. Jung: Yes, but that is all expressed in my interpretation of the chapter about the warriors.
I want to know how we can make the transition in Nietzsche’s language, and we have always seen that the very end of the preceding chapter is really an answer to the main issue.
Dr. Elliot: One has the sense that in talking about the warriors, one is not clear about the way war is going to happen, whether it would be individual or collective. If collective, the state would have to follow.
Prof. Jung: But why does the state follow? Why nothing else? The state would be the new idol, the thing that is going ahead, but why just the state?
Mrs. Jung: War and warriors mean an outburst of primitive libido which calls for order and law, and that is what the state stands for.
Prof Jung: Yes, it becomes clear in the end of the chapter that some sort of authority is wanted. And why?
Mrs. Jung: Because the instincts are aroused.
Prof. Jung: Exactly.
The chapter is about war and warriors, about people participating in war, and war is disorder, a wild upheaval of instincts, and naturally that calls for order.
If it is collective, it must be a collective organization; if it is individual, then what is wanted?
Mrs. Crowley: Individuation.
Prof Jung: Well, individuation as a condition of order, and how does that express itself?
Mrs. Jung: In limitation.
Prof. Jung: Well yes, that would be a result. But how does it express itself?
Dr. Strong: By the symbol.
Prof. Jung: Yes, the symbolic way; the expression through the symbol is the way of individuation.
That is indispensable: it always expresses itself in a symbol, and that is again the ambiguity.
Therefore Nietzsche does not call the next chapter “About the State,” but calls it, “The New Idol.”
So what he really means is that this whole situation of war and warriors, of instincts, disorder, conflagrations and catastrophes-all this needs an answer, say a principle of order or control.
It would need an idol. And what is an idol?
An idol is a symbol which possesses authority, which is mana. In the individual case, if it is a question of individuation, the symbol creates order; but if it is a question of collective events, it must be an organization, and then it is no longer a symbol.
Then the symbol becomes an idol.
For one only uses the word idol to depreciate the symbol; as long as a picture or a monument is a symbol, it works, it lives, but the moment it becomes an idol it is dead.
A symbol that is dead is called an idol and the worship of it is idolatry.
But one never would call the symbolic use of such a thing idolatry, because it is working through itself, it is living.
That is just the difference between a living symbol and a dead idol.
In this title you can see that ambiguity going on; it is as if Zarathustra or Nietzsche were feeling the right thing, feeling that it ought to be a symbol and not an idol.
So the New Idol would mean the new-old error, always that collective so-called symbol which is nothing but an idol.
And now instead of what we had before, we have a state.
Mind you, we experience history in our time-we are actually living history, and that is no small matter; formerly people read history, now they live it.
Of course we always had a state in Christianity, the church, but we did not live in the time when the church was the idol.
The church then had the so-called totalitarian claim, she was the ultimate authority, with no authority beyond.
As we know, the Catholic church has greater authority than the Holy Scriptures, because there was a church long before the Evangels were written.
St. Paul, for instance, lived in a time when the Evangels were not considered to be books of revelation; even after his time they were only thought to be quite useful books.
So the church, because she is older, always declares that she is the only competent interpreter of the Scriptures.
The worldly power has always tried to liberate itself from the totalitarian claim of the
church, and now the church has lost prestige to such an extent that the claim has had to change its abode.
You see, that totality claim always exists.
That is the need of the symbol, or the idol: somewhere we must have that supreme authority.
For a time, it was invisible and we were seeking it everywhere.
Of course we had the illusion that people didn’t need a supreme idol, but secretly science began to flirt with the idea that perhaps science or rationalism was the idol.
H.G. Wells has just published four articles in the Manchester Guardian about his recent trip to the United States, and if you want to read the story of a true adherent to the idol of science and rationalism, read H. G. Wells.
He believes that if we had a science of money and property, and if there were better universities, if certain learned men only would speak, then the world could be improved.
That is like thinking that if we would only hear the word of God, everything would be all right, as they formerly thought.
Now you see that totality claim, after having had a short flirtation with science, has, not very proudly, appeared on the scene of the world in the totalitarian claim of the state, first in Russia to the horror of the world, then in Italy, then in Germany, and perhaps it will go further.
Mrs. Volkhardt: You hear about the Totalitdtsanspruch, that “claim of totality,” every day in the street in Germany.
Prof .Jung: Well, it is a fact that this claim was the prerogative of the church in medieval times; then during the time of enlightenment it began to fade away, having made several attempts to identify with science.
The enlightenment was based upon the deesse raison-a totality claim of reason-and later on it was hoped that science would be the supreme authority.
But lo and behold, out comes the state, that monster, and says that it is the totality, that it can turn the trick.
Now, Nietzsche feels very clearly that rousing conflict-wild instincts, preaching war and courage and enterprise-would naturally lead to an anarchic condition which needs a supreme authority; and at bottom he knows it ought to be a symbol.
It must be the eidos, the symbol.
Yet, inasmuch as the conflagration is collective, it will happen on the level of collectivity, and be the individuation not of an individual but of a group-probably a national group or a tribe-and then that tribe will have supreme authority.
Then since there is no such thing as a spiritual organization-since God himself, the invisible king of the church, is dead-the idea of the tribal god will lead into a human organization called the state.
With that we return to a sort of tribal organization minus the spiritual element.
But they will worship the state as they worshipped God before: if something was the decree of God, it was ultimate, with nothing beyond.
Formerly, they said God must help you, but now they speak of the support of the unemployed by the state; the state will look after everything.
But what is the state? It is perfectly ridiculous, and that is what Nietzsche felt.
Mrs. Sigg: Is it not really a Protestant ideal that only the individual God should have the claim of totality?
Prof. Jung: Well, the totality claim naturally has undergone many changes in the course of time.
It was first the church, but in Protestantism naturally that was no longer true.
Luther tried to make the church the supreme authority, but it soon became obvious that after once breaking its authority, he could not make it supreme again.
Therefore, he liked to maintain the illusion that his Lutheran church was in connection with the Catholic church.
The Lutherans believed in the apostolic succession, in transubstantiation, that only the church could administer the pharmakon athanasias, the communion; and he did not like it at all when the church repudiated him.
He tried to save a sort of authority, but you know how little it helped, once the authority was broken through.
So the authority within Protestantism had to be God-and the Bible, which is a very bad substitute for authority, being much too contradictory; as you know it is on the index in the Catholic church, and rightly so.
Mrs. Sigg: But I think Luther tried to educate the Protestants to have their own individual God as the highest authority.
Prof. Jung: Not an individual God, but the universal God.
The mistake is just there: it is an individual relation to the god but the god is universal.
The invisible authority to which you can always have recourse is the Bible, the word of God, and that is a very doubtful authority, since it is man-made.
It was assumed that it was made by God himself, yet God obviously contradicted himself several times and said very funny things, so it did not make a good authority after all.
That was soon found out in the scientific criticism of the Scriptures; science was the formidable instrument by which the Bible was undermined and the Protestant creed at the same time: science killed it completely.
So the last remnants of the totality claim disappeared and must reappear elsewhere.
Nietzsche foresaw that very clearly-he was not in vain a parson’s son.
That the new idol would be the state was a tremendous intuition.
Mrs. Crowley: Would he not also have sensed it historically through
Karl Marx? It was the breaking up of the old system anyway.
Prof. Jung: Yes. And he felt naturally the tremendous need of authority in Germany; this was a fact, and so it was inevitable.
I don’t say it is a great prophecy, but it was a very true intuition: he foresaw quite naturally the course events would take.
At the time he wrote Zarathustra, the socialistic state was already widely discussed, and there the state was the ultimate authority.
In the latter part of the nineteenth century the state became personified, and one more and more lost sight of the fact that it was an abstraction.
As for instance, natural science lost the understanding of the fact that energy is a concept.
We have only recently discovered that matter is a concept; we always thought it was something substantial but it is only a concept.
And so we still believe, and the man in the street believes, that the state is something.
But it is nothing, a mere illusion, a convention-as a matter of fact it is thinner than air, everybody speaks of it as if it were the subject, but it is simply the illusory object of everybody.
Mrs. Sigg: It seems to be characteristic of the psychology of philosophers that they are apt to write books about the state, and it seems to be true of Nietzsche, too. So I thought it might be a sort of symbolic action; they were concerned with the outer world when really the inner world was more important, when there was a necessity for inner
organization, for individuation.
Prof. Jung: Oh well, you cannot say that.
For instance, Plato surely did not write his book about the New Republic through any necessity for individuation.
That is out of the question.
We can only speak of individuation in a case like Nietzsche whose spiritual father was Schopenhauer.
He already speaks of the principium individuationis and deals with it largely; his whole philosophy was based upon that.”
And all that preparation was needed.
You find no such thing with the old philosophers because they were at peace with god; the world was quiet and there were only a few amendments to the divine order.
Now I think we will begin this new chapter:
Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brethren: here there are states.
A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears unto me, for now will I say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.
A state is called the coldest of all cold monsters. That is pretty strong language.
You know, Nietzsche is a great friend of life.
He has a pretty shrewd idea of the reality of life, as being the only real thing; so he is quite suspicious as to concepts.
All concepts that have become personified, concretized, are exceedingly poisonous,
and one of the most poisonous and dangerous concretizations is surely the state, because it is merely the hypostasis of a convention.
And if a concept or an idea becomes concretized or personified, there is always a fatal analogy to a very famous historical event, which Nietzsche would say to beware of.
What would that be?
Mrs. Sigg: The Word that became flesh.
Prof. Jung: Of course, the Word that appeared in the world.
You see, if the word of God becomes flesh, you can cope with it-that makes sense since anything that is has been spoken by God.
That God has spoken the world is an age-old truth, and we are perfectly familiar with it.
This is the way it should be.
But when man’s words become real, you are doubtful at least; things become rather critical.
For instance, would you trust any of the living leaders of the world with speaking creative words? Let us assume that Mr. Roosevelt, for instance, were equipped with the word of power, that what he said must be. Would you submit to it?
Mrs. Baynes: No!
Prof. Jung: Of course you would not, even if you are an American, because we don’t trust one single human being with the authority, the competence, to speak the word that is worth being concretized.
Yet by whom is that word, the state, spoken?
Not even by one decent individual: it is spoken by newspapers-and see what Nietzsche says about newspapers a little further down.
The state is a terrible concretization, but if such things begin to concretize it is the very devil, as Nietzsche feels.
You see, it is absolutely in keeping with his own development: he says “God is dead,” that whatever speaks is man.
He does not even take into consideration that he is not the Superman; he speaks with the voice of thunder as Zarathustra, assuming that he is Zarathustra.
Zarathustra would be the word, yes, his words might concretize because he is an angel of God, you could say.
But surely the state is not the word of God.
It is the invention of the many and therefore dangerous and poisonous; it is a devilish invention replacing the eternal plan of God that should rule the world.
It is man instead of the divine competence, the limited mind instead of the infinite mind, things based upon temporal assumptions instead of upon eternal verities.
So you can understand why Nietzsche calls the state the coldest of all cold monsters.
If he still believed in the devil he would say it was the devil’s own invention, like a theologian whom I once treated.
He had suffered before the war from a very difficult and serious neurosis, but when I met him after the war and asked how he was faring, he told me that he was quite
Then I asked him what on earth he was doing with the church, and that theologian cold-bloodedly replied, “Oh, the church is of course an invention of the devil, but if you live in this world you must deal with the devil.”
The church is an invention of the devil inasmuch as it is man’s own work; for man is always a single isolated individual, not the universal man, but only a temporal and very local man, so anything he knows is only locally, temporally true.
If he invents anything of a universal character, it is sure to be bad, because it is against this or that eternal verity. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 561-579